Dun Keiba Knight and Drak Pairs
He'd seen how easy it was for some of the other Ninja in this clan to go off, get Judged, and come back as a Knight. He knew that they weren't Knights so much as Ninjas, but wouldn't it be the best thing in the world to become a rider of a drak?
His work would be made easier by a long shot, that was certain. The heavy lifting and moving of barrels, tools, and the endless forge bellows? A drak's tail flipping back and forth could move those bellows - or crank a device to do it from outside. And devices? Aedre had thought of hundreds. He was really quite clever, perhaps too clever to be merely a blacksmith in a ninja clan.
But he'd never get the chance to do anything with his plans, unless he could attract the attention of a Judge. And there was one who frequented this clan's lands, Izzy - Istvan, he recalled who didn't care for being mocked and was a rather dangerous sort if cornered. There were stories....
Right now, Istvan was sitting and chatting it up with one of his friends, the girl Scotia, and Aedre immediately noticed that the young knight-ninja-healer Elmon was there too. Their draks were seated in the glade under the big tree, which wasn't really a tree but a series of rope bridges and ivy creepers slung between the two canyon walls.
Elmon seemed the most likely to be able to talk to, since Scotia and Istvan were arguing about some facet of training animals, and how Nex just weren't 'animals' enough to train the same way. Aedre didn't feel like discussing anything like Nex - they creeped him out entirely.
"So you're a knight now," Aedre said to Elmon, who turned and nodded. The healer was a bit older than Aedre, but only by half a decade at most, and some of those years had been spent training with his drak.
"Yes, would you like to meet him? He's over there, the Ore."
Aedre chuckled, "an ore - I work with ores, you know."
"Yeah - hey, yeah you're the one who wanted the engineers to build that big winch thing. I thought that was really clever." Elmon said, recalling something that would have required just a few too many Ninja out there being seen to put up. But...
"With a drak to help," Aedre said almost half in a daze, "that project could be completed in a few days, instead of weeks..."
Elmon tilted his head, noting the look on the smithy's face. "You really want to make things bigger than we can handle in here," the healer commented. "But that doesn't mean you couldn't do it at the castle, and bring them here..."
Istvan watched the boy blacksmith. Aedre was stocky, healthy and very strong from having worked the bellows and then the forge all his life. He had most of the instincts of a Ninja to boot - but he wasn't as quiet on his feet, he wasn't as stealthy in the forest, and he tended to be a little loud when he got excited. Probably all features of having been in the forge, it was noisy, dirty and hot in there. Any chance to get out and stretch would be good for him.
But was he good enough for a drak? Istvan never questioned his own instincts when presented with someone to Judge. Aspiration required things that some folks just didn't see - what another Judge might miss, Istvan saw in this boy. And it wasn't that he was strong and hardy. It was that he was deadly clever.
"To be honest," Istvan said on the sly when he brought the boy to the Head Knight and the Prince, "I would like to see your plans for those things you want to build too. And you were right, with the help of a drak they could be brought in or assembled more quickly, without anyone outside the Clan seeing it."
Aedre wondered how he'd been listening in on their conversation hours before, but Elmon didn't seem too phased by it, and Istvan didn't elaborate. Instead, Aedre nodded and smiled widely. "I'd love to show you. Maybe if the castle took note of them my clan would too."
"Even if you don't Join," Istvan assured him, "you will be able to do that. We can gather your drawings together when you come to a Castle to stand."
"So... so... you're Judging me?"
"Of course," Istvan said, as the High Knight and Prince (so disparate in their appearances) conferred. "I would like you to stand at Dawn Castle, actually, they have a small nest right now, about to hatch. We can go retrieve your things, and be back before it hatches and the draks are named, but aside from that I don't know how long it would be before you'd attend the joining ceremony."
"Then let's get them!" Aedre jumped at the chance, now that he knew he'd be able to start everything rolling.
Character generated with Kit's Aspirant Generator and drawn with the Candybar maker at Doll Palace