World of Pern
[G] [C] 740.11.16 Wandering thoughts and steps - Printable Version

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740.11.16 Wandering thoughts and steps - A'ryn - 06.Nov.19

Aederyn slowed her pace as she neared the crest of the little hill, allowing the spongy moss-covered trace to cushion her strides and absorb the impact of her feet. Her muscles ached dully, an indicator of the long hours she’d been running. Dawn was coming; the sky was showing slightly greener along the eastern horizon and the shadows played tricks on her eyes. She would reach the station before sunrise, though. Her legs ached with her exertion, but not enough to rightly be called fatigue. She would make it in plenty of time and still in good health. She allowed herself to slow to a walking pace and finally stop as the crest leveled out, shaking out her tired joints and taking in the subtly brightening path ahead. A change in the pre-dawn sky caught her attention, and she watched them as they glided down to where she imagined the Weyr rested in the mountain range on the horizon, a smile playing across her thin lips. Dragons! Too far away to see their colors, but judging by their size she guessed they were either still fairly young or just blues and greens. She could be wrong, though. She was no expert on dragons by any stretch of the imagination. Above her, Rudi chirruped in question before diving down to herd her forward. Aederyn playfully swatted at his brown tail as she pulled her waterskin from where it was strapped against her thigh, swishing and spitting her first small mouthful and swallowing the next. Another few small sips and she put it back, the crisp morning air sending a slight chill down her back. She’d been too idle for too long and the sweat was cooling on her skin. No matter, she would warm up again soon. She patted the message pouch where it rested at the small of her back before lifting her knees into the lope every runner prided themselves on. She could carry this mile-eating pace for days, she sometimes felt. Another hour would do for now, though.

She allowed her mind to wander back to the sight of the dragons, how they blinked into the air from Between, and how gracefully they drifted to their Weyr…she was always hopeful that a run would take her to a Weyr. She loved the feeling she got from being in the presence of those amazing creatures. Sensing the turn her thoughts were taking, Rudi dove at her, chittering plaintively. Aederyn mentally showered him with love and praise, nearly losing her step as her focus flipped to the little brown. She made a mental note to save him a small meatroll from the next station. He did love those things…The sky brightened and she quickened her pace, the trace widening ahead of her as it turned to run parallel to the road.

RE: Wandering thoughts and steps - R'dal - 25.Nov.19

R’dal liked sleeping and especially liked naps, though he did prefer them more when he had someone to snuggle up with. This time, however, he woke alone just like he had fallen asleep hours earlier, but that was okay! Sometimes a nap snuck up and he had to go it alone. But the downside to napping just before the sun set? Rising before the sun did.

He sighed as he sat up in bed, knowing it was still sometime before dawn given how dark his room was but knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep any longer and wondered what he could do. Of course the usual answer was to go for an early morning flight, something he did regularly when he rose before almost everyone but the lowest members in the kitchen that had to start the fires and food prep. He supposed he could go visit them but didn’t want to be in the way. Feeling Edath stir gave R’dal the confidence he needed to crawl out of bed and get dressed for their morning out. He always felt guilty waking Edath when it wasn’t necessary but if the dragon woke on his own, all ideas were fair game.

An hour later saw them both wide awake and dressed for flying as they took off from their ledge. R’dal waved at the watch dragon as they drifted by, Edath giving a greeting and explaining what they were up to. Not that he really had to by that point. R’dal was fairly sure everyone that took turns on the watch knew them and their morning habits well enough to not make a fuss about it. But the one time they didn’t ask would be the time R’dal was actually scooting off to an emergency or about to get himself in trouble. F’drel would say he was always going off and getting into trouble but R’dal was working on that, he really was!

As they circled around lazily above the open fields, R’dal let his mind wander to his new job as a Searchrider, the fight with F’drel, siblings, and anything else that came to mind. He often did that when Edath entertained himself with the gentle soaring as they both took in the beauty of the land with the sun slowly coming up and changing the way everything looked. As Edath circled lower, explaining there were others out and doing the same thing, R’dal noticed a human running in what seemed to be both a hurry and in a weird manner. Maybe something was wrong and a ride on a dragon would speed the trip up and get the help that was required.

Edath brought them down in the clearing away from rocks and obstacles and R’dal strained to look for the person he saw for a moment before they came into view. His vision focused enough to show the runner was a woman and R’dal frowned, worries increasing as he wondered why a woman would need to run at such an early hour, or at all.

“Hello! Are you okay? Do you need some help or a ride somewhere?” R’dal cocked his head to the side as he considered the woman. Maybe she just got up early and liked to run. But not even D’hys ran so quickly when he did his morning routines.

RE: Wandering thoughts and steps - A'ryn - 27.Nov.19


Aederyn stumbled, arms flailing wildly, and barely managed to catch herself. Though, her stride now broken, her steps were heavy and pounding into the trace, carrying her without their previous lightness…not like she cared much with the sight ahead of her. The blue and his rider appeared so quickly and her mind had been focused elsewhere, she hadn’t even noticed them until the rider shouted to her. Absently, she connected the blue’s presence with Rudi’s sudden absence. Did firelizards not like dragons? She dug her heels into the ground, skipping a few paces before skidding to a stop in front of the pair, barely registering the words said.

She stood in absolute awe. She hadn’t seen a dragon on the ground since the hatching five turns before, and even then she had not been THIS CLOSE to one. The beast, no….creature? She struggled to find a word in her head to describe dragons…They were so much more than just animals—the dragon…was more beautiful and more massive and just so much MORE than she remembered dragons to be. Mouth agape, her breaths came in big heaves as she gulped down air. It took a full six seconds before her mind allowed her to process what the rider had said to her.

She shook her head, clearing her thoughts and refocusing her attention. She wasn’t exactly sure how to interact with dragons, or riders, but she was certainly not going to make that obvious. She straightened and bowed from the waist, arms at her back.

“Hello Blue…” her eyes darted to the dragon, and, not knowing his name, she continued and hoped they wouldn’t notice, or if they did they would at least forgive her for it. “…and blue rider…” she swallowed hard, again lost for words. Well…so much for not being awkward. She plowed on. She thanked the Dawn Sisters that she was in such good shape as her breathing had quickly stabilized, and that at least allowed her to appear slightly more calm than she actually was. “Thank you, for your concern. But I am fine. Just running messages. I have a pouch to deliver, and provided the weather stays decent, I should be there within an hour.” Her eyes drifted back to the stunning blue, admiring the sleek, muscled form. How did they fly on such delicate looking wings?! Her voice took on a wistful tone as she continued. “I’m born and bred to running, I couldn’t impose…He really is beautiful…”

Just then her little brown appeared from between, chittering and scolding, catching her hair in his claws before burying himself in her tunic, his eyes tinged with anxious and confused yellow. She reached a hand to his tiny head where it rested against her neck, scratching and soothing the little brown, and smiled timidly at the rider in front of her.

RE: Wandering thoughts and steps - R'dal - 01.Dec.19

R’dal’s concern turned into confusion as the woman explained she was fine and simply running a message. That didn’t make sense. Why was she actually running the message when there were faster options? She even had her own firelizard! Surely he could be trained to bring the letter to someone. Or they could ask a dragonrider if it was really urgent. Or even a horse! They were pretty quick from what he’d seen of them. R’dal frowned and was about to ask her about the options when memories of Rhaedalyn’s stories surfaced. She had mentioned people that would run messages across the land, especially after firelizards and dragons vanished. It was so weird to think of that he ended up having to ask F’drel about it and while he expected his friend to laugh at him for believing a fairy tale, F’drel had ended up confirming such people existed.

His mouth turned into a little o-shape of shock as R’dal realised he was seeing one of these super cool people in person. How lucky was he? “You’re a runner! That’s so cool! I’ve heard about your craft but I’ve never seen it in person.” He was still gawking, trying to think of something to say that wasn’t more gushing or a deluge of questions when he realised he had been horribly rude and didn’t introduce himself. That was due in part to being so used to everyone in the Weyrs knowing who he was but also because he felt weird starting a conversation by announcing his name and rank. But since she was someone he wanted to know more of, it seemed only fair to give some information as well.

“I’m R’dal and this is Edath!” He said by way of introductions as he unbuckled the straps so he could slide down the smooth hide and land beside the big blue. It was only when his feet were on the ground that he recalled F’drel’s lessons about not trusting everyone he met and R’dal suddenly didn’t know what to do. She didn’t seem like she would be a horrible person and he doubted she would use him for her own gain…

He’d just have to carefully question her and make sure she was as cool and normal as he believed!

“You’re not a Lord, right? Or Lady, I guess? I mean, I doubt they’d be running letters so….” It seemed like a safe conclusion to reach, at least, and they seemed like the most evil of evil on the grand scale of things according to his friend so he was already feeling better about the meeting.

RE: Wandering thoughts and steps - A'ryn - 03.Dec.19

Her eyes narrowed and she stared at him as though he had sprouted a second head. There were so many odd things about what he’d just said and she struggled to make sense of them. He’d never seen runners?! Runners have been on the traces of Pern since the First Fall. How could he not have…? And that was cool? A novelty, perhaps, since he had no need of runners, himself, being able to go anywhere he liked on the back of his dragon…so how could such a mundane craft be cool?

”It is nice to meet you, blue Edath and rider R’dal.” Just then it clicked in her mind why he might not have come across others of her craft and she jerked with the realization.

“Oh! You’re new here!” Her shoulders dropped and her eyes seemed to focus on a nonexistent dust mote between the two. “Wait…are you new here? Was that…?” Her eyes darted back and forth in front of her as if literally reading a memory that was spread before her before meeting R’dal’s again. She vaguely recalled something about Dragonriders coming from the southern continent, but she was no more that fourteen when she’d heard about it, and even so, that was only in passing at Fort Station 300 on a run. Her duties seldom took her anywhere near areas that would be frequented by dragons/riders enough to allow for conversation, other than that ONE time she got to witness a Hatching, and that was far too exciting to ask questions of anyone about leaving/returning or anything…She shook her head to clear it and get back on track. “Here, I mean…North. You’re new to the North…” Her furrowed brow and lopsided half-smile created a funny expression. “That’s why you haven’t seen runners…?”

Well, regardless of how familiar he was with runners, she was glad someone appreciated her craft. Other than those who utilized it, few even acknowledged it. Her mouth pursed and puckered as she attempted to contain a snicker… “and I am not a Lady…”

Her…a Lady…? She couldn’t help it anymore and snorted out a laugh at the thought of being mistaken for a Lady. Here she was, in dusty runner trousers and tunic, sweat beading on her brow and running down the back of her neck, hair wild and askew, nothing even close to the picture of an elegant Lady holder in flowing gowns and glittering jewels, fancy slippers on feet. The very idea of herself in such a getup created such a hilarious picture in her mind that she couldn’t hold it back. Her face split into a wide grin and she shook her head, addressing that thought.

“Oh, nonono. Not me. I rarely even run their messages. They’ve usually got horses for that.” She coughed once, stifling her laughter. “Not everyone can afford horses, though. No I’m just running messages for the common folk of Pern.” She bobbled her head a bit at that, showing both an acknowledgement of how silly the craft seems when there are other methods of communication available, but also a sense of pride in it. She bowed again. “Jr. Journeyman runner Aederyn, of runner station 298, on run to station 294. At your service.” Her eyes still danced with the ridiculous image of her as a Lady and she quirked the corner of her mouth, trying to keep a straight face.

RE: Wandering thoughts and steps - R'dal - 06.Dec.19

New here? Oh, in the North. That made more sense than... R'dal didn't know--the planet? He bit his lip to keep from giggling at the idea that he was a visitor from space, maybe sent ahead before the Red Star to scope out the land. That would be a fun story to write! He'd have to remember the idea for later, for now, he had Aederyn whom seemed just as curious about him as he was about her.

"Yep! Well, kind of. It's been about five years since we returned but I don't get out of the Weyr much and it's usually only to the major Holds for a gather or something." He paused, glancing up as he thought about runners and just Northern things in general, then gave a little shrug. "I guess I could have seen a runner before, within a Hold, before they took off but never out in the wild like this. So it's pretty exciting."

R'dal paused in his babbling to watch Edath--the blue seeming to be just as interested in Aederyn as he was, tilting his head this way and that as he watched her. It reminded him oddly of... oh! Do you think she could be a good Candidate? R'dal asked, his thoughts just as excited at the prospect as he currently was speaking with the woman. Perhaps, but I don't think it's what she would want just yet. She's very dedicated to her craft. R'dal gave a nod of understanding to Edath and decided it was best not to tell Aederyn about their conversation, especially since they weren't out on an official Search.

So he focused back on her answer that strongly affirmed she was not a Lady. "Oh good! I've been told I should be careful when meeting new people and sometimes Lords and Ladies can be really mean or sneaky and use you. So I had to make sure." R'dal heard Edath sigh through their bond but ignored the dragon that didn't comment further. He was just doing what F'drel told him to do by being careful!

"Is it against the rules if we offer you a ride to wherever where you're going? I don't want to make you late and we can get something to eat after." R'dal smiled brightly at the idea, hoping she would accept. She was friendly, super cool, and not evil, so he wanted to know more about her.

RE: 740.11.16 Wandering thoughts and steps - A'ryn - 11.Dec.19

To ride on the back of a dragon?! Aederyn had only ever dreamed! She was expected to come running up the trace in less than an hour, by air she didn’t imagine it would take more than a few minutes, less if there was a jump between involved…that thought terrified and thrilled her at the same time, how did that work again? If he had never seen the station…no, it would probably be a straight flight being such a short distance. Hm…this was her final stop along this run as she had no long-distance messages in her pouch that she had to keep moving, she would only be waiting for another pouch to continue her Cross, and that could take days. She briefly considered the ‘rules’ of her craft…get the messages from one place to the next. Don’t open said messages, as they are the property of their sender and recipient. Don’t turn over massages to anyone other than other runners, the recipient, or a headman/headwoman who would be in charge of getting them to their final destinations. So long as the trace wasn’t damaged, and the messages got where they needed to go in a timely manner, she was doing her job.

Her father had rules about where she could and could not run, and though flying on the back of a dragon had never come up, she was sure there was probably something that said she shouldn’t…

All f this darted trough her mind in the span of two heartbeats. Rules be damned, she was going to fly! She grinned broadly, eyes wide, and shook her head, the curls that had escaped her headband flying about her face. “Not against any rules that I know of!” Which was more or less true…her father’s rules were separate from that of the Craft, and any repercussions she might face from this would be absolutely worth it, anyway. When would she ever get this amazing opportunity again?

Rudi chittered at her, peeking his head out from her tunic and nipping at her ear. She could sense his nervous excitement and sent soothing, happy thoughts his way. The little brown eyed the blue, flitting out from Aederyn’s shirt and swooping about in front of the much larger dragon, apprehensive and wary, yet respectful and even curious. Aederyn took that as all the reassurance she needed, and her already wide grin broadened. “That would be amazing!”

RE: 740.11.16 Wandering thoughts and steps - R'dal - 11.Dec.19

Edath watched the firelizard, holding still as the little creature examined him. He was used to the creatures and didn’t mind them, though normally they were used to him as well. This one seemed hesitant and wasn’t sure what to make of him, likely due to the size difference. He sent out waves of comfort to the little brown, promising he was harmless, and bobbed his head in greeting.

R’dal smiled at their interaction and gave Edath a pat to his side for his manners before turning an even brighter smile on Aederyn. “Awesome!” He was super happy that she had agreed to a ride! He’d been a bit worried he was being rude by offering since he didn’t know the rules and runners, or at least this one, seemed to take a lot of pride in her work. He didn’t want to offend her by making her job a little easier because he wanted to keep chatting with her.

“I’ll show you how to climb up and help you as well,” R’dal did his best to slowly climb up Edath, the blue hunkering down a bit lower to make it easier for Aederyn when her turn came about. He was so used to the mounting up, though, that it almost seemed harder when he stopped to think about it. With a chuckle, he said as much, and then scurried up normally before nodding at what he did and came back down to repeat with slower movements.

Then he was helping his new friend up, grinning proudly when she was settled in. Remembering his first time atop a dragon—though he was a lot younger and smaller then as he rode his dad’s dragon—R’dal gave Aederyn a moment to soak in the experience and make sure she was comfortable before finally speaking again. “Tell us when you’re ready and we’ll take off. It’s pretty smooth, but it might be a bit scary the first time, but I got you! And then just let Edath know the way and we’ll be there in no time.”

RE: 740.11.16 Wandering thoughts and steps - A'ryn - 16.Dec.19

Aederyn watched with rapt attention as the rider attempted to explain how to mount up, smiling a bit at his struggle. He mounted, dismounted, and mounted again, and she made a mental note of hand and foot placement each time. She wouldn’t want to harm Edath with an ill-placed foot!

She made quick work of mounting up herself, easily settling in behind the rider. Not immediately seeing any kind of hand-hold for passengers, she wrapped her arms securely but (she hoped) still respectfully and not too tightly around his waist, and flexed the muscles in her legs that were in contact with the blue, making sure her grip wasn’t based solely on holding on to R’dal.

“Okay, I’m ready.” She pursed her lips together and forced herself to breathe slowly and deeply through her nose. Her heart skipped faster as she felt Edath gather himself, the muscles in his neck and shoulders rippling under his two passengers. With a speed that she expected yet was still somehow entirely unprepared for, the dragon launched himself skyward, pumping his powerful wings and lifting them higher.

Aederyn gasped and tears came unbidden to her eyes as they were stung by the sudden rush of air whipping past. Nevertheless, she kept them open and blinked the tears back. She didn’t want to miss a moment of this experience. In the span of just a few blinks, they were higher off the ground than she had ever been.

The view was absolute spectacular. Never in her life had Aederyn even hoped to see such a sight. The clouds above filtered the rising sun in a subdued, watery light, shadows dancing across the land below. The mossy runner trace stood out vibrant against the more muted scrubby grass, a bright green ribbon winding around the rises and dips until it faded and disappeared into the distance.

“Whoo-hoo!” Aederyn released R’dal with one arm, lifting the hand skyward, fingers spread as if to catch the wind. She grinned broadly and laughed, watching Rudi swoop and dive beside them. She savored the moment and did her best to etch it into her memory forever, before getting her bearings. She followed the trace in both directions she could see and picked out the landmarks she’d already passed. She pointed.

“That way, beyond that rise! Two hills over! The station is built facing the other way, and off the trace a bit. It’s built right into the hillside, too. The station master painted a sizable boulder the same orange as our headbands and put it up top so it would stand out and nobody would miss it and run past then have to double back!”

RE: 740.11.16 Wandering thoughts and steps - R'dal - 16.Dec.19

R'dal giggled at Aederyn's reaction to everything from the takeoff to the excitement at being in the air. He had a moment of panic when he felt one arm leave the grasp around him, thinking she was either falling or maybe going to be sick or something but her cheer made him laugh even more and relax again. He had total faith in Edath to keep them steady and not go too fast or too high where it might become riskier for a second passenger that wasn't dressed for it and let the dragon take the lead with the directions they were given. Since he was just being a passenger as well, R'dal took the time to see the view as Aederyn might, taking it all in for the first time, seeing things she was probably familiar with at ground level in a whole new way. It reminded him a bit of his first outings in the North and seeing a whole new land for the first time. He was really happy he could bring such joy to someone.

Edath found the landmarks easily enough and circled around it, finding the best place to land. Too close often meant startling someone and risked injury so he found an open space large enough for him to comfortably land several lengths away from the station and made his descent, landing softly. "I never noticed that boulder before. But now I'm gonna keep an eye out for other landmarks like it. That's so cool!" R'dal pointed to the orange rock in question, eyes bright with his own excitement still. Runners had really thought of everything and their craft seemed to be more intricate than he thought. He'd have to ask her more about it sometime and maybe take her flying again.

He helped her down and stood beside her a moment later, staring at the station. He had mentioned having breakfast together but seeing the building now, R'dal felt like he'd be intruding and didn't want to put anyone out or make an enemy because he waltzed in looking for food. So he uninvited himself. "I guess you should finish your task and I should get back to the Weyr. Everyone will be waking soon and I like to offer my amazing dish washing services to the breakfast staff sometimes."

R'dal was trying to figure out how they could keep in touch, when the firelizard buzzed into his view again and he mentally slapped himself. Duh! "If he's trained," he nodded to the firelizard that seemed to have relaxed a bit around Edath now, "you can send me a message with him any time so we can keep in touch or visit, even if you aren't in Fort region." He hoped she would want to! He had so much more to ask her about her craft and just in general since she seemed like a fun person--and safe. R'dal was confident she wasn't going to do anything to hurt or use him either.

RE: 740.11.16 Wandering thoughts and steps - A'ryn - 16.Dec.19

A mild tinge of disappointment caused Aederyn’s smile to falter for just a moment, but it was outshone by the amazing experience she had just been gifted. She had hoped to share a meal with this interesting young rider, and spend some more time around the phenomenal Edath, but that would have to wait until another time… She grinned again, happy that he seemed to want to keep in touch. She was around this area frequently, and even if not, dragons and firelizards could blink themselves Between and be wherever they wanted in a heartbeat. Distance, while very much a part of her life and craft, meant nothing to someone who was lucky enough to ride a dragon. She made a mental note to find one of the small leather message pouches or tubes that were used for firelizards at the next gather she attended. She and Rudi had some training to refresh.

“Absolutely!” She nodded once, still smiling. “I’ll be around here for a day or two at least, feel free to stop and say hello if you see me on the traces. And I run through here often enough.” Her light attitude started to fade for a moment, replaced with nervousness to ask her next question. She bit her lip. “Maybe, if I have a day or two when I’m not running, I could run up to they Weyr and visit? I can make myself useful in the kitchens or running errands…” her only real exposure to Weyr life had been that one Hatching five turns before, and that was so chaotic she had no idea if it was any kind of true Weyr representation. She wasn’t sure how they reacted to visitors from outside the Weyr, especially with R’dal’s wariness of Lords and Ladies… She shrugged a shoulder to blow off her own question, halfway regretting having asked. “Eh, whatever. I’ll send Rudi to say hello from time to time to brush up on his training, if that’s okay. And messages when he’s ready. We’ll definitely keep in touch! And thanks again for the ride!”

She bowed again, her curls tossed wildly about, and started up the trace toward the station.