==== November 16th, 2013
==== N'cal, Iolarth
==== N'cal realizes the value of what he's suddenly in possession of.

Who N'cal, Iolarth
What N'cal realizes the value of what he's suddenly in possession of.
When Afternoon, following Indiscretions. There are 8 months and 15 days until the 12th Pass.
Where N'cal's Weyr, Igen Weyr


N'cal's Weyr
Simple and practical, this weyr is nothing special to behold, though it does have a certain easy charm to it. There are three distinct areas in here, giving the small cave almost a clover shape. Upon walking in, the first area to be seen contains a simple hearth with a built facing of sandstone blocks, as well as a table with a couple of chairs pulled up to it (both a dining area and a workspace) and a rack holding a few bottles of wine and other alcohol. The next place contains a couch and a few of deep, comfortable chairs, interspersed with a few shelves holding books and glowbaskets - a place to relax alone or with company. Finally, the largest branch off the main midst of this cave is blocked off with a dark blue hanging, beyond which lies a queen-sized bed, a couple of clothing chests, and a side table. A grand total of three large, woven hangings bearing bold, black geometric designs on deep jewel tones adorn the walls, but other than the requisite glow baskets, there is no further decoration.

The dull roar of the Bazaar filters up through the afternoon air, drifting easily past the open hanging to N’cal’s weyr on the light breeze. The bluerider sits at the small table in the first recess of his simple home, one boot propped up on another other chair as he slowly sips at a glass of sweet red wine. A stack of folded letters - some made of parchment folded into thirds, others clearly unrolled bits of hide that had likely been bound up for transport by firelizard- sits parsed into nearly even halves on the table before him, and one is currently in his hand. One would think this was just some casual reading over lunch…but nothing could be further from the truth.

The story outlined with these exchanges is almost the stuff of a bawdy Harper’s tale - though all the bawdiness comes from Lady Setelle’s end, not W’rin’s. His responses to her invitations and requests are actually fairly typical of the man, from what N’cal knows - promises to pay his duty to the Lady of the Hold whenever he was on business at Keroon (which seemed to be a regular occurrence during his early Wingleader days, likely at the request of the Weyrleader of that time), straightforward questions as to the whereabouts of Lord Tirvin during certain times he’d be visiting, even misgivings about what they were involved in. All of it blunt. Businesslike. Lady Setelle’s responses were always much more flowery, even to the point of seductive prose at times, and teasing the bronzerider for his orderliness fairly often.

N’cal gives a drawn sigh, rubbing his forehead. It just seems so unlike the Weyrleader. For all the bluerider finds him narrow-minded and short sighted, he knows W’rin to be utterly and completely dedicated to the survival of Igen. Not only that, his wing seems chock-full of riders fully trusting in their leader’s integrity, and the man’s character has him paired with a devoted weyrmate in the form of Sienna (the lucky bastard). So why must this surface now, to potentially endanger those perceptions? “They could be forgeries,” N’cal mutters with a shake of his head, taking another sip of wine.

« The when of these would say otherwise, as you’ve shown me. » Iolarth’s rich baritone swirls across N’cal’s mind amidst a mild breeze full of the scent fresh grass - a suggestion to keep a clear head. « And were someone to wish harm to Valiuth’s with these writings, who would know him so well as to guess his manner of response so accurately? »

N’cal concedes the point with a sigh, setting the current letter aside with a light crackling of stiff parchment and taking up another. The “when” that Iolarth speaks of are the dates N’cal found himself looking over carefully - roughly a decade ago, coinciding with a time before his Impression when Neacal traveled with the Vandor, spending a month or so in Keroon’s hospitality. He has a vague memory of a few visits from Igen bronzeriders during that time. W’rin might have been one of them…but that’s neither here nor there. The current letter - and the one accompanying it - holds a date slightly after the caravan would have left, with W’rin beginning to show his reluctance to continue the affair and Setelle not willing to give the association up just yet. That he would be the one voicing doubts first makes sense.

A decade. That’s enough time for a man to change. If he’d been any less stoic, less guarded in his past, Setelle could easily enough have seduced him. She was a beautiful and wily enough woman to get her way, especially if she wished to counter her husband’s contempt for their relationship by his own dalliances. This almost shouldn’t matter anymore…except that if Tirvin is on the warpath, as Bendegan said, it wouldn’t have mattered that this particular affair was so long past. Keroon and Igen are on friendly terms…but if Tirvin looked to save face, and was embarrassed by his wife carrying on with riders…

Restacking the letters resolutely, N’cal binds them once more with the leather tie that first held them. Standing, he finishes his wine and moves to take up his riding jacket. He’ll have Iolarth bespeak Valiuth- No. Whirlwind is still in drills. Which means that Eisheth likely is, as well…

« Eisheth leads their drills for the moment, » Iolarth informs his rider. « Valiuth’s is in the Council Chamber. »

Well then. Perhaps he can go straight to the source. If N’cal comes forward with these to W’rin himself, no questions asked, then all the better. It might even give him some leverage, creating a bit of trust so that certain issues where Arroyo is concerned might be viewed in a less-

N’cal freezes. Eyes flick to the bound-up letters on the table, blue-green gaze suddenly intense with a sudden idea that slams into him like a cold wall of wind.


Carefully, warm tendrils of breeze pick up pine needles and leaves in question around the abrupt stillness of N’cal’s mind. « N’cal? Am I to bespeak Valiuth? »

“Wait.” The bluerider sets his jacket back down, prowling steps taking him around the small table as he approaches his chair again, eyes never leaving that fateful stack. This… Simply giving this over to W’rin would likely not be enough to change his mind regarding Arroyo’s ideas and desires. Yet the letters must not reach the public eye or ear. And they won’t. After all, they’d be just as safe in N’cal’s hands; he has absolutely no desire to see Igen suffer lost tithes in a fit of pique from Keroon Hold. But if W’rin were to know Tirvin’s position, were to know about the existence of the letters…what would he agree to in order to see it all kept silent?

N’cal sits down hard, folding his hands as he rests his elbows on his knees and staring harder still at those letters over his knuckles. He’s no stranger to such dealings; he’s done plenty of small-scale blackmail in his day. But this is bigger… The mechanics are the same, but it feels so much heavier. There is no way W’rin would allow Igen to be compromised by this. Allowing chromatic riders the leadership of a wing would be a negligible price to pay for the safety of the Weyr, nor would it be to the detriment of it’s ability to fight Thread - contrary to what W’rin would like to believe. No. They’ll prove W’rin wrong, maybe even gain his respect as a wing. But this sort of forcing is the only way it’s going to happen. That much is clear to N’cal - not to mention many of the others in Arroyo. It’s going to work. The confidence he has in that, in how W’rin must react to maintain his Weyr, is almost frightening. More frightening? The chance that what N’cal is about to put in motion might be a serious misjudgment…but it’s a risk he’s willing to take.

And it all must be handled carefully. So, so carefully.

“Iolarth,” N’cal says aloud, his voice dangerously quiet as his furrowed brow reveals thoughts still churning, aligning, realigning, “bespeak Kanyith. There are plans to be made.”

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