K’brin: Chapter 5, Journal 3 – Contingency
- I was deeply surprised by how normal things were when I returned to Ista Weyr. When I mentioned this to L’nos in private, he laughed and said that I was lucky. He thought that ‘Zana was just about the perfect woman for my first open mating flight: young, attractive, energetic, and not at all possessive or clingy. He grew very serious when I mentioned that I had already agreed to return to Benden Weyr for the next one, and whistled softly when I admitted that I had already agreed to try for a child – as soon as I can spare her from Faranth’s Wing for a whole Turn.
- Remembering my talk with G’mar, I wrote ahead to Lord Bernando of Lemos Hold and received permission to visit any time before Turnover. L’nos went with me, so it looked like a casual visit instead of a personal one.
- Lemos was absolutely beautiful dusted with snow and limned in ice, and multiple colorful pennons hung from the Hold’s walls, signifying that they had many visitors for Turnover.
- Lady Elvora greeted us when we arrived and escorted us to a nice outdoor patio with a roaring fire, brocade pillows, and a discreet guard to keep people out.
- Lord Bernando made polite conversation for a few minutes and then excused himself to speak with other arriving guests. Lady Elvora immediately seized this opportunity to discuss matters that her husband could not speak about because of an oath he took.
- A Lord Holder recently came into possession of some alarming information. They offered to share it with the other Lord Holders if and only if they swore a vow of secrecy. Lord Bernando, like many of the other Lord Holders, had agreed.
- Lady Elvora made me swear a similar oath of secrecy, since what she was about to tell me was strictly a Hold matter: The Lord Holders were, indeed, building siege engines in preparation for war. Not against the Weyrs or even each other, though, but against an enemy they had discovered on the Southern Continent.
- Lord Bernando thought that this information should come to me because he is loyal to the Weyrs, and because the latest catapult design is nicknamed the ‘dragonkiller’. A man named M’can (formerly of Ista Weyr), now Mordecan, is helping Lord Valkran develop projectiles that will very effectively knock a dragon out of the sky. An example of this is a catapult that throws up burning salt that sticks to everything it touches. Their primary strategy is to wound/damage a Dragon’s wings, forcing it to the ground, and then hit it with other, more hard-striking weapons once it’s vulnerable.
- The Lord Holders have found something on the Southern Continent that they want defended – apparently from other dragonmen not of the Weyrs – and they don’t want the Weyrs involved. Probably because they know that we’ve been withholding information from them.
- The Lord Holders are constructing ships in the large lake of Southern Telgar, and then sailing them down the river in the spring. The soldiers and weapon teams that they are training will essentially be exiled there, indicating that whatever has been found is extremely important.
- The Lord Holders have been sworn to never, ever use these new siege engines on one another because they completely destroy structures – which could leave people Holdless during Threadfall. This is completely unacceptable.
- Lady Elvora emphasized that war is the purview of the Holds, not the Weyrs and certainly not the Halls. I only have to keep the Weyrs calm – now that they know they’re in no danger – until Spring, when Harper Hall will eventually figure out that something is going on when many people go missing for the expedition.
- I reluctantly agreed with her plan, realizing that there was little that Harper Hall could do – and that the Weyrs have neither the numbers nor the training for real war.
- “Let the Harpers send diplomats to calm us down, and in the Spring we can pretend to give up on our dreams of expansion.”
- “I am seldom surprised by people in my line of work, Lady Elvora. And I have to say that I am impressed. I would not want to be your enemy.” “Coming from a man like you, Wingleader K’brin, I take that as high praise indeed.”
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