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OCC 2016: Ahra Bes'k

Poster: sarahofcroydon




Hi folks, here's my entry for the OC contest! :)

Entrant's Name: Lil
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Character's Name: Ahra Bes'k
Age: 34
Occupation: Chief Dance instructor at Tehm'pul temple

Brief Physical Description: Khura'in native Ahra poses an athletic and striking figure, with the visible toned muscles of a dancer. Always standing straight, she is a commanding presence when entering any room. She is not immediately warm however, with the strict and unforgiving demeanour of an experienced dance teacher. Still, there is a twinkle in her eye that can't be ignored.

Brief Personality Description: Ahra is known for her directness and commitment to excellence. If her dancers don't meet her standards, she will not mince words in explaining precisely how. Those outside the Khura'inese dancing community often misinterpret her blunt nature as an abrasive personality and there are certainly those who find her approach demanding. It is said that Ahra models her approach to her profession on that of Queen Ga'ran, so those with criticism keep it to themselves. Within the temple however, she is respected for her hard work in preserving dancing tradition and her warmer side is well known. As Rayfa's teacher in ceremonial dance, she is known for being just as hard on the Princess as any other dancer. Her relationship with the Princess is more amiable than that between the Princess and Queen Ga'ran, as they share a mutual love of dance (and Rayfa would agree that the ceremonial dances should not be anything less than the best performance the Princess can offer)
Connection to canon characters (if applicable): Dance instructor for Rayfa Padma Khura'in, temporary amour of Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin

Spoiler warning: the below contains details about AA6-1, "The Foreign Turnabout", and AA6-5, "Turnabout Revolution".

Brief Background: When Pees'lubn joined the Temple community, Ahra found herself quite intrigued; he seemed an excellent musician and just as committed to the temple and royal family as she. Ahra hadn't met anybody before who shared her values and high standards yet was so relaxed in personality, so she pursued him and eventually the two of them were known as an item. Any hint of a tease about their relationship in dance training was punished with difficult extra rehearsal.
When Pees'lubn was convicted of murder, the warmth in Ahra disappeared. She became suspicious of those closest to her, increasingly distant from her students and from Rayfa in particular. As the Princess' personal instructor, Ahra had enough exposure to the Royal Family to sense something brewing between the Queen and her husband amidst the rise of the Defiant Dragons, though the nature of it she couldn't guess. Ahra couldn't predict what the Princess' role might be in the future, so withdrew from the closeness they shared in their rehearsals. The trial of Dhurke Sahdmadhi threw the temple community into chaos, and Ahra became confused and suspicious as to how to express her pride for Khura'in as she had always associated it so closely with the Royal Family.
It was only when the Princess drew on her strength to perform the divination séance required to evoke the last memories of her father that Ahra realised that she should have retained her faith in the Princess, not as a representative of the Royal Family but as someone who struggled through her personal circumstances to perform her role in the best interests of the country. Ahra threw herself back into teaching with new passion and enthusiasm. Those in the temple community said it marked the return to her old self, yet she seemed to go a little easier on the Princess in training from then on.

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