The Narrative

Who: Aerishanin and O’rlen
When: Month 7, 205 AT
Where: Weyrlady’s Weyr, Honshu Weyrhold
What: Not all is well between Honshu’s leaders.

Amorenth has done little to hide her displeasure at not producing another queen in her fourth clutch, the issue one that only comes roaring back every time that she decides that her desire to be near Roreliuth outweighs her irritation at having to guard eggs and she is reminded that there is no golden shell to be quietly smug about. She’s been even less pleased that, once again, eggs from their clutch have been taken elsewhere, the effort of navigating her queen’s moods and keeping the threat of her wrath at bay one that is beginning to take its toll on Aerishani. The Weyrlady has left Amorenth with her mate and finally retreated home for the evening via the kitchen, bringing with her a basket of desserts and flasks of assorted spiced drinks.

Roreliuth has not been bothered from not having a golden daughter on the Sands. He has been deeply disappointed in O’rlen since the taking of the eggs has occurred. Though he bore witness, picked, and let them leave he has yet to eat since they were taken. O’rlen enters their home with a resigned air, moving into the kitchen out of habit. When he spots Aerishani, he offers her a strained smile and moves to seat himself. “He wouldn’t leave to eat again. I know he needs to feed, he knows it, but he won’t do it. I’m beginning to wonder if we will have to ask Amorenth to force him to eat.” He scrubs his hands into his hair and groans. “I //had// to let them take the eggs. He won’t forgive me for it. Inaskashath hisses at me whenever she sees me and Rori can’t quite meet my eyes either.” He doesn’t allow shame to claim him long as he looks to Aerishani, trying to feel her own mood out.

Before Aerishani has a chance to censor herself and stop Amorenth from listening in and knowing what she knows, her queen puts her proverbial paw down and sets the force of her will behind her insistence when she tells Roreliuth, << You will eat. I will stay and watch them. >> It leaves her rider to grimace and mutter an apology under her breath as she draws a flask of spiced cider from the basket and begins to pour it into glasses. “…It sets a precedent,” she murmurs, unwilling to stop still and think. “Can we expect to have to surrender eggs from every clutch from now on?” There’s not one bite of food that isn’t in some way sweet or sugary, and so she sets a berry tart down on a plate and plants it before O’rlen without comment. “Whatever understanding there is between you and C’aol and //him//,” she refuses to name M’tan, “you might wish to inform them that I’m going to demand a meeting of the Council. I might not be able to keep my own queen’s eggs on the Sands, but I can start doing something about bronzes monopolising queenflights.”

Roreliuth feels the weight of his mate’s mind within his own and can do nothing but mentally cower to the force of her will. He leaves the sands once he can launch himself skyward and takes himself to the feeding pens. He does not respond to Amorenth outside of his compliance to her demand. O’rlen shakes his head at Aerishani’s muttered apology. “He needed it,” he voices as he leans back in the chair. He picks at the tart with his fingers, worrying it into crumbs rather than eating it. “I thought we settled the matter with the Council already,” his voice betrays his bitterness, “with two losses of their more vocal, rigid, Weyrleaders.” He looks away from the tart and to Aerishani. “If you wish to call a meeting with them, to make it clear that we will allow all males to rise to a queenflight, we can. I was prepared to continue to allow it and ignore their input.”

“Well, I’m not prepared for this to be another thing ‘just allowed’,” Aerishani counters before she can stop herself, unable to keep the heat of anger from her words. She turns away and unnecessarily busies herself with fishing out more items from the basket, settling on some kind of shortbread for herself that she manages only to take a bite of before she gives up on it. “Until there’s a formal vote, the decree stands. Rori and Nala defy it, and therefore so do we, but they’re the ones in danger. Arlet is right. We did nothing to save her. But we can do something about this before someone else tries to murder Nala or goes after Rori.” She takes a breath and moves to lift her glass. “Maybe then we can take what steps are needed to ensure no-one comes looking for eggs ever again.”

O’rlen is quiet as he listens to Aerishani, his face growing more and more closed off in the wake of her words. “It is normal for Weyr’s to transfer eggs to other Weyrs,” he reminds her, the build-up of what he perceives to be criticism lacing his tone with defensiveness. “That we gave them to the Court, or whatever they call their area, is no different than when we sent them to Fort. We should consider taking eggs from another Weyr ourselves, to promote healthy breeding.” He rises from his chair, moving away from her as he folds his arms in front of him and paces the room briefly. “If you want to force a vote to the Council now, it’d be wise to know where most of them stand. Have you visited any of the Senior’s in the North?” He looks over his shoulder at her, “Or is the political aspects of how this Weyrhold function my sole responsibility?”

“It’s more common for Weyrs to transfer queen eggs and those that might be bronzes for the purposes of bloodlines, yes, but you’re saying this now because it suits your version of the narrative,” Aerishani declares, turning her back to the counter as she takes a long drink from her glass. “Don’t you dare start turning the fact that you don’t like who you’ve allied yourself with on me,” she snaps. “If I wanted to be bowing to C’aol’s will all the time, I’d not have had Amorenth fight so hard to evade Daeserath. Whatever you owe him and that man is on //you//. Don’t patronise me and suggest I don’t know the political landscape simply because I’m not prepared to agree with whatever it is that’s on your conscience and keeps you in their pocket.”

“Does it suit my own version of the narrative or is it true?” O’rlen demands of Aerishani, his pacing stopped so he can swing his body around to face her and glower at her reprimands. “I allied myself with those who would do the things that needed to be done without blood getting on my own hands,” he grinds out, “I did what needed to be done to protect ours. And the future of others. Dare I remind you that the Council would have let Arlet die? And that Nala was nearly killed for Inaskashath’s flight? Should I have walked away? Tried to keep reasoning with those who were not listening?” He shakes his head and flexes his fingers at his side. “What would you have me do, Aerishani? One minute you’re telling me to stand up to the Council and when I am paying debts owed for standing up to them last time, you’re angry at me.”

“But //you// haven’t stood up to them, have you?” Aerishani shouts, the sound seeming to surprise even her, for she’s not raised her voice to her husband since first meeting him. But done is done, and, having started, it doesn’t seem as if she can or is willing to stop. “I didn’t want blood on //anyone’s// hands, but you’re complicit in it, meaning so am I! How long are they going to make demands of you? What will they ask for next? How long will you have to live with the threat of them wanting something else from you?” She sets her glass down far too heavily, leading it to topple over and roll off the counter to smash on the floor, the whole thing completely ignored. “How long will it be before we have to //be them// to protect ourselves?” When she crosses the space between them, she invades his without a second thought, for all that she has to look up at O’rlen as she all but growls, “I’m //upset// that they are making you look weak and not the man you are. The man I married isn’t someone else’s puppet.”

O’rlen’s brows lift up at Aerishani’s raised voice and they remain there as she continues to speak. Her confirmation of the blood on his hands draws his brows down once more and he simply glares at her as he waits out her verbal tirade. “Are you quite finished?” he demands of her, his tone steeled and nettled with his barely controlled anger. “I am no one’s //puppet///. I did what needed to be done to protect our people and this Weyrhold. I did what needed to be done to protect //you//. That you can’t see the validity in that is on //you//, Aerishani. Not me.” He moves towards the door and opens it, looking back over his shoulder as he tells her, “I am not Roreliuth of whom you can control with your words. Keep that in mind, Weyrlady.” He slams the door on his way out.

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