Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on May 29, 2012 19:30:46 GMT -8
73.10.14 (15.10.14) | early morning (3am or so) | inner hallway
Rallin knew it was pointless. From her drooping head, Rallisk was also of the opinion that it standing around in the hallway leading towards the sleeping rooms of the crèche children was pointless. However, with a Weyrling still missing – over a month had passed since A’mir was taken, and still no sight or sound of him – Rallin also considered it necessary to stand guard. After all, the adults of the Weyr, and even the Weyrlings, knew self-defense quite well, but the children were more susceptible.
Rallin shook his head with a quiet laugh at his self-delusion attempt. The truth was, even had the children not been more susceptible, he would have guarded them; they were children, and he could not, would not, allow anything to happen to them.
"Rroo?" Rallisk queried, looking up the hallway.
Rallin glanced over his shoulder. Was something moving around up there? Rallisk certainly thought so, but then again, Rallisk was known to alert on things like small felines, so...
"Who goes there?" Rallin called out, and though his voice held none of the bark with which a trained guard might utter those words, it was still calmly confident.
It was early, perhaps too early for most, but the sun would rise in a matter of hours and as a helper in the kitchen, Korvalia rose well before the sun in order to help prepare things for the morning meal. The massive amounts of klah that the people of the Weyr went through in the morning alone required advanced preparation. Then there was the bread to make and meat to roast as there never seemed to be enough of either. So it was that the perpetual Candidate slipped from her room wearing a simple yet well maintained brown gown with a woven, tan wool sash at her waist.
Despite the early hour and the fact that no one of consequence would see her, Korvalia refused to go into public looking like a messy-haired harlot. Her hair was pulled back and pinned out of her face and she'd even donned a simple chain necklace as her gown was void of any embroidery at the collar. A thick and sturdy canvas apron was folded and draped over her arm as the young woman made her way though various corridors that snaked through the cold stone and kept the Weyrfolk from having to brave the freezing temperatures outside.
She was just passing a junction that would lead both to the crèche and the kitchens when someone called out. Blinking, trying to peer past the limits of the nearest glow basket, Korvalia caught sight of two glowing orbs and frowned. What in the name of the First Egg...
A manicured brow arched above her blue eyes as she turned towards the corridor that led to the crèche and was rather surprised to find herself looking at a wher. They were hideous creatures, though she supposed they were necessary as they could see better in the dark. Still, it begged the question what the thing was doing so deep in the Weyr? Of course she was aware of the currently missing Weyrling--and secretly hoped he never returned--but surely whoever had taken the boy--assuming he hadn't just run off--had a reason and wouldn't start taking children willy-nilly from the weyr. It was far too risky, after all.
"Korvalia Castor. And you are?" She was aware that the Weyr had Wherhandlers but until now had never really bothered to meet any of them. She supposed she would have to be better about that in the future.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Aug 11, 2012 13:17:10 GMT -8
“Rallin Yevanas, of Black Rallisk,” Rallin answered in his characteristically mellow voice. He wasn’t sure if they’d met formally before, he didn’t think so, but he was pretty sure that he’d at least seen the young woman around. In fact, when he stepped closer and spotted her, he was sure of it, for he recalled thinking that Korvalia looked a decent amount like her mother, who had been a childhood acquaintance of his.
“Rooo,” Rallisk added, looking Korvalia over. She started to reach out her nose to nudge Korvalia, trying to get the best scent possible, but stopped and retreated her head slightly when Rallin whistled.
“You’ll have to excuse Rallisk,” Rallin said. “She still hasn’t learned not to nudge people with her nose, and I’ve been trying to teach her for twenty Turns.”
Yes, she'd heard the name though she was sure that it had only been in passing; a mention of one of the Wherhandlers. As he introduced himself, she smiled politely and dipped her head in greeting. Her expression was pleasant enough though the smile didn't quite reach her eyes. Still, the older man was pleasant enough and when he introduced his wher, blue eyes slipped to the dark form of the creature to observe it. The faintest hint of amusement entered her eyes as the thing let out a little "rooo" but quickly disappeared again when the Black stepped forward and extended her thick neck.
The line of her mouth quickly became tight and Korvalia took half a step back even as Rallin recalled his curious companion. When Rallisk complied, the young woman seemed to relax somewhat though she kept glancing at the Wher as though she half expected it to come at her again and rub its ugly off on her. Was ugliness contagious? She highly doubt it but then again, why risk it when faced with something that ugly. Shaking the thoughts from her head, Korvalia once more donned a polite smile and waved away the apology with a delicate hand.
"There is nothing to apologize for, Wherhandler."Aside from nearly ruining my gown with wher drool."She was merely curious, I'm sure. As I must confess that I am as well. What brings you down here, so far into the tunnels?" She moved her hand in a sweeping gesture, indicating their particular location.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Aug 13, 2012 16:52:57 GMT -8
Rallin sighed, reading the girl’s retreat as fear. It really was a shame that people thought of whers as vicious; they really weren’t, when handled properly. On the other hand, he had to admit that there were a great many whers that weren’t handled properly, so even if he’d been inclined to get upset, he wouldn’t have. He smiled at her reply, it was a good thing when children knew the value of being polite, it made him happy; he was always sad when they did not.
“Primarily, watching the children,” he answered. “There are a few that have had trouble getting to sleep, since the Weyrling vanished, so I agreed to watch them.” He shrugged. “If it helps then sleep well and peacefully, I shall consider it a good night’s work.”
Rallisk gave another quiet “rroo”, peering back over her shoulder out of one blue-green eye. there was nothing coming, it wasn’t her alarm “rroo”, just her all is well “rroo”.
True, some particular whers could be vicious but for the most part Korvalia though of them as plain, stupid creatures and any misbehavior was a direct reflection of the competency of their handlers. That Rallin seemed to have a fair amount of control over the black wher put her at ease. It was never good to have an ill-trained wher wandering about with an inattentive handler.
His answer, while she’d half expected it, still perplexed her though as he continued to explain himself she at least theoretically understood. She’d never been particularly good with children and found them to be a bit…well obnoxious with their grimy hands and the general disorder they brought with them wherever they went. ”I suppose that is a good thing then. Tired children tend to be…” She struggled to find a word that wouldn’t make her seem callous but couldn’t quite seem to manage, so she left the statement hanging. Let the wherhandler fill in the blank himself.
When Rallisk spoke up again, Korvalia’s blue eyes darted to the shadowy figure, once again marveling at how grotesque they were to behold. It looked very much like someone had stretched and squished and stretched again a firelizard. Turning her attention back to the older man, Korvalia shifted her apron and tilted her head. ”Does she see something, then? That sound she makes…?”
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Aug 15, 2012 8:17:10 GMT -8
Rallin filled in the blank, silently, with the thought that tired children acted like tired children. There really wasn’t much in the adult world that compared to the behavior that could be termed “tired child syndrome”.
Korvalia then asked in Rallisk saw something, and Rallin shook his head. “No, that’s just her I’m on duty and all is well tone. If she scented someone it would be sharper and deeper. If she actually saw someone it would drop in volume and then increase again.”
Rallisk looked over at her handler, then turned her head to slowly survey the area again. In a few hours it would be dawn, but for the moment she was on duty, and so she had to remain alert.
Nodding slowly at the explanation. While she was aware of the variety of vocalization that all draconic creatures seemed to have, she had never really thought much about it. Anger and rage were easy enough to pick up on, and growing up in the Weyr as she had done, she could discern a few other tones but having no first hand experience with dragons, whers, or even firelizards, Korvalia hadn't done much speculating.
"Good to know." And it was; it never heart to learn something new, even if it was the difference in tone of a silly wher's calls.
"Have you been stationed here long?" It was a congenial sort of question, just personal enough to show interest yet vague enough to still be considered polite. Fastidiousness was pandemic with the young woman; appearance, manners, you name it.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Aug 15, 2012 21:58:43 GMT -8
Rallin was perfectly willing to engage in congenial conversation, since by his internal clock it was roughly the equivalent of a diurnal individual’s late afternoon. Working with a watchwher did that to the handler. Before even a year was past, most wher handlers whined louder than their whers at exposure to bright light. Rallin was perfectly willing to admit that he much preferred night time now, although starting about seven Turns ago he’d been reconditioning himself to the daylight, so he could walk out in it without sounding like an injured dragon.
“I’ve been here at the Weyr about 5 Turns now,” Rallin answered, his voice still its typical soothing mellow. “What of yourself?” he inquired, following the long trod traditions of congenial conversation. “Have you been here for a time?”
Hmm, five turns. It just went to show how very large a Weyr could be, for all that it was generally a tight knit community. Or perhaps how very different day and night life was at ISW and elsewhere on Pern that a young woman who had lived almost all her life at the Weyr could not have met a Wherhandler. No doubt she'd seen the man in passing but had never thought twice about him; much the same as she didn't think twice about many of the people she saw until they directly affected her own life. "Five turns is quite a while. I imagine you're just about settled in then? I have been here since I was four turns old. So I suppose I have been here for a time."
She didn't volunteer her age which was hardly surprising for a woman and even less surprising considering she was her mother's daughter.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Aug 23, 2012 18:43:55 GMT -8
Rallin was mildly surprised that he wouldn’t have bumped into Korvalia before, especially if she kept hours like the ones that she was demonstrating at the moment. Of course, he hadn’t been guarding this exact hallway for 5 Turns either, so that probably had something to do with it.
“Yes, I would say that you’d know this place pretty well by now,” Rallin responded. He knew better than to ask how many years that would result in. He’d learned long before that very few females, particularly of the young variety, liked to mention exactly how old they were. “I guess you could say I’ve settled in,” Rallin replied. “I sometimes miss the mining though.”
Rallisk interrupted with a series of “rrooos”, moving her nose around. She was clearly attempting to communicate some subject well beyond her limited ability of communication. She looked up at Rallin at the end of her recitation, then went into a little dance, rocking her weight from side to side. She ended by poking her nose towards the newly met human.
Rallin laughed. “Ok, you silly beast,” he said, rubbing the side of Rallisk’s neck. He returned most of his attention to Korvalia. “Rallisk want to know if you are heading to the kitchen by any chance,” he commented, grinning in acknowledgement of the statement’s seeming absurdity to one who didn’t know the wher well.
Korvalia supposed that the Wherhandler was right; she did know the Weyr fairly well and she knew many of the inhabitants though generally the more diurnal ones. She might have known more people if she didn’t keep to herself outside of the kitchen. It was like she was two different people though both were equally well-mannered and efficient. “I suppose you could say that. Though, if one makes an effort, it’s really not that hard at all to learn your way around a place. It’s good to hear that you’ve settled in though.”
Distracted once more by the Wher and her noisemaking, Korvalia blinked then glanced over at Rallin for a translation. Surely all that noise couldn’t have been for nothing. And sure enough, the man offered some form of explanation for the antics of the black creature for at the very end it had gestured in her direction making the girl raise a brow.
“I was going to the kitchen, if fact. Was there anything I could do for you?” She might not be the friendliest of people at the best of times but she knew that the key to gaining her desired position in life was to win over the people of the Weyr and gain the trust and confidence of those in power. In short, she had to do a lot of kowtowing and rump-kissing and just generally be congenial and efficient if she ever wanted to get anywhere.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Sept 5, 2012 19:33:26 GMT -8
It was a generally conceded fact, even among the most proud and unrealistic Wherhandlers, that whers were not nearly as smart as dragons, though they were a few notches above canines and certainly a few notches above felines according to most people. However, even felines were known to be able to learn words that were associated with places or things that in the animal’s mind were either exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. Canines, of course, could not only learn that but learn to respond to sets of words in a consistent fashion.
At that instant, Rallisk was demonstrating that, while certainly not as smart as a dragon, she was more than intelligent enough to recognize not just words, but an entire sentence. Namely, the sentence wherein the new person said that she was going to the kitchen. The words triggered another round of Rrooo’s from the watchwher, of varying pitch and duration. From the intensity of the sounds, the wher was very enthusiastic about something, which even someone with no knowledge of draconic species could have determined was likely food, if only from the fleck of drool at the corners of the wher’s mouth.
“Rallisk you do not need a whole wherry hen to yourself!” Rallin glared at his partner, attempting to stare her into submission. They remained unmoving for a few moments, then Rallisk dropped her head and bumped Rallin with it, like she might have as a small wherling.
Rallin sighed. “Rallisk appears to believe that she’s starving,” he sighed. “She wondering if you could warm up some relatively fresh meat so that it’ll be hot in about an hour, when we get off duty.”