No Easy Way Out Brown Akleteyth
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Turn-Over Surprise Akleteyth by Syn, Christmas 2016.

Is it an avian? Is it a wher? No, it's … stumpy dragon! So small and yet not, this brown is a study in how much muscle can be packed onto a small frame. Despite his truncated limbs and his broad chest and his bulked-up back end, his rich mahogany hide has a subtle gleam to it that accents just how darned pretty he is. The broad planes of his face are well-formed, leaving him with a handsome countenance that's just slightly too short in the nose, not that it detracts from his dapper charm. Garnet's gleam colours the 'ridges that run along his spine - on any other dragon they would appear overlarge, but they're balanced here by the sheer girth of his neck. His wings lack width, questionably stubby as they are, with verdigris tracing the equivocal lines of 'spars and adding filigree contrast to his shallow 'sails. Aeronautical ability aside, there's no doubt this lad, with his smooth shiny hide and its glossy red highlights, has strength beyond measure.


Egg Name and Description

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Flock of Fate Egg
It's black. At first blush, it seems like that is all there is to it — black. Black and shiny, if the light catches it a certain way, but nonetheless black. Only a closer glance — or a more careful inspection, as those with keen eyes may see from gallery heights — will reveal that other colors are present on the smooth and oddly reflective shell. Placed haphazardly, a few sparkling spots of silver and one toward the bottom in pale blue, bright prizes for the discerning eye to find.


Hatching Message

That crack that had settled through Flock of Fate Egg didn’t seem like it was going to do something anytime soon, but while attention has been elsewhere, things have changed. There is a claw — just one! — peeking out through the crack, a claw that is prying the egg open in a piecemeal and methodical manner. It is when it’s about three-quarters of the way open that eyes may be drawn back to it, for now a head — broad, attractive and brown — is peeking through the crack. With a bit more effort and a clear shake from the hatchling within, the egg splits evenly in two, leaving behind a gooey and somewhat … interesting looking hatchling. (That is a dragon, right?)


Impression Message

Do you know what that smell is, Alister? You don’t? That’s okay — it’s a little bit plastic-y and a little bit bonfire-y and somewhat unidentifiable, but it is suddenly there, if not overwhelmingly so. Pardon the fact that the rest of the change combined likely is overwhelming, though: between the scent, the fact that the sands have faded into the outskirts of a tunnel vision that is sending you racing down a road opened wide before you lined in crisp leaves and bright sunshine that are clearly not in Fort’s caverns, and the wind blowing through your hair, there is no doubt that this is the sensation of Impression. But just in case you weren’t sure, there’s that smooth tenor voice floating into your head, and changing your name: « A’ster. » Sorry not sorry if you don’t like it! « This is Akleteyth? You need to eat. No. I need to eat. » He may not be entirely sure what that is, but it isn’t stopping him from sharing those hunger pangs, or that very intense need to get it taken care of: « We can talk about the rest once that’s handled, and no arguments. »


Personality

Stalwart and reliable, Akleteyth is a solid perpetual force to be reckoned with in a relatively small package for what is meant to be a mid-range dragon. Whatever his physical size doesn’t have, his mind makes up for, and he has definitely got all of it made up immediately.

« You are A’ster, and I’m Akleteyth, and you can call me whatever you want I guess but nobody else is allowed to call you Alisty anymore. And we’re going to eat now, and then taken a nap, and then oiling. And that’s the plan. »

As a weyrling, he is going to be the sort of dedicated to the task that would put a layabout to shame, for all that he isn’t his sister Hallenayth. He sees training as not something to learn and better himself with, but a mountain to climb, a battle to win, a step to conquer. This is actually how Akleteyth looks at most things, so it’s best you get used to it. Getting up in the morning? A challenge. Being oiled? A necessary step to meet the difficult daily requirements placed upon him by living. The fact that he sees just about everything about life as a goal to be met, though, is certainly no bad thing — because Akleteyth is not a dragon who is going to miss a goal.

He likes to be organized, and do things in order. After all, everything has its place and its rank, and you wouldn’t want to skip around in promotions, would you? So if you put your socks on before your shirt, Akleteyth might make some objection, same as how he won’t want to go over mounted flight before you’ve got mounted walking down perfect. Even if it’s not a concern of yours, he’s going to make sure that you have things in the right order.

« You know, A'ster, you did make sergeant quite young. »

"Depends on who you ask, really."

« So I think it's best we stay wingriders for a while and then try for Wingsecond, as opposed to trying to supplant Niumdreoth or, say, catch Kayeth just yet. Someday! But not yet. »

"… Okay, Akleteyth."

Now, Hallenayth is the dragon in this clutch who is known for being the most driven, the most determined. But Akleteyth can certainly rival some of that, in that he is … well. He’s stubborn. He is the kind of stubborn that would give a brick wall a run for its money (and not just because he sometimes looks, or physically acts, like a brick wall.) Akleteyth’s is a mind that cannot be changed, even if he is taught that his view is completely ridiculous and totally wrong. Maybe out of embarrassment, maybe pure indignancy, but whatever Akleteyth says is true goes, for him. He sticks to his guns, and defends his ideas to the end no matter what they are.

Everything about the world — everything — is adversity to overcome, even good things. This is not at all to say that Akleteyth feels that the world is a bad place. On the contrary, he is very much a believer that there is good in the world.

Well, I know what's right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I'll stand my ground and I won't back down

You could say Akleteyth is an optimist, and you would probably be right about that, though he is not the sort of optimist who sees the world as a blindly good place. He’s more like a positive-attitude realist, the sort who doesn’t let life get him down … which is good, because after all, he is a Fort dragon. For being shelled in a Weyr where people think that deaths from natural causes are murders because it makes no sense that they wouldn’t be, Akleteyth has his head on straight for sure. He takes the hits as they come and lets negativity just roll over his wingspars, not taking any of it too seriously. Things are as they are, and this is an attitude he does his best to impart to A’ster. You just can’t let the little things get you down. And the big things — well, are they your big things or someone else’s?

But that doesn’t at all mean that he is going to just take things as they come. He is after all a Tom Petty dragon and not a Jim Morrison one. He’s just sure that things are going to come out the way they need to. His optimism is really just realism shrouded in hope, the kind of hope that is more a certainty that everything will play out as he likes. Because it has to, right? He’s going to push for what needs to be done (at least his desires for justice, and what is Right On Pern, are usually correct, because this could get awkward if he were completely off base about something) and no, you’re right, he is not going to back down. Nor is he going to let the difficulties about the world and those daily adversities get to him.

No, I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down

As for that easy way out? Yeah, Akleteyth doesn’t believe in it. Not because he doesn’t think that others can’t cop out of a situation and take the easy way, he just thinks it’s completely wrong. The concept of doing the easy thing when there is a more challenging — and probably better-ending — way? That’s ridiculous. He won’t do the two-step task when he can do the eight-step one instead. (Even if you insist that it might be easier to take the shortcut. Nope! Betweening is the one exception to this, which will be covered in a later section.)

For all that he has opinions about justice and the long game, though, Akleteyth really isn’t a forward-thinking dragon (excepting his certainty that he could catch a senior gold or that you could be Wingleaders right out of Weyrlinghood were that not totally out of order). He has a bad memory. Yes, because he’s a dragon, but also because he just genuinely has a bad memory for a dragon, and therefore can pretty much always be counted on to think in the moment. His definition of a moment may extend to all of a week, but beyond six or seven days, expect basically everything he recalls to be filtered through borrowing from your memory.

(Sorry, he’s never actually going to manage to understand boundaries around that. His memories are your memories, and your memory is a completely open book. Remember that time when you touched his egg? It’s always going to be like that, too, though you may be able to train him to have better timing and not just go prying through events from before he hatched as if they were literally his storybook. That is, in the end, your choice and may take some work. But you can always count on him to cheer you up with a happy memory if you’re feeling down, because he absolutely knows where you keep them.)

Here’s something that you obviously knew about Akleteyth already: he has sisters. He has a lot of sisters. And here’s the thing about that — he adores every one of those sisters so much. He’s not actually the oldest, but he is going to act like that overprotective big brother to every single green shelled in his clutch. The blues, some of whom will grow to be larger than Akleteyth, are subject to this sort of attention as well but not to the same extent. He will always big-brother the greens, making sure they’re okay, getting in their space JUST ENOUGH, seeing if they need help. The odds that he will chase his sisters in mating flights are extremely low, because he just doesn’t think of them that way, but he might pop up without attempting to win just to … watch over them. That’s the kind of thing he does. Most of them are okay with it. Hallenayth? HATES it.

You will also find that during weyrlinghood, Akleteyth isn’t as good as some of the others at two things: flying, of course, but also eating. It won’t be until he is around six months of age or so that he’ll remember that his food is not a shiny thing he found on the ground, and therefore he should be keeping it inside him all the time instead of regurgitating it back up to eat it a second time.

“You know, you’re not a herdbeast.”

« Well, obviously. I just ATE a herdbeast. Twice!»

At least that is one he will grow out of. While other magpie tendencies didn’t quite make it out of the egg, one did — he likes metal objects. Especially metal objects that other people abandon. They don’t have to be shiny; remember that a piece of strap buckle got you Searched? That tarnished piece of buckle would absolutely be enough. But of course your memories of seemingly random objects being “evidence” means that as a result, Akleteyth may think many abandoned things that you don’t have any reason to care about are important, evidence of something, and insist on storing them on his ledge.

After all, it’s his ledge and he does what he wants. You can dictate your inner weyr just fine, but there is no challenging what Akleteyth wants to do with his space, just like there isn’t any challenging much of anything else about him. Even if he is going to challenge things about you — both your dedication to your work (you can DO BETTER, A’ster, he’s with Hallenayth on this one!) and in terms of your relationships with others. Akleteyth, the stalwart brown who defines the stereotype of the stalwart brown, thinks that things like dating and human mating are kind of a waste of time unless it has some quantifiable end goal like reproducing, and probably won’t hesitate to mock you for having crushes. (He, after all, doesn’t do that.)

« Why do you CARE if she thinks your hair looks good, we have drills. Remember our jobs? » Calmly, Akleteyth ignores the arrest you were making, the one that he interrupted by choosing to chase a green he’d never even met before instead.

He is intelligent, but in a way that is far more physical than cerebral; his mind works well with planning things like motion and action, but Akleteyth is never going to sit and contemplate the existence of the universe, even if he does enjoy a good soak in the lake. It’s a soak. Not a swim. He’s not a big swimmer. But he will sit at the shore and just enjoy the moment. He likes moments. He likes all of them, really, because he doesn’t believe in the principle of a “bad day.”

Another way he differs from his clutchmates is that Akleteyth is not really chatty. It isn’t that he won’t speak much, definitely being more prone to the use of words than his dam, but he doesn’t really like to sit around and talk — he’d rather be either doing something monumental or sleeping. He’s the stick in the mud of the group. Don’t try to convince him to skip a sweep or skive off a weyrling lesson, because Akleteyth is just not going to do that. No matter what. Even if you have a terrible headcold. Unless Healers have told you you can’t, you’re going.

While many of the others picked up Kouzevelth’s mischief and trickery habits as well, or the innate playfulness that seems to have stricken most of his clutchsiblings, Akleteyth isn’t inclined toward any of that either. He’s not really a fun and games dragon. The idea of playing little tricks or making mischief are completely absurd to him (and, admittedly, the mind games played by more cerebral dragons do go a bit over his head) and he isn’t even the type to want to romp around much (the exception being made for wrestling as a baby, when it’s fair — you won’t see him trying to take on Xianeth, she’s too little). Akleteyth is way more down to earth than that, and he just doesn’t get playing. But the fact that his idea of fun is refusing to yield to people? You may find that he just pushes against you at times for entertainment, even if it is somewhat subconscious.

Physical

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Okay, so he’s … not the most attractive dragon in the bunch, but at least physical oddities are expected in his lineage. As both a grandchild of Velokraeth on both sides and son of Kouzevelth, it makes sense that there’d be some not-exactly-handsome lined with distinctly unusual features mixed in to the dragon stock. Akleteyth has basically gotten all of the ugly for his clutch. It has that consolation prize in how his hide’s actually quite pretty, making him look like an ancient tree or a glorious gemstone. He’s not always the biggest fan of being compared to pretty stones, though, considering that’s awfully feminine and Akleteyth is manly.

Which he is, really. What is hidden by ugly is an amazing amount of function — Akleteyth is stocky, strong and tough. He may not be the world’s most fantastic flyer, but he sure is solid and reliable on the ground, making a great barricade or a climbing wall to be used by young trainee guards, for starters. And the size? He doesn’t let that size get him down, because his mental force and determined drive is enough to make it so that nobody really wants to mess with him, even if there are blues bigger than he is.

At first, no one is going to be totally positive that Akleteyth can fly. It’s something about the wings, see, and the comparative body size; will his stubby wings and large density actually let him get off the ground? The answer is yes, with a little extra practice and some adaptive stretches — you may need to see a dragonhealer, but weren’t you interested in seeing one anyway? — but he’s never going to be a real artist at it. Nor is he the fondest about it. Flying is something he has to do more than something he wants to do. He won’t be a dragon interested in joy flights, nor will traveling by flying straight be something he’s fond of. Sure we can go visit your sisters! … by betweening.

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Flights

To A’ster’s possible dissatisfaction, Akleteyth is a ladies’ man … sort of. He gets caught up quickly in the rush of the mating flight, his focus all-too-often dragged to the sight of that proddy female no matter what he was doing before. He has no sense of courtship beforehand, simply that the second anyone in the Weyr rises, it hits him like a ton of bricks. Or, to be more appropriate, a thunderbolt.

And I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder
Spinning my head around and taking my body under
Oh, what a night

And then, of course, it completely fails to last. In one of two ways, really: the first one is that Akleteyth doesn’t have much of a brain for romance, just for the excitement of the chase — and the second is that, to be perfectly honest, Akleteyth doesn’t have the sort of aerial fitness that will let him catch most dragons. He generally doesn’t let losing get him down, unless A’ster is interested in the lady’s rider, or he had a certain interest in her from prior interactions. This is rare; he is almost more likely to chase the dragons whose names he doesn’t even know than his friends, and beware of flights at other Weyrs, because Akleteyth is totally a one night stand guy.

You know, I didn't even know her name
But I was never gonna be the same
What a lady, what a night

Especially beware of gold flights at other Weyrs, because another thing he’s inherited from both of his parents is the adoration for baby dragons and the strong urge to reproduce. The odds of you becoming someone else’s Weyrleader are low, A’ster, for two reasons: one, that he is brown, and two, that his physique is essentially never going to let him catch a gold unless she takes pity on him, but he is going to try.

Every. Time.

There will be no talking him out of gold flights, and unlike the green ones, the loss is going to smart because there was a gain at the end that he wanted, that he was striving for — and couldn’t have. You may want to get to learn the patterns of Kayeth, Zuvaleyuth and Rhenesath alongside Kouzevelth’s that you’ve got down pat, because the best way to avoid your lifemate’s approximate week of sulking is to make sure you aren’t even present when the queen goes up.

Final Summary

Why A’ster? Well, why not? If you ask Akleteyth, the question is ridiculous. He knew from the very first time Alister’s fingertips graced his shell that this one was his lifemate, and he wasn’t going to trifle with any of the others. That’s the only answer he will actually give if you ask him, because it is … entirely possible he doesn’t understand the minutiae of the question. Thankfully, SearchCo is able to tell you in secret: it’s because he needed to be someone else’s solid second-in-command, and he believes Alister needed one.

Akleteyth is that stubborn, forceful presence that will never try to make you do anything, but he is definitely going to push for it as long as he thinks it’s a good idea — and yet he’ll never betray you or not have your back if you make a decision he disagrees with. (Will he “I told you so” forever, if you’re wrong? Yes. That’s different.) He is no acrobat, but he can run better than most other dragons, and he’ll fly if you so choose, but not for too long … Akleteyth would never have been a good Thread dragon, but he is a fantastic guard dragon. You’ll have a good, solid, determined life partner in Akleteyth, whatever turns your road might take.


Mindvoice

Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue

Maybe it’s the fact that your Akleteyth is the scion of Fort’s most peculiar wandering bronze, or maybe it’s just his own specialty. Whatever it is, when you step into the Akleteyth’s mind, it’ll be onto the roadway of the rest of your life.

And when we say roadway? We mean it, A’ster. Your Akleteyth’s mind strolls along a journey that looks rather suspiciously like Route 66 if it was to take an abrupt nose dive down to Florida. His mind is as varied as the areas on Pern; each location developing to show forth the different emotions and flavors that only a dragon’s mind can conjure up.

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It’s hard to tell exactly where the journey begins, but it has a sense of quaintness to it. Broad well cared for avenues overshadowed by leaves in the grip of a full New England autumn bring a brush of sweetness to the senses and the crunch of leaves as you step over them echos in your ears in this idealistic paradise. The trees themselves wear their colors proudly, spilling down a bounty of red, yellow, and the occasional purple down on passing heads. This is a calm place, where your Akleteyth comes to reflect on life, a place to slow down for a bit.

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But roads lead somewhere, and in your Akleteyth’s mind this one leads you to another scene, autumn leaves turning to brilliant summer-green as humidity presses in. Between the trees flashes of an ocean beyond glint, before they close on again. Here the road is rough and bumpy, requiring a bit more focus to navigate. Surprises abound here, and it might be a place your Akleteyth ends up when he’s not totally sure what is going to happen. A place of uncertainty, while also having the allure of wanting to speed up along it, just to face that uncertainty head on that much quicker. You’ll never know what kind of creatures will linger within this swamp-fed greenery.

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It would be easy for that road to lead to the ocean and an end, but no, it swings and swerves upwards. Slowly the trees fade away and you’re left with bleak blankness stretching for miles and miles. It’s not that the road here isn’t well maintained it just that, well, there isn’t much to maintain. It’s flat. Less wear and tear is possible! Determined and stumpy plants spring up along a road that stretches as far as the eye can see in every direction, only the occasional building and brave animal breaking up the monotony. Boredom here, a place that your Akleteyth might conjure up if he wants to get back to excitement and joy.

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Monotony can’t last forever, and slowly the land begins to dip and swerve, until it becomes real. Flatness is left behind as you make your way upwards, steep grades providing a sense of excitement as dangerously sharp curves give breathtaking views of dives downwards into valleys. With sparkling rivers below and snowcapped peaks above, this is a place of danger and just downright excitement. And when darkness comes? The feeling of escaping death by just that much might just take your breath away. This is where Akleteyth might go when he’s feeling a bit reckless.

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But there is one more, a place that is hard to exactly quantify. See, while your Akleteyth has run into the flatness (Texas, Nebraska anyone?), and mountain beauty, there’s a place that fits somewhere in between. The road climbs and dips up and down, sometimes traveling flat for several miles, then suddenly plunging into valley again. No water here, just stubborn plants. This is a place which requires utmost flexibility to navigate, and might be that place that Akleteyth will be most willing to negotiate with others. These plateaus are always holding something new, their parched miles slipping soundless beneath you.

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Less some think, perhaps, that your Akleteyth is without constancy though, a few attributes stream together to tie all of these varied locals together. First, birds. What exactly causes the birds to abruptly swarm in your dragon’s mind’s is something the two of you will discover together, but swarm they do. Large black crowds sweep upwards into the sky, momentarily blocking out the sun with their flight, swirling, dancing, waiting for… something, before they break apart and stream away again.

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Also, there’s always a hint of a smell that Pern is hard put to quantify- that of burned rubber. No journey is complete without a few abrupt stops here and there, and your Akleteyth’s mindvoice reflects these abrupt changes that life brings. Changing a thought? There goes a sweet whiff of acrid smoke.

As for his voice itself? Look no further than that of Mr. Tom Petty himself. There’s a hint of draw there, and a smoothness that he’ll grow into with age. Some people describe this as sexy, others just find it slow. However it turns out, there’s no doubt to the masculinity in his tone. He’s a guy thanks much.


Inspiration

You asked for a dragon based on songs, and you got one. As you know, asking Inri to write anything around music is like asking for a tome of lyric and chord analysis, and she did her best to spare you, but there may very well be some hints of the personality inspired by the musical progression as well as the lyrics in the songs you requested. The quotes in his personality (as well as his hatch name!) are of course from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “I Won’t Back Down” and his flights are inspired by the Four Seasons’ “December 1963.” That mindvoice of his happened when Inri was struck by the usefulness of the chorus of “Into the Great Wide Open” for a possible mindvoice; Ha’ze took this and ran, creating awesome out of four sentences. The various landmark places across the US added the individual flavors for locations.

His name. Well. Your dragon had to buck the trend of this clutch’s generally easygoing nature with names, and give SearchCo a runaround — we had thought we found the one once or twice, but in the end the final inspiration for Akleteyth’s name actually came from an unknowing Zhirayr, who didn’t know what he was contributing Greek words/names to. It comes from anakletes, meaning “invoked,” as Akleteyth is definitely one to be just that. You “correctly” pronounce it as ah-clay-teyth, but how you wish your dragon’s name to be pronounced is your choice! Possible nicknames that might be up your alley are Ket or Tey.

As far as his egg — you may know of the counting crows superstitions and their associated rhymes, or maybe you’re from a country where it’s magpies, or maybe you just know the band Counting Crows — but the band is named for the myth. The touch messages are inspired by some of the mentions in the rhyme, where the egg’s description itself is the various birds’ dark plumage and the idea that magpies hunt out tiny sparkling things and hoard them.

Flock of Fate Egg was created by Inri, and Akleteyth by Inri and Ha’ze with descing by Thys and tweaks from all of SearchCo!


Clutch Siblings

PCs:
Keeper of Secret Waters Green Ahzavayth and Gabriela
Energetic Empress Green Xianeth and B'yrl (Beyrl)
Nothing in the 'Verse Stronger than Hope Green Nadeyuth and H'tal (Haristal)
Working Woman Woes Green Hallenayth and Lucy
Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcaaaaaaaaaakes! Green Yschazith and Senira

NPCs:
Ego State of Illusion Blue Jivahath and Ig'an (Ingan)
Facebook Killed the Email Star Blue Zukerberth and M'rc
Good Fortune in Your Pocket Green Shibuth and Kouki
Playful Pastime Green Hlarasath and Cymlei


Credits

Name Akleteyth
Dam Gold Kouzevelth
Sire Bronze Kainaesyth
Created By Inri, Ha'ze, Thys
Impressee A'ster (Alister)
Hatched 1 April, 2015
Fort Weyr
PernWorld MUSH
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