Luptu

Character type: Weyrling
Rank: Weyrling
Age: 16
Gender: Female
Sexual Preference: Still working it out, but definitely bicurious at the moment

Appearance

Even among her admittedly-genetically-inclined-towards-shortness family Luptu was always a bit of a runt, partially because there wasn’t always enough food to go around to coddle the youngest, and a bit of “survival of the fittest” going on when it came to grabbing and scrounging what they *did* have or could find. Now that she’s older and more of her siblings have married or otherwise moved on she *would* be benefiting from better nutrition; unfortunately, the coming of Thread and destruction of their fishing boats and many of their assets has made for lean times again, and it shows in her hunger-lean physique. Interestingly, you can see the potential for a thicker build in her bone structure, and a few months eating three full Weyr-style meals a day should bring about some rapid weight-gain if she’s not careful (and why would she be — she has no idea that gaining enough weight for a visible change is even something that’s possible, having never been exposed to such a concept). Her hips and breasts are modest, but with better nutrition here at the tail-end of puberty she might ultimately find herself developing a bit more than she ever thought possible. Unfortunately, she’ll always be a shorty, even for a girl.

Her genetic stock is quite firmly Istan — or what her family declares “real” Istans look like, anyway, which may or may not be rooted in reality — and she’ll be delighted to meet people of far more physical diversity than what she’s used to seeing among her family and fellow seafolk (most of whom, honestly, were related to her in some distant way anyway). Her skin is a warm, rosy-tinted light-to-medium brown, her hair blue-black and straight and currently about mid-back length. Most of the time she leaves it down, but sometimes she’ll pull it back or up, depending on what she’s doing. Her eyes are brown-black and relatively wide, with a bit of an epicanthic fold. Her face is broad, her nose wide and her lips full, her eyebrows thick but her eyelashes long. At this point in her life she’s relatively okay with how she looks, though that might change based on her observations of new girls she meets at the Weyr and what the young folk around her seem to go for.

Personality

There’s a constant battle between two warring desires in Luptu: the desire to stand out, and the desire to fit in. On the one hand, she’s naturally an unconventional thinker, a creative soul with a flair for the dramatic who would never really be happy fitting into a pre-shaped mold, and growing up as the youngest and smallest of a whole herd of children has left her with a burning need to be special, to be noticed. On the other hand, she’s also naturally a social person, and though she doesn’t fully realize it yet, that same upbringing surrounded by siblings has made her most comfortable in a crowd, happiest when surrounded by the everyday sounds of a full house and the casual touches that happen unthinkingly when a lot of people live in a very small space.

As a result, she has grown into a person who desperately wants to be noticed and appreciated for who and what she is… not just by one or two people, but by *everyone*. Preferably at the same time. Luckily she’s not the sort of youngster who is confused enough to value bad attention as much as good attention — it’s not enough to be noticed, she also wants to be *liked* — but it does mean she tries too hard, and sometimes it shows. She’s friendly and open, sometimes more than is normal (or considered healthy at an isolationist-minded place like Ista), and loves to talk and entertain people. She’s quick with a joke (sometimes at the wrong time, but she’s learning), enjoys music, and loves to dance. Often she’ll jump into things without a care for how it looks to other people, and tends to project an air of confidence in that way, but when it backfires and makes her look silly it *does* hurt her a little — she just won’t let on. Acting the fool is her defense against being called a fool, because if you’re silly on purpose it doesn’t actually count as mocking if people laugh at you, right?

It’s probably safe to describe Luptu like this: she talks a lot, says a bit, but tells you nothing. That is, a lot of words come out of her mouth, some of them are helpful, useful, clever contributions, but she’s not often one to share deep feelings or personal issues. She hasn’t yet figured out what her niche is, but she’s smart enough to know that when people *do* notice her, it’s because she’s funny and positive, so she clings to that, painting on a happy face even when she’s miserable. Or trying to, anyway. Yet at the same time, it’s tiring to be entertaining all the time, and as a young adult growing up into a woman (especially in a new place now), she wants to be taken seriously too. She wants to be someone special, someone valued for their contribution to society — after all, as her mother often told her, there’s no place in this world for clowns! — and when she looks at herself she doesn’t like what she sees. So sometimes she… well, stretches the truth a little. It doesn’t really hurt anyone if she embellishes things a little, if it’ll make people more apt to give her a chance, right? She can prove herself worthy of the chance— she *will* prove herself worthy, she promises herself — and so in the end the fact that she fibbed a little to get there will be moot, right?

Because she talks so much in an effort to be heard, and because she tends to babble a little when nervous, it’s often hard to tell that she actually has a real gift for dealing with people. In her lifetime quest to be noticed and liked, she’s become remarkably good at reading people, at picking up on the feelings conveyed in their movements and posture, at hearing the hidden words that are behind the words that they actually say. She’s smart, she’s adaptable — she uses that knowledge in her interactions, even in her little embellishments, in order to ingratiate herself to others, though she doesn’t really realize that she’s doing it. After all, doesn’t everyone do the same thing to some degree? Doesn’t almost everyone’s behavior change slightly to suit their company of the moment? Luptu just happens to be more adept at it than most, and getting better at it with each passing turn as she grows and her ability to understand the world around her develops. At the best of times it translates into the tremendous gift of knowing the right words to say at just the right time, and she picks up new words and knowledge and wisdom from everyone she meets — something that will happen rapidfire at the Weyr, suddenly surrounded by a huge, diverse group of people. Someday she’ll have the arsenal of words, and the wisdom required to use them correctly, to be adept at smooth-talking anyone into or out of almost anything. Right now, though, she’s still young and impatient and starved for attention, and doesn’t yet realize that these things that she considers just weird little personality traits of hers are actually a gift, and have the potential to be her strongest weapons.

In fact, at this point she can’t even conceive of needing *anything* as a *weapon*. The world is big and bright and beautiful, and maybe a little scary, sure, but she doesn’t want to hurt anyone, even with words.

Or… maybe she’s just steadfastly ignoring the part of her that *does*.

History

Birthdate: 2.22

Luptu was born at Fairweather Seahold, which is a bit of a misnomer in that it’s not really large enough to be called a “Seahold” and the weather is hardly ever actually fair. It’s more of a cothold-on-the-sea, really, where a small group of three or four families fish for their livelihood, struggling to bring in enough to both feed their families and make tithe. Like most of the men of the hold, her father was a fisherman — not a trained seacrafter, just a man who fishes all his days — and like the ten siblings who came before her, Luptu spent her days crabbing on the docks, securing the catches, and diving for the shells and shellfish that traders will pay good money for. It wasn’t always the easiest life, as nature is a cruel mistress and the catch isn’t always plentiful, and by the time Luptu — baby number eleven — came around, any excitement that came with the birth of a baby had long since died out. She was another mouth to feed, another body to cram into a cramped sleeping room, and she’d just have to learn to keep up with the rest and make herself useful if she wanted to earn a little affection.

That’s not to say that she was hated or treated unfairly. Her family certainly had love for one another, but practicality was a shadow that loomed over their every choice and interaction, and there simply wasn’t time to coddle anyone. Perhaps unfortunately, Luptu was a clever and social child who craved attention and acceptance. She didn’t expect it to be given freely — she just wanted the chance to earn a little attention, to contribute and be recognized as a contributing member of the family — but as the littlest bratling it was often hard. She wasn’t as strong or fast as her older siblings, and often didn’t even get the chance to perform any of the “good” jobs because by that time there was someone who already did everyone better and faster, and she just got in the way. What eager child wants to be stuck doing “baby” jobs? Or doing jobs alongside the older siblings and constantly being shown up? And worse, it seemed that every single niche that a child could fill within a group was already filled by someone who had come along first. There was already the big brother, the big sister, the lone wolf, the motherly one, the fierce one, and… well, you can probably imagine from there.

There are certainly worse problems to have, and Luptu is aware of that. She didn’t grow up bitter or estranged from her family — on the contrary, she instead made it her job to lighten everyone’s mood, to try to put smiles on the faces of big people who had big people problems that she didn’t yet understand. The smiles and laughter were a reward in their own way because they meant someone had noticed her, and the more often they happened the more she felt she was developing her niche. Her mother wasn’t entirely appreciative of what she called “clown behavior”, and privately that’s left a bit of a mark on Luptu, who often wonders if the person she’s growing into — the one thing she’s good at and enjoys being — isn’t actually a person of worth in this world.

Things got harder when Thread returned and decimated Ista Weyr’s wings. The hold lost all of its small boats and even a couple of people; all in all it could have been much worse, but it meant that food and luxuries have been scarcer than ever during the past turn as the struggling hold tried to rebuild itself. As isolationist Istans with an unhealthy amount of Istan pride stuffed in them up to their gills, it was hard to blame the Weyr completely (surely it was the weather, or some other thing to blame, because every fisherman knows that sometimes your best effort still ends in a shipwreck if fate wills it!) but their view of their protectors has certainly become more strained as belts have drawn tighter.

Luptu was still living at home, working harder than ever and waiting patiently for her turn to be married off, when the dragons came on Search for Ista and picked her out. She was overjoyed — finally, something that would really make her special, more special than any of her siblings ever were! — and her parents, somewhat flabbergasted and a little resentful but secretly relieved to let the Weyr take over the burden of feeding their youngest (it was partially the Weyr’s fault they were halfway to starving, anyway), agreed to let her go.

She was at the Weyr long enough to make a few friends: Baxes, Emley, and Caulan, and was still working on a few more when the Hatching happened, and Luptu Impressed blue Skalmith.

Relationships

Family

Father - Paluru, fisherman
Mother - Tamani, wife
Ten older siblings

LUPTU'S DRAGON: BLUE SKALMITH

Color: Blue
Age: 1 Turn
Weyr of Origin: Ista Weyr
Weyrling Class: Sunrunners

Appearance

There's something about Skalmith that just seems indistinct, hard to pin down, even though he may be standing right in front of you. Though he's a decently-built young blue, large for his color (if a trifle too barrel-chested), tightly-muscled and coiled like a spring, the coloring of his hide seems almost to detract from that – or distract from it, certainly. He's smokey all over – primarily slate blue but unevenly so, mottled subtly paler and darker here and there, like a watercolor painting of a stormy sky. His face, front forearms and a stripe down his back are all navy blue, swirling and blending into the rest of his hide like an incoming fog. He has an open sort of face, short but a bit roundish, though the lines of his muzzle and eyeridges are distinct and finely-sculpted. He's also a very physically-expressive dragon, prone to gesturing to accent his mindspeech: tilting his head, posing a wing, crossing his forearms when lying down casually. He may even begin to pick up gestures commonly used by humans but not typical of dragons: pointing to indicate direction, throwing his head back to laugh heartily, vocalizing chortles and sighs.

Personality

Have you met Skalmith? Well if you haven't, you will soon enough. In fact, it's only a matter of time before all the Weyr, dragons and people included, know Skalmith. It's just as well that his crisp, rich mindvoice, somewhat deeper than one might expect, is so pleasant, because he makes it his business to mingle with everyone. He's not a babbler, no. He just doesn't seem to possess the same boundaries that most dragons have about who to speak to and who not to. He finds something interesting about almost everyone, and he'd like to hear your story, if you've the time and inclination. No? Well that's all right then – perhaps some other time? You could call him nosy, perhaps, but he means no mischief by it – he's only friendly and a bit curious, too, and what does a dragon have to do in his free time but sleep or mingle, yes?

It's probably for the best that he's so well-spoken and always so polite. It's a casual sort of politeness, not at all hung up on rules or decorum but more based in simple common courtesy – ask permission, apologize when you're wrong, thank when appropriate. Well-spoken in Skalmith's case doesn't mean using big words all the time, either, though he's certainly capable of it and more prone than other dragons, perhaps. Most of the time, it means being a good communicator – instinctively knowing what words to use, or gestures or whatever it takes, to get his point across to whomever he's speaking to. Some understand better with big words, some don't, some will get a metaphor before they'll understand a long drawn-out explanation, and the older Skalmith gets, the better he will become at having just the right explanation to suit almost anyone. Such a gift could be useful in a leader, but Skalmith has very little ambition himself and doesn't mind at all that he's not more important – he's happy to help in whatever way he can.

In fact, he's generally happy to do anything. He's a positive sort of dragon, very much a team player who loves to be in the thick of other dragons and people, just basking in their company. The big picture, the group, the /family/ — these are the things he thrives on, the things he loves, and he understands the importance of these things in ways that others might not. He loves celebrating the successes of his friends, trumpeting tales of their valiant deeds to any who will listen, and sharing in their sorrows when they need a shoulder to cry on. No one will keen as loud or long as Skalmith when a comrade dies, and no one will trumpet as joyously when eggs are laid or victory has been declared. Sure, he tends to be a bit over-dramatic, but everything he expresses are emotions he genuinely feels – even if he's feeling them on behalf of someone else. He's extremely empathetic, and that combined with his ability to read others (half of good communication is knowing how to listen and understand, after all!) will make him an excellent Searchdragon someday… though some of his more peculiar quirks might occasionally interfere. If not kept on task, he's easily distracted by and impressed by small irrelevant details sometimes, for instance – someone's look or coloring or even just their name can please him to the point that he'll be more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Sounds are very important to him, as are rhythm and cadence, and he'll find ways to use words that are pleasing to his ear, or reasons to drop names that he finds exceptional. He loves music and poetry, flow and syncopation, and may be the only dragon who enjoys marching drills, or who learns his maneuvers by counting wingbeats and keeping rhythm.

There's a lot going on inside this dragon, a lot of thought and feeling, cleverness and emotion, but he'll need his rider to remind him, occasionally, when it's best to use his head instead of his heart.

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