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» 3941.03.14 - Fort Weyr/Hold - Settling into Hiding {Silvara, T'lon, Sim, Alyena, H'lee}
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» 2789.07.01 - It's back!...to the future? {T'lon, Silvara, Alina, H'lee}
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Kestrana

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Maylee was young and naïve.  In the new era of dragonriders, who were allowed to live where and with whom they chose after they graduated, she believed that when W'li's Whuith flew her Moth, the pair of them would, well, not to be clichéd, but fly off together into the sunset as soon as she graduated.  They'd raise babies together, mated for life, somewhere in the Southern Continent.

What a fool I was, she thought to herself as her back arched and the healer shouted, "PUSH!"

The night before they returned to the Academy, two months after Moth's flight, she'd gone to W'li's weyr to beg him to go with her.  She expected her exams to be over quickly and then they could go wherever they wanted.  She knew by then that she was pregnant, but she hadn't told him yet.  She got a shock when she and Moth landed on Whuith's ledge and she entered his room: he was in bed with one of the weyrfolk, a young woman who couldn't have been older than Maylee herself.  Only Whuith saw her as the couple were too busy to notice as she fled in tears, her dream of a happy life with the older brownrider dashed to pieces.

Another thing she didn't realize was that she couldn't complete her exams until after the baby was born: going between after three months in would be hazardous to her and the baby's health.  In fact, the healer was outraged that she'd even gone between to return to the Academy, which could have triggered a miscarriage.

So now, here she was, in labor.  Finally, a weak, but strengthening series of squalls announced the arrival of the baby.  Maylee fell back in the pillows, breathing heavily, and closed her eyes, just listening to her baby's cries for a long moment.  The midwife cleaned the baby off and bundled it in a towel before handing it to Maylee, who opened her eyes and held out her hands when the other woman said softly, "It's a boy."
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Last edited by Kestrana on Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:18 pm; edited 3 times in total

2 The Creche on Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:37 pm

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At first, his mother had been happy to raise him.  They lived at the Academy for the first year of his life while his mother nursed him and completed her graduation exams.  She expressed an interest in staying at the Academy after graduation, but she was told that not only did they not have room for another adult rider within the Academy at that time, but she was far too young and her son needed to be around other kids his age.  The Academy specifically avoided having young children around and underfoot: young dragons were quite enough.

Being effectively kicked out of the Academy, Maylee returned to the only other place she was familiar with: Benden Weyr.  Her family had lived there for generations, but after she Impressed a green instead of a gold, she'd decided she wanted to move out, perhaps to the Southern Continent.  Moving back to the Weyr, however, and seeing her young son practically alongside his father, who'd shattered her dreams, made her want nothing more than to get away and leave Hadanelee behind.  Realizing how much he looked like his father made him a painful reminder of the life she thought they'd have.

Late one evening, after almost everyone had gone to bed, she carried her sleeping son down to the creche and tucked him into an empty crib.  Then she slipped out and she and Moth quietly left the Weyr.

Hadanelee awoke the next morning as other mothers dropped off their children and started crying for his mother.  It didn't take long for them to determine that she was gone.  Leaving their babies in the creche wasn't exactly unusual for female riders, so no one was too concerned about it.  They brought the young boy to his father's attention, but W'li was even less interested than Maylee had been.

When he was two, one of the junior goldriders, Sikra, and her mate L'ver took an interest in him for a few years, since she and W'li were cousins.  She'd been having problems getting pregnant and she and L'ver wanted children.  When Hadanelee was four, the then-Weyrwoman retired, leaving Sikra as Weyrwoman.  The goldrider took up the reins smoothly, but it put her and L'ver's plans to have children on hold: being Weyrwoman was a nearly all-consuming job.  Hadanelee was old enough by that time, however, that he understood much of the job his adoptive mother did.  When he turned five, he attached himself to the pair of riders and made himself invaluable as an assistant and messenger.  He loved them like they were his parents, even though he'd been told that they weren't; he'd been too young to remember his mother and his father had been completely hands-off.

He was almost 6 years old when Sikra told them the news: she had finally gotten pregnant!  He was very excited to find out that he was going to have a baby "brother" or "sister."  He was also really happy because it was something that Sikra and L'ver had been trying for for ages.  About nine months later, Silvara entered the world.

At first, H'lee was thrilled. But after a few weeks, he started to feel rejected.  All of the attention his adoptive parents had to spare after their jobs went to Silvara and he was somewhat ignored.  He started to grow a bit distant from the happy family, though he continued in his role as assistant to the riders.

When Silvara was only a few months old, however, tragedy struck the family: L'ver had a heart attack and his dragon went between.  Lee found himself stepping up to help Sikra take care of Silvara.  Six months later, Sikra's dragon rose and was caught by a younger bronze with an aggressive, narcissistic rider named Sh'zon who didn't want Silvara around.  Although Sikra found she didn't like the man and decided to keep separate quarters from him, they had to spend so much time together as Weyrleaders that his constant harping about Silvara was enough to almost make her relinquish her position as Weyrwoman.  She finally yielded and sent Silvara to the creche along with Hadanelee, whom the new man also didn't like.

Lee resented the breakup of their family unit, but there was no help for it.  Any attempts to keep them together would have made life uncomfortable for everyone, something that Sikra explained to him when she told him that they were both going to the creche.  "I'm sorry, but the Weyr needs unity between us," she told him, referring to herself and the new Weyrleader.  "I would rather you both stayed with me, but all Sh'zon and I would do is argue over it."  She handed the infant girl to him.  "Take good care of her, Hadanelee.  I'll look in on you both when I can."

The boy understood Silvara's position better than anyone else.  He could no longer run errands for Sikra and L'ver since the new Weyrleader wanted as much to do with him as his father did, so he ingratiated himself with the Substeward in charge of the creche, Iryna, but quickly outstripped her needs.  He was so helpful that she recommended him to one of the Stewards, Tessa, who was in charge of the older weyrbrats.  He worked for Tessa for several months; but as the youngest in the group, he often got picked on.

He didn't stand for bullying and he got even when the older children pulled pranks on him.  Despite his age, he was a tough nut to crack.  But when he was 10, one of them found out that he had a younger sister (they thought Silvara was really his sister, not just his cousin).  They targeted her in one of their pranks to get even with Lee during the Turn's End Gather; unfortunately for them, Silvara reacted badly.  After the dragons stopped panicking the whole Weyr, they found Silvara hiding in her room crying; in the hallway, not far from her room, they found one of the boys that had been harassing Hadanelee unconscious on the floor.  The boy never woke up and the healers couldn't figure out why.  The first stranger who tried to touch Silvara afterward walked away with third-degree burns on her hands and claimed that the fire just came out of nowhere.

Lee took up a defensive position outside their shared quarters.  People were angry and wanted Silvara thrown out, but the boy wouldn't let them anywhere near his cousin.  Sikra finally came down to find out what was going on and he begged her to find a Healer for Silvara.  Sikra assured him that she knew what to do and they went into the room.  Then Hadanelee was given another shock: Sikra told them both that she had abilities, too; that she knew exactly what to do and had already sent for Master Healer Tikal, who had taught her how to control her abilities. She looked at the solemn 10-year-old and informed him that his first responsibility until Tikal arrived was to protect Silvara and keep everyone else away from her: only Lee, Tikal, and Sikra were to be allowed anywhere near her.

The healer had arrangements he had to make before he could attend to Silvara; meanwhile, Lee stood guard over her for the three weeks it took him to arrive.  It took another eight weeks before Tikal conceded that he'd have to take Silvara to Ogren Ghosthold, a former minehold that had long since been abandoned when the mine dried up.  He said there were too many other people and other activities - including green dragon flights - going on to force her to stay in the Weyr, and he didn't want anyone else coming except the dragonrider who would drop them off at the Ghosthold and bring them supplies once a week; and Hadanelee was not going to be allowed to go with her.  "She needs to learn independence from you, otherwise she'll always rely on you to help her control her abilities, and someday, you won't be there to help her and she'll lose control again," the healer explained when Lee begged them to let him go with them.

He was depressed when they left and he fretted about her all the time, despite the weekly reports from the rider who took their supplies to them and the letters Silvara wrote to him.  Given his age, Tessa suggested to the Headwoman that he be rotated through as an assistant to a Master or Journeyman in each of the Crafts represented in the Weyr to help him choose a Craft.  Even as a rider, which everyone was sure he'd be since both parents were riders and he was related to the Weyrwoman, he'd need a Craft to help support himself.

He agreed; certainly, helping Tessa out and being around the other kids who had been involved in the prank hadn't been helping.  He hadn't really shown a particular aptitude or interest in any Craft, so they started him alphabetically.  He spent four weeks trying out each Craft: Baking, Herding, Computers, Dragonhealing (which he showed an aptitude for, but not a significant interest), Farming, Glass-making, Harpering, Healing (which he also showed an aptitude for, but had even less interest in than Dragonhealing), Mining, Paper-making, and Plastic-making.

He was just starting a stint as a Printer when Silvara returned.  He noticed right away that she seemed older than her six years, an observation that made him sad.  He looked at the other six-year-old girls and wished Silvara's life could have been normal.  It was never a discussion whether she'd be in the Healer Hall or not; when she returned, it was just a given.

He subsequently completed stints in Fishing/Sailing and Smithing.  Silvara had often watched him in the smithy while he worked there and seemed intrigued by the Craft, but she always returned to the Healers at night, never to their shared room.

Finally, he started a term in the Tannery.  He fell in love with the smell of fresh leather and turned down the last four months of training (Technician, Weaving, Vintnering, and Carpentry) and chose Tanning as his Craft.
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Last edited by Kestrana on Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:39 pm; edited 2 times in total

3 Apprentice Tanner on Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:32 pm

Kestrana

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He was still a couple months short of the age when he could be officially Apprenticed, but his interest, aptitude, and position were enough to convince the local Master to accept him unofficially until he was of age.  There was only one problem: to be officially accepted into the Craft, he had to pay the tuition fee.  He and Master Sigge talked about that and H'lee felt faint.

He'd earned some small amount of marks running errands around the Weyr, but not near enough to pay for multiple years of tuition.  At Master Sigge's request, he brought his funds and they determined that he only had enough for a single year.

"Well, what about your parents?" he asked.  Although he worked at the Weyr, he wasn't aware of all the intimate details of everyone's lives.

Lee snorted.  "Not hardly.  Not my real parents anyway."  But it did give him an idea.

He went to visit Sikra that afternoon.  She listened patiently while he told her he wanted to be Apprenticed to the Tanning Hall and talked excitedly about it for several minutes before she waved him down, smiling.  "If that's what you want to do, then do that," she told him, "I have no problem with it."  Lee looked grinned, but then his enthusiasm faded.  "What's wrong?" she asked.

"I don't have enough money to pay the tuition," he blurted out after a long pause.

Sikra blinked at him for a moment.  Then she laughed.  "So that's what this is about!" she chuckled.  She got up and headed to one of the cupboards on the wall.  "How much do you need?"

Hadanelee stammered.  "I want to pay for as much of it as I can," he said.  "I've got enough for the first year..." he trailed off.

Sikra turned back to him and studied him for a moment.  "Good," she finally stated, "good for you.  Alright, you pay for your first year and, if you have time, keep running errands so you can earn more.  When it's time for your second year's tuition to be due, if you don't have enough, you come see me and I'll help you with the balance.  Deal?"

Lee's grin returned.  "Deal!"  He hugged her quickly and then skedaddled out before her current husband saw him.

It took him two-and-a-half years to advance to Senior Apprentice, not because he was slow in learning the Craft. Part of the delay was because he had to wait for one of the classes to start (since he couldn't attend one of the more advanced classes until he'd taken this class), but also because he was a Candidate and stood for every clutch at every one of the Weyrs. He hated that he only got to spend a few hours a day actually working in the tannery; if he hadn't committed to earning the money he needed to pay for additional years of tuition, not to mention the other classes he had to take and all of the traveling to stand at Hatchings, he would have gladly worked around the leather for hours on end. He also hated that he didn't actually get to work on any of the leather yet (although he'd helped collect and tan it).

Finally, he advanced to Senior Apprentice, only to find out that he STILL didn't get to work with the leather. But he did get to learn how to use \the tools on scraps of leather deemed worthless for any real projects. Finally, a couple months into the final year of Apprenticeship, Lee was allowed to start working with whole leather and work on projects. At last, he walked the tables to Journeyman.
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4 Apprentice Dragonhealer on Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:21 pm

Kestrana

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H'lee was now 17. He'd stood at so many Hatchings he'd lost count - somewhere between ten and twelve every year since he'd turned 12. He'd had a few close calls where he thought he might Impress, but he still hadn't.

He loved dragons. He and everyone he'd ever known fully expected him to Impress. But he hadn't, and he couldn't help but feel he was letting Sikra and L'ver down. He couldn't bear the thought of leaving the Weyr and all the dragons, though. He finally made the decision to become a Dragonhealer. He'd already shown an aptitude for the Craft and dragons seemed to instinctively trust him.

Of course, there wasn't always a need for Dragonhealers, and it was even less frequently needed now that Thread was gone, so he put his Tanner training on hold for the time being and took up as an Apprentice Dragonhealer. He continued to be shipped all over Pern to Hatchings, but he'd pretty much given up hope of Impressing at this point.

Because it was a Weyrbred Craft and he was Weyrbred, he didn't have to pay tuition, which meant any funds he earned from what little leatherworking he was able to do between lessons and Hatchings was pure pocket money. He'd also developed a fondness for dragon poker and gambling during the Hatching Gathers and he was getting pretty good at it, which allowed him to increase his funds more often than they were diminished.
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5 Weyrlinghood on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:36 pm

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Hadanelee only had a few more Hatchings he could stand at before he turned 19 and would no longer be eligible to stand. He was both intensely stressed by this fact and oddly relieved. As it so happened, it was one of Sikra's clutches that was the last Benden clutch he'd stand for. He had also decided that it was the last clutch he'd stand for at all, he was tired of all the traveling and the disappointment.

He walked out onto the sands, the oldest attendee at this Hatching. He took a position near the exit where he could step out to observe any Dragonhealing that was needed after the Hatchings. He'd attended enough to know that there were always small nicks and abrasions and usually at least one nasty gash that needed tending afterward.

The clutch was small, as they all were these days; this one didn't even make it into the double digits - there were only eight eggs. Lee had a bet on with some of the weyrlings back on their 10-12 month training on the contents of the clutch: he'd bet on one brown, three blues, and four greens and that there would be five male riders and three females. He wouldn't find out 'til later that he was spot on.

The brown hatched first and seemed at a loss of what to do. He was farthest from the entry where Hadanelee stood and quickly became lost to the young man as the blues and greens hatched and approached the line of Candidates. After seeing the three blues Impress, assuming that the brown had also already Impressed and not really expecting to Impress a green, Lee turned to leave and started to walk out.

He suddenly felt a tickling at the back of his mind and he tripped over his own feet, coming to an abrupt stop. Then, abruptly, he thought his senses were going to explode: the murmurs of the crowds watching the Hatching seemed like shouts, absurdly loud, the light had a peculiar brightness, the sand seemed grainier, but cooler than it had, and he could smell something coppery and alluring. Underlying all of these stimuli was an overwhelming hunger, and overall was a deep sense of love: "SEETH!"

I think food's this way. Are you really this nose-blind? asked the small brown dragonet. The Candidate - no, now he's a weyrling - could only blink dazedly and follow the tottering creature back the direction he had come. He was desperately trying to sort out his feelings and perceptions from Seeth's.

One of the older weyrlings grabbed his shoulders while his dragon nudged the newly hatched brown toward a side table. Hadanelee had never considered himself queasy: he couldn't be queasy as a Dragonhealer, and he'd helped out with enough other Hatchings to have become used to the raw meat. However, the scent of the chopped herdbeast on the table, as perceived through his dragonet's nose, and the rumbling hunger was enough to make him feel nauseaous, but the brown's desire for the flesh quickly suppressed his own sensations. The older weyrling plucked a fist-sized chunk of meat and tossed it to Seeth, but it was Hadanelee's teeth that shredded the stringy, chewy meat and his mouth from which the sweet, raw juices dribbled; he'd never had raw herdbeast before, but it sure tasted good! But he was still so hungry! Without really realizing what he was doing, he started to bring a chunk of meat to his own mouth to eat - he had to stop the hunger!

A sudden sharp pain on his face made him hiss angrily. A second one finally snapped him out of the daze and he stared, startled, into the face of the older weyrling, whose own brown was carefully restraining Seeth who was creeling in a combination of hunger, pain, fear, and anger. "Snap out of it, Lee! That's your dragonet's hunger and cravings you're feeling, not your own! Now give him that piece of meat you've got there, watch your fingers!"

He did snap out of it. Now that he'd been brought back to reality, he was able to focus and separate his thoughts from Seeth's. If he let his mind wander at all, though, he found he could rapidly become overwhelmed again. Finally, Seeth was fully and sleepy and they wove their way to the weyrling barracks. Lee got Seeth settled onto a weyrling couch and reassured the brown that he wouldn't be going far, but he needed some food of his own now. Soon, the brown was asleep and his rider found his clothes in a trunk outside the door. He washed up in the basin and changed into his Gather clothes before stepping back outside to attend to feast.

The feast passed in a blur, although he did remember Sikra and Silvara hugging him at one point. He also remembered being asked what his honorary would be: H'lee.

He and his clutchmates were shipped off to Mountain Academy for their weyrling training. He was upset about being shipped so far away because Silvara would be staying at the Weyr. He alternated between wanting to stay at the Weyr himself and wanting her to come with him to the Academy and was so upset about it that it bothered Seeth. Finally, the Weyrlingmaster and Master Tikal had to intervene and explain that she would be safe and they'd make sure they could see each other at least once a month while he was at the Academy.

The next ten months seemed to fly by (no pun intended). And yet some days, it felt like they were crawling by so slowly as for their movement to be imperceptible. He almost couldn't believe it when they were finally shipped back to the Weyr to finish out their senior weyrling training. Those two months seemed to pass very slowly. He spent a great deal of his free time working on his Dragonhealing studies and hanging out with Silvara. He tolerated Seeth's attempts to catch any of the greens in the Weyr that rose. Despite this, the time to return to the Academy for his final exams came too soon for his nerves. The exams took almost six weeks to complete, but then came the exit interview; he had no qualms about that.

"I want to return to Benden Weyr and finish my Dragonhealer education, then my Tanner Journey. Being able to help heal the dragons and also be able to provide leather goods, like riding straps, are invaluable to a Weyr." And that, so far as he was concerned, was that. He didn't mention Silvara, but he suspected that they knew she was the reason he wanted to go to Benden Weyr as opposed to one of the others.
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6 Wingrider on Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:12 pm

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He and his clutchmates returned triumphantly to their Weyr.  H'lee had noticed when they'd been back as senior weyrlings that Sikra had seemed unusually distant and distracted, but he hadn't had time to give it much thought.  Two more months apart seemed to have enhanced his perception of that.  He couldn't, however, just go around asking questions about her and it seemed that her mate was determined to prevent him from catching up with her alone.

He tried asking Silvara, but it seemed that Sh'zon was determined to keep Sikra away from both of them.  Although this bothered H'lee, there wasn't much he could do about it.  So instead, he focused on finishing his studies and being a solid dragonrider.  His friend T'lon, who had Impressed when the two boys were 14 (much to H'lee's dismay) picked him as a wingrider for his Wing.

Because he was so adept at preparing visualizations and had proven himself reliable and trustworthy, he was often sent to the more remote holdings on errands.  It was on one such visit that he met two young women, one a greenrider and the other her non-rider mate.  He was a little surprised to find them in such a remote location, but once he learned that they were lovers, he began to understand.  While homosexual pairings were not greeted with the stigma that they might have been in the Ancients' times, rider-to-non-rider pairings were different.  It was pretty much assumed that a female dragonrider should be able to find a lifelong mate among the dragon-riding population and if she couldn't, then there must be something wrong with her or her dragon.  It was okay for male riders to take a mate outside of another rider because there were more men than women in the ranks of riders and not every male rider fancies waking up with another male rider in his bed.

When he found out that the greenrider was bisexual with a preference for women and that she'd found the person she wanted to spend the rest of her life with in another woman, he couldn't fault their reasons for removing themselves far from the Weyr.  He didn't like that they were so far out but, as they pointed out, if they really, truly needed help, Seryth could reach another dragon telepathically.

Over the next several months, he got to know the pair fairly well, so well, in fact, that they came to him with a request: they wanted a baby.  Even though medical knowledge had advanced greatly in the years since AIVAS had been rediscovered, it still wasn't possible for two women to procreate.  "Seryth has started to get proddy, something she hasn't done since we moved out here.  I think it's partly because of you and Seeth coming by so often, but I think it has more to do with us wanting a baby.  Would you and Seeth stay a few days and...well...?" she smiled shyly.

H'lee could hardly refuse, even if it really only meant he was playing stud.  There were a few moments when he felt like it wasn't right - he didn't want to abandon his child the way his parents had abandoned him.  But then he thought about Sikra and L'ver and how they'd raised him and how badly they'd wanted a child, and he decided he couldn't say no to them.  So he relayed a message through Seeth that they'd be staying at the holding for a couple of days.  It didn't take long for Seryth to decide she was ready and Seeth caught her gladly.

Two months later, when he stopped by to see how they were doing, he was greeted with enthusiastic hugs: Nysa was pregnant.  After that, he made a point of stopping by at least once a month, twice a month if he could manage it, to make sure they had everything they needed (including a Healer).  He wasn't there when Nylee was born: Seryth had been so focused on her rider that she hadn't thought to contact Seeth; but he arrived the next day and was honored when they told him her name, following the dragonrider tradition of combining the parents' names.  He continued to visit regularly and they always talked of him as "Uncle H'lee," a moniker he was happy to accept (at least until Nylee asked who her biological father was, anyway).
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7 Wingsecond and Father on Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:24 pm

Kestrana

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T'lon promoted him to Wingsecond half a year later when one of the older brownriders who had the position retired to Southern for his health.  About a month later, Seeth flew Eleth and H'lee had to seek out a new partner since the green's rider was male and H'lee had absolutely no interest in that sort of pairing.  He woke that afternoon next to the Headwoman, Lery.  The woman grinned impishly up at him as he stammered something about not understanding how THAT had happened.  "Never you mind how it happened.  I'M not sorry, and neither should you be," she informed him pertly.

He came to find out that she'd always liked him since they'd been weyrbrats growing up in the creche.  He'd seen her occasionally as they got older and had noticed more than once that she'd turned into a rather attractive woman.  As it so happened, T'lon knew that his friend found Lery attractive, and he also happened to know that Lery found H'lee attractive and he'd conspired to get them together during Eleth's flight.

He was surprised and more than a little nervous when they found out six weeks later that Lery was pregnant.  She didn't seem to have a problem with it, and all his cavalier behavior toward Nylee aside, he was anxious.  He wanted to formally wed Lery, but the Headwoman wouldn't hear of it.  "You're a rider.  If we formally wed and Seeth decides to chase another green and you end up in bed with someone else, you'll drown yourself in guilt.  Nope, our current arrangement suits me just fine."

However, now that he was mated to the Headwoman, he got occasional, unfettered access to Sikra.  Lery knew what the two meant to each other and that Sh'zon had been conspiring to keep them apart, so she conspired to get them together periodically.  And so it was that H'lee was one of the first riders outside of the Weyrleadership of all the Weyrs to find out that there had been dragonriders murdered, especially those in remote areas.  It was these events that had been taking their toll on Sikra; these events and planning how to put a stop to them.

He told them about Nysa and Nylee: they fit the description of many of those who had been murdered.  Because the dragons and their riders had so separated themselves from the Weyrs, their deaths could go almost completely unnoticed; usually, it was only the clutchparents that knew.  H'lee was afraid for the greenrider, her mate, and yes, their daughter.  "Keep checking on them.  Have Seeth check with Seryth daily.  You have my permission to tell them about this," Sikra told him, and so he did.  They assured him that they'd keep their guard up and check in with him and Seeth twice a day.

Finally, Lerane was born.  It wasn't long after that when Silvara Impressed and H'lee was promoted to Junior Journeyman Dragonhealer.
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8 Journeyman Dragonhealer on Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:11 pm

Kestrana

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H'lee seriously considered just going between to the Academy rather than rumbling down to the sea in a wagon with the weyrlings and their dragons and sailing there.  But ultimately, the fact that Silv and Warrelith couldn't go between to the Academy solved his dilemma.  He did, however, travel between to move most of his belongings into a weyr and get a feel for the layout of the place before returning to Benden to make the journey the long way, an experience he had thought he'd never have to suffer again after his own journey there as a weyrling.

He didn't think he'd softened too much since his own weyrling training and that keeping up with them wouldn't be that hard.  He found out he was wrong.  The walking and working out as they wound down to the docks winded him and he was glad he could use the fact that the weyrlings were less in shape than he was.

The dragons were only just starting to grow out of the eat-sleep-repeat cycle that they spent their first few weeks of life in and they were sitting alertly in the wagons, peering around.  The riders and Weyrlingmasters alternated between walking alongside the wagons and riding in them.  They Weyrlingmasters rotated out flying back up to the Weyr to get food for the weyrlings' regular mealtimes during the two day trek to the bay where they'd meet their ship.

Given that it was November, it was quite cold for most of the trip.  The wagons were open during the days and covered at night.  The weyrling riders slept in the wagons with their dragons; the adults shared space where it was available.  They finally boarded the ship and headed out to sea.  It took another four days at sea to arrive at Snowy Hold, but only half a day to reach the Academy once they landed.  It was one of the longest weeks H'lee had experienced since his own trek down this road when he and Seeth were weyrlings.

He assisted the Weyrlingmasters with handling the seasickness and constipation the weyrlings (both human and dragon) suffered during the trip.  There were a few other injuries during the trip and the sailors were glad to have a trained healer on board, as normally they'd have to make do with first aid and get professional attention after they docked at their next port.

N'del initially wanted to hold Silvara and Warrelith back in their training the way Jaxom and Ruth had been held back. H'lee pointed out that Ruth had been perfectly capable of all the things that a normal dragon could do, he was just smaller; and T'lon argued that the first dragons had been the same size as Ruth and Warrelith, that their current giant size was a result of a genetic imperative that Kitty Ping had introduced. N'del yielded with a pointed remark about how it would be H'lee's problem if either of them got hurt.

{possible "pranks" where Silv could get hurt: "Blind Man's Bluff" accident (1-2 months), self defense class (3-4 months), riding straps cut (5-6 months), improperly packed packs during flight duties (6-7 months), flamethrower or flaming accident (7-8 months), accident coming back out of between (9-10 months) - I like the last one since they'll be talking about mating flights and it'll be a blatant reminder to M'kel about who Silvara is}
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