she/her or he/him
x wing pilot/space weed guy
writes for work, rps for fun, writing blog linked on the main
a little deluded. It’s clear to anyone who spends extended time with Ariel that the lens with which he views the world is bizarrely skewed, and stubbornly fixed in that position. The code he lives by and the conclusions he reaches are often removed from reality -- some of this can be attributed to anachronism and his history as an elite dragon-wielding paladin born and raised to fight in the name of Ignacio (none of which he remembers, making him even less capable of rationalizing), but he is naturally less adaptable than the average kirin to a new world that challenges his schema at every turn. This schema often places him in a position of control and savvy that he doesn’t always actually occupy, and it provides moral justifications that are heavily religious and out of touch to the modern citizen of Hireath.
“benevolent” imperialist. Ariel really thinks he is respectful and supportive of all races, and would consider himself a particularly tolerant kirin. While he may be right about the second part, the fact that his “support” comes in the form of backhanded, microaggressive compliments based on the idea that non-kirins have a lot to compensate for to be exceptional (“you’re very brilliant for a unicorn” etc) should make it clear that he has a great deal to learn about how not to be racist. In the old days, Ariel bought fully into the idea that the superior kirin and their superior god knew best for all, and with no memory of the excessive destruction of Kin (in which he took direct part), he has no reason to immediately believe otherwise, or to think that such a belief is wrong or hurtful as it has the interest of the greater good in mind.
morally superior. As both a kirin and a seasoned, special-class military officer, Ariel wielded a lot of authority and respected wisdom in their previous lifetime. Even with no memory, they maintain the irrational sense that their presence is one that brings final judgment and decision. Though this is of course presumptuous and false, it’s not always exactly bad -- once they learn what the Aodhians are up to in New Valore in the name of the kirin legacy, it becomes the biggest bone in their craw, and they can’t wait to give these “Aodhian” slavers quite a shock that a great kirin doesn’t approve of what’s become of Eithne. They’re also loudly puzzled by binary gender, giving everyday preference to any individual of any species who is transgender or nonbinary as being a step closer to greatness and enlightenment.
pure of heart. In spite of all his institutional bigotry and self-importance, none of it -- genuinely -- is meant to be bullying or hateful. Ariel is honestly a good soul and is trying to live his best life for the good of himself and others. He is deeply selfless and self-sacrificing; his duty is and always was performed with a heavy (almost burdensome) sense of caring and justice, and his crusader’s devotion to Ignacio was out of reverence to a god who seemed to be confident in what was right for the world. To learn of the reality of the war crimes he and others committed at Kin will devastate him once he has adjusted to the modern world without the poison of the divine bond convincing him that kirin supremacy is better for all. This heavy heart Ariel possesses is part of what made him suitable to commune with dragons, and this broken half of his extended empathy where his dragon once spoke to him sometimes brings him to quiet melancholy that he can’t yet identify.
centered and steady. Ariel rarely raises their voice in anger, and they would rather remove themselves from sight than visibly show fear or uncertainty in front of people who rely on them for fortitude and calm. While far more of a soldier than a monk, they maintain an incredible focused core that is the axis of their military prowess. Ariel is also distinctively steady in their physicality -- they walk with an exceptional strength and balance that, while attractive, is also hard-practiced and tactically advantageous, making them very difficult to knock down or catch in one’s teeth. They were also known for their surgically steady teke back in their time, which is a skill they’re working on rebuilding after they awoke with a radically altered brain.
quietly funny. It’s sometimes hard to tell whether or not Ariel is self-aware -- his speech cadence is strange and his language is often unnecessarily lofty -- but occasionally there’s a twinkle in his eye that suggests he knows perfectly well what irony is and likes to use it. He also has a quiet, observational brand of humor, making direct points after long periods of saying nothing that can have quite the hilarious effect. He’s always pretty proud of himself when he comes up with a good zinger.aesthetically concerned. Ariel loves beauty and to be beautiful. Their most enjoyable hobby, which they’ve turned into a skill, is cosmetic painting, once applied to the faces of their squad of dragon hoplites during battle to reflect the scales of their dragon counterparts and make them look especially fearsome and glorious in equal parts. In modern times, Ariel is relearning the elaborate painting, but quickly fell back into their old makeup routine. They usually don’t go out in public without eyeliner at the very least.
Ariel woke into spontaneous existence with an elevated heart rate and shallow lungs, experiencing in his first moments of rebirth a sense of panic he had never felt in the life he lead before. He didn’t know where it came from, and he had no way of figuring it out -- he knew there was sand, and he knew his headspace was achingly empty of something besides his own voice. He had a purpose, the nature of which was nothing but a vague silhouette, but it was enough to tell him to get up and walk. Through disorientation and heat, muscle memory returned to him a deliberate gait and a keen eye, and he managed to track his way through the edge of the Sear until he found signs of life in Sedo.
A millennium ago, Ariel’s purpose was clear. They were a child of two kirin warriors, proudly the next in a long legacy of military servants of Ignacio dedicated to the defense of Old Valore. Most were armored hoplites, decorated and highly-trained soldiers of their own right -- but in every strain of the family line, a few children with particular promise were sent to train by Mt. Oriel, and of those few, some came back over the mountain in possession of a dragon egg. Ariel began sparring with their cousins around age five with toy swords to learn basic technique and strength as was family tradition; they stood out in intensity, focus and athleticism, having a particular fluidity of movement and natural sense of their surroundings for such a young foal. Both their parents and their extended family agreed that they would be the first of their generation to attempt the training required to become a dragon hoplite.
His dragon partner, hatched in front of his eyes, was a beautiful, slender female. She had a name that he may never remember, but her voice may come back to him in time, toothy and resonant and projected right into the very core of his brain. They, like most dragon/hoplite pairs, were inseparable and took on traits of one another -- she became duty-bound like him, and he took on her inflated sense of righteousness. Their fighting style was stealthy, balanced and precise; he would direct her from a hidden location and aim her fire like a long-range cannon, often completing some of the more high-stakes operations of King Soleil’s army.
Though they began as a standard single unit, as Soleil and Ignacio’s military endeavors grew, Ariel and his dragon became the devoted leaders of a small special ops dragon hoplite team known for their fearsome and beautiful war paint, as instituted by Ariel. These officers were dogged paladins ready and willing to do anything their king asked in the name of their magnificent god -- this attitude trickled down from Ariel and his dragon’s leadership, and the group was as tight-knit as any in the army of Old Valore.
As the divine bond between Ignacio and his kirins grew more poisonous, these fervent crusaders left more and more destruction in their wake, unwilling to question their god’s flawlessness and justifying his increasingly warped ethics. Ariel was a stone-faced captain through it all, performing their duty alongside their dragon as their family had for centuries before as if nothing had changed or gotten out of hand. The idea that they were the member of their family at the axis of a definitive moment in the history of Hireath was nowhere near their mind -- they were a necessary cog in a wheel that would turn for eternity. Their nieces and nephews, already born, would be kirin soldiers too.
This, of course, was not the case. Ariel and their team were present at the destruction of Kin, and Ariel’s dragon’s fire was among that which scorched Sirith to ash and sent Breim below the earth. Ariel has no recollection of Argus’s wrath, or realizing with an uncharacteristic startle that the battle was out of control, or having their right antler crushed by the weight of their own dragon when the arcane energy struck her down. All that remained when they awoke a million years later were the feelings: the panic, the dismay, and the pain.
Far worse for wear than he thought he was, Ariel was found scarred and half dead of thirst by a couple of Seroran teens and their Mullah headed into the Sear for their Ceremony of the Rising Wind. He would tell you he asked them for directions, but they would tell you he collapsed immediately face down in the sand. He awoke being cared for, albeit with great caution, by some capable people in Sedo. Generous to him in his vulnerable state, the Serorans have earned Ariel’s gratitude and respect, and he integrates more and more among some of the families there as he struggles to regain memories and physical fitness.