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With Mutorin of Dalibor's discovery that a number of plants found in the southern jungles can be used as a remedy to stave off the worst of the still unnamed 'plague' the fatalities seem to have tapered off. Most of Dalibor's ill have recovered, if only in time to mourn their losses. Even still a number of Dalibor's wings and prides have seen fit to transfer away following their recovery, as if the Weyr itself was responsible for such a disastrous event - not realizing the plague was spread to the far reaches of Pern by a handful of persons that broke the quarantine in their delirious state.

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 Start From Scratch., AU:17; (Zane) Ijo/Dawson
RhiaBlack
 Posted: Sep 23 2017, 03:10 PM
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With so many people under his directive now, Ijo had to be even more vigilant. He'd already pulled a few strings, and among those who didn't particularly care to have responsibility, his call for aid had been answered in a surprisingly fitting - so the Wherlingmaster thought - manner. Mutorin of Blue Musk was an unlikely-to-many counterpart, but the fact that he, too, had a Blue who was counter to his own personality by appearance, wasn't a Ranking wher, and belonged to a Crafter who still very adamantly practiced with very little struggle as per Weyr duties, well....Ijo could only hope that he was making the right decision, and that eventually things would settle.

He worried nevertheless, as he often did, about whether or not he was entrusting the care of his much-beloved Wherlings to the right people. But Mutorin was the whermate of Bozidar's husband's brother - one of two the Viridianhandler had - and he had come much-recommended.

The fact he was the Senior Weyrleader's uncle, as well, certainly didn't hurt matters any. With any luck, the Farmcrafter would be able to help where Ijo wasn't able. To relate to the other man on a level that would hopefully lead to some sort of mesh in mentality. But it was anyone's guess, and before he could orchestrate any finalization to plans in place, he needed to lay out the ground work with what was quickly becoming his most-concerning of Wherlings.

"Isk."
On it.

The Brown hoisted his monstrous bulk from the floor by His' ankles, and as Ijo began sorting through the remainder of his lesson plans for Copper Class, as well as preliminary work with Oreanda regarding the Pod and the swim to Crescent upcoming in a few months' time, on top of lesson plans and introductions with his second class, Isk ventured almost silently down the corridor leading to the boy's side of the Barracks.

Much to Dawson's chagrin, that much was obvious, he had insisted that the other man stay in a room for at least overnight, until Ijo could sort matters with Norla and figure out whether or not he was going to confine him, in a sense, to the Barracks, or allow him to stay in his own quarters; the measure, he had reasoned, was both for his own protection, as well as Dask's. Having distractions, people, and such the first night of their bond would be incredibly hard on them both, and he'd promised Dawson truthfully that he'd bring him to his office and discuss the matter as soon as humanly possible.

It was just now fading outside into the night after the Hatching, when he sent Isk to retrieve the young Blue and his person.

Isk here, he silently broadcast to Dask and Dawson. Is early. Sorry wake, if you sleeping. Come to get, come talk to Ijo. Have news for. In office, at front of Barracks. Come, please.

With that, the Brown turned, careful not to let his one missing eye - the one marked with a turquoise, and matching the other real one to the shade - cause him to knock his head or any part of himself against the wall.

Mutorin and Musk lingered in the common area, Mutt whittling on a piece of wood with a knife and rubbing a sock-clad foot - his boot against one side of the seat he was in - against Musk's side. The large-bodied Blue was stretched completely out underneath His' foot, half-asleep as he occasionally sneezed from the sawdust and pieces drifting down over his snout. His tail occasionally thumped against the floor, though the sound was almost nonexistent. More felt, than heard.

Isk chuffed a greeting, answered only by a rumbling groan from the Blue, before the Brown's head pushed against the door and shoved it open far enough for the Bluepair to enter, once they'd roused themselves and come to call.

Upon entry, Ijo glanced up enough to check Dask's appearance for health, before returning to his lessons momentarily.

"Come in, please. Close the door behind you, if you would."


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Zane
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 08:37 PM
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The smith had gone from the Sands, to the barracks, in what felt like a death march. There hadn't been a whole lot of talking since the proclaimed incident. Even Dask had quieted, allowing the smith his silence. The moment he'd stepped into his temporary room in the barracks, he'd felt trapped. He'd watched the door shut, and immediately sat down, keeping an eye on the entranceway for some time before conceding his loss. Was he expected to sleep in this foreign space? Did they think that isolating him in a room with the blue would change his feelings on the matter? It was a rather naive approach. "Lock them in a room together, and expect miracles to happen." It would take a miracle for the smith to change overnight. This was not a life he would have ever chosen for himself. He had worked hard to build a life for himself that left him in charge of his own fate. To rely on others was not something he was good at, or even willing to do. It's not that people scared him, no... (Little scared the man). It was himself he was afraid of. He had nothing to offer society save the work he could do with his hands, and mind. So, he kept himself locked away.

This prison was not one of his own choosing. The blue wher curled up in the corner was still intent on giving him his space. They had solidified their bond, and Dawson had refused treatment of his hand. He had it wrapped in a piece of cloth he'd pull off of his t-shirt. Now he sat on the floor, leaning up against the side of the cot. He was wide awake, examining the walls of the room several times over before true boredom sunk in. He longed for his hammer and tools, and the heat that emanated from the forge. There had been a man set to watch him--him and the wher. As long as they weren't in his immediate space, he didn't have much of an opinion about it.

A fair amount of time passed. This he knew because his limbs had grown numb, and were starting to seize. His mouth was dry, and his head hurt. He had been staring at the stone wall across from him for what felt like an eternity, even by his standards. He kept coming back to Lueke. He didn't know whether or not the boy would be okay, and unless he got out of here he might not be.

There was a familiar voice in his head, his brows knitting at the invasiveness of Isk's mind speak. Ijo's wher had come to retrieve him. No... not him, them. Dask had remained in the corner of the room the entire time, unmoving. Dawson hadn't-not once-spared a glance at the wheret. He could feel the creatures mind, desires, and hunger, right on the fringes of his own. He hoped to block it out, for his own sake. There were likely many that thought he was a monster. People were always fond of making assumptions, and Dawson was unlikely to fault them for any of the conclusions they came to.

The man rose, eyes fixed upon Dask. The blue wheret, after a noisy exhale and a grunt, rose as well. He had heard Isk, same as Dawson. Finally the man reached for the door, slipping out without checking to see if Dask was following behind. The wheret had found him up in the Stands, surely he could find him down the hall.

So, down the hall the man went. His shirt was torn, and he had somehow managed to get it stained with blood. He hadn't cleaned up at all since having stepped off the Sands. He was tired, at least physically. Mentally he was wide awake, his thoughts rushing from thing to thing. So, when he stepped into Ijo's office, it took him a moment to gather himself. He was instructed to close the door behind him. He stared over his shoulder, into the hall. It would be another closed door... what would come to pass here by the time it reopened? Dask made his way through, appearing about as tired as his new handler. The whers gait was steady, regardless.

Once the wall of a man shut the door, he moved to take a seat. He could follow instructions, even if he preferred not to. He understood Ijo's position; not that it made anything easier. Dawson's stare was not meant to be heavy, but it often was. He said nothing, regarding the man before him. If Ijo had something he needed to say then it was likely he'd start talking. Dawson was in the dark about what sort of proceedings were about to take place. If permitted, he would make his case; hopefully that would be enough for him to resume his former life.

Dask looked to Isk, holding the browns gaze much like His held Ijo 'masters. Neither the blue, nor his handler, had anything helpful to say. Not yet.

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RhiaBlack
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 11:09 PM
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Isk had been making his rounds all day. Drudges brought the new wherlings their meals, both for the people and for the wherets; he was intent on making sure they ate, and he knew Dawson was going to be a handful from the time the unwanted Impression had been made. Isk, thankfully, was rather big and hard to argue with - the latter something His had in common with him, even if Ijo was woefully shorter than the seeming garden of giants that occupied the Weyr they'd moved to.

Mutorin stayed outside. He'd be called when needed, and for now, seemed content to keep working on the project in his hands. Musk lay dozing at His' feet, the lazy but good-natured old Blue more than content to stick around and wait as well.

Ijo had a mug of klah, and a plate of sweetrolls on the corner of his desk. He slid the plate towards the Smith with a silent offering, as well as a fresh mug of klah in accompanyment. A bucket of herdbeast scraps, torn purposefully into small bites, sat on the floor; Isk bumped Dask as the Blue entered, licking his back kindly and checking him over. The burly Brown worried far more about his charges than even Ijo, which said much, more than likely. Ijo was lucky his hair wasn't white, at this point.

"I've spoken with Norla, and some of the upper echelons of Leadership, and clarified some things with them. Both for my own sake, and for yours, for Dask's." He sipped his own klah, which had been watered down and softened with cream. He couldn't drink it straight - it bothered his stomach on levels that rivaled on enough to put him in the infirmary.

"I know you weren't particularly pleased with the Impression. I also know you weren't a Candidate, so much of all of this is very new to you insofar as someone who's assumingly lived at a Weyr for a while and a Hold at any time prior to that, and I wanted to call you in here to speak with you, one on one. Find out what your concerns are, what questions you might have, what you're feeling about all of this, and how we could possibly come to some kind of accord. I know you and the Apprentice are close, and I know that whatever is between you, Dask seems able to maintain some connection despite, but hopefully you understand why I had to do what I did. Just because it's something YOUR wher can handle, doesn't mean every wher can, and I would like to keep my record of intact pairings throughout wherlinghood one-hundred percent intact." Ijo sipped his klah again, and settled back in his chair with his fingers laced across the upper reaches of his stomach, elbows on the armrest. "Some people are extremely impressionable, and they look up to older or otherwise stronger-appearing people for leadership. I don't want them thinking that because you're allowed to do something, they may be able to, or watching you do something and getting the same idea. And then I have to answer to people of higher rank than myself at why a wher has to be culled because it went wild, and why I then have to deal with a soul-ripped former wherling. All because someone else decided to do something with someone else, and set a poor example."

He studied Dawson curiously, but the open state of kindness in the Brownhandler's eyes was evident. He wasn't judgmental, he was cautious. Concerned, primarily not only for Dawson and Dask, but for both his classes and their new pairs.

"I know you're intelligent. I also know that there is a very real wall between you and your Blue right now, and I'd like to make every possible effort to show you that being a Handler, it doesn't mean you put your entire life on hold forever. That you're shackled to this Weyr, or any Weyr, for the duration of the time you're paired. There are plenty of people who have Impressed a Wher, and not been obligated to the Weyr as a whole for anything outside of the time they're wherlings. I have another Wherling, Jyderin of Black Jysk, who is a Master Tanner. He spends his chore time doing work for the Weyr, just as he always does, and I'm fine with that. When he graduates, he will not be obligated to do patrols. Just as you aren't obligated to, if that's your decision."

Ijo drew a shallow breath.

"He's also permitted to live in his quarters in the Lower Caverns, because he's trustworthy enough that I've been appeased to the nature he isn't going to do anything to jeopardize his wheret, and that he attends lessons when they're called for. I've spoken to leadership, and I'm ready to offer the same to you, on several conditions. That is, if you're interested."

@Zane



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Zane
 Posted: Oct 17 2017, 08:09 PM
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The man did not move, either to grab klah or food. It was a rare sight, Dawson turning down food. He was a human garbage disposal. Dask, on the other hand, would not turn down Ijo 'masters offerings. Isk's bump was met with a thrumming sound. The bucket, filled with chunks of meat, drew him in. He snuffled at the offering, nosing it before swinging his head about to greet Isk. The browns greeting was gentle, and revealed his true nature. Dask, in equal fervour, pressed his snout to the browns neck. Then, turning back to the food, the blue shoved his expansive head directly into the bucket and began eating.

Dawson listened, his unblinking stare serving as partial proof. There was much that Ijo had to say, and it was true that he didn't understand the first thing about being a handler. He knew how much the man, and likely his comrades, valued their bonds. Dawson was not planning on diminishing, nor putting to question, the privilege of impression. The wherlingmaster's way of life was different to him, but that didn't make it wrong. Dawson was not afraid of the change that went on around him, nor the way that people chose to live their lives. He well understood that each individual had a role to play, and honouring said role meant that the Weyr functioned as it should. He didn't want to jeopardize anything that the man had built for himself, nor his reputation. All that he was asking of Ijo was that he, in turn, not do the same. While Dawson wasn't a fan of longwinded speeches, or even lectures, Ijo was saying only what he must. Words were sometimes necessary in unique situations. This was, by definition, a unique situation.

The smith placed a hand over his chin, idly rubbing a finger over the accumulating scruff on his face. He wouldn't speak until the man before him was well and finished. There was a point where the smiths blue eyes came to narrow, for he had never been good with vague insinuations. This was a big part of the reason why he didn't say much to others. Having to ask people to spit it out, or clarify, generally earned him their disapproval. Dawson liked it when things were straightforward, and to the point. He was a rather vague being himself, if only to avoid speech, but such was a fact he tended to disregard.

Dask, sensing His' trouble, did his best to clarify. Ijo 'master worry bout boy. Think Lueke trouble to Dawson. To wherlings. To bond. Dask explain. Dawson look more confuse. The wheret licked his chops, drool hanging about his muzzle.

Dawson tried not to flinch at the sound of his own whers mind voice. It was invasive, just as Isk's had been. He didn't like it, but he would have to get used to it. All he wanted was for his mind to be his own, and to return to his work. Dask's explanation would have to wait, for Ijo's next words were the ones that Dawson came to set his full focus upon. Just as Ijo regarded him, Dawson regarded Ijo. They were two men trying to get a sense of each other, both either bang on or a spot off. It was difficult to say which would be the case, though Dawson liked to think he was fairly decent at gauging peoples intentions.

Again there was a notable consideration of Ijo's words as the smiths eyes darkened. "That's all I ask. What are your conditions?" He appreciated the offer, and he would communicate as much once Ijo gave further explanation. Freedom may very well look like freedom before the bars came down. Dawson wanted to know what sort of considerations, or rather restrictions, he would be facing. The mans generosity was apparent, what with his having spoken to the Alphahandler especially, but he was still bound by duty.

Dask looked to the smith, and then peered up at Ijo 'master. Dawson worry for boy. Not understand Ijo 'master worry. Dawson not worry like Ijo 'master worry. Dask think not all understand. Lueke friend to Dawson. Dawson friend to Lueke. Lueke troubled boy. Not boy who cause trouble. Lueke give company. This all. No more. Dawson didn't engage in physical relations with anyone, but this was not a detail that Ijo 'master need be privy to unless absolutely necessary. The smiths need for human touch had dissolved long ago, in his days as a boy. He was already "celibate", as the human term was.

The fact that the wher knew these things about him, and had gone searching through his head for answers, made him noticeably tense. He wanted his privacy, but could no longer have it... not with Dask. The mans hand fell from his face, his right hand coming to close over his left fist. There was nothing for him to contribute. The wheret had spoken the truth, so what was there for him to confirm or deny?

@RhiaBlack
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RhiaBlack
 Posted: Oct 23 2017, 02:41 PM
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Ijo sipped his klah again, waiting for Dawson - a man of few words from the looks of it, Ijo certainly had no complaint there - to finish.

"Mutorin and Blue Musk are to supervise you at all times. A wherguard, if you will. Purely for my peace of mind, and to ensure that nothing escalates beyond friendship between yourself and Lueke. You do not entertain the other boy - or anyone else - in your quarters from now to Graduation. That is to say, he does not sleep over, he does not so much as step foot into your personal chambers - though the workshop itself is certainly fine. Your room and quarters are yours and Dask's alone. Outside of that, he's more than fine to attend work with you, since I've been informed you're a Smith, and thus, will be needing to fulfill what work orders the Weyr has need of at any given time."

The Wherlingmaster drew a shallow, frustrated breath. He clearly didn't agree, but after lobbying with Norla practically all day over the matter, the Leadership had made their decision, and he was bound by his rank to maintain it.

"I won't sit here and claim that I like this premise. I have a reputation to maintain, the same as yourself, and the thought of someone who has already proven to have a somewhat hangers-on as far as your other companion is concerned entertaining the prospect of what that relationship could possibly interplay between yourself and my other Wherlings does not please me in the slightest. But I do understand that sometimes, whers will decide to choose those who were not placed so neatly near them in white robes."

He rubbed his face with one hand.

"Mutorin and Musk are Bluehandlers like yourself. He's also a Farmcrafter, and has been a Handler for certainly a very long time. He's experienced, and I trust his judgment more than most. He will not be overbearing, or otherwise annoying in most ways, outside of the job I have entrusted him to do. He will be posted outside your quarters during the day, he and Musk will be rotating to sleep so that at least one of them is always awake to keep an eye on you.

Lueke is permitted, as I said, to attend meals with you, and orient himself around you in what fashions the pair of you appear to have manifested between you. No sleeping over, no occupations of your chambers period until graduation, no sex, though I doubt that's something between you, and he does not attend lessons with you. I would also request that you be careful what interactions you have with him during things such as Feasts, because I don't want any of my other wherlings getting ideas."


Isk chuffed, twisting himself about before wriggling over onto his back and waving his two-toed paws in the air, then slipping off into a doze as his wings propped him up in place. A few moments later, he flopped to the other side and appeared to be asleep. Ijo slid a foot out and lightly rubbed his lazy Brown with it.

"If Mutorin or myself catch you breaking those conditions, you will be confined to the Barracks for the duration of your wherlinghood. I doubt you're the sort to do that kind of thing, but while needless to say, it doesn't hurt to inform. I will also be making regular checks of Dask's condition. If you aren't feeding him, oiling him, and it's obvious you're ignoring him because you don't want the bond, then we'll be having a visit with Norla on the matter, perhaps higher than that. I would strongly prefer not to cull him, but I also won't tolerate him being neglected. He is yours, so please treat him like part of you, and not an outsider, if you indeed wish to maintain this pairing between you. With the numbers as low as they are, even having a wher around who doesn't patrol, but who's still available for chases to contribute to breeding stock, is useful. Another pair of eyes, if you will."

Ijo tried his best not to judge anyone. Everyone had their reasons, but he also understood that it could be incredibly dysfunctional to one's craft, to be chosen by a wher as Thiers. Or a dragon, in such case as that, but it was the risk people ran to live at a Weyr.

Ultimately, if Dawson hadn't wanted to be a Handler, or a Rider, whathaveyou, Ijo's opinion was that he should have stayed at the Hold. But he certainly didn't voice it.

"I know it's difficult. But I also know some of the best Handlerpairs I've ever laid eyes on, were those who bonded unexpectedly, or whose bond wasn't the greatest at the start. It's a process. He wouldn't have chosen you, if he wasn't interested in you, or if he thought you couldn't handle him. He certainly doesn't seem lazy, either, so perhaps you could even put him to work helping you in some way? Whers aren't as unintelligent as some people would make them out to be. Like dragons, they have separate personalities as well as their own strengths and weaknesses." He took another sip of his klah.

"I know you're a man of few words, and that's fine. Mutorin certainly will not require you to talk to him, he's there to observe and keep an eye on things. You aren't obligated to speak to him if you don't wish to. Musk, however is a bit more social, but I suspect he'll be more interested in talking to Dask than to you. Who knows. Anyway." He shifted his foot from Isk's ribs to his shoulder, and the Brown groaned, pleased at the contact.

"Do you have any questions for me? No matter how small or silly they might sound to you, I'd much rather give you an answer and have things sorted, than to have you assume something and it turn out to be an issue. If there's nothing, then you're dismissed. Mutt is outside and waiting to follow you to your workspace. There's no lesson today, so you're free to do what you'd like, so long as you're staying within the Bowl and Weyr."

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Zane
 Posted: Oct 23 2017, 04:18 PM
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Ijo laid out his conditions. They were easy enough to follow. Dawson's comprehension skills were not so minimal that he couldn't keep up with the basics. Why would he be entertaining anyone in his quarters? He slept in there. He wasn't the sort to throw parties, or affairs of any kind. He couldn't accomplish any of his work outside of the forge either, for his room was too small and he didn't have the right tools. The bluehandler squinted in confusion, though an actual expression had yet to present itself. Just as the man said very little, his face rarely revealed more than a "yes, I am looking at you." Ijo's words came to confuse him, quite terribly. There were so many confusing things said however that they all tumbled out of his head before he could gain much purchase on them.

One question, rhetorical though it was, was voiced between the mans frustrated breath. "Lueke has his own quarters." Why would the boy ever have to sleep in his? Wait... was Lueke homeless? Dask glanced up at His, wondering if it was possible that--yep, he still didn't get it. If the wheret could have head-desked, he would have. So, instead, he shoved his head in the empty bucket and exhaled.

As the Wherlingmaster spoke of the relationship the other wherlings would be hung up on, Dawson immediately thought of Dask. There was nothing going on between himself and the harper, and no such thoughts had ever been entertained by himself, or anyone, as far as his understanding went. Therefore, the mere idea of such an act was impossible for Dawson to conceive. He was not planning on causing trouble for the other wherlings--was that the brownhandler's ultimate concern? "There will be no disruption to your class." He was not that sort of person, who went around making things hard on others.

He explained Mutorin and Musk's role, and while Dawson thought it wholly unnecessary to have a babysitter, he was grateful for the opportunity to retain his independence. He continued to listen, since listening was what he did best. Then Ijo was mentioning Lueke again, and the word sex passed through his lips. Wait...what?
No worry. How couldhe not worry? Who was thinking these things of him? Was that what Ijo, and the Alphahandler, had been thinking all along? Why would these people ever come to such a far-fetched conclusion? There was an immediate tensing of the mans jaw. He shifted in his seat, his one shoulder coming to press rather forcefully against the back of the chair. "The boy sought guidance, as your wherlings seek guidance with you." The implication was there, which was enough for Dawson. The likelihood of him having sex with Lueke was just as likely as Ijo having sex with one of his students. Such a claim was heinous.

Dawson was no troublemaker, which was the very reason he avoided most people. He didn't want any trouble. The smith cleared his throat, again waiting until it was appropriate to speak. "There is little reason to doubt my intentions. Your conditions will be adhered to." He meant it, with every fiber of his being. There was zero reason to expect he meant to cross anyone.

Then there was talk of Dask again, and so it was Dawson's turn to breathe noisily. It was difficult, Ijo wasn't wrong. The other man was suited to this... lifestyle. Dawson was not. He was supposed to use him for work? Was that really the sort of life such a creature ought to live? Dawson still felt he would have been better-suited to someone else-anyone else-but him.

You not yet understand. Dask show. Dawson tried his best to let his frustration go. There was little sense in allowing his frustration to enrage him, as it had upon his impression of the blue. There was nothing he could do, save live with the hand he'd been dealt. He did not need the company of the other bluehandler, nor was there anything he cared to speak of. He wished to be left to his work, which both Mutorin and Musk seemed capable of leaving of him to.

The browns groan drew Dawson's attention to him. He eyed the wher, who had all but fallen asleep on the floor. Dask came to settle himself down not long after, his head still partially in the bucket. Once he had Dawson's gaze, he pulled himself free and gazed back. The wheret was content with Isk's presence. If Dawson didn't know any better, he'd have guessed that the blue had a deep respect for the brown wher.

Ijo wanted to know if he had any questions, and so Dawson's icy blue eyes returned to the wherlingmaster's face. Frankly, he was tired. He was tired of everything. He just wanted to get back to work. He had a job to do. He had already spent enough time here, enough that he was going to be behind. He needed to make up for lost time, and so he planned to return to his forge the moment he left the room. "I believe that'll be all." With that, he did rise, looking down at the brownhandler. Not everyone understood his subtle forms of communication, but there was little he could do to change his person. So, he gave the other a barely perceptible nod before turning away.

Dask rose, reluctantly. He had just gotten comfy. He was full at least, and so he bowed his head in thanks to both Ijo and Isk. He hoped to be seeing plenty more of the brown and his handler. He looked forward to following their direction in lessons. Hopefully they would, someday, see the potential that he saw in His. Dawson was a good man. He would prove himself... somehow. Dask would help.

The blue followed His out, his head turned in the direction of where his fellow blue was stationed. Greetings to Musk from Dask. Musk have watch job. Dask sorry for trouble. Dawson glanced to Mutt, but said nothing at all. He was not his wher, and therefore saw no reason to apologize. Both of their fates had been decided for them, so they would both be carrying out their sentences.

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RhiaBlack
 Posted: Oct 23 2017, 06:23 PM
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Ijo looked relieved, though the Wherlingmaster wasn't the sort to really measure that much out permanently. He'd become far too accustomed to waiting for the other proverbial boot to drop, as it were.

"That does set aside a lot of concern, but that's one of the primary ones with any wher-or weyrling. So I have to cover it. I don't know too much about the dynamic between the pair of you, and frankly so long as it doesn't edge into that territory, it's largely none of my concern. But with some pairings, even purely platonic friendships can affect a wheret. So just because you, personally, have no interest in Leuke like that, doesn't mean someone else with a new wheret won't see you two talking and go 'well, if they can do it, I can go hug-and-smooch my other person, too!' and then I end up having to cull a wheret because it's gone wild out of jealousy. Do you see what I mean, now? It's not just about you and Dask, it's about anything you and Dask do, being witnessed and misinterpreted by the rest of the others. Naturally, most people don't tend to pay attention to those not themselves, but all it ever takes is one person messing up to cause issues."

He ran a hand over his face, still gently rubbing Isk's shoulder with his foot.

"You drew a lot of attention during the Hatching, and people now know - with the rate that gossip moves through this place, a large share of them probably do by now - that you weren't terribly happy about being chosen. More eyes and ears than usual will be on you and Dask, that's why I'm essentially forced to do what I'm doing now. Prove to me you're trustworthy - take care of Dask, bond with him, make him as much a part of your life as your craft has become - and we'll talk about freeing up Musk and Mutorin from Dawson's Watch. Deal?"

It was the price of overreacting to things. When people made noise or were louder than the status quo, the world tended to notice, and not only had that put substantially more pressure on Dawson and Dask to excel and work out, but it put more on Ijo to make sure nothing happened to them.

"I don't want anything to happen to him, and I don't want to be unnecessarily hard on you. Don't make me have to be. Next lesson will be tomorrow night, please make sure you and Dask are prompt to it, though I have no reason to believe you won't be." He passed a hidescroll across the desk to the Smith.

"Mutorin will be checking to make sure Dask has been fed and oiled according to that schedule. It's no different than any of my other Wherlings. A drudge will be sent from the kitchens for meals for both yourself and Dask, and they will not be taking anything back until it's emptied. I will ask them to bring food for your accomplice as well, seeing as I can only assume he'll be in the forges with you." Ijo's jaw worked slightly. "I am trusting you, Dawson. Do not make me regret it."

He wasn't a large man by any means, and Ijo was by no means naturally aggressive, either. But when someone pressed him, he could be a monster and a force of reckoning. Only one Hold had ever witnessed that part of him, and it had been shortly after he'd found Bozidar in such a sorry state.

"You are dismissed. Have a pleasant evening, I will see you tomorrow night."

Outside, when Dawson and Dask appeared, Ijo had woken Isk just enough to have the Brown relay the confirmation of duty to the older Bluepair. Mutorin wasn't a man who liked responsibility, but Ijo had bribed him not only with gemstones he could trade for things to give to Al'dr, but also a very nice, thick blanket Ijo had brought from Keroon but hardly used. It was too large for his current bed, and Mutt had been very fond of the pattern.

Hi Dask! Musk rolled over, looking gleefully to the tiny Blue wheret and approaching him cautiously, but curiously, as Mutorin pushed himself to his feet. Is no trouble. Musk happy help. Get Mutt off butt, need walk more, start look big as Musk...Musk only lay-zee in this relation-ship, yep.

Mutorin grabbed the end of his Blue's tailforks and wiggled them a little bit, falling into step beside Dawson. He didn't say anything, Dawson hadn't spoken up, so Mutt wasn't of the sort that did a lot of needless babbling. Unfortunately for the whole situation, it would limit his time with his beloved Candidatemaster, but if anyone would understand the reasoning, it was Al'dr. Naturally, someone would be filling in for him for a day or two a sevenday, as to give him a break.

"Caomh an' Green Cask're gonna fill in, couple days o' the sevenday for me, lad. 'e doesn't talk much, either, so won't be much o' changin' for ya. Otherwise, you've ol' Mutt. An' don't worry none, aye? Me talkin's generally sort o' limited-like anywho."

With that, the Bluehandler fell into step in accompaniment, and Musk booped Dask's back as he kept an eye on the wheret to make sure he didn't fall too far behind; if he did, Musk simply scooped him up with his nose and carried him until they caught back up, where he put him back down, but largely he didn't expect he'd have to do much of that, if any at all.

((From this point onwards, you don't need to tag me or anything like that, either Musk, Mutt, or Caomh and Cask (never just one of them since Caomh's blind) are outside of Dawson's immediate room, and he's not allowed to have the door shut unless he's in there alone. Can end it here, if you want?))

@Zane


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