Member No.: 14
Joined: 20-October 11
NICKNAME(S): None, really
SEXUALITY: Ambiguously pansexual
CRAFT: Journeyman Glasscrafter
LOCATION: Ember Weyr
PETS: Bronze firelizard Codex
EYE COLOR: Black
HAIR COLOR: Black
OVERALL APPEARANCE Miskael is pretty sharding tall. Nearly six feet - well, more like five eleven and a half, but he can fudge the last half-inch with floofy hair and excessive enthusiasm, right? He's not THE tallest, especially around some of the built-like-a-brick-wall guys, but he's... still pretty darn tall, really. (Especially when you consider he's not even cis, he just kind of hit the genetic jackpot.) But he's not burly in the slightest. He's a beanpole, miles and miles of legs and not much in the way of breadth. He's not completely without muscle: his limbs are wiry and strong, with some definition and toning to them, the kind you get from plenty of brisk physical activity. He's just naturally not inclined to be bulky. There are a few faint, old burn scars on his forearms from an accident with molten glass a long time ago. He's also got a bit of the ladyhips going on, but it's really not enough to make you turn your head unless you know what to look for. Miskael's been doing this for eight years and he's pretty confident in the security of his illusion by now. (It helps that he's naturally got... well, nothing up top, even before you add in binding.)
He's black, with short frizzy hair of the kind that tends to floof uncontrollably. He tried shaving it all off once, discovered that he looked completely ridiculous, and then let it grow out as it pleased. These days it's just enough length that it tends to form a bit of a silly halo around his head. Sometimes he'll throw a brightly colored bandana over it, but more often he'll just wear a set of glassblower's goggles that he made himself. The rest of his clothing is fairly simple and practical, and more often than not looks slightly too big for his lean frame; layers upon layers of winter clothing for insulation against the killing cold doesn't really help this impression, either. The exception is when he's working with molten glass, where heat is not an issue and a loose shirt or a trailing sleeve is a potential fire hazard. His features are more-or-less androgynous, attractive but not stunning. But he has an absolutely adorable smile, the kind that lights up the whole face and crinkles the corners of his dark eyes.
LIKES: Glasswork, dragons, being an amateur naturalist, firelizards, anything new and unusual, people, hugs, exploring the icy wasteland even if it's dangerous.
DISLIKES: Being in the spotlight, having to take command of things, overly aggressive people, relationships based solely on sex, life at a Hold.
FEAR: Miskael fears a lot of things. He fears all manner of varieties of painful death, for instance. That's why he takes steps to avoid them.
QUIRKS: Oh Faranth don't let him have more than one cup of klah. It's a bit terrifying, frankly.
OVERALL PERSONALITY: Get it done.
These are the words that Miskael seems to live by. It doesn't matter what you choose to do with your life. But whatever it is, do it right. Do it well. Apply yourself with passion and for Faranth's sake use your brain, don't just sit there and wait for others to tell you what to do. Miskael isn't a particularly intimidating individual - if anything, he tends to strike people as awkwardly shy and a little too softhearted for his own good - but there is a certain intensity about him that can be occasionally disconcerting. It means he dances cheerfully all over the line between "adorable" and "slightly unnerving."
As might be expected from this, he tends to devote himself to things wholeheartedly. And not just one thing. Miskael's got room in his life for a lot of passions. Glasscraft is the primary one, but he's also something of an amateur naturalist, happily filling up leatherbound journals full of meticulous notes and amateur sketches in charcoal or ink. He's utterly fascinated by dragons and their relatives: he used to be kind of obsessed with whers and firelizards, and then someone introduced him to the real thing and he nearly had an aneurysm of pure delight. He still somewhat wistfully holds out hope that he'll Impress a dragon one of these days... Even if he's kind of edging towards the point of aging out. Well, if he does, that's still fine - he still gets to live at the weyr and be near them, and that's all ne needs, honestly.
Miskael is very social, and enjoys being in the company of others. However, he's not someone who is at all comfortable grabbing the spotlight. He would rather simply be present, listening attentively, chiming in as he sees fit... But try to put him in a leader role and he'll immediately freeze up and fall to pieces. No, he's the guy who comes up with the ideas, toys with them until they're practical and realistic, and then hands them off to someone louder and more charismatic who can actually pitch those ideas. He's pretty casual about affection, at least of the platonic kind; Miskael is honestly not very interested in physical relationships, but he does love friendly or affectionate contact. Hugs are the best thing. If you're upset and you need a hug, go to Miskael, because he is good at them and gives them quite freely. The exception to this is people who get up all in his personal space without permission, whether in a physically aggressive or overtly sexual kind of way... He tends to react strongly negatively to this, and he's got zero compunctions about grabbing the nearest heavy blunt object and swinging hard in self-defense.
While he's soft-spoken, he does have a sort of quiet infectious joie de vivre about him... as well as a strong streak of social justice activism. He's got weirdly progressive ideas for a Pernese man, ones that have been further radicalized by the libertine attitudes of the weyr. He does know when to keep his opinions to himself, and he tries not to force lectures on people... but yes, careless words from others can occasionally draw an impassioned speech out of him. A surprisingly level and grounded-in-logic impassioned speech, but a speech nonetheless.
He has a fascination with the exotic and the unknown, but tempered by a healthy dose of pragmatism and overall savviness. Horror movies don't really exist on Pern, but nonetheless Miskael seems to have an instinctive understanding of the tropes that ought to be avoided. You would never catch him, for instance, going down into the dark basement by himself. Or suggesting that the little team of survivors should split up to cover more ground. Or poking the dead alien with a stick to make sure it's really dead. And under all the sweetness and the smiles, there is a streak of absolutely uncompromising steely resolve. Miskael considers himself a 'practical pacifist', in that he avoids conflict and violence when possible, but also accepts the necessity of self-defense. In essence, he gives off the impression that, if the apocalypse were to come to Pern tomorrow, he would be one of the survivors who found himself a blade and a flamethrower and a safe place to fortify, and he would live, shardit. And so would all the people he cares about.
FAMILY: Father - Eldrem
Mother - Jaiya
Younger sister - Jaelari
HISTORY: Miskael wasn't born Miskael. He wasn't born physically male. In fact, technically speaking he wasn't even born at all, because prior to eight turns ago, Miskael did not exist.
Instead, our story starts with a young girl, Jaelyn, born at Benden Hold - or at least, that's what everyone believed her to be. Every outward indication was that the first female-bodied child born to the happy, perfectly ordinary couple was a happy, perfectly ordinary daughter. Except that she was a he where it mattered - in the mind. Now, Pern hadn't exactly invented the word transgender yet. Deep down, he knew exactly who and what he really was, but had no proper language with which to articulate it, beyond a confused insistence that he felt like a boy. So while his parents were gentle and supportive of their "daughter's" distinctively tomboyish, bordering-on-androgynous habits, they were somewhat puzzled about what to do about it.
He was apprenticed to Glasscraft at the age of ten, to a somewhat irascible old Mastercrafter who didn't give a flying green flit whether the new apprentice preferred skirts or trousers or a fetching wherhide loincloth, as long as he shut up and paid attention and didn't do anything stupid. He took to the craft immediately - there was one unlucky incident with molten glass when he was a bit too eager to experiment with his own projects, but if anything that just taught him the value of a bit of caution. Soon enough he'd progressed from sitting and watching, or fetching ingredients, into actually being permitted to create simple items by himself. Vials and beakers for the healers, thick panes of glass for windows and skylights, brilliantly colored ornamental pieces for anyone with a few spare marks... He enjoyed the work, found a certain sense of pride in it.
It was at this time that he invented the name "Miskael," although he never used it in public: it was simply something stored in the back of the mind, an idle fantasy. See, at Benden Hold, it was impossible for Jaelyn to be anything other than what she appeared - a daughter, born female. Too many people knew the family; it was impossible to completely alter his existing identity. And so he began to formulate a plan: once he hit Journeyman, he would travel to one of the other holds that needed a glasscrafter, and take on a new identity with an entirely new name when he got there. Nobody would be paying attention, nobody would bat an eye if the glasscrafter who showed up at the hold's gates happened to be a young man instead of a young woman. No one would know him. All he had to do was hold out until he walked the tables. With that goal in mind, it was far easier to simply focus on his work, heart lighter and more at ease. For his parents' sake, he even put up a good show of taking an interest in boys. (They’d be less thrilled to know that he wasn’t so much admiring as studying – the way they moved, the posturing, the unspoken rules, the way boys talked to other boys, the way boys talked to girls.)
He was Searched entirely by accident at age fourteen. He was well outside the Hold's boundaries, standing watch for a small expedition party, when a young feline took him by surprise. The creature pounced on him, sending him tumbling down the steep and icy slope; Miskael was badly clawed, separated from the rest of the holdfolk, and his leg was broken during the fall. (He still feels the occasional twinge of slight pain in that leg, although it doesn't seem to interfere with his ability to run, climb, or do the usual Candidate activities.) To his credit, he didn't panic, and made his best effort to defend himself... But that probably would have been a prompt end to the story, if it wasn't for the intervention of a bluerider seemingly from nowhere. The feline, only half-grown, thin and weak from lack of food - most likely why it was so close to the Hold to begin with - was easily driven off by the adult blue who had the advantage of intelligence and training. And then the blue's rider dismounted, approached, and asked "Are you all right, lad? What's your name?"
He froze. Without entirely thinking, he gave the name Miskael instead of his born name. He'd been dressed in the thick, concealing layers of insulating clothing, and the Searchrider didn't seem to notice anything unusual. And when the rider offered to take him away to Ember Weyr once he'd recovered, to stand for a clutch of dragons... He was terrified, but also elated beyond measure. This was - this was everything he had ever wanted in life, all offered to him in a single moment. A chance to start over somewhere new. A chance to see dragons, all the dragons he could ever want, up close. Maybe even Impress one. He said yes in a heartbeat.
The bluerider returned in about a month, once Miskael was well enough to walk; his family knew of the Search, but not that he was going to Ember as a young man. The next two turns were a somewhat frantic transition into life as a male. Miskael already knew how to pitch his voice, how to walk, how to most effectively hide the more feminine assets - those were all things he'd practiced, but this was the first real test. There was also quite a bit of awkward scrambling over things like... how to get through bathing without taking his clothes off in front of anyone, or desperately hoping that hormones wouldn't give him anything more than he'd already gotten in terms of said feminine assets, the strategic utilization of a balled-up sock... thankfully he seemed to do just fine. He shot up like a weed around fifteen, the growth spurt giving him some much-desired height, and though he did not Impress, he did manage to make a few friends and more or less settle down into the rhythms of the weyr.
He continued his glasscraft studies under the tutelage of the weyr's local crafters, and the next several turns passed uneventfully. He walked the tables at age twenty, proud to finally call himself a journeyman... although he no longer needed to journey anywhere. He'd found his home already, at Ember Weyr. After several turns of saving up spare marks from his work, he managed to purchase a large firelizard egg, which hatched into a little bronze he named Codex.