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 A New Adventure

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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: A New Adventure   Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:14 pm

Alden pulled in a deep breath.  He'd say this, the canyon air certainly tasted better than the fetid swampiness of that last place they'd lived.  Beside him, Aldisk rumbled a low agreement, and pushed her gnarled head against his shoulder.  The greenhandler stumbled, nearly knocking into one of Avidian's bargemen.  The bargeman, busy poling past some pretty serious boulders, started to snarl to the older man to watch himself, but Aldisk let out another low growl, this one far more threatening, and the bargeman broke off.  

Alden felt his lips curve in a beatific smile and lifted the flask of Lightning to his lips.  As always, Aldisk made his life worth living.  He felt an uncharacteristic sense of contentment as the barge wound its way down the Blackwater River through the growing dusk.  

In truth, Alden didn't know much about the situation they were walking (well, floating...) into.  All he knew was that Avidian, the man who controlled his favored White Lightning liquor, had promised him all he could drink if he and Aldisk moved to their new Weyr.  That had struck Alden as odd, that Avidian would be working with any of the Weyrs.  From all the experience that Alden had with dragonriders, they were far too high-and-mighty to dirty their hands dealing with shady characters like Vid.  But still, Vid had a reputation for following through on a deal, and so here he and Aldisk were.  

Come to think of it, hadn't he heard something about Avidian's daughter Impressing a brown wher?  Perhaps that was it.  Perhaps they were there to train him?

Browns nice, Aldisk said then, her tone appreciative.  Rough, but fun.  Perfect mates.

Alden snorted.  "Aren't you too old for that mess yet?" he asked out loud, not caring one whit for the startled looks of the bargemen around him.  

Aldisk tossed her head in a move reminiscent of a restive filly, or a defiant teenager.  Never too old for that mess, she said.  

And her handler laughed all the rest of the way into the canyon.
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weyrwolf



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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:43 pm

Divisk abruptly stopped pacing, crouching close against in the rock in either alertness or prelude to attack (very similar things, in the wher). There, he said, and Dividia moved easily to her feet.

By the time the bargeman came to a halt, fetching against the bit of clearing and anchor worked into a hollow between boulders, she and Divisk were on the shore, one loose, one with the usual cover of incipient violence. Or perhaps both with a bit of each. "Welcome, wherhandler Alden, Aldisk," she said, pitching her voice to carry. "We're glad to see you."

Divisk's contribution was a low, rippling sound neither growl nor snarl. It was a welcome, a warning, a recognition of the green's deep vibrance, and a statement of interest all at once.

Dividia's mouth quirked a bit, but the bulk of her attention was on handler and wher, bargemen in her periphery in the unlikely event they offered some sudden threat. She'd learned quite a bit about Alden before he'd arrived, but there was knowing and knowing, and she was certainly more interested in the latter.
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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:00 pm

"Ah!" Alden said, his voice raspy as ever. He stepped carefully forward, not really liking the way the barge tilted with every step. "You'd be Dividia then, and Divisk? Aldisk has been looking forward to meeting him. Shameless hussy, she is, and make no mistake about that." His gruff words radiated affection as he carefully led the green wher in question off by way of a gangplank that had been put into place. Though it creaked and bowed, they both made it to the shore without a soaking, which Alden supposed was a win.

You need training? Aldisk asked the brown, her tone aggressive and inquisitive with just a hint of flirtation. Old to be trained. Should know people by now. Otherwise dead.

Alden took a moment to look around himself, and then to take another quick nip from his everpresent flask. "Well," he said, half to Dividia and half to no one in particular, "I suppose we're glad we're here too. Beats the alternative, anyway."
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:12 pm

Divisk's snort was a whole-body rejection, but he was entertained rather than affronted, which was a win. Not me. Eggs. The underlying thought was clear, that he and his knew what they were about.

Objectively, Dividia knew there were some things they probably could have learned more efficiently (or effectively), but it hardly mattered as far as she was concerned; she and Divisk did perfectly well. However, a canyon full of whers as happy/likely to kill as to do their tasks was not nearly as appealing.

"Divisk seems pleased enough to meet her," Dividia replied, holding out her hand in greeting. "And welcome to White Lightning Weyr - 'better than the alternative' might well be our motto, before long." She was in comfortable host mode, her posture welcoming, neither tension nor eagerness to please, as straightforward as could be. "I hope your travel went smoothly. We're happy to show you to your quarters, or give you a tour, or take you by the eggs." Her smile warmed briefly, taking in the flask. "Or just get you topped off? Your choice."
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:53 pm

"Got enough for now," Alden grunted, eyeing her sidelong. "S'long's it keeps coming. Meant no disrespect, earlier. M' a gruff sort. Too stupid to be diplomatic, and too damn impatient to bother."

Eggs. Nice. Yours? No queen? Aldisk asked, looking around as if she half-expected a golden queen to appear. She didn't, of course. She would have smelled such a creature a long time ago. No, Aldisk was convinced that Divisk was alone here in the canyon... except for the dragons. No one had mentioned the dragons.

"Aldisk likes eggs," Alden said, by way of answering Dividia. "Ain't got much to settle. Just m'pack, really. What's with the dragons?" he asked, as a trio erupted into the sky overhead and began to circle to land. "Didn't think Vid meant it when he said there was a Weyr. What's the story?"
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:17 pm

"Diplomacy isn't high on my list of priorities," Dividia replied, before moving on to the more interesting pieces. "Eastern exiled them here - some holder shite about preserving bloodlines." Her tone turned wry, though her expression darkened so briefly it could have been almost anything. "Didn't know we were already here, but worked out - we made friends. And now we're a Weyr, with several lines of business."

Not mine. Fought queen. Won. Killed people who hurt her. Now eggs are ours. His tone shifted subtly, but then he'd been fiercely protective of the eggs in a way he'd never paid attention to anyone or anything before. With a silent invitation to Aldisk, he picked up speed, diving into nearby crack in the canyon.

Dividia lifted a shoulder and turned her steps to follow. "Divisk is actually looking forward to the company. You much for dragons?"
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Mon Sep 21, 2015 9:37 pm

Aldisk followed close on the brown's tail. He moved well through the rock, she noted to her handler. Almost as well as she, herself, did... and he was half again her size.

Alden found himself wearing something like a bemused smirk as he followed Dividia and listened to her explanation. "Never had much call to associate with 'em," he said, speaking of dragons. "Done mostly mine work, then training new handlers. Most dragonriders can't be bothered to speak to the likes o' us," he added with a grin. "Your friends, now, they different?" His skepticism rang clearly in his tone, and he lifted his flask for a nip before offering it to her.

A gesture, that. Wherhandlers, the pair of them. Might as well stick together, look out for one another. Likely no one else ever would.

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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:09 am

"They're allies," she said, taking the flask with a quick grin and an easy sip. "Their own kind treated them like shite stuck to your boots - why wouldn't they want to be friends with the wher they found in their canyon?"

Dividia handed the flask back and looked thoughtful. "Quartzes are dead helpful, and their queen...she's a bit of a charmer. Even Divisk likes her."

A snarl from up ahead, without heat, was the brown wher's only response to that.

"And you can have as little to do with them as you like - we're more than happy to keep you busy down here."
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:04 pm

"I'll keep that in mind," Alden said.  It might have come out as more of a mutter than anything else, because by that time, they'd entered the back of the Hatching cavern, where four eggs sat in heaped piles of sand.  

The green wherhandler took a moment to look around, take in the sight of everything whilst Aldisk approached the eggs (carefully! And with one eye on Divisk, ready to back down if he objected) to give them a sniff.  


The Lava Swirl Wher Egg


The Blue Stone Wher Egg


The Green Stone Wher Egg


The Golden Queen Wher Egg

Warm here.  Good for eggs, Aldisk noted approvingly.  She cut her gaze over to eye Divisk with a fair amount of speculation.  Perhaps her next run would result in a clutch.  She imagined he'd sire good offspring.  Aldisk didn't clutch every time she ran, but every time she clutched,  her eggs were healthy.  This would be a good place for them, should she make that choice.   Hard?  Hatch soon?

"Your people build this?" Alden asked Dividia, looking around at the engineering feat that was the Hatching cavern.  That platform with the heated sand was ingenious enough to inspire a reverent hush in the greenhandler's tone.  And the eggs shone like jewels crowning it all.  For a man who'd spent his life in the company of whers, it was an affecting sight.
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:27 pm

Harder, not yet. Soon but not too soon. Divisk wasn't trying to be unhelpful - though that could often be a habit of his to be sure - but he wasn't entirely sure. Based on what they could guess/determine, it seemed right.

He paced near the back of the cavern, not exactly restless about having Aldisk there - her mind was not nearly as rough as the adjustment to several dozen dragons suddenly appearing - but not entirely relaxed, either.

Dividia's lips might have quirked in a bit of private amusement (of course the brown was a bit off balance with the sudden arrival of a green who could clearly be very much an equal to him), but she knew better than to share it with her partner. Instead she answered the older wherhandler. "We did, necessity being the mother of getting shite done and all that. The dragon queen arrived with eggs on deck, and so finally had a purpose for this cavern. Like it?" Not fishing for compliments, just true curiosity. It had obviously served its purpose well for the dragons, and seemed to be working for the wher eggs, but she imagined Alden had seen his fair share of wher dens and hatching clutches, where she'd briefly seen the one she'd stolen Divisk from, and then that last one.
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:19 pm

He did. Alden really did like the cavern and the heated floor. Of course, it wasn't exactly in his nature to be all sweetness and light. So he gave a sniff.

"Too open," he said. "Hatchling whers sometimes try to escape and turn wild. You need a more confined area, with individual alcoves, if possible..." His eyes cut over to the back of the cavern. "Extend the floor back there, perhaps. Get more sand. Might do."

Alden looked up at Dividia. "Ever seen a hatching, girl? Beyond your own, that is?"
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:23 pm

Dividia glanced around, noting his points. Wondering if dragons and Divisk at the openings would keep hatchlings in place until they were securely Impressed. She was less worried about candidates's safety - they'd do it right or not, and no need to mourn if the latter - but interested.

As for his question, her lips curved into a wicked grin. "Nope. That, wherhandler, is why you're here." Part of the reason, anyway, but she wouldn't pretend expertise where she knew she had none. Never her style.
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:50 am

Alden snorted, and took another hit from his flask before continuing.  "Right, so typically, the clutch is laid in a den, and the dam's mother gets her to separate the eggs shortly before they're ready to Hatch.  The best den complexes have individual alcoves carved out, and the dam will put an egg in each alcove, etc.  This allows the candidate the best chance of catching the wherlet's attention before it goes on a rampage of violence.  Dragon hatchings, I hear, are "beautiful, magical experiences" or some such tripe." he let out another derisive snort.  

"Wher hatchings are a battle, and make no mistake."
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:31 pm

"That part I knew," Dividia replied, somewhat wryly. "As for the rest..." she considered, thinking through the nearby tunnels. "I think we could make something like that work, when it's time. Do we have to have eyes on all of them at once as well?" Between Divisk, her, Aldisk, and Alden they should be able to manage that.

She wondered briefly if she'd consider the dragon hatching 'magical', and dismissed it with an internal snort. Not exactly, with smokes and shadows and all manner of interesting. Not exactly magical.
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:30 pm

"Best if you do," Alden said, his eyes looking around the area again. "Best if you do, and it might not hurt to have some of yer dragons here as well. Not too close, mind, but back in the cavern. Let the wherlets know 'em from birth. And if they go rogue... well... you've got dragons as backup."
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:53 pm

"As to that," Dividia smiled and rocked back on her heels a bit. "I can't imagine they'd say no - we'll put in a request. Anything else you can think of we should prepare for?" This woman, it could be believed, liked to be prepared.
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:33 pm

He gave her a somewhat toothy grin. The effect was slightly sinister. "Just have lots of meat and medical supplies on hand. Have y'all got a healer? Might be good to get one. Especially with wherlings. They're not... easy..."
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PostSubject: Re: A New Adventure   Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:08 pm

At that, Dividia laughed throatily. "We have a few people who know how to patch up well enough. I don't think anything about Divisk made us think this would be easy, and I can only imagine four at once." Her eyes went to the gold-sheened egg. Four at once - and especially that one.
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