Z'tair

Character type: Candidate

Rank: Candidate

Age: 17

Gender: Male

Sexual Preference: In deep, deep denial about his homosexuality

Appearance

Zetair is a touch over 6’ tall when he stands up straight, with thick black hair that has an unfortunate tendency to look a bit greasy. It would help it he’d cut it shorter, but Yena told him once she liked it long, and thus, he keeps it a sort of shaggy chin length. He’s not the most attractive young man, with a prominent nose, and thin lips almost permanently set into a scowl. He’s well built - though on the thin side, but that’s often hard to see from how he carries himself.

Personality

Saying that Zetair has a small anger management problem is like saying the ocean is a bit damp. Barely a day goes by that he doesn’t lash out at something or someone, usually physically. Because in all fairness, words are not his strong suit. Even a moderately witty person can easily talk circles around him, and this is a source of great frustration for Zetair. Then again, most things are sources of great frustration for him. He’s convinced that the entire world is set against him. And if the world is against him, then by the First Egg, he’ll be against the world.

He’s desperate to prove himself, somehow, but even in that the world is against him. He has no great skill in any Craft, and he lacks the sort of neighborly social graces that would mean success as a holder or allow him to marry up socially. He’s not even particularly good at the brute labor working on the docks requires - he’s a tenacious fighter, but he’d not particularly strong one. And most embarrassingly of all, he gets seasick on boats, so he can’t follow in his father’s footsteps.

Dragonriding isn’t something he’d considered before the Searchriders picked him up, but he’s starting to see it as his last real chance to make something of himself, to finally have the rank and respect he is owed. As a bronzerider of course. Nothing else is good enough for him.

History

Birthplace: Small Hold, Ista Protectorate 8.433.7.22

Zetair has more or less been laboring under a cloud of bad luck since he was born. His mother died in childbirth, and his father was lost at sea two Turns later. He was given into the care of his mother’s sister and her husband, a fairly successful holder couple who had no children of their own at that point. A Turn later however, Zetair’s aunt gave birth to her first child, a young girl they named Yena. From then on, young Zetair had it drilled into his head that his one purpose in life was to guard and protect his younger cousin. Already a serious boy by nature, this only served to make him more so - while other young children his age were running about at getting into childhood mischief, Zetair was watching his cousin.

When he was around seven, his uncle started to worry about the fact that Zetair had no friends other than Yena. Specifically he was worried that Zetair had no male friends and was thus going to grow up effeminate and ‘greenbait’. “You need to man up,” the boy was told, repeatedly. “Otherwise some shardin’ greenrider’s going swoop you up and make you his woman”. It took nearly a full Turn before Zetair understood what his uncle meant, but he learned quickly what activities his uncle considered ‘manly’ and which he didn’t. Mostly because engaging in non-manly activities quickly got him a beating. Still, it didn’t change the fact that he was a scrawny child, easily teased by the other holder boys. And then one day he’d had enough, and punched the boy making fun of him. Which, since the boy was older and had several friends with him, left Zetair getting pounded into the dirt. He’d expected another beating from his uncle for fighting, but instead he got a smile and praise. And was taught the basics of fist fighting, a skill he eagerly honed over the next few Turns.

He became well known for a short temper and a willingness to fight over any insult no matter how minor. And then puberty hit. For his fifteenth birthingday his uncle took him down to Ista Sea Hold proper telling the young man “Tonight you become a man”. Which at first just seemed to involve dinner in a loud tavern, his first taste of unwatered beer, and a lot of loud, crude jokes while watching women in far less clothing than he’d ever seen dance in ways he was sure none of the holder women ever would. After the women were done dancing, Zetair was sure they would be going home, but his uncle went to talk to one of the women, and brought her over. Apparently she was a prostitute as well as a dancer, and his uncle had paid for Zetair to have a night with her.

It was not the most awkward experience of the young man’s life, but it came pretty close. The woman was kind though, once she realized it was Zetair’s first time, and she left him spent and exhausted. While he couldn’t deny that the physical release had been enjoyable, he had the strange, niggling feeling something hadn’t been right about it. But when his uncle picked him up the next morning with a huge smile on his face, Zetair pushed his doubts aside. Having sex made you a good man, and he wanted more than anything to be seen as a MAN.

Back at home he found that while a lot of the girls were less… open about sex than the boys were, he seemed to have a pretty good skill at convincing them in to bed anyway, even if there was still the odd feeling like he was doing so because he should, rather than because he wanted to.

Then the dragonriders showed up. Ista Weyr had a clutch on the Sands, and they needed more boys to Stand for it. Zetair was no fool, and he realized he didn’t have many opportunities left to him at the hold. It would by Yena’s eventual husband who would inherit, not him, after all. So he decided to go. “Best find yourself on a bronze or brown if you still want to be part of this family,” his uncle told him, only half in jest. But when the eggs hatched, Zetair walked off with nothing.

He chose not to go home though, figuring he was still young enough by Weyr standards to still score a dragon. Even if the Weyr was all messed up and not at all the way he’d learned things *should* be. But that could be changed. *He* could change that if he just figured out how to get one of those coveted bronze dragons and get himself made Weyrleader. After all, especially after the disastrous first Fall, Ista needed leaders. He could be one of them! He should be!

And then Tameketh’s flight happened. He’d been drinking, not much, just socially with Jactar, talking about the strange differences between Weyr and Hold life when somewhere between the alcohol and the flightlust, they ended up in bed. Having sex. And for the first time in Zetair’s life it felt *right*.

But that couldn’t be. He was a man, and things like that were wrong and disgusting and perverted. When he woke up, he grabbed his clothes and fled, vowing never to speak, or think of it again. Since then he’s avoided Jactar as much as possible. He’s become even more short tempered, even more likely to lash out, trying to reassert (to himself) his own masculinity.

Relationships

Family

His parents are both dead, and he barely remembers them
Uncle: Ieotar, age 43, minor holder
Aunt: Jesia, age 37, holder’s wife
Cousin: Yena, age 15.

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