Position: Wingrider, K’den’s Wing.
From: Xanadu Town
Family: Joseph (father), Sarai (birth mother), Bekka (step mother – deceased), half-sibs on his father’s side: Rhona, Judith, Felicia and Joshua. Jena, a deceased wife, and his son, J’cob of bronze Tzabarath. He is married to Tori, with a step-daughter Tsura and a new baby, Beja.
B’jan was born Benjan in Xanadu Town to his parents: Sarai and Joseph. Theirs was a contract marriage that had been arranged by the matchmaker. Both of his parents were of Afric racial types, though Sarai was Maasai and Joseph’s great-greats had been African-American. The matchmaker had thought it was a favorable sign to see two young singles appear in his office with relatively unusual genetic backgrounds at almost the same time. Unfortunately, it was over almost as soon as B’jan was born – Sarai had wanted to hold land of her own, while Joseph wanted to stay in Xanadu and pursue his dream of being a chef. An amiable separation left the baby with Joseph, so that Sarai was free to start a new family without the burden of the first one.
Joseph remarried less than a year after she left to a woman named Bekka, who had moved from Sadrid to study sculpture. Although not biologically her child, his step-mother became an enormous influence on his life and he followed her everywhere, long after she and Joseph had children of their own. All together, Benjan has four half-siblings by his father’s marriage with Bekka and additional six by Sarai and her second and third marriages. Having little to do with Sarai and her farming family, he grew up ensconced in the world of Xanadu’s artisans – learning to chop vegetables and wait tables at his father’s side, and the processes of releasing images from inside marble from Bekka. Though not particularly dreamy – his parents emphasis that art was a physical process one learned was engrained in him early – he went through a phase as a child where he was obsessed with space and flight.
Upon reaching the age of majority, Benjan followed Bekka’s example by entering College as a sculptural student. During his College years, he had a series of short term relationships with various women including an Effie and a Zoey, but nothing serious came of it. Shortly after he entered, a professor noted his good math and sciences skills and encouraged him to pursue architecture under the theory that Pern needed more architects rather than sculptors. Finding it a challenge, he was on track to graduate and join a journeying construction team which was metal-shingling houses in preparation for Thread when he was asked to Stand for Azov’s most recent clutch. Like most of Pern by this point, he had dragonrider ancestors, but it was especially noted that he had exceptional control over his blue firelizard, Idaris.
Benjan found Azov rather desolate in comparison to the Xanadu he had never before left – though the architecture was technologically compelling to him for its use of technology no longer accessible to the Pernese. He found the large, vaulted caverns that Weyrfolk prefer to be emotionally cold and distant, and the rider lifestyle – always talking to silent dragons, just as off-putting. He was eager to leave Azov behind as a mistake, when he impressed brown Bajiquanth on the sands.
Now B’jan, he braced himself for a year of miserable feelings before he could take Bajiquanth away from the Weyr. However, in Weyrlinghood he blossomed from a reedy teenager to a young man. In the hard physical work of raising a dragon and Threadfighting he bulked up, put on muscle weight and discovered a delight in the physicality of the body he had previously been missing. He found he understood better his biological mother, Sarai, and her family of hard ground-working farmers and began to reestablish connections with the half-sibs he’d hardly met. The math and science skills he had honed at College and the spatial awareness of his architectural degree turned out to be of excellent use in the Weyr. Old C’zan, the Weyrlingmaster, took a special shine to him. Although he never picked up fully on the diplomacy lessons that C’zan tried to teach him, the old man did put him forward for a summer job at Boca River Resort.
Working at the resort suited B’jan and Bajiquanth. Like all dragons, Bajiquanth enjoyed sunning himself and the physical work of dragging the tow lines full of happy guests through the water. They especially loved Bajiquanth for the brown’s tendency to abruptly change direction and speed up, leading to a wilder ride. B’jan was enjoying the opportunity to relax – especially free of the pressure of deciding what to do next with his life. He was undecided between returning to study architecture and staying at the Weyr, where it looked like he might have a real future as a leader. At least, until he met Jena.
Jena and B’jan took out a contract marriage and settled down on her land grant. Located in a small valley ringed by high mountains, the two should have considered the isolation a danger, were it not for Bajiquanth. Aside from the freezing winters, however, the two lived peacefully for nine years, raising wheat and a small herd of wherries for Bajiquanth. B’jan was formally posted with Ongola Weyr, and went back and forth between the holding and the Weyr as needed. Their first child, Jacob, was born two years into their holding – and then a string of mysterious miscarriages with no explanation. B’jan had always been careful not to between with his wife when she was expecting, and no one could figure out what was wrong, medically. It was unfair, B’jan thought that after so much fighting to be together, this should happen to them.
And then the worst happened. Jena became pregnant again, and this time it seemed like she might carry the baby to term. Until she started to experience pain in her abdomen, pain which turned into bleeding. B’jan and Bajiquanth went for help but there was nothing the medics could do. Jena had lost too much blood and the surgical knowledge to save her no longer existed. The official cause of death was ectopic pregnancy. B’jan went into shock. Jena’s family took care of her funeral, and several days later B’jan, refusing to return to their cottage, was stationed in an empty weyr at Ongola with Jacob, his son.
At first, the Weyr was sympathetic. B’jan had kept his home life to himself, but was liked by his wing. It was only reasonable that he grieve for his wife. Although Jacob seemed to bounce back within a fortnight, B’jan’s problems became worse with time. He began to miss scheduled training, acting oddly and betweening irregularly. B’jan insisted in a quiet, but firm voice, that time as we know it is not real – it loops over and over again on a cycle, and we only notice the cycle during things like Threadfall. The Weyrleaders were unsure about how mad he truly was or if in his grief he had discovered Timing It – but they decided he would be best off at Azov, where they could have a medic who specialized in mind healing to take a look at him.
At Azov, B’jan was assigned to twice weekly mind healing sessions and little else. He began to improve with the help of a herbal tea, though the medic felt that it was Azov and Xanadu themselves that improved his mood. Whatever the reason, B’jan seemed to gradually become himself again — and became bored with being idle. He began to pay more attention to Jacob and was assigned to a wing again. Now, two years after Jena’s death, the Azov Weyrleaders have decided to make B’jan the Wingsecond of Xanadu Wing. His specific charge is to use his architecture training, and familiarity with the town, to make sure that all the buildings are in good shape for the upcoming Fall.
Bajiquanth is a strange one. Those who knew the pair claim that he was reasonably normal before Jena’s death, and that it was her death which scattered B’jan’s brain and thus his. Others claim he was always a bit off – he’s small for a brown! And rather uninterested in flights.
Regardless of what caused it, Bajiquanth, or Baji as B’jan lovingly refers to him, no longer seems to understand the passage of time, even for a dragon. Bajiquanth mixes up his tenses, and when he does remember things, he often remembers them out of order, or adds an imaginary future as if he’s sure of it having happened. B’jan must recheck his coordinates several times before betweening, as once or twice he has ended up in the right place, but the wrong time. Luck must be favoring them to have not gone between without returning – luck, or maybe as B’jan gets better, Bajiquanth’s troubles lessen.
In flight, Bajiquanth takes advantage of his smaller size and leaner physique to punctuate a normally steady flight with sudden, quick bursts of speed and agility. His smaller size and frequent acrobatics can result in him not conserving his energy and tiring quickly. He can be a bumpy ride for anyone other than B’jan, and looks forward to Thread, as he believes he will prove his skills in battle.
In year 253, B’jan moved back to Xanadu Town for the first time since he was a College student. Having his family around to help with Jacob proved to be an immense support. He met Stakeholders Tobin and Cordelia, coordinating with them on a number of minor architectural problems and began using his almost-a-degree on something more complex than homesteading for the first time. He also began to be interested in women again, taking home a massage therapist for a brief one night stand.
After the evacuations were announced, B’jan was appointed to do housing inspections with brownrider D’von, which started a long friendship. He also became friends with Leija, a young knitter who seemed to take a shine to Bajiquanth. A young rider named Tori impressed him with a good suggestion. Meanwhile, Simone’s Quelzinth rose and gave some folks on Grant Island ideas, which led to B’jan thinking that Head Vet Saira might be interested in him.
When Tachryleith rose over the town, Bajiquanth chased and lost. B’jan ended up spending the aftermath with Saira. Around this time, B’jan ran into Nance again and the two became friends. Saira was not pleased, according to Nance, who claimed the vet was stalking her. B’jan brought it up to her over dinner, which went as well as could be expected.
Not surprisingly, B’jan and Saira broke up days into the new year. Unfortunately, things with Saira continued to be weird and Cecily got involved as friend and mindhealer. This somehow resulted in B’jan getting a kitten ostensibly for Jacob.
At the Fog Ball, B’jan and Saira briefly rekindle their thing and go on a ‘first’ date before B’jan gets cold feet and dumps her. B’jan will later tell D’von that she was insane and Bajiquanth will decide to take his rider’s inability to find a woman into his own paws.
In search of revenge for her broken heart, Saira has conspired to get Jacob a Search letter – for furthest Ierne! Jacob impresses bronze Tzabaranth! Shortly after, brownrider B’rton – on a quest to date Cecily, accidentally arranges a blind double date with Saira and B’jan, in which B’jan threatens to drop Saira between if she meddles with his family again.
Meanwhile, Bajiquanth has taken his vow to find his rider someone seriously, and he and Vitanith (Tori’s green) come up with a plan.
After yet another fight with Saira, B’jan decides to vent to Tori. Tori, in return, decides that she’d like to take B’jan to meet her folks which is naturally when Vitanith decides to put her plan together and rises for Bajiquanth.
Around the start of the year, in order to have something to keep him busy now that J’cob is gone, B’jan decides to build his own house on Connell Square. Timo, an architecture student that B’jan had helped and participated in the Connell rebuild, has some helpful ideas. His plans would face a huge setback in month 7, when Amendment 11 passed seeing riders lose the right to own their own land. Ultimately, his plot for the house would be transferred to Xia’s care as part of Connell’s ‘weyr land’ and his land in Ongola where he lived with Jena would be transferred down the line to one of Jena’s relatives.
There is also a hatching, in which Azov has its first gold egg in a couple of turns. Both Nance and Leija are standing as queenrider candidates, and B’jan is a bit shocked when the hatchling queen chooses Nance over Leija. This class would become important, as after the betweening death of K’per, B’jan’s friend D’von would get demoted from his assistant weyrlingmaster gig and B’jan would ultimately get the job himself. Shortly before K’per’s death, a second clutch would also have a gold egg, providing Leija the gold everyone expected her to impress.
By the end of 255 AL, B’jan and Tori would finally decide to go all in with their relationship. He has a nice chat with Cecily about the past and future and except for his new job as Asst. Weyrlingmaster running him ragged, things seem to okay.
Meanwhile, B’jan continued to adjust to being Tori’s fiancee, and dealing with Tsura and her special needs. In time between teaching weyrlings and adjusting to being a father of a pre-schooler, B’jan was working on restdays on finishing the construction on his house. At some point in the summer or fall of 256, major construction is finished and he, Tori and Tsura along with the dragons, move in.
At the end of 256 – after Xanadu’s disastrous performance in drills and Kwanjath’s flight over the town, orders came down from Weyrleader K’den that Connell would be closed down. It throws B’jan into a funk and a brief occurrence of depression. He and Tori find their new Azov weyr decidedly cramped and decide to get married anyway – to thumb their noses at Weyr traditions.
At the start of the turn, B’jan and Tori got married in front of a small crowd inside Yokohama Sushi.
In the middle of the year, B’jan and Tori were surprised to learn that Tori was pregnant. In a fit of masculine nesting, B’jan and Tori decide to secretly move back to Connell Square and no one ever catches them.
On day 7 of month 13, 257, baby Beja was born after a hard labor, both mother and new daughter coming out a bit worse for the experience and shocking the crap out of B’jan. This and Rauth’s death would find B’jan seriously considering returning to the fighting wings…