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 A Long Awaited Visitor

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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: A Long Awaited Visitor   Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:17 pm

Br'son fidgeted in his newly designated office.  The cavern was smallish, but it was next to his weyr, and had been easily connected, once his new weyrfolk had applied an explosive charge to blow a hole in the wall separating the two.  It also had a convenient outer stairway down to the Hatching Cavern, which was nice for times like now.  Yllaveth lay sleeping, and Br'son was expecting a visitor who needed to be received in some style.  

Avidian had given him wine, as well as a flask of the trademark White Lightning liquor from the still.  He'd asked the kitchens to prepare a light spread of snacks, and they'd come through brilliantly.  Local fish and fruit adorned the plate, along with some crisp flatbreads, and a local cheese made from ovine milk.  As ever, Br'son made it a practice not to ask where Avidian and his people procured such delicacies.  It just seemed wiser that way.  

Olenath comes, Yllaveth said, her mind sleepy.  

Thank you, my love, Br'son said.  Are you all right without me?

I am.  This meeting is important.  I will sleep, and you will come to me when Olenath and Firene have left.  It was a mark of the deep respect that Yllaveth held for Gold Olenath and her rider that she named the famous Former Weyrwoman of Eastern Weyr.  Br'son shared that respect, as did many of the dragonriders that had come to White Lightning Weyr.  Without Olenath and Firene, after all, none of the new colors of dragons would exist.  She was, in a very real way, mother of them all.  

Br'son watched golden wings flash in the afternoon light as Olenath flared to land on the ledge outside of Br'son's office.  The young queenrider felt his face crease in a smile of genuine warmth and welcome.

"Weyrwoman," he said, with deepest respect.  "Welcome to White Lightning Weyr."
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:16 am

((NPC character))

This is nicer than we thought, Olenath noted privately to her rider, with a warm chuffing noise of greeting for Yllaveth.

Firene stepped toward Br'son with her hands outstretched for his, a glowing smile already in place. "There he is, the finest Weyrsenior I could have hoped to train. My boy, my dearest boy. I have missed you. Tell me everything."

She had news for him as well, but it could wait a bit longer. There was little he could do about any of it, from here.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:32 am

Maraxith watched as the gold dragon landed, his eyes whirling a soft, sky blue traced in green. The sudden affectionate tone his mind took drew Casriel from her studies. She pulled her blond hair from her face and walked out to her cobalt, curiosity and no small shard of jealousy welling up inside her. Who could draw the attention of her Maraxith in such a way? Walking out on her ledge, Casriel's stare was icy cold but the fury in her belly stirred hot. Her taunt stride, however, was cut off as a flash of gold wings crossed her vision.

'Gold..' Casriel's face went slack. Her fire died and the bottom fell out of her stomach. There was logically only one gold dragon who would come to White Lightning. She looked to Maraxith for confirmation.

Yes, it is Olenath. Our dam has come to White Lightning.

"Why would Firene be here?" Casriel wondered aloud. What could they want now and why send a gold? Unless, Firene was acting on her own and if she was, was she willing to fly in the face of the current Weyrleadership?


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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:43 pm

Br'son gripped the Weyrwoman's hands (Senior or not, she would always be "The Weyrwoman" to him) and kissed both of her cheeks in warm greeting.

"I have missed you too, ma'am," he said. "Please come in and have a seat. Would you like wine? Or are you ready to try some of our... more robust offerings?" He said this with a wink and a grin as he ushered her in to a seat. "The story of how we came by that is one piece of the 'everything' that I have to tell. But the best news first. Yllaveth has laid a clutch of thirteen eggs! Oh, and Casriel and Sidran should be joining us too, shortly. I hope you don't mind, I'm certain they want to see you as well. It's so very, very good to see you."

The young Weyrsenior's voice might have cracked, just a little, as his emotions threatened to get the best of him. Firene meant a lot to all of them, but he had worked closest with her, and he missed her like a mother.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:32 pm

'This is my finest and newest jacket but so sober. Like I am showing up for a funeral. The crimson then, in good condition and my gold hair looks good on the deep red.' Casriel thought.

She dressed in silence, black pants and crimson ridding jacket. She pinned her Wingleader's knots smartly to her right shoulder, reaching down to lace her boots with care. Reaching for a cloth, she wiped her boots and removed the majority of the dust. Pulling her hair into a high, imperial pony tail, Casriel turned sharply and walked to her dragon. Maraxith was waiting, anxious to be on the move. The energy around the Cobalt was near to electric and his eyes whirled with perfect interest.

Casriel hit the stone in a ground eating stride when Maraxith delivered her. She slowed when she neared Br'sons office and when she knocked, it was with an almost lady like gentleness. Gentle and yet more than a shade firm.


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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:06 pm

Firene touched his cheek gently, the wickedness taking over from the refined elegance on her face as soon as he mentioned 'robust offerings'.

The knock turned her expression directly back to proper Weyrwoman, as she turned toward the sound and opened her mouth to answer. Then she laughed, throaty as ever, and turned back to Br'son with a clear 'whoops'. "I assume it's one of your cobaltriders," she whispered. "Though I want to hear the story from you afterward, as well."

Casriel and Sidran were talented, incredible women. She loved them both like daughters. Br'son, though, was her treasured queenrider.

Sometimes it was a bit much, Firene's love. From an outside perspective.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:35 pm

"Please come in," Br'son called out. He, too, was certain that it was either Casriel or Sidran... but not much could have prepared him for the utter magnificence of his first Wingleader when she chose to dress up. His lower jaw might have dropped a bit as she made her entrance, resplendent in red.

Belatedly, he came to his feet. "Ah, Weyrwoman Firene, you know Wingleader Casriel, I think," he said, vacating his chair with some haste and motioning to the cobaltrider that she should take it. Which was stupid, he chided himself. Of course Firene knew Casriel. What a dolt he was being.

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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:01 pm

Firene's smile was indulgent for Br'son's atwitter-ness, but the expression she turned on Casriel was blindingly warm. "Oh my darling. You look as incredible as ever. This canyon must agree with you. And Wingleader - of course you are. No one better." She beamed between the two of them, then caught up one of Casriel's hands. "And we were all going to have a drink - what better way to hear news?"

"Ah, and I imagine that knock is Sidran."

Hearing her name, in those unmistakeable tones (as though there were any confusion, with Olenath in full splendor on the ledge), Sidran didn't wait for Br'son's formal invite, but stepped inside with a brilliant smile of her own. Her hair was loose, her leathers well fitting but simple - she looked like she had been in the middle of working hard (which was true) and hadn't had to take any pains with her appearance (less so - even her hair didn't get that perfectly tousled look all by itself). "Drinks and news? With such lovely company?" Her eyes flicked from Firene's to Casriel's, lingering just a bit longer on Br'son's. Hard to miss that poleaxed expression his face, and she didn't think it was just from Firene's appearance.

"Now this is quite a collection in one room. So glad you could join us. Or, I suppose I should say, I am glad to have the chance to join you. Now, I believe there was mention of drinks? And certainly the news." Firene reached out to squeeze Sidran's hand as well, before turning her expectant look back to Br'son.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:12 pm

Casriel had a true and affectionate smile for Br'son as she stepped through though her body was already in protocol. She was pleased that he seemed to take in her beauty but the time for preening would come later. She bowed at the waist to her Weyrsenior and then to Weyrwoman Firene, her hair cascading like a golden waterfall as she did so.

"Thank you, my Weyrsenior. Weyrwoman Firene, it is a true delight to see you again. Thank you for your kind words, for they do me much honor." Casriel said, straightening.

She was pleased from head to toe by the praise; she had worked very hard to reach this most coveted position. It was not easily secured by female riders, much less female riders of New Guard colors. She had been named, however, in spite of all that and to a man she could go to the end of Pern for if he bade her.

"Weyrleader." Casriel nodded with a measure of respect to Sidran. Whatever her feelings about the other Cobalt rider, one did not show their ass before a gold rider. They had been exiled and abandoned by Eastern Weyr but they would retain their dignity. Casriel was sure of that and sat back straight in the chair Br'son had offered. She crossed one slim leg over the other, listening.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:44 pm

If Casriel poleaxed him, Sidran made his knees positively weak. Especially given the knowledge of her body that he'd gained during Yllaveth's flight. Not that he'd had much opportunity to further that knowledge... not nearly as much as he'd like to, that was. Br'son's eyes lit up as his Weyrleader joined them.

"I'm glad you're here," he said, his eyes locked on Sidran's for a moment, before he tore them away to include Firene and Casriel in his smile. "I'm glad we're all here. I was just going to pour a toast, in honor of our esteemed visitor."

He quickly put action to words and poured out four shots of the innocuously clear White Lightning liquor. "To Firene and Olenath!" he said, raising his own glass before tossing back the shot with abandon. His brief experience had taught him that it was better to get the drinking over with as soon as possible, as the liquor exploded like a sunburn all over the inside of his throat.

When he was finished, he watched the goldrider closely, interested in her reaction.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:09 am

Firene gave the small glass a delicate sniff, and something twinkled in her eyes. She knocked it back much as Br'son had, and made a very small whooping noise. "The Lightning, isn't it? Not the Mountain Run, that hasn't been as good in Turns." Despite the more-than-hint of breathlessness, her delight was clear. "It's been some time since I've had the master work. A nice gentlemen used to bring me bottles at the big Gathers." The queenrider looked down at her glass and then back at the trio of them, a shrewd light in her dark hazel eyes. "Wherever did you come across it?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:49 pm

Casriel raised her drank and drank, deep and smooth. It was cool to the lips but raced a white fire through her throat and gut. It made her eyes widen but for a moment.

"Good health to you both, for turns to come." Casriel said. In the back of her head she could feel Maraxith listening in. Casriel reached out to give him a mental 'stroke' and she felt pleasure soak through the bond.

Maraxith looked up at Olenath and offered a soft rumble deep in his throat.

Olaneth, would you grace me with your company? It has been a long time, hasn't it?

The huge cobalt dragon mantled his wings, the sun playing off his plum dark curves. His large eyes whirled vivid greens into blues. He knew this gold dragon was his dam. As well as Gaveth's and Hesriath's.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:00 pm

"Well, that's part of the story," Br'son said.  He realized that he really shouldn't have been surprised that Firene knew the stuff.   "You see, this uninhabited canyon where Eastern dumped us didn't turn out to be 'uninhabited' at all.  This is where the White Lightning still is, although we'd appreciate it if you kept that to yourself.  Somehow, we've managed to become allies with the... ah... group responsible for making the stuff.  There's a bit of a bond, you see, between those who've been outcast."  His smile held a sharp, fierce pride as he spoke, and his eyes were harder than they'd ever been before he left.  

"So we've set up here.  A Weyr, not a temporary camp.  We're small yet, but we've eggs on the sands.  With our new weyrfolk, we have the manpower to survive and thrive, and blast those sorry Easterners between!  Present company excepted, of course," he added with a smile.


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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:34 am

If Br'son the boy stirred the embers of Casriel's desire, the sharp look of a resolved man upon his face did nothing less than throw fuel upon the fire. A small smile hide in the corner of Casriel's mouth. Then, the Wingleader cleared her throat and raised her eyes.


"Speaking of Eastern, what is the state of the political climate? The news on the ground. so to speak." Casriel asked. She wanted to know if there was unrest among the Weyrfolk. After all, disgruntled staff could be tempted to follow the new Weyr, especially if they wanted to rise in rank.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:54 pm

Olenath made a contented noise in reply to Maraxith. She was too busy enjoying the sun on the ledge to go moving about again, but moved just a bit in what was clearly an invitation to join her.

Firene carefully put her glass down, her eyes widening only slightly. For a moment she busied herself turning the gleaming blue-stoned ring on her index finger, attention turned inward. "I'm glad you are well set up here," she said, with a warm glance to Casriel to indicate she would address the Wingleader's question in a moment. "It was ill done, and I will fix it, but to know that you are well settled in the meantime..." she sighed a bit, then brought out her most reassuring smile. "That eases my heart. And I will expect to be kept well in style with the best of the canyon's still." Her eyes twinkled, or perhaps that was the light catching the gems in her ears.

"As for the rest." She sighed then, her eyes meeting each of theirs, but lingers on Br'son's. "Eastern has been stretched thin. Fort is down nearly half its flying force, and Ista not far behind. Everyone jockeying for favors, and forgetting to handle their own business." Firene sniffed a bit there.

Sidran had reached across to brush Br'son's hand with hers for his proud words, and let it stay a moment. So she froze in the act of refolding her hands and nearly reached for her glass again. "Down?"

Firene twisted her ring again, just once. "Some sort of dragon cold. Quarantined, not to spread, nothing to worry on, beyond how stretched everyone will be." A noise from outside, Olenath weighing in. "Though none of Igen's last clutch hatched. They think that was something off on the Sands, there."
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:11 pm

Maraxith moved gracefully for one so large and settled in close to his dam. He sunned in silence, respecting that her mind may be with her rider's at that exact moment. It was all as well when Casriel's mind paled and drew the Cobalt's attention.

Casriel said nothing with her voice but her eyes spoke as they widened, her nostrils flaring slightly as she took in a sharp breath. None of Igen's eggs had hatched? Fort Weyr, the first Weyr, was down to half strength. Due to some manner of illness? Casriel suppressed a shudder to think of any sickness coming over the dragons, traditional or otherwise.

The Wingleader's turquoise eyes flicked to Br'sons.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:23 pm

Br'son's eyes widened, and he nearly spat out the mouthful of liquor he'd just taken. "None?" he asked after a quick, coughing swallow. "None at all? How many... How many were lost?"

The end of the Pass may be near, but to lose an entire clutch was still, certainly, a tragedy beyond description. Br'son's heart ached for the rider of the clutchmother. What terrible doubts must be going through her head right now?

"Wait... a cold? Dragons don't, generally, get 'colds', Firene. Do you think... has there been any talk of plague?"

And what, he thought, was the risk to his Yllaveth and their tiny Weyr?
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:43 pm

"No," Firene said immediately, her tone going cool and her expression reserved. "It's not a plague. The eggs - there were seventeen - weren't kept at the right temperature, and it's unrelated to the cold going through. Dragons don't get sick often, but it happens - there are records." Her mouth firmed briefly, her gaze turning inward again as though remembering something.

Olenath shifted outside, briefly nuzzling Maraxith, as her rider filtered through thoughts neither of them would prefer to dwell on. "It will pass, and create an opportunity - short-winged Weyrs can't afford to be idiots about dragon hides." The distaste was clear in her voice.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:46 pm

Br'son nodded, trusting the Weyrwoman, though he couldn't let go of the idea entirely. One or two eggs lost to a temperature problem, sure... but a whole clutch?

Anyway.

"Well," he said briskly. "While I certainly agree with that, I will say that we won't be won back easily. They cast us out, but now we find we really have no need of them. Our new weyrfolk have done quite well for us, and will continue to do so."

He cut a glance at Firene, to see how she'd take this pronouncement. It wasn't her fault, of course. Quite the opposite. But Br'son found he had quite a bit of distaste for the idea of coming back to the traditional Weyrs simply because they crooked a finger.

No.
Thank you.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:52 pm

Sidran grinned. Full on, just for a moment, and nothing calculated in her expression or reaction. This man, who'd been appearing more and more often since they'd arrived here, was a true partner. Someone she could work with to make this - White Lightning Weyr - truly work. And teach the rest of them a lesson. The grin faded nearly as quickly as it had come, as her thoughts returned to the news Firene had brought.

Firene lifted her eyebrows, the slightest of smiles on her face as well. "Well and so," she replied. "I never had anything but faith in you, in the group of you. Perhaps I can meet some of your weyrfolk while I'm here."
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:44 am

Casriel nodded and laced her fingers together. After been driven off under guard to be abandon in rough country, she would not come meekly back to be a balm for Eastern's worry. She would not bear S'riels presence if it did not come with his love, nor her brother J'rils knowing smirk. One smirk from him and Casriel would have Maraxith put his brown Treyath in his place. Castera...Casriel wondered how her mother was dealing with all the aftermath but what was done, was done.

"How and who is Weyrling Master of Eastern these days?" Casriel asked.


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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:08 pm

"There's been no change there," Firene said, a hint of distaste in her tone. Not for Casriel's question, but for the situation at home. "I didn't tell anyone I was coming, so I wasn't able to carry letters, but there are many who miss you all." Not as many as she would like, but that would change.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:14 pm

"Do they know of our clutch? Surely some of them can do the math. Might we, perhaps, expect visitors to our Hatching?"

Br'son had mixed feelings on the issue. On the one hand, he genuinely felt that it might be better to have nothing more to do with those that had cast them out. But Firene was right, not everyone wanted them ostracized. And he admitted that a large part of him wanted to rub their noses in the fact that his queen had laid a clutch of thirteen healthy eggs. If only all of them Hatched... but right now, they had no reason to believe that they wouldn't. Yllaveth continued to assure him that all of her offspring remained viable.

Thirteen healthy dragonets. That would be a satisfying slap in the face of their haters. The young Weyrsenior sipped at his drink and decided that he rather hoped that all of Eastern came to see what White Lightning had done.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:24 pm

Firene's expression shuttered for a moment. "I recommend against passing any word back of your clutch. Let them all forget, for now. With what is happening..." she sighed, looked away, frowned briefly. "I'm not sure you want Weyrlingmaster or Weyrleader to see all the colors that may hatch from those eggs."

She didn't know for sure, they wouldn't share anything she might betray - she had not trained pure idiots, no matter how wrong-headed some of their decisions - but if Yllaveth, like Parazeth before her clutched the full range of colors...she trusted Br'son, at least, would pick up her hint.

Sidran certainly seemed to, as the cobaltrider's eyes instantly narrowed.
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PostSubject: Re: A Long Awaited Visitor   Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:49 pm

Casriel didn't like the taste that was settling in her mouth like a tunnel snake ready to strike. It was a bitter, biting taste and narrowed her own eyes as she formed the most distasteful thought to words.

"Would they dare to harm dragons?" Casriel said, her voice coming out in a strangled hiss.
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