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"Such devastation! This was not my intention!"


NAME: Gaius
ORIENTATION: Aromantic asexual
BIRTHDATE: Early Fall 2714
AGE: 56 as of Early Fall 2770
LOCATION: High Reaches Weyr
OCCUPATION: Weyrfolk (Dragonless)

EYES: Brown
HAIR: Dark brown, graying
HEIGHT AND BUILD: 6'7", broad
PLAY-BY: Gaius Baelsar (FFXIV)
Gaius is a tall, broad-shouldered man, his rather imposing presence undiminished by the Turns or all that he's seen. True, there are obvious lines on his face now, and there are streaks of grey in his slightly wavy, dark brown hair, but there's still a sort of confidence there. He holds himself high, refusing to look beaten down in the slightest. His skin is rather on the tan side, and gets even darker in the summer sun. His eyes are a warm, medium brown, and somewhat deeply set under a heavy brow. His face is quite square, with a long, straight nose; high, prominent cheekbones; and an angular jaw.

His voice is deep and somewhat gravelly, though surprisingly soft for a man of his stature. Still, he can really shout when he wants to. He can carry a tune when he sings, but that's about the extent of his vocal abilities; he's certainly not a particularly good singer, with a limited range, but at least the tune is easily recognized.

His manner of dress is neat, though he seems to have no particular preference for any given style of fashion. The most important thing to him is that it's clean, and kept in good condition. The only marked preference he really seems to have is in color, avoiding everything bright in favor of muted earth tones, even for Gather wear.

Even after all these Turns, Gaius is every bit the soldier he was expected to be coming of age during the War. He's rigid, both in his actions and his expectations of others. He nearly always refuses to bend his beliefs in the slightest: order is of the utmost importance, metallic dragons should lead by virtue of their birth, and High Reaches was well within their rights during the war. That's not to say that every metallic dragon is suitable, or that in times of extraordinary need order shouldn't be temporarily set aside for the sake of the Weyr's continued well-being. He has always wished that Golre had been assassinated sooner and a more reasonable goldrider installed in her place, but lacked the courage to do so himself before it was too late.

He values loyalty above most other qualities. People are important, but loyalty to the Weyr itself is of the highest priority. There is no greater sin in his eyes than turning traitor. Even losing his dragon in a war High Reaches started has not diminished his unwavering devotion to his home, though this has yet to be tested against his love of his adopted daughter.

Despite his strong opinions on morality, Gaius is not a man without affection. As a Wingleader he cared deeply for those in his wing, and in the Turns since, he's come to care for those people who are looking for guidance. He's quick to give advice, and has ended up mentoring a number of children in an unofficial capacity… though his romantic advice is rather lacking. He's generous with both his time and what he has, and despite once being an abysmal cook has learned to bake simply because he knows others enjoy the products of his labor.

He tries very, very hard not to let the deep sadness he still feels over the loss of Baelsath show. To do so would be to admit weakness, and he abhors the thought of being seen as weak. Still, some days are difficult, and he hates that they are.

Adoptive daughter, Viola
SIGNIFICANT OTHER: Never has, never will
BIRTHPLACE: High Reaches Weyr
TW: Violence/death, depression

Gaius was a surprise of a child, to be sure. His parents were both older, his mother rather beyond what was assumed to be her child-bearing years, and yet there he was: unexpectedly hale and hearty and loved from the moment he was born. They were both drudges, though neither seemed to have any animosity toward their station, and they taught Gaius none. Everyone was necessary, they told him, from the Weyrwoman down to every single drudge. He didn't need to ask for more out of life to be worthy.

And he didn't; like many Weyr-born children, he decided to become a Candidate when he turned fifteen, but it was with few expectations. Were he to fail, well, that was just the natural order of things, he supposed. He'd be nothing more than a drudge after all, and know that it was the right place for him. He didn't begrudge the possibility. Whatever was, would be.

War came less than a Turn later. Soldiers were made of riders, and Candidates' education began to shift that way. Little mention was made of Thread during lessons any more; those riders who survived could learn about that when it finally came, decades later. Gaius took to it well. He was already a proponent of order, and he found that he had no trouble with the idea that he might someday have to fight other riders. If it was for the sake of High Reaches, he felt he could do most anything.

He was eighteen when a clutch's second egg hatched a massive, dark bronze. Baelsath was unwavering in his convictions, an impassive force that cared little for right or wrong, but only for following orders to the best of his ability. The petty distaste that some bronzes had for smaller dragons was lost on him; he was simply better than they were and knew it, so why should he care at all for their actions? Only following Vizeth was right. Those with the strength to rule should do so, and she absolutely had it.

The pair did well, both during Weyrlinghood and after. After a decade of dedicated service, the pair was made Wingseconds, and when their Wingleader fell in battle a Turn later, they were raised to that position. They thrived. Gaius had a head for tactics, and his lack of animosity toward chromatic dragons and their riders--going so far as to suggest a particularly bright, capable greenrider for his second, even if it was certain she would never lead any wing--earned him their loyalty.

It didn't last. It was only a couple of Turns later, when Gaius was thirty-three, that a border dispute with Fort turned for the worse. Their wing was met with dragonflame, and Baelsath, never one to lead from the rear, was in the worst of it. The bronze did not survive the attack but Gaius, shielded from the brunt of it by Baelsath's sheer size, did. He wished he hadn't.

Several Turns passed in a fog. He remembers little of it now, but he knows that it involved several violent outbursts, infrequent sharp shocks of anger followed by months of barely being aware of his own existence. He cannot remember learning of the end of the war, as the cessation of hostilities meant little in his day-to-day life. Its ending did not bring back Baelsath. Most regrettably of all, he knows that his parents died during those Turns, their age catching up with them at last. Try as he might, he has never been able to recall what his final conversations with either was, though he knows they were proud of him to the last.

Eventually, things returned to some form of normalcy. It wasn't the same normal he'd once known, but it was a normal. He could function as a member of the Weyr. He could remember to eat, and notice the passing of the seasons. There was still some vital part of him missing, but he could begin to move forward, missing pieces and all. Not intact, but functional. And as more time passed, he got better and better at living with it. Sometimes, he still noticed it, a single smell or a brief word reminding him in some small, sharp way of what wasn't there any more.

He helped out where he could, mostly helping to clean up in the dining hall. He couldn't stand to be idle any more. He wouldn't be. This eventually put him in a place to frequently run into those who tried to eat at odd hours, those who for whatever reason were alone and chose to be that way. The worst was seeing children alone, some of them day in and day out. He thought they deserved better than that. Most weren't thrilled at another adult trying to give them advice they'd never really asked for, but some were receptive. So he'd talk to them when he saw them, and tried to help in whatever ways he could. Maybe it wasn't much, but it was something.

It wasn't long before he usually had at least a couple of young people loosely under his wing. He learned to bake, and was just there in whatever ways he could be. He never had any kids of his own, never had even the slightest, most fleeting interest in the process required to make kids, but he could be at least some sort of quasi-parental figure for those who wanted it. For those who were more willing to listen to someone who wasn't really an authority figure the way creche workers were.

It was almost two decades after Baelsath's death--and everything was still starkly divided into before and after, the time marked by how far he had gotten from being whole--that he met Viola. She hadn't grown up in the creche, but with her parents. When her mother had passed, her father had kept looking out for her, juggling his duties as a rider and a parent. But when her father had died in Threadfall, it had been the obvious place for her to go. For those who had grown with it, the creche was a great place that provided just about everything a child needed. But for a girl who was accustomed to a different life, it was crowded, and terrifying. She all but attached herself to him.

Gaius never knew if he bore some resemblance to her father or if he'd just happened to be the first person to try to talk to her that wasn't automatically associated with a place she disliked. It didn't really matter what the reason was. She needed him and, in some way he didn't quite understand, he needed her as well. The adoption was made official a Turn later.

High Reaches was changing. Gaius didn't agree with it, but he could at least accept that he was being overruled, for the time being. But with the eventual Hatching of another gold, he could once more begin to believe that things might be slowly being set back on the right path.
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