V'rignac

Character type: The Troll That Lives Under Your Bridge
Rank: Wingrider
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Sexual Preference: Homosexual

Appearance

V'rignac is a short, stocky man, densely muscled, with a square frame: broad shoulders leading down to thick limbs and large, heavy hands and feet. He has put on some weight with age and has a bit of a belly now, but though his muscles aren't as well-defined as they were when he was twenty, he still swears he hasn't lost a bit of his strength. His jaw is broad and square, too, his nose wide, his brow protuberant and shadowing smallish brown eyes. His hair is dark and thick and curling – soft and shortish on top of his head, and wiry like typical body hair elsewhere; he does have a lot of it, too, and not just in the “pleasant” places. He's not what most would call pale but he is relatively fair-skinned, and the occasional Istan sunburn hasn't really done much for skin that was already showing signs of weathering and age. He's not one of those lucky men who improves with age, or wears his turns well – he definitely looks his age, sometimes even a bit older depending on his mood, condition, and what he's wearing.

It just so happens that what he wears is very important to him for more reasons than just how it flatters his face, though. V'rignac very much enjoys dressing fine, and a significant portion of the marks he squirrels away are spent on his wardrobe. His everyday clothes may be more casual and sturdy, but they're never just throw-aways – he makes sure they're well-tailored and well taken care of, and perhaps even with a hint of embellishment – and he keeps more sets of fancy gather-wear on hand than most people do. Even his riding leathers are custom (no blah run-of-the-mill leathers for him), his current favorite set dyed a deep, dark blue (his dragon's straps match, of course). He also has an eye for jewelry, and wears it any time he can – usually in the form of a heavy chain and pendant and often a gaudy, ostentatious ring or two. Or four.

Personality

V’rignac has always been a bit self-centered, and looking at the world through selfish eyes has skewed his perceptions and estimations of other people and their motivations. He operates from the assumption that everyone else thinks much like he does: that is, take care of yourself first, do almost anything to get what you want, and sentiment is for chumps. Everyone wants something he says, and the only difference between people is what they want, and the currency they use to obtain it. No one is selfless, nothing is free. People give love expecting to get it in return. They devote themselves to a relationship — lover, family — only as long as the other person performs and behaves to certain expectations. Even altruism is just another exchange of commodities to him: time/money/whatever you’re giving, in return for the chance to feel like a Good Person (ha!) because you gave. Every gift has strings attached, every action is a service rendered. So why waste time sitting up on a pedestal making declarations about “what really matters” and what’s okay to buy? Everything is for sale, and every currency is equally valuable when applied to the right commodity. The trick is how to get the most for what you’re giving.

Obviously, V’rignac is a cynic. He doesn’t have a lot of sympathy for other people and their feelings (if they get their feelings hurt it’s their own fault for not playing the game right), and he’s cagey — he doesn’t trust easily because he expects others to mistrust him in return and take steps to protect themselves too. To the casual observer it may seem like he wants everything, but nothing could be farther from the truth: he always wants something, but he has very particular tastes and doesn’t settle for anything less. He’s a great admirer of grace and beauty — two things he himself lacks — and is remarkably knowledgeable on the intricacies of the art he enjoys. He has a working knowledge of things like proportion, perspective, and color theory despite the fact that he can’t “art” worth a damn himself, and he usually has a good understanding of the craft-made goods that he most frequently purchases — how to tell if an item is well-made, how much time and what skill level is required to make it, and he always seems to have a running tally of what such a good might go for in various regions depending on the season and the weather.

That’s how V’rignac operates: he doesn’t go into anything uninformed, and he’s far more well-read than his casual, sometimes gruff demeanor would imply. He has a rather high opinion of himself and the skills he’s picked up and lessons he’s learned over the turns, and part of it is probably justifiable considering how well he observes, how quickly he learns, and how readily he adapts. He’s one of those guys who always seems to know which way the wind is blowing, and takes steps to make sure he’s in the best possible position for it. When he’s wrong, however, he’s a sore loser, childishly spiteful, and he unfailingly blames his own shortcomings on everyone but himself. As keen and motivated as he is when it comes to the things he enjoys pursuing — beautiful things, beautiful boys, and more of the marks he wants to buy more of both — he can be hopelessly lazy and unconcerned when it comes to anything outside that sphere, including his job. He was always skeptical about Thread’s return, and fully intended to be a fat Interval rider for the rest of his life, but being proven wrong didn’t change his plan much. If anything, he’s decided it’s better to live while he still can, and he says the only regret he has is wasting as much time as he did on climbing the rank ladder and believing his wingsecond status was worth the time and energy it drained out of him. As far as he’s concerned, losing that job before Thread made a clusterfuck of everything was the second best thing that ever happened to him.

History

Birthdate: 412.07.02
Birthplace: High Reaches Weyr

If you ask V’rignac about his childhood, he’ll tell you the tale of a boy unappreciated: dragonrider parents who were weyrmated, devoted to one another but wholly uninterested in their joint offspring, whom they fobbed off on Mom’s sister. He was a good boy who didn’t deserve the treatment foisted upon him, hounded by his shrewish aunt and bullied at every turn by a sister who could do no wrong, while somehow he was responsible for everything that went wrong. Life just never gave him a fair shake, and that’s all there is to it.

The reality, however, is all in the perspective. He was a weyrboy — he’d likely have had no reason to resent his parents’ absence in his life if it had actually been as complete as he thinks it was, but B’narac and Gavara made enough shallow, half-hearted attempts to dabble in their children’s lives that it made their lack of true interest (particularly in light of their clear devotion to the idea of being a family unit with each other) more harshly apparent. They were good people with good intentions who were never meant to be any more attached to their children than most dragonriders were, but who perhaps acted on a vague sense of obligation to each other’s child — a situation that was clearly emotionally complicated and doomed to failure. V’rignac’s aunt was not, in fact, a borderline-abusive harpy who picked on him unfairly — V’rignac was a particularly mischievous, unruly child who showed a lack of empathy for others from an early age and never truly grew out of it, and his aunt was merely a strict disciplinarian who was doing her best to keep him on the straight and narrow. His sister Brulga… well okay, she was a bit of a bully, but no more than most older siblings, and was mostly obedient and hard-working otherwise; if she was punished less than her bratty little brother, well, it was probably because she did less to deserve it!

By the time he reached candidate age, a burning desire to be someone had set in. Brulga Impressed fairly young, leaving him behind to fester in his own jealousy, and though he was popular in his own way and did well in the wrestling matches that were so popular among the young men cooped up together during the harsh High Reaches winters, he watched as friend after friend abandoned him for the freedom and relative luxury of Interval dragonriding. He was already showing signs of a shrewd but materialistic mind — bartering with his peers to get the things he wanted, learning about the things that people valued — but it wasn’t enough; nothing would be enough so long as he was stuck on the ground in a barracks full of other boys (some of them nothing more than baby brats) with nothing to call his own but the things he managed to win for himself and squirrel away in the tiny area that was his. It wasn’t until he was twenty that a large, elegant brown found him, and he and Crishirith were on their way to getting everything V’rignac ever thought he deserved.

As weyrlings and then as wingriders, they showed some promise. Crishirith was dedicated, and V’rignac was smart, caught on quickly, and had a good grasp of tactics. Early in their careers, V’rignac hungered for more, wanted to do well and prove himself, and most of the time that was enough to overcome his tendency towards selfishness and focus on outside pursuits. He even served as a wingsecond for several turns — it was the late interval after all, with questions about whether Thread would even return at all, and the dragonriders had turns and turns of getting in the habit of having free time for personal pursuits. With status under his belt and a whole world at his disposal, V’rignac was free to earn all the marks he wanted to put time into getting, and buy all the things for his cushy private weyr that he had always dreamed of having. He traveled, sampled all the gathers at different Holds, developed an eye for products of different regions and the demand for them in the Weyr and elsewhere, further honing his talent for wheeling and dealing. He learned where to get what, and how to get it quickly and cheaply, and developed himself a reputation within the Weyr as a man who could get whatever a person might want… for the right price.

He also learned quickly that even beauty and companionship can be bought. He knew how it felt to be just one of many weyrboys, a nobody until you got yourself a dragon, and it wasn’t so hard to lavish a handsome young thing with praise and gifts to help him realize how attractive you are after all. Mikadja wasn’t the first of such young men in his life, but he was certainly the longest-lasting (and, if V’rignac was honest, the one he was most attached to). He gave the boy his first drink, his first set of tailored clothes all his own, his first taste of feeling special, and eventually moved him into his weyr.

As the Pass approached, V’rignac’s enthusiasm for the increased drilling waned even as his profits (helped along by a healthy dose of fear-mongering about the looming Pass) soared. He didn’t show up if he didn’t feel like it and showed no real guilt about it. His fellow wingsecond was promoted to wingleader, and he found himself demoted — or, if you ask V’rignac, he quit, damn it, because he wasn’t properly appreciated by his new boss, who had always hated him for no reason at all. Well, whatever, it didn’t matter — he’d just have more time for Mikadja and his own hobbies anyway. What did he need that status for, when his marks were earned all on his own, and could buy him any luxury he decided he wanted?

But the Pass came, and when it came, Ista was decimated. All the other Weyrs agreed to send help, and V’rignac found himself on the list of “donated” riders. He was outraged, but swore he was unsurprised. See? Didn’t he always say that they didn’t appreciate what he had done for the Weyr? He convinced Mikadja to go along as his weyrmate (“you’ll love the beaches, kid, you’ll look so good laid out on the sand every day gettin’ a tan!”), and that softened the blow somewhat… but Ista was wholly unwelcoming, and when he tried to re-establish his reputation and form business contacts within the Weyr, he found that the natives were slow to trust and uninterested in becoming clients to some Outsider. They already had their own man who could get things, after all — why would they need him?

It was a frustrating situation all around, and it made him moody and restless. Is it any wonder, then, that when a tanned Istan beach boy caught his eye and seemed willing to make some time with him, he decided to make a big change and dropped Mikadja like a bad habit?

He might be regretting losing his only truly friendly face at Ista, because it’s not like he was particularly good friends with any of the other riders from High Reaches who came. He barely claims his sister, and most of the rest were customers at best (strictly business, after all) and outright enemies at worst. But he’s not likely to ever admit it.

Relationships

Family

Father: B’narac, bluerider
Mother: Gavara, greenrider
Sister: Brulga, bluerider

Friends

Lovers

M’kadja, rider of green Kojith

Enemies

M’kadja, rider of green Kojith
Brulga, rider of blue ???
Liles, rider of green Nirrawth

V’RIGNAC’S DRAGON: BROWN CRISHIRITH

Dragon Name: Crishirith
Color: Brown
Age: 21
Weyr of Origin: High Reaches

Appearance

Crishirith is a large brown — or tall, at least, with long elegant limbs and a lean, light frame to match. He has exceptionally good posture for a dragon (if anyone even knows what good posture is for his species) and never seems to slouch or sprawl sloppily about — no, Crishirith is smooth but deliberate in his movements; he sits and stands tall and noble, or he curls up tightly and neatly, or walks and wings with a perfect elegant economy of motion, encouraged by his rider’s enthusiastic appreciation of his beauty in everything he does. His hide is a rich burnt sienna, transitioning gradually to a lighter shade of orange-brown across his wings to the trailing edge, and speckled with small darker flecks throughout.

Personality

Crishirith shares a love of beauty with his rider — an appreciation of style and grace (with perhaps better taste than V’rignac has, or at least better judgment about the line between “pretty” and “gaudy”), and a certain amount of ego and vanity no doubt fostered by V’rignac, but that’s as far as their similarities go. Crishirith considers himself an honorable dragon, a noble warrior of the skies, and he has a very strong moral compass that his rider lacks. He’s polite almost to a fault, and goes out of his way to avoid causing harm or inconvenience to others… unless he thinks they deserve it, in which case he feels obligated to step in and help steer them towards a better path. He can be incredibly stubborn, a bit arrogant and self-righteous sometimes, but his intentions are good and he honestly enjoys volunteering to help his fellows. In Threadfall he’s almost stupidly brave and quick to intervene on behalf of his wingmates, so it’s probably for the best that V’rignac is more self-centered and naturally balances his dragon’s reckless selflessness.

His loyalty to his rider is part of his personal code, too, which often presents him with a confusing moral quandary. He won’t rat V’rignac out, but he will strongly disapprove if he feels his rider is doing something immoral or ill-advised, and their relationship is a neverending series of bitter arguments because of it. It’s his responsibility to take care of V’rignac, after all — no one else’s — and he’ll never give up on him, but nor will he give up on trying to make him do what’s right. The result is an eternal emotional drain on them both, but V’rignac couldn’t live without that one unshakeable bond of love that Crishirith represents any more than Crishirith could live without him.

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