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Author Topic:  A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]  (Read 6488 times)

IC Date: 20-02-234

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A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« on: 07 Aug 2013 at 05:00 AM »
There were many different types of chores to be done at Katila Weyr and given how long she was a Candidate she was quite certain she did every single type of chore possible. She swept rooms, did laundry, cleaned debris from the clearing after storms, helped in the kitchen, even cleaned herdbeast stalls. Her least favorite chore however, was gutting fish.

It wasn't the fact she had her hands covered in slime and fish guts for hours that bothered her. There were a few times she watched her brothers and father slaughter animals and butcher them but it was the smell of fish she hated. Arddra didn't mind eating fish she just hated cleaning them. They had a very strong smell, especially packtail. Not only that by the packtail also had their own dangers in cleaning them compared to the easier yellow fins.

Today she was assigned to help gut fish much to her displeasure and even more tiresome was her fellow candidate assigned to gutting fish was a young man around her own age. She had seen him around and knew only a little about him. He was a Stolen just as she was but unlike her he seemed totally thrilled to be here. A very energetic young man, so much so Arddra wondered if he could sit still long enough to focus on gutting fish. This was the first time in ages they both ended up on the same chore detail so Arddra wasn't sure what to expect.

The time was mid morning, the catch of the day was brought in and Arddra was directed to where the fish was waiting to be gutted, filleted and prepared for cooking. Fish was obviously on the menu for tonight's dinner. Not that fish was often not on the menu. It made her long for the stew V'riy made for her a few days ago. Well he made it for himself and since she happened to be there, invited her to join him. But now wasn't the time to think on the dragonrider. There was just to much unresolved issues regarding V'riy Arddra didn't want to be distracted.

Selecting a suitable knife to clean the fish with she took a few minutes to make sure it was sharpened before taking her seat.

"The sooner we start the faster this task will be completed," Arddra commented, picking up the first fish in the pile before her. It was a yellowtail and far as she was concerned, better tasting than the packtails.

« Last Edit: 16 Dec 2013 at 10:35 AM by BlueDragon »

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #1 on: 09 Aug 2013 at 04:15 PM »
The harper songs never mentioned the seemingly never ending chores to be done about a Weyr. Not one line about washing dishes or mopping floors. Or gutting fish... He needed to rectify that over site with a ballad of his own. Something that was less about glory and more about grunge. He'd been plenty familiar with hard labor before being kidnapped, but now he could almost wax poetic on the subject. Most days he felt more like a drudge than a candidate. Without a clutch hardening on the sands there was little to look forward to. With a clutch he could at least distract himself with what it might contain and who would impress. So far that hadn't included him, but he was still hopefully that at some not so distance hatching he might be found suitable by a hatchling.

Trelanvor was pleased he wouldn't be left working alone, although he knew very little about his chore partner. He did know her name and that she was a Queen candidate, but she seemed on the quieter side and not the sort to muck about while doing chores. Well just maybe he could change that. Just because they were stuck doing something unpleasant didn't mean it couldn't be a little fun.

He could smell the salt, fishy scent of that day's catch as he entered the kitchen. It was still fresh enough that the smell wasn't really unpleasant, though if they didn't work quickly that wouldn't last. Hopefully he'd still have an appetite for dinner by the time they finished with the task. Whistling softly under his breath he sauntered over to the table they had been stationed at, well away from everyone else. He picked up a knife, testing the sharpness against his thumb before he took a seat across from Arddra.

"You sound like my Mother." He chuckled, selecting a packtail from the pile. He examined the fish for a moment before hooking his blade into the abdomen. "So Ardda what did you do to get yourself assigned to fish gutting duty?" He glanced up at her, blue eye sparkling mischievously before he looked back to his work. "Get caught putting itching powder in the Weyrleader's trousers? Fellis in S'kef's klah? Switch out all the sweetner for salt in the Dining Hall?" Trelanvor knew it was unlikely she'd done any of the things he'd listed or even thought about doing them. Most of the Queen candidates seem to be pretty well behaved. He didn't think of himself as a troublemaker, often times curiosity just got the better of him.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #2 on: 09 Aug 2013 at 06:18 PM »
"Mothers do learn many things and a wise man heeds their words," Arddra replies sagely, doing her best to ignore the silently added 'not that she would ever have children of her own to pass such advice.'  Arddra turned her attention to cutting a long slice along the belly of the yellowtail and slicing into the head. With a movement honed from years of practice since coming south, Arddra pulled off the head and the attached gut.  She tossed the offal into the trough then the now gutted fish into the barrel of ice water.

As he listed possible pranks she may have done to warrant being assigned to fish gutting chores Arddra couldn't help but give a laugh. The image of S'kef, who seemed so self absorbed the one time she dared sit near him in the dinning hall falling asleep on his notes only to wake up hours later with ink on his face was quite funny. She would never do such a thing it would be rude, but that didn't mean she had no sense of humor for the thought.

"I hope that isn't why you are here helping," Arddra responded, smiling. "By now you should know the bulk of the chores are assigned randomly, and not all chores are pleasant. It could be worst."

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #3 on: 11 Aug 2013 at 01:28 PM »
Trel quickly nodded, trying to keep a straight face in response to the young woman's solemn tones. He was really a bit too old for motherly advice, though most would probably disagree about that. It was quite likely he would never see his mother or any other family ever again. It still occasionally troubled him that they had worried over what had become of him that day he'd never returned home. He often hoped they believed he'd joined a group of traders or run off with a young woman, rather than believed he'd been killed. One day he'd like to let them know what had really happened, likely they wouldn't believe it even if he did. He tossed his own handful of guts into the trough shortly after Arddra, followed by the fish into the ice water.

He was pleased when he managed to get a laugh from his fellow candidate. Often his "theories" got him scowls and the admonishment to stop being silly. Being silly was fun, and in his experience more entertaining than being serious. If he was around no one could truthfully say things were boring.

Trelanvor's gave Arddra a hurt look, which was spoiled by a wide smile. "Me do something like that?!" He said his tone indignant. "I guess you know me better than I realized. But no I didn't do anything worth being punished for this time. Though I think sometimes they try to punish me before I do something just as a way of dissuading me." He snagged another fish from the pile. "Oh that's what THEY want you to think. It's all randomly assigned, but I'm not so sure." He suggested with a thoughtful frown.

Finishing gutting a fish he slipped it into the bucket of ice water. Giving Arddra a casual glance started in on another one. He was curious by nature and despite having lived and worked with the woman he didn't actually know all that much about her. He knew she'd been stolen as he had and that seemed like the sort of thing that could be a mutual bond between them. "So where were you from originally? Before you were searched."

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #4 on: 11 Aug 2013 at 06:55 PM »
"I would't say I know you Trelanvor but you do have something of a reputation, not that I blame you, considering." Arddra knew if she pulled off have the pranks other Candidates get into her punishment would most likely be far worse than just undesirable chores. She knew some of the rebels had been whipped but despite her displeasure of being kidnapped and distrust of Dragonriders, Ardda didn't want to do anyting that would disqualify her from continually being allowed to try to Impress a gold.

"I came from Fort Hold, " Arddra revealed, feeling it wasn't a secret. Though she wouldn't call it Searched since she didn't have any choice in the matter. "How about you?"

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #5 on: 12 Aug 2013 at 10:18 AM »
"A reputation! Really?" He smiled broadly, obviously proud of the fact that he'd managed to gain a reputation for himself if only among his fellow candidates. It didn't really matter that it likely wasn't a reputation for anything good, just the fact that he had one was enough. Not that he'd been trying to gain one, it had just sort of happened mostly due to his tendency to grow bored and start poking around where he shouldn't. His love of pranks didn't help either, but they were always done in the spirit of fun more malice. He should have been worried about having his candidacy revoked or something, but they had stolen him for the express purpose of being a candidate. It seemed unlikely they boot him out for a little misbehaving. He hoped that was the case at least.

Trel tossed his gutted fish into the bucket with a flourish. "I was from a cothold in Ista. My father was a beastcrafter and so was I, or well still am I suppose." He paused trying to decide if he could still consider himself a crafter or not. He still helped out quite a bit with the Weyr's animals, but he seemed to be more of a candidate than a regular crafter. "Hey you aren't like a Lord Holder's daughter or something are you?" He asked giving her a curious up and down look. He supposed she could be. If they chosen her to stand for Queen eggs it made sense they might prefer well bred ladies for the task. Though in the end it was the dragons who made the final decision and he had yet to figure out just what made some people more worthy than others.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #6 on: 12 Aug 2013 at 05:42 PM »
"We both been here long enough to be known by our actions," Arddra knew she was known as skittish and leery around dragonriders. Those who were born in the weyr don't seem to understand it at all. Arddra had avoided talking about her fears and unhappiness, instead she focused more on just coping and adapting to her new life here. She was getting tired of standing for Golds and failing to Impress one. If she knew she could be of good use here other than as a gold rider, Addra would feel relieved once she simply was too old for a dragon.

It would make her feel such a failure if she never impressed a gold. Yet the few times she was able to be close to a dragon, like Morikath, the more she wanted to Impress a gold. Pushing it away from her mind, Arddra focused on gutting fish.

"Your father was a beastcrafter as well?" Arddra looked up from her work and smiled. It was nice to run into other Candidates with similar backgrounds. Then he asked about her being a Lord Holder's daughter. Arddra was surprised he would think she was that high born. "My father was also beastcraft, but at Fort. he was a Sr. Apprentice, a long way from being a Lord Holder, or even a Holder of a minor Hold."

"I used to watch my father tend to the animals every time I could get away from my chores. I love animals, I always found such peace around them."

"What kind of animals did you and your father work with?" Arddra started cleaning another fish as she waited for an answer.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #7 on: 13 Aug 2013 at 06:26 PM »
"Pherhaps." He answered casually. He'd prefer think he stood out from the crowd. Having a reputation meant people had taken notice of him was even if he was just a candidate. What they knew him for didn't seem quite as important. Being brought South was almost like being given a second chance to decide what his future would hold. Previous it had pretty much been decided that he would be a beastcrafter and eventually marry someone nice and have a bunch of kids. Not a bad life really, but now it sounded it bit dull compared with the chance to become a dragonrider and get to do amazing things.

So far his chances to do amazing things had been limited. Doing chores day after day could hardly be called amazing. Flights and hatchings were exciting, but his excitement had been tempered by numerous disappoints over the turns. He was still certain he'd impress, but being patient until that happened was difficult.

Trelanvor looked up, nodding a vigorous yes. "Yup, made me his apprentice to try to keep me occupied and out of trouble." He gave her a roguish grin. "As you can see trouble found me anyway." His brows jumped up in surprise when she said her father was also a beastcraft. "No kidding!" He looked just a little dissapointed that his guess had been wrong, but quickly bounced back. "I suppose taking a Lord Holder's daughter's wouldn't be the smartest thing to do." He conceded. "Though I'm sure you family was super worried about what happened to you and all." He added on a bit sheepishly, not wanting to make it sound like she was less important than a Lord Holder's daughter.

"Yeah their pretty fun to be around most of the time. Unless you have to clean out a wound that's infected or deal with and angry bull. Not a whole lot of peacefulness then." He pointed out with a wry grin. He usually enjoyed working with animals, helping fix whatever might be wrong with them. Unfortunately not ever animal that needed help wanted it. Trel tipped his head, considering her questions. "We worked with a pretty good variety, but mainly herdbeasts and runners. I preferred Runners, bit smarter than somethings and you can ride them. Trying to ride a herdbeast is not as much fun as it sounds like." He finished with a grimace.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #8 on: 13 Aug 2013 at 08:58 PM »
Arddra smiled at Trelanvor's enthusiasm at learning her father too was in the beastcraft. Then he moved to talk about how it would have been a bad thing to take a Lord Holder's daugther. She scowled at this.

"I expect my family was very worried about my disappearance and still worried. They may be very angry with me too for vanishing like I did, not that I had any choice in the matter, nor can I send them any message to at least let them know I am alive and well." Arddra stabbed her knife into the large fish she had selected to clean next. "I really consider it criminal to snatch people from their homes and lives without any consideration of the effect such actions would have."

Arddra sighed and pushed her bitterness aside. By now her family probably thought she was dead or at best ran off, too afraid to face the fact her husband was dying. Her only real course of action now was to Impress a gold and make her place here at Katila. In truth, Impressing a dragon will be the only way she can finally be free. Once her dragon was old enough to fly and go Between, she will never return to this place. The old queen can protest all she wants but Arddra will be on her own queen and a far younger and stronger one.

Yet, deep down Arddra knew she would never be so bold. She would never do anything to jeopardize her future dragon.

"The chance to Impress a gold really is the only thing that keeps me going. That and the few friends I have made here."

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #9 on: 15 Aug 2013 at 07:55 AM »
His eyes widened at Arddra's emotion filled response. They'd both been stolen quite a few turns back, long enough to adjust to their new life. His fellow candidate still seemed quite angry about it all. He'd probably been quick than some to accept what had been done and move on. He winced as she stabbed her blade into a fish, making a quick decisions to tread lightly. Angry women with sharp knives were something to be careful with.

"Yes I am sure they still are very worried." He agreed, keeping a discreet eye on the knife in her hand. "I don't know if the leaders considered the affect taking people from the North would have, but I don't know if they had many other options." He paused for a moment, trying to choose his words carefully. "From what little I know if there aren't enough candidates hatchlings will go between. I imagine that would be pretty upsetting to the entire Weyr and who knows what else could happen." He poked idly at a fish with his blade. "I don't know if taking candidates was absolutely right or wrong. At the time I don't think they had any other choice, especially if they wanted to remain hidden. I suppose they could have tried to just take those who weren't happy with their current life, but what's done is done. We are here now and there really isn't much we can do to change it." He finished with a shrug.

Trelanvor had accepted what had happened as one big adventure. He didn't have any control over what had happened in the past nor could he change it. Not that he wanted to either. It would have been nice to let his family know he was a candidate, but he tended not to focus on things out of his control.

"We've both been given a chance at something very few get Arddra. Maybe it didn't play out the way we would have liked, but that can't be helped now. Being angry about something you can't change is only going to hold you back. You can't move ahead if you're tied to the past. Oh hey that's pretty good, I need to remember that one." His brief display of maturity was replaced by a proud smile as he softly murmured the words back to himself lest he forget them.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #10 on: 15 Aug 2013 at 01:53 PM »
Arddra sighed. It was fast becoming tiring to hear candidates, both Weryborn and stolen repeating the same thing. Yes she had accepted she was here now and unlikely to ever be given the chance to return North but that didn't make what happened any more wrong then the moment she was kidnapped. She had a home, a husband, a life all her own and after three years of marriage she could have had children who needed her. That was the only small blessing in all of this, she had no children. If she had, they would have been abandoned, orphaned. But they wouldn't care about that here, they don't seem to care if a child is raised properly, just as long as everybody had one before becoming a dragonrider.

"I have accepted the fact I am here and am focusing on Impression but it doesn't mean the crimes done in the past should be dismissed. There were other ways Searching could have been done. There isn't any need for dragonriders to hide, I never understood why Tsuen keeps insisting we remain hidden. What is she afraid of? The north coming here and killing us all? We are self sufficient now, why would the Holds care? Save those families who's sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wifes, mother and fathers were snatched away in the night."

"The chance to Impress a dragon is quite thrilling but what so many seem to not realize is that may not be what everybody wants. Sure, boys always dream that, to ride a dragon, its very much a dream come true. I never even thought about impressing a dragon, I had other priorities." Arddra sighed, as much as she wanted to keep the crime inflicted upon her fresh, to keep these dragonriders and they criminal ways as far away from her as possible Arddra knew the only way out  of it was to accept it and focus on Impressing a dragon. As much as she may want to return home, even if just to see her family and let them know she was alive and well, her life was here now.

Taking a deep breath and letting it out, Arddra looked over at Trelanvor. "Perhaps it is time I let go of the past, my main goal now is to Impress a dragon for I have learned that would be far more wonderful than even the chance to return home."

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #11 on: 15 Aug 2013 at 06:31 PM »
Trelanvor was taken a back by her response. Sure he'd heard other candidates grumble about being taken, but Arddra really seemed to almost hate dragonriders for it. Her reaction wasn't one he was use to hearing from someone who had been stolen so long ago. He was surprised she'd held onto her anger for so long. Almost as surprising was her equal desire to become what she seemed to despise so much. She wanted to impress a Gold, even though a Gold was the reason she'd been stolen in the first place. He'd know women were confusing, but now he was doubting what little he thought he knew.

He grabbed a fish, holding it by it's tale and he waved it through the air. "Here look I give up! You win dragonrider are dastardly criminals that should be hung up by their tender bits! Grab your torches and let us avenge our ummm honor!" With a final flourish he sliced his truce flag down the middle. "All you say might be right, but what can you do about it now? I guessing Tsuen, and whoever else, made the decision they thought was best at the time. I doubt anyone is going to punish them for it now. I'm not a rider so I don't know why we haven't contacted the North. Maybe the disease that killed dragons isn't gone. Would you risk the life of your dragon or another rider's dragons to see your family again? I don't think I could do that. anyway I was taken during the day thank you very much. Now I wish they'd taken be at night, that would have been so much more fun and scarier too. Dam it now my being stolen story sounds so boring." He complained, looking surprisingly disappointed. Being stolen at night would have been so much better.

"Hey now, not ever guy dreams of being a dragonrider. I wanted to race runners, but I got just a little too big." He took a moment to pout at the recollection. "Anyway I don't don't get how you can be so stuck on what happened to you four turns ago. You've been living in the past and focusing on what you've lost rather than what you still have. I don't know how hatchlings choose, but if you are still holding onto that much anger you aren't going to have room inside for a hatchling." He'd always been told to project feelings of love toward the newly hatched dragons. He didn't see how Arddra could do that, at least not fully, with so much hate still inside her. "You don't have to love what they did, but you do need to let it go. Otherwise you are going to end up like some festering, oozy infecting and there is no way I'm going to hang around if start oozing. No way." He shook his head.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #12 on: 15 Aug 2013 at 07:32 PM »
Arddra didn't know what it was but Trelanvor's antics with the fish made him just totally cute and endearing. It was a shame the topic was one that kept her mood on the low side. Exhaling with a sigh, Arddra couldn't deny he was making a point in his rather adorable manner. It was hard to think he was around her age. Too many things have been happening lately in her life to hang onto the old anger and pain. Maybe making more friends and seeing things aren't all horrible here and she could be happy was starting to break through the barriers she erected to protect herself.

"I was stolen about three turns and two months ago, I was one of the last taken before D'ren put an end to stealing candidates." Was her resentment towards dragonriders and being taken away from her home, her dying husband and her family and brought here against her will the reason she had failed to Impress? Given others have made similar correlations Arddra was starting to realize it must be true. V'riy expressed similar theories too and he was kind and never once indicated he wanted anything from her other than her friendship.

"It...I think it would have been far easier if I was taken a week later...things would have been different." Arddra paused in her cleaning and looked over at Trelanvor then shook her head. He was a decent person but she just didn't know him all that well despite being fellow Candidates for years. "I am starting to believe you and others must be right, holding onto my hate is handicapping me from Impressing...I will have to work on letting it go. For all I know that may be the only thing in this life left for me."

"I certainly don't want to be oozing anything unpleasant and upset you Trelanvor. In fact having you around and a couple other people who I am learning to trust, is going to go a long way to draining that wound once and for all...and let it heal."

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #13 on: 18 Aug 2013 at 10:04 AM »
The fact that Arddra had held onto her resentment for so long while he had accepted his new life far more readily was a puzzle. He didn't view his abduction in quite the same manner as she seemed to. He sort of understood why the dragonriders had stolen people. They needed to have enough candidates to prevent hatchlings from going between. Now if he had simply been taken to supplement the Weyr's work force he would have had a harder time adjusting.

"At least they have stopped taking people, which is a good thing. Even if it is too late for some. Even if I could go back North I don't think I would. I wouldn't mind getting word to my family, but I like it here. For the most part." He scowled at the pile of fish to be gutted. "I have a son here as well and I wouldn't like having to leave him behind either."

Trel shrugged, "A week, a month. I don't think there ever would be a "right" time to be taken." He looked up at the woman and grinned as she spoke, "About time. The only person your hurting by dwelling on the past is you. Although I haven't impressed yet either and I have been totally accepting of the whole stolen thing. Dam this impressing thing is just way to complicated." He shook his head and sighed.

"Thanks Addra!" He grinned, "I knew they were wrong about me being a bad influence on others. If you really plan on being a dragonrider you probably shouldn't hate them otherwise your going to end up hating yourself and being really messed up. Sitting in a corner of the dinning hall mumbling to yourself and have all sorts of nervous break downs." He gave her a sad look, "I'd hate to see you become some crazy goldrider I really would."

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #14 on: 18 Aug 2013 at 05:16 PM »
Arddra didn't know Trelanvor enough personally to get into more details of her life before she was taken. Maybe later on as they became more friends now that she realized she had a similar background to him, being beastcraft and all. For now she will keep her reasons to herself.

"I would hate to see any dragon go between due to lack of candidates...I think that point has done well in making me more content staying here. The fact most dragonriders, the few I talked to anyway, and the other Candidates never felt it was wrong to take people by force, that I found more difficult. It's not like a few herdbeasts are taken to ensure there's enough food to feed people or the dragonets, but we are people who had their own lives, their own responsibilities. What if you had a child in the north? Would you be happy knowing you will never see him again?" Arddra sighed. She knew it was guilt and the pain of loss that really plagued her. Life here wasn't all that different and she was starting to realize she could have a life here and a happy one, if she did Impress. If she didn't Arddra didn't think she would want to remain here, being reminded every day she failed to Impress and failed to be a mother, that would be too much. She might as well be with her family and take care of them. Yet it would be hard to leave the friends she made here.

Arddra fell silent, focusing on cleaning fish for while after Trelanvor thanked her. At this point in time she knew she didn't hate all dragonriders. She hated the one who attacked her and the one who kidnapped her and those who held themselves as above the rules of not just Tradition but society too.

"I am starting to let go, not seeing all dragonriders as evil and criminals. Many were candidates with us so I do know them  a little at least. I kept to myself for the most part. I really do want to Impress, to feel that bond, one that can never be broken save by death. Nobody can take me away from such a companion." Arddra remembered how it felt to touch Morith, to feel his voice in her mind. If that was only a taste of what it was like to fully be bonded to a dragon of her own, she wanted it. In the past she didn't care, she resented being here so much she didn't want to Impress, she just went through the motions because it was expected of her. Now, she wanted it badly.

"Between you and Casa and a few others I call friends I am sure I will never become that crazy goldrider muttering to herself in the corner." Arddra paused then added very softly, "I will never be like Tsuen."

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #15 on: 19 Aug 2013 at 12:27 PM »
"Yes stealing was wrong, but I think the reason behind it wasn't. It your child is starving and you have to steal food to feed them it doesn't make the stealing rights, but it's a better reason than stealing food simply because you can. If they hadn't needed candidates I doubt they would have taken the risk of stealing candidates from the North." He paused to toss a gutted fish into the ice water. "I probably wouldn't be happy if I had left a child in the North, but I wouldn't punish myself over it. It's not something I have any control over so what benefit would being angry be?" He finished with a shrug. "Eventually we will return North. Tsuen can't live forever. And a of of the other Goldriders are from the North so they will probably want to at least let them know we are all still alive."

Trel didn't attempt to break the silence that fell, though he did hum softly under his breath as he continued their chore. Arddra seemed to have quite a bit on her mind to mull over. He was relieved he hadn't been born a girl. They all seemed to do way to much thinking and worrying. If he spent that much time thinking he'd probably have very little fun at all. Now that was a sobering thought.

Trelanvor chuckled with amusement, "Is that what you've thought for the past three turns? I am surprised you are still apparently sane." He teased. "And don't forget you get to fly on them to. How fun will that be! And pop between whenever you want to go someplace. No hiking for hours just to get somewhere." An excited grin spread across his face. "Any way I'm glad I've helped you to realize they aren't all evil. If you are going to impress a Gold you will actually have to interact with your fellow riders. Won't be much fun if you just hide yourself away all the time in fear."

"Good, because I really don't know how well I do with having a crazy Goldrider for a friend. I like you just the way you are... Almost completely sane."

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #16 on: 19 Aug 2013 at 02:54 PM »
Arddra would have stolen food if she had a starving child to feed but it would still be wrong according to the laws. Not that she was one to obey every single rule without hesitation. She did try to do what was expected of her. Trelanov was correct that at this point in time there was nothing she could do about her situation.

"I can't change the past nor go back into the past and I am here now." Arddra agreed then sighed, realizing if she had never been kidnapped she would be a widow and at her age there was little likelihood she would remarry. At least here she could Impress a gold and that alone will give her a position and a purpose. It is hard to let go but with good friends especially her fellow candidates like Trelanvor and V'riy, the first dragonrider she called friend, the south could become her home.

"I can't wait till I Impress a dragon more and more as I get to know people more, like you and V'riy who really is the first dragonrider I actually trust now. I think I am finally ready to make the South my home if we never return North." Arddra realized that it may be a long time yet before Tsuen let them go North but Arddra was quite certain once her dragon was old enough to fly and travel between she will go North, even if just long enough to see her home. But that was a thought for another time.

Arddra finished another fish and reached for another. Before she came here she rarely if ever gutted a fish. Most times when she had fish they were traded or bought for already gutted.

"I have come to realize by now that once I Impress a Gold there will be a time she will rise to mate and I will end up with the rider of the bronze who caught her. Not really a comforting thought but I have to accept it. IN truth all I can really hope is I like that particular rider and my dragon likes his dragon and he catches her every time. Either way I want my dragon to have large clutches each time she rises, it will be worth any...discomfort on my part."

"I think a new subject is in order, I am sure I have bored you more than enough with my issues," Arddra decided and smiled at Trelanov. "Which type of dragon are you hoping to Impress, Trelanov? I can see you with a bronze or a brown."

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #17 on: 26 Aug 2013 at 04:59 PM »
Trelanvor didn't know who or what Arddra had left behind in the North. He knew a few had been separated from spouses and children and that did not seem right. He at least had no lasting attachments or commitments. When dragonriders were taking people from the North though they hadn't really stopped to ask about that sort of thing. "Yes and who knows one day we may get to return North and see our families again." He gave her a cheerful grin. The kidnapping wasn't a very happy topic for most. He had no desire to reopen any wounds, though from what he could understand Arddras had never really healed in the first place.

He nodded in agreement with her words. "I can't wait either. It is why we were brought South after all. It would be kind of rotten if we don't impress." Trading his past lief for that of a dragonrider seemed fair enough. Having that taken away and getting nothing in return would be much harder to handle. "I suppose it's harder for your lot though. You get to stand for maybe one egg per clutch and once it hatches and the Gold impresses your stuck waiting until the next one. Not that I've done any better." Despite having a larger number of eggs that could possibly contain his lifemate he still hadn't impressed.

"Hey you could end up with a Brownrider to." He pointed out. "As long as your not the Weyrwoman you can probably let your own preference influence your dragon. Besides Golds only fly like once or twice a year so it's not like you'll be inconvenienced all that often. Not like a lot of Greens that rise ever few months, even that's not so bad." Obviously Arddra's opinions about such things differed a bit from his own. Trel was an occasional flight moth, though he couldn't recall having ever noticed Arddra around when a Green or Gold rose. In truth he wasn't very observant during such times.

Trlenavor gave a good natured chuckle, "No not at all." He assured her. "Hmmm really? At this point I am past being picky about color. I definitely wouldn't turn down a Blue or Green if one wanted me. Bronze and Browns are pretty impressive, though I really don't want to end up as the Weyrleader and stuck with Tsuen." He shuddered, making a face at the thought. "She'd probably just love someone young and handsome."

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #18 on: 26 Aug 2013 at 05:30 PM »
It's not like Arddra didn't enjoy sex, she was with a very sexually active husband for nearly three turns before he took ill. It had been awkward the first few times but after it had been very pleasurable, enough so she did miss it. Unfortunately her last sexual encounter was very unpleasant. She may have felt the lust from the mating dragons but it wasn't something she wanted to give in to and definitely not with some stranger who dragged her to his bed against her will.

"I think I rather have a bronze fly my gold..." The thought of the highly intimidating Weryleader S'kef sharing her bed was not a pleasant thought. Before she could stop herself the image of V'riy appeared in her mind as a far better alternative and much to her surprise she felt heat rising to her cheeks. Not wanting Trelanvor to see the blush she turned her attention to the fish she had been gutting. She continued talking however, so Trelanvor wouldn't think she was ignoring him. "I was raised to only be with one man and one man only, I don't think I could handle Impressing a green who didn't care which dragon caught her."

Arddra looked up at Trelanvor and chuckled in sympathy. "I don't blame you there, but I suppose you could just make yourself scarce when Nirinath rises unless your future bronze or brown can't resist the mating drives." Being somewhat knowledgeable about mating season among herdbeasts, the rut was strong and any receptive female would drive the males into a nearly uncontrollable desire to mate. Keeping the animals separate is really the only way to prevent rutting males mating with every female who was also in heat.

"Hopefully whoever's dragon catches Nirinath when she rises next is bonded to a very strong and wise man." Arddra decided not to add she hoped the man would stop all the criminal actions some dragonriders took pleasure in doing. She could understand the riders of dragons engaged in mating may not be able to resist the powerful urges coming from their dragons. But, as far as she was concerned, those dragons who failed to catch the female, their riders should be able to control themselves.

"Lets get these fish cleaned up, the sooner we do the sooner we can get out of here," Arddra needed a good distraction from thinking about mating dragons and what happened to her. Cleaning the fish and letting her mind focus only on that was much better.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #19 on: 02 Sep 2013 at 08:17 AM »
Trel shrugged, "Whatever floats your boat. Katila does have some pretty dreamy bronzeriders." He gave her a cheeky grin. "Seriously though I think I'd rather choose someone based on their personality and stuff not necessarily what color dragon they ride. If the person I happen to fall in love with rides a green then so be it." He wasn't fond of the tendency for riders to be judged on the color of their dragon. It was irritating to think someone would pass him over because he hadn't impressed a certain color. "Me to. One man and one man only." He agreed, stifling a wide grin. "It isn't easy to forget about that kind of stuff, but dragonriders do live differently. What works in a Hold won't necessarily work in a Weyr. I suppose you have to find what works for you and then decide if you are going to hold your mate to the same standard as well." Trel liked how the Weyr handled a sometimes difficult problem. Putting aside what you'd been taught was morally right wasn't always easy.

"Hmmm maybe." He agreed. "Though I think I'll wait to worry about that sort of thing until after I impress. Maybe I'll get lucky and impress a Blue or Green and not have to worry about all that who's flying who crap." He was familiar with people jockeying for position. Most times it depended on who you were related to or how good you were at your craft. With dragonriders it pretty much all depended on what color you rode and who your dragon caught or got caught by.

"I suppose we'll find out. Likely it'll be whoever she is Tsuen fancies at the time. Which hopefully will not be me."  He tossed a gutted fish toward the barrel. "You ever have any desire to take over once Tsuen is ah dead?" He wasn't even sure how a new Weyrwoman was chosen. By age? By vote? By naked mud wrestling? The later sounded very entertaining, but unlikely.

Trel sniffed sadly, coughing at the fishy smell he ended up inhaling. "Grown weary of my company already? That's okay, I understand." He looked over at the woman, giving her a casual smile. "So I don't know about you, but I am definitely taking a bath after this. Maybe we could take one together? I am very good with soap sand and a brush." He trailed off, giving his eyebrows a little wiggle.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #20 on: 02 Sep 2013 at 01:47 PM »
"When it comes to mating flights of a gold, especially her first I don't have any real choice in the matter. She will mate with whoever is fast enough, strong enough and clever enough to catch her. Most times, or so we learned in lessons, it's bronze dragons. Clutch size tend to be smaller with browns." Arddra felt she should clarify. "I would prefer to choose who I am with and I wouldn't pick him just because of the color of his dragon but because I really care about him."

"One man and one man only?" Arddra repeated, studying Trelanvor. After three years in Katila she knew not all men wanted women for their weyrmates, regardless of what flightlust lead them to. "I am sure there are men here who will be glad to be your 'one man'."

"I never thought about leading, but there are may gold dragons here, I am not sure how the Weyr would choose who will replace Tsuen as senior Weyrwoman should she die. Perhaps the next gold to rise is who they choose." Arddra never considered what she would do if she was in charge. All she knew she would do was be the best leader she was able to be, as that would be expected of her but she wouldn't keep everybody here.  In fact she would send a group of volunteers north to stay at a Weyr to make sure the plague was done. If they survived a season she would have everybody who wanted to go back north to go north. "If I ended up the head goldrider, I would make many changes and not force people to stay here if they don't want to."

Arddra smiled when Trelanvor asked if she was tired of him already. "Oh no, not tired of your company, just the smell of fish." She tossed in another gutted fish into the barrel and looked over how much was left. "We should be done soon. And yes I am going to have a bath after this but no thank you on the idea of us sharing a bath. I am Hold raised remember?" She turned away mostly because she was blushing.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #21 on: 04 Sep 2013 at 07:59 AM »
"Or whoever has managed to catch her eye." He pointed out. "You probably know more about all that stuff than I do. For some reason they tend not to let us guys attend the Queenrider lessons." He shook his head in mock confusion. "I do hope you find someone you care about and who cares about you. You deserve that much at least." He said shooting her a smile.

"What! Wait! No! I!" Trelanvor stammered in response to Arddra. His knifes tumbled from his hand, hitting the table and bouncing to the floor with a metallic clang. He bent down to retrieve it, smacking his head against the table in his haste as he straightened. "Fuuuck! Oww." He rubbed the side of his head, grimacing at the pain. "I was just kidding. I like women, lots of, well I mean not lots of." He realized he was babbling, but couldn't quite stop the flow of words. This was terrible. If it got around he'd never live it down. "Is that the kind of vibe I give? That I like guys? Not that there isn't a lot to like about us, obvious a lot of you ladies seems to like us so not that strange some of use might like each other." He slapped a hand over his mouth, before just a quickly whisking it away. That was gross. He scrubbed his mouth vigorously against his shirt sleeve. "I like girls! Okay?" He gave her before an offended look  before focusing back on their task.

Trel nodded slowly. He couldn't really think of anything he'd want changed. The kidnapping had stopped, which seemed to be the biggest issue for most. Returning North or at least letting the people up there know they existed would be nice. Weyr and Hold worked differently for a reason. Whether anyone would allow a Weyrwoman to make any changed was difficult to answer. "I suppose they have some way of choosing figured out. Maybe Tsuen gets to decide or the Weyrleader."

"Phewww. That's a relief." He said with an exaggerated sigh. He laughed, grinning mischievously. "If you happen to change your mind..." He trailed off. He doubted she would change her mind. A shame really, but maybe it was for the best.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #22 on: 04 Sep 2013 at 06:28 PM »
"Thank you Trelanvor, I am glad you feel I deserve somebody who cares about me too." Arddra wondered about her attraction to V'ryn. He was nice and carrying and didn't come across like other dragonriders she met here. Though he does have some attitude about him, she noticed it in how he treated Quenym. Well thinking back on it now Arddra realized V'riy had not been really mean to Quenym but he could have been more tactful. Perhaps he wasn't comfortable interacting with young men. Arddra knew she had her own troubles being around infants and toddlers. The main reason she hated being assigned to the creche. Fortunately she managed to avoid that chore, typically by switching with somebody who had chores they considered far worse.

As much as she didn't want to laugh at Trelanvor his reaction to her comment about men liking him, she ended up smothering her laughter in her sleeve. "It's alright Trelanvor I was only teasing because of what you said earlier. I have seen you flirting with enough girls to know you are not interested in the boys. You will definitely not end up a blue or green rider, those are the ones who like boys."

Things weren't so cut and dry as Arddra said when it came to homosexuality in dragonriders. Many green and blue riders preferred women but were driven into homosexual encounters during mating flights. Outside of it they were totally uninterested in men. Like many things regarding dragonrider customs, Arddra didn't focus much about them she simply avoided then as much as possible. A few she was ok with, mostly fellow candidates who Impressed over the last few years and the one or two she had learned to trust. V'riy for one.

She gave him a smile when he told her the offer stood should she change her mind. A tiny part of her imagined another man washing her back and she had to turn away from Trelanvor so he wouldn't see her blush. It was fast apparent the more she let go her resentment and hatred at being kidnapped the more she felt alone. She longed for simple human contact but her fear and distrust of dragonriders and even her fellow candidates caused her to keep them all a distance save for a few friends.

"Maybe another time I will take you up on your offer,' Arddra said very softly, giving him a glance. She didn't want to commit to anything but Trelanvor was nice and her age..but she wasn't ready for such intimacy and she was still uncertain about her feelings for V'riy.

Looking away again she worked on cleaning a few more fish, glad to see there was only about a half dozen left now.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #23 on: 08 Sep 2013 at 05:40 PM »
He looked down, just a tad embarrassed. "Ah well everyone deserves someone who cares about them. I guess dragonriders already have that covered once they impress." He flipped a fish toward the barrel. "Having some human companionship is probably nice too." Trel suggested. He knew some riders had Weyrmates while others were quite as willing to settle down with just one person. Arddra seemed like the one man at a time type. Trel was far from ready to consider settling down with anyone. At least not until after he impressed and maybe even a while after that happened.

He shifted in his seat, suddenly feeling quite uncomfortable with the direction the conversation had taken. "No worries for me then." He answered, forcing a cheerfully reply. He couldn't really offer up a defense for the qualities Greens and Blues posses over their larger kin. For some Gold and Bronze were the only colors worthy of impressing. Trelanvor had started out with the same mindset. After standing for numerous hatchings and interacted with riders his views had slowly changed. Green and Blue riders seems just as happy and proud of their dragons as any other. He'd yet to see a candidate reject hatchlings because it was the wrong color.

Trel released a gusty sigh, dragging one of the few remaining fish toward him to gut. "Alright, I guess that's the best answer I'm going to get." He said feigning great disappointment. "Just don't be getting all heartbroken if someone else decides to accept my extremely generous offer. You had your chance and I won't be held responsible if you regret not accepting it." He added with a sly smile. It was too bad that by the time they were done he'd be too stinky for anyone to want to share a bath with him.

Re: A Fish Cleaning Tale [Arddra, Trelanvor]
« Reply #24 on: 08 Sep 2013 at 08:22 PM »
"Neither of us will truly understand the bond between rider and dragon, till we Impress," Arddra recalled how it felt to have Morith's words in her mind. His voice was so wondrous to hear in her mind. V'riy would feel it far more intensely she expected. Exhaling slowly she focused her attention back on Trelanvor.

"Human companionship is still very important," Arddra agreed.

"You are a very handsome man, Trelanvor, I am sure you won't have trouble finding somebody else willing to scrub your back," Arddra suddenly felt like just letting go, agreeing to the bath and see what happened. She shoved it out of her mind but she couldn't deny Trelanvor offer wasn't tempting. It was just not in her nature to be so free with people. Knowing he was more teasing than anything else she turned away after her comment, grabbing another fish to clean. "I think there just is too much of the Hold girl still in me, Trelanvor. I am not ready to consider myself available."


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