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[əˈnæθ(ɪ)məˈvɪtə] is explained as a compound word which consists of two simple words: “anathema” (derives from Ancient Greek: ἀνάθεμα, anáthema, meaning “an offering” or “anything dedicated”, itself derived from the verb ἀνατίθημι, anatíthēmi, meaning “to offer up”) and “vitae” (derives from Latin: vīta, meaning “life”). In English, the name can be interpreted as “the curse (minding the obsolete meaning of the word “anathema”, having a minimal relation directly to the church) of life”, “curse by living”, “condemnation to perpetual (perishable) existence”, etc. Common abbreviations: Anathema, An(n).

Origin / History of research

Despite the fact that the clear amount of years lived is indicated for Ann, many agree that this number is conditional. This number is false. This “most accurate” age is only a fiction, originated as a result of knowingly false amateurish arguments, based on the only documented fact. Just a folding screen behind which the narrow-minded hide so actively, refusing to take any deeper research into account. Disagreements have appeared for a reason. There is only one ancient Egyptian scroll that miraculously survived until our days, a detailed transcript of which made it clear that this is a unique document in its kind that describes the first contact of people with Anathema. The cornerstone is that the papyrus has brought to us the image of fully grown mature individual.

Quite a big amount of historians insist that it is wrong to take a scroll – albeit reliable – as the starting point. Independent studies of cave paintings of different cultures and civilizations have revealed some correspondences of the drawings with the image of Anathemavitae. It is also interesting that not only cultural and temporal, but also territorial factors were taken into account. As if committed scientists cornered themselves by this because, if their theories are true, the mysterious animal inhabited several continents. At the same time. However, even without taking this into account, all the rest hardly forms a logical picture, leaving some unsolved issues. Unfortunately, all this remains at the theoretical level; a lack of facts, cave paintings differing from time to time, as if they were far-fetched to weight a pseudoscientific tale. If considering all those arguments as correct, then the real age of this individual is many times greater.

Based on the colossal antiquity of Ann, many consider him a kind of deity, lingered in the world of people. Mythologists draw analogies with the ancient Egyptian gods. The supernatural abilities of the being, the manifestation of which cannot be described in scientific terms and does not fall under the laws of nature, are also taken into account. In other words, everything – ranging from the protective mechanisms to the structure of the organism – is somewhere on the verge of fiction. It's not only mythologists and historians that puzzle over this question, but also zoologists. If the first ones beat around the bush of the incipient theories and facts trying to put them together, then the other ones seem to be deadlocked,

“Most of Anathemavitae’s anatomical features make him deader than dead, however, he does not seem to care much about it.”

Studies are greatly complicated by the fact that it is extremely difficult for scientists to obtain at least some kind of tissue sample. It's almost impossible to find Ann unless he wishes it. His movements are not tracked by any sensors because there’s simply no sensors on him and, an idea of catching a god whose powers have not been yet fully explored and are certainly not peaceful, is a death wish. Even so, some daredevils still tried to get at least a sample of fur. They were doing it for the promised generous reward, indeed, which was soon canceled due to increased lethal cases. It was done in order to avoid the reduction of already not so generous research funding. But it was too late. The government of the state where the largest department which was doing a research on this being was located, considered it expedient to stop its material support. The explanations were extremely simple and difficult to criticize,

“Before the formation of this research department, we received no complaints from any of the families of a regular scientist, hunter or ordinary worker who died, trying to obtain the inputs to the research that goes very slowly and does not validate the investment put into it. Obviously, the individual is dangerous only for those who knowingly try to interact directly with him.”

After the official department disbandment, all hope was on the enthusiasts and independent researchers who remained and were ready to get to the bottom, paying everything from their own budget. All this gradually began to resemble an obsession, but one thing was clear,

“We are not immortal. But as long as Ann remains alive, our work will also live.”


The exterior of Anathemavitae completely coincides with the image of the Russian borzoi. He has long and silky, somewhere curly dark grey fur with a rare shine, elongated muzzle with a slightly curved nose at the end, high growth at the withers. A thick flow of fur hides behind itself the diaphanous bones of the legs, playing with iridescent glints in the light, to his elbows and knees. Looking closely into the eyes, it is difficult to identify the pupil and the iris because, even at low illumination, they merge into a single shimmering whole, like tiny spherical moving fragments of ice. A little lower on the elegant profile the distinct outlines of the protruding veins can be easily noticed. On the back of the head there are two flat subtle ears hanging from both sides, merging with the fur, as if they were a part of the flossy coat. Note: the main color of Anathema is not black, not gray, but charcoal.

The thickness of the uniform long hair flow creates an illusion of the massive dog. In reality, Ann is lightweight, fast and agile even at his impressive size: about eighty centimeters in the shoulders and about three and a half meters from the nose to the tip of the tail.

There are rumors circling around that not only bare bones of legs are exposed, but also ribs, as well as vertebrae of the tail. Is it actually possible to see such things at a certain angle or with the help of a powerful gust of wind, or is it just a lie for the sake of attracting attention, remains a mystery.

Temperament (Black Dog Appears and Disappears)

At any time and in any situation, Anathema remains absolutely calm.

Due to the most detached behavior of Ann, it may seem that he notices no one around. Such perception works on his side, allowing to turn out to be much smarter and more thoughtful, acting suddenly, unexpectedly and accurately,

“Light and fast as a falcon, quiet as a mouse, calm as a boa. This is alarming. You never know what's on his mind…”

Those traits of character have become a valid reason for albeit humorous but well-founded tales that, in fact, Anathema is an ancient god of silence, who begins frowning at the moment when someone dares to disturb his peace:

“You are not going to take little kids with you, are you? He won’t touch them but, as soon as one them makes at least a scream, at least a squeak, at least one quiet sob that precedes a loud, continuous crying, you can forget your way home forever. Such strong irritants will act on him like a red blanket on a bull.”

He never barks, never whines, never howls, and almost never makes a noise when moving, correctly distributing the body weight to each of the four paws at every step and bypassing the surface, capable of provoking ringing and clattering; never tells his location until he needs it. Ann is so smart that he can make noises only to create the atmosphere of horror and fear,

“...As if the night itself alike black dog descended to the ground,
As though like Summer hail it marked its steps with claws…”

Informed actions, coupled with high nobility, do not allow Anathemavitae to engage in confrontations with the weak, the sick, or the innocent.

Fictive Fragility

On anyone who will give Anathema a brief glance, it makes the first impression of an extremely fragile organism, forcing them to fear for its integrity and safety when running or landing on any hard surface after jumping: transparent limbs – as if they were made of glass – create the illusion of brittleness. That’s far from it. The uniqueness of Anathemavitae’s skeleton lies in a precious mineral that replaces bone tissue, namely, in diamond. Bones are not spliced together; on the contrary, each of them is movable and has its own memory. As an extremely important note, a special type of magnetism that keeps the entire structure of the skeleton in its assembled state should be mentioned. It is this energy, poorly studied at the moment, that deprives diamond bones of such characteristics as high brittleness inherent in natural diamonds. Any part of the skeleton that begins to stay outside the body of its real master, loses this property, turning into the most common gem. The hardness of the material and the incredible density of the crystal lattice contribute to the fact that the bones do not wear out or scratch, can serve for countless years and are almost completely devoid of fractures, and teeth and claws – consisting of the same mineral – never grind down, remaining sharp forever. Note: bones, teeth and claws do not glow, but only reflect light.

Nothing is perfect. There are certain conditions under which Ann is still able to get a fracture. However, the force that should be applied to obtain such result should be approximately equivalent to the pressure of a multi-ton hydraulic press. Creation of similar conditions is rather difficult in practice. Nonetheless, the chance of getting such injury exists. Fortunately, due to the “clever” skeleton in which each bone has memory, the loss of its individual unit or fragment is not permanent. Just like crystals, lost bones grow anew. This kind of regeneration can take several decades, depending on the amount of lost mineral tissue.

Black blood smoke / Transparent insides

From afar, it may look as though after receiving any injury, Anathema’s wounds begin to emit smoke. This is not quite right. Like ones of other living beings, Ann's fresh wounds bleed. However, his blood is different in appearance and consistency: it is black and oily. A beautiful effect is created by the almost instantaneous transfer of blood from the liquid state to the smoke when it comes into contact with air. Note: despite the fact that the black smoke looks rather poisonous, it is totally harmless to the respiratory system.

A transparent heart pumps black blood to other diaphanous insides. Just like bones, all the muscles, veins, arteries, organs and tendons in Ann’s body also consist of transparent tissues, extremely elastic and durable in structure. Muscular and connective tissues have not yet been researched. It is only known that the material from which they are made, does not lend itself to wear out and olden, although it is organic. Note: visible parts of the flesh have a pigment, which is either similar to the color of the fur: gums, inner sides of the ears, or a pigment on one shade darker: tongue, nose, paw pads. The only external organs with transparent visible flesh are eyelids and organs of reproduction.

“Valuebones” / The Great Hunting Fever

No wonder the excessive value Anathema’s bones threatened his life. Gems have been valued by people from time immemorial, and diamonds have been the most expensive and difficult to mine. A diamond claw has already costed a fortune, not to mention the large long bone… When Ann first announced his existence, no one was going to even draw close to him. He was feared and honored as a deity at the same time. If people became aware of Anathemavitae’s presence somewhere nearby, then, instead of the thoughts of catching and selling, there were only thoughts about what should be done quickly to avoid being damned forever or parting with life at the moment of a sudden appointment. That is why in many annals, cave paintings, ancient books and even Vedas, the ritual sacrifices, the erection of totems and statues, as well as the other tribute offers to the deity are described. There are even suggestions that some peoples created local religions and sects based on prayers and worship of this image.

With the development of technology, the emergence of more modern tools and more powerful weapons, increased education of the population, the fear of death was gradually replaced with the desire for profit. At some point, people went off the rails: the mere thought that any separated bone was a pure diamond, drugged the heads of thousands of people. Along with the poachers who began the intensified search, completely ordinary people literally grabbed their pitchforks and walked into the woods, as the temptation was extremely high, and the execution of the dog did not seem to be too complicated or something out of the ordinary. In all countries on each of the continents it was easy to meet those who were either going on a quest, or were thinking about it. In some cities the leaflets were hanging on the walls, promising a generous reward for the provision of any part of the body of Anathema. It was possible to even contemplate the gaudy reward posters, dotted with numbers with many zeros, saying something like, “WANTED! Dead or alive!”. All this went so far and grew on such a scale that it got a separate place in history, and the period itself was called The Great Hunting Fever.

Fun fact is, no one ever managed to get the cherished “valuebones”, and for some people the results of such campaigns ended badly. In most cases, inexperienced self-proclaimed hunters simply misguided in the forests and died of starvation, drowned in swamps, disappeared without a trace, became easy prey for predators during sleep and so on. But there were isolated incidents…

The curse of life / Memento mori

“Death is only feared by those who value life.

For quite a big amount of time there was a myth among people about a certain curse, which could be obtained by contact with Anathema. “By no means should you touch his bones,” one said. “And eyes! Don’t you dare looking into his eyes!” the other immediately continued. No doubt that this legend relied more on some religious texts rather than on any scientific justification. After The Great Hunting Fever everything had changed…

The overwhelming majority of those who returned with nothing, just continued their ordinary life. They continued to work, start families, give birth to children, and die. Failure in the search for the “big jackpot” was regarded by them not as something terrible, but rather as a lottery ticket that turned out to be unfortunate. But not by all. Without taking into account those who became obsessed with Anathema, considering his search as the lifetime aim, also some of those who returned broken and depressed sometimes appeared to be damned. At first, no one could understand what exactly happened until a few years passed since the return. It seemed that people were simply very upset, so that they wanted to communicate with no one and were not eager to leave their houses. Questions began to arise when, after quite a long time, it became clear that those people did not age.

This became quite an important impetus in the study of a mysterious animal. It was the exact moment when all those conjectures turned out not to be fairy tales, and all the myths and legends became true story. Psychologists immediately took up the research of the damned. They wanted to find out what contributed to such a serious psychological deviation that people no longer wanted to live, having no any premises, diseases and hereditary ailments for this. Unfortunately, those observations also were unsuccessful. The researched individuals almost never talked, did not notice other people, were sleeping constantly, refused to contribute to the study of their “disease” in any way. At the same time, all mental statistics were good. The studies were discontinued due to the presence of too small amount of patients, as well as the total inability to interact with them.

More than two hundred years had passed. During the morning call the police found the victim of the suicide, who hanged in his own house. A folded in half piece of paper lying on the windowsill and slightly swaying from the wind, which was holded by a beautiful piece of jewelry executed in the form of a transparent bone finger left upon it to keep the message in place, did not initially make any vivid impressions. A suicide note is a common thing. It was telling the following,

“When I was little, I was very afraid of dying. My mother told me that this would not happen too soon. She told that I had no need to worry about it. She told that everyone passes one day. I’d like her words to be true so much… Like the rest, I dreamed of wealth, glory and eternal life. Once I got it all. I’ve gotten it immediately and enough. For the rest of my life, which was too long, I cursed the day it happened. On that day I had finally found exactly what I had been searching for. I had found him. Being behind my search group in the mountains, I got under a rockfall. My entire life which was short at that moment flashed before my eyes. Suddenly, I felt a strong and sharp push. Being thrown away for a couple of meters, I fell to the ground, hearing a loud blow and, one second after, the ringing of splinters. Raising my head and looking forward, I saw him in full growth. He was standing firmly on his paws, even on three, staring straight into my eyes, straight into the soul, as if he was piercing me through with his sight. I do not know what happened at that moment. I felt a terrible cold, fear, despair, joy, anger, happiness… The whole palette of feelings at the same time. As though I understood life and it’s meaning in a moment. Horrified, I drew my eyes to the left, seeing the area where the heavy stone block fell, crushing the wrist into many parts. It was me who should had been under it. My head, my leg or my arm. He saved my life that day. While I was getting back home, the accident that happened refused to get out of my head. Later I began to see the world differently. As if he gave me not his life, but his own vision. Saving someone who wanted to kill you just to sell off some of your body parts. Humans do not have such excessive humanity. Pondering all this, I felt myself a complete nonentity.

Those splinters, and even some entire fingers that I took with me, were enough for me with a margin to provide myself with everything that I could only dream about. I managed to get in touch with a very rich collector who paid me extra money so that I would never tell anyone about what I had and who I sold it to. Well, it seems that now it makes no sense to hide the truth… I found a sweet life that did not give me any pleasure. I tried everything but it has been only getting worse with every year. I kept going deeper into my head, realizing that I was slowly becoming crazy. Everything repeated, again and again, one and the same. At some point, it seemed to me that he did not save me, no. He wanted my suffering to last forever.

Today I could turn two hundred and sixteen. I want you to know only one thing. Appreciate your time. Make the most out of every new day. Do not pursue immortality. Be mindful of death.”

A piece of jewelry, which was highly favored by one of the officers, was sold by them at an auction in a private collection for an impressive amount of money. The policeman himself was robbed and shot several months later.

Legend has it that the god of immortality is able to not only bestow life, but also deprive of it. That is why he lives forever, remaining in this world, removing others from it by consuming their time. He takes away the priceless and invisible from some, sending others to eternal voyage. He holds both scales. Impartially. Always.

“Silly, silly people. For such a long time it is possible to understand so much. You cannot live with the understanding of the simplest,” a young man in the black satin dressing gown with a lacy pattern and wide hanging sleeves, taking a deep meaningful sigh, gazing at the diamond finger which he was rolling in his hand, wondrously reflecting the iridescent amber lights of burning candles, indifferently dropped it into a drawer, in which several more dozens of diaphanous splinters and bones were resting.

Русская версия комментария:
Русская версия статьи:

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All information about the character and his backstory is written in the article above. If you want to start reading immediately, then I’d like to say that I selected the audio and transitions between the compositions diligently to go along with the image, so I advise you to set it as a background. Here I’d like to leave some kind of an author’s comment about the creation of this.

All this has started not so long ago, at the exact moment when I got some rats in the attic thinking about borzois, to be more precise. At the beginning everything was planned as the creation of another adopt but, several hours of work later, it became clear that I had to keep it. I wanted a character that would metaphorically represent a wild card for really long. And I also wanted a borzoi since recently… In addition, I haven’t been working for a long time on serious projects for myself, enjoying the process. Nevertheless, I became very upset when I realized that I couldn’t and didn’t want to give it away to anyone. I literally remember my inner voice at that moment, “You’ve just missed a couple hundred, congratulations.” I felt like a fool, who wasn’t doing what he should when he needed to earn money. The second cause of despondency was my wonderful habit of letting my characters collect dust in the corner. My heart bleeds every time I see a wonderful and original character with a great story, the owner of which either sank into oblivion, or simply forgot about him. I feel goosebumps when I realize that I’m doing the same. I’m trying to improve but time’s a toad that will always deliberately work against me.

Even despite the fact that this time I decided to work with photo references, the project became a technical hell for me. Alright, I got it. I got it all. I am also cursed, cursed with lineart. I won’t ever run away from it. Even in hell where I burn for my sense of humor, I’ll be lining pictograms. Unfortunately, my hands are too accurate to draw good anything else. Ugh. At the initial stage not only the fact that I had almost no experience of drawing Russian wolfhounds and had absolutely no experience of drawing skeletons, but also transparency intensively poured oil into the fire. At some point, I caught myself thinking that I was just trying to make the project more complicated. Sometimes I had to improvise, sometimes I had to copy. And, to be honest, it's hard for me to describe how pleased I am with the final result, the amount of the new experience gained and the way that I managed to describe everything correctly in the text, though not without difficulties and rawness in certain places. The reference sheet itself took exactly a week to draw, the writing and redacting took almost the same time. The text was originally written in Russian, so it took me one more week to translate it, that surprised me in a bad way. This is my biggest project at the moment and, judging by the unspoken logic of the ratio “the things I find amazing / the things my audience finds amazing” feedback should go into negative.

Text. I had some ideas before I started to draw, and during the process they acquired new details. Appetite grows with eating, etcetera… Writing is very hard for me. I'm a philologist. I know what kind of writing seems poor, besides, I have some experience of creating imaginative text. I’m a bit sad of the fact that I was only able to use few epithets, for it was necessary to substantiate many anatomical features. I’m unable to compress my writing at all. That's why there were seven pages of text. Then I decided to supplement it, so there became almost eight pages in the Russian version. In English there are seven, because the language itself is more compact. I edited the text twice, checked everything I doubted, tried at least somewhere to use beautiful literary language. And still it turned out raw, because I just love to get into the spheres where I do not understand much. And still I like it.
Phrixi Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so cool?? Aaa I love the character
Volinfer Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
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