Welcome to Triad Weyrs!

Triad now has a new search page. Go here to get to anything on the Triad Website or Forums. Check it out today!


Forgotten Password? | Join Triad Weyrs | Club Forum | Search | Credits

The Girls Sneak Out

Writers: Estelle, Miriah, Suzee
Date Posted: 28th November 2019

Characters: Brina, Riadem, Asaile, Noriya, Taranni
Description: Young ladies decide to sneak out and get into a bit of trouble
Location: Sunstone Seahold
Date: month 13, day 10 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned; Bryvin


Asaile tugged her cloak a little more closely around her and glanced
around, stomach turning with growing nerves. Tarani's suggestion to
dress up in a drudge's clothing had seemed really exciting at first,
something that she'd never have thought to attempt at home.The thought
of sneaking out anywhere would have never occurred to her. She glanced
at the other girls with her
and whispered. "I don't think we should be doing this. We'll get into

"No, we won't. Not if we're careful." Tarani nodded pleasantly at the
guards as they stepped out of the Hold into the cool evening air, her
eyes bright with the thrill of adventure. Clad in a simple gown she'd
borrowed from her maid, she enjoyed the feeling of her hair falling
loose around her shoulders rather than pinned up in the latest
fashionable style. "Lady Brina thinks we're all tucked up safely in bed.
She'll never even know we were gone." She started to walk, following the
gently sloping downhill path that led to the docks. "Besides, I didn't
come to Sunstone Seahold to spend all my time cooped up indoors, pouring
tea and doing embroidery. I could have done that at home." She glanced
back over her shoulder at the others. "This will be fun!"

Noriya pulled her hood further over her face as they slipped out. She
was very uncomfortable with this whole venture but her protests didn't
seem to affect the others. "I still think this is dangerous. My father
told me about port towns and how bad the streets can be at night."

"But we're together. We can protect each other." Tarani turned to face
the others, taking a few light, skipping steps backwards. They'd made it
out of the Hold, and now they were free! "You can't turn back now. You'd
have to leave me to go on my own. I might get snatched by a pirate
captain and carried off to his ship to have unmentionable things done to

Asaile gasped, eyes widening as she hurried after Tarani "That's a
horrible thought!" For a young lady who'd never been without a
chaperone or a maid, the thought of being alone and possibly subject
to the horrors of being abducted by some sweaty, bearded man with low
morals, was enough to make her scurry after her companion. She gripped
Tarani's arm and looked with wide beseeching eyes at Noryia. "Please
don't leave us alone."

Noriya's heels dug in and her tone was heavy with disapproval
"Tarani," she said in disgust. "I don't want to move another step
until you promise not to act like a wanton. We're simply taking a look
around. Should it become in the least bit dangerous we're going back

The girl pouted briefly, but relented. "Oh - all right. I promise." If
Noriya returned, she thought, then most likely Asaile would scurry back
too, and as eager as she was to experience all the wild delights of the
port and tavern, she was not sure she dared face them on her own. What
if there _were_ pirates? "Please, Noriya? Do come with us. I'm sure it's
not as bad as people say. Lord Bryvin wouldn't let crime go unchecked in
his Hold."

Clutching her cloak close to her chest, Asaile's eyes flicked from
Tarani to Noriya, then back again. Feeling her heart pitter patter
with both nerves and excitement, she looked at Noriya. "Please,
Noriya? I can't imagine that Lord Bryvin ever be like that." The
moment she'd seen the Lord Holder, with his intense eyes, her heart
had fluttered madly at the very thought of him. He'd smiled at her
too, a thought that made her cheeks flush at the memory. "I really
want to see what the rest of the Hold looks like."

Looking at Asaile Noriya softened slightly. "Alright," she nodded. But
she didn't look all that happy about it. "I promised my father I would
not disappoint him and I intend to keep that promise," she said to
Tarani. She didn't want to act the chaperone but felt like it would be
necessary at this point. She shook her head and started walking down
the street "Let's go."

"Yes, let's!" Tarani wanted to run ahead on impatient feet, but she
caught Noriya's look and made herself walk sedately with the others. As
they approached the docks, she found that there was so much to see that
she didn't mind the slow pace so much. It was a warm evening, and there
were many holders out enjoying the night air. All around them
glowbaskets were being opened and lamps lit, and they could smell the
spicy scent of roasting meat and the bitter tang of ale.

As they passed a group of young men in the worn and salt-stained
garments of dock workers, a loud burst of laughter went up. Someone
whistled and shouted something Tarani couldn't quite hear, and she let
out a nervous giggle. "Oh - perhaps we'd better go indoors?" She pointed
to the tavern building, looming up ahead.

Asaile tried to tuck herself between the two other girls as though
sheltering between them would protect her from the rather seedy
looking men that stared at them and made suggestions that she was
quite certain weren't possible. Her nose wrinkled at the bitter smells
and glanced at her companions, moving to tuck her arms in their own;
it wasn't as much out of affection, though she certainly liked them
both, but for her own assurance that they wouldn't be separated.

The tavern _was_ brightly lit, but the raucous laughter coming from
within it was almost grating and so different from the polite titters
and giggles that she was used to in her mother's solar or her father's
very structured and reserved dining hall. But surely in a crowd there
wouldn't be accosted by the dreaded pirates Taranni had mentioned.
"Yes, perhaps that would be better."

"Are you sure about that," Noriya asked as she looked around the room.
She felt vaguely dirtied just by the environment and found she didn't
like the feeling one bit.

Tarani stared with round eyes at the crowd of tavern-goers. Men in the
worn and grimy garb of fishermen and burly dockhands with arm muscles
that looked almost as big as her head squeezed together on long benches
or around tables, laughed and shouted for drinks, while women in garish
colours, with plunging necklines that showed far more than was decent
squeezed through the crowd carrying trays of overflowing mugs. It was
uncomfortably warm and the smell was indescribable - sweat and salt,
stew and old beer and the underlying reek of fish. Her uncle's drinking
parties with the gem traders had sometimes got rowdy, but never like
this! It was both horrible and completely thrilling.

"Evening, darlings!" A young, fair-haired man with seacraft knots
staggered up to them, half-leaning on a friend's shoulder. He grinned at
Noriya and raised a half-empty mug. "Buy you a drink?"

An odd strangled "peep" emerged from Asaile's throat as she ducked
behind both of the other ladies. The noise, the sights, and the smells
were overwhelming to her, making her eyes bulge in an almost comic
display. Then she felt a hand grab her bottom, she gasped, whirled and
was confronted by a large bearded man with what seemed to be the
biggest arms and shoulders she'd ever seen.

Riadem looked up from his pint of ale. Normally not one for much
drinking, his own private problems had drawn him to the tavern to
drown himself in drink for the evening. He could ignore the typical
bustle of the tavern, but at the sudden loud hoots, he rubbed the
bridge of his nose. Faranth, if there was a tavern brawl, he'd be up
late patching up these idiots. He sighed and then glanced around the
man beside him to see what the commotion was. What he saw then made
him put down his pint and rise immediately. What in the blazes were
those three, _her_ of all people, doing down here? Cursing to himself,
he pushed through the crowd. Coming up behind the blonde haired youth,
he brushed by him and greeted the three with a wide, forced smile.
"You didn't have to come and get me ladies. I was on my way. I should
have left sooner." He approached and cleared his throat. "Sorry, men,
they're messengers from the Headwoman looking for me."

Noriya looked at the healer with grateful eyes just when she felt a
vicious pinch on her bottom. She swung around and gave the offender a
resounding slap with as much force as she could muster. "Don't you
_dare_ touch me," she spat at him and glared at the rest of the
leering faces.

Her action brought a loud chorus of guffaws and jeering from the men -
and a few women - who'd gathered around to see the show. The young
sailor, who was clearly very drunk, swayed closer and rested a friendly
arm on Riadem's shoulder. "Hey, no need to be greedy. There are three of
them. Plenty to go round." He downed another swallow of beer. "You want
the feisty blonde? I'm not gonna mess with him," he went on, gesturing
towards the burly man who was facing Asaile, "so I'll take the little
redhead. Deal?"

Tarani had turned so her back was to the others, to prevent anyone from
touching _her_ bottom, and she treated him to her best freezing stare.
"You'll do no such thing, you...you ugly son of a watchwher and a
diseased goat!" She felt a hand starting to creep around her waist, and
brought down the heel of her shoe as hard as she could on the man's foot.

Sweet Faranth, this could get ugly quick. Most of the men were drunk
and there weren't any guards to be seen. Riadem brushed off the man's
hand and raised his voice. "These women are members of the Headwoman's
personal staff. Unless you want to deal with her and possibly Lord
Bryvin for accosting her staff, back the blazes up. " Relying on his
mother's and the Lord Holder's reputation, he turned to the ladies and
forced a smile. "I suggest you leave. Now, ladies." He spread his
arms, waving them at the door and spoke between clenched teeth. "I
would hurry. They may be drunk enough to not think about

Tarani wasn't sure what that meant, but the laughter of the men had
taken on a menacing tone and there was a spike of tension in the air
that cut through the fog of sweat, grime and spilled beer. The sailor
who'd tried to grab her had stumbled back, cursing, but another stepped
up to take his place, grinning. Suddenly desperate to be out of this
awful place, she took Asaile's hand and pushed her way through the
crowd, which mercifully gave way before her, to the tavern door.

Noriya took one look at the faces around her and turned to obey the
healer and follow the other two out of the door and into the street.
"Stupid, stupid," she muttered to herself. She looked over her should
and saw the concern as they all headed back up the incline toward the
main Hold.

A chorus of boos and laughter followed Riadem as he forced his way out
of the tavern to follow the three girls. The moment they were clear
of the doors, he glared at the young women. "What possessed all of
you to go into a sailors tavern this late? Do you have any idea of
what could have happened?"

Noriya was immediately contrite. "I'm sorry," she said. Her parents
had warned her about peer pressure and she knew this time it had
landed her in the kind of trouble they'd feared when then sent her to
Sunstone. "I didn't know." she said even more softly.

Asaile stood beside Tarani, trembling wildly. "I'm sorry. I'm so
sorry. " They were in so much trouble. Would this get them sent home?
What would Lord Bryvin think? What would his sister think? Faranth,
would this ruin them all? For a moment, she thought of saying that it
was all Tarani's idea, but glancing at her friend, the words died in
her throat. She couldn't possibly due that to the other girl.

Riadem exhaled through his nose, then ran a hand through his hair in
agitation. "Of course you didn't. Look, come on, I'll take you all
back to the main hold and get you in quietly. This sort of thing is
the last thing that you want people talking about."

Tarani followed them back up the hill towards the Hold. Now that they'd
escaped to safety, she'd recovered some of her courage and raised her
chin in defiance. "Noriya is right. How could we have known that the men
in that tavern would be such disgusting brutes? Lord Bryvin ought to be
ashamed of himself, that ladies can't go out for an evening stroll in
his Hold without being harassed."

Noriya nodded at Riadem and then turned a glare on Tarani. She was
appalled by the girls duplicity. "Wasn't it you who said you might be
carried off by a pirate Captain?" She shook her head. "I am done
listening to you," she added vehemently. "This wasn't Lord Bryvin's
fault, it was yours and exactly what you wanted."

Asaile looked between her two companions, distressed by what she
feared was an oncoming argument. She liked both of them and had no
desire to be caught in the middle of any sort of dispute. But the
slight to Lord Bryvin couldn't go without comment could it? Biting her
lower lip, she stepped between the pair. "Let's not argue please...I
just want to go back to my rooms and forget about tonight. Please?"

"Ladies of the Hold don't go to the docks without an escort." Riadem's
voice was firm. If you had wanted a walk..." His voice trailed off as
he spotted a slim woman approached and raised his voice just enough
for it to be heard. "I will always be available to escort you to
anywhere you wish. Thank you all for joining me this evening."

Tarani, who'd narrowed her eyes for a poisonous stare in Noriya's
direction, was briefly confused. "But we didn't..." Then she recognized
the woman and the words caught in her throat.

"Ladies." Brina had walked swiftly over to meet them, the immediate
worry fading from her expression as she saw that all her missing charges
were safe, although her eyes remained concerned. "Journeyman. You've
been for a walk?"

Noriya was still stiff with anger at Tarani but she turned slowly to
face Lady Brina. "Yes," she answered slowly though she clenched her
jaw on her anger. "He was kind enough to escort us. Thank you," she
said to the Journeyman with grateful eyes. "For everything." Then she
sent another glare at Tarani before curtsying to Lady Brina. "If
you'll excuse me Lady Brina, I find I am quite fatigued."

"Of course, Lady Noriya. All three of you ought to retire to your rooms,
I think. We'll speak more of this tomorrow. Journeyman, I thank you for
your time spent with the ladies this evening, but I can accompany them
from here." Brina gave Riadem a look that wasn't quite disapproving, but
was certainly firm. "I will consider whether any future excursions would
be appropriate."

"Of course, I understand completely. Forgive me, Lady Brina, but it
was completely my idea to take the ladies on an evening stroll. I
thought simply to show them the beauty of the Hold in the evening. I
should have discussed the matter with you first." He bowed, his eyes
lingering over Noriya before straightening.

Asaile opened her mouth, ready to refute him, but after a quick
thought, shut it just as quickly. She flashed him a grateful smile and
hurried towards the Hold proper, eager to be back to the safety of her
room and quietly resolving never to leave the Hold proper in the
evening unless absolutely necessary.

Brina inclined her head briefly in acceptance. "Well, thank you, again.
Good evening, Journeyman." Then she turned and followed the girls
towards the Hold entrance.

Last updated on the December 18th 2019

View Complete Copyright Info | Visit Anne McCaffrey's Website
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.