Character type: Istan Holdborn
Rank: Candidate
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Sexual Preference: Homosexual


A young artisan from the glass-smithy in Ista Hold. His years in the finecraft has left its mark on Kelhelias. He still wears his hair in the fashion of the hall: thick black curls cropped close to the scalp, dark rings brushing across his forehead and the nape of his neck. Tall though he is, he hasn't the athletic build of most weyrborn or even his laborer kin. While his time in candidacy has begun to carve some muscle over his frame, the broadness of his shoulders still owes more to a lucky stroke of genetics and the contrast against narrow hips than to any great particular bulk of musculature.

Long afternoons spent in the training yard have finally bronzed his olive skin, but no amount of fresh air and hard labor will ever blur the well sculpted lines of his face. The mix of masculine breadth and pleasing angularity lend his features a very male beauty, as do a pair of intensely black eyes.


A very nice, very earnest young man— at least, he was. No apprentice glass-smith was ever so passionate or so in love with the art, so eager to please and hungry to excel. Kelhelias found the one thing he wanted early in life when he was elevated from the laboring masses of his cothold and taken to become a craftsman. It was a bright, impossibility and it was his for that brief while. He lived brilliantly then, feeding all his ambition and drive into those turns in the smithy—

—and then it ended.

Cast from his hall, Kel teeters between abject despair and a desperate desire to prove himself. He indulges in nothing so blindly foolish as self-loathing, but suffers acute pangs of disappointment that goad him to grit his teeth and steel himself to try, once again, to be the man he ought to be.

While not unfriendly, he comes off as a touch too wary (of others as much as himself) to be exactly amiable. Only time will tell if his watchfulness will fade with the culture shock. Thrown into the weyr and an utterly new way of life, he clings to old convictions of his hold and hall.


Birthdate : 8.434.7.14
Birthplace : Weeny cothold, Oldman's Hat, Ista

Kelhelias’ life began at little cothold down the island chain and it was there it all would have ended in good time were it not for one small little detail: sand. The island, called Oldman’s Hat by local fishermen, was home and source of the high grade sand prized by Ista’s glass-smiths. The island’s economy revolved around supporting the craft.

As a boy, while the men saw to the back breaking work of hauling sand to the ships, Kel and his brothers gathered and dried and baled seaweed to be burnt down for soda ash— another component of glass.

His father, who had been to the Great Hold and seen the hall where the smiths worked, told them that glass was like hard water, that rich man had windows of it and that they let in the sunlight but not the biting bugs. He said that the masters did tricks with it to make plates that made things appear bigger when you looked through them— and he said that ladies had the smallest pots made of glass for their beauty things and that one day, he’d bring one home for Ma.

Kel looked at the sand from the pits and at the seaweed from the sea, and couldn’t imagine how this magical thing could come from his beach. It became the greatest mystery of his young life and he lived for the sight of the Istan ships cresting the horizon, coming for their sand and ash and bringing with them Master Hanaloi. The craftsman came to oversee the cargo and to pay the laborers and while the latter was more than enough ensure his popularity at Oldmans he was also a kind man with great stores of patience and humor for curious youngsters. It was because of Hanaloi that Kel first saw glass when he was eight and the man brought along a piece to Oldmans. The vase was a gift for the headman, but he let the children look at the gleaming thing and touch its smooth sides. That such a thing could be made from sand and seaweed…Kel did not dream of dragons, he dreamed of glass.

When he was 12, his dreams were answered. Halanoi had been impressed by this steady, curious boy. Not exactly Of the Craft, but near enough and sharp enough and the family, as Hanaloi expected, was only too proud to let their son go.

He arrived at the hall in a state of stunned shock. Despite his dreams, he had never presumed hope for apprenticeship and was so grateful for the opportunity that he hardly noticed the hazing of the craftborn.

In the face of his good natured amiability, in that flattering way he was inclined to be impressed by and differ to his craftborn fellows, he was soon accepted comfortably into their ranks. His studies proceeded apace, and what he lacked in talent he made up with passion and an obstinate dedication that would do his fisherman kin proud.

He passed two years like that, reveling in his new craft, his new hold. He burst with pride when the masters called him promising; when the other lads said his salty hands weren't half bad; when he sent home a little vial of perfume for his ma. He was happy as a lord.

And then there was Orfeo.

Orfeo was one of Kel's seniors, son of Master Agyrus, and if the hall thought Kel promising, then it thought Orfeo veritable prodigy. He had undeniable charisma along with his talent and the sort of careless generosity of one utterly self assured and perpetually flattered. It cost him nothing to give the cotter's boy a few pointers, some encouragement, and Kel responded worshipfully.

He was fifteen then and the hazy ease of his life took on a new cast as he fell further and further in with the master's son. There was no clear moment when Kelhelias realized he liked boys. There was just, Orfeo. Everyone liked Orfeo, everyone admired Orfeo. They said he'd be the youngest Journeyman yet. They said he was such a strapping young man. Kel liked and admired him most of all and somewhere between the friendship and worship there was Orfeo, and Orfeo asking if he'd ever kissed a girl, and Orfeo showing him how.

For the next two years his work fluctuated wildly, sometimes driven to new heights to vie to his lover, sometimes mutilated in distraction as the hold boy stewed on the complexities of his romance. There was, after all, nothing romantic about it— not as Kel had learned romance. They were years of moments. Moments hiding, moments lying, moments of bliss and of torture. But before he could choke on excitement or shame there was that final moment when Master Agyrus found his son mounted behind the boy from the sands.

The hall stood by their kin. Orfeo was so talented, the son of a master. Kelhelias was the son of some laborer at the sand pits. Overnight, his character changed from promising pupil to enterprising tart, ensnaring young Orfeo, luring him astray.

They could help Orfeo, they decided. He just needed a girl, a wife. Maybe they had been working him to hard, expecting too much. Keeping such a lusty young man cooped up in the workshop with nothing but other lads around, well, what's a boy to do?

Kelhelias though, was a lost cause. The masters suddenly remembered instances the junior apprentice had seemed softer, weaker, girlish… Not the sort of man to trust at their furnaces, much less to represent their hall and craft.

The only thing that saved him from being sent back to his family in disgrace was the news that the weyr had had a clutch and the dragonmen would soon ride out on search. The weyr was the only real place for someone like him, the masters relented and Kel was kept on for a miserable sevenday in seclusion.

What the masters said to the riders Kel never knew, but they let him onto a dragon and took him away from the workshop where glass is made.



A bunch of laborers on an island where the sand is the most interesting thing around…




Orfeo, Glass Apprentice.


Craft: Glass-smith
Rank: Apprentice

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