Zhoreth

Zhoreth

Sire: Rhyolith
Dam: Niliath

Description:

Not a shadow mars the burnished bronze perfection that spills across his thickly muscled haunches, nor smudges the thick lines of an overlarge muzzle and slender paws. It's spinner-web stripes that finally intervene, crowning the glory of his headknobs in ebony ribbons before creeping their way along his back to claim wide wingsails in ever-growing abandon. Narrow lines of dusky charcoal steal towards his tail, lovingly intwined with golden threads spun down its length.

Personality:

Come on a long with the Black Rider
We'll have a gay old time
Lay down in the web of the black spider
I'll drink your blood like wine

So come on in
It ain't no sin
Take off your skin
And dance around your bones

Tom Waits, "The Black Rider"

When the sun is goin down
and there is no place to hide
Even in the brightest light
you might lean toward the darker side
Look at the people, they learn how to lie so easy
They learn how to lie to get what they need
and after they got what they needed
It turns into a simple case of greed
When they no longer feel ashamed
and theyve lost all sense of pride
Misery loves company
and its lonely on the darker side
And when the party is over
and the music has died
Youll be dancin to the music, baby
somewhere on the darker side

-Johnny Lang, "The Darker Side"

Zhoreth is based on a spider. But not just any spider. There are a lot of sayings out there about catching someone in a 'web of lies', but Zhoreth is far more interested in truth — and he's out to find it. Johnny Lang's song implies that those in the bright lights are the liars and the greedy, and it's lonely on the darker side because it's the more honorable side, and when all the lights are out and the liars have been caught and the greedy drained dry the music will still be playing on the darker side where it's just you and Zhoreth, baby, somewhere on the darker side.

He's dark because the truth is scary, it really is, why else are we all lying?

This is not to say, though, that Zhoreth thinks there /is/ any One Truth. Truth is, afterall, a slippery thing: it's like quicksilver, or molten lead, and it twists and turns in ways that no one can predict. Rather, he's far more interested in the shifting possibilities of the truth, the varying interpretations. Spiders can hang upside-down and walk on walls and look at things from every angle, and this is exactly how Zhoreth finds the truth. He examines it from every angle, on all sides, with the utmost patience. And then he'll look at it again, and again before he makes a decision. Even then, he'll re-examine it, look for new angles that he missed before, and like as not come up with a whole new plan, which might resemble what came before, but might not – and at the end of the day all webs are unique.

For Zhoreth is a planner. And like a spider, if you pull down one web, one plan, he'll just start spinning another one as if he never even noticed. You'll think you've foiled him one way, only to find that he's got another plan. He's persistent, but unobtrusive, and he almost always gets you in the end. He'll be spinning webs in corners of your mind that you're not even aware exist.

You aren't immune to Zhoreth's regard, either. He thinks you're oh, /so/ interesting. In fact, you may be his very favorite Truth to examine. Some dragons are content to allow their riders some privacy, but not Zhoreth. He's insidious. He's everywhere, whether you like it or not, whether you're even aware of it or not. Rather than manipulating you from his dark corner to get what he wants, however, he'll poke and pry your viewpoints and actions from all angles to show you the other sides of the truth. After that, it's up to YOU to decide what's actually right. Don't be surprised to find yourself reconsidering. Frequently.

It's hard to tell, too, just what it is that Zhoreth is aiming for, most of the time. If asked outright, he'll give an answer, but in the end it may end up being something completely different. That isn't to say that he /lied/, but maybe the truth changed. Or maybe it was just one part of the truth. Good luck trying to pin him down.

All of this fascination with the truth means that he's very good at spotting lies, especially yours. He'll be fascinated if you lie, asking endless questions, turning it over again and again until he figures it out.

Plans and schemes
Thoughts and dreams
Who cares what they mean
When they work they're amazing things
When they don't I hear you scream

Spiders and flies , live and die
Six legs to stand on and two wings to fly
I can't remember and I can't decide
What was the season and the color of your eyes

Pharaohs and kings
Favourite queens
Buried with their
Precious rings
When they lived they loved complete
But in their tombs I hear them scream
- "Spiders and Flies," Mercury Rev, from the album All is Dream.

He really isn't interested in consequences, either. He's got very little awareness of what came before. Everything is new — a new day, a new problem, a new lie, a new truth, all to be figured out and planned for all over again. The past is just that - past, and hanging on to its shiny bits is only another way to get your eyes dazzled by the lies.

He's also fascinated with people and dragons. They give him so much fodder for his quest, and he'll want to talk to and be friends with as many as he can. He's affable, too, so good natured and friendly on the surface that's it's easy to forget just how observant he is, how he's watching all the time. And he knows that – he wants everyone to forget - he's careful and subtle where he puts his talons in, when it comes to others.

Don't confuse friendly with touchy-feely, however. Have you ever tried to pet a spider that didn't want petting, or herd one into your hand to move it out of harm's way? They're tricky buggers and not keen on being handled. No nuzzlings or tail-twining for this bronze. He'll be nice as you please, but when one of those forward females tries to cosy up, he'll suddenly be across the bowl with a metaphorical smile on his face.

Also do not confuse Zhoreth with Xanth, another dark and schemish dragon. Zhoreth's subtle. He's digging down to something deeper than just /him/ - which is not all that common really, for a dragon. And he's got way more finesse. You don't always know when Zhoreth's about. If most dragons are the centre of their own universe, then truth is where it's at for Zhoreth. And given his notion of truth is something to be turned about and played with, that means he's constantly changing his centre - especially when he's young. As he gets older, maybe he'll settle down a bit more, get some more fixed ideas of what truth is. Zhoreth isn't a rebel, however. He doesn't need to prove himself, he's not measuring himself against truth and trying to place himself either with or against it. He isn't one thing in the air and another on the ground either, not like some dragons - Zhoreth is the same where ever he is and to whomever he's speaking to.

Relationships with Clutchmates:

Seiketh: As open-minded as he is, it's actually very easy for Zhoreth to find the truth that brown IS just as good as bronze when it comes down to it. He'll even see where Seiketh is better, as well as his brother's weaker points. He won't spend too much time trying to tear down the rivalry that Seiketh's likely to build between them however: it's too good a method of finding out more about the brown, too reliable a manner in which to spin webs and set traps of discovery to pass up.

Sorraiath: Although he couldn't care less about her gender, Zhoreth loves his spunky green sister because she's not afraid of telling her version of the truth, straight up. He's fond of getting her story and then trying to bring her, oh so subtly, around to a different point of view. It doesn't always work, but it is always entertaining.

Allegrith: This spotlight-loving blue might be the most likely to get the dark webs from Zhoreth: a little cloak to dim the shine and maybe play up the spots where the blue has fudged his makeup for the scene. Dramatists and performers are just as likely to avoid truth as to prove it through their allegories, and Zhor likes to keep them on track.

Naomith: This gold may be the one thing that drives Zhoreth to distraction. She comes across, or tries to at least, as so wise and sure and honest, a bastion for her smaller siblings, and he wants nothing more than to pierce that sureness and see what the truth of her is. Also, that preferring-smaller-dragons thing - what is /up/ with that? He'll lose some of his subtlety here, and sweetly bother her at her most reclusive times.

Relationship With Quorra:

Perhaps it's unusual to have a section in an inspiration regarding a non-draconic influence on your lifemate. But then, Qil's relationship with Quorra has always been unusual. No matter how severed you may feel your connection with her is, Zhoreth will find the remains of it in the dusty corners of your mind (where he likes to poke around best, as to work undisturbed til his plan's complete) and review it himself before returning it to the forefront with a whole new perspective. And with Zhoreth to be your new support (we shan't say crutch, as it's unkind), perhaps it'll be a little easier to examine your feelings and see whether or not you've got it right.

A more contemporaneous point is that Quorra lies. Constantly. In thought, word, and deed. In her very mannerisms. Zhoreth'll find that fascinating, and continually offer up new hypothesis on her latest truth. Between the two of you, he has his work cut out for him. How can two people be so the same, yet so different? Zhoreth will compare, contrast, and seek out different angles, ways to tell the two of you apart and ways to put you together. Are you two a jigsaw? If you are, Zhoreth will find the true way to put you together. And once he's found it, he'll start looking for other ways, too.

Physicality:

Zhoreth is a medium sized dragon, though he tends towards a thickening middle. He'll grow slowly, but steadily — no sudden fits of growth for him. He moves the same in air, in water, on land: like a scuttling spider. He's either /very/ quick, or very slow. He likes to fly above things, and drop down on them. He doesn't pounce, however – nothing so banal. In an ideal world, he'd be able to hover. Instead, he'll find inhospitable crags at the top of the Weyr caldera, and he'll somehow perch up there, cling to them, and survey his domain. It's a good place to go to plan. As a dragonet, before he starts flying, indoors will be a fascinating place. He'll want to explore the corridors of the Weyr. The dark passages, the immense caverns, all the nooks and crannies therein.

He likes flights. He really likes them. When a female goes proddy, that's the cue for Zhoreth to start planning. He'll plan flights out before they happen, set his traps, practice his moves. Once he's up and chasing, however, he'll still have room for last minute refinements – with flying as in everything. And hopefully you'll have been scheming on the ground, how best to get in bed with this rider. Otherwise you can lose yourself, and just go along for the ride. He's happy to have you along.

He doesn't like to be oiled. He'll resist until he's really itchy and dry, then give in, then insist he hates it and really, it isn't necessary, until he gets uncomfortable again. Rinse and repeat. He will often insist on going bathing right after you've oiled him, thus undoing a good half of your good work.

Eating Habits:
He really likes to blood. If it was up to him, he'd just blood all the time. You'll have to convince him to eat the meat, and then be prepared to sit wait a very long time for him to be finished. It's not that he's particularly neat, he's just meticulous. Each sinew, each tendon, has to be dissected and consumed just so. If you show signs of frustration, expect him to eke it out for longer, if he's in that turn of mind.

Mindvoice:
His mindvoice is husky and sexy, like he's drank too much whiskey and smoked too many cigarettes — like Tom Waits. It'll always carry a whiff of fine cigars and really excellent whiskey. And like the rest of him, it's subtle. It tickles. It's barely there if you're not looking for it, a shining black light with gossamer threads that creep into your thoughts. It's suggestive, too, so, so suggestive, luring and alluring, it lulls into false senses of security until you fall into the trap. His trap.

When angry or upset, his voice will lose its smoky tone and turn stinging and venomous, with bright pinpricks of white light that grow until they almost blind.

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