Second Pass Weyr - AU Canon Pern

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Messages - V'ler

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Valerian had only to spend a sevenday on the so-called Candidate’s Isle before he was deemed safe to their society with no chance to attempt an escape back to the north. The fact that he had been swept south with no chance to ever return to the life he had known didn’t bother him as much as he knew it probably should. He enjoyed his down time with either lazing about or with his music both in the north and in the sweltering south, and there hadn’t been any snot-nosed kids to drill the basic core songs into, which was the part Valerian hated the most about his craft, so why would he want to go back? True he had family in the north but they rarely saw each other given how often he travelled and how far away his placements could take him. That was another reason why he was more or less fine with his current situation; he grew bored easily of his environment and the people occupying space around him. Everything about Katila was new and interesting with people that were either quirky and somewhat amusing or easy on the eyes.

Yet even with the beginning steps of being trusted taken when the approval he could join the weyr properly was given, Valerian was still surprised when he was eventually given weapons for his assigned chore. A chore, he grumbled once again, that he had no business attending to as he lacked every skill needed for it and had no desire to traipse through the lush land with the goal of hunting animals. He’d rather be on the hunt for a quiet place to hide when he was finally tasked with teaching all of the brats running around the weyr. Perhaps he could move back to the Isle, stating he had urges to sabotage their home and build a raft for freedom?

Too bad he believed in the teaching ballads and old records and knew you couldn’t fool a dragon that easily.

So there he was with a crossbow, not a guitar, held in one hand, a quiver of arrows slung over a shoulder, and a short knife strapped to his belt, staring at the greenery that was to be his playground. He hadn’t moved for several minutes after the man issuing the chores and tools spun him around and gave a gruff order to get to it if he wanted to eat. How could he? His hands were made for gently moving over instruments, not for killing of any sort. His eyes were used to track, yes, but people socializing at Gathers not animals that camouflaged so well with their surroundings. What did he know about tracking prints in soil?

Then again, with the sound of bickering coming from one hut, children giggling from another, and a rider cooing at his dragon not too far away, the forest was the lesser of two evils at the moment. Besides, he was a man of learning and where was the harm in at least attempting a new skill and then gloating when he came back successful? With a small grin, Valerian started forward.

Unfortunately confidence only went so far without proper training. Figuring he should at least have his bow at the ready for when he came across his game, Valerian attempted to nock an arrow only for it to slip free of its hold and knick his finger. A hiss of pain was given and with the odd natural instinct to stop the bleeding and pain that so many did, he sucked on the wounded digit, aware of but ignoring the metallic tang that hit his tongue in a slow trickle.

“Yes, this was a splendid idea,” he grumbled to only the trees and the light breeze that caused that soothing sound of leaves rustling against one another. Eyes fluttered shut and a deep breath was taken as Valerian centered himself once more by listening to nature’s song. True he was a Harper and not a huntsman, but the overwhelming desire to return with anything but empty hands had him shrugging off the one small misstep and continue on. It was much like in learning music; if you hit a sour note, you went back and tried it again until you mastered it. It was with that philosophy that Valerian loaded his crossbow and this time achieved the desired outcome.

Now to find something to shoot.

An hour passed with only a wherry spotted but it ran off before the bow could be positioned. Valerian attributed this to the way he moved in the lush forest and attempted a lighter step, rolling each from heel to toes in such a way that even he was surprised that such a simple adjustment could make such a large difference. Too bad it was slightly awkward and it also adjusted the speed in which he moved but the outcome would be worth it, he kept reminding himself every twenty or so paces.

Finally, his patience paid off, or so Valerian hoped as he came upon another wherry. Quickly, and as quietly, as he could, the crossbow was once again lifted into position and with a wish for a straight and true shot, the trigger was pressed. The arrow went flying, as did his confidence, as it looked like his first properly released arrow would find its way to its mark. Only, it didn’t. There had been a slight recoil that jerked his aim just enough at the release he didn’t know about due to a lack of practice beforehand that ended up sending the arrow whizzing by the prey and into the trunk of a sturdy tree. Before he could truly comprehend what had happened, the wherry squawked and took off running while green eyes stayed trained on the arrow lightly vibrating from the penetration of the wood.

“This really shouldn’t be that difficult,” again, Valerian grumbled as he forgot his purpose of being stealthy and stomped up to the tree that held his arrow captive. He could just imagine the fuss that would be kicked up if he didn’t return with every last item he was issued so he reached for the arrow, fingers wrapping around the shaft and pulled but to little effect. With his grip tightening Valerian tried again only to be met with resistance once more. Frustrated and wanting nothing more than to return to the weyr and soak in the bath, he tried for a third time, this time both hands lending to the task. With one good tug he found himself flat on the ground but he had the arrow! Bonus points were awarded for not landing on the bow that had been set aside to procure the useless item that had to have a crooked shaft given the way it flew.

As he rose to his feet with hands first mopping at his sweating brow and about to brush away dirt and forest decay, a rustling sound to the left alerted Valerian to something approaching and his attention went from his personal grooming to his personal safety. It seemed he wasn’t the only one hunting that hot late afternoon and not the only one targeting unsuspecting wherries for a pride of wild felines emerged from the bushes, one carrying his prey in its maw. For a moment time stood still as he had a foolish hope that if he didn’t move they would ignore him and continue on but with his luck that day, even he wasn’t surprised when several growled deep in their throats and crouched down in a protective stance.

Without any debate on the matter, Valerian turned on his heel and took off running. That was likely the pride he had heard a few of the weyrfolk mentioning that was menacing their borders and being a general nuisance. It made no difference to the young harper that he had multiple pointy objects on his person and could take out one or two while scaring off the rest to perhaps earn further respect from the new society to which he now belonged. It also didn’t matter that he ran from a group of wild felines since no one was around to witness such an act and bruise his ego. He may give off the impression that he didn’t care about most things but he did have a sense of self-worth and knew when to choose flight over fight.

He hadn’t been running for long when the karma he was clearly dealing with for whatever reason today reared its ugly head once more. He was a sure-footed man but on a terrain he was unfamiliar with and that was uneven as forests were wont to be, Valerian soon found himself stumbling and falling face first for the ground he had already seen enough of for the day. He still held an arrow in one hand and the bow in the other so catching himself didn’t seem like the best of ideas though he still did, on the forearms and knees as he tumbled and skidded across sticks, stones, and who knew what else. Frantically he rolled over, preparing to defend himself from hungry felines only to find they hadn’t followed, no doubt content with their current kill. That was fine by Valerian and as he moved to stand and once again clean himself off, he found the process a tad more painful.

Wincing at the pressure on his left foot, Valerian parked himself back down and surveyed the damage. His arms were scratched with dirt smeared all over them but nothing seemed too major, but his knees were now visible through his pants and they looked a bit worse for wear. “Seriously? I’m not a clumsy person. What is wrong with this profession?” Aggravated and now content with the idea of returning alive so he could enjoy that bath, Valerian grabbed at one of the larger stones scattered around him and chucked it at the nearby stream he could hear trickling through the wooded area. Naturally, where he desired to hear the satisfying ‘sploosh’ of the heavy object hitting the water he was instead given a strangled quack followed by a dull thud.

With his natural curiosity piqued, Valerian staggered to his feet, grabbing the tools of this so-called trade, not caring if anything was now broken, and went to the area of the stream where he had tossed the stone that made mysterious sounds. There, lying at his feet, was the corpse of a duck with his stone sitting beside an obviously broken neck. The sight and the realization of what he had done broke through Valerian’s usual control of emotions and he burst out laughing.

“You have got to be kidding me!” He was howling with laughter, nearly hysterical from it given everything that had led up to the stroke of good luck, and ended up wiping away a tear that formed from the fit, leaving a streak of dirt across his cheek. He didn’t care. He now had something to show for his efforts.

Picking the duck up by its limp neck, Valerian gave a final chuckle before reigning in his emotions and resuming control. “Eh… good enough.” It was actually a pretty pathetic haul but he suspected he had been pegged as not getting anything on his first attempt and this would at least prove his doubters wrong and he was all about doing that.

By the time he returned to the weyr his ankle didn’t hurt quite so much though he did still walk with a slight limp as the cuts on the same leg were starting to throb. As much as he wanted that long soak in hot water, Valerian felt a quick stop to see a healer might be in order. But first he had his spoils to deliver and he did so with his usual indifference, placing first the tools on the table in the kitchen area and then the duck.

“My contribution to our fine dining this evening.” Without waiting to hear any comment made on his success or his appearance, Valerian turned and made a steady, albeit limping, march to the healing hall.

Valerian made his way from kitchen to healing hall one slow but confident step at a time, ignoring the odd looks given him as he walked by strangers he knew he would have to get to know better one day. His hunting experience hadn’t gone quite as planned, and if he wasn’t trying to soften the blow for his ego he’d admit it was a disaster, and it left him exhausted. Having spent several hours in the hot sun despite the good coverage the forest provided likely didn’t help his energy either. All he wanted was to strip off the dirty and torn clothing and soak in hot water for the exact length of time he had been out trying to provide for the nameless strangers.

Nameless strangers that had kidnapped him!

Right, there was that point. He didn’t mind his circumstance but the way he had ended up there was still a bit of an inconvenience which left him with only what he had been wearing that night and his guitar he had brought out to play around on. So his current physical state left him wondering why he had put himself through so much. True he sort of liked some of the oddball characters he had deigned worthy enough, for now, to speak to and he was adjusting to a new way of life which broke up the monotony of his old life but were these people worth the risk of his own life?

Currently, he was leaning towards the negative.

Perhaps whoever looked at his injuries would earn the weyr some points back and further urge loyalty out of him. The woman that first spotted him as he inched his way into the building was well on her way to doing just that as one glance at him had her ordering him to the room around the corner while she fetched someone to look him over. Valerian nodded, glad to have someone concerned for his well-being because surely the idiot who gave him the chore of hunting didn’t care one wit. But that brief moment of contentment faded when he rounded the turn to the room he had been sent to and saw one of the two beds already had an occupant and one he actually knew.

“Oh, it’s you,” Valerian’s voice held the usual bored tone but he managed to keep most of the weariness out of it as he looked over Allendris. He wasn’t a bad-looking man but his attitude somewhat sucked, though that was what made it entertaining to converse with him. As he moved toward the bedding, his gaze lingered a little longer on his fellow stolen candidate and noticed something a bit off, mainly, his colouring. Skin that was normally of a pale complexion looked like it was glowing a lovely shade of red and Valerian snorted, biting back a full bark of laughter as he realized the snooty man was sun burned. “Nice colour, it really suits you.”

Among other areas, Valerian thought, resisting the urge to examine his forearms which would risk Allendris learning more of his injuries. Of course the doctor that seemed to almost be cowering just inside the door would point out each marking soon enough but that was different and done under medical scrutiny, not simply to find something to detract from his own state which the glass-smith was clearly doing. Instead, he took his place on the empty bed, wincing only slightly at the action causing his knees to bend more than they had since the tumble. The pain in his left leg and the darkening stain on the pant leg he hadn’t noticed until that moment indicated that there was more to it than just a skinned knee and Valerian frowned slightly. He supposed he should try to roll up the material obscuring the handiwork of his running away from a pride of felines caused.

As he attempted the feat of rolling up the snug material, a wicked thought entered his mind that Valerian believed would make Allendris blush, which would be lost in the sun burn but perhaps there would be fidgeting. No, he would hold off on stripping off his garments for a little longer just like he left off rolling up the cloth so the doctor could view him as he was and not blame him for his attempts at helping actually being a hindrance.

“Yes, do look after me first as I am much more important and deserve immediate attention.”  It was Allendris’ own fault for giving that opening and Valerian was in just the right mood to go ahead and waltz right through it, with a smug grin in place.

Valerian’s gaze was on the healer but his attention remained split between the two men as he had no intentions of letting Allendris sneak in any comment that deserved some sort of reply with word or glare. But while the glass-smith likely fuming, silently of course, over allowing himself to be put in second place, a little extra attention on the man he hadn’t met before wouldn’t hurt. Except, what was there to say about the guy? He didn’t have any remarkable features though that didn’t make him unappealing to the eyes, yet Valerian knew that even his attention to details and his surroundings wouldn’t pick him out of a crowd. Then again, he wouldn’t be surprised if Talian worked at that particular skill given the way he dressed, spoke, and carried himself. It was like the man didn’t want to be seen and was only in the room because he did enjoy his profession and couldn’t let anyone injured pass him by without a thorough once over.

“I was out hunting,” Valerian answered the question and echo without hesitation since he wasn’t one to lie, although hedging the truth was sometimes unavoidable, and there wasn’t a way that he could conceive of that would make him look bad for obtaining such minor injuries while doing such a dangerous activity. “So you have me to thank for that duck you’ll be dining on later. Well, assuming you can move that far with such a well done tan.” That overexposure to the sun would be questioned soon enough but there was still a healer gently poking at his minor wounds and pointing out they were in need of a cleaning and since his well-being took priority over teasing someone, Valerian had to do some prioritizing.

“Anyway, healer, I will appreciate anything you can do for me but I generally prefer having a name to go with the hands running over my body.” He wasn’t particularly the flirty type but Valerian felt he had an eye for the type of comments that would fluster people and Talian seemed like he might run away shrieking at such a line, though it would suck if that did happen before being properly tended to.

“Valerian, Journeyman Harper,” he may have been blunt, honest, and possibly even rude, but Valerian did have manners lurking deep within and he knew how to follow protocol despite his desire to oftentimes keep personal information to himself. It was slightly at odds with his profession, just like his budding hatred of children when he was meant to embrace all of their quirks and find ways to teach them, but he had long ago accepted he could be a tad bit of a walking contradiction. Besides, even if he wanted to keep to himself, it was nearly impossible within such a small weyr with people just as curious as he was and tossed into a life he had no choice but to accept so there really wasn’t a point in evading such greetings, especially, and he hoped not, he found himself in need of Talian’s assistance again down the line.

A quick glance was given to Allendris to see what his fellow silent observer thought of his answer and what Talian had said about his wound before green eyes returned to tracking the healer’s movements. “Yes, hunting and it involved a pride of wild and hungry felines,” and that was all that needed to be said on that matter given the way he had ran from the beasts and earned his injuries, including what sounded like one that would soon be a scar. That earned a brief frown and then a shrug. It was on his leg which would be typically out of sight given his preferred attire and wouldn’t hinder his playing of instruments and likely not even impede his dancing.

“The pain is bearable since I walked from the forest to the kitchen to here though if you go poking at it too much my opinion may change,” despite his fatigue and annoyance at being dirty and bloody, Valerian was being kind in giving the warning that if Talian didn’t proceed with caution he would hear about it.

The Lake Edge / Re: At the River's Edge [Valerian]
« on: 30 Jan 2012 at 06:02 PM »
Valerian was not an early riser by choice. If he had his way no one would see him until midday, but, and his current situation was proof, one didn’t always get their way. Being born into a farming family that worked from sunrise to sunset should have started the conditioning for such morning regimes and perhaps it did since even he had far too much energy to spend as a young boy. His time spent at the Harper Hall had ensured he would always rise at an appropriate time and in truth Valerian was more than willing to do just that in his first years in attendance as he was far too keen on learning what he could about the music he so enjoyed. As he aged, the desire for one more hour of sleep kicked in though he was never granted it whether from masters he oddly didn’t want to disappoint even when he found some of them to be lacking in some way or from himself with his desire to not disgrace his trade’s good name. He admitted he could be lazy at times but he did carry an amount of pride within as well.

So it was Valerian woke before most of the weyr. In a way, it was something he could look forward to in the strange environment he was trying to adapt to since no one was around to bother him with mundane questions about his past or what he hoped to achieve now that he was at Katila, attempting to make it seem like they wanted to know him and he wasn’t just there to either help the population of dragons or at the very least teach their children that would one day become riders. Early morning was also a good time to reconnect with his first love, music, as the guitar slung over his shoulder showed, and an even better time to explore outdoors as the day hadn’t approached sweltering levels just yet which made for a happy Northerner that preferred something between freezing and melting as the ideal temperature.

He had been walking around the inside of Katila’s perimeter, memorizing where everything lay and finding new paths to get around the weyr with both ease and an avoidance of heavily used areas when his musically attuned ear caught a voice that could only be described as sweet and nauseatingly cheerful wholeheartedly singing one of the educational tunes. It was far too early for so much enthusiasm and that was perhaps why Valerian soon found himself following the voice until he came upon a river where green eyes went wide at what he found. That carefree yet powerful singing belonged to an older man which wasn’t what surprised the young Harper but his actions and especially the accompaniment certainly did!

A bathing dragon. Was he hallucinating? It would make sense, Valerian decided, as he focused in on the humming that could only be coming from the green beauty that seemed to enjoy the scrubbing she received. It wasn’t until he was two dragon lengths from the pair that he realized he had even taken a step, so enthralled was he with the scene. Given he was now a resident of a weyr seeing dragons wasn’t an unusual sight but Valerian hadn’t taken any efforts to introduce himself to the riders or to approach the creatures he knew from his teachings were friendly since he often preferred his own company over socializing and while he had accepted his situation and could even appreciate why the dragonriders were acquiring candidates as they were, he still wasn’t ready to dive right into the new life like it was perfectly normal to be uprooted without warning or a change of clothes.

Compelled by his enjoyment of music which often outweighed the desire to be left alone, Valerian moved his guitar into position and easily took up the melody of the song the rider and dragon were, admittedly, doing justice to on their own. Perhaps it was rude to just join in as he did, fingers deftly working over the chords as feet stayed firmly planted where they were, but he didn’t care. This was a chance to play with someone. He had always preferred the performance aspect of the craft over the teaching and since coming south, Valerian hadn’t sought out anyone who could carry a tune to pass some time with. Besides, if this was all a hallucination, it wouldn’t matter if he played or not.

Western Forests / Two Peas in a Pod [Erisi]
« on: 31 Jan 2012 at 03:04 AM »
Valerian loved to do nothing at all when given the chance; it was just too bad he wasn’t given that chance too often. He had fooled his masters too well at the Harper Hall into believing he enjoyed all of the classes he took and taught which cut into a lot of his valuable free time just like living at a Hold where he was to make sure the brats there knew what they should as well. But here at Katila, things were slightly different, for now. He had heard there would be classes leading up the Hatching he was supposedly plucked away from his life for but that had yet to happen and all he had to really do was try to kill something, not someone as tempting as that desire was at times, to help with their food supplies.

So was it any surprise that his evening was wide open and he could be found  napping under a tree just far enough away from the weyr proper to avoid being pestered but not far enough away to earn a lecture for wandering off? His poorly assigned chore had been accomplished once more, this time with far less injuries than his first attempt and Valerian felt it was the perfect time to sneak off and enjoy the sounds of nature and not kids screaming or candidates trying to talk to him out of their own selfish reasons like needing a friend to cope with the trauma of being kidnapped.

Western Forests / Re: Two Peas in a Pod [Erisi]
« on: 01 Feb 2012 at 01:06 AM »
Why did it sound like someone was talking to him when Valerian was fairly certain no one had followed him and most would leave a man alone when they saw him napping under a tree? Was he taking a cue from Allendris and suffering from heat stroke which was making him delusional? He’d find a way later on to twist that around into a way to blame on the glass-smith and then tease him further since it was somewhat enjoyable to pass the time with that man in such a way but first he should exert some energy and make sure he was alone even if going crazy as the only other alternative. He could live with that if it involved a way out of chores and gave him every opportunity to do what he wanted when he wanted.

As eyelids fluttered open and his vision cleared of the near-sleep haze, all the while hoping he didn’t find an owner to that annoyed voice, Valerian gave an irritable sigh when he was proven to be sane but now in the company of someone. “Longer than you, obviously.” Well, probably anyway, since Valerian had to confess to not checking every side of the tree before flopping down on the ground, uncaring about the debris that would collect on his clothing. Seriously, who would think to do such a thing?

“Go find another tree, this one’s already been claimed.” Valerian shifted slightly to get comfortable once more, a clear sign that he was dismissing the man he hadn’t seen before, though that wasn’t hard given how little he interacted with the inhabitants of the Weyr.

Sometimes ballads were written with slight exaggeration to make the tale more heroic and epic or enhance the subject matter to tug at your heart either from love or sorrow but that wasn’t Valerian’s style and he wouldn’t appreciate his time in the healing hall receiving such a treatment either. To say Valerian took the removal of the grit from his wound well would leave the speaker telling fibs which, even as the subject of the ego-boosting comments, the Harper wouldn’t appreciate. He flinched when the first stone was removed but couldn’t contain the hiss that the second caused. It took a lot of willpower to not kick the healer or to pull away from the man that was only trying to do his job and ensure a proper recovery would follow. In other words, Talian had his patient’s self-preservation and fondness for himself as a whole, not with holes, to thank.

So Valerian pointed that out once the third and final stone was freed. “Sting? Shards… Aren’t healers supposed to have a gentle touch? This is decidedly lacking in gentle and you almost earned a reflective kick for your efforts,” grumbling about Talian’s faults helped keep his mind from wandering into the dangerous area of too much pain which would potentially leave him collapsing against the healer or back against the bed; either option being slightly embarrassing with Allendris in the room.

Speaking of the glass-smith, Valerian decided to use him as a further distraction from his minor surgery since it also kept his eyes from spotting the way the tweezers worked on him and the blood that coated metal and stone. His stomach wasn’t particularly weak but given his current state of being, the images were leaving him slightly queasy. “No you didn’t and it’s possibly a good thing since you seem to be a hazard to yourself. No outside help required.” He gave Allendris a small, challenging grin even as he positioned his leg once more for Talian to finish up with and lifted his arms, palms up, to show the light scratches his tumble had produced on those limbs.

Western Forests / Re: Two Peas in a Pod [Erisi]
« on: 01 Feb 2012 at 02:50 AM »
Did this guy speak just to hear his own nerve-grating voice? Apparently the virtues of silence and knowing when to hold your peace until the right moment for maximum impact was lost on some. Though, Valerian supposed, the bigger issue was, why didn’t the man take the hint and just go find his own tree? He didn’t seem too pleased with someone beating him to the choice location and it wasn’t like they were lacking in sturdy trunks to lean against given they were in a forest. But then, maybe the loudmouth didn’t care about them having a mutual interest in one prime shaded spot, since he really didn’t either. Well, he wouldn’t if the man would shut up!

Valerian was close to commenting on that key point but something inside snapped and he had to one-up the smart-aleck rapid-fire questions and complaints. He had no idea why he wanted to follow through with such a notion when he was usually better than stooping to such a level but Valerian found himself grabbing a leaf from a small plant he didn’t have to reach too far for and quickly carved a ‘V’ into it. Satisfied with that step of his petty plan, the marked leaf was then impaled on the edge of a piece of bark that was closer to his side of the tree than the peace-intruder’s.

“There you go. The tree is now clearly marked as mine,” Valerian’s tone wasn’t so much annoyed or even bored, the latter of which was his usual state, but it was borderline amused. Despite all of the complaining they both did, neither of them felt compelled to move. Were they both too lazy to trek through the woods and once more find a spot that was deemed worthy of their presence or were they both okay with simply putting up with someone else that seemed to enjoy the same pastime?

“Or, at least this half of the tree is marked as mine. I don’t feel like moving and you seem too lazy to do more than run your mouth until even you grow tired of hearing it and fall asleep so I’ll call a truce and let you stay where you are so long as you don’t invade my territory.” It seemed like a fair deal to him and required the least amount of effort, something Valerian was all for that evening.

Valerian suddenly found himself in a strange new position and he didn’t like it. Both men were picking on him? Since when had they decided to team up and needle him about everything that was potentially embarrassing? Actually, no, scratch that idea. Given the way Talian seemed to shrink back into himself after he was done with the clean up and earned a tongue lashing, there was no conceivable way he was saying anything malicious intentionally. The healer seemed like the sort that loved to learn, his nose in books and his social life in the negatives so he wouldn’t knowingly embarrass someone, especially a patient. In a way, the cluelessness was sort of cute.

Then what was Allendris’ excuse? Revenge, plain and simple. Given the way he took each jab like a champ which impressed Valerian, and had him continuing to tease the glass-smith because their repartee was fun, it was only natural that he would eventually land a good blow in return. So it was with only that brief gaping of the mouth at the shock of both men pointing out his flaws of the day that Valerian responded in truth and with as much dignity as he could muster while leaving himself on such display. “Yes, I fell as I made quick work of leaving the area where a pride and I were seconds away from being far too intimate for a first meeting, and no I do not have any further wounds nor do I wish to be drugged at this point in time.” Even though he had a sinking suspicion that being stitched up wasn’t going to be labelled as a fond memory and fun times.

Valerian paused only long enough to catch a breath and look over Talian yet again, fascinated how a man that held such confidence while performing his craft could simultaneously try to fade away and not have anyone converse with him or judge him. “You, however, look like you could use that glass of wine. And perhaps you have something for Allendris’ newly developed cough?”

Western Forests / Re: Two Peas in a Pod [Erisi]
« on: 02 Feb 2012 at 02:08 AM »
Valerian clucked his tongue in annoyance, amazed by the audacity of this stranger that couldn’t seem to take a hint and continued talking and being a general thorn in his side when all that was sought after was some quiet. It seemed, however, that the best course of action with this man was to simply stop talking and he might follow suit. Every time a word was said there had to be a rebuttal and a need to have the final say. As much as he enjoyed pointing out flaws or giving a snide comment that either left him with a quietly stunned audience or being snapped at, though he didn’t listen to too many people when they told him to mind his tongue, Valerian could see the benefit in this one time being the first to fall silent.

At least the issue of their mutual napping spot had been settled. Once again laziness won the day and Valerian pitied all those poor fools who felt the need to work themselves to exhaustion over the smallest of routines. They would have likely handled the situation of the tree with incessant arguing or a physical fight until one of them had to leave for healing. Figuring the matter well and truly dropped and the silence would remain, Valerian gave another wriggle against the trunk to make sure he was in the best possible position for some serious napping and relaxing, and dared to let his eyes slide shut.

ooc: You know I won't mind if Erisi starts pestering him again XD and one day I might be able to write again and you'll get decent tags from me!

Shards, but he was an idiot on those rare times he let pride rule him instead of commonsense. Why had he thought a sharp object piercing his skin would hurt any less than tweezers digging around in an open wound was beyond him and Valerian wished he had taken the offered herbs though there was the chance they would leave him with a fuzzy mind and he needed his wits about him to deal with these two when they set their minds against him. So, like Talian, the harper was of the opinion that distractions were a good thing because he surely couldn’t grip the bedding beneath him any harder than he already was in an effort to channel some of the pain and the urge to grumble about it. Talian’s choice of a distraction, however, was an interesting one but Valerian felt he could go with it thanks to Allendris’ quick response.

“He’s right, we’re not friends,” Valerian nearly growled the word which would have made it seem like they were the other’s sworn arch nemesis if it wasn’t for the fact the needle working its way over his wound, “we’re much closer than just friends.” They had shared the Candidate Isle together and that must have counted for some form of bonding which made his statement true but he strongly believed the other men would think he was implying something else. It mattered not that he didn’t have any sexual experience with men and had only had one night with a woman at a Gather and currently had more talk than back up. Any sputtering and wide-eyed stares he earned would be well worth placing himself in Allendris’ hypothetical bed.

The Lake Edge / Re: At the River's Edge [Valerian]
« on: 02 Feb 2012 at 02:59 AM »
“Of course I do,” Valerian replied matter-of-factly. He wasn’t modest and saw no need for that skill especially if the compliments were already flying. He was, however, a bit surprised that a Katilian had been the one to issue it. Sure, someone obviously saw how amazing he was and the potential he had to also Impress a dragon or he wouldn’t be standing by a river watching one be bathed but it seemed like his only jobs now were to make sure that actually did happen and to help keep the Weyr running. But a dragonrider, B’jin, had taken only a moment to show interest in him and commented favourably and not to tell him to go back to his chores.

Still as awestruck as he was at the sight of Larrikith, Valerian still remembered the manners drilled into him by his mother and sisters as well as too much time at Harper Hall and introduced himself in turn, or at least tried to, “I’m Va-” his gasp ended his name and he took a stumbling step backward as a distinctly feminine voice struck him. Even though it didn’t seem like it came from the surrounding area, green eyes still did a quick sweep of the river and he even spun around like a gullible brat but found no one to call out as the culprit of the choppy sentence he had heard. When his gaze returned to the dragon, his head tilted to the left to study her in quiet contemplation. He knew all about the amazing abilities that dragons possessed and believing he had been the recipient of such a rare treat was an easy task.

Even with patching together what he had heard and assuming Larrikith had promised not to get his guitar wet, Valerian still set down his prized, and now only, possession at his feet and attempted a casual stroll toward the pair. “I’m Valerian,” he blurted out his name once he came to stand only an arm’s length from Larrikith, realizing he hadn’t quite accomplished that reply before. His hand rose, intent to touch the creature before him but odd to his nature, he hesitated and wasn’t sure why. He had been given permission to help bathe her after all so there wasn’t any harm in doing just that or acquainting himself with the feel of a dragon’s hide.

Gather Square / Re: Sex-u-al-i-ty | CANDIDATE CLASS.
« on: 02 Feb 2012 at 03:22 AM »
“Here.”  Valerian nearly mumbled the word thanks to the boredom that had started to grow from waiting around for the lesson to begin and gave a weak wave of his hand to help indicate who the voice belonged to.

Why had he shown up to the class that would probably break down into fits of giggling or lewd gestures and the subject matter was pretty straightforward? Oh, right, his curiosity that often got the best of him. He hated that aspect some days. Well, at least he could say this wasn’t a class he had taught before at various holds in the north, so that was something new. Besides, this was a lesson he had no intentions of missing thanks to Allendris and Talian being in the same class as him. Those two men were so rigid that it was bound to lead them into awkward moments with the various areas of discussion that should arise. But Valerian was just making a lot of guess work since he only had to work with the common perception of what the weyrfolk got up to and not what the nitty gritty of how the sexual politics worked.

Dining Hall / Re: Self-Medication [Open!]
« on: 03 Feb 2012 at 01:38 AM »
Valerian shuffled, half-blindly, into the dining hall with a yawn he didn’t bother to cover. What did manners matter at such an early hour when there wouldn’t be too many people around and if there was, they would likely be in a similar state? Unless, of course, they were one of those sickeningly cheerful types that loved to rise with the sun and sang with the birds. He could appreciate the singing part and even the enthusiasm to be alive and starting another day but did they have to do it so loudly and with such chipper expressions? No, they did not, at least not in his presence, and one day he would tell that person what they could do with their obnoxious lust for life.

After grabbing only a roll and a mug of steaming klah that he took a moment to take a deep breath of, inhaling and savouring the sweet spicy scent that helped to perk him up a bit, Valerian turned to the tables and heard, before spotting, the group of people off to the side. Maybe that day of snapping someone’s head off for being too loud in the morning was upon him sooner than he thought. With a few rapid blinks and then a squint of the eyes to help clear his vision entirely, Valerian realized he recognized most of the people gathered at the table and his mind boggled at why such a group would ever exist. Of course this meant he had to join them and find out and boy was he glad when he did.

The few sips of klah that were taken on the path across the room helped clear his mind and Valerian felt his wit wasn’t as keen as it normally was but it was a good start considering he hadn’t been up long. When he finally approached the table, it was a scene of minor chaos. Some were angry, others seemed upset or confused, and a couple seemed like food was going out of style and they had to consume every last bite in thirty seconds or less. But the strangest sight of all was, of course, the greenrider B’jin. The man was already odd and while Valerian adored Larrikith he still wasn’t sure on where his opinion laid when it came to the rider. The fact that he heard B’jin yelling at people on his walk over did earn the man a few bonus points in favour of being liked though.

It was, however, the way B’jin now spoke in soothing tones directed at Talian while they held hands that drew Valerian’s attention and after another sip of klah, he spoke up, announcing his presence, “I dunno, Talian. From where I’m standing it looks pretty intimate. I didn’t know you preferred your lovers older or male. I had pegged you as being too shy to hold hands with a woman let alone even consider bedding a man. I guess B’jin is a decent enough pick though.”

Dining Hall / Re: Self-Medication [Open!]
« on: 03 Feb 2012 at 09:47 PM »
Oh, this was getting good. Valerian continued to eat his sweet roll even while B’jin’s anger turned his way. Honestly, it was rather amusing to see this side of the greenrider that seemed to constantly smile and lack a care in the world. He also wasn’t the first person to snap at the harper for expressing his point of view so anything said with such a tone wasn’t anything to lament on or ruin his day over. Although given how concerned B’jin was by everyone thinking he was proddy and how fervently he denied such a thing could be possible had Valerian believe the man protested too much and therefore it was bound to be true.

But it was Talian that earned another look over as the last of the sweet roll was finished off. The healer’s rambling truths were interesting and completely unexpected which had Valerian mentally chalking up a point in his favour for being the one to push Talian to the limit and finally talk about something personal. What he had said upon his arrival had been the truth, not just something to needle him—though that was the intention despite truth or lie, so to hear about the quiet man not only holding hands with a woman but doing something ‘more’ with her was somewhat impressive. That confession would also likely set off the rest of the gawkers that seemed to enjoy talking over one another and running around in a panic like Thread was falling. Seriously, who was the younger girl that seemed to care more about having a bag with her than the fun conversation they were all partaking in, albeit at differing volumes and hanging onto differing key points that were mentioned?

Anyway, it didn’t matter. What did matter was he had just finished the last gulp of his klah and Valerian sighed, knowing he would need more to keep him going with the hyperactive lot he had fallen into. “Hey,” he called out, unconcerned about who he was speaking over so long as he had the attention for a moment and thanks to his harper training, he knew the same techniques as B’jin for making his voice carry over large crowds. “I’m out of klah. No one move or continue these fun times until I get back.” Satisfied with his order at least being heard and perhaps obeyed if only out of shock at being told to sit still, Valerian went back for a refill.

Dining Hall / Re: Self-Medication [Open!]
« on: 04 Feb 2012 at 04:27 AM »
With his mug once more filled with the blissful substance known as klah, Valerian turned back for the chaotic group. It had been a tough decision mere moments earlier whether he should leave for more liquid rejuvenation and possibly miss out on something he could use to tease a person with later or stand guard for that magical moment with a mind that still wasn't fully awake yet. With the first sip of that second cup, Valerian thought he had chosen wisely but when he returned to the scene of entertainment he quickly changed his mind and frowned.

"I thought I said not to move." B'jin was running away, the elderly woman looked like she was having a stroke, and Talian was on the hard floor. Oh, and there was a dragon stuck in the doorway. None of that screamed 'yes, Harper, we shall listen to you and wait for your grand return so you won't miss a thing.' And he was supposed to get along with these people, live with them for the rest of their lives? He supposed this one time he could overlook that slight since his favourite little dragon was to blame for the new round of confusion and hilarity. At least that was if the new dragon-shaped door was to be believed. And that was another thing; it was far too early for unexpected dragonspeak!

A large gulp of klah was taken to help him catch up with the chaos before crouching down beside Talian. A long slender finger slowly reached out and he poked the man on the shoulder twice, "you doing okay down here, Talian? This probably isn't the best location to sleep off a night of substance abuse or a broken heart. I noticed B'jin took off running which can't be a good sign for a relationship."

It was as Valerian inspected the man to make sure he wasn't any closer to death that he caught sight of the elegant knots lying discarded beside Talian. It was unlikely the girl that had gone on and on about her bag owned them and he suspected no one else at the table was of the right mindset for such a position as a master healer so that left Talian as the owner. It was impressive if not odd and Valerian felt there was a story behind that rank. So he casually scooped them up as he set down his mug and shifted, making it look like he was adjusting the way he crouched and slid them into his long shirt sleeve with the intention of returning them once the healer didn't seem like he had mentally checked out.

The Lake Edge / Re: At the River's Edge [Valerian]
« on: 04 Feb 2012 at 09:16 PM »
There had been some odd fear in the back of Valerian’s mind that if he made contact with this green beauty than it would all disappear and he’d wake under the tree near the Harper Hall from an afternoon nap. He wasn’t particularly thrilled with the method of arriving at Katila or all of the aspects of life in the South but Valerian couldn’t deny how excited he was to be near dragons and didn’t want to lose that perk in life. Perhaps it was one of the reasons why he avoided dragons and their riders up to this moment, though the reason of dragonriders being conceited and irritating was still more the likely reason. So he had to thank Larrikith for taking the initiative for getting his hand to touch her and even making him quietly laugh at the breath to his face. “You’re so soft,” he wasn’t sure what he was expecting but the smooth hide beneath his calloused fingers was a pleasant surprise and he gave slow short strokes to further learn the feel of a dragon. The best part? She didn’t vanish and he wasn’t left standing near Harper Hall!

Once he realized his mind was wandering away on him and B’jin was waiting for his attention, Valerian nodded and accepted the smaller brush, eyeing it with suspicion. Was he just given a toy model for kids to assist with? Considering his lack of experience and his unexpected appearance he supposed it was this or nothing and while cleaning a dragon was probably seen as a chore, it was a new experience and even an honour for the harper to be allowed to help. He followed B’jin’s example and copied his movements and tried to match the pressure used, trusting that he wouldn’t be led astray and hurt Larrikith since it wouldn’t benefit B’jin in any way.

It was after a few minutes of concentrating on the task that had started out as stressful but soon had him relaxing and almost enjoying it, Valerian found his voice again with opinions that needed to be shared, “I like her, too, but I’m not so sure about you yet.” His gaze went to B’jin and he studied the older harper as if he could learn everything there was to know about the greenrider from just that method. “You’re just so… cheerful.”

Western Forests / Re: Two Peas in a Pod [Erisi]
« on: 05 Feb 2012 at 12:32 AM »
Somehow Valerian knew the silence wouldn't last forever but the length in which it went on for surprised him. He had given it maybe two minutes before the irritated voice sounded again. As it happened, he had been close to finding that sort of slumber where he wasn't exactly asleep but still resting well enough to have it count as a source of renewed energy. He supposed he should just give up and accept that talking was as natural as breathing for some people and since he had at least one hobby in common with this guy, he could indulge the man and have a conversation for a bit. Their bickering over ownership of the tree had been sort of amusing and it wasn't like he had found many in the Weyr so far that could carry on like that with him.

"I didn't realize I had become so important in your life in such a short amount of time to warrant such interest," just because he had decided to talk didn't mean he had to be docile and play the polite and lonely Candidate that seemed to be common amongst the barracks. That was another reason why he spent time in a forest rather than on his own bed. Far too many people felt they could just waltz into a place like they owned it and expect entertainment. Okay, so he was a harper and that type of attitude was pretty commonplace when that was what you were employed for but that didn't mean he had to comply now that he was living in some weird limbo of harper and potential dragonrider.

"Since I don't want to disappoint someone so interested in... I'm Valerian, Journeyman Harper, and I have twenty-five turns to my name." He didn't bother to ask Erisi for his name and what not since that would show they were of an equal curiosity. Which he was but Erisi didn't need to know that just yet.

Healing Hall / Re: Coming Down
« on: 05 Feb 2012 at 08:39 PM »
The woman that was obviously some rank of healer was baffling to his early morning mind. She was screaming for someone to help her get Talian to his feet and move him to the Healing Hall one second and the next she was doing it on her own. He would have helped, he wasn’t that horrible of a person but Valerian decided this was one determined woman and he had learned that sometimes it was best to stay out of their way, especially if it involved their child or a dear one. He had no idea what the relationship was between the two since he wasn’t even sure who she was and Talian seemed hung up on some Fiora girl but it was a Weyr so anything was possible, though he suspected it was simply a friendship between two Stolen Candidates.

He grabbed his mug of klah, and moved out of the way, forgoing to offer any help since it didn’t seem to be wanted anymore. Once the pair had made a good effort at putting distance between them and the chaos that was still reigning supreme, Valerian turned to follow. Sure, the breakfast gang would likely be entertaining to observe a little longer but his marks, if he was a betting man, were on Talian being the far more interesting choice. Was the man a master healer or did the knots simply belong to a family member that he had happened to have on him when Stolen as a sort of memento? His curiosity wouldn’t leave him alone until he found out. He had to admit he also sort of liked the guy and wanted to make sure Talian would be okay. With a final swig of his klah, Valerian headed for the busted doors, setting his mug down on an empty table as he passed.

Once he made it to the small room, Valerian smirked at what he walked in on. Lymsleia was ordering the removal of Talian’s shirt and reaching out for him. It took a moment for the scene to connect and a few steps into the room changed the view enough that he could see she wanted to apply some sort of salve onto an exposed chest but it was still something worthy of teasing, if only to judge the temperaments of the two. “Some women will use any chance to molest a guy.”

The Lake Edge / Re: At the River's Edge [Valerian]
« on: 05 Feb 2012 at 10:11 PM »
“Extremely,” Valerian answered aloud without hesitation or realizing he was already getting used to the extra voice in his head. He was living a childhood dream by scrubbing clean a dragon and best of all, speaking with her! It made him forget the woes of adjusting to a new lifestyle he was unexpectedly thrust into and the way he was viewed as almost a means to repopulating the Weyr. But when that gaze of swirling colours that conveyed as much adoration as the crooning Larrikith did, Valerian forgot himself, utterly mesmerized. How could anyone hate the gentle beasts that were now becoming simple legends and tales the old folks told after dinner? He could understand the hatred so many Candidates had for the weyrfolk and the way they gathered new blood to Stand before a clutch as even he was often on the fence about the method but in that exact moment? Valerian decided he’d be okay with being Stolen again if it led to the same look Larrikith currently gave him.

After savouring the moment and committing it to memory, perhaps for a song to be written about it later on, Valerian forced himself back to the present and all that surrounded him, including the greenrider that seemed to be enjoying all of this; and still with a smile in place! Unfortunately, Valerian found he was smiling as well and tried to bite it back before B’jin took it as a sign of acceptance and camaraderie.  “heh, not sure I want to see him proddy since I know where that leads.” He wrinkled his nose at the thought of him, B’jin, and a bed colliding and then sighed, shaking his hand to regain feeling as the tender ache in his muscles from too much scrubbing started to take over as top priority.

Healing Hall / Re: Coming Down
« on: 06 Feb 2012 at 08:33 PM »
Valerian gave Lymsleia a final once over as a reply to her attempt at being friendly before he zeroed back in on Talian with a grin. The healer was the whole reason he was there instead of watching everyone flail around while they inhaled food at unnatural speed so that was where his attention would stay until his business was finished. “Lacking in words now when you had plenty before?” It was probably mean to keep fresh in everyone’s minds how loose-lipped Talian had been but it was just far too easy and fun to tease the man. Yet there was something that kept his comments almost light-hearted in nature instead of being downright rude or so brutally honest it offended or hurt someone. There was something about the man that kept Valerian from finding him a complete bore and wanting to either ignore him completely or verbally tear him down. Maybe it was because of their first encounter and how the healer patched him up as good as new but he was starting to lean towards the way Talian had some secrets to him. Boring men didn’t have secrets worth keeping.

“It’s a good thing I never am, right?” Valerian moved closer and leaned down to inspect the facial wounds, deciding with his completely unprofessional eye that nothing seemed too serious. Good thing, too, since he didn’t like the sight of a lot of blood, especially on himself, but he suspected Lymsleia might drag him in to help if it was anything major. “I’ve had worse after leaving a hold once. Not everyone likes to be reminded about what dragons did for us against Thread.” It almost went against his nature to share personal information beyond the basics but thanks to his training and learning to read people--something he could do but usually didn’t care and said what he wanted--Valerian felt now was a good opening to divulge a tidbit of his past as an opening for further discussions on the master knots still shoved in his sleeve; though that seemed silly now since the woman had clearly seen them before he swiped them up.

Western Forests / Re: Two Peas in a Pod [Erisi]
« on: 06 Feb 2012 at 09:46 PM »
“You’d be assuming correctly,” Valerian didn’t sport an ego like most of the dragonriders seemed to but he did have a good sense of self-worth and when compared to the candidates and non-riders around the Weyr, he was infinitely better than most. He still wasn’t quite sure when it came to Erisi but he was starting to think they could be on a common level of outstanding and opinionated personalities and while he was settling into life here, he still believed Katila was lacking in the voice of reason that pointed out when something was a horrible idea or didn’t make sense or when people were acting plain stupid.

“And since we’re making assumptions, I’m going with you’re in the same boat as me and a few others I’ve deemed worthy enough to associate with and say you were brought here with very little choice.” Might as well get that conversation over with though Valerian suspected given the tone and wording Erisi had already used that his fellow harper was indeed Stolen and not very happy about it at all.

Indeed Allendris’ reaction was worth the implication that they had slept together. The thought of that wasn’t entirely repulsive since the man was acceptable in his appearance and even personality, since he did somewhat have one buried beneath the blandness he tried to project, but Valerian still let that strand of teasing drop. It would have been busy to feign a pout at the quick denial and point out that there wasn’t a need to be ashamed of their time together but he didn’t want to travel that far down that path especially since it had served the purpose of shocking the glass-smith and playing distraction for the stitches he received. Oh, they were still noticed as it was hard to completely tune out such stabbing and tugging of already tender skin but Valerian hadn’t felt the urge to strangle or shove Talian away quite as much.

“Ditto,” was all he replied with when Talian tried to change the subject and Allendris was all too eager to help him. It seemed kidnapping was a common pastime for the dragonriders if all three of them arrived in the same manner. He was still waffling between being okay with it and finding faults in their logic and the new lifestyle but that wasn’t something Valerian felt like discussing until he had a better grasp on his emotions and knew where the others stood on the topic. Given their discomfort over his implications in sexual matters and their quickness to change topics, it was only fair he added his own distraction.

“I think I’m well patched up now. Don’t worry about the other markings. Allendris’ pretty and smooth skin,” he guessed as he had no intimate knowledge of such facts but Valerian found he couldn’t completely drop the flirtatious teasing after all, “should be examined everyone can rest well tonight knowing he won’t end up a deformed creature.”

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