Who: Isolwyn, C’aol, Eosyth, Daeserath
When: Month 2, 205 AT
Where: Hatching Sands, Fort Weyr
What: Eosyth clutches.

Since securing her position both as an adult and as Fort’s senior queen, Eosyth has been far less inclined towards displays of temper, safe in the knowledge that there are no longer any within her own Weyr who might seek to command her and that she has the mate of her choosing, her rider safe from the unwanted attention that being as yet to rise brought her. That she clutches in the middle of the night seems to come as no surprise to Isolwyn, who has spent the previous evening on edge, yet, by morning, yet another decisive event has passed, for surely none can doubt them with a clutch of fifteen on the Sands and a golden shell resting in the crook of one of the petite queen’s forearms. Tired or otherwise, Isowlyn finds no shame in wrapping her arms around her lifemate’s head and holding on tightly as she murmurs to her how proud she is.

Daeserath has been guarding the Sands since Eosyth entered to begin the process of clutching. His tension over the vulnerability of his mate has resulted in his anger lashing out at the Weyr. Not even the smallest of firelizards are allowed anywhere near the Sands. C’aol has kept a quieter audience in the galleries. He’s nodded off a few times, his head dipping towards his chest and folded arms before he jerks himself awake. When the final count is on the sands he rises, taking a moment to stretch and shake off the stiffness of having kept vigil for so long. He makes his way towards Eosyth and Isolwyn. “A gold,” he announces, smiling, “and a large clutch. Eosyth has done us proud,” he tells them both as he sketches a bow towards Eosyth. “There will be much for the other Weyrs to be envious of now.”

Eosyth’s gaze whirls a little faster as C’aol makes his bow, her rider given an encouraging nudge towards him while she turns her attention to making sure each of the shells are where she would want them so that she can curl up and keep them all within easy reach and conceal them as she pleases. Exhausted, she offers Daeserath a low croon and lowers her head to the Sands, intent on finally getting some sleep, while Isolwyn reaches a grateful hand towards the bronze, not quite touching so as to leave him to choose whether they make contact or not. “I want to interview the girls they bring in as Candidates,” the Weyrwoman declares. “Any of them could be chosen by Eosyth and Daeserath’s daughter and I won’t run the risk of an ill-equipped child being weyrwoman to a queen even half as strong as they are.” That statement out of the way she exhales and steps closer to C’aol, weary smile softening her features. “No-one can suggest that we are not what was meant for this Weyr now.”

C’aol seems pleased by Isolwyn’s declaration of interviewing candidates. “All should be selected in such a manner,” he answers her with a thoughtful tilt to his gaze. “We should be hand-picking who we Search. Dragon-Searched and confirmed by us,” he rubs at his jaw, “or a panel at least for the other colors. You get first pick of the girls.” As Isolwyn steps closer he drops his hand and reaches for her arm. He tugs her close to his side and wraps his arm around her shoulders. Daeserath’s irritated rumble vibrates through the air. “No one had best say that aloud in Daeserath’s presence,” he drawls with a glance towards his bronze, “as his temper will not allow such statements.” He does not kiss nor coddle Isolwyn aside from the arm held firmly over her shoulders. He considers the eggs before them. “The North will learn that Fort is the first Weyr and the lead Weyr. The Council will learn to heed our words ahead of all others.”

“If any of their offspring have the same potential as their parents, we shouldn’t be looking to bring in younger Candidates at all,” Isolwyn replies, leaning back against C’aol. “No-one under seventeen, at least. By six months old, any too quick or clever dragon could be running rings around a child of younger years and soon out of control.” Eosyth shifts, casting a wing over the eggs she curls around, unwilling to think of them as not being hers so soon. “We’ll need at last forty-five. Three Candidates per egg. More girls for the queen.” Isolwyn angles a smirk up at him. “Send riders with invitations to the Hatching to the Blooded Holds and seek out their strongest daughters while they’re there.” Of the Council, she supposes, “The next meeting will bring new Weyrleaders of Telgar and High Reaches. There can be no harm in holding meetings of our own with them beforehand.”

“That may not be something the Holders may approve of. We’d be doing what they feared in stories of times past – ‘stealing’ their girls to dilute their Blood,” C’aol answers with a huff. “I remember my own father’s fears against such a thing when I was Searched. He wasn’t wrong,” he adds, smirking at the memory. “Though he was far more shortsighted on what it could have meant to have dragonrider and Lord Holder both.” He shakes his head and grows quiet at the mention of the newer Weyrleaders. “It would be good to know where they stand – in terms of approving of the Council’s ineptitudes or wanting to change it. I’m sure O’rlen and R’byn of Southern would expect to be present as well. I’d rather not involve them. Let us Northerners handle our own.” He looks to Isolwyn. “Have you heard from any of their Weyrwomen since you took Senior knot?”

“I was one of those girls,” Isowyn states, her eyes falling closed for a moment as Eosyth drifts to sleep, her wing still extended over the clutch. “And for all that becoming a queenrider has put me in danger, I’d never change it. Who knows what Blooded girl out there might be wasted on marriage to an idiot? I’d rather irritate the Holders.” The shake of her head brings an adopted arrogance from what anger being spurned by other Weyrwoman causes her as she confesses, “No. I imagine they either think me an interloper, are afraid of Eosyth or believe that she is no Fortian queen, being of Honshu blood.” She shrugs a shoulder. “It matters little what they believe. I am Weyrwoman and Eosyth is Fort’s senior queen, with a daughter of hers and Daeserath’s to begin a bloodline of her own. I am of Fortian Blood. Both her heirs and mine will be of Fort. None of us will need their approval.”

C’aol’s brows furrow in thought as he takes in the words of Isolwyn. “I will make it clear to their Weyrleader’s of my disappointment in their alliances with us if they do not visit you now that Eosyth has clutched.” He drops his arm from about her shoulders and considers Eosyth. “Now that the eggs are here, will she allow you back to your quarters to sleep? Or shall I get you a cot in here? I’m sure you are exhausted from the vigil.” He smiles at her announcement of being of Fort. “If we are to have a child between us someday, Isolwyn, they will be of Fort and Zaivar. My brother has yet to produce an heir in all his years as Lord. It is possible that one of our children may even end up ruling Zaivar someday. I suppose his wife Terse is lucky he married for love and has never thought to revoke their vows to find another to produce an heir.”

“I highly doubt that their companionship or conversation is worth wasting time over. If they can be manipulated by their Weyrleaders into visiting, all it proves is that they don’t understand the power they should wield and that they will vote however the man who beds them when their queens mate requires them to when it comes to Council business.” Isolwyn stretches her arms high over her head and smothers a yawn into the crook of her elbow. “I’m going to go home and bathe and get some sleep. I imagine she’ll want me back here later.” She passes a hand over her eyes, inviting, “You could come with me, if you like. Though we might have to save thoughts of world domination via our children and Eosyth and Daeserath’s for a time when I can be more practical about it and not entertain fantasies of a daughter of ours being chosen by a gold daughter of theirs.” Before she can tip over into outright tired hysteria, she convinces her feet to move, a hand reaching for one of C’aol’s to be accepted or denied.

C’aol takes Isolwyn’s hand and tucks it into the crook of his arm, ever the stately former Holder’s son. “There is power in shaming them, Isolwyn. Let me wield it. You focus on Eosyth and her gold egg’s candidates. I’ll tell our Search riders to only Search those old enough to handle the expectations of our Weyr. Let people fuss over it. Not every mind is designed for Fort. We’ll keep it that way.” He escorts her out of the Sands, bypassing curious gazes and outright ignoring those who seem prepared to pester the Weyrleaders for an audience. He takes Isolwyn home. He doesn’t go so far as to draw her a bath or fuss over her too much, leaving her to take care of those herself while he leaves to go and get her nourishment. A meal will be delivered back to her weyr which he will share with her. The conversation will be what it will be – knowing C’aol, it’ll tend towards more serious matters. When Isolwyn returns to the Sands, she’ll find more than a cot has been setup for her. A full bed has been brought in and organized within the space between the first tier and the wall that holds eager visitors at bay. A candle has been lit, the bedding is fresh and clean, everything settled in such a way that she’ll find sleep easily in her temporary bed.

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