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They Have Arrived

Writers: Estelle, Miriah, Suzee
Date Posted: 8th October 2019

Characters: Asaile, Yriadha, Riadem, Tarani, Noriya
Description: The expected young ladies arrive at Sunstone to be fostered
Location: Sunstone Seahold
Date: month 13, day 2 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: Bryvin, Brina


Noriya watched out the window of the carriage that carried her and two
other young blooded ladies from the ship on which they had arrived up
the winding streets of Sunstone Seahold to meet Lord Bryvin and other
young men of the Hold. Her mother had assured her when they sailed
that this was a golden opportunity for her to find that one man to
spend the rest of her love in honor and obedience.

She took a deep breath and smiled at the other two.

Asaile offered a brief but nervous smile as the carriage clattered
forward. Her hand went to the nape of her neck, trying not to fiddle
with the elaborate braids that her maid had stuffed her dark unruly
curls into. "What have you heard of him?" Her voice was soft, shy, and
hesitant. "My mother and father didn't tell me much."

"Mine didn't, either, but I've heard stories." The pretty red-headed
girl sitting opposite them leaned in closer, mischief sparkling in her
eyes. Tarani's upbringing had left her well versed in intrigue, and she
wasn't going to miss this opportunity to make the other two anxious and
off-balance for this first meeting. She lowered her voice. "Have you
heard about his first wife?"

Asaile frowned just a little, looking at Noriya before her hands
fluttered to her lap. "Didn't she die? Maybe it's not something we're
should talk about."

"I heard that she was ill and sent to the mindhealers poor thing."
Noriya said and reached out to pat Asaile's hand. "But I've been told
the Lord Bryvin is tall, dark, and handsome just like the Harpers

"Yes, I've heard that, too." People always did say such things about
Lords, Tarani thought, and she was prepared for him to be short, grey
and ill-favoured. "But his wife..." She lowered her voice. "Some people
say she went mad. Quite, quite mad. That it was in her Bloodline. And
others say she wasn't mad at all, but was planning to run away with a
dragonrider, and her husband found out and had her locked up with the
mindhealers to avoid a scandal. But I'm sure that's not true," she went
on, watching the shocked faces of her companions with secret glee. "A
Lady would never do such a thing. And nor would a Lord Holder."

Giving a small gasp, Asaile touched her mouth with her fingertips,
eyes wide. "Oh, that poor man. How awful. I can't imagine how
troubling that could be for him." She turned to look out of the
window, trying to understand how any woman could have ever done such a
thing to a man she was wed to. She hoped fervently that it wasn't
true, but Lord Bryvin had been married and wasn't any longer.

As they pulled up to the main Hold building, her gaze lifted to the
woman standing at the top of the steps. Asaile shied back from the
stern looking face; the slim woman looked far too intimidating. Was
that the Headwoman? Her own Hold's Headwoman had been a plump, jolly
woman, a far cry from what this woman appeared to be.

Noriya frowned at Tarani. "What Lady of the Blood would behave that
way. There must be another explanation," she said and began climbing
out of the carriage to approach the very proper looking Headwoman.
What an incredibly straight posture the woman had. "Ma'am," she sad
and swept an appropriate curtsey to one of lower station but high
rank. "I am Lady Noriya of Garnet Valley and these are my traveling
companions," she stepped aside for the other two. The carriage
bringing their luggage and servants trundled up and began to unload.

Asaile stepped forward, hiding her trembling hands in her skirts as
she echoed Noriya's curstey. "I am Lady Asaile, eldest daughter of
Lord Kirman of Crimson Cliff Hold."

The third young lady descended from the carriage, taking care not to let
her fine gown brush against its dusty side, and made her graceful
curtsy. "Lady Tarani, of Flint Hills Hold. My uncle is Lord Holder there."

Looking down at the three young women, Yriadha inclined her head in
greeting, but only a thin smile graced her lips. "Welcome to Sunstone
Sea Hold, Ladies. I am Yriadha, the Headwoman here. I am pleased to
meet you all. If you will follow me, I will show you to your rooms.
Dinner will be served in a candlemark, so I trust that will be enough
time for you to refresh yourselves to be presented to Lord Bryvin."
She gestured to drudges beside her, who hurried to remove the baggage
from the carriage. "You will of course, be answering to me for
fostering until such time as the Lord Holder's sister, Lady Brina,
arrives to begin
your fostering duties and lessons. This way, Ladies." She turned,
gesturing them to follow her.

Tarani looked about her as avidly as she dared as she followed the
Headwoman. She didn't want to gawk like a cotholder, but this place
was so different from her uncle's dull, staid Hold at Flint Hills.
Hold folk and traders bustled busily back and forth, and the air was
filled with chatter and gossip and the scents of spices, fruits and
newly cut wood. She felt excitement coiling inside her, and she
already knew she wanted to stay here. It wasn't easy to keep her
expression to one of polite interest, as befitted a lady.

Noriya simply followed in the Headwoman's wake but let her eyes wander
over the lovely construction of the Hold and its beautiful

Asaile did pay close attention, her wide eyes following the other
young women's. Like them, she was entranced by the hustle and bustle.
Her thoughts, however, were interrupted by the approach of a lean
young man that approached Yriadha.

"Your order has arrived in the infirmary as well as the letters you

Yriadha nodded, then gestured to the ladies. "Riadem, let me introduce
you to these ladies. They are fostering here for a time. Ladies, this
is Riadem, a senior journeyman healer. He specializes in women's
health, so if you are ill, you may go to him. This is Lady Asaile of
Crimson Cliff Hold, Lady Tarani of Flint Hills, and Lady Noriya of
Garnet Valley."

Riadem bowed at first perfunctorily, but as he rose, his eyes fell on
Noriya and he faltered, lips parting and eyes widening. As his mother
cleared her throat, he remembered himself. "Ah, yes. It's a pleasure
to meet you all."

Noriya was nothing if not used to that sort of reaction from some
young men. She simply extended her hand "Well met Journeyman Riadem,"
she said and bobbed a tiny curtsy. Still, he was rather good looking
she thought.

"How do you do, Journeyman." Tarani made her own curtsy, though she
was sure he wasn't paying the least attention to her. She glanced at
Asaile. Round one to Noriya, she thought.

Asaile quickly curtsied as well, but like Tarani, she didn't fail to
notice the man's gaze on her companion. It was rather sweet, she
thought, but her attention was taken once again as the Headwoman waved
them onward and past the Healer. "Come, ladies." Asaile followed
quickly, picking her skirts up just enough to clear her toes from
drinking over them.

They were led through the main hall, with Yriadha giving a brief tour
of the most important areas before leading them to their rooms. "You
will be sharing rooms, two girls to a room. Tarani, Noriya this is
your room. " She opened a door, allowing them to see the well
appointed room, with two vanities, beds, a full length mirror and
two large wardrobes. "Lady Asaile, you'll be staying with another
young woman who is due to arrive tomorrow in this room across the
hall. Further down this hall is the exit to the Lord Holder's family
area. I suggest that you not go through those doors unless you are
expressly invited."

"Of course not, Headwoman," Tarani said politely, though she eyed the
door indicated with curious eyes. Was that where the possibly-mad wife
had lived? "Lord Bryvin has a young son, does he not? Is his nursery
through there?"

"Yes, he does. Whether or not you'll meet him or interact with the
nursery will be up to Lady Brina. I shall be back within a candlemark
to escort you all to dinner. I suggest you take the time to refresh
yourselves before then. "

"Thank you ma'am," Noriya said with a nod of her head in
acknowledgement of her instructions. She turned into her room to do
exactly that and her maid followed her.

Tarani wondered what Lady Brina would be like, but she didn't quite dare
ask the Headwoman. They'd find out soon enough.

Last updated on the October 26th 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.