Cover Those Tracks (Cover 'Em Anyway!) (jp: Cuylar, Kaylee)


Cuylar had been keeping an eye out for any and all Candidate Healers and giving them the same song and dance. So when he saw Kaylee as he was walking through the Infirmary corridor, he waved.

"Hey! Kaylee. Do you have a minute?"

Kaylee didn't respond right away, her mind was wandering over all that she was learning. When it dawned on her that she had been spoken too, the red-haired girl stopped and looked around for the speaker.

She smiled when she saw it was Cuylar and moved over by him. "Yes Sir?"

"Oh, it's just me," said Cuylar. He smiled. "The Hall hasn't sent me my journeyman knots yet." He smiled. "I've got a bit of, ah, shall we say advice about Candidate stuff, if you've got the time to take a moment." He hoped being a rider himself might help with that a bit.

Kaylee blushed to the roots of her hair. She was still getting used to attention outside of her elder brother, who had impressed a bronze on his first try.

"Sorry Cuylar." She said. Her head tilted slightly as she listened and then she let out a giggle before nodding. "Sure."

Now she was curious.

"Well, I thought it would be a good idea to let you know that if anyone were to take anything from the stores for any pranks, you know, any itchy pranks, well, whoever that might be might want to be very careful to cover their tracks." He winked a very exaggerated wink and then stomped his foot.

"And, well, a Candidate might want to be very careful what they do around old men with very poor eyesight." He widened his eyes as he made eye contact and stomped again.

"You know what I mean?" Some few of the Candidates he had already found had given him a sideways glance and then walked away, but at least one had seemed to take his meaning. And the more of them who got it, the more likely it was the right people in the barracks would get that message.

Kaylee chuckled as she listened and nodded. She laughed at his antics. He was actually one of her favorite people.

"Oh yes. Gotcha!"

Cuylar smiled broadly. That was a promising reaction!

"Good. Glad to hear it. And, you know, in a strictly hypothetical sense, if ever you were to find yourself in a position of knowing certain details about this kind of thing, it would be best if any and all journeymen had plausible deniability. Right?"

"Yep!" She said the smile never leaving her face. 

Her curiosity was totally awake now, like a feline.

"Well. That was pretty much all I wanted to say – how are your lessons going? Did you get to see the eggs before all of… you know, the recent unpleasantness?" Cuylar asked.

Kaylee made a face at the mention of her lessons. There were days where she wished that they were done and days where she didn't want them to end. At his question about the eggs, she shook her head to the negative, red hair flying around her. 

"What happened?" She asked him. She was pretty sure that there had been scuttlebutt in the barracks about it, but she paid it very little mind.

"Oh. You hadn't heard? A girl tried to bum rush the gold eggs. Dressed as a boy, no less," Cuylar explained. "That was why Kassia said no more seeing the eggs. Except for some of the girls, I think?"

Kaylee looked at him her mouth dropping open in surprise. "Why do something that stupid? Have they been sent to see a Mindhealer? I would be spitting angry if someone did that to my dragon's eggs." She said.

Deep down she wanted to be one of those special girls.

"Well, far as I know, Kassia was. Spittin' mad, that is. I certainly don't want to get in her way right now," said Cuylar. "I couldn't say what they're doing with the girl. She was in here just about crushed because Foreth smacked her one good with her tail, but I didn't treat her."

"She's lucky that smack was all she got and good on Kassia for loosing her cool. I am not so sure I would have been gentle if I had been asked to help. You don't make a dragon mad, especially if its a queen in mother mode."

She could imagine Foreth being much like her own mother. A long memory and a short fuse.

"Well, the girl knows it now, that's for sure," said Cuylar. "Not too much longer until they Hatch, I guess. Think you'll Impress this time?"

Kaylee smirked. "Hope she learns her lesson." At the question of her impressing Kaylee shrugged. "I hope so. Last time was a nightmare. I really just wanted to hide in a corner when it was done. My brother always wanted us to impress together. "

"Well, the dragons rarely respect our sense of timing," said Cuylar, giving Elphith an affectionate mental nudge. "But there will never be a better dragon for you than yours. And when you find them, well, you'll know right saway it was worth the wait."

Kylee grinned at him feeling not so pressured on the topic. "Thank you. Hey, if you ever need help with anything, I'd gladly help just ask."

"Same goes for you, of course," Cuylar answered. He smiled back. "If you get the chance, let your fellow Candidates know about some of those things I mentioned earlier." He winked again.

"Of course!" She said with a laugh, her hazel eyes dancing.

Re: What's a guy to do? (attn F'gan / T'od)


F'gan laughed. "Not much. Swimming, painting, and worrying about my daughter."

On Tue, May 26, 2020, 12:43 AM Lindsay <alexeden1971@...> wrote:
"Yeah, Awsonth and I are both great." T'od knew time spent talking to a friend was going to be well-spent and nabbed a jug of fruit juice. "I think I've already had too much klah today," he joked as he poured himself a cup. "So what's been going on with you lately?"

On Fri, 8 May 2020 at 17:31, Yvonne <kaliangelkat@...> wrote:
F'gan broke into a grin. "You are right we don't and we should fix that! We are both doing well and I am glad to see that you are looking well." He said raising his cup of Klah in a friendly manner saluting his friend, before taking a drink.

Re: More Afterwards, More Lives (attn: Nadia, Kl'ryn)


Nadia returned the smile. "Allright. Let's go." She said brightly heading off towards the pool.

Oc: got a question for ya offlist. 

Re: Can I help you? I can bring you ... water? {Yolin, Namieh}


Namieh had her head down, sitting on the bed hunched over an unrolled hide. Her right arm immobilized by a cast and the bandages across her chest visible beneath her gown, she used the left hand to turn the scroll over on her folded legs. Feeling eyes upon her, she glanced up from her reading and looked at the young girl waiting in the doorway with an eyebrow lifted in expectation. "..Do you need something from me?" She asked, tilting her head to one side with an air of confusion. Her world had become very small lately, and strangers who visited were few and far between.

On Mon, Aug 24, 2020 at 1:40 PM Kouga <hanjikouga@...> wrote:
Yolin really wasn't able to do anything on her own yet, she'd only
been here a couple of months still, but that was ok. At least she
could do simple things like get people water and make sure they didn't
need to see the older healers who could well actually do things. Oh
and she could talk to them! She was allowed to do that too!

That in mind the 'twelve' turn old was carefully poking her head into
the room of those who were awake to see if any of them needed just
that. Coming to the next room she was careful as previous to 'knock'
to see if the person was awake or not before going in. No need to wake
someone or bother someone who didn't want company after all.


Join the Aywas fun -

"My personality is 30% the last anime I watched." - Tumblr
"Remind me never to get out our bad side. It seems to be ...
unhealthy." - Varric
"Death By Apple Pie a lovely poem by our friend Cole" - Dorian

Re: (Heatwave) Some Like It Hot ((Attn: Yolin/W'son, Calyse)) #heatwave


Focusing on W'son and his question, she nodded. That she could do! "Calyse, my name is Calyse," she replied, sinking forward over her knees and bracing her head in her hands in an attempt to make the world stop spinning. "I-I haven't been here long, in.. in here, this.. aw, shells, what is the word? Weyr! In this Weyr. I'm kind of new." The way her light skin had burned in the short exposure suggested Northern stock without the sense to wear sunscreen oil. At least it wasn't so sharding hot inside the Infirmary.

On Mon, Aug 24, 2020 at 1:17 PM Kouga <hanjikouga@...> wrote:
>>Calyse looked at the man who had addressed her and the girl that followed in his wake like they weren't quite human, squinting and taking a step backward when first approached. The words reached her, though, and she realized having a sit did sound like a very good idea. She didn't protest being guided toward a chair, sinking into it heavily and panting like it had taken some effort.

"I'm.. I'm quite diz.. woo, very dizzy," she explained slowly,
frowning like the words felt funny in her mouth. "Is there water? I
feel.. tired." She was slightly cool to the touch, skin damp with
sweat and still clammy despite the temperature outside. The pale shade
of her skin had begun to turn a pink on her face and bared arms,
though whether from a fresh sunburn or the heat was hard to tell.
Presenting with signs of heat exposure, the probability was high. <<

W'son frowned over the words nodded as the girl spoke before turning
his attention to Yolin "Go find one of the water skins and a glass."
he instructed the girl sending her off quickly keeping his attention
on Calyse. "My name is W'son, can you tell me yours?" he questioned
deciding that letting her sit a couple of moments to see if that could
help her stabilize a bit before trying to get her into a proper room.


Join the Aywas fun -

"My personality is 30% the last anime I watched." - Tumblr
"Remind me never to get out our bad side. It seems to be ...
unhealthy." - Varric
"Death By Apple Pie a lovely poem by our friend Cole" - Dorian

Re: Of Sound Mind? (Attn: Torrela/Namieh)


Interesting. Her response was classic abandonment issues. Torrela could see how the card could be viewed that way. Whenever she did this, the first card was usually something reminiscent of her patient's past.

She wanted to focus on the girl's past, which this gave her a gateway to, but she didn't want to frighten her off. Three cards. She'd start with three. Pulling another card from the deck, she placed it next to the first card. This one was of a woman, behind her were ghosts and skeletons. She was holding a pebble, and beauty and light were coming from that pebble. 

"We're going to look at three cards, and then I'll talk to you about what you saw in them, and how I think it relates to you. What do you see here?" She tapped the card.


On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 3:38 PM Ariel Rogers <> wrote:
Namieh had seen decks of this nature before among the caravans when they could come through Igen, but it perplexed her to see them in the hands of someone who claimed to be a Mindhealer. Only luck-tellers had those decks in her experience, and the confusion showed clearly on her tawny face. She didn't have the knowledge necessary to understand the hidden meanings in the card that faced her, focusing instead on the imagery of someone leaving a cart behind and the twisted trees that surrounded it. "I don't like that card," she said with an air of doubt that manifested in the purse of her lips. "He shouldn't have left the wagon, anyone could take it while he's gone. Like those firelizards. Definitely gonna steal somethin' while his back is turned."

OOC: Sorry for the delay! That is a fantastic deck, I love this!

On Sun, Aug 23, 2020 at 5:24 AM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
"In a way," Torrela said. She did have a normal deck of cards with her, too. "This is a special deck of cards. I grew up in a Caravan, the daughter of fortune-tellers. But when I started to follow in their footsteps, I found that the images on our decks gave people insights into their own minds. So I took up mindhealing, but I use the cards to help me with my diagnosis." She continued to shuffle, then pulled one card out.

"Some mindhealers use ink blots. I find this to be more fun for both of us--the Healer and the patient. If it makes you uncomfortable, let me know and I'll go back to conventional methods.  And when we're done, I do have a normal deck of cards and we can play a few games."

She flipped the card over to show an old man in white walking away from a lone trader and his runner-cart., but he was looking back at it.  Firelizards flew up in the background. The trees in the card were gnarled and ambiguous as to some people they could look threatening but to others they were just winter trees.


OOC: I'm using Lisa Hunt's "Ghosts and Spirits" tarot.  Mainly because I'm going to be working on a ghost story in the Three-Day Novella contest.  

The card is the King of Pentacles/Coins. I like doing a combination using the pictures to enhance my readings, rather than just straight using the book meanings. I probably wouldn't have used this deck but when I pulled this card, to me it was a perfect jumping off point for Namieh. 

The general key words for this card are: Enterprising, Adept, Reliable, Supporting, Steady

In Lisa's Little White Book for the deck, the meaning of this card is: Someone may enter your life who can offer you comfort and stability as you experience a possible transition.

On Sun, Aug 23, 2020 at 3:47 AM Ariel Rogers <> wrote:
"They might have said something about that," she gave the neutral answer with a small, uncertain frown. If they had, she didn't remember it or hadn't been paying attention - not that it mattered now. 

At the sight of playing cards, Namieh visibly perked. She missed her own deck dearly while in effective solitary. To see the Mindhealer shuffling a set casually made the girl tilt her head like a puppy surprised by an unfamiliar sound, unable to hide the physical manifestation of her curiosty. 

"Do you wanna play?" She asked with a hopeful note. 

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 8:50 PM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
Well, now they were getting somewhere. Though there still seemed to be some hesitation. And what did she mean, she could go anywhere? But more importantly, were they not being taught properly?

"Had the Candidate Masters not told your class that the eggs were still too fragile to be touch?" Torrela asked. She pulled out her cards and started to riffle them. In order to get some answers, she would need some insight into her mind, and the cards would take her there quicker than all these questions. 

On Sun, Aug 23, 2020 at 12:24 AM Ariel Rogers <> wrote:
Namieh swallowed hard at the question, though part of her couldn't help but to appreciate that she cut right to business. Despite a healthy dose of wariness, there didn't seem to be a reason to keep up the charade anymore. The effort was exhausting, but so were most things while she was recovering. "I.. I'd heard that you could rig a Hatching in your favor if you touched the eggs," she answered with the quiet reservation, fussing with the hem of her gown while her eyes focused there. "If I had a dragon, I.. I could go anywhere. Be anyone. Weyrwoman even."  There was clearly more to this reason, but she hesitated to elaborate.

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 7:56 PM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
Torrela was amused at the girl's distrust. Not the amused of blatant superiority, but the amused as if she were sharing a secret. It was obvious this girl wasn't going to give her full trust to anyone, but that was fine. Because Torrela could wait. She was in the Weyr, and it would take a Wing of dragons to move her back out.

"Trust me, even if you'd never seen a mindhealer in your life, you'll know how unconventional I am. But, before I even start, want to tell me just why you went running off to touch the eggs? Why you couldn't wait until the whole class was led down to them?" If she told her, great. If not, it would come out eventually.

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 8:59 PM Ariel Rogers <> wrote:
"I do not want to be yelled at," Nami replied flatly. She had a hunch there would be plenty of that in her future as it was and she hadn't a doubt in her mind that it would come sooner than she liked; her heart raced uneasily with anticipation. She watched the other woman with suspicious eyes, a blatantly untrusting sort of girl if ever there was one. Hearing about Mindhealers was entirely different from interacting with them, but fancy, learned folked were all the same in her view. They had always seemed to have a habit of making Namieh feel less than for her upbringing, for her heritage, for her gender. At least here at the Weyr they were more open minded, from what little she'd seen so far. 

"I've never talked to one of you before," she admitted more casually than she felt. Torrela was not immediately threatening and after her warning, Nami's interest piqued. "So I dunno if I'd even notice." With a pause in the pretense of consideration, though she'd already decided, the girl added with an affected sigh. "You can come in." 

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 6:11 AM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
"Not unless you want me to," Torrela said. "I'm Torrela, Mindhealer. I thought that you may want to just talk without any judgement." She waved her hand to encompass the whole Weyr. "There are enough people out there judging you, talking about you, even blaming you that I think you need someone non-judgemental." And Torrela was all that. She spent her whole career learning to not judge people. Granted, there were those that she couldn't help it, but this slip of a girl? She wasn't bad, or evil. She just went about doing something the wrong way, and had to learn that actions had far-reaching consequences.

And it seemed that she had. Her lesson had been painful, brutal, and would haunt her for the rest of her life. Which, in Torrela's mind, seemed a bit too much. 

"I must warn you, I'm not like other Mindhealers. Something you may find interesting, or you may find scary."

On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 12:25 AM Ariel Rogers <> wrote:
Namieh looked up from where she sat in bed at the unexpected visitor, surprised to meet someone who hadn't been in the rotation of Healers tending to her injuries. While she was eager for conversation, after Asheran's confrontation, she felt wary and apprehensive about a stranger. 

"I guess that depends," the girl answered. "You here to yell at me?"

On Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 2:29 PM Laurie <Laurie.Lynne@...> wrote:
Torrela had wanted to go speak with the Candidate who endangered the eggs right away, but hadn't. Mainly because the girl had been on pain medications and if the mindhealer were going to work with her, she wanted her to at least be coherent. So she waited several days for the fog to clear, then one day peeked into the girl's--she looked at the chart, Namieh--alcove.

"Hello. Are you up for some company?" Torrela asked.

Re: Cloud Dancers Wing Assistant Interviews (wL S'ryll, Asheran)


S'ryll nodded.  "A good bit of leadership is learning what to and not to do, and when to do it.  And there's significantly less pressure when the decisions aren't yours, and neither are the consequences.  The work will be tedious, but I will make sure you learn.  How long have you been a Candidate?" he asked.  "You've got the approval from the CM?" he added.

Thank you,
CPT Tricia A. Nicewicz, USAR

On Fri, Aug 7, 2020 at 11:37 PM Jenna Cunningham <jenna.layne.cunningham@...> wrote:
"Bronze," he said immediately, without a trace of the superstitious self-consciousness that he sometimes noticed candidates cultivated when asked that question. Oh, you know, as long as it's healthy... No. He wanted bronze - craved it as the culmination to his long candidacy, because the alternative was... failure. "I understand I won't actually be leading anyone - it'll be drudge work, but I'm counting on being able to observe to learn. I want to have a leg up on everyone else when the time comes."

Re: So This Happened... (Ay'shen/Ambrelli)


Ambrelli flung the door open at his knock, and gave Ay'shen a huge smile.  "Hello old friend!"  She motioned him inside.  "I cannot tell you how good it is to see you.  Or not to have to sulk and hide behind the door while you come inside," she added with a lighter smile.  "How is Ohselth?"  As soon as he got inside, a small, undersized dragonet, gray in color with green veining running just under the skin, giving it a pale green tone, and lacking the normal headknobs of a Pernese dragon stretched on the couch, flexing her talons before slinking off onto the ground and walking up to the rider.  She stopped just in front of him, cocking her head to regard him and then looking to Ambrelli.

"Ilexeth, meet my good friend Ay'shen of Blue Oshelth.  Ay'shen, this is Ilexeth the Unexpected."

Ilexeth turned back to the other.  ((Hello)) she said directly to him.  
CPT Tricia A. Nicewicz, USAR

On Sun, Jul 26, 2020 at 4:55 PM Aaron <cobalt.knight@...> wrote:
Like Ay'shen.  So it was that Maerck delivered a hand-written note inviting him to come not to her home weyr, but to the Infirmary weyr in which she currently resided.  She'd been missing him terribly, and if anyone would understand the stares she was now getting, Ay'shen would.

When he arrived, Ay'shen rapped gently on the door frame and called in,

"Hello, Ambrelli? Illexeth?" What an unusual thing to happen to a healer. But then again. It had happened at Arolos before, he supposed. But he had stayed clear of that one. He had been from Fort, too.

Not Only Gold Dragons Get Itchies (jp: Cuylar, M'ayen)


What in Faranth’s name had that woman had?

Itching around the crotch (he would not scratch there, he refused to scratch, at least until no-one was looking) was disgusting but at least had an easy explanation. Itching everywhere else -- his armpits, the middle of his back, his sharding feet and with the itch seeming to spread across his entire body until he just desperately wanted to find something to rub against until the layer of irritated skin was just gone..

What was it,  fleas? Some kind of sharding parasite from those firelizards that followed her around? Every rider had access to bathing pools as much as they wanted, surely you could trust them to be clean.

Furious and embarrassed, unable to resist the occasional frantic scratch despite himself, he made his way over to the Infirmary.

"Candidatemaster," Cuylar greeted him when he saw him. He had little trouble keeping any expression from his face. He had plenty of practice. His first assumption was that he had somehow found out about what Cuylar had said or that he was angry that someone had dared to bandage the hand. He certainly looked… some flavor of upset. But he would not dig his own hole.

"What seems to be the trouble?"

“I need a -- shardit - private consultation.” Despite his determination not to scratch his hand moved as though of its own volition towards his groin. Furiously M’ayen fought the inclination, face reddening. 

The way he looked at Cuylar suggested he’d never seen him before in his life and certainly didn’t consider his identity important.der his identity important.

Cuylar was usually clever enough to pick up on signs of recognition, but if there were any here, he did not see them. He supposed M'ayen had no reason to remember a washed out Candidate from half a world and who knows how many Turns ago. He nodded and continued to keep his feelings from touching his face.

"Right this way, sir," he said and led M'ayen to an open exam room.

M’ayen could at least scratch there, and did so as soon as the door was closed. His fingers dug in with deep relief and then moved with just as much urgency to his armpit.

“If you - ugh - tell anyone,” he threatened, but the threat was both vague and halfhearted, too caught in his own discomfort to put true venom into it. “I’ve - feckit! - caught something.”

"Anything you say and anything we find will be kept in the strictest confidence," said Cuylar. Though he would probably mention something to Cremsden. There was too much potential for schadenfreude not to. "What are your symptoms?"

“Sharding itching!” Once he’d started scratching it was difficult to stop. “Started this morning and - ack - it’s getting worse.” The itch in the middle of his back was particularly frustrating. There was nothing, short of dislocating his own arms, he could do about it.

"Have you been exposed to any allergens or irritants like strange plants or biting insects?" Cuylar asked as he began to scribble notes.

“No, but I had a woman back in my weyr last night.” M’ayen was flushed, embarrassed and furious at being embarrassed. His hand strayed back towards his crotch. Humilating though scratching there like some gawkish teenager was, not scratching was worse. “I didn’t think -- feck, I’ll kill her.”

"Ah. I understand. Well, let's have a look at it, and I'll get you something to help with the itching. If I may, I don't think the murder will help, sir." He offered a little sympathetic smile. "But you may suggest that she might want to come in, too."

“Oh, we’ll be having words later.” M’ayen’s voice was grim as he started to unbutton his shirt.

The rash seemed to have spread over most of his body though it was at its brightest and most lurid red in certain areas - there was a patch over the middle of M’ayen’s back, and more around his arm-pits. His feet were red to the ankle and there was a particularly bright and inflamed looking patch over his groin, spreading right over to his rear. Still scratching, looking uncomfortable and flustered, he gave Cuylar a look that promised his bed-partner weren’t the only one at risk of murder if word of this got out.

"Ah… Sir, I'll go ahead and start off with it doesn't look like much of the inflammation is in places where I would ordinarily expect contact during intercourse. Was this an exceptionally… unusual session?" he asked. "Complete discretion," he added, raising a hand.

It didn’t stop M’ayen giving him a murderous look. “No, it was not. The sharding woman must have.. Infested my fur with sharding fleas or something.” He scratched under one arm angrily. “She has firelizards. Do firelizards carry fleas?”

"Firelizards can have mites," said Cuylar, "but those mites don't generally infest humans. This looks more like an allergic reaction to me. I wouldn't expect it came from your erstwhile partner unless she's also exhibiting the same symptoms. And even then, she might have come into contact with the same allergen when she was with you. You haven't been outside the weyr? Eaten anything unusual?"

“Nothing that didn’t come from the Weyr kitchens.” One foot scratched at the other ankle as M’ayen continued scratching at his arm-pit. “Went to bed fine, woke up itchy, and then by a couple of hours later it was unbearable.” And if he couldn’t stop scratching he was going to give himself a whole host of new problems from making himself sore.

"I presume you've already washed with soap and water," said Cuylar. He suspected there was a perfectly logical explanation here for the exact pattern, and that was that someone had applied something to his clothing. And perhaps his bedding. That would certainly be more apparent if the woman he had been with was also itching up a storm.

But Cuylar was not going to connect those dots for M'ayen himself. He was not about to rat anybody out if it were, say, a group of mischievous Candidates fed up with the way M'ayen was treating them.

"I'll go get something for the itching. A salve and a bit of butter nettle powder you can take with water. If you haven't washed, you'll want to do that right away. There may have been a tainted batch of soap in the laundry as well. If we see more folks with the same symptoms, that could also explain it."

“Ugh, that could be it,” M’ayen acknowledged. “It seemed to go off while I was in the bathing pool and then got worse again once I dressed.” He scratched again angrily. “I’ll try digging out some older clothes.”

Cuylar should probably tell him not to try that… but there was no reason he should expect that Candidates did it. Not yet, anyway. He did not have to tell anyone he knew what M'ayen had done to Garatt's hand. In all fairness, Garatt had never said who it was himself.

Soon, Cuylar returned with the jar of salve that should help to neutralize any acidic or alkaline substances on M'ayen's skin along with a bit of numbing agent, and a paper packet with the butter nettle powder. That might not really do anything unless whatever it was causing it was an allergen. But placebos never hurt anything.

M’ayen was still standing naked, looking uncomfortable. “Does the Infirmary have any spare clothes I could borrow by chance?” Because putting itchy clothes back on did not seem inviting.

"I'll get you something," said Cuylar. He really should have thought of it, but then, he was not precisely inclined to be any more accommodating to M'ayen than professionalism required. "The salve should help. Slather on a bit now, and then again in four to six hours. Come back if you run out and need more. I'll be right back."

He ducked out and then returned not too long after with a loose fitting robe and trousers sort of situation.

The slight numbness was an instant relief  and M’ayen was looking slightly less murderous when he got back. Maybe even a little grateful. “Thank you. That helped,” he admitted, reaching for the clothes.

Cuylar nodded.

"If the rash gets worse or doesn't get better after a few days," he said, "then come back. Just in case, I'd send everything to be washed again."

“I will.” New clothes were quickly pulled on, thankfully much less irritating than the old. “And-- obviously, this does not go further.”

"Of course. As always," Cuylar assured him. He never would have guessed that M'ayen would not recognize him… But then, had Kregg even recognized him? He should not be surprised.

"Is there anything else you'd like to talk about?"

M’ayen looked at him blankly, seeming surprised by the question. “No. Thank you, Journeyman. Other than the rash I’m quite healthy.” And perhaps there, in the misread or possibly the not-seen, knots was the clue.

Cuylar had to fight to keep the smile from his face this time. Journeyman, was it? Cuylar's knots were not hiding. And despite the extra green for Elphith, they were not difficult to read.

"If you happen to see the woman you were with again, would you ask her to come in, too, if she experiences any symptoms?" he asked.

M’ayen scowled a little “It definitely wasn’t something she carried in?” he asked suspiciously.

"It definitely wasn't," Cuylar assured him. He was not about to let her take the blame for it, regardless of any other plans he might have.

He accepted that, grudgingly. “I’ll let her know.”

Re: Month 10: FF’s First *Between* Lesson ((Attn: Ko’ssen, Rebme, & Indali))


It was hard to tell who was more ready for this, Indali or Tanivith. Indali was excited because she was one of the few of her classmates given permission to actually go between today and she considered that a solemn honor. Tanivith was excited because it meant that she was one step closer to being allowed to rise. Soon she would be the only thing that the bronzes, browns, and blues wanted and she lived for that moment. The power would be hers.

"Tanivith! Focus on the now instead of the then!" Indali swiftly rebuked her dragon, who snapped out of her reverie with a grunt.

{{Right, Arolos Point. I'm ready for it!}} Tanivih confirmed with a snap of her wings as she launched up in the air when it was her turn. The green rose to the proper altitude and Indali passed along the image. Tanivith passed it to Zerenth and her mentor and gave a triumphant bugle when she was given permission to go. Using her innate abilities, the green popped into the freezing cold blackness. Indali fought to control her terror and count, but the seconds seemed to last forever in the ultimate night.

{{I'm here,}} Tanivith's voice came like a soothing and warm blanket to the girl. {{We'll be there soon, I know where I'm going. And then you'll be warm again.}}

Right as her dragon finished speaking, they emerged into blinding sunlight and almost overwhelming warmth. Indali wooped and Tanivith gave a triumphant bugle as they did a victory loop over the stones. They'd done it! They'd successfully went between and were that much closer to becoming full dragonriders.
Out of the fire comes new life. Telgar Rises!

Are you afraid of the dark? Come play in the Shadow...

Re: So what do you think? {Dyarla, Dyrina}


Dyrina turned a bright, inquiring gaze on her younger sister. "Yes, I did hear that." In fact, Dyrina would be surprised had anyone in the Weyr not heard, dragons and weyrfolk being the true gossips at heart that they were. She chuckled. "Upset more than one betting pool from what I've heard."
She arced an inquisitive eyebrow. She had some ideas on where this
conversation might be going, but it was better to allow the younger
woman to get there at her own pace. "Why do you ask?"<<

Dyarla chuckled at that with a grin "I bet. Even if it did happen once
before who would ever bet on two golds especially with how that flight
went. I mean right after fall and how all three dragons ended up? No I
don't think anyone would have guessed that." she agreed.

She paused after that looking out over the lake watching the dragons
for a long moment before finally replying "I want one Dyrina." she
said finally after the pause looking back at her sister "Hatchings are
always exciting, but there are two out there. There are two little
golds, and I want one. I didn't know how much I wanted one until they
were on the sands." she confided in the older girl finally looking
away from the lake and back to the bluerider "Is that silly?" She
needed Dyrina to tell her that there was nothing wrong with it, that
there was nothing wrong with her wanting a gold, as always she needed
her sister to approve of her or at least not disapprove.


Join the Aywas fun -

"My personality is 30% the last anime I watched." - Tumblr
"Remind me never to get out our bad side. It seems to be ...
unhealthy." - Varric
"Death By Apple Pie a lovely poem by our friend Cole" - Dorian

I Have Some Concerns... (jp: Cremsden, Cuylar)


Cuylar knocked on Cremsden's office door and then let himself in once he was sure Cremsden was there.

"Hey. Do you have a minute?" he asked.

“Sure.” The office wasn’t as completely packed with firelizards as it used to be but there were still half a dozen placed around shelves and desk. “Only writing up notes, 
nothing exciting. Are we on a klah break or is it work?”

"It's work," said Cuylar with an apologetic grimace. "But I'll pour you a mug if you like." He walked to pour one for himself.

"I saw a Candidate for a checkup because they'd been sent for something to help them sleep. Skittish as a whipped puppy when I tried to take their pulse."

“Oof.” And Cremsden set down his pen, turning in his chair to give Cuylar his full attention. “You think there’s problems?”

"Oh, I know there's problems," said Cuylar as he sipped his klah. "They've got trouble sleeping, I reckon, due to anxiety. And not a little bit due to an injury. Lashes on their palm. I've heard quite a bit of the story of how they came about, but I promised to be judicious in who I told and how. The patient is afraid of retaliation."

Cremsden winced at that, hand coming up to cover his eyes a moment. “Well.. feck,” he said bluntly. “Home life or here?”

"Here," said Cuylar. "And to a lesser extent, also home life. Now that you mention it. When it comes to that part, we likely couldn't be more different, but when it comes to here? I see a lot of myself in the kid. I offered to apprentice them, you know – you should be proud."

“Feck’em,” Cremsden sighed deeply. “Sharding bastards can spot a kid who’s started off miserable a mile off. Like someone already started doing their work for them. So, you’re here to tell me I get a new kid then?” He reached for a new piece of paper now, ready for details. “Don’t worry, I don’t know anything.”

"He said he didn't think Healing was for him," said Cuylar. "But he thinks every Candidatemaster is out to get him. He never said the one who gave him the lashes, but you can bet his eyes lit up and went wide when I told him about a certain Candidatemaster I once knew."

Cuylar sighed and sipped more.

"He's swamped with work he doesn't feel like he can finish, and he took the lashes in return for being allowed to go on the Candidates' little camping trip. I told him I would bring his sleeping medicine to him there and then once he gets back, I want him in for a sleep study. Mainly because I think if he has a safe space, he won't have as much trouble nodding off – it has to be the anxiety."

“If he gives you anything to concern you after the trip, he has a fever,” Cremsden said flatly. “You’re quarantining him out of concern for-- no shardit, that won’t work, kid’ll want to stand, feck--” And for a moment he went off into a string of distinctly unHealer-like curses that had Bitey sitting up and looking at him as though trying to remember them for later use.

"Calm down, calm down. He can't Stand. They've already determined that he's not fit for it this time around," said Cuylar, waving his hand at Cremsden to interrupt the tirade. "So it will work. And I'll keep that in my back pocket. Now, I think he would be willing to drop out of the Candidacy all together if not for the other half of that equation. He's meant to Inherit his father's hold. Except it seems neither one of them really wants to."

"The father has the boy convinced he's stupid, and I think he thinks sending him to Stand is just about the only way to get rid of him without it looking strange to his people," Cuylar explained. "And the boy is sure that if he's no longer Standing, he'll have to go home. I thought maybe if we, ah… faked a certain groinular kind of injury and convinced Father that he can't have an heir of his own, that might serve as well. What do you think?"

“Unless the man actively doesn’t want the boy to inherit, I think you’ll lose your career when he starts looking for a specialist,” Cremsden said frankly. “You’ve not worked in Holds much, have you?”

"Ah, not apart from when you took me up to help with the clinic," Cuylar admitted. He had not considered that the boy's father might look for a second opinion. "Do you think he would have let him come to the weyr if he did want him to Inherit?" he asked. "It sounds like he's spared no expense when it comes to tutors, but if he's let him come here, it feels like he's giving up."

Not that Cuylar especially wanted to risk his career on a hunch.

Cremsden sighed. “Hard to tell without actually meeting the man. Might be he wants rid of him, might be he doesn’t believe the kid will Impress but wants the Weyr to crush that dream rather than him so he’ll come back and settle down properly.” He raked a hand through his hair a moment. “Okay, shall we deal with one issue at a time?”

"That's the best way to do it, isn't it?" said Cuylar. There was definitely a reason he brought his harebrained schemes to Cremsden before trying to singlehandedly implement them.

“Okay. I assume Father’s arrival at the Weyr isn’t imminent so let’s prioritise. Tell me what-- tell me what you want me to know and I swear to you I’ll forget it the moment we leave this room,” Cremsden offered.

"Well, obviously, M'ayen has chosen this kid as his Example." Cuylar folded his arms. "The one he cracks down on so everyone else knows he's serious? He doesn't seem to want to be a Candidate all that much, he thinks he's not smart enough to do much else, and he's going to have a nervous breakdown if nothing changes."

Cremsden looked at him a moment, just looked, seeming to be searching for words. “Cuylar,” he said after a moment, tone quiet and careful. “Tell me you’ve got a witness to this who isn’t you. Someone who’s seen those marks. An apprentice will do.”

"I sent him out of here with his hand cleaned and bandaged," said Cuylar. "But he barely let me see it and demanded I not tell anyone before he would. I'll be seeing him again tonight before bed. Should I have him show it to Elphith? She couldn't lie if a gold asked her what she had seen."

“I..don’t know,” Cremsden admitted. “I’ve never used a dragon for a witness for anything before. Might be they’d argue she’s picking memories out of your head and your perception would be influenced by.. Well.” He hesitated. “I’m tempted to tell you to hand me something to sign and I’ll agree I’ve seen it but I’m not sure it’ll pass.”

"They'll ask him to confirm it without giving us a chance to get the story straight," said Cuylar. "I offered to introduce him to Elphith after class. Meet him there with me, and you can see it. If he'll show you."

“Think he will, or do I look too terrifying?” Cremsden asked. “Last time I had to do this--” because there had been a last time, which implied there were other times before that “--I snagged one of the younger looking female Senior Apprentices. Alyx I think it was, or maybe Aru.”

"You don't look any more terrifying than I do…" Cuylar pointed out. "But sending a woman might not go amiss. He's bound to realize I told if I go bringing extra witnesses I barely know. But maybe if I bring you, I can say I needed you to take a second look to approve the sleeping medicine."

Cremsden considered it and nodded slowly. “If he seems nervous about it, back off,” he cautioned. “This’ll go easier if you have back up, but if he’s trusting you right now -- it’s not worth screwing that up.”

"I agree," said Cuylar. "I don't know what I said to convince him, other than that I was a Candidate once in the same position… But that didn't work very well the last time I tried it, so maybe it was something else."

Cremsden shrugged. “Sometimes it’s just the right tone of voice at the right moment when they need to hear it. Don’t question it too much. The important thing is that right now he’s listening to you.”

Cuylar nodded. "And I mean to do my best to see this doesn't happen again, of course. It would all be much easier if his parents were Healers who would absolutely love to hear he had come back to the Infirmary, eh? But of course, we're not that lucky."

“Mmm.” Cremsden glanced up at his face at that. “I know you won’t want me to. But-- you want a drink after this?”

"I'll be OK," said Cuylar. "I hate to drink in front of you, anyway. Not very fair, is it? I can't save everyone, but for now, I'm not going to assume the worst about this one."

“Come over anyway,” Cremsden offered. “Margana’s got drills so I’ve got Arden but.. Baby cuddles improve a lot of things I find, and he smells really good when he’s not smelling awful.”

Cuylar smiled and nodded.

"I'll take you up on that. It'll be easier that way, anyway. I can say we were already together when it was time for me to take the boy his medicine."

“You could stay over if you wanted, but we’ve been pacing the floor in the early hours the last couple of days so it might not be all that restful,” Cremsden admitted, reluctant to leave Cuylar on his own after a bad day but also realistic. “Teeth. Or just he’s feeling grumpy. One of those two things.”

"We'll play it by ear," said Cuylar. He appreciated the offer, but if he really needed a warm body in his bed, he had a few options… and they would all sleep through the night.

“Okay. Let’s see if we can get this logged and documented first then,” Cremsden said. “Then you can worry about the rest of the kid’s life.”

Last Will and Testament of a Candidate (JP: Asheran & Garatt)

Laura Walker

Asheran lay on his back in the tall grass, staring up at the night sky overhead. He had one arm tucked under his head; with the other, he dug up loamy, damp earth and ran it through his fingers. He had set himself a little apart from the others, still lit by the dim glow of the nearest campfire - but unwilling for the moment to return to its raucous, noisy warmth. He could hear snatches of conversation, laughter, what sounded like the refrain of a badly sung song. He let it wash over him. A seven-day left at most, and then things would change for him forever - one way or another.

He wanted to tell his parents, or tell Alyx - someone. But no one would be there while he Stood to witness his crowning achievement. Though, he acknowledged, there would be the others who had helped him, his friends, and there would be the Weyrwoman, and the look on her face when he Impressed would be an achievement in itself. He just couldn't disappoint everyone who had stuck their necks out for him. He wouldn't. So he reached for perspective, instead. He tried to clear his head, tried to work through contingencies. He felt - even now - keyed up for a fight. He wanted a fight, something simple and straightforward he could finish with his fists. He needed to burn off some energy - the sudden image of him in a Runner circle, doing lunges, made him laugh. He tossed up the wad of dirt in his hand and watched as Felix swooped down low to catch it out of the air, then wail piteously when she realised what it was.

"You dumb flit," he said warmly to the fat green firelizard, feeling suddenly more centered. "Who's going to watch you, huh?"

He couldn't ask Tyne. That would give it away.

There was rustling in the grass nearby. The light was growing dim, Garatt hadn’t expected anyone to be there, and sometimes you just needed to exercise a call of nature. It had seemed an easy enough matter just to head back towards the campfires, and it would have been if there hadn’t been anyone lying in the grass.

So, he headed back towards the fires, eyes on the light rather than the ground, and noticed Asheran about a millisecond after he fell over him, landing less than gracefully on the ground.

"Hey!" Asheran barked, rolling to avoid the falling body, and pushed up onto his forearms. Whatever brief peace he had gone looking for was broken; he felt annoyed, even if it was probably his fault for loafing around in the dirt like a sunning tunnel snake. "What gives?"

Above him, Felix tucked her wings in and dropped, dive bombing the interloper with hangry little noises.

Garatt yelped and covered his face with his arms, trying to protect himself from the firelizard. “Sorry! I-- I didn’t know you were there,” he apologised quickly, half-rolling himself as he tried to sit back up without getting attacked. “It was dark!”

"Garatt?" Asheran squinted, then slouched back on his elbows, feeling some of that hard annoyance disappear. You couldn't be angry at Garatt - it was like kicking a particularly helpless puppy. Felix, on the other hand...

"Felix, quit that - go find the… go find Kashara, she has food!" He shooed the firelizard away from the other boy and watched as the space where she had hovered grew lighter as she vanished - presumably to go look for the food that wasn't there. It was a trick that always seemed to work, much to his flit's eternal angst.

"You okay?"

“Sorry,” Garatt apologised again, but it was at least easier to push himself back up to sitting without Felix flying at his face. “Just-- didn’t expect you there.” He squinted at Asheran in the dark, not entirely sure if he’d irritated the older boy. “I can just--go away again?”

Asheran lifted his shoulders up in a loose, light shrug, then flopped back onto the ground, aware of the dirt in his hair and streaking up the back of his clothes.

"No, stick around. I was just thinking about - uh." Not the Hatching that I'm definitely not going to sneak into. "Stuff." He glanced over toward Garatt, sticking an arm back beneath his head, and deflected:

"You okay?" He echoed.

“..Yeah.” And Garatt sounded almost surprised by that himself. “Yeah actually. It’s good here.” After days of feeling progressively more anxious and waiting to be pounced on for whatever he’d done wrong next, the relief provided by being somewhere no-one was going to shout was like an enormous breath of fresh air. He settled more comfortably, cross-legged, bandaged hand resting in his lap. 

"Kinda reminds me of nights back home when my folks'd want some time for themselves. They'd send all of us out camping in the field - you know, guarding against rogue wherries or the like." Asheran's gaze sharpened after a few dull moments on Garatt's bandaged hand, drawn by the movement, and then he looked away studiously. He thought back - had Garatt had the bandages in class? Or when they spoke near the tanning vats? Or during their egg watching excursion in the stands? Had he been hurt when everyone evacuated then, or later? It seemed new - or Asheran had been unobservant, which bothered him on some level, because he was supposed to be looking out for the younger boy.

"What happened to your hand?"

“I--” Garatt flushed, but he’d had time to think of a story. “Obstacle course. Was hurting after. Healer said I’d strained the muscles.” And hopefully that story would hold when Cuylar did actually report it up.

"Well, it's wrapped all wrong for that. Here - let me see," Asheran pushed upright, sitting up beside the other boy, and held out his hand expectantly. He didn't know much about healing, outside of what he heard Alyx say occasionally and what they covered during his early chores in the infirmary, but he knew a little bit firsthand about muscle strains. "It's gotta be a lot tighter or you may as well not even bandage it at all. You got numbweed for it?"

Garatt’s face froze, all the anxiety that he'd thought had vanished rushing back. He covered the injured hand protectively with his right hand. “It’s okay. One of the Infirmary Healers did it earlier, numbweeded it and everything.’

Asheran paused, glanced from Garatt's hand to his face, then drew back with another of those casual shrugs, though there was a careful watchfulness about him, too.

"Alright," he murmured, feeling suddenly out of his depth. Something was odd here, but if Garatt didn't want to share, he wasn't going to bully him into an answer. Men had secrets; every Holder knew on some instinctual level that sometimes a man's problems were his burdens to carry alone, right? "You know if you ever need to talk about stuff, though, well, I'm no mind healer. I won't go passing stuff up wing if you tell me a cloud looks a lot like your... your mother, or something. I'm here to talk."

Maybe he was embarrassed about slicing his palm open on a harp string. What did Harpers do anyway?

The rush of relief at being left and the utter weirdness of that phrase made Garatt giggle - a little inappropriately but sometimes laughter caught you like that. “Wouldn’t know if it did,” he admitted, relaxing again although his right hand stayed covering the injured left from view. “Not exactly sure what she looked like.” Which shouldn’t really be funny but was too far removed to be painful, and sometimes you couldn’t help what tickled you.

Fuck. Asheran tried not to wince. Despite spending Turns at the Weyr, where broken families seemed to be the norm and not the exception, he always seemed to put his foot in his mouth at the first opportunity.

So he made a noncommittal noise deep in his throat and slouched back again, looking back up at the sky overhead.

“...Sorry.” It was easy to make Garatt apologise lately. He was so worried about losing the friends he had that just an odd look would do the trick. The laughter quickly dried up. “It's not funny really, I know.”

"Don't apologise if you didn't do anything to warrant it." Asheran glanced sidelong at Garratt, then leaned over to give his shoulder a friendly shove. "I'm the one put my foot in it, anyway. If anyone's supposed to apologise, it's me."

“It's okay though,” Garatt offered.”I mean. It’s not like I knew her to miss.” No one was shouting; it was safe to relax again. “It's like, if something happened to Auntie, I mean, my aunt,” he corrected the baby name self consciously. “that’d be just awful. But it's hard to miss someone you never knew anyway.”

"Yeah." That line made Asheran think of the clutch of eggs out on the sands again, though, which reminded him that he still hadn't found a sitter for his flit. "Hey, you said they were thinking of pulling you from Standing, right? What happened with that?"

“Oh.” Garatt looked sheepish. Absent-mindedly he started to pick at the grass, pulling up a few stalks to twiddle with. “I just uh. Got nerves, I guess,” he admitted, wishing he had an excuse that sounded more like ‘people got angry after I tried to heroically save someone from an angry gold dragon’. An excuse like that sounded a lot more manly than ‘I realised dragons are really big and have teeth and got scared’. “Tr’foshe thought it’d be better if I waited.”

"I got caught up with Flight stuff last clutch, during the seven-day prohibition," Asheran offered, assuming blandly it was somehow related, not so curious that he'd ask about the specifics. It was more polite to suggest that somehow Garatt was involved with a girl than just - well, just falling behind. He also didn't point out that despite his own Flight stuff, he had bitten his tongue until afterwards and Stood anyway. "It happens. I was wondering if you'd watch my flit for me, around then, Felix. She's a handful, but really sweet if you feed her."

“Is she the one who uh, got annoyed when I tripped on you?” Garatt glanced around, not exactly sure where she’d vanished to. “I’ve never looked after a firelizard before, just.. You know, normal stuff like dogs and runners. And cats, but honestly mostly those looked after themselves.”

"She's… She's a good flit, really. It just takes her longer to figure out stuff. All you'd have to do is feed her and she'd stick around." Asheran felt a little defensive about his dumb firelizard, especially when the muted frustration in the back of his mind signified that she still hadn't managed to work out yet she'd been sent on a wild wherry chase. "Plus, if you ever needed me to kick someone's … if you ever needed any help, I mean, she can find me anywhere. It's what they're good for, over canines and stuff. They're real clever."

Somewhere, off-screen, Felix was eating rocks.

“Does that mean you’re going home or something?” Garatt’s brain finally caught up with ‘reasons you’d ask someone to watch a pet’. “Don’t firelizards normally just go wherever you go?”

Asheran had forgotten for an instant that Garatt wasn't in on the heist, and he had forgotten to think of something beforehand, so he paused for a moment, and then he improvised.

"My girl's wher doesn't like her when she gets, uh, proddy. He's liable to eat her." Lie, lie. It stung a little to not tell Garatt the truth, and he blew air hard out of his nose, leaning forward over his knees. "Just for a couple days, and there's this - she's not really a rider, Tyne, but she's good with flits. After that, if you run into any trouble, she can manage her."

“...Will she be proddy long?” It was a natural question. Not that Garatt wasn’t happy to have something to look after but surely proddiness didn’t usually last days. “Do I..” he waved a hand vaguely, blushing a little, conscious of stallions led to mares, and rams loosed amongst ewes. “..have to do anything?”

"Just a seven-day or so, I guess, but she won't rise or anything, she's just…" Asheran groped for the word he always heard gold riders use, only half aware after all this time what it really meant. "She's gravid. Just feed her whenever she wants it, and she'll be fine. Meat, fish, soup, bread, basically anything. I'll be back for her in no time, and maybe she'll help you sleep in the meanwhile."

If Asheran didn’t know what that word meant, Garatt did. He sat up a little straighter, eyes widening. “She’s going to have babies?”

Oh, suddenly a lot of conversations over the Turns made a lot more sense. Asheran palmed at his face, exhaled into his hand, then nodded with the weary resignation of a man digging himself in deeper and deeper - or, hopefully, also of a man who had a dumb flit preparing to make more dumb flits.

"Eventually? But not… She's just proddy right now, and she's… she won't clutch in your bed or anything." At least she was fat enough to look the part, he supposed.

“I can-- I can make her a nest?” Garatt offered, with more interest and enthusiasm than he’d shown about just about anything in Candidacy up to that point. “When my -- I mean, Auntie’s - cat was having kittens she wanted a nest.” She’d actually given birth in the shoe closet in the end which meant for a few days Garatt and his cousins had done without their boots. Still, right up until the point where she had decided to do that she had wanted a nest.

Asheran had opened his mouth to shut down the idea, but Garatt's enthusiasm stopped him. He'd been so down about things, and now he looked so… different, and what could it really possibly hurt?

"Yeah, that might be sort of nice. I mean, she's liable to, when she clutches, put them anywhere -" Why am I still talking about this?

"You ever think about getting a flit?"

“Auntie said I was too young and uh, there was never really a good moment to ask my father,” Garatt admitted. The truth was that his father tended towards the sternly formal to the point that requests seemed to dry up in his throat some time before he managed to spit the words out. “How long is it usually between, uh.. You know, proddiness and when they have the babies-- well, eggs I suppose?”

Asheran's mind blanked. Everything he knew about flits was self-taught, and amounted even then to very little. He gestured vaguely, at least managing to sound confident when he said:

"Oh, you know, it depends. It won't be too soon."

“Do you have to--” Garatt was very pink. A certain amount of matter-of-factness about farm animals had been drilled into him by his aunt sure enough, and his father and tutor had then spent four turns firmly reinforcing that these weren’t nice subjects to discuss. “Uh. Monitor which male it is?”

Why am I still talking about this? Asheran twisted to look at Garatt, then shook his head patiently, visible even in the low light.

"It wouldn't really matter, I think. She's just a green. Just feed her, that's it. Don't let her find me until I come back."

“I’ll look after her really well,” Garatt promised. “Your girlfriend’s wher is really fierce, huh?”

His girlfriend's wher was so unfierce that the lie stuck in his throat. He pictured the big, goofy, playful brown and shook his head.

"Not really. Just with Felix. He's real good around people, well-behaved, you know, she has him trained pretty decent. But he'd eat a flit in - he'd… Felix isn't too smart, she'd fly right up in his craw, and that would be that."

Then, looking for an excuse to stop lying his way into logical knots, he glanced at Garatt's hand again and found himself saying: "If you want help on the course, I can give you some pointers."

It was Garatt’s turn to look sheepish and he covered the bandage again with his good hand, trying to hide it. “Maybe when we’re back.”

Asheran misread the sheepish expression, and pressed on bullishly, leaning forward again: "Couple points, real quick. First, no matter how good you are, you're gonna fall off the first half dozen times, no matter what. That's because you're a smart guy, you're a thinking man, right? No matter how many times you think you understand, you'll fall off because there's nothing to think about. It's pure muscle memory. You just have to keep doing it over and over until your body learns and your head forgets. No thinking, just… You basically sleepwalk through it. Body reacts, mind goes under. That's probably where you mess up."

He reached out again, this time to poke Garatt in the forehead.

"You can't learn it from a book."

“..I’m not smart,” Garatt was surprised enough by the first part of that to just stop and listen a minute, ducking away from Asheran’s finger. “I just read a lot. That’s not smart, I just-- sometimes it’s easier than people.”

"You're smart. Maybe you're too smart to see it, but that's what trips you up, I think. You overthink stuff that should be really simple." Asheran wasn't having any of that modesty bullshit from him now. More and more he was realising that, though they both nominally came from holds, they had been raised in radically different ways. Reading wasn't something dumb people did for fun. Shells, before he'd come here, the smartest person he'd even known had been his own father, and his father had never been remotely literate. Reading was something Harpers did; reading for fun was something rich Lord Holders did.

"Got it? You're smart, just… you get tripped up by it."

“I’m really really not.” Garatt rarely doubled down on anything, particularly of late. Apparently this was the topic he chose to dig his heels in on. “If-- If I was smart I wouldn’t even have a problem with the stupid essays, I could just be.. One of those people who write them in five minutes and then they’re perfect and no-one complains. I wouldn’t even be behind if I was smart!” Instead of which it felt like most of the CandidateMaster team was constantly breathing down his neck.

When he'd say something stupid, his brothers would punch him. Asheran considered that strategy, but discarded it with the understanding that maybe Garatt needed something more abstract and delicate, instead. So he opened up, instead.

"I didn't even know how to write, or read, when I got here. It's hard, and I can't bloody well even understand how you do it for fun, Garatt. My eyes hurt, the squiggles go all dumb. Nobody's good at essays, that's just… It takes me candlemarks sometimes figuring out stuff, right? But once I do, I just stick with it until everybody agrees with me. That's more about just persuading people. I bet as soon as they say you're wrong, you go with it, right?"

“No, I don’t, I--” Garatt’s chin was jutting out, his expression stiff in an effort to keep it under control because he was not, not, not getting upset over this again. Not in front of Asheran, who right now he’d do just about anything to make sure he preserved his good opinion of him. He took a deep breath, both to try to calm himself and to try to explain.

“Reading is just-- it’s words, okay? It’s just remembering what words look like. Once you know what they look like enough, you can do it fast. It’s like.. Like talking, you don’t have to remember what words sound like to listen to someone, you just--you know. It’s just practice, and doing it longer. It’s not smart. Smart is-- if you can read it or, or hear it and then make it work for someone else, that’s smart. And I, I can’t, the words come out wrong, or I forget what I’m meant to be saying or--or I get some other thing that I don’t know what it is wrong and--” He took another breath, “--and half the ACMs hate me because I can’t do any of them right and they think I ought to be able to, and I’m not even meant to be here, ‘cause they weren’t going to let me come because I couldn’t catch up, and-- and I think my father mostly wishes he had got ‘round to having a second son who didn’t just stare at him when he wants to know what-- what stupid crop is good for, for a certain soil type or something and-- and don’t call me smart!” 

Okay, so not quite so good at being calm at the end as at the beginning. He looked down at his hands, good one holding the bandaged one so tightly it was starting to hurt, and made himself let go.

Okay, Asheran thought as the rant washed over him. That didn't work. I'm going to have to hit him. He sized up Garatt, listening but not focused, trying to figure out how best to jar him without actually hurting him. Shoulder jab? Shove in the side? His brothers would go for the gut punch, mostly because it'd rarely bruise and he couldn't cry tunnel snake to their ma, but he didn't think Garatt would handle getting hit in the stomach very well. Maybe the upper arm, but he was so weedy --

"Wait, back up. You weren't allowed to come? How did you sneak in? We rode on dragons."

When you were saying it to someone else, ‘one of the ACMs was mean to me so I cried in front of the Candidate Counselor and he said I could come’ didn’t sound anything to be proud of. Garatt went red. “..Tr’foshe overruled them,” he admitted in a mutter, “because.. It doesn’t matter.” He stared at his hands, injured one still held protectively close.

Asheran followed Garatt's stare to his hands, and he focused on them as he slowly, carefully worked back through their conversation. There were secrets, after all, and then there were secrets. He hadn't seemed all that enthused about the obstacle course advice, the bandaging was off, maybe there were a dozen smaller tells he had missed. Maybe it was an overreach, but going with his gut instinct hadn't really failed him yet - except for all the many myriad times it had.

"Tell me how you hurt your hand."

He thought about his father, and tried to put that same iron will into his own voice.

“I..” Garatt was wishing he’d picked a different story already because apparently he’d decided to lie to an obstacle course expert and now he was going to have to firstly describe a nonexistent accident in a believable fashion and then probably be told how not to repeat it. “I--slipped on the.. Climbing thing, you know the big one? And I-- probably wasn’t holding onto it right with my, my left hand but then it was taking my full weight.” Wait, would that have hurt his hand or his wrist? He wasn’t sure any more.

That was Mister obstacle course expert. To say Asheran practically lived there after his first failed Stand would not have been that much of an overstatement - so it was with a mixture of confusion and disbelief that he said:

"The ramp? With the rock wall? Wait, are you talking about rope?" He cocked his head to the side like a quizzical canine, picturing the course, trying to work out what "the big one" translated to. Also, if it was his hand that was hurt, a compression bandage for bruised fingers was worthless - and a strain would have… immobilised them? Maybe? With tiny little sticks? If he had hung from it, he'd probably have hurt his wrist, right?

If Garatt had said he'd twisted his wrist reading a book, turning too many pages or something, he'd have believed him without question. But this?

"That," he said quietly, not unkindly, "sounds like wherry teeth." Which, muddled metaphor aside, aligned pretty closely with bullshit.

The truth was that Garatt tended to slog through the obstacle course slowly, usually somewhere near the back of the pack, but without actually falling off all that often. The truth was that he’d never actually stopped to think about this stupid lie before offering it and now he couldn’t actually remember a suitable obstacle.

He should have said he’d slipped and gotten a rope burn. That would have been a far better lie and he had his mouth half-open to attempt to talk his story around to that when Asheran called him on it. And he stopped, mouth still half-open, going slowly red, trying to work out if it was better to double down or move to a new story somehow.

"Let me see." Asheran held out his hand, then qualified the (let's be real, here) demand with: "I won't touch it, promise. Just look." 

Just like that, Garatt had been demoted from faux-brother to basically my sister's babies.

Garatt shook his head, still trying to hide it under his good hand. “...if.. If we take the bandage off I wouldn’t be able to get it back on right?” he offered, half a question, reaching desperately for any excuse going now. 

Asheran, like usual, saw only solutions.

"So we find somebody, you know, an apprentice healer who tagged along on the trip. It's just bandages for a strain, how hard can it be?"

And then yet another person would know. “No!” Garatt blurted, horrified by the idea. “I just..don’t want you to.” Good excuses had run right out. Five minutes before Garatt had been relaxed and chatting enthusiastically about firelizard care. Now he was clutching his hand, eyes darting around, looking for a way out of this conversation.

Asheran exhaled hard through his teeth, staring at Garatt - clearly wanting to push the other boy into an answer, a better answer. But with a low oath he pushed up to his feet instead, pacing back and forth restlessly.

"Fine, but if -" if what? They weren't kin. Garatt might have become his latest project, but he wasn't going to torment him just to find out who his latest tormentors were. So he gestured vaguely, the motion a blur in the growing dark, then turned his gaze back toward the campfire.

"Shard it, then. I'm gonna head back to the fire. If you wanna meet Felix, I can call her back."

It would be a few minutes before Garatt’s heartbeat settled, before that quick panicky feeling of ‘he wants me to tell, I can’t tell, he’s going to make me tell’ stopped feeling like it might choke him. What would happen if he had told he wasn’t sure; only that Asheran was likely to be angry, and however he might think he would help M’ayen had all the power here. Some way or another, if Asheran knew, something bad was likely to happen.

He’d watched quiet and wide-eyed as Asheran paced, all out of reasons beyond please don’t ask. It took a moment for him to follow the older boy to his feet when invited. “That would be good,” he agreed cautiously, but his voice had gone small, stiff and polite, infused with a wariness that hadn’t been there before.

I can't let myself get distracted by this right now, Asheran thought, keyed up in a way he had been trying to avoid, and he made his way back to the fire, jaw clenched against anything else he might say to the younger boy. Focus.

He tried to clear his head. He failed.


Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.

Re: Right Place + Right Time = Loneliness (Attn: Any)


Alyx couldn't help it, she giggled and shook her head. "He won't even get in the same room. seems their dislike has become mutual. Cremmie doesn't much like his habit of yelling at everyone."

Cremmie had leaned his shoulder up against Alyx's hip, he came up to there now easily, but when Chato bounced at him he stepped carefully away from Alyx, then half reared up on his hind legs, half spreading his stunted wings, in a clearly playful fashion. He snapped his wings back closed though, to keep them safer and went to pounce Chato.
Have fun with any of my characters. Alyx, Lerian (candidates), Vayka (Healer), J'hen, D'vik, Teyra, Cotai (Riders), Rotasta (AWLM)

Re: Hair today, gone tomorrow. (Attn: D'vik/Fabio- Calyse)


Calyse found herself unable to stay mad at the little 'lizard while he behaved so affectionately - even if the stench of burned hair still followed her everywhere. She'd have to do something about that. For now, she concentrated on finding this mischievous thing's owner. Tracking down a rider named D'vik wasn't difficult, and she was given directions to his weyr by one of the staffers passing in the halls. 

Stomping up to the tunnel-side entrance, Calyse paused to tuck her badly asymmetrical hair behind her ears so that she didn't look entirely out of order. She approachd his weyr and knocked several times to announce her presence. "I have something of yours!" She called through the door, clear frustration in her words. "Candidate Calyse here, sir!"

On Sun, Aug 23, 2020, 10:44 AM Alyx <scottish.wolfecary@...> wrote:
As soon as the numbweed his his hide, Fabio relaxed into the girls arms with a relived sigh. He knew all about This part of the healing. This was the good part, when the hurt stopped. Though he wasn't so much a fan of being wrapped up. He didn't worry about scars, ladies liked scars. Or something like that. He wriggled slightly as she scooped him up again after putting things away, but made no complaints. One strand of non-torched hair had fallen forwards where he could reach it, he turned and rubbed his little wedge head through the soft locks as if he'd completely forgotten what had happened mere moments ago.
Have fun with any of my characters. Alyx, Lerian (candidates), Vayka (Healer), J'hen, D'vik, Teyra, Cotai (Riders), Rotasta (AWLM)

Re: Month 10: FF’s First *Between* Lesson ((Attn: Ko’ssen, Ry’len, & Keahi))


((Come on, come on!)) Taiath urged, practically dancing in place, even as Keahi listened intently to the Weyrlingmaster one last time, nodding and turning to her blue, mounting up before the pair were launching skyward. 

When the visual was cleared, Taiath gave a trumpet of excitement, and ducked between, emerging with another bugle of delight. ((WE DID IT!)) 

Re: Good Luck Can Be Uncomfortable (Attn: Reirel/Tamalak)


"Oh, Hi. Reirel, right? Yeah, it's kind of hard to not be known. Chato, want to say hello to Reirel?"

~~'kay.~~ Chato went up to the boy and sat prettily. ~~'lo, 'rel,~~ he said.

On Mon, Aug 24, 2020 at 2:09 PM Kouga <hanjikouga@...> wrote:
>>It had been three months since Tamalak's unexpected Impression to the tunnelwhere, Chato. The novelty for the other wherhandlers--both with and without whers--had worn off. Now he noticed that he was sometimes the recipient of dirty looks--usually when the others thought he wasn't looking.

This unfortunate circumstance had the detrimental side effect of
turning him anti-social in the whercraft. When he wasn't needed for
lessons or chores, he spent more and more time at the Weyr, where he
was viewed as more of an oddity than as an object of envy. So when he
saw someone heading towards him--Reirel, he thought--he put his head
down and veered away.

~Why we go dis way?~ Chato asked.

"I'm avoiding people."


"They're jealous of you. They want to be the ones who have you and
don't think I deserve you."

Chato sat. ~Dey can't have me. You all mine. Dey try, I bite.~ He
showed his sharp teeth.

"No, you can't bite them. Then we'll both be in trouble."

By now, the other person was close enough to hear, if he so wanted to.
Tamalak blushed, hoping he hadn't heard that last remark. Or any, for
that matter.<<

Reirel would admit that he hadn't been paying too much attention to
what he was doing or even where he was going, but with so many whers
around the sound of wher claws hadn't actually alerted him to
anything, no it was the voice. He blinked a couple of times looking up
and spotting the younger boy offered him a grin, he hadn't ever been
able to gold anything again Tamalak or the other boy for that matter
when they impressed their whers. Had he wished it had been him? Sure,
but he didn't hold it against them at all, not after Fort. Fort had
made it very hard for him to hold anything against anyone. After all
it was just that that had forced him into being a candidate when he
hadn't wanted to be one, but it had either been that or know his days
may be numbered one way or another.

"Hello Tamalak and Chato right?" he offered.


Join the Aywas fun -

"My personality is 30% the last anime I watched." - Tumblr
"Remind me never to get out our bad side. It seems to be ...
unhealthy." - Varric
"Death By Apple Pie a lovely poem by our friend Cole" - Dorian

Re: Right Place + Right Time = Loneliness (Attn: Any)


"Yeah, we had some extensive training to do with these mischievous little guys after the fiasco at the Gather," Tam said. "They're still very willful, and I don't know if it's because they're a different breed, or because Chato's bronze and Sleek's gold. Or a bit of both." He reached down--not as far as he used to need to--and scratched Chato's head. The usual frond wrapped itself around his fingers. He briefly wondered what it would be like to not have that little bit of acknowledgement, but seeing Cremmie he decided that the regular whers showed their affection in other ways.

"So, has Cremsden caught on to you naming your wher after him?"

Chato unwrapped his frond and crouched by Cremmie. ~~'bviosly Tam wrong.  We play now~~ and he ran around Cremmie playfully.

On Tue, Aug 25, 2020 at 7:03 PM Alyx <scottish.wolfecary@...> wrote:
"It's going pretty well actually. Cremmie is smart, and wants to please so most things have been pretty easy. I've also gone back to work part time. Now that he will stay in my room without eating furniture." She couldn't help a chuckle at that. That had to date been his worst habit to break. Not eating, or crushing her bed.

{Why not like? Tam nice, 'lyx nice?} The brown wher considered a minute, rustling his wings idly while he thought, and searched his human's mind a bit. {No, 'lyx likes just fine. Likes not trouble maker.}
Have fun with any of my characters. Alyx, Lerian (candidates), Vayka (Healer), J'hen, D'vik, Teyra, Cotai (Riders), Rotasta (AWLM)

Re: Trying to be Subtle atten: Tamalack/Kalain


And did it really matter anyway, if anyone heard them. But Tam didn't care about that anymore. He cared about his friend.

"If you can't talk to your best friend, who can you talk to?" he asked. Then he snapped his fingers. "Is it Karla? Do you want to see her? I'm sure she'd like to see you!"

On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 1:07 PM sailyn2 <empressoftheworld@...> wrote:
"There's no one to hear anyway," Kalain pointed out. He shook his head. "Nothing worth talking about." Or at least nothing  he could talk to Tam about.

Re: Month 10: FF’s First *Between* Lesson ((Attn: Ko’ssen, Rebme, & T’son))


T'son took a deep, shuddering breath. This was it. This was really it. Why did he feel so- so nervous? He'd been training for months to get to this point, and so had Sigyth. "Okay." he answered, squared his shoulders, took another deep breath. "..Okay. Yes sir, ma'am." he added to Rebme just in case. He could do this... right? 

He turned to Sigyth, mounted her, but not before the green gave him a nuzzle. ((We can do this, Mine, and we will.)) his dragon assured him, her affection strong in her mental voice, and he caressed her neck ridge. 

And then. And then T'son was summoning the clearest image he could, passing it to Sigyth, who passed it to Zerenth, got it confirmed. 

They went *between*.




And as they burst back into the warm Arolos sunshine, Sigyth bugled her joy and triumph, echoed by T'son's enthusiastic yell. ((WE DID IT!!!!))

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