T’ria: Chapter 5, Journal 34 – Departing, Returning

Tenth Month of 1,266

  • I saw K’brin and T’grim exchange words, and then scarred each other’s arms. They looked emotional and I quickly guessed that K’brin had asked T’grim to be his brother. 
  • I pulled the bead bracelet I’d had made for ‘Mala in Chonlam from my saddlebags after some digging and went over to her. I’d thought to give it to her and ‘Zana together when we were back home, but my plans had suddenly changed. After I explained the meaning of the colors I’d chosen, she looked me directly in the eyes and said, “Do right by L’nos, he loves you a lot more than you deserve.” 
    • I was shocked by her bluntness and wanted to challenge her statement, but I just couldn’t. It was true that I had been unfairly using L’nos when it was convenient to me and not treating him as a proper weyrmate. I told her firmly that I would, and we hugged before I went off to find L’nos and give him a kiss, not caring who saw.
  • Garaam approached the group to say goodbye.  Following behind him was a young man of around 15 Turns. He asked K’brin to take the youth, his son Sanli, with us back to Pern. He explained that Sanli was a dragonhealer, but wasn’t hard enough to kill, and conflict was surely coming. Garaam explained his hope that Sanli could live on Pern and never have to draw his blade. Perhaps he could even stand the sands one day.
  • K’brin, having become friends with Garaam over our time in Thusdo, could not refuse the request. He agreed to take Sanli with us, who was set up to ride with ‘Zana. I went over to try and give him some tips for holding his breath on the trip between. It would be hard enough for the Wing and we had trained for it.
  • A big crowd of well over 100 people assembled to see us off. Queen Daiyu, Princess Siri, and many bronze riders were among them.
  • There was a large lit fire that we were told would burn until our return
  • Curiously, I noted that Princess Siri’s hair was up in a bun, signaling to all that she was taken. I nudged L’nos and pointed it out to him but he seemed unbothered by it. 
  • With some fanfare, we eventually took off and braced ourselves for the long trip back. After what seemed like forever, but was really about two and a half minutes, we all appeared over Great Isle! All of us made it home. I exhaled gratefully when I counted the dragons, who were so cold, they left contrails in the air behind them.
  • I spotted three riders on the ground, S’lina and K’ton along with one other.  We landed and people quickly approached to help us, because our gear was nearly frozen from the long trip between
  • T’lac of Benden approached us and declared that he needed to report back. As he left, he gave ‘Zana a hard look. What that was about, I could only begin to imagine.
  • S’lina approached me with questions, after she saw Selenath forcefully shoulder aside a dragon that had moved too close to her. The woman, who noticed everything, didn’t fail to notice Selenath’s injuries and wanted to know what had been going on.  I tried to put her off with vague suggestions of having encountered dangers we couldn’t talk about yet.
  • It wasn’t too long before a bronze and a young gold arrived, Senesta and B’ran. Seliana was riding with Senesta and was very glad to see K’brin and the rest of us back.
  • As word of our return spread, a whole gaggle of firelizards looking to many different people started showing up. Liviath, looking slightly off color, also arrived, along with most of the command staff of Ista Weyr. G’mar was not among them. We were told he had stayed behind to hold off half of the Weyr showing up.
  • Liviath’s eyes were swirling red.  My fears over Selenath re-adjusting to Pern and how we would explain her (and Valenth’s) skiutes came to the fore. I quietly approached K’brin, to let him know that S’lina had noticed Selenath’s injuries and ask how we’d deal with the questions they would raise. He demonstrated his fairly quick solution – using his Talent to make them disappear for the time being.
  • We spent three days recovering, getting Sanli as adjusted as we could, and making sure Valenth and Selenath were kept further away from the other dragons. 
  • I finally did what I should have done long ago and openly treated L’nos as a weyrmate. We had many talks in the quarters we were sharing on Great Isle, and I think that it served to bring us closer together.
  • At the end of three days, we were welcomed back to Ista Weyr with much fanfare. I let out a sigh of relief when the distinctive vistas of Ista appeared before me. I was home.
  • Selenath made straight for her weyr because it had lost much of her scent over her long absence. I set about acquiring basic clothes for Sanli, including something suitable for the feast being planned for that evening. He worried that the casual items I picked out were not fine enough for someone of his station and offered to pay if it was a money issue. I assured him what I picked was more than adequate, not wanting to get into the fact that we don’t have the same societal structures on Pern that he’s used to. The poor lad had to adjust enough already.
  • L’nos made sure quarters were cleaned out and prepared for Sanli.
  • K’brin’s kids, I found out, had been sent away to Ruatha because they were starting to pick up on the increasing tension suffusing the Weyr during our long absence.
  • That evening, we had a massive feast on the beach to celebrate our successful return. We caught up on some of the things that had gone on while we were away, like the fact that Oswina married! 
  • Faranth’s Wing made sure to toast the three we left behind, and while huddling with L’nos, I looked up into the dark sky full of stars and hoped they would be alright until the next time we could return to Varlada.
  • It was good to be home.
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