Name: Matthis Westerfield Age: 21 Personality: Matthis has always had trouble relating to others, and so comes off as a sort of cold, rude or disinterested person. He has a unique sort of skill he was born with in that he reads people's expressions, body language, and voice well enough to be a human lie detector. But people lie to each other all the time, even if it's just little white lies, or a hint of omission, and they generally don't like being called out on it. It's always been difficult for Matthis to understand that others don't see what he sees, and he hates lies and lying enough that he comes across as tactless and heartless to those he speaks to. Matthis is nothing like that, though. He detests those that lie constantly, and doesn't like himself for having been forced to do the same. The only time he can be relaxed in someone's company is if they tell him the truth. History: Because of his 'special ability' Matthis has never really had friends. He started out life as a happy, go-lucky child, confused by the reactions of people around him, but as he grew older pessimism took its place in his heart. Most people he met would either be annoyed or frightened by his calling them on their lies or half truths, and would abandon him soon after meeting him. Even those that did their best to stick it out didn't last long before he insulted them somehow and damaged their relationship beyond repair. In response, and out of a desire not to anger or hurt every last person he came in contact with, Matthis drew into his studies as a protection, finding books to be friendlier company, and became almost a recluse for a while, seeing only family and his family's friends, should they come to his home. The times that he went out, he would venture away from town and closer to the woods or small body of water near his home. It was easier to live with himself and not have to lie to people, not have to hold his tongue and smile when he didn't mean it. At the age of fourteen, when he was hardly a man at all, his house was destroyed in the path of a wildfire, with his family still inside. Matthis managed to get both his mother and sister out of the building, but they died shortly after, and he hardly survived himself. He was lost, after that. Even after his injuries were healed, he hadn't much will to get out of bed. When he finally did, it was only to visit the graves that had been dug for his family. Distressed, he ran without direction into the forests near his village, away from the main roads, and soon found himself lost. Without any sense of where he should go, and with nothing to run to if he even knew the way home, Matthis only laid down on the forest floor, and did nothing. It was late into the night, when the temperature had dropped too low to be safe, that he was found by one of the most fearsome creatures known to man - an untamed dragon. Far from attacking, though, the dragon curled around the boy to keep him warm, after a bit of sniffing and general exploration of him. The dragon was young, but still large enough to push Matthis up to his feet and support him on his way home. Understandably, after that, the two formed a strong bond, faster than even the men and women paired up with their mounts at dragon riding academies. Matthis' wasn't quite so dark or secluded, after receiving a partner he would have with him for life. It was comforting to know that he would always have someone to lean on, even if that someone was 'just' a dragon, but recovery for him was still difficult, and it was years before he had himself and his life back together, living only with the help of a family friend that was loyal to his parents and knew him. With his scholarly activities, and the added attention from his skill in riding his dragon, Matthis was invited to a prestigious academy at a young age. He accepted only because he could bring his dragon with him, and because there was nothing left for him in his hometown anyway. He set hard to work at the academy just as he had in his younger years, mostly alone, and with his dragon for company. Other: Matthis has become a sort of oddity among those that know of him, even if they don't know his name. Having to hold back the truths he sees and sometimes fake his own personality stresses him out, and to blow off steam he'll go flying with his dragon. With complete and total trust in his scaley friend, he attempts risky stunts meant for those much more experienced themselves. More intriguing than that, he will fly straight up into the air, high as he can reasonably go while still breathing well, and just let himself fall. He'll spin or twist or perform some sort of aerial acrobatics on his way down, at times, but the solitary sound of just the wind in his ears and the sensation of falling help to calm him, as well as the trust he must put in his dragon to catch him safely before he hits the ground. It's just how he blows off steam, and others think it dangerous, brave, or simply stupid. A run through the trees was all he had wanted. He'd taken a harness from the store rooms, which was not entirely out of bounds for a student but was usually supervised, and saddled Creek up to head out together. Usually he could fly without the aid of such devices, relying on Creek and on his own well-trained grip to keep him on the dragon's back, but flying through the trees required sudden banks, turns, and occasional trips upside down, and until he was very, very used to it Matthis wasn't going to chance not having a 'proper' handhold. He'd done it before, and met with little complaint so long as he was not late for lessons or disturbing others that needed the saddles. Only, this time he had waited until it was dark, the Academy lit by lamps and hardly anyone still moving about. It made sense to train at night, didn't it? He needed to learn to rely on Creek's ability to see, and to train his own eyes to seeing obstacles in the dark as best he could. He would not always be able to carry a light with him. When he had emerged from the canopy of trees back to Academy grounds, elated and happy, there was an Advocate waiting for him. Matthis, come morning after he had been dragged off to his dormitory and Creek to the dragons' sleeping grounds, hung his head and was appropriately cowed as he was chastised for his actions. He had endangered himself and his dragon, they said, had 'stolen' Academy property that he had the rights to use as a student, and had broken a curfew on a night when he had no classes the next day. Still, he kept his thoughts to himself, knowing it would do him no good to protest and he should say sorry at all the right times and listen as he was berated. He was always going off and trying to do things alone, avoiding contact with others as much as he could, and had unfortunately not gone as unnoticed as he had thought. He needed to 'learn to play well with others' - and thus his punishment was an unreasonable burden. "A new student!" The young rider sat forward in his chair as if he might spring to his feet in protest or dismay. "You - You can't be serious!" The headmistress only shook her head, her gaze disapproving enough that he settled back in his chair, clasping his hands loosely in his lap. "You have been a resident here for a long while, and if not for these little indiscretions your record would nearly be flawless - but you will never be worthy of a rider's place outside this Academy unless you learn what cannot be taught by books." She gave him a long, hard stare, the stern worry in her expression settling an uncomfortable feeling in his stomach until she finally turned her attention back to the papers on her desk, effectively dismissing him. "He will be arriving this afternoon and you will stay by his side and see to it that he and his companion have an easy transition into Academy life. There will be no further arguments." That much was clear. Knowing protests would do him no good anymore, Matthis left without another word, closing the door quietly behind him. If he was lucky, he would not be stopped in taking Creek out for a few flyabouts to relax before he faced his fate.