L'o's Tanned Leather-Bronze Govanath
Weeping Willow Egg
Greens and browns play over the surface of this egg in quiet and calm strokes. There are no bold lines; even the streaks of brown running lengthwise up the side of this egg have a soft, blurred quality. From these brown lines, sweeps of varying shades of green stripe as though brushed on in muted watercolors. Like a weeping willow, fronds brushing and caressing over the surface of the egg in the merest kisses of color.

Weeping Willow Egg peels back along those blurred brown lines, one after the other, as though some skilled hand were stripping it with a knife. It opens cleanly, the hardened shell stiff as new leather, when a wedge-shaped head powers through a large hole and long talons rip their way clear.

Tanned Leather-Bronze Dragonet
Narrow shoulders and a slender neck seem insufficient support for the bellowed, leathery wings of this mid-size dragon, yet volatile slashes of amber around his eyes reveal a smouldering strength. Bronze he is, but pale for all that; a barleyed hide coats flank and belly like honeyed ale, with an even lighter foam kissing headknobs and throat. Gold — yes, gold — traces wingspars, highlights kneebones, and graces long talons.

Public Impression Message: Tanned Leather Bronze Hatchling looks at a specific candidate, that one there with the meaty hands fussing with his robe and looking a little sad. Sad won't do for him, he knows who and what he wants. Damp leather wings rise, half-spread, as he looks Silor in the eye with an intoxicating strength. In an instant, this dragon chooses -this- human, and the two are forged into one.

Private Impression Message Hroom! Hroom! HROOM! Growing from a dull distant thudding to a pounding presence, the bass booming reverberates like a smith's anvil in your mind, and you smell … leather. Clean, new leather, just for you, and with it a feeling of being clothed in the perfectly fitted presence of another's mind and spirit. The sense of that warm, intoxicating mind peers at you, through you, in you, and -is- you. Don't you feel lightheaded?

Name and Theme
Say Go-VAN-nath, with nice broad Welsh a's, not flat American ones. You asked for an influence from Welsh mythology, so we searched a bit and found Govannon, the smith god, god of skills, and (best of all?) brewer of a beer that offered its imbibers immortality. He is from the series of stories collectively called "The Mabinogion." You may want to check out these sites for more details: (the whole of the Mabinogion) (under Goibniu, the Irish variant)

And finally, though Govannon does not play a role in it, perhaps you would enjoy Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain. The five books are based on Welsh mythology and draw heavily from the names we see when we Google Govannon on the Internet.

Our eggs for Isabeth and Byzanth's clutch were designed for traditional wedding anniversary presents, and the dragons have been patterned after the modern gifts for the corresponding year. Govanath symbolizes the ninth year with a willow egg and a leather dragon. We are delighted to offer him to you as a welcome gift for joining us.

Physicality — Govanath's body is a standard size bronze, properly proportioned, elegant in a definitive male manner. His body is sleek, hardened, with generous rounds showing strength and maturity. Almost a work of art, he exhibits a keenness of edge like the eutectic steel in many fine swords. His body, bronzed from such fine smelting, tempering and forging, regales in the finest craftsmanship possible. His body is hard, rigid, resistant to blemishes, and laden with few imperfections.

Govanath is a regulation mid-size bronze, properly proportioned except for that extra-long neck, and even elegant in a definitive male manner. His body tends to roundness-a little extra baby-fat at first, but this will be forged and tempered after the first few months into sleek, hardened muscles. He's a worker, your dragon, like you. He's also a work of art, with a keenness of edge like the eutectic steel in many fine swords, but the emphasis in this masterpiece is utility, not mere ornamentation.

In design Govanath is something like a leather bota, that Spanish wineskin. But he's also a product of the smithy. His body, bronzed from fine smelting, is hard, rigid, resistant to blemishes, and laden with few imperfections. Where his father is dark and runed, Govanath is light and foam-flecked (and borrows a bit from Isabeth's touches of amber), but he is his sire's son all the same, comparable at maturity in size, and with Byzanth's quirk of curving his tail into a parenthesis or question mark.

Mindvoice —
When he isn't careful, Govanath's thoughts can reverberate in your mind like the largest bass drum on Pern. His physical voice, too, is deep and resounding, and when he chooses it sounds most like that huge hide drum at Harper Hall, meant to cover as much of the continent as is possible for one instrument. Deep and strong, both vocal and mental voices embody force - yet they can be and usually are gentle and controlled, a pulsing rhythm that marks time heartbeat by heartbeat. Govanath is nearly always gentle as you are, L'o; there is no doubt of might, but it is tempered by an underlying serenity. There will be times, of course, when he is provoked to anger; /then/ the power of his mind will ring out like a smith's hammer striking an anvil: sharp, unmistakable and direct.

Govanath's voice echoes in the halls of your mind with warm robustness; when he speaks you will always seem to smell leather and taste, ever so vaguely, a hint of beer on the back of your tongue. The smell will vary with his moods. When he's content the smell will be of freshly tanned hide, clean and comfortable. If he feels unhappy there may be a stink of dampness, and anger brings out a scorch of branded calf-hide. That taste of ale will take some getting used to; in the beginning everything you eat may seem faintly intoxicating.

Personality —
The Smith was honored in Celtic cultures for his ability to integrate all the elements: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Govanath welds all these into his personality as well.

Govanath is fire. Fire, as you know, is essential: we cook with it, heat with it, even sterilize with it. Fire under control is deeply functional. Fire out of control is-well. You know. The heat of Govanath's flame will keep you warm and safe, and he will not turn it against you, but it will be his power source. He's thermodynamic! Only rarely will he erupt, but then his anger will be blazing and passionate. Unfortunately, he will not always have a perfectly reasonable explanation for his passions. His is a stable personality, but his passions are fiery, and he is subject to the baser vices of envy, lust, and greed. He is not as flashy as Pirogeth, and he covets Cabbith's dark coloring. He minds that Lyaseth has so many, many possessions. Luckily, bad moods, especially the flare-up of anger, are quick and just as quickly forgotten.

Govanath is earth. Or, rather, Govanath is of the soil. His beerstained hide is the color of barley. He loves the mineral nature of things, and it is only natural. Where you are from Crom and its coal and ore mines, he is of smithing. He is fueled by and creates with the products of your background and culture. This manifests in his penchant for tasting all sorts of dirt and minerals. He may be the only dragon on record who prefers the taste of firestone, and he'll keep a good bit around just to crunch on. You will be kept busy, we're afraid, scooping up little piles of regurgitation, and will have to mind that he doesn't swallow things that are bad for him. He'll learn quickly, though. Poor Pirogeth, Neraela's blue, who chews mint to freshen his ashy breath, will scarcely be able to bear Govanath sometimes. But Govanath will chew the mint. It too, is of the soil, after all. Oh, and he'll be quite enchanted with Erika's geodes and agates. They're rocky and shiny, all at once, and he does like shiny things. And rocky things. And brown things, and red ones. Perhaps you'll indulge him and decorate your weyr in these colors. Perhaps, if you don't, he'll spend long hours gazing at you reproachfully.

Govanath is air. That is, he's all about flight. Here, his true determination and strength will come to the fore. It will be so hard to wait until he is old enough to test those wings! But when the time does come, watch out for him. He'll need your guidance not to overstretch and exceed his boundaries. When, finally, you're free to take to the skies, Govanath will be the one who tries to fly farthest, fastest, and longest. It isn't that he has anything to prove; he just likes to fly. He enjoys cruising, too, and looking down at the patterns of croplands and forest and rivers below.

Oh, and mating flights! In pursuit, your gentle Govanath will be replaced by a blazing devil. He'll be passionate to the core-that fire again-and will always know which she-dragons of the weyr are proddy. He'll also know exactly which ones he wants to chase-and who he doesn't. His favorites may not always be the ones you would have him go after. He doesn't consider the rider at all, and, really, very little of the female's personality, but is drawn to the golds and greens whose hides have are iridescent or jewel-toned. (Then again, all dragons glow when they are proddy.) When Govanath hits the Feeding Grounds he will become consumed with his need for the chase, much like the burning bush of Judaic tradition, and he will only become fully quenched if he does indeed complete his goal. Alas for that wet-leather odor in your mind when he doesn't. You may smell it rather often when he is young, for early on he may push too hard, fly too strong and overshoot his target. His determination will see him through, though, and he will become a formidable opponent to any male dragon who seeks to compete with him for a lady's affection.

Govanath is water. Granted, he is less water than soils and minerals, but that essence is within him too. Govanath eats to fuel himself, and he doesn't much care what he gets, but he has a tremendous thirst for very cold water. He drinks prodigiously, perhaps as an offset for his fiery nature, or perhaps because of all the rock he digests. What a pleasure it will be for the two of you when you gain your independence to seek out High Reaches' icy lakes and drink your fill. Take Lyaseth with you, sometimes. She'll love to swim in the coldest lakes. Govanath, on the other hand, isn't a splasher. He's just thirsty. Consequently, he has a very cold, wet nose-which he thinks is fun to tuck under your arm when you're sleeping. It's such a large, cold nose.

And finally, Govanath is spirit. He's the spirit of bronzeness. He's all male, your Govanath, confident and strong. He's a man's man among dragons, with no need to prove anything for the proving's sake. He knows that -you- know he's the best, and that's what matters deep down. He's the spirit of friendship. Govanath will be a great shoulder to lean on. He'll listen with great care to your woes and difficulties. He'll even offer up very practical and efficient advice for you. He's actually very astute, and in some ways sharper than you about the ways of the world and how to get ahead. You'll have to judge for yourself whether you want to take all his advice. He is the spirit of community, as well, the kind of dragon who listens to the telepathic chatter around him, responding little, but taking it all in and giving you a timely hint about how to make things better, maybe. You'll be a team that way.

Govanath is you, and more than you, and less than you. He draws from your heritage but takes it beyond the limits you've known in the past. He does not have your wisdom, but you do not have his insights. You affect each other. It may be a struggle sometimes to be true to your own identity, your essential kindness, in the face of his indomitable nature. But he would not be, without you. Nor would you ever be the same again, without him.

Sire: Byzanth
Dam: Isabeth
Egg: Zamara
Inspiration: Jules, R'ban, Zamara and B'nal

Note: This inspiration is only a guide. Only one person knows Govanath best, and that's you. If something's not quite right, feel free to alter it, change it, play with it. Dragons are like good leather - they grow more supple and resilient, and fit better too, the more you handle them. This will be the case with your lifemate, and we look forward to seeing you work together! Welcome to riding at Fort, L'o!

Posted July 17, 2003 by Zephre

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