Date Turn 2761
10th Pass, 6th Turn, 6th Month
Senior Weyrwoman Talera of Gold Aerroth (Interim)
Junior Weyrwomen Melana of Gold Sularenth
Srunae of Gold Danovelith
Aleni of Gold Riyobith
Weyrleader A'zael of Bronze Fath
Weyrsecond B'rax of Bronze Gamath
Master Dragonhealer Zenelle of Green Verdath Weyrlingmaster K'ton of Bronze Sorth Assistant Weyrlingmasters Zi'lor of Brown Asriath
D'rew of Blue Sabanth Amaril of Green Jondalath Candidate Master S'bol of Blue Nesporth Assistant Candidate Master Haella of Green Tsulocanth
Those marked in italics are NPCs and are available for replacement by PC characters.
News While Mavros awaits the next gold to rise and take Karredy's place as Senior after her abdication, the Lord of Jask Hold celebrates his wedding with a grand gather and the Weyr attends for some much needed fun and relaxation, as well as to perform in dragon races as part of the wedding celebration.
D'nel smiled as he walked into the bustling dining cavern. It was after dinner, but the place was still filled with people chatting, having drinks, and playing games. Locals as well as visiting traders and fishers, resting after a long day working on the water around Mavros. He eased into the crowd, weaving around the tables, pretending to search for an empty seat while really eyeing everyone present. One of the visitors would be best, but some of the riders around here were really dumb, so it could work.
Tucked under his arm was a rolled-up canister containing a few canvas paintings. They had been created one day when Nadornith had a temper tantrum and knocked over a can of paint, tracking it all over the hides that had been meant for his latest weyrling project. It had been annoying to replace the hides, but when he mentioned it in passing to Vah, the green weyrling remembered a Harper's stamp he'd stolen a while back, and well...things kind of snowballed from there.
He slid into an empty table, carefully unrolling the first of the paintings and laying it out. He'd wait for people to come to them first. Leaning back, he waited for Vah to arrive. This scheme would be much better with both of them selling the ploy.
Vah slunk in the shadows for a few heartbeats, tracing the pulse of the crowd. It was an energetic day; there was a certain amount of cheer in the air, which spelled only good things for his enterprise. For some reason, he'd found happier people were more willing to part with their money. Happiness bred fools, he supposed.
After a moment had passed, he withdrew from the wall and began to weave his way quietly against the flow of traffic; unnoticed in the loud bustle of movement.
He simply nodded at D'nel as he approached, acknowledgement of his presence.
V'guel glanced over the paintings, and frowned. There was simply nothing quite as unappealing and unattractive as the mess of colors, blending in areas so strongly that they had bloated the paper and warped it. Fortunately, V'guel didn't have to like something in order to pretend he did. He would've had a rather short career back home, if that were the case.
"I brought the seal," he said, voice pitched carefully in the bustling and loud crowd. Just enough to be heard, not enough to be overheard. With a single quick movement, bit of slight-of-hand, he pressed it into D'nel's palm. V'guel smirked, "I'm not sure what I thought I'd do with it, but it goes to show you can always find a use for something."
Turning his back on his partner, the sly weyrling scoured the crowd for the perfect mark. His job was as it always was; find the face in the crowd that looked the most gullible - and, preferably, wealthy - and bring them over. It didn't matter the person's age or gender; V'guel could charm anyone who didn't know him. Given the right incentive.
"There," he murmured over his shoulder, "large man, to the right of that daft O'lars. Rings on all his fingers. Pointless luxury, does nothing but make his fingers all the more like sausage." His eyes narrowed, considering. A man like that wouldn't notice if one or two rings went missing, provided V'guel was clever enough. After all, no-one said he had to limit himself to one game a night.
He straightened. "Five counts of ten, and I'll be back this way again. Best have your story straight."
No need to play nice and wish D'nel luck. Vah wouldn't even try this kind of game with someone he didn't... 'trust' was perhaps too nice of a word for it. With someone who couldn't do their part, shoulder their weight. But he'd drop the man like a rock if he endangered V'guel's own game.
Weaving through the crowds again, a knife through cloth, V'guel wrapped his arm unceremoniously around the target's. Baffled, the man turned away from the conversation with the woman on his right, only to look down into the wide eyes of a very pretty young man smiling up at him.
He flushes like a redfruit, disgustingly unattractive, V'guel thought. Probably hold-bred, by the way he keeps darting glances as though my public attentions are going to bring him any negativity. I don't have time for this.
"I'm terribly sorry," V'guel said aloud, pleasantly, as he detached himself from the man's arm. "You looked like someone I know. But I suppose I have been left alone, again." He sighed, shook his head. There was a baffling stream of sounds from the target, which Vah wasn't even going to attempt to translate.
He glanced up at him through his eyelashes. "You wouldn't walk around with me, would you? I so hate walking the crowds by myself. You never know what might happen."
Baffled noises, and then as quick as that, V'guel had the target agreeing to walk with him. Vah shot a glance over his shoulder at D'nel. A few moments from now, he'd be bringing the man over, and they would act as though they didn't know each other. As long as D'nel did his part, this looked to be an easy job.
V'guel slipped a ring into his pocket, and smirked.
D'nel simply nodded as V'guel sat beside him, his face revealing nothing as they discussed the plans. His gaze flicked over to the man in question when the greenrider pointed him out. D'nel pursed his lips, eyeing the target with disdain. Back in Bitra, those rings would have gotten him all the wrong kinds of attention. It was expected there, though. In the Weyr, they had the advantage of surprise.
"Go work your magic." While V'guel went to draw the man into their trap, D'nel swiftly placed the seal over the painting, marking it as 'authentic.' Slipping the seal back into his pocket, he ordered a glass of wine from a drudge. Stretching out, he played it casual and took a sip, although the glass was mostly for show. He knew well enough to go into his dealings stone cold sober.
Soon enough Vah was approaching the table with the target in tow. D'nel looked the man up and down, getting a better luck now that he was closer. Shards, but his fingers itched to reach into those likely very deep pockets and relieve the man of some of his marks without any work at all...
But pickpocketing was for Bitran street rats, and he was on to bigger fish now. The payout would be much better if this plan worked out.
When the pair were in earshot, he caught the man's eye. "You look like a couple of gentlemen who enjoy some luxury. Have you seen the latest paintings out of Fort? It's modern art," he said, sweeping a hand over the artwork in front of him. He saw the man hesitate to look--or maybe he was just overwhelmed by the demands on his attention, but either way was fine. "I was lucky to stumble upon this. It's all the rage lately," he continued cheerfully. If the man didn't take the bait immediately, Vah would, and make sure that they kept him here.
The hold man glanced disdainfully at the paintings, and V'guel very nearly slipped and rolled his eyes. They were atrocious, surely, but who did this man think he was fooling - as though he had more taste than that!
On the other hand, lack of taste assured, V'guel was more than willing to bet the game itself that this man had no idea what was in fashion, no; nor even who the mastercrafters of note were.
It was time to up the stakes.
"Fort, you say? Oh," Vah let out a soft gasp, even as his arms wrapped around the mark's. He squeezed, gently, then slipped out to examine the works closer.
"I would recognize that... bold patterning anywhere" he said, demurely, letting his fingers hover delicately over the hide canvas as though it was the softest silk.
Time for a boldfaced lie; "Mastercrafter Havian's signature style, if I'm not mistaken? I haven't seen his work since I left my hold, my father would be stricken with envy. He is a lord holder of note, you know." He directed this last bit over his shoulder; the mark spluttered. "There are only a few such paintings in existence, Havian is a man notorious for the rarity in which he sells his masterpieces. Everyone who's anyone is crying to have his works hung in their chambers."
"Why, and that's a mastercrafter's symbol on the edge." His eyes, wickedly bright, sought D'nel's. "However did you get these here? It must have cost a fortune. I can't imagine anyone in Fort was willing to hand over such a prize"