Ninth Month of 1,265
To-Do List from K’brin at Wing meeting:
- Loan “Hollow Things” book to Harpers for them to examine and copy.
- Look into making our own gel/oil based on what we saw in Carindas. It can’t be flammable. Look for plants we can use, get ‘Zana to help on the other end of things.
- Check in with S’lina about what she knows, in case it’s something that concerns us.
- Research illness that afflicts those who fail the test at the Shrine of Landarfal – go to Healer Hall Library.
K’brin offered those in the Wing from other Weyrs an opportunity to go home after our ordeal in Carindas. Most took him up on the offer, also bringing with them reports written up about the observations and discoveries we made. It was very similar to the report the Wing made to the Istan Weyrleaders after we’d had a day off to rest and tend to personal business. For instance, the candidate pools being smaller and how candidates are essentially forced on dragons. The bond is therefore not as tight and the riders often have to mentally push their will on dragons, who can balk at orders given.
During the next two sevendays, while members of the Wing were back in their home Weyrs, I spent my time constantly doing one thing or another. Going out and looking for plants that could serve as a flame retardant coat for our dragons’ hide, spending quality time with Selenath (and dear River, who was wondering where I went; I just showed him some random image of Pern, because firelizards are awful gossips) when I could, and talking to S’lina. She confided that Lirfeth told her Seliana is pregnant. My heart just about stopped hearing that. It was wonderful news, but… oh, the timing. There’s no telling how this news will affect him. With the twins, it was “Surprise, you have seven-Turn-olds!” I promised S’lina I wouldn’t tell K’brin and really, it’s not my place to tell him. Seliana may not even be sure she’s expecting yet. Perhaps when we return from Galatia, I’ll stop by and check on her.
Everyone in Faranth’s Wing was back for the next big surprise. B’dir came over to the Wing’s table for the evening meal one night and it comes out that he’ll be joining the Wing next Turn, once he gets trained up in all the various skills and knowledge specific to our mission. I like B’dir, he’s one of the brown riders who can be called upon to handle the more difficult tasks a Weyr might face. I’d trust him to have my back if things went dreadfully wrong, and he and K’brin have been close as brothers for Turns.
Before we left for Galatia, I did find a plant that with ‘Zana’s help, could be made into a gel we could use on the dragons. It goes on very, very cold, and burns off eventually, but it is close enough to what they had in Carindas. I also did some initial research into the illness at the Shrine, but it’s slow going. There’s just not much easily found on the symptoms Findmar described, and I can’t just hand the searching off to a random Journeyman. They would ask questions, things would get awkward, rumors would start, it would be a mess.
Another phrenium stone was cut for mental defense and given to L’nos. K’rin said he was bothered by his getting targetted by the Sakarian queen on our hasty return back to Pern and this will give him confidence as we prepare to head back. I don’t blame him, I doubt any of the Wing does.
Things to keep in mind in Galatia:
- Don’t mention Findmar (he’s an Oracle, that’s not something every LK knows).
- Don’t mention the Shrine of Landarfal or Woodgate.
- Journey to Galatia took 1 minute, 35 seconds (it was 1 minute for Carindas).
- Come out of between to see thinner, narrower cone shaped trees, many little ridges and hills, land looks more cultivated.
- Wattle and daub constructed buildings, brick, plaster, arches, covered walkways, interlocking tile roofs.
- Cythera is in crook of river, bridges on either side, vineyards.
- See many women with colorful clothing, head coverings (Shindra tells us they’re for modesty) and scarves common.
- Children are running to keep up with shadows of dragons, vs hiding in houses like Carindas.
- Dozen people meet us in open field we land in. Mayor Ottokar, man in 60’s, greets us. Offers to build the dragons fire to warm them up, a few are showing worse signs of hypothermia.
- We’re ‘from Norseter stronghold off the coast’ when asked.
- LK Shindra our contact here. Her house has Harper blue shutters. The inside has many metal objects, even wall art, tile flooring, curvy furniture. Shindra is in her 70’s, when we tell her the Book sent us here, she seems fascinated, not overwhelmed like the younger Findmar.
- She keeps ‘songbirds’ from Kirengar in cages, they have very LONG tails.
- Silfium flowers aren’t found in the village, we will need an Alchemist. Won’t draw attention this way. They’re hard to cultivate.
- Shindra has a friend, Novandal, in the larger village of Idalia. The people there are secretive and special, she won’t elaborate how.
- She says there’s a famous music school in Galatia.
- Leave at night to fly straight to Idalia, Shindra flies with L’nos. Takes several hours. The town is built over a hill, next to a cliff. Large waterfall splits it in half.
- Land on large open pavilion. Many wind chimes and fountains all around. K’brin notices they’re musically tuned.
- Novandal doesn’t live in Uptown (High Town is the proper name). Shindra hasn’t been to Idalia in several Turns’
- Young man in 20’s with a genuine smile approaches us, Mayor Stildon. Shindra says we’ve hired her to do research. He’s hoping we’ll do some trade here. We do go to Market to trade some of our goods for interesting and unusual local items. I find a metal hairbrush, K’brin finds something that indicates North at all times.
- During stay here, the Wing will stay in something called an Inn. It has many rooms, and is decorated like a hunting lodge.
- Novandal is man in his late 70’s.
- Try to use sense his emotional state and discover… I have no Talent, I can’t access it at all. K’brin confirms it’s the same for him.
- Novandal very helpful, says we need to go to Capella in the early morning, because the fields the Silfium flowers are grown in are private. We’ll take what we need and bring them back to Idalia so he can turn them into what we need.
- Novandal gives us details on how to prepare the various ingredients for the Elixir:
- Sword of crystal 15” long, 4” diameter, no impurities.
- Silfium plant is giant yellow fennel, hollow stalk, golden leaves, ball shaped clusters of yellow flowers, thick roots covered in black bark. Up to 6’, are toxic to herdbeasts. 50 lb. bale = 1 lb. final product.
- 3 7” fire pearls.
- 6 feathers from adult, male Saiyena bird, long feathers.
- K’brin and I come across three musicians playing music with flutes and lyre. Man, Becatos, offers flute to K’brin when he says he’s a musician and he plays with them awhile. Gifts him his worn book of training music later, something I know he deeply appreciates. Becatos escorts the two ladies he was playing with home after guards mention it’s past curfew.