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Canterome [elided: C’rome]
11 [WI 06]
Dalibor Weyr [formerly Ista Weyr]
A real charmer on the surface. Talkative, extroverted, good at getting people to open up. And he retains what people say too, it’s no good getting to know what makes someone tick and then not recalling it on next meeting. Because he can get people to talk about whatever it is that drives them he’s a jack of all trades when it comes to knowledge but has a way of twisting it to be considered an Expert. He’s a canny one though—he won’t try this with anyone he thinks will be able to spot the difference.
Puts on a brave face no matter what. He won’t let anyone see him bend in the face of fear. And because he has learned how to talk himself through his own fear, and knows how to get people to do what he wants, he isn’t so bad at talking others through their fears, too. Provided, of course, that this is the kind of person who he wants to build up. Rivals get the opposite treatment, a subtle psychological warfare intended to wear them down without ever realizing the cause. Canterome flips positions on this easily, he has no loyalty to his own original estimations of a person. Someone may go from being friend one day to foe the next if they should say or do the wrong thing.
Truthfully, he’s a scared, scarred little boy. His machinations are child’s play, but all children have at least a real streak of cruelness in them, and Canterome’s has been brought out by rough treatment both purposeful and accidental. If his course does not change he will grow into a fractured man beneath a tough, brittle facade.
On the smaller side for boys, he lacks some of the inherent bulk that seems to be his younger brother’s birthright. Built on more sinuous lines, he is lanky but less awkward, prone to short bursts of athleticism that make up for his lack of apparent strength. His skin is a dusky shade of brown, a touch lighter than Willenyve’s, with lighter hazel eyes that turn up expressively at the corners. His hair is a similar shade of near-black but more prone to curliness when it escapes the shears for a few sevendays. He moves with an affected confidence—likely to be seen for what it is by astute adults, but it may trick his own peers more easily. He takes up space easily and appears comfortable in his own skin, even if it isn’t so simple as that.
The disastrous hatching at Ista Weyr left its mark. One of the ten to be injured on the Sands, he bears two curving facial scars: one running from the bridge of his nose to his chin, the other from cheek to below the neckline of his shirt. That one ends square in the middle of his chest, where it meets up with several others, all snaking more or less vertically along the front of his body. He isn’t shy to show them, though the degree to which he plays up their origin is inconsistent.
He dresses well but not above his station. A Candidate’s wardrobe allows little enough freedom for personal self-expression anyway, but it doesn’t tend to be an area that Canterome is much interested in regardless. He likes practical things that fit well enough. Why bother getting attached to anything he’s likely to grow out of anyway?
Father: W’lant, Rider of Bronze Rironlunth (+33 turns)
Mother: Carren, Rider of Orange Harth (+29 Turns)
Half-Brother: Willenyve, Weyrbrat (-3 Turns)
W’lant was a Rider with ambitions. Never mind that his stoic lump of a Bronze had little innate desire for it, too entranced by half with the Flights of any lusty Fighter that happened to rise that sevenday. For all his strictness, his training and unwavering discipline, his Rider’s machinations had amounted to little. Until one brief, glittering moment, in which Rironlunth caught a Rising Orange. Soon enough it was two bellies that swelled with offspring—a small clutch upon the Sands, and a little baby boy. W’lant had entertained hopes that his night with Carren would lead something further, if nothing else to encourage his Bronze to save his Chasing for his mate and Flights that truly mattered.
It was not so. Carren deposited her new babe in the creche with no more than a firelizard’s note to alert W’lant that he now had a son. He had warmed her bed for only a few hours and, despite Rironlunth’s best efforts, never would again. W’lant took it bitterly. He had little enough interest in his biological child and little enough chance, it seemed, of ever rising above his current rank. It was to everyone’s surprise that he eventually took a weyrmate in Ternaa, whose Pink Piroueth was caught by his own Bronze in Flight. They lived happily enough for several turns, neither of them taking much interest in anything that was not the other. They shared others’ beds as Riders were wont to do, but they always returned to the same weyr sooner or later, their dragons a tangled mess on their shared ledge. On Canterome’s second birthday his father paid him his first visit—short, but they knew of each other, and the Bronzerider kept distant tabs on his progeny from then on. Ternaa was hardly interested in helping rear a brat from the creche, and Carren was so entirely absent that it would have shocked Canterome to think of her as a mother. He knew only his fellows in the creche, and the crecheworkers, and the Harpers that came to sing to them.
In the 9th Turn of the 11th Pass, Ternaa caught what was thought to be a a midwinter cold, soon passing. Instead it took hold in her lungs. exacerbated by a particularly damp season, and her Pink took her between when at last she died, surrounded by puzzled healers. W’lant was too deep in the bottle to even attend her passing, hoping it was enough that Rironlunth keened louder than all the rest. Mere months later a drunken tussle with Brilnave, a Weyrfolk woman, resulted in a second son nine months later. She was a more attentive mother than Carren or Ternaa had ever been, but there was little enough time for childrearing, and so she left him in the creche for longer and longer periods of time as he grew, until he was as fully integrated a member of the children’s pack as any of them. Canterome took little interest in his younger half-brother, being four turns his senior and not at all interested in entertaining the younger, more annoying crechebrats, related or no.
As his son—Canterome—reached a suitable age, W’lant began to take an interest in him. It was easy enough at first—a squalling toddler can always be deposited back into the creche at the first sign of tears. But as Canterome grew into a young boy his father began to take a firmer hand. If he could not achieve his own personal ambitions he would at the very least ensure that his progeny had a fighting chance. Was he not the offspring of a Kingrider? Prophetically speaking, there had to be something of value in those shared genes. And perhaps if W’lant’s own father had taken such an interest in him he would have found his own dreams achieved in time.
The Bronzerider, for his part, was a demanding taskmaster. Canterome was to live and breathe life of a Kingrider as soon as could be managed. Oiling, learning the Harpers’ songs by heart, the intricacies of feeding a growing dragonet, the right protocol for a Candidate on the Sands. W’lant drilled the boy hard. Any sign of insufficient drive was met with punishment, and W’lant’s hand was a heavy one. Heavier still when he had been at the wineskin. Alcoholism was not a becoming trait in a Rider of any rank, but he was beyond reproach from anyone save the Weyrwoman or Weyrleader, and so long as his duties were fulfilled such things tended to go unnoticed. That his temper was short and his punishments cruel was hardly anyone’s concern. Canterome for his part did what he could to retain his own sense of control, particularly by taking out his aggressions upon weaker, less popular crechebrats, and Willenyve in particular. He became something of a bully, though always in subtle ways that would not be noticed by the crecheworkers, or that might easily be pinned on another child.
When not in the creche Canterome did what he could to spare the lash. He learned to read his father’s moods so deftly that no offense could be offered. He excelled in his preparations for Candidacy. He learned to be a chameleon among the weyrbrats, gaining favors from underlings, making himself above reproach with his teachers. And increasingly, he covered for his father during his frequent drunken blackouts, taking care of stoic Rironlunth as if the Bronze were his own. And finally, finally, it was his turn to Stand. He had been accepted into the Candidacy program a mere three months before, as was his right as the child of Riders. Nothing much happened, of course. He took it hard, as all first-time Candidates did, though he knew as well as any that one might Stand for a long time before meeting their match. Perhaps it was not so bad after all, for it had been a small clutch, with not even a King dragon among them. His father had drilled into him the imperative that he rise as far up the ranks as was possible, and you couldn’t do that on a little Gray, could you? That argument alone had been enough to quiet W’lant’s rage when he returned to the man’s weyr still a Candidate.
He would Stand for several more hatchings with no more luck than the last. He learned to return to the Barracks and wait until his father had summoned him some days later, when the liquor had run its initial course and his anger had mellowed to frustration. It no longer held the fear or resentment over him that it had that first time—he no longer blamed the dragonets for finding him wanting. It was only a matter of time. He could be patient. It made him relaxed out on the Sands, telling easy jokes with the friends who stood beside him, getting them to let their own fears fall away while they waited.
Too relaxed. Canterome still does not know the full story of what happened in the spring of the 17th Turn. He remembers turning to a friend, smiling, winking conspiratorially. Then the wind knocked suddenly from his stomach, the high keening noise that came out of his own mouth as two dragonets, flashes of whirling color, tussled directly over him. He does not remember being pulled from the Sands by the Healers, nor the long process of being stitched up stem to stern. If his mind strays too close to those thoughts again he finds himself panting for breath and full of fear. So he does not think on it. He was back to his old ways as soon as the Healers had let him out of their care. It even stilled his father’s hand for the time being, for seeing the great gashes across his eldest child’s face was too jarring to fall back into old patterns immediately. And Canterome had no qualms about Standing at the next available Hatching, though he did not smile or joke quite so easily.
Except that as soon as the eggs started cracking his mouth went dry. His lungs forgot pumping while his heart started racing at triple speed. And he fainted, without warning or preamble. He awoke with the Healers once more, though this time there was nothing to stitch up, and he was sent to the Barracks with little more than a pat on the head and the suggestion that it would get better. But it did not get better. Try as he might, the boy could not even make it into the Hatching Grounds again, not without his knees locking and sweat pouring down his spine. The Candidatemaster went so far as to take him the Weyr’s own Mindhealer to see what could be done. The man was clear on the matter—a prolonged course of exposure therapy would almost certainly fix him, though that might take turns to be truly effective. In the meantime he was a liability to both himself and his fellow Candidates. A panicking whiterobe might draw the ire of any volatile dragonet, and the Healers had no desire to stitch him up a second time.
W’lant was not willing to wait for such a time. It took a little string-pulling—especially with the Weyrs now facing a deadly illness—but he eventually had it arranged that Canterome would go to a new Weyr to try out Candidacy in a new setting. Perhaps it was only the sight of Ista’s particular Hatching Grounds that set him off so. Most Weyrs were leery of new recruits coming in just then, but Dalibor had been the first- and hardest-hit of the Weyrs, and the least likely to fear transfers from afar. What were they going to do, give them the plague that Dalibor had started? As an afterthought it was decided that Willenyve ought to accompany his half-brother. The younger boy had not been thriving in his home’s creche—the other children had taken something of a dislike to him, no doubt fueled by his own siblings bullying—and it would be better if Canterome had some semblance of home, wouldn’t it?
Adoption Preference: Transfer.
SubQueen Impressible: Yes.
I, Tobes, have no Impression preference for color or gender. Canterome as a character is pulling hard for Kings—he will express some displease over any “lesser” color, but I the player do not mind at all.
Please only Impress one of my characters per hatching; I take so long to finish applications I’d like to stretch them out in between needing to write a new one.
Lots of personalities could work with Canterome and pull him in lots of different character growth directions. With a bullying, tough, or ambitious dragon he will likely continue on the path he is currently on. A more understanding, gentle, patient dragon is more likely to help him heal into a healthier adult version of himself.
A weak-willed dragon, particularly if it were a Fighter, would likely get bullied to death or at least severe unhappiness by Canterome.
I would prefer no overly goofy or silly dragons, on account of not being able to write them very well.
Canterome has a younger brother (Willenyve) who will also join the Candidate program when he is of age. Canterome would be furious if his younger brother Impressed before he did—I the player do not mind this happening, but it would present certain opportunities for fighting between a Candidate and Weyrling.
Canterome is the child of an alcoholic and has some deep-seated issues regarding trust, introspection, low self-esteem and poor self-care that are common to children of alcoholics. This could affect his ability to emotionally bond with a dragonet or take care of himself during Weyrlinghood.
Canterome was one of the Candidates injured during the disastrous Hatching at Ista Weyr. He shows signs of PTSD that are triggered by the Hatching Sands at Ista, and was transferred to Dalibor to attempt Impression without becoming triggered. He will respond very strongly to violence on the Sands, especially if it is anywhere near or directed at him in particular. His presence may be upsetting to hatchlings due to his anxious thoughts during Hatching.
Canterome has already been mauled once during the bloodbath of a Hatching at Ista Weyr. I am fine with him getting mauled again, though this would seriously affect his ability to Stand for future Hatchings given his already anxious mental state regarding scary baby dragons.