'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.

Southwest Bowl

The dominant feature of the southern end of the bowl is the blue lake that fills the entire southern tip and the rockslide that tumbles down into its far side. It has been many, many, turns since the slide took place, but it still stands uncleared to this day. Occasionally, smaller pebbles tumble down to splash into the waters of the lake below, but the mass seems mostly stable. Sturdy fences mark the feeding pens that the dragons may choose their meals from, located against the west face. The beasthold here is minor, small cramped buildings, used mostly to maintain the herds which feed the dragons. The major beasthold is located out in the forests, just outside the Weyr. There's a sign which warns "that beasts in this location are fair game to the dragons" and that any domestic pleasure stock should be kept in the major beasthold location.
The other feature that does not go unnoticed in this bowl is the large cavernous archway. There seems to be cobble stone laid down near the archway, which causes a clatter when the wagons and trading caravans arrive. Indeed, it seems that there's a tunnel out of the bowl here, wide enough for two trader caverns to fit through and possibly a small blue dragon. To the opposite end, the great bowl stretches away far, leading to some very interesting locations.

After Ezra was witness to Inyri and Khyoani's searches, the boy has kept mostly to himself. Working with Zoi and the guards in the morning, and his Harper lessons when he can't escape the rest of the day. And then he hides in his room, doing Faranth knows what. Today, though, the boy has crept out to a quiet spot in the bowl - a shallow cave that looks out towards the feeding grounds. It's shallow enough to not invite interest but still afford some privacy, especially when its only occupant looks like he's intently working on a block of wood grasped in one hand, rasping at it with a blade in the other. Zoi's leash is tethered to a post in the ground, the canine gnawing away at a bone that someone in the kitchens was kind enough to give her. The rain of the morning has faded away to a feeble sunlight, the ground muddy as a gentle mist falls through the sun, creating a glittering curtain of water.

Mud. It seems like Edani spends most of his days slogging through it and today is no exception. At least he's not chasing heifers through it this time. With a leather carrysack zipped and thrown over one shoulder, he's entering the bowl only after knocking for a time on Ezra's door, then combing the caverns to find the boy but to no avail. Knowing full well there are many nooks and crannies he is unaware of - in a place this big there's bound to be, after all - he's heading for the barn to have a peek at the stalls and loft. His boots are covered in mud already, hair beaded in the mist, but at least his jeans and jacket keep him from being totally soaked. He's passing several yards off from that little hollow Ezra's in, something he's totally missed on his daily progress to and fro, but today the sound of the rasp tugs at his preoccupation and he lifts a hand to shield his eyes. What the-? "Ezra?"

Ezra glances up sharply at the sound of his name, but a smile is quick to follow on the boy's face, barely visible from behind his curtain of hair. "Hey, Edani," he says, while Zoi wags her tail but does not give up gnawing on her bone to give him a proper greeting. "Where're you goin'?" the boy asks then, holding both knife and wood still and looking eagerly at his friend. "Did'ja know that Inyri got searched? I was there, Th'ero did it." The boy seems mostly excited now, his disappointment at not being given a knot as well a thing of the past, as childish hope blooms anew.

"Looking for you, actually," is Edani's prompt reply as he turns his foot from the trace to head over towards that hollow. "I heard," he says about Inyri easily, mouth curving in an answering smile as he ducks under that ledge, swings his sack off of his shoulder and reaches out to tousle Zoi's head. Then he shucks the jacket, spreads it on the floor of the shallow cave and eases down beside the boy in one smooth motion. "I need to find the headwoman, too but I'll do it later." On the right shoulder of his denim shirt he wears two knots, one a journeyman's, the other a simple white one. Leaning to reach for his carrysack, he's saying, "I have something I wanted to show you-"

Ezra sees that knot right off, and his expression falters. "You got searched too." It's a statement. Not quite accusatory, but nor is it congratulatory. Not yet. He pushes a smile onto his face. "Congratulations!" There it is. Because that's what you say, right? "When? How?" Pale eyes flick to the carrysack, curiosity blooming in his chest to cover his disappointment. "What?"

Edani can't help but notice that crestfallen expression, however brief. "Aye, I did," he breathes out in a wry sort of chuckle and a headshake partially of self-directed chagrin. That smile, so rare on the boy, but Edani already recognizes the real one. "Hey," he says reaching to offer him a brief and reassuring shoulder-squeeze, "you have turns yet to be eyed by searching dragons. And they're still not done sizing up folks for this clutch." There's a hint of trepidation creeping into the last bit there, but only because he is so very young. He's no expert on dragons, but he's been around Weyrs enough to know a little bit of what lies in store for impressees. "It happened while I was up at Beastcraft Hall right after I took my journeyman exams," he explains. "The Weyrleader was there with a rider named Kimmila." He cants his head curiously, "Do you know her? I didn't. Anyway, her runner clipped herself and I helped fix it up. I guess her Varmiroth thought I handled the beast well and wanted me to stand." He rubs a hand on the back of his neck, still bemused at the thought. Too bad dragons don't give out journeymen's exams? The last question pulls him out of his own recollection, "Oh. This- our trip to Emerald Island-" and he's pulling out of his carrysack a map and several colored pictures.

Ezra blinks a bit at the name Kimmila, his brows furrowing. Then recognition dawns and he shivers involuntarily. "Yeah," he says quietly, fiddling with the hunk of wood. "She brought me food, when…after Stonehaven, she was there…" There's another nod, and then he perks up, shaking off the cobwebs of memory to peer at the pictures. "We can't still go, can we?" he asks, hope edging his voice.

Edani ahs quietly after Ezra mentions how he knew Kimmila. "She seems nice," is all he says to that, not wanting to draw the boy back down the murky tunnels of memory. Instead, he shrugs and admits honestly, "I don't know for sure, but I will see if they will allow me to go on one of my restdays. They said not to leave the Weyr without a rider and we'll definitely have one with us. We couldn't get there without one." He's keeping upbeat about it, handing over the stack of pictures. "Borrowed these are from the library. I thought you'd like to see a little of what it's like." The first one is of an island, emerald green ringed by sugar white sand and lapped by calm turquoise blue waters. There's another with a volcano rising from the center and another of great curling waves rushing at a beach.

Ezra takes the pictures carefully, almost reverently, the boy not haven grown up with many books in his home. Stonehaven was a place of work, not of reading, and stories and lessons were almost all given orally. "Wow," he whispers, touching a finger to the picture softly. "This looks…it's so beautiful…"

"It is beautiful," manages Edani past the lump in his throat. "It is- was home," he finishes simply. "And see here," he reaches in his carrysack to withdraw a map. This one is nicely done, but it's no harper's copy. It is of a vast stretch of sea dotted with islands both large and small. There's a grid overlaid, some marked with over with a faint red-penciled X. "This one," he points to a larger island, "is Emerald Island." It's marked through. The edge of one border forms the shore of the western continent, Western Weyr clearly marked with a dot and that is marked though as well. "There are so many little cotholds to search yet." He's absorbed in the map, forgetting to keep the hopeless note from leaking into his voice.

Ezra leans forward to peer at the map, fingers lightly touching the Xs. "This is where you've looked?" he asks quietly, not dancing around the subject of Edani's lost family.

Edani nods and then follows it up with a, "Yeaaah." He leans back then, breathing out, "I'll find them. Eventually. Or maybe you will." The smile is back in his tone and he adds with more animation, "I want to show the isles to you and Inyri." He eyes that bit of wood Ezra's got and asks, "What are you carving there?” Then while peering around at the little alcove, “And why are you out here in the damp anyway?"

Ezra nods his head a bit. "But what if they go to somewhere you've already searched, after you looked? Do you leave notes behind? Or pictures of them? Do you think they lost their memories and that's why they haven't found you? Why aren't you living there now?" So many questions, but each delivered slowly and thoughtfully as the boy studies the map with a keen eye. Reading he is weak on, but he can read a map. "I'm workin' on your carving, of the bovine," he says. "And it got too stuffy inside. Wanted…fresh air."

"The way I figure it," Edani says with a firm belief while he reaches to trace the currents marked on his map, "is that they got washed down to the sea and held onto some flotsam and floated along this way to one of the other islands. Maybe picked up by one of the fishermen from one of the cots here or here or here…" he points to several little dots, but there are dozens of them marked on that map - he's only scratched the surface. "I have pictures the harpers copy for me that I leave with the cotholders." So he's pretty much spending any marks he makes on this search. How to explain why he still thinks they're out there somewhere? "Well, Anira was only twelve turns when that flood hit. Mila, just ten. They might think I'm dead. Or they might've been through so much they've become confused. And just sort of… adapted." He forces a grin about the carving, though he does sound genuinely pleased and surprised as well, "Really? I thought maybe… Well. I'm looking forward to seeing it. I'll treasure that."

Or maybe they drowned. But Ezra does not say that. His siblings and mother were probably killed by Laris' hand or his orders, but the boy still holds out hope. He understands. "We'll look," Ezra promises, his voice firm with that sentiment. "When we can. And yeah, I didn't forget…" He trails off and reaches for the map again, wanting to look it over. And so the two boys pass some more time together, idle conversation about nothing particularly interesting or important, other than it's conversation and it's normal, and Ezra needs as much of normal as he can get.