R'fan

Character Type: Dragonrider
Rank: Weyrleader
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Sexual Preference: Heterosexual

Appearance

While not nearly the biggest man in the Weyr, R'fan often comes across as physically imposing nonetheless. He's just a little above average in height, but he's built to hold strength, with thick muscles packed tight onto his squarish frame. His hands are large and calloused, his jaw square and solid beneath a broad face that somehow seems perfectly-matched with a wide mouth, blunt nose, and vaguely almond-shaped brown eyes that can't ever quite seem to hide his emotions. It's an open sort of face, the sort that subconsciously calls to mind the big-dumb-boy-right-off-the-farm-next-door type that everyone seems to know at least one example of – honest to a fault, well-meaning, but not the brightest glow in the basket. While turns of fighting have weathered his light brown skin somewhat he has proven remarkably resistant to the lines of age, which have only recently begun to faintly crease the skin at the corners of his eyes and mouth. He's the sort of person whose age is difficult to guess, and if he's picked up any wisdom over his turns as a rider, it certainly doesn't show in his face except perhaps in his most weary moments.

His medium-brown hair is thick and wavy, and he keeps it pulled back into a short tail. He likes to claim that a man without facial hair may as well be a man without a sack, but he doesn't have the dedication to keep a full beard looking kempt. He compromises by keeping a simple goatee with no mustache – the sort of hairy chin you might expect to see on a younger man trying (in vain) to show off a beard, but thick enough and tight enough to hint that it belongs to a man old enough to properly sport it.

Maybe it's the honest face, the unguarded eyes, or the youthful (for his age anyway) looks, but people usually assume (whether they realize it or not) three things about R'fan when they first lay eyes on him: that he's friendly, that he's trustworthy, and that he's stupid.

Personality

…And at least two of those three assumptions are usually correct.

R'fan is a man who is utterly at home in his own skin, who knows his own strengths and weaknesses and has lived his life enjoying the security and freedom that such self-assurance provides. When something needs doing that plays to his strengths, he steps up fearless to do the job, because he knows he's good at it. Conversely, he's completely at-peace with his weaknesses – he doesn't feel he has to prove anything to anyone, doesn't feel he has to make up for what he lacks (after all, he knows there are other things he excels at), and having an insult or two hurled his way about his short-comings is hardly enough to rile him. Ironically, those same strengths also give rise to another weakness – because he's so damn at-ease with himself, he can be a bit lazy about self-improvements. He definitely believes that everyone has their place and it all works out in the end, so better to stick to what you're good at than to waste time improving on something that someone else will always do better.

He knows, for example, that something about his face just makes people feel comfortable around him. To him, it's only natural, because he also recognizes himself as a social animal. He's happiest when he's around people, telling stories, drinking with the guys, flirting with the ladies, teasing the rookies. He's a great lover of bad jokes, but he tells them with so much joy and enthusiasm that it's hard not to laugh at least a little. For that matter, he does everything with a good deal of joy and enthusiasm. Seize the day, or so they say, and R'fan certainly lives his life that way. When he's happy, he tends to be loud and rowdy, though he does know how to tone it down and utilize his natural charisma in more official settings where a calmer demeanor is more appropriate.

He also knows that people (particularly important people) tend to assume that he's stupid, and he's actually perfectly okay with that. He knows it's not actually true, so why should it bother him? In fact, he finds it quite useful, and he has a special way of smiling – his Idiot's Smile, he calls it – that he turns on juuuust when he really needs someone to fall for a line. He'll take a swing at someone who's mouthing off if he needs people to believe that he's a drunken buffoon, or pretend not to understand what someone is trying to explain to him, if it means he'll get the advantage of having the knowledge without them realizing he has it later on.

Though he's perfectly capable of leading and has more than enough experience to do it full-time, he strongly prefers being a second. Part of this is simply due to his loyalty to D'veld, but the other part is… well, he does know himself well, and he knows his talents are better put to use in a wingsecond position. He's fiercely loyal to his Weyr, to his calling as a dragonrider, and if that means taking a less “glorious” position because he'll serve better there, then he will – and in fact might fight being taken out of it. His particular brand of charisma works great in a secondary role next to the more uptight D'veld, where he can be the “friendly” leader without having to keep quite as much professional distance as a wingleader requires – he can be his wingmates' drinking buddy, someone they respect but also feel comfortable approaching, a proper go-between for the rank-and-file and the wingleader. That way he can keep his ear to the ground for any trouble without fear of people clamming up as soon as he walks into the room, too – in that way, he can be D'veld's eyes and ears both within the wing and within the Weyr. It also frees him up to play stupid when the situation calls for it. People who probably should see him as a threat are even less likely to do so when he's only a wingsecond, and more than one person has come to regret it later.

Then, of course, there's also the fact that he's mischevous enough to honestly enjoy dicking around with people. He never gets tired of holding all the cards – even if D'veld is the only one who knows he has them. There's a sharp mind behind his idiot's smile, a lethally keen tactician, so it's perhaps for the best that he's also so inherently good-natured. He likes messing around with people, sure, but he doesn't enjoy hurting anyone unless there's good reason to do so.

History

Birthplace: Ista Weyr, 8.413.12.14

Both of Raffaran's parents were riders with no special attachment to each other beyond a one-night fling. His father had no special attachment to him, either; he had several other children and no particular interest in any of them until they were old enough and Impressed and he could treat them as wingmates (which was really the only way he knew how to treat anyone – a smooth man, R'zos is not). His mother, on the other hand, bore only one other child and that one didn't live to see her third birthday, and so she couldn't quite keep herself away from Raffaran. Her dragon came first, of course, and she didn't interfere in the creche's raising of him (Istan weyrbred, herself, she was a firm believer in the creche women's superior ability to rear children and honestly didn't think herself capable of it), but she did keep track of him and bring him trinkets when she could. Often enough, in fact, that the other weyrbrats sometimes jeeringly called him a mama's boy, but he was never one to be ruffled by teasing.

On the contrary, Raffaran was perfectly happy surrounded by the other children of the creche, and was a little hellraiser from the start. If there was a group he was in the thick of it; if there was trouble, he was certainly knee-deep in it. He wasn't disagreeably unruly, just very active and easily bored, with a tendency to rush into something that seemed fun and exciting in the moment with no thought for the consequences. There was no denying his charisma, though – he was always able to talk plenty of otherwise completely sensible weyrbrats into going along with whatever he was up to, and gave the crecheworkers fits trying to reign him in. It was hard to stay mad at him when he was always so genuinely sorry afterwards, and then gave that big dopey smile…

True to his youthful tendency to rush into trouble headlong, he stepped on the Sands as a candidate for the first time only a few sevendays past his twelfth birthday, and stumbled off again about forty-five seconds later with a big ungainly but boisterous bronze dragonet in tow.

To say that he was unready for command was a bit of an understatement. Oh, he was eager enough to learn, took to the work with no problems and no one could fault his vigor or enthusiasm (in fact, it was probably his best leadership quality at the time – leading by example, because who could stand to lag behind when a pipsqueak of a twelve-turn-old is going full steam ahead 24-7?), but he didn't yet have the restraint or poise that Ista expected of its bronzeriders. Upon graduation he was still too young to join a fighting wing at all, let alone lead one, so he spent the next two and a half turns flying with the Weyrling Wing, running messages and pulling watch duty, helping with younger classes, and anything else they could put him to work doing – anything, because while a busy R'fan was a great worker and a great help, an idle R'fan (with a full-grown bronze dragon and the sudden onset of girl-crazy that still plagues him to this day) was a disaster waiting to happen.

It was during this time that he came to know D'veld. The bronze weyrling was older than R'fan, but had Impressed after; they had known one another in the creche but never been great friends, partly due to just plain having nothing in common, personality-wise. Maybe it was because now they did have something in common as two of the small cadre of bronzeriders who would be eventually expected to lead Ista Weyr into the Pass, but the two eventually hit it off – and, even more surprisingly, became great friends. The older, calmer, and more focused young bronzerider was exactly the influence R'fan needed in his life, and as time passed and R'fan matured physically and mentally, he began to develop in a positive direction – learning to stop and think, to use his skills and gifts to their best advantage. He also fathered his first child during this time, and was still young enough to be absolutely enthralled by the whole process. He knew what it all entailed, of course, but to think that he had somehow made that with only a little bit of… well… it was pretty amazing, and probably another influence that pushed him on the way towards growing up.

It was no real surprise that D'veld, being older and far more mature from the start, was tapped to leadership first. They were both wingseconds when their old wingleader stepped down and D'veld was promoted in his place, leaving R'fan to serve as his friend's senior wingsecond. They developed a good working relationship – a stellar one, even, counter-balancing one another's strengths and weaknesses and figuring out a rhythm that worked for them.

R'fan was eventually tapped to a wingleader position of his own, and served there well enough for several turns, but as the Pass loomed closer, he stepped down voluntarily. There was no shortage of up-and-coming young bronzeriders capable of command at the time and needing the opportunity to learn before 'Fall set in, after all, and his time as a wingleader had only driven home the fact that he felt best-suited as a wingsecond. If he could save more lives flying behind D'veld than he could at the forefront of his own wing, then that's what he'd do.

And then came the disasterous first 'Fall of the Pass. He has some lingering guilt over it – wondering if, perhaps, things might have turned out differently if he had remained a wingleader after all – but he's not ready to admit it to himself, let alone anyone else.

Updates:
When Tameketh rose for her first mating flight as senior queen following the First Fall disaster, Ronageth chased and won, pulling R'fan from his comfort zone and into the position of Weyrleader for Ista during a particularly turbulent time. Conscious of the possibility of inflaming further unrest and hostilities when Ista still desperately needed the Outsiders, he maintained a policy of quiet tolerance — he didn't oust any of the recently-appointed Outsider rankers from their positions and did not openly encourage his fellow Istans in their negative feelings. However, he is a social man with a lot of Istan friends, and considers his fellow Istans his family, and his prejudice in favor of those family and friends was likely evident. When disciplining riders over altercations, Istans — whom he often knew personally and could privately make excuses for in his head — were more likely to receive a slap on the wrist, while Outsiders — unknowns more easily judged on the facts — often received slightly harsher sentencing. When K'nai brought evidence that his straps had been tampered with and led to the accident which crippled I'lya, and believed his wingleader L'giln was the culprit, R'fan investigated in the interest of the health and safety of his riders (he'd not allow an attempted murderer to remain wingleader), less out of concern for K'nai, I'lya, or L'giln himself (all three of whom were Outsiders), but the decision was ultimately taken out of his hands anyway when L'giln was killed during Threadfall.

At Tameketh's next mating flight, L'rori's Rowlieth won, and R'fan was "demoted" to Weyrsecond and Wingleader of Windraiders Wing, a position recently left vacant by L'giln's death. Things were generally quiet as he kept his new wing in order, and helped advise his former wingmate L'rori, whom he was both immensely proud of and immensely worried about, as the rider was incredibly young to be shouldering the burden of Weyrleader. He's privately impressed that the lad did so well, and that the weight of the position did nothing to dim his natural exuberance and positivity.

When Tameketh rose again, she was caught by the Telgari M'drasen's bronze Zogeth, and things changed. Zogeth slashed Ronageth's face during the flight — an injury that healed with only a small scar, but which could have, if only a couple of inches off, blinded the bronze in one eye — and R'fan holds no small amount of dislike for M'drasen because of it. He expects the bronzes to bump and push and roar and posture, and accidents happen, but he believes M'drasen pushed his bronze into deliberately injuring other dragons in order to win the flight, and his already-negative view of M'drasen has been further tainted because of this belief. M'drasen demoted R'fan from his wingleader position and shuffled him to Stormriders wing as a regular wingrider under the command of the Outsider rookie, J'thaum. The new Weyrleader's demotion and public punishment and shaming of D'veld inflamed R'fan further, and if T'berli's rebellion had gone anywhere, R'fan would have likely stood in support of it (though, notably, he was not willing to be the bronze T'berli was seeking for the Weyr to rally behind). Fearful of splitting the Weyr at a critical time, however, T'berli called off the rebellion due to a perceived lack of support, and since then R'fan has been quietly biding his time until the next flight — following the orders of his new wingleader, M'nias, and spending his free time (something demotion has given him which he hasn't had in a few turns) being social and supportive and making all the friends.

Everyone knows R'fan. R'fan knows everyone. More importantly, a lot of people find R'fan very likeable.

Relationships

Family

Father: R'zos, rider of brown Varstath
Mother: Faralyn, rider of green Saywinth

Half-Siblings: Several, father's side (TBD)

Daughters: Zeff (Zeffaryn) (21), Ryssyra (19), Annaca (17), Issyra (17), others TBD
Sons: Rathriel (13), others TBD

Lovers

Zella, Cook, Mother of Zeff
Nareyn, rider of green Valduinth, Mother of Annaca (Drunken one-night stand with a MILF - don't tell her he said that)
Lyssyra, rider of green ??, Mother of Ryssyra and Issyra
Thessa, rider of green Teglath, Mother of R'thriel

Friends

D'veld, rider of bronze Menorth (BFF 4ever)
V'lada, rider of green Plawinth (Superbro)
V'ler, rider of brown Kiyosarath (Bro)
Vivaeldi, rider of green Bajezeth, Journeywoman Healer (Ladybro)
Tairedora, rider of green Astemiath, daughter of deceased ladybro Tairenna :(

Enemies

M'drasen, rider of bronze Zogeth
R'vart, rider of bronze Armath, if you squint a little (Large Prat)

R'FAN'S DRAGON: BRONZE RONAGETH

Dragon Name: Ronageth (ROW-na-geth)
Colour: Bronze
Age: 27
Weyr of Origin: Ista
Weyrling Class: 8.425.5.13
Wing: Stormriders

Appearance

Ronageth isn't the tallest or longest bronze, but he's definitely one of the larger ones. He's built like a Rottweiler: all broad muscle, with a wide, solid stance and a thick neck. His ridges are rather blunted and his muzzle is shortish, his face broad, too, with the corners of his mouth turn up very slightly in a perpetual smile. It tends to give him a rather “simple” look much like his rider. Handsome – quite handsome, with nice muscles and a deep bronze hide rippled with brownish markings underneath – but still simple.

He has a small scar on his face now where Zogeth slashed him during Tameketh's third mating flight as senior queen, starting just above the eyeridge and slicing diagonally down his nose to end a few inches in front of his left eye.

Personality

Unlike his rider, Ronageth is very much exactly what it says on the tin (and eerily similar to his rider as a youth before maturity developed): big, boisterous, and more prone to acting than thinking. He's a dragon of infinite good humor, appreciative of the smallest things, and just generally happy to be alive – isn't that wonderful enough, after all? Though he's not as much of a handful as he was when he was a hatchling, he never fully outgrew his youthful tendency towards excitability and excessive curiousity. He rarely complains about anything except perhaps boredom; thankfully, it's not really that hard to find something that catches his fancy.

Though he's not the smartest bronze in the Weyr, his good nature and fighting spirit are worn right out there on his sleeve, and he has a knack for inspiring and encouraging other dragons to go above and beyond. Ronageth never gives anything less than 110%, but he doesn't stress in the slightest – to him, it's only natural to throw his entire weight into everything he does, and other dragons feel compelled to match him. Unfortunately, his tendency towards excess applies to eating and mating, too. If R'fan isn't watchful and occasionally firm, the bronze will gorge himself while hunting and chase every green that flicks her saucy little tail his way.

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