Name: Jemin [jeh - mehn]
Nickname(s): 'Jemmy/Jam', or, more commonly; 'that peice of shit.'
Orientation: Pansexual Polyamorous
Breed: Common Horse - Mule
Build: Typical half-ass. Wiry, angular frame; lean, sharp features. Lax posture.
Height: 15 hh
Color: Pangare Mahogany Bay
Voice: Coarse, often raucous and thick with a Seroran accent.
Teke Color: Dark, rich wine-red
Rank: The Folk - Farmer
Patron God: Kaia
Talent: Sleight of Hoof
Familiar: Dusty, Emperor Scorpion (see below)
Relatives: Son of Jiahar & Culista, grandson to Nada; maternal cousin to Xer & Nero; father of Kiyan
Lovers: Midas (previous), Alcaeus
Other Relations: Friend to Charlene & Mellie, childhood friend of Embryss; 'music idol' of Primrose; bro-bro of Kristofer; 'thorn in my side' to Jibriel, enemy to Roz & former patient of Sesil
Theme: "Alligator Teeth" - Mother Falcon
Zodiac: The Peryton (Sign of Cunning)
Personality Type: ISTP -T
Drive: Redemption, self-satisfaction (self-purpose, self-worth). Closure or some shit.
Jemin is an idiotic beacon of controversy; a layabout on most accounts, dubbed ‘problematic but mostly harmless’. Unimpressive by appearance and callous by demeanor, his wry jackal's eye suggests he’s got some experience to boot, alongside a convoluted history of scandal. A con, a virtuoso, an escape artist; he evades his due comeuppance through use of bad (but endless) tricks and a tendency to pitch his worries beneath mindless indulgence. No impulse control. Wry - operates his mouth quicker than his brain. Fearful of commitment - plays it fast and loose with loyalty. Careless and impulsive. A tad nihilistic. Ethically questionable. An occasional dabbler in artistry; has skill but lacks finesse. Absolutely unable to deal with his emotions or issues without turning it into a joke.
---It took a decade of criminal activity, hapless disaster and moral ambiguity before he threw up the white flag and retired to the mundane life of a common farmer. It’ll take another before he accepts any semblance of responsibility.
Life is a gamble in which Jemin consistently rolls zero. Washed up, thoroughly jaded, daresay past his prime, his thin self-identity has been watered down to that of a ‘bad-luck magnet’. It's a bleak reality, tinting his lenses in cynical black - and while it could be blamed on external forces, the root of the issue remains in his own errors. His biting remarks are hardly personal. Inclusive as a Seroran ought to be, he treats everyone to an equal lack of respect. His debatable worth is balanced by quick wit and resourcefulness. Survival is in his blood, lending him an innate ability to land on his feet and roll with punches - which is lucky, as he’d otherwise be dead by now.
For a thirty-something jackass (try it: he hasn’t heard that one before), already well accustomed to heedless self-serving, ‘settling down’ has proven to be an unmotivating and counterproductive process. Obligation - whether it’s a promise not kept, a lover left waiting or a bargain never delivered upon - sits like an itch beneath his skin, constricting. Hell, he can’t remember who he voted for - much less who he owes his loyalty.
Flexible, adaptable and nomadic by nature; a man of few allegiances and fewer sentimentals. Like a bad omen, he tends to flit in and out of the social scene.
One step ahead of repercussion.
Two away from attachment.
Jemin is so accustomed to failure that he’d rather self-destruct than pour in actual effort to watch it blow anyways; so accustomed to disappointment that he sabotages his connections before they can do it themselves; so accustomed to scraping by that he’s made it a game of courting death.
Really, it’ll take more than farming to straighten his skewered morals.
Mouthy is an apt summary of the mule’s disposition. Further a snake-tongue than a silver, his area of expertise lies in instigation. He’s a deft provoker, a shallow Devil’s Advocate who assaults psychs and tests tempers. He grows quickly bored of the meek and submissive, stimulated by the stubborn and prideful, eager to break their tough hides to expose the raw emotion below. Jemin’s pseudo brand of confidence - if his lazy, fidgety attitude can be called confidence - is a mere byproduct of shamelessness. He hasn’t any dignity left to lose; this affords him a certain degree of leniency, a certain lack of expectations and standards. He’s no master manipulator, mind you, but one’s anger is surely more useful than one’s indifference.
Plus, it's just damn fun to get under someone’s skin.
Insistent on self-reliance yet gleefully willing to prey on the kindness of others, his quippery is a cheap excuse for personability. He pushes away both affection and concern, unaccustomed to the former and apathetic to the latter. Jemin is uneducated, illiterate, near atheistic. He learns what he must, what is beneficial, practical, and (honing a keen eye for loopholes) follows rules that are exploitable. The rest is optional. He doesn’t trust nor invest time in concepts beyond his understanding - which, concedeintly, includes most things. So long as authorities continue to turn him a blind eye, he’ll gladly allow Serora’s democracy to function as it pleases.
His laxity is a mechanism of defense, a narrow veil beneath which lies a regretful, flighty, worn-thin and fickle individual. He takes criticism with mild bemusement, showcasing his most obvious flaws for all to spit at. It distracts from his more grievous shortcomings. While its a far cry from any true ‘guilt complex’, repentance remains an idea he occasionally toys with.
It would be a lie to say he has completely shook his old habits. It would be a bigger ruse to say he has no longing for redemption.
Jiahar and Culista had never been accused of anything less than the Seroran ideal. A farmer and musician respectively, they were humble folk who longed only for children; one to upkeep the family farm, another to pursue a career as a Mullah.
Instead they got Jemin.
Thoroughly smitten with their lively newborn, his unpredictability was initially excused on the basis that he was ‘special’. They introduced him to the herd, to a community who received him warmly, smiling coyly as he tripped over legs too long for his body and stuck his tiny nose everywhere he shouldn’t. They introduced him to their beloved Goddess and the righteous ideals She commanded. He grew with his knee bent before a faceless deity.
Endearing but exhausting to manage, the boy’s reign of terror was characterized by a complete disregard for boundaries, an inability to listen and an acute lack of self-preservation. Chip-toothed and scrape-kneed, he would scamper off, slip away from local shrines, and return from the canyons with interesting rocks in tow. Soon it became snake skins, poisonous lizards and - eventually - angry neighbors. The desert was his earliest friend.
‘Jemin, sweetie - no, eyes here,’ mother Culista would chide, directing his bow along the delicate strings of her violin. ‘Slow down. A Seroran must have patience.’ Father Jiahar would pull him back - hand him a pitchfork or bandage a raw wound. ‘Pick it up. A Seroran must work hard.’
And, together: ‘A Seroran must be more careful, Jemin.’
He would nod fervently, insisting that he understood. It was never true.
Whether by dumb luck or the sheer diligence of his parents, fate saw him through childhood in one piece. With age he shedded his manic energy, exchanging a hyperactive imagination for additional tenacity. He outgrew the repetitive, stationary lifestyle his parents were so fond of, eager to move beyond their modest farmstead. He starved for excitement. Fearing their heretic son wouldn’t last long in the ranks of Serora’s disciplined militia, they steered him towards a domestic path in an attempt that proved fruitless.
On the eve of his Rising Winds ceremony, he stepped to the head of the crowd, looked his expectant parents in the eyes.
Then announced his decision to become a Screamer.
They hid their disappointment, their worry, behind forced smiles and nervous side eyes.
At fifteen, Jemin was sent to train under veteran Screamer Yonaton. A woman of strict principle and stricter method, she knew how to discipline unruly apprentices... just not this one. With inobedience derived of spite or amusement (often both), Jemin quickly gained notoriety as a slacker; a rubble-rouser, liable to cause a ruckus among fellow trainees who would spit, scuff and kick - pinning for any chance to jab back. He never waited to see if their blows landed.
Jemin did as he pleased with little ramification and scarcely any supervision, dragging Yonaton to her wit’s end. She met his insubordination aggressively. The boy reacted with equal fervour. He wasn’t a good student, certainly not, but he hadn’t committed anything irredeemable. Not yet.
Eventually, without warning, he found himself in a situation of true danger. The beast - a thunderbird, pulsating with territorial rage - descended from the rumbling gray and struck down his mentor, carving a steaming gash the length of her side. Jemin knew his duty. Pent frustrations and misgivings aside, he knew he should get her to safety, knew he should fetch aid.
Trust and cooperation are not values but necessities of the desert people; the moral backbone upon which they built their nation. Ingrained as a love for sand and sky, it is fabricated into their beings, their society, flowing through the air of their lungs. Having lost the former and not inherited the latter, Jemin’s self-destruction was inevitable.
He turned away. He condemned his herdmate to die. It wasn’t until a mile later that the guilt caught him, gripped him in jaws of cold steel. For the first time in his young life, his irresponsibility had reaped dire consequence - not at his own expense but by another’s.
A dry summer came and went. Word travelled quickly, bringing talk of the apprentice’s heinous disloyalty. His parents would hear of it not from their estranged son, but from a passing nomad.
Fleeing to animosity, Jemin blundered from one disaster to another. Too wracked with shame to consider going home, he mistook an acquaintance's trap for a refuge. It was a mistake that would cost him his youth. Beyond surface level small-talk and the sharing of mutual friends, there was no intimacy between him and the young mare, not at first. She provided him support and a place within her Osulan home. Their stalemate peace ended quickly. A clever girl with a desire to conquer, Ceres manipulated the vulnerable Jemin to her liking, first willingly and then with resistance.
They were ill suited to coexist. Locked to a tight-lipped power struggle, he hadn’t the energy nor resolve to leave. Not until he was shoved awake and informed, through vivid hissing, that Ceres was expecting with foal.
At seventeen, the two were to become parents. But he didn’t want that - couldn’t want that, not with her. So he did what he did best.
In the thick of the turbulent aftermath, Jemin was eager to put distance between himself and his past ties. From dockhand to delivery, he never lingered long, never dwelled on anything; scrounging, fumbling, pickpocketing. He kept his cards close and his regrets closer, dark eyes peeled for opportunity.
Desperation has a habit of attracting the more desperate. Approaching a grizzled sea-captain at the Port, he threw caution to the wind and struck up a negotiation. The captain, while skeptical of the young man’s merritt, was easily persuaded to cut him a deal. Scheduled for another voyage to and fro Sedo in three month’s time, he was promised a spot on the ship for a hefty sum of shards. The possibility was undeniable. A chance to reset, restart.
Initially. By that next morning, he woke to a roaring headache and the heavy realization that he’d dug himself a deeper hole.
Serora is not a materialistic society. Assured in the virtues of their own and provided that its people contribute, it runs like a well-oiled machine. A society that’s easy to exploit but unyielding in profit. When odd jobs failed to provide enough bank, he undertook more questionable methods; guising faulty pottery in fresh paint, redirecting produce to high bidders, fauxing quality. He grew bolder with each successful scam, soon meddling in the affairs of Traders and bargaining the desert's rarest resources to vagabonds milling at the borders.
In a final bid for time, he grew wild, uncontrollable. His work was messy. Clever enough but not strategic nor savvy, he left scattered dots.
Come three months, Jemin rode his fever haze to the docks, laden with shards and numbed by guilt. The captain smiled imperiously (‘Right in time, boy - we were beginning to think you’d lost your gut!’) and welcomed him aboard. His hooves dragged on the deck. Devoid of the triumph and relief he expected to feel, he had broken more than morals during his plight. As Serora’s shoreline grew thin, as the bittersweet sands became distant, he felt something shift. Something tugged, clicked. Snapped. Sedo, he nearly cried, he belonged to Sedo!
So he ran - he jumped the railing.
...and immediately began to sink.
His return was hardly victorious. A triad of Skirmishers awaited the half-drowned mule, dragged ashore by a bewildered hippocampus. Enemies had been made and payment was due.
This time, he needn't escape. He needed to adapt.
And adapt, he did. Launched headlong into nefarity, Jemin fell privy to the labels he was afforded. By his twentieth birthday, passed quietly and alone, he had secured a reputation as a swindle and a cheat, a stain on the good name of Alya’s people. A catalyst of conflict.
He skirted an early grave by the skin of his teeth, threw himself into the arms of opportunity, indulged in felony. He learned to ferret out advantages, to rely on a lie-woven tongue over an iron blade. He learned to be fluid, slippery, to carve narrow paths where most saw dead ends. He learned to make himself scarce, to keep his allegiance unsettled. He learned to ditch the values of his herd, to use their naive preconceptions as a cover. He settled a few debts, forgot most. He won some disputes, lost many.
By his twenty-fifth birthday, passed at the bottom of a ditch, there was no turning back. The tales were titillated, amped to higher stakes and greater evils. The line between reality and rumor was thin - even to Jemin, who found it hard to distinguish gossip from the true nature of his deeds.
The skeletons in his closet bided their time. Repercussion cannot be avoided. Delayed, yes, but not delayed forever.
Nearing a decade into his delinquency, word reached him that Ceres - finally consumed by bitterness - had swept up a precious few belongings and vanished into the night. Their child did not count among those chosen items. The search for any remaining relatives had lost most steam when Jemin showed up; hesitatingly, impulsively, but willingly.
He did not run.
Five years passed. They say no love is more selfless than that of a parent and while Jemin cannot confirm nor deny it, the notion of having another’s life, a life dependant on him, was something of an eye-opener. Setting down the mantle of criminality, Jemin returned to his family - asking, in broken sentences, whether he could be retaught to tame the land.
Jemin plays this new role (‘Sedo’s most incomplete farmer’ - he brandishes the title like a badge of pride) with little familiarity and scarcely any enthusiasm. He spends his days on a faux slow-track; a constant target of karma and a frequent evader of old enemies, those who will occasionally rear their ugly heads. His return to the public eye - with coining wryness and an unwavering penchant for discourse intact - has earned him much condemnation but some reputability, due in no small part to his skill on violin.
If he misses the exploits, he doesn't say so.
If you ask, he'll tell you he's fine, behind a tired smile and the muzzle of a bottle.
Everything is just great.
- Not particularly religious, but acknowledges the five members of Hireath's Pantheon to differing degrees. Faith - especially in regards to Alya - is a touchy subject for him, largely due to the pressure and overexposure his devout parents pushed on him as a child. Respects Kaia, but again - not overly religious, and will rarely be caught praying, showing gratitude or giving any damn about the affairs of Gods. He's a simple man.
- Illiterate and utterly uninterested in the language arts. His father once attempted to teach a young Jemin how to read simple texts, but gave up after the boy washed their entire supply of parchment down the river in the form of crappy paper boats.
- Talented violinist. He owns one of his own - a deep red heirloom from his ex-musician mother - that he tends to with uncharacteristic care and pride (affectionately referring to the instrument as a 'she'). Willingly vulnerable in the presence of good music, he tends to keep his passion to himself - he absolutely does not want his grimy herdmates touching his violin, after all - but he occasionally caves for the most relentless of pesterers.
- Jack-of-all-Trades (master of none). Due to the various sorts of work he's done over the years, Jemin has a wide skill set and a mixed bag of experiences, but very few talents or expertises. The only exceptions are his musical skills and a Seroran's innate knack for desert survival/travel.
- Terrified of cats. Terrified of anything remotely feline or furry and four-legged, really. Even dogs can't be trusted. If pressed for the reason of his fear, he'll likely mumble something vague about 'the incident of 1677' and proceed to excuse himself from your vicinity.
Jemin never wanted a familiar. Him - with a small, needy and smelly critter? Just wasn’t going to happen... or so he thought. Upon knocking over a marketplace scorpion cage, subsequently setting the tiny terrors loose upon the streets, the shopkeeper was understandably displeased (and may or may not have beaten him over the head with the Scorpion Handbook until he repented). One particularly persistent beast followed him throughout the day; despite his best efforts, she couldn’t be shaken.
Dusty adores her equine companion. The feeling isn’t entirely mutual. When not busy catching crickets, she enjoys perching on Jemin’s withers (like a shrunken, ugly parrot) or sitting between his ears. While imbued with sentience, her intelligence is questionable and her obedience is next to nonexistent - Jemin hasn’t figured out whether she’s too dumb or too stubborn to take direct orders. Regardless, her penchant for snatching shiny things and her willingness to pinch anyone causing him trouble are both useful qualities.
Functioning as something of a small attack dog, her sting is mildly painful (akin to a bee's) but the venom itself is relatively harmless. Of course, Jemin would say otherwise - get stung and he'll absolutely tell you that you've got 'about five hours left to live'.
I love him and his little pet scorpion ree
I love lil' Dusty, please draw them together more