|Chapter 19||Dragonsblood||Chapter 21|
In the predawn darkness of Benden Weyr, the dragonriders prepared for Threadfall. Lorana joined the preparing riders, along with Ketan. A dragon coughs, and Lorana stumbles. She lies and says she merely lost her footing. After the Weyr departs to fight Thread, Ketan asks which new dragon had the illness. Lorana replied that it was Caranth, B'nik's dragon.
Following Caranth's co-ordinates, the 174 fighting dragons go between, successfully reaching Bitra. Lorana had tensed up as the dragons prepared to go between, releasing it on receiving the news of their arrival. She admitted to Ketan that she would've stopped Caranth from bringing the Weyr between had she thought he was too sick to give clear co-ordinates. She asks Ketan what would've happened, and he replies that the Weyr would've been lost between.
Six hours later, the Fall was over. B'nik orders J'tol to send half his wing to check for burrows. M'tal congratulated B'nik on a Fall well-flown. J'tol reported three deep burrows in the northern valley as B'nik prepared to land to talk with Lord Holder Gadran of Bitra. B'nik informs Gadran of that fact, telling him they were well-established, requiring that the valleys be fired to contain them. B'nik orders, through Caranth, J'tol to fire the valley.
Later that evening, J'tol reports that the fires had gotten out of control. Kindan restates the necessity of opening the second door in the Oldtimer room, or finding another way in, before dragonkind died out. Tullea still believes it to be a waste of time to try to enter those rooms, claiming they must've been built to create the dragons from the fire-lizards. Kindan retorts that that can't be it, as the dragons were created in the Southern Continent. B'nik decides to send for the miners again.
At Fort, K'lior greets T'mar, returning from the past at Igen Weyr. T'mar was weary from the stress of timing it. T'mar proudly declared that he brought with him 122 fighting dragons. K'lior told him they'd have that day to rest, but the next day they'd have to resume training for Threadfall in there days, they were to aid Ista Weyr. T'mar presents his written reports to K'lior, who planned to inform all the other Weyrs of their plan.
B'nik ordered J'ken to turn his wing over to his wingsecond, T'mac, due to his dragon's illness. He tells him he can help with the Weyrlings, freeing up P'gul. Lorana approached B'nik, who promised to let B'tal lead the next Fall.
Lorana finds Kindan in the Records Room, looking for a map of the Weyr to show Dalor, who hoped to find some way in short of forcing the door open, which might cause the mechanism to jam. Lorana spots the rooms on a map.
J'lantir and K'lior gathered to prepare to fight Thread together, J'lantir effusively thankful for the assistance. It was decided that K'lior would lead the Fall, having the largest number of dragons.
Caranth, B'nik's dragon, was exhausted, ill. B'nik has M'tal give the coordinats back to the Weyr. They return between with the rest of the Weyr.
Back at the Weyr, Lorana has a modified version of the old herbal to give to Caranth.
B'nik meets with Kindan, Ketan, Lorana, and M'tal, discussing the same old problem of the dragons' plague, and of his dragon in specific. He designates M'tal as his successor, should it be necessary. Ketan reported another ten dragons lost the previous night, five of whom did not even make it between, their bodies still in their weyrs.
Tullea enters the meeting, demanding to know how much logner Caranth had, using the term "dragonkiller" for her, provoking harsh responses from the assembled riders and ex-dragonriders.
The next day, Tullea looked for Lorana to apologize, and found her quarters empty. Mikkala told her that she'd moved in with Kindan.
B'nik decides to send Ketan with the Riders timing it, in part to help heal the injured dragons, and in part to help Ketan himself recover from the loss of his dragon.
Kindan approached Lorana, making preparations for the temporal excursion. He worries that they might inadvertantly send a sick dragon back, possibly even thereby inadvertantly introducing the plague in the first place. Lorana doesn't think that's likely. Kindan reports that it would take a day or two to get through the rockslide in the corridor leading to the other rooms. The temporal excursion was lead by P'gul, the weyrlingmaster at Benden. B'nik tells him to return in precisely two days' time just before dusk, to be ready for Thread. Lorana remarks that, according to K'lior, the dragons were not bothered by timing it, but their riders were confused and irritable, which causes M'tal to consider something, though he doesn't say anything at the time. The dragons went between to the past.
D'gan was furious that Lorana had addressed his dragon directly, instead of him, in giving them K'lior's plan. He is convinced, however, of the soundness of the plan, and takes the window of 6-3 Turns back, which would bring the Weyr back to almost full strength. He delegates the job of leading the expedition to D'nal, who asks if he should bring D'lin with him. D'gan chooses to keep D'lin there.
The rockslide had been cleared away at Benden. B'nik gave Lorana the honors of opening the door, using a long stick to avoid bad air. As the door opened, Lorana forgot to run, and was caught by the bad air.
After Lorana regains consciousness, she immediately gets up to return to the rooms.
Characters Introduced Edit
Characters Appearing Edit