Nika's Moonshine and Muddy Waters Blue Atmanth

From the beginning, you have stood with a child-like sweet wonder that speaks to the purity of Innocence in your soul. A sweetness that cannot be denied, that can be only be classified as an Original…

Kanika recoils from the egg, though the falling girl steals her attention before her fear intensifies. She wants to run to Dirna, comfort her, at least get her up off the sands, but the gold is scarier than her want to help the girl, and instead she backs away, find something else to occupy her, and to keep from being noticed by either clutchparent she moves into uncharted waters and carefully puts her hands on Thar Be Dragons Egg.

"DRAGONS!! DRAGONS FOR TWELVE MARKS!!!" An explosion of sound follows that bellow that sounds as if it was RIGHT in your ear. All around you, people are milling about, going from booth to booth at some sort of street fair. "GREEN DRAGON! GREEN DRAGON FOR TWENTY!! GREEN DRAGON FOR TWENTY MARKS INCLUDING A FIRELIZARD!" Confusion reigns, and you find yourself jostled from place to place, from booth to booth. Dragons, you know, are man's greatest invention. Wait? Is that right? Are they an /invention/?! Finally, you spot one of these 'dragons' and find that they are…. BAM! The world shakes and you find yourself stumbling back away from the egg, eyes still wide and breath still caught in wonder. And confusion. You turn. You see Aevryscienth and really, really wonder what it would feel like to run your fingers through her plushy, velvety hide. Wait? What?

… And even the wonder of an egg that appealed to the very sweetness of your soul…

Kanika removes her hand quickly from the egg. Where did the crowds go? The street vendors? She would have bought a dragon if she had the marks still she eyes Aevryscienth like a good being sold. Wait. What? She takes a moment to the clear her thoughts but when she looks up the gold is looking right at her, and close too, she stops mid-step and shifts her eyes, there is no one there to save her.

Thar Be Dragons Egg

A natural marvel among all that shines and glitters, verdant green striates this egg along with striping of azure blue, chestnut brown, tarnished bronze, and striking butter-gold. A canvas fit for a carnival, if only on one side, each color broad and delineated with panache. On the reverse, however, such broad strokes overlap, causing brilliant shades of subtle fading between each, with only a pinstripe of true color shining at varying interval. Technologically made with steel and silicone it may not be, but designed with careful crafting it is, with such leathery shell perfect from tip to base in all its multicolored glory.

… yet you were wrong, for there is one to save you, having made his mark indelibly upon your very soul…

Thar Be Dragons Egg shivers suddenly, rocked by a gust of imagined wind. Bumps and scrapes sound suddenly from behind the multicolored shell, followed a moment later by silence as the egg's antics subside. Suddenly, talons poke through the side, ripping the shell asunder and making way for the dragonet inside. This can mean only one thing. Time to get this show on the road!

Moonshine and Muddy Waters Blue Dragonet

Along the world’s grim reality and toughened landscape of rolling shoulders and hard-packed chest, the weight of winter's frost surrenders to glacier's deepest shadows, bruised blues rising and falling as breath with each contour of a brawny hide. And yet aloft, the yearning many-peaked 'ridges of pale ice reach up from the darkness, straining for the light, full soul, this blue brother. Dark crystals stretch down knobby-sparred wings, yielding with fitful lashes to sky blue 'sails and sun-kissed trailing edge. Twilight softens 'round squat headknobs of navy suede, embracing broad brow and melting like molasses toward prominent cerulean maw, tumbling in cobalt rapids toward marbled underbelly of spring's ice melt. Chaotic crags of silver-echoed jags fade to brushed velvet coating the steely strength of limbs, only to plunge back into razor-sharp obsidian of talons so nimble.

… Caught, like moonshine on a mid-summer’s night, to be sweet-talked by the sound of music, warm nights and cicadas….

Moonshine and Muddy Waters Blue Dragonet settles into a slouch, his whirling eyes intent on one candidate in particular. No, not that crass guy right there. That one gets a loogie of egg goo flicked at his feet. No, man. The little innocent one. Sweet. Like a shot o' southern comfort, that one. Yeah, he can dig it. Moonshine and Muddy Waters Blue Dragonet gathers himself up, taps the sand four times with his tail, then reaches a dark-tipped paw toward Kanika. Let the jam session /commence/.

Your surroundings dim suddenly as a haze seems to rise from the sands, its aroma tickling the nose with traces of tarry smoke and pungent bourbon. Silence blocks out the din of the hatching for a long moment until all you can hear is your own breathing and the faint pulse of your heartbeat. This is soon joined by the resonant drum of some larger distant beat that shivers the quiet, then rocks it, then shatters it! Joined abruptly by a deep hum, the light returns to your sight and reverberation shakes your soul. « Boom boom boom boom » speaks a low, gruff, but melodious voice. « I love the way you walk. I love the way you talk. Whisper in my ear, Nika, tell me I'm all yours. » Hints of whiskey and vermouth caress your mind with gentle care as the tune grows cheerful and warm. « I'm Atmanth, Nika. And I'm all yours. »

… but your story doesn’t end here, Nika. Nay, for you’ve the world to explore now. From the tops of the highest peaks of the mountains of High Reaches to the cloying and humid nights of Ista, you’ve found a soul wanderer who’ll protect the sweetness of his Original with the very essence of his blues-singin’ soul!


Nika, we are so pleased to welcome you back as a rider of High Reaches Weyr! We very much hope Atmanth is the soul brother you were looking for. Please take this inspiration as a suggestion as to just who Atmanth is, but he is absolutely, positively all yours. Please do with him as you see fit, and above all, enjoy yourself!

۞ Inspiration ۞

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Egg Inspiration

Well, think about it. Dragons were freakin’ created by that crazy geneticist, right? So technically, they are totally the penultimate technological "techno gadget" of Pern. Can’t you just see the infomercials for a dragon, if they existed in current time? "Teleportation and flying for only three low payments of 19.95 a month! Fire-breathing only $5 more!"

That is my justification for creating a carnival-tent egg.

Just be glad I didn’t make it a carnival tent /peg/ egg, okay?

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Theme Inspiration

When it come to alcohol, you don't get much more Old World than moonshine. It's the original mountain dew! The enduring white lightning! The rot-your-brain-cells-via-your-stomach-lining elixir of screech! It's the ethanol you could share with your car!

Call it what you will, it's the fuel from within that drives Atmanth forward, and it's the fire behind the beat. That beat, however, goes far deeper and echoes in places untouched by any anti-establishment concoction. The beat is the soul, and the soul is life, and for the rest of Nika's life, she has a soul brother in Atmanth, the coolest cat at High Reaches. Can you dig it?

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Description Inspiration

« You said you wanted ugly, but how ugly? I said, HOW ugly? Boy's got moves, man, an' ain't nobody callin' him ugly. » Thank you, Atmanth, we've got it from here.

As you might have noticed, Atmanth is blue, through and through, from the inside to the outside, from the topside to the bottom with nothing but a little gilding to relieve the bruising on the eye. He's a chaos of color, ranging from pale blue icing to deepest shadowed midnight, much like the blues in his soul. A shade for every circumstance, a measure for every meter, a havoc of blue to beat the band and bring all the birds home to roost.

The winter's frost and sun-kissed sails are inherited from Aevryscienth, while the silver-echoed jags, deep shadows, and many-peaked 'ridges come straight from Ysvarth, and just possibly those obsidian talons. The rest, however, is solely Atmanth, straining for that light all on his own.

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A lot of the inspiration for the description came from photos of Johnny Lee Hooker, whose lyrics to his song "Boom Boom" inspired Atmanth's first few words to Nika. He was hardly the best looking man in the world, but he was lanky and large, and man, he had soul.

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Name Inspiration

Atmanth comes from the Sanskrit word Atman which means "true self" or "soul". It is also closely related to a verb meaning "to breathe". All of these meanings lay at the heart of Atmanth's character and personality, though he may display them at times in unexpected ways.

Life is a journey of experience and realization, and Atmanth is all about taking Nika along for the ride as they both come to learn their true selves, both as individuals and as a bonded rider and dragon.

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Mindvoice

Summer nights encase a lowdown beaten porch; the swaying of a rocking chair, the creak of unvarnished boards bound by rusted, crooked nails. The soft rattle of an old tin-can wind chime dangling from a sheet metal roof and the soft rustle of evening grasses all lay out the groundwork of Atmanth’s mind. It’s sitting out on the back deck of a run down and much-loved, much lived-in old cothold, watching the moonlight tickle faint slivers and slashes of creamy white across black running water. Fireflies cast a gauzy, simple-man’s (well, dragon’s) magic against the star-specked sky and all around is the sense of care-worn comfort.

Hard-packed dust runs a soil gravel path through humble sun-beaten grass up to a few uneven squeaky creaky steps leading up to an old straw mat and a faint breeze runs across the curved lips of lined up jugs of home-brewed whiskey, all full to different levels. It makes a sort of natural music, soft haunting notes drifting melodic whistles across the jugs and bottles and tin cans in the night time shadows that both thrill in the bone and ease the spirit. Grubby, thick, there’s a smoky smell of old chomped down cigars, a little soggy, a little tarry. The booze-astringent smell of strong liquor and the mushroomy smell of wet leather boots is backdropped to the cool smell of distant water. Of grass and soil and chopped wood.

This isn’t just how Atmanth speaks, it’s where he hangs. It ain’t much but it’s Home. Where he strums, the brassy riffs of ruminating guitar ever alive beneath deft picking, plucked in a shameless, carefree entertainment, gazing out across the other mindscapes of his fellow dragon-kin with game indulgence. There could be the wah-wah-waaah of a harmonica, the snickety-clack of playing spoons. It’s a comfortable, easy place. A little shabby, a little bare, a little modest and a little in need of repairs but you’ll find no place that has more heart, more feeling, more easy-going tatty serenity.

Low and expressive, Atmanth has the kind of voice that drips like honey, sticks like molasses, slides like ice and echoes like distant thunder. The voice is his domain, where he is master of the elements, king of the blues, sultan of soul. He has his songs to sing, and he won't be too particular about the audiences. They wanna listen? He's gonna jam.

Like the bedrock of blues that is at the core of Atmanth's personality, his mindvoice traverses a landscape of emotion, sound, color, and scent. He twines them together like a maestro, where expression is everything, communication its willing byproduct.

"The Blues can make you laugh or cry, set your foot tapping, take that stone out of your stomach. Ever start crying over a song? Could be folk, pop, opera. Anything. I started crying once to the theme from "Sex in the City". Me and my girlfriend used to watch it all the time.

"I hated that show.

"But the Blues… the Blues makes you feel better.

"Now some people think the blues are black. The Blues are blue. Everybody is of the blue complexion. You’re all just as sorry-ass as these folks here—had just as many heartaches, hurt just as many people you wish you never had. This is A Short History of the Blues. You’re in it."

Peetie, from the play "A Short History of the Blues" by Michael Devine

The Blues aren't about being sad. They're not about being happy, either. They're about being alive. It's the sand between your toes, it's the sugar on your tongue, the sliver in your hand, the heartbreak in your eyes. It's not fair to say Atmanth will always express elements of life in exactly the same way. He's not a paint-by-numbers kinda dragon, you dig? His mindvoice is constantly evolving, its complexity an equal to the situation.

The scent of liquor is the accent to a rich voice; it is unlike Cervilaevarth’s cognac, because Atmanth is the essence of the blues. For each flavor of life, he will have his favorite whiskey. Some are smooth, sliding down your throat like a coating of sugar — this will come when he is at his happiest or has some particularly striking moment.

A moving moment, where life rushes around him and here he sits, in a haze of smoke and a half-full glass of whiskey. His response will be like a coating on your tongue, and down your throat. You’ll find that his music, the words of the very essence of his life will hold that much more allure for you.

Wisps of smoke cling, the scent of old wood and the feel of the press of bodies. « Nika. Can't you just feel the colors of the sunset? » A half-empty glass of whiskey burns a heated sensation down your throat before the scene expands; gone is the smoky blues speakeasy, and in its place are twinkling lights of dancing fireflies. An old veranda and the creaking of a rocking chair as aged hands pluck the strings of an instrument. If music were a thing to be seen, it would be dancing on the air. « This is the joy of being alive. » This knowledge is imparted beneath a night sky with the music drifting softly, richly and full-bodied against your mental ears.

Whiskey is not the major component of his voice, but mere accent. It is used as a backdrop to add heat or silk to his words. Anger is a harsh, burning fire of a spirited whiskey — one of many. Each emotion will come with a different, subtle flavor of this whiskey, but never enough to eclipse his whole mindscape.

In the future, when Nika is old enough to get to the Frozen Klah and learn about the various types of whiskey, she will slowly be able to better discern the differences in his voice. It is a subtle accent, something Atmanth will have in common with Cervilaevarth, but where his fellow blue is cultured and elegant, Atmanth is the complete opposite. Touches of liquor that comes from distant genes, it nonetheless binds them as brothers.

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Sometimes it won't be a voice in Nika's head so much as a sensation. The smoke might grow stale, the whiskey might morph to bitter absinthe, the lights may dim or blaze to life, and the sound… well. The sounds will just follow the feelings.

"People mostly look with their eyes. You miss a lot when you go by what you see. Go by what you feel."

Peetie, from the play "A Short History of the Blues" by Michael Devine

Like a true performer, Atmanth will love an audience, it's true, but there will be those quiet times when all he wants is Nika. She is, after all, his soul mate, and this brother is all about soul. There will be emotions he can only share with her, the low times he either doesn't want anyone else to see or just doesn't seem to understand yet. When the day is done, he'll throw open the doors to clear the air; the smell of dew on evergreens will replace the whiskey, and the clear night air will wash away the smoke. The better to jam with that lifemate of his.

When I’m all alone,
When I’m feelin’ blue,
No one understands me, baby,
Nobody but you.

Through all the sleepless nights
And the rainy day til the sun is nowhere in view
The only way I make it through
Is when I come to you.

And in my darkest hour,
When the midnight shadows fall,
Baby, you got the power
To make the angels come to call.

I just hold you in my arms
And let music in my heart
Play the whole night through,
And baby, I feel so brand new,
Yeah, when I come to you.

When I come to you,
You make it feel all right again.
When I come to you,
You keep me from the howlin’ wind.
And baby, I feel brand new,
When I come to you.

"When I Come to You" by Jonny Lang, from the album Lie to me

One little quirk Atmanth will have from the moment he’s cracked his shell is a tendency to use a low-level, melodic hum, a subtle flavor of ambiance to add the general chatter of dragons, but most especially with Nika and with his clutchmates. This thrum of music drifts through the din of a crowded speakeasy or dances over the night air as bracing notes buzzing across waving grasses from an old veranda. This will, of course, annoy his sire to no end but quite possibly will charm his dam when she’s in the maternal mood.

For your clutchmates… they will react to varying degrees, but all of them will grow used to this subtle, underlying flavor of the barracks. Tindraeth might especially enjoy it, should that blue brother choose to step in and play pickup from time to time. Even as Turns go by, everyone will remember those days when, cooped up in the barracks on a rainy day, Atmanth’s low, expansive voice would swell out with the hint of smoke, the smoothness of whiskey and dancing fireflies on a mid-summer’s night. If any should have the mid-summer night’s dream, it should be you, Nika. You and Atmanth! These subtle plays of sound, of the blues, of the easy listenin’ to life’s problems will be the tie that binds, the single common thread to tie all of the memories of the weyrling class to this single, constant motif.

It is but the beginning of the story of adventure, sung in the deep-throated sound of life. A voice so rich that it feels like texture — the texture of sound.

♪•♬‿♬•♪

Physicalities

About the only thing separating Atmanth from the browns of the Weyr is his color. Hey, can't blame a guy for that, right? In size, he's a little shorter, sure, but not by much, and he makes up for it with a broad chest and expansive wings. This blues brother is built for endurance, but that slightly smaller size might give him an edge in maneuvering, too, and let me tell you, Atmanth's got moves.

He is as expressive physically as he is in his mindvoice, using every muscle available to him to tell those other cats how it is. He won't just be gesturing with his wings, or his paws or a flick of his tail. He's about whole body expression, maybe not to the extreme of interpretive dance, unless that's what that glowing belle of a green is looking for, 'cause honey, he can do that, too.

Atmanth isn't exactly the easiest on the eyes. Those spiky neckridges contrast with the rest of his top hide just a little bit, and they will certainly prove to be a little problematic, at least early on. Maybe Ysvarth and Eth'n can give some pointers on how to deal with that.

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His head is a little flat along the forehead, and his headknobs are short and squat and sit a little farther back on the head than usual. That cap of suede-like navy helps soften the blow a little, but that area will require a little more attention than most. Nika will likely find herself scrubbing that part of his head quite a bit to keep scaling down, she'll need to make sure it stays nicely oiled, especially while he's still growing.

Those knobby wings will also require some extra attention, especially during weyrlinghood while working up to flying. Unless Nika makes sure Atmanth keeps up with those exercises, he may run into trouble during some of the more strenuous flights. Without proper support, those wing joints might get tweaked, and Atmanth and Nika just might find themselves grounded for a while with some dragonhealer supervision. As long as Nika and Atmanth pay attention to physical conditioning, though, the sky's the limit in every way.

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A hint of Aojadinth’s ability to strike a pose is within the arsenal of tools at his disposal. While his pose will not contain the inherent beauty of his grandsire, Atmanth nonetheless commands presence, and it is at this time that he will sing his song of life. It is not in shadows or hunkered beneath the shadow of a larger dragon, nay, he strikes this grandiose pose that highlights all of his physical imperfections into a dragon that has this inherent charisma. It will leak out from him like an aura of smoke, of soft sounds — it is the essence of who he is.

That being said, much like his sire has this dry, reptilian, snake-like scent, Atmanth has a scent. It’s almost indefinable and something that sets him apart from his clutchsiblings. It’s a scent reminiscent of a smoky haze; an acrid hint that tickles the nose. It might just rub off on your clothing should you find yourself sleeping with him, curled up against his body.

Speaking of which.

That under belly of his? Rivals Zhizusikolymuth in plushy softness. Not that it looks it, but when you lean against it? It’s like leaning against a very warm, very alive fat man. When you lay your head against the soft underbelly, the sound of his mind voice almost seems to reverberate through your entire body — as if… as if it were verbal.

Maybe it is?

Some days you won’t even be able to tell, and others you will long for that comfort of sound, of the richness of his blues-y voice. His actual voice is very much on the range of dragons — once again, though, he stands apart from his clutchsiblings in the just how very deep his actual, natural, audible voice is. It will roll and tumble, much like John Lee Hooker's.

While you are still young, especially shortly after Impression when the world is so new, do not be surprised if he hums you to sleep at night. That rich voice that’s given to such deep-seated warbles and rumbles will reverberate through your very bones into the heart of your soul. It will be a comforting blanket to hold you at nights until you’re old enough to have out grown this particular foible.

Or will you?

Your clutchmates… why, they might just hate you for Atmanth’s nightly ‘singing’. The other dragons likely won’t take this too kindly either, though Tindraeth might encourage Atmanth because he’s contrary and goes against the group. Either way, Atmanth is the soul or true self of you. Together, you are a pair. This will aid you as you grow into the depths of the teen years as well as when you emerge into adulthood — for we all have fond childhood memories and Atmanth will be instrumental to the formative years of Kanika’s late childhood and early adulthood.

He’s no looker, but he has presence, charm, and charisma. And that suits him just fine!

♪•♬‿♬•♪

Personality

From its very beginning, Blues music has been incredibly complex and simple all at the same time, which holds true on almost every level. Lyrics, theme, chords, notes… Atmanth reflects that simple complexity in several ways. He's blue. Yeah, he's blue, but so many blues! One voice, but so many variations! No, the dragon does not have multiple personalities, but Nika might find herself wondering sometimes. He has those low lows and those high highs, and man, people are going to hear about, because the blues are about life, and everyone has that in common, right?

Atmanth is one chatty dragon, though not in that obnoxious, annoying way. He’s not the type to run his mouth and just blather on about nothing. Neither is he the hyperactive sort, jumping into other dragon’s conversation without due reason. He is always willing to enter a discussion with other dragons, even when the topic has nothing to do with anything he knows. He’s a social dragon, no matter how you look at it, he’s just social in a different vein.

A raspy cough announces his presence, the gentle nudging of another mind entering and the subtle trill of an old bass guitar. Smokey cigars with a hint of spilled whiskey waft past the senses, cloaking one's sharpened vision with a more hazy view. « That’s life, that’s life, that’s what all those dragons say. » A sad edge to the words, a voice with a sardonic grin attached. The image of a head shaking in a ‘what can ya do?’ kind of way. « Y’know how it goes, » he croons on as the sun-parched, brittle leaves are rustled by a gentle breeze. « You’re ridin’ high in the spring, then shot down come fall. »

Atmanth wants to discuss all those highs and lows with other dragons, even other humans if he gets the chance. While he’s not the sort to bespeak anyone but you, Nika, he will ask you many times to ask questions or dig for more information if he happens to be eavesdropping on your talk with another person. It’ll be your call whether to inform the person you are chatting that not only is your dragon listening in, but would they possibly be willing to explain more why they are feeling such a way at this time? This may lead to… interesting discussions, something to prepare you for. Should any of your friends or fellow weyrlings approach you with matters of the heart, your blue will instantly take notice and inquire on what may be a personal time for the other person. Though he’s not trying to come off as mean or demanding, Atmanth just knows that love is a matter deeply ingrained in the Blues of life.

Atmanth feels everything, and if he hasn't decided just how he feels, he's going to examine that aspect of life to the point of distraction. He's got to know what it means! What is life without that meaning? Can't just float through it like dust, because we breathe, man, we feel, we see, we hear, we live.

Yeah, so Tindraeth got around that turn faster. What does it mean? How does it feel? So Zhizusikolymuth is looking a little different today. Does that really change things? Lakenheath said what?? Gotta work this out, brother, find ourselves on the other side.

Well, I rolled and I tumbled,
Cried the whole night long.
Well, I rolled and I tumbled,
Cried the whole night long.
Well, I woke up this mornin',
Didn't know right from wrong.

from "Rollin' and Tumblin'" by Muddy Waters
(or as played by Eric Clapton in his "Unplugged" performance)

This thought process isn't going to be a quiet one, but it hopefully won't be too painful, either. Thinking itself doesn't bring Atmanth down, but he definitely prefers to think "out loud", whether in conversation or through his own expression. It could be a tune he heard down in the bowl, or snippets of things from over the past Turn that have started to take on their own shape. There may be minor derailments along the way of « Well, that's just not right », or « Nika, which sounds better to you? », but eventually it will all come together. It has to, because Atmanth does not like an unfinished product or thought.

It will be a source of contention between the two of you, Nika, should you ever leave a thought "hanging" as it were. You are his soul mate, thus, what goes through your mind is as important as what goes through his. A conversation that doesn’t have an ending, a rambling comment that flows through your mind and just sits in the mental air, these are the sort of things that will bring out a more… passionate side to your blue.

“Wow, Atmanth,” you might remark to your dragon, eyes wide and filled with wonder as the sun starts to set. "Y’know, I’ve always wondered…"

Quiet, at first, the tingling feeling of waiting. Waiting. Anxiousness flows in now, curiosity next, and soon the other voice in your head is no longer able to be kept in suspense. « Wondered… wondered what? Something about the sunset? » He’ll enquire, gentle nudges to finish your sentence, your thought.

“Huh? Wha’cha talking about, Atmanth?” Having already forgotten what you may have been thinking, the thought is long gone.

« … »

Whimsical thoughts are all well and good to this blue dragon, as well as how they make you feel and think; all that Atmanth wants is a completion to them. He’ll be your biggest champion to always wax philosophical, because isn’t the very basis of philosophy in direct correlation to life? No more moments of quiet mental slumber for you, Nika, no more wondering the "what if's" and "can be's" without a suitable ending to each. The days of thoughts wafting in and out of your mind are a day of the past. Each needs to be studied, looked over, looked into, before they are allowed on their way once more.

There won't be too many times when Atmanth isn't thinking about something (other than when he's asleep, of course). To find one's true self, gotta keep movin' forward. The alternative just won't cut it, and he’ll make his passing comments to those that seem to lose their way just as easily as he’ll roll through his own issues. It’s not to tell them what to do - that’s just not his style - but to just plant a seed. He may not be the debonair classical philosopher, but his separation from convention and diplomacy makes his offhand insights and smoky, grungy observations all the more poignant. Your blue has no other motivation - he is one of the few and the brave to actually sit and think about what is going on around him rather than what he wants to get out of it. Bit by bit, he's going to keep working out those tiny pieces of true self, of soul, of Atman, and when he finds how that piece fits, finds those rare and gorgeous gems of life, he's going to celebrate with something suitably toe-tapping!

« Move, Nika! Can you feel it? »

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"In the Mood" by Glenn Miller

Of course, it's not all happiness and toe-tapping success.

Some of the things Atmanth discovers during his life is going to be pretty darn heavy, and as with everything else, Nika (and possibly others) will hear about it. He’s realistic and he’s painfully honest with himself, and while he has the brave, gritty ability to find beauty in the breakdown, the dirty rotten poetry of a flower growing from a pile of dirt, sometimes this deep, ugly mouthful he’s got to swallow isn’t going to have its accompanying sugar. Sometimes, people do rotten things, sometimes apathy or selfishness or prejudice will play their cards and he will not shy from recognizing that people aren’t evil… but sometimes, people aren’t good either. His thoughts will slow down and drop a key or two, and he might just slow down physically, too. All the better to feel this thing. To understand it. To see how it fits into the big picture.

It won’t always be easy for Atmanth to see the good behind the bad. Death is needed for there to be life, loss reminds us of all that is found, pain reminds us that we are still alive. These will be the sorts of things that your blue will dwell on whenever something distressing occurs. He’ll need to find the meaning behind it, no matter what it is. Dragons going between, a baby being stillborn, a dragonrider losing an arm. They will weigh on him until he finds a way to see the purpose behind the act. It is only then that your usual Atmanth will return with a vengeance.

"Birth and death; we all move between these two unknowns."
Bryant H. McGill

Do not be surprised, Nika, should Atmanth seek you out at these times. True to form, he’ll want to talk it all out. What happened, why it happened, how could it not have happened, would anything have changed what happened? And biggest of all, what will come out of what has happened? It’ll be his way of coping, his way of understanding, and perhaps it will help heal the wounds on your own heart as well.

Now all of this heavy lifting, emotionally, has a lighter side, and a more playful side. He will never be bad per se, but you’ve got no angel on your hands either! While on one hand, he’ll soothe the wounds of your heart, on the other, why…

He’ll just keep life interesting! Atmanth is no Dhioth, a dragon who longs to adhere to the rules, nor is he a Kczyslawborth or Finmaraisth, who seeks to defy the rules as much as possible. Atmanth is at his heart a good soul — sure, he has his ups and downs for he is remarkably gritty, real in a way that is so rare to find in dragons. He is the Old Soul in the body of a freshly hatched dragonet.

That being said, he has the tricksy nature of a man who’s far enough in his life to understand that some rules may be broken and other rules may not. Does R’yst send you all off to haul firestone? If your heart’s not in it, expect that Atmanth will coax you free of this duty to other, more interesting pursuits.

Or perhaps he will be the soul of the party and try to lure your entire weyrling class to shirk the rules. Now, this is only done in fun and games — he lacks the darkness of the soul that some of his brethren have inherited. He will never push the rules so far as to cause any harm — whether it be physical or mental. Atmanth is out to have a good time, to weave his voice of blues through your life, not to ruin it. You are, at the heart of everything, his crowning jewel, and that sweetness will be a coveted treasure for as long as it lasts.

And he will be there when Nika’s Innocence is slowly chipped away by life — this is what the blues are for! To sing the song of life! So be prepared, Nika, for your those mild tricks your blue might play — the encouragement to break the rules, but never in harm.

Forty days and forty nights
Since I set right down and cried
Keep rainin' all the time
But the river is runnin' dry

from "Forty Days and Forty Nights" by Muddy Waters

At times, Atmanth might become so quiet, so very quiet, weighed down by something on his mind. Nika may find him slouching out on the ledge, watching a sunset that ended an hour earlier. Just contemplating something heavy. Not to worry. Better to think on it a while.

atm-6.png

It rained and it rained, both night and day.
The people of Tupelo, beginnin' to get worried.
Said, "Lord have mercy. Who can we turn to now?"
Women and children, screamin' and cryin',
Saying, "Lord have mercy. What can we do now?"

I never will forget that day.
A little town named Tupelo, Mississippi.
It rained both night and day.
People of Tupelo had no one to turn to.

It rained, it rained both night and day.
Rained and rained and rained both night and day.

from "Tupelo Blues" by John Lee Hooker

See, thinking on stuff, even the hard stuff… no, especially the hard stuff… it's got a power all its own. Atmanth will understand this better than most. He won't be one to hide, he won't run away just because something gets difficult or uneasy. Those tides just keep coming, and he knows hiding won't change that. Better to face it, to know it.

For this reason, he might become something of a mentor to others as he gets older. It isn't so much because he's so darn wise. It's more the type of wisdom, you dig? It's the nitty gritty that gets under your skin and keeps you up at night. He gets that and can spin it around until it starts to make sense. He can help clear the air so it's easier to think, easier to understand.

When he’s younger, though, your budding Atmanth will be more active, more flighty. He won't yet have a base of reference and this will make him incredibly curious. He’ll want to know what everyone is doing, he’ll want to know why. He’ll want to do it, too, and tag along. It’s not that he has no opinion of his own, it’s that the way his cogs chew information runs best when there’s a lot to chew, and long after you, Nika, have over-saturated on information and feel like your brain is rubbed RAW, he will still be pooling opinions, watching, analyzing - because he has it under there, beneath the tar and wind chimes. Your boy can calculate. Perhaps not the elaborate scheming of Cervilaevarth but that’s not really interesting to Atmanth anyway. But he’s sharp. Aevryscienth may have given him his passion, but Ysvarth has not neglected his blue son in terms of cunning. That young, street-smart hungry desire to learn will have him all over the place if you don’t keep up with him.

You’ll find him prone to wander and lounge in different places, checking out what Dhioth is up to, asking questions maybe, but he’s not the type to be obnoxious. If he finds someone tight-lipped, he might just stop asking altogether and just start observing. You can learn a lot if you use more than one of your senses, after all. Tindraeth will be an especially fascinating brother, his own ingrained nature and laidback beat appealing to Atmanth’s own sense of inner tempo, but even Kczyslawborth will not fall out of his interest zones. Your blue has a thick skin, Nika. Very thick. And while he may ask some pretty tough questions, he will bear the weight of all answers like a bruiser taking a beating. That’s life, man.

It's the way he listens, really listens, not just to what someone says, but how they say it, how they express it, how they feel it. With all the dimensions that exist in life, you've gotta see more than just with your eyes, and Atmanth excels at that in ways that will prove more and more useful as time goes on.

Blues a healer, all over the world
It healed me, it can heal you

from "The Healer" by John Lee Hooker

Being the soul brother he is, Atmanth will want to spend a whole lot of time with Nika, especially at night when the rest of the world quiets down, and there's less out there to distract him. At times, especially during weyrlinghood, he might get cuddly, sometimes to the point of being downright clingy. It's not that he's feeling all that needy or anxious, and he isn't necessarily looking for comfort or reassurance. It's just that when the rest of the world grows quiet, he'll feel that bond with Nika the more keenly, and he'll want more of it. They are, after all, on this path together.

I don't want be with no one else
I can't get my thrill, babe, unless I be with you
'Cause night time is right time
Oh Lord, oh Lord, to be with the one you love
I'm in the mood, in the mood baby
Oh Lord, I'm in a mood for love

from "I'm in the Mood" by John Lee Hooker

♪•♬‿♬•♪

Flights

Of course, brother is also blue through and through, and sometimes a guy's just gotta do what he's gotta do. Those greens out there will prove to be quite the distraction, and, well… You know that bit about experiencing life? This is part of it, you dig? Got to know it. Got to feel it. Got to try.

I wanna tell you just how I feel
I had a dream baby, and I thought it was real
I woke up in love,
And now you're all I can think of

Every day I'm wastin' time
I'm wonderin' how, to make you mine
I'm just wishin' it could be,
You feel the same for me

Since that day I've been lost
I jumped on a alligator, I thought it was a horse
I took one hell of a ride,
Up and down on bayou side

If I could take you to the fais-do-do
We could dance on end, all across the floor
And we could do it for a while,
Louisiana style

I wanna take you to the fais-do-do
Where we can dance baby, until we can't stand no more
I wanna do it for a while,
Louisiana style

"Louisiana Style" by Tab Benoit

Your blue will have an innate ability other male dragons could only yearn for. Atmanth will always be able to tell when a green dragon is about to go, or may have just started to be proddy. It’s something that runs far deeper than instincts for him, because all males can generally feel when a female is about to go up. Some of those ladies are more proddy than others, at least depending on how they react. Sometimes though, with those quiet greens that do not go all ‘girls gone wild’ when their mating flights grow near, it’s hard to tell. Even their dragonriders do not act that much different. It’s then that his skill will show. Perhaps it’s his way of observing others and keenly listening that will cue him to the upcoming change. Other males may eventually take notice as Atmanth begins to pursue one green or another. It means, while even if it is just in the beginning of her proddy cycle, the time to fly will be coming sooner rather than later.

When Atmanth starts courting one of those glowing greens, he's going to do it the way he does everything: heart body and soul. For that period of time, there won't be anyone but that green in his life. He'll sing for her, he'll dance for her, and by Faranth, he'll blood and he'll fly for her. Early on, there will likely be some epic crashes and burns. Everyone starts somewhere, after all.

Got my mojo working, but it just won't work on you
Got my mojo working, but it just won't work on you
I wanna love you so bad till I don't know what to do

I'm going down to Louisiana to get me a mojo hand
I'm going down to Louisiana to get me a mojo hand
I'm gonna have all you women right here at my command

Got my mojo working, but it just won't work on you
Got my mojo working, but it - uh uh - just won't work on you

"Got My Mojo Working" by Muddy Waters

Eventually he'll get it right, and it won't even be an accident! He's one cool cat, after all. Can't get to be a cool cat if you can't learn the moves, and once he learns those moves, man, he owns them. A lot of that comes from a healthy dose of self-confidence which comes right back to the idea of Atman. When you know who you truly are, confidence comes with the territory.

Atmanth will put his whole being into wooing that female, from the moment she shows her secret proddy signs to the moment she’s twined necks either with him or some other lucky male. He’ll always be ahead of the game, should any other male dragon have their eye on the same green. Once the other male begins to show interest, your blue will already have written her a song, complimented her, perhaps brought a gift to her weyr. Atmanth isn’t a believer in doing things in halves. If he wants to win, he needs to work to win, and that means doing some legwork.

Further on up the road baby, things gonna change
Change change change
Change change change
Change baby
You'll try not to leave
But after while, gonna be mine
My time, my time baby

from "Chill Out" by John Lee Hooker

When that flight is over, he might spend a little chill time with his lady green, but he's not going to be one of those guys who sticks around; there will be nothing of monogamy here. Atmanth would never limit himself that way. Experience, remember. He lives in the moment, and while he might think about it afterward, that doesn't require that he continue any courtship once that ship has sailed.

The instant another green starts showing her signs, he’ll have said his good byes and moved on to the next big challenge. The next experience to… well, experience. Each green flight is different, each one gives him a perspective he did not have before. With each flight comes a new way to look at things, a new way to understand them. Not only will it give him a very successful mating flight career, it will keep giving him that insight he so desperately craves. The Big Picture. Greens will find his style different, and thus, alluring. It’s like they know he knows they know.

There will be a sort of… trend that you may notice, Nika, with Atmanth when it comes to flying greens at other Weyrs. First off, it’s important to note, he will throw himself in those Other-Weyr green flights. He may be a bit at a disadvantage when those times come, due to not being able to use his ability to schmooze up to the female before hand. However, that will not stop this blue from throwing himself into any foreigner green mating flight. Though, that trend… where Atmanth will possibly linger around for a day or so with those greens around his home Weyr, it’s not quite the same for any other Weyr around Pern. Should Atmanth decide to go up and get lucky enough to bag him a bodacious Istan beauty, it’ll be the old ‘hump and dump’. The moment the flight is over, the green and blue are sated, he’ll be picking you up, Nika, and getting the two of you back to High Reaches Weyr and the comfort of his own ledge.

There will be no ledge-lounging on a stranger’s home, no twining necks or any of that noise. Nope. The moment his feet hit the earth once more, memories of the flight and the green will be shuffled off. Even if the flight occurs at an inopportune time, such as the middle of the night, do not expect to stay the night in the ground weyrs. Atmanth will be determined to get home, where he is ultimately the most comfortable.

Atmanth is a rather large blue and because of such, he’s able to sustain longer flight than some of his smaller siblings. Whether it be a long flight or a short one, he’ll find no issues complying. He knows quite well how to pace himself, while some of his siblings may burn themselves and all their energy off quickly. Atmanth will happily stay somewhere in the middle of the chasing pack. Over-blooding may be something of an issue, as your blue knows well that it is what will help sustain his flight. It will be up to you, Nika, to assure he doesn’t glut himself, or it will be a very short, mildly nauseating flight for him. There will come a time when both you and he will know exactly how much is enough to give him the get up and go he needs to chase those greens who prefer to lengthen their trip through the skies.

Once he’s settled into the air, wings beating to a Cajun melody playing in his mind, Atmanth will just cruise. Let those upstarts try to race towards the green, see where that’ll get them. He will always have energy for that last push to the front when the going gets tough. Able to keep up with even the sturdiest of browns, his stamina is not a thing usual for blues, but it’s a peculiarity that is all Atmanth. There are no tricks, no sneaky tactics, just solid dependability that will win this blue his flights. And even if they don’t? Perhaps that over-thinking Cervilaevarth will use his complicated plans to snare the green, that’s fine. There will be others, most likely soon based on how Eriphyliriuth’s been acting.

S’all just the name of the game called life. You win some, you lose some.

When all that experiencing is over, though, Atmanth will only want to return to you, Nika, his soul mate. It's where he finds peace after the chaos of a flight, quiet after the cacophony of competition. With flights and drills and comings and goings to steal his attention all day long, Nika signifies a sort of serene refuge he can't find anywhere else, which makes it absolutely invaluable.

We'll keep on spending sunny days this way
We're gonna talk and laugh our time away
I feel it coming closer day by day
Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly

from "Groovin'" by The Rascals

Or so it could be said. As with all things, Atmanth’s life and times through his blues can be interpreted a million ways, and the writing of this Inspiration is only a suggestion as to how his soul might shine. Ultimately, he is yours, and you are his, heart, body and soul. We just adore you, want you to have fun, and keep doing just exactly what you’ve been doing all along. Welcome to the fold.

Jam session - John Lee Hooker, Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton

♪•♬‿♬•♪

Credits

Name: Dredos
Egg Desc: Rhaeyn
Dragonet Desc: Dredos, R'yst tweak
Messages: Dredos
Puppeteer: Dredos
Inspiration: Dredos, R'yst, Eth'n, Lendai

Clutchmates:
Rysta's brown Finmaraisth, Sh'z's bronze Lakenheath, Shea's blue Cervilaevarth, Zeyta's brown Kczyslawborth, Paige's green Eriphyliriuth, Dirna's blue Tindraeth, Syriene's green Zhizusikolymuth, and K'ane's bronze Dhioth

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