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Nephthys
NephthysHS
Race Soul
Birthday July 22
Age 4649
Gender Female
Height 159cm (5'2½")
Weight 53kg (117lb.)
Blood Type A Positive
Professional Status
Affiliation Gotei 13, Soul King
Previous Affiliation Onmitsukidō
Old Kingdom
Profession Shinigami
Position Captain of the 2nd Division
Previous Position Corps Commander of the Patrol Corps
Division 2nd Division
Previous Division Onmitsukidō Patrol Corps
Partner Yoruaka Shihōin
Base of Operations 2nd Division HQ, Seireitei, Soul Society
Personal Status
Relatives Ahmose (Father)
Education Assassination Techniques
Shinigami Arts
Zanpakutō
Shikai Kagemori
Bankai Kokusō
First Appearance
Story Debut Bleach: Days on End
"Smile of Shadow and Elegance."
Hellion

Nephthys (ネプシズ, Nepushizu) is an ancient Soul hailing from the time when the Balancers of Souls were in charge of protecting the balance of souls.

As a Human she lived in Egypt at the time of the Old Kingdoms where she acted as the shadowy arm of its great kings, an assassin loyal to the Third Dynasty. She is said to have been flawless in her craft to such a degree that no record to hint at her activities exist. To the world at large, she was little more than an advisor to the first king of the Fourth Dynasty, Sneferu. She passed away in the year of 2585 BC at age 63 due to an illness that was as of yet incurable in her lifetime. Her disembodied spirit was eventually met with a Balancer of Souls and with the performance of Konsō she left the World of the Living behind, ascending to the afterlife known as Soul Society.

Her years in Soul Society have been spent well, with the realization that the Pantheon she worshipped were not in this realm, she thrust her service upon the Soul King, fulfilling the role she could succeed at best. She was an agent for him, an observer for the Balancers of Souls who had begun losing his favour. She served as an early member of the Onmitsukidō until one botched assignment led to a confrontation with the Balancers and her imprisonment in the Dangai. Her time there was spent honing her craft in what little way she could until being freed in 99 BC during a conflict with the Balancers and the newly formed Gotei 13 under Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto for which she would eventually be recruited once her skills came to light.

For the past several hundred years she has served the Gotei 13 as a Shinigami and Captain of the Second Division, having earned the position through her skills in Hohō and assassination.

Appearance

NephFull

Nephthys' full appearance

Nephthys is a woman of average height, relative to modern Egyptians, and a relatively slender build for her age. She has fair skin suggesting that she did not spend often in the sun as one would expect of those in ancient Egypt. Her hair is black and resembles a pageboy style, with her hair hanging down past her ears, though her hair ends in a series of spiked tips hiding this fact somewhat, it is also longer at the back. She has curved and sharp ending eyes that come across as intense due to her red eye colour and the khol applied around her eyelashes. She has thin, flat eyebrows that are largely obscured by the bangs of her hair. She has a short but pointed nose and rather flat lips. As a member of the Gotei 13 she dons a customized shihakushō consisting of a sleeveless shitagi, a black kosode with white, transluscent sleeves, a black hakama and white hakama-himo and a white obi sash tied around her waist, as well as a pair of white tabi and straw waraji. Instead of the typical haori that is used to signify one's position as a Captain, Nephthys wears a jeonbok in a similiar manner, the body of the robe is white whilst the back is emblazoned with the symbol of the 2nd Division inside the symbol of the Gotei 13. The jeonbok lacks sleeves and comes attached with a hood that has been painted to resemble the visage of Anubis, with red, black, and, blue dyes. A pair of cloth-made ears have been sewn into the hood to further the resemblance.

Personality

Nephthys embodies the dual faces of a coin, a largely conflicted individual. In the sense of nobility she carries herself with the grace and style of a noblewoman, acting with elegance, politeness and an eye for the decorum of whatever situation she happens to be in, addressing everyone with a high degree of formality unless they insist on a more informal approach, and generally applying proper etiquette as needed. At the same time she is a master of cloak and dagger, the shadowy game which nobles play in order to advance their goals and positions. She is not without her own quirks regarding either however. Despite her prim and proper visage, she is brutally honest with regards to her own thoughts and feelings, never shying away from them though it is often disguised under heavy wordplay so that only those looking for it would realize her stances. She greatly dislikes violence, often talking up the ideal of Pacifism, though she does not shy away from the act of harming another, having long grown desensitized towards it and having accepted the irony of how centralized it has become with her life, both as an assassin and as a Shinigami maintaining the balance of souls.

As one who is honest to a great extent, she also values the honesty of other very highly but has become a bit jaded with regards to how easily she believes that trust, thanks in no small part to her long life and her sordid roles. It takes a great deal of effort before Nephthys will take someone's honesty as sincere, a fault that she has no issue admitting. Though her outward demeanour is that of a so-called proper lady, she can nonetheless come across as cold and aloof to those that she has only met recently but becoming visibly relaxed in the presence of those she can trust. She has developed the belief that those people who walk the moral high ground are the people that would make the greatest of villains, for, if they deviated from the path they originally walked they would already have a great foundation from which to sow chaos and undo the good they had done, whilst someone who started out negatively would have less of an impact. This belief causes her to be hard on those that she sees as naive or exceedingly focused on some sort of moral code. This has led to a great deal of friction between herself and Johnny Law, who fancies himself as a paragon of justice. She also has a great deal of respect for those who are wise and powerful, but does not always approve of them. Such is the case with Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto who she respects as a master warrior but has, several times, made it known that she disapproves of his methods as a leader.

She has some understanding of how the cycle of reincarnation works and has taken the time to incorporate it into her own beliefs surrounding the deific figures and afterlife of her homeland. It is to Nephthys' understanding that the Soul Society, and the Dangai before it, are but steps along the road of the Duat. It is a trial, a rite, and a passage. She has yet to reach the ending where she will have her heart weighed on the scales by Anubis, guardian of the dead. She is certain that her actions in life and those taken once she became a soul have accrued a great deal of sin and as such resigned herself to the ultimate fate of being consumed by the Ammit. Though she could accelerate the process by granting herself an early death, she also believes that this would be a disservice to the lives she herself has claimed and expresses a wish to meet with Anubis at the end of the journey so that she might hear how many of her victims were considered worthy of moving onto Aaru. As the deities she knows lack any sort of real representation in Soul Society, she instead professes her services to the Soul King in the mean time, as it is the closest thing that could be considered a divine spirit.

Nephthys has a great deal of fondness for canines, even owning her very own dog, a Scanian terrier named Gōhi (僅火). This love of dogs has developed partly out of her reverence for Anubis, hence the painted hood she wears styled after him. She does not drink often, but on the few occcassions where her fellow Shinigami convince her to join them, Nephthys has proven to have a very high tolerance for the consumption of alcohol, easily outdrinking her compatriots. Her free time is often spent treading the various Rukongai districts for one reason or another, typically bringing gifts bought with the extensive stipend she receives as a Captain. Though quick to deny it if brought up, Nephthys has a bit of a sweet tooth, for massa sovada and other sweet breads in particular. Her favourite food is falafel made from chickpeas. She works together with Hanashi Saika on a series of short stories collectively known as "Tales from Beneath the Water Lily", which is popular through out the Rukongai's older population.

History

Nephthys was born in the ancient island city of Yebu sometime in 2648 BC in the same year that Djoser passed and was succeeded by the next pharaoh Sekhemkhet. She was the sole daughter of a man named Ahmose, a man of poor means that worked as a soldier at the fortress situated on their home island. He had little he could give to his daughter with regards to her upbringing, as he was too poor to have trained other fields, and so he passed on his skill in arms onto her with the hopes that she could find a way to bring herself higher in the Egyptian world than he could. By the time her father died, Nephthys had only ended up in the expected role, his own, she was a soldier posted on the walls of the island fortress with little means to procure herself other skills, but she learned bit-by-bit on her own as time passed.

Things changed one night as she had been returning home from a routine day guarding the walls. She found herself at the center of a conflict, a high priest of Khnum had been attacked, his guards slain, and his attackers seeking to finish him off. Nephthys had thought about simply letting it go but intervened against her better judgement and was lucky enough to be able to outfight the thugs despite their numbers. The priest questioned Nephthys on her skills and her role, and she clarified that she was a simple soldier. The man, feeling indebted to his saviour, and now lacking in protection, took her under his wing, giving her employment as the first of hew guards. They would leave Yebu for the city of Ta-senet some days later.

She would spend many years there and they proved to be fruitful both for her and the high priest. The high priest saw to it that she was given the proper teachings to fit her newly elevated status, studies on literacy, ritual practices and other things became a big part of her day-to-day and Nephthys was soon integrated into the pantheon that the priest devoted his life to. The man would become a target several more times in his life for one reason or another but he had little to fear as the captain of his guards sent them packing every time. Her skills became something of a local legend in Ta-senet, eventually stretching to other towns as stories of a beautiful protector blessed by Khnum.

Eventually word of her exploits reached the current pharaoh of the time, a man known as Khaba, the fourth pharaoh to rule in the current generation. He sought her out in order to confirm the stories with his own eyes. The display he was shown washed away any doubts, and he later sought her services from the priest who would acquiesce after a short negotiation. With this she had come as far as she could, a servant of the man closest to the Gods, the link between the spiritual realm and the physical plane. She stood in the court, not as a concubine, an advisor, or a guard, but as an observer. Khaba had given Nephthys the role of being his shadowy arm, an assassin that no one could know existed, it would look unfavourable on the pharaoh to have such a thing, but it was nonetheless necessary.

She served the pharaoh faithfully regardless of who sat on the throne, when Khaba was succeeded by Huni, she gave him the same allegiance she had to his predecessor. Through out the years she hunted down politicians, nobles, soldiers, even ostensibly innocent folk and the rare priest. All of it left her conflicted, she was doing a disservice to the Gods, but had been doing so in the name of the man closest to them. The frustrations would eat at her, though she would not speak of it and never abandoned the post she had taken. She was granted a respite from this duty during the rule of the first pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, that of Sneferu. Nephthys had been afflicted with an illness that sapped her of her strength and stamina, leaving her physically incapable of carrying out her duty, though Sneferu did not have her removed from court. Instead she served as his advisor in this time, she knew the tell tale signs of the corrupt and overly ambitious and could relay this to her king.

They never found a cure for her ailments though and Nephthys eventually succumbed to its effects, passing away in her sleep in 2585 BC at the age of 63, fairly long lived for her time. Her Soul would inhabit the palace halls for a few short months before she was found by a Balancer and sent on the journey to Soul Society through the Dangai. She was assigned to live in the relatively high quality Tenme (天目, Heaven's Eye) district, the 8th of the Southern Rukongai districts. Uncontent to just laze around with her time spent in the spiritual realm, Nephthys sought out employment that suited her skills.

She was found to very spiritually powerful making her a prime candidate to join the Balancers of Souls, though she refused after seeing the organization in action. Instead she sought a place among the fledgling Onmitsukidō, a group of agents acting on the behalf of the Soul King to keep the Balancers in check. It was a role that meshed well with her past, whilst there she became a great many things, a killer, a teacher, even a student. She learned a great deal from her peers, and taught them many things in turn.

Things turned sour in 115 BC as the Balancers had begun ignoring the Soul King's commands in favour of their own, leading to a series of disastrous events across the various worlds of existence as the order of "peacekeepers" asserted their dominance. Nephthys had been one of many sent in to attempt to take out their leaders, the Marshals, but found more than she bargained for in the Force-Marshal, the head of the entire organization. Their fight was short, and Nephthys had been defeated utterly. So sure of herself, the Force-Marshal didn't have Nephthys killed but instead had her thrown in with the other prisoners of the penal colony hidden in the Dangai.

She would be set free during the conflict between the newly born Gotei 13 and the Balancers, with her immediately picking up the former's cause. She was among those given a Zanpakutō and taught the method to coax out its power, she'd take the field alongside other newly christened Shinigami and the spirits of their weapons.

When the conflict was finally ended, Nephthys was offered a place as one of the thirteen Captains of the Gotei, taking command of the 2nd Division.

Powers & Abilities

Trivia

  • Nephthys, also known as Nebthet, is an Egyptian Goddess and a member of the Great Ennead of Heliopolis. Alongside her sister Isis, she is depicted as a protector of mummies.
  • Her name literally means "Lady of the House" but specifically means "Lady of the [Temple] Enclosure".
  • Nephthys' Bankai is meant to evoke an image of the Goddess from which she inherits her name, who is depicted as a woman with falcon wings outstretched as a symbol of protection.
  • Her date of birth falls on one of the two dates for Ratcatcher's Day. This makes her a Cancer.
  • In Japanese, Nepthys would refer to herself using the warawa (妾, child) pronoun, it is an archaic Japanese word used primarily by women in samurai families. Today it is used to represent noble female characters in fictional settings.
  • The colour associated with Nephthys is Teal, a shade of blue which, in Japanese colour culture, represents coldness, rationality, peace, loyalty, life, and, money.
  • Nepthys' theme as chosen by her author is Ta ga Tame no Sekai by Akiko Shikata.
  • Images on this article were drawn by Luminent-Soul on DeviantArt on commission from the author.

Appearances

References

Titles

Preceded by
Title Created
Captain of the Second Division
99 BC - Current
Succeeded by
Unknown
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