Grand Charter Samuel Wintersplit
"Onward, Charters! To knowledge! To discovery! To the secrets of the sky, the wildlands with depths of knowledge hidden inside that will make our civilization a shining beacon of light! To magic! To adventure and honor! To the Outer Realm!-Sam Wintersplit, renowned charter
Early LifeSamuel (known by his friends as Winter) grew up as an only child, due to his father's untimely death after he was caught out in a storm. His mother, terrified that something would happen to her only son, kept him close at hand and strictly monitored his activity. Naturally, Winter developed a sense of curiosity and longing to explore the world around him, though he often got into trouble. Changing tactics, Winter's mother instead motivated him to participate in advanced education and several sports and extracurricular activities, hoping that this would keep him busy and out of danger's way. Highly competitive and eager to please his friends, Winter at first loved the sports. He was a fairly athletic dragonet, and always did well. But his burning curiosity and love for learning quickly took rank, and he found himself involved in more and more academic activities. He took a speech and debate course, but that wasn't really what he found his passion for. So he turned to the library - the Noblelore library, one of the oldest and largest libraries in the sky. It was there that Winter developed his love for the science and magic of the world around him. He was fascinated at the many scientific theories and discoveries of late, and intrigued at the mysteries of ancient magic. In high school, he enrolled in many scientific classes that studied the stars, the skies, and life on the clouds. Several of these advanced teams also took trips to areas outside the Cities, to places like the Lunar Meadows and Glenleaf Woods. This was the exact opposite of what his mother had hoped for him. Desperate to keep her family together and safe but not sure how to quite tie Winter down, his mother gave him a strict curfew and confined him to their nesting area when he wasn't at school. As you might imagine, Winter was none too happy about this, and snuck off many times. This led to increasing tensions between him and his mother, many fights, and his eventual leaving of the nest at an early age. It was around the time that Winter started looking for universities that the motion for the creation of the Charters was being discussed. Once he caught whiff of this, Winter (and his Bond, who shared as similar love for exploration) were ecstatic and immediately volunteered to be part of the first test group of Charters, who would make the trip to the Snowroost Mountains and back. They did everything within their power to make sure the trip was a success - and it was. Thus Winter began his career as a Charter.
"Yes, I pride myself on being in top physical condition...for being an old man. I refuse to become so weak that I have to retire. If I am to die, I will die here, on a cloud, in the sky, where I belong!"Unfortunately, Samuel Wintersplit has passed on. However, he kept to his promise. His engagement in sports as a youth and constant flying throughout his adult life let him see a full 150 years, even past his Bond's eventual death. This was a tremendous feat - though that is the average dragon lifespan, as their magic fades and they see their Bond die, they will often retire. Winter, however, vowed to remain out in the 'free air', as he called it, and though it eventually became difficult for him to fly, he spent the time mentoring young charters and writing about his findings. He finally died during the Midwinter Festival, about fifty years from present day.
Time in the Sky
WaystationsOne of the first steps to venturing into the Outer Realm is to be able to survive in it. Thus, some of Wintersplit's first work was designing and growing buildings that Charters would use - Waystations such as those at the Snowroost or Tanglepeak mountains, or even the sprawling Intercity Cartography Station. All would provide Charters with shelter, shelves of knowledge, places to map, research, and study, points of retreat, and even places to train. Working on these made Winter very familiar with the concept of using dusts and powders to achieve an end, and this would play a key role in his innovative and rather brilliant tactics later in his career.
Notes and Journals
Though Winter himself, being a dragon, could not write, he saw from a very early age what a great advantage being magical was. To this day, historians don't know how, but he managed to get a hold of a Scrivener Quill. The device helped him to record observations, conduct research, and make notes even when his Bond was out doing the type of work that only humans (with their small and frankly scrawny bodies) can do. He became a master at the Quill, and his beautiful descriptions could even cause the Quill (which he affectionately nicknamed Scribbly) to draw out maps and diagrams that predicted future weather and cloud patterns. His notes on the use of the Quill and books also became extremely useful when figuring out the enchantment to allow dragons to read certain books, as well.
Rise to LeadershipFrom an early age, Winter had a commanding presence. Though never particularly large, he was never small, either, and was always rather cheery, great at public speaking, and seemed to have a way with people. Whether it was his friendly personality or that people were attracted to his curiosity at enthusiasm for life, he quickly gained leadership positions and became the first dragon to hold the position of Grand Charter of the Outer Realm.
Narrow EscapesOf course, Winter did more than just build things, write notes, and command people. He also recorded real and true information, and he and his Bond headed several expeditions into deep thickets, snowspans, and even high mountain caverns. He is particularly famous for his discovery of the Darkhounds - well, really they found him, but though what I can only imagine was a very high-stakes chase and some narrow twists and turns, they managed to escape with all the Charters (and note) intact, something that would become known all across the sky as a staggering feat of bravery and determination, and which Winter pledged to live the rest of his life by.
Always open wide, dark gray in color
Scales are various shades of gray swirled around
LegacyDuring his time as a Charter, Winter was unparalleled in his amazing discoveries, observant flights, leadership skills, and daring risks. He and his Bond cataloged over many new species, including Thruffgulls, Luminian Lynxes, Thornbrush, and Darkhounds. He helped to establish safe havens in the Outer Realm for Charters who desperately needed a break. He led seventy-two expeditions and hundreds of Charters, becoming the first dragon to hold the rank of Grand Charter. He worked on the recipes for many dusts and powders, even owned a Scrivener Quill, and his journals have been greatly insightful in many new technologies. His last works, Secrets of the Outer Realm (a five-volume trilogy), is still a must-read for all up-and-coming Charters, exploration enthusiasts, and even many prominent scientists. It is safe to say that Samuel Wintersplit is the most renowned Charter in the sky - period.
"Sam Wintersplit? More like thundersplit! That dragon did anything he set his mind to, hang the consequences! Oh, no, I'm not judging him for that! He saved my life because of that determination. If you ask me, he deserves every good word that's spoken about him - but don't tell him that. We can't let it go to his head. Yes, I know he's passed, stars bless his soul, but you never know with old Winter."-A retired Charter
"I believe that, deep down, all of us are explorers - just in different ways. Scientists explore new ideas. Architects explore new designs. Even the humble, honest, and hardworking farmers reap the magic of the sky, and probably get more free time to explore than most. I was always meant to be a Charter - to explore the Outer Realm. It is a part of me, and I never regret the decision I made. Life, when lived to its fullest, is an adventure - there is work to be done, lessons to learn, mistakes to make, and even pains to go through. But that's all part of the magic, isn't it?"-Sam Wintersplit