Height is about five-and-a-half feet.
Ampelio de Nox
Formerly in a circus troupe; currently working at an animal shelter for food and board while working through online college.
There are unique physical features he boasts, but those are explained early in his bio. His height is about six feet, though the snake around him is rather smaller than depicted, and boasts black eyes instead of yellow. Even though he's typically barefoot, Ampelio knows his shoe size is twelve.
You know when you go to a circus or a carnival, and there's a tent that's supposed to have a snake man in it, and at least 80% of the people who pass the tent go "Pffft, that's just a scam" and they're usually right? In Ampelio's case, it's not a scam. He's a fucking snake man. The outsides of his arms and his back have scales like a snake, his bite is poisonous like a snake, he's cold-blooded like a snake, and he can communicate with snakes. How
it happened is anybody's guess, but Ampelio's guess is government payoffs to let agents genetically modify unborn babies, almost all of which end up as miscarriages. Whether he's right or not has never been discovered. Needless to say, when you're a snake guy, making friends isn't easy. When you move to the USA when you just finished learning your native languages (Italian and Snake) it gets even tougher. As a general rule of thumb, people didn't like Ampelio. Not that he blamed them. If there was a kid with wings sitting next to him in class, or a three-headed pair of conjoined twins, he admits that he'd probably be rather uneasy around them.
So he grew up generally friendless in the hot state of Arizona. Generally
friendless. Arizona has snakes. Ampelio and snakes had a tendency to get along. They were the ones he talked with, which in turn made humans like him less and less. Eventually, he brought a 3-year-old snake home. He still remembers the look on his mother's face; she looked like she was about to have a heart attack. However, he was allowed to adopt the Eastern indigo snake
, who was later named Apep after an evil snake of Egyptian mythology. Ampelio and Apep went most places together, though a big snake was obviously not allowed inside a school. It was one Sunday afternoon at the respective ages of 17 (Ampelio) and 10 (Apep) whilst the two were hunting for a meal fit for a snake of the latter's size, that Ampelio was given an offer. It was a magician who had given him this offer, that he and Apep could get all they could eat and the admiration of others for Ampelio's unique gift and Apep's sheer size of seven feet. In the end, Ampelio left the decision up to the snake. That night, he vanished into the night alongside a magician.
For the next eighteen months that followed, Ampelio and Apep were a hit to the audiences of the troupe's shows. Ampelio dazzled people with his snake-like features, and Apep amazed and terrified audiences alike despite not even being venomous. Not like they knew that. It was when Ampelio found out that he became a little more interested in different species of snakes. He'd discovered through a bit of research that Apep's species - drymarchon couperi (Eastern indigo snake) - wasn't native to Arizona. Upon asking, he learned that Apep was a runaway snake from prior captivity. But like Ampelio, Apep much preferred to keep his past family as nothing more than a memory. With that, they dropped the subject. The two were once again and as always partners and best friends, working for a circus troupe and getting all the food they wanted as promised. Fast-forward to six months ago.
Ampelio was starting to realize just how many animals were in the troupe. According to Apep, most of them weren't exactly pleased with their situation. In a deft move that would make Ingrid Newkirk proud, Ampelio released them all. He and Apep were promptly kicked out of the circus. The snake man's response to this was to go to the nearest town, find the first animal shelter he could lay eyes on, and work there for room and board. For the first time, a human gave him a sincere compliment. He was a very intelligent fellow; he shouldn't have been wasting his smarts working for nothing more than a bed and some meals. Unofficially, Ampelio started receiving paychecks every Saturday for his hard work with the animals, usually only about 20 dollars. Two months into the job, his boss gave him quite the surprise in the form of a laptop and the funds to start online college. It was another condition for him working there: do this, or no job for you. He now works online while working with the shelter's animals, majoring in animal biology with a minor in psychology. It was while online for pleasure rather than business three months ago that he learned of an academy you visit in your dreams to grant a wish. Sure enough, he's been there in his sleep since.
Put an end to mistreatment of animals