Gideon's Stand and Deliver Bronze Nylanth

Winter Hearthfire Egg

Warmth exudes a faint glow of pleasure: hazy, sunlit tones that disperse with perfect regularity like the flurries of snow-white stippling at random; the trim of egg's paragon curves. Lackluster walnut trundles around the sandswards base, stacking ebon-lined reinforcement to that stout pedestal; from there, a flare of light brightens the tidy shell, flickering saffron radiance amongst cerise's more subtle sprawl. Cerulean tips each spindle of amber-threaded rubicund, plutonic elegance sullied and shadowed by a singularly compelling turmoil of blackness.

Hatching Message

Winter Hearthfire Egg burns hotter as pleasure turns to passion across the white-hot shell. The once cozy fire becomes a roaring furnace as scarlet scatters like burning embers across the snowy white; hot - hotter - hottest. All the fury of a smith's forge seems to focus itself on a single point near the top… and bang. The egg shatters like glass.

Stand and Deliver Bronze Dragonet

The torrent of darkness that blacks this dragon's claret hide rides his lean, broad-shouldered frame as a cascade of shadows. However dark that jeweled hide twinkles - oh how it fits with never a wrinkle, that darkly gleaming skin - his dashing, darkling glory is offset by those moonlit galleon's sails. Doe-skin brown may soften his hindquarters, but it is bronze that crinkles bright at his ale-laced throat, clatters down the gallop of neckridges steeling his spine and dashes madly along the rapier length of his tail. His eyes, like the stroke of midnight - bright, like the moon at midnight - his eyes like the stroke of midnight, gleam with a robber's gaze.

Public Impression Pose

Stand and Deliver Bronze Dragonet does not plough straight through after all, but he slows as he approaches. He doesn't look like much, this lad… Fair and lanky, but he's prepared. Not fleeing, not petrified, not reckless. He pulls himself up to a halt and raises his head high towards the other candidate. The challenge will be laid down… Now will it be accepted?

Private Impression Message

Without warning fire shoots with the sharp, smoky crack of a musket and the acrid bite of the sword; his soul brands you to the very marrow, burning with affection and the hunger of his desire. Almost immediately afterwards, the cold rush of adrenaline makes its charge. « Hold. » An order, low and amused as the alien touch infiltrates your most inner sense. « Stand and deliver, G'deon. I am Nylanth. We will be One. » There is little room to refuse; his mind a torrent of need, passion, hunger, laughter, hope, futures, friendships, anger, fire, loss and love, all swirled with the shadows and smoke of the natural instinct to Choose. In a whirl of challenge, Nylanth offers to bind your destinies together. Forever. « Now? »


Gideon, welcome back to the Reaches! We'd love to have you here as a Smith, but we'd love to have you here as a bronzerider even more! We're glad you've returned to us and we hope you're glad with Nylanth. Remember that this is only our imagining of what Nylanth should be like. He's yours now to play as you want, so feel free to change or add anything; we know we'll like what you do!


The Highwayman
by Alfred Noyes

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilts a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened. His face was white and peaked.
His eyes were hollows of madness, his mouth like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's red-lipped daughter.
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

"One kiss my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He rose upright in the stirrups. He scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair i' the casement. His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(Oh, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning. He did not come at noon;
And out o' the tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
Marching—marching—
King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord. They drank his ale instead.
But gagged his daughter, and bound her, to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, though her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest.
They had bound a musket beside her, with muzzle beneath her breast!
"Now, keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest.
Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.

Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding!
The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still.

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer. Her face was like a light.
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.

He turned. He spurred to the west; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, and face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shouting a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.
Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat

And still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
Riding—Riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
And he taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Egg Inspiration

Winter Hearthfire Egg was themed after cozy nights in by the fire - it's so nice to be protected snugly and warmly while it freezes outside. Your dragon however was inspired by Alfred Noyes' poem - no protection for him. Quite the opposite in fact. Caught somewhere between soldier and highwayman, he¹s constantly questing for what he believes in.

Name Inspiration

Nylanth - as a name - was inspired by the smith-mage from "Fall of Angels" by L.E. Modesitt Jr., one of the many books in his 'Recluse' series.

The story revolves around the founding of Westwind on the Roof of the World by Ryba, the first Marshall of Westwind, and Nylan, the legendary black mage, smith, and engineer… Modesitt has an extraordinary ability to make the mundane interesting. This is true in all the books, but is most evident in this one as Nylan teaches himself how to build the black tower, carve stone, devise mortar, learn blacksmithing, design sanitary facilities, etc. None of these activities are what one would normally consider exciting, but the reader is drawn along by the writing anyway. Modesitt even utilizes Nylan to emphasize this by having him state that no one remembers or is excited by those who build the everyday things.

Nylan was the reluctant hero. An untalented and unwilling soldier. An unknowing mage (black mage, dark mage, which in this series is Good for they work with the Order of things, repairing and healing. Whereas White Mages work for Chaos, and all they do is destroy and deconstruct things). He was a healer, a lover, a father, and a friend. But above all else he was Westwind's First Smith.

Having fallen from the far-distant future in the stars, Nylan had to delearn his micro-net processing which made him a starship engineer and relearn the very basics of the craft. He head to learn how to work metal, build a forge, temper swords, design bows, build buildings, and cope in a world much like Pern. He also tried to learn to cross-country ski but was never very good at it. Above all else, Nylan worked with the mundane. And still people followed him. He was compassionate, hard-working, pragmatic, stubborn, humorous, rarely indulgent, and often alone. He was an ordinary man, doing extraordinary things, and had no time to question his ability to get things done. But he was also extremely charismatic, if only because he never gave up, and Nylan became one of the Legends of Candor, and heroes of Westwind.

Aside from the obvious Dragonsmith connection to Nylanth, the name is simple and straightforward. I imagine that Nylanth shares some of Nylan's stick-to-it-ness. He wants to see things through to some sort of conclusion. And, heck, if we have a few laughs along the way or get into trouble, no worries. But lets eventually get there, yes? Nylanth is also large, like Nylan, with a smith's wide physique and hot-sweaty-glossy feeling to him when he's hard at work. So what if everything you own ends up like smelling like firestone? We must have firestone on hand, after all. This is part of the Job, G'deon. We will be ready for anything. So Nylanth too is a soldier, because nature demands it of him. And he has the heart of a healer, because his compassion demands it. And he has the wiles of a thief, because it keeps him happy. Nylanth does not need to become a legend. He doesn't even need to be a hero. He will simply do what he does, as best he can, and if people appreciate that, then they are just the Right Kind of people. And if they don't, they aren't worth worrying about. So there.

Nylanth. Dragon of Westwind and High Reaches Weyr - the Roof of Pern.

Mindvoice

Nuff feels that Alfred Noyes' poem is best read by somebody with a deep, deep voice, and we can only agree with her. And of course, surely a dragon for a smith would have to have a deep, deep voice anyway, and yet one that can as easily have that edge of light humour to it. Nylanth's voice is deep with the wisdom of the ages, strong with the strength of all his kind, with that kind and knowing sort of wit found in your oldest friends. We feel that he probably sounds a great deal like Morgan Freeman from the Shawshank Redemption among others. That voice that can be both dry and warm, but always arresting.

His mental touch is like the scent of night-time outside, or perhaps for G'deon like the air in the heart of the mountains when there is nobody else around. Cold and crisp in its camaraderie, it calls the heart far more than the insidious comfort of a life indoors. There's a torch at its core though, burning and ever-present with its comfort.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
(The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost)

Physicalities

Color-wise, his hide is like dark claret; like a glass of rich, red Bordeaux sat in the dusky shadows of a hearth-lit room. He's a dark sort of bronze: far darker than Soquilith, and done in softer, more somber shades. He's definitely less flashy and patchy than his brother: Nylanth is more an all-over shade, with little extra to define him, save those paler ribbons that outline each limb, and those pale, moonlit 'sails, which offer a rather nice contrast to the shadowy, plummy crimson that tints his hide.

He's also got more opacity to his coloration than, say, the resiny-rosiny reddish-golden bronze of Telynth, or the brassy translucence of Cairhoth. So at first glance, it might be harder to see the sparkle that marks him metallic. But oh, he's bronze alright. You can see it better there where the brighter ale laces his throat. And then, of course, there's the size thing too. Don't worry. None but the most ignorant holder could possibly mistake him for other than he is.

However, don't assume that the duller, darker tones of his hide somehow translate into a dull, drab personality. He's no dusty scholar; he's a creature of action. But he'll never be entirely content to do things the 'done way'; no stereotypical bronze coloration for him, and no stereotypical way of going, either.
Nylanth has the physique of smith, or a rower, or a gladiator. He is large in the sense that he has these absolutely massive shoulders, as wide as any bronze, that dominate the rest of what is a more lean and tidy frame. He is narrow along the middle and haunches, not in a stretched-out sort of way, but more compact than that: sleek without being pudgy. Nor is he overbalanced in a cartoonish sort of way, with massive shoulders and an itty bitty little waist. But his upper body strength does dominate, and this makes him extremely powerful in flight and invaluable against Thread. He doesn't so much leap into the air as lift himself up off the ground, and being broad of wing as well as withers Nylanth seems to be able to flicker from one place to the next. He sort of slides in along the wind and uses it almost like a weapon.

You may remember that there was an alternative desc for Nylanth - a rhyming one! Well, here it is. If you want to change his current desc to this one, feel free. If you'd rather keep the one he has, do that too! Or go half and half. Maybe bring the rhyming one out for flights. They are both your descs, just as he is your dragon, so it's entirely your choice. We love them both.

Oh for the torrent of darkness that blacks his claret hide; oh for the ribbons of moonlight that etch each clattering stride. Doe-skin brown may soften his hindquarters, but bronze laces that chiseled chin; and however dark, it twinkles - Oh! How that jeweled hide twinkles - and fits with never a wrinkle, that darkly gleaming skin. So lean, but so broad-shouldered, with a rapier length of tail; his dashing, darkling glory so offset by those moonlit 'sails. Neckridges gallop the length of his spine, with nothing to bar their way; and his eyes, like the stroke of midnight - bright, like the moon at midnight - his eyes, like the stroke of midnight, gleam with a robber's gaze.

Personality

Nylanth is an unusual dragon in that he doesn't mind High Reaches, ah, less than tropical climate. In fact, he's rather fond of it. He claims that the brisk weather helps to keep him alert, whereas the heat makes him drowsy. This, incidentally, seems to be a trait shared by all dragons; the rest of them just aren't complaining. But it's not for highwaymen and heroes to lounge about when there's glory to be won, and so Nylanth does not share the extreme indolence of so many dragons. In many ways he prefers night-time and it's cool lure to adventure. As well as its sleep-inducing heat, the sun has a tendency to reflect off snow, and that is just too bright for him. His keen night-vision makes up for it though, to the extent that you might think he had watchwher blood in him, if the rest of him wasn't so obviously not a watchwher. He can track the run of a wild herdbeast through thick forest with only the moon to guide him. Because of this he's particularly suited to doing night sweeps, and, indeed, he will press you to take them. It's the night-time that he feels alive, that his passionate roguish side manifests itself.

That's not to say that he hangs about during the day, waiting for nightfall. He'll want to be busy doing something, rather than succumbing to the temptation of a siesta. By day, he is much more your dragonsmith, with an eye towards efficiency. All those necessary chores, those boring menial tasks that you'd much rather put off, those are the ones he'll want to get over and done with during daylight, so the night is free to enjoy. And it's in daytime that he's assiduous about training and practicing threadfall maneuvers. Of course, he has to sleep sometime, but he'll choose to nap at a time that is least likely to inconvenience your day's work. So you won't find him sunning in the bowl at the least opportunity, although he might be happy to sun from the top of a mountain; there's something about the air up there….

Ahh, mountains. Mountains are what Nylanths love best (after G'deons, of course!). Forests, deserts, plains, oceans, they're just a different colour of floor to a dragon in the air, but a mountain range, Nylanth's mountain range has three dimensions. A playground that sweeps below and towers above him by turns. Hidden valleys to find, volcanic craters to explore, lakes that only you and he will know the existence of… How he'll adore it once weyrlinghood lets you two out beyond the weyr walls! Nylanth will want to explore the whole of High Reaches until he knows them inside and out, and he will get to know them inside and out. Remember all those places you used to tramp through in your messenger days? Now you get to see them from a completely different viewpoint.

Nylanth won't let you walk anymore, of course. Not unless he can walk with you. But he does understand and appreciate that so often it's nice to see the places you're traveling through, rather than winking from starting point to destination and back. Nylanth will always enjoy flying straight. Going between misses out half of the fun, so you may find yourselves setting off earlier than another dragon and rider pair would for that simple errand to Tillek. Unfortunately, what Nylanth hasn't got is a good concept of distance. As a weyrling, he'll not be able to recognize the difference between flying from the bowl to the meadows and flying from the bowl to Southern Weyr. The latter just takes more flaps is all, right? Not that he's particularly prone to wing-strain, since he's generally obedient to leaving the air when you ask him, but he'll always remain convinced that if you just gave it a go, he could fly you across half of Pern. Provided he had some good thermals and a following wind.

Come, said my soul,
Such verses for my Body let us write, (for we are one,)
That should I after return,
Or, long, long hence, in other spheres,
There to some group of mates the chants resuming,
(Tallying Earth's soil, trees, winds, tumultuous waves,)
Ever with pleas'd smile I may keep on,
Ever and ever yet the verses owning - as, first, I here and now
Signing for Soul and Body, set to them my name.
(Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman)

You see, he's neither one to turn down a challenge, nor one to refrain from making one; he'll never let you rest, but he will always be provoking you into trying every reckless thing. Moreover he'll be philosophically cheerful about it when G'deon ends up falling into the oil vat while trying to retrieve Sasha's brush for her. « At least, you tried. Besides, you've got to admit, you do look kind of funny dripping with oil. Can't blame them for laughing. » Pause, and then he'll very rationally point out: « It will be good for your skin and hair. »

And when all is said and done, his gallantry feels that 'for a lady's sake' is a good enough cause to lose face. And he has an eternal concern for the greener/more gilded sex. Unlike many bronzes, he doesn't necessarily have an ulterior motive (of the primal kind), he just feels that he should watch out for them, and to a lesser extent the other smaller dragons: brown and blue. He'll treat the other colours with a gentle courtesy and a touch of deference. The bronzes alone does he regard as able to fend for themselves. And G'deon.
Unlike the attitudes of a great many dragons towards their riders, he doesn't feel that you need his protection. Instead, together, the pair of you are comrades in arms, fighting alongside each other. In Threadfall he trusts you to watch out for him even as he flames. This is truly a partnership, and as much as you give to him, he gives to you. And similarly, he expects to you be there for him to the same extent that he is there for you. However, while he sees your bond as very much a working one, it certainly has its personal side.

Your company is Nylanth's preferred one, and when he asks to fly somewhere straight, it'll be when you and only you are aboard. Should you be giving a harper a lift from the south side of the Tillek Peninsula to the north, he'll be ready to skip between. It'll be on the flight home to the weyr, when it's just the two of you that he'll say « It's a nice day. May as well fly it straight. » He won't be averse to flying straight with a passenger if you request it, particularly if it's somebody you're both fond of, but he'll never take the initiative to ask. Whether this is because he truly prefers that you two be alone together for them or because he doesn't wish to inconvenience a passenger, who knows?

And finally, if this is a partnership, then you fight together, work together, talk together and play together. Nylanth's firm respect for you manifests itself in disrespect more often than not. So when you're bathing, you'll learn to be wary of a tail sneaking below the surface to trip you up. Being buried in snow at winter will also become commonplace; Nylanth always knows where you are even if nobody else can recognize you from another snowdrift. And when you are a fully-fledged bronzerider, and a fine upstanding member of the Weyr, a perfect role-model for many a brat, Nylanth will see the potential for humour, when you are about to mount him in view of some friends. He has merely to pretend to be distracted at the vital moment, to turn to one side, and there you'll be, flat on your face, with one leg still bent to climb upon his foreleg. This is all character-building after all, and the greatest friendships are built on these sort of practical jokes, right? Take our advice and get your own back once in awhile.

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I'm after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light."

Nylanth is the sort of dragon who needs a goal in life, and it is to this end that he sets himself his little quests and challenges. Mostly these revolve around you; ways to make you happy. He's not overly materialistic for a dragon, but he understands that sometimes little things can remind humans of something that makes them happy. He's never quite fully grasped the concept of cause and effect, although he at least recognizes its existence. The trouble is, he can only guess at how it works, but he tries. When you and he have spent a free afternoon exploring a valley and you mentioned just how beautiful the trees are, he was paying attention. Just before the two of you take off, and with your view of the ground blocked by his bronze bulk, he'll deftly snag a fallen and rotting branch in his foreclaws to surprise you with when you get back to your ledge. « Now we can have part of the forest in our weyr. » And the maggots and woodlice? Aren't they also part of the forest? It's certainly a lot better than those flat canvasses with splodges of paint on, right?

Nylanth is also given to nocturnal wanderings while you're asleep. It's easier to surprise you with something then. He can't go far, true, but there's often something lying about in the Weyr itself that might be worth your attention. Don't worry, he does have respect for other people's property. Admittedly this is somewhat impaired by his persistent conviction that if somebody has an abundance of something, then they won't mind him taking just one. Or maybe two or five. After all… if they have that much of them, then they must be a good thing and therefore G'deon will like them. The more careless female riders around the Weyr may very quickly learn not to leave their laundry airing on the ledge overnight, after they've had to uselessly throw pottery after Nylanth as he drops from their ledge with a breastband flapping from his teeth. (Nylanth himself is likely to consider the pottery an extra gift from the kind rider, which would explain why G'deon will find said breastband garnished artistically with the shards of broken cups on his ledge in the morning).

He's also a firm subscriber of the "finders, keepers" belief. Anything found at the bottom of the lake is public domain… you'll find yourself with many a soggy toy to return to Tyara the morning after the brats have been playing on the beach. Of course, Siulth has long since regarded what's at the bottom of the lake as her own personal treasure, so he will have competition. Fortunately, Siulth does not apply to items left in the meadows and Nylanth does. Or even in the galleries after a Hatching. No, dragons can't fit in there, but it's amazing what a head (with a long and supple neck) can reach from the ledges. Your weyr will often resemble a lost and found, and in fact, it's quite likely that people will come to you every time they misplace something saying: "Has Nylanth seen …?"

"Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

Of course, its not always that he wants to go out and "find" something to bring back for G'deon. Sometimes he just wants to go out and visit other dragons and their riders. He's still a sociable dragon, for all that he likes to take a solitary flight with only you for company. It is not a flirtatious call, nor an invasion, nor a demand for attention. He simply flies off and settles down on someone's ledge and waits to be noticed. If they don't notice him, then he moves on to another ledge. Or, if they happen to have underwear out for drying, or a skin of wine lying around, well maybe he'll just have to take that with him… keep the ledges tidy, y'know. And it becomes a gift on his next visit: « Tiareth. I have come bearing compost. » (for compost is to do with flowers and flowers are things people like). More often than not he brings whatever it is back to G'deon…. even if sometimes he forgets and just stashes it under the bedding with all the other things he doesn't need.

He's not a collector, you see. He doesn't hoard and covet and keep things. He simply gathers them up and brings them home. Once he gets them home, he has no use for them. Well, perhaps the stray Green now and again are nice to have on hand for curling up around and whispering sweet nothings too in his deep, soothing voice. But really Nylanth just steals things because he can. Because he wants to. Because you'll like it. Because… well, its fun.

Flights

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Why don't you march with my true love?"
"We're fresh from off the ship an' 'e's maybe give the slip,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."
New love! True love!
Best go look for a new love,
The dead they cannot rise, an' you'd better dry your eyes,
An' you'd best go look for a new love.

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
What did you see o' my true love?"
"I seed 'im serve the Queen in a suit o' rifle-green,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Did ye see no more o' my true love?"
"I seed 'im runnin' by when the shots begun to fly —
But you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Did aught take 'arm to my true love?"
"I couldn't see the fight, for the smoke it lay so white —
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
I'll up an' tend to my true love!"
"'E's lying on the dead with a bullet through 'is 'ead,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
I'll down an' die with my true love!"
"The pit we dug'll 'ide 'im an' the twenty men beside 'im —
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Do you bring no sign from my true love?"
"I bring a lock of 'air that 'e allus used to wear,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
O then I know it's true I've lost my true love!"
"An' I tell you truth again — when you've lost the feel o' pain
You'd best take me for your true love."
True love! New love!
Best take 'im for a new love,
The dead they cannot rise, an' you'd better dry your eyes,
An' you'd best take 'im for your true love.
(SOLDIER, SOLDIER - Rudyard Kipling)

Females? Well, an interesting diversion, those Green and Golds. But a diversion nonetheless from the more Important Things in life, like Thread-Practice and Wing-Training. That's in the daytime. At night, his spirits relax a bit and he stops treating the female dragons as things under his protection and more as individuals in their own right. Even so, we can't imagine he's the sort of bronze to sit and polish Eggs on the Sands, should he ever find himself mated to Gold. He'd probably be more likely to pace and fret and wonder what all the other bronzes were getting up to without him, and if they're off flying Thread and he's stuck down here on the ground, of all places, well he's not going to be happy about it. Not that he doesn't like the Queen or her eggs (and they are her eggs, he just happens to be around as well), and he can be as kind and considerate as any dragon when there's nothing better to do. But, shardit all, his place is off on the front-lines, at war with Thread. The Queen is the one to stay behind and guard the eggs… and no slight to golds intended. He's well aware that the Queen is perfectly capable of protecting them herself. So far better that he be the first line of defense, rather than a redundant addition to the last.

In flights themselves, he'll be more involved with them at night. Of course, even by day, the dragonsmith can be overpowered by his hormones, but his charming side will be more apparent after dark. His tactics will differ too. A daylit flight will be approached tactically with every movement carefully anticipated, planned and carried out. Under the stars, he'll be equally prepared, but he'll be much more alive to the joy of the chase. Either one, for all his plans, he's ready to improvise, to make a daring and unexpected move if the risk is worth it… and in the heat of mating, the risk usually is.

You breathe on the tip of a thistle stem
(like light chrysanthemums)
The seeds of youth that float, fly, and fall
White petals like the feathers
of the wings of angels
once fallen to earth to witness -
silently, saintly -
The games of children
who may sing their songs to the sky.

They never know
for whom it is that they sing.
(Hopscotch - Charlena L. Wright)

No matter what he does, he'll have to add something of his own inimitable style to it. However much G'deon tries to point him toward the good soldier's role, Nylanth, in turn, will press G'deon to do more than the regular slog. If you're going to do it, do it with flair. Such is his motto… he takes a fair amount of pride in his appearance for a bronze, although he's not conceited. He just likes to look the part. He doesn't crave the spotlight at all; he's not remotely vain. But he'd hate to ever be described as "one of the bronzes at High Reaches". He's Nylanth, dangit. And he doesn't assume that that's better or worse than anybody else. Just different. But in the same sense that Nylan the smith made so many improvements… albeit mundane ones… because of that same ability, that same innate need to think outside the box, he is the way he is. Even if it's only manifests itself in little ways, he refuses to accept things simply because they are.

Behind all his quirks, he's got a core of very good sense. You can trust his opinion on things when he gives it, from the lightning decisions of Threadfall: « Mzadith will get that clump, Imbriath needs help there! » to the odd unsolicited piece of advice: « Do not talk to Cadgwith's rider about it now. She's in a temper again. Wait until tomorrow… she calms quickly. » He has that age old wisdom of the most battle-worn soldier, even as a weyrling, although it needs the fine-tuning that only comes with experience. Better yet, dragons are not by nature jaded creatures. He will never lose his enthusiasm for each new day, nor his overall passion of life. Of course, just as he cannot dwell on the past, he won't consider the future either, but if you have any ambitions, you can be sure that he'll support you in them. Why? Because an ambition is a challenge, and when it comes to challenges, the two of you are up to anything!

So what and why is Nylanth? We can't tell you, perhaps one day you will tell us. Or perhaps he'll be an eternal and joyous mystery. However, he's yours now, and equally his lifestyle is yours. For Nylanth lives for the hunt, for Thread fighting, and for you, G'deon, of course.

Credits

Name: Nuff
Egg Desc: Aldara; Lis-tweak
Dragonet Desc:
Messages: Nuff
Puppeteer: Pyrene
Inspiration: Nuff, Pyrene, Saoirse

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