Birthing Date: 08.01.2743
Craft: Harper (Sr. Apprentice) - archivist
K'lau was not born lucky. His afflictions are almost always the first thing that someone notices about him - for one thing, his head is semi-permanently cocked to the left, his same-side shoulder stiffly raised to bring it even nearer to his cheek, and while he *can* straighten, to do so completely takes deliberate effort and is slightly painful. His head also gives a slight spastic twitch every now and again, most often when he becomes nervous, frightened, upset, or excited. He will also sometimes drool a bit at these times, and his ever-present stutter, usually fairly mild, will become worse. As if all that wasn’t enough, he also has a slight limp, dragging his left foot, and his knees are weaker than they should be.
If he’d been better blessed by fortune K'lau would stand at 5’8” or so, but the lean from his limp and the awkward, stiff cock of his head and shoulder rob him of a good two to three inches. But other than that, beneath his plain and loose-fitting clothes K'lau is... well, kind of buff. After all, he knows that he’s just barely skirting the line of being eligible for Candidacy, and he has devoted himself to ensuring that he *won’t* lose this chance. He’s worked out every day, in private, ever since he was Searched, and the result is... well, rather nice to look at. If you can get over the shoulder-cock, and the head-twitch... and the drooling he’s likely to be anxiously doing if he catches you looking at him naked.
He has short, soft brown hair that he makes an effort to keep neatly groomed, but by the end of the day it’s normally a bit mussed from his occasional twitching. His eyes are actually a rather handsome steel blue, which would be easier to see if he were more comfortable making eye contact. In fact, if only it weren’t for his symptoms and the wide-eyed or overly candid expressions he pulls, he might even be handsome... if only.
K'lau is a thinker, someone who is genuinely fascinated by the world around him, with a special passion for histories and politics. It's ironic that he finds the idea of seeking rank or making history himself to be abhorrent, because he would have a talent for it if he wanted - that is, if one disregards his complete lack of charisma. But the same perceptive pragmatism that makes him so brilliant at identifying the flows and ebbs of power in the world, as well as his knowledge of history, is the very thing which fuels his own humility and sheepish reticence. Who is he to be important, to measure up to such legendary figures? Besides, better to give it to someone actually interested in the job. He'll watch from here.
Well-versed in the art of hiding his true feelings, K'lau possesses a certain unthreatening naiveté to both his expressions and his behavior that makes him seem so unobtrusive and harmless (if awkward and odd) that he's a little easy to dismiss, and honestly that's his aim. He becomes extremely uncomfortable with much attention, embarrassed of his defects and made pessimistically wary of others' motives by his experiences with his family. He mostly just wants to move in the background, going about his interests and observing history happening around him – which is why he loves being at the Weyr, even if the comparative rowdiness of the place does startle him sometimes. His reaction to suspicion or aggression is generally a slightly wounded look of baffled shock, and always backed up by apologies and supremely reasonable explanations – rest assured, if there is ANY way to diffuse a situation rather than confront, K'lau will find it.
Despite his head-ducking, wallflower tendencies, K'lau is actually a very good listener, nor does he mind being a shoulder to cry on. Those that happen to wind up friends with this unusual fellow will discovered that he has a good heart, a firm moral core and both the strength and stubbornness to quietly follow it, and a sense of loyalty that he will stand by until the end. Admirable… but also odd. He will find humor in the banal, hidden quirks of life, and will be full of tales of such instances - such as the time a clerical error resulted in vast tracks of prime Lemos timberland being willed to a three-month old infant girl, so that the Lord Holder had to not only buy the land back, but betroth his heir to the girl. Incidentally, that clerk's second cousin had been Weyrwoman of Igen at the time.
Klaud is an embarrassment to his family.
No, don’t argue - it’s true, and Klaud knows it. His family has certainly never held back from telling him so, pretty much from the time that he was a baby. Born the third and youngest son (out of a total of seven children) to the youngest brother of Bitran’s Lord Holder, Klaud entered into a family that was proud of its bloodline, and which was entirely unprepared to welcome the ugly, cock-necked infant that entered its ranks.
The healers assured his mother that he would likely grow out of his condition, which as he grew to crawl included an occasional head-twitch and a dragging of his left leg. Every night for four Turns he was put in braces to straighten his neck which made him squall and wail from the pain, though his youngest sister and closest-born sibling would often volunteer to have him in her room, and would remove the braces to let him sleep. She was the only one who was ever truly kind to him growing up - Islaud was her name, and he adores her to this day.
The others were... not so kind, including his parents. His mother, Laumis, blamed herself for Klaud’s ailments (her husband blaming her certainly helped), and his father, Kadius, all but ignored him. As soon as he learned to speak and his stutter presented itself, he was instructed not to talk in public, and as the Turns passed it was rare for a single day to go by without at least one sibling or other relative mocking him for his limp, twitch, or stammer.
And yet... the worse those ailments got, the more they ignored him. In fact, if his symptoms presented themselves often and severely enough, most of those around him would simply scoff and disregard him - at the very least, they stopped expecting him to be able to get better, and that was an immense relief to Klaud. And so he played up his condition around his family - he stuttered, he limped, he tripped, he drooled, he twitched. And in return he was granted a kind of peace - the blessing of his family to disappear into the harper archives that he loved so much, and to just be alone with his craft.
Klaud was a harper at heart long before the age of twelve - almost as soon as he could talk and realized that he could NOT talk to his family, he was bonding with the harpers and historians at the Hold. He had a passion for facts and history, and it was no surprise to anyone when he eventually apprenticed to that specialty. It was heaven - although his family insisted that he not be allowed to leave for the harper hall. There were too many people likely to take note of his heritage and pass judgement on the family, they said - after all, it was a main social and political mecca of Pern. But that suited him just fine - the old masters at Bitra were already his friends, and he studied with them happily, earning his Senior Apprenticeship at the age of fifteen and continuing to surround himself with the history that he loved so much.
Until he was Searched.
It came as a shock - the almost-seventeen-turn-old Klaud wasn’t even supposed to have been there, his family had made VERY clear to him after the fact. In fact, he hadn’t intended to be - he’d been down in the archives and hadn’t heard the shout of Search, and had just been returning some scrolls to his room to study when he heard a voice inside his head that would change his life. At first, the Searchrider had looked him over, saw his twitching, his heavy limp, the awkward, stiff cock of his head and shoulder, and had turned him down... but then Klaud had stopped twitching, half-straightened, and walked across the yard with his limp slighter than it had ever been in Turns. At least... as far as his family knew. They were less than pleased, but the Searchrider agreed to take him to the Weyr for the Candidatemaster to decide.
His family didn’t want him to go to the Weyr, either, but the Searchrider was adamant - it was Klaud’s decision, and Klaud, knowing that this might be his one chance, took it. He was at Benden within the sevenday, stayed a month for the upcoming Hatching, walked away alone... and put in for a transfer two months later. Benden was fine, and the Weyr was at least no Bitra, but he still wasn’t far enough from home to feel truly free, and Eastern *did* have the Southern Harper Hall in its protectorate... to Eastern he went.