|Clan||Keeper of the Moon|
A young Conjurer, Gridanian born and bred, whose idiosyncratic approach to conjury is a bit off-putting to those who expect a field medic or a magical chirurgeon.
Small and delicate, even for a Miqo'te. Ahlek'zi is shorter than most, with a fragile build- he looks as though he could be easily picked up off the ground by even a Midlander if he stood in one spot, and he probably could be. His facial features are youthful, even feminine, with large red eyes, soft lips (concealing not-so-soft fangs), and a general look of worry to him. His long, white-tipped grey tail matches the shades of his longish hair and large, pointed ears. It's a combination that wouldn't be out of place on a winter songbird or a faded Cait Sith doll, and generally one that he pairs with light-colored robes and baggy clothing- white and red being his favored colors.
At first pass, he seems shy and skittish to anybody who might interact with him. Ahlek'zi is an individual who is more at home with plants and animals than he is with other people, and has a tendency to back away from conversations whenever he can help it. He prefers to observe, rather than act or interact. When confronted, he squirms and stutters, all downcast eyes and nervously lashing tail, ears flattened against his head in a very visible display of "I don't want to be here right now". He's easily prompted to blushing, and falls silent frequently throughout conversation.
But there are times when Ahlek'zi is not silent. He's a passionate and intelligent boy, underneath the shyness, and feels very strongly about some subjects. As a student of conjury who came to the art through his deep connection to the flora, fauna, and general ecology of Eorzea and particularly the Twelveswood, he springs to life like a spark of lightning as soon as relevant topics arise in conversation. He can talk for hours about the nesting habits of anoles or the properties of shriekshrooms, the migrations of buzzards and antelopes, how the kedtrap lures in the ked, the role of morbols in the environment, and everything else under the sun concerning life, death, and nature in the forest. There's even a well of stubborn grouchiness and bitter sarcasm that bubbles to the surface when he's confronted with misinformation or arguments about his intellectual passion. Nothing irritates him more than those who are careless about nature- ones who take without respect, kill without need, pollute without thought- except for those who romanticize it. Ahlek'zi has nothing but scathing disapproval for those who'd tell him that every life is sacred and in need of preservation, who project the traits of people onto plants and animals. Not every flower is a Sylph who wants to give you a hug and a ginger cookie, and not every animal is a cuddly little jackal pup or coeurl kitten to scoop up in your arms and play with. If you treat nature like an enemy to be fought or a pet to be patronized, he will have no end of scorn for you.
Beyond that, though, he's shy to a fault, intellectual past the point of all reason, and actually surprisingly passive in terms of decision-making skills. Beyond matters of nature, he tends to go along with whatever he's told to do, just because he seems to have some kind of problem with making active choices. It's clear, thanks to his apparent berserk button, that he does have a will of his own- it just doesn't come into play unless he's actually invested in the subject at hand. He doesn't care strongly about politics, justice, the personal affairs of others, the economy, or even things like public health, and will likely shrug and agree to go along with just about anything, provided it doesn't run afoul of his personal philosophy. Perhaps it is best to say that he is easily manipulated.
Although Ahlek'zi is a Conjurer, he is a very unusual sort. He's always treated his discipline as something intellectual, scientific- not a combat role in the slightest. His understanding of how to use wind, earth, water, and life to his advantage is perfectly competent, but if he can, he avoids using any of them. Ahlek'zi's ability to connect with the very basic forces of nature has always been primarily for deepening his understanding of the world around him, and to correct damage done to the planet by the fall of Dalamud, not for slaying Ixal warriors or treating the wounds of adventurers. When backed into a corner, he prefers to focus on the offensive capabilities of the elements, saving his healing for emergencies rather than for immediate use. He's someone who believes that the cycle of nature shouldn't be interfered with, so both causing and preventing deaths actively with his own power are highly distasteful to him. An observer should not touch the system he's observing, after all. If pressed, however, he will heal others. He just balks at using certain healing magic when the subject clearly should have died as a result of their actions.
- Observing things
- Nature in general
- People who treat nature as disposable
- People who are bleeding hearts about nature
- Interfering in things
- Talking to people
- Making decisions
- Being stared at
- Conjury (he has a particular affinity to earth as an element)
- The study of the Black Shroud's ecology
- Not squeamish about insects, fungi, decay, injury, or death
- Unsentimental to an unfortunate degree
- Awful at managing money, and will spend it all on books if he's allowed to
His parents were healers, both victims of the Calamity. Their lives came to an end at the Battle of Carteneau, far from their home and their children back in Gridania. Ahlek'zi was 14 at the time, and remembers them well enough, but in the five years since, their memory has faded more and more. Before their untimely deaths, his mother and father were part of a small community of several Keeper of the Moon families living on the fringes of Gridania, low-ranking merchants and members of guilds. Ahlek'zi's name implies that he is the ninth son of his mother, but in fact he is the ninth son born to the community- they considered themselves to be one large family, before Bahamut's prison tore Eorzea asunder and them along with it. Biologically, he only has one sibling- an elder sister. She looked after him in the years following the Calamity, until he was old enough to strike out on his own, supporting him as best she could through a small alchemy business. The other families of the Keeper community were scattered in the wake of Dalamud's fall, and he has since lost track of them.
- Mother(deceased): Ahlek Ghria
- Father(deceased): Ehstel'to Dhavha
- Sister: Azal Ghria
- Cendrillon Braids: "She said she was sent by Brother E-Sumi-Yan to look after me. I have no need for a babysitter, though..."
- Drividot Nicot: "Babysitting the babysitter. I thought he was going to rob me at first..."
None to speak of, though given his abrasive personality in regards to certain subjects, he's likely to make a few before long.
- "There's a young Conjurer in the guild who hates healing, didn't know know?"
- "That Miqo'te boy... he spends hours out under the Guardian Tree and walking through the woods. Gods know what he's actually doing, though."
- "He bought up near half my books on conjury, and sold me back a dogeared old copy of Advanced Morbol Physiology that I could scarcely read for all the red ink in the margins. I'd be steaming mad if it weren't for all the gil, you know!"
- "A whole commune of Keepers of the Moon used to live out around the Central Shroud, but I hear the Calamity scattered them all to the winds. Wonder where they all ended up?"
- "Someone dropped a stack of notes in the middle of the road, kupo! I couldn't make heads or tails of them, though... all this science stuff makes my head hurt. I wonder if I could return it, kupo..."
- "Some pipsqueak Miqo'te started yelling at me when I said I left food out for the opo-opos. Said somethin' about it teaching them to depend on civilized folk for food. I don't get it! I thought them conjurers were all about tree-hugging and lookin' after the animals."
- "Found a dead Wood Wailer out in the Shroud. Looks like he passed on from festering wounds... 'tis a shame, if someone were there to heal him, he'd have made it."
Before the Calamity, Ahlek'zi had a fairly normal life for a Keeper of the Moon. With a loving mother and father and an elder sister who was a true best friend to him, in a community of families close-knit enough that he could call any of the other children brother or sister. He was always an introverted child, content to wander out into the woods to watch birds or look at flowers- and started keeping notebooks about them as he got older. His parents took delight in the fact that their son was shaping up to be a future Conjurer, even if he appeared to have little or no talent for Hearing. It was a bit of a shame that he was so withdrawn and shy, but they were certain spending time studying under E-Sumi-Yan and amongst other Conjurers would help him open up.
Then the Calamity came. Ahlek'zi's parents, along with many of the other adults from his community, were called to war. The aether of the world went mad, Voidsent were spat out of abyssal mouths, and monsters ran wild while the people of Eorzea fought and died in battle against the Garleans. Though the children of his community stayed safe, sheltered within Gridania's walls, many of their parents never returned. Ahlek and Ehstel'to died at Carteneau, preserving the lives of those who fought to defend Eorzea.
In the wake of such earth-shattering events, Ahlek'zi was adrift. Without the adults to hold it together, the collection of Keeper families drifted apart, homes abandoned and children scattered to refugee camps and far-off relatives. He and his sister took up trades, both to keep their minds from the pain of loss and to support themselves, so they would not end up begging on the streets of Gridania or find themselves forced to wander further afield into a dangerously changed world to survive. He took up conjury, while Azal studied alchemy as best she could without leaving him for the golden city of Ul'dah. Before their world was turned upside-down, the girl had always meant to travel there to study as an alchemist and thaumaturge, but she found herself having to hang back in order to support her younger brother. Meanwhile, Ahlek'zi found that he had no interest in the practical aspects of conjury- he, in fact, wanted no part in changing a world that was already so hideously changed from what he'd known as a child.