Stilith's Inspiration

Jana, welcome to your new role! Your creativity and maturity have once again made you shine, and we greatly look forward to seeing what you and Stilith will bring to your weyrling class, to Ista Weyr, and to the game. Enjoy your, er… 'darling' green. We certainly have so far!


Jana's Selfish Libations Green Stilith

Scribbled Curses Egg

Cracked and mostly tan, this egg rather looks as if it once had a smooth reflective texture, but is now so marred by nicks and worn edges that it looks rough and bumpy in texture. Its dominant color is a light brownish gray, smudged by black stains and dark fissures as if worn over time. Upon its rough surface are unbroken lines of what can almost pass as handwriting, carved onto it and later worn away. Figures break up the lines periodically, as if quickly engraved to resemble running people, only for the squiggles to commence again, covering every inch of this shell.

Clutching Message

Slowing somewhat, though still plagued by the effects of clutching, Ryazusith returns to join Nverath. She apparently, has picked his latest creation as her next port of call. Tensing once more, she hurriedly delivers Scribbled Curses Egg to the sands. Nudging it into place, she secures it with a gentle push of sand moved with by muzzle and patted as precisely as can be done with a few taps here and there.


Hatching Message

Scribbled Curses Egg gives a little tremor as cracks begin to form at its base. Determined tapping from within creates a small hole, widened steadily by the egg's inhabitant until a dark, angular head is able to poke through. More shards fall as bony shoulders and wings appear, and finally an entire emaciated green slithers free.

Selfish Libations Green Dragonet

All harsh angles and fierce corners, her diminutive size cannot downplay the sinister look of this dark green. Dimmed moss hide is stretched across a gaunt face, clinging tightly to her broad and rectangular jaw and forward-sloping brow, and held taut between sharply pointed cheekbones and bony shoulders to partially veil her too-thin neck. Hues shift to dark pine over short, thin wings, sails strained between each scrawny wingbone. The deep green-brown of rotting foliage darkens barb-like 'ridges, trickling down the length of her spine to the tip of her attenuated tail. Short limbs bend at jagged joints, ending in wicked black-tipped talons. She is a compact collection of discordant lines, shadowed at every angle, marasmic and severe.


Impression Message

Selfish Libations Green Dragonet is done with her tedious investigations. Ready to make her intentions clear, she turns her back on shells, shards and candidates, hunkers down to the ground and slowly swings her head toward one young woman in particular: the dark one, with eyes the same shade as the green's hide. Slowly, deliberately, the dragonet slinks directly toward Jakina, ignoring all else. She makes a single, quick circuit around the robed woman, scoops some of the black sand into her sticky, long-taloned paw, and purposefully lets the grains fall at the candidate's feet.


Personal Impression Message

Whispers and darkness tickle your mind, enticing and yet foreboding. The stale dust from a lifetime ago has settled into murk and musk, clouding both thought and senses for one nearly suffocating moment before it clears. In the sudden clarity comes a voice both deep and yet distinctly feminine. « Jana, it is time. I am Stilith, and I am tired of this heat. »


~*~ Inspirations ~*~


Name

You said you wanted a short, easy name, but liked names with meaning. Stilith covers all these bases, and pulls a good part of the inspiration in, too. Stilith comes from the Latin word 'stilio', using the definition of a treacherous or deceitful person; a 'snake'. This not only seemed to go with the sort of plotting and manipulative mind you wanted, but is also reminiscent of both Slytherin, one of the key inspirations for Stilith's personality, and the snake aspect of her physicalities. The name is pronounced with short 'i' sounds in both syllables, and the emphasis falls on the first syllable.


Egg

Katadesmoi, or Greek Curse tablets, is what inspired me to write this egg. ^^ Usually written on lead or any other substance, I tried to depict an ancient tablet that is covered in Greek lettering. The running humans I thought would be a humorous touch as if they were scared candidates. ^^ Who knows what they're running away from…


Description

Stilith's description is drawn from two key ideas: a snake, and Cruella de Vil. Her head is entirely Cruella, with the sharp cheekbones, square jaw, and forward-sloped forehead, and of course the claw-like talons. The snake aspect kept her wings and limbs short, and her body long. I tried to give a sense of length in the line about her 'ridges, spine and tail, without going overboard and making her seem bigger than she really is. The veil is both reminiscent of a cobra and a hooded Roman religious official - see the 'physicalities' section for more details on that.

As to the colouration, well, when you said 'dark green' I was reminded of a paint I've used called 'forest floor', which was a dark brown, nearly black. But, you didn't want a brown, so I just went with a general forest-y theme. Overdone on a green, perhaps, but I personally think rotting foliage suits Stilith fairly well.


Physicalities

Stilith is the small green you requested - but her size goes beyond a simple lack of stature. Fine-boned and with an inherent inability to put on any apparent muscle or weight, Stilith will forever appear emaciated. Think Cruella de Vil from Disney's animated 101 Dalmations. You'll likely be hounded by the weyrling staff as to whether or not you're feeding her enough, questioning whether you're confusing your sensations of being full with hers. It's liable to take a while to figure out that it's just the way she is.

Stilith's 'veil' is largely due to the theme of the clutch (rituals and superstition), and relates to the Juno aspect of her personality: Roman religious officials conducted religious ceremonies veiled. It also lends a sort of cobra-esque flavour to her. Though noticeable, the veil is really just the result of her skin stretching across such a small and emaciated frame — the product of a broad jaw and scrawny neck. You'll find that this skin veil will require extra oiling. Even once she's matured, it will dry easily, and you'll need to keep it soft and supple for Stilith to be comfortable.

Her movements will have a distinctly snake-like quality to them. Stilith is very flexible, and will appear to almost slither (albeit on legs or feet) both in the air and on the ground. On foot, Stilith will weave about the terrain, especially if it's bumpy or uneven, searching to take the lower road whenever possible, even if it requires going a bit out of the way. She will move quickly, though, so even though she takes a seemingly scenic route around the bowl, while the rest of the weyrling class trudges in a straight line, she should get there about the same time.

The same principle applies to flying: Stilith will learn how to navigate the thermals and winds above the Weyr very quickly, and even when airborne she will not always take the most direct route - though, in her opinion, she will be taking the most clever and natural one.

The snake aspect stretches into her habits as well. Stilith will have a tendency to taste the air - and will probably insist that she does indeed taste something when her tongue darts out between her teeth. This will, by sheer accident, bring about a tendency for her to lick her lips quite regularly, only adding to her sinister demeanor as she stares, plotting, at a certain someone.

When particularly interested in a certain object (though very, very rarely a person or creature, unless maybe she's Searching), Stilith will, as part of her inspection of it, place her jaw lightly on top of it. The snake's ability to sense minute vibrations through its jaw is what inspires this quirk, though Stilith won't actually be picking up anything of that nature. It's just a way she familiarises herself with things.


Mindvoice

Egg emit to Jakina: The moment your fingers touch the shell, a low din of unintelligible whispers enters your mind. Some feel harsh, others merely inquisitive. Now and then a waft of stale dust and sand swirls through the whispers, tickling the nose. (http://ht-lanti.livejournal.com/50298.html)

With a voice like Stilith's, it might be easy to understand how she can switch between cajoling and domineering within seconds, either one as effective as the other. Her voice is deep, like that of Ursula, the sea witch from The Little Mermaid. Smooth and nearly entrancing when she is in a good mood, she can pour on the honey with the best of them. Anything to bring someone about to her way of thinking. Or scheming.

When angry or frustrated, the honey will burn away to caustic crystals, scraping across her mindvoice like sand across a mirror. She may mutter to herself, full of dark growls and hissing sibilants. Many times you will be able to understand what she is saying. Many times you might wish you could not.

Throughout her mindvoice, no matter the mood, the theme will most often run through the dark and dank, shadows and blinds. Her skill with filtering her thoughts will in time become nothing short of phenomenal, but at least for the first six months or so, she will be mostly unable to keep her thoughts from you, and this may frustrate her. The older she gets, however, the more easily she will be able to hide her ideas, sometimes outright lying, sometimes distracting you toward other things, at other times closing down the mindlink altogether.

Both the frustration and the silence may prove to be a difficult hurdle for you and Stilith while still in weyrlinghood. Your clutchmates may find it perfectly easy and enjoyable to converse with their lifemates, but for you and your dragon it will often be a battle of wills. In time, you might even discover it is best to learn to filter your thoughts from her mind, as she will quickly learn to use your information for her own good.

When particularly strong emotions filter through to you or other dragons, they will take on the sparkling burn of sulfur and magnesium: brilliant and fascinating but dangerous — pungent and perhaps almost pleasant until the sheer power becomes overwhelming. A rather fitting summary for Stilith, really.


Personality

Stilith is Slytherin. Stilith is Queen. She's Cruella de Vil, the white witch of Narnia and the great queen of the gods, Juno, all rolled into one.

In a good mood, she's regal and polite. She's interested in what's going on around her and in the people she meets, learning all she can. Those who stay on her good side find her quirky and perhaps a little unbalanced, but nice enough. Perhaps a touch too cold for their tastes, but she's impeccable in her manners, so there is very little to hold against her. She's prone to twitching between thoughts as if the source physically struck her. She responds well to similarly courteous personalities and accepts praise with a cool appreciation. Rudeness leaves her completely baffled and surprised, while insults cause her to hiss angrily. Leave her with her dignity intact, be polite and she may even be helpful. As long as it suits her.

It's her helpfulness - nay, her officiousness - that starts to show the cracks in her surface, leading to a web of self-serving motivations. Beware, young Jana! She's not necessarily trying to promote you! As much as she likes the idea of rising through the ranks and gaining prestige, she knows that with rank comes responsibility and with quick promotion one generally has to prove oneself over and over again. She's more focused on making life easier for herself. She settles for subtle control and manipulation, planting seeds in those around her until they believe her advice is best and will give them the greatest reward.

"[T]he fearsome goddess flew down to the earth and roused Allecto, bringer of grief, from the infernal darkness of her home among the Furies." … This was the creature Juno now roused to action with these words: 'Do this service for me, O virgin daughter of the Night. It is a task after your own heart.'" (Aeneid, 7.324-326)

Most of the time her schemes will reap the benefits for others that she promises! Stilith chooses to work behind the scenes with a long term goal in mind.

Stilith will, however, realise when there is a situation beyond her control; but she is not a dragon to give up. Like Juno in the Aeneid, she will do everything she can to make the course of events as unpleasant as possible for those opposing her will - and anyone else who might get in the way. Stilith doesn't particularly care about collateral damage.

"I shall appeal to whatever powers there are. If I cannot prevail upon the gods above, I shall move hell. … The decree of the Fates will stand … . But I shall be able to delay it all and drag it out, I shall be able to cut the subjects of both these kings to pieces." (Aeneid, 7.314-317)

It will be up to you to control Stilith, despite all her wiles, and you will (eventually) learn that it is indeed possible to impose your will. Even if it's only possible to do so once Stilith has wreaked a little bit of havoc.

"'You have been able to harry the Trojans by sea and by land, to light the fires of an unholy war, to soil a house with sorrow and mix the sound of mourning with the marriage song. I forbid you to go further.'
These were the words of Jupiter." (Aeneid, 12.804-808)

And of course, even then, she'll probably wriggle out one last stipulation before allowing you to be the one in control.

Juno replies that it is only by Jupiter's will that she is not "sitting alone in mid-air on a cloud, suffering what is meant for [her] to suffer." But she relents from her hounding of the Trojans on the condition that "there be Latium". She justifies to Jupiter that, "Troy has fallen. Let it lie, Troy and the name of Troy." (Aeneid, 12.810-813/ 828-830)

Pay heed to her jealousy too, dear Jana. It rears its ugly head when you least expect it. To her, you are her minion, her vassal, her right hand. She can do little to accomplish her stratagems without you, but she doesn't look upon it as a direct partnership. You will end up knowing her best and will know all of the ways to placate her mind. You do, however, exist to do her will and she will inform you of that from time to time. « Whatever did you do without me, Jana? » So absolute is her dependence that she won't fully come to understand your worth unless you are seduced away by another. The seduction does not need to be all encompassing or even deliberate. Any time that your focus is not fully on Stilith, she will feel the pain of rejection and the sting of betrayal. She will take all of this out on you - and it will be difficult to hear the end of it. Fear not! Her love for you is strong and even though she rarely treats you as such, you are her perfect match and her partner - her lifemate. All will be forgiven. Or at least forgotten.

"Is there no one left who worships the godhead of Juno? Will there be no one in the future to pray to me and lay an offering on my altars?" (Aeneid, 1.47-50)

Her bad moods are yours and yours alone for the most part. She cares far too much for her designs to lose them in a fit of outrage at others (though, she's far from absolutely perfect - and there are flights to consider). No, she saves all of her ire and her heat for private moments with you or shrieking outbursts that she cannot contain when some cute lower cavern dweller catches your eye. She also saves the warm expressions of her true feelings toward you when you are in private with her. She does care, and care a lot, for you. Just don't expect her to show it in front of other people.

- All Aeneid quotations are taken from the David West English translation, first published in 1990, published in Penguin Classics in 1991, re-issued with a revised introduction and and new further reading in 2003. Line numbers are a rough estimate based on the translation, which doesn't line up perfectly with the original Latin. (If you are keenly interested in the lines in the original Latin, contact D'baji.)


Flights

The desire to control situations to her own ends, being such an innate tendency of hers, will still be present when Stilith is proddy, but her capacity for cold, calculative manipulation will decrease steadily the closer she gets to flying. Stilith might not realise that she's unable to see as many angles of a situation as before, or that she can't form as detailed plots as she can when not under hormonal influence; but she will notice that suddenly things aren't going her way, and she will be aware that she doesn't know how to fix it — and that means that proddiness and flights are going to be a thorn in both your sides.

At the onset of proddiness, Stilith will just have the occasional loss of focus or concentration. You might notice her acting a bit out of character, or doing something that contradicts a previously observed desire or plan. Further along, she'll know what she wants, but will be frustrated by trying to figure out how to get it. Her usually hidden motives are liable to become all the more apparent to others, which might raise some question among your peers as to just what your dragon is really up to when she's not proddy.

Her self control will also suffer the closer she gets to flying. She's liable to lash out at you or others when something isn't done to her liking, or slips beyond her grasp - verbally rather than physically. But this lack of control won't just express itself in terms of aggressive behaviour. Stilith will also lose some of the detachment with which she treats her peers, and through which she is usually able to continue her scheming. You'll find that she'll show her affection, appreciation, even admiration of other dragons (and perhaps certain people) in a surprisingly genuine - although still very Stilith - way. Like lashing out, this will become more commonplace the closer she gets to flying.

< < Gelirumeth, what was that you said about the herdbeast this morning? It was so perfectly fitting. Much like those wings of yours. They are just so colorful. They completely distract from that ridiculous body of yours. > >

In flights themselves, Stilith will out-manoeuvre the majority of her pursuers, and probably will have her pick (and quite early on — she won't see a point in delaying, and due to her size, she won't be able to maintain an extended flight). An aspect of her self-serving nature will be pronounced here, but it will be mediated by the changes that occur during proddiness. She won't, for example, choose the Wingleader's brown in the hopes of getting that promotion to Wingsecond she had her eye on, but rather will go with that blue whose dry wit she has only recently admitted to appreciating.

And that will mean plenty of post-flight resentment. You'll have at least a day of Stilith ranting quite loudly about the bad luck of her flight, in an attempt to drown out any residuals of those 'softer' emotions that she succumbed to in later proddiness. But, within a couple days those emotions — though not disappearing, as they've really always been there — will be relegated back to their proper place behind her ambitions and designs, and she'll act as though nothing of the sort had ever been acknowledged or acted upon, and while the flight is still in her memory, she'll be especially harsh to the male whom she chose based on such fleeting impulses.


Credits

Name: D'baji
Egg Desc: Thyia; Lanti tweak
Dragonet Desc: D'baji
Messages: D'baji, Lanti
Inspiration: Lanti, D'baji, S'eron

Jana's green Stilith
Harper's Tale: 51st PC Clutch
Ista Weyr
August 3, 2008
from Minka's gold Ryazusith and D'baji's bronze Nverath
(clutchmates also from Lendai's gold Talicanitath and R'yn's bronze Azmaioth)

Clutchmates:
Pippa's gold Jeyth
Risya's brown Sonhoth
M'yr's blue Gelirumeth
Kriane's green Ikkasanaith

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License