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 Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader

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Sevillalost



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PostSubject: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:00 am

A new morning, and fog rolled into the canyon.  

Br'son could barely make out a brighter patch that indicated that the sun was up somewhere behind the thick stew of cloud, but that was about it.  He'd stepped out into the Hatching Ground entrance while Yllaveth slept, and took in a deep breath of heavy, wet air.   He could barely see the other side of the canyon.  Everything felt eerily silent and muffled.  It was strange.  

Enough, he told himself.  We've work to do.

And so they did.  He'd set this meeting late last night, having Yllaveth send out a summons to all the required players to meet in the council room this morning.  With Teagan's arrival and the news she carried, it was time to look at a few things:  namely, their structure and focus.  

If they were to become, as Teagan had said, a weyrling factory, then they needed a lot more candidates.  And they would keep needing them for Turns to come.  So.  That meant a Search, but a Search on an entirely grand scale... and something to discuss with Teagan as well.  Because certainly they must have young people from the North as well as a the Southern territories.  But those areas were now restricted by the presence of the future Weyrs.  So something had to be arranged.  

And then, once they had the candidates here, where would they be housed?  Their current arrangements wouldn't work well once they brought in candidates for Yllaveth's clutch and Eniseth's clutch.  Plus Aliseth would probably rise soon, and Zillath wouldn't be far behind.  Judging by Kalabria's age, Ohanith would probably wait for a Turn or two, but soon she'd be in the mix again as well.  And if every queen laid at least one shadow...

they were going to need another Hatching ground.  Maybe two.   His head spun at the thought.  

Focus, the Weyrsenior told himself as he climbed the fog-shrouded stairs that led from the Hatching ground to the council room.  One thing at a time.  First the Search, and assistants for Ashrah and Brielody.  Then we can start looking for locations....

The thought that occured to him then succeeded in rousing Yllaveth.  

Divisk, the queen reached out.   I have need of you here with me to guard my eggs while my rider is gone.  And could your person please attend the meeting in the council room?
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:45 pm

Divisk, who had still been making his nest just right, paused. In most cases, he would reject any request on his time (not delivered by his handler and with the promise of meat) right out of hand, but he had some sort of weird...something, in regard to the dragon's senior queen. Not respect, or fondness, nor fear...but some tangled thread of all, and more besides, that Dividia had accepted and referred to (very privately) as Yllaveth mode.

Yllaveth mode, this time, earned a normal-sized snarl and then, somewhat suspiciously, [color=#644B33]Make it dark.[/i] It was agreement as much as demand, but riders and therefore their dragons had an absurd fondness for making lights brighter, and bad enough it was day time out there. He wouldn't allow anything else to add to that existing indirect brightness, not when he could be sleeping.

Dividia got a wordless, chaotic set of images that nonetheless made clear where she should be, and so she went, caffeine already in hand, and with enough of a headstart that she appeared to be the first one there.

"Weyrsenior," she said, sounding not the least bit as tired as she should. "Divisk is on his way to your queen. Impressive, that, I can barely ever get him to leave the deepest tunnels once the sun is up."

Sidran stepped inside as she finished talking, and kept herself to a nod to them both as to keep from interrupting. And also to get herself something hot to drink from where it had been set up in the corner.
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:00 am

The mirrors have been turned. It is as night in here. Come, my friend, Yllaveth thought sleepily to the brown wher. I trust you to guard my clutch while my rider does what he must.

She settled herself deeper into the deliciously warm sand and waited.

Meanwhile, Br'son smiled a welcome at the two ferocious women who had arrived. Something twisted, still, deep inside him as he met Sidran's eyes, and he hoped that he did a good enough job of disguising it.

"Thank you," he said rather quickly to Dividia, "Wherleader, for accommodating both this meeting and Yllaveth's... caprice. She seems to feel the need to have someone with her at all times during this clutching, and it's anyone's guess as to whom she chooses. Not that it is odd that she'd choose Divisk for a guard," he added quickly, when he realized how he sounded. "I mean, I can't imagine a better or fierce one, it's just that... well... it's daytime," he finished, feeling entirely inadequate. What was it about these women that made him feel like a complete idiot all the time?

***

"Are you ready?" Melieste called out to K'zariel and Kalabria. She felt a flutter of excitement run through her. They'd been called to a council meeting as Queenriders! Oh, certainly they would be the most junior ranked in the room, but just to be included was extremely promising. If nothing else, they'd be part of the discussions currently happening in the Weyr... finally, perhaps, she'd have some awareness as to what changes were afoot!

"It would probably look good if we arrived sooner, rather than later," she added, resisting the urge to tap her toe impatiently. It wasn't as if they were late, exactly. She was just early, based on her own eagerness to be about things.

Strange that she never thought to go alone, she realized. But even as she thought it, an instinctive rejection of the idea overcame her. No. They were a team. Whether that thought came from Zillath or not, she had no idea. It didn't matter. She, K'zariel and Kalabria would arrive together, united.
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:48 pm

Yllaveth calls. Let us go and see. Maraxith told Casriel. Cas had been sitting at her desk, pleasantly updating her own, personal breeding records when her dragon roused her and she placed her quill back in the inkwell that sat to the right of her dominant hand. She went to Maraxith and stroked his wedge shaped head.

"I'm so proud to be your rider. You know that, do you not?" Casriel asked the cobalt who rumbled at the attention Casriel paid to his eyeridges. The plum dark dragon's faceted eyes whirled between green and blue. He gave a deep sigh of assent. The Wingleader gave him a final pat and as her weyr had ground access, walked down to the meet the Weyrsenior as Maraxith watched.

I will answer when you call the cobalt said. Casriel nodded and grinned as Victory took to the sky, lazily following her. The gold firelizard glittered as she circled above Casriel.

Ashrah was ahead of her when she rounded the corner but Casriel was in too good a mood to ready a barb or jape of the Weyrlingmaster today. They entered in, one after the other. Ashrah nodded her head at Br'son but Casriel gave him a salacious grin and boldly winked before settling into a stance relaxed and contained.

"Duty to your Queen, Weyrsenior." Casriel said.


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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:55 pm

"Thank you," Br'son said, smiling at Ashrah before turning to face yet another beautiful and confounding woman. "And congratulations to you and Maraxith both, Wingleader, on a flight well flown. I look forward to seeing what kind of clutch Maraxith will sire on Eniseth."

He gestured at the refreshments and the council table in invitation to them both before tilting his head toward the Weyrlingmaster.

"Actually, Ashrah, perhaps I should give you fair warning. I intend to talk about your needs first, if you'd like to prepare some remarks."
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:02 pm

Knowing Divisk had made his way into the properly dark cave, and stood at glowering readiness despite his lack of sleep, Dividia only inclined her head, hiding any smile with her mug rather neatly.

Not entirely - Sidran certainly noticed, though she wasn't about to slip an accidental smile in this company - but enough.

*
E'zen came in, looked around, and clearly momentarily wished to be somewhere else. But he shoved it back rather impressively, set his face into its usual almost-neutral-glower, and took his seat after inclining his head to his senior, with a quick nod to anyone who happened to look his way.

Aliseth took no interest of his company, preferring to drape herself at the edge of a particularly precarious spire, staring out into the air away from their canyon as though waiting.
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:56 pm

Teagan strode confidently into the council room, greatly pleased with the result of Ensieths' flight. Hopefully this would make them trust her, now. Ensieth had led a wild flight for the males, and now Br'son had the knowledge about the shadows without her having to tell him.

She canted her eyes towards Cas as she passed the Wingleader, a small smirk on her face. She let her fingers trail through the other womans' blonde tresses gently before taking her seat.

Jah'vi entered with a grin on his face and a skip in his step. He'd barely left his bed since the flight, and had been reluctant to leave it for this meeting. But he did have his duties, and had promised Andren he would return as quickly as possible.

"Queenriders," he said, giving the three that were assembled a sweeping bow. He even smiled at Casriel when he greeted her. Nothing was going to bring him down today.
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:30 am

Br'son gave Jah'vi a grin as the bronzerider walked...floated? bounced? Whatever it was, Jah'vi was obviously extremely happy as he entered the council room. Well, that was good, Br'son thought. Jah'vi was his closest friend. He tended to approve of things that made his friends happy. Though he wondered if a certain candidate didn't have something to do with it... interesting.

"Klah, tea, juice," he said, gesturing to the refreshments. "Grab a seat, Jahv. We'll start here in a bit."
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:19 pm

"My thanks, Weyrsenior. As do I. " Casriel replied. With hope, there would be cobalts and bronzes in the clutch, maybe even a queen. Casriel thought it had been a long enough flight and now they had proof that shadow dragons could clutch Titanium Queens.

'At least, if they are sired by a smoke. We shall have to see for cobalt.' Casriel thought. She managed a gracious smile for all present and even deigned to give Jah'vi a nod as he passed. Likewise, nothing could bring Casriel down. Teagan entered and an electric charge seem to trace down the backs of Casriel's arms and legs. She thrilled at the shadow rider's touch but kept her smile mild for the sake of any sore losers present.

"I'm ready, Weyrsenior, when you are." was the Weyrling Master's reply. She did not look alarmed. If anything, she looked primed and ready for the conference.


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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:37 pm

"Thank you," Br'son said with a warm smile to the woman who had been his Weyrlingmaster.  

"The weyrling Queenriders should be here momentarily," he said.  "I called the full conference for reasons that will become apparent rather quickly.  We have a lot of work to do, ladies and gentlemen," he added.  

"So please, grab some klah or juice or whatever and have a seat."  

There was something about the energy in the room.  Maybe it was just the post-flight bliss of a lot of the key players, but everything felt much lighter than it had the last time he'd called a full council.  Interesting.  

***

The Stillmaster entered the room, rather silently for such a big man.  He immediately caught sight of his daughter, and gave her a tiny smile.  Which meant that the corner of his mouth deepened just a touch, but Dividia would know that it meant hello.  

He didn't bother with refreshments, but rather moved to a spot next to the Weyrlingmaster and seated himself.  

"Good Morning," Avidian said lowly, in his rumbling voice.  "Weyrlingmaster."
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:29 pm

Teagan made two cups of klah, fussing over one slightly longer than the other. That one she took over to Casriel, setting it in front of her with a wink. "Just the way you like it," she said, before going back to her seat.

Overall she was very pleased with the outcome of the flight. Maraxith had surprised Ensieth, something that rarely happened, and it definitely put things in her past into perspective. Still the future for them, of course.

As she sipped at her klah, grateful for the warmth against the cold fog, she thought of how she'd almost influenced Ensieth. She'd only done that on her first flight, when Z'ash had been the only person who she felt understood her fully. And Manticath had caught Ensieth plenty of times.

Well, this was a council with all the queenriders. If there would ever be a time to talk about keeping the bloodlines varied, it would be now. And better to have the talk when Z'ash was not present. Ever since their return, and his power grab, and those things he'd said in her weyr that night, she had felt a rift growing between the two of them. Just thinking of it, the comparisons to those great women, made her squirm uncomfortably.

To cover her discomfort she looked at Jah'vi, whose smile was practically lighting the room. It was infectious. So she had been right. "You look like a cat who got into the cream," she said teasingly.

Jah'vi simply shrugged, his smile brightening if possible. "Well you apparently know my future. If you're smiling that's a good sign to me. Plus, I don't loose my hair. I'm peachy."
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:57 pm

K’zariel wasn’t one to be late, either— especially not to important meetings like this.  And certainly not without good cause.  So he wasn’t long behind Melieste.  “Yes, it probably would,” he agreed with the shadowrider.  “Especially as none of us have the excuse of a flight or a clutch yet.”  Those would probably be acceptable reasons for tardiness (especially when two of the other three queenriders could currently use them), but he wasn’t sure what else would qualify.  “Have you seen Kalabria yet?”

The youngest of them was also unlikely to be late, so she would probably be along shortly.  But Melieste would have had more chance to see her than him, given they were on opposite sides of the barracks.
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:32 am

"She had to grab something," Melieste replied. "She'll meet us outside." With a smile, she linked her arm through K'zariel's and the two of them headed out.

A few minutes later, the three weyrlings arrived, arm in arm in arm, and seated themselves at the table.

"Excellent," Br'son said. "Right on time. Let's get started."

"So, as you all know by now, Queenrider Teagan has returned from her trip with a bit of a change of plans. The short version is that we, ladies and gentlemen, are going to save Pern. Those of us here, now, in this time, will be breeding the dragons who will, five Turns from now, come back to now and populate the other Weyrs."

He stopped, and gave a little grin as he rubbed the side of his head.

"It's a bit confusing, and it hurts my head a bit to think too hard about it. So I advise you not to do the same. Merely trust me, and take it on faith that it is imperative that we become, as Teagan aptly put it, a 'Weyrling Factory'."

"So. First things first. We must prepare our infrastructure to receive an influx of candidates and eventually weyrlings. Ashrah, could you tell us what your current capabilities are, and what you will need to expand your operations?"
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:59 am

Ashrah pursed her lips and she raised her right hand and she touched her left index finger to every right finger in turn.

"First, I need two Assistant Weyrling Masters. At least. I feel that we need two Assistant Candidate Masters but I will leave that to Candidate Master Brielody's discretion.  Second and just as important, we need to expand both the Weyrling Barracks, Candidate Barracks and we need more classrooms. It is my recommendation that more weyrs be created for rising senior weyrlings. We have a lot of untapped potential here as far as space is concerned. I'd rather the senior weyrlings, near adult riders, not be cramped. Especially the queens, since it is well established that stress can negatively affect dragon fertility. With more dragons, weyrling, and candidates to feed we are going to have to increase our Tithe if we intend on housing them here at White Lightning. I also believe a grand Conclave should be called once the other Weyrs are filled, to get all the Weyrseniors, Weyrwoman and Weyrleaders on the same page. Then have them do the same with the Lord Holders of their area and the craft halls. For starters."

The Weyrling Master's face furrowed above the brows, considering all the options.


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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:59 pm

Teagan shook her head and spoke before anyone else could. "We can't have a conclave," she said firmly, glancing apologetically for stepping in. "Too much knowledge about the future... you'd be meeting men and women who are going to come to us as candidates over the next few Turns. The secrecy is necessary."

Jah'vi cursed under his breath. Shard it all, and right after he'd promised Andren a trip to Southern to see his family. It was the healers birthingday and he'd wanted to give him the little treat. Maybe there was some wiggle room?
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PostSubject: Re: Shifting Focus (attn: all queenriders/wingleaders/weyrlingmaster/Candidatemaster/Weyrleader /Wherleader   Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:52 pm

"We can't call a Conclave, but we can communicate with the other Weyrs.  It's true that with that many Weyrlings, we're going to need extra tithes.  Teagan, how full are the other Weyrs?"

The shadow queenrider pursed her lips and thought for a moment, and then shrugged.  

"About six wings for each Weyr, give or take.  Plus minimal support staff.  But they have queens of their own who will need candidates as well."  

Br'son nodded.

"Certainly, but even so, six wings is not a full Weyr.  I suspect that we could work out an arrangement.  If we take their Weyrlings and train them, I think that they might be open to giving us a portion of their tithe, as well as any Candidates that they have.  If we're to be a Weyrling factory, let us be THE Weyrling factory of Pern.  Ordinarily I wouldn't suggest such a thing, but since all of these dragons and riders descended from us... it seems to me that it would be in their interest to assist us.  Teagan, I'll need you and Z'ash to help me draft a proposal into terms that will give us the best chance of success."  

The Weyrsenior turned back to Ashrah.  

"As for extra weyrs... yes.  I'm all for it.  Have the weyrlings themselves help if necessary.  They can carve out their own weyrs... we all did.  Stillmaster, can we count on you to provide people to help as before."  

Avidian inclined his head in the affirmative.  Then gestured at Dividia.  

"Whers too, probably," he said in his gravel-on-stone voice.  "They're helpful with tunneling."  

Br'son nodded.  

"Wherleader, we'd be grateful for whatever help your cadre can provide.  In the meantime, Ashrah, who were you wanting as assistants?  And if you've any ideas for Brielody to consider, let's hear those names as well."  

Might as well get it all out on the table.

((Edited to add: Teagan posed with permission))
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