Character Song: Sia - ChandelierName:
Xe'rik (FMR: Xellarik)Gender:
25 Born.193I SpringSexuality:
Dalibor Weyr via Tuana HoldRank:
Weyrling Dreamdiners, Journeyman HarperPersonality:Pre-Dalibor
Just A Little Lost
Xellarik is the paragon of Harper Hall tutelage. All fifteen turns of training that he has witnessed, experienced, and assimilated has carved him into the prime example of what it is to be a Harper of Pern. Or maybe, just maybe, it was he who carved the program to suit his needs. Assured, confident, but with just the right amount of down-to-earth humility that it’s easy to see how dedicated he is to his craft; Xellarik is a masterwork of craftsmanship himself. Spy, recorder, recounter, teacher, lover, pleaser. Everything that he does, he embraces with a fiery passion and tenderness. Every note played on his perfectly crafted master-level instruments is given absolute concentration, every stanza given its glorious moment to shine.
He approaches people in this way. They are all beautiful pieces of artwork that can be played much like a fiddle to produce the desired result. Of course, he does not let them know he sees them this way, or that he was trained--even tuned--to handle them as such. In his line of work, appearances are everything. Harpers are required to travel Pern, gathering information from absolutely everyone that they encounter, as faithfully as that person can recount it, in order to build a perfect re-creation of events. In order to get people talking, you have to get people trusting, and in order to make them trust you? You schmooze. Xellarik is a schmoozer. He’ll get your mark within moments of speaking to you, even if you’re Harper trained and hide your lies behind a well-crafted mask. It’s easy to see the seams in the crafting when you’re a craftsman yourself. Oh, Xellarik isn’t a dragon, he isn’t all-seeing, but he’s intuitive.
Some people just aren’t worth the attempt at cracking, but most everyone has a purpose in the grand scheme of things. Like notes on a paper; little though they may seem in singles, combined they are a grand symphony, or an expressive ballad. Where would he be if he overlooked each and every note? What would he be? Xellarik will spend the majority of his time with people. Whether he is teaching them, entertaining them, or recording them. He will take interviews, while teaching, he will sing while explaining, his showmanship knows no bounds or limits. He is well aware that Harper Hall has him pegged for future Masterharper; his Master’s knots are practically created and waiting for him to be of a somewhat decent age that won’t be scandelous, all of this gives him absolute certainty in every move he makes.
But it also gives him respect of the power he has--and might lose. After all, he is only as good as the people of Pern perceive him to be. It is very important that they always understand his absolute magnificence, and never forget how skilled and valuable of a man he will be. His appearance is impeccable, his enunciation, vocabulary, and vocal tempo even more-so. Every motion he makes, every word he speaks, is carefully crafted to be like a written song. Art on display. Such profound capability has made him a very expensive commodity. Even at a young age, Xellarik commanded a high price for posting; if not for his own negotiations it may have been quite likely that he would have belonged to Fort, or Benden; the wealthiest Holds. But Xellarik does not let other old men decide his fate for him, Xellarik makes his own fate--holds it in his hands and shapes it into glory.
Yet this is only one side of his stamped coin.
Xellarik is a man of many masks. Facades and guiles to play the people and turn himself into a man they can love. There are very few who know him for the man that he truly is. He has had the eyes of the Hall on him for more of his life than he can remember. The pressure of success, the stifling agony of familiarity and popularity have twisted him into something unrecognizable in the darkness. Those few who knew him privately would describe him far differently than those who know him by his song and nimble word dance. Xellarik is diseased by addiction; a functional alcoholic who maintains his political shrewdness by drinking away the agonizing hate he bears for most of Pernese society at large.
Honest? Yes, but the brutal truths he speaks about those he pretends to serve border on treasonous slander. Sarcastic to a fault, demanding and judgemental, even if his friends don’t question why they’ve maintained the relationship for so long, Xellarik certainly has. Their loyalty to him comes with perks of their own. He understands the value of their friendship--all friendships in general--though that won’t curb his tongue when he feels they require necessary doses of a reality check. Something he has had to bring up throughout their sordid history at Harper Hall. He is quick to quip that at least he has the decency to let the sharding wherries believe their lives hold some value, rather than spend all his time reminding them that they’re going to die infirm, and alone, while their offspring fight for their land; but the reality is that he enjoys living in service of them. Even if he can’t really stand most of them for much longer than it takes to jump between.
Fine food, fine wine, fine beastflesh, fine clothes, even fine women--and men--Xellarik has been showered in the riches of the wealthy since he was a young boy sent to sing soprano for the Gathers. He has nearly immeasurable wealth when referenced to Pern’s almost exclusive barter economy; a hoard he has deliberately invested and grown with a critical and wise eye for financial decisions. His wealth being his own, makes his habits his own. His drinking, his sometimes far more dangerous debaucheries. Pleasurer, lover, lecherous to a fault; Xellarik lays as tenderly with the Lord Holder’s wife--silencing her cries of pleasure beneath his hand--as he does with the stableboy who was all at once quiet and shy. Life is far too short--and so little of it belongs to him--that every passing opportunity for passion is grasped and clung to with abandon.
Xellarik is, himself, a very loyal man to those who earn his respect, and who pay their own way to that loyalty. In truth, even the bitter resentment is yet another mask, built upon a lonely man who was just another instrument to the Hall--not different than the guitar on the wall--and never had the chance to be a child. Those that can weather his criticisms and harsh truths, accept his judgements and forge through, may just survive to call him friend in the process. Once at that point they will find, as only a handful have before them, that Xellarik is truly not a bad man. He is a little lost, as some are, and very private--inasmuch as he could steal that privacy from his clients--and possibly even a little uncertain. Having achieved so much, and being catapulted so far into an expected future, no one has ever stopped to ask him if this was what he really wanted in his life.
As all of his companions began to Impress, he withered. It didn’t take long for him to fully recognize how much they helped him keep himself together. How desperately he seemed to need them. And Xel, he didn’t like needing anyone.Perhaps it also stung to realize how little they needed him now. Before there’d been a reason for them to help him, to like him, whether he was doing their work, or performing their music, or making every cut of their fabric look good against his body while he swayed their carefully timed steps.
He made everything, and everyone, look good. Now, now he was just making himself look bad. Bitterness. As bitter as the drink he liked to drown in. It’s swallowed him good and whole and he’s let it. Why kick and scream when it’s so apparent that the dragons can see his faults.
Some time away has healed some of the hurt. He's not quite as bitter, not quite as drunk, but he's still nursing old wounds. Whether or not they'll be torn open again remains to be seen. He's realized he needs his friends a bit more than he thought, and is hoping maybe they still need him just a bit as well.Post-Impression
Meticulously handcrafted perfection. At least that’s how Xellarik would describe himself if asked. Everything about him is carefully crafted to exude the amount of confidence he feels, and portray the enormous amount of talent of which he is capable. There is no telling when, and at what moment, a new client will present themselves. Will he be pulled from a teaching lesson to sing for a Lord Holder? Always a possibility. As is helping a farmer sell his herdbeast for more than the realistic asking price. Or for smoothing over a civil dispute between two very upset Holdergirls interested in the same strapping lad. A Harper’s work is never done, so his or her appearance must always be that of a Master--if not the Master.
Xellarik, while still growing into his bones, will reach an easy 6’3” in height. THe perfect height. Tall enough to be respected as a man, but not so tall that the women blush and look away in terror at your daunting figure. Of course, he’s known men to blush and women to be respected for their size--but the Holders deal in traditions, and he attempts to adhere to them for this reason. His hair is meticulously groomed. From the hair on his head--which is a light reddish brown--kept short in current styles, to the hair on his face--which grows in a true auburn red and may one day be sculpted into a neat beard and moustache, and the next day be shorn completely clean. Even the hair that sheathes his manhood--red!--is styled and groomed for those who have the pleasure to gaze upon it; though more often than not he prefers smooth all over.
His jaw his square, his eyes a piercing blue known to hold remarkable emotion of his choosing, and his body is fit and firm; worked regularly to keep his muscles at the perfect ratio for appearances. His speaking voice is deep, and calm, though capable of an intensity that can be surprising, as his voice--an instrument of its own--is typically carefully controlled. He carries himself with pride and confidence, never slouches, and can only be found relaxing when in private--so is rarely seen in such a state, and then only by very choice people.Family:
╔Arikkton - Master Harper - Harper Hall (+20)
╚Baxella - Master Harper - Harper Hall (+20)
└Xellarik Journeyman Harper
Age: (+3) Spring.197I
Size: 2'6" (5’ Wingspan)
Personality: Drummer is vain and spoiled. The life of his bonded means he’s been subjected to certain allowances and fine dining experiences. Choicest bits of meats fed to him from the smallest gold and gem-encrusted silverware at the finest Holds. Sips of Benden Red, lounging under the warm sun and chasing after every female that Rises leaving Xellarik to chase the women down below.
The two have wined, dined, and fornicated together, as true bondeds do, connected by a tendril forged in the heat of a childhood Impression. Drummer grew up alongside Xellarik; his lessons, were the firelizards lessons. His trials and tribulations, expectations and disappointments, were shared across the bond. They are as connected as the grass is to the soil, the clouds are to the sky. Over the years, Drummer has learned to sing in harmony with, not only Xellarik, but his fellow firelizards. Their act brings joy to many Holders far and wide.
Age: (+1) Spring.199I
Personality: Piper is not quite as spoiled as Drummer; though he is just as vain. It’s hard not to be when surrounded by such wealth and prestige as his Xellarik is. Piper was the second Impressed in the quartet, and holds the very important position as chief mischief-maker and song-spoiler--at least during practice. Piper wouldn’t dream of spoiling an actual performance, because he knows he would be thoroughly punished (and possibly repudiated--you can’t put it past a man like Xellarik).
Having Impressed when his man was only six turns old, Piper has spent just as much time wining, dining, and despoiling fair maidens; he just hasn’t let it get to his head quite so much as Drummer has. Piper has the particularly important task of making sure Xellarik doesn’t take himself too seriously, always giving the man an earful when he’s hard at work, or making a fool of himself in private.
Age: (-1) Spring.01P
Personality: Harper is even less spoiled than Piper or Drummer, because by the time she Impressed Xellarik at age 8, he was already well on his way to becoming the Masterharper--at least in the eyes of the Hall--so the spoiling days were done. That wasn’t to say she didn’t have plenty of experiences ahead of her when he began experimenting with everything life had to offer at the age of 12, but she never got fat off of food he slipped her beneath the table. Everything she wanted, she had to take. Unfortunately, this gave her something of a sour mood at the best of times.
Performing makes her happy, that’s a blessing, because it isn’t as if Xellarik could simply get rid of her after Impressing her--even if she decided to ruin his budding show utilizing the firelizards song to supplement his own singing and playing. Harper is a lot more down to earth than the two that came before her, but not quite so lost and breezy as the one that came after. She’s the typical middle child; and the lack of real attention left a mark on her soul that’s for sure. Sometimes Xellarik will try to make up for it by spending a little bit of time alone with her; but more often than not he’s too busy to do even that.
Age: (-3) Spring.03P
Personality: Soldier is the baby. The final child in the quartet. The final piece of the puzzle. It is fitting that she is the smallest, sweetest, kindest, most needy, and least judgemental of the bunch. She is the glue that holds them all together, as Xellarik likes to tell her while he crafts his instruments. If not for her sweet soprano rising above the rest, the quartet would crumble. Soldier has not allowed this praise, or tender lover, to spoil her. She is as sweet as the day she was born, and just as willing.
Though their quartet is a conglomerate of emotions and vanity, the others love her above one another and respect her decisions. In many ways she is the Queen of the fair, though she is not domineering, and so very rarely demanding. Soldier expects only to love, and be loved, entertain and to be entertained. She sings from her heart, and helps blend the others into perfect harmony, her dear Xellarik included.
: The Prodigy
Thread will have stopped falling and been long forgotten before Xellarik’s name is no longer whispered in hushed reverence by the Masters of Harper Hall when they are asked to recount their prized student. There will be bets taken against how long it will be until Xellarik attains the rank of Masterharper of Pern; until he does in fact achieve that rank which--by current pool standards--is believed to be at the age of 24. Xellarik was born on an auspicious day, during an auspicious season, at an auspicious time, in an auspicious month; and whether that is truth or fancy will never really be figured out one way or another, because it’s Harpers who wrote the histories, and it’s Harpers who want to remember that they had a part in making him.
He was born to two Masters, though they were only Journeymen then; both had walked the tables far earlier than most of their peers, side-by-side at the age of 18. They were attached from that moment, and will be until their last--or so the stories say--as they are now moving into their forties and show no signs of growing weary with one another. Xellarik was their firstborn son, and having created something so perfect, they decided that they would leave well enough alone in order to craft the perfect child; giving him all of their attention as they would a fine instrument clamped to the workbench.
Apprenticeship was a contract, an agreement to follow, to learn, and to allow the Hall to mould you into the perfect approximation of everything that you could be for them. Unfortunately, it required you to be a certain age most of the time. Luckily for Xellarik, he was blessed with an enormous amount of talent, and no little amount of nepotism. He began studying at the tender age of five turns; it wasn’t on the books, but it was just as hard as any other Apprentice. His parents were adamant that he attain Master rank; why, if he worked hard he would only be a decade behind them in achieving his knots--perhaps even faster if he was savvy and political enough.
Those early years were a blur, punctuated only by the slow acquisition of a quartet of firelizards; it had begun as only one, and then he realized it must be four so that they could perform together alongside him. First came Drummer, the plucky little Bronze that was both guardian, guide, and lecherous companion (later in life of course) to the young boy, and then came Piper two turns later. Piper was mischievous where Drummer was not, and unashamed where Drummer was prideful; they helped formulate ideas in Xellarik’s head about how emotions should be composed--like fine music--and portrayed to others.
By the age of ten, Xellarik’s quartet was completed. He had been officially inducted into Apprenticeship when he was 8 turns old, and by age twelve was being treated as a senior among fellows nearly twice his age. This became the norm for him; to be held in such high esteem. He had been given so little time to think about it, that it never became an area of vanity--only confidence--though Drummer certainly was vain enough for the both of them. It wasn’t until then, during his 12th turn, that he realized something had been lacking during his entire tutelage. Friendship.
It began in an unexpected way, friendship, he had been sent to oversee one particular trouble student at mandatory chores; a punishment for the other boy, but supposedly a leadership building exercise for Xellarik. He had expected to set a flawless example for his understudy--Niceoltoir his name was--but he had little grasp on how to handle people at that point. What he had wanted to tell the boy was that, if he simply tried to be less awful at everything he did, he’d probably be able to scrape through and walk the tables and live a simple life making simple instruments.
He thought it was the best possible advice he could give at the time, considering the paperwork left by Nic’s teachers. Unfortunately for Xellarik, Niceoltoir had had enough being told just that by basically everyone and bit back, informing him that he--the great Xellarik--would never walk the tables at all because he was a nasty piece of work and no matter how talented he was, no one would even want to look at him, much less work with him. This honest revelation startled the young boy, and while it took him several days to get over himself, he did eventually find Niceoltoir to apologize for how he acted--though he did mention that he wasn’t wrong, and would be willing to help with anything the other boy needed, because Nic had--in the end--helped him a great deal.
At first he had only one friend, but slowly, over the coming turns, it turned into four in total. He was part of a quintet of Harper boys, and while he had never anticipated such a thing happening, it helped shape him into a better person--one friend at a time. They all had their problems, and while he tried not to feel like he was the true problem child of the group, it was difficult. Xellarik matured sexually with his firelizards quite young, he began hunting after females in earnest sometime after his thirteenth turn. The age did not matter, as much as the alcohol they could provide, and the softness of their skin. He drank all they had to offer, in every meaning, and would report to classes running only on the residual effects of the spirits themselves.
Both of his personal quartets kept him going, the ones that flew, and the ones that did not. It was probably hard for them, he thought sometimes, to help him conceal his secrets, but they did so with only quiet admonishment and concern. Perhaps they understood what he suffered, their gifted friend who had the hopes and dreams of so many Masters riding on his shoulders. So many expectations to fulfill. Near his sixteenth turn there were discussions within the Hall if he would walk the tables, so many turns earlier than any before him, but as it had been with Apprenticeship, these things follow tradition. It did not slow the pace of his study.
There was nothing in the Craft that Xellarik could not perfect. He was crafting Master-class instruments by the end of his sixteenth turn, and selling them at Gathers to Lords and Ladies from all areas of Pern. His early boyhood Soprano melted away into a six octave range, that spanned the lowest bass notes to beautiful high and pure notes that he could reach without the falsetto of other Harpers. His writing was impeccable, beautiful even among Masters, and, with the careful grooming of his quartet of friends, he had become quite adept at the politics surrounding Hall and Hold life--even if he was still taking libations and liberties by night (or even during the day).
Life went on. Eventually alcohol became the crutch to get him through, he became functional, and even more charming, as he built a tolerance to the fine spirits he could now afford with the income afforded to him as Pern’s best up and coming Harper. Holds Pern-wide were petitioning Harper Hall for the honor of hosting him as their permanent Weyr Harper--no few Weyrs joined in; though they offered very little in compensation aside from living in, what was technically, the safest place on Pern. Drudges would deliver wines, marks, pets, clothing, leathers. Many of these things went to his friends, some were kept, some more were sold, few were enjoyed outside of the marks which were hoarded by the fiscally conservative Xellarik.
The turns went on. Xellarik did his best to encourage Aichue through his laziness, give Willerone a purpose in the sea of confusion that was his mind, and to educate Niceoltoir on the best way to pretend to be a Harper, even if he had never wanted to be one. By seventeen he was teaching his own Apprentices, and, when his eighteenth turn came, down to the day, knots were pressed to his shoulder and he was paraded through the tables to the collective cheers of teachers and peers alike--though he knew, as all Harpers know, that there were some within the crowd who held no love for him in their hearts. It was time to choose then. Where to go. Typically the choice would not--should not--have been his, but he was too valuable now, far too expensive for even the Hall to dictate his destiny. The choice would fall to him.
So, in typical Xellarik fashion, he made no choice. Masters lived within the Hall having never left, and his few--but so important--friends were here. If they were here, he was here. He would help them until they all Walked or gave up trying, and he would continue his own practice of crafting, teaching, and learning. Many students passed beneath his watchful eyes over the next two turns, many fine instruments left his hands and were sold to lesser musicians who hoped that merely touching a Xellarik instrument would bring them fame and fortune. Then things changed. Aichu walked and was posted in the West--a place of ill repute if Harper tales were true (and sometimes they were).
Followed soonthereafter by Willerone and news that tragedy had (yet again) befallen the denizens of Dalibor Weyr. However, beyond and past the murder of dragons in their shell came great news; that Willerone had Impressed. Not simply to any dragon of Pernese lore, but to one of the odd Sports--as particular a colour as their friend was in spirit, Xellarik wagered. This left only he and Niceoltoir. The first of his quartet, and in some ways--for Xellarik--the most important. The glue. With all of them gone, it was much harder for Xellarik to cover for his friend, to supply the work needed to impress the Masters, to help him Walk; nearly impossible with all the work that he had to do himself. Perhaps Niceoltoir realized the charade would fail eventually.
Perhaps he simply was ready to go. No matter the reason, when his friend came seeking an answer to his problems, Xellarik had an elegant--and simple--solution. They would go to the West as well. Dalibor was in need of a Weyr Harper, and even if they hadn’t been, they would have been half-crazed to turn him down. Which, he reasoned at one point, was entirely possible considering the stories he’d heard coming from the West. He needed an Apprentice to carry his things, he told the Hall, and he would be far too busy teaching Dalibor’s Apprentices to keep in close contact, so if they wanted news from their prodigal son, they would be hearing it only from Niceoltoir.
That settled it really. He could have paid their way to the West a thousand times over, but in the end, he didn’t need to. Harper Hall arranged a dragon transport for them--it had to be one of Benden’s, because Fort refused to ferry such a talent to such a hideous place. Though the Lord Holder Grevicor did send a missive suggesting that he might be better kept at Western with his sister who sat reagent. It was a lovely offer, Xellarik was certain--and he had heard of the Lady’s lovely hips--but he would go where his friends went, and no place else. Everywhere was simply a jump between.
: Forced Seclusion
There and Back Again
Xellarik should have turned on a bootheel the moment his Dragonriding ferry dropped him off in the Bowl, and walked right back out again. He would have quipped that all of Dalibor could be devoured by Thread, if it hadn’t just been devoured by Thread. The Pern-wide Threadfall to end all Threadfalls was fresh in memory, and Senior Weyrwoman Rayna immediately pressed him into service as the Weyr’s Harper to put on a morose farewell to those they had all lost. He hadn’t lost anyone, but that was his duty...or well...that’s why they paid him the big marks to stay at an infamous Weyr half out at sea. Well, that and the stipend from Benden for teaching Lady Irohvyne’s children was most especially nice.
Things continued to nosedive faster than a wher in a windstorm from that point on. Wil had went and got himself Impressed immediately to a sweet little Yellow that Xel couldn’t hate no matter how hard he tried, which was the whole reason they'd come in the first place. Which meant his friend was now W’rone, and was on Weyrlinghood duties for 18 months. Just long enough to drive Xel up and back down a tree again. But it was okay, he still had Nic, and he still had Chu, and he even somewhat had Ish, when the two of them could stop fighting long enough to...well...fight about other things. Perhaps he'd thought it would have ended there, but if he did, he was wrong.
There were a couple quiet seasons, and then 'bumm' like a Harper's drum, Nic became N’oir and Xel lost his oldest--and first--friend. And what could he do about it? He sang the stories created to terrify young men into taking care of their dragons lest they push them between from fright or confusion. How could he march around his newly Impressed companions, drunk and angry, threatening them with all the dark thoughts he had swirling in his head. He couldn’t. So he pulled away. He put on his best face, his best act. It was most likely the best performance of his life. He wasn’t even sure if he had them fooled, so far down the hole he’d fallen lying about how he felt in the first place.
Eventually, that became his life. Lie, survive, drink, go to sleep hoping there wouldn’t be a tomorrow. Ishmael seemed to fade off into nothingness as easily as N’oir and W’rone, though he hadn’t even Impressed. Chu, well, Chu was easy to brush off lazy as he was. It just became another quick step to avoid detection. Down to two people, and neither of them seemed to care all that much most of the time anyway.
Then, on the heels of defeat came another, Lady Irohvyne deposed, her children held hostage, and everyone scrutinized as the enemy. A snap of the fingers and his Benden stipend was limited. That got him thinking about how he might get it back. It was obvious as the seasons came and went that no dragon would want him, and he couldn’t wallow in the cesspool of Dalibor for the entirety of his life, but he had to question whether or not Benden was really closed to him.
Creeping Storms? Sure, they were worthy of a ballad, but he’d never been a songwriter. He tried his hand at it and, as luck would have it, he was fairly decent at making smudges on waxboard. It just made him realize even more how much he missed his friends. He’d been lucky enough not to die to the Beasthall’s error, but it wasn’t like he didn’t regret that turn of events. It just as easily could have been him, and then a lot of his troubles would’ve been over.
The search for a new Lord and Lady of Crescent? A Fighter Weyrleader? Juniors didn’t do much, he’d learned at least that during his turn at the Weyr, but it was still something worth singing about. “The Ballad of Xerocleth the Fierce” is still making circuits around Pern to this day. Even if it’s missing part of the heart that W’rone always wrote into his music. That’s just too bad, because W’rone abandoned him and he can go write himself off his dragon.
A Brownrider stabbed, another one for recording, and then a turn of absolute boredom. W’rone and N’oir both graduated, and that was when Xel realized he was avoiding them out of spite, or fear, and not so much because of their dragons. Had he even met their dragons? His drunken stupors had become drunken seasons long ago, and only through sheer talent was he able to carry on his duties as the Weyr’s Harper.
That is until he was given an out. Lady Irohvyne founding a new Hold?
This had a lot of possibilities.
: The Son Returns
His official paperwork said ‘Transfer to Tuana’, but what he really did was waylay the first Grove Weyr Dragonrider he could find, and had himself deposited right on the steps of Benden Weyr. From that point it was a story, song, and a dance into the court where he proclaimed his loyalty to Benden’s bloodline and abject horror at the treatment of the Lady Irohvyne. That got him back on the payroll, which was really all that he wanted. The coming sevendays were a flurry. He was carted all over Pern and back as liaison to the Blood.
Negotiations of resources, tithes, maps, charts, founding ballads, histories. Everything had to be recorded. The position had basically fallen into his lap. It was a lucky happenstance, a distraction that he never knew he needed. He sobered slowly simply because he lacked the time to drink. He became lighthearted only because he couldn’t find a moment to steep in the bitterness of his existence. He had a purpose again, and it wasn’t simply bedding all of the young eligible women looking for husbands--which he did in excess--it was being needed.
He’d missed that in his life.
For one reason or another, his friends had needed him once, and it had never given him the opportunity to stand on his own. This was his chance, and it changed him. Not really fundamentally, it would most likely take something far more life-changing than that, but it was enough of a kick in the rump to make him knock off the absolute worst of his addictions that had reared their ugly heads while he was completely lost.
Travel, work, money beyond any imagining--save perhaps some Trail Bosses--he was drowning in success. For some time he really thought he’d made it. Found his purpose. His happiness. Then the worry started to come back. The frantic pace started to slow and he had time to be himself again. He had time to be bitter, time to drink, time to fantasize about the would’ves and the could’ves. He started slipping again.
He found himself counting marks, counting instruments, being extravagant to simply show off to the women and men of the Hold like one of the bright paradise birds that nested in the Southern walls. He found himself becoming more like the old Xellarik, and less like the pioneer who had helped found something great. Something more than himself. Then he woke up out of a familiar stupor one day and realized that he was wasting away in the middle of nowhere.
A little Hold in a jungle where only a desperate Lady Holder would settle to keep her name and purpose, not him. He could set his price to any Hold or Hall and they would clamor to double it. He could go anywhere, be anything. Yet, all he really wanted, more than the riches of Pern, was to be home. Home was not Benden, or Fort, or Harper Hall. Home was where his friends were. Regardless of the lifemates they had bonded to, or not.
So he packed up, and put in for his transfer back, citing work completed in the South. Maybe he would teach, or maybe he would simply sit in limbo as the Weyr’s Harper until the day he died, but, at the very least, he would be surrounded by friends. And the immense fortune he’d acquired while he was gone.Impression
: Byth Stakes a Claim
Shortly after his return to Dalibor, Gold Couineth's fifth clutch broke shell one early morning as Dawn stretched her fingers across the sky. Xellarik found himself in attendance as required by his station. Though hungover from a night of overindulgence he settled in to watch, soon joined by all of his friends and a tryst from the wild wher feast--Ivy. They spent some time watching the hatching, but with little fanfare a Blue crawled into the Stands and Impressed. Xellarik--now Xe'rik--was overcome by emotion, but quickly realized that he was now a Weyrling, and banned from drinking.
Pern is no stranger to the drinking sickness that comes when an alcoholic stops drinking without being weaned. Uncertain and afraid, Xe'rik was forced to leave the Hatching Grounds and head to the Infirmary. Pressing two Drudges into his service to help bring him food so that he could still care for Byth, he became concerned only with protecting the dragon who had chosen him so that they would both survive and graduate as Riders.
Xel & Byth : 6mos - 12mosDragon Name
: BythDragon Age
: 1 Turns. B: SP.17.11Dragon Color
: Blue #5a676fDragon Length
: 34ftDragon Personality
: (By Boo)
If someone needs a favour, Byth is the dragon to ask. He is endearingly helpful and thoughtful of other people’s needs. To this end he is highly empathic and tightly ties his thoughts to that of his bonded. However, Byth is somewhat easy to ignore as he is not one to complain not even when he is hungry. When he is having difficulties of his own, he finds them hard to discuss with others, even his bonded. At least when it comes to his bonded, it has far more to do with the fact that Byth does not know how to put his feelings to words. Instead, he might send wave after wave of emotion to show his bonded how he is feeling.
Byth is highly accepting of others and their faults. Even when he is wronged he finds a way to forgive someone even if that might mean he loses something in the long run. He might be a bit more cautious the next time around but he is certainly loathe to write someone off as a lost cause for this reason and believes everyone can better themselves.
Through all of this, Byth takes friendship seriously and chose his bonded based on this fact. He is certainly a self-sacrificing dragon. In spite of the fact that he takes friendship so seriously, Byth has difficulties actually reaching out to others. He is shy and often feels as though he has said the wrong thing. Therefore, he has a tendency to speak and then immediately try to hide away as soon as someone pays attention to him. Even with his bonded, he sometimes has doubts about what he has said to them. Byth sometimes frets about upsetting people with his words. That said, he is also most likely to try to step in and mediate an argument in his quiet manner. Although self-conscious himself, he will always encourage a friend in every situation and compliment them without irony or mockery. He is a genuine and honest friend, seeing the best in all people/dragons.
Just because he is loathe to speak does not mean that this quiet dragon has nothing to say. He is smart and particularly gifted when it comes to dealing with people. He would likely make a wonderful teacher or Search rider once he has reached maturity. He is a dragon who loves to learn and takes great interest in the concept of stories. Byth has a great understanding of and love for morality tales and metaphors. Sometimes he will even speak in metaphors. Dragon Appearance
He is able to make himself look small. His headknobs are slightly larger than what is considered normal making him have an almost ‘rabbit’ look. He has a long tail and slightly shorter fore legs. Byth likes to hop as he eats his food, often around in a circle. It is almost as though he is excited to eat but will occasionally get self-conscious when eating in front of others.Dragon History
: (By Boo)
Next came the perfectly rounded egg, a blue cracking its shell and making itself seem small as he looked around himself. In a moment, he had leapt out of the way as the sand moved beside him, lunging out at him. The blue chirped a squeal and hopped around in a circle, darting away from the space.Too right, mate. Let’s turn to our correspondent out in the field. Byth, what do you think about this?
The blue at the front of the clutch who had been perfectly happy with being ignored, thank you very much, looked around with horror at his brothers, shaking his head as the silence stretched on. The two larger males looked upon the blue with eagerness. The blue shook his head ever so slightly and then swiftly hopped away towards the candidates. It seems we are having some difficulties reaching Byth
---Indeed it is. We cross now to Byth again. Byth, what do you have to say for yourself?
The blue looked around once again with horror at his brothers as he attempted to help Yonthevro with the injury. He was very sorry, he hadn’t meant to tread on the candidate, he was focusing on something else. Someone else who needed him. No one had touched his egg that needed him but he could feel them somewhere. The blue crooned to the candidate and then hopped away as quickly as he could, trying to dive into the sand and hide himself. Looks like we might have lost Byth again.
Meanwhile, the blue was pleased to note that he was no longer the centre of attention, he looked around, nose twitching and then hopped to the edge of the sands, looking up. Echith had gotten up there. How had he done that? Yet he was determined and wriggled his body, ready. Ready. YEP! He had done it. He scrambled up into the stands and then looked around. Oh no Xe’rik you have a terrible headache, we should take you to the healers right away.
He hopped along the seats and eventually came to the aged-out harper, bringing himself into a small ball as he looked up at his partner. I waited for you, waited a long time. Well… maybe not I am not sure. But I did not hatch out until I knew you would be here. Here I am for you. Let’s get you fixed up.Weyrlinghood
The immediate problem post-Impression for Byth is his exceptional shyness and uncertainty. A few harsh woods from Aiechu nearly caused him to go between, though he was called back with all the love that Xe'rik could muster. Now he will have to survive the delirium and withdrawl of his chosen Rider. Only then will they be able to perform properly as Weyrlings.