A young scribe sits at one of the tables, transcribing a recent weyr event. He is about 6'1" tall, and has perhaps 17 turns under his belt. He has dark brown hair, lighter brown skin, and deep brown eyes. His smile is infectious, ans as he works, anyone who looks at him can see just how delighted he is with his task.
"Working hard? or hardly working?" a voice said behind him, and the lad turned to face the speaker. It was Weyrlingmaster D'lrik.
"I'm just finished, Sir." Quaiwil said, setting down his quill pen.
"Good." D'lrik said, a slight smile on his face. "There holding a contest at Bynor hold and they want an impartial recorder -- Tiyanni wants you to go."
Quaiwil smiled, and turned to pick up his things.
"They'll have everything you need at the Gather, Quaiwil." the Weyrlingmaster continued. "We'll be leaving in a candlemark. Can you be ready?"
Quaiwil nodded, and rolled up the dry record hide, and moved to stow it away in the racks where it belonged.
Quaiwil appeared in Ryslen's Weyrbowl about ten minutes before the set time, dressed in comforable, yet still Gather-worthy clothes. His journeyman archivist knots were pinned securely to his shoulder, and his very own riding jacked was slung over the other.
D'lrik's lithe brown sat ready, his sleek riding straps already fastened on. He turned to look at Quaiwil as he neared, his eyes beginning to whirl faster as the archivist neared. The brown leaned his great head down, breathing warmly on the young journeyman. Quaiwil smiled and rubbed his eyeridges. "It's good to see you too, Aurekinth." he said.
D'lrik came out a moment later, smiling laughingly. "You think so, Aurekinth?" he said cryptically, not relaying what the brown had said. "We'll have to see about that."
The Gather had not yet started as the dragons from Ryslen arrived at Bynor hold, but it was early eyt, and the merchants were setting up their wares. "The man running the contest is Soval, and he'll meet you outside the Steward's office at Midday." D'lrik informed him as they dismounted from Aurekinth. "Until then, enjoy the Gather, Quaiwil." The Weyrlingmaster said, sliding a mark to the journeyman. "From Tiyanni." he explained. Quaiwil tucked the money away, and went to browse the stalls.
He was exploring the tanner's stall when a small, dark-haired man appeared beside him. "Journeyman." he whispered hoarsely. "do me a favor and keep this for me." the man pressed a small bulging pouch into his hand, then vanished. Quaiwil tucked the pouch quickly into his beltpouch, and then went to talk to the Journeyman tanner about some leathers he liked. Of course, his mind was not on the merchandise, but on whether these marks were stolen or not. He intended to go to the Hold Steward as soon as he could, but without looking suspicious.
A deal was struck, and the journeyman's promised to hold the purchase until sundown. Then Quaiwil set off to find the steward. As he neared teh office, he came upon the sound of heated whispering.
"...Thell..." "..beaten and left for dead..." "...prize money..."
"..beaten and left for dead..."
This was disturbing.
Quaiwil straightened his shoulders, and knocked on the door.
"What?" a tall man snapped, obviously frustrated.
"I'm looking for the steward." the archivist said.
"That would be me." a calmer, but no less tall man said, rising from a chair. "How can I help you Journeyman?"
Quaiwil stepped into the office. "I was approached in the Gather, sir, by a swarthy character. He asked me to keep something for him, and after giving it to me, he vanished." Quaiwil retrieved the pouch from his beltpouck, as he spolke. "When I felt what he'd pressed into my hand, I wondered if I'd just become the accessory to some Gather theivery. I finished my business with the journeyman tanner, then came here." Quaiwil siaid, telling the entire truth, and placing the marks on the desk.
The tall, feisty man had been holding his tongue. "Are you the Archivist Tiyanni sent?" he asked sharply.
"Yessir." Quaiwil responded pleasantly. No need to be rude.
"I'm Soval." the man said. Now it was becoming clear why the man was upset. The money stolen from the beaten man was for the contest.
The Steward nodded thoughtfully. "Can you describe the man who gave you this?" he asked.
Quaiwil nodded. He had an eye for detail. "He stood about 5' even, had dark hair, dark eyes, and a low husky voice. He was wearing trail-dust grey breeches, and a sagebrush green tunic. Very plain."
The Steward nodded. Soval's eyes widened. "It seems Thell slipped you teh marks mere moments before the attack, Journeyman." the steward said. "I commend you on your honesty."
Soval opened the pouch and counted the marks. The smug smile on the mans face proved it was all there. "The contest can go on." Soval said, "and since my archivist is here, and the prize is recovered, it's all taken care of."
"Except finding who jumped Thell." Quaiwil said quietly. The steward nodded again. He was a very quiet man.
"The watch is on it, lad. Thell managed to get a grip on one of the attacker's hair -- man's nearly snatched bald." The steward said, a bit of a smile on his face. "As soon as he wakes, we'll get a description from him. The healers think he'll recover nicely."
Quaiwil nodded, thankful Thell would be all right.
Now, the show must go on.
At the end of the day, Quaiwil was tired. The journeyman tanner had kept his word, and gave Quaiwil the bag he'd bought for his work. Aurekinth waited patiently as his passengers boarded.
I still think he should Stand, D'lrik the brown said. He is a good lad.
Yes, he is but that doesn't mean he'll Impress. D'lrik replied silently. You're not a Searchdragon, Aurekinth.
Every dragon can Search, ridermine. Just some of us are dreadfully good at it. Aurekinth responded.
Ok, ok... D'lrik sent, chuckling softly. "What are you doing tomorrow, Quaiwil?" the Weyrlingmaster asked.
"Nothing yet, D'lrik." the journeyman responded. "Another Gather?"
"Naw..." D'lrik drawled. "Ol' Aurekinth here says you ought to pay a visit to White River Weyr."
"White River?" Quaiwil asked, holding his new bag close as Aurekinth lept skyward.
D'lrik couldn't respond, since Quaiwil wouldn't be able to hear over the wind.
Yes, Quaiwil. White River. The eggs are waiting for you.
Quaiwil's story continues
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