When Hana first emerged from an egg, she was all alone. Deep in the heart of what she later learnt was known as the Tangled Woods, her egg had rolled out from one of the many areas the Shadowbinder was rumoured to lurk and cracked open upon its landing. She wasn’t supposed to hatch so early.
The first sign that something went wrong with her hatching was that she couldn’t make any noises. Creatures made almost entirely of shadows still made deep noises in the back of whatever throat they had, and the few birds that braved the area would sing, but whenever she tried to mimic them as her instincts ordered, no sound came out. Hatched too early, before the Shadowbinder had perfected her creations, Hana had one major flaw - her vocal chords were absent.
An inability to communicate, and a lack of understanding of the world left Hana vulnerable to the whims of others. After being investigated thoroughly by several creatures she later learnt were dragons, almost like her, she ended up caged in a circus and showed off as an exotic creature. None of the dragons considered that she might be a dragon, too. With communication skills poorer than a coatl, it was easy for them to believe she was simply another mystery of the forest.
In her tight, cramped cage, Hana had nothing to do except listen and watch. Despite their ignorance, the circus were not cruel, and a skydancer in charge of being her handler spent hours of his day, every day, cleaning out her cage and talking to her, using exaggerated gestures to try and get his point across. Weeks passed like that, until Hana mustered the courage to repeat the gestures back at him, astonishing him and simultaneously proving her intellect to be far higher than they’d realised.
A strange friendship started up after that, the skydancer enamoured with his rare charge and more than happy to teach her more and more about the world. Other members of the circus shook their heads disapprovingly; whilst finding it a neat quirk in the short term, as they discovered she was learning they began to fear losing one of their star attractions - what if she learnt enough to undo her cage?
In all truth, Hana had worked out the mechanism for her cage long ago, but knowing no other way to live and being provided for with no effort on her part meant that she never attempted to escape. If nocturnes had not flooded into Sornieth several months after she hatched, it is likely she would have remained in that cage for her entire life.
When the phenomenon later known as ‘Night of the Nocturne’ began, the circus realised their mistake. She was promptly released from the cage to tearful apologies, and encouraged to leave and find her own way in life. Not wanting to leave the only life she’d ever known, Hana found herself driven out and abandoned regardless - the circus were too ashamed to face her, and the mistakes she represented.
From there began a life of wanderings. Food was no longer readily provided for her, forcing her to learn to find her own and awaken instincts long-ignored in the process. Performing became her trade; falling back on the roots she picked up from her stint in the circus, she used her exaggerated signing - miming, other dragons called it - to bring in enough earnings to get herself some food.
Years later, she was found by an Imperial, who had no issues with her lack of a voice and said that she was exactly what the dragon, who called herself Nephele, was looking for. After all, who better to listen in on conversations than a silent performer?
Hana prefers to keep herself to herself. Still fully unable to think of herself as a dragon, despite having met several other nocturnes in her lifetime, she has a close circle that she willingly associates with, and views everyone else as potential customers and/or targets.
To her close circle, however, she is highly expressive and is happy to communicate almost constantly about anything and everything, whatever strikes her fancy. She is also a very caring dragon, and has worked out that a usually effective way to cheer up anyone upset is to exaggerate her motions beyond the norm. Very few dragons fail to smile after one of her ‘make happy’ performances.
Role Within The Clan Edit
As far as most of the clan know, Hana spends most of her time out performing and earning coin for the treasury. Mimes are rare in Sornieth, leaving a skilled one such as Hana in high demand, and dragons (and beastclans alike) will pay a pretty gem or several to watch her perform.
However, Hana is actually part of the small select group that makes up the underside of the clan. While she genuinely does go out performing for coin, and greatly enjoys it, that is not her only reason for doing so. When she found her, Nephele realised instantly that Hana would make a brilliant spy, and using a method involving syncing their two gloomwillow guides is able to receive all of her reports with ease.
To enhance her lack of draconic association, Hana covers much of her body in twines from the Tangled Wood. It manipulates her silhouette enough that at first glance she appears decidedly wrong, and though her customers think the mask is to exaggerate her lack of expression during her acts, it’s actually a barrier between her and the rest of the dragons. Her wings are frailer than most, due to living in a cage for so many months, and flying long distances is therefore beyond her.
In terms of keeping with the clan’s traditions, Hana is a trained warrior mage who can hold her own against most opponents in a fight, although she prefers to avoid conflict where possible - it’s bad for business! Due to her lack of vocal chords, her spells are entirely non-verbal, which gives her an edge as very few dragons can predict what she’ll cast.
Small and weak, even for a nocturne, Hana doesn’t have much physical strength to speak of. She’d sooner flee than get into a physical altercation, and will change it to a magical one as soon as she can if escape is not an option.
Hana has great respect for Nephele, who is the leader of the underside and scouted her from nothing to develop her into the clan’s best spy. The imperial is also the dragon she can communicate most freely with, due to their linked gloomwillow guides.
One of the clan’s other spies, the two of them share a friendly rivalry over who can gather the most useful information. However, with their skill sets (laughingly known as ‘covers’ although Hana was a mime before a spy), they work well together and are the most frequent pair-up for a job that requires more than one dragon.
- Hana is a G1 nocturne hatched in May 2014 - seven months before Nocturnes were released (I don't know who breed changed her or what she was beforehand)
- Hana (花) is Japanese for flower