20 | FEMALE | HARPER
5'10, Slender, Boyish
Samus is not hard to miss, but it really depends on who you are what your first impression of her is. With a simple glance she appears incredibly confident, her walk is sure and the way she holds herself speaks of stability, it's no surprise that a few are drawn to her. But if you're of the keener eye, Samus gives off a much different sort of a vibe. Shoulders tense and nervous twitches of her hands, there's always a bit of a panicked edge to her gaze that speaks of inner anxiety and turmoil all bottled up and under the surface.
A young woman who rarely ever stands still, and even then you'll only ever catch her at a stand still when something has completely caught her interested. Generally her ticks can mean any number of things, whether she's bursting with energy in that case good luck getting her to stop talking if you start her up. She huffs and she puffs in a bad mood, tapping her fingers if impatient, and her irritation is often less than well contained. Only she curls in on herself, stops talking or doing much at all should you worry, Samus is not feeling her best when these signs appear.
This Harper is someone who doesn't need to worry about being able to pull off a certain look, while she'll never be able to fully slip in and out of places unnoticed (she's not the hide-able plain Jane you know), she is able to pass for many different personas when she chooses. Including male. However, passing for male is not something she enjoys and is unfortunately something she has to deal with every now and again. There are quite a few who mistake her for a boy as she prefers trousers and loose fitting clothes that hide her figure, while her hair stays shorn short. Standing at five foot ten, it's very rare that Samus finds anyone she has to crane her neck for and when she does it's an incredibly releasing feeling. You can, after all, get neck cricks from staring down all day long.
Slender and fine-boned, this is one young Harper who is not about to let someone else get the better of her. Fit and ready, Samus has been trained in basic self-defense and weapon use at the Hall thanks to a willing guard. Endurance has always been her forte, and very few can out last her when she's in top shape whether it's from pure will or actual endurance who knows. But Samus is not one to stay on top of her strength, so since her stay at Discovery Weyr she's slacked off and isn't the fine cut figure she was at the Hall.
Samus has always had the unfortunate fate of having a resting wher's face. Looking thunderous and not to mention mean, is the default her facial features seem to fall down on and she'll swear up and down she's fine but by the end of the day she's gotten ten questions asking why she's in a bad mood. Pale skinned, Samus is lucky she's not one of those few who burn easily and actually manages to tan every now and again even though it's an odd yellow cast. Her hair cropped close is at its base, brown, though she'll fiercely correct anyone saying it's "golden brown." While not untrue it's the strands of blonde and red in her hair that gives this impression, get her in the sun for days at a time and you won't be calling her brown haired much longer.
Hazel eyes complete her assemble, resting under high arching brows and sparkling with either temper or laughter take your pick, out of the spectrum of eye colors her eyes are a mixture of brown and green. A birthmark nestles on her left cheek, really more of a scar from when she was little as she scratched the original birthmark off. But it's something she's grown to be proud of. The last, and least noticeable trait for Samus is her eczema, a skin condition she was born with and learned to deal with. Simply put, she has extremely dry and itchy skin. There are days where she curses this fact, those days are when she's scratching right through the surface.
Charming, Honest, Proud, Ambitious, Anxious, Competent
Contrary to popular belief, she will not bite your head off when you first speak to her even if her previous relationship and general expression says otherwise. As a matter of fact, Samus is an incredibly charming and amiable young woman, first meetings tend to involve a moderately strong handshake and bright smile. While it's to be expected that those not around her often assume her to be surly and irritable when spoken to, her charm isn't limited to first meetings only. Energetic, loud and most often found laughing in a conversation once you get her started, getting her stopped is another matter entirely as she tends to put her all into conversations that interest her.
Considerate even when she's gritting her teeth, it takes a lot for her to verbally lash out. Samus tries her best in making sure any toes aren't stepped on, even to the point that she bottles up her own opinions and feelings even if she wants to say something. Often the reason for most of her stress, Samus, in over-consideration and self-awareness, tries her best to conform to people around her in terms of habits. While she'll never lie and say she agrees to something she doesn't, Samus often keeps quiet rather than speaking up when there's confrontation looming. Speaking up to friends is perhaps the most anxious ridden task Samus has ever considered.
Honesty should be her middle name, there's not really a better phrase for it. Samus will rarely if ever lie, unless she has good reason to you can most often trust the words coming out of her mouth. Rather than lying, this Harper often uses the truth to her advantage finding ways to twist it so she can hide things in plain sight. While not always successful she's incredibly good at it. Samus is an advocate for truth, and from her side of things, justice. She always makes sure she gets both sides of the story, reserving judgement until she has all the facts and it's made her a very likeable Harper in the few Holds she's visited. But while she has a very strong sense of right and wrong, the Hold laws or Weyr laws may not always agree with her. Samus will make sure everything is fixed and "right" in her mind before she leaves this world.
Along side her sense of justice and admiration of honesty, is her loyalty. She will never break her word to the best of her ability, and anything told to her in confidence will never reach another's ears unless someone's safety is at risk. To her trust and comradeship is everything, and she does her absolute best to make sure others do not have a reason to mistrust her, that they can always count on her. But woe to those who break her trust, it will be a long day between before she trusts you with anything important again. Samus can and has been known to hold grudges for many long, long Turns.
While anxiety is often at her core, one thing is true for Samus and that is that she's incredibly proud. Not often arrogant, or at least she hopes not, there are things she's good at that she knows she's good at and she doesn't try and stop her pride in that. While not known, as she doesn't voice it, Samus is one of those people that most often thinks, "I can do better than you." A thought she winces at and tries to stop, but still there and sometimes she is quite certain that its true. Especially when an entire shelf in an Archive goes crashing down. It's this pride and moderate self-confidence that draw people toward and have them assume that she knows what she's doing. Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't, but she's mastered her ability to fake it until she makes it. Incredibly proud of her individuality and independence, Samus is aware that she often conforms to other people and while she may never fully stop or be able to voice a dissenting opinion, she's done her best to make sure this is at least kept to a minimum.
Bottling up emotions is never good, and it's this fact that's lead to Samus being moderately temperamental. Anything and everything can irritate Samus, even on a good day. There's always a low-key buzz of irritation in Samus and if she can't get it out in positive means, it comes out in negative means, or it would if she didn't clamp it down and add yet more fuel to the fire. Raised in a household where showing any anger or irritation toward parents or authority figures was being rude and disrespectful, so expression of herself was kept to a minimum. While it's had an incredibly negative effect on her, and may well be the source of her own anxiety, always being wound up tighter than a spring means she's always ready to fight. Samus often works off her own momentum in a conversation when dealing with confrontation, but this is one Harper, who when forced to, has no problem raising a ruckus. Even when she's screaming on the inside.
As a person, Samus is incredibly ambitious, and not necessarily just for means of power. While she enjoys being in the spotlight, in fact she craves the attention as when she was small her accomplishments most often went unnoticed, she's very much aware that she often doesn't have the skill sets to do the best job. But there's also the matter that she very much enjoys being in control, partially because it irritates her to no end when no one gives thoughts to her words or overlooks a very simple problem that can be fixed quickly and easily. In her mind everything would just run a little smoother if she just had a bit of power, not even the top slot! Just something. To this and other ends, Samus is very manipulative, while never destructive she often does her best to make sure things go just her way or that a solution gets to the right person at the right time. A very picky person, it's often her way or the highway.
Anxiety is the absolute bane of her existence, but she's had to learn to live with it as a person. The thing that causes the tension in her shoulders, and her step to quicken when there's someone walking behind her, Samus's anxiety is what holds her back. The tightening of her throat whenever she wants to speak but can't, or worrying about whether she should really be somewhere when she's perfectly welcome. Do people like her? Do they hate her? Well she screwed up that Archive! Round and around her thoughts go, and she's managed not to have a break down so far. But the shake of her hand is telling, and not being able to escape her own head is terrifying.
It's thanks to her anxiety that Samus is incredibly perceptive, picking up on cues from other people that she's not even aware of herself. While this is basic Harpering, for her it's also a matter of survival and making sure her anxiety levels stay low. However, on the plus side she's quite competent, able to keep track of a mental list when in a rush and pick up on matters quickly. Intelligent, and often ready for action if you haven't caught her just waking up, she'll take the initiative if she's sure of herself and will make sure things get done when they need to be done, whether it was her job or not. Of course, this means she's earned a bit of a reputation by being bossy but. You win some you lose some.
Commoner, Keroon Hold, 2894
Samus, to her chagrin, had the unfortunate luck of being born right in the middle of war time. Born at Keroon Hold summer the year 2894, the Resource War had already started in earnest by the time she had made her debut. Her father was often away from home, his trade included sailing the seas and with the war breaking out he'd been drafted for a short while before being sent home with an injured leg. They were lucky they had him back at all. In the first Turn of her life she was often taken care of by other relatives living in the same Hold while her mother went to work, while not a headwoman she did her best serving at the Hold and helping to organize any paperwork that needed sorting. That left Samus with her aunt and grandparents for most of the time.
With her father finally home he was assigned various tasks around the Hold, often helping with plumbing and field work he was a useful addition to the Hold community even with his slight limp. Keroon wasn't hit as hard as other Holds, they adjusted well enough, the commodities that they had become used to over the Turns restricted and banned since near the beginning of the Resource War. Growing up with only candles and glowbaskets for light, with baths warmed by fire was normal and expected for Samus, so she couldn't understand all the hullabaloo about those leathery strings and glass bulbs everywhere. As a youngster, she was employed with helping out with the younger whers via her aunt, or at least in terms of feeding them. She was never allowed near their pens unless a trainer or their handler was there with her. Whers were her first introduction to dragonkind, and she found them quite fascinating though they didn't spark her interest quite as much as their dragonkin would in later years.
She would never forget their leathery hides though, when a blue wherlet was brought out muzzled and leashed, she had been allowed to touch it for the briefest of moments before being taken away. And it was awe inspiring. These were the creatures that would keep their Hold afloat.
Her Harper learning began in earnest and even when young she had a fascination for books and stories, something that got her in trouble with the Journeyman more than once. Rather than pay attention she'd like to be reading thank you! Even from a young age her bright mind was noticed, and though she hated to lose and often forfeited because of it, Samus took to the game chess like a fish to water. Puzzles were always fun and winning was even better, so strategy was where she truly enjoyed herself. A completed problem was what she liked to see, and the Journeyman was very free with his praise. It was something she missed at home, no matter how hard she tried her parents were always too busy with this or that, or she just hadn't done well enough to please them. She knew that they loved her, but sometimes with her mom working the days and nights away and her dad away in the field and her alone, it got incredibly... trying.
It was in her ninth Turn that she discovered dragons, an Igen patrol had stopped at Keroon Hold whether to drop of messages, supplies or take passengers, she didn't know. But seeing the beasts, green, blue and even a grey in their midst, they had her in complete awe. And these beasts weren't like the whers, tame but able to go feral at any moment, these were intelligent and gentle creatures. Tired to be sure, she would expect anyone in a war to be tired, but as a youngster walking up to the grey in shock, well it was in her best interest that the dragons were gentle. How no one noticed her there she didn't know, she had always been very quiet for her age, but it was until a warm puff of air hit her did the rider know she was there. Startled, the woman had become a little nervous until a rumble and quick thought from the grey had calmed her down and Samus was allowed to touch the supple leathery hide of a dragon.
Guys, she wants a dragon.
With the Igen riders so pleasant and willing, it was like the war didn't exist for Samus and she had every intention of someday getting to ride on the huge beasts. Or even better, Impress one! With that fixed goal in her mind, she set back to work finding out about dragons all she could from the Journeyman. One of the few who didn't care for the riders much anymore, he gave her just enough information to keep her off his back but otherwise she was left on her own. Dissatisfied it wasn't until her twelfth Turn that she'd get her first wish, and be taken to a place where she could learn a whole lot more about Pern than just its dragons.
Officially enrolled as a Harper Hall Apprentice, the quickest way there was of course adragonback, and Igen riders were more than willing to oblige. Samus was pleased to see, that the little grey she had met years before was there as well, the dragon rumbling with amusement as she clambered a little too excitedly onto his back. Goodbyes were said, and then the riders were aloft and it was one of the most exhilarating and terrifying things Samus had ever experienced. Needless to say she panicked in the air, the greyrider grabbing onto her middle to keep her seated and calm her down, it took more than ten minutes before they could safely Jump. And it was only when the dragon brushed her own mind, reassuring her that no this was not a machine that could fail, of course she he knew where he was going, was Samus ready for between. Haha. Never again. The girl thanked the rider for the ride, still shaking, but made quite sure to let both her and her dragon know that she loved the experience even if it was very frightening. They both laughed at that. And then her stay at the Hall began.
Her first encounter with Fort riders was a bad one, and a huge shock to the sheltered Samus. She had never dreamed that dragonriders, as nice as the Igen ones were (they were always saying stuff like protecting the territory too) would raid on their own Holds! But it was a quick and merciless wake up call for Samus when she saw them swooping down on Fort Hold. The riders left the Hall alone, Harper's were still well respected, but the damage was done and foods rations were in effect. With the riders raiding when they could Harper Hall had become a refuge for storing anything of value, and over the next few Turns one of Samus's chores was to make sure everything was accounted for and no one was snatching stored rations.
But before those days were her integration days, finding out where she fit in and of course meeting new friends. She made one, Ania, but why they were friends was anyone's guess as they constantly argued. Samus seemed to be the only one constantly apologizing however, and it was no surprise to anyone when the relationship went up in flames.
Samus had found that she was more suited to archival work and even to some degree, subterfuge, so her musical training had taken a backseat as she began to specialize. And with her specialization came the access to the official Archives and there she found the history. The stories of the old dragonriders, fighting and protecting Pern, not raiding so often Holds were starving. In the Archives she learned everything she wanted and needed, and a slow burn started in her every time the Fort riders would swoop down. These were the riders of Pern? Ania hadn't seen to the point to her anger, riders were just riders and having a dragon wasn't everything. To Samus though.
It was after class, mid-morning, when the riders stopped by Igen by the look of it. How or why Fort had allowed Igen though was a question for another day, though it seemed that the two territories were briefly sharing supplies and Igen of course had a Clutch on the Sands. A Search had come to the Hall. Her brief childhood dream was staring her in the face.
Weak in the knees, her hands shaking, she lined up with the others of her age in front the dragons. Samus, heart-pounding, was one of the lucky few to be chosen. But with the dragon looming over her, the rider grinning and the sudden realization of the responsibility, she was suddenly overtaken by a breathless spell of fear. She couldn't see, she couldn't breath, what if she failed. Nearly falling on her ass, Samus was taken to the side and allowed to sit down. It was only after a long and quiet sit while the other now candidates gathered their things around her that she felt she was ready to stand, walk to the rider whose dragon had chosen her and tell him: she wasn't ready. She wasn't ready and she didn't know if she'd ever be able to shoulder the responsibility of what Pern's once protectors had become. She didn't want to fight in a war. The rider had shrugged, but nodded, and Samus had stayed at the Hall.
It was this incident, that had crumbled her friendship with Ania. Ania had always been irritable and temperamental, especially when things didn't happen the way she wanted them to (in hindsight it was little wonder she and Samus were always arguing) and while Samus had been selected Ania and been looked over. Even though she had brushed riders off before, she was furious that Samus had thrown away a chance she wasn't even given. And that was the end of the pair, Ania leaving the shared dormitory, and looking into the Weavercraft. She left the Hall a Turn later.
Heartbroken, Samus had turned back to the Archives to sooth herself, catching wind of rumors as they came in and then eventually the confirmation of a new Weyr. On a new planet! No wonder the Weyrs were getting along so well a little while ago. Discovery Weyr was what it was called and in Samus's mind it was a new hope, the struggling Pern could once again look to the dragonriders for help as it was once long ago. Though many seemed to be incredibly grumpy over that fact. Samus's training continued regardless of the new political piece, and while she took an interest in the Weyr she focused on her work. She requested training from the guards in the Hold and Hall, nervous as her time to graduate was quickly approaching and with mercenaries abound there was bound to be danger out there. As well respected as Harpers were, she wasn't taking any chances. Taking over mainly as an Archivist and bookkeeper, Samus focused on subterfuge and spy work as well, they were essential skills in the time of war but the question was who would she use them for? The Harper Hall was being pulled three ways sideways, and Samus felt no loyalty toward any of the territories except for her home, Igen.
And with Fort raiding as often as they were, she wasn't sure she had any empathy left even for the riders of her childhood.
At the age of nineteen Turns she walked the tables, earning her Journeyman knots and posting. She was set for Bitra, and while irritated she wouldn't be in her home territory, she resigned to the post. It was set to begin three months from then, so Samus made sure she took the time to visit Keroon Hold. Her visit was short, but it was sweet and she was pleased to see that though many had left the Hold, old faces were still there and welcoming. She reconciled much with her mother and was delighted to find that her father had managed to find a position beneath the Steward where he flourished and her mother could relax after her hard years of service. But soon enough, the visit was over and it was time for her to head to her posting. She was set to travel with a caravan and another few Harpers down the road, a passing Igen patrol willing to take her to group she'd be traveling with.
It was when she was dropped that the Fort riders made their appearance, having spotted the caravan from a distance the riders had set out to see what they could pick. And they were very far from home, a testament to growing turmoil in the Weyr. The small Igen patrol was outnumbered by the Fort riders and they had quickly made their retreat without a by your leave, leaving the group to fend for themselves. Samus was stung, even her home territory's dragonriders were turning back on what they originally stood for. Lucky for the group, the entire incident was non-violent. To a point. As long as they stayed quiet. It was only when it was known that the riders were also out on Search was there a collective breath holding. No really wanted to Stand at Fort, but it looks like they weren't getting a choice.
Samus was one of the unlucky few to be grabbed, and by her Harper knots it only gave the Fort riders more of an excuse to take her back to the Weyr. Harper's belonged to Fort after all. The only point of decency Samus will after given that patrol is that they took her trunk and knapsack with them. The anger that had been burning slowly for Turns now had become full blown. She despised what dragonriders had become, even the sight of the oldest Weyr from adragonback barely brought a flicker of awe. Dragonriders had turned their backs on who they were in her eyes, and she wanted nothing to do with them.
Unfortunately, she had little choice and the riders weren't letting her go anytime soon.
It would nine long months before she would be able to make her escape, slowly sending her things to the nearby Harper Hall for safe keeping. She could visit the Hall after all, she was a Harper. She Stood for two Hatchings before she was finally able to make plans to escape. It was during a Gather Day that she gathered the last of her things, put on her normal dress and met with her contact from the Hall. Her trunk was packed and in his wagon with goods he was selling and after she lingered around the Gather for a bit, she returned to his stall and his wife quickly helped her hide in the back. She had to wait until the Gather was done, and five hours later she finally heard the runnerbeasts being hitched to the wagon. The wife climbed into the back giving her some food and water before hiding her again and once they got past the riders at the entrance, they were off.
The small group was headed to Fort Hold, where Discovery Weyr riders would be waiting for them. In her correspondence with the Master Harper, asking for help, he had suggested Samus leave the planet to the new Weyr and she had reluctantly agreed. As much as it was a dream of hers to Impress a dragon, she was fed up and tired of the riders, and she wasn't sure if she was interested in being a Candidate at the new Weyr either. But if it got her out of Fort...
Just as promised two riders were waiting, chatting with the guards there and there was little reason to hide. The Holds were no friends of the riders any longer. Her trunk quickly taken, and she herself quickly thrown up onto the back of the dragon it was time to go the moon shining bright. She quickly thanked the wagon and his wife, tossing them a few marks. and then it was time for the riders to go, two others on the back of the other dragon. With the rider behind her she froze as the dragon was getting to leap, and she snatched at the riders hands in front of her. The trip was just as bad as the first time, and with her beginning to hyperventilate and no time to wait, it was little surprise that she had passed out between and extremely lucky that she was strapped to the dragon she was riding.
She missed the view from adragonback, but now two sevendays into Discovery Weyr she's settled in as a reluctant Candidate doing her best to perform any needed Harper duties. And if she could substitute chores completely for working as a Weyr Harper that'd be swell. Or just cut out Candidate entirely, but she's a little too nervous to ask. And a little too torn.