Tinker, mechanic, custodian of Mountia, creater of automatons
Not even he really knows anymore
Maintenance tunnel system beneath the city of Mountia
Older sister Isabelline, five other unnamed siblings
Machines, automatons, most other MudWings
Order, machines, neatness, isolation, family
Heights, crowds, loneliness
Powers and abilities
Typical MudWing abilities
Monkey wrench, crowbar
"I never meant to hurt anyone..."
This OC was made by Kittyluvver, for Macabre. Do not use without their (Mac's) permission.
Talvan is a male MudWing mechanic, former war engineer, currently employed as the lowly custodian down in the service tunnels beneath the golden capital of Mountia. Little does the world above know the truth; that Talvan has created Pyrrhia's first draconic automatons.
There came a time when the world was too much for him, so he hid below and made a world of his own. He filled it with dragons of bronze and glass, and in his mind he was never lonely even though he was always alone.
-excerpt from something
"All I've ever wanted," he whispered into the silence, "is to live, to love, and to make something that will last long after I am gone."
-excerpt from something
In a word: haphazard, that slender inventor with green eyes like bottled lightning. Talvan has a way of spiking himself about, not quite here nor there, instead jerking between point A to point B with spastic gait, never quite still as the nuts and bolts and ideas rattle about within the confines of his skull. There is somthing unnatural, something mechanical about him; perhaps he was never blessed with the grace of locomotion that characterizes most dragons, or perhaps he has spent so much time with his machines of metal and steam that he has begun to move like them rather than like a being of flesh and blood.
Lightly built for a male MudWing, he is hardly handsome but you could not deny that there is something mathematically elegant in the symmetry of his form - marred only by the gap of three digits missing from his left paw. Still, if he were a bronze automaton, he would have been a fine feat of engineering indeed. His scales are burnished copper with the texture of corrugated metal, the interior framework of bone and wing jutting out like metal spars along the xyz axes, stark against the coal-fire ochre exterior of hide and horn. His eyes are green - perhaps verdigris would be more apt - and gleam forever alight with the chemical potential of oxidized copper, fizzling and smoking, windows to the interior chaos of a shuttered, scrimshawed mind.
And in that moment he realized that he was the insane one, and not everyone else.
-excerpt from something
You'd have to forgive Talvan for never standing still, for his incurable awkwardness, for preferring the company of his machines and automatons rather than that of dragons of flesh and blood. You'd have to forgive him for being so timid and restless, for looking at you with such unbridled fear, as if any moment you might lunge for his throat - and he knows that he would deserve nothing less. The inventor with the copper-green eyes has become nothing more than the broken, hollow shell of the young MudWing that he was just five short years ago.
There is no denying his skill in all things mechanical. Even without three fingers on his left paw, he is still capable of creating functioning automatons of the finest articulation. His knowledge of engineering is unrivaled in his era, and he has single-pawedly brought on the advent of a new type of warfare with his powerful siege engines. And yet Talvan is crippled with guilt for his past. He deeply regrets how he used his remarkable talent to build enormous war machines that massacred hundreds of dragons on the battlefield. He is no warrior, and the thought of so much blood on his paws sickens him to his soul.
The world has not been kind to Talvan, and perhaps there is some kind of poetic justice in the fact that the talent that he wielded to end so many lives eventually brought about his own ruin. Talvan has a deep and abiding fear of NightWings in general, and the digits missing from his paw are a constant reminder of the pain they inflicted on him in order to extract his precious knowledge from him. In his heart of hearts, Talvan is weary of war and cruelty, weary of this world.
Talvan is not a brave dragon, and he never was a brave dragon. Perhaps he prefers to dwell in the depths of his own imagination because he does not have the courage to face the bleak reality that surrounds him every waking hour of his life. He surrounds himself with mechanical creatures so that he can pretend that he is not so alone in this world. He chooses to replace each of his siblings with automatons of bronze and cloth, rather than face the truth; that his living family views him as a traitor to their tribe and would likely kill him on sight. Now, his fantasy of their love that is the only thing that sustains him. Take that away from Talvan, and he has nothing left.
"Be brave," she had once told him, pressing her snout to his brow as they stood in the rain. "Be brave, Talvan, you're stronger than you know." And now all at once he was crying, because he wasn't strong - he loved her and he had failed her.
-excerpt from something
Talvan was born in the heart of the MudWing kingdom in the ordinary MudWing fashion, hatching out of the egg with the help of his bigwings, Isabelline. As the smallest and the last to hatch, he was something of the runt of the clutch - the rest of his siblings were fine specimens of the tribe, all barrel-chested and proudly muscled, and his oldest sister Isabelline towered nearly a full head over him. Still, from the very beginning his family treated their jittery brother with all the love and kindness that you would expect from MudWing family. If anything, perhaps they were a little too indulgent with him, always hunting for him and constantly stepping in to protect him from other MudWings who scorned him for being small and awkward. They were good to him, but they left Talvan with the lingering impression that he could not do anything for himself.
But all in all life was good and muddy, and he and his five other sibs had a happy dragonethood romping about in the marshes and fens with no adult supervision. But little did they know that beyond their borders, a great storm was rising. When Talvan was five years of age their peace was interrupted by the onset of the War of SandWing Succession. As Queen Moorhen allied herself with Burn's army, all able-bodied young MudWings were called to arms.
Being young and reckless and knowing nothing of the true horrors of battle, Isabelline and Talvan's other siblings answered the call and joined the MudWing army. Among his family group Talvan was the only one who had reservations, but he didn't speak up because he was afraid of being seen as cowardly. So he kept his head down and his mouth shut, and trained as best he could alongside all the other young MudWings. From the start it was evident that Talvan would never be a good fighter - he was far too awkward and timid to shove a spear into another dragon's skull - but as always his brawnier siblings stepped in to cover for him and to pick up any slack he might leave.
But the irony lay that, in the midst of that awful war, Talvan would discover his true calling. One night he was returning to the barracks, hungry and disheartened after a long day's combat training, when he passed by a gaggle of Burn's SandWing engineers stripping down a broken siege engine for scrap metal. The giant machine captured his imagination and Talvan, much to the surprise of everyone around him, immediately diagnosed the problem and fixed the enormous siege engine in a matter of minutes.
And so the MudWing commanders put the brainy little dragon who couldn't lift a spear to good use. Talvan was pulled out of the rank-and-file infantry, given a little workshop of his own, and told to fix things. And fix things he did, instilled with a new sense of purpose and pride - he might not be a warrior, but he could still aid his siblings and his tribe. In a matter of months, Talvan had taken the existing crude catapult and trebuchet designs and improved upon them to create the onager, the ballista, and the scorpio - the first artillery ever employed on a Pyrrhian battlefield.
But the truth of the matter was that Talvan, cozy and safe in his workshop away from battle, never really learned the cost of dragon life that his deadly war machines were reaping on the front lines. He'd never seen a bolt from his ballistae punch a bloody hole the size of his head through a NightWing's chest. He'd never seen SeaWing bodies crushed and mangled beneath boulders launched by his trebuchets. He labored alone, content in the knowledge that he was finally doing his family proud, never once stopping to think of the dreadful consequences, or the blood that was on his paws.
Of course, the MudWings' powerful new siege engines did not go unnoticed amongst Blister's and Blaze's forces, and eventually word trickled down through the ranks that a dragon named Talvan was the one single-pawedly responsible for it. The other tribes coveted the knowledge of how to build these destructive new devices, and so it was almost inevitable that one night, upon venturing into his workshop to fetch some spare parts, Talvan found three NightWing agents waiting for him with daggers drawn. Before he could even blink in surprise, he was knocked out cold, bound horns-to-tail, and carried off into the night. For the MudWings, he was never to be seen again.
First, the NightWings offered him gold, more gold than any one dragon could spend in a lifetime. When he refused to speak, they tortured him, of course. Talvan had never been a brave dragon, and he proved no match for the NightWing dungeon-masters. He lost three of the digits on his left paw. The NightWings taught him the meaning of pain, and in return they made him teach them how to build those great siege engines that had lent themselves so admirably to MudWing victories.
And when they finally let him go, crippled and weary, Talvan knew that he could never return to the MudWing kingdom - he would be killed on the spot for treason of the highest degree. His siblings would see the NightWings wielding great war machines just like his own, and they would know that he had betrayed them. The name of Talvan was the name of a traitor, now, and he could never return to the life he once knew. And so he turned his wings westwards, hardly knowing where he was going, but daring to hope for a kinder tomorrow.
Three years have passed, and now Talvan the MudWing has found his way into the maintenance tunnels beneath the great capital of Mountia, as the war that had brought about his ruin raged on over his head.
Talvan arrived, ragged and starving, in Mountia a few weeks after being released by his NightWing captors. He found a temporary home amongst the other MudWings in the Adobe sector. As news of Talvan's betrayal had not yet reached Mountia, the city MudWings simply assumed he was just another lone unsib whose family had been taken by the war. Moons knew that they were common enough those days, and so Talvan managed to eke out a living as a handydragon, doing odd repair jobs around the city, evoking pity for his mangled paw.
Soon the snows of winter were falling cold and heavy on Mountia's alpine slopes, and Talvan realized that if he was not to freeze to death, he would have to find shelter indoors. Word about his mechanical skill had spread about the city, and news found its way to him about a new job opening as custodian in the plumbing and gas pipes beneath the city. Even though Talvan, the former royal army engineer of the MudWings, was ridiculously overqualified for the job, he had little choice. It was work, and without work he would surely starve. And at least it was warm underground.
And so Talvan descended below the city, exploring its great veins and arteries, soon coming to know Mountia's underground better than any other dragon on Pyrrhia. For a while he was content with the solitude and the company of his own thoughts, but then loneliness began to creep in at the edges of his memory. He missed his siblings, the only family he knew. It pained him to wonder if they were still alive, or if they had fallen before a NightWing ballista, victims to his betrayal.
Alone, he faithfully performed his job as custodian and kept the kerosene gas, the electricity, and the water flowing to the dragons of the capital city above. To him it was an absurdly simple task, and he found himself with long hours with nothing to do. At first he occupied himself by making slight, unauthorized improvements to the city's network. And then, with the spare metal parts from the gas pipes, Talvan began to create automatons.
They were simple at first, born out of his boredom - a wind-up mechanical mouse, then a simple little dog, then an eagle with eyes of brass and feathers of cloth and wire. Each was of incredibly fine craftsmanship, each a testament to the skill of his paws. And yet it was only after some years that Talvan finally attained the skill to make a mechanical dragon.
His first one was a MudWing, like him. A beautiful dragoness of beaten bronze and weathered glass, broad about the shoulders, who stood a full head taller than he. To him, she was Isabelline.
And then another month and another automaton, this one his elder brother. Six months went by in the blink of an eye, and at the end of those months, Talvan had six mechanical MudWings. One for each sibling he once knew.
And so the dragon known as Talvan lives on beneath the city of Mountia, guarded, as always, by the family that he loved and lost.
Up to you! From this point on, his history is yours to create. Do something amazing with him!
Isabelline: The bigwings of Talvan's clutch, in Talvan's eyes Isabelline could do no wrong. She was the ideal bigwings to him, guarding and protecting him and the rest of his siblings through all the battles that they faced as soldiers in Burn's army. Out of their siblings Talvan felt the most love for her, and is terrified that she now thinks of him as a traitor, or died because of his betrayal. His first draconic automaton was in her likeness.
Notes from the Kitty: Instructions Manual for the New User
(Delete this part when you get the gist of it :)
Okay, so there's Talvan for you! Hope you like him! He was an absolute joy to work with, practically wrote himself, and I certainly hope that in terms of emotional depth and complexity he fits the bill for you. I had a really great time destroying him sanity-wise, so now you get to fix him! Or not. You certainly don't have to, if you prefer him like he is (an emotional and psychological wreck). Do whatever you like, he's yours to do with as you please! I approve either way, and I tried to make his history as open-ended as I could so you could take him in new directions.
One more thing: the main reason why Talvan is such a wreck trying to replace his family with machines is because he really needs love in his life, and if he can't get it from another dragon he has to fake it in order to keep himself sane. Easy solution I'd recommend would be to get him a girlfriend (or guyfriend, whatevs) who can give him the life-affirming love that he needs.
It'll be tough giving this guy up, but I'll manage :'). Just don't mind me if I come by every once in a while to draw for him, or to shower him in gifts because I love him so. Anyway, in closing, I really hope you choose to try things with him and make him your own, and have fun doing it! Beef up his personality, add onto his history, make a few new relationships! Good luck!