((Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro))) “Yep! They look about done, and we can’t keep them waiting! Good way to pass the time though.” She really did like that sort of thing. She would be an overgrown kid if she wasn’t short. They got to the side, where the other harper just finished with their set. Cyan was nervous, but excited to sing for a gather, but it was helpful to know there were a fair number of other harpers littering the area. Even those who were at the ‘story’ stations were occasionally giving a song. Still, they were going to be singing a duet in front of people, hopefully it would be as fun as she thought it would be.
Soon enough they had the small stage to themselves, and Cyan looked very excited. She didn’t look super formal, though she had a skirt on at least. So ‘nice’ rather than anything else. With her hands clasped in front of her, and long sleeves it was impossible to see any of her scars, not that she thought of it that way. She looked sidelong at Kel, with a bright smile. She might be a little nervous, but she thought of it like singing around the fisherfolk. She hadn’t been afraid then, and singing technically wasn’t part of the job description.
“Ready?” She sort of whispered to Kel. Soft enough that it wasn’t an announcement, but loud enough to be heard clearly.
Tiv took a couple deep breaths. It was very entertaining, he assured the Ice Queen, allowing his genuine enjoyment and appreciation of the tale to fill his answer. In truth, there is little to apologize for. My ability to hear was simply… very sporadic for a time, T’vax started to grimace, but he managed to change the expression into a credible half-grin instead.
He pressed tighter against Dav, starting so say something more, when distant but clear came another piece of conversation, with annoyance and even a certain amount of exasperated anger underlying it. The dragon speaking thought that his rider’s feelings towards someone known to both of them were ridiculous. The mission!
Instinctively, Tiv started to reach out towards the voice, intending to identify the speaker, but Slin stopped him.
Not now, go inside, you will probably be able to identify the rider, and then have no need to give away what you can do.
Kel wasn’t sure how Cyan could possibly be enthusiastic about stories like that one, but then, well, maybe he couldn’t talk, given what they were going to be singing for a duet. He couldn’t even claim the songs were her idea, since he’d been the one to pick them all. He took his place next to her on the stage. If there were anything less serious than this particular choice in music, then Kel didn’t know what it was. His only response to Cyan’s question was a nod. He shifted slightly, his fingers tapping a tempo against the side of his leg out of long habit.
He grinned at Cyan, then they were taking breaths and launching into the song, voices weaving around each other in a far-too-embellished and over the top pattern, one that actually fit the song rather well.
“My Old Gran she keeps the green, keeps it nice and clean, and if you trod upon her green she’ll take the rake to thee.
Round, round, round the green, Round round you’ll run Round round round the green Be glad there ain’t no snow!
My Old Gran bakes bubbly pies, The finest you’d ever taste And if you reach for one of them She’ll slam it in your face…”
Temperanth would have given T’vax a wry smile if she was capable of such a thing. Ah, she did like him, just taking him as himself. His qualities could trouble him some. It however, did cause him to get closer (sort of) to Hedara, and she thought that would be good for her. Hopefully. She was about to make another comment, when she looked closer at T’vax’s face. Hmm? She willed herself to be at peace, a cool pool of calm. She could tell, he was listening. So she must be patient. Temepranth was a remarkably calm Queen though. When he finally got out some words, the Ice sat up and reached out to Hedara, who was no longer actively tuning her out.
[smear:33CCFF]Hedaralove, keep an eye out for T’vax.[/smear:3366FF] She tried to wash calm emotions over the message, and Hedara took, at least some, of that to heart. The Ice Queen herself just kept a watchful eye on her domain. It could just be a human affair. Or it could be an affair for dragons likewise. If it was to be inside, it probably wasn’t one of the self-impressed dragons certainly. Even Gentrith was far too big now. Her tail swished back and forth, in a relaxed pendulum action. It kicked up just a little snow, but not so much to be annoying. And she watched.
Dav was almost thoroughly ensnared by the story, listening intently as she leaned into Tiv’s side. When he gave a gentle squeeze, she pulled her eyes away from Temperanth and looked up at him, the look in his pale eyes making her blush and smile. Turning slightly, she wrapped her arms around his waist and nuzzled her nose into the blue fabric of his gather outfit. Giving her Chromerider a squeeze, she reciprocated the sentiment she’d seen in his eyes. She would cheat defy death for him; she had to a certain extent.
When the story was finished she remained where she was but turned her head a bit to look around when she felt T’vax tense slightly. It was then that she saw the Chrome and for a moment her jaw dropped as she thought it was Slinesteth, out in the open. A moment later she knew it was not him as the markings and coloring was all wrong. But…she hadn’t known that there was more than one Chrome! Her brow furrowed and before she could stop it, she blurted out three words in a rather obvious statement. “That’s not Slinesteth!”
Of course she was immediately distracted from staring curiously at the dragon when Tiv pressed closer and blinking, she glanced up at him. He was listening. Some days were worse than others. She imagined that with so many more dragons gathered and no doubt excitedly chatting away that this was one of those worse days. So when he suddenly decided that they needed to go inside, she nodded, schooling her expression and made sure to wave to the Ice Queen before they headed towards the cavern. “Thank you for the story, Temperanth!” She called in her typical cheerful voice though she was a bit concerned about why Tiv seemed so tense.
V'quin wasn't used to getting dressed up. Never had been and he doubt he ever would be. The only reason he has more than one gather outfit was because his father was a weaver and his mother was insistent. He'd almost ended up wearing half of one outfit and half of another but even he could tell that green and orange didn't go together. That being said, what he was wearing now didn't exactly look the greatest and could potentially have been part of two or more outfits but it was mostly brown which suited him just fine. At the very least he knew that the sash and the tunic went together if nothing else as the embroidery was the same burnt orange color. His hair was a bit long and had started to curl, he was well past due for a haircut.
By the time he made it to the gather, Irrakath has already commandeered a lower ledge where he could watch over the crowd, paying particular attention to Temperanth, Niekolgoth, Slinesteth who had already taken up hiding behind his counterpart, and all of their riders. He listened to the story, tilting his head slightly at the thought of a dragon staying past the death of his rider out of devotion to his Queen. After several minutes of contemplation, he made a small thrumming sound in the back of his throat and the forked tip of his tail twitched.
What are you pondering so intently, kid?
[smear:000000]I have decided that if ever you die while the weyr is under attack I will remain to protect Temperanth and her clutch.[/smear:666666]
V'quin's step faltered and he sucked in a breath too quickly and promptly choked on it. Sputtering and wide-eyed, he glanced over his shoulder and tried to pinpoint the ledge his dragon had taken over but he'd melted into the shadows as he had a habit of doing. Having only heard bits and pieces of the story, he had no idea where Irrakath had gotten the idea. And for him to think about something like that...well it was a bit morbid.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Irrakath. It's nice to know you'd not be too broken up over my death.
[smear:000000]Oh, I never said that. I would wish to die if you died, but should Temperanth need me...I would stay.[/smear:666666]
Ooookay then. Well hopefully it won't come to that. Hopefully we'll both live to be really old and cranky and make the grandkids miserable. Now how about a happier thought?
[smear:000000]You look like an orange tuber covered in dirt.[/smear:666666]
Heaving a sigh and rolling his eyes, V'quin stepped into the cavern where people seemed to be mingling and began to look for the familiar slender form of his friend and Weyrwoman. He spotted his sister first and made a detour just so that he could ruffle her shorter curly hair and dodged the swat she aimed at him. Of course he hadn't expected her eye searingly silver firelizard to come after him, scolding like an angry wherry hen until he was well away. Rolling his eyes and wondering how long it would be before his sister ended up with more pets to crowd the weyr she shared with T'vax, or heaven forbid, started breeding, he turned his attention back to his original task and finally spotted her.
She was talking to some fancy looking fellow so he held back on his usual somewhat irreverent approach and settled for simply familiar yet still respectful. "Hedara. Sir." He greeted the other man as well and smiled, his dimples appearing in his freckled face.
((Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro))) Despite her aversion to flying and having to contend with Dalosk's grumpiness, the moment they touched down, Dalonia wished that they were back in the air again. She hadn't been "home" in over two turns. The last time she'd seen her brothers they'd killed one of her firelizards, attempted to kill one of the wherlings and had certainly intended to mess her up a bit. No doubt they had fled back north and told Barrek everything that had happened. If her brothers were bad, Barrek was worse.
He lived at Ice Stone Weyr. He would be here. She would be virtually unarmed.
She couldn't go completely unarmed. She had a knife or two hidden on her person. As was typical she was dressed in hide pants and a tunic, though at least this one was nice and was even a color other than black or grey for once; it was a dark red to match Dalosk who she had tucked away in an empty den with express orders to stay put. She'd gotten a few strange looks from the other handlers for bringing her wher so far until he tried to eat one of their firelizards who got a little too curious; after that they steered clear.
While she'd been putting Dalosk in a den, though, there had been more than enough time for T'kar and his sister to venture off. Moving quickly, she started towards the cavern that had been decked out for the occasion, ignoring the strange looks she got for her attire or the way she kept swatting away a clingy moonlight flit that seemed intent on landing on her. She felt exposed. Barrek could be anywhere, lurking behind any stone or snow pile. Then a thought occurred to her and it chilled her more than the frosty air ever could. Barrek would know about T'kar's involvement in the ordeal. He would know that she'd gone to T'kar and his dragon for protection...that T'kar had come to her aid.
She had to find him!
With a single-minded determination, she stalked towards the opening of the cave, her hands already unfastening her sword belt and unhooking her knife. She shoved both at the man beside the door and paused just long enough to give them her name and a threat of bodily harm if they damaged or lost her weapons and then braced herself as she was suddenly swallowed by the crowd. She had to find T'kar and make sure he stayed away from Barrek.
She was so intent on her target, and others on their revelry that it was only a matter of time before someone collided with her. Unfortunately that someone happened to be a obviously inebriated woman with a mug filled with wine...which drenched the entire front of Dalonia's tunic and pants. Growling, pale green eyes fixated on the woman who was being quite dramatic in her surprise. Then, before she could protest or even comprehend what the woman was slurring at her, Dalonia was being dragged out of the cavern. The woman had a surprisingly strong grip and Dalonia was distracted by the fact that her tunic was now sticking to her and no doubt her skin was getting stained. "Fardling hell, woman. What are you doing?!"
"I'm gonna gets you all prettied up. Don't worry I have just the gown for you! I brought two because I couldn't decide!"
Confused and flustered and on edge, Dalonia's eyes darted around and picking up on her concern, Thief kept an eye on the shadows while Pest took the moment of distraction to land and cling to the damp tunic. "I really don't need a gown. It'll dry."
"Noooooooooope!" The woman, who was about he same height and build as Dalonia--if a bit more slender and less toned--shook her head emphatically and shoved the wherhandler into a room in the lower caverns that was obviously meant for visiting people of some importance. Even Pest fled and only Dalonia's will kept Thief at bay as the woman began to strip her without warning of her drenched clothing. Drunk people were hard to fend off, it was almost like they had extra hands. After a moment she gave up, if only to get the woman to shut up and because soggy wine trousers weren't the most comfortable. She'd almost resigned herself to wearing a gown when the woman discovered a few of her knives hidden in rather peculiar places. With a finger waggled directly in front of her nose, Dalonia growled but didn't so much as pretend she was going to hit the woman when the knives were removed from her back and forearm. At least she hadn't found the one in her breast band...
She found that one too. -.-
Then she was being shoved into layers of mauve and burgundy colored cloth and she could've sworn she saw flashes of...puce? Of all the gowns on Pern that she could've been forced to wear, it had to be one that had puce on it? By the time the woman was finished tugging this or tying that or poking her in places that she had no business poking, Dalonia was beginning to reconsider whether or not it was acceptable to take down an unarmed drunk holder woman. Then she plucked out Dalonia's braid and let her hair flow around her shoulders in waves. There was a mirror in the corner--a bit of polished metal really--and when the woman turned her around to look, Dalonia blinked.
The gown fit a little tight in places and she still wasn't sure about the greenish bits but she barely even recognized herself. Despite her supreme discomfort at now being completely disarmed and having nowhere to hide most of her knives, she had to wonder if this might not be the perfect disguise to escape Barrek's notice. When the woman bounced out of the room, Dalonia put her boots back on and slide one of the knives inside though it wasn't the greatest fit and then slipped her bra band knife back in place. It would have to do for now. She turned towards the mirror to make sure the knife didn't show and bit her lower lip. For a long few minutes she couldn't look away. She almost looked...normal. When she'd been sent to Rainbow Mists she hadn't really known what that word even meant. Now it haunted her.
With a growl, Dalonia turned abruptly away from her reflection and stalked towards the corridor, the gown billowing with her sudden movement.
The woman was gone by the time Dalonia entered the corridor and began to make her way back to the gather. Now she really had to find T'kar. Dalosk and being kidnapped by a clumsy drunk had taken too much time. Barrek could have easily gotten to him by now. What if he did something to T'kar? Or his sister! Even though T'kar didn't seem to trust her not to verbally abuse the girl, Dalonia actually found that she was irrationally inclined to protect the girl, much as she had been Misk.
Wading into the crowd, a determined scowl set on her face, she sent Pest ahead to find the former Weyrleader. It didn't take long and when she maneuvered her way through the crowd to him, she suddenly hesitated. She was wearing a gown...he was going to think she looked ridiculous and for some reason that caused a tightness in her chest. No! She was being ridiculous! She didn't care what T'kar or anyone else thought about her. She was doing what she had to do to keep him safe; the children needed him. And if that meant she had to wear a ridiculous gown so be it. Stepping up beside him, she didn't say a word; nothing unusual about that. Thief carefully landed and positioned himself so that he was facing backwards, clearly confused by her hair which he'd never had to contend with; he picked at it briefly before deciding to ignore it.
As he savored the juicy meat buried within the flaky pastry, that light smile hovered on his lips. Finishing off his bite, he nodded and offered a non-pastry covered hand to the child, "Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Munota Taisteal." Another bite. And then the flood of questions. He had to hold back a light chuckle, he didn't want to choke, afterall. And then Munota seemed to burst with questions, and the young man had to assume she had been holding them back a moment for politeness' sake. Being at the Gather made him more and more grateful for old Maud's insistence that he learn manners, even basic ones.
"I haven't been a Candidate very long, perhaps a sevenday or so. And I also don't think I have a favorite color of dragon...To be honest, I've never thought about it much. If I Impress, I'll be happy with my dragon no matter what, I imagine." This little girl seemed very well spoken for a child, but on the other hand, his only interactions with children had been back at Riverway Hold, and half of those were practically street rats, running amock in the fog. Perhaps the difference was that she was Hold and Weyr raised as opposed to a small Hold off by some old ruins. "Crimson's are nice, but can be a bit hot-headed, I've heard. To be honest, I think all of the colors are amazing. But I've also not had much interaction with the dragons yet."
(Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro)) Cyan jumped into the song with Kel with her natural enthusiasm, balancing her voice to his as they had practiced. It was a fun song to sing, and probably matched her temperament better than the haunting tunes she gravitated towards. She sang it right, but her expression seemed to be such that it looked like she could laugh at any moment. Still, she was keeping an eye on the tempo, keeping her voice matching Kel’s, all of it while smiling. It was a balancing act, but it was extraordinarily fun. It was the sort of thing she could find herself getting lost in, just sing for an audience with a friend.
So they kept singing about all the crazy things that would happen if you dared to mess with old gran. Cyan was thinking the performance was going really well. So long as there were not any major blunders, she was thinking she might try to do this again sometime.
Before Munokhoi could reply (in the affirmative, of course) to Hedara’s offer of a drink, another rider made his way over, grinning and offering greetings. Munokhoi smiled back to him, adding a half-bow of greeting to it. Why not? The ironrider was friendly enough, and there was little point in attending a Gather if one did intend to socialize. He opened his mouth to say something, but then a pair of younger riders got up and started singing some utterly ridiculous (in a funny way) song about somebody’s grandmother who was in charge of taking care of the village green. He fell silent to listen, with a grin dancing on his face. It was certainly a silly enough song, and he joined in the general clapping when it was over, along with Edetta (who was simultaneously shaking her head, like one will who is amused by the antics of children).
“Actually, if you could direct us to the closest source of halk it would be most appreciated,” Edetta said to Hedara. “Dancer always tries to steal Munokhoi’s spiced wine,” she added, grinning.
Dalonia had slipped off to get Dalosk into a den, so T’kar had been focusing on working his way through the crowd, getting Alyga some food and drink, and getting her settled in with some of the other Harpers. The last was easier than it could have been, for there were a couple of Masters from Golden Flight in attendance. Fortunately, they were people who liked Alyga, and whom Alyga liked. A good thing too, for no sooner had T’kar reached them with Alyga in tow and the greetings gotten started then Dalonia’s Moonlight appeared overhead.
T’kar glanced up at the firelizard, than ran his gaze over the crowd. He didn’t spot Dalonia anywhere, and returned his attention to socializing with Harpers. He felt, rather than saw, the person who stepped up beside him. Almost certainly Dalonia, this was, for the newcomer said nothing.
T’kar stepped slightly to the side, and glanced over. Then he stared. He’d never seen Dalonia wear such a creation. The gown was mostly purple, with what looked like perhaps a greyish lining. “Nice dress Dalonia,” he commented, something about his eyes showing a certain amount of mirth. “You should get a few more like it.”
Munota was really surprised. She tried to hide it, but she was only six Turns old. She’d never had much need to hide her reactions. It didn’t show in any huge motion, no low-mannered jaw dropping or anything like that, but her eyes definitely widened. Deret was an adult. Practically one, at least. How could he have not had much contact with dragons? She barely managed to prevent the question from leaving her mouth.
“You are right, they are all glorious,” Munota said. ‘Glorious’ was a new word for her, one she took a great deal of delight in using. She might have said something, but a really funny song started up, and she found herself distracted into listening to it.
“That’s awesome! I wish Dad’s Harper sang things like that!” she exclaimed, once it was done. “Wouldn’t that be really cool?” she asked Deret, grinning broadly with all the enthusiasm of the naturally enthusiastic child that she was.
Hedara was busy with the holders, so Temperanth’s statement was accepted, but took a second to be processed. She did take a moment to glance up, briefly scanning for the Chromerider. She found him, but focused back on the pair of people before her. Establishing he was there was good enough for a moment, she’d be able to use his last location as a basis for finding him later. Of course, that was assuming there were not other distractions
Hedara shifted her gaze slightly, looking down at V’quin with just the barest hint of a smile. Blink and you’d miss it. He was looking dressed up. Gathers, what were you going to do? She’d prefer if everyone was just sort of allowed to wear casual fair, but then again she didn’t really want to do much anyway. Gathers were more work for her. Still, it was good to see a friendly face.
“V’quin.” She was in the middle of this work, so they couldn’t get into ragging on each other. They knew they would later though. The conversation paused, however, as a performance started, and quite distracted the Lord Holder. Hedara watched politely, but let her attention roam towards a certain Chromerider, then back. Though she didn’t look like she enjoyed the song, she clapped enough to be considered polite. She hardly ever looked like she enjoyed anything though. Unlike the Holder, who visably enjoyed the performance. All to the good, then.
“Of course.” She motioned to the table behind her, which had more than mere beverages. “On the very end to this side. Next to the klah.” As the lady had said direct, not fetch, she tried to give very clear directions. She was fairly certain there was someone next to the table to direct people to their favorite drink of choice. One hardly wanted to have people mixing the two up and claim it was a bad batch or something.
Though she was looking straight ahead, Dalonia saw T’kar glance at her as though she were just another reveler; saw him realize who she was and stare. A muscle in her jaw twitched as she clenched her teeth. This was the part where she would be mocked. She knew it was coming; the first time she’d ever tried to dress like a woman her brothers had tormented her relentlessly until she’d run off to rip the gown off and burn it. She wasn’t some fancy lady, she too rough and gruff and harsh for such things. Her brothers and Barrek had so much influence over her actions, even from half a world away, that most of the time she didn’t even realize that she was still trapped in their web of subjugation and fear.
When T’kar spoke, her mind registered the words and placed there a tone of sarcastic condescension; a product of her ever present paranoid and nerves. The line of her lips grew thinner as she pressed them together and she lifted her chin defiantly. She wasn’t going to look at him; wasn’t going to give in and lash out. He could mock her all he wanted… Except she was far too on edge not to react. When he spoke again, she spun towards him, her eyes flashing with anger and that hint of wild desperation that hadn’t been there in a long time; not since her brothers had paid a visit. The look of amusement in T’kar’s amber eyes did nothing to calm Dalonia. “An’ why would I do tha’? T’ give ya a good laugh?”
She wanted attack him, verbally as it was her only route; to tell him off, to make him so mad that he’d just leave her alone but if he started avoiding her that would make it that much harder to keep Barrek away from him. Drawing in a deep breath—or as deep a breath as the slightly too small gown would allow—she let it out on a hiss and turned slightly away from T’kar, eyes once more scanning the crowd. She would just have to endure his mockery and amusement. Her expression went black, almost indifferent which was out of sorts at a gather, and reminded herself that it was her duty to protect him…except it wasn’t. It was her duty to protect Rilora and D’gan as they were now the face of Rainbow Mists Weyr…but the children didn’t need them; they needed T’kar. For a moment the thought of the children having no one to look after them but a deranged wherhandler who didn’t know the first thing about kindness or gentleness brought a faint mist to her eyes but she blinked it away.
Lady Edetta beamed and slipped off. In her opinion, there was nothing so good as a warm mug of something tasty. She returned after a moment, with two mugs of halk.
“Excuse me, but I need to steal my husband,” she said to Hedara with a grin. Being the somewhat more serious of the two of them, she was used to traveling around parties and fetching her husband.
“It was nice talking to you,” Munokhoi said, “but it appears I still have some things to do.” The last bit came out with a slight sigh. "May you be carried forth in wellness," he said as he bowed farewell and slipped off.