Mal's Mechanized Clockwork Wirntiki Brown Morkarth
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All life starts at the beginning. A place where idea gives birth to that which then gives way to form. Your story is no different,
standing here at a pivotal moment. What was a journey of obstacles, has led you to this moment on the sands when first you
touched up on the egg that was to be your destiny.

Mandibles Get In Your Eyes Egg

Dry, dusty, a dump heap: there is no dignity to this egg, sitting all in a heap, its curves graceless and its shell rough. Unlike many of its brethren there are no vivid hues on display, nor clear shapes to be seen. Gray, white, beige, brown: blobs of relatively uniform size pile one atop the other, each enlivened - if that's the word one wants to use for it - by a brace of evenly spaced dark… dots? Yes, dots - they have to be dots - no egg has /holes/ in it. And so the pile stacks and tumbles, top to bottom, unending and without pause. The multitude of little cavernous circles of /darkness/ seem to stare blankly at the Sands around them.

… yet when life is forming, when the firmament is being laid, a tendril of thought touched you. A glimpse of what lies beneath,
in the bowels of the earth. Here, Mal, you stand as an unexpected traveler against the potential destruction that lies at the molten
core of the earth.

=The dry, pitted surface beneath your hands has a leathery give, at first only filling you with the dread-sense of a final crypt’s sigh. The rush of dry, dusty air brushing past the sides of your neck as though finger’s contact is met with arriving sensation from /behind/ you. But it’s an egg no longer, is it. It’s become hard, calcified, and huge. You’ve laid your hand on the alter of ancient ruin, a pile of stripped and sun-bleached bones stacking up to the very sky and you’re aware now, suddenly, of the /expanse/ around you. There are no sands, they’ve fallen away and melted all these people you know into collapsed skeletons in a field of sharp angles and off-white jutting joints. Knuckles and teeth and the deep pitted sockets of grinning skulls. There is no life here. This is no hope. There is no /fear/. There is nothing left to feel it, only naked shapes robbed of nerves and heart and personality. This is not the destruction. This is the wastelands that come after, rolling endlessly on into a bleak infinity. …Or is it? The world of bones begins to sink into a black void that solidifies into black sand, tangible and simple and real, and the voices around you are of your fellow Candidates and without fanfare you’re back on Pern and all is as it should be.

… And from the ashes of death, life bursts free of its chains, formed of inanimate and animate matter to be your living construct…

Hatching Message

Mandibles Get In Your Eyes Egg sudden seems to start oozing. Those dots the ones that look suspiciously like holes begin to break into micro fractures, allowing membrane to seep through before the creature housed within its crags begins to rip at shell with claw and teeth. The parts of this creature almost seem independent of the others, wings, tail and headknobs grinding against the constrictions of its earthly prison. One part at a time, Mechanized Clockwork Wirntiki Brown Dragonet makes his appearance on the sand, whirling eyes almost in contrast to his limbs in their fluidity even as he crouches low to survey the scene.

Mechanized Clockwork Wirntiki Brown Dragonet

Forged of fire and burnt to the ashes of umber, dark-dusted earthenware powdercoats the mechanized stance of assorted parts made whole. This blend of sepia, mahogany and klah forms a grainy-mortar foundation upon which the elements are fitted to this living contraption, structured as so many moving cogs. To wit, the Assemblage: Tattered wings of age-darkened leather, buckled with sear'n-gold fittings brassy against the sturdy mountain of his back; those hunkering limbs lining the great beast of his torso, equipped with long, lava-tipped talons tipped jagged and broken; the grey steel breastplate of interconnected sprockets, archaic protection for the soft underside of vulnerable belly- thus, his fundament. Snaking tail slinks as a trail of mobile cooled-lava, so at odds with the prodigious blockiness of his stance: over the rock is wrought gilded filigree at the join of tail to body. In acute contrast, the length of his neck is sparsely adorned, neckridges struggling to reach the sky and coming to term in broken silhouette. Headknobs of fire-scorched earth tint crimson, as if the hide has thinned to display his fiery core. His face alone is the purity of fresh-churned earth, understated eyeridges limn'd in brassy sand. A faint dash of ash-grey gives lie to the damnation of his hide, a gentleman's cravat where curve of neck meets underside of jaw: a hint of civility to the otherwise clockwork dragon.

… emergence from the dark remains of an egg of death, the mechanized balrog stumbles to the one mind to which called to him like a beacon of light: you.

Public Impression Pose

Mechanized Clockwork Wirntiki Brown Dragonet delivers every movement with a ‘whoooosh-whooooosh’ that underscores his mechanized grace, each of his many parts assembling together to bring him ever closer to the one he seeks. Senses. The sands are but the ashes of new beginnings to walk over in order to gain the prize, the cape of his wings lifting to flutter outward, before settling back against his body; a sign. The one he seeks is close. Closer still. Each heavy foot is placed in front of another, forming a stride as stable as the earth. His world settles into place. All the pieces align. Here is the clockwork brown settling down to kneel at the feet of the girl with the dark curls and green eyes. A final ‘whoosh’ of exertion escapes in a rush of hot air. His chosen: Maliya.

Private Impression Message

Darkness pervades, eclipsing your vision. From beneath the dark veil of night, the crashing waves are a dim setting upon which the bowels of the earth emerge in the fiery explosion of molten lava. Fire-red, burnt orange, and the flare of yellow dazzle your mental eye as the core of the earth escapes free to whisper your name. « Mal. » Reborn. Rebirth. Renewed. The slow pulse of the being that emerges from the bowels of the earth bring with him the faint hint of the smell of fresh earth. Of things to come. « I am your rock. I am your Morkarth. » The fiery explosion of lava finally recedes, allowing for the first hint of new earth to stand alone and cooling in a tumultuous sea. Far distant on the horizon, dawn has come. Yet the earth does not yet drop his chains from your thoughts. Nay, the bubble of lava wells up, ever continuing to form the firmament upon which his mindvoice will evolve.. « And I am /really/ hungry. » A silvery, hissing whisper as hot, molten rock hits the cooler ocean waters, yet, still mirth dances upon the igneous rock left behind. Some cosmic joke tickles your funny bone, yet you don’t really recall the actual joke.

… to become your Morkarth. Your balrog turned mechanized Steampunk brown made flesh. The essence of your dreams coalesced and distilled into something more. Ever more. And thus, Maliya-now-Mal, your life has been reforged into something new. And with this gift of a new life, you have been given a blueprint. A map of the intricacies of a complex mind. So climb aboard your dirigible, and let us being the first leg of the journey: understanding your Mechanized Clockework Wirntiki Brown’s origins.


Maliya! Mal! You survived Candidacy! To that, we are delighted and excited for you to move to the next stage of Mal’s life, into weyrlinghood! Morkarth is wrought of many pieces, all moving and working as one, much as an inspiration is born from the minds of many to finally become one: yours! This inspiration is by no means a hard and rigid rule you must follow, but a guide upon your RP pathway. Take all or none, we are just delighted to have been able to present Morkarth to you and to see you move into weyrlinghood here at High Reaches Weyr! Welcoooooooome! — Eth’n and Paige


Egg Inspiration

It's not a true apocalypse if there isn't at least one giant pile of SKULLS on display. This egg drew its inspiration most directly from a famous 1870s photograph of a massive pile of bison skulls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bison_skull_pile-restored.jpg) - a memento of a near-apocalyptic event for the American Bison and the native tribes who depended on it - with just a little hokey B movie ridiculousness for spice.

Theme Inspiration

High Reaches Weyr has a fondness for connecting egg to dragonet themes. And your Mechanized Contraption Morkarth is no different! This cycle's dragonet theme is Harbingers (of the Apocalypse)! It matches well with the coming apocalypse that our eggs were based on. The egg that we chose for you, that you said you loved, is very much founded in death and the bones of what remains after the earth has been destroyed.

So we thought, what should Morkarth's theme be? We wanted to blend the theme (Harbingers) with some of the elements of you (Aboriginal) and what you liked (browns and feathers). What we came up with is the Bush-Stone Curlew!

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This bird is found across Australia and has a very distinctive wailing call. One of the aboriginal names for this bird is the Wirntiki, and is often seen as the Harbinger of Death in aboriginal tribes. This is the foundation for the beginning of Morkarth, but by no means encompasses all that he is.

The story is just barely beginning, the foundation has been laid, for the birth of the living contraption that is to come.

Name Inspiration

Well, Mal, you wanted a dragon with a short, uncomplicated name with meaning, and we hope that we’ve given you all of that and more. Morkarth comes from the combination of the Aboriginal words “corbar” meaning “burnt earth” and “maka” meaning “fire.” It’s a name with hard consonants and a distinct sound that we thought would also be reminiscent of your dragon’s mechanically Victorian nature. We’ve been pronouncing it “MOOR-karth” but you can pronounce it anyway that you like.

Description Inspiration

“Progress has not followed a straight ascending line, but a spiral with rhythms of progress and retrogression, of
evolution and dissolution.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Morrrrrrrrrrkarth. What inspired his description? First, I took what you said you wanted with earth, fire and MOST IMPORTANTLY, steampunk and thought about putting it all together with leather, brass, cogs and sprockets.

Let’s take him apart, piece by piece so you can get an idea of where his inspiration came from. So his grainy / earthy base coat is a mix of various colors of soil combined with coffee (or klah, here on pern). Looking a little like this:

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Morkarth is a clockwork dragon, made up of many parts adhered together with leather and metal. We do believe that, to take a turn of phrase from YOU, it would just turn your crank!

So with that in mind, the leather and brassy fittings were inspired by this:

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The aged leather with the brassy/gold accents. Now, to the rest of him, inspiration was mostly taken with the way this image looked — how all the different parts worked together:

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Morkarth is a collection of pieces, connected together by various different fittings: brass filigree, leather, buckles — all into one, living contraptions that’s yours. The molten fire of his headknobs is a nod to your desire for earthy, molten, born and forged of the center of the earth. Your steampunk balrog. Hints of this are in his physical inspiration, though more will come later, as the story unfolds!

With his birth inspired, let us forge ahead, for your introduction leads right into the physicalities that this inspiration has built.


We have completed ‘round the first turn. Built the foundation of understanding, now it is time to come forth to the next stage, to take the next bend in the road. It is only just beginning, and appropriately so, it is time to build the outer walls and learn the secrets of your Morkarth’s physicality. Travel forward, and flip the page. Further secrets await!


Physicalities

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“Steampunk is what happens when goths discover brown.”

– Jess Nevins

Morkarth is a dragon that rises. His birth from the shell is the rise of a mountainous, molten beast from the shattered chains of the delicate bindings that held him within. From the moment he’s shelled, it’s obvious that as a brown, he’s on the larger end of the brown spectrum. And by larger end, honey, you’ve got yourself a mountain on your hands. The balrog of the earth! He’s massive, with so many different parts bonded together by what seems like leather and brass fittings, if you were to turn your head to the side and glance from the corner of your eye.

Then, too, you’d see a faint reddish hint that spreads from the molten exposure of his headknobs, which brings to point that, like the demonic balrog, your Hellfire Steampunk Earthen Brown Morkarth is very warm to the touch. It is as if his body temperature is naturally higher than most other dragons. As a weyrling, when you share his couch with him, unless you sleep in your own cot, it’ll be like sleeping on a hot Istan beach. Warm, comforting, but just this side of uncomfortable. If you sleep with him, you’ll find that clothing is almost not an option except for modesty’s sake. Mal, though, we don’t think you’ll have an issue with modesty!

It will be quite like sleeping with heated, liquid rock at times! Complete with the almost infernal glow of talons the color of black, igneous rock tipped in the brilliant flash-fire red of lava (which at times may dazzle you with their earthen beauty). Whether it’s mental or physical, these heated aspects of your brown will only add to the effect. So that it feels like the heat of the hatching sands may never quite leave you…

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The fire of his soul, the enjoyment of purely living in the dirt and soil of the earth is this physical desire, aspect, that will drive you both for the rest of your lives. He will not care if he’s dirty, nor will he care if he tracks the children of the earth all over Qyth’s couch.

“Morkarth!” you may yell once you realize that H’ris and Qyth’s couch has been… altered.

Lava moves at a snail’s pace down the rocky slide of jagged cliff, a burgeoning island no wider than a stone’s throw from one end to the other. Innocence is the steam that rises when molten rock hits the cooling factor of icy ocean. « Yes? » The fun-loving spirit so at odds with his molten core is the caress of gentle wind across the newly forming land.

“Oh, you know what you did!” Exasperation will be yours, for your brown is all the spectrum of the earth: serious, steady, but yet fun-loving, and able to roll with the punches of the turns. Little will phase him, for there’s always ways to take what is unpleasant and turn it to something pleasant. As erosion wears away the rock face, but leaves behind sand and dirt for the green things of the earth to live upon, so, too, can Morkarth take the worries of the day and turn them to richness of dark soil.

Bubbles of hot, viscous earth pop with thick splashes. Mirth dances as the faint call of a steam vent releasing the pressure beneath the small island. « It’s okay. Trust me, they’ll love it, because it’ll give them a chance to rearrange. They just needed a reason! »

It is not just the mischief of the earthen spirit, that will leave you quirking your brow and scratching your head, but his actual physical attributes. Your brown is a very complicated fellow when it comes to body shape, size, and feel. Along some of the glossier parts, his hide is smooth, silky, and delightful to the touch. Along the cogs and sprockets of his more complicated parts, his hide is rougher, rigged, and more prone to needing oiling. Of all the people in the weyr, K’ane of bronze Dhioth will understand the uneven oiling the best, so perhaps you two might yet bond over not being able to get oiling done in any sort of quick fashion.

To imagine best how Morkarth’s various parts come together, this image captures it quite well with the mesh of metal and leather!

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Yet.

Wait for it.

It’s not going to stop. Now, once he’s reached his full growth, it will be easier for he will not need as high a maintenance as when he’s younger. Cogs and sprockets, after all, need their lubricant if they are to work! But when he’s reached his majority, Morkarth is a massive bronze. So it will still take the better part of a day to get him in tip-top shape! Which, count your lucky stars, will only need to be done once every few days when he’s an adult.

A youngster? Well… R’yst might very well drag a whole barrel of oil into your couch just for you!

Morkarth, in all this upkeep, is a dream. For while the physical demands of oiling all his parts are taxing, he stands as still as the very mountains around the weyr, easily allowing you to do what needs to be done. He is the earth. He is the stone beneath your feet. He is the mountain — and nothing will detract his attention from this chore.

… which might cause a problem for you in weyrlinghood. Because even if a sudden lesson comes up or something changes and you have to stop mid-oil, he will be as recalcitrant as the earth. Unmoving and unbending.

This is the more fickle nature of the earth and highlights a deep stubborn streak that forms the very foundation of his core personality.

“C’mooooooon, Morkarth! Get a move on. We got to go! Didn’t you hear that? That was the Weyrlingmaster calling us to lesson!”

The earth moves little, minus the bubbling of lava. Cooled igneous rock glints shiny beneath a noon-day sun on the small, forming island. Steam hisses, his voice woven in the rich textures of the earth. « You’re not finished. I shall wait. Do not worry. »

And nothing you do, will make him move any faster, so you might as well finish up your oiling and take your licks from R’yst, because it won’t be the FIRST time!

Prevention, however, is something that you’ll come to understand. For one thing, you’ll learn to time it better when you oil him. His intractability will only be in effect once you start, so time it well to prevent the trouble that could come of it!

Otherwise, your Morkarth is comprised of many different parts made whole. A long tail that won’t be too troublesome for you or him. His will be an uncanny knack for quick movement and keeping the boundaries of his personal space from causing a wreckage in the barracks. Some might say that it’s reminiscent of his grandsire, Ysvarth. It’s obvious that his brighter, shinier colors come straight from Lakenheath, but what he inherits from his dam is a little bit more mysterious. Despite the rougher aspects of his physical nature, an elegance exists in his assemblage. A poshness, a certain panache, that gives him the ability to cut a dashing form should he want. He is not all earthen balrog, nor all Hellfire driven Steampunk engine, he has a gentleman’s touch. Much like the hint of white cravat at his throat, this elegance is inherited entirely of his dam.

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And for his dam? Oh, Morkarth would do anything. He will be her new best friend. Life is worth living and much as he knows the cycle of life, his is owed to Talicanitath! Talicanitath might be annoyed by her latest offspring, because he will love to dote upon his mother. It’s his big flaw. He loves his mama. This, too, he gets from Lakenheath, who has a similar aspect to his personality. Much like his sire, he is a mama’s boy.

What does that mean for you? For one thing, Morkarth will want to look his best for Talicanitath. Which means more work for you! For another, this subtle influence of overyjoyed happy will have its effect on your thoughts. If you see Lendai as the enemy now, how will you see the goldrider when every time you and your mechanical clockwork brown are near her and his joy and excitement floods through your very thoughts? When you’re gussying up Morkarth to even Qyth’s approval just so he can please his mother?

Ahhh, as to what, well, time will tell won’t it Mal?

Morkarth is the assemblage of many ideas: leather, brass, other metals, clockworks, gadgets, gizmos and gears. Not only that, but the essence of the balrog, emerged from the bowels of the earth. His assembly is made of different parts: wings for cape, the hint of the gentleman’s cravat, strangely-gaited legs that move more in mechanical motion than living, and everything assembled to a body made from mountains. At the thinnest point of his dark, dark hide born of fresh soil and grounded klah, the molten core of his being is nearly exposed. The hide of brown is thinned to allow the heated red-hot red to be seen at the apex of his height: his headknobs.

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It’s his hint of fire, his burning center, the engine that powers his many parts. It fuels his movements, which, shall we say, will be interesting to say the least. He moves with clockwork, mechanical motion; a fluid blend of life and machine. He is the living contraption. How will this affect you, Mal?

Before we move on to mention his way of flying, it’s important to note that his wings give the appearance of a tattered, leather cape. Tattered in the sense that there is an unevenness to the placement of his wingspars that gives the wing silhouette a lack of uniformity. In contrast to his body, they drape like a cape across his large, behemoth body. A little dusting of brassy motes collect along the bones, though it’s hard to see unless in the direct sunlight. As if the leather itself were worn through to show a skeleton more mechanical than living. This little detail, Mal, is something that really only you would probably notice, it’s that subtle, but adds depth to otherwise uniformity of color.

Morkarth’s solid body is heavy, and by heavy, we mean real heavy. As a baby weyrling, you will find yoursel straining your muscles to help lift and nudge and get him moving. Faranth forbid he tries to tackle you in his exuberance for his daily feedings. Solidly made, he is no dainty fellow, nor does he show any sign of ever being anything less than a mountain of a brown. Walking… well. Everyone will know when Morkarth’s coming. He plods along with heavy steps that reverberate through the surface he walks on with each step. Should he ever have the desire to be stealthy, it just won’t work. But that’s okay, because he’s not a stealthy machine.

However, his weight and very solid nature lends to question: Can he fly?

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.”

~ Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society, 1895

Of course! He is a dragon, after all!

Well for one thing, while he has inherited that certain grace from Talicanitath, he also has the mechanical limitations of stiff limbs and a size that does him no favors. Morkarth will be able to perform top notch in endurance, but will need to warm up before most activities.

… warm up?

Yes. This means that Mal will be getting up with the sun in order to get Morkarth ready for mid-morning lessons. Faranth forbid R’yst or any of his AWLMs do lessons at dawn, for that means you’ll need to get yourself and Morkarth outside and limbered up at least a candlemark, possibly two, before the lesson. Stretching, cardio and strength training; these are the tools in which to get your machine-forged-dragon into a state where lessons won’t be a trial.

Should you ever forget…

… be prepared for strained muscles, sore limbs, and a surprising lack of performance from your brown. He will take this in far greater stride than you might, however, and with his draconic memory, will soon forget anyway. Not only that, but should you both forget to stretch, Morkarth’s every movement will come with the heavy exhalation of exertion. Not unlike the decompress of pressure of a steam valve. Yet, it is not all the time, and it is not heavy breathing nor grunting, but merely a whooooosh of sound that accompanies the movement of getting his girth up off the ground and into the lessons or drills that you will have. And will come with every movement until he’s warmed up and limber.

Whoosh. Whooooooooosh. Whoosh. Whooooooooosh.

Your fellow weyrlings? Might be annoyed. Some of the darker, crueler personalities making fun of his “large size” causing the problem, but he is not a “fat” dragon by any stretch of the imagination. He is the mountain. The clockwork balrog — and with this size comes its consequences.

Whoooooosh. Whooosh.

Morkarth’s trademark sound.

Once you both can take to the skies, it will be tempting to allow your warm-ups to be only flying, however, should you desire to hunt or join in any weyr games when they’re had, his performance will suffer if his ground warm-up is neglected.

Now, to ease your mind, once he’s warmed up for the day, he’s good to go! So this need be only … a daily requirement, if you will. Once he’s in the sky, he moves with the grace of a clockwork avian, the long, slinky tail forming a natural rudder, and cape-like wings draping back like feathered sails.

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In land or sky, his movements are pretty similar and he will neither have an excess of success or failure to either land or flight abilities. Catching greens will be a little harder due to his size, and catching golds will require a lot more effort than usually he’s willing to expend.

He’s a brown through and through, made of the earth, lit by the balrog, and assembled in steampunk glory.

He is your Morkarth.


Dearest Mal, the airship has paused just in time to take a break, and ruminate on what’s been said. Gear up soon, though! For we’re only halfway through this blueprint of Morkarth! For the next bend in the road, you’ll need to strap on a pair of goggles and put on your sturdiest pair of leathers. It is time to delve into the wonders of what lurks within your Steampunk Balrog’s mental scape.


Mindvoice

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The sands recede, the cacophony of hatching day becomes but a dim backdrop of noise, for it is now that you realize the balrog of your desire is welling up from the earthen, clockwork crust of the dragonet before you, and nothing else matters.

From this point on, you are Mal. Maliya has been reborn of the earth, remolded anew, bonded to the slow moving force that envelopes you, tenuous at first, but strengthening over time. Brilliant flame-orange lava wells up from the inky darkness of a long forgotten ocean, spilling upwards and out, cooling as it goes. This is the beginning. Deep within the bones of the earth, nestled where the core is molten, resides the balrog beast that forms the newly birthed island of his mentalscape.

To tell the complete story, Mal, we must begin at the beginning. So in the first days of weyrlinghood, his words will be formed of the cooling lava, richly toned with accents of molten fire that cool to igneous rock.

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In the beginning, the firmament has only just been laid. From day one, each thought, each experience, each nuance of change will form the foundation of his mental mindscape. He is your balrog, born of the molten core, but he is not demon; nay, more earth spirit. For while his core is of fire and freshly cooled rock, his is a voice that is not powerful in and of itself. It is the gravity of being of the earth itself that forms this subtle confidence that others may construe as power.

The inky roil of an uncharted ocean ripples against the slowly bubbling of lava that emerges from the center of his mindscape. Red-hot and glowing, each word is a bubble of such earthen brilliance. « Did you see me not hit that barrel of oil? You know Elicheritath will be impressed! » Confidence is the subtle hiss of cooling rock as it meets the wet expanse of the ocean. Another block upon which to build his earthen island.

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Each of life’s experience will slowly build the rocky, earthy landscape of continuously forming island. Weyrlinghood will begin this process, but it will never be completed until your lives are over, and his small bubbling of new-formed earth has transformed into an island, tropical. Rich in all aspects of the earth. How this mental scape is formed is up to you and the experiences that you two will hold; darker times will create divots in the land, craggy cliffs and sheer drop offs. Lighter times, will form the rich loam of earth that sits atop the foundational igneous rock beneath, allowing greenery to grow so that when the gentle strum of rain comes, the smell of freshly churned earth will alight your mental senses. So much so that you’ll find yourself almost believing that you’re smelling it for real.

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Lava pools, thickening into viscous earth as the air cools the molten remains of words that bubble forth. « Mal! Did you SEE that? That hairpin turn we just did? Executed to perfection, I bet Erolinyath would love to know the inner workings of how we did it. Plus, I think she’d fancy me telling her! » New born crust is sprinkled with the fresh dirt of erosion, the warmth of a job well done becoming the beating heart of the balrog that lies beneath so many layers of formulating rock. The ocean now has something against which to crest, as the first hints of life beyond molten rock take hold in newly formed soil.

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His is not a voice made primarily of one thing; nay, his is a mental voice that’s made of many things: molten rock, rich, dark soil, cooled igneous rock, and the greenery that sits atop it. Over time, over the years of being bonded together, the edges of his island will be ground down by the constant erosion of the ocean’s waves to black sand. Morkarth is the presence of the earth; he is the earth embodied in the dark-red spirit of the balrog. Yet for how formidable his presence may seem visually, his essence is of one who is built of conflicting ideas. Humorous, yet serious. He’s able to take any situation and make the best of it.

Lava strikes the salty finger of ocean, hissing as it cools. The hissing is what curls the words upwards, through your thoughts. « Hey. So we didn’t make the cut this time for formations. We’ll get it next time. You’ll see. » Layered upon the shelf of experience, this jagged rockface forms the first step of a sheer cliff that leads straight to the inky ocean below.

While Morkarth is not an eternal optimist, he might seem as such to you, because each experience is something built upon, and it shows visually in the changing landscape of his mind. As the volcano rises out of the ocean’s center, and greenery and fresh earth form around it, as the one who understands the varying experiences that formed this mental scape, you will be able to pick your successes from the mix of Morkarth’s visual, mental representation. As well, your failures — or rather, your perceived failures, for in your brown’s mind, there’s only minor setbacks. No true failure can occur unless you give up — might be the jagged cliffs formed, yet tempered in the springy growth of new earth. A touch of the optimist to even his visual mental scape.

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Ahhhh. His voice. How does it sound? It’s a rich texture. Woven of the sound of hissing lava as it hits the water, to the sound of falling earth as the land shifts beneath the quake of earth as the pressure beneath is released, to the rustle of the wind through waxy palm fronds of verdant green. His voice is subtle — a deep baritone with a mellowed touch that flows as slowly, and thickly as lava against the mental understanding of your ears. It reverberates through your body like a good thunderstorm and brings about the scents of newly churned earth and that hint of ozone right after a good electrical storm. Though no electrical storm will manifest upon the birth of his tropical island.

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Quite frankly, his actual voice is hard to quantify, since it changes so often according to the whims of his earthen desires. It’s made of the earth, and with so many faces of an earth spirit, the difficulty lies in pinning it down to one single … sound.

Yet at times, amidst the growth of your island, when he’s in his deepest of thoughts, the mechanical whir of moving parts will sometimes eclipse the very earthy nature. A subtle influence, as if this is all the result of something more; of a strange, living contraption that’s found the one way in which to bond, communicate, in a tapestry that you’d understand. As if, behind everything, an intelligence has been piece-mealed together of so many different ideas and concepts, put together, and run on the very essence of the foundation of the earth. This, Mal, is his accent. It is something that comes to play so very rarely that you’re often left wondering if you really heard this. Or sensed it. It is in moments of his deepest thoughts, or when the strength of conviction is so strong that it eclipses every other thought.

“I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clockmaker.”

– Voltaire

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« Mal. » Your name whispers across the crusted earth like the caress of wind. Lava bubbles slowly, dripping downward towards the sea that awaits. Wider now, the island has grown since weyrlinghood, with a hint of soft soil eroded free of the igneous rock. « You need to speak with our wingleader about this. I really feel strongly that I have examined all angles of this problem, and would like to experiment with re-structuring the wing drills to streamline the usage of our resources. » Scientific thoughts are centered on conviction of knowledge, yet beneath the cooling earth that comes from such a heated core, a whisper of mechanical clanking underscores everything he’s saying. A strange, chillingly strange sound that ends as soon as it begins. « Please. » Scientific dryness crumbles like the fresh soil to his pleasanter, optimistic demeanor. Excitement roils like slow-moving molten rock between the mental link to infect you with his energy.

Mal, through it all, Morkarth’s essence lingers still in the molten core of his steam-powered heart. The mental scape upon which he builds his life experiences is all for you. A place, where, when you are together in your quiet moments, you are in paradise. It’s a place that takes on the features of the worries of your life, but does not dwell on them. The cradle of the earth, so to speak, and with the ever constant presence of that molten flow of lava, building and building upon the foundation of the bedrock of your lives.

“More varied than any landscape was the landscape in the sky, with islands of gold and silver, peninsulas of apricot and rose against a background of many shades of turquoise and azure.”

~ Cecil Beaton

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Did your leathers get singed?! Morkarth’s mentalscape is one that takes getting used to. That has layers of a lifetime of subtleties, but we’re confident that within this lifetime, you’ll uncover even more than we’ve touched upon. It’s time to move forward, though! The very crux of the blueprint has been reached: with the foundation laid, the walls built and the lighting put in place, it is time to lay in the very soul of your mechanized clockwork brown. Onward, then Mal, to the most important part of him: Morkarth’s Personality!


Personality

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“We are all visitors to this time, this place.
We are just passing through.
Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love…
and then we return home.”

~ Australian Aboriginal Quote

Morkarth is intimidating in size, in the very molten flow of his mindvoice, but who your brown is, entirely contradicts what he may look like. There is truth in knowing to look beyond the outer shell, into the inner workings of a person’s — or in this case, dragon’s — soul. Deep in the bowels, hidden within the molten rock, is a perfect gem of a gentleman.

This aspect allows him to be encouraging of others: whether it is to Elicheritath’s peacemaking, Oroqaith’s quest for justice, Qyth’s gentle social gatherings or whether it is in his never ending patience for Llioramasith’s one-up-manship. And even to Vulkasinth’s antiquated ideas of honor and nobility, Morkarth is the stability of the earth. Able to provide a listening ear and advice from one who’s positive outlook on life really embodies the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Not to say that he is fastidious. No. Your brown can get dirty with the best of them, but to him, life is made to be lived. There’s no time to sweat the small stuff. Bumps and hitches occur all through life, but all you need is the strength to take the next step. Combine that with a positive outlook on life and you have a lifemate that hits life’s lemons, and makes lemonade.

From the moment he’s hatched to the moment when that you take your last flight together, he will confound you, delight you, challenge you to see beyond the limited world view of day-to-day living, and teach you that there’s more to life than the daily grind. Love will wind its way through the tapestry of your life, because in everything, love exists.

“A clockwork heart can’t replace the real thing.”

~ Dru Pagliassotti, Clockwork Heart

Morkarth most certainly does not have a clockwork heart, despite his appearances. He is the embodiment of the living construct, and while he may have the presence of a steampunk balrog, his inner core is far more approachable. To his clutchmates, he will be the foundation upon which they all stand. The firmament beneath their feet, for there will be not one of them that he doesn’t like. Even Llioramasith’s morally questionable decisions will not be something that Morkarth struggles with. The earth is. It is the dirt beneath your feet, the pillar of the world. It neither judges nor gets judged, and to this, Morkarth will be no different. Because of this unshakable self-confidence in life itself, he will be able to take the pitfalls of bad decisions or bad circumstances and laugh it off.

His capacity to maintain a positive outlook on life is one of his greatest assets. Don’t misunderstand, your brown is not a bubbly personality by any stretch of the imagination. Nor is he a social butterfly nor even as social as Qyth. What he is, to you, is a positive presence in your life.

“I didn’t get the promotion.” You may tell him, heart heavy for being passed over for another.

Sympathy is an emotion he allows to fuel the steam vents that release the pressure of your disappointment. « It’s okay. You didn’t want it anyway, besides, this way, you can look at the wingleader’s bottom all day. » Slow-moving and intensely hot, lava has a way of moving and cooling fat, plump layers. Ever building upon his mentalscape. « Aaaaaaand. We don’t have to get up when the sun rises every other day for those stinkin’ meetings. »

It is the simplicity of the idea that everything has a positive viewpoint that allows this fundamental uplifting aspect to who your brown is. Yet, this is not all of who he is. Not by far. Not by a stretch. Morkarth is as complicated a dragon as is the earth. You will spend turns and turns uncovering all of the layers of his personality, some of which will only emerge later in life as the result of the forging that’s done by your experiences together.

Yet, there exists core truths to Morkarth: his underlying, generally positive humorous personality combined with his love of scientific things. In this, he will get along well with Erolinyath, if only because she is so knowledgeable of a green. And falls in line with his quest to understand the world.

« Why do the leaves fall from the trees? »

“I don’t know. Because it’s fall and that’s what they do?”

« But that doesn’t explain anything. Nor why those trees have green spines. »

“But… it’s just the way it’s done!”

« I bet Erolinyath will know! »

Your own knowledge will stretch as he learns things about life. So too, will your desire to read and write and devour the books of the archival rooms, and what the harpers have in their areas. The quest for knowlege is such a driving force in Morkath that sometimes, this will drive a wedge of frustration in between you.

Josh: Hey, in some parts of the universe, maybe not in contempo-casual, but in some parts, it's considered cool to know what's going on in the world.

Cher: Thank you Josh. I SO need lessons from you on how to be cool. Tell me the part about Kenny G again?

~Clueless

All of his knowledge of the world isn’t gathered to lord over the people in your lives. No, it’s truly just a joy of learning. Of understanding how things work. Of knowing that the world is vast and wonderful and amazing. It’s a special time of sharing with you, all that you’ve learned. So be prepared to take some time out, some days, to enjoy the earth beneath your feet. The blue sky above you, and the sheer marvel of how an avian stays in flight. Red Butte and its massive, towering formations will be a particularly favorite place with your brown. It’s the first between point you’ll learn as a weyrling, and the one that sticks the most as the best place to be. It’s beautiful, awe-inspiring, and perfect for the days when this dreamier side comes to the forefront.

Within this vast drive for knowledge, exists the constant search for his purpose. To better himself and you in the duties you serve to the weyr. Your time, Mal, of slacking or doing only the things that you, yourself, might want is done. For Morkarth has his own ambitions and during weyrlinghood it will likely manifest itself as the traditional desire for the weyrling wingleader, wingsecond, positions. However, once he’s past the stage of acclimmating to you, and has begun to really understand the way the world works, well, be prepared to grow in ways different than the traditional.

“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

~ Elbert Hubbard

Rank for Morkarth will mean little. Fulfillment will come when you achieve what he will consider great things. Any man or woman and dragon can achieve wingleader or wingsecond or assistant weyrlingmaster if they tried hard enough. It takes a great man or woman to be valuable to the weyr outside of pure rank. So be prepared to be offering up new, innovative ways to improve upon the way things are done to your superiors.

Lava builds in anticipation, pressured beneath cooled and hardened rock. Explosion is imminent, but beyond that the subtle click and whir of gears underscores the importance of his words as Morkarth imparts them to you. « Tell Dragonhealer Tilla of what we spoke about for possible alternatives to aiding in getting a broken wing to heal. » An idea that he’s been hounding you on for days now.

Maybe you understand this drive, maybe you don’t, but surely you’ll help deliver what he has to offer?

Not only new ideas, but Morkarth will go above and beyond for his fellow wingmates. He has the potential to become legend within High Reaches Weyr for both his capacity to understand, to empathize, his fellows but also his ability to push himself to the furthest limits of strength, dexterity, endurance and pure soul for the good of the weyr. This drive will push you into thinking more collectively of the good of the weyr, the good of your wing, and the overall success of Pern itself rather than what’s good for yourself. Morkarth has lofty ideas, fueled by the heat of his dreams and the heart of his knowledge. A collection of conflicting ideas made whole. A unit that works together — this is the foundation of your brown.

These lofty goals will often lead you down a pathway you might not want to take. Sometimes, the pathway taken is one that will lead to the peril of getting in trouble, but his intentions are not malicious. His intentions are to teach you that it’s okay to try something and fail, it’s okay to learn, it’s okay to stumble on this great road of life. What’s not okay, is to learn to give up.

“All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity.”

~ Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

Morkarth is certainly no perfect dragon. His struggles between wisdom an stupidity will get you into plenty of scrapes, but you’ll survive it with both feet on the ground because of his easy-going, humorous nature. His ability to take it in and laugh about it, while also knowing how to move ahead. How to do better next time.

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Your brown, Mal, is not all based in the more intellectual pursuits. He has a love of getting dirty. Of wallowing in the earth. Of living life beyond where the next ambition lies. One of the more precious times that you’ll spend together is in the act of hunting. Oh, for sure, Morkarth will hunt from the Weyr’s pens. And he’ll expect you to stand by, watch, and when he’s gotten his kill, to hop over the fence and join him. It’s a quirk that’s as immovable as the mountain upon which he’s based. This, though, is tame hunting.

And not one that you can really join in that holds the thrill of the hunt. Southern will beckon to you, to him, and for you to join him. It’s unwise to go hunting without preparing first, and Morkarth is no fool. He’s not likely to allow you to hunt packs of Southern felines, but he will be inclined to chase after Wherries. A prey that poses enough risk without posing the possibility of your death. See, he’s too cognizant of how valuable you — and by proxy, himself — you are to the weyr.

Plus, even more than the danger, Morkarth has a love of feathers. Specifically wherry feathers. While the moment is a bonding one for you and him as you perform your role in the cycle of life — something that your brown is so very acutely aware of — it is also a selfish act. For once the wherry is caught, killed, and devoured, he will have the desire to wear the feathers of his kill in tribal chief fashion. It’s so at odds to his veneer of gentlemanly polish, but it’s there nonetheless.

“The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them.”

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Yet another facet of a many-faceted being that’s woven together into one, single cohesive entity. Morkarth is aware, too, of his actions. It is not to sport that you two will hunt. It is, purely, to eat and consume of the life-giving earth. He reminds you that hunting is not about the thrill of the kill, but of the understanding that you are consuming the life of the creature you slayed. In that, there is reverence. For without the prey upon which he feeds, then he — quite simply — would not exist.

So be prepared for each meal, each hunt, to be a production. He will never be a quick eater, for this very reason that every meal is one to be savored. To drink deep of the lifegiving essence provided by the earth, and to acknowledge that nothing comes for free. Morkarth is very aware of the cycle of life, but is not fastidious about it. He will have no strange qualms about leaving the bones where they rest, for it is merely nature returning to nature.

The thrill of the hunt, the ceremony of the hunt, and the final acts of consuming the hunt are but a small aspect of who Morkarth is. All of these ideas rolled in one — Hunter, Gentleman, Positive Thinker, Curious Mind — they all come together to form a cohesive whole. A whole that is but one side of him. From the birth of his description, to the final areas of his physicality, to the depths of his mindvoice, to the subtle and intricate nature of his personality, this only barely touches upon who Morkarth is and who he is to you. You are the center of his world, the center of his universe, the center of his very being. And you will be pushed to greater heights for it, for he will seek to hone you, to challenge you, and to be there when you fall so that you’re not at rock bottom alone. Your brown’s ever positive outlook on life is something that perhaps you envy, for if even more people were like him, the Weyr, the Holds, and even Pern would be better for it.

Yet, Morkarth is a rare individual and he touches upon your life the most. Where you go from here… Why. That’s up to you two!


Our airship has nearly completed the map of your Morkarth! By now, we hope you’ve grasped a good idea of who he is, and are excitedly awaiting the final piece of the puzzle. For every creature, great and small, has an understanding and appreciation of the cycle of life. Your Morkarth is no different, rather, he has a healthy appreciation of what must come and be done to continue the line of his species. The last whirling curve of the map finds our dirigible approaching the section of flights.


Flights

For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the sheltered will never know.

~ Wiseman, Sucker Punch

Integral to any understanding of nature comes the understanding that without propagation of a species, all is lost. To this end, Morkarth will verily chase both golds and greens. Greens, he knows, will never yield a clutch but beyond the base animal desire that comes with the pheromones released by the females, greens are chased for the thrill of the hunt as well as practice for when he may yet chase after the golden girls of High Reaches. Deep within his molten core is the desire to procreate, to know that in some way, he — Morkarth — has helped further the species. This is his fundamental reason of chasing after the queens of a weyr, beyond the pheromone rush that comes with the mating dance.

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Should he ever become a clutch father, he will be protective of his eggs, and even encouraging and paternal once they’ve hatched into weyrlings. As they reach their majority, this will slack off so that by the time his offspring are ready to join the wing ranks, they are more like brethren than children.

You’ll never be able to predict when he decides to fly or when he decides to sit out. There’s a season for everything, he may tell you, as enigmatic as the looming caldera of High Reaches, but there is one thing that is absolutely certain. Morkarth is a momma’s boy. And unlike any other connection that becomes fluid once a dragon is an adult, this is one thing that will never leave him. It’s as deep as the bowels of the earth, compressed into the crust that overlays that beating, infernal heart. To fly his mother, Talicanitath, would break this very fundamental, maternal ideal, and even if you wanted him to, he wouldn’t. Talicanitath is his sun, his mom, and everything that begins and ends with his understanding of the world.

Oh, but be prepared to be hounded to wait on both Lendai and Talicanitath with an intense devotion when his dam is out on the sands. Love and excitement will be the primary emotions to his mother providing yet more siblings for him. And with this intensity of feeling, Morkarth will drive you to seek out Lendai to see what he can do, what you can do, to make their sands-stay more comforting. This may annoy the golden pair, but. Morkarth can roll with the punches, and his indomitable spirit cannot be quenched. Ire is but mere storm to weather, not a lasting emotion to scar!

That being said, any other golden or green girl is up for grabs. He will not have preference to his clutchmates — at least not so obviously. Of his fellows that he forms connections with, they will be who he prefers to fly, should preference win out over nature. Elicheritath and Qyth, his two clutch sisters, will have a leg up on the rest of the females of the weyr, certainly, but as you branch out of weyrlinghood and Morkarth forms deep, fundamental bonds with his fellow dragons, his preferences will even out.

He’s not limited to the girls of High Reaches, either. Nay, he’ll be as unpredictable as the wind, flying greens and golds alike at any weyr that you might visit. Much to, perhaps, your own consternation. Your brown is neither a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, nor is he the type to linger in unnecessary cuddling and touching. He flies high, hard, and fast, burning bright as a night star before dissipating as the afterglow wanes. The earth, after all, is not a suitor. And whilst your clockwork dragon has touches of the gentleman, it is not within the element of flights. Flights are all nature, elements, and about igniting the molten core of him.

At the time of blooding, a pang of regret is almost always felt so keenly that it might feel like your own heart breaks. For it is a waste. A necessary waste, but a waste nonetheless. Morkarth will blood as little as he possibly can, but hormones drive a large aspect of this process so he will not always have the control. This is where you, Mal, come in. Almost more like the riders of a female dragon, you will need to exert control over your brown if only to ensure that the post-flight mourning is not so long. Should you not care… feel free to let him cave to the burning desires of his Hellfire Steampunk soul. But be preeeeepared for when it’s all said and done, Morkarth will mourn the lives he took — mostly, because of the waste it incurred.

A blooded animal, after all, is an animal that does not give itself up to death to sustain life, but merely in the base act of mating. After every flight, as Morkarth comes to his senses and he leaves the lady he’s recently courted, he will compel you to join him back on the killing fields. If the bodies of the blooded still remain, you and he will clean up the mess. Spending long hours preparing the bodies, skinning, cutting, and taking what meat might still be good to the kitchens of whatever weyr you may have flown in. It doesn’t matter where or what, what matters is that some value is salvageable to not make their loss fade into the void without recognition.

Ahh, Mal, we are very nearly complete with the blueprint of your lovely, balrog inspired, steampunk generated, brown. What is left? To put the ganache on this lovely dragon, we must give a hint to how he flies. Morkarth is a mountain of a brown, a mechanized beast who’s endurance is high — which will make it easier to attempt to fly the golden queens — but who’s agility suffers. So in the air, be prepared for your brown to be outpaced by the nimbler, more agile browns and blues when he chases after the greens. He cannot do nor will he do the hairpin turns and twists. Morkarth is of the earth. He is the foundation, firmament, which speaks so loudly in his very straightforward way of flying.

When he’s chasing golds, he’s large enough and has enough endurance to hold his own with the smaller bronzes, but his success will largely come with the smaller golds than the bigger ones. So don’t expect that he’d win very often, if ever, the bigger golds of the weyr — the Jeyths and Aevryscienths — but with his size and determination, he has a well enough chance for the smaller queens.

In his mind, though, there is always a chance as long as your living!

“Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth.”

~ William Blake

So with every win, Morkarth will rejoice in the cycle of life. Of living to the extreme, and of being a part of the ceremony of mating. And if he loses, he will still rejoice in the living of life and knowing that he played a small part in the theater of the Flight.

“Ugh! I can’t believe that blue came out of nowhere!” You might rail, the hormones of a flight not won raging through
both yours and your brown’s body.

« Mal. » Lava flows as slowly as it always does, the firmament of the small island within the vast ocean of his mindscape as intractable as ever. « We did not catch, but our part in this was no small matter. Every little thing affects another. By us being here, we may have helped the winner win. It is how it is, and we should take joy in the fact that we were a part of it. »

He will push you to new heights, to new understandings, to revel in the loss of something if you’ve put your whole heart to it and done your best. Loss is but another aspect of life, and is worth living and grasping if only to chisel you deeper into the woman he knows you can be. Morkarth’s unquenchable spirit is the basis upon which your whole lives will ride, for when you are low, he will carry you. And when you are both high, you will soar as high as the atmosphere will let you.

Here you have it. The tools are at your disposal, and where you take Morkarth from here — well. That’s what this is for. Your map, blueprint, and compass!

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The blueprint has been completed and pieced together. The map has reached to the end, and the song that lights the sky tells a story of the heart and soul of your brown. We hope the journey has been wonderful, but now it is time to disembark, to land, and for you to move forward into weyrlinghood. Never fear. This blueprint is yours to keep and revisit as often as you like!


Song

When trying to come up with a song that truly explained the essence of your mechanized brown, it was a tad difficult. How do we sum up a complicated being like Morkarth in a pre-fabricated tune? Paige agonized over songs about the earth, and songs about exploration. But none of them just FIT. Then finally, she stumbled across this gem. And though it’s about driving, it explains exactly how your beast operates: a machine.

Since the dawn of time
I've rolled across the earth
Spinning in the dust

Long before your birth
Eatin' tar and gasoline
Every light I see is green
Open pipes, my machine's
triple-plated chrome

Spirit of the wheel
Wheels of fire burn the night
Ride across the sky
Wheels of fire burning bright
We live to ride

Motors running
Now you're gonna learn
Waiting on the line
Make your tires burn
Fast, faster, faster, faster
Speeding always kills
Nothing else takes us to get these thrills

Spirit of the wheel
Wheels of fire burn the night
Ride across the sky
Wheels of fire burning bright
We live to ride

Blood and thunder on the road
My heart is pounding
My blood is nitroglycerin
I'm fire
Burning, burning, burning, burning
Ready to explode
Don't want nothing left of me to scrape off the road

Spirit of the wheel
Wheels of fire burn the night
Ride across the sky
Wheels of fire burning bright

We live to ride

Clouds of smoke
Tires screaming
Fire in my hair
Blown into a thousand pieces
Scattered everywhere
Fast, burn, burning, faster
Wanna take a ride
Spirit of the wheel
Wheels of fires ride

Spirit of the wheel
Wheels of fire burn the night
Ride across the sky
Wheels of fire burning bright
We live to ride

- Wheels of Fire by Manowar


Ohhhhh Mal! We are the final end of the story of Morkarth and how he was put together. It’s time for the credits now, but we want you to know how happy we are that you’re a part of High Reaches Weyr now, and that anything and everything in this story is up for grabs. It is, ultimately, like a finely crafted theater piece, much is left up to interpretation. Discard, use, enjoy, read, re-read, and love all the parts you choose to! Morkarth is yours now, and from here on out, who he ends up being is all up to you. We hope that you’ve enjoyed the blueprint of your Steampunk Balrog brown! Welcome to the insanity of being a rider here at High Reaches Weyr!


Credits

Name: Paige, Eth'n
Egg Desc: Tuli
Dragonet Desc: Eth'n
Messages: Eth'n, Paige
Puppeteer: Eth'n
Inspiration: Eth'n, Paige

Clutchmates:
S'erc's bronze Vulkasinth, Tuli's gold Elicheritath, H'ris's green Qyth, M'yck's blue Oroqaith, and Jedi's brown Llioramasith

Harper's Tale's 62nd PC Clutch
High Reaches Weyr's 23rd PC Clutch
Lendai's gold Talicanitath and Sh’z’s bronze Lakenheath
March 22, 2012

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