Jorena

Name: Jorena
Character type: Candidate
Rank: Candidate
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Sexual Preference: Heterosexual

Appearance

At a handspan shy of six feet, Jorena is tall for a girl. She has a squarish face with hazel eyes, a straight nose, and a wide mouth made for laughing. Her hair is brown and long, and she often wears it up in a simple knot, held by a wood-and-leather barrette. She's physically fit in the way of someone who works outdoors regularly, but has the kind of curves at hip and chest that signal she'd probably tend to get fat if it weren't for the exercise. She has long limbs and large hands and feet.

For working, Jorena favors sturdy pants, light boots, and tank tops, sometimes with a light linen work shirt. In her downtime she switches to sandals and soft, loose, comfy pants or a flowy skirt. When it's chilly (by Istan standards) she adds a much-worn leather jacket or, rarely, a sweater.

Personality

Jorena spent her childhood in the Weyr, but came of age among holders. Being steeped in both value systems, particularly in that order, gives her an outsider's perspective on both. She knows from experience that there are often reasons for why things are the way they are, and that whatever rules people hold to are born from their circumstances. Because of this, she tends to be skeptical of rules and customs until she learns the reasons behind them. This extends to following instructions: she'll doggedly insist on knowing why a thing is done one way and not another until she gets an answer that satisfies her. Failing that, she'll sometimes experiment to see if another method might be better, often with aggravating results.

Frustration is one of Jorena's defining characteristics. When she moved back to her mother's hold, her Weyr morals were shocking to her holder family. Likewise, her acquired holder customs would be mocked in the Weyr, and she knows it. On one hand, she can fit in anywhere. On the other, there's nowhere she really feels at home. She finds the Weyr and Hold cultures' mutual bafflement exasperating, and is convinced the world could be a simpler place if people would just sit down and talk to each other.

That said, her outlook gives her a certain freedom. Since Weyr and Hold customs are so different, she doesn’t feel constrained by either. Instead, she does whatever makes sense to her at the time. She’s guided by a mix of logic and gut feeling, rather than other people’s opinions; and she isn’t bothered overmuch when people disagree with her. Obviously, it just shows that they haven’t thought things through properly.

What she does care about, very much, is that people see her as reliable and competent. Deep down, she feels residual guilt for abandoning Ista, only to come crawling back years later. She worries that in reality, she’s a coward and a fraud. Implying that she’s not pulling her weight is the fastest way to get under her skin, and she’s quick to lash out at the mere suggestion. She’s wanted to ride a dragon her whole life, of course; but she also hopes that Impressing will finally prove that she belongs here.

History

Birthplace: 8.432.11.21

Twenty-odd Turns before the beginning of the Ninth Pass, a girl named Amira was Searched to Ista Weyr. While there, she befriended a blue rider named J’nor. Naive, inexperienced, and thinking she was in love, Amira mothed one of blue Iswith’s failed flights. This turned out to be traumatic for her and somewhat embarrassing for J’nor, even more so when Amira realized she was pregnant. Humiliated, she dropped out of Candidacy and moved into the Lower Caverns, afraid to go home disgraced. She named her daughter Jorena.

J’nor had never seen his relationship with Amira as more than a casual friendship, but he was enchanted with his daughter. He spent as much time with her as his life allowed, and began taking her aloft on Iswith as soon as she was able to walk. Jorena grew up immersed in the Weyr and certain that she would be a dragonrider someday. She entered Candidacy as soon as she was old enough, and settled in to wait for her dragon. She was mildly disappointed, but not surprised, when she didn’t Impress at her first Clutch. She had plenty of time.

Nearly a Turn after Jorena entered Candidacy, J’nor and Iswith died in a training accident.

Jorena was devastated. Amira, for her part, felt lost. She and J’nor had formed a closer friendship over the Turns, and he’d been her anchor in some ways when she’d felt like an exile from her home. Suddenly everything about the Weyr reminded her of him. Her thoughts turned to Jorena: she didn’t want her daughter to make the same mistakes she had, nor did she want Jorena to die on a dragon like her father. Over her daughter’s desperate protests, she took Jorena out of Candidacy and moved home to her parents’ cothold and citrus groves.

The first reunion was… awkward. Amira hadn’t told her family she had a daughter; and Jorena, overwhelmed by the sudden upheaval, was acting out like only a hormonal teenager can. Things quickly calmed down, though, and Jorena started learning the finer points of citrus cultivation from her grandparents and her two uncles. However, she still longed for a dragon, and she never quite forgave her mother for denying her that chance. As a gesture of apology, Amira saved most of her share of the grove’s profits for two Turns and bought Jorena a firelizard egg. Jorena was both moved and shamed by the gift and the sacrifice it must have required; and though she still missed her old life dearly, she and Amira gradually repaired their relationship. Tending the citrus grove was not a bad life by any means, and Jorena slowly adjusted her expectations.

And then Thread fell.

Though thankfully no one was badly hurt, they lost half of the grove to Thread. In an instant the prospects of the cothold were altered and the future made uncertain. In the months following the disaster, Jorena found herself thinking often about the Weyr, and the dragons and riders that would surely be needed now more than ever. Even as she helped salvage and rebuild, she quietly made a decision.

Once the worst of the damage was fixed, she informed her family of her plans. Her mother was angry and hurt. The rest of the family was skeptical of Jorena’s wisdom, but in the end no one tried to prevent her from leaving. On the day she said goodbye, there were hugs and tears all around. She traveled to the main Hold, and from there hitched a ride with a tithing train to Ista Weyr, hoping to reclaim her Weyrborn right to Stand.

Firelizard

Name: Kai
Color: Brown
Age: 7
Appearance: Kai is a deep, rich caramel color with irregular coppery patches on his wings. He has an average build for his color, with wings that are broad rather than long, and a tail that's a bit shorter than most.

Personality: Kai likes to "supervise" things his family is doing. Once he’s learned a routine, he’ll nag his human to get out of bed in the morning and to show up for daily work on time. He can also be trusted to carry messages to people he’s familiar with. Otherwise, he tends to be shy around strangers.

Relationships

Family

Mother: Amira, citrus grower
Father: J’nor, Ista bluerider (deceased)
Grandparents: Sofra and Alinder, citrus growers
Uncles: Ander and Lors, citrus growers

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