Bald Mountain Holt is part of the Kshau Protectorate

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Bonded to: Brown Halith at Draco's Inferno (medium)

Age: 350 (435) Sex: Male
Soul Name: jharr Known By: himself, cousin
Mate Status/Sex Preference: lovemates, looking/heterosexual, pretty normal *Recognizes Autumnburn
Children: none yet *in 270 son Anvil
Parents/Relatives: father and uncle bond-riders, deceased, mother shepherd, still alive? cousin Whip
Height: 3'10" Build: stocky, wide shouldered, very musclebound
Hair Color, Length, Style: brown-tan, short away from eyes with a band, wild
Eye Color, Size, Shape: yellow-brown, small, round
Skin Tone: sunburnt, fair
Voice Quality: burly, deep, jolly?
Clothing -- Summer: tank-top of brown cloth, black breeches, soft shoes, with protective overalls & gloves
Clothing -- Winter: long and short sleeved shirts in contrasting colors, long heavy pants, high boots
Jewlery Worn, Made: none
Tatoos/Markings/Scars: old ones from the forge, mistakes, and weapons training
Pets/Animals Kept: a pair of near-deaf wildcats who like the warm forge-den
Notable Posessions: he is usually making weapons at an anvil, any of those count
Holt Function: weaponsmith and trainer for spear, sword, and staff weapons
Magic? How Powerful? none but weak sending
Climate/Locations Preferred: dry weather, clear skies, with pools of cool water nearby
General Likes: perfection, in everything
General Dislikes: fouled up works, confused people, lack of commanding air in chiefs
Fears/Worries: that his cousin Whip will really kill himself someday
Special Strange Info: nothing special
Basic Personality: open, but fairly gruff and short when something isn't going well
How they feel about
wants to know more about them
Elves -- herders: effective, neutral
Elves -- magic users: are lazy and need to work more like the rest of the Holt
Elves -- bond-riders: do their job and get all his respect
Trolls, etc: intrigued by their metalworking ability, but not enough to go find a forge!
Bond Animal Info if any: not bonded, but carries that magic very weakly.


Bonded to: Brown Loireth at Draco's Inferno (medium)

Age: 144 (229) Sex: Male
Soul Name: Brass Known By: himself, cousin
Mate Status/Sex Preference: formerly lovemated, deceased/heterosexual, not looking *
Children: deceased, boy of 2 from a recognition with ?? who also died in earthquake
Parents/Relatives: mother, father, uncle bond-riders, deceased, cousin Hammersmith
Height: 3'11" Build: Strong, muscular, wide-shoulders
Hair Color, Length, Style: brown, dark, to shoulder with bangs, straight
Eye Color, Size, Shape: brown, small, almond shaped
Skin Tone: olive to tan
Voice Quality: even, deep, dark
Clothing -- Summer: yellow and white embroidered shirt with a long tan vest, brown leather breeches, boots
Clothing -- Winter: add a long heavy black cloak and heavier pants, in the same color
Jewlery Worn, Made: none
Tatoos/Markings/Scars: some very old scars from practicing his chosen weapon
Pets/Animals Kept: none, he's had the cat to worry about (and now the dragon)
Notable Posessions: a collection of throwing darts, whips for hunting and show, and leather juggling balls
Holt Function: cat-rider, protector - now Dragonrider!
Magic? How Powerful? no magic apparent beyond sending, average strength
Climate/Locations Preferred: forest in the fall, when the first snows have hit ground
General Likes: cats and playing with them, showing off his skills, learning new weapons
General Dislikes: people who want to try lovemating or getting close
Fears/Worries: he's already lost his whole family, he dreads losing Hammersmith too
Special Strange Info: totally insecure, he gave his soul-name away because he thought he was going to kill himself after the 'quake
Basic Personality: blunt, rough, gruff, sometimes gets into a nice mood and is easy to talk to, but rarely
How they feel about
hatred, but some pity
Elves -- herders: some are cool
Elves -- magic users: arrogant jerks, mostly
Elves -- bond-riders: these are who I'm meant to be with
Trolls, etc: hates the trolls, but has no good reason
Bond Animal Info if any: Alliance, a female sabercat with champagne fur, green eyes, and black tips on ears, very well behaved and sensible, however she died several turns before the Dragons arrive

Hammersmith and Whip kept a close eye on both one another, and the Humans all around them. They weren't all that wary the whole time, though, and at long last, they started to loosen up. When someone started a food fight in the weyr's dining hall, both elves were stunned - but only for a moment. Then, they both used their expert aim to send potatoes flying and lettuce went just everywhere.

When a deep voice bellowed for the room to get a grip on itself, Hammersmith and Whip both almost dove for cover below the tables. It was a surprise for both of them to see such wildly happy expressions on each of their respective faces.

**I didn't know that people did this!** Whip mentally exclaimed.

**We've never had this much food-** Hammersmith laughed and wiped his hand clean on the cloth that had slipped below the table's edge. **But I bet when we've gone home with dragons to help us hunt, we will!**

That brought both of them back out from the table, and they stood for their 'punishment' such as it was. Along with the other newcomers to the weyr - those who had participated (they checked hands, how clever) were set to clean the entire room - tables, cloths, benches, the ceiling (how in the world did someone get beet mash up there?!), as well as the floors, kitchen and all the plates.

Normally that would have taken everyone weeks to do, but there were so many participants... Whip and Hammersmith opted to to the walls and ceiling, since they could climb most easily up the tapestries or rough hewn walls.

It wasn't much later, perhaps an eight of days, when the tension in the weyr broke with the bellowing and crooning of the dragons on the sands.

Everyone was assembled, and given their white hatching robes. Whip tugged at the neck on his, hoping he didn't look like such an idiot - like Hammersmith did.

When the first of the clutch was a brown, everyone exploded into applaudse and the elves nearly dove for cover again.

**Humans do such odd things!** Hammersmith thought, but his attention was caught by that stout dragon who hatched.

Why does your name end in 'th'? Are you a dragon as well? The dragon thought. Inside, Hammersmith felt a name: Halith. He laughed, and explained that no, Hammersmith was more ... a title, than anything else.

Of course, then he had to explain why he didn't use his true name, his soul name, for people to know.

They waited by the bowls of meat, as other dragons hatched. A green, then a blue (arrogant little thing!) came from their shattered shells. Another brown broke free, and the first perked up.

They watched as the dam of the clutch attempted to help her hatchling out of his egg, but he snarled at her and did it all by himself, thank you very much. The green dam told him not to trip, and naturally there he went, tumbling across the bumpy sands.

He landed right in front of the elf, Whip. Right, just where I wanted to be, right Whip?

**I'd say, Loireth!** Whip thought. There was nothing like this - even his bond to Alliance was thready and weak compared to the vibrancy of this dragon's mind against his. It was a sure bond - one which, supposedly, might last as long as they lived.

Hammersmith's Halith

Medium sized Brown hatchling! Curious, nosey.

Whip's Loireth

Medium sized Brown Hatchling too....! A little clumsy, perhaps.

Hardly a day went by without the dragons asking 'where was the Holt' and 'what is the difference between humans here and humans there?' Hammersmith and Whip were all but exhausted from trying to explain things. They were quite happy when the dragons were going to be flying. Their training was slightly different than the humans and full-sized riders. People still - even months after bonding - thought of the pair of rathermuch older elves as children because of their size.

"Now, Whip," said the weyrling trainer, "I know you say you've had riding experience, but that was what - with a ... cat? Didn't you say you rode a cat?"

There were some snickers from other weyrling pairs. But Whip nodded, and carefully said - in the human tongue they'd learned quickly - "sir, Alliance was not a ... house-cat. She was a very large, very dangerous feline. Bigger than most of her kin."

"Well that may be so," the weyrling master said holding his belt with both hands, "but this is dragonriding, and I don't think that your cat could jump quite so high into the sky."

"No, sir, she could jump down pretty well though." He smiled. The snickering turned to laughter, and Whip found that rather than being angry with them for mocking him, he understood how to remember his cat with love and laughter.

Hammersmith tried to maintain his composure, though it was hard. These humans were so presumptuous to laugh. They would not be laughing when he and Halith took to the sky.

Halith tossed his head, and placed his brown arm down for the elf to get onto his shoulder. Their dragons were ... dragon-sized. And while the humans still had to climb a bit to get on their dragons, the elves' size played both for and against them. Both elves were expert at climbing. After all, Bald Mountain was their home, and it had lots of places to climb, scale or leap from. It was no harder to climb the dragon's back than to jump into a tree after all. But their dragons dwarfed them quickly - and though both Whip and Hammersmith were good hunters for their tribe, they knew that the dragons were going to have to hunt for themselves sooner or later.

"Now, the straps you've had made will help you hang on. Whip, Hammersmith, you two have those other harnesses we talked about?" The weyrling master asked.

"I've got mine," Hammersmith said, "but I don't think Halith likes it very much.

I do not like it at all! The dragon snorted.

"You'll learn to like it, unless you want me falling off your back," Hammersmith said, throwing an extra loop around the dragon's neck and sitting between it and the main strap. It did feel better than just clinging on, but obviously Whip wasn't much happier than Halith.

"Loireth and I would like to protest," he muttered. "This isn't how I rode Alliance."

"Well the cat probably couldn't dump you five hundred meters into a lake, either," the weyrling master stated, "so you'll use them until you get to your tribe's home. If you don't want to use them there, that's your own problem, but while you're my responsibility you ride with them or not at all."

"Yes, sir." Whip said, and grudgingly tied on the second strap. He understood it well enough, but it just wasn't right, putting these things on the dragon. He knew Apogee never flew her Two-Claws with a harness, and Farfire only half the time. But, so said the human, so it was.

Hammersmith's Halith

Growing larger by the week! He will be sturdy, like his rider.

Whip's Loireth

Not quite as large now, compared to Halith, but much more deft than he had been before.

Halith had grown to nearly the size of a typical Brown dragon - which meant that Hammersmith was (pardon the expression) dwarfed by his size. Fortunately, the dragon was great at hunting, and loved fish - he would dive over and over into the deep caldera lake, and come out with fish almost as big as Hammersmith!

The dragon would share his kills with his rider, and Whip, but insisted that since Loireth was also a dragon he could feed his own maw. Loireth would swipe the bigger dragon's kills whenever he could, just to prove that smaller wasn't all that bad - in fact smaller meant faster...

Loireth had convinced Whip to go to a gather. It would take his mind off everything - and make him aware that not all humans were bad, and that not all things to do were scary.

Loireth was right. Whip complied, and had the time of his life. He could barely speak the human tongue, but he bartered a fur lined cloak out of someone for the price of a basket full of berries he'd gathered not a day before.

"You could have made wine," Hammersmith said, "those berries looked almost ripe."

"I'm sure they were, but I'm going home with a nice warm cloak, and it'll still be a rough winter when we get back. Remember?"

It was almost difficult for Hammersmith to recall, but yes, they were indeed headed into a chill, long winter. And, it was about time that they headed home, in fact. Their dragons were both grown, and since they were not going to be used to fight on this world, the elves were allowed to bid farewell to Draco's Inferno.