|Played by Twist|
Harper Skills: Menolly has a natural talent for music, both in playing, singing and composition, one extensive enough to make her the first girl training to be a Harper in her age. If it is an instrument of string, percussion or breath she can easily learn to play it, and she can write lyrics and compose tunes as well, and even to make simple instruments on her own. As a Harper she is very well-educated for a person of Pern, adept at teaching, interpreting law and diplomacy.
Fire Lizards: In her homeland Menolly has Impressed nine fire lizards, but only three have come with her- Beauty, a gold, and Rocky and Diver, both bronze. They are to all appearances smaller versions of Pern dragons, though they speak in mental pictures and emotional telepathy rather than speech and are weaker- and less resistant to damage. However they are extremely protective of Menolly and receptive to her commands, and will do their best to obey, with Beauty leading the other two. She has also trained them to hum or trill along with music and is very adept at caring for them, as well as other creatures of their type.
Archery: During his time in Pandora her friend Jon Snow, on noticing that she was somewhat ineffectual hunting or taking care of herself, taught her to use a bow and crafted one for her. By no means an expert she does know enough to take down prey animals and feed herself, or shoot toward attackers without hitting anyone she doesn't mean to.
Basics: Growing up in a very rough rural area Menolly has a wiry strength and is a good runner, but not super-human in that regard. She knows something about fishing, boating and wilderness survival as well as basic first aid and some rudiments of herbalism. However she is woefully ignorant regarding most types of technology and completely baffled by them, as well as having a general naivety of how other worlds may work. She's also learned a good bit more about woodland survival and has refreshed her boating skills.
Having been raised in an environment of conservative repression and being forced to deny the few things that she loved the young Harper still has a compassionate heart, matched by a good deal of resolve. Seeing so much injustice has given her a distinct bias against it and she does not feel comfortable standing idly by while others are in trouble or in danger and she will use whatever meager means at her disposal to help. Intelligent and honest she enjoys teaching and telling tales, passing on what she knows that may be of benefit and she is infinitely curious about creature and worlds she has never heard of before.
While quite a quiet and modest girl at heart Menolly loves her music and that may bring her out of her shell- that and her fire lizards, which she loves to distraction as dear friends and pets. They and her human friends have everything of her and she will gladly put herself on the line for them, or follow them into danger. Those closest to her also see a playful side to her that was almost stifled by her childhood and the bias against her at the Harper Hall. Attention outside of the applause that her music gains often makes her blush and demure and she rarely speaks an unkind word without some sort of direct justification. Family is a complicated subject for her to think on, as she ran away from her own and has no intention to ever return to their closed-minded ways.
AppearanceEditStanding at about 5'10"- tall for a girl, even in Pern- Menolly's lean frame speaks of a life that was far from easy. Her body type is that of a runner or climber, long of limb and narrow of waist with scarcely an ounce of excess flesh attached. The music she plays is aided by her long, narrow fingers, calloused by strings and drum-skins, and her facial features match her just as well- pretty, but not in a a common way, her cheeks high-boned and her nose just slightly longer than average. Her hair is brown, long, fine and tends toward messiness that she tries to control, brows highly arched, eyes dragon-green, large and expressive.
Having lived the sort of life she has, Menolly does have her scars. Across the palm of her left hand is a particularly nasty one, crossing from the pad of her thumb to underneath her pinkie finger, jagged, taut, large and dark red, caused by an accident while cleaning a poisonous fish and aided in scarring by her mother to try and prevent her from playing music any longer. With care is has loosened though and no longer binds her hand into as tight a fist as it once did. The bottoms of her feet are also thickly scarred from running a great distance over sharp stones but those cause her no difficulty in mobility.
When possible she tends to wear blue but depending on the occasion-and of course by necessity- she will certainly wear whatever else is suitable. Everyday clothing is practical, function and long-wearing and she tries to keep it in good condition for as long as possible, her frugal upbringing refusing to allow her to do otherwise.
Amras- A friend with whom she often goes hunting and one of the few people she has left in Pandora who actually are familiar with her woodland-living days. She values his opinion highly.
Taliesin ap Elphin- A fellow musician whose skill and magic impress her.
Merlin- A friend whose magic always keeps her amazed.
Gwaine- She and Hiccup's friend who once saved her from a tense situation.
Born in Half Circle Sea Hold to the Lord Holder Yanus and his wife Mavi- and the last of eight children there was very little attention or softness to be had. Raised among rugged, stoic, dour people in the harsh landscape of the chilly seaside young Menolly learned early to avoid things like dawdling and foolishness, to do her chores and then see to whatever chores may not have been done by others and get to those as well. Idleness was grounds for very strict punishments, as was dreaming and the one thing she enjoyed was running through the Hold halls and caves, something she quickly developed into a sort of physical art.
The Harper of her Hold was an old man named Petiron and early on she showed a distict talent for music, something that he indulged while her parents scoffed- but allowed, as to insult a Harper was to lose one, and then who would teach the children and entertain them? He soon became Menolly's one fast friend and taught her to play, sing and compose as she aged, offering her the outlet the creative, sensitive child craved, and even though girls were never accepted to train as Harpers he sent some of her early songs off to Harper Hall and the Masterharper, his son Robinton.
Not long after this though the old man began to rapidly decline and only a few months later was dead. Devastated, Menolly sang at his funeral, but her father was far more concerned by both her skill and the lack of a Harper, one of whom may not come for a long time. Under the condition that she never play her own songs Menolly was allowed to teach the Teaching Songs to the children and she tried to be satisfied with it the urge to tuning was too strong and her father found her playing one of her own compositions and beat her soundly- something that drew no sympathy from anyone else around her.
About that time the official Harper, Elgion, arrived at the Hold and any impetus for Menolly to play was removed in her parent's eyes- especially in case the Harper discover that a simple girl had taught for so long, just in case she might prove an embarrassment. An unfortunate accident about this time that changed any questions about playing again in the future though; she cut her hands gutting packtail, a poisonous fish, and sickened with infection. Inclined to stop the 'music foolishness' for good her mother stitched the hand so that it would never fully open again and blamed it on the infection, while her father lied to the Harper about who had been teaching the children. With nothing else to do and no other life open to her she went about in despair until she spotted a clutch of fire lizard eggs hatching in the cave where she'd ducked to avoid Threadfall. Unwilling to see them die she quickly fed them whatever food she had along and, without even realizing it, Impressed nine of the creatures; Beauty, a gold, Rocky and Diver, bronzes, Mimic, Brownie and Lazybones, all brown, Uncle, a green, and Auntie One and Two, greens. She was unwilling to stand the thought of losing her friends she simply stayed and cared for them, never returning home.
While her family considered her a lost cause Elgion was concerned and asked for dragonriders to keep an eye out for her- which they luckily did, as she was caught out near Threadfall and ran her feet to ribbons trying to make it to her cave. Taken to the Weyr she saw a completely different life and was marveled over for her ability with her fire lizards, who she'd taught to sing, and was respected for the first time in her life. The information she gave them, as well as the clutch she was able to lead them to, was a great asset to the Weyr, but she was soon enough found by Masterharper Robinton, who had been impressed by the songs Petiron had sent him and allowed Menolly to join the Harper Hall as the first female trainee Harper.
Once there it is not as easy as she would have thought, though she has the support of the Masterharper himself, his assistant and several others. The girls who are there as student Singers take offense to her rank above them, the other male Harper students make nasty assumptions about how she got her position and her fire lizards cause some uncomfortable situations, but through it she stays strong and even makes a few friends, increasing in skill daily.
Just when things started to seem stable one night there was a distinct restlessness among her fire lizards, only to hear Brekke's anguished dragon-mind-wide scream at the fall of Canth, something so distressing that it drew her to write a new song. With the Masterharper's approval she sought to finish it and finally set it to paper. Once done the song became something of a sensation and it wasn't long after that another surprise was heaped on her- and she was set to walk the tables, becoming a true Journeyman and assistant to Robinton.
For a couple of years she spent her time refining her craft, as well as learning the skills to fit in with other people across Pern to gather and pass on information. After returning to the Harper hall on one such excursion the black cords grabbed her and deposited her into Pandora.
On arriving with only three of her nine fire lizards Menolly was in a panic- which immediately sent Beauty, Rocky and Diver into one as well and very nearly put them in danger. Recognizing the need to protect the few that she had left she did her best to calm herself through the terror and grief and started trying to learn about this new world.
Fortune was with her and she managed to meet Hiccup and Jon Snow very early on, both of whom acted as helpers through this troubling time and good friends who instantly gained her respect and trust, and treated her with all kindness. Uncertain about living in the residential district with the fire lizards, who aren't always on their best behavior among new people, she chose to live in the woods as Jon was and joined his camp, with Hiccup a frequent visitor.
Once she'd finally started to settle in Plague struck, rendering her fire lizards unable to communicate telepathically with her. Again frantic and at a loss she saw her way through with the help of those who care for her and once the cure was discovered she immediately sought out her three and made them take it.
Back on track again the Harper secured herself a job as Arthur's Court Musician, something that allowed her to start saving her money, as well as constructing some musical instruments and selling them as well.
After the disappearance of Jon and Ghost Menolly finally moved out of the woodland camp and into town, though she still spends a good deal of time exploring the outskirts and the cliffs for any sign of other dragons from Pern.