W'ren
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W’ren comes from a bedouin-like tribe in the deep desert of Igen in the south central region, just west and south of Igen Weyr, but north of the curve of mountain range forms a bowl in the south, and during the long pass, they had grown to a semi-nomadic territory deep in the badlands where the occasional oases between sand dunes provided all the land and water they needed for breeding there desert runners, among the finest desert breeding tribe on Pern. W’ren’s mother was the firstborn daughter of the tribal chief, the head of his tribe’s clans, and a man of Blood. The tribe, as is the way of the Bedouin style nomadic people, is a close knit band of people, joined by familial ties, who share resources to some extent but who work as a whole to the breeding of their famous desert runners.

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It is in this purpose that as a tribe, they band together, each family subunit specializing in a particular task to the betterment of the whole, upholding the hierarchy of the unit and contributing through personal hard work to personal honor and through refinement of the stock to the honor of the tribe.

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W’ren’s tribe’s claim to fame in Igen is that they are about the best breeders of desert runners on Pern. Once a turn, the tribes of the desert who breed runners for the race gather in the heart of the scrubland near the mountain range. This gather is primarily for the race, although it is also the time of turn, the autumnal equinox, that the desert tribes do the bulk of their annual trading, gather stores for the winter, and find new blood for their traditional style marriages. The tribes send their best riders and runners to the southeast rim of the lower mountain range near the MasterTannerCraft Hall and travel west, through the Big Bay Hold Pass to set camp in the scrubland just east of Igen Sea Hold.

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The 100 mile race is run northwest across the lower dunes to the tip of the Big Bay mountain range, around the tip of the range, then south along the Big Bay coast to the Igen Sea Hold encampment. The tribe of the winning entry gets its pick of the losing runners to take home to increase the breeding stock. W’ren’s tribe had won the Great Igen Race for the last 10 turns before Threadfall began.

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The summer before W’ren’s mother was to be betrothed to a neighboring tribe at the GIR gather, two strange men, one a bronzerider and the other his brother and a candidate for the next clutch for their weyr, flew into the camp in distress. The younger candidate brother was injured and near death. The bronzerider begged the hospitality of the tribe, invoking the tribe’s honor by asking W’ren’s grandfather to he tribe’s guest. The tribe was bound by its honor not only to accept them as honored guests, but to protect them with their very lives. To refuse would be to lose honor, and therefore was unthinkable. W’ren’s mother, Webera, the tribe’s eldest princess and, therefore, the hostess, took care of the rider herself. It was this tradition that was to shape W'ren's life even before his birth.

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The particulars, revealed later, are these. Prior to the hatching of the double clutch at the start of the present fall, Weyrleader Th'deus and his brother Tejano went back in time with a group of dragonriders to increase the riding strength of the weyr. While there, Tejano became injured and Th'deus, in an attempt to find medical help for him, flew to the Igen desert where they encountered a wandering tribe. It was in that wandering tribe, 20 turns in the past, that their lost brother, Trinculo was found. Th'deus and Tejano recognized Trinculo right away, a young man working his way in the tibe as a master leatherworker who had recently been found a victim of amnesia, wandering around.

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While Thadd concentrated on getting to know his Trinculo and trying to restore his memory, Tejano, clearly wearing a Fort Weyr candidate's knot, tried to find diversion from his pain in the attentions of his nurse, the tribe leader's beautiful daughter, Webera, reported to be of the Bloodline. One thing led to another, and one hot Igen night, Tejano and W’ren's mother conceived him. She had fallen in love with the man who would, to the dishonor of her family and herself, father W’ren.

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Thadd and Tejano disappeared after that, and Trinc was left there in his own time at his own request, giving his Barlord brothers strict instructions that he would not try to find them until the first Threadfall fell again on Pern. About nine months later, unknown to T'jano, W’ren was born, and Webera would die clothed in her dishonor, for she never made a marriage, never embraced a wife’s position in the traditional sense, never earned the family wealth in her tainted state, and ultimately, died in childbirth.

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Trinculo Barlord became a surrogate father to W’ren when his mother, who died in childbirth with Trinc by her side, begged Trinc to watch out for Wae. (She knew her father disapproved of the outsiders and of the union between her and one of them). After his mother died, W’ren was shunned by his tribal chief grandfather because of his birth out of marriage. They never spoke her name, nor mentioned his father, though once a wine-loose tongue's whisper hinted at her impatient stubborn streak and the impropriety of his father's out-tribe lineage.

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As a child he watched the mastertanner for hours a day, leaving only when chased off or told to go tend to the runners. Tinculo Barlord raised W’ren as his own, a surrogate father for the young man, without explaining to him why he took him under his wing or even that he was W'ren's uncle.

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But in the true fashion of Bedouin fashion upbringing, Trinc taught W’ren everything he knew of honor and desert skills: knife skills, knots, runner breeding, care and racemanship, tracking, and he apprenticed him to leatherwork, informally, guiding him to master level skills before they parted ways. How to hide in the shadows, pickpocket and use a slick tongue to cheat a man of his marks were all part of his education, as well, though he found listening and a few well-placed words to be more profitable when it came time to leave and find his own way.

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In addition to the trading that goes on at the Great Igen Desert Races, the semi-nomadic tribes of Igen will pass by each other. When the tribes meet like this, they take advantage of trading opportunities ( the power and wealth of a tribe is measured by the size of the tribe and the overabundance of fine cloth, jewelry and livestock). W’ren and Zuhal’s respective tribes frequently met in the desert during his childhood, camping in harmony for the duration of their business with each other.

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A modicum of rivalry exists between the young adolescent males of rival families. The adolescents, being adolescents, compete for the honor of their families during these times, throwing knives or practicing their one-upping on each other in tribal pranks and raiding parties, many times resulting in chest-puffing confrontations. In this way, W’ren and Zuhal's older brother, Azrael, were childhood rivals, W'ren trying to flex his muscles and boast the honor of his tribe in the ways of desert people in order to impress the older Azrael. Zuhal, however, was about the closest thing W'ren had to a childhood friend. W’ren’s family was somewhat in dishonor because of W'ren's mother, however, something that caused other families to discourage interaction with him, and W'ren speculates that this is why Zuhal spent less and less time with him after they reached puberty.

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In spite of his shame, W’ren grew up strong of character and desert savvy, working leather and breeding runners for the Great Igen Desert Race held every turn. Destiny a concept he never was taught to believe in, W’ren’s desert upbringing taught him modesty, honor and the certainty of deliberate action as a means for gaining what in life can be achieved.

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When Wae was 16, Trinc was the one who told Wae it was time for him to leave the tribe and find his heart's desire (go on walkabout). W’ren was his nephew, but in true Barlord fashion, Trinc never told W’ren that either of them was a Barlord, opting instead for W’ren to discover whom he was on his own on walkabout. Trinc told W’ren that his father was probably a bronze or brown rider (because Tejano was a pre-impressed candidate at that time and Thadd rode bronze, so he assumed Tejano would impress that way as well).

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W'ren packed up some food, some personal leather-working tools, the clan's best hunting/tracking gear, saddled up a young desert runner and left with the clan's most promising young colt, sired by the legendary Desert Wings, the fastest desert runner ever bred for the Great Igen Desert Race.

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W'ren knew just where to go for answers. After traveling, hunting, tracking, and making his own shady connections here and there Northeastward, he ended up at Bitra where he became a procurer of unusual and hard to get objects and information. Quite skilled at the art of shadows, he prospered, becoming involved in just about every major theft of goods and information in the area. Throughout, he continued to glean information about his lineage.

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When it became increasingly likely that his father was from Fort Weyr, he moved his base of operations to the weyr itself. Since W’ren's skill is in the area of hiding in shadows, listening and gaining the secrets of others, someone who hooks people and stolen goods and information up, he fit in well there with the underground procurements business. Quite by accident, he stumbled upon a cash crop of Pernian Hemp in the gardens his first day at the weyr. This became the vehicle by which he built up a whole new set of shady contacts which he immediately began to exploit in true Barlord fashion.

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Of course, W'ren still had no idea he was a Barlord at this time. Originally upon arrival, W'ren's information about his father indicated that he was looking for a bronze or brown rider. And what boy wouldn't dream of his father riding brown or bronze? And of course Tejano eventually impressed green. When W'ren first arrived, he thought that T’ren, whose eyes were as blue and skin as dark as his, made a likely candidate for the job. It wasn’t until he later met Th'deus that he came to believe Thadd might be his father. Th'deus looked so much like Trinculo, and so much older than his 24 turns at the time, that W’ren did not doubt. He never suspected the time travel connection.

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In fact, nothing of much of the details of the dishonor W'ren's mother committed on the family honor was known to the young igenite tribesman. To W’ren, these origins of his ancestry, save the bit of lore gained by fireside on the desert trading route, were a mystery he felt honor bound to unravel, the end result being the vindication of his family honor and his mother's memory. After a lengthy investigation, W’ren's claim to the Barlord lineage was finally revealed through, of all things, a knife. In Igen semi-nomadic society, a tribesman’s knife is his or her most precious possession. Usually given during passage to adulthood, the knife represents the tribe itself, sustaining an Igenite throughout his or her life, whether by providing protection, hunting and food preparation toolage or by acting as a digger for water near oasis islands. When it was time to go back to the future, Tejano gave Webera a knife he had had engraved with their initials and the Barlord herald. At the passing of his mother, the knife became W'ren's, held in guardianship by Trinc until W'ren was able to earn it himself, by right of passage into manhood. Turns later W'ren would pull it out in the presence of T'jano, Trinculo and Th'addeus' sister, Taini, who would recognize the Barlord emblem and legitimize W'ren's birth into the Barlord clan.

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Toncho, the eldest Barlord, meanwhile, had been dating a woman named Veronika for 9 turns. For safety reasons, Veronika disguised herself into Sassy. When W’ren met Sassy, a woman almost twice his age, he was instantly enthralled with her natural sexiness. Taste in women runs in the family, it seems. W’ren, coming from his highly conservative upbringing, had never been with a woman when he met her. And he really hadn’t had time to be even in Bitra. Nor did he have a woman at Fort Weyr before her - no time for that - or perhaps the right woman just hasn't come around. Even after living at the weyr for a whole turn, he'd never been seen anywhere to be found when the golds rose. And anyone looking for him during these times would have found his runner hastily saddled and missing from the stables. But she was definitely the right woman for him and worth his virginity – which she got.

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W’ren was searched by T’ren on the second day of the Fort Hold gather before the first Threadfall. He continues to see Sassy even though it was forbidden throughout his candidacy, in between getting stranded on T'ren's ledge and kissing N'tan's brown Nidhgoth's arse. It was during candidacy that he also met his closest friend, Thera, his Aunts Taini and Dia, and it was with them, partying with his stash of hemp in the wine cellar of the Weyr, that he discovered the truth about his parentage. Suddenly, T'jano, a fellow candidate was his father, he had a whole family of folks living at the weyr with him, including the Weyrleader himself. It was a dream come true to find his father and actually have a name to call his own. So when his uncle, Th'ddeus Barlord, called for older volunteers, he gladly went back in time with his father and aunt to stand for the backwhen clutch which would replenish the wings just in time for the first fall of the new Pass.

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The day W'ren stood on the sands, he wasn't expecting to be sat on by bronze Gnaedath. But it turns out that was only an omen of things to come. Gnaedath got the pair into all kinds of trouble during weyrlinghood, trouble which, more often than not, found W'ren on his arse rather than on his dragon's back. And the talkative dragon sang endlessly in W'ren's head, and spouted off poetry and dramatic monologues he had heard. He fancied himself as a sleuth as well, claiming to be a paragon of good taste and secrecy. In fact, the whole weyr knew W'ren's business every moment of the day. The dragon just couldn't keep his mind shut. Eventually, he and Gnaedath began to excell at formations and leadership skills. They stayed backwhen a full two and a half turns until fully graduated, then brought the weyrling wings forward as the Senior Weyrling Wingleader and his bronze superdragon.

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Upon their return, W'ren was assigned as Assistant Assistant Weyrlingmaster by I'nigo, the WLM, but in reality, it was a glorified Senior Weyrling spot. He was, however, put in charge of teaching leatherworking, formations, and betweening to the senior weyrlings. This position also allowed the Weyrleader to use W'ren's spying skills in service of the weyr, to undergo covert operations in search of the answers for several recent criminal happenings. Going back in time, he spent more than four turns gathering information in Bitra and spying at Telgar Weyr, incognito as a Telgar Weyr bronzerider.

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The time he had spent away back in time away from Saskia had seemed like a lifetime, but fore her, it was only a few days. The decision had been the right one for him, though, because as a result, he was already cleared for flight with his new dragon, and he took full advantage of it, splitting his time between the weyr and Saskia’s lair in South Boll, spending long hours with her her in his arms or enjoying the beach in the weyr that they shared.

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Using his newfound skill at timing it, he managed to come home to her often, even being there for the birth of Sassy's baby and deliver it! He made her his weyrmate and Tanika Saebren his own daughter, though he knew from the start she was not his biological issue. But in the way of his people, he had the option of claiming the child as his own, of honoring the child with a tribe and a heritage, legitimizing her into his own Bloodline. And he did just that, though Sassy never told him who the real father was. In fact, Tanika's father was W'ren's uncle Toncho, which made his daughter really his cousin, and his weyrmate his aunt.

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W'ren lived in blissful ignorance of this familial chaos, though. He was a happy man, and Gnaedath, who had taken quite well to Saskia, was a happy dragon. The only thing missing in the dragonpair's life was the man who raised W'ren as his foster son, uncle Trinculo. In his last backtiming mission to Telgar Weyr, W'ren flew out to the desert to find his foster father and his tribe, to no avail. While he was gone, Saskia, for reasons unknown to him, turned bacl into Veronika, kicking him out of her life on his return, and sending Tanika Saebren away to live with her biological father, Toncho, in a timeline 14 turns backwhen.

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At this time, W'ren is trying to get over the only woman he's ever loved. He has no idea that Toncho has been raising the daughter he claims as his own, no idea that this child in the current timeline is aged 14 turns from the day he last saw her less than a fortnight ago, no idea that this same child is newly arrived at Fort Weyr all of 14 turns, and no idea what Veronika is up to, why she pushed him away, or where she's disappeared to.

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His father, T'jano, has been jailed at least twice and demoted back to weyrling status. His best friend Thera who weyrmated his father can't be around him more than a minute without sniping at him because she's so angry he's spent so little time around her weyrmate. And his new boss, Madri, seems to hang him out to dry every time he looks at her sideways. In the midst of all this turmoil in his life, Trinculo has come back home to Boll, and just when the rider needs his foster father the most, his family isn't telling him he's home, and because he thinks Trinc is still with his missing tribe, it hasn't occurred to him to ask.

To read Gnaedath's Inspiration, please visit http://dffwic.wikidot.com/w-ren
To read logs of W'ren's adventures, please visit http://waebren.livejournal.com/

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