Character type: Harper
Rank: Journeyman
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Sexual Preference: Homosexual

Basic Information

Thatch, a tall, heavy fellow with grey just beginning to overtake his thin blond hair and beard, came to Ista Weyr with his lover, Bersiam, though he isn’t yet comfortable with public displays of affection, or speaking of the true nature of their relationship out loud. He’s a rather reserved man whose difficult childhood, premature growth, and relatively late apprenticeship left a mark on him, and as a result he has always been far more comfortable working with the archives than performing or even teaching. Turns of trying unsuccessfully to repress his feelings for Bersiam, and his homosexuality in general, have not made him any more socially adept, either — his single serious romantic relationship with a woman ended very poorly, and she was not quiet about her suspicions about him. He tends to deal with anxiety and negativity by keeping his nose in his work and just generally being very businesslike in his dealings with strangers, and by herding and clucking after his loved ones as a way of simulating the control and surety that he doesn’t feel he has in his own life.

After Bersiam’s diagnosis and their decision to admit to and pursue what had been, up until then, unthinkable, Thatch travelled from their posting at Bitra to the Harper Hall to petition the Masterharper directly for a new, more tolerant assignment because Bersiam did not want to spend the rest of his life in shameful secrecy. This led to their new assignment at Ista Weyr. Speaking the truth out loud, and throwing himself at the mercy of the boss he barely knew was the hardest, most terrifying thing that Thatch has ever done.


He is moderately notable in his field, and it’s possible that other archivists have heard of the excellent work he did as a young man at Tillek saving flood-damaged records, and later at Bitra recovering, re-copying, and preserving their long-neglected archives.

As a young man at the Harper Hall, Thatch was told that he was “blessed with the face and voice of a villain”, and that is usually the role he plays in performances. As he has aged, his gorgeous natural bass has deepened further and rounded out into a basso profondo that the Masterharper was tempted to keep on at the Hall after all. Thatch is not at all comfortable performing.. but that doesn’t mean that he does not enjoy it even so. The whole business is very stressful for him — the does not seek attention, and the pressure and social expectations after a performance make him anxious, but he does love the act of singing, itself, and derives satisfaction and happiness from performing a piece well.

He is more likely to be caught singing to himself when he thinks no one is around.

His real name is Owlberthach. He was secretly relieved when his fellow apprentices christened him Thatch instead, and it’s very possible that no one alive remembers he ever had another name — including Bersiam.

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