OOC Name: Rannoch
so I have my sword, and the queen, and that's good.
38 | Male | Ex-miner
Ansgar's appearance is fairly typical for Crom blood: fair skin that burns easily in summer, coupled with dark hair and eyes. Getting out of the mines and into the bright semi-tropical Discovery sunlight has lent a bronze undertone to his complexion, but he still prefers working at night during the hottest of the summer days, because it's just damned undignified looking like a gently-boiled lobster. His hair is dark brown and hopelessly messy; if it looks like he cut it himself using a belt-knife and a hand mirror, that's because he might have. His eyes are a relatively plain shade of chocolate brown, nothing special, but they crinkle nicely when he smiles. He's got a cute smile, in fact, but he desperately needs to use it more.
Standing at 6'1", he cuts an imposing figure in armor. Ansgar favors the kind of thick leather armor that is both cheaper than metal mail and adds to one's perceived bulk, making him look significantly stockier. Beneath it, he's only about 170 pounds - which isn't much when you're talking about muscle, with little spare fat. As for distinguishing marks, Ansgar bears his fair share of scars. Nothing distinguishing; he's still got both ears, both eyes, and all his fingers, thank Faranth. Mostly they're the typical array of nicks and calluses you get from a lifetime of hard work and harder fighting. His voice is rough, probably from an overabundance of shouting, and his accent is pure Crom. It's not hard to guess where he's from, between the wher and the distinctive timbre.
Ansgar is not a particularly gentle or affectionate man. He has a tendency to begin lessons with new crops of wher trainees by shouting friendly reminders that he doesn't care a whit about any of them. They are not spoilt dragonbrats, they are future wherhandlers, and Ansgar doesn't intend to give his life for any of them! If the skyhunters return, they will not cower in their barracks like frightened children, they will damn well pick up their swords and fight! Else what good are they, to the Weyr or to anyone else?
This is all a bunch of crap, of course. Ansgar loves his trainees more than anything. They're the only family he has left. But it's important to him that they don't know that, because it will teach them not to rely on him.
He is a stern teacher, but fair: Ansgar believes in giving compliments when they are well-earned, and no sooner. There is an awful lot of shouting that occurs during his lessons, and occasionally brutal honesty. But rarely does he speak to a student with the intent to hurt, and only when it's worth the brief sting of a harsh reprimand. He's not a man to sugarcoat things; if telling someone they're not cut out to be a wherhandler now means they don't have to suffer when their wher is culled later, it's still a mercy in his eyes. Discovery is a dangerous place, and he has little tolerance for slackers and cowards. But he has a tremendous soft spot for those who have heart, even if they lack skill. He can teach anyone how to swing a sword or track a wher in the dark. He can't teach someone how to have kindness, or courage, or loyalty.
Life has left him something of a bitter cynic. Ansgar doesn't have a lot of room in his heart for dreamy romantic notions about the honorable dragonriders bringing peace to all of Pern. The war isn't some Harper-tale, it's a bitter reality in which selfish men scrabble for whatever they can claim for themselves. No heroes are coming to save them. But Ansgar doesn't intend to make matters worse by succumbing to villainy himself, and his rampant pessimism is tempered by his sense of duty to the Weyr. If nothing else, he will do his job, and he will do it well.
It is theoretically possible to get him to unwind, but it takes unusual circumstances... and usually some assistance from very strong alcohol. Ansgar's tolerance is an impressive thing to behold, and he enjoys watching less-seasoned handlers try to match it. In better moods, he can be coaxed to share a bottle of whatever-the-vintners-cooked-up-this-time, and a handful of war stories. The copperhandler is a common sight at the Dragon's Rest, or on the training grounds, watching the guards sparring. He's even been known to engage in raucous heckling from time to time.
When Ansgar has occasion to fight - which is less often now that he's a teacher rather than a guard - he does so with a kind of terrifying abandon. It is the fierce, no-holds-barred aggression of a man who has very little left to lose. He has Ansk, and he has his students, but... Ansk is no dragon. She is not a soul mate, she is a second set of eyes to watch his back, and he in turn will watch hers. The pair of them bonded over shared circumstances, not sentiment, and that will suffice.
- Born at Crom Hold to a Master Miner and his wife. Eldest of four children.
- He is ten, only just gone from spare-set-of-hands to formal apprentice, when Telgar occupies Crom. He is lucky enough that his family is at the Minecraft Hall at the time, and thus are spared; Telgar wants the miners alive and intact, even while it puts the Lord's family to the sword.
- Ansgar is old enough to remember the Hall the way it used to be, and to be at least cognizant of the changes in the atmosphere. Some of the older Masters object too loudly and are demoted, or simply silenced.
- He rises through the ranks to Journeyman, albeit slowly. Eventually he stops picking fights for his family's sake, as he worries for his younger siblings' futures.
- Work in the mines grows increasingly risky, after turns of increasing pressure to meet quotas and slapdash workmanship from embittered crafters lead to instability. Ansgar puts his head down and keeps at it.
- Meets Ellona, a charming Journeyman Healer, when he is twenty-three and she is twenty-five. She patches him up after a bad rockfall breaks his arm. He more or less falls head over heels for her.
- Ansgar courts Ellona over the next few turns, and she happily returns his affections. The pair of them are handfasted, with plans to settle down and start a family.
- Ellona dies in labor with their first child. Ansgar pretty much loses his will to do much of anything except take his hurt out on the world.
- Joins up with the rebel faction seeking to shake Telgar's grip on Crom. Refuses to do anything that would put the miners in danger - no sabotage, for instance. But he'll happily do anything that will make the Telgarites miserable.
- Learns to fight primarily by getting the snot kicked out of him by guards, then learning how to fight back. Turns out to be surprisingly handy with pretty much any weapon that can be swung like a pickaxe.
- Ansgar befriends a fellow Crom native, a greenhandler, and the two of them grow quite friendly. Ansgar is even promised an egg one day.
- A riot goes very, very badly when he is thirty-one. One of the senior Journeyman miners organizes a strike to protest the working conditions, and Ansgar joins in. The Journeyman is killed and his wher, a young copper, is panicked. Most of the rioters are killed by Telgar wherguards, but Ansgar manages to get the copper to safety - or she gets him to safety, the way she tells it.
- It turns out that Ansgar's greenhandler friend was actually an informant passing information to Telgar guards the entire time. He is understandably upset. Also why the fardles does this small angry copper keep calling herself Ansk, he wanted an egg, not someone else's wher. Ansk is not any more impressed with him than he is with her.
- Ansgar is not much welcome in Telgar territories, now that his dalliance with the Crom liberation faction is known. Coppers are sufficiently valuable that he manages to barter passage to Benden before the pair of them are killed for treason. He joins up with the rest of Benden's wherhandlers, who teach him what he missed - including some better fighting skills.
- Meets Aulen by chance, when Ansk clutches and she shows up at the sands to chat with him. She's recruiting for some sort of project to settle a new Weyr, and she wants to bring some whers along to help keep the local fauna in check. It sounds reasonable enough, so he agrees.
- Ansgar is not expecting the Green Star, but he's not going to be a wherry and go back on his word. Accompanies the first group of wherhandlers to transfer over, and thanks Faranth that Ansk is small enough to fit comfortably on dragonback.
- Aulen gives him the position of Traineemaster, because he's good at being intimidating, but also because he obviously needs a bunch of twentysomethings to look after, like like a particularly bad-tempered sheepdog with no flock. Thus is the dawning of Shouty Sword Dad.