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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Of positions and expectations   Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:12 pm

Br'son checked the tray of refreshments one last time, and then settled into the his chair. He'd cleared off the old table he'd been using as a desk, and built up the fire. It was summertime yet, but the nights got cold quickly in the canyon, and the day was on its last legs. His two 'seconds would be here any moment. He'd arranged with the Weyrlingmaster for them to come to him after their lessons for the day. He grinned at the thought, remembering how it felt to be exhausted from a full day of weyrling training... and then to move on to extra training with the queenriders while his classmates got a few hours to themselves. It had not been his favorite thing.

But it had been necessary. And so he would continue the tradition.

Besides, Br'son believed in paying some things forward.

At least, he thought, he wasn't staring at them both with extreme prejudice. As a titanrider and a man, of all things, he'd been doubly suspect as far as the queenriders of Eastern had been concerned. Firene had been an exception, and Garrah an ally when she was sober, but they had been two voices of five, and so.

A sound outside alerted him to the presence of others, and White Lightning's Weyrsenior composed his face and prepared to greet his 'seconds.
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:39 pm

It will be interesting, and I want to hear what they have to say. Aliseth spoke reasonably, though her tail lashed through the air almost audibly. Yllaveth has done us no wrong, and we must know what is expected to know what we will keep.

E'zen didn't think they needed to keep any of it; if Br'son was in charge, it was his order that had brought him here against his will, whether he knew it or not. Aliseth rejected that thinking so fundamentally he clung to it harder, and so they'd settled that Yllaveth was fine, and her rider was yet to be determined. E'zen would still be happier burning the place down and leaving on the heat wave, but even he knew that wasn't something he entirely believed anymore. Besides, Aliseth could not yet fly, though her rider didn't think it would take nearly as long as the Weyrlingmaster said.

And so, after their walk through the pools at the top of the canyon, Aliseth settled herself in a watchful, looming manner at the edge of the cliff, and E'zen made his way (reluctantly but stoically, if you asked him) to the Weyrsenior's office. Teagan would be there soon if not already, all sunshine and joy, and warring reactions (disgust and unwilling fondness) paraded through his mind to Aliseth's rather perverse enjoyment.

E'zen didn't knock - they were expected, but cleared his throat as he stepped inside. And didn't glower.

Though that was a near thing.
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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:47 pm

Ah. The reluctant E'zen.

Br'son smiled at his elder 'second and beckoned him in. "Have a seat," he invited the other young man. "Would you like something to drink? I've juice here, and some watered wine that shouldn't disorient Aliseth too much. Or there's ale, if you'd prefer." As he spoke, the Weyrsenior uncovered the tray of refreshments. They weren't much, but there was sliced fruit, bread, and cheese.

Rule number one, Br'son recited mentally, set the stage and gain control using hospitality. His smile was warm and his manner welcoming... and none of that was an accident.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:57 pm

E'vzen made a sound part grunt and part acknowledgment. Then he realized the Weyrsenior meant to serve him what he asked for, plopped into a seat, and considered. "Ale. And some cheese and bread." A long beat. "Thanks."

He looked anywhere but at the senior rider, studying the room without coming to any clear conclusions.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:14 pm

A smile. "You're welcome," Br'son said. He turned and poured out a mug of ale, then pushed the tray in front of the young weyrling. "Please, help yourself. We can chat for a bit while we wait for Teagan. How is Aliseth today?"

Sullen, as before, but that was as Br'son had expected. He could deal with sullen. The boy was probably experiencing a wide array of emotions, even more than most of the newly Impressed. E'zen hadn't been here of his own will, and then to Impress to such a volatile creature as the shadows appeared to be... well. Br'son was prepared to be sympathetic, but sympathy would only go so far.

Still.

"I wanted to talk with you anyway. There wasn't time before the Hatching, but... I'm given to understand that you weren't exactly enthusiastic about joining us. That, perhaps, there was someone you left behind? I don't ask to open old wounds, but it may be possible to quietly bring someone here to join us, if you would like that. Of course, you would still have to abide by the relationship rules of candidacy, for Aliseth's sake, but it might be an improvement?" Br'son settled back into his chair with his own mug of ale as he spoke.

And if he accepted, what better hostage could they have for good behavior, if worst came to worst?
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:21 pm

Aliseth went pointed and alert in his head, suddenly fully present, and he got the feeling she was looking through his eyes (she was, as a matter of fact, though not quite well; human vision was limited and she wasn't used to it yet).

Part of E'zen's mind leapt on the offer, and part rejected it immediately (that part had a healthy handle on how a certain smoke rider had looked in bathing their dragons that evening), and part staggered about, confused as to how to answer. Aliseth thought it convenient there hadn't been time to talk before the hatching (both genuinely and sarcastically - on the former, because obviously it was critical the half-finished man Evzen be there for her to find, and part sarcastic because of obvious reasons), and E'zen used her solidity of thought to pull himself together again. "If I wrote her a letter, how would it get to her?" They had been promised to be engaged, after all, and he had no idea how Yalsine would take his new situation. Nor would he have her bundled up in the night and brought here, as he had been.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:39 pm

"One of our riders could take it. I believe we're arranging similar communications for others in your class who were rather abruptly Searched. I realize that this has been difficult for you, E'zen. But now that you've Impressed Aliseth, perhaps you can see some of the reason for our haste. It was imperative that we have candidates. It's always a tragedy to lose a dragonet, but it would be doubly so in our case."

Br'son didn't have to work hard to make his eyes bleak. He'd witnessed the piteous crying of hatchlings who couldn't find a suitable rider, and it was something that no dragonrider... no human being, really... could ever forget. The Weyrsenior let his 'second see that sadness for a moment, then he took a breath and locked it away.

"So. Let us start with that. Write your letter, and one of our riders will take it to... her, you said?"
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:59 pm

He bristled, both for the question and for the implication that others hadn't wanted to come as well - he had thought it had more than him, but no one else had been quite so...

Well. Suppose he hadn't paid much attention, overall (Why should you have? Aliseth wondered, because it should have been obvious).

"Her. Yalsine." He couldn't remember the last time he'd said her name aloud. Aliseth rolled the concept of her around both their heads, still deciding how she felt about this vague creature. A pause, and then it burst out of him before he could think better of it, "It seems to me that people who are ripped away from what they know and love would have thought twice about doing the same to others." It had festered in him since his first conversation with Asteriel, and had picked up new burning tendrils since Impression. It should never have happened, he hated that it had, he was grateful that it had, he had Aliseth now, but still - unjust. A conflict he couldn't settle.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:08 pm

After a long day of proving she could keep up with the others, Teagan had wanted nothing more than to fall asleep. But both E'zen and she were required to report to Br'son for extra training. Normally this would have been a source of great excitement, to get to spend time with the cheerful and friendly Weyrsenior, but Ensieth looked so comfortable and sleepy...

You must do your duty, dear, the little dragon said, opening one eye. Just the look gave Teagan an extra little burst of strength and she smiled. I would not have chosen you if you were not ready.

Bolstered by the shadows words, Teagan took a quick detour to wash her face. Not much could be done about her hair... ah well. She hurried to the office, arriving just after Br'son had finished talking to E'zen. She gave a polite cough and waited before entering.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:23 pm

Br'son heard Teagan's cough, but he didn't call for her to enter just yet. Instead, he gave E'zen a long, level look. "We did," he said softly. "You may be assured of that. We thought about it many, many times. And in the end, we came to the same conclusion. It was necessary that we have as many candidates as possible. Ask yourself, would you not do anything, anything, for Aliseth?"

Then, before the shadow weyrling could answer, Br'son put a smile on his face and turned toward the doorway. "Come in, Teagan. Have a seat. I imagine the pair of you are exhausted, or I don't know Ashrah half as well as I think I do."
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:31 pm

E'zen likely made some gesture of acknowledgment for Teagan's arrival, but mostly he was sunk into his own thoughts.

Of course he'd do anything for Aliseth (of course? Well, of course, but he was surprised how not surprising that thought was). It didn't make it right, but -

Two things can be true, Aliseth said, helping to settle the conflict in E'zen's mind without truly settling it. What had been done to him was wrong. What had been done to him was necessary. He could still hate it. Aliseth saw no reason to turn her fury on dam or clutchmates, but there would be plenty of wrongs to right, and vengeance to take. That, she knew, would make her rider feel better.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:20 am

Teagan came in and found the open seat. When she sat, her feet dangled above the floor, much to her chagrin. She scooted further forward on the edge of it, trying to pretend like she hadn't noticed. "I'm not too tired," she assured Br'son, glad that the physical activity at least wasn't a surprise to her body like it was to some of the others.

She'd been looking forward to this part of the day, honestly. The duties of the juniors weren't as spelled out as those for a fighting dragon; they seemed to be something that was only explained if necessary. Despite all that they'd learned today, she was still eager to learn more about the duties she was to perform. Not for the first time that day she was glad E'zen was there as well: she had someone else to look to when she was unsure.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:13 pm

Br'son smiled, but refused to chuckle. "Well. That's good, because I won't be any easier than Ashrah on either of you." The Weyrsenior looked from Teagan to E'zen and back again. "So. By now you've had the opportunity to get to know your beauties just a little bit. Tell me, what are your first impressions? E'zen, you go first, please."
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:27 pm

E'zen focused on Br'son again with a slight start - caused just as much by Aliseth's coiling abruptly in his head as the man's words.

"She's angry." He stopped for a moment, and considered. "Deeply so. But not at any of you," that part was rather reluctant. "But there's someone out there that she would very much like to do damage to." Deep pleasure thrummed along their bond in agreement. Aware of his own attitude, he added, "It was like that when I touched her egg, too. Anger, and rage." And loneliness, he thought, but didn't say. And when he searched Aliseth, he knew that, at least, was gone from both of them.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:36 pm

Br'son nodded. "Yllaveth wasn't angry, but she was overwhelming. Queens are like that. You're quite literally bonded to a force of nature now. And the time will come when only your will and love will stand between her and the possible destruction of everything you care about. Please don't make the mistake of thinking that I am joking or exaggerating. There is a reason that weyrwomen have a reputation for being willful... it's because they had to be. And we male queenriders are no different."

He looked then at Teagan. "Nor are you, Teagan. You are extremely young for this, and I know that you know that. But the dragon never makes a mistake, so we must trust that you will have the will to control Eniseth when it becomes necessary. I wish I could tell you how, but each queen is different, and each queenrider must find his or her own way. Have either of you experienced any... disagreements yet? I know that you're still basking in the afterglow of Impression, but perhaps during feeding or anything?"
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:38 pm

Shifting a bit uncomfortably, Teagan spoke up. "Ensieth is angry too," she admitted, "but every time I try to ask she convinces me not to worry about it yet. It doesn't seem to bother her over much, either." The behavior was very unusual to her, who had yet to have feelings of hate or anger to that level. (Being mad at someone else getting the toy you wanted first didn't compare.)

She listened solemnly to Br'son, and nodded seriously. She'd become aware of the pressures today, and though a tiny part of her was scared, Ensieth was shoring that side up. "She won't talk to me about the anger," she said, feeling it needed repeating. Why was Aliseth so much more open about that with E'zen? "And so far nothing I could't handle during feeding. She fights at first but she knows I'm right and gives in."
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:56 pm

Br'son nodded, though he hadn't realized that both shadows experienced such anger. He'd thought that Aliseth was reflecting her rider's feelings about his abduction. But for Eniseth to also have such dark feelings (Ha!) indicated that something more was going on here. He pursed his lips for a moment, and considered waking Yllaveth... but in the end he decided against it. He'd have the queen speak with her enigmatic offspring when she was awake. Until then, what damage could they do as hatchlings?

Br'son told himself not to answer that, and forcibly turned his mind to the things he could control or influence. "That is good, Teagan," he said. "Not that she's so angry, but that you're able to get her to give in to you. It is imperative that you both be the steady, cool head in this relationship. You'll need to be the ones to channel their energies in a positive direction... whatever that happens to be."

His eyes went slightly dark as he thought of the queenriders of Eastern. "As queenriders, our primary mission is simple: we are responsible for the preservation of dragonkind. Whatever it takes, that is what we will do. Even if it means drastic measures... like exiling a breeding queen and almost a full wing of dragons. I don't agree with their having done it, but I know why they did. The Eastern Weyrwomen felt it was their duty, in order to preserve dragonkind.

"However," and here he smiled, and his smile looked positively feral. "I still have my duty as a queenrider: to see to it that those dragons survive and even thrive. And that is now your duty as well."

Br'son looked from Teagan to E'zen again. "What questions do you have so far?"
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:04 pm

Teagan listened intently, nodding at the appropriate times. She pursed her lips at his mention of their exile: as sad as it must have been to be forced from their home, she was grateful the dragons had come to the canyon. And no one here cared about hide color... she still didn't understand why Eastern hadn't wanted these amazing creatures, but their loss was her gain.

She waited a moment to see if E'zen had a question, then forged through with something that she had been thinking about since the night before. "Why are they do dark? The shadows and the smokes, I mean. Do you think there's a reason?"
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:55 pm

"Why are golds gold? Why is Yllaveth that titanium blue-grey? They're as new to me as they are to you, Teagan," Br'son said with a gentle smile. "No doubt we'll all be learning quite a bit about both the smokes and the shadows in the weeks to come. In fact, the two of you will probably be best suited to answer that question, when it comes down to it. If you think you've got a theory, by all means, share it."

He took a sip of his ale, and gestured with his hand for them to continue. "What else?"
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:34 pm

E'zen thought if he didn't ask any questions, this would be over sooner than later, but there were things he was actually curious about. So. "Were guesses about Yllaveth's size about right when she hatched? Do you have an idea how big Aliseth and Eniseth will get?"

He'd heard the word 'mini-queen' tossed around, and there seemed nothing miniature about the force that had taken up residence alongside his mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:55 pm

"Well, yes," Br'son said. "But Yllaveth wasn't the first of her kind. Parazeth was there as a guide. As far as Aliseth and Eniseth... My gut tells me that they'll be smaller than Titan queens, simply because they were smaller than Titans are at hatching. But there really isn't any way to tell."

It seemed that the two of them mostly had questions about their dragons, which was all well and good, but Br'son simply didn't have those answers. So. Time to redirect the topic to the things he did know.

"Now, let us address your role as Weyrjuniors. Or Weyrseconds, if you prefer. I think I do. It's a bit of a pain to have to come up with new names for everything, but perhaps it's for the best. Less preconceived notions that way.

"During training, you will, of course, be primarily responsible for the continued good health and proper development of your dragons. They must come first, and I want to know about any obstacles you find in that direction. As will Ashrah. Second only to their needs and the requirements of your training, however, will be your duties to me. You two are my 'seconds. That means I need to be able to delegate certain tasks or roles to you. So. Tell me what you know of the role of a Weyrsenior... or if it's easier, that of a traditional Weyrwoman."
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:59 pm

E'zen shrugged, and glanced at Teagan. Weyrwomen did not consort with herdboys in his experience, and he only vaguely knew names and general roles for weyrfolk. As Br'son was the first male queenrider and he only the second, he really had no idea there.

Since 'run Weyr things' was all he would be able to come up with, he hoped Teagan had a better answer.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:29 pm

Teagan gave E'zen an equally clueless look, biting her lip. She'd never even seen a dragon before they arrived at the canyon, and most of what she had learned about them was from the riders themselves. And she may have gotten to speak to Br'son before, but it had been while Yvalleth was watching her eggs. So... egg watching? That couldn't be all of it.

The silence said it all: she had as little idea what her new duties would be as E'zen did.
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:12 pm

Br'son gave them a little smile. "I see. Well, fair enough. Neither of you have spent much time around dragons before recently. In order to understand the role a queenrider plays, it's helpful to understand the role of a queen in a firelizard's natural hierarchy."

He looked closely at the two of them. "You know that dragons were originally bred from firelizards, right? The first settlers here had remarkable technology that enabled them to do that in a matter of months, rather than the centuries it takes our breeders to produce a new strain of herdbeasts, for example. Several Turns ago, one of the expeditions to Landing uncovered some remarkable notes on the process. I've seen them, it's really quite fascinating.

"But I digress. In any case, wild firelizard queens lead their fairs. They are mother not only to the hatchlings, but to the whole group. They will organize the other colors to help defend territory and clutches. Without a queen in close proximity, wild firelizards tend to be much more solitary creatures.

"In dragons, that instinct is even more pronounced. Dragons will not disobey a queen if they can help it. Some say that they cannot disobey the will of a golden queen, especially if she is senior. For the senior has the combined will of all the other dragons backing her. We don't know yet if titan queens have the same ability to force compliance. In truth, I'd rather not ever find out," he said grimly. "But I can say that Yllaveth does feel the support of the dragons of White Lightning Weyr. That was one reason it was so important to create a sense of identity for us here. It gave the dragons a sense of structure that they need in a very real way."

Br'son looked at his two pupils once more. "So. With that in mind, the queenrider's traditional role is to run the domestic side of things at the Weyr. That means, in effect, everything except preparations for Threadfall. Think about that, for a minute. What types of activities do you think fall into that category?"
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PostSubject: Re: Of positions and expectations   Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:15 pm

"Breeding records," E'zen said, unwillingly. But that made sense, to a herder. "Who came from where. The tithe and everything." Which caught his thinking. "Are we going to get tithes?"

Unnoticed, that 'we'. Had he realized, he would have started to realize how Aliseth was shaping his loyalties.
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