Between Scylla and Charybdis -Tag Ember/J'on

The vast territory that belongs to the Southern people of Walled Hold. A fishing village also exists within this territory. Between the two settlements the people aren't very large in number, but they are filled with pride and strength.
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Ainokesshou
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Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:14 am

Ashton suspected the yelling could be heard from outside. This was not an outcome Master Sheilla had anticipated, he was sure. Screams about him being a deceiver, and ungrateful. . . Eilene was much calmer, shaking her head with a rueful smile as she pulled Ashton over to a chair.

"I'll get you the things she had set aside," she murmured in his ear. "I'm going to have to cut your hair off, though," and Ash nodded mutely, then sat still while Eilene took an old pair of scissors - useless for cloth now - and cut at the base of the braid. The arrangement fell apart into uneven lengths, and Ash inhaled sharply at the coil of braid on the floor.

Eilene brought a bag, put it in his lap. "I thought they might be coming for you," she whispered, while her mother rattled about in the kitchen, still yelling. "When I saw the dragonrider talking to you I shoved these into a bag."

She was nicer than he had realized, though she generally stayed quiet in the background while her mother dominated the home. He gave her a trembling smile, wrapping his fingers around the bag's strap. "Marrying you wouldn't have been terrible," he acknowledged softly, "even if it wasn't what I wanted."

She laughed. "Marrying me would have been awesome," she announced. "You'll never know now, but maybe it would even have been better than riding a dragon." She kissed Ashton's cheek.

"But I was more attracted to you when I thought you were a girl," she whispered very low in Ash's ear, before pulling him up by the arm, and to the door.

"Master Sheilla says she wants nothing more to do with this hopeless boy," she announced loudly as she pulled the door open. "She has no idea why a boy would have thought he could even cut a straight line, really. It was only a matter of time before he proved himself incapable, he might as well go be a dragonrider."

She hugged the child, though, and said barely loud enough for him and the dragonrider outside to hear, "But Miss Eilene would very much like to hear occasional messages about how her friend Ash is doing at the Weyr, and she expects to be informed when Ash Impresses the most beautiful dragon in a clutch." Releasing the hug, she shoved Ash, with his poor chopped off dark hair in disarray, toward the dragonrider.

"He's all yours," she said.
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Ember
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Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:16 am

J'on been ready to storm inside the small Holding, ready to say what was on his mind, followed by neck and head of a very angry and opinionated opal who was prepared to let it be known that her candidate was well and truly cared for whether they weren't wanted here or not. But he had a feeling it was best to remain where they were, and somehow he was able to keep a hold on Des, who proceeded to pace, calming only when she saw Ash appear at the door.

Saying anything was not needed, at least not when the boy was embraced, and at once he somehow knew it wasn't an entirely terrible send off, despite the screaming. Somehow he knew he would be taking the young charge to a better situation, and he hoped he would be aware of that once they arrived at the Weyr. He stepped forward and placed a hand on Ash's shoulder and smiled. "Just so you know, me and Des will be there for you. She likes to make sure her candidates are doing okay, long after they Impress."

He went over to his dragon's side and pulled out a spare flight jacket, made sure the straps would suit it, and then brought it over to Ash. "It might be a bit big on you, but it'll help you through the trip between at the very least." Offering it over, he held out his hand for Ash's bag, but would not force it from his fingers. "If you'd like me to take it from you, I can set it to her harness. We'll take a bit in the air before we pull for the trip to the Weyr. If you've ever been on a runner before its sort of like that just... much larger."
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Ainokesshou
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:43 am

Ash gave the opalrider a trembling smile. It did help to know that he and his dragon would be supportive. The man hadn't blinked at seeing Ash in trousers - though women wore those often enough - or at his suddenly shorter hair.

Had he misunderstood what Eilene said about him being a boy? But J'on was living proof that dragons chose boys to be candidates - and riders - reasonably often. And the knots indicated that Ash would be going to New Atricis, where only women rode the highest rank, but males could aspire to any other kind of dragon.

Though Ash would be just as happy with a small, low-ranked dragon, that didn't think they were unworthy because of an accident of birth.

They handed the bag over. Struggled a little bit into the flight jacket. It WAS rather large, but that was probably better than too small, at least for keeping the cold out. "Eilene's not bad," they murmured. "Quieter than her mother, calmer. I don't know that she's ever called me a friend before, though." Not that she could have. Sheilla had always been very clear that her own daughter was far more valuable than an orphaned apprentice.

"I've never been on a runner, before," Ash continued, "but I'm sure I'll manage." Flying was the least terrifying thing Ash had had to think about in the last several days, after all.
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Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:19 am

J'on smiled and nodded, taking the bag and strapping it onto Des' harness. He could tell the poor candidate was nervous, but he hoped once he got them to the candidate barracks, assigned in, and comfortable, things would be a little better for them. "It won't be that difficult." He promised with a nod when he turned back, patting Des before stepping forward; the opal immediately lowered herself to show that she was ready to help her newest candidate up on board. "And Des is happy to help."

Of course. I'll always help my candidates out. You just need to remind me of their names.

Grinning, the man patted his dragon and turned back to Ash. "Alright, we can get you on board, then from there we just strap you in, jump between and then at the Weyr, I take you to the barracks to get you signed in." He knew it seemed like a lot, so he paused, slowed down a little, and took a step back verbally to say, "The Weyr will be good for you, Ash. It was good for me too. And it might take you time to finally relax and realize it is indeed home. But know that you'll have two friends straight away there - me and Des."
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Ainokesshou
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Mon May 06, 2019 12:53 am

The dragonrider was not reacting to Ash's change in appearance at all. It must have been obvious, but perhaps he was just being polite? Or maybe his dragon had realized from the beginning that Ash was not the girl they had been dressed as?

"I will learn, I'm sure," Ash said firmly to J'on's statement that riding wasn't too difficult. Even if it was, Ash had done difficult things before, and surely would again. Keeping their body hidden so that everyone believed they were a girl had been difficult.

Ash suspected hiding how much they missed the dresses would be difficult too. "I will manage to adjust," they said. One way or another. Didn't they remember hearing that candidates could try for several turns? If Ash didn't get it all figured out right away, that should be ok.

"It would have to be better, it can't be much worse for me than here," Ash murmured, feeling a sudden sense of relief. Since before their mother died, Ash had been living with a constant sense of fear of discovery. Now that it had happened, their existing life was destroyed, just as they had expected it would be, and yet. . .

"It would be nice to have friends," Ash said softly. They had spent too much time worrying about their secret, before.
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Sun May 12, 2019 7:04 am

The sooner they go them back to the Weyr, the sooner they could begin to get settled into their new home. J'on wanted to give them plenty of time to get situated, and would even be there to show them around a bit if possible. He didn't think he had anything to do once he returned - he would check of course, but if memory served him well enough, there weren't any Wing duties to tend to, no more Holds to fly Search upon, and aside from tending to the harness, nothing he could thing of.

Des dipped her head upon Ash speaking and gave them a gentle nudge, hoping to grab their attention in doing so. Don't worry. We'll be your friends, even if I need to be reminded from time to time by my rider.

J'on placed his fingers on her cheek and smiled. "Dragons have such shoddy memories sometimes. A few have better, but it isn't often." He finished packing her up and glanced at Ash with a nod of his head. "I'm going to help you to the harness now, jump up and then strap you in and then we'll get going. Sound good?"

ooc: If you want to assume that J'on does all of that (the climbing up to help secure them, etc) you're more than welcome to! <3
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Ainokesshou
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Mon May 27, 2019 3:54 pm

Ashton's gut felt odd as the dragonrider went about the work of strapping them in. It wasn't nausea, but there were similarities, as their stomach kept fluttering, and then tightening. The opal's voice in his mind was quickly becoming less startling, though Ash hoped it would never stop being exciting.

Ash tried not to think about how quickly the decision had been made to go with the dragonrider, though they had certainly had a sense that there was nothing to lose. Nerves were starting to settle in, though neither of the other options had been acceptable, really. "If I don't ever Impress," they asked in a small voice, "will there be someone to help me figure out what's next?" Even being an unskilled worker would be better than being cut as Master Sheilla had suggested, and maybe better than being married to her daughter, but Ash still wished that they could go back to making lace if no dragon ever chose them.
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:55 pm

J'on nodded, wanting to reassure his passenger of that fact when they were all settled into the harness. "There will always be a place for you at the Weyr if that's what you end up wishing." But, he wanted to stress something to the young individual, something that would give them some hope, so the opalrider hoped. "You'll have a good, long while to try for a dragon if you don't happen to Impress at this next clutch. And even if you do age out, there's the option of becoming a candidate for our daywhers or whers. Regardless, the Weyr can and will be your home if you'd like it to be; you'll never have to go back to this place if you don't want to."

He turned back around and got himself set, then called over his shoulder. "When you're ready to go, just tap me on the shoulder. Don't hesitate to hold on once we take off and even when we land - it can be rather jarring to those that haven't been on a dragon before."

[ ooc: feel free to have them arrive at the Weyr if you'd like. <3 ]
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Ainokesshou
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Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:07 pm

Ashton didn't know if the opalrider could really keep that promise. Ash had thought they had a permanent place with the Weaver's guild, as an apprentice to Sheilla, after all. . . though maybe they should have known better, as that place was gained through deceit. Still, it hadn't really FELT false, and the work Ash had done as an apprentice should speak for itself. If things were fair.

Still, it was good to hope.

Ash would just have to be very careful not to break any rules at the Weyr. If they would really have opportunities even if they didn't Impress a dragon - and Ash had to admit to curiosity about the day whers at least - then it was important that they not upset anyone enough to be sent away.

They squirmed, though, at J'on's words "this place." It sounded negative, and Ash felt a little guilty. He HAD deceived Sheilla, even if she was wrong about men not being able to do the work. "I was pretty happy here," he said, defensively, before trailing off. "Until I wasn't, I guess." Except even when they had been happy, there had always been the worry about being discovered hanging over their head.

Ash tapped the rider's shoulder as instructed.

Flying was both frightening and exciting, as Ash felt their stomach seem to drop into their hips somewhere. They almost forgot to breathe on the other side of between, staring in wonder at the Weyr beneath them. There were dragons everywhere, and for the first time Ash had a little niggling of understanding why people made tapestries. Lace would never convey the sight of so many amazing creatures draped all over the landscape.

And there were so many colors; even within a single color such as green, a wide array of hues and shades, and markings, though they were not close enough for Ash to see the markings in much detail. Ash had never bothered working with multiple colors - it really wasn't common in lace after all - but oh, this was glorious.
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Ember
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Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:13 am

It felt good to be back at the Weyr. Even more so knowing he had brought with him a good candidate for the eggs that would be upon the sands soon. He felt a confirming croon come from Des a she came in for a slow landing, and he knew she was doing that on purpose; the opal wanted to make it a pleasing descent for her passenger, to show off the Weyr and its colors to someone who would have a distinct appreciation for such a thing.

When she eventually landed, she made sure it was easy as could be, then assisted her rider in helping Ash down to the ground. "Welcome to New Atricis." J'on said with a smile. He looked around again, feeling even more happiness on solid ground, though even in the sky there was nothing but joy over being up in the air. "Would you like a tour before I take you to the trainers, or would you like to go get yourself settled in?"

Crooning, Des decided she was going to give her favored candidate a little welcome of her own. Welcome home, Ash. We're happy to have you here.
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