Long nose dominates Jaiden's brown, oval face, capped with darker hair cut sleek and close to his well-shaped skull. Only his eyes, dark and lustrous mahogany, lighten his otherwise serious mien. Small, compact body, his limbs hued the same even nut-brown as the face, he shows the leanness of approximately fifteen Turns of youth.
Middle child of a middling family, Jaiden learned early in life that attention would always be shared, divided. At the age of five, he learned loss -- when his beloved older sister, who often took care of him, was Searched by High Reaches Weyr. He would only see her again infrequently after the Hatching which gave her Jezebelth. She did give him attention and advice on her visits home, however, including the wise suggestion that he leave the Hold before his identity was subsumed in everyday life.
Growing up in a busy Hold, more or less left to his own devices by busy parents, the torment of older brothers (who nicknamed him "Runt") and the lack of a feeling of connection to his blood kin, Jaiden always kept his sister's advice foremost in his mind.
Unexpectedly, he discovered a love of music -- and a potential career -- brought about by an evening's entertainment. The music, provided by the Hall's new Harper, was exciting to the 11-year-old boy. Sensing a potential Harper, Resselan took Jaiden under his wing, giving him a basic grounding in music theory and some instruction with instruments.
But when Jaiden asked permission to travel to the Harper Hall to be a Harper, he was denied. He was understandably upset -- his brother Airen had already left for an apprenticeship at the Beastcraft, and Tofen was staying at Southern Boll Hold to help his parents -- so why couldn't Jaiden go? Arguments flared, and distrust grew into lasting, resentful grudges. Jaiden, who thought his parents hadn't cared for him at all, found their sudden chokehold on his life to be strangling.
Under Resselan's advice, he renegotiated, and they came to an agreement: when he was fifteen, he'd go to the Hall, stay for a Turn, and return if he had not become an apprentice. Some measure of equanimity restored, he worked around the Hold until his fifteenth Turnday, when he set off to the Harper Hall with a hopeful heart (leavened with fear that he wouldn't make it, the taunts of his brothers still sharp in his mind).
Jaiden did reach the Hall and made it as far as to speak to a Master, when he realized that singing wasn't what he wanted to do with his life. He stayed for a time as a go-between, running messages from Fort Hold to the Harper Hall and back; then, when he was sixteen, he succumbed to the terms of his parents' contract and returned home.
this page last updated on 24 january 2003