Seeking Control

Who: Aerishani, O’rlen, Amorenth, Roreliuth
When: Month 9, 203 AT
Where: Ravine, Honshu Territory
What: The Weyr Council has decided what to do about future queen flights.

Roreliuth broke from Between well above Honshu, gliding in a lazy circle to allow his rider to gather himself together after their trip from the North. O’rlen had expected the meeting to be poor – it almost always went poorly with the Northern Weyrs. He hadn’t expected to face a Weyr Council meeting at Telgar. He felt physically drained from the grueling eight hours of arguing and debating that went on. Roreliuth signaled to Amorenth to head further north of the Weyrhold, angling himself to go and perch on a nearby ravine that overlooked a closed mine. He settles his large frame down, allowing O’rlen to dismount as he awaits patiently for his mate to join him. << To think they demanded you be kept from keeping their dragons in line. Absurd. What do we gain from controlling Northern dragons? >> His eyes flick with annoyed tones of orange and red as he waits. O’rlen’s stripped off his riding gear, tossing it to the side as he stalks away from Roreliuth to give Amorenth room and to physically move through some of his anger.

Amorenth is not yet egg heavy, yet there’s enough of a difference in her figure that she has to make minor adjustments to her balance in the skies, her landing a careful one that belies no trace of temper. Indeed, even her gaze whirls in placid colours, Honshu’s Senior too secure in her own power to be much rattled by demands others would make of her. << They are weak and afraid, >> she states as she settles down beside Roreliuth. << They have tried to make us small and afraid, as they are, and they have failed. If they dare harm our home again, I will bring them nightmares and summon our daughters to the cause. >> Aerishani must take her temper from her queen in this instance, for she too is eeriely calm in the wake of attempted reprimands, warnings and insults. “They’re afraid,” she agrees, unbuttoning her long coat. “Amorenth’s line now holds power in the Weyr that meant to destroy us. We’re so secure in our own power that we let a blue catch one of our queens. They’re //afraid//.” And whether the spark of pleasure that lights her eyes is Amorenth too or just fierce delight in feeling to not be on the back foot anymore… Maybe it’s best not knowing.

“They continue to try and exert control of us,” O’rlen’s tone is flat, his anger a flash in his eyes, his ability to find certainty not as easily reached as his wife. “It does not help that Southern and Ierne avoid any political decisions, choosing to stay neutral so as not to bring harm to their trade potential.” He scrubs his hands through his hair and snorts, looking to Roreliuth with a lifted brow. “We didn’t //let// Jynth catch Inaskashath. He simply //did// it. I’m certain if he has been able to do it there has to have been record of it happening before. Knowing how the Weyr Council reacted today to the news and the reprimands they brought down upon us for it, I imagine some disgruntled bronzerider burned the record if he ever found it.” He shakes his head and shoves his hands in his jacket pockets, scowling at his feet. “I should have guessed they’d seek a way to keep us from expanding our reach. To go so far as to try and banish browns from a goldflight though,” he sucks air in through his teeth and lifts his gaze to Aerishani. “With Arlet, Fort’s Weyrleader, there to hear that? I wanted to punch Telgar’s Weyrleader in the face.” He turns and spits into the dirt. “I can’t even call him by name.”

“Perhaps the records of it happening are from so long ago, they simply don’t exist any more.” Aerishani brushes out the tail of her coat and smoothes down her skirts, folding her arms beneath her chest. “We lost a great deal in the fire. There’s no telling what may have been lost between natural or unnatural disaster, as well as deliberate sabotage.” After resting a steady palm against Amorenth’s hide, she strays from her side and moves further towards her husband instead. “Ultimately, the queens decide who chases. If Akanyth’s mate wishes him to chase, I doubt there’s very much that could stop him, unless they send other northern queens to do so and risk a battle between golds. If Fort’s Weyrwoman wants her gone, however, then she’s as good as gone //now//. Arlet will never be able to exert the power to change things with a timer hanging over her head. She might as well just be a visitor there.” Still, the hint of a calculating smile flickers as she regards O’rlen, whatever she’s contemplating enough to draw a low note from Amorenth. “…Though if we were to find ourselves with another golden egg… and agree with Fort’s Weyrleader that she should be hatched and raised there…”

“And how would the Northern Weyrs view that assault from us?” O’rlen wonders, looking at his wife with a small smile. “You’re not wrong to have more influence over the Northern Weyrs. They continuously seek to control us. The removal of Fort’s leaders did nothing in terms of reparations. We could say housing one of our golds while they grow is part of that. We could also send a few more of our rider’s there to support Arlet.” He plucks at his lower lip, thinking through their options. “I won’t let them punish Nala and Jynth for their success and I don’t want Rori to have the negative influence over her for what’s happened. It was Inaskashath’s maidenflight. From what I can tell, both are happy with the outcome. Roreliuth says Inaskashath is infatuated with Jynth. I have seen them together more often than not.” He shakes his head. “What bothers me is that no one complained when Riel’s brown caught the Southern junior. So why start fussing at browns catching now? Because one is leading? It’s not as if Weyrseconds haven’t led Weyrs before and even back in the dark ages, brownriders were often ‘seconds.” He scratches at his jaw and looks to Aerishani. “I think there is more to this than I’m grasping. They’re trying to censor our influence.”

“I suppose that if browniders are taught that they shouldn’t expect anything above their station, then the hope is that blueriders certainly won’t dare to considering attempting to emulate Jynth’s success,” Aerishani considers, giving a twitch of one shoulder. “It teaches them all a lesson. It teaches //women// a lesson. Only bronzeriders – men – are meant to lead.” The snort she gives is not entirely ladylike. “Queens are indisputably in command of the Weyrs and they are female. If the other goldriders aren’t interested in furthering the interests of women, then Faranth help them. They say that queens don’t Impress to women of weak will, which makes it all the worse that they //choose// to listen to their Weyrleaders on this subject.” When Amorenth leans forward, Aerishani instinctively reaches back a hand for her. “They don’t like that our browns can catch queens. They don’t like that we have women who can lead. It scares them. Threatens them. Attacking us outright didn’t work, so they have to stop us one way or another.”

“It’s as if the North has pushed so far back against the South’s progression that they’re seeking to go back to the times when goldriders were so ineffectual that they believed golds couldn’t fly and women’s only purpose to a Lord was to bare children,” O’rlen grouses, shoving his hands further into his pockets as he rocks back on his heels and considers Roreliuth and Amorenth’s forms. “We need an allies in the North. Spies probably, more than that. I don’t want to put this on Arlet to do. She’s too young and inexperienced. Akanyth too.” He looks back to Aerishani. “I’m beginning to feel like C’aol may have been right in a few of his approaches. He thinks I don’t know that he was secretly planning things with our miners before his injury. I don’t want to trust crafters over dragonriders though. I want dragonriding allies.” He shakes his head, “If only there were some fresher perspectives we could gather to us.”

Aerishani finds herself not so inclined as to bother concealing her distaste for the idea that C’aol could be right about anything, the stare she levels at her husband edged with a chill that seems to banish the violet softness from her eyes. “C’aol worked to undermine the both of us and would have taken your knot in a heartbeat,” she claims. “I won’t entertain the idea that he could have been right. There may be no way to fend off the North with a clear conscience and our honour absolutely intact, but I will not resort to the kind of tactics he might have employed. It’s worse that the Crafters were willing to deal with him instead of us. They’re just as bad.” Looking away, she knots her arms more tightly and lets out a low sigh. “…We could send eggs from both clutches to Fort, as a start,” she says more quietly. “The worst any new leader could do is send them back before they’re grown – and Arlet might even hold the knot for that duration if the Senior doesn’t rise.” Amorenth makes that low note of dissent again. “Inaskashath won’t like it, I imagine, and Amorenth won’t either, but needs must.”

“I meant,” O’rlen tries to smooth his words out, “That his tactics were not small minded ones.” He takes in Aerishani’s plan with a tucked chin, his arms moving to fold in front of him as he calculates the various risks in the actions. “It will send help to Arlet in a way, to have more of ours there. Even if it means we allow Fort to Search for riders.” He plucks at his lower lip. “We’d want to guarantee we get people who are loyal to us on those Sands, regardless. We’d need them to commit to the idea that they are of Honshu, not Fort, no matter their location.” He considers Aerishani, “I don’t know if Inaskashath or Rori will like the idea. Roreliuth doesn’t like to entrust his children to the care of a foreign bronze, but Akanyth is his lineage. He trustsh im.” He sighs and shakes his head. “We need to find some Crafter support. We offer them so much here. I don’t know why their Halls are against us.”

“I suppose more freedom encourages people to question the status quo others would have them comply with.” Aerishani tips her head back and lifts both hands to drag fingers through her hair. “Dissent in a Crafthall is more difficult to handle than a Weyr or Hold. Look what happened to the Smithcraft.” She sighs again and covers her eyes for a moment. “…Let’s go home,” she murmurs. “I need a drink and some sleep before I actually start to consider becoming the tyrant I was billed to become when I Impressed.” She huffs out a laugh. “It’ll play into that, you know, if we do it. Giving our dragons to Fort. I will be Fort’s puppet again.” Buttoning up her coat again, she begins to step back towards Amorenth. “Home. Drink. Sleep.”

O’rlen doesn’t let Aerishani get far from him before his arms wrap around her and he tugs her against his chest. “Shush now, none of that. Our people, the ones who we fight for, don’t view you as a tyrant at all.” He kisses her cheek and hugs her tighter before he lets her go. He vaults to Roreliuth’s back with ease, gear thrown on in a rush, before he straps in and waits for Amorenth to leap first into the skies. Roreliuth follows obediently after his mate, a point made even then. Later, O’rlen will make sure they both find a way to relax into the evening. There’ll be wine (perhaps too much, which’ll lead to a headache for O’rlen to contend with), and food. And their twins. He does his best to push politics out of their home and focus on the things that matter most – their children and each other. Roreliuth tickles at Amorenth’s silver walls, waiting for her to open up to him to say, << We will make the leaders quake for what they suggest we do. Won’t we, my love? >>

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