The rooms on the south side of the craft-hall dorms at Kielac were all alike in shape, size, and basic furnishings. One room however, was vastly different. This room belonged to Giini.
Originally from Two River Hold, Giini was a natural gardener - anything she put her hand to grew healthily, but only on a small scale. The hold's herb garden flourished when she tended it, but a field of grain was beyond her skill. At 14, Giini began to show an unusual curiousity towards all-things-harper, and at the insistance of the harpers at Two River, she was packed up and sent off to train.
Quite early on, the people at Kielac learned to let Giini have a room to herself. Other harpers were quite uncomfortable with Giini's jungle of plants. Every flat space in her room (with the majority of the desk as an exception) held two or three potted plants, if not more. Many of these were of the leafy-vine variety, or the long-leafed type that looked like a large (and green) gossamer spinner. Some of the plants bloomed, and others did not. This was Giini's comfortable spot.
Now, at just 18, Giini was well towards reaching Journeyman level, and was often sent out on special assignment by Lord Oran or one of the Masters. Her skill with plants made her a valuable resource; one the hall wasn't going to give up without a fight.
Giini was 5'7" tall, and quite athletic in build. She had short dark hair -- not too short, but just barely long enough to wear up -- and wide hazel-green eyes. Her skin was a deep golden tan, whether from sun or genetics, it didn't matter. Giini wasn't exactly beautiful, but her trim figure attracted admiration from men and women alike.
This bright sunny afternoon found Giini leisurely reading one of a few old records she had dug up about raising desert-dwelling plants in wetter conditions. There was a way, but it had been out of use for centuries. It involved keeping the plants in tightly sealed containers and...
A knock at the door startled Giini away from her research. She looked up. "Can I help you, Rider?" she asked, politely, sitting up.
"They say you're the plant expert around here." J'rin said, looking around the room. "They weren't kidding." he added, smiling.
"I'm no expert." Giini said, walking over to him. "Giini, Senior Apprentice, and plant lover, at your service."
J'rin looked closer at the girl. "Greeny?" he said incredulously. "You've grown quite a bit since I saw you last!"
Giini grinned. "Jayrin!" she exclaimed, hugging him. "I mean, J'rin..." she corrected herself. "I'ven't seen you in ages! It's about time you came to visit."
"I've been sortof busy. Keeping Amitath clean, fed, and happy is a full time job." The blue said something to his rider, that made J'rin laugh. "Actually, I'm looking for a plant to give Maiahn..."
"I heard she's to Stand at Alabaster." Giini said, interrupting.
"Yes, but her dragon has yet to shell itself." J'rin said, looking among the foliage. "What I'm looking for is one of those purple-veined vines that grows only in the warm season up North... It's dead this time of year, and..."
Giini picked up a pot. "It's a perennial, J'rin, not an annual. It's merely dormant in the winter."
J'rin took one look at the plant in her hand and knew it was the right one. "That's it!" he exclaimed.
Nayta set the pot down on her desk, and drew her beltknife. "Whoa Giini! I'm not going to steal it!" J'rin exclaimed, holding out both palms in a nonagressive manner. Giini laughed and cut a section of tendril about eight inches long from the plant. She tied it in a loose knot, and deposited it in J'rin's open hand.
"Set that in a dish of water for a few days until it sprouts roots; then plant it in a pot. Be sure to keep the leaves up, or they'll rot. Giini instructed. "If you're really in a hurry, you can plant it like taht, but be sure to keep the soil wet for the first sevenday."
J'rin looked at the slip of plant, and then at his friend. "Thanks Greeny." he said smiling, then left her to her studies.
A few days later, Giini was attending her gitar class - proficiency in one instrument other than voice was required to be promoted to full Journeyman, and Giini was far from that mark yet - when dragons arrived. Dragons at Kielac was not a rare event, not anymore at least, so class was not interrupted. After the lesson, Giini returned to her haven to find the room bare -- not a single plant anywhere.
"Giini.." J'rin said from behind her.
She turned and buried her face against his shoulder. "My plants..."
"Giini." he began again, patting her arm. "It's fine, really." he laughed.
She looked up, her eyes showing mixed emotions. "You didn't call me Greeny."
"I'm on business, Giini." he said with a smile. "Senior Apprentice Giini, will you please listen to me?"
"I will." Giini said, "on one condition."
"And what would that be?"
"You tell me where my plants are!"
J'rin laughed. "All gone over to Ryslen. W'ren's going to care for them for you. If Amitath is right -- and he usually is -- the only green thing you'll be tending for quite some time will have wings, not leaves."
This quickly soaked in, and Giini looked at J'rin in surprise. "You Searched me?"
"Well, Amitath did it, but we share the credit." J'rin said, smiling as usual.
"I've got to tell..." Giini began.
"All taken care of, Greeny. If you'll pack up your things, the eggs are waiting for you at Baeris' Healing Den"
Giini has Impressed!
|Background from CoolArchive.com|