Hidden Winds Holt
Played by ~ Kelly
Character Name: Flaretalon
~Cub Name: Talon
Soul Name: Gren
Family: Pathfinder (father - deceased), Wildbloom (mother - deceased)
Lovemates: None currently; Trill in the past.
Skills/Hobbies: Flaretalon is a skilled hunter and tracker, though he‘s a perfectly dismal fisher. He is quite fast, and also quite agile; the tradeoff is that strength is sacrificed for speed, but that suits him fine. He has a steady hand and a good eye, which translates into an uncanny ability with a shortbow. His innate sense of balance and a certain heedless daring in climbing and jumping have made the tall trees of Hidden Winds a better home for him than the low foothills of the old holt ever were. He’s better with people than he gives himself credit for, largely due to the fact that his anxieties about being good with people have translated into an empathy that started out deliberate and has become second nature. Flaretalon enjoys the company of close friends, though any company can be enjoyable, and he has come to appreciate brief periods of isolation to get away from a tribe that always seems to be looking to him for answers. Since coming to Hidden Winds he can often be found wandering far from the holt on little exploratory forays, but is never gone for longer than a night. Long ago, he learned to play a flute-like instrument in response to a challenge from Trill, who ribbed him about his supposed lack of musical ability, and occasionally finds solace in playing. The occasional departure from any sort of responsibility can be enjoyable, but he tries not to overdo that.
Weapons/Tools: A short horn bow, long-handled hatchet, and a dagger.
Tribal Duty: Chief
Hunting Party/Gathering Party: Hunting Party
Personality: Always one to avoid the spotlight due to a certain self-conscious aspect of his nature, Flaretalon has found himself permanently planted there with the onset of his rather unwelcome chiefhood. Oddly, he doesn’t mind much, at least not on the whole. He doesn’t care for how everyone tends to look at him for all answers to every question, though, because a fairly substantial part of him still considers himself to be just one of the tribe - the only one of the tribe who doesn’t have anyone to look to for answers or leadership. In some ways, he’s more distant than before due to this perception, though in others he’s also more approachable; he knows that a chief can’t distance himself from the tribe, and so his distance is more emotional than physical, and then only to a certain extent. Conversely, he is in many ways closer to the tribe than ever before, and closer to finding a comfortable place within it. He spent many years wandering out of the Now, and continues to do so, but what was once a habit that made him feel an outcast is now a great asset to a leader, one that he is quickly learning to exploit. He has a mischievous streak that tends to come out in very subtle ways, and a dry, occasionally sarcastic sense of humor that is anything but subtle. He’s a fairly practical fellow, and not one to lose his head over much in general. However, his emotions tend to run unchecked; if he feels a thing, he feels it with his entire being. This is why the death of his parents hit harder and stayed longer than it would have with most others. This also extends to anger, and Flaretalon’s temper is not lightly roused because of this; his temper has a tendency to rage out of his conscious control without any warning that it was building, and this is the only reason that he now wears the lock. He is very strong-willed, some would say stubborn, which ends up being a detriment more often than an asset; in matters of leading the tribe, however, he takes a much less entrenched stance and tends to rely too heavily on the judgment and advice of others instead of relying on his own intuition. Doubtless this will pass in time, but for now it is a source of near-constant - albeit low-key - frustration that he can’t seem to find a comfortable middle ground when it comes to leading the tribe. Historically he has been protective of his dear ones to the point of being stifling, but has recently floundered with that tendency as he had found no specific one or few to focus it on.
Likes/Dislikes: Since taking the lock Flaretalon has developed a deep affection for lazy nights, the sort of nights where there’s nothing going on and nothing specific that needs to be done. He enjoys hunts more than before, as they’re about the only time when he can pass control and responsibility off to Kesna and just be a Wolfrider. He likes to watch and listen to the tribe more than he likes to be in the center of it. He positively loves this holt, with its warm weather and its lack of malicious enemies, and also for its newness and potential; exploring is something he has only recently discovered that he enjoys, as there was never the opportunity to try back in the Frozen Mountains. Very young cubs hold a measure of fascination for him, though once they get old enough to cause trouble that wears off very quickly. Chief among his dislikes is his distaste for being thrust into the center of the tribe’s attention; for this reason, he has come to dislike howls and celebrations, as he is expected to at least start them, if not officiate over the whole affair. Giving orders is one thing, telling stories and dancing around is entirely different. Though he has not seen trolls since they left the old holt, he harbors a lingering hatred for them due to all the elf blood spilled by them. He dislikes having so little control over his emotions, particularly his temper, and still feels a large measure of regret for having “stolen” the lock and driven off the chieftess and her family in the process. Wet leathers annoy him because they tend to shrink and he chafes at the necessity of getting fitted for new ones afterwards. Surly tribemates leave him frustrated and confused because he hasn’t quite sussed out how to deal with them effectively and gracefully.
Fears: Like just about everyone else under the sun, Flaretalon fears the loss of his loved ones; for him, however, this is more than just a casually tossed-off answer to the question of “What do you fear?” His depth of emotion makes the loss of loved ones something he can’t just get over. More than this, however, he fears making a wrong decision at the wrong time and leading the tribe to ruin. A lesser - lesser because it’s less likely to his mind - fear is that he will receive a challenge such as the one he issued (worst-case scenario being that this challenge would come from the returned chieftess), and not have the benefit of crazed anger to give him an edge, thus losing the tribe in another way.
Hair: Long to his shoulderblades, somewhat wavy, and an odd shade of grey-highlighted black. He wears it mostly loose, aside from the Chief's lock and the occasional narrow braid behind his ears.
Eyes: Very dark gray, slanted, and somewhat wolfish.
Facial Features: Very angular, with high cheekbones, a narrow nose, and an angled chin that squares off. This is a face that is most often seen brooding or contemplative, but which looks most natural when wearing a smile.
Height/Build: Taller than average, lean and wiry in a well-muscled sort of way. He’s built for speed and agility above strength, and it shows. He moves with an easy grace, for though Flaretalon is not at ease with all aspects of himself, he is totally at ease with his own body.
Typical Clothing: Tan pants tucked into dark brown calf-high boots, and a black loincloth. If it's very warm, he ditches the pants, and if it's cold, he adds a jacket. Always wears a slanted belt from which hangs his hatchet, and the dagger is tucked into his left boot.
Color Scheme: Browns and black with the occasional splash of dark green.
Jewelry/Decorations: Wraps strips of dark brown leather around his forearms, wears a thin leather lace around his neck from which hangs a single hawk's talon.
Special Possessions: The hawk talon, which was his mother's, and the hatchet, which belonged to his father. His longtime friendship with Trill is held dear, and Kesna’s growing closeness and willingness to give advice as well.
Personal History: Born the same day as Trill, she and Flaretalon have always been close. Shortly before they left on their respective soul searches, this closeness led them to become lovemates for a time, but upon discovering their own soul names found that they didn't match as well as lovemates as they did as friends; since then, they have mostly kept themselves as just friends, returning to their old relationship only under extenuating circumstances. When Flaretalon was about thirty turns old, his parents were brutally (even by the standards of a tribe which had been at war for most of its existence) murdered by trolls. Emotionally devastated by their loss, Flaretalon began to withdraw from the tribe, both physically and otherwise. Only Trill's refusal to let him slip away kept him grounded, but he was never quite the same after that. Where previously he had only been a hunter, he became a warrior as well, feeding a desire to hurt the trolls as badly as they had hurt him, and this began to eat away at him in a different way. Fortunately for his sanity, Crestfallen decided to lead the tribe away from the Frozen Mountains before this could continue for long. Flaretalon was among the first to throw his support to this venture, for there was nothing holding him there but memories that tended to turn bad. He truly enjoyed the turns of wandering, and seeing new lands and creatures, but by the time they reached the land that would become Hidden Winds Holt, he was more than ready to settle down again. They had thought their new home in the ancient balmy forest would be a chance for all of them to start over, to do things differently, but danger arose far too soon in the form of the deadly allos who claimed at least one tribemate before their migration - which took them straight through holt territory - was over. Crestfallen wanted to leave the holt and try somewhere else, and Flaretalon felt that they should at least try to fight for this home. The difference of opinion escalated quickly, tempers rose dangerously, and before anyone - including Flaretalon - really knew what was happening, he was hip-deep in a misunderstood challenge, which Flaretalon won through sheer luck and the edge lent him by anger. He did not want the lock, but he has slowly come to grips with the fact that for better or worse, it's his now. Over the turns since he won it, he has come to wear it with a natural grace, his faltering becoming less frequent with every day.
Appearance: Not very tall, but all of her height comes from her long legs. Quick-moving and lean of body, with silver-white fur and bright, curious gray eyes.
Personality: Exuberant and always busy. There aren't enough hours in the day for everything Nighteyes wants to explore. This curiosity is an outward sign of above-average intelligence; she picks up on wolf-sends easier than most and is more sensitive to Flaretalon’s moods. She is still young, and so remains in the lower middle of the wolfpack.