Birthing Date: 02.14.2745
Craft: Harper (Apprentice)
A tall, leggy girl of sixteen turns, Ralionne is unlikely to turn heads. She could be pretty, with delicate features, large grey eyes, a wide smile and a smattering of freckles across her nose. She does nothing, however, to emphasize her moderate good looks and most would describe the end result as simply average. Ralionne's light brown hair is cut ruthlessly short, cropped close to her head in a style more commonly seen on her male counterparts, and she typically dresses in comfortable, baggy pants and a loose tunic in dull earth colors, the better to hide the dirt she inevitably accumulates throughout the day.
Standing at a bit over 5’8, Ralionne appears scrawny at first glance, but she has a layer of lean muscle beneath her tan skin. She’s typically covered with her share of scrapes and bruises, which she makes little effort to hide. She has a thin scar running up the back of her leg, a couple of smaller marks on each knee and probably more than a few on her hands, but she’s never really bothered to count them. No, there aren’t any traumatic stories here. Just the normal results of a long day’s work. What, don’t you have a scar or two?
Ralionne wants the best in life and isn’t about to settle for anything less. She knows who she is and where she comes from. Knows the sacrifices her mother made so she could be where she is. And she’s not going to waste it. Ralionne’s going to be the best…well, everything, that ever lived. She’s just as good as the boys, all the boys and she’s going to prove it.
Ralionne is nearly certain that each and every one of those boys thinks she’s not good enough, that she’s beneath them just because she’s female. Oh, she’s sure there are some males who are nice enough, but they’re the exception, not the rule. They’re practically trained to be patronizing, isn’t that like their job or something? Yes, Ralionne does have male friends…but they’ve got to prove they’re worth her time.
Oddly, Ralionne is equally harsh on her fellow women. Ralionne is prone to assuming everyone but her, regardless of gender, is a slave to society, following common mores with little thoughts to their own desires. And she takes no issue with pointing this out. A blue rider wants to vent about the hierarchy? She’s all ears. And she’s game to start a petition to the Weyrleader if you are. Sure, he won’t listen because the hierarchy serves HIM, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
Complacency, or even simple happiness, is something Ralionne will never fully understand. How can anyone be satisfied with their life, when the system is inherently unfair? The fact that her desires are simply that, her desires, and that her goals don’t necessarily define the ambitions of all of Pern, eludes Ralionne. What she wants is simply RIGHT, feck it, and you just don’t get it because they’ve brain-washed you. Golds can do that, you know. Paranoid? Who, Ralionne? Why of course. Paranoia isn’t a flaw, paranoia is a tool.
For someone so determined to succeed, however, Ralionne is oddly…not good at very much. She falls in the middle of the pack in everything from hidework to drills. It's not for lack of trying, by any means, but some might say Ralionne sabotages herself. She could, and should, do better. She's athletic, intelligent and focused, but her refusal to accept anything less than perfection ultimately makes her her own worst enemy. For Ralionne will never admit that she's wrong, or that she needs help, even to herself. And those sky-high expectations are hard to meet, especially when there's a part of Ralionne, however small, that believes the accusations from long ago, that wonders if she's wrong, if she's not as good as the boys. Every failure is seen as proof, and builds on itself, and Ralionne ultimately collapses...and doesn't always get back up again.
Ralionne was born in as backwater and traditional a hold as exists in the South these days, the youngest daughter of a woodsman and his third wife. She never received much attention from her father, being just one of a horde of children, many of whom were boys and, thus, inherently more important than she could ever hope to be. Her, her mother and her sisters were viewed as little more than pieces of property, to be used at their menfolk's whims, not suited to have ambitions or thoughts of their own. Ralionne wouldn't have been an easy child anywhere. She was finicky, cried often and slept only when it pleased her to sleep. That was quickly trained out of her.
Ralionne can't remember exactly when she first realized she was no one, but knows that by the time she was five, the turn she and her mother fled their home, it was a fact she accepted as simply as her name. She was old enough that her crying was no longer tolerated, that any pleas for attention were quickly silenced with a harsh word, or occasionally a heavy hand. Her memories of these days are fuzzy now. All Ralionne has left is a fuzzy impression of plain white walls and a small room, filled with girls and young women, and of standing in plain sight and pretending she didn't exist.
Then, one day, things changed. Her mom snuck into her room in the middle of the night, although as a married women, she was rarely in the nursery cavern that late. Falione wrapped Ralionne in her warmest clothes, handed her some food and told her she was going on a trip. The will had long since been bred out of Ralionne, and she obeyed without question, keeping quiet when Falione told her to keep quiet. She walked all night without complaining of the cold or her hunger, or that her feet had started to crack and bleed. Ralionne had learned that it did no good to complain, that that only made things worse.
When they reached Vaerne, it seemed like a gift from Faranth. Their rations had been running short, and suddenly they had food again. Food, and a warm place to spend the night. But by the morning they were gone, Falione telling her young daughter that if they stayed, they'd be caught and possibly killed. The traveling became easier, however. As their home faded into the distance, Falione began to relax. They started stopping at every hold they passed, Falione trading her services for food and shelter. Ralionne got used to walking, came to sort of like seeing a new place each day. One day, they even found a fire lizard's nest. Falione emptied it while the queen was away, telling Ralionne they could sell the eggs for marks. Ralionne had never handled money before, and was quickly enchanted by the concept, that she could trade a piece of paper for anything she wanted. And Falione let her pick out a fire lizard egg. Ralionne picked the blue and gold one, because back home, blue and gold had been boys' colors, but there were no boys around any more to keep Ralionne from doing whatever the feck she wanted. The egg hatched a small blue who Ralionne dubbed Pinkie, because she liked pink too, even if it was for girls.
They wandered like this for a full turn. Ralionne's personality started to reappear, albeit tentatively, at first. She still rarely complained. While she was young, she understood that, even on the road, things were better than they had been. Nobody hit her anymore, or told her that she didn't matter. And she could spend as much time with her mother as she wanted, without anyone telling either of them there was something else they had to be doing. But she started to dream. She decided she wanted to own twenty fire lizards, four of every color. She wanted to be a fish one day, to swim over all of Pern, and a wherry the next, so she could see it all from the sky. But, if she was stuck as a human girl, well them she was going to be the best human girl on all of Pern. Her mommy had risked her life to save her, and Ralionne was never going to need saving again.
When they finally settled down in East Bay, Ralionne struggled to readapt to a more regimented existence. Falione no longer spent every moment with her, and she was left in the care of strangers, some of them male. Ralionne hated her first Harper teacher, a perfectly nice man who sang and played the gitar. He told her what to do and made her sit still and learn things. Ralionne didn't WANT to learn how to read, she wanted to go out hunting fire lizard eggs. She listened to him only because she had to, because otherwise one of the adults would tell Falione and then her mother would wonder why she'd ever bothered saving anybody so useless. Ralionne didn't participate, didn't talk to the other kids or make friends, just sat sullenly in the corner pretending to listen. Her one comfort was that at least the boys were forced to try as well.
One day, her teacher, Nalin, held her back after class. He'd noticed she always sat by herself, that she never smiled, and remembered that her and her mother had arrived under strange circumstances not long before. He asked her why she didn't like her lessons, if she wasn't happy at East Bay. Ralionne, with typical childish honesty, answered that he didn't own her, that he couldn't tell her what to do, just because she was a little girl and he was a big man with fancy Harper knots. Nalin laughed and promised her if she learned to read that no one would ever be able to take that away from her, that no one could ever own her again, that her mind would always be free. And so Ralionne learned to read and write. She started memorizing the teaching ballads, and one day asked Nalin if he would let her try playing his gitar.
Ralionne settled down. While she remained distrustful, she learned to socialize without letting anyone too close. She learned to laugh and joke and tease and, when she turned 12, apprenticed in Harpercraft. Yes, the whole world was unfair, but at least the crafthalls were better than the Holds where they put you in charge just for being born to the right people. Ralionne was going to be masterHarper.
Ralionne took quickly to life in the crafthall, where she found others who held the same radical ideas she did, that everyone should be equal, should be judged by their ability rather than their gender or their birth or even the color of their dragon, that all of Pern was broken and needed to be fixed from the ground up, others who saw inequity everywhere they looked. Sure, they didn't change much, just talked and complained, but maybe if they complained long enough and loud enough, someone important would hear. Ralionne didn't really believe that, thought that the only way to change anything was to do it herself, but she wanted to learn everything the old world order had to offer first. Revolution could wait a few turns.
And then Ralionne got Searched. She had no intention of going, of course, the weyrs were the worst of it, the heart of the problem, with their bronzes and their queens (who SHOULD hold all the power but are instead reduced to broodmares who aren't even allowed to chew firestone for Faranth's sake) and their forcing humans to conform to the draconic hierarchy. But, when she told her mother, who remained the most important figure in her life, Falione didn't see it as the joke and the poisoned offer Ralionne knew it was. Ralionne couldn't miss the pride in her mother's smile and when Falione all but told her that this Search was proof she was as good as any of them, Ralionne decided to go, for her mother's sake. And maybe she could even teach the riders something while she was at it.
Can Read/Write: Yes
Color Preferences: Gold,Blue,Green