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An Opportunity

Writers: Estelle
Date Posted: 13th August 2019

Characters: Lorican
Description: Lorican receives a letter from the Smith Hall with an offer of a new posting
Location: Dolphin Cove Weyr
Date: month 11, day 21 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: Dunrik, Urlene


The letter came in the morning, brought by firelizard and handed over to
one of the Candidates on runner duty to take to the smithy.

Lorican had got there early. The healing burns on his back itched
mercilessly, and he'd learned the best way to ignore them was to keep
himself occupied. There were always jobs to do in the smithy, even if he
wasn't recovered enough for forging metal yet. Buckles and rings for
riding straps to be checked and polished, tools to be sharpened, nails
and brackets and screws to be sorted, counted and boxed for shipment to
the new Weyrhold.

He helped one of the young apprentices, a Candidate who'd chosen to take
up a craft during his stay at the Weyr, showing him how to hold the
metal rod in the fire until the bright yellowy-orange glow told him it
had reached the right temperature. Once he was satisfied the boy had
understood, he looked up and saw the messenger waiting patiently for him.

"Journeyman Lorican? A letter for you, from the Smith Hall."

"Thank you." He smiled, wondering if he ought to pay - not that he had
any marks to do so - but fortunately the girl didn't seem to expect
anything, but turned and hurried off to her next errand. Lorican found a
quiet corner, and sat down to read.

***

Garnet Valley Smith Hall, 11/21

Journeyman Lorican,

I received your letter with great interest, following as it did the
communications from the Holder of Rocky Bay and the Mastersmith at the
Weyr. It would seem you have been leading an eventful life these past
months. I am glad to hear you are recovering, and hope I'll get the
chance to hear the full story from you in person before too long.

You asked if I knew of any openings for a journeyman smith in the small
holds. If you prefer it, of course, I can find a such a place. However,
given your experience, the good reports I have received of you from your
masters and your proven ability to adjust to a life which is rather
different to that of Hall or Hold, I think we can do a little better for
you.

As you may have heard, the dragonriders are founding a new Weyrhold on a
lake here in the west, not far from Garnet Valley. The Smith Hall has
been asked to recommend crafters to work on the construction and
furnishing of the new buildings. While much of the work will be rather
mundane - I understand their greatest need at the moment is for nails
and builders' tools - there will be more interesting projects as the
work progresses, which would stand you in good stead when the time comes
for you to advance in the Craft. The Mastersmith's name is Dunrik and he
has an excellent reputation as a metalworker.

Take some time to think, and let me know your decision and when the
healers are likely to clear you for travel. The Weyrhold is in great
need of smiths and if you decide to take the post, the sooner you can be
there, the better.

Wishing you a swift return to health,

Trevyl, Master Metalsmith

***

Lorican read over the letter several times, if only to make certain he'd
not mistaken what he was being offered. He could hardly believe his
eyes. To work on the new Weyrhold was the opportunity of a lifetime for
any crafter. It would be arduous, true, and likely without many of the
comforts that even a small hold could provide, but he was well used to
plain living from his time on the road and the thought of helping to
build a Weyr that might stand for hundreds of Turns sent a thrill
through him unlike no other project he'd ever worked on before.

Not to mention that he'd be far away and could easily lose himself amid
the numerous workers and crafters who'd flock to the site. His attacker
would be hard-pressed to find him there.

He silently thanked Master Trevyl, who had always been kind when he had
been an apprentice. Either he'd contrived to overlook Lorican's latest
mishaps, or the report from the Holder of Rocky Bay couldn't have been
quite as bad as he'd feared. The man did have one of those tempers which
cooled as quickly as it had flared up, and he was fair-minded enough. It
was possible.

Cautiously, he re-read the part about advancing in the Craft. Could he
be close to earning his Master's knots? He'd always thought of that as
far off in the future, something he might try for when he got too old
for journeying and wanted a secure, comfortable position at a hold, but
now, he had a particular reason for wanting promotion...

He ought not to hope. There was no reason it should make any difference
to the Weyrhealer. But he had seen how happy she'd been with her own,
well-earned rise in rank and, given what he now knew, he couldn't think
of anything else in the world that he could do which might impress her.

He wouldn't be here to see it, of course. Despite all of the excellent
reasons to go, the excitement of the new Weyrhold and his profound
gratitude for the offer his old Master had made, he still felt a deep
reluctance to leave Dolphin Cove Weyr.

With a wistful sigh, Lorican folded the letter and went over to fetch
paper and ink from a shelf at the back of the smithy. Though the Master
had told him to take his time, he'd already made his decision. Better to
reply at once, before his courage failed him and he changed his mind.

Last updated on the August 19th 2019


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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.