Kebrin: Chapter 1, Episode 1 – The Cormorant

heraldry-craft-harperWARNING: Other players should not read Chapter 1 posts until Chapter 2.

Music:  Chapter One – The Adventure Begins

Sunset came early to Ista Weyr in the springtime. The days were still short and relatively cool. The five sheer peaks on the western ridge rose up into a beautiful gold and amber sky like a crown, casting the massive bowl of the blasted volcano into shadow.

Kebrin had a perfect view from an abandoned weyr on the northeastern face, a hundred feet off the ground. It was one of the few weyrs on that side with stairs to the lower caverns. With only fifty one dragons at Ista, the majority of them stood empty.

The lip of the entrance was worn smooth except for parallel ruts caused by a thousand Turns of landing dragon claws. Kebrin had to watch his step. He also had to keep quiet, lest Headwoman Norilla discover children were exploring the heights again. Her two firelizards, green Agate and blue Bolt, were little spies.

In the bowl below, a pair of herders drove a few dozen nervous herdbeasts into the spacious corral adjacent to the plateau. They had plenty of room to run. The corral was meant to hold a hundred bovines.

To the southeast, lazy waves rolled in from the bay, crashing against the beach with a relaxing, rhythmic sound. Sea birds circled above the tide pools, looking for an easy meal.

The serenity was broken by a short trumpet from the watch rider at the starstones. “Visitors”, the sound declared, but not adragonback. Kebrin hurried down to the tunnels and exited through the gates to the plateau.

A strong wind was blowing. Barely visible on the horizon, Kebrin noticed the large canvas sails of a ship. As it drew closer, he could just make out an orange and white pennant, the heraldry of Ista Hold. It was still half an hour from docking but it was definitely heading for the Weyr.

Of all the people who might know why, the easiest to approach was Garoway, the Weyr’s Senior Journeyman Harper.

Though Kebrin wasn’t sure who his father was and his mother had left the Weyr when he was very young, he had no shortage of mentors. Amongst all the men who spent time raising him, Garoway was the most like a real father.

Garoway had a Hispanic look to him — brown skin, black curly hair that was short on the sides and shoulder length in the back, bushy eyebrows, brown eyes with expressive wrinkles, a prominent nose, a neatly groomed painters brush mustache, and a surprisingly athletic build for a man 65-turns old. His sharp wit was only surpassed by the seemingly endless number of songs he could play on the guitar.

Surely, he heard the dragon’s call. With any luck, Garoway would be making his way to the Great Hall.

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