. . . Flurry Revisited 2004

Ainea and her shiny winter-specked dragoness Adisath spent almost equal amounts of time in Ainea's northerly frozen den as they did in the southern Bald Mountain territory. After living with humans, elves, dragons and vampires even, Ainea found that she enjoyed company more often than being alone. That and Adisath truly blossomed when there were other dragons to watch her.

You are such a show-off, Ainea sent, why are you looping-the-loop like that?

Because I am happy! There has been a birth at Bald Mountain!

With a gasp, Ainea rushed out from her icy den and looked around for the white-on-white of Adisath. Who!? Who has recognized?

That is a secret!

Ainea gave off an uncharacteristic growl of frustration. There would be no getting it out of the white, once she made her mind up about something that was that. If it was a secret because the dragon could keep it that way, there was one solution.

They would go back to Bald Mountain as soon as they could. Ainea began packing her travel clothing. Lighter leathers and more open gear because it was much warmer there. Not that there wouldn't be snow on the mountain soon enough but it would never ice over like her own home.

After only a day of preparation, Ainea was ready. Adisath obviously was proud of herself, because she rarely saw Ainea move so fast than when her friends at Bald Mountain were involved. Shortly they flew off, into the southern valleys.

It would have taken long days to reach Bald Mountain by just flying. Ainea focused on the peaks meeting area, and sent a clear image to Adisath. With that in mind, they teleported directly. It was a short trip then!

She heard the shouts of the two elves on scout duty, and their dragons bugled. Adisath replied with her own bright call, and they flew into the main meeting den.

"I knew it wouldn't be long before we had visitors!" Apogee laughed, and spread her arms to embrace the elf who had made their tribe dragonriders.

I couldn't stay away - Adisath won't tell me who the lucky parents are! Ainea sent, and Apogee nodded.

"Well you could guess - Heartshy and Clearwater have finally recognized!" Apogee sounded so excited, and Ainea's eyes filled with happy tears. "They have a little girl!"

The pair went down to the birthing den, where Heartshy still remained resting. Though their child had been born more than a hand of days before, Heartshy was a slender, fairly fragile elfess and required a little more rest than some. Clearwater was the proud father he always wanted to be, holding the bundled girl - her honey colored hair glistened in the firelight of the den, and he gently sang to her.

Congratulations, Ainea bespoke to them, warmly. I brought you something!

She pulled from her satchel one of the things she'd worked on right before leaving, something that had originally been intended to finish for a gather sale, but now she realized would make a perfect gift. A crystal, shaped by her magic. It was small, no bigger than her hand, but well detailed. Another dragon in flight, one that she was very proud of. Its wings spread out in a fan, and its long neck was serpentine around to its tail.

Bringing this out it sparkled in the fire light, and caught Heartshy's eye. "Oh thank you Ainea! It is lovely - it can hang in the ledge entrance at our den!"

"That's a perfect addition," Clearwater said, nodding. He dangled it over the baby's nose, and she giggled at it. She could hardly reach out though, she was bundled firmly.

Have you thought of a name? Ainea asked, and they both nodded.

"Right now, her name is Honeycomb, for her hair," Clearwater announced. The rest of the tribe already knew this, but it was made official with Apogee and the rest watching.

The party for her birth went on for a while, and Ainea wound up getting to hold Honeycomb once or twice that evening. It was a huge thrill for her, she'd never actually felt the touch of an infant's skin or smelled one close up. She'd seen plenty of human cubs, but they smelled very different.

While they rested, after eating a large meal of fresh deer and fruits, they heard the dragons off hunting their own meals from the passing herd. Every year, a massive yellow-deer herd would migrate and passed north of Bald Mountain to their summer home. Their southern path was different, so spring hunting was better than fall.

Many multi-colored eyes glimmered from around the central fire, some of them unfocused and sleepy, others bright and intense.

It was to a pair of intense, red-orange eyes that Ainea's were drawn. The white leathers that Shatter wore were distinct, attractive. But it was hardly his leathers that Ainea's mind was drawn to.

She felt herself grow full of energy. Why? She'd just eaten, usually that would make her sleepy. But it seemed to be having the same effect on Shatter across the fire. The flames danced around and were the same color as his eyes.

Beautiful eyes, she thought. Lovely. Tzchen, tzchen, the sound fluttered through Ainea's mind like ashes on the heat of the fire.

Her eyes grew wider.

He knows. As she knows.

Shatter rose to his feet, carefully, casually, as though he were just heading back to his den. Which he was, but moments later there was a whisper on the wind which only Ainea heard. His magic carried his voice to her sensitive ears.

"Come with me, Ainea, I think we should ... talk."

Most of the others were drowsy and half asleep so no one even questioned her rising too. They met up in the dark, quiet forest nearby. In the spring the woods were blossoming with yellow pollen, and it was that pollen that Ainea would always recall as the scent of her Recognition.

"Tzchen," she whispered, her voice barely used to speaking aloud. But slowly over the many long years of isolation, her own body healed itself. She hadn't known.

"Tomei," was the word which he said back, and it seemed to fill every pore and cell of Ainea's body. Her whole mind flooded with - with him.

Adisath and Morteireuth both remained silent in mind, but could be heard above the dens, perched on ledges with the other sleeping dragons. They would not become mates until their elf bonds decided to - well, that was a quick decision.

Ainea's hands shook, as she put her fingers on Shatter's well-angled chin. They were both strong, dark skinned, handsome elves. Ainea did not consider herself nearly as pretty as the Bald Mountain girls, but in Shatter's eyes, suddenly, she was most assuredly prettier than all the rest.

It would be a consuming evening, all through the dawn and into morning, while the pair explored the depths of Recognition. Ainea saw his hidden desires and faults, and Shatter the long lonely days and nights that made up Ainea's life. Yet they fit together.

"There will be - I hope there will be a child from this," Shatter whispered when Ainea had awoken. She nodded, and felt his fingers grip her own. "Where, though? Will you stay here?"

At that, Ainea sat up, slowly. I do not know, Tzchen, my home will... well, it will melt! You could come up with me for a time. I would not take you for long...

"And then you could come here and bear the child?" He asked, almost plaintive. This was clearly important to him.

I don't see why not, but... why don't we wait a while, and make plans later. There is enough excitement for children here right now.

He agreed, and at last they took their limbs and unwound. Ainea had not been intimate with many males, precious few in fact. But clearly Shatter was adept at lovemaking and had the added bonus of being truly involved - body and soul - with her.

But there was something that gnawed at the back of her mind, because of what she now knew. Rasp will be angry, Ainea thought, carefully, and Shatter paused. He had his shirt on, his leggings half up and he looked at Ainea.

His eyes had lost the red of the fire, but gained a golden glow. He smirked a little, "yes, she probably will be. But ... There isn't a lot any of us can do about that. She'll be angry at anything for any reason at all."

Ainea didn't much want to cross the elf woman, she was much bigger and stronger, and always in motion. The ice elf was almost opposite her, being careful, patient, quiet. Is she who you would rather have as a lifemate?

"Do you really want me as a lifemate?" Shatter asked, smiling. He knew the answer. Any lifemate of hers would have to be in love with the cold - and he just didn't quite qualify. "I enjoy her company, and I'm sure that eventually she'll accept this. She hates kids, you know that."

Well she had better not hate yours! Ainea said, and pulled on her tunic.


"But why now? Why did this happen just now?" Rasp's distinct voice cut through the high-cold air of the dragon den. Ainea tilted her head, listening and being as patient as she could - without fleeing. Rasp was much more intimidating when her ire was pointed at her, than at someone or something else. "I mean, you've visited many hands times, why just now?"

Probably because of the new baby, Ainea sent, her mind was quiet and chilly, but clear like the crystals she shaped. I do not know.

"But now you're - Shatter and I were-"

I am not stealing him away from you, Rasp! Ainea sent, I am merely fulfilling our birthright as elves. We must bring this life into the world - you do not want to do it, there may be some male out there for you that you haven't met yet.

Rasp fell silent. Her red-tipped blond hair was like a fire, and that was how everyone treated Rasp. As though one must be attracted to its beauty but often burned.

"That's... a good point, Ainea," Rasp finally said. "I hadn't thought of it that way. Obviously Shatter and I aren't going to be recognized. Ours is a union by choice, not by need."

I can share the feeling, if you want it, Ainea said. In sending mind-to-mind, there is no way to lie save by those extremely powerful. Neither of these women were of that bent, and Rasp shook her head.

"No, no, I have all but that from Shatter. You're right, maybe someday I can barge into someone else's life and -" She suddenly put her hands over her mouth, "oh - I didn't mean it like that! I didn't!"

I know you didn't, but it's what you will do someday, won't you? No one could fault you that, Rasp, everything you do is strong. Your children will be strong too, and don't forget, many males enjoy tending children. You would only be denbound a few moons at the most. Then, Ainea winked, you and your brood would be able to terrorize the mountains together.

They laughed, Rasp not entirely at ease with it, but knowing that her mate Shatter would be well within her reach still. With the dragons to fly them here and there, distance meant nothing. Even when Ainea went back to her icy home to the north, Shatter could come and go and hardly miss a hunt.


"We should celebrate, you know," Shatter said over a cook fire. "Right now it's just the three of us and our dragons who know."

"And the dragons gossip constantly, so everyone will know soon enough," Rasp said while poking at the flames with a long stick. The fish they caught would be sweetest when just crisped on the outside, so they set up a quick fire. Rarely would they eat wholly cooked meals.

Ainea didn't really want to have all the attention of the tribe focused on her - this was still only a hand of days after her arrival, and everyone was still cheerful and congratulating the new parents Clearwater and Heartshy. She didn't want to take the attention off them.

Well, perhaps when I leave. That way I can sneak away and no one will stop me, if I plan to be gone. Right?

Rasp and Shatter laughed, they both knew how hard it would be to pry the tribe off her, but they'd make the attempt.

That attempt was two days later, when Rasp had caught a fat boar in the southern marshes. She and Lorewrath brought it and a host of herbs and tubers to the celebration lodge, and demanded that someone cook everything into a stew.

Soon enough they knew why. Ainea was both happy and distressed to be congratulated, and finally late after everyone had their fill of the fine stew, she begged out and rode Adisath home.

Her home was in good shape, only minor ice-work needing to be done to fix it, and some sweeping of snow drifts out. Adisath kept watch for the flocks of huge flying creatures that went by the place in spring, while they were not good eating, she claimed they were loads of fun to fly around.

Eventually, of course, Ainea would have to head back south. More than a turn later, after several visits from the tribe to her place (where they piled her with their kill's hides - she was still a better tanner than they had, so they would always trade with her), she decided it would be time to come to Bald Mountain.

With the child she would bear a little more than halfway grown inside her, she began to put on a little weight. Over the winter, in fact, she had to let out a number of her normal tunics and leggings. She realized with a laugh that she'd have to either make herself maternity wear, or re-do all her clothing once again when she returned to her normal size!

A long long session of ice- and crystal shaping went by, before she was satisfied her home would be all right without her. Since she had no plans on skipping time with her dragon to return - and be at Bald Mountain at the same time - she wanted to make certain it was going to weather the winter and spring without her.

Packed, ready to take a bundle of well-tanned and smoothly finished hides and furs back with her, Ainea prepared to send directions to Adisath. But the dragon gave her a very un-dragonish shake of her head.

No, I cannot take you between. I will fly the way, it will take longer but I will not endanger you with your child. The Nexus is no place for the unborn. I have heard this said by many dragons.

With three hundred and fifty some turns behind her, Ainea wanted to protest. But she knew that the dragon was right. The chill of ice and snow shaping was one thing. But nothing could shape the cold of the nexus. So they took wing over the high ice plains. South, and to the east a bit they drifted. Five days of long flights and brief rests, two hunts and one nice bath in a hot springs. Finally they spied the familiar territory below, and the scattered dark cavern entrances which had now been given flags and decorations by their inhabitants.

Elves didn't used to advertise their presence on the World of Two Moons, Ainea smiled to herself. They used to hide and try to make themselves invisible. But we dragon riders are a different lot!

Adisath bugled and was answered by half a dozen dragon voices, and Ainea was led to the den where she would reside for the next forseeable amount of time.

Her birth pains were less than Heartshy's, the den was warm and filled with attentive magics from Warmhand, and music from a bone flute that his son Clearwater played. The tiny but curious face of Honeycomb peered into the room occasionally, and Rasp was just as eager to see her mate's child as Shatter was.

They held her hands, as Ainea crouched over a pit of soft furs. Warmhand had very little to do but wait for the babe to pop out, unlike his daughter-by-recognition's had done. Heartshy's labor left her losing some blood, but it looked as though Ainea's was sound and easily healed.

After being bathed in warm clean water, the baby was passed to Ainea's waiting arms. The cord and afterbirth was collected, none of the tribe knew what Ainea would do with it, as their custom was to bury it by certain trees to assure fertil soils. Someone asked her and she blandly agreed - she had no tribe to dictate any customs to her. She knew others who ate it, or served it to their bond animals, or even burnt it as a rainfall tradition, but this was just fine with her.

She gazed at the round face of her new baby. She knew it was a boy, and that he had a soul-name hidden deeply within him. Surely Honeycomb's was also nestled thus - neither child had lived long enough to build something to protect it, a soul name was good for that. His skin was dark, like hers and Shatter's. On top of his round head, however, was a paler version of Shatter's mop of silvery white, like a drift of snow.

"Icecap," she said aloud, her voice weak but having had a work out from her birthing.

"That's a fine name for him!" Warmhand said, standing and collecting the others who had come to watch. Only Rasp and Shatter were allowed to remain with her then.

"I'll tell the tribe," Rasp announced, after nuzzling with the child briefly. Though it was not hers, she felt a pride and outpouring of emotion about him. Maybe there was something about this recognition and childbearing thing after all.

She exited, and Shatter quietly held his son. The fire in his eyes was mirrored in the brilliant sunset oranges of Icecap's, and a prouder father had never been spotted (except maybe two turns before!).

A hand-of-hands later (that's sixteen years by the way)

"I can't believe you got me with that," the honey-haired and newly-named Morning Glory said, spitting out remnants of the snowball that Icecap had nailed her with.

"I can't believe it either, you run like a rabbit!" He laughed, throwing himself left and right. "But then I'm good at hunting rabbits too."

Morning Glory pushed her hair back behind her long red-tipped ears, and made a finger wave in the air. "That's nothing. When you can catch a humming bird in your hands I'll be impressed."

"Will this do?" Icecap said, and then gave a queer noise. Suddenly a number of brightly colored birds swept through the snow-covered trees, chirping loudly and fluttering onto branches.

Laughing, Morning Glory nodded. "That will do, Icecap, I'm impressed."

They heard the bugling of dragons in the air, and both rushed back up to the meeting lodge. Several of their elders were already there, and others arrived on dragonback. Icecap's mother Ainea was back for her visit, and they embraced as she lept from her dragon.

"Mother it's good to see you!" Icecap said, his voice was as rich as his father's and his mental sendings were as clear as Ainea's. We've missed you! And we've been saving some skins for you!

Always with work for me, Ainea sent with a grin. She greeted everyone broadly, and then set about her routine here in Bald Mountain. When she was here, she left half her tanning supplies and kept their hides separate from hers up north. Ainea's talents were going to be passed on - but most likely to Heartshy who expressed the desire to do something faintly more useful in the tribe.

"I just got tired of being the only one herding any more," she told Ainea as they scraped hides together. "It isn't as though the herds really need tending, what with the dragons able to catch them and bring them close again."

You like the goats and sheep though, and they always seem calm around you. That's almost like having magic for it.

"True," Heartshy said, "but it's not like your talent here. This," she held up a grey-colored hide, "is pure skill. And someday I'll rival you, I swear it!"

Then perhaps I should reserve my secrets! Ainea smiled. They got along well, and everyone would benefit from this working relationship.


"It's time that you two became full members of the tribe," Apogee said, in a formal meeting up in the high Aerie. Everyone had brought a small object, a token from them to each of the young elves. Morning Glory and Icecap stood in the middle of the room near Apogee, nervously.

Icecap was strongly built and able to take the gazes of everyone easily, the slender and tall Morning Glory didn't wilt but was more apt to move her eyes to her parents for support. Rarely were people singled out in this tribe, so this was an odd occasion.

Both knew that the elders - in other words everyone else including Ainea - had conversed about this meeting before hand. They were conspiring and neither young elf knew why.

Until it struck them - everyone was a dragon rider. They had seen clutches of dragons born elsewhere from the tribe's bonds, but none here in Bald Mountain. Until they had a number of people to bond off to those dragons they reasoned it would be best not to over-burden the area with them.

"It is time that you two became dragon riders," Apogee said, and spread her arms. "We're all in agreement - the place that you should go is one known to all of us, Nidus Ryslen. It's in your blood, both of you, that you go there." She looked at Clearwater, whose white-winged blue Iizzith had hatched there, and back to Ainea whose shining flurry white Adisath had hatched the Flurry before.

"There is another Flurry, this season," Apogee continued. "So in the tradition of our own generation bonding there, I'm pretty sure that you will also be welcomed."

"They'll be surprised to see your children," Squall announced, the dark-haired lovemate of Apogee was often looked up to as a second chief, but rarely did the water-dragon rider want the attention. She waved her hand at the pairs in question, "since you've both been here longer than there - you'll be needing to travel through time as well as space."

"You can do that?" Morning Glory asked, her big green-yellow eyes shining.

"Neat," Icecap added.

"That does not mean you can do it all the time, or even at all," Shatter warned his son. "It's going to be hard to learn, and we have time, of all things here. We have time. So don't worry. Just do as you're instructed and you will come back to us with your dragons."

"We'll take you," Heartshy said, and indicated Ainea beside her. "Though Shivay is hardly a Flurry dragon!" Her black Lantessama dragoness outside gave a chirruping laugh.

So they were given time to collect their wits, but also handed small baubles from each of the tribe members. Mostly carved bone, or stone objects, but Hammersmith handed them both a pair of fine daggers each, with sheaths made from Ainea's leathers as well as Clearwater's loom. Some of the items, they were told, should be sold or traded at Gathers for other things they might want. But most were little reminders that they were loved at home - and that was where they would return.

"Morning Glory, you'll want to be wearing warmer leathers," Squall said, and indicated the folded cloth that Brittlebough held. She shook them out and held them up to the tall elfess, and nodded.

"Those will definitely do." The plant-shaper smiled, "I know you've grown up with those silken things that your father makes, but the fact is that Ryslen's flurry is cold. Colder than here, certainly. And I can't stand to see you running around outside wearing such little clothing."

"She's trying to say that she helped distill the color for them," Warmhand said. The leathers were almost the same shade violet-lavender as her normal silken skirts, and soft beyond belief.

"You've kept those up north," Icecap said to his mother, and Ainea nodded. She outfitted him with a similar batch of new clothing too, but they would have others packed away for their trip.

And at last, after a long cheer and a flight of dragons overhead, the pair of mothers took their young to Ryslen. (their stats are now on that page)

((Ainea then heads off to Lantessama, below!))


(formerly ainea-2004-2.htm)

As it had begun to snow upon the strange Ice Land sands at Lantessama, Ainea noticed that the eggs were trembling. Almost as though each and every one of the snowflakes that struck the ground rang a chord in the hatchlings within.

It had been so long since Ainea had attended a hatching! She knew that Ryslen would be her next stop again, to hopefully see her son pair up! But for now, the chill and beauty of this place had captured her eye and Adisath's wings took them there.

As the dragons began to spring from their eggs, Ainea noticed they had lovely fur accents - almost as though they were decorated with the same kind of trim she'd put on an outfit. Entranced, she watched as egg after egg disgorged its contents, and the colorful but icy or crystalized-looking dragonets chose their partners.

Many chose only to be accompanied somewhere. But some found a true heart to heart bond like Adisath's and Ainea's.

At last, though, after more than two hands of dragons had come and gone, a lovely crystal grey shaded male made his way toward Ainea. He gazed at her, almost forming a proper bond - it didn't feel as deep as Recognition, nor as deep as the bond between she and Adisath, but it was present and enjoyable.

She felt Adisath perk up in the back of her mind too, when he said,"You are taken already, but I feel my place is with you, and that you will not mind my extra company."

Without opening her mouth she replied to the dragon:  I think I wouldn't mind a little extra company, Nivoan.

Yes I believe we would like some company! Adisath thought carefully. Nivoan looked around and saw the Flurry dragoness who would be his transportation back to Abode.

Thank you for agreeing, the crystal grey said, politely bowing.


While the flight back to her icy den was quick, Nivoan took in everything he could. They emerged from the darkness of the Nexus into the blinding white snow of Abode's northern realms. Circling once over the area, Adisath let them down carefully.

This is our home most of the turn, but then we go south to our other home - there are many more dragons, some even from your birth home, there. She told the youngling.

While Ainea worked leather bits into supple clothing, Adisath taught the grey-colored fur bearing dragon how to first locate prey, then to fly, then to properly hunt from the sky. As time went on he quickly became adept at all.

He was mostly able to sneak up on prey - because he glimmered like the very sheets of frosty snow below his feet. And, it seemed, he never sank in very far. Was it the 'leg warmers' of fur that had grown around his legs? Or perhaps it was some form of Lantessaman dragon magic? He was after all from the Icy lands, and no one knew better than they how to manuver in the snow!

When Ainea, Adisath and Nivoan returned to Bald Mountain for their next celebration, it was odd because while everyone was happy she'd befriended another dragon, they were all eagerly awaiting the results of Ryslen's flurry - and their children's return!

The next stage of Ainea's story takes an unusual turn!

to Carramba High they go!?