Threadfall casualty.

NPC death.


It is evening of the seventh day of the twelfth month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.


Southern Weyr

OOC Date 10 Jan 2018 06:00



In future days, M'noq would wonder if his trust in N'lim that morning had been misplaced. There was no reason A'hali couldn't've led Threadfall, except maybe the drama that would ensue.

There had been an argument between the blueriding wingsecond and a couple of the wingriders, older guys who should have known better. You don't start poking a proverbial stick at a humorless, high-strung guy like N'lim, especially not just before you expect him to be level and observant.

That morning, even though it was months after his unfortunate injury, M'noq was still prevented from flying a full Threadfall. Exertion and too many trips ::between:: stole his breath, forced him to ground for the middle third of the 'fall. He and Ravaith watched the wing from a hilltop just past the leading edge, saw the accident happen.

Dilcena and green Marzipaniath had just begun training as outriders, and they were taking a turn, swinging out and protecting the larger dragons on the wing's flank. Dilena is a dearheart, and Marzipaniath's strength has always been agility over the ability to make snap decisions. The green darted left just a fraction of a second too late, and N'lim, having been an outrider himself for Turns, gave in to reflexes and sent his blue Kalsayuth to swerve and sear the clump above, preventing the girl's head from being taken off.

What good luck! She escaped without a scratch.

What bad luck! A knot of seething, gray tendrils tangled over the blue's left wing. This is where distraction will get you every time, never mind the pair's Turns of experience. Kalsayuth folded and spiraled down fast, wasting precious time before the pair finally winked ::between:: to freeze off the spore. When they returned, the dragonlink was flooded with split-second elation that maybe they would be all right after all. But they kept tumbling, falling into a hard, half-controlled landing that shook N'lim like a rag doll.

The healers thought initially that the pair was doomed. Then, when they hung on a day or two, that perhaps they would recover. But over three days, Kalsayuth began looking increasingly ashen, and N'lim only woke up once, perhaps not even recognizing his aging mother, who had rushed to his side.

When infection looked to be setting in, it was almost a relief when the blue departed ::between::. All of Southern's dragons sent out that aching keen. Sweet Dilena wept for days. N'lim never woke up, never had to live as a dragonless man.

During the days they waited, M'noq spoke to few people except the healers and N'lim's mother. He walked. He paced between the Infirmary and the war room, the Infirmary and the lower caverns, the Infirmary and back out to his ship weyr. He carried the black knot in his pocket for four days after Kalsayuth's departure, before the time came he had to present it to N'lim's mother.

How easy it is for the dragons. They can forget.

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