WelcomeHave you ever pursued a dream so far
...that you got completely lost?
Welcome opentaniec! be ready to meet one of my most crazy, yet somehow charming characters.
they say 2 heads are better than one.
But is it always the case?
Age: mid 30s
Characteristic features: 2 heads
Resides in: Possesed Mansion, 98580 Dark Forest Path, Haunted Woods
Favourite colour: Magenta
Zmij is ONE creature with two heads. His brain split: each half remains connected via spinal cord.
Happy-go-lucky chap who likes to party. In his life he seeks only pleasure. Gambler, but with little luck: often ends up broken which wouldn't happen if he used his brain more often. Cares about his looks and has fun dressing up in extravagant clothes. Easily distracted. Extravert and open to experiences. There is slight difference in the behaviour of his heads: left one acts a bit more dramatic and the right one is more straight to the point.
In general he is a good guy who doesn't want to hurt anyone. When the situation calls for it he will protect his friends and unleash his real powers.
Taller than an average neopet which also means he's rather strong due to size. Dark green skin, magenta-colored claws and matching scale-strips on his heads which look like hair: spiky on his right and long on his left - often flowing down and covering side of his head. Yellow eyes.
Wears "fancy" clothes with a gothic touch, adores shiny accessories.
Super Brain – is a master genius with short attention span. If he could use a least 66% of his brain power he would rule the world... but he doesn't. When in a pinch he can focus for a moment and see how to solve the situation.
Poison Immunity – There might exist poison strong enough to make him feel ill, but never kill him.
Decomposition and Creation – he can analyze the composition of substances and copy them or create a remedy. May take a minute or several hours, depending on the substance. After a while the "track" in his body vanishes, so he has to get the original substance again to repeat the process.
Potion Artist – Using his abilities he creates various potions, namely morphing ones which are very unstable and thus have no permanent effect.
It's something no one knows about. Zmij doesn't like to talk about it, or turns it into a joke and changes subject. He used to be a normal Hissi till he decided to take the path of Alchemy and "evolve". His cardinal sin back then was impatience: the experiment went wrong and he ended as he is now. Parts of his memory got buried somewhere deep in his mind.
He had normal and loving parents. On his journey Zmij was sending them letters from time to time. Currently nothing is known about them, even whether they're still alive or not.
Currently lives in the mansion with:
Zmij is bigger than a normal Hissi and his long necks add him height, so he's towering over an average neopet. His skin is dark green. Eyes yellow with vertical pupils. His wings transformed into large paws with magenta-colored claws. The hair-like thing growing on his head is nothing more than a kind of elongated scales with the color matching the claws. These scales make a difference between his two heads. The left head has several long strips which go down the neck and tend to cover side of the left head. While right head has a row of shorter, spiky scales. These kind of scales also below right head's jaw, looking like a small goatie. But Zmij often shaves it.
His eyes are yellow with feline black pupils. Zmij can have a hypnotizing look which may give creeps to one pets and fascinate others. I would say rather creep them out...
His more elaborate design involved a dark stripe pattern on his back and sides till the tail, lighter shade of his belly and red markings on his paws. But when drawing comic strips featuring Zmij I got rid of these details in favor of simpler design.
Shoes, trousers and skirts are out of question due to the quad form. But Zmij has plenty of jackets and long coats. His style is a mix of extravagant gothic and baroque richness. He adores shiny accessories: all that glistens, shines and sparkles lures him just as a candle flame attracts the moth.
Zmij's AnatomyDespite having 2 heads Zmij is a single entity, not any kind of twin. Due to the transformation his hemispheres got split in half and now they're connected only through the spine, which means the communications between them is not as fluent but still remains.
The only internal organ in his abdomen which got split is liver.
His fangs are not for show purely, they can work as an injection device (as for venomous snakes). However, Zmij is NOT venomous (at least when he is not using his power of creation and decomposition).
As said in the "Appearance" section, the things that resembles hair on Zmij's heads are a group of elongated scales.
AbilitiesThe transformation did not only change Zmij's physical appearance, but also granted him several special abilities.
Super Brain – from the start Zmij was a clever one. The changes which occurred to his brain enhanced his cognitive abilities. You could say he is a super genius now.... if he was capable to make a good use out of his brain. While his main focus is having fun, Zmij's awesome IQ usually reveals itself only when the situation really calls for it.
Poison Immunity – He is not exactly "immune" to poison. It is because of his two strong livers, that his organism can deal with the poisonous components faster and more sufficiently. If the poison is super strong, then he may feel ill. But there's no poison strong enough to kill him.
Decomposition and Creation - Zmij is able to figure out the composition of probably any substance and duplicate it or create a cure. Although uses his lab equipment and reagents for potion-making, he is able to perform the production process of some substances inside his body. Think twice before you stab him with a poison-tipped dagger: he might later bite back with the same venom going through his fangs. But he might mercifully inject you the remedy with the second bite if you bribe him with some fashionable shiny accessories ;)
Both the decomposition and creation process is not instant and may take several minutes or longer, depending on the substance, to complete. They also don't last forever. After just several hours the chemical trace can vanish and Zmij can no longer perform the production of either the substance or cure. This could be changed if Zmij somehow achieved higher "evolution" level and managed to use at least 66% of his brain power, which does not happen in normal condition (when he uses up to 6%).
Potion Artist – there are independent artists, latte artists, sandwich artists... Zmij describes himself as a "potion artist". He like the boast that he's better than Kauvara, however, the effects of his potions seem to be short-lasting. When creating them Zmij relies on his special abilities, bits of knowledge he can retrieve from his memory and what he calls "lady's intuition". Don't ask me about the last one...
His ExperimentsZmij became the master of potions. With will strong enough to focus for more than 3 minutes and a bit of luck, he is able to create little bottled wonders in his not-so-secret lab...
However, it seems their duration time is always limited. Lack of permanent effects may reflect his attention span problems.
Zmij to Koi
Pan_Plusk to Hissi
Petpet Fusion Potion
Mrisza and Striga
Siergiej_von_Krokov and Mini Alucard
If you imagine baby Zmij as a two-headed hatchling, you're making a wrong assumption. He was not always the way he is now. The fatal accident at the laboratory has changed him... but that part comes later.
A smart kid curious about the world around him. Maybe brighter than other children and getting more absorbed in the task he was performing, sometimes doing it too hastily to see quick results. But nothing extraordinary that would make him stand out of the crowd. No predicament of his future misfortune.
Being in his early teens he didn't even know what alchemy was. He hasn't thought that the forest path he took on the way home could lead him to a path of an alchemist.
The twilight arrived sooner than he expected. He lost track of time when playing with other kids and now hurried back to avoid scolding from his parents. Instead of following the well-known road he decided to take a shortcut through the woods. Unsure where he was going, but determined to make it before it was completely dark he ventured further until he realized he was lost. Instead of lurking shadows and distant screams the forest was filled with peaceful silence.
Then on the clearing he saw it. A bright figure stood in the middle giving a glow that was gentle to the eyes, at the same time casting away the night's darkness with fantastic colors far escaping the normal spectrum. It resembled a neopet, but each time the observer's eye grasped a detail that could determine the species, it seemed to blur and shift not giving a chance to focus on it.
Despite the paranormal nature of this phenomenon, it did not evoke fear in Zmij. Instead, he stood there mesmerized by the beauty of this remarkable creature. Whatever species it was, male or female, young or old: it was purely fabulous. He starred in awe. The figure turned it's head and looked directly at him. Like an eagle that sees all the land from above and still can focus on the tiniest rodent hidden in the grass. He felt a warm flow of energy going through his body. The world held its' breath.
Zmij woke up trembling from the morning chill. The image from the last night appeared in his head. He remembered the amazing grace of the creature and the blissful sensation that ran through his body. When he realized it all could have been just a dream he felt an almost physical pain. No! His dreams were never so vivid! Then he noticed a circle of blooming flowers on the middle of the clearing. He moved towards them and touched one with the tip of his wing. The flower turned out to be as much beautiful as fragile and collapsed into glittery dust. It was not a dream.
The Path of Alchemy
The scolding he got from the worried parents had no effect on him. He was in an absent-minded state. What happened that night has been haunting him. He started searching for answers of what he could have seen. After days of digging through any books he could get he found a clue. Although entitled "Demons" and not fresh from the print, the book was nothing close to the ancient grimoires. It contained brief descriptions of paranormal sightings, wonders and ancient ceremonies. Zmij was reading through it eagerly, but nothing that was described in there had a slightest resemblance to his experience. Until the last chapter which told about changing forms and secret circles of the alchemy. It did not explain what he saw, but he at least knew what he was searching for.
The way of becoming an alchemist was long and rough. There are no schools for alchemists, classes of recondite knowledge, occult workshops or Alchemy Annual. His mind swallowed all kind of knowledge like a hungry beast and every time he felt resignation he recalled that magical night. He never told anyone about it. Soon there wasn't even anyone to tell it to. He had no friends: his studies consumed much of his time. When there is biology, chemistry, medicine, philosophy and math, there is no time left to make social bonds. Furthermore he spent several years traveling, moving from one place to another, not even trying to remember his neighbors names. Although they have remembered him as a well-mannered but very busy, mysterious and lonely individual. What was hidden to their eyes, but striking to one's heart was Zmij's suffering.
He put the gathered knowledge into practice, gaining more experience and gold through it. Preparing medicines at the pharmacy, helping out in the workshops, collecting rare ingredients and trading them – the kind of work he has done was not an issue if he could profit in any way from it. He cast all the temptations away and saved up enough gold to become an owner of a mansion in the middle of the Haunted Woods. There were no other houses in the area and Zmij made sure it remained this way: he performed trickery so anyone that stumbled upon the mansion was welcomed by faked phantoms companied by creepy noises and generally a horror-like scenery. Soon the gossips ran through the Woods that strange things are happening in the mansion and not even all the passing zombies and hovering ghosts you meet in this part of Neopia are as scary. They called it the "Possessed Mansion".
Zmij has acquired a vast knowledge over the years, he gathered the equipment and reagents and finally achieved peace. There still were parts he was missing. He realized that he wasn't 40 yet, although he lost the habit of celebrating his birthday long ago. He was a brat compared to the legendary mystics whose age was beyond measurement: they were simply ancient. But the thought that he still hasn't reached out for the secret of the past was a torment. Just as his life full of suppressing his other "lowly" desires and casting away the temptations of the contemporary world. Not a day longer.
The corrupted dream
He prepared everything accordingly to plan. He closed his eyes to one more time recall the blurring image of that summer night and when he opened them he knew he took a way of no return. He expected the answer to be a miracle. He did not only want to see that divine being again – he wished to become closer to it himself. Take a step into the next circle. Evolve. Morph. Change.
He completed the 7 tasks. He said loud 3 incantations. He prepared his mind and body before taking the first sip.
The potion had a bitter taste. He poured it all into his throat and awaited for the results. Nothing happened. The shadow of doubt crawled into his heart. Out of all scenarios he was preparing himself for, the "no effect" was not an option. He felt that rage, misery and disillusionment are welling up in him. He wanted to shout of his anger, but the world made a somersault and he collapsed on the floor, screaming from the depths of his lost mind.
The cards were scattered all over the room as Zmij lost interest in solitaire before he even half of the cards. A quick impulse ran through his mind showing him the outcome and it faded away leaving no trace after a second. So after another second Zmij knew the game is simply boring, although he could no quite explain why. He was yawning and whistling. The right head did the whistling and the left the yawning. If he fell asleep maybe again he would have that funny dream about strange lights illuminating a forest's clearing. There was something both fascinating and sad about it. Zmij did not feel like thinking about it, instead he tried to think of the ways to entertain himself.
He would like to visit some neighbors who lived past the river, but they did not act very enthusiastic when seeing him, not to say withdrawn. Zmij could not figure out why, maybe they just were bunch of grumpies. He could have gone to another town were the folks had some sense of fun, but to enjoy yourself there you needed money and Zmij was broke. Again. He tried earning money, even with no so bad results and not causing many accidents. But a little raid through the clothing shops and a visit paid to a tailor (he had to look decently if he wanted to party!), several cups of some tasty liquids (5 was minimum to at least get a good taste), a night spiced up with a pint of gambling (the night being too short again) and... Nada! He had a smile on his faces, but empty pockets.
When he thought about his last trip to the city and what to eat for dinner (performing one did not exclude another) he heard a knocking on the door. These must have been some kind of salesman who unsuccessfully tried to sell his merchandise elsewhere. Zmij did not expect any guests. He never had any, although that would be great.
Enjoy Zmij's song featured in Poetry Gallery page 1399 :)
(Warning! Zmij doesn't really have any vocal talent... but please endure)
There was a time when I was lost in the crowd.
Nothing fancy outside, which would speak out loud.
Breaking from the mundane chorus with a scream,
I couldn't dare to try it, but that was just me.
One stormy night (or was it really sunshine?),
I took a sip of potion and stepped out of the line.
I suddenly felt bold and opened my eyes.
They reflected myself to my great surprise.
One heart, two heads - packed with a million ideas.
When I try to grab them all it gives me nausea!
I don't need a mirror, but it still hangs on the wall
to say the truth: who's the fairest mutant of all.
Sometimes I may mix things up, I confess
I say random things and my room's a mess,
Like the thoughts and emotions scattered
In my heads... Darling, does it really matter?
I want to sing loud from the bottom of my heart
(but I know my housemates wouldn't like that):
being a mutant is not really bad!
Two heads are better than one - proverbs are right!
Sometimes when I smile, others flee with fright.
But I know they won't resist a charming creature,
Because I'm a freaky fabulous double-feature!
Mutants may get spiky, others turn snotty.
Some grow extra heads, but that's really nothing
to worry about. Remember what you've got inside.
What does Zmij mean?Zmij (m) is a creature from Slavic mythology. What exactly it is: that is hard to define. Unlike other mythologies were we have many preserved ancient text accompanied by numerous pieces of art and so, the Slavic tradition was more passed by than written down. More importantly, unlike let's say Ancient Greece, when talking about Slavs we have in mind territories of several modern countries. Half Europe, more or less.
Thus Zmij may be once described as the spirit of the sun, other times as storm-bringer or quite often as a guardian of the underground treasures, such as valuable gems hidden in chambers under the roots of old trees. What can be said (almost) for sure is that Zmij is a dragon-like creature and in some languages words derived from the name "Zmij" still mean "dragon". However, there were also regions were Zmij could take even a form of human with tiny wings on the back. Was he good or bad? Again, depends where do you ask. In some parts Zmijs were destructive dragons, bringing fire, storm and chaos. However, many sources depict Zmij as a generally good character who could even protect the things that mattered to the old Slavic tribes, such as healthy crops :) Moreover, there was a belief that Zmij could become a father of a human child and in this case this child (most commonly a boy) was born beautiful and super-strong, similarly to mythological Greek heroes. Zmij sometimes appears in modern fantasy literature. In one of the novels I've red, he was depicted as a deceiving shape-shifter who took the skin of a charming artist.
In Polish language word Zmija (f) means viper, which points to the bond with earth.
I created Zmij on Hissi day and found this name perfect for a winged snake neopet. Taking into consideration the dual nature of its origins (sun and sky vs. earth and underground world), good-side of its nature and the attraction towards shiny objects (the treasure-keeper) I think the name "Zmij" fits perfectly for my pet's current character :)
Recently, I've learnt on the neoboards, that when you pronounce Zmij as "Zie mij" it means "see me" or "look at me" in dutch. Fits him ;)
Art(Drag anddrop the image to url bar to see the full-size)
Ok, you know this one already :P
This is some veeeery old comic I've tried submitting into NT, but it was either too ugly or the joke didn't fit (although I don't see it being anything more than the usual Hanso's fangirls jokes we see around). Anyway, my character idea for Zmij was slightly different back then: he was less crazy back then.
Thank you for the sketch trade, Oka!
For info upon art trades go here:
Toy BoxZmij loves playing with these..
Links and creditsThis page is listed at:
Coding by: me :)
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