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Dalibor is a semi-canon Dragonriders of Pern site. No knowledge of the series or site is required to join; players of all experience levels are welcome here. Founded in 2008 on Proboards and moved to Jcink in 2013, Dalibor has been running for eight years.

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Spring, 18th Turn, 11th Pass

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Western Hold welcomes new blood in the form of a young couple, Lord Holder Basasius and Lady Holder Baria. A grand Gather is being hosted by Western Hold to welcome their new Lord and Lady.

While the new Lords settle into Western there has been talk and speculation about the western continent's other Hold. It has been two turns since his wife's passing in the south, when will Lord Callum decide to take up a new wife?

Spring has woken an abundance of plant life across Pern with intermittent spring showers helping to sate the growth's never ending thirst. With the end of snow and cold comes Thread once more; Dalibor's wings have no doubt been reduced due to losses over the winter but none the less they persevere.
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Weyrwoman
Rayna of Gold Couineth - Boo

Weyrleader
Z'dyn of Iron Baihujinth - Rhia

Jr. Weyrwoman
Jali of Copper Laanasuth - Rii

Jr. Weyrleader
Arlya of Burgundy Xerocleth - Rowana

Alphahandler
Norla of Bronze Norsk - Ivy

Betahandler
Der of Grey Desk - Rii
Oreanda of Bronze Osk - Ruin

Weyrlingmaster
B'tor of Green Tavistrath - Sakoru
Nia of Pink Koeneth - Catsitta
S'vor of Green Absinth - Ruriko

Wherlingmaster
Ijo of Brown Isk - Rhia
Pavir of Blue Pavisk - Captain
Swithin of Blue Swisk - Ivy

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Ulian of White Rivath - Ruin
Ra'h of Green Musath - Blot
Zanii of Black Zansk - Leo

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Rii

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Dalibor was created by Bre, continued by Cathaline, and is now owned and operated by Ruin. Most of the information, rules, and graphics were made, compiled, or written by staff with credit given to those whose resources they used. Stock thanks to credited parties. All characters and posts are copyrighted to the members of the game. No material from this site should be copied in any way, shape, or form without utter express permission from the members and staff. All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's 'Dragonrider of Pern' series are copyright Anne McCaffrey 1967-2017, all rights reserved. The Dragonriders of Pern is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with general permission for non-commercial purposes without monetary gain.

 
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 What Was Lost, AU:17 {Ruri/Ivy/Dandelion}
Ruriko
 Posted: Oct 7 2017, 10:32 PM
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Weyrlingmaster





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Dalibor Weyr, Weyrbowl...

@Ivy

S'vor finished securing the straps on his green, and turned to look at the Alphahandler as she approached with her bronze wher. He shamelessly gave her the 'once over' as she approached, not bothering to hide that he found her pleasing to the eye. Well, wasn't she cute? He liked blond's, very much. And red heads. And brunettes. Black hair was nice, too...but she was cute. He had agreed to the proposal, of course. Anything to help out a pretty young woman. It was an interesting proposal, besides: take her and her wher to hunt for her sisters. To the isles, and to speak to the traders who were currently on the way to the Holds near Dalibor, ironically enough. There was a trader who'd arrived on his own, and he'd been telling them tales of his time spent with different caravans. A wanderer, he didn't stay put in one place for long, or with one select group of people. He'd been speaking to a candidate named Dhiren, whom apparently knew Norla well enough that he'd picked out a particular name and details...Larka. Well, the name could have belonged to anyone. Yet the age, and the way she'd joined them...that was enough information to assume that it was perhaps the sister of Dalibor's bronzehandler, Norla.

"I am at your service, my dear," he spoke, once she was in front of him. He made a flourishing bow, and gave her his most dashing smile. It never failed to impress--so far as he was concerned. "Are you ready to head out? Absinth here is sure she can handle carrying your fine bronze, you and I, and one or two more safely. She is a green, but she's large and hardy!" He slapped the dark emerald green's neck affectionately. If she could have rolled her eyes, he felt she would have.

If Norsk had not been carried before, he might be feeling anxious about the matter--Norla too. Still, Absinth would not drop him, and they would all be perfectly safe. "If I recall correctly--and I am certain I do," this with a wink, and a self indulgent smile, "you wished to check out the traders for your youngest sister first. Larka, was it? It's closer, so it stands to reason we start there. After we have her, to the isles!" He sounded well and truly eager for that venture. He had never been there--had never had cause to go. Yet he was an adventuresome man by nature. Any new and unexplored place was welcome to be traveled to, in his opinion. Norla had just been the catalyst to give him an excuse to go to a place where exiles lived, and see precisely how they lived. After all, without dragons or whers, without amenities like a Weyr or Hold...they lived out of caves and each day was a battle for survival. He wasn't stupid enough to romanticize such a thing as a hard, cruel life. Yet it was fascinating, nonetheless. He had been told Norla had grown up there, and once he was past seeing if she'd be interested in having a little fun at some point, well...he might get to the questions.

He was a perceptive person. So he figured this candidate, this Dhiren, had taken a shine to the pretty, yet rumored to be tough, blond. Well, couldn't blame him. She was cute. Yet he was a candidate, and Faranth only knew when he'd bond himself a wher of his own. In the meantime, who was making sure their alphahandler did not go to a cold bed? It would be absolutely selfish of him not to propose an offer to make sure her needs as a woman were met! Of course he was merely thinking of her well being--not his own. Oh no. Never his own.

She will bite your head off like the big fish that were once in the lake, FoolMine. I think this is not one you will be seducing into your furs. Absinth's tone was scything and held the hint of a taunt. She found it most amusing when Hers could not convince a woman to join him in the furs, or flirt back. She thought it was good to remind him to be a little more humble...not that it worked particularly well. He was not really a humble individual in that respect.

Don't be a spoilsport, Love. I enjoy a challenge every now and again! Do not forget I won our last bet. And he had, too. Yet looking at Norla, he didn't think that she was as easy as the last had been. She looked a little more...respectable. Not that he didn't respect all women. After all, they were the reason he enjoyed life so much! Them and a select few men, that was. Still, more women than men, and what a woeful world it would be without them!

That was another woman, not this one. I will win this bet. Her tone sounded assured, and smug. She would have the 'last laugh' here, she knew. She was a clever green, and often saw what Hers did not. She had been right many times, and she had not been as certain with the last young woman. This one, she was more certain of. If Hers won this, she would be in a mood for sevendays.

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Ivy
 Posted: Oct 10 2017, 11:03 PM
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For far too long she had mulled over the what ifs of going back to the isles - of going back for her family. What if they were no longer alive? What if she went back but could not find them? What if she found them but they hated her for leaving? What if she found them and they didn’t want to come with her? What if she returned to the isles with Norsk and something happened to him?

What if you do not try? A voice of reason cut through her doubts as the pair of them headed out to the weyrbowl in order to meet the greenrider that had agreed to ferry them about. He seemed almost eager to help her in this task despite the fact she could not offer him any true payment aside from her thanks. She’d heard plenty about this particular rider even before he had agreed to assist her in this mission. It was not only riders he filled his time with but plenty of handlers as well - not that she had any particular feelings one way or the other. If one was skilled and did their duty to the Weyr then how they filled their free time was none of her concern. It was simply an amusing fact; she’d been warned about his charm and as he greeted her it was obvious her sources had not been lying. ”Thank you again for your help, the both of you.” Slinging the bag she’d brought off of her shoulder she offered it to the greenrider so he could secure it to the straps on Absinth. A simple pack consisting of basic medical items, food, water, and blankets. There was no way of knowing what they would face on the isles once they made it there so she wanted to be prepared. Extra knives were strapped to her body, just in case.

”I was told a girl by the name of Larka has been travelling with the traders near the hold - so yes I’d like to start there.” In her chest her heart pounded faster as she considered that it might actually be her sister they were going to find. There was a chance that this girl was not her sister and simply shared her name though - in her mind the chance was far greater that they wouldn’t find her sister than the chance they would. How did Larka escape the aisle on her own? If it was her then what of her other sisters? Had they all left together… or were they no longer alive? Doubt began to eat away at her once more but she kept her face steady as she waited for him to finish checking his dragon’s straps over. ”I am ready whenever you are S’vor.”

If she noticed the way he looked her over she said nothing and did not acknowledge it in any way, taking it as par for the course with the rider she’d been told about. Likewise she was careful not to let her own eyes travel over him - though she’d taken a good measure of him as she approached. He was handsome, if he had been less fortunate looking then he wouldn’t have been as popular with the women as he was. Yet no matter how pleasing to the eye he was that wasn’t why she was here - nor was she interested in becoming another notch on his proverbial belt.

@Ruriko


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Ruriko
 Posted: Oct 11 2017, 03:38 PM
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Weyrlingmaster





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@Ivy

S'vor accepted the offered bag, getting a better look at the young woman. She had a sort of no nonsense air about her. He wasn't about to give up so soon into this game, but judging by the total lack of reaction--perhaps purposeful?--she might be even harder than hard to get to warm up to him.

If she does at all. I doubt it. She's onto you.

S'vor's scowl was only inward, and his face remained friendly and smiling. Securing the bag, he wondered, with a mix of pride and a little disappointment, if she'd been forewarned by someone before she'd met him. She seemed almost to know somehow. Still, that was merely speculation. His reputation was getting around even here, and to some it would be a good thing, if they were after the same kinds of games he was. To others...well, they'd either be indifferent as it didn't effect them, or not in the least impressed. Besides the fact he never accepted payment, he was as active about the place as a pillowcrafter might be. Still, she seemed polite and there was no judgment in her gaze, for the brief moment he held it. If she had heard, he liked to think she wasn't holding that over him--perhaps keeping her guard up, though. Did she fancy someone, perhaps? That was just as likely as not. Maybe even the candidate...and wouldn't that be amusing? She could not have that, though. She could have him, if she was amiable!

You are so full of yourself. Who says she even wants you? Not everyone does.


You wound, my Love! Of course she does. Even if she doesn't know it, deep down, they all do.

Absinth's laughter was only shared in their minds, but he grinned and kept a chuckle of his own down. He nodded and gave her another 'most charming' smile as she thanked him, and replied, "It's no trouble at all, my dear. You're giving us a chance to get out of the Weyr and accompany you on a grand adventure! It will make a fine tale to tell after a few glasses of Benden--do you like wine?" It might have been a question, or it might have been an invitation. It would be hard to tell, since he asked it so neutrally. Still, since the Alphahandler had heard of him, she would likely know, and be able to respond as if she did not!

He finished securing the straps as he listened to her speak. Then he began to fasten something else with elaborate knots--the strongest he knew, it would seem--and brought what looked like a large, very sturdy 'harness' over to where Norsk stood. "I had these made for you, my bronze friend. Would you mind if I...?" It was clear what it was. It was meant to secure the bronze. Though he suspected Norla would be able to tell what it was upon seeing it, he offered, "These were made by a Master, and are a safety precaution. I can bet my life on Absinth not letting you go for an instant, and yet I take no chances even if there is a point zero one chance something may go amiss. There is not even a zero percent chance if you are doubly protected in being held by these as well. Should something occur, you will be tightly secured." He knew it had to have been unnerving to be carried high in the skies by a dragon--especially since they were going between. Absinth would never let Norsk go. He knew that, as surely as he knew he breathed air. Yet Norla and the bronze did not know his dragon so well as he. This would lend to them feeling more secure about this trip, he was sure. Even if he did not seem it, he could be a considerate man.

Absinth sent to the bronzepair, I would not drop him, you know. Mine wishes you both to feel as secure as possible. He insults me a little, yet he does not mean to. He knows I will not. He wishes you to know the bronze is safe as can be.

She sounded a little insulted, it was true. Still, she knew that Hers was only thinking of how he would feel if she were the one being carried. So she could not begrudge him attaching this contraption for Norsk's extra safety. After he had her permission, he would secure the bronze and check all the straps once more, and then mount. He offered a large hand to Norla. If accepted, he would pull her up in a swift motion--just swift enough that she'd be in his arms if she was not careful. If she did end up there, he'd let her stay a moment, or go to take her spot behind him and strap in if she did not. Oh, what games he did play! They were all in good fun, though. He was quite respectful if someone had no interest or especially if they were to grow upset. A flirtatious tease by nature, he never overstepped boundaries after a point--this kind of point, for instance. It could have easily not been his fault if she was pulled up close a moment. He'd just been helping her up--it wasn't his fault he was such a big, strong individual!

Meanwhile, on the way to Crescent Hold...

Larka walked quietly alongside the caravan. Some rode, but she was so used to walking she had not ridden or even been on the caravan unless it was to sleep. These Traders knew Thread like no one she'd met. They knew how much time they had to reach each Hold or safe haven. They took no chances, and moved quickly, leaving themselves an extra day or two if need be in case of mishap on the way. Beside her, a black icehowler pup walked. He was all of nine weeks of age, and she'd only gotten him a sevenday ago. Still, he walked alongside her like he knew that she was his person, and he was hers. She didn't speak much, but the Traders didn't seem to mind. She worked at whatever task was set to her without complaint. Mostly this was hunting food, or gathering wood for fires. The dark-haired girl with her black pup were often watched curiously, but no one here had cause to think the girl was trouble of any kind. In her time with them, she'd been nothing but helpful, for all that she was quiet and could not read nor write. There had been talk of teaching her, but they were working on getting the girl to speak more. She seemed distrustful, and while not precisely afraid, she didn't seem to be forming bonds with anyone. Only the young man who had given her her pup did she speak a little more to. It would be more than a 'yes' or 'no' to him, but still only very few words. Still, progress was progress.

Larka had grown since her sister had last seen her. She was much taller, and prettier now than she had been before. Her time on the isles had lent her a toned, sleek appearance of firm muscle underneath a soft skin. She was barefoot, though. She had almost never worn shoes save when she needed fur-lined boots in the winter on the isles. She preferred the feeling of the earth beneath her feet. It would be colder soon. Winter was coming. Then she'd need boots, but for now, even though it was not summer and cooler, she still walked barefoot. The traders had given her clothing, which she seemed cautious of accepting. On the isles, nothing was given freely. There was trade, but only family gave you things for free. Yet they had managed to get her to accept the clothing, a pair of soft black trousers and an off-white shirt that laced up halfway down from the neckline. It was comfortable and allowed for easy movement, and that seemed to please the young woman. When she'd come to them, she was wearing ragged clothing. A torn, long shirt that looked like it was meant for a man bigger than she, and too-baggy trousers. These fit, and nicely. They complimented her form, and while she was entirely oblivious from any interest, it was clear to some of the Traders that the young man who'd given her the pup had taken an interest in her.

The pup at her side stopped every so often to pounce on something, or try to pick up a stick or even a stone in its mouth. Larka would have struggled to carry him, he was so large, and she was not a weak girl in the least. She could pick him up, and carry him a few minutes. Yet he was large and awkward, already the size of the largest canines that one would find on Pern. When he was grown, she'd be able to ride him. Now, however, he was just a puppy, for all that he looked too large to be one. His body was all puppy fat and too-large paws, and he was fluffy and cute as could be. At least to Larka. Some of the Traders had eyed him and wondered, likely, if he wasn't going to grow into some kind of monstrous, uncontrollable beast. Larka had not feared him when she'd met him, in the least. They had clicked immediately, and Fell, as she'd named him, was the only thing alive she seemed to fully trust. She cuddled up to the black 'howler at night, and the pair were inseparable.

Suddenly, everyone stopped as a large shadow appeared overhead. It blocked out the sun overhead for a moment, and Larka looked up, eyes not frightened, but certainly wary. A green dragon passed overhead once, and circled. Then, it seemed to be making a landing a little ways in front of their caravan. Larka did feel a bit fearful, then. What could a dragonrider want with Traders? They had met some at Weyrs, though Larka had stayed back and tried to remain unnoticed. Maybe they wanted to trade, but her innermost fears made her fear that maybe, just maybe, they'd come to take her back to the isles. She had done nothing wrong, and only just been born when they'd gone there. It was her father, who had been exiled, that had brought them all there. Her heart began to race. She ought to run! But no...she couldn't. She wouldn't. She hadn't done anything wrong. They wouldn't be here for her. Probably, they were here to trade. If not, she was not going to let them take her or Fell. She'd fight them, and would rather die than go back.
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Ivy
 Posted: Oct 26 2017, 09:56 PM
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Alphahandler





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”I prefer heartier spirits over wine, but Benden does go down smoothly.” A brow was raised but other than that she offered no other reaction. Being polite and dealing with others from all walks of life was part of her job in the Weyr and despite what she had heard about him she wasn’t one to jump to conclusions. She had no current interests, at least none she could admit to. She watched patiently, playing over how things would go if they found her sisters and if they didn’t. Obviously if they did not find them this time she would not give up - Dhiren had reignited the need for her to see this through to the end. The thought occurred to her, however, that she might find them and they not accept her offer to return to the Weyr. After all these turns she wondered what kind of women they had turned out to be, what had happened to them in the time since she left. With a heavy sigh she was drawn from her thoughts by him offering out a harness for her inspection. Listening as he reassured her she nodded briskly, ”I have faith in the riders of Dalibor, and their dragons.”

From the way the dragon sounded when she bespoke both wher and handler it sounded as though she might need that bit of confidence boost from the woman. ”He only does so to ease my mind, I’m sure you’ll be a great courier.” Touching the green’s side she cast a sidelong glance to Norsk who wasn’t as convinced but trusted Norla to not put him in harm’s way. Granting the rider permission she watched as he fitted the harness on the bronze, who lifted one leg then the next when needed so he could have the harness put onto him. Once he was fitted it was time for the rider and handler to get settled in atop the green and S’vor went first. Taking the offered hand she gave a soft cry of surprise when he pulled her up a bit too eagerly, her form pressing against his with her in his arms as she stared at him wide eyed. The moment passed quickly enough as she righted herself and slipped into the straps behind him, gently tapping his shoulder when she was secured and ready to go.

It was a short flight to Crescent and they followed the roads most travelled by caravans - soon they had spotted one and she tapped on him again to let him know she wanted to land. What if that is them? What if she is there? What if she isn’t?

We will not know if no land. Land first then see. Ask names. Start with… hello. Norsk was confused as to why His was so anxious over a person - or people should they make it to the isles today as well. He understood that Norla was searching for her sisters but he didn’t see why it should be such a cause for concern. They were blood, from the same clutch, why did it matter that they had been separated? She feared they would turn her away, he saw no reason they would. Though he could see her memories he could only see just that, her memories. He could not see theirs or what they had or had not been through - and the unknown is what bothered Norla the most.

@Ruriko


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Ruriko
 Posted: Oct 29 2017, 12:56 AM
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Weyrlingmaster





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@Ivy

"Well, heartier spirits are just as good, my dear--better, even." The sassy grin he gave her left only more questions, yet he seemed hardly to care. At her words, a more sincere smile warmed his features. "I'm glad to hear that," he said simply. It was nice to hear any person say such a thing, never mind a wherhandler whose wher's life was literally in his own dragon's claws.

Absinth sent an appreciative feeling towards the young woman's mind, and then if dragons could have rolled their eyes, would have, at Hers' antics. Still, his plan seemed to work well enough in his favor. A wide eyed, quite attractive young woman was pressed against him in his arms for a moment, before she rather gracefully removed herself to sit behind him. When she could no longer see, he smirked, keeping a chuckle down. She had looked so surprised! Was she not used to being in a man's arms? He had no intention of making any woman uncomfortable. Yet he had always been an incorrigible flirt, and had no shame in doing things that were harmless enough, such as he'd just done then. He felt the tap on his shoulder signaling she was safely strapped in, and Absinth was far more careful in taking off than she normally was out of care for her bronze passenger. She knew to glide on the thermals as much as she could so that her flapping was less than usual, and the wher would have a steadier ride. When she did flap her wings, it was smoothly--she was obviously a well-versed flier. The wher was held securely in her strong talons, and would perhaps even find the ride enjoyable! S'vor, meanwhile, simply enjoyed the feeling of someone behind him, as inadvertently she would either have to hold onto him, or be pressed up against him from time to time with Absinth's flight movements.

Soon they spotted a caravan down below, and the bronzehandler tapped on his shoulder again. He took her meaning and gave a nod, having Absinth circle lower and lower so that they might make a smooth landing for Norsk. The landing was very smooth, indeed. The wher was on all four feet, safely on the ground, and so were they. S'vor undid his straps deftly and dismounted, offering a large, strong hand to Norla once she was ready to do the same. The people from the caravan were all looking curiously, some wondering if the rider and his passenger perhaps sought out their wares. That would be most fortuitous!

Larka had quickly moved herself and Fell to behind one caravan. They wouldn't take her.
She wouldn't let them. She had not seen the tall dragonman's charge--just a quick glimpse of him and his green, before she carefully moved to remain out of sight. Fell was quiet beside her, perhaps sensing the girl's anxiety. Her dark hair fell into her eyes, and she crouched down a bit, peeking out from behind. She couldn't see past all the people and the carts. It was just as well--if she couldn't really see anything but the green--who was too big to miss--then they couldn't see her, could they? Would the Traders give her up if they were after her? The thought slithered into her mind as quick as a tunnelsnake's bite, and she looked behind her. The ground was fairly open here. If she ran, she'd be seen. Maybe they weren't here for her, though. It was her anxious fears speaking. How would they even know she was here? No one would have told them that...could they have? She didn't think so. She would wait here, and they would leave. That was the plan. They'd leave, and she'd be able to just safely travel with the caravan and the Traders with her icehowler pup, and all would be well.

She caught a flash of bronze, and her eyes widened. A wher? Wait...why had the dragonrider brought a wher? Suddenly her heart was racing. Maybe they were here or her! Why would they bring a wher with them? Whers were guards, someone had explained to her. What purpose did one have coming to this place? She was terrified, now, and yet steeling herself. Running would do no good. She had to remain where she was, and hope that her fears were unfounded. To tell herself no one would be looking for her, because no one should have known her at all, or where she was. That was reasonable. That was common sense. So, trying to hold onto that, she remained where she was.
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Ivy
 Posted: Nov 6 2017, 09:13 PM
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Flying was not something the handler was well versed in - she’d been on a dragon a time or two but not regularly enough to be used to it. Norsk didn’t have wings capable of gliding so the pair of them had never been off the ground; this was an entirely new experience for the bronze. Putting his faith into the green as well as the sturdy harness he had been provided he watched through his dark tinted goggles as they rose into the air, amazed at how different things looked from this vantage point. Why if he could fly he could better protect the Weyr - ah but if only. Norla tried not to need to grab hold of the rider’s middle but halfway from where they’d taken off and where they eventually found the caravan she gave in. One arm hooked around in front of him about his waist, though she was very mindful of her hand in order to not lay it directly in his lap. That would have been embarrassing, especially if he took it to be interest she most certainly did not have.

When they landed her hand moved away from him and she sat back, undoing her straps as he undid his and waiting until he had dismounted to join him on the ground - accepting his assistance but more mindful of her balance to ensure she didn’t topple off into his arms. Brushing her flight leathers off and straightening her shoulder knot she lifted her chin as she approached the caravan, ”Hello, I am Alphahandler Norla from Dalibor Weyr. I have had word passed to me from someone who recently came from your caravan that you have a young woman travelling with you. She would be roughly... “, she paused to do the math in her head, ”sixteen turns or so at this point. Her name is Larka. I need to find her, is she still with you?”

She watched as a few heads turned and more than one pair of eyes narrowed as they looked her over. Taking a deep breath she added, ”Please I need to find her. She is my sister.”

@Ruriko


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Ruriko
 Posted: Nov 7 2017, 03:59 PM
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Weyrlingmaster





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@Ivy

S'vor had decided to leave the talking to the bronzehandler. After all, this was her quest, and he was merely the transport--and to ensure her safety, along with Norsk and Absinth. The isles were no safe place. Yet with a dragon and a bronze wher...no one would be fool enough to attack them perhaps with even just a wher present. Yet a dragon guaranteed it. No one was that much of a deadglow. It was easy enough to see the wariness and the curiosity both in the eyes of the Traders with whom Norla spoke. Yet there was another expression working its way over the faces of the gathered crowd as Norla mentioned her sister's age, and then true recognition, poorly veiled if at all, when her name was spoken. So they did know! Was the girl here, then? S'vor cast his gaze about for a dark-haired young woman who might resemble Norla some. Still, she might not, he knew. There were the genes of both parents to take into consideration. He didn't see anyone stepping forward. There were teenage girls here, but he wasn't sure if any of them were Larka at all.

Suddenly, a very dark skinned, older woman stepped forth. A tall, just as dark skinned man appearing around the same age stood at her back. They both looked not so old, perhaps in their early fifties? Maybe younger. It was harder to tell with such dark skinned people. They seemed to age, in his opinion, much more gracefully than those with lighter skin often did. It was the woman who, with a welcoming smile, addressed Norla.

"You are Alphahandler Norla, are you not? Of Dalibor Weyr?" Then, so as not to confuse the young woman, who might reasonably have known who she was, "I am Mablevi." The man, who placed a large, strong hand on her shoulder--he stood at six foot five or so, a giant of a man--interjected with a smile, "And I am Malik." Upon hearing his name, Norla might have had flash of recognition. Malika bore the same dark skin as these two. She had been a Trader prior to coming to the Weyr, and was now a wher candidate. "We lead these people. Our granddaughter, Malika, she has gone to your Weyr to Stand for the wher," Mablevi spoke, motioning with a broad smile--clearly proud--to Norsk.

"We thank you for that honor," Mablevi continued. "You have done our granddaughter a service, and now we may do you one. A full circle has come about," The woman turned to survey the crowd, and yet did not see the girl whom they had been traveling with. Her brows furrowed, but then she spotted, ever so slightly, four black legs behind a cart. Smiling knowingly, she turned back to Norla, "This Larka, your sister, has been with us for several moons." She took a step forward, to stand beside the young woman, and placed one hand on her arm, and used the other to gesture to the cart. "She did not say from whence she came. Yet we suspected there was a story to be told. She is a good girl. Works hard. She does not speak much, and cannot read, nor write. Yet she is as fine a huntress as our best. Deft at gathering, too." Intelligent, dark eyes met Norla's, as Mablevi asked, "She was Holdless, was she not?" Respectful, the dark eyed woman did not ask 'as were you', even though she was quite certain that this may have very well been the case.

"Mablevi, do not question the poor woman so. She must be a tumult of emotions. Let her absorb. She may speak as she wishes, or not speak, as also she wishes." Mablevi nodded and offered Norla a small, knowing smile, before stepping back to join her husband.

Larka could barely hear what they were saying. Yet she heard her name. She heard, too, something familiar. A voice that was the same as one she'd known, but a little different. Then she could see the leader's wife, Mablevi, motioning to the cart. Her fate...it was to be decided, then? There was no running. There would be no escape. Yet she could fight. They would not take her without one. Standing, she stepped out from beside the cart. Fell was at her side. Her head was set at a proud, stubborn tilt. Icy blue eyes came to meet the face of the...Norla? Her breath left her in a whoosh of shocked exhalation. It couldn't be...and yet it was. Her eyesight was sharp, and her hearing just as. She had known she'd known that voice. Yet if the tall man was the dragonrider, did that mean?

She turned her head, eyes falling on the bronze wher. This was why she'd never come back for them? She'd chosen to bond a wher, over coming back for her own sisters? She felt like she'd been punched in the stomach. Norla had made a life for herself, forgotten about them, and gone onto carve a path for herself--a lofty one, at that, if here she was with a bronze wher by her side. Whers were not dragons, but she had heard bits and pieces about their part in Pernese society. Norla was a bronzehandler. In a position of power among the handlers, no doubt. So why, then, was she here? Had she somehow heard, in some way Larka could not fathom, that she was here? Fell had stepped out beside her. He was so young that he was, essentially, a giant, fluffy puppy. He was puppy fat, and too big paws, and not at all the monstrous beast he would be full grown. Still, he was bigger than a full grown canine. He whimpered and licked her hand, but she couldn't tear her eyes away from the bronze wher, and then her sister. Her jaw clenched and she had to stop her teeth from grinding. She felt more betrayed by this revelation than she had before she'd known why her sister had left, and why she'd not come back. It would not, likely, be any better for finding out her sister was not just any bronzehandler, but the Alphahandler. She stood, rooted in the spot. She had grown so much, that only someone who truly had known her would recognize her. Her jet black hair fell into her eyes, eyes that were pale blue, with green flecks that could not be seen from such a distance. Norla would know those eyes, at least. The rest of her was so changed. Gone was the baby fat. There were now definitely womanly curves, toned and likely desirable if that was a man's type. Some would call her beautiful. She'd been a pretty child, and had grown into herself. Still, she did not look soft. There was only toned muscle, and a defiant, betrayed and stubborn look on the girl's face.
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Ivy
 Posted: Nov 11 2017, 02:26 PM
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Alphahandler





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At first she’d expected the traders to keep to themselves, she’d heard they were often a tightknit group and she feared they would not want to give up one of their own; even if she hadn’t been with them long she’d been warned once you were with a caravan you belonged to it. That fear was set aside when friendly faces broke from the caravan in order to greet her, ”Yes, Malika is in the wher program. She is a strong young woman, she will make a fine handler some day.” Norla recalled the young woman she’d met with a turn ago in order to ensure only those who were serious stood for the hatching with the golden egg. Malika had been serious, quite serious, about being a wherhandler and making her grandparents proud. As the woman spoke Norla appreciated something she’d said a full circle has come about, it was true wasn’t it? They had sent their granddaughter to the Weyr and now here she was coming to them looking for her sister. If she had grown up in a different place she might appreciate the moment as being somewhat poetic. Instead she was focused on listening to the elders as they spoke. Larka was indeed here among them, ”Yes, she was. As was I once.”

Had her head not been spinning at the fact she had found her sister the bronzehandler might have had more words for the couple. They were kind and hospitable and she knew she should say something more but then a young girl stepped into view and Norla’s breath caught in her chest for a moment. Sentimental was not among the woman’s normal attributes but suddenly seeing the girl she’d feared might be dead she felt tears spring up in her eyes. Taking a few tentative steps towards her dark haired younger sister she took in a deep breath, Norsk staying back - he’d recalled how Norla had feared whers once and did not wish to scare the girl away. ”Larka?” She didn’t need to question it, though she’d definitely grown up in all the turns that had passed she still knew her sister when she saw her.

Nor-la come looking for sister, Lar-ka. Lar-ka come back to Dalibor with Nor-la and Norsk, come be safe. Fed. Find other sisters. Be protected. Norsk’s gentle voice found the younger woman as he tried to help His with everything she found herself unable to say. There was a look on Larka’s face, one she recognized as betrayal but was this the time and place to hash their past out? Could she convince her to come along with her even after all these turns of being gone? Why did she look at her that way - didn’t she know she’d come out looking for her and wanted what was best for her? So many questions suddenly flooded her thoughts and rendered her speechless as she stared across the short distance at her sister. One question popped to the forefront of her mind…

What if Larka didn’t want to come with her?

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Ruriko
 Posted: Nov 15 2017, 02:36 PM
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Weyrlingmaster





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S'vor was pleased that Norla received such a surprisingly warm greeting from the leaders of the caravan. He, too, understood that they were normally very tight knit groups who did not welcome strangers so readily. Yet hearing that their granddaughter was in the wher program--well, that changed things. For one, they must have been among the more progressive trader groups. To let their granddaughter, of all people, leave? Like Norla, he knew that Traders did not so easily let those in their group leave. Even when Searched. Still, he quietly watched on.

"We do not mean to be ill mannered, dragonman. Our greetings to you, as well," Mablevi spoke, and he nodded and gave her a charming smile. Warm laughter followed, and a knowing look. "Keep you eye on that one," the older woman said to Norla, loud enough for S'vor to hear. She knew his type, and they were charmers and would wind women around their fingers if they could. Still, in that next moment--though S'vor had given a most 'innocent' expression, as if to say 'who, me?'--Larka stepped out from behind the cart, and the couple who were leaders turned to look at her. So did S'vor. His eyes widened a little, and he gave a long, low whistle. How old was she, exactly? Eighteen turns at least, one would hope! She was, at least in his opinion, quite something to look at! Still, when Mablevi narrowed her eyes and shook a finger at him, he grinned apologetically. Hardly the time and place, he knew. He resumed quietly watching.

Larka's heart was racing in her chest, the sound of it in her own ears louder, in this moment, than any drum. She was rooted to the spot, even as Norla spoke her name and took a few small steps towards her. She was aware of all of these eyes on her. Everyone was watching, and it certainly didn't make what was going on any easier for her. The expression on her sister's face...she didn't know what to think. She looked like she was relieved. Almost ready to cry, even. Yet in the face of the facts she could perceive, the girl wasn't sure exactly why.

She may not have been able to read or write, yet it didn't mean she was not intelligent. Her skills simply lay elsewhere. She was quite capable of reasoning and utilizing what little information she had in a logical way. This was what she at least believed she knew: Norla had left them with Arles. She hadn't even asked them if they'd wanted to come. She'd just left, and things had been so much worse for the remaining four sisters once she had. Especially for Larka, who could not interact with the others on the isles. She had not come back. She'd not sent a message. Not come looking for them. Nothing was seen nor heard of her for turns. Now, quite out of the blue, she was here. With her was a man she didn't know--he could have been her lover for all she knew!--and a bronze wher that looked to her. Dressed in good clothes. Looking healthy and well fed. Looking like she'd made a good life for herself, and had not until now bothered to, for some reason Larka could not even begin to guess at, come looking for them? It didn't make sense to her. Why now? Why not before? Why had she abandoned them? Abandoned her?

The Traders had treated her like one of them. Mablevi and Malik didn't pry, or push her. She was a valued member of their community, their family unit. She might have not trusted anyone but Mablevi and Malik so far, but they treated her like she was family, more than her own had. They fed her, clothed her, and had even offered to teach her to read, write, and other skills that traders all knew, even though she was adept at most of them--even more so than many of them were, because she'd had to be. She'd fended for herself, mostly. Here was Norla, and she didn't know what the woman--no, it was her older sister, she reminded herself--wanted with her after all this time.

Norla only said her name. Then there was a voice in her mind, that was not her own. No dragon or wher had ever spoken to her in her entire life. For a moment, she was terrified at a strange voice in her mind. She actually visibly flinched, and her whole body tensed up as though she might flee in that instant. Where was the voice coming from? It was not a frightening voice--it was gentle. Her eyes flew to the bronze wher who stood further back than Norla. Focused on the words. Was it...was it him? As she heard the words rather than trying to figure out who was speaking them, she realized that it indeed was. No one had spoken to her about dragons or whers much. She'd never had cause to be curious. Whers on the isles didn't speak to you. They hunted you. Killed you if you interfered with their territory or prey. It was reasonable she would be scared of the big bronze, and yet once she understood it was him, her eyes hardened. A voice in her head, one that she wasn't entirely sure could not just read her mind and pluck out her most private thoughts, was an intrusion. The fear she felt made her angry, and she directed her gaze, once it was finished speaking, at Norla again.

"Keep it out of my head," she said, voice steady and firm. "My thoughts are my own, they don't belong to anyone but me." Since it had spoken in her head, it must have been able to be in there with her. No one had educated her on the facts, and young dragons in the egg and just hatched, as well as whers, could indeed read thoughts--so it wasn't too far an inaccuracy for the girl, since she didn't know anything about Norsk or his kind beyond what she saw of whers on the isles. Then, voice still hard, "you abandoned us. Lived your life. Never looked back. Now you're here. With that," and she directed a pointed look at Norsk, "why should I believe what he says? You never came back. Why now?" Her words were not hurried. They were slow, careful, and to the point. They were spoken steadily but firmly. If she was afraid, no one would have known it. Despite who she was, and the life she'd lived--or perhaps in spite of it--Larka was strong. She held herself tall, and with pride. Perhaps she was not so unlike Norla had been, before she'd bonded her bronze. Before she'd spent so much time at Dalibor.

What was Dalibor? Larka didn't even know that. She'd heard what the bronze had said. Find her other sisters...? That gave her cause for pause in her thoughts. Did they mean that? Again, though...why now? Why not before? She didn't really understand how Norla could have suddenly just up and decided, after all this time, to give a shard about her sisters she'd abandoned on the isles. They might have died. She didn't even know if the others had or hadn't. She'd had no choice but to leave. Norla had left voluntarily. She had spent a lot of time since joining the Traders trying to think of how she could go back for her sisters. She was no one, though, and she was terrified of being found out--that she was Holdless. That they would take her back. She had made and scrapped many plans on how to go back for Narla, Kala, Arala. She had thought of Norla from time to time. Yet the more turns that passed, it was with more bitterness and less fondness. Betrayed, abandoned...that was how she felt when she thought of her at all. She didn't know for sure what became of her after she'd left, but it had been Norla's choice to leave them. The other girls hadn't had a choice at all. Larka thought they were still there, and she desperately wanted to find a way to get back and bring them out of that living nightmare.

Mablevi appreciated Norla's honest words--admitting that she had been, as well? That was honorable, speaking the truth. She and her husband stood and watched. She would not force the girl to go if she wished to stay. She might offer a word or two if she declined. It was good for family to be together. Even though they had accepted Larka as one of their own, and she was more than welcome to live out the rest of her days among their people, she knew that the girl was lost. Perhaps her sister could guide her. She was a woman in a prestigious place--Alphahandler, of a bronze wher. Surely she was qualified to do so, as both this, and her blood sister. Mablevi noticed the black icehowler by the girl's side watching, head lowered, green eyes on the woman whom Larka spoke to. He was young, but would offer the girl loyalty and friendship. Animals were highly valued, as well as dragonkin, by her people. Watching with her hands folded behind her back, she was interested to see what would transpire. Her husband looked at her and offered a warm smile, and she gave him one back, before her dark eyes returned to the scene playing out in front of them all.
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Ivy
 Posted: Dec 3 2017, 09:54 PM
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Alphahandler





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Whatever words the traders offered after she’d seen her sister were lost on her, all that mattered in that moment was the dark haired young woman staring at her. They were not close and yet closer now than they’d been in turns. Larka remembered her, that much was evident by the way she looked at Norla but she flinched when the bronze bespoke her. Hearing her words Norla nodded, Norsk, I need to do this on my own… can you…? She needn’t finish her thought before the bronze lowered his head and retreated back to where the greenrider and his dragon were waiting. So many thoughts and emotions flooded through the eldest daughter of Vares and Noakla as she stood there staring at her sister. Larka was the youngest in their family - she’d been but a mere child when Norla and Arles left the isles. Still a child in her eyes at first Norla was furious at the girl for questioning her in such a way in front of all these people. How dare she talk to her in such a manner when she hadn’t been there. Life had undoubtedly been hard for her sister, yet here she was on the mainland and where were their other sisters? Snorting she shook her head slowly, gaze not wilting despite the way Larka looked at her in such an accusing manner.

”And what of you Larka? How is it you are here but none of our sisters are with you? It seems you left as well.” A hard edge to her tune softened as Norsk pressed his mind to hers in order to help calm her some; it wouldn’t do to come all this way and have the girl leave because His had been rude to her. A heavy sigh forced her shoulders to lift high and then fall, ”I cannot undo the past. This is not the place to talk about such things, I came because I wanted to find you. I want to find our sisters too. I’m sorry I didn’t come sooner.” How could she ever explain to the younger girl how her heart had hurt all this time? That she’d never forgotten her family even as she worked hard at the Weyr in order to make something of herself, to put herself into a position that allowed her to pull strings in order to find all of her siblings. To provide for them once she brought them back with her. ”I want to bring you back to my home with me, it will be your home too. You do not have to stay with me, you will have your own space and the harpers will help you learn to read and write… if you want to. They’ll teach you the ballads and all about life here, away from the place we grew up. Larka there is so much I want to show you, so much I want to give you to make up for lost time.”

As she stared at her sister there was an unspoken plea in her eyes, ’Please don’t turn me away.’

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Ruriko
 Posted: Jan 18 2018, 07:37 PM
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Weyrlingmaster





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Larka's eyes followed the retreat of the bronze momentarily, feeling some relief that he was no longer in her mind--her only sanctuary that was hers, and hers alone--any longer. In her darkest hours, her mind was the only thing she had truly owned and had any control over. The expression on her elder sister's face was not pleased--angry, Larka thought. Yet she hardly cared. What right had Norla to come here, have her wher in her head like that, and then be angry she did not want it there? Her own gaze did not falter, nor wilt, under the hardened gaze Norla gave her in return. There was near tangible tension in the air between the elder and younger. Norla may have, unbeknownst to Larka, seen her as a child, still. Yet the life she'd lived had caused her to mature far, far faster. She was no child, regardless of her age or what anyone might think--even Norla.

When Norla spoke next, it was a rebuke. To seem to throw her own accusation of leaving back at her. Sapphire blue eyes were hard, and her expression unflinching. She had not chosen to leave. She had been forced to. She didn't owe the bronzehandler an explanation, and was not at all phased by hard edge in her tone. Instead, she replied flatly, "not by choice. Perhaps if you'd been there I would not have had to." She'd had no protection, and once she had been so far from their camp, she could not find her way back--especially not safely. She had tried, and failed. She had nearly run into that group of men again...Norla had left by choice, and she had left to escape death, or worse. It was hardly comparable, though she knew Norla could not know what she had not been told. Still, the accusation was out of line, in the girl's mind. She cared little for her sister's rank. On the isles, ranks did not exist. A person was treated as a person, and any respect given was earned. She had no clue that Norla's upset was because she felt she was being embarrassed or deserved respect due to her position, perhaps. Life on the isles had been black and white, and she had barely had time on the mainland to know how things worked here.

Larka heard the words spoken next, but didn't know how she was supposed to feel about them. She had heard Norla ask about her. Yet why had she waited turns to do so? She had come with a dragonrider. Why could she not have come with a dragonrider to the isles and taken her and her sisters off of it? It had been many turns. The wher by her side did not look that old...but nor did it look like it had only reached adulthood. It was a few turns, by her crude estimation. While there was hurt in Larka's heart that she'd hardened so that she could concentrate on her survival, the girl was thoughtful, intelligent and could read people well. She allowed herself to listen to Norla's words, and was able to internalize that while Norla had left, she did not know what she'd been doing while she was gone. Nor what her intent had been. She felt uneasy as the older blond spoke to her. It was a lot to take in. Life with the traders was simple, and not entirely unlike life on the island, were things not so dangerous and more peaceful. She was expected to carry her weight, but she was allowed to do as she pleased, and there was no pressure here. She didn't like to be ignorant. Not knowing how to read nor write was a disadvantage here. If nothing else, Larka had been primed for doing what it took to assure her best chance at survival. Reading and writing, in her estimation, increased her ability to attain what she needed from life on the mainland. Yet it was something the Traders, too, had offered her. What did Norla have to offer her that they did not? She had hardened herself to not be betrayed or hurt by anyone else.

There was no familial loyalty strong enough, in this moment, to make Larka want to take Norla up on her offer. She was silent for minutes that must have certainly felt like candlemarks to Norla, as she considered what would be the best for her at this time. Because this, in the end, was what it came down to. She had to look out for herself. People only let you down, and betrayed you, and at the end, you only had yourself to rely on. That was what life had taught her. Still, she remembered. She had a keen memory and remembered when things were 'not as bad'. Before their mother and father had died. They'd had a shaffit life then, too...but not nearly as. They'd been more of a family, then. She didn't really feel she needed that--not now. Right now, as it was, she had everything she felt she needed. So she was indecisive. In the end, it was the look in Norla's eyes that somehow managed to reach some part of her that she was barely aware of being there. The raw sincerity in those eyes, the unspoken plea...Larka looked away first, inhaling deeply, and looking down at Fell, burying one pale hand in his thick fur. Next she looked to Mablevi and Malik, who had been so good to her, seeking their approval, perhaps? She didn't need it, but they had been better to her, they and the people of this caravan, than anyone she could ever recall. They hadn't had to take her in, nor do all they'd done for her.

"Go with your sister, young one. If it does not prove to your liking, you will always have a place among us." That reassurance, from a woman Larka had come to respect and who had never once spoken an untrue word, decided the dark haired girl. She could come back. It was her choice, and that was important. So, she met Norla's eyes once more, and said in a tone that said she would not back down, "he comes with me." She glanced at Fell, and then back at Norla. If she could not bring Fell, she would not go. No way, even if the dragon itself tried to pry her from the black icehowler.
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