G'vlier

Character Type: Dragonrider
Rank: Wingrider
Age: 56
Gender: Male
Sexual Preference: 90% for the ladies

Appearance

G'vlier is of average height, with a mildly stocky, broad-shouldered build. Though he's in good shape, age has brought on just a bit of extra weight – a tiny bit of thickening around the waist and neck, mostly, though likely only people who have known him for a long time would even realize it hasn't always been there. The dark blond hair of his youth has partially silvered now and is receding just a bit from his forehead, but he keeps it just as short and neat as he always has, just barely an inch long. He has a narrow face with somewhat high cheekbones, a long, straight nose, and deep-set pale blue eyes that give his gaze a piercing quality. Lines have settled in around his eyes, and on both sides of his nose. He strives to remain clean-shaven, shaving off the stubble every morning straight out of the bath, but his facial hair grows fast enough that he typically has a hint of a shadow by the time evening rolls around.

He's known to dress well. His flying leathers, when not directly out of 'Fall, are kept as clean and well-kept as possible, and his civilian clothing is even better – clean, wrinkle-free, and always properly buttoned, tied, and fastened. If anything rips he's not quite wasteful enough to just throw it away, but he will put it aside until he can have someone with actual formal training mend it properly. He takes good care of his clothing so that he can keep it servicable for a long time without letting it get too faded or ragged, because at that point he's done with it – it's a disgrace for a weyrman to dress like a farmhand! New clothes are the one indulgence he permits himself on a semi-regular basis, and he justifies it telling himself that it's 1) a necessity for his station and 2) he'll get lots of wear out of it because he cares for it so well. He doesn't typically fall for the fashion of the season, no matter how the weavers and tailors at the gather stalls try to entice him. No, G'vlier is strictly a man of classic style, the sort of cuts and designs that are considered timeless and that mark the wearer as a man of wealth and taste.

Personality

G'vlier has a calm, polite exterior that doesn't quite always hide the commander lurking within. Outwardly, he strives to keep himself composed, because to him, that's how a man ought to behave — logical, rational, and clear-thinking. Hysterics and bursts of passion are best left to women and children. He views himself as a gentleman — not so much in the romantic sense, but in the sense that there are certain high standards of behavior that he holds himself to. A gentleman takes pride in his appearance and grooms himself properly, for instance. A gentleman makes it his business to educate himself about important matters. A gentleman knows when to speak his mind and when to bite his tongue. Most importantly, a gentleman is well-mannered – at least for those worth the time and effort.

Part of it is just because he understands the importance of image and making a good impression when it comes to getting what he wants, but it's also just an outward manifestation of the desire for control that he can't quite keep hidden. He's a micro-manager, very detail-oriented, and self-control is just where it all starts. Where it ends? Well, that's anyone's guess. As a Telgar wingleader he had a reputation as the leader the wild boys usually preferred not to fly with – he was just as concerned with his wingmates' behavior on the ground as in the air, and he kept tabs on everyone on an almost intrusive level. He didn't directly interfere until he felt their trouble was potentially going to affect their performance, but once it reached that point he absolutely wouldn't hesitate to cut off a drunkard's alcohol, or order a drama-prone rider to break off a troubled relationship or else. Not everyone appreciates having their wingleader's nose in their personal business, but then, he didn't actually ask. All he really wants is order. Those who do their duties properly and without making trouble are on his good list no matter whether they're bronzerider or drudge, and those who don't have his contempt. In that sense, he's a fair man, but a ruthless and impersonal one who is more concerned with the roles people play than with the thoughts and feelings of the people themselves.

There are those who swear by his management style, though – most often those who are already broken and desperately want that sort of attention from someone important. If he thinks someone actually has potential, and is worth the extra effort, he gets even more involved – he just has to guide them to their full potential. Because he views people as projects to be completed it means that, for every time he's incredibly involved and helpful with someone, there will be another time when he's callous and careless with their feelings. Emotional yoyo-ing is a fact of life for those G'vlier chooses to involve himself with, and it's probably rather telling that no matter how close he gets to people, he never trusts them as much as they think he does. He keeps his cards very close to his chest, and as far as he's concerned that's the only way to play it.

Don't mistake his composure for a lack of emotion, though. Just because he often forgets that people have feelings doesn't mean that he doesn't care, at least on some level. He honestly thinks he's doing the right thing, the best thing – to him, “leading” and “controlling those who can't control themselves” are synonymous. It's a leader's job to shoulder the burden of thinking for people when they can't seem to do it for themselves without hurting themselves or those around them, and to teach them that the limits they think they have are merely illusions. Everyone can work a little harder, contribute a little more, if they just try hard enough.

Those he likes, or who have pleased him, may get a glimpse of what G'vlier is like when he relaxes. He's thoughtful, intelligent, and even has a dry sense of humor. He's willing to answer questions that are asked honestly even if they seem like stupid questions. In fact, imparting knowledge is one of his favorite things to do, and the quickest way into his good graces is to show interest in what he has to say and to actually appear to be learning from it. He shows real warmth from time to time with those who have earned his favor, and is honestly enthusiastic when a protegé of his makes a real breakthrough. There's a difference between being in control of oneself and being uptight, and he doesn't usually cross that line unless things get exceptionally stressful. He's not so obsessed with control that he's constantly in fear of everything spiralling out of his grip – no, he's quite secure in his self-control, at least, and even if he loses everything else he knows that no one can take that away from him. He radiates that calm confidence, that solid sense of security, like a warm fireplace in the winter. Maybe it's just another, more pleasant face for plain old arrogance, but if it is, it's certainly an enticing one.

With those he doesn't find worth the effort, though, or who have disappointed or upset him, he can go cold as ice in an instant, and somehow it's even more chilly because he's still so well-mannered when he's doing it. He may say a few choice words, but he isn't the type to shout or get worked up. He just… turns off, as if you're no longer worth wasting a single breath over. Screw up, and you're dead to him… maybe forever, if you've upset him badly enough. It's almost disturbing how easily he can turn his back, how quickly and mercilessly he can cut ties.

It begs the question: which G'vlier reflects what's really inside?

History

Birthdate: I395.01.26

Gavlier wasn't anybody special growing up. Just another Telgar weyrbrat with a blueriding father he barely knew and a kitchenworker mother whom he knew only somewhat better. The crecheworkers and his harper instructors regarded him as an intelligent, well-behaved lad, if a bit quiet, but he didn't really stand out any more than that – he didn't have any special kind of charisma, kept himself a bit aloof from most of his peers, and there were no whispers about leadership potential, or bronze dragons, or anything so grand. He was too studious to draw much notice one way or the other.

He entered candidacy along with most of his peers, just a natural step for a weyrborn boy, but he didn't have to wait as long as some of them did – he was only thirteen when his dragon hatched, and if no one had expected that he'd attract a bronze, no one could really deny that he was exactly what Arkilth needed. The big brutish bronze hatchling, unaware of his own strength and size and unable to restrain his fear and excitement, had injured one of his little green clutchmates on the Sands, and instinctively sought out a solid, calming presence in G'vlier, who swore to him that yes, he'd done a bad thing, but they would work it out together.

And they did. Arkilth's continuing struggles with controlling his emotions and ultra-physical reactions to them brought out another side to G'vlier. His quiet nature, so easy to overlook, hid a strong backbone beneath, and he instinctively took a firm but supportive hand with his dragon. There were hiccups along the way, but by the time they graduated Weyrling Training, Arkilth had a better handle on himself, and G'vlier had gained the confidence and maturity of someone who'd had a lot of responsibility thrust upon his shoulders and grown well-accustomed to dealing with it.

In fact, one might say he developed a bit of a taste for dealing with that sort of responsibility. At first there was the work of fitting into a wing as a new rider, developing his own talents and honing his skills, but within a few turns (still carefully keeping Arkilth reigned in along the way), he had time on his hands – the time of a dragonrider more than ready to face Thread, just waiting for the Red Star to finally draw close enough. And, looking around him, he wasn't impressed by what he saw. After being so intimately tied up in his dragon's struggles, he could see the same signs of trouble in people throughout the Weyr. They didn't all have the same sort of problem as Arkilth, but they all had these stumbles, these troubles, these great gaping problems that held them back from achieving even mediocrity, let alone greatness. And what frustrated him the most was that so many of these problems were internal! Why, if Arkilth could learn to control himself, why couldn't a bunch of supposedly higher-order creatures like humans? Was it really so hard to just put down the damn bottle of wine? Was it really so difficult to get up and go do something without being lazy about it?

As he grew older, and climbed in the ranks, he felt compelled to step in with these people. It didn't all happen at once. Gradually, as he became more and more of a controlled person in his own right – he always had been, but the need had only deepened within him since his Impression to a dragon who needed him to be the one in control – he began holding people to his own high standard, stepping in to keep them on what he felt was the right track and, if he felt they had the potential, guiding them to keep them from wasting it. He might have made a dedicated, if difficult, Weyrlingmaster if he'd have agreed to take the position, but he felt it would be a waste of time for him – Weyrling Training was all about cramming a lot of knowledge into the little brats' heads in too little time, with hardly any time to address real lifestyle concerns, and while he appreciated the fact that the two went hand-in-hand, he couldn't abide the idea of dividing his time between fifty idiots who'd never learn just to have five minutes here and there to work with the one in several batches that was actually likely to become something special.

And so he eventually ended up a wingleader, ruling his wing strictly, and occasionally taking the time to offer some personal attention to those he felt might benefit the most from it. The children he fathered were watched carefully, his presence looming over them even though he couldn't raise them himself, and the crecheworkers likely hated to see him coming down the hall. For that matter, a lot of people probably hated to see him coming down the hall (occasionally including his own children).

There were those who found his presence beneficial… or at least tolerable. He never cared to take the time to invest in a weyrmate (romance, what a waste), but he did take lovers here and there outside of flights. If they suited his tastes he'd keep allowing them back; if they didn't, he sent them on their way and spurn their advances from there onward. There were others, too, protegés picked out from the rabble and taken under his wing, almost all of whom either failed to meet his impossibly high standards, or whose progress he was satisfied enough with to just eventually let them go their own way. They may not have been what he had hoped for, but at least they were better than before. The one that he did keep around in her original capacity was Breccan, a girl he picked up (more or less) from a back-mountain cothold, and who showed a particularly strong desire to learn from him.

When the first 'Fall of the Pass came, devastating Ista Weyr, Weyrleader B'deros of Telgar sent along some riders to help initially just like the other Weyrs did… but he also called G'vlier aside for a very private meeting, entrusting him with a very private mission. They hand-picked a small group acceptable to both of them, and then G'vlier took his group at left for Ista – ostensibly a goodwill extra wave of riders sent to help fill the remaining cracks in the island Weyr's shattered wings.

Relationships

Family

Parents: Unimportant old, possibly dead people
Siblings: Certainly a few half-sibs somewhere
Children: J'vriel, rider of green Ipgith (22), probably others

Lovers

That Ho
Others here and there

Protegé

Breccan, rider of blue Mowklith

G'VLIER'S DRAGON: BRONZE ARKILTH

Dragon Name: Arkilth
Color: Bronze
Age: 43
Weyr of Origin: Telgar
Wing:

Appearance

Arkilth is a monster of a bronze in every sense of the word. Not only is he enormous, he's not even an attractive sort of enormous, like some bronzes who are large but still nicely in-proportion. He's a brute, with bulging muscles that aren't at all pretty or refined. It's almost like his hide is two sizes too small for his big body, short tree-trunk legs, thick neck, and huge head – when he strains, the veins pop where the hide is stretched tightest over him, and you can hear every furnace-like breath that passes from his lungs. His head is wide, his snout rather short and blunt, his nostrils prone to rather dramatic flaring. He's a dark antique bronze overlaid with disorderly ripples and pocked streaks of even darker coloring almost all over, as if he rolled over and over in deep dark bronze mud and came out utterly filthy. It irritates G'vlier's sense of cleanliness, but Arkilth secretly enjoys the fact that it means he gets special attention when being bathed.

He'll never have the maneuverability of most other dragons, even most of his bronze brothers, but when Arkilth flames, everyone knows it. He has to chew a lot of stone to start with, but he can make it last a long time, and he can belch a fiery apocalypse that has been known to frighten the newer, flightier dragons in his wing the first time they're nearby when he does it. It's not the world's most accurate flame, but when you've got a range and width like his, it doesn't have to be – G'vlier just has to make sure no one else is even remotely close to his line of fire.

Personality

Arkilth is pretty much just as brutish as he appears. It's bad enough that he's large, even worse that he's strong, even worse that he's so physical, but he's also just naturally forceful, too. He's not very good at keeping a handle on his emotions, or in showing restraint in his reactions to them. It's almost like his body doesn't seem to understand when it's okay to turn the adrenaline (or the testosterone) on, how to regulate it, and how to turn it off once the danger has passed. As a hatchling he played too rough, over-reacted terribly to episodes of fear or frustration, and even flew into a rage a time or two when injured or pushed past his breaking point, but thankfully maturity, and G'vlier's strict, calming presence, have curbed these tendencies greatly. He still over-reacts, though, and not being a terribly bright dragon means that he tends to respond to everything in the same way (ANGRY, CRUSH!), but he's not crazy, or intentionally violent. He doesn't really want to hurt anyone, and sometimes G'vlier has to resort to shaming him for his behavior in order to really get his attention. He relies heavily on his rider for guidance and support and desperately wants to please him, showing a vulnerable, almost childlike at times side to G'vlier that he would never show to anyone else. Most other people, and dragons, are just reluctantly-tolerated visitors to his domain, and he struts through his kingdom like the only bull in a pasture full of cows, the natural dominance of the truly enormous oozing from every pore. And maybe there is some truth to the over-produced adrenaline idea, because even though he has trouble falling asleep, once he's there he sleeps like he's completely drained and exhausted, and waking him is like trying to wake a rock… if rocks could snap you in half with their jaws for disturbing them.

In the air, he's like a brick wall, taking hits and just gritting his teeth like they're nothing. Only an injury to G'vlier, or a serious scoring for himself and G'vlier's insistence, will bring him down to the ground, and it's just as well – once he doesn't have 'Fall to keep his focus and take his aggression out on, he starts to get upset and tends to thrash a lot in his pain and distress. He's a dragonhealer's worst nightmare.

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