Gailen Hears Glyith Telling Tales

Western Weyr - Living Caverns
Here is the center of Weyr life, the living caverns. These two main rooms were man-shaped from smaller caves, and are joined by a carved arch with depictions of dragons in flight and dolphins leaping in swirling waves. One room has many round stone and wooden tables and a stone fire-pit instead of a hearth. Over the round-walled, gas fired pit is a large conical hood made of polished bronze, with reliefs of dragons with their riders flying over ships guided by dolphins. This hood and chimney keeps the room smoke-free. Through the archway is an enormous hall, with long tables and benches, some carved from the rock floor, many crafted of wood. This room is a combination dining and meeting hall, and can seat over 300 comfortably. Above both rooms, angled shafts lined with polished metal bring in sunlight during the day. Electric lights also burn, day and night.

A'ven steps in, fully dressed for flying. Given the warmth outside he sheds his jacket quickly, "What a day!" "It's good to be up there on day like this…" He's not kidding. The sky is a brilliant mid-afternoon blue. "Just in time for dessert." He smiles.

Gailen looks up. He's got a 5 pound rough duck canvas sack, still with some sand encrusted on it, sitting on the table in front of him. It's open and a few bits of ocean treasures, or detritus depending on how you see the potential in each piece, spill out. He's taking out the bits of shell and stones and coral-like substances out, piece by piece, ad examining them, sorting them out in piles.

A'ven is curious, "Spend some time looking for seashells? Where you from, never been on the beach before?", he smiles and there's no teasing in his tone. It seems he genuinely wants to know. "Come on, I know you better than that. Why are you collecting all that stuff, you must have a bunch of that already…" He smiles. "Good to see you again."

Gailen grins. "Collecting? Heck, no! I'm sorting through to see what the jewelry makers here might want. There are at least two girls here that like this stuff."

A'ven smiles, "Girls then is it? Well you know, next time you see those girls you'll be able to give them all sorts of pretty things. Good for you!" He chooses a meal and begins to try it. "Mmm… wow, this is tender. Where'd they find meat like this in the middle of…" He almost thinks he's back at Eastern for a minute. "So that's what it's all about then, fetching girls?", he asks.

Gailen shrugs. "Naw. Just being neighborly. If they like the stuff and I got it, and know where to get more, I don't mind giving it to them if they want it." He cranes his neck to see what the WeyrLeader is dishing up. "What meat's tender? What's Eastern like? Is that on an island, too?"

A'ven explains, "Eastern is part of the Southern continent. It a bay really, Monaco Bay. I would've thought maybe you have been there before? I can take you some time if you want to go. It's only a blink away really — that is unless you scared of flying." He smiles, "The wherry is tender… did you remember to eat dinner?"

Gailen smiles and sits up straighter at the mention of the port. "Oh! Monaco! I've heard of it, seen it on the charts. Never gone there, though. Never flown so don't know if I'm scared of it or not. Am I supposed to be?" He gets up to walk briskly over to the serving table. "Yeah, wherry does look good. Is that stuffing with it?" he asks turning back to the WeyrLeader. Then he sort of /looks/ at the WeyrLeader. "You mean you'd actually take me there? To Monaco? Really?" Now he looks excited.

A'ven grins, catching the young man's excitement. The companions are not that far apart in age after all. "Sure, I take passengers all the time. It's part of what we do. Is that where you would go if you could go anywhere?"

Gailen blinks. "I've….no idea," he says thoughtfully. "Never thought of seeing anything in particular. He shrugs and goes back to dishing up some of the tasty lunch. I appreciate you letting me eat here. Thank!" he says in a perky voice.

A'ven smiles, "It is part of our duty to feed anyone who walks through the door — as long as they don't take unfair advantage. You earn your keep well enough. So, what would you like to go? Someplace warm? It's pretty hard to get warmer than this I will tell you that, especially in the middle of winter. But, I'm game — I've got some spare gear and a bit of time, just tell me where…"

Gailen takes his plate over to the table where his sack o' sandy wonders is spread out and eats. "I'm thinking," he assyres the young WeyrLeader. He eats for several minutes. Either he's forgot, he's still thinking, or he's just really hungry. After half the food is gone he says, "I've never seen snow."

A'ven nods, "if you wants now I suppose the best place is High Reaches." "Don't make me stay too long though, I don't want to get gold." He chuckles. "Been dragonback before?"

Gailen shakes his head. "Nope."

A'ven looks over at the movement by the door. He smiles in recognition and nods, "Sir.", he says smiling. Of course, he can't be sure that he will be heard in this big a room. He turns to Gailen, "Well there's nothing to it really, just hang on and close your eyes if you need to." He reasures.

T'maz gets closer."Hello…"He realizes the man that helped Shellie is the young Weyrleader of Western, and puts his basket down before bowing deeply."I want to thank you for helping Shellie give birth to Taelli the other day… The baby is doing well too, as is her mother." He picks up the basket again."I made a whole batch of bubbly pies just to thank you."

Gailen looks up but keeps eating his lunch.

A'ven blushes deeply, "I was only doing my job. Healer's duties… you know." Still he looks at the basket, "You're so very kind… I love…" He takes a deep breath, savoring the aroma, "I love pie…" He looks far off for a moment, "I miss my Mom's cooking…" but then comes back to himself, "This is Gailen, we were just on our way to High Reaches. He's never seen snow.", the Weyrleader explains, "I'm so… I don't know what to say… thank you, my best to you and yours. Keep that little girl healthy for me… that's probably the best gift there is."

T'maz smiles and nods."I also have some stuff for your head chef, some new pans for her…Another reason why I am here." He turns the basket over to the Weyrleader."I will definitely try to keep her healthy, as will her mother. Shellie is also a healer like yourself so she knows what to look for."

Gailen says,"Wait…going like…right now? Today?" in a soft voice. "Uh…I don't have anything warm to wear."

A'ven checks a moment with his dragon. He gets a very, very confused look on his face and then his smile widens. "No…", he says in a soft voice, "No we don't have to go today if you don't want to… but Glyith would like to have a word with you.", he raises an eyebrow in Gailen's direction. "If it's not too much trouble."

A'ven continues, "Pans? How splendid! Those are so hard to make. I don't expect you need a good pediatrician because her Mom is so skilled but there's Elara if you're ever in need.", he says. "I'd like to check in on her now and then, if you'll let me." He grins.

T'maz grins."Have your dragon bespeak hers, and I'm sure Shellie'd love to have you come, when you're not busy with Weyrleader duties…" He bobs his head too.

Gailen asks,"Who's Glyith?" He scrapes the plate clean. Then the light comes. "Oh! Wait…your dragon….why's he want to speak to me? He wants a fish?"

A'ven shakes his head, "He has a bit of a bargin for you I think. But then, I don't know, maybe you're not a risk taker." He offers T'maz a seat, "As my dragon is apparently indisposed at the moment…", he says, referring to the apparent summons of Gailen, "…I'm inclined to offer you our hospitality T'maz, something to eat?"

T'maz shakes his head."No thank you, I had something to eat before I came…However I will get something to drink…" He looks around to find where the drinks are and starts heading in a wrong direction…

Gailen kind of snorts. "I sail in storms, can handle the helm in a heartfelt gale. Risks? I eat them for breakfast!"

A quiet pressure intrudes briefly on Gailen's mind, like the fit of a bad glove. After a moment it adjusts, and waits for an invitation to proceed. A deep softness begins to form words in your head, they ring like the far off bell of a friendly port, « Are you going to meet with me face to face…. or am I going to have to try to fit through that door? » says the voice, amused. How very odd, who was that?

A'ven grins, "It might be more fun to have our drink under the sunlight, don't you think? It's warm out there… what can I get you?", he says to T'maz. "I'm sure someone would bring it out for us…"

T'maz nods his head, and then gets a drudge to go get drinks for people. She obeys due to having carried in some of the pans for him to the kitchens.

Gailen blinks and stands up. He looks around. He sticks a finger in an ear and twists it. No, nothing htere…no jokes, pleae! He takes his dirty plate over to the collection bin and then goes back to his canvas bag to shove everything back in. He cinches up the drawstring and hefts it over a shoulder. A'ven seems to be busy. He'll just slip out while he's busy with the other rider.

Western Weyr - Center of the Bowl(#2222RJs$)
This is the center of the huge oval crater of the Weyr. Standing here you can see how immense it is. The cliff sides rise up all around you, dotted with the caves of the dragon rider's weyrs. To the west you can see the arch open to the sea. North is the hatching grounds, south you see the cave entrance to the living caverns, and to the south east the entrance to the infirmary, raised a little from the weyr wall.

A'ven says "See? This is much better!"

T'maz watches the Weyrleader and the other young man not even hearing what was said by a certain dragon. He turns to head out the door himself.

A'ven waits for the drudge to arrive with drinks, "Glyith, this is T'maz — but you've met his Dementh I'm sure. .. and Gailen.

Dementh watches his rider emerge, and settles down for another pan to be removed from webbing. Dementh smiles at the Weyrleader and Gailen with all his teeth visible, then heads to a shady spot where shadowed streaks fall… and does it seem like he's disappearing? T'maz looks over at Dementh and chuckles."He always finds the stripiest shadows to rest in."

Glyith looks for a long moment at Gailen, fixing him with his whirling /eye/. The other eye is closed as if in a wink.
Straight from the forge, brilliant molten copper glides over burnished bronze hues. The two colors vie for dominance, though eventually the red shade gives way and fades into near nonexistence. His tail and hind end are darker than his chest and forelegs, which are pale Terra cotta color. His stomach is of a similar hue, though muted as if some cream had been added to dilute the red from his hide. Brushed over his slender maw is a dustier shade of bronze, a color which reappears in the thin tissue of his main wingsails. The bones and muscles of his wings are darker, still, providing sharp contrast against the red-bronze hues of his hide and the pale shade of tissue that bones provide support for. His wingspars are nearly ebony, though there is the slightest hint of navy to it. However, his talons are a slate grey color with a faint mossy hue to them. Standing tall, long, and lean, his frame promises power and endurance.
Gyith is fitted with his fighting straps as a working dragon ought to be. He's ready to fly at a moment's notice.
Glyith is 7 Turns, 9 months, and 22 days, with a length of 39.73 meters, and a wingspan of 66.22 meters.

Gailen looks back up…and up…at the large coppery dragon. He looks he dragon up and down. "Whu-ut?" he asks, still holding his back with both hands by the cord.

The voice in Gailen's head is clearer now, gaining confidence with him. « You have a good heart. » the dragon says bluntly and yet in that simple statement is all the power of the Weyrleader's dragon extant. This voice commands loyalty not through fear, but through something else, something intangible. « Will you Stand for the eggs? » The question is a thunderbolt. Already you feel that intangible charisma tugging at you. « You may choose… and I will take you, soon, anywhere you wish to go. » « if you say no, I will still fly with you. I owe your courage that. »

A'ven gives his dragon a sly look, "Well done, dear friend.", he smiles. "I suspect young Gailen there has some thinking to do…" So he turns to T'maz, giving the flustered Gailen some time to think, "You know, I'd like to be a father some day… being there at the very first breath kind of put the idea in my head. Is it, is it difficult being a father?"

T'maz tilts his head and hmms."Well this is my first child, though Shellie's third… My brother J'vry's the one to ask… or… L'ton… They have more children than I do." He adds."I've had to discipline the older children, but I leave it mostly to Shellie to mete out what is needed, but I do tell them I love them and let them help me bake some times…"

Gailen looks a little startled, or surprised but he quickly tamps it down. He glances over at A'ven then looks back at the dragon. "How would you know about my courage?" he asks the dragon. Then he realizes that he couldn't have heard anything…but he did. He glances back at A'ven as he points cautiously at Glyith. "UHm…Ah, A'ven? I think your dragon is talking to me." He looks back at the dragon. "You talkin' to /me/?" All the while he knows that he definately heard a voice speaking to him. He leans his head a little closer to the dragon and says softly, "Can I ask my Dad first?"

Glyith rumbles in amusement as he indeed confirms that he is talking to the young man. He stands up a little taller, because he can.

Gailen looks back up at the Coppery bronze. The thought that goes through his mind is…'that's a /big/ dragon!'.

A'ven laughs, "Of course you can ask your Dad.", "Go and find him, we'll wait."

Gailen quickly says, "Thanks!" and runs off to the docks and the bonny ship Dawn Star.

You step out onto the ledge path, heading towards the docks.

Western Weyr - Ledge to Docks
The ledge is wide enough to easily move cargo to and from the docks using carts or wagons even, but isn't comfortable for dragons to walk on, being just a little too narrow for them. A low railing prevents people from walking off the edge into the water. At the entrance of the path leading from the bowl, a narrow walkway leads to the dolphineer weyrhall.
The vast majority of residents bustle back and forth on their many errands, keeping Western Weyr running smoothly. Children released from lessons scamper across the bowl while weyrlings bathe by the lagoon and practice. Delivery wings can be seen coming and going all day long overhead.Winter has descended once again upon the Western island, though those from the north would never be able to tell it, but the short days and the cooler nights are painfully obvious to those born here.

Gailen is standing on the dock talking to an older man, obviously his Father. The man where's the knot of a ship's captain. The other man, somewhat older and certainly taller that Gailen, somehow is in the middle of the discussion. All are talking in an animated fashion, gesticulating, with voices slightly raised.

Culain says, "In a gale? C'mon, Gailen, a stiff breeze maybe…"

Avery interrupts with, "But you're still learning, Gailen. And you're my best deck hand. Are you going to throw that all away?"

Gailen retorts with, "No. I mean, I love sailing, I love the boat. I don't know that I would be giving it up. It's not like I suddenly forget everything…"

A'ven doesn't want to intrude, so he hangs back for a moment. He almost leaves but, after all he does have a job to do.

Culain, who once came into the infirmary with Gailen when he's hurt his arm, keeps shifting his eyes from his younger brother back to their father. "So will you have to go right away?"

Avery's still skeptical. "How long will you need to stay? Will they keep you long?"
Gailen says, "I dunno. I didn't ask."

Culain asks, "Didn't they tell you?"

Gailen says,"They didn't say anything about staying. It's just that I heard the dragon talking to me, sort of silent-like…"

"How can you hear a silent dragon?" Avery almost yells and throws his hands in the air. "Is this another yarn yer spinnin', lad?"

Gailen says, "Wish it was…sort of. Would make a good tale, don'tcha think?" He grins up at Culain.

Culain nods and grins back, "Wish I'd thought of it."

Avery reaches out and puts a hand on Gailen's shoulder. "It's just that we've been tithing to this Weyr since…since the Bay has been here to catch fish and tithe. Do they also have to take my sons?"

Gailen sighs. "So what do you want me to say?"

Glyith tries to speak to the skeptic. He's being a little loud since he's not sure the man can hear him « WE'VE met..» he projects, trying to support the boy's assertion that it wasn't a 'yarn'.

There is a long silence. Finally the Father asks,"What is in your heart? Do you trust the dragon, son?"

Gailen stands there for a moment. "Well…yeah." He says it with a very truthful tone, no guile at all.

"Then go see what it entails. Look, there's your Weyrleader now." He gives his middle son an encouraging little push.

A'ven nods to the talking group, "Hello.", he says a little bit nervously. He doesn't say anything just yet other than that, figuring that Gailen will get around to answering his dragon's question in good time. "It's nice to meet you sir.", he does add.

Avery gives a sharp, clean salute. "Sir!" he says briskly, as one used to command out of Turns of practice. Then he offers his hand to A'ven. "I trust the last netfull of fish was to everyone's liking?" He's all smiles now.

Gailen stands nervously, hands tapping along the sides of his thighs. How does he talk back to the dragon? Just think babk the answer, "Yes, it sounds…" what does it sound like? Intersting, Fun? Challenging? It was a nice voice the dragon had. Do all dragons sound the same way? So dragons play? He's watched them swinning in the lagoon, obviously having a right jolly time of it. Do they dream?

A'ven nods. "I'm not a huge fan of fish — but I try to mix it in now and then. You're skill is very welcome, wherry gets boring you know, but there's so many different fish, I don't know if I've tasted them all." He smiles at Gailen's troubles. "He can hear you, when he chooses to, is that a yes?"

Gailen nods. "I mean, I'd like to. My father wants to know how long I'll be here. He needs to be able to fill out his crew and he counts on me."

Avery adds quickly, "He's a good lad, a good sailor, knows how to carry out orders and do it in good order, sir. He's a very hard worker."

Culain Gives an emphatic nod to the afirmative, too.

A'ven nods, "I understand you're unwillingness to lose him." "He's been a great help to us as well." "I want to emphasize that he can say no." He folds his arms, "… and yes, he needs to know what he's in for." "He'll stay here as a Candidate until the eggs hatch, nobody knows exactly when that will be — but my personal estimate is about three months. /If/ he Impresses, he'll be taken on as a Weyrling, and that…" He takes a deep breath, "Is two turns… and a lifetime as a rider. If a dragon chooses him, it's a choice that can't be unchosen." He speaks to Gailen, "I told you there were risks. not of the sort you might have been thinking."

Gailen gives an audible little gasp as A'ven says the "N" word. But he does listen closely to what A'ven has to say. "Would I have to give up sailing?" he asks.

A'ven shrugs, "I don't think so. I didn't have to give up Healing. Riders don't fight Tread anymore so we have a bit of extra time. I'll probably never make Master… but that doesn't mean I can't be of help."

Gailen seems to lighten up. He smiles.

Culain suggests, "Maybe, if you did become a rider, your dragon could even be helpful to the fleet. Maybe you could fly out ahead of the ships and find where the schools are, or even warn us of pirate ships."

This bring Avery around, "Good idea, lad! Then, Gailen, you'd still be part of the fleet!"

Gailen smiles even brighter at this. He quickly turns to A'ven and asks excitedly, "Could I? Could this be done?"

A'ven sobers, "You would have responsibilities here, of course, but yes, craft work can be done. You'd have a dragon — if you need to get back to the Weyr, it happens rather quickly." He chuckles. "I don't want to put a cramp in your studies but a dragon usually helps things, not hurts. If I need to be somewhere because of a Healer emergency, I can be there faster than any other way…" He points out.

Gailen turns back to his father. "I want to go tell his dragon. he /did/ talk to me. I need to tell him!"
A'ven notes, "He can come to you…if you like."

Gailen looks around for where the big dragon is lurking. Was he eaves dropping?
Glyith has arrived.

A'ven closes his eyes for a moment and calls Glyith. The dragon lands nearby, greeting his rider and furling his wings.

Glyith wasn't evesdropping, except on the mind that he can't help hearing. He lands nearby, trying to leave room on the docks for the others. He gives Gailen an affectionate rumble.

Gailen runs up to the dragon, still amazed at how big he is. Then he stops and snaps a nice sailor salute. "Yes!" he says enthusiastically. "I'd be very pleased to stand on the eh…I mean, stand /for/ the eggs!" (oops!) "Thank you, Glyith! And I'd very much like to go with you to see the snow, too!"

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