Linora Meets Her First Dragon

The Vault

Linora slogs in, still dripping.

Cress looks up as he hears drippings on the floor and sees Linora coming in soaking wet. "Been swimming again," he says with a lopsided grin.

Linora grins. "Yup. Water's great." She shrugs, eyes twinkling. "If I'da known you were up, I woulda invited ya to come along."

Cress tilts his head, "yeah, I liked that lesson the other day. It was fun," he says, giving her a facesplitting grin.

Linora suddenly notices the puddle forming around her feet. "Aw. I'm getting the vault all wet. I better change..." She looks around quickly, relieved not to see any journeyman-types hanging around.

Cress nods. Then suddenly his eyes widen. She didn't intend to change right here in the Vault did she?

Linora giggles at his expression. Did he really think she'd change right in front of him? "Ha! Not till I know ya better," she teases, then disappears into the girls' dorm.

Cress actually giggles at that remark, a noice that he'd sworn to himself that he'd never use again. His face turns a bright red, at the thought that the girl could read him that well, thinking that she must have read his mind.

Linora comes out of the dorms with dry clothes and still-damp hair. She stops cold at Cress's expression, then laughs out loud and flops into a comfy chair... rather belatedly arranging the unfamiliar skirts in a more modest fashion. With rare tact, she refrains from commenting, merely watching him with twinkling eyes as she tries hard not to giggle.

Honey-blond hair, straight and shiny, falls just past her waist, although she generally wears it in a single thick braid down her back. Linora is petite, just a bit over 5' tall, curves just beginning to grace her slender form. Her once-bronze skin has faded to a lighter tan as her studies keep her away from the sun most days, although her serious eyes still appear startlingly light, a pale enough blue to almost be considered white.
She wears a fresh, if slightly wrinkled, cotton blouse, long sleeves rolled up to her elbows, left untucked over a bright blue skirt that's not /quite/ the right length since she grew a bit. A pair of knotted wherhide sandals protects her feet. Perched on Linora's shoulder is Spray.
She wears the knot of a StarCraft Apprentice.
Linora is 15 Turns, 4 months, and 21 days old.

Cress brings his hand up to his mouth feining a cough, trying to hide his bright red face. "Nice skirt," he says, just to say something!

Linora looks down at her clothes, then back up at Cress and shrugs. "Guess I oughta get some new clothes... this was all that was dry." She grins. "It fit when I came here!"

"I don't have anything other than this," Cress says, "except and old wherhide jacket that I don't need in the heat downhere."

Linora grins. "Not 'less you suddenly start riding a dragon or something." She looks at him through narrowed eyes. "Whaddaya do when you need to wash 'em?" she teases.

Cress looks flustered at that question, "errr, well I do have a pair of really old pants....."

Linora giggles, finally dropping her gaze to give poor Cress a break. She might even be blushing a little herself, but it's hard to tell under that tan. After a moment she peeks back up. "I s'pose I ought to start sewing or something. Between classes, y'know." She grins. "When it's too cold to swim."

Cress nods slowly, "I can sew.. A little," he says, instantly regretting saying it. Boy weren't s'posed to sew were they. But things were different in the caravan. Everybody mended their own clothes there.

Linora's eyes light up and she smiles widely. "Ya oughta have some other clothes." She looks down at herself. "Me, too. I wonder if the shop at the hold sells fabric..." And whether she has enough marks for anything nice...

Cress shrugs, "I dunno, and besides I don't have a lot of marks to buy it with," he mumbles, turning his attention to Idoru, who has crawled into his lap. "But I could use a new shirt or two...."

Standing at only 5'5 this young man's size is not impressive. His blond hair is bleached by the Istan sun, which has also darkened his skin to a bronze color. Narrow gray eyes are framed by light-colored lashes and brows, and his cheekbones are angular as is his chin. His muscles are hardened, from long hours of hard work, done in his previous life as a trader. A scar runs along the right side of his neck and his most obvious feature is a missing inch of his right little finger.
His legs are covered by coal-coloured trousers, which are well worn and patched in many placed. A broad leather belt keeps the trousers from falling down around his ankles. A darkgreen shirt covers his upper body, also showing signs of beeing old, having rips along a number of seams. His dark boots, which come up to the ankles, are scuffed but are well-polished with a shine. Perched on Cress's shoulder is Idoru. Perched on Cress's shoulder is Dixie.
Red and silver in a double cord and single loop appoints him as apprentice to the Star Craft.
Cress is 18 Turns, 9 months, and 6 days old.

Linora grins. "Or maybe at least fix the one ya got," she teases. Then her smile softens. She really /doesn't/ want to be too hard on her best friend at the crafthall. "I could help ya, maybe." She starts staring at Idoru too.

Cress grins, "it's been fixed plenty times already," he says, shrugging his shoulders. "And it's pretty old by now, but I can't afford a new one."

Linora nods, still staring at Idoru, for once not sure what to say. She flops back in her chair, belatedly remembering to put her knees together, and goes for a change of subject. "So when d'ya think she'll start fishing?"

Cress grins at the thought of 'Mute doing just that the other day. "When Wintermute teaches her I s'pose," he says using the brown's full name for once.

Linora drops her head to the side to look at Idoru more closely. "Ya think he will?" She looks thoughtful. "Maybe he'll teach Spray." She grins. "Not that he's all that much work."

Cress looks at Linora's firelizard, then shrugs, "Maybe 'Mute'll become Star Hall official fishing teacher?"

Linora giggles, picturing flit fishing classes. "Lemme know when I can sign him up!"

Cress chuckles, "I'll have to clear it with 'Mute first. And I think Idoru and Dixie would be first on the list." Nothing like nepotism is there?

Linora snorts lightly, almost a laugh. "Don't worry. 'Mute'll remember who his friends are." She pulls herself upright, grinning widely. She spots him on the perch and points significantly at him. "Won'tcha?"

Wintermute chirrups as he hears his name mentioned. More than once.

Cress chuckles. Better than giggling he thinks to himself. "I think he will," he says looking up at the brown too. "No doubt about it..."

Linora nods once, satisfied. "He'd better." She looks back at Cress with a wide grin. "Wanna see if it's still warm out? I don't wanna get wet /again/... not till I have something dry to put on, anyhow... but I wouldn't mind some sun."

Cress shrugs, might as well go outside as stay here in the stuffy Vault. "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea."

Linora gets to her feet, not /too/ ungracefully, and heads for the door, pausing just long enough to ask, "Where to?"

"I dunno... Just outside," he says. "One of the fields, so long as there's fresh air."

Linora nods and goes out.

StarCraft Courtyard
Where the hills of Gar meet the softer plains of the valley, rock slowly turns to gravel, dust and earth, leaving a large natural courtyard tucked against the walls of the hall. A low wall marks a boundary for the courtyard, rock and earth's battle for domination kept outside of it. Strong doors set in the hill wall, provide a new way to get into the hall, long windows letting light into the otherwise quite dark hall. They look out upon a grassy valley, filled with water, vineyards and herdbeast. Trails formed by the feet of human wind around rocks and trees, trailing off into the wilderness.
It is a winter afternoon.
Stretched out on the low wall are Venusnv and Azrael.
Brown Uillauth is here.

Cress moves slowly in from the StarCraft Main Hall.

Linora is sitting on the low wall, looking impatient.

Cress joins Linora at the wall, keeping a close eye on the dragon in the courtyard, "whose dragon is that," he whispers to Linora.

Earthy hues settle onto his body, monotonous hide of rocky hue gradually transformed into lush beauty as it sweeps down muscled chest and legs. Sunlight clings closely to his slight mass, turning matte brown into glittering mahogany where rays outline bulky weight with brilliance. Spars of obsidian black fall against his neck, arrowing down into relentless chestnut coloring of his wide back between wingsails. Obsidian also are the jeweled tones that have gathered atop lofty headknobs and trace the jagged outlines of his eyeridges. His muzzle may well have been carved, more apparent in the angular planes that reside as cheekbones and the still unfinished craggy 'ridges that spike from his back, eroded eventually into a slender tail. Amidst these rough outlines, wings blossom into surprisingly dainty sheets of autumn hues, lined by charcoal veining.
Thick, gleaming straps of deep crimson stretch across the rocky hue of shoulders and wrapping comfortably around his large chiseled form. White padding, protecting the soft hide from chaffing and discomfort, is attached to the underside of the straps with the same even stretch of silver thread that lines each side of the well tested, well oiled straps. Various places are marked with tripled stitching to make the straps more secure in places that receive the most strain. Stitched into the center of the straps in orange and black is the insignia of Ista Weyr.
Uillauth is 1 Turn, 10 months, and 23 days old.
He is 64 feet (19m) long, with a wingspan of 106 feet (32m).
Uillauth seems to be listening.

Linora shrugs. "I dunno." She peers at the big brown. "Someone from here get Searched?" she guesses. She gets to her feet and steps up for a closer look. But not /too/ close. He's pretty big, afterall.

You notice Uillauth looking at you.

Linora stops short and backs up a couple steps as she notices the dragon's eyes focusing on /her/.

Cress shakes his head, "only Tatoria, while I was here," he says, "but she Impressed a green as far as I remember." The memory of a certain gather returns to him. A gather where the now dragonrider, got him to dance with her.

Uillauth turns slowly, chiseled head lowering closer to the level of the 'crafters, eyes whirling slowly. No other move is made than that, the brown merely....observing the pair.

Linora's mouth drops open. "Um... Cress..."

Cress' heart jumps into his thoat as the dragon moves, "yeahh..." is his mumbled answer to Linora.

"Dragons don't... um... /hurt/ people, do they?" Linora's standing stock still and her voice isn't more than a strangled whisper.

Cress swallows hard as the dragon's eyes turn to him. His hands searches for the wall in front of him, needing something to steady him. "Err, I've never heard of it," he whisper with a hoarse voice.

Make nooo sudden moves. Right? Well, so Uillauth seems to've decided, as every movement is slow, deliberate...and as non-threatening as he can make it. Hurt people? No...only Keris. Or so the dragon's been trying to convince the Journeyman...

Linora can't stop staring. She's never even /seen/ a dragon; well, up in the sky and stuff. "He's so... /big/," she breathes, trying to make herself believe she's not afraid, and wondering if the big brown can /tell/.

Cress feels his knees start to wobble underneath him and he takes a firmer hold on the wall. He nods slowly at Linora's statement, deciding that it might be better not to say anything at all. He's never been this close to a dragon before.

Uillauth rumble-croons, a faint, /low/ vibration more than anything else...all else is stillness, save for the head, canted slightly to the side in curiousity. He's never been this close to a Starry that he wasn't trying to chase away from his 'rider...After what seems an interminable stretch, there's a hint that maybe, he /isn't/ a dragon made of stone, wings rustling faintly as he shifts...

Linora blinks, feeling more than hearing the dragon's rumbling croon, surprised to notice that his expression doesn't look all that threatening... for all his great size. She starts to step a bit closer, then freezes as the brown dragon shifts.

Still staring at the dragon, Cress, tries to figure out what the brown has in mind. He didn't much feel like trying to get by him to the field, so he just stays frozen at his place at the wall. Maybe he's just a little scared of that great beast.

Uillauth freezes as Linora does, awaiting her next move as much as planning his own...head turns to Cress, eyes whirling with the tiniest bit more speed as he shifts...well, more out of the way with a faintly apologetic *whuff*

"Errm, Linora," Cress whispers, "don't go to close to him, okay?" He's still a little nervous in the presence of the beast and he doesn't want his friend to get hurt. Although he's never heard of a dragon actually /hurting/ a human on purpose.

Linora tears her gaze away from the dragon to look at her friend, noticing for the first time that he looks as scared as she feels. She bites her lip. "I think if he was gonna hurt us, he'da done it by now," she says, as bravely as she can manage. She steels herself and turns back to face the brown. "'sides... who knows if I'll ever have another chance..." she murmurs. She looks the big dragon right in the eye. Never saw an eye that big. In a head that big... she shakes her head to clear it and steps a little closer.

Cress tilts his head, there might be some reasoning to that. That he'd have eaten them already if he wanted to. Taking a deep breath to steady his nerves he step around the wall and then stops again. One step at a time. "I wonder if we should wait till his 'rider's here," he whispers to Linora.

Uillauth seems to nod in response to Linora's attempts, head shifted slightly closer, angled so that - if she wishes - eyeridges are withing reach. Cress is...ignored for the most part, though not out of rudeness...merely a desire not to make the young man any more uncomfortable...

Linora's eyes widen as the enormous head lowers within her reach, suddenly realizing how big she must seem to her own little 'lizard... who incidentally is watching his giant cousin with interest, totally unfazed by either his size or his proximity. She takes a deep breath and reaches a tentative hand toward the big brown's eyeridges.

From Cress's shoulder, Idoru chirrups an encouragement to her humanpet to get moving toward her larger cousin. Both she and Dixie is staring closely at the brown dragon with nothing but curioustity in their whirling eyes.

Cress offers Idoru a quick glance, and is convinced by her whirling eyes that the dragon probably isn't dangerous. Then he slowly, step by step, moves closer to the brown beast to stand beside Linora.

Uillauth croons encouragingly, acknowledgement taking in Cress as well, faint nod of what miiight be approval given...though that could also just be the brown butting gently against Linora's hand...

Linora oohs at the feel of the dragon's eyeridge under her hand. Fear replaced with wonder, she gently scratches it with her fingertips.

Cress carefully reaches his hand out to touch the dragon's muzzle. His eyes widen as he feels the soft hide on his fingertips. "He's so soft," he whispers in a surprised breath of air.

Uillauth rumbles, encouragement mixed with pleasure. Eyes whirl slowly, calming blues and placid greens in ever-changing jewel-toned motion. Slowly he settles, wings flicked just a bit before being settled at his sides...

Linora looks at Cress, finally remembering to close her mouth. "I can't believe it," she whispers. "He /likes/ it!"

Cress nods slowly, grinning, "yeah, it seems so, doesn't it," he whispers back. But then his smaller cousins like just this kind of treatment too, so why shouldn't he?