Has it really been five years? An arrow whizzed from a bow and hit the target square in the middle. Forshallen quickly drew another and fired again, splitting the shaft of the first. So long since I have seen Valhalla, so long since I have seen my family. Golden eyes narrowed and two arrows took flight and hit the target, Copper was wrong I should have stayed on Eien. The people of Bavaria Hold never knew what to make of him, his keen hearing heard all of their hushed whispers behind his back and his sight saw the pointing fingers. A single tear trickled down his handsome face; he pushed his golden hair back behind his ear and took aim again. Was life really worth living if I must always be ashamed of what I am? A polite cough caught his attention, Great now I'm even losing my hunting edge I should have heard her come up. Forshallen sighed and turned, lowering his bow, "Hello Zhaneel, are your folks going to let you go to the Weyr and help with the animals?" The girl looked startled but recovered. " At first no, but your sister stopped by and they changed there minds. I came here to tell you that she wishes to see you Shal. " Now it was his turn to be startled, why would his sister want him? Oh well, must be important. " Tell her I'll be there in a little while O.K. Zhaneel?" " Sure but she did say that she had to leave soon." With that the tale brunette strode away, Forshallen couldn't help but watch with appreciation as her lean figure swung around a corner. He sighed; Zhaneel was just about his only friend and only because they were both outcasts in this accursed Hold. Her special empathy with animals would serve her well if only she had the chance to work with a beastmaster. As for himself he was just different, tall, elegant. And looked like a young god. Any other time people wouldn't have minded such a beautiful HUMAN, but he was an elf and people always had a prejudice against things or people that were different. He put his bow and arrows away in the shed he had built himself; he locked the metal door behind him and walked up the long steps to the Great Hall.
Entering the courtyard he waved a greeting to Galaxiath, his sister's gold, the dragon uncovered one opalescent eye and said hello.<< Do hurry Forshallen I don't know how long Copper can stay here with the Lord, he is driving her crazy.>> Forshallen laughed No problem Galaxiath, please tell her that I'm coming. Lord Niethro tended to be pushy and stuck up, more so around dragonriders since no one has been Searched from his hold yet. That will soon change Forshallen; some of the youngsters here look promising. Oh really? That's a switch. The dragon snorted and returned to her napping. He entered the hold itself and saw that the swarthy lord had pretty much cornered Copper and was meticulously going over holder griefs with the Weyr, most of which were not true. Copper spotted him and waved him over. " So Forshallen how are you doing here?" she asked leading him away, and thus escaping Neithro. <You know very well that I can't stand it here Copper!>< Shal I'm sorry but he is the only Holder that would let you stay in their hold.> Forshallen narrowed his eyes.< Why can't I come to the Weyr? Are you ashamed of your heritage and your family?> Copper stopped dead in her tracks; her eyes went from a bluish gold to an intense gold. <You know very well why I can't brother, I"M having enough trouble with prejudice and I'm the Weyrwoman! I don't want to know what they would do to you.> Forshallen was angry, he hadn't been expecting this, I don't need to be protected Copper! I get enough sharding insults, as it is so just lay off! I'm not a little boy! " No you're not, but I do love you and I don't want anything to happen to you.> " Her eyes were once again a blue with faint traces of gold. Forshallen let all of his anger and frustration color his mindvoice <I know you don't sis, but you can't protect me forever and I have already had enough with this sharding hold!> Copper thought for a moment and Shal sensed her speaking to her dragon, Fine, <I'll bring you to Fire Ridge Forshallen but if ANYONE bothers you please let me know.> Forshallen sighed in relief, he was finally leaving never to return, and then he thought of Zhaneel. Maybe he could try and get her to come?" Copper, could I bring my friend with me, she hates it here as much as I do." Copper searched his face and obviously found his question sincere. " Zhaneel right? Don't worry she is already packing. Loreli needs a helper and your 'friend' fits the bill." Forshallen sighed in immense satisfaction and relief, perhaps live would be worth living as long as he still had his friends with him.
Since his arrival with Zhaneel, things had indeed been looking up. He was teaching a few interested riders and weyrfolk to shoot an arrow ad his classes had swollen in number from about 2 or 3 to nearly 10. One weyrbrat named Leiagolas was showing great promise, though any elf could beat him, among humans he would be the best. Zhaneel had been taken to Tripaldi Weyr and was standing for a Greens clutch there, he was sad that she had left but she was very happy and he wouldn't spoil anything for her. He had impressed an amber fire lizard named Spitfire and she sure was. As if reading his thoughts the lizard appeared on his shoulder, she crooned and rubbed her head on his cheek, he hadn't realized he had been crying. Yet these were tears of happiness, not despair that had plagued him while at Bavaria. He had also befriended a gryphon named Thundersnow, though that vain bird wouldn't admit anything, he smiled when he remembered when he had asked Thundersnow whether or not he was going to stay in the aeries with the other unattached gryphons or choose a place with someone else. The black gryphon had clacked his beak and changed the subject from him to something else. That in it was funny because the old coot always talked about himself. His train of thought was broken when Thundersnow reported that Copper needed him. : She needs your help arranging the records again, you know she does that just about every sevenday, that's sad: Hey she's the weyrwoman vain bird, and I have no problem helping with that. : Isn't that why she has junior weyrwoman? For your info Luna is at Beach Shards with her queen on the sands, then she is transferring to Tripaldi to be with K'naret. : Oh I stand corrected mighty Elf King: Hah Hah, very funny. Forshallen sighed, featherhead, always poking his beak were it shouldn't be.
Later in the day he returned to his weyr and found Thundersnow asleep with Spitfire curled up on his back. Shal smiled and crept silently past them a climbed into his own bed. The day had been very fulfilling and he sighed in contentment.