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Tildaen Ethelwin was born in the city of Rotterdam on Earth, to Betazoid parents. His mother Yaxara Ethelwin was (and is) an ambitious doctor and medical researcher, operating on various postings in the European Alliance. In this task she is dutifully assisted by her husband Gerdaen Sandalari. The Ethelwin family is generally thought of amongst Betazoids as social-climbing snobs, who trace their lineage to one of the Betazoid noble Houses. Yaxara Ethelwin pretends to be of a more "aristocratic" class than this lineage would allow, frequently holding dinner parties and doing community work next to her already busy career. In the family, the matriarchal Betazoid traditions of the Houses are upheld rigorously. Expectations of Tildaen were extremely high. Being an only child (both parents now claim they would have preferred a girl) he was predestined to follow in his mothers footsteps. Unsurprisingly, Tildaen received a very traditional and stern Betazoid upbringing. At a young age, he was sent to a pre-school for Betazoid children. His telepathic and artistic abilities could better developed there, in a nurturing setting with many adults and positive influences. His parents also found it essential that their son would engage in an early bonding process with other Betazoid children. His arranged marriage (a half- betazoid girl called Jemma Summers) attended the same pre- school and went on to attend the same Betazoid- only Middle School on earth. Jemma's human father, Peter Summers, became something of an adoptive father to Tildaen. The youth readily adopted his cosmopolitan attitudes, abandoned his faith in the Four Deities, and took a great interest in science. In this period, he developed a strong desire to become a StarFleet officer .
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Jemma's human father, Peter Summers, became something of an adoptive father to Tildaen. The youth readily adopted his cosmopolitan attitudes, abandoned his faith in the Four Deities, and took a great interest in science. In this period, he developed a strong desire to become a StarFleet officer.
Jemma developed a close friendship that continues to this day, and went through many traditional courting rituals. However, they jointly refused to enter the arranged marriage desired by their parents. At age sixteen, Jemma announced to instead wish to bond with her Imzadi. Tildaen flatly refused to enter another traditional Betazoid marriage altogether. Although Jemma's parents learned to live with their decision, it was completely unacceptable to Yaxara. Tildaen was forced to leave his parental home. He came to live with the Summers family – which felt somewhat responsible for the turn of events.