Author has written 13 stories for Misc. Movies, Mummy, Pirates of the Caribbean, Troy, Aliens/Predator, Prince of Persia, Batman Begins/Dark Knight, King Arthur, and Prince of Persia.
1001 Persian Nights Group
Birth Name: Maniya (meaning 'to desire' in Persian and 'glass bead' in Sanskrit)
Date of Birth Age: 68 BCE 30 (in the year 38 BCE)
Eyes Hair: dark-brown/black black (wavy/slightly curly and reaching the middle of her back)
Height Body Type: 5'8 slender, athletic
Nationality Birth Place: Persian Pāsārgād
Current Residence: Babylōn (Capital City of the Persian Empire) / mobile (she does much travelling)
Occupation: Traveler, Thief (steals from the rich and gives to the poor), Philanthropist (when she is in Babylon)
(Read more on the bottom right side of the profile - Maniya's ''Profession'')
Spoken Languages: Maniya's native language is Parsi (known as Persian to foreigners), the native language of the Parsa Satrapy.
She is also fluent in Parthian, the official language of the Second Persian Empire, Greek (commonly spoken throughout the main cities of the Persian Empire) and Latin.
She has basic knowledge of Egyptian, Sanskrit, Aramaic, Syriac and Arabian.
Maniya is also familiar with Avestan, the language of Zarathustrian scripture, the Avesta.
Means of Transportation: Maniya rides a strong, black mare from the plains of Mada, which she named Devi (the Sanskrit word for 'Goddess'). She has had her since she was nineteen years old and had chosen a breed of horse mostly ridden in battles by cavalry units because she needed a strong horse for her travels.
Weapons / Equipment:
Dagger Attached to her belt Maniya carries a dagger with a curved blade (a sacred dagger given to her by Nadira as part of her initiation into the service of the Goddess Bastet) that she uses mostly for non-combatant purposes.
Whip She sometimes uses it for defensive purposes, such as to disarm her attackers without getting too close as well as for other similar purposes, such as climbing on it after wrapping its end around a higher surface. When she does not need it she leaves it in its place, attached to Devi's saddle.
Sais On the rare occasions that Maniya uses weapons into battle she prefers two sais. She places them in special leather straps on the outer sides of the lower parts of her boots but only when she knows she will be needing them for combat purposes. Their main use is for defense or for disarming the attacker and only in extreme situations she takes the offensive and stabs or even kills the attacker.
Acupuncture Needles On her left wrist Maniya wears a thick leather bracelet with vertical protrusions and small dark red beads forming a belt adorning both edges of the bracelet. In truth, these beads that appear at first glance to be attached to the bracelet are in fact the heads of small, thin and sharp pins concealed within specifically designed compartments of the bracelet (the protrusions). These pins, designed for the practice of acupuncture can be used according to the methods of that practice to both heal and inflict pain or even cause death by stimulating or suppressing specific points on the human body.
Prayer Beads and Pendant Maniya's most treasured possession is a unique string of glass prayer beads which she always carries either wrapped around her right wrist like a bracelet or around her neck. She does not carry it for religious purposes but because of its high sentimental value. It was given to her by Prince Tus, her first love, which was also an impossible love whom she had no choice but to give up. The love she felt however was something she would always carry in her heart.
Something else that made this gift particularly special was the fact that the beads were made of glass and Maniya was very much surprised to learn that in Sanskrit, a language she had grown particularly fond of, her name translated as ''glass bead''. Due to the particularities of the way in which those beads came into her possession she knew that the man she loved had no knowledge of this and did not give that gift to her because of it.
Her housekeeper, Zoraideh, told her that it could not be just a coincidence and her destiny must be tied to that string of beads. She told Maniya that according to the beliefs of her people the gods would write a person's destiny before they were born and then palace it around their necks at birth. Although Maniya would dismiss such ideas as superstitions it was still an interesting coincidence that the gift she received, which bore the meaning of her name, was also something she could hang around her neck. Thus, according to Zoraideh's beliefs she would literary have her destiny around her neck.
But of all the beliefs that Zoraideh shared with her the one that had the deepest impact said that ever since birth every man and woman walk towards their written destiny and there is a time in their life when they come face to face with it. That is the moment which changes everything and you understand what you came to do in this world. Because of the circumstances in which Maniya received the prayer beads she believes that moment to be the one Zoraideh spoke of. So from then on she dedicated her life to ensuring the happiness of the man she loved, even if it meant disappearing forever from his life and only helping him from afar, without him knowing. She believed this was part of her destiny.
To the string of beads she also attached, like a pendant, the small silver profile of a sited cat, the first gift she received from Nadira which led to her being falsely accused of theft while working as a servant in the royal palace and subsequently to her earning her freedom by being presumed dead after an accident. The pendant has a special significance because of this event but also because it is a symbol of Maniya's new patron goddess, Bastet.
Book of Wisdom Her second most treasured possession is a leather bound copy of Sun Tzu's famous work The Art of War, translated into Parthian.
At eighteen years of age, when she was freed from servitude and adopted by a wealthy but solitary noblewoman named Nadira, Maniya was also given a solid education. The first step was to solidify her knowledge of the Parthian language. To do so Nadira gave her a book to read whose words she said would also serve as a valuable guide in life.
What perplexed Maniya at the time was that the book was a translation of a military treaty on warfare written two or three centuries before by a man named Sun Tzu, a general from the far eastern kingdoms. Although the book had become famous among generals of many nations Maniya did not understand why she was given such a book, but she nevertheless kept reading from it as told.
Only later on after acquiring more life experience did she realize that Nadira had been right. The content of the book, if interpreted metaphorically, could be applied to any life situation, from human interaction to establishing one's goals and seeing them fulfilled, to performing common daily tasks.
Travel Journal One more item that Maniya cannot part with is a book she often reads from or writes in. The book is in fact a sort of diary where she has written all the words of wisdom she was taught or heard over the years and next to them she often adds explanations of her own as new ideas and interpretations come to mind. Part of the book is also filled with notes from her travels, regarding different customs, languages and so on, as well as simple maps she has sketched herself.
Physical Abilities / Combat: Though not a warrior in the common sense of the word, Maniya is able to defend herself when circumstances demand it. She can use her agility and flexibility in moves that are useful for self-defense, although they are not very violent in nature. She does not attack her opponents with weapons, instead she prefers to use evasive tactics to escape her aggressors and disarm them when necessary.
Maniya does not kill for pleasure and when needed she renders her opponents unconscious. Rarely she actually goes as far as killing them.
Unlike most (male) fighters of the time who use their superior strength and brute force in combat, Maniya uses more uncommon techniques. She enjoys dancing and has been taught to see a fight in the same manner. Almost all dance moves, if performed correctly with agility and an increased strength, can be turned into effective blows.
She learned such techniques from various people she had met either in her home land (mostly foreigners) as well as in her travels to the east (beyond the eastern borders of the empire), the south (Arabia) and the south west (Northern Africa).
Her attacks involve more the use of her feet and this suits Maniya because she does not have strong fists and in trying to punch someone she would most likely end up breaking her own hand. There are cultures in Africa who believe that the hands are for creating while the feet are for destroying.
But she is not a fighter, nor does she encourage it. She admits to not having the strength to wield a sword or the accuracy to shoot a bow and has no desire to run into battle. Her views on the world are of a more spiritual nature and she believes that conflicts could be avoided if people were to change their mentality and perceive the world differently.
Read more about Maniya's combat style HERE!
Uncommon Abilities: Heightened Senses Extrasensory Perception Inhuman Reflexes and Agility Potential for engaging in Mystical/Esoteric Practices, such as spiritual (energy) healing
Maniya gradually uncovered these abilities and has been ever since in an ongoing process of better controlling and improving them. She does so through practice, study and meditation.
Her many travels to distant lands gave her the opportunity to come in contact with enlightened people of various cultures and beliefs from whom she gathered much knowledge and learned many skills.
In time she discovered that the different pieces of information she had gathered complemented each other and could be fitted together to form a superior design.
Hobbies and Interests:
Dancing Maniya greatly enjoys practicing traditional dances of various nations within the empire and beyond. Her preferences include Persian, Parthian, Arabian, Syrian and Egyptian dances. She can skillfully use various items in her dances, such as veils, swords, candles and even snakes.
Learning For the purpose of deciphering the mysteries surrounding her own destiny but also for gaining practical knowledge for day to day life (especially useful in her travels) Maniya enjoys studying foreign languages and customs, history, geography, astronomy, as well as basic information relating to the field of medicine, engineering and other important domains that are an essential part of everyday life.
Because she does much travelling Maniya needs to be well informed regarding general survival tactics in various environments, she must become informed about the specifics of the lands she will be venturing in and once on the road she must acquire as she goes along the practical information needed for a safe journey while she also strives to collect as much knowledge as possible on the history, culture and beliefs of the different people she encounters.
Fitness Practice In order to benefit from the full potential of the special abilities that were mysteriously bestowed upon her Maniya must harness and develop these abilities herself. She trains physically to maintain a healthy and fit body as well as to develop her athletic and combat skills. For the same purposes she also trains her mind through meditation and other spiritual practices meant to offer a better understanding of the link between mind and body and between everything that is, be it exposed or hidden to common human perception by means of the five senses.
Bodily Pleasures When a desirable partner or partners can be found or re-encountered, regardless of their gender, Maniya succumbs to sexual pleasures for either entertainment or relaxation. As with other aspects of her life she strives to make every experience a unique one and treats such activities almost as a form of art constantly subdued to improvement through new combinations of already known techniques, the introduction of new ones or the inventing of original ones.
Spiritual Beliefs / Duties: Maniya's moral views don't quite correspond with the majority's since, despite her devotion to the Egyptian Goddess Bastet, she tries to find the grain of truth in all religions and views life from a more objective perspective. This often makes her an outcast because it can be very difficult to make others understand her views and beliefs.
Even though many years have passed since she had been born to a new life (or at least so she was told), after a seemingly fatal accident, and she later discovered she possessed a few uncommon abilities Maniya still has many doubts and questions and is in a constant process of self-discovery.
Her duties as the Emissary of Bastet (or Daughter of Bastet), as she has been named, have only been vaguely presented to her by Nadira, her mentor, who described them as 'assuring the triumph of light over darkness, of justice over lawfulness, bringing order where there is chaos and maintaining the natural balance of things without which our world would fall apart'.
Maniya dedicated most of her time to deciphering those enigmatic tasks by making use of her intuition or by learning to spot and interpret the clues she would find while simply going about daily activities. At times she interpreted the clues as instructions for what she was supposed to do and other times the clues would appear as answers to problems she encountered while undergoing an assignment.
So far Maniya's given (by Nadira) or self-appointed duties included protecting the hidden Temple of Bastet outside Babylon, helping the needy (often by stealing from some of the rich, mostly the greedy and vile ones) and encouraging people to have an open mind and constantly enrich their knowledge so as to understand more and more of the mysteries of life.
Later in life, when Maniya’s responsibilities increased significantly and circumstances also forced her to accept that sometimes violence was necessary for the greater good, she began to feel a closer connection with the Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet, thought by some to represent the ferocious side of Bastet’s dual nature. Sekhmet was a warrior goddess, with the head of a lioness and the sun as her crown. In Egypt she was also seen as the protector of the pharaohs, who led them in warfare.
All this symbolism, particularly the sun and the lion (also main symbols of the Persian Empire), fitted perfectly in Maniya’s new position within the Royal Family, the Army and the Empire, after she married Prince Garsiv, and it reinforced her belief that it was her destiny to ensure the glory and prosperity of the Persian Empire. The many peculiar coincidences that seemed to govern much of her life also helped reinforce her belief in her spiritual title of Emissary of the Goddess Bastet, or rather of the Bastet-Sekhmet duality.
Another deity, much closer to home, towards which Maniya felt a peculiar affinity, was the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar, worshiped in the old days as the goddess of war, love and sex, a most fascinating combination in Maniya’s opinion. The similarities between Ishtar and the two Egyptian Goddesses, Bastet and Sekhmet, strengthened Maniya’s belief that these deities were only symbols, and each nation had different symbols for the same concepts, while the superior forces that had created the world remained unknown.
General Traits: Ambitious Pragmatic Focused Secretive Does not like to stand out, prefers to pass unnoticed Quiet unless excited or tensed Speaks only when spoken to or when necessary Difficult to be understood Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things Enjoys both the beauty of nature and the man-made one of advanced cities
Qualities: Resourceful Tactful Approachable Helpful Sympathetic Thoughtful Honest (when she does not need to pass as someone else) Not revengeful Would not kill a man, not even an enemy, unless it is the only way to save her life or somebody else's
Flaws: Stubborn Sarcastic Emotional temperamental and unpredictable Dislikes admitting when she is wrong Dislikes asking others for help Wicked and deceitful when it serves her purpose Has some prejudiced ideas regarding men with wealth and power and at times harbors an excessive disdain for them Despite her desire to help the needy (because she will never forget how her younger days had been), at times she can be somewhat greedy
Fears/Phobias: Rain(not water in general, she just cannot stand being in the rain) Dogs Wolves Reptiles Arachnids
Outer goals (material): to have everything she could not possible possess in her life as a slave/servant, even if it means stealing it;
Inner goals (emotional/spiritual): to see in her lifetime the day when all people (men and women alike), be they rich or poor, strong or weak, young or old, noble or not would share equal rights (at least in Babylon); to fully understand her destiny and what she must do, to find true peace in her life, to create balance between the two conflicting sides of her personality and to understand at least some of the many unsolved mysteries of life.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths: After what she was told to have been her ''resurrection'' (read about it on the right side of the profile) a hidden side of her personality was revealed, making it appear as a double personality because of it being almost the opposite of her usual self.
For the first part of her life, up until her ''resurrection'', Maniya was kind, generous, friendly, emotional, somewhat shy and a bit fearful.
The new side of her personality obscures on occasions her former self but generally it seems to complete her, give her inner balance. It is however Maniya's task to ensure this balance. Whenever this new side becomes predominant, being triggered by various circumstances, depending on its intensity it can even turn Maniya into a complete opposite of her former self: fierce and independent, very self-confident, strong willed, bold, wicked, deceitful.
To others Maniya's shifting personality appears as abrupt changes of her mood, temperament and even tone of voice, speech mode or gestures and body position. For instance, when her personality shifts from one extreme to the other one moment she can appear to be fearful and insecure and the next she appears very confident and determined.
Though she punishes wrongdoers, she could never kill a man, not even an enemy, unless her own life depended on it, or the life of someone she cares about.
From a physical point of view her uncommon abilities help her evade pursuers and usually escape from a difficult situation without having to engage in actual combat, since she does not possess the strength to overpower armed men.
Maniya considers her greatest strength to be the higher knowledge she has gained as a result of her spiritual awakening.
Weaknesses: The hidden, opposite side of her personality brought forth her hatred towards the great majority of noblemen and members of royal families who considered themselves superior to the common people and treated almost all of them like slaves.
She became a thief, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor but also keeping some of the bounty for herself. When the opposite side of her personality becomes predominant she is greedy, lustful, angry and violent, with a desire to punish those who mistreat the common people.
Whenever either sides of her personality reach their extremes she can become either irrationally fearful and insecure or overly confident and eager, both leading to unwanted or even dangerous results.
Her uncommon abilities don't always come naturally. Usually she must be in a high state of concentration (emotional balance) in order to properly make use of them. If in a state of intense fear or emotional distress she is as helpless as any human would be.
She can also be as easily wounded or killed as any other human, even when in control of her superior abilities.
Piercings and Tattoos: Only her earlobes are pierced, for the purpose of wearing earrings.
Maniya has no permanent tattoos, but because she adorns her skin often enough with Mehndi patterns using henna dye she seldom has faint reddish-brown patterns on her hands, palms, arms, feet, legs, upper chest, stomach and back. These patterns remain on the skin after the henna is cleaned off and gradually disappear in a period of one to three weeks.
Scars and Marks:
Scars In her travels, especially across Roman-occupied territories, Maniya found herself several times in situations from which she could not escape unharmed. The most prominent scars on her body are on her wrists and ankles from being crucified by the Romans, while in Britannia. In order to regain the proper use of her limbs she sought out many healers while making her way back home through the northern lands and only found an effective cure in the Han Empire of the far east.
The other prominent scars on her body are those on her back, from being whipped, also by Romans. Aside from these she has smaller, less visible scars in several places across her body. She often covers them with henna tattoos.
Strange Mark On the bottom left corner of her left palm, just below her thumb, she has an undecipherable mark that has been there for as long as she can remember. The mark is now stretched, indicating that it had been there since she was very young, a baby perhaps. Although it could be mistaken for a birthmark, the precise patterns and the somewhat wrinkled and thinned skin make it more plausible for the mark to have been intentionally burnt into her skin.
Dressing Style: Maniya enjoys riches and all the eccentricities that nobles and kings enjoy and would not back down from breaking the law to have such pleasures. She conducts herself like a lady and only wears trousers because such outfits are practical when traveling but she greatly enjoys silk dresses, jewelry, perfumes and other such feminine delights.
In cold weather Maniya usually wears a long dark coat, almost reaching her ankles, adorned with some fleece around the collar as well as the cuffs. Underneath she wears a pair of dark trousers and knee high leather boots. On her hands and wrists she has a type of black leather gloves with no fingers and her forearms are also protected by flexible leather bracers. The blouse she wears (which conceals a sort of dark brown leather corset with thick straps on her shoulders) is of a brownish/dark-orange colour, made of a thicker material, and it reaches past her waist, being held in place by a belt.
When faced with rain or snow Maniya covers her hair with a thick scarf which she wraps around her head like a veil, sometimes even covering everything but her eyes.
In hot weather Maniya usually wears clothing similar to that of desert travelers. Underneath she wears a corset similar to the leather one, made of a thick but heat-repelling material, and on her forearms she wears the same leather bracers. When travelling she always wears pants and leather boots. Almost always she keeps her long hair tied in a braided tail and as a headgear she wears a long scars wrapped in the shape of a turban. Often she also uses its extensions to cover her face, leaving only her eyes exposed.
When she wants to pass as a man (since her fully covered body and the loose clothing do not betray her feminine forms) but might be given away by her exposed eyes, she pulls over them a small piece of dark cloth woven in the form of a thick fishing net. This piece of cloth, usually tucked underneath the front layers of the turban, allows her to see clear enough but obscures her eyes from the outside.
See Maniya's outfits HERE!
Marital Status: Married to Prince Garsiv of Persia since 37 BCE.
Despite being his third wife he officially appointed her as first wife so she could command the other wives, because of her being older than the first two and because the constant arguing of the two women was becoming intolerable. At first Maniya used a soft, understanding approach but eventually the women pushed the limits of her patience until she shouted at them so fiercely that it left them in shock. From then on she discovered that displaying a tougher attitude towards them was something they enjoyed, most likely because that was the kind of temperament Garsiv usually displayed.
So Maniya understood that what the two women wanted was the attention of their husband and the only way to solve the problem was for her to act like him around them. As it turned out Maniya could play the part of Garsiv quite well, the traits they had in common were one of the reasons they could understand each other so well when other people would see them as unfathomable and difficult to approach.
Love Interest: Prince Tus (lover/unofficial husband, first love) and Prince Garsiv (husband, teenage crush).
(See the Sexuality and Romance section for details)
Although Tus was her first love their brief relationship evolved only romantically with nothing more than embraces and kisses. Of the two men she came to love despite being certain for years she could never be with either, her first sexual contact was with Garsiv, at a time when he was unaware of her true identity.
Three years later destiny finally brought the three of them together in unexpected circumstances. She first became reacquainted with Tus and experienced the physical pleasure they never got to share years before.
Although not uncommon in some Persian satrapies, such as Mada, for women to have several husbands, the same as men could have several wives, for political reasons, especially due to the high position of the men involved, it was decided for Maniya to officially marry only Garsiv, while in private Tus would also consider her as one of his wives.
Sexuality and Romance: Bisexual, although generally she prefers men, with whom she can experience much more intense sexual pleasure.
Nevertheless she has had more sexual experiences with one or several women at a time due to the difficulty of finding male partners to her liking in a timely manner. When men were involved they were usually those select few with whom she also formed strong affectionate bonds and sexual activities occurred either with just one man or with one man and one or more women.
Only after marriage she engaged in sexual activities with two men at once, her husband and his half-brother, the latter being her first love, who had given her the glass prayer beads she never parts with (See the Personal Possessions section for details). Her husband on the other hand was the first boy she had had a crush on back in her teenage years and later on she developed stronger feelings for him as well. The polyamorous relationship occurred naturally due to their long and complex history together, as well as the close bond between the two brothers.
The only other sexual activities that Maniya would engage in after marrying were with her husband's two other wives, with either one or both women and sometimes with him participating as well.
From a physical and romantic point of view she is much more attracted to men and the type of comfort and security they can provide. She often finds herself craving such protection despite the tough and self-dependant attitude she displays. With other women she displays this protective attitude that she would want to receive herself and affectionate bonds beyond friendship are more luckily to form with women who need protection.
In order to prevent unwanted pregnancies Maniya generally restricts sexual activities for the less fertile periods of the month and also often drinks mixtures of boiled herbs known to be effective enough in inhabiting conception. For further efficiency, after each sexual act that might result in pregnancy she drinks a particular concoction perfected over time through the blending of pregnancy inhabiting ingredients collected from several lands throughout her travels.