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Tarlach E. Skylancer
Tarlach.png
Pilot, Trade/Contract, Freelance
Born April 14, 181 AU
Midgard City, Midgard
Died N/A
N/A
Species Red Fox, Anthropomorphic
Affiliation Blue Faction
Wing
Profile Profile


Tarlach Skylancer, a red fox, is a freelance trade pilot in the Commonwealth of Skytopia. In business for himself, Tarlach flies his specially-modified, classic Hoover “Cyclops” airplane (the Thunderhead) from skyland to skyland, carrying cargo for customers of every sort. (This is not too unlike “Higher For Hire” from Disney’s TaleSpin, but Skylancer Transport is a one-fox operation.) Tarlach is his player’s primary character in the Skyrates online game.

  • Occupation: Freelance Trade/Contract Pilot
  • Current Residence: A skylet near Echo
  • Former Residences: Midgard, Echo, Earthbreach

Physical Description[]

Tarlach is an anthropomorphic red fox with a lighter orange-red coloration and a slender but well-muscled build. At six feet and five inches high, he’s taller than most morphic foxes (crediting the genetics of his father), though slightly awkward as well. Like most foxes, he has a thick, bushy tail with a white tip, and his muzzle, cheekruffs, chest, and abdomen are also covered in softer white fur. His eyes are a piercing, icy blue, and his pointed ears are tipped with black.

Tarlach wears a black leather jacket with silvery-gray faux fur around the neck and sleeves, and a gray fleece lining, typically over a solid-color T-shirt, with ‘classic fit’ blue jeans, or loose-fitting khaki cargo pants. If the weather's warm, he'll shed the jacket.

Personality[]

“Flying solo has its advantages. I work when I want, sleep when I want. It’s the life.” - Tarlach

Tarlach’s outward personality is fairly independent – on the surface, he prefers to live his life on his own terms, in his own way. However, this tends to mask an inner loneliness, and a longing for meaningful friendships and relationships with others, and Tarlach is ready and willing to put himself aside – his pride, ambitions, and plans – to serve those friendships and relationships. Tarlach tends to be a little airheaded at times, and is prone to foolish impulsiveness without acquiring a complete understanding of situations, but his heart is true, and he’s a devoted and steadfast friend, and faithful lover.

  • Virtues: Patience, caring, selflessness, devotion, honesty
  • Vices: Absentmindedness, rashness, jealousy
  • Values: Relationships, togetherness, financial security

Personal History[]

Childhood[]

Tarlach Everett Skylancer was born to Kalan (father, gray wolf) and Tasha (mother, red fox) Skylancer of Midgard in 181 AU. As a youth, Tarlach enjoyed nature sports near his home, and tinkering with mechanical systems. He admired his father greatly as a child, and knew that he himself was born to be a pilot. That dream never waned, even as Kalan was killed by air pirates when Tarlach was 17 years of age. At age 19, Tarlach attended Echo Flight School.

Early Adulthood[]

Flight School and coping with the death of his father defined Tarlach’s early adulthood. For a time, he developed a bitter hatred of sky pirates, and indulged in fantasies of avenging his father’s death, but that eventually faded as his Flight School career progressed, and his interests turned toward the profit potential of air trading. In the earlier years of secondary school, Tarlach forged a strong friendship with a canine named Keegan Callahan, who also aspired to become a pilot, and the two were nearly inseparable companions through Flight School, and even both moved to Earthbreach following graduation.

Upon graduation from Flight School, Tarlach was approached by two major Skytopian shipping companies seeking to fill entry-level piloting positions, Instead he responded to an offer by the MacLeach Aircraft Corporation, which offered a CR-4P to any Echo Flight School graduate on a payment plan that would allow them to pay back the initial cost of the aircraft as they were able, choosing the freelance career route. As soon as the G10,000 aircraft had been paid for, Tarlach immediately set his sights on growing his business, Skylancer Transport, Inc., and soon purchased a HHI Halifax, which he named the Firestorm. He also joined the Azure League as soon as he was able, and began making a comfortable living.

In 203 AU, shortly after purchasing the Firestorm, Tarlach was hired by the Azure Conclave to smuggle a top-secret ‘smart weapon’ from Jordan, where it had been developed in secret, to Earthbreach to undergo a field demonstration and final testing. The weapon, which had been dubbed the “Skycannon”, was developed as part of Project Sentinel, a secret Conclave program commissioned to develop automated weaponry systems. Two major Skytopian powers sought to gain possession of the Skycannon’s technology – the Crimson Armada and a large pirate organization known as the Hurricane Cartel, led by Donnag Millioni. Tarlach’s plane was attacked by the Cartel while in transit, so to prevent the Cannon’s technology from falling into the hands of either the militaristic Armada or the pirate Cartel, Tarlach abandoned his plane to the depths of the sea, the Cartel attackers still aboard. Tarlach himself was rescued by Calvin November, and the two crash-landed on the skyland of Valvia, pursued by Cartel fighters. This led to the events of the story Hurricane Wind, which may be viewed in the “Skyrate Created Content” section of the Skyrates forum.

Family[]

Father: Kalan Shelton Skylancer (deceased) – Tarlach’s father Kalan Skylancer was a fairly successful trade pilot, and a member of the Green Republic. A tall and handsome gray wolf, he married young and set about to build a family and livelihood on the skyland of Midgard. He was killed by pirates when he refused to yield a portion of a particularly important load of cargo that he was carrying, though he had managed to put away a large sum of money for Tarlach and his mother to live on, and another sum dedicated completely to Tarlach’s dream of attending Flight School and becoming a pilot. This money also provided a small amount of startup capital for Tarlach’s freelance business, Skylancer Transport, Inc.

Mother: Tasha Mariela Kassen – Tarlach’s mother Tasha Skylancer (maiden name: Kassen) was the stepdaughter of a successful Green-faction trading magnate, and the beautiful red vixen married the winsome Kalan Skylancer at a young age. Though Kalan was not as successful as her stepfather, he did manage to give her and their son a happy, financially secure life, and she considered herself greatly blessed to have him. When he was killed, she grieved bitterly for him, and never remarried. Instead, she resolved herself to see that Tarlach continued to be provided for until he was old enough to make his own way in Skytopia. Her upbringing had been grounded in traditional values, and together with Kalan, they ingrained Tarlach with a traditional sense of propriety. Tasha now lives in a smaller house on Midgard, at the outskirts of Midgard City which she and Tarlach shared as he finished secondary school. Tarlach sends her money whenever he’s able, though she insists that Kalan’s trust fund was more than enough to subsist on.

Siblings: None

Relationships[]

In groups of people, Tarlach is typically reserved, and tends slightly toward introversion. He tends to make a small number of close friends, instead of a large number of acquaintances, and usually waits to be introduced to someone new, though in some cases he’ll take the initiative himself. Once he’s made a friend, however, there’s very little that he wouldn’t do for that person, and he often goes to great lengths to impress certain people (especially apparent in his courtship of Kyra – see “Love” below).

Friends[]

Keegan Callahan, Tarlach’s best friend. Art by P. “Dylan” Rinald.

"Cheers, big ears!" - Keegan

"Same goes, big nose!" - Tarlach

Keegan Callahan – For a long time, Tarlach considered Keegan (a mixed-breed canine) his very best friend, and the two were particularly close through flight school. As their careers have drawn them in different directions, Tarlach and Keegan have significantly less contact today than they did, but they still keep in touch. Through flight school, Keegan achieved a reputation as a prankster of sorts, and Tarlach has often been the subject of those pranks, but the fox knows that Keegan’s behavior simply stems from his generally funloving nature, and is generally willing to forgive Keegan for the sometimes embarrassing effects of his pranks.

Ridley Kosh (player character) – Tarlach met Ridley (another red fox) on Earthbreach, after he’d graduated from Flight School. Ridley has played a supporting role in various stories from Tarlach’s past and present, but doesn’t show up particularly often.

Other canonical friends are added as they appear in fan fiction stories involving Tarlach.

Early Romantic Interests[]

Tarlach has had a number of female crushes in his lifetime. As a bachelor, he was sweet on nearly every female he met. At one point in Flight School, Tarlach befriended a female silver fox named Delilah, and managed to forge the beginnings of a relationship, but before the relationship became serious, she was stolen away from him by a member of Echo Flight School’s Grimby team who decided to court her. This caused Tarlach to lose faith in romantic relationships for some time afterward.

Kyra[]

Then in November of 204 AU, Tarlach met Kyra, a graduate student and influential faction member of Echo Flight School, and instantly knew there was something different about her. Suddenly, he felt willing to try again – willing to let a girl mean everything to him. To his own disappointment, his earliest vaguely romantic overtures toward her were laughed off, and she told him that she valued him as a friend, and nothing more. Yet unwilling to simply let her pass from his life, he instead decided that if she wanted a friend, he would dedicate himself to being that for her, or whatever she wished him to be.

As they grew closer as friends through the month of December, Tarlach felt himself falling more deeply in love with Kyra, and as she grew more comfortable and affectionate toward him, it began to tear him up inside to know that he’d only ever be a friend to her. He didn’t know that a transformation was taking place in her mind, and that she was genuinely beginning to warm up to him in a romantic sense, so he felt that he was simply respecting her wishes by not being openly affectionate toward her as well.

Finally, the situation reached critical mass one evening, triggered by a kiss from Kyra. Tarlach stormed out in frustration, leaving Kyra confused and upset. Tarlach knew he couldn’t go on the way he had been, simply being Kyra’s friend without feeling free to reciprocate her affection. Keyo, a friend of the two, pursued Tarlach and explained the situation. Overjoyed, yet deeply chagrined, Tarlach returned to the R&P tavern to find her and confess his true feelings for her – that he was madly in love with her, and sorry for having taken so long to see that she had begun to love him back.

Kyra and Tarlach enjoy the view from an observation deck aboard Marcus Cunningham's opulent Bismarck, the Iron Vulture, celebrating Valentine's Day a bit early. Art by Tommy Chong.

Today, when Tarlach and Kyra are in the same room, they’re virtually inseparable, and can often be found sitting beside each other, enjoying one another’s company. Tarlach openly calls Kyra his girlfriend, and she does the same, and they’ve professed their love for one another many times since. Though their relationship is primarily one of courtship and not 'dating', the couple have also enjoyed a number of ‘dates’, including a stay on Marcus Cunningham’s grandly-appointed Bismarck-class Iron Vulture, and a group date with Keyo and his partner Thistle on Grottopolis. Tarlach also frequently spends time together with Kyra in the intimate setting of her apartment.

Tarlach still makes occasional mistakes, usually from inexperience, but he’s grateful that Kyra is willing to forgive him when he screws up, and he never misses an opportunity to lavish attention and affection on her. As their relationship has only strengthened with time, Tarlach has considered the possibility of marriage, but considers that to be far in the future, and is perfectly willing to give the relationship as much time as it needs to reach that stage, if it does. Still, he can’t think of anyone else he’d rather be with than her. He particularly admires her tenacity, intelligence, and leadership ability. At the same time, his relationship with Kyra is beginning to strip away many of his own personal insecurities, and he's begun to display a measure of boldness and confidence that's never surfaced before.

Planes[]

As a freelance trade pilot, Tarlach owns and operates his own aircraft instead of flying a fleet plane. The size of his aircraft has grown with his business, and he takes great pride in being hands-on with the maintenance and upgrading of his own planes.

CR-4P Gutsy Gibbon: This was Tarlach’s original CR-4P, purchased from MacLeach Aircraft on the “Freelance Startup Purchase Program” under the allure of the independence afforded by self-employment. Working diligently, he quickly paid the craft off, and then sold it to help finance his second plane, a Hoover Heavy Industries “Halifax” cargo craft. NSU3792

Halifax Firestorm: Tarlach named the Firestorm for its vivid red and yellow factory paint scheme, as well as its powerful rear firing arcs. The Firestorm served him well through the growth of his business, and allowed him to carry significantly larger loads. However, he was forced to abandon the plane in mid-flight on a run from Jordan to Earthbreach to prevent his top-secret cargo from falling into the hands of attacking pirates. NSC1463

Cyclops Thunderhead (current): This heavily-modified Hoover Econolops 288 is Tarlach’s current pride and joy, named for its gray paint scheme and the ominous rumble of its four large propellers. The plane has two Hoover Application Conversion Kits (HACKs) installed, one for improved combat performance, and one to improve the maneuverability of the older plane design. With each engine force-fed by twin series turbochargers in series with a positive-displacement supercharger, the Thunderhead develops a prodigious amount of thrust, as well as a powerful din from the four massively slammed-down engines, leading Tarlach to call it “the loudest Cyclops in the skies” and making the plane’s name all the more appropriate. However, frequent mechanical problems threaten to ground the Thunderhead permanently and commit it to the scrapper’s torch. NSR1794

Faction Affiliation[]

Blue

Though Tarlach’s father himself had been a member of the Green faction, when Tarlach finally felt drawn to choose a faction for himself, he gravitated instead toward the Azure League, because of its emphasis on ‘soft’ power – that is, power derived from the personality of an individual rather than ascribed authority of that individual. Within the League, Tarlach isn’t obligated to follow any directive that he doesn’t especially care to, though he understands that his position within the faction is entirely social, and his standing with other faction members may be affected by the particular stand he chooses to take on a certain issue.

Likes/Dislikes[]

Tarlach Likes: Being told that he’s loved, hanging out with his friends, quality time with his girlfriend, good food, the occasional beer, vacations, feeling accepted, flying, more quality time with his girlfriend, working on his plane, haggling over prices, feeling important, ‘scritches’ between his ears, cookies.

Tarlach Dislikes: Awkward silences, relational tension, having his tail pulled, feeling inadequate, sushi, sauerkraut, being made fun of, getting pranked, sky pirates, being outmatched, not being allowed to do something he wants to, being alone, being double-crossed, disloyalty, high taxes.

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