N'valu

Character type: Jungle Boy
Rank: Weyrling
Age: 15
Gender: Male
Sexual Preference: Bisexual

Appearance

Some boys you can just look at and know they’re going to be trouble. Naivalu’s grin is pure rascal. His chin is stubborn, and when his shoulders tense and square just so, he isn’t going to back down or budge for anything. He’s lost most of the softness of youth, leaving him thin and wiry, stubbornly strong for all that he’s clearly underfed. Maybe it’s something in his eyes, or how he holds himself, but it’s clear he’s a fighter.

He’s average height for his age, with an even, healthy sun-browned complexion. His hair is black and short, because for all that it would’ve been cool if he’d braided leaves or feathers into it when he took to the wilds, it’s not exactly practical. His eyes are a striking pale green, and his teeth flash bright and white in his irrepressible grins. His hair does tend to be on the messy side, and his clothes are usually torn and threadbare, even now that he’s at the Weyr and the staff keep trying to put him in something nicer. His face is very expressive, and when he’s not concentrating on keeping it blankly impassive, his mobile features tend to show every thought and fleeting emotion.

Personality

Naivalu is about as rough around the edges as you might expect from a young teenager who’s been living on his own in the wilderness for the past turn. Survival has had to be the first and last thing on his mind every day, and a lot of other luxuries and niceties went right out the window to make room.

He’s bold and brazen, which on a young man his age often reads as brash or cocky. Naivalu speaks with grown men as if they’re his peers — and why not, when he’s every bit as responsible for himself as they are for themselves? There hasn’t been a stable adult authority figure to replace his parents since Thread took them from him, and so Naivalu has become his own authority figure; he is the boss of himself, calling the shots, and facing the consequences at the end of the day. Call him a child or assume his obedience due to his youth, and prepare to be ignored at best.

He has it in him to be polite enough, even charming to a degree, but it’s almost always an act he puts on when he needs something. If that’s what it takes to get him a job, fine, he’ll do the dance, but that’s all it is, and it lasts only so long as it’s necessary. Naivalu doesn’t generally worry about ‘petty’ things like common manners — oh, his table habits offend you? That’s a pretty ridiculous thing to get your underwear in a twist over.

Naivalu is fairly well-adjusted for what he’s gone through, if you don’t count how he obviously shows in his behavior all the ways he lacked a ‘proper’ upbringing during a fairly important time in his adolescence. He was forged into a young man who had to do whatever it took to live. Fortunately, he’s always had a powerful stubborn streak to go with his strong will and drive, so when he grit his teeth and put his energy into something, he damn near always made it happen, even if it didn’t always go smoothly and the results weren’t always the prettiest. Who cares, so long as he’s alive?

For being so independent and adult-like, not /all/ of his childishness has been whittled away. He still laughs at immature, base humor. For all that he can, for instance, cook himself a meal, he’s not always going to choose the healthiest, wisest foods. Naivalu still has trouble at times thinking about consequences /before/ he acts, even if he is better than most his age at dealing with them when they come calling. He treats other people’s rules more like guidelines that he picks and chooses from. He lives day to day, because thinking too far into the future or looking at too big of a picture is overwhelming, and he doesn’t yet have the maturity to square his shoulders and deal with it.

History

Birthplace: Unknown Hold, Ista Protectorate, 8.435.11.11

Naivalu’s early childhood was utterly unremarkable. His parents were simple fisherfolk, and he and his siblings spent most of their formative turns either on the beach or in the dense forest that ran up to it. He helped on the boat when he was old enough, dug and dove for shellfish, hauled and repaired nets, and spear-hunted around the reefs. He built tree forts, braided vines into rope swings, and brought home creepy crawlies to terrify his sisters.

When Thread struck, his little beach home was one of the first casualties when Ista Weyr’s Wings faltered. On his older brother’s dare, Naivalu had risked his parents’ extreme ire to spend the Fall in one of his favorite cave hide-outs. By the time he emerged, his home was gone and so were his family. He salvaged what he could and struck out on his own, not even having the benefit of his father’s boat, for it had been lost too.

He did originally mean to go to the nearest larger Hold in hopes that some of his family had survived and sought refuge there, but it was a considerable trek for a fourteen-turn-old on foot through heavy jungle. It took him longer when he had to forage for food and offer himself as cheap temporary labor to the smaller holdings he came across in return for hot meals and a safe place to sleep. By the time two sevendays had gone by, Naivalu had become oddly accustomed to his new life, and kept finding one excuse or another not to rush to the Hold.

He’s lived more or less holdless for the past turn, sometimes staying over at the holdings he does odd jobs for, the rest of the time living off the land.

That is until someone pointed him out to an Istan dragonrider, and the rider told him he had strong potential to Impress. As well-suited to the holdless life as Naivalu had found himself, he’d never quite gotten over the terror of that first Fall and the wrenching grief of finding his home destroyed. Though he didn’t necessarily blame the Weyr for what happened, he did yearn to something to make sure it never happened again.

Relationships

Family

Father: Narrino (dead as far as he knows)
Mother: Avalu (dead as far as he knows)
Two older brothers (unnamed), older sister (unnamed), younger sister (unnamed) (all equally dead as far as he knows)

Pet Firelizard: Bronze Thassa

The only ‘thing’ of value to his name, Thassa was hatched from an egg Naivalu found a few months after he lost his home. He actually came very close to smashing the egg out of frustration and helpless anger, having a hard time coming to grips with how /this/ survived when his family didn’t, but in the end the promise of constant companionship (and that lingering boyish delight at finding a FIRELIZARD EGG!) won out. Naivalu is fiercely protective of his little Thassa, and has tied the firelizard’s presence into his sense of self-worth perhaps to an unhealthy degree. But when you’re a teenaged boy living holdless, forced to beg for odd jobs, used to the occasional sneers from the better off, a bronze firelizard on your shoulder is one of the few things to feel good enough about to puff your chest out a little in pride.

Thassa, of course, is a gorgeous little creature — not just little because he’s a firelizard, but small for his size. He’s dainty and built on very slender, delicate lines, prone to a leonine or eel-like grace of movement, sliding and winding and curling his way through life. He’s bright in color, like freshly polished bronze, with a good portion of that tell tale green under-hue, which makes for excellent camouflage in the wild. He has a few smudged stripes of darker, antique-like bronze over his face, and a few more similar marks scattered over his arms, legs, and wings.

Gorgeous though he may be, Thassa is an absolute little shit. He’s of course utterly devoted to Naivalu, happiest when he gets to ride on the boy’s shoulder and be involved in whatever he’s doing, but he is never going to be a firelizard who’s good with other people. He’s absolutely contrary, crooning for attention and then seeming offended when someone offers a hand for scritches. He’ll stare hard at someone’s dinner plate and then reject the food only after snuffling and licking it to make /sure/ he doesn’t want it. He doesn’t like sudden movements toward him or sudden loud noises, chittering and hissing his disapproval. Thassa is also incredibly, annoyingly /bossy/, expecting absolutely everything to go just as he (or Naivalu) wants it. He acts out when things don’t go his way, harassing any other firelizards in the area, or dive-bombing the unwary. He has a distressing tendency to have a very similar sense of humor as Naivalu, and thinks the height of hilarity is messing with others.

N'VALU'S DRAGON: BROWN VILDHUNTH

Color: Brown
Age: Hatchling
Weyr of Origin: Ista Weyr
Weyrling Class: Sunrunners

Appearance

Some creatures seem to age before their time. Vildhunth, it seems, was hatched old. There’s certainly nothing frail about him, no — though only average in height and length he’s as sturdy and solid as any skybroom tree, with a thick chest and neck and limbs, and the beginnings of a good strong musculature that will become quite well-developed as he grows to adulthood. It’s more that he just seems to be… weathered. Like that same old skybroom, he already seems to have stood the test of time, been lashed by life and the elements and survived with only the scars left in his hide to tell the tale of what he has endured. They aren’t real scars, of course — not yet, though certainly he’ll pick some up in time. His hide, medium brown primarily, just seems to bear premature marks of age. Jagged lining of darker brown around his mouth and eyes makes them seem cracked and weathered. His eyes, deep-set beneath prominent ridges on his broad, short-muzzled head, peer out as if from shadows. Darkened elbows and subtle paler shading winding around his legs seem to make them look almost gnarled, like a tree trunk shaped by the wind over many turns. His neck ridges aren’t smooth and uniform, but rather jagged and a bit uneven in shape and size. The tip of one tail-fork is missing even though he’s fresh from the shell. Even as a baby Vildhunth seems to have been through much and emerged stronger for it, for there’s nothing weak or wavering about his stance or movements: the brown doesn’t have to posture, all he has to do is stand solidly like the trees he resembles and stare you down.

Personality

Vildhunth is not a hesitant dragon, but nor is he showy or flashy. There's a confidence there, the sort possessed by someone who knows he's important, who doesn't need attention or validation from others to remind himself that he's special, or to remind others that he's special. In fact, he doesn't care one bit what anyone else thinks about him, and actually seems to prefer being overlooked, fading into the background. He watches everything, he learns much. He's restrained, always completely in control of himself. As a hatchling he may play with his siblings, but he will never be wiggly or enthusiastic – he may not even be gentle or kind about it, because everything is serious to him. Oh, he's not uptight exactly – he knows the difference between war and play – but he also knows that things learned in play translate to knowledge needed later, and if cuffing a sibling in the head with one swipe of a paw now means said sibling will think twice about losing control of his excitement later, then he'll do it. He could explain that to them, of course, but it's quicker, easier, and better remembered if he just takes a swipe. He doesn't feel the need to correct every little mishap – in fact, he's largely indifferent most of the time, a bit aloof, a loner – but when he does take notice, it's swift and brutal and with no warning or fanfare. He's a dragon who says little, maybe even nothing at all, until he has /something/ to say – and when he does, his voice is solid, strong, deep, and altogether hard to ignore. It's the voice of someone who expects everyone to listen or else, a voice that assumes they will because they must, and when he speaks it may just remind everyone of something easy to forget during his silences: Vildhunth is far smarter than anyone realizes, Vildhunth is able to comprehend intangible concepts in ways that dragons typically can't (human relationships, for instance), Vildhunth understands the passing of time in ways that dragons typically don't, and Vildhunth remembers far, far more than a dragon should.

It remains to be seen whether or not that memory will have a negative effect on him in the future, as popular theory has always been that short memories are part of what keep dragons mentally functioning even after terrible scorings and many lost wingmates. As a young dragon, though, and even later in his life, his intelligence and confidence may prove to be a troublesome combination. They could make him an excellent Threadfighter, or even an excellent leader, but the problem is that Vildhunth will never believe that anyone knows better than he does. He may not even waste the time arguing the point – if he disagrees, he'll just go do things /his/ way, and to /between/ with anyone who's unhappy about it. Make no mistake: his priorities always lie with the group, he always has the interests of his wing and Weyr at heart, but he doesn’t trust anyone else to care as much about the greater good, or be as wise about the correct course of action, as himself. He'll always be prone to going about things however he wants to go about them, and he's likely to drag his unfortunate rider right along with him unless that rider is extremely strong-willed or figures out another way to keep Vildhunth in check – because, guess what? Vildhunth, though he may love and trust his rider more than anyone else, /still/ believes that /he/ is the brains of the operation, that /he/ is in control, and that his /rider/ is the one who needs to be firmly handled and controlled. He’ll demand absolute loyalty, and won’t share his attention easily, or with just anyone. Just who is doing all the work here, after all? Yes, that's what he thought. Now sit down, strap in so you don't fall off, and let him work.

One thing will become clear by the time he rises to meet Thread for the first time, though: Vildhunth has a fierce side. It may come out earlier, if violent or stressful circumstances befall him in weyrlinghood, but if not, it will surely happen the first time he fights Thread. When forced to act, Vildhunth's blood suddenly boils, his control slips just enough to let the savage beast inside shine through, and he /acts/. When the time comes to fight, he'll lead the charge with nostrils flaring and flame barely contained in his eagerness to meet his enemy, and while it would be unwise to assume all his intelligence has suddenly disappeared (oh, he's still himself in there, all right), it will certainly be unexpected for those who have always known him for his quiet restraint… and downright terrifying for whomever, or whatever, might be the object of his fury.

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