It was a fine day, the sun was shining, a cool breeze was blowing; a truly beautiful day.
Imaraemel was out tending one of the goat herds with his brothers Sanjoral and Keilarhi. Their three canines orbited the herd. Being the oldest boy in the family, Imaraemel stood to inherit the holding when his father passed on.
In two days time would be the Fall Harvest Gather at Two River Hold, and Holder Mejolin wanted everything perfect. The 6' tall dark haired man paced pack and forth, dictating to his Steward, the seldom-shaken Leic. "When the boys get back with that herd, have them put in the pasture and cut the young ones out." Mejolin said, and Leic made a note on his slate. "Then get some other lads to get them all cleaned up." Leic made another note. "How many other sellers do we expect?" the Holder asked, staring out the window with dark brown eyes just like he'd passed on to all six of his sons. Leic quickly gave the number, and Mejolin looked pleased.
Rehlla, Mejolin's wife, was down in the nursery, holding two-turn old Joeri on her hip. She was dressed in a blue and silver dress, elegant yet simple in design. Though she and her husband worked in the hold, tending gardens or herds or what have you, Rehlla always looked ready to meet with councilmen, but never had to change to play with babies or harvest. Joeri squirmed in her mother's arms, and asked in her babyish way to be let down. Rehlla set down her youngest chiled, and watched her go off to play with the other younglinngs as she herself conversed with the head of the creche.
Imaraemel walked behind the herd, carrying the traditional long curved staff. Despite it's somewhat comical appearance, it was effective for retrieving stray animals, and defending the herd against wherry attacks. Standing 6'1" tall, Imaraemel was easy on the eyes. He had big brown eyes, short dark hair, a small nose, and a slightly narrow jawline. He was long and lean, but by no means frail.
He is often described as chivalrous, opening doors and pulling out chairs for ladies - their rank, age, and overall appearance never influencing this. He is always polite, and is generally respected.
With a tuneful whistle, Imaraemel calls his herding canine, Tundir to his side. She is a pale golden brown, and is very friendly to everyone, excepting those she perceives as a threat to her "flock" both the four-legged goats & herdbeasts and the humans.
Imaraemel rubbed Tundir's ears, and seeing the first paddock come into view, gave a sharp whistle. In unison, the three boys called "Round 'em up!" The canines responded, and brought the herd together.
Once this was accomplished, Imaraemel recalled Tundir with a whistle, then his brothers made the next call. "Bring 'em in!" They cried, and their canines set to work guiding the placid-seeming beasts into the fenced area.
Some of the goats balked, and Imaraemel grinned, and set Tundir to work. "Send 'em home, Tundir!" Tundir ran towards the goats, barking and bearing her teeth as necessary to keep them with the herd.
Leic appeared as Sanjoral swung the gate closed behind the herd. "Mejolin wants the younglings separated out, so they can be inspected for sale." the Steward said. Sanjoral rolled his eyes, and Keilarhi was suspiciously silent.
"I've got it." Imaraemel said, cheerful dispite his brothers' attempt to force the task on him. They went away, their canines trotting along behind, leaving Imaraemel and Tundir to do it.
The younglings were soon penned seperately, and Sanjoral wasn't too pleased when he heard of his brother's efficiency.
The day of the Gather came, and Imaraemel was asked to do the actual selling of those Two River Hold younglings. He was to ge the seller's cut of the profits as well, and this really angered Sanjoral.
The 16 turn old lad went to his father's office, and managed to work not only himself but Keilarhi into the deal with some sweet-talking and reasoning. Those two orbited Imaraemel's herd while he did the selling -- Sanjoral looking smug, and the younger boy rather uneasy.
To his credit, Imaraemel didn't make a scene when Leic came to get the marks and split the seller's cut among the three. He didn't get even slightly mad, as if sharing the cut has always been the plan. As Imaraemel walked off smiling, Keilarhi turned to Sanjoral.
"I thought you said he'd be hopping mad." he said, and Sanjoral didn't reply. "We got the marks though, Sanjoral..." Keilarhi said, trying to cheer his brother.
Sanjoral's dark eyes gleamed. "Yes, we did. Let's go talk a vintner out of some wine - we are the holder's sons after all."
Imaraemel walked around the gather, belt pouch heavy with marks, but not too heavy, eyeing wares of merchants from as far away as Bynor Hold. He happened to be passing by an oddly vacant resting area when a raised voice reached his ear. Something at the back of his mind nagged at him, and suddenly a sound sent Imaraemel racing aroung the tent.
A woman, wide eyed in fright tried to edge away from a large man. When she moved, he bellowed, and raised his hand.
"Stay your hand, Sir!" Imaraemel said, his tone commanding dispite his youth. The man, obviously drunken, snorted and made to give the woman a second smack. Imaraemel stepped between them. "I said stay your hand." Imaraemel said, eyes flashing fire.
The drunkard swung at Imaraemel with surprising speed, and connected. "G' owwa m' wae! Owl d' as I plizz!"
If Imaraemel hesitated, no one noticed. He siezed hte man by the arm, and twisted it around his back, stopping him from doing anything save whimpter. It wasn't until Imaraemel had the man under control that he noticed others had come upon the scene.
"Nicely done." a voice said.
The drunkard grunted. "L' me goh!"
"I think not." Imaraemel said.
Just then the NightWatch (who had been present during the selling of the beasts in case a deal should go bad) arrived. "We'll take it from here, Imaraemel." one said, and came to get the drunkard. Imaraemel loosed the man, and the NightWatcher took him away. One of the other NightWatchers took the woman off to swear a complaint against him.
"Imaraemel -- we'd like a word with you..." the voice said again.
"In a moment, please." Imaraemel said, looking at the rider. "I've something to attend to first." He pointed to the rapidly coloring mark on his face from where he'd been struck.
"All right." the rider said reluctantly.
"We'll get a table by the dance square." her companion added.
Imaraemel nodded. "I'll seek you out. You have my word."
Complaint sworn, and icepack applied, Imaraemel felt better, though he'd wear a darkened eye as mark of his good deed for days to come. Imaraemel sought out the riders' table, and sat down with them. The first, a tall female rider, smiled at him, while the second just looked bothered. It wasn't the first time Imaraemel had seen this combination of expressions today, and he wondered if it would be the last. Finally, the rider spoke.
"To take on a drunken man like that... and risking your neck in the process..." She grinned. "You know what that makes you?"
Imaraemel's mind raced through all the possibilities, but was shocked clear to the core when she said calmly, "Dragonrider material."
Finally Imaraemel found his voice. "I'm honored, Rider, but I'm to inherit Two River Hold."
The second rider looked at the first. "I told you so. He's tied here."
"Nonsence." Holder Mejolin said, coming to a stop at the table. Imaraemel looked up at his father who continued, "If Imaraemel wants to go, he may. If he Impresses, Sanjoral will become my sucessor."
The smaller rider's eyes bugged out. "I've six sons, rider. To have my firstborn Impress would brin high honor to Two River Hold."
Seated not too far away, Sanjoral and Keilarhi overheard this. "Now that was unexpected." Sanjoral said.
Keilarhi grinned, gazing at someone padding by.
Sanjoral set down his mug. "I hope he does Impress." he said, his words taking on the tinge expected from the next-in-line to inherit. Deep in his scheming heart, Sanjoral wished his brother luck. Not so he could Inherit, but because Impressing would make Imaraemel far happier than Holding Two Rivers ever would. He walked over to the table and Mejolin looked to him, and told him what had occurred.
"What say you, Sanjoral?"
The young man looked from his father to his brother to the dragonriders. "If Imaraemel Impresses, I shall willingly take his place and Inherit Two Rivers. If he should return, dragonless, I will step aside, and not contest the rightful succession." Sanjoral said, his manner dignified, his speech diplomatic.
"Heard and Witnessed!" The riders chimed, smiles on both of their faces.
"It's settled then." Mejolin said. "Imaraemel will go to Talor Cliff Weyr."