I'zalkos

Character type: Dragonrider
Rank: Wingleader
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Sexual Preference: Bisexual

Appearance

I'zalkos has turned over a new leaf, again. After 3 years of skulking about the weyr with the bare minimum of care for his appearance, the I'zalkos of the Interval has returned to Ista— the I'zalkos groomed by D'lere of the Windraiders.

He now looks now as he did then, a champion of the Island Weyr, tall and proud in his leathers. Maybe a bit thinner, a bit more careworn, but there is power and purpose in his step— in his gaze. Dark and deep set, his eyes have always tended towards intensity. In the wake of the First Fall they lost something of their focus— but now that old fire is back.

There's something vaguely pantherine about him— about the sharp definition of his jaw and the wide, angular cheekbones; about the coiled way he stands and the elastic way he moves. His face is very expressive, his lips elegantly thin, the corners of his mouth acutely sharp when he speaks, when he laughs or when he frowns. His hair, a dark mane about his face, is still very much in keeping with the popular 'windswept' look of the Interval, but the overall effect is matured now by the distinguished shade of a beard.

Personality

I'zalkos is a lost soul.

That is, he is a man who is currently defined by his losses. He is a passionate, demanding, engaging man, but more than that— he is a man without a mission, a knight without a liege, a people person who has long since lost the people he cares about… and this has scarred him deeply.

He is at his best when he has some great conviction to navigate by, a cause to aim for, to channel all his energies and time into… to derive his worth from. He is certainly a soldier, but of all the martial orders of Earth, he is more a chevalier — more a knight templar — than a gungho marine or airforce ace. He needs pride of purpose, that is the force that drags his moral compass about.

At the heart of it, I'zalkos is an extrovert. He feels more grounded, more alive within the fraternity of the flight, the warmth of the wing. He needs a place he's needed in and people he's needed by— and the Pass robbed him of both securities in one fell swoop.

Common Knowledge

I'zalkos is adamant that he should have been the next Wingleader of the Windraiders. He challenged Bronzerider L'gin to several duels over the issue (both before and after his release from the Infirmary post-Fall) but was never given the satisfaction. Had an almighty row with T'rian over the subject after he and Hanassath were fit to fly and was turfed down to the Shoals for the rest of the man's tenure. Rumor has it that he punched T'rian in the face.

He was very vocal about wanting L'rori to step aside for another, more senior dragonrider.
A holdborn noble BABY is exactly what they DIDN'T need leading/representing them just then.

For 3 years after Pass I'zalkos has led the Shoals— a bottom-flight wing that flies just above the Queen's, made up of the elderly and the infantile and the crippled. An embarrassing command and a grave insult for an eager young officer. The Shoals can go a whole Fall without seeing any action, if the other wings are flying well. Enough to bore any warmblooded man to tears.

To this day, I'zalkos has a rocky relationship with many foreign riders and, what may have started as simple xenophobia and culture clash, has become something far more personal. He doesn't like D'dude and D'dude doesn't like him. Simple as that.

History

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Ista Weyr

Life really began for I'zalkos when he met Hanassath on the sands. Before that, he was just another Istan weyrbrat, raised by the community at large. With Hanassath, well, he became One of Them, the Dragonriders, the elite few that the weyr — the world — revolved around. He was only twelve then…

He was only twelve and the prestige of the position hit him far more than the responsibilities. Thread was seemed a lifetime away at that age and he spent a long, leisurely time just… growing up. Just gadding about and enjoying the freedom and marks that came with dragonriding. He knew his duty in a childish sense — that he and his would be risking their lives and loves for the sake of Pern — and assumed he was owed a certain amount of deference and favor from holders and crafters. It was, to be honest, more a happy sense of entitlement than any real malice… and the thoughtlessness of youth.

For about a decade, I'zalkos enjoyed a relatively frivolous, carefree existence.

Bronzerider D'lere put a stop to that. The leader of the of Windraiders, an established wing with many notable victories in the Games, D'lere had something of a reputation for taking on Projects. T'lenen had been one of his successes a few turns before, going from bronze bully to a dependable wingsecond under D'lere's firm hand. As it was, the veteran rider saw something in young I'zalkos. Even as others in leadership were ready to write him off as a waste of space, D'lere took him into the Windraiders and— made him wingsecond.

“Fly or fall, boy.”

It was fly or fall, sink or swim. I'zalkos wasn't used to the work, the responsibility— but he did enjoy being a part of something, something bigger than a lark with his gadabout friends, something bigger than himself. D'lere impressed upon him the notion that, to play hard, he must work hard and— that he was needed. Many of the traits that had served him so well among his friends and playmates made him a promising young officer. He was extroverted and empathic. He cared and devoted himself to people and causes. With the help of D'lere and T'lenen and, really, the Windraider's family as a whole, I'zalkos came to appreciate his position for more than just the flash and dash of it. He liked the person he was for them, he liked his daily pursuits to have more purpose than a moment's thrill. He was happy.

And then Thread came.

The Windraiders proudly flew point that day, as was their right and duty as a veteran wing— and they were shredded in the air.

D'lere, T'lenen, K'jirah, S'sano— more than half the wing died that day, in the Thread rife winds above Ista. I'zalkos survived, leading the remnants of the 'Raiders for another hellish few days before Hanassath and he took a hard hit themselves. Hurt, Grounded, I'zalkos was powerless as the weyr struggled to defend its protectorate, as the keening went on and on. He was bed bound in the infirmary when reinforcements from the continent arrived and he cried from the shame and relief of it all. He was bed bound when Weyrleader T'rian gave the Windraiders to a foreign bronze and— and he staggered out and roared for an honor duel and swore to fight for his wing.

And they bundled him back to his cot and pitied him and left him.

I'zalkos healed long before Hanassath did and was left idle with only his grief for company. All the things that D'lere had noticed in him, all the traits that held such promise as a leader, the habits and tics— twisted. Suddenly he had energy and drive and no where to go and nothing to do, he didn't even have the incentive of rejoining his wing to look forward too. Most of his wingmates were dead and the wing itself now flew under the Fortian Bronzerider, L'giln. There were… multiple incidents involving I'zalkos during this time. With Istans and Outsiders both. Emotions were high and memories were raw and I'zalkos, given over to grief and despair and shame, did not take well to the new arrivals. Strictly speaking, he was glad for the aide, but the fact of that matter was… he hated seeing loved ones replaced by the riffraff and dregs of other weyrs and, worse, he resented the helpful, eager volunteers. Their altruism seemed far too patronizing, too much like self-satisfied condescension to a soldier of a routed army. He developed a bit of a reputation for brawling— nothing crazy or unusual for this rocky time in Istan history, but I'zalkos certainly became a familiar face to the weyrguard. Some things ended up his official record, most didn't, but by the time Hanassath could fly again, I'zalkos has earned T'rian's ire and a place in a rockbottom flight, nannying the weyrlings and Queen's wing.

Something in I'zalkos died a bit then. All the strength, all the fire that had carried him through the dark days since Pass began seemed to go out of him. For the next few years, he was in and out of trouble. Without his wingleader and wing, his very purpose and duty called into question by the failure of the weyr, the once promising young officer has spent the last few years in and out of trouble— T'berli's weyrleadership and the opportunity to return to the Windraiders and leadership could be the incentive he's needed to pull himself together and be the man D'lere knew him to be…

Relationships

Family

Father: Greenrider A'phallus
Mother: Utera

Friends

Various— but drifted from most of them over the past 3 years. Or dead.

D'lere
Died in First Fall. Mentor. Wingleader of the Stormraiders.
T'lenen
Died in First Fall. The senior wingsecond he served under for over a decade.

Lovers

Various— but drifted from most of them over the past 3 years.

Enemies

Many.

I'ZALKOS' DRAGON: BRONZE HANASSATH

Dragon Name: Hanassath
Color: Bronze
Age: 25
Weyr of Origin:
Weyrling Class: Date

Appearance

Virile, solid, and magnificently bullish, Hanassath is a beast of a dragon. He’s all muscle and wing and a very explosive flyer. He may not have the physically flexibility of his lither kin, but he does have the raw strength and athleticism to pull off astounding acrobatics in spite of the wind and weather and speed of his travel. It’s remarkable to watch really, how fluidly he moves all that bulk in the air— and on the ground. There’s something of I’zalkos’ movement mirrored there, a grace and elasticity.

He’s undoubtedly one of the larger dragons at Ista, and made all the more conspicuous by his remarkably dark, bronze coloring. There’s certainly a metallic luster there, a richness and depth to the amber sheen that shades evenly throughout his hide.

He has broad features, as dragons go, the big boned tendencies of his form playing out in his face as well. The wide planes of his head are paired with relatively small, round eyes for a surprisingly pleasant, if inscrutable, result. None of his ridges are especially sharp. They're all formed along smooth, if large, lines.

Personality

When Hanassath first found I'zalkos on the sands, he was searching for someone like him. Someone young and eager to be in the thick of things. He is enormously, unthinkingly self confident in all that he does, never considering fault or flaw— and extends that same sort of faith and trust to his rider as well.

When D’lere singled out I’zalkos it may as well have been because of the promise he saw in the dragon as he did in the man. All bronzes tend to be leaders, of a sort. Hanassath, for his part, honestly and thoroughly enjoys working and flying and playing with others. He is a pack animal, as much as his rider, and thrives in being one of many— and being needed by many. His self confidence has remained undiminished all these years, his hierarchy is a simpler one than the human one I’zalkos is bound to and the long years with the Shoals suited him fine. While there is a side of him, young and strong, that hankers for harder flights and thread to flame, the younglings and the elders and the crippled of the Shoals needed him, and that was fulfilling enough for Hanassath.

He’s nurturing, but in the way that interventions are nurturing. There’s nothing meek or mild manners about his suggestions or his help or even his leadership of the weak and infirmed. There’s nothing particularly gentle about it. It’s an insistent sort of rallying, of challenging others, of pushing.

Common Knowledge

During I’zalkos’ three year spiral since First Fall, Hanassath has been notably… the same. Even as his rider closed more and more in on himself, Hanassath remained as social as ever.

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