Without Subterfuge

Who: Priska, B’lian, Yedrith, Imahdth
Where: Bowl, Fort Weyr
What: Gold meets transfer.

Imahdth and B’lian have found themselves working well with their new wingleader at Fort. Imahdth has kept a low profile since arriving at Fort, having received much of Daeserath’s disapproval for ‘foreign influence’ while Fort had eggs on the Sands. With the eggs hatched and life returning to normal for much of Fort, Imahdth has begun to relax without Daeserath’s continued focus on his comings and goings at Fort Weyr. The bronze is lounging down by the lake, his wings stretched out to get the full warmth of the sun as his rider is tucked against his side reading a book. B’lian glances up now and then to consider those who move about, offering a smile and a wave to those who acknowledge him.

Priska has outwardly seemed to have very little trouble with the weight of expectation that has been firmly settled on her by dint of her new lifemate’s choice, and while some of the girls of more distant rank – chosen by greens, a blue, and none of them by the gold they sought – struggle with the reality of their loss of status, she is patient and reasonable and perhaps a little too kind to them given what some of them have put her through. Yedrith is the more scathing, pointing out the faults of others in their selfish, arrogant or disagreeable moments, her comments often of so dry a nature that they sail right over the heads of those she takes aim at. For now, the young queen seems to favour her dam, being small of stature and pale of hide, though already the light identifies shadows along her frame that threaten to bloom into richer golds. Upon finding Imahdth along the shore, Yedrith stops to tilt her head and look up at him, remarking, << Of course, subtlety is lost on some… >> Moments later, Priska’s footsteps catch up to her, her chastisement a simple, “You know, not everyone appreciates such candor.”

Imahdth angles his head to the side to level one large eye on the smaller queen. His mind-voice is filled with arid heat and dry whirls of sand particles in his warm amusement, << Is it wrong to let my wings feel the heat? I was unaware >> He makes a great show of slowly easing them back against his sides. He keeps his eye on Yedrith, prepared to engage in more banter with her should she choose to. B’lian lifts his head from his book and closes it with a smile as he glances up at Imahdth when the bronze explains the exchange he had with the gold. “Imahdth is not one to care about candor. Especially when it comes from the young. It’s what keeps the older dragons sharp,” he adds with a lifted brow. He eases himself up from his seated position, moving to dust his rear off briefly and then his hand against his pants before he offers it towards Priska. “It’s easy enough to know who you might be,” he tells her with a twinkle in his eye, “especially as I hail from Telgar Weyr. I heard your father weeped with joy that you’d Impressed.” He shakes his head and adds, grinning widely, “This is my attempt to introduce myself. I’m B’lian and this, as I said, is Imahdth. We’re new to Fort.”

<< You cast a vast shadow, >> could be no more than a comment on the literal or something else completely, but Yedrith doesn’t let on either way, her deadpan delivery accompanied only by the drifting of brilliant aether and dandelion seeds. Having decided to travel no further, she tucks her paws beneath her and becomes the proverbial loaf, tail curled neatly around herself. Priska reaches to shake B’lian’s hand, a little brisk about it, but not impolite. “My father’s made enough of a fool of himself lately; I wish he’d contained himself better,” she tells him without bitterness, the words only matter of fact. “Maybe my little brother is keeping him up at night.” That, she doesn’t manage to keep clean of the sting of betrayal. “I figure you already know I’m Priska, then. This is Yedrith. I hear we’ve you to thank as to why Daeserath has been so pissed off.”

Imahdth draws in Yedrith’s words and toys with them in their mindscape like he was twisting and turning a tiny dust cloud. << If it does not please you, I will create less of a shadow by moving >> he decides as he blows the dust away in amusement. He moves his tail to give her space should she wish it as she settles into her loaf-pose. B’lian’s grasp is warm and calloused as he shakes Priska’s hand. “I only know you because I hailed from Telgar,” he admits to her, “and found it important to know Holders names and work with them. I did not have an opportunity to meet you or your father when I was there. I’m glad to see I get to meet you now and Yedrith,” he adds as he glances towards the young gold. His brows lift in surprise for her candor and then he smooths his brow and shrugs. “It couldn’t be helped. Daeserath has his reason to not trust ‘foreigners’. I am glad C’aol allowed us to transfer to Fort. We needed the fresh opportunities provided here.” He glances up at Imahdth and then back to Priska, “Imahdth did his best to give Daeserath space. We apologize if it created undue stress on Yedrith.”

<< I am wont to believe that we should do as we would for the sole purpose of pleasing others. >> For a moment, her eyes dance with brighter blues and greens. << Though, in the case of those such as my sire, it would seem very little pleases them at all, >> she drawls, tucking her wings closer. “I’ve yet to find that anything truly stresses Yedrith out,” Priska replies, providing a little shake of her head to further reinforce the lack of need for an apology. “I don’t think there’s a soul here who doesn’t know when Daeserath is aggravated. I can only hope that strength bodes well for Yedrith’s future, being destined from her youth to define a Weyrhold.” She smirks, something of her lifemate’s sharpness there for an instant. “I wonder at what ‘fresh opportunities’ Fort presents in comparison to Telgar…”

<< You like to speak in riddles, little one >> Imahdth comments as he stretches a wing out once more to test the play of sunlight along the membranous portions of it as he angles it back and forth to consider. << Your sire is a strong bronze. It is best not to displease him. >> He does not seem phased about the mood of Daeserath in the least. He resettles his wing to his side again and considers her more directly. << Do you think you will like to be more like your dam or your sire? Or are you very much yourself? >> B’lian considers Priska and her frankness with a poignant pause. “You are very direct,” he decides to tell her as he folds his arms in front of him and offers her a small smile. “The ‘fresh opportunities’ would be that C’aol and Isolwyn seem determined to build Fort’s strength, whereas Telgar seems to be content in status quo.” He angles his head every so slightly as he asks, “What do you mean she’s destined for a Weyrhold?”

<< If anyone lacks the faculties to understand me, it is not me who is at fault, >> is Yedrith’s opinion, shared as she angles her nose towards the sun. << My sire should understand that it is only a mark of his strength to have daughters more powerful than he is. >> It’s a grand claim, whether she speaks of herself or in theory. << To emulate another would be foolish. >> She unfolds one of her own wings, inching it out as if she doesn’t know she’s about to brush Imahdth’s side with it. “I don’t see much point in not being so,” Priska declares with a shrug. “You’ll find being deemed inadequate simply for being a girl – and a very capable girl, mind – leaves you with very little desire for pretence to draw anything out. If I’m going to be branded so again by anyone at all, I’ll be inadequate on my own merits, for who I am, and without subterfuge, thank you.” She looks B’lian up and down, quite openly considering whether he speaks genuinely. “Yedrith and I are bound for Honshu when she’s grown. That was made clear to me very shortly after she hatched.”

Imahdth does his part in ignoring the touch as he crosses his forearms and settles his head upon them, angling his face to keep an eye leveled on Yedrith. << Your wings look bright in the sunlight >> he compliments her, genuine and encouraging as he adds, << you should sun them so more often. >> He huffs a laugh and then toys with a swirl of dust in her general direction, the bright desert sun a radiant brightness. << It would be foolish to try and be like another. Sometimes, I am told, humans may take on the traits of those that give birth to them. It was an idle thought. It is clear you will grow to be a strong queen. >> B’lian takes a thoughtful turn to his features as he listens to Priska, the corners of his eyes narrowing slightly as he takes in the fullness of her words. “I have never quite grasped Holder logic. I am Weyrbred. My parents had no part in raising me, so I can’t say I know what it would be like to be disappointed by them choosing another over me. They never chose me in the first place.” None of this seems to be upsetting to B’lian. He shifts his footing, moving his legs into a locked-knee stance as he considers her. “Honshu? Well, to know that you are already destined to lead a Weyr as a Senior rather than a junior must be a welcome change.” He seems genuine in that. “It may be that you find a Weyrhold more agreeable to a Weyr.”

Yedrith gives a quiet huff that ripples through her shoulders. << I am discovering that males like to deliver compliments, though the reason eludes me, >> she confesses dryly, shifting her focus to peer up at Imahdth. “Disappointed isn’t the word,” Priska says flatly. “They aren’t the people I thought they were, and while I’m not sure I can agree with parents having no hand in raising a child, at least you’ve been spared the discovery of their weakness and failings. In a way, that almost feels kinder.” She glances towards Yedrith, who appears perfectly content in being independently occupied of her own accord. “The Weyr hasn’t been so disagreeable so far. It’s the Holder girls they Searched along with me who have been the most unpleasant and, if anything, I hope a Weyrhold doesn’t breed that sort of behaviour in its women.” Her smile is a little too sharp to be born solely of amusement. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the ones who’ve stayed and not Impressed were to throw themselves at you. A new bronzerider to play with.”

<< Do females not compliment each other? >> Imahdth asks with a hint of sarcasm in his dryness, << I was not aware it is specific to males. Though, >> he toys with a bit of dust in the sunlight, his mind enticing hers to look at his imagery, << it could be something you will encounter more as you grow. Males will like you simply for being gold. >> B’lian remains focused on Priska even when she looks to her gold, his expression one of quiet study. “People can be cruel,” he notes, “especially when they think in being cruel they will get ahead some how. I’m glad that they were not chosen by Yedrith. That is beneath a future goldrider to behave in such a fashion.” Mention of being sought after draws his brows upwards. “Are these women so hungry for freedom that they’d select a man solely for his knot?” He shakes his head, adding, “Not that I haven’t faced such things before. It baffles me. They do not even //know// me and yet this,” he reaches up to pat the knot, “indicates some measure of me to them. If it consoles you to know, I would refuse them. I do not fancy chasing every skirt that is flicked in my direction.”

<< Not the females I know, >> Yedrith declares, matter of fact. << If males are truly so easily led, it does not speak well of them. Evidently, there is little point in getting to know them if they are only interested in what colour I am. >> She tilts her head again and gives a wordless push back at Imahdth’s encouragement, flames licking at the edges of her mind. << I appreciate the warning, >> is perhaps evidence enough of her leap of logic. Bronze. Male. Compliment. Bad. “They’ll be looking for men who they think can keep them in the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed,” Priska sighs out. “One of the girls in my Candidate class got herself pregnant quite deliberately. When the bronzerider who did it wouldn’t make her his weyrmate, she pinned it on a bluerider she’d been with.” She twitches her shoulders. “It’s nothing to me what any of you do, until anyone’s in a position to embarrass my Weyrhold. I’ve had my fill of relying on anyone.”

Imahdth’s laughter is a warm breeze that encourages those licking flames to rise higher. << You are very sharp. You do not need me to warn you. You would likely see right through it. I am sure those sort of males will be easy to ignore for you. >> The implication that //he// is not one is there for her to interpret how she will. B’lian takes in all the information with a slightly puckered brow as he digests the information Priska is so ready to inform him of. “This bluerider did not deny the accusations?” he shakes his head, not wanting to focus on the quarrel itself. He shifts his arms in front of him and rocks on his toes before settling back to the ground. “Hm. Well, I hope that no matter what position a dragonrider is in, they should be ensuring they do not embarrass their Weyr or Weyrhold. Lovers quarrels shouldn’t be impacting any Weyr.” He can’t help the smile that creeps up on his face. “That’s a rather ironic statement for me to say, seeing how you will be taking over Honshu.”

<< I have my Priska and no need to entertain the foibles of others. >> Yedrith seems perfectly secure in that, unflinching from the abruptness of her statement, Imahdth’s laughter something she studies without letting herself get too wrapped up in it. “The bluerider thinks he’s the father, poor idiot. If it were my place to interfere with the whole thing, I’d’ve put him out of his misery by now.” Priska reaches out a hand towards Yedrith, who turns back to her and un-loafs to pad to her side and sit down next to her. “Someone will one day make himself my Weyrleader or Weyrlord, or whatever title is being used by then, but since they aren’t going to be my lover, I can promise you that sort of thing won’t be interfering with anything.” She gently rests a hand atop her queen’s head. “I’ve Yedrith now and no reason to tie myself to anyone.” Despite her best efforts, the young gold’s eyes keep drifting closed for longer periods, prompting her rider to say, “Anyway, we’ll leave you to your contemplation of opportunities.”

Imahdth’s amusement continues to be shared with Yedrith and he does not seem prepared to stop talking with her now that she has settled near him. << It is good you have yours, that is the way of it. I have been B'lian's since he was younger than yours. It is good to have many years with them. We help them grow. >> B’lian shakes his head at the announcement that the bluerider has no clue. “So a candidate slept with not one, but two riders? The riders knew better than to do that. If only the bluerider is getting punished, it would be helpful for me to know the bronzerider. I will be… how to put this… keeping an eye on the pair of them. They should not be conducting themselves in that manner at all.” He’s quick to dismiss the conversation as it looks like Priska is prepared to leave. He offers her the standard salute of a rider to their superior with a smile. “Rest well, young Yedrith. Priska, thank you for enlightening me about some of my peers. I look forward to future talks with you.”

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