Drumbeats echo through the hall, and across the courtyard. The drum apprentices send the messages accurately, and clearly across Pern.
The rolling thunder of the drums ceases, and a tall, slim lad with curly blond hair steps away, drumsticks in hand. He is Sylarn, senior apprentice to Drummaster Chren.
He rarely complained about his tasks, but was extremely quick to point out injustices in the heights, no matter how harshly he would be reprimanded for getting involved with someone else's business. He was always ready to help his fellows who faltered in their recitations. He would take them aside, and go through each measure with them.
Sylarn strode confidently into the office. Chren, a wiry, dark haired man, looked up at the grey eyed youth. "Here Sylarn, send this quick before the meal." The master said, sliding a message across the desk to him.
Dragon - 1 pass, JM-post
Sylarn didn't flinch when he saw the message written out in plain text (abbrevations or no). Messages in text has to be converted to the proper drum measures before they could be sent by Apprentice Drummers... It was standard practice. 'Quick... no time to convert! This must be a test' Sylarn thought as he stepped up to the drum. Any one of the Journeymen could have easily sent this.
The first measures rolled out as the other apprentices left for midday meal.
A silence was held, and the message repeated.
A booming reply came across a moment later.
Sylarn, shocked, sent the standard "Message received" measure, and stepped down. 'Ryslen salutes you, Journeyman.' The phrase echoed in his head. Sylarn left the drum, and went out.
Master Chren, flanked by two Journeymen, stood in the hall. The other apprenticed completed the semi-circle.
Master Chren spoke in the silence. "Well done, Journeyman Sylarn."
Sylarn stepped down into the hall, and applause broke out as Chren handed him his posting papers.
The various Masters and Journeymen of Kielac each congratulated Sylarn, giving him tidbits of advice as they saw fit. Some gave him other things, a small pot of salve, a pair of gloves, and other such gifts, that would be useful to have in a drumtower.
Eventually, Sylarn gets all packed, and out to the courtyard. Looking up into the afternoon sky, Sylarn sees a dragon burst from Between and make his slow decent to the ground. As soon as the brown touches down, his rider slides off, and moves to greet Sylarn. He grins, and slaps Sylarn on the back in congratulations. He's about 5'10", and looks just barely older than Sylarn, who, at 18 turns, is just over six feet tall. The dragon dips his great head, and looks at Sylarn, his eyes whirling happily.
After fastening Sylarn's packs to the dragon, the rider, and Sylarn, climb up onto the brown beast, who promptly launches skyward. "We've got to make a stop at Alabaster Weyrhold before we go to Ryslen." The brownrider shouted. Sylarn shouted back, and then they were Between. Sylarn's heart raced. Then, in less than another heartbeat, they burst from the cold into the air above Alabaster.
As the brown landed, his rider said to Sylarn. "It'll be a little while. Go explore a bit. I hear there's a clutch, maybe they'll let you see the eggs." He said, with a conspiratory wink.
Sylarn went and looked around. And met all sorts of people. 'Alabaster is nice...' Sylarn thought, but before he could think again, he'd been Searched.
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