The sun was beginning to splash reds and purples across the sky; settling to end the day. Not far from where I sat, dozens of people graced the dance floor, swaying slowly in time to a slow love ballad played by the Harpers.
Kielac's Lord Holder Oran's eldest daughter had married Sanjoral, heir to Holder Mejolin of Two River. The ceremony had been beautiful; Keyanki's wedding gown was the traditional vivid red, and was decorated with shining glass beads from collar to hem. I didn't want to think about how many marks were spent on that dress -- but I hear dragonrider J'rin was the only one that worked on it. Of course, he had been born at Two River, and everyone there knew of his prowess. My sister is one of Keyanki's best friends, and stood with her at the wedding.
It was a big deal affair, and everything had to be perfect. The feast was beautiful -- three removes of elegant and savory dishes, and slices of the towering ivory-frosted wedding cake for dessert. After that, the dancing had begun. Sanjoral swung his bride lovingly around the dance floor. He and Keyanki looked so happy together -- and so in love, unlike other couples of arranged marriages. Oran danced with his daughter, and Lady Rehlla with her son... and then the wedding party danced, and then the married couples. I was sure they'd never open that dance floor!
I was sitting at the table -- alone! at a wedding for children of two Lords, for the love of little green dragons! -- with my arms crossed in front of me. Yet another song began, and I had no partner. Discouraged, I lay my head on my arms and just sat there. The song was good -- anyone with the talent to carry half a tune could and would sing along as they danced or stood on and watched. I liked the song, and often helped lead it, though I've no more training than a first year apprentice harper, but I wasn't singing. I wasn't feeling cheery enough. I heard someone approach, but didn't look up. There was a feather-soft touch on my shoulder -- whoever it was, they were hesitant to touch me. I ignored them. With a little more courage, they tapped my shoulder again. "What?" I mumbled, nestling my face into my arms, the greeny-blue fabric of the sleeves of my gown muffling my voice.
"M'lady," the soft voice said. "I hate to disturb you thusly, but there is someone who'd like to see you down at the landing." The landing? I looked up, straight at the senior apprentice harper who'd been sent to find me. I found myself lost in the depths of his calm stormy-grey eyes. "I was sure you'd be out dancing -- I almost didn't find you." he said, taking my hand to lead me. I got out of my chair, and floated dreamlike behind him. Those eyes...
In the landing field sat Scith, one of the blue searchdragons from Ryslen. All of Ryslen's Searchdragons are blue... but nonethe less, there he sat. Emboldened by... I'm not sure what, I walked right up to that dragon, and scratched his eyeridges. The blue whuffled at me softly, and J'lenn, his rider, smiled. "Glad y' could join us." he said with his southern sounding accent.
"My pleasure, Rider." I replied, my manners much improved. I'd not meant to be so rude to the handsome young apprentice -- I was expecting my younger sister. No turning back, it was done, and he... was gone.
J'lenn was grinning at me, and I wasn't too sure why until Scith prodded me with his blunt snout again. "What was that for?" I asked, mock scoldingly.
J'lenn laughed. "Ol' Scith here says you've the makings of a fine dragonrider." I was floored. "If'n you like, we'll take y' to the Weyr once the Wedding-Gather is over. Wouldn't do to go skipping out on the festivities." J'lenn said.
I couldn't talk, I was so surprized. Finally I got some words out of my mouth. "Which Weyr?" I asked lamely, cursing my lack of something elegantly cool to say. Everyone else seems to have rehearsed their I've-just-been-Searched speecch a hundred times, and I said something lame.
"Where are my manners?" J'lenn chided himself. "Scith and I will be glad to take you to Silvermoon Weyr." he ammended.
Silvermoon?! Silvermoon Weyr!? I couldn't believe my fortune. Searched for Silvermoon Weyr! "I'd be delighted to accompany you to the Weyr, good Rider. " I said, finally feeling in control of myself again, though my heart still raced.
J'lenn smiled, and offered me his arm. "Let us go and make arrangements with your family, then." he said. I was sure my sister would hate me for this one. I took his arm, and off we went.
My parents had these really exotic looks of surprise on their faces when I appeared escorted by a Dragonrider. "Brylina?" My father said, asking (by merely saying my name) what I wanted.
I took a deep breath. It seemed so unreal! "Da, Mother -- J'lenn has invited me to attend Silvermoon Weyr's next hatching. He's promised me a very good vantage point -- right by the eggs. Says I need some heavy boots..." I couldn't help but smile. I was feeling rather silly. Adreniline can do that. J'lenn was trying not to laugh, I swear. He'd not said that, but...
My father slowly rose from his chair. "My baby; Searched at Heir Sanjoral's Wedding Feast..." he said, astonished and proud. Mother lept from her chair, crushing me in and uncharactaristically enthusiastic embrace. It was no surprise that they let me go, and by the time the Gather was ending, everyone knew, and the Lords Mejolin and Oran had personally wished me luck. It was very odd, almost dreamlike in it's unreal nature. The only part that convinced me it was real was the look on my sister's face -- and that the grey-eyed harper never reappeared. That bothered me most -- I so wanted to apollogize for my rude behavior... I hope he'll forgive me.
I'm beginning to believe in love at first sight... I've seen this Harper around the Hold, but didn't realize how I felt about him until I looked in his eyes... but now I've been Searched, and my well never see him again. I nearly perish at the thought...
There was a gasp from the hallway, and he grey-eyed Harper looked up just in time to see a young woman with wide hips and shoulders -- a true hourglass figure -- with brown hair that fell in slight waves to the middle of her back. He knew her face shown with an inner beauty when she smiles, and that her greenish-blue eyes were usually wide with curiousity, and twinkled just so. At 5'8" tall, she was hard to miss; and yet before he could react, she ran off. It had been startling to see how she'd described him; but now he was embarrassed to have been caught reading her journal, and she was embarrassed to have written it at all.
With a deep and heavy sigh, the new Journeyman took out hte message hide he'd penned in case she wasn't to be found. It was no use trying to chase down the heartbroken girl -- she wouldn't listen, and he was too soft-hearted to yell. She was lost.
The note was brief, but well-worded, telling her of his promotion, iminent posting, and promising to write. It was emotionally neutral, and Delrion couldn't leave it thus. Taking up her discarded quill, he wrote:
If ye can ever again bear to see my face
despite my rather unwanton disgrace
know that whether your dragon's gold, green or blue
forever I'll be in love with you.
Slowly, the disheartened harper walked from the room. This his biggest failure yet.
At 5'11" tall, with long legs, Delrion was slim, but not fragile. He wore his long straw-brown hair tied back with a leather thong. Usually clothed in black, his sandy skin looked less pale, instead of more. Donning his hat, he strode out of Brylina's small room, and down the corridor. A rider turned the corner just then.
"Why the long face, lad?"
Delrion sighed heavily. "The love of my life just slipped through my fingers." The rider only nodded. A trauma like that could ruin a harper's writing for quite a while.
"If it'd cheer you up, I've just been informed that you're off to the Weyr."
"Searched!?" Delrion exclaimed, thunderstruck. He was a journeyman harper, how could he be a candidate? Sure, he was young for a journeyman, only 20, but...
"Searched. Nothin' more." D'run said, crossing his arms against his chest as he leaned against the wall. Delrion had come along with D'run to Silvermoon Weyr, unposted, to see Brylina, and tell her. Of course, that hadn't worked out.
Delrion put 2 and 2 together and came up with 4, finally. "They let me out, unposted, with all my gear because I was Searched, not because they couldn't decide where to post me." he said. D'run nodded. "Why those sneaky..." Delrion said, torn between being angry for being triced, or laughing. "So where am I Standing? here?" he asked, hopeful.
"Well, if you don't impress at Lasair, I'll be more than glad to bring you back here Delrion, but harper-candidates are a hot comodity -- they always seem to Impress right away." D'run said. "Shall we be off then?" the bluerider asked, gesturing back down the corridor the way he'd come.
Delrion looked the way Brylina had run with a heavy sigh. "Let's go." he said with a heavy heart. Searched now, and no way to tell herp
Brylina, expecting to be chased, had only rounded the corner before she stopped, and sat, silent tears streaming down her face. She heard every word; Delrion lovedher? and he was Searched? Dashing the tears from her eyes, she stood, and dusted off her dress. She went back around the corner, but alas, they were already gone.
She returned to her room, to get the apron she'd been coming to get when she'd spied Delrion. Finding the message he'd left for her, shea sat on her bed to read it. Tears came anew, and the candidate girl had to fight them back. She'd be reprimanded for not returning swiftly as it was. Crying now would only make her later.
Delrion settled in quickly at Lasair. It was a very nice place, and harpering duties took the place of some (but not all) of the usual candidate chores. However, no matter how busy Delrion kept, he was still upset about Brylina. Days went by, and the eggs got harder and harder, and yet, no word. D'run had said he'd tell her, but...
Delrion did his work, and didn't waste a moment; always attentive and helpful, though his every waking moment was filled with thoughts of her
Delrion's story continues Brylina's Story Continues