Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jun 25, 2012 8:50:25 GMT -8
It should have been obvious to K’tar as soon as he rolled out of bed with the dawn’s light to find that he wasn’t on the list for any chores until that evening that the day was not necessarily going to be filled with fun and joy. On the other hand, since he’d often taken the liberty of completely removing himself from the chore list, he only felt a minor annoyance that he’d forgotten to get rid of the evening chores, or perhaps, considering how many he’d been given, that someone was pulling his same trick on him.
Giving the chore list a glare, K’tar nudged Viarth (in a rare occurrence, he’d been the first up of the pair) and they headed off to get Vairth’s breakfast. Upon accomplishing that, and oiling the dragonet, K’tar had gone to fetch his own breakfast, leaving Viarth to sun himself near the Bowl, for after eating was the only time that Viarth would lie still. He’d just gotten his food when he was blindsided by a piece of truly horrible news.
“What do you mean, I’m supposed to be on the way to Cliffside?” he’d demanded. It hadn’t been worth the effort of speaking; he knew why, he’d just sort of thought that he’d get at least a day to recover. No such luck.
About an hour later, K’tar was riding into Cliffside, having barrowed a runnerbeast that was more used to dragons, since Viarth had flat out refused to be left behind. As he drew near the Hold proper, he looked around. He’d been told that he’d be meeting someone there, who was supposed to supervise him.
He glanced over his shoulder, checking on Viarth, but the dragonet was for once doing what he was supposed to be doing. Namely, staying ten feet or so from the runnerbeast.
N’kio had arrived at the entrance to the Hold ten minutes early – so by Cliffside’s standards, the boy was already late. The majority of the residents had already left port to fish, retrieve traps, and exchange goods with Shimmer Bay Hold. Those who stayed behind were either opening their stalls or down at the docks, examining their ships and gutting the dawn catch.
There they are, see? The Purple one. Metanath had decided to join him in meeting the Weyrling pair, his desire to stare down the young dragon tantamount to his need to get back to work.
Arching an eyebrow and crossing his arms, N’kio turned from his dragon and watched the approaching pair. So, this was the whelp who had worked Metanath into such a frenzy during the Gather. K’tar, he had been told, and his dragon was Viarth. He hadn’t gotten a good look during the commotion. And thankfully, the runner the boy was on now seemed more accustomed to dragons – he feared a repeat incident would give Metanath a conniption. Well...they didn’t seem too terribly underwhelming for their age. Some hard work would see to that in no time.
“Welcome to Cliffside,” N’kio announced from where he stood. “Hope you’re well rested, K’tar. You’ll need it with the work we’ve got for you!” He grinned. “Once you’ve dismounted, take your runner to the stalls just inside the Hold, and then meet me at the last docked ship.” He started to walk off, then stopped and spoke to the boy over his shoulder. “Try not to fall off the cliff on your way down, K’tar!” And with that, he headed off to the stairs that led to the shipyard.
Metanath followed his Rider, eyes a smug green, but kept any comments to himself. This should be an interesting morning.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jul 3, 2012 6:35:43 GMT -8
K’tar swallowed upon seeing that the man addressing him was none other — from how close together they were — than the rider of the Black that he’d noticed watching them. He tried to recall the Watchrider’s name, but couldn’t think of it in light of how nervous the rider’s grin was making him. In his personal experience, when people grinned before handing out punishment work, it was never a good thing for the one being punished.
Not that there’s ever any choice, K’tar thought. He glanced back at Viarth as he dismounted, habitually masking his apprehension behind indifference. The little Purple had come to stand right beside K’tar, crouching down like he was trying to avoid attention.
Viarth stayed close to His as his led the runnerbeast-Shard-it over to a building that held many runnerbeasts-Shard-it. He watched the strange creatures carefully, but none of them seemed overly interested in His, though the closest two were doing the head-toss-eye-roll-back-up thing that those that had tried to steal His had done.
Viarth, please back up about a dragon length. K’tar did not need to look where the little Purple was, he could tell by the way that the runners were acting that the dragonet had followed him too closely.
But the one you rode over here didn’t do that, only the ones that tried to steal you.
Viarth, they don’t do it because they want to steal me, K’tar paused for a second, considering the runner immediately on his left. It was a shame he didn’t know the dealers here, because that runner would be worth a lot. They’re doing it because they don’t like to be near dragons.
Before anything could go wrong, K’tar walked over to the stairs that the Watchrider had gone down. From that vantage, he could see those ships that were at the docks, though there was more open space than not.
How many ships do they have here, he wondered, trying to determine how many of them were missing, based on the number still there. He didn’t want to admit it, but it was kind of an awe-inspiring sight. He’d only been to the port town at the Muphar’s mouth a handful of times, and he’d heard his father and Lord Famoran talking about how expensive the ships were to maintain. This set of docks was far, far larger than those at the Muphar’s mouth, making it hard for K’tar to keep his jaw from dropping.
Fighting the urge to stare at the unfamiliar sights of the dock, K’tar walked down the stairs, Viarth trailing behind. Unlike his rider, the young weyrling was looking at anything and everything, though he never let himself fall more than five or six feet behind His.
Last docked. Does that mean the last to dock, or the one furthest out towards the ocean?
Catching sight of the Watchrider, K’tar sighed. Fun over, he thought, walking over to the red-haired man. Despite his best efforts, his shoulders drooped and his stride grew shorter. Somehow, he knew he was most decidedly not going to enjoy this.
There was no place N’kio loved more than the shipyard. It was a means to an end, neither land nor sea but something in between; a place of promise and adventure and the one sight you both hated and loved to see. Here the air hung so heavy with salt you could taste it, and the wind blew and rang with the raucous cries of seabirds. Imposing wooden ships groaned and stood in wait for the next voyage, the cold water lapping at their sides and spilling onto the walkway. Men and women shuffled around the docks, each shouting orders and moving cargo to and from the remaining ships. It was an entirely different world, one of sweat and blood, and one he felt he would never leave.
“Watch those hooks,” he announced as he passed by a cleaning station, minding the floor as he worked around a group of women gutting Specklers. “Keep the floor clean!” Picking up a bucket of pitch as he passed by the station, N’kio headed down to the last ship – The Lady Harra II. He glanced over his shoulder and spied the boy heading down the stairs.
“Metanath, you will catch him if he falls off. As well as that dragon.”
The Black followed his Rider and ignored the creaks coming from the dock. I know how to do my job.
“Let’s keep it that way, shall we?” N’kio placed the bucket near the gangplank, seeing he only needed to wait a moment before the boy – K’tar, he reminded himself – and his Purple dragon got to the ship.
The Black nodded. But if he falls in near you, you’re jumping in. Spreading his wings, Metanath launched himself off of the edge of the wharf and took to the skies. Water was to his Rider as the sky was to him, and it was time for him to get back to work.
N’kio watched the slow advance of the Weyrling pair, his smile growing wider. “Come now, no need to be shy! Pick up that bucket and follow me,” he said, and picked his way up the gangplank with ease. “You’ll be re-sealing up the Lord Holder’s ship first. Watch your step – it’s a bit wet!”
The sway of the ship made him long for the opportunity to sail away like he could when he was younger. He sighed to himself – Different life, different times. And there were more pressing matters at hand; mainly, keeping K’tar from spilling pitch all over the ship's deck.
“We’ll be going below deck, so mind your way across," he called over his shoulder, already going down the stairs and into the hold. "Step lightly, K’tar! We’re wasting daylight!”
He knew they had plenty of time, but he was told to keep the boy on his toes. N’kio smiled to himself as he thought back on his own memories aboard ships with his father. If he had a son, he wondered if the boy would be like K’tar.
After all, the girls didn't care much for ships. Maybe K'tar would learn to like them.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jul 4, 2012 22:03:49 GMT -8
Resealing, what? K’tar had absolutely no idea what the Watchrider was talking about. Except the part about this being Lord Ser Ralt’s ship; he understood that just perfectly. Translation: This ship is really valuable, damage it at your peril. He looked around for a second, then grabbed a bucket and followed the Watchrider up the gangplank. The sway of the ship made it difficult, but not impossible, though walking across the deck to the stairs was an interesting experience. He slopped some of the goopy black stuff out of the bucket on at least three different occasions, the third and final being at the head of the stairs, when he spilled it down the front of his trousers.
Lovely, he thought, staring at the black goop that now decorated his grey trousers. Today just is not my day.
K’tarMine! Don’t go down there; I won’t be able to see you!
K’tar, already about halfway down the stairs, turned back to face Viarth. The Purple’s eyes were a rapidly spinning kaleidoscope of yellow and orange; his distress was palpable to anyone in the area.
K’tar swallowed against a sudden rush of fear. He knew that most of it was Viarth’s fear, but that didn’t make it any easier to breathe. The bucket of pitch suddenly seemed to weigh far too much to lift; K’tar abruptly realized that he couldn’t make himself go down the stair the rest of the way.
This is ridiculous, he told himself, turning back around so that he was facing the interior of the ship, but it was to no avail. There was, quite simply, no way that he could force himself to go down there. I really hope no one can see me right now.