Name: Nalezastria (nahl-es-as-tree-ah)
Nicknames: Nale, Alez, Astria, Ria, sometimes Nala
Everyone in Gamma knows Alez's face! Sometimes he wishes they didn't, actually, haha. But that's a rarer thought, in all honesty - hard to think when he's darting back and forth between business deals, brokering contracts, arranging meetings, striking deals. It's hard to pin down what exactly Alez's job is, but no one would deny that his presence is integral to keeping Gamma's industrial sector churning. Nale is the one who rounds up all the mining barons to discuss with the machinist magnates and caving guilds and construction teams and agricultural experts and Beta's peacekeepers and the great surfacer banks and Mivis himself. And Nale mediates, sits at the head of the table, nods and writes notes and compromises and has to wrap this up, got somewhere to be in thirty minutes, though he doesn't mean to rush you!
He doesn't mind the flurry of the work. It's energizing, it's revitalizing. His hands start twitching if he doesn't feel busy. But - there's a level of scrutiny that comes from being a public face, and he hates to admit how much it can get under his skin sometimes. Not only are the eyes of Gamma watching his every move, even in private - but the whip of Beta lingers in the shadows, waiting for an excuse to crack. And if Nale messes up - the domino effect tumbles across all his friends and peers, knocks each and every one of them down. Brine, Ophyeo, Mivis - he's not bold enough to call himself the lynchpin, but he's a bigger gear in Gamma than most - and the pressure's there. All the time, around his throat, every piece of his mind and body pried open and inspected for flaws, the flash of pictures in his mansion's windows, the wave of journalists in the street, the terseness of his tongue as he picks words with care.
He's never wanted anything more, though. It's enjoyable enough, and he likes being busy. But - stars above, seas below, the latest headlines have been picking at his scabs and leaving him much more worse for wear....
Click on the headshot to be taken to their profile (if it exists).
Are they dating? The tabloids say yes, Nale says "I don't know". It all started after one of Vinnly's worst incidents - oh, old history now - and Alez deciding that he'd try to befriend Vinnly, try to help him back onto the straight and narrow - a route he abandoned swiftly after feelings of guilt set in. The more he learned Vinnly and his smiles and his humor and his energy, the more he wondered how he'd presumed he knew what was best for Vinnly without even understanding him. In a funny twist of fate - he can be candid around Vinnly. There's no bullshit, no posturing, no fakeness - just honesty, maybe a little blunt, but genuine. And, yeah, maybe he loves Vinnly... it's just hard to put a thumb on what exactly they are.
Their leader, still. It's been so long since they fell to Beta - Nale finds it funny, sometimes, when mortals still bristle at the sight of Mivis. He's been just, fair, strong, and a buffer between Gamma and Beta for eons - and yet still gets trashed every time the schoolchildren study that part of history. He, personally, of course doesn't care anymore. It stung in the first few years, but it's not like he'd ever had a bad feeling about agreeing to a Beta alliance. And Mivis is just so reasonable and worn down, it's hard not to end up pitying him, wanting to help take some of that weight off his shoulders.
Well... Ophyeo could stand to be a little calmer, sure. But Nale's caught ear of Aite chewing Ophyeo apart for failing a shipment in time, or some unmitigated disaster across the Timeline. He's only had a few licks of that anger, before - and it's incentive enough to work hard and protect Ophyeo from having to deal with it again. Anyone would be stressed, at their wit's end, with that sort of pressure solely on them.
He always goes through Brine first when contacting the surface, and it's always nice to give each other that knowing caver nod. A brief chat, but a good one. A commiseration, in a way. Kind of one-sided, though, because Brine doesn't seem to realize that Nale has noticed the way he makes eyes at Mivis. They're kindred souls, haha... but he understands the trepidation. The media circus around himself and Vinnly is already exhausting, and it'd be ten times worse if the face of the cavers and surfacers announced their affection....
It is what it is. If only Aite wasn't such a slimy bastard about it all... all smirks and pomp... but then again, everyone in Beta has equally terrible vibes. Warlords, coated in the blood of innocents... they're certainly a batch of strange Frags. This is off the record, right?
Click to View Minor Relationships ⮟
Stars bless that Petyl respected his asking that he leave the Vinnly thing alone. True to his word, Petyl's never touched it in his speeches, and always remarks on wanting to respect Alez's privacy when his activists question it or the reporters demand a response. Other than that, well... Petyl's nice, but it's hard not to talk about his ideology, since it's so integral to his identity. Of course, Alez has dealt with some roughness and discrimination for being a caver who deals in the politics of the surface. Not anything Brine hasn't had to swallow also, though, to be fair!
Pomona is nice and usually on time to things. Usually. But you can't demand more than people can give! Honest to stars, Alez can't believe the guy still finds time to go caving, despite how busy he is and how integral Pomona is to the underground's agriculture... not that Nale himself was ever a particularly good caver, sure, but sometimes he still misses it! Gotta write down to ask Pomona sometime how he does it....
They don't tend to see much of each other, no, due to their busy work and - well, Aneurin usually not being in Gamma. He's a hard worker, though. That's uh... that's kind of the extent they know each other, but it's still a positive impression for Nale, so... Aneurin's cool?
Ah, Sairset... it's a miracle he's back, of course. Poor Beia, though... well that's besides the point. There's still a place for Sairset in the underground... somewhere. No worries! He and Ophyeo will find a job or - something - for him to do... maybe for now just some remote tunnel exploration?
Relationship: Old Friends
Hope you're still out there, buddy, and doing OK. As far as Nale knows, Wist is still free - he's sure Beta would be crowing if they caught the rebellion's second-in-command - but the fear never quite leaves. After all, Wist is being hunted by a Timeline with a known Frag murderer....
- Accepts that Vinnly ultimately takes nothing very seriously, including any relationship they might share. Over time, has come to find this freeing, and doesn't care about what others expect their dynamic to look like.
- However, is always irritated at the amount of gossip that goes on in the media (in both Beta and Gamma) about them, as they're a high-profile caver/surfacer couple. Wishes people wouldn't treat it like a political statement, especially because Vinnly clearly doesn't.
- Not unsympathetic to the rebellion, but always irritated when they ruin his plans.
- Used to be a good mage but hasn't practiced a long time and is very rusty. Manages small practical stuff fine but pays a local mage guild to do most of his enchanting and wards.
- Lives in a big mansion in one of the oldest caver cities. A lot of the nearby land was turned into shopping districts and office buildings built into the rockface, which he started out grateful for - more people! places to go! - and then became uncomfortable at the paparazzi's access.
- Hates fashion, actually, and orders the same outfits from the same brand he's shopped at since forever. Feels very weird when he sees other people dressed identically to him.
- Used to drink coffee but switched to water because of how many meetings he attended where a drink was expected. OK arranging happy hour type work events but doesn't show up.
Click the reference image to the right for fullsize.
- Cream spots only over muzzle, cheeks, and top of tail.
- Has a halo around his head that 'meets' in front of his horn and forms a diamond, and a small halo around tailtip.
- The uh, boa-cardigan thing is deliberately ambigious. Include the backing if you want to/the pose calls for it, otherwise omit.
- Usually smiling. Exaggerates head movements because he likes the chime his earrings make.
Generic Anatomy Notes
- Muzzles are small and boxy, and they don't have a kitty or dog nose.
- Eyes can be stylized as you'd normally draw.
- Please note that they have four fingers and three toes.
- If the character has glasses, don't omit them!