"Language is to the mind
more than light is to the eye."
Zyrian was only twenty when he earned double PhD-level degrees in Linguistics and Anthropology, the youngest Subetan to achieve that feat in either field.
Studying the languages and customs of every species known to Subeta was a passion that started with a box of fun and informative flash cards his mother gave him at Christmas when he was only three. On each card was a description of the native land, habits and food preferences of every species from antlephores to zentus with a ***bonus*** pack of cards detailing the speculation behind each experimental pet's origins.
Zyrian excelled in learning lesser-known languages, competing in an Academic Language Meet for twelve years running and never coming in less than third. (Forgivable when you consider he was only in kindergarten at the time.) Much like the more traditional spelling bees your average Subetan child is familiar with, the A.L.M. is a competitive and prestigious test of knowledge that forces participants to come up with the right word, whether it be the Tormigard word for "friend" or the Lesser Minionic sounds that amount to a request for food.
Since graduating college, Zyrian has toured every nook and cranny of Subeta, even the elusive sub-communities of SAI which have developed a unique multi-cultural language all their own. He has served as a diplomat in a few sticky situations where lack of understanding very nearly brought two competing cultures to war.
Half his year is spent touring and giving lectures on the vitality of keeping languages alive. During the winter season, his time is highly in demand and he rarely has a quiet moment. He winds down in the evening by scribbling notes for another chapter for his latest book in the series "Love of Language" which has such popular titles as "Words are the Building Blocks of Life", "Understanding is a Two-Way Street" and "Grammar Goofs and How to Avoid Them". He contributes regularly to professional journals and is on the Board of Directors for the Subetan Anthropological Society.
He has also authored a full dozen audio books in which he reads classic children's tales in multiple languages from translations he completed himself.
His resume is indeed impressive but it is the summer season he cherishes. It is then, during those few fleeting months when the trees around Veta Lake are gloriously green and the children delight in playing on the lake's edge that he is truly able to relax.
His cavern condo has the advantage of privacy with a convenient view of the whole town of Veta Lake. Half his home is above the water for the convenience of any visiting friends while the living half is below the water for his own comfort. At night it is lit beautifully and glows with a subtle and gentle light.
The condo is quite spacious and comfortable and has a mix of seating for guests of other species. It will come as no surprise that he has befriended Subetans from many walks of life and professors from many areas of study. It is in his nature to get along with others, all stemming from his constant desire to learn more intricate points of language.
His personal quarters include a spacious water bed, bookshelves lined with waterproof books and an office well supplied with all the latest gadgets from Bits & Pieces. He has a secret fascination for computers that he rarely gets to indulge and his forbidden dream is to someday set aside his many obligations to learn more about the inner workings of the modern machine.
Key also to his life is his dearest friend and companion, Dreamer. She has a form-fitting cushion in every room of his spacious dwellings so that she may come and go as she pleases in absolute comfort. She often accompanies him in the field and will even join him in the lecture hall now and then to help him illustrate a point. The only place she refuses to go is any location in Centropolis. Her deep-seated dislike for large cities is something no amount of bribing will overcome.
Zyrian collects one small memento from every place he visits. They are always small enough to fit in a pocket and may be simple and tacky as a seashell doll strung together by an elementary school class he visited on Delphi Beach or something as rare and precious as a black pearl presented to him by the beautiful merman whose cave-home he helped to save when a misunderstanding between Blackmoon Corp. and the Mer nation caused strife beneath the waves.
Whether you are a PhD candidate in the midst of translating an ancient text to prove your thesis or a simple working montre that likes learning a new phrase here and there, you would do well to tip your hat to Zyrian if you pass him on the street. No other Subetan has done half as much to advance our understanding of the way words work.