Who: Priska, Emily, B’lian, Safiye, C’aol, Isolwyn, T’len
Where: Living Cavern, Fort Weyr
What: Benden causes trouble in the aftermath of Hanath’s Hatching.
Fort’s most recent Hatching was tenser than usual with the arrival of Benden’s bronzerider and his wing to be in attendance for the event. Hanath wore the garland made for her by the Fortian Weyrwomen and Emily wore one to match. Emily kept the Benden contingent near, with the bronzerider on the Sands with her, and those who came to watch with him lined up in the place reserved for honorable guests. Hanath’s first clutch did not produce a gold egg, but she did see the hatching of 3 sturdy bronzes, 2 browns, 3 blues and 2 greens. With all the newly made riders, Emily has escorted the Benden riders towards the Hatching feast with a smile firmly kept on her face.
Safiye has not been seen since the Benden riders arrived, fear overwhelming what determination she had set by to see Hanath’s clutch hatch, and while Vesoviath sits in plain sight on her ledge, Eosyth by her side, what goes unseen is that the youngest of Fort’s goldriders has settled herself between them and peers out from her queen’s side, Eosyth’s wing arched just so to keep her concealed. Priska has adopted quite the opposite response, rather obviously armed and not too distant from Emily’s side at any given moment, a ghost and a warning to any who might think to take any kind of advantage. And Isolwyn? Ignores the Healers’ advice and sits in one corner of the living cavern, surveying the scene much as Eosyth watches over the bowl. “I want them gone,” she utters lowly, perhaps deliberately choosing not to qualify her words and let them be… interpreted at will.
Emily will have much to apologize over to Safiye in the coming days, and her relief at Priska’s nearness is not easily //shown// though Hanath has expressed as much to Yedrith to pass along. Emily settles down to dine with their Benden guests and does her best to keep the conversation flowing as needed. When the group falls to discussing something Benden related and their focus isn’t on their end of the table, Emily leans in to whisper to Priska. “Where’s B’lian?” she teases, wanting some of the day as best she can. She glances around and spies B’lian a few tables over, eating and toasting with one of the newer bronzerider’s family. “You should ask him to dance later,” she elbows Priska lightly. C’aol is ill pleased and has done his best to keep Daeserath from ripping the Benden dragon’s to shreds. The bronze’s mood is doing nothing to ease the tension at Fort as he snarls multiple warnings to their guests to, << Remain where I can see you. Do not look at our golds. Do nothing to make me rip your wings from your bodies. >> C’aol turns to Isolwyn, moving to rest his hand against her elbow. “We will escort them out shortly. It appears Priska is prepared to knife anyone who gets out of line,” he adds, “and you shouldn’t upset yourself so you go into labor.”
Priska elbows Emily right back, drawling, “Oh, I’m sure //that// won’t irritate any of our visitors; my showing a preference when one of them likely has their eye on securing themselves as Honshu’s Weyrleader.” She lifts her glass of wine, hardly wetting her lips with it before she switches it with the empty glass of the rider next to her when he isn’t looking. “You should get out of here and be with Hanath,” she murmurs. “It’s not fair that you’re stuck with this lot.” Isolwyn lifts a smirk up to C’aol. “That would be just like a child of yours. In a hurry to get out here and tell people what’s what.” She settles her gaze on the rider who lifts the glass that was Priska’s and now believes is his own, her eyes narrowing. “I wouldn’t put it past them to do as much damage to our caverns as they can before they leave.”
“That wouldn’t be fair to our weyrlings,” Emily comments and then – as if hearing the mention of them – two of the girls come up to thank Emily personally. “No thanks to me, your greens are lovely, and I’m happy for you,” she assures them both warmly as she clasps their hands and gives them shakes. Their families come forward to thank Emily – and the Benden host – in the same manner. Once they’ve gone and it’s clear that Benden is intent on talking amongst themselves, Emily leans closer to Priska, “If they’re here to woo you they’re doing a horrible job of it.” C’aol has an answering smirk for Isolwyn, “Our child will be the best mixture of us, won’t they?” he drawls and then looks back towards the Benden group as the greenriders’ family moves on to celebrate with the others of the weyrling class. “What, drunken rages aren’t the usual fanfare for a Hatching?” he shakes his head, narrowing his eyes. “I wouldn’t put it past them to try and make us look bad. Emily and Priska are doing well with them. They have no reason to complain.”
“I think it’s far more likely that they’re here to woo //you//,” Priska answers Emily, taking a moment or two to finish off the last bites of her dessert. “They wouldn’t have much luck with me, even if I don’t want them to make assumptions. My heart is spo—“ She catches herself before she goes any further, drawing herself up to insist on a more haughty, “I have no interest.” Sliding a look along the table, she considers, “Maybe we should dance and they can decide that I’m your devoted girlfriend.” Isolwyn shakes her head a little and gives an audible sigh. “There are some spheres of politics that you and are clearly aren’t built for anymore. There was a time that I would have played along like our queenriders are, but now…” What she mutters under her breath is not very ladylike. “I suppose eviscerating people is bad manners.”
Emily’s allowed herself one glass of wine that has completely made her giggly at the point that Priska announces that she’d be her devoted girlfriend. “Oh, yes– let’s,” she moves to stand and looks up at Isolwyn and C’aol for a second before she takes Priska’s hand in hers. “Excuse us,” she calls to the Benden riders as they move out to the dance floor. The harpers are playing a jaunty tune, so it’s easy enough for them to join in on the swings. Emily steps on Priska’s feet more than once as she dances. B’lian’s eyes find the two and he grows quiet as he watches them, a small smile forming on his lips. C’aol watches Priska and Emily with a dour expression. “I hope they aren’t trying to take after Rori with her bluerider,” he grouses, looking to the Benden riders as they turn to watch the two goldriders. He glances towards Isolwyn and allows, “We can’t be the ones doing it any longer, you’re right.” There’s a spark of something in his gaze and his smile is not kind. “That is why we pay people.”
Priska appears not to care in the slightest that Emily steps on her toes, and she certainly stands to afford no reason to, not when the fact that she keeps spinning the two of them around and laughing is likely part of the problem. When one of the visiting bronzeriders stares, all she does is prop her chin on Emily’s shoulder and smile at him, securing her arms around her fellow queenrider’s middle. She even has the audacity to smirk at C’aol when she catches his expression, though she soon return to twirling Emily across the dance floor. “I have a feeling that someone was lying when we were informed that Priska and B’lian are merely friends, if Yedrith and Imahdth’s attachment is any indication,” Isolwyn murmurs, slowly getting to her feet. “We know who we can pay. And I’d better go check on their daughter. She’s been huddled between Vesoviath and Eosyth for too long.”
Emily is completely caught up in the bit of fun she and Priska have created around the sourness of having Benden’s less than gracious company. She lets Priska lead them about the dance floor and laughs right along with her when the giggles are called for. She pats Priska’s arm when the other goldrider gets close and her blush is more in answer to the scrutiny of their Weyrleader than the staring of the man who had been her flight-partner. “I don’t even think he was that good,” she declares suddenly as she turns around to face Priska once more. “Though he’d have everyone believe he was a victor when he claimed my virginity along with his dragon claiming Hanath’s.” It’s the first and last time she’ll bring that up as she swings Priska around in the tempo of the song. “B’lian keeps looking our way. You’d best let him take a turn with you.” C’aol watches as Isolwyn rises. “That she felt the need to hide at all is part of the problem. I am sure her parents won’t like hearing that,” he rises to give her a parting kiss. “I’ll come home once the idiots have returned home.”
“Well,” Priska replies, still moving along to the rhythm of the music, “there’s no shame in having no-one to compare him to, but it’s entirely possible that what you felt was all from Hanath and he might have been truly awful. And if he’s gone around bragging, he’s an ass.” She presses a kiss to Emily’s cheek. “Say the word and I’ll murder him. In the meantime, if you find someone you like, I’m sure it’ll be a whole lot better.” Gently, she relinquishes her, saying, “Even if I’m dancing with B’lian, I’m still keeping an eye on these bastards.” Isolwyn returns C’aol’s kiss, murmuring, “She knows we’ll keep her safe. I’m not sure I blame her for not wanting to be in the same room as Benden’s ‘finest’.” She wraps an arm around his waist for a moment, then trails off through the crowd, set on going to join her queen at Vesoviath and Safiye’s side.
“Priska we mustn’t murder people,” Emily looks genuinely scandalized and then she shakes her head and smiles. “Enough talk of me! There’s plenty of fun to be had.” She links her arm with Priska’s and walks straight over to B’lian. “You can stop staring at her you know,” Emily teases as she takes Priska’s hand and tugs it towards B’lian. “It’s not like gossip is going to ignore the fact you’ve been watching her all night. Give her a dance. And be a //gentlemen//, won’t you?” She hugs Priska. “Thank you for making tonight special for us. It means a lot.” She disappears back into the crowd, choosing to avoid Benden as she circulates to check in on all the candidates families while Benden’s contingent looks prepared to drink all of Fort’s good wine.
Priska arches a brow, waiting until Emily is out of earshot before she says, “I don’t know, but I think it’s a little too late for you to be a //gentleman//,” with a smirk. “I’ve already threatened to murder someone for her, though, so maybe it’s best I not detail for her exactly //why//.” She tilts her head, looking B’lian up and down with the faintest of not remotely innocent smiles. “So, are you going to dance with me and walk me home, and make sure I’m tucked safe and sound into bed?” Glancing back over her shoulder, she admits, “Not that I’m entirely content with the idea of going to bed before I know our ‘guests’ are gone.” She catches the gaze of a brownrider who has been doing a not subtle job of eyeing her up and takes a half-step towards B’lian as the Benden rider rises to his feet. “If they touch me, they bleed,” she declares.
B’lian looks down at Priska with a wide smile. “I still find myself capable of acting the gentlemen.” He leans down to kiss her cheek and then moves to escort her out onto the dance floor, where he otherwise behaves himself. He tugs her close against him as one of the songs dip towards a slower melody. “I will treat you as you ought to be treated, Priska. Walked home and tucked into bed included.” It would seem that Priska and Emily’s little turn on the dance floor has not been found as amusing by Benden’s riders than the rest of those in attendance for the Hatching. While Emily finishes meeting with the last family, T’len (find his name later-side-character re-named) steps forward and intercepts her. He grabs for Emily’s elbow and draws her towards him, his face red with anger and drink. “Are you set to embarrass me further at this Hatching? You have done nothing but made a spectacle of yourself and now you’re marching around greeting the families like you’re the only one of importance here!”
T’len’s movement towards Emily stalls any reply that Priska might have offered B’lian, save for, “Scratch that. If they touch //her//, they bleed.” Before he can stop her, she steps around him and marches towards the bronzerider, quite literally barging her way between T’len and Emily. “She is //ours//,” she enunciates very clearly to him. “You are a //guest// and you will not touch her or anyone here without their clear permission. Emily is Fort’s, and Hanath’s children are Fort’s, and she and they and their riders are our family, and you are //not//. I suggest you take your friends and leave before you humiliate your morally repugnant Weyr further.” Thus far, beyond the mental reach that seems typical of many of Amorenth’s gold descendants, Yedrith has demonstrated little interest in testing what mental strength she may have. Only now, having been quietly threading the aether of her touch into minds of the visiting Benden dragons, she ignites, sending a shockwave through those unwelcome presences.
B’lian is right behind Priska though he makes no move to intercede on her behalf, fully aware of her ability to handle herself. Emily presses her fingers to her cheeks once T’len releases her to turn his angry outburst on Priska. “You! You are little more than a weyrling! How dare you come and interrupt me when I am handling business,” he shakes off the hands that reach to draw him out of the fight, his closest wingriders moving to try and quell his anger and get him out of the situation. “You needn’t worry about taking him away from //this// argument,” C’aol’s words are hard and his eyes are unrelenting as he steps between the Benden riders. He turns on them until they take steps away from T’len and Emily both. Daeserath’s roar is loud enough to penetrate the rock walls into the living caverns. He takes to the skies and circles the Weyr. << Eosyth, Yedrith and Hanath! I will rip them to shreds if they dare to lift into the skies without permission! >> he calls to the golds. C’aol looks to Priska and Emily. “Do we escort them out or lock them up?” The Headwoman and Steward usher the milling people away from the scene and begin to break the party up and send people home rather than let them linger to learn new gossip.
Whether she should or not, Yedrith has clearly made her decision, and Eosyth chooses not to stop her daughter when she uses that ignited aether to pin the Benden dragons in place, what resistance she is offered met with a low, << If you struggle, I believe I will enjoy wrecking destruction… >> Priska is very careful not to draw any of her blades, yet she lets a hand settle on one as she meets T’len’s gaze and tells him, all too sweetly, “Make no mistake: I am a weyrling, but I’m also Honshu’s promised, and I evidently know more of decorum and diplomacy than you. And if you ever touch Emily again, I’ll have you up in-front of a Harper court for harassment of a weyrwoman.” When she answers C’aol, it’s to say, “I think to lock them up would sully our cells.”
Emily’s unable to keep tears from falling as she is entirely flustered by all the outbursts. She wipes quickly at her cheeks and tells C’aol, “Send them home to sleep off their folly.” C’aol nods once and looks to B’lian and a few other Fortian bronzeriders’ that have come forward as others are escorting guests out. “Walk them to their dragons. If they are all too inebriated to go Between, fly them out of Fort Weyr and let them sober up with the hospitality of the fields.” He looks pointedly at T’len. “Your Weyrleaders will hear of your actions. That Benden’s juniors have shown once more that they cannot control themselves properly should not come as much of a surprise for them.” He turns to Priska and Emily as B’lian and the others grab elbows and begin to forcibly remove the belligerent riders. Whatever shouts are directed their way does nothing to clear the anger from C’aol’s face. “I’m going to talk to Isolwyn.” Out of concern or annoyance, C’aol says to Priska, “See to it Emily is calmed down before she’s left alone,” and then he departs.
Before she can think any further on what’s transpired, Priska threads her arm through Emily’s and moves to take her from the caverns with her, headed straight for the bowl. “The next time, it won’t be one like him,” she murmurs. “The next one will be better. Kinder.” It’s not to Emily’s weyr that she means to take them, but to her own, and, after tipping only enough whiskey into her tea to make her sleepy, she goes to tuck her into her bed, leaving the cat with her to keep her company. The door, she leaves ajar, listening for any signs of distress while she waits on the couch for B’lian to return, staring down into her own tea and silently seething.