There was no doubt that the cooks had outdone themselves. There was all sorts of foods and tasty treats to celebrate the arrival of Ice Stone’s newest dragons and their riders. Spiced drinks to fight against the cold, though the dining cavern was delightfully warm regardless. It had been long enough to give time for the weyrlings to tend to the affairs of their new partners so they could properly enjoy the feast. Hedara looked over everything with a critical eye while she waited for everyone else to arrive.
[smear:33ccff]Do you suppose any of my children will be awake yet?[/smear:3366ff] Temperanth mused. She was so delighted with how things had turned out, but her instincts as a mother were mixing with her training as an Ice. [smear:33ccff]I was thinking of telling a story or two.[/smear:3366ff]
Perhaps. But you might have to wait. Hedara appeared serious but she pushed a brief reassurance to her Queen, who accepted it gracefully. All either of them could really do was wait and see.
S'vitr arrived some time after the festivities began - though, in fairness, it took him a while to convince Zephoth that he really should stay in the barracks and get some sleep.
[smear:#95c7c5]I'm not tired, though.[/smear:#314c4b:0]
"Trust me, Zephoth, you will thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to get more rest now, as we will not have that pleasure for much longer. I promise that I shall return and will see about bringing something special for you, as well."
The Ice was slightly disappointed, but brightened quickly enough, [smear:#95c7c5]Well, okay, but good luck finding where your cot is when you get back! It'll be an adventure![/smear:#314c4b:0]
S'vitr laughed and shook his head and gave his lifemate a final rub over his head before he ventured onward to bathe, change, and get to the cavern to join the others. Food might have been first on his list of things to do, but finding the clutch dam and sire - or, rather, their riders - was a close second on that list.
Shakti let out a slow, shivery breath once it was clear that Steruth was settled. Sure, she wasn't fully asleep - the Silver-Copper kept waking up to insist on just a little more food or a little more oil - but it was good enough for her.
The once-cosmetologist smiled as she looked down at her lifemate and gave her a final passing over with a bit of oil in a warm, soothing gesture. Steruth shifted slightly and issued a soft rumble before sinking temporarily deeper into her slumber - or seeming to, at least.
She tried, bless her, but she eventually gave up the attempt and reached out to Temperanth: [smear:#b6babb]Mother. What do you do when you cannot sleep? Mine told me to just try and shut my eyes and be still for a time, but...[/smear:#ff9638:0] she trailed off, perhaps realizing how silly it sounded.
Shakti arrived at the festivities a little later than some, but only because she had to do something with her hair and also scrounge up some kind of lipstain at the very least. She was presentable, but only barely so in her eyes.
All the same, she was there to make an appearance, as was due, and to also seek out Hedara and V'quin - if she could find them!
Ulyana, however, was one of those that didn't go - and might, in fact, have been the only one. She was fast asleep and curled up with Yomith, the pair slumbering so deeply that dreams did not touch either of them for a time.
"Do dragons usually go to the after party?" V'riel asked lids half closed feeling the effects of the full belly and proper oiling over the bond. Feeding was the strangest thing. He felt full? Were they connected in more than just mind? Would he never have to eat if he kept Ella well fed? Questions like this airily danced through his mind while his life partner struggled against her sleepiness threatening to pull both into its embrace.
[smear:#111233]I do not know. But I am not just any dra-[/smear:#abaa93:0] Her sentence half cut by a shared yawn between the two before she shook her head in attempts to tear herself away from sleeps enticing grasp.
"Of course not but I think it's obvious you need sleep. Just rest for now. I'll let you know if you missed anything fun or when you wake up you can just walk over." He half joked though he already had a feeling she really did want to know all he would hear at the feast. If she had not been so hungry earlier he suspected she would have gone straight to interviewing her siblings on the sands. Her desires not lost on him thanks to their link.
It took some back and forth but eventually he convinced her to stay back and sleep with the promise of shared stories at his return. A closed mouth yawn held back as he lightly slapped his cheeks a few times for good measure. "No falling asleep yet." he muttered letting his usual lazy smile fall into place as he followed the crowd towards the Dinning Hall.
As he entered he stood there obviously more than a bit lost at where to proceed. He had just arrived at the weyr only a day ago. The boy barely knew where his room was let alone what was the proper etiquette of a newly Impressed weyrling. Was he suppose to great anyone? Did he just go for the food? Though he admitting he still was feeling full from Ellatriath's meal.
Lost and confused he did what he swung his head around for a familiar face from the hatching. Surely one of them had to be here by now, right? Catching sight of S'vitr he put on a relaxed smile and approached with a friendly wave. "Hey, you're also from the hatching right? Could you do me a favor and ah..." He gestured a little at the entire room. "Tell me if we need to do something here?" He paused for a moment before tacking on a final explanation for his lack of knowledge. "I'm new. I've never stepped foot into a weyr until... yesterday."
Temperanth titled her head as Steruth reached out to her. Her eyes whirled as she considered her daughter’s question to her.
[smear:33ccff]I think there is not always one answer but I find for myself, that watching the snow fall is very calming. Seeing how it slowly builds up, very softly.[/smear:3366ff] There was a quiet nostalgia woven into the words, like she used to do it more and remembered it fondly. [smear:33ccff]But perhaps that is not the most helpful solution…[/smear:3366ff] She collected her thoughts and found something, but perhaps only because she wanted to do something of the sort anyway.
[smear:33ccff]What if I tell you a story? I have heard humans sometimes do so for their small ones before they sleep as well.[/smear:3366ff] The Ice Queen waited, her attention focused firmly on her daughter for the time being.
She left Hedara sipping on some Halk, to suffer the congratulations and small talk of some of the other Ice Stone Riders.
S'vitr's course took him to get food first, but he was easily waylaid along the way by a fellow weyrling before he got there. He still wasn't entirely sure the hunger was all his; but, no, a check reassured him that Zephoth wasn't hungry (yet).
The Ice was also sleeping, despite his earlier reassurances to make life interesting. This was good; he didn't want to have to find his cot later.
V'riel's approach was met with a bright smile and a cheerful, "Ah! I am. You are the fellow that showed up fashionably late and won the heart of that lovely, lovely Starlight- is that so?" He motioned to the feast and explained, "I am S'vitr and it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. What shall I call you?"
There's a slight pause, long enough for an introduction, at least, before he continued merrily along: "Right now, my dear fellow, all you must do is look presentable and eat something. But I would be happy to answer what I can, if you have other questions. If you have family here, I am sure they will be full of questions. But, if you do not-" and he ventured that last cautiously "- then be assured that you have plenty of brothers and sisters here, as your fellow weyrlings."
[smear:#b6babb]Falling snow?[/smear:#ff9638:0] It was a worthy consideration, but Steruth seemed dubious of it. She didn't say as much, though the feeling colored her words. Perhaps it would serve a purpose when she were older. There was a distant sense of her trying to get comfortable again- but then Temperanth spoke and that stilled the young Queen.
[smear:#b6babb]A story?[/smear:#ff9638:0] That sounded more promising and her curiosity grew. Her tone grew a touch breathless as she asked:[smear:#b6babb] What kind of story? Will it be a story about dragons and riders?[/smear:#ff9638:0] There was a slight pause, then an apologetic, [smear:#b6babb]I'm sorry! I forgot my manners. Yes, I would like to hear a story, thank you.[/smear:#ff9638:0]
Shakti ended up caught in a knot of congratulations-givers while she was en route to get food. She bore it all with grace, though her stomach growled audibly enough - to her, anyway - to make her blush and apologize.
Last Edit: Feb 5, 2019 17:50:43 GMT -8 by lucidmaus
The man attitude naturally encouraged him to fall into pace with the other happy to see a friendly face among his future peers. The casual treatment of his little mistake elated a small sheepish flash of a smile while he cheerfully gave his introduction glad it seemed he had dodged possible reprimand for now. "V'riel, and likewise~ I'm sure we'll see each other from now on with the whole weyrling thing as you mentioned."
A small hum of consideration at the mention of family. What a friendly guy he couldn't help but muse warmed by the final statement. "I don't have any family here, no. Though I'll indulge in your last offer if you're personally extending it yourself."
A light laugh bubbled to surface casually draping an arm over the taller man's shoulder or at least trying as best he could due to his shorter stature. His action unrestrained as if it was done a hundred times before; a warm, familiar gesture. "Well if we have to eat then let's eat together. Meals are always better with company. Tell me more about this place. Have you lived here long? Oh! Were you born here maybe?" His questions framed with an bright, curious tone while he led the two of them towards the nearest table full of food.
"In fairness, V'riel, our dragons are of one blood. I reckon that at least makes us all in-laws." It was an amusing thought, at least, one that drew a laugh from S'vitr. He ducked his head a little, making it a bit easier for V'riel to drape that arm, but it was likely still an awkward affair at best as they continued toward the food.
"Unfortunately, I am not sure where to begin- I am not a native here, not by any stretch of the imagination. I come here by way of Bitra Hold, Searched at some other Hold," though, in the moment, his ravenous gut seemed intent on robbing him of his memory. No matter. It wasn't entirely important.
Once at the food, S'vitr wasted no time in getting a place and urged V'riel to do the same. "I have only been here- ah, perhaps a month? If that, in truth, before the eggs hatched and the rest- why. That is all such recent history. This place is certainly peculiar, for its dragons that can choose their own way without a rider. Did you have any questions in particular?" There was a pause, then: "Where are you from, if you do not mind my asking? A Hold? A trading clan?" Certainly not a Weyr, as mentioned previously, but the gambler-turned-weyrling wasn't entirely sure where the other man was truly from.
Temperanth mused. A tale of dragons and riders, hmm? Well she had something like that. Only maybe a little different. [smear:33ccff]Very well, I think I have a story for you.[/smear:3366ff] Temperanth straightened up, though she did not have an audience in front of her. The act of doing so changed her cadence, even in mind voice. Because it was a tale told and she was now a voice of those come before her.
[smear:33ccff]There was a time, Queens and Queens before, where there were not humans at Ice Stone. There was therefore a time even further back, where we strain our memory, before they had left. Queens laid their clutches and those that were not bonded stood for the eggs, alongside the glimmering ice. Few of our children chose the path of bonding a human. In those days, there was a young human, Toranthal. Those humans who stood with him were numbered three when he first stood beside the eggs. [/smear:3366ff] Temperanth paused. [smear:33ccff]But none of the dragons selected him. He grew and it was the same. But as he grew up, he was not sorrowful. Even though he remained without a bond, he loved us.[/smear:3366ff]
[smear:33ccff]Time passed and then came the fiercest of winters. Many a human was lost, and dragons as well, in the snow that blinds. Toranthal braved much to save the maiden clutch of Queen Delanath. Delanath, sunshine of the north, was not one to forget a good deed to her. The clutch hatched and it was that Toranthal was too old now to bond a dragon. But he helped carry ice with the dragons and helped feed them with the others. So Delanath called Ice Stone together, and with the other Ice Leader made known what was to be done.[/smear:3366ff] Temperanth’s eyes whirled slowly, remembering the tale fondly. She gave voice to one of the ancient queens, a softer voice then her own touching Steruth’s mind. [smear:33ccff]’Hear me Ice Stone. The time of riders is coming to an end. Even now there is no one to stand with our children in the bond of riderhood. But we have among us a man who loves us all as much. He risked life for my children, and cares for us as if he were our bonded. Let him be a rider of Ice Stone.’[/smear:3366ff]
[smear:33ccff]And so, each dragon, all agreeing in turn, came to Toranthal and called him, ‘T’hal, our own.’ And T’hal was ours. He cared for us for many turns, even as his fellow kind were less and less. T’hal was the only one we have called our and he was the last rider of Ice Stone. However,[/smear:3366ff] Temepranth’s voice gained truth warmth [smear:33ccff] He wasn’t was he? A long time has passed. And the original story was called “The Last Rider of Ice Stone.” And it is a true title in a way. But, I have started to call it something else now. I call it “The Only Rider of Ice Stone.” Because, of all that have lived there has only one human who all of the dragons at Ice Stone have every agreed, that they are ours.[/smear:3366ff] Temperanth was silent, letting this final epilogue sink in. As it was her way.
Hedara moved through the crowd and found Shakti. With a very slight touch on the girl’s shoulder, she spoke. “I would speak with you, when you have a moment.” The Weyrwoman’s voice was always serious, but she was trying not to be too terrifying. She wondered if she was doing okay with that.