Fort's Forests ~~ Fort Weyr - Amethysts in the Pines Camp

The camp is nearly finished! New buildings and new trails have been laid down, and everything is fresh and new. The main building is a large structure with a peaked roof, crafted from pine logs. Above the door is a large sign that declares this "Amethysts in the Pines Camp". The trails have been lined with gravel making walking along them after a rain less likely to result in muddy rooms and buildings. Trees have been cleared from an area around the camp lessening the likelihood of a tree being blown down on top of one of the buildings. The main areas of the camp have wood chips covering the ground though some areas have been left in their natural state.

One trail leads to the main cabin, and another path leads down to the lake and the stage.


With spring upon the weyr, things are very slowly starting to warm. Right now, though, Fort seems to be caught in the grip of an extended winter as the cold, ice and snow cling to the northern weyr tightly. Gusty breezes make it a difficult place to be outside, and yet, here Elara is. Bundled up in a thick jacket, sure, but out in it just the same, standing at the courtyard of the camp, looking around.

Normally, Deitra is one who enjoys windy days, the gusts providing amusement at times. Though, this is normally on her own schedule; today, she's not following her own schedule, nor has she been since accepting the knot she wears upon her shoulder. Today's schedule is at Elara's whim, following her around like a shadow. Bundled up is this native of Fort, for the extended winter is just too cold for any same person to walk around without any sort of protection from it. Hands are tucked in her pockets as she stands beside Elara, grey eyes elsewhere and unaware of the woman's scanning of the area.

Elara turns her gaze from watching a camp worker shovel the pathways, to stare at the young Candidate. "What's on your mind?" she asks, motionless despite the wind buffeting her body.

Deitra briefly startles for the question from the woman, grey eyes lifting and staring at her for a long moment, considering the question and the weyrwoman before her gaze flickers away to the worker shoveling the paths. "Impression, 'm supposin'." Hands are shoved deeper into her pockets, brows drawing into a frown. "How it works. Why some people ain't Searched 'til they're older. And if it'd be possible for those who ain't ever been Searched ta Impress."

Elara nods, "It is possible," she says quietly. "I've seen people Impress from the galleries. Only twice in my lifetime and all the hatchings I've attended, but it is possible that a hatchling sees something the older dragons missed." Her eyes are keen as they peer down at the Candidate. "Why?" she asks lightly, though undoutably she knows the answer to that question.

"Really?" Deitra frowns a little, shoulders lifting and bringing her jacket higher upon her frame, chin tucking into the small opening for her neck. "Was certain people were just tellin' some romantic Harper's story." This new development leaves that frown there for a long moment before finally relaxing. "Ain't no reason why. Just wanderin' thoughts, 's'all."

Elara shakes her head, "It has happened," she confirms. "And both times it was an utter surprise. I'm sure you've heard this before, but we still have no way to know why one person might Impress and another not." Nodding her head towards the community center, the retired Weyrwoman begins making her way slowly over the slick path in that direction. "Does this have anything to do with the newest Candidates?"

The confirmation of it happening, earns a slow nod of understanding. "Yeah. Have heard that, but…" She leaves it at that for the gesture towards the community center, grey eyes shifting in that direction before she follows after Elara. "Yeah. 'm not supposed ta say much." Shoulders lift a bit more, lifting the jacket higher again along with the scarf that is bundled around her. After a moment, she drops her shoulders back down and shoves her hands deeper into her pockets.

Fort's Forests ~~ Fort Weyr - Camp Community Center

This huge space is the center piece of Amethysts in the Pines Camp. Made entirely out of pine logs cut from the surrounding forests, it has a natural look. Electric lights are here, but they are recessed and not often used. Most of the time glows set in baskets provide light, to give the appearance of being in a simpler time. In one end of the room there is a huge stone fireplace, often the place where people sit to listen to stories or play games when the weather is bad. Tables and benches are pushed against the walls to leave open space most of the day, but they are pulled out during meal times. A kitchen is in the back. Here again strapping has been used to strengthen the building against wind and tremors, though they are not visible less an effort is made to search for them. Tapestries are hung on one wall, the classic tales of dragons flaming from the time when thread still fell.

Elara steps inside the welcoming warmth of the Community center, pausing just inside the door to pull off her jacket and gloves and scarf, hanging them all on hooks by the door before she rubs her hands together and walks towards the kitchen in the back, where a variety of beverages have been set out. Getting a mug, Elara pours herself some tea and takes a muffing before she sits at one of the tables. "Why not?"

Once inside, Deitra removes her winter clothing, tucking her scarf and gloves into her pockets before hanging up her jacket on the hooks beside the door. Her boots are stomped, snow is removed so not to make a wet trail wherever she walks. She quickly follows after Elara, ducking into the kitchen and fetching herself a mug of klah and a muffin before following after once more and settling at the table. "Ain't supposed ta talk 'bout who they are or nothin'." Nothing more is offered on that as she picks apart her muffin. "'m just thinkin' 'bout what if I do. Impress, y'know? An odd thought, ain't sure I can really /imagine/ it. Never really thought of bein' a rider after I was older'n four."

Elara watches the young lady for a moment, and then nods. "The Weyrleader had his reasons for Searching them," she finally says. "Mmm, yes, it is an odd thought," she agrees, fingers picking at her muffin, one little pinch at a time going to her mouth. "It's difficult to imagine, and really, you /can't/ imagine it. It's so different, from hearing about it to experiencing it. And once you've Impressed, you can't really remember what it was like before, so why think about it at all/"

"'m sure." Deitra agrees, leaving it at that and continuing to pick at her muffin, making tiny little balls and placing them down upon the table. "ain't ever tried ta ask what it's like. 'Cause I figure it'll be one of those things that ain't the same for everyone. Like a story, ain't everyone goin' ta think the same thing 'bout it." The huntress points out idly, continuing to make her little muffin balls, her gaze focused there entirely. "Guess it's tryin' ta figure out the unknown that's got me thinkin'. That and I've never really thought 'bout it b'fore. Suppose I could find somethin' else I could be thinkin' 'bout."

Elara shakes her head, "It's certainly not the same for everyone," she agrees. "So you will just have to go with whatever happens, on that day. There's really no way to prepare your mind for it. Your habits, yes. Your body and your strength, yes. But your mind? That's something we haven't figured out yet. Some people struggle with it, others take to it as naturally as breathing." The Weyrwoman laughs lightly. "What else would you think about?"

"I can handle that, goin' with whatever happens." Deitra chuckles softly and picks up one of the little muffin balls before popping it into her mouth. "Ain't sure we'd ever figure it out, y'know? Just tell people ta be open, right? Only thing one can do?" Another ball is picked up, but mashed into another, this time. "'m not sure, really. What else /is/ there ta think 'bout?"

Elara nods, "Pretty much," she agrees. "That flexibility is needed, in a new rider. So many things have to change, in thoughts and habits and behaviors. You just have to let yourself go, and meld with your lifemate, and then start to re-build yourself - with them." Of the other question, the goldrider chuckles. "Plenty of things, I'd guess. Your friends, your family, what you're doing now, questions you have, plans for the future."

"Can't imagine the thought of changin' everythin'. Has there ever been riders that don't get 'long with their lifemate? 'Cause they were stubborn and didn't wanna change?" Deitra questions, a frown growing evident. "What if their lifemate was so different and wantin' huge changes that they didn't feel they could make? What would happen then? Ain't ever heard of a rider that never got 'long with their dragon…" The muffin balls are then popped into her mouth, brows drawing into a deeper frown before giving a slow nod of understanding.

Elara wraps her hands around her mug, enjoying the warmth the tea brings. "There have been riders and dragons that didn't get along. Not everything is hearts and roses and sunsets and rainbows," she says with a little laugh. "But you're still together. Still with each other for the rest of your lives. So they always find ways to work it out, even if it's frustrating. It's just like any relationship - there are dysfunctional ones."

Deitra laughs suddenly, relieved as she lifts her gaze to meet Elara's. "Sounds 'bout right, nothin' is always perfect." A smile plays at her lips and finally, she reaches for her mug of klah. "'m guessin' they learned ta give and take, even if somethin' annoys 'em and they're good at not lettin' any of that stuff show ta any others." The mug is lifted, the steam being used to briefly heat her nose before taking a drink. "Did you and Wiyaneth get 'long right away? If yer not mindin' me askin'."

Elara chuckles, her smile distant as she stares over Deitra's head and into the vastness of her memories. "No," is her simple answer, with another soft chuckle. "Wiyaneth is very proud, very headstrong, and very stubborn. When I first Impressed I was…none of those things. I was soft, simpering, apologetic, low self esteem, and unable to make decisions or stand up for myself. For the first few turns of our lives together, she ruled what we did, when we did it, how we did it, and who we did it with. It took a long time before I started growing that backbone she wanted me to have, and getting the confidence I needed to control her. She would sometimes even use me to speak for her, putting her words into my mouth so I would say them." The weyrwoman smiles. "It's a balance, now. I am in control, but we are very much a team. If I start getting too soft, she steps in and bolsters my confidence or my will."

Deitra's gaze is transfixed on Elara, thoughtful as the woman becomes lost in memories. Her mug is lifted to her lips to promote her own silence so that she may listen to the story that is offered to her. Even her sips are entirely quiet so she doesn't miss a single word. After a moment, the mug is placed back down and grey eyes lower to her muffin bits. "That sounds difficult, buildin' up the relationship you two got now. I suppose 's'all 'bout findin' a balance? Like, with yer relationship, and life, and friends… And the goals that yer wantin' ta accomplish for yerself."

Elara nods, "It is /all/ about balance," she says softly. There's a sad look to her eyes as she looks to the young Candidate. "And it was very difficult. And we still struggle. When we first returned to Fort, it was terrible. She had been away from all of this for so many turns, exploring Pern with A'rtomus and Kimmila and their lifemates. She was the boss, and she loved it. But to come back here, where she was no longer Senior…" The Weyrwoman sighs. "It was a very, very hard adjustment for her. I /still/ question if it was the right thing, coming home. But, yes," she says, clearing her throat, "it's all about balance. And hopefully, your goals and your lifemate's are the same. And hopefully your friends and family understand. And hopefully you can manage it all. It's…difficult when people can't manage it." The woman sighs, sipping her tea.

Deitra lifts her gaze, brows furrowing for the sad look that lingers in the woman's eyes before her own lower in consideration. She says nothing as she listens to the story the other has to tell about their return to Fort. "Hn. Must be a struggle, bein' that she likes bein' in charge." The mug is lifted again and she sips from it. "D'you regret comin' back? D'you not like bein' home? Ain't the wrong decision if yer happy, 'm certain. Just gotta find somethin' she can be in charge of, right?" Brows lift in question and she offers a cheerful grin. It fades, however, and sobers instantly. "'m more 'fraid of that. If I Impress, that my lifemate ain't goin' ta have the same goals as me. Or somethin'. 'm certain my sister and my friends'll be understandin' as most of 'em are Searched." Brows are drawn into another frown, "is there pairs that can't manage it? Balance. What happens?"

Elara nods slowly. "It is a struggle," she admits. "Do I regret it? Not at all. But Wiyaneth is…my lifemate. And her struggle is my struggle. Her frustration is mine, and her resentment is mine, also. And yes, perhaps she does need something to be in charge of, but it's more complicated than that," she admits with a small smile. "I'm sure you would work it out, even if it's a different way of getting to your goals than you'd originally intended. Perhaps your lifemate's way would be the better way, in the end." To her other question, the goldrider sighs. "They struggle. They try to work it out but don't ever /quite/ get it, and they spend their lives running, trying to find that balance but never able to really grasp it/"

Deitra wrinkles her nose, "sounds all complicated. Can't imagine what yer goin' through, feelin' her frustration and such." The huntress returns the smile given and drops back down to staring at her mug. "Maybe. Guess we'll have ta see if I end up Impressin', ta see what changes 'm goin' ta have ta make. Hopin' I can be understandin' 'bout what I need ta change. But, 'm not goin' ta deny that 'm stubborn, 'cause I am." The rest of the muffin bits are all gathered together and placed in her mouth. "Hopin' 'm not goin' ta end up like that, tryin' ta spend my whole life tryin' ta get a balance."

Elara chuckles, setting her mug down. "Stubbornness can be good, sometimes, if your lifemate requires it. I'm sure you'll adjust to whatever's needed, if you Impress." Then the weyrwoman rises, nodding towards the door. "It's about time we headed back to the weyr. We need to check on some things in the store caverns." Joy!

Deitra laughs a little, "if they need it. 'm hopin' I can, y'know? Just somethin' ta worry 'bout, I figure. But, guess if 'm worryin' 'bout it, 'm goin' ta be more acceptin' of things I need ta change. Maybe." Here's to hoping. When Elara rises, the young woman quickly downs the rest of her klah and shoves the rest of her muffin into her mouth, nodding confirmation as she pushes to her feet. No groans of complaint, at least!

Elara smiles, and then the goldrider leads the way back out the door, and along the path to the weyr, and back to showing Deitra what she does every day. It's kind of boring, actually, but Elara does it well and with a lot of gentleness and care.


'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.