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» 3941.03.14 - Fort Weyr/Hold - Settling into Hiding {Silvara, T'lon, Sim, Alyena, H'lee}
by Simmarrah Fri May 20, 2016 7:23 pm

» Poll: DLG or books?
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by Silvara Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:34 pm

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» 2789.07.01 - It's back!...to the future? {T'lon, Silvara, Alina, H'lee}
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» 2759.05.21 - Boys will be boys {T'lon, H'lee}
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» 2765.09.23 - Halfway there {T'lon, H'lee}
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» 3941.04.07 - Candidate Interviews
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» 3941.04.14-15 - Candidate Lesson #7 - Touching
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» 3941.04.13 - Candidate Lesson #6 - The Days Ahead
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All canon Pern content copyright to Anne McCaffrey. All non-canon Pern content copyright Kestrana. All draconic sprites/button images copyright to various artists (many images from Pern book covers; dragon sprite from "Dragonlady" fantasy portrait of Anne McCaffrey). All original characters copyright of their gamers.

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Alyena


Gold Weyrling
Alyena had spent a miserable night curled up on the hard ground in the hollow created by Hetty's foreleg and neck. When she slept, it was poorly and dreamlessly. But mostly, she laid awake, unable to get comfortable, either physically or mentally. When she wasn't thinking about how hard and uneven the ground was, she was thinking about what H'lee had said to her at the earlier meeting.

She worried his statements like a canine worries a bone and it finally disturbed her dragon's rest. I am a gold. You are my rider. We are meant to be queen.

I am not! Hetty, you chose wrong. I'm not meant to be Weyrwoman.

We are never wrong. And that, as far as Henriettath was concerned, was that.

By the time morning arrived, Alyena had come to an inescapable conclusion: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. In short, she was a goldrider, and there was no way to change that; and there was no way to change the perception her dragon brought to her person. Everyone thought she was Weyrwoman, so the only logical course of action was to act like it.

About time you started acting like my rider, Hetty snorted at her during their morning bath.

The idea still frustrated and frightened her. After all, she was only 20 years old, how could she lead the 800 or so people who were here? Half of them were older than her, most of those old enough to be her parents. Or grandparents!

After she settled Henriettath, stretched out in the sunniest spot they could find on a spring day that threatened rain, she started to go in search of Alina, Alex, and Lord Halen (Snowy Hold's Lord Holder). Hetty sneezed at her, and she stopped from walking away. "What?" she asked, turning back toward the gold with a glare.

You are Weyrwoman. You do not personally seek out those you wish to speak to except in a dire emergency, the gold snorted pointedly at one of the groups of children.

"But--" Alyena started to argue. Hetty groaned and shifted to lay her head down on her foreclaws, closing her eye in as dignified a manner as she could manage. Alyena rubbed her face with both hands, taking a deep breath. "Alright."

You should do something about your hair and the dirt you just smeared across your face, as well.

"OOOH! You...you... GAH!" she expelled the breath and clenched her fists. Forcing herself to relax, she used the only hairbrush she had: her fingers. Her curly hair was a bane in this environment, and at first she wasn't sure what to do with it. But then she realized something: they needed string, and hair could be twisted and woven just like ovine wool. She loved her hair, but it could be useful to someone else, and in the meantime, she couldn't keep her curls under control without a hairbrush, another amenity they didn't have. Yet.

"Okay...you, there!" she waved at the children. Their eyes got big and round and they looked around to see who she was talking to, because of course, the goldrider couldn't possibly talking to them! But there was no doubt about it, and they sidled up shyly. "So, who would like to run some errands for me?" They all volunteered excitedly. She smiled indulgently. "Okay, well, I have more than one errand, so, let's see."

She pointed to the two tallest children. "I am going to be having a meeting with several people, so I need some crates. I would like four of the small ones that held those absolutely tasteless ration bars, and one of the larger ones that held blankets to use as a table. Since you're the biggest, why don't you two go find me some empty crates and put them right there?" she pointed to a spot to the side of Henriettath's bulk. Then she ruffled the hair of the smallest child and asked her to find her the person who was the best at cutting hair and ask them to come.

She realized she hadn't eaten yet. "Does anyone know if the cooks have come up with something appetizing for breakfast?" One of the children nodded eagerly and she asked if all of the children had eaten; they had, so she asked the one who claimed to know about breakfast if he could fetch her something because she hadn't eaten yet. And the last three children she asked to stay nearby so that when she was ready, they could run the last of her errands.

None of the children moved and the oldest asked, "What's in it for us? Usually, we'd get a mark-piece or a bubbly pie or something, but no one has any of those anymore."

Alyena pondered the question. What could she give her little errand-runners when there were no marks or special treats to go around. Hetty signed and only her rider picked up the hint of exasperation. "How about helping me bathe Henriettath tonight, and when she's feeling better, she'll give you each a ride?"

The children clamored excitedly and the four who had their errands already bolted off to carry them out. Alyena pursed her lips to keep from laughing at their enthusiasm, then realized that the children, for all that had happened to them in the last few days, were what would keep the community alive. They couldn't stay down and depressed for long, unlike the adults who had to worry about how to provide. She made a mental note to put the word out among the riders to offer rides and other chances to be close to the dragons as rewards for the children. Hetty gave her a sharp mental nudge. I may appear to be dozing, but this is too important for me to sleep through, even if I would rather do so. I've spread the word among the dragons, the riders will hear soon enough. Besides, you are horrible at remembering mental notes and you have nothing to write your notes down on at the moment.

Hetty's last comment was a pointed reminder of a definite problem: while there were those who could remember everything they were told or had seen, Alyena wasn't one of them and she didn't know anyone who was. She mulled the problem over: the crates and the foil that their ration bars were wrapped in wouldn't hold any sort of ink; they didn't have any slate and chalk, nor wood that was flat and smooth enough to retain charcoal scribblings. Paper was made of plant material that was boiled down to disintegrate the fibers, which took time, but maybe they could weave reeds together to create mats that could be written on with charcoal sticks. As she pondered the problem, she gazed down the riverbank toward the reeds and spotted another group of children making sandcastles while their mothers washed blankets and coveralls in the river. SAND!

But what to contain it in... Back to musing. About then, the two children returned with one of the large crates for her to use as a table. She was distracted from her pondering while she helped to get it situated the way she wanted it. Before they took off again, she asked, "Has anyone found or come up with something to use for glue, by any chance?" The answer she received was that H'lee, who was in charge of the tannery that was going up, was setting aside the materials for making glue, but that it would still be days until it was ready.

She leaned on her "table" for a minute, grumbling about not having anything to confine the sand to the table. She pulled the knife she had out and rapped the handle on the side of the crate. Then she flipped the blade around and pressed it against the plastic. It bit in, although it was hard. She hadn't claimed a hatchet, having no need for it, but when the lad who had gone in search of breakfast for her returned, she asked him to find her a hatchet and he took off on fleet feet to do so. She sliced one of the fried roots and a slice of meat from the night before and laid them on a bit of ration bar and popped it in her mouth while she started carving a line around the outside edge of the crate, about an inch in; then a second line just in from the first, angling the two lines together and cutting out a v-shaped groove. When the boy returned with the hatchet, she took it from him and began using it to scrape the plastic away inside the groove. At some point during her labors, the two tallest children finished bringing the four smaller crates and after watching her for a few minutes, they each retrieved a hatchet and began helping her. Before one of them hurt themselves, though, she waved them off. "How about this, instead? I'm going to need sand to fill this up, but it can't be really wet sand. Think you can find me enough?" And they were off again. By the time they'd found enough mostly dry sand to fill her sand table, she'd finished carving out a depression all the way around to keep it in.

And as they helped spread the sand, the little girl who'd gone in search of someone to cut hair returned with an older, bemused-looking woman in tow. Alyena picked the girl up and stood her on one of the small crates and handed her the cups of sand she'd been spreading. "Here, why don't you help spread this sand across the table?" Then she turned to the woman. "I'd like to cut my hair. It's too unruly to control while we don't have any brushes, and it's long enough to be useful for tying things. So, I want it cut off about here," she used her hands to indicate that it shouldn't overhang her ears on the front or go past her shoulders in the back.

"But milady..."

"No buts, please. It's more of a hindrance than it's worth right now. Besides, it will grow back." She sat down on one of the small crates and waited. After another moment's hesitation, the woman went to work with one of the knives.

"Would that I had a decent pair of shears. This will be crude at best, milady."

"I'm sure it will look just as fine as if you had the finest silver shears produced on Pern," she tried to reassure. It took about twenty minutes, during which Alyena finished her breakfast with slow, careful movements so as not to disturb the woman. When she was finished, the children (who had long finished spreading the sand on the table) gave her thumbs-up to tell her it looked good. The young girl bounced to her feet and promptly declared that she wanted HER hair cut, too! "What's your name?" she asked the woman.

"Lorie, milady."

"Well, Lorie, I hear there are Smiths who are starting to take orders for tools that they're trying to fashion from some of the extra knives and hatchets. Tell them that you need shears and that you have..." she paused, trying to choke out the word, "...the Weyrwoman's permission to make them a priority." The woman's eyes grew round and she bowed effusively before taking herself off with nearly-undignified haste.

"Alright, off with you hooligans," she shooed the children away. "Come back this afternoon and you can help me bathe Henriettath." Giggling, the four children skipped away. She waved to the other three then and asked them to each find one of the people she wished to meet with and ask them to join her. While they scampered off to deliver the messages she gave them, she went around behind Hetty to the river's edge and used the corner of her blanket to wipe her face, neck and hands. She also cut one of the smaller reeds and then sliced it at angles to use as styluses with the sand table. She also cut a larger reed that was long enough to stretch across the whole table.

She returned to her table and used the long reed to smooth and even the sand, then set styluses at each edge and placed the small crates around as seats. Running her fingers through her much-shortened hair one more time, she took her seat on the side of the table closest to Hetty, with her back to the gold dragon, then waited for Headwoman Alina, Wingrider Alex, and Lord Holder Halen to arrive.

Hetty gave her a mental nudge. I don't know all the dragons here. You should invite someone who does, like Seeth's or Baroleth's riders. I'm uncomfortable making uninvited contact with the dragons I don't know, I'd rather have formal introductions.

Alyena groaned. Ugh. I don't want to deal with any of the riders and dragons right now. I'm not certain enough of myself or them.

All the more reason to get someone you can trust and are comfortable with.

Alright, alright. Ask Seeth and Baroleth to convey to their riders that I'd like them to join us. But make sure they know to bring their own chairs, I only have enough for the four of us, and my little helpers aren't easily accessible now!
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Pretend K'then was never here. He does not exist on this site anymore.



Last edited by Sora on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

Kestrana

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H'lee had spent a very frustrating early morning trying to sort out the weyrlings' lessons. K'then's skills were needed elsewhere and H'lee wasn't all that familiar with the weyrlings that his friend had been in charge of, all he knew is that they were supposed to be learning how to handle weapons, how to place riding straps on their dragons, and getting their opportunities to actually sit on their dragons' backs.

Well, first off, they had no riding straps. Secondly, their dragons' cracked hides made any sort of straps or having their riders sit astride them impractical and uncomfortable.

And weapons...ha! All they had were knives and hatchets. "Alright, H'lee, you don't have swords. Yet. The smiths will make some eventually, but those aren't exactly a priority at the moment. The knives and hatchets can be made into other, more useful things. Like nails. But you have trees, which means you can make staves. So...get the weyrlings to find and cut some straight lengths of wood with the hatchets." And so it was, the weyrlings who were over the age of 15 had hatchets checked out to them and were told to find straight lengths of wood between 3 and 6 feet long and bring back as many as they could find. Such lengths of wood would be useful for many other things as well. He sent the younger weyrlings to help one of the groups looking for plant materials that could be spun or twisted into twine.

With that group taken care of, he turned his attention to the Fort weyrlings. They were supposed to start learning to go between this month. Of course, with their cracked hides, that was impossible. So...the wonderful birds & bees lecture it would be. He was just about to summon his batch of weyrlings for said Talk when Seeth interrupted sleepily. She wants you to join her. But you should also bring something to sit on. This statement was accompanied by an image of their young goldrider.

H'lee made a face. Well, at least I can get out of The Talk. Ask Roth to have T'lon to take over for me, would you?

The crippled brownrider had made a habit of carrying one of the smallish crates around with him, one of the ones that the knives had come in. It was slightly larger than the ones the ration bar packages had been in, which made it easier for him to stand up from after he'd been sitting for a while, but shorter than the stool he was used to sitting on back home. He creaked to his feet and picked it up before limping off to the meeting he'd been summoned to.

Unlike K'then, H'lee had inherited the trait that meant no facial hair, so he didn't have that particular problem, which plagued several of the men. However, that didn't stop the rest of his hair from growing and he was looking rather scraggly around the ears and neck, as well. He arrived just in time to overhear K'then ask, "Pardon my asking, but who cut your hair?"

H'lee's initial reaction was to wait for Alyena to answer. After a moment, however, as he made a quick observation of the layout in front of him, he realized the substance of the statement and took a second, more critical look at the gold weyrling. Sure enough, the long, curly tresses that were so attractive on her were gone, replaced by a relatively no-nonsense cut, albeit a slightly frizzy one. She had obviously taken some pains with her appearance as she sat a little stiffly on her crate and H'lee nodded approval to himself. He chose to set his crate up to one side and slightly behind her, opposite of K'then. It seemed she was taking his lecture to heart, and therefore, part of his role would be to support her, more than to advise her. K'then, as a bronzerider, was more appropriate in an advisory position, although H'lee wondered silently if one of the empty seats was for L'nex.

"Morning, such as it is," he rumbled to the two riders, belatedly adding a smile to soften the crabbiness in his voice. He was always a bit gruff, but sleeping on cold, hard ground made his scars and joints ache something fierce and turned the "gruff old granther" into a full-blown curmudgeon.

Realizing that the gold was only feigning sleep, he added a pained half-bow to Henriettath before collapsing onto his seat. "I see Henriettath's found the sunniest spot on the hill." He addressed the next sentence to Hetty directly. "You're looking quite lovely, dear; I hope you don't mind sharing some of your sun to warm my old bones."

Seeth, old friend, I know you'd rather be sleeping, but since Henriettath is staying awake for this conference, whatever it's about, I think you and I had better both be paying full attention. He felt grumbling agreement from his dragon as the brown reluctantly roused himself from his slumber and their bond opened more fully. Absently, H'lee wondered how A'dam and Alex were handling the situation.
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Halen was perhaps not the most experienced Lord Holder that Pern had to offer. He was in his mid to late 20s, having obtained the title of Lord Holder over Snowy Hold because of his father. In his eyes, it was a way to appease him when his father mentioned that his older brother was going to take over the hold after all the hard work HE had put into learning the job and proving he was better suited for it (in his eyes).

Regardless, the young man was rather frustrated with things. He had been for a while now. Without thread he could see little reason why the dragons should be eating up his resources... although he did appreciate the couple riders that had moved within his hold's territory.

Since the abduction, his focus had been elsewhere. Sure, he was in pain and sore from all the harsh treatment that the aliens gave him and his people, but he was their leader. While he might not be the most experienced, he WAS still concerned with the safety and well-being of those he ruled over. As such, he had spent the previous day helping to keep his holders calm and trying his best to answer questions. The only problem, he didn't exactly have all the answers.

In fact, he was busy dealing with a young woman right then who was upset because she had crops and livestock back home that needed tending. She needed to know she could return to them. ALthough, he had a feeling it was just her attempt to grasp at the idea that they might return home one day. He calmly assured her that things would be well, and that he would see to it that they found a way to get her a new garden and new animals to take care of. At least, that was until one of Alyena's runners came over to him and explained that he was needed at a meeting.

Alyena... RIGHT! That was that gold weyrling.. or no, she had been about to graduate, hadn't she? Yes, that was right. With a sigh he told the child that he would be there shortly. It was only a moment or two later that he finally got the woman to calm down and help out the others so he could leave, which made him arrive a little later than some others.

He walked over rather patiently and almost frowned when he noticed that so far, it was nothing but a bunch of riders getting together. Like they would have the interests of the holders at heart! He'd heard the non-sense from the previous day and he still didn't trust them. Why should he? They had not thread falling here, and while they didn't know much about this place... he knew that riders always seemed to feel entitled to everything! Always picking the best out for themselves and their beasts.

Regardless, he greeted everyone rather gruffly before he took a seat at one of the available spots. All while wondering just what sort of non-sense these riders had thought up now to make his life more difficult. It was hard enough trying to convince people that the riders hadn't already claimed the nicer areas for themselves. After all, the forested areas would make better shelter than the open area did. And his people didn't have some dragon to hide under.

Alina


Headwoman
Alex was just finishing up Rain’s morning bath when the youngling ran up to her and tugged on her sleeve. “A message from the Weyrwoman Lady,” The youngling said when she acknowledged him with a nod of her head. “She would like for you to come to a meeting with her and some others over by where her Gold is sunning.” Alex was so shocked that for a moment she was speechless, then seeing the youngling shift his balance from one foot to the other she found her voice and thanked the lad for the delivery of the message and sent him off. Her mind reeling she reached out to her dragon for support. “Rain why does Alyena want me? “ “Mine I am not sure but why don’t we go to the meeting and find out? It is unwise to ignore the summons of a Gold.” With that they set off up the hill side by side. As they approached rain bowed to the Gold and settled a few yards away to sun and listen to the meeting. Alex continued up to stand just behind the Weyrwoman hands behind her back waiting for her orders.
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Alina


Headwoman
Alina was trying to organize the few supplies they had when the youngling ran up to her and tugged on her dress hem. “Yes youngling what is it.” The Weyrwoman would like you Lady Alina to come to a meeting with her and some others at the spot her dragon is sunning. “Alyena is calling a meeting when does she need me?” Right now Lady she has called for some other riders and the Lord holder. Mentally grimacing at the thought of the Lord holder in a meeting with dragon riders who he did not trust and thought were a blight to the rest of pern, Alina thanked the child and started off at a trot to where she could see the Gold glint of the Queen sunning on a hillside.

When she reached the edge of the clearing she was startled to see not only Alyena with much shorter hair and the aforementioned LordHolder but also H’lee and K’then sitting around a makeshift table with the green rider Alex standing at semi attention behind the Gold rider. Slowing her pace to a walk she approached the group. “Sorry for my late arrival I was counting supplies. I see you have cut your hair Alyena it looks much easier to handle. Good morning Lord holder, K’then, and young Alex. H’lee how are you doing this morning it’s nice to see you.” Alina said with her heart in her eyes as she gazed at the Weyrling master.
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Alyena


Gold Weyrling
Alyena wasn't particularly surprised that K'then was the first to arrive. She smiled nervously at him, feeling ever so slightly more relaxed with him present. After all, he'd been her Weyrlingmaster for the last year. And as long as Henriettath didn't make any comments about Baroleth, she was okay. Fortunately, Henriettath had never shown the least bit of interest in the older bronze, a thought which Alyena kept tightly under control and away from the gold - no need to tempt her into thinking about him! Although Alyena had to admit, of all the bronzes she knew here, K'then was the one she liked and trusted most.

"Yes, um, well, H'lee said everyone's expecting me to act like a Weyrwoman, a leader. And Hetty agrees, so...I figured I'd better start acting the part." She met his gaze with a look almost like fear in her eyes, one that clearly said, I don't think I'm ready for this.

She laughed when he asked about her haircut, reaching up to tug at her shortened curls; the harsh bark of laughter did as much to reveal her anxiety as anything else. "I thought someone might ask, I suspect she'll be in high demand for a while. Her name's Lorie. I told her to talk to the Smiths about getting a proper pair of shears...is that alright?"

The gold opened one eye to observe H'lee as he commented on her appearance. She rumbled with pleasure at the complement, although there was a small huff at the end. Alyena relaxed just a smidge further, her lips quirking. "Hetty says, 'Thank you for the undeserved compliment, as I hardly look my best. And you're welcome to share this hill with me any time.'" For her part, Alyena hadn't had much contact with the brownrider and wasn't certain about his attitude, but he seemed to be trying to cheer up a bit. His awkward tumble onto his crate gave her some clue about his grumpiness and she winced inwardly to realize she hadn't once thought about how sleeping on the hard ground must be making his and Seeth's bones ache. She made a mental note to make sure he - and the other injured people as well as the old aunties and uncles - got dibs on the first real beds. Whenever someone figured out how to make them.

"H'lee, any chance we'll have hides to write on any time soon? Or something? I'm terrible at to-do lists if I don't have something to write them down on, and I know there are going to be a bunch coming out of this meeting!" she complained.

Alyena was a little surprised and put off by Lord Halen's curt greetings and the fact that he didn't engage in small talk like the two riders had done. She really didn't know anything about the man. She thought he was the younger son of another Benden Lord Holder, but she wasn't sure. She confirmed that Henriettath didn't know anything more about him than she did, but she didn't pursue it any further at that point. However, she knew she couldn't exclude him from this meeting - he was the leader of his own people, same as she was supposed to be leading the dragonriders.

"Good morning, Lord Halen. I apologize for the short notice, but I want to have a meeting to try and organize our resources so we can hopefully accomplish tasks more efficiently. Especially things like getting roofs over our heads. We're just waiting for a couple other folks and then we'll start."

Just then, Alex and Rainith arrived. Alyena's lips tightened as she suppressed a wince. She hadn't intended for her clutchmate to bring her dragon, but she had the sense not to show other signs of dissent to the group. Alex, meanwhile, moved to stand behind the goldrider which almost induced another wince. "Alex, thank you for joining us," she managed to say, trying to keep the tension out of her voice. "Please, have a seat."

Alina arrived moments later. The Headwoman's effusive greeting helped ease some of the strain that was starting to bunch in Alyena's shoulders. She again reached self-consciously for her cropped haircut and tugged at one of the curls that seemed to insist on sticking out at an odd angle. The goldrider's lips quirked as she watched the affectionate look the woman bestowed upon H'lee. That was something she was familiar with, despite her unfamiliarity with H'lee - everyone knew how much Alina loved the brownrider.

After offering Alina the last "chair" at the table, Alyena took a deep breath and let it out a little explosively. "Okay, well, the short story about why I'm calling this meeting is that we're somewhere else. I heard that one of the Smiths who has dabbled in Starsmithing has put forth the idea that we're not on Pern anymore. Given the fact that I, at least, don't recognize most of the plants or animals, I'm inclined to agree. While I'd love to get us all back home right away, the dragons can't go between with their hides cracked the way they are. So in the meantime, that means we have a bunch of needs to meet. I might be a goldrider, but outside of that, I'm just a Journeywoman Cook. I don't know the first thing about building a house or making dishes to eat off of, anything like that.

"That's why I've asked you all here. Lord Halen, you know your people and their abilities better than anyone else here. Alina, you know the non-riders from the Academy. H'lee and K'then, you know the riders and the weyrlings."
She smiled tightly. "I had only been back at the Academy for a couple of days before this happened, so I'm a little out of touch with what was going on there." She turned her gaze to Alex. "Alex, you're here because I know how much you love reading. Our tools and resources are limited, except for sheer manpower, and I'm hoping you might have read something in all those AIVAS records that will give us some unique solutions."

Now she turned back to addressing the group as a whole. "So, our immediate needs are food, water, shelter, and some hygiene facilities; is there anything I'm missing on that list?" She paused for answers from all five of her companions before continuing. "We seem to have pretty well addressed the problem of food between the...beasts...that the dragons found and those horribly dry cakes that the grey-skins gave us, although those leave something to be desired when it comes to flavor, and we're right next to a water source, although I'm wondering if we shouldn't move upstream where there's less salt."

She wasn't thinking about the fact that the Tanners would need salt for tanning, or that the Dolphineers wouldn't want to move upstream because it would mean abandoning their dolphins, who couldn't tolerate the fresh water for long (in fact, the Dolphineers might well want to move farther downstream rather than up!). She had, as a cook, briefly considered the value of the salt that could be obtained by boiling the seawater, but small portions of that salt went a long way and the little water that would be needed could be easily fetched each day. Or so she thought - she'd never planned meals for 800 people before! But that was one other reason - although Alyena hadn't recognized it consciously - why Alina and Lord Halen were present.
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Kestrana

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H'lee blinked in surprise at the questions about the hides. He honestly hadn't been thinking of them as a source of writing materials; they'd all gotten used to using paper over the last several Turns! "I, um, hmm," he coughed. "I hadn't considered using them for that, truthfully. I'd been expecting they'd be used for household items and riding straps first." He paused to shrug. "Herdbeast hides back home would take two, three weeks to cure properly, with all the correct ingredients. We've yet to find everything we need to tan them, though, so it's hard to say what quality we'll get with this first batch." He frowned and thought for a moment. "These first ones are probably going to be pretty poor quality, not useful for much. Writing on might be all they're good for. Either way, it'll be at least a fortnight."

H'lee stiffened reflexively as Lord Holder Halen stalked up, noticing the tightening in the young man's face as he practically glared at the three riders. As Weyrlingmaster, H'lee had had dealings with the Lord Holder of Snowy Hold and had first-hand experience with the young man's animosity toward dragonriders. He approved of Alyena wanting to meet with the man and include him on whatever plans she had in mind, but H'lee wondered if she knew what she was getting into with the Lord Holder. He was about to ask Seeth to check with Henriettath when the goldrider addressed him with soothing, diplomatic words, convincing the brownrider that she did have some idea what she was doing.

Then he was distracted by the arrival of another dragonrider, and he winced and shifted as her dragon settled nearby. Hopefully anyone noticing his cringe would attribute it to his aching body and his attempts to find at least a semi-comfortable position to sit. He shifted again as the girl - H'lee recognized her as one of Alyena's clutchmates - took up a subservient position behind the goldrider. Supportive was one thing, subservient was something else. His lips twitched approvingly as Alyena instructed the greenrider to take one of the empty seats.

As always, Alina had a better memory for names than H'lee did and addressed the young greenrider by name - Alex. His face softened and he smiled with genuine affection at the Headwoman who had been his mate through many flights. "Good morning," he murmured softly, but kept his expression to that simple exchange; this was a "business" meeting, after all.

Her speech was a little confused, and her anxiety about the meeting was evident through the long-winded, slightly rambling nature, but he couldn't fault her for the careful way she admitted her inexperience by praising the rest of them for their experience. He refrained from adding "thick mattresses, warm blankets, and down pillows," to her list of needs, although those were the first things that came to mind. He coughed and spoke up, "I'm inclined to suggest that we need to find a different location. This is probably best not mentioned outside of this meeting, but those grey-skins dropped us off here, what's to say they won't come back?" He let that thought percolate for a moment. "There's no way we can move everyone today, or even in the next couple of weeks. We have too many people who are sick and injured, and the sea is a bountiful provider. But it's something we should keep in mind."

Alyena continued for a bit after everyone else put in their two cents about their needs as a community, but he couldn't remain silent when she missed something fairly obvious. "The dolphineers won't abandon the dolphins," he pointed out. "Besides, we need copious amounts of salt for tanning those hides. We'll need at least a couple of buildings for the Dolphineers and Tanners to live in, even if we move everyone else away from this location."
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