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There Once Was an Artist (1): The Portrait Painter of Crystal Waters

Writers: Eimi, Suzee
Date Posted: 27th July 2018

Characters: Vestian, Porenne, Karsone, Liandris
Description: Vestian and Porenne arrive at Crystal Waters Hold for the heir to the Lord Holder's wedding...
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 5, day 28 of Turn 9
Notes: First in the storyline "There Once Was an Artist"

After handing his riding jacket to the bronzerider, Vestian gently
tugged at the hem of his light vest and the cuffs of his white dress
shirt. A quick visual inspection and he was satisfied that everything
was in place. "Shall we, my dear?" he asked, holding his arm out for
his wife to take. The Hallmaster plastered a well practiced smile on
his face as he saw the Lord and Lady of Crystal Waters Hold step out
of the shade of a formal receiving tent to greet them.

Porenne thanked the rider as he lifted her down then smiled at Vestian
and tucked her hand into his arm. "You look so handsome in that
vest," she murmured. Then she let her smile cool slightly as she
directed it toward the Lord and his Lady.

Vestian mumbled some compliment in return, though not because he had
actually noticed his wife's appearance in any detailed way. She
looked the part of a Hallmaster's wife and that was all he cared about
at this moment. He stepped forward, raising a hand in greeting as
they walked up the path to meet their hosts. "Lord Karsone!"

"Hallmaster Vestian!" the Holder said with a broad smile as he
returned the wave and took his wife's hand informally to lead her
closer to their guests. "It's been too long, old friend!"

Porenne smiled as she should in meeting someone new. She knew her
place in the scheme of things and both the Lord and Lady out ranked
her in their own Hold as she would them at the Hall. But she wasn't as
concerned about rank as many people seemed to be.

"Pleased to meet you," the Lady said reaching out her hand to Porenne.
"I'm Liandris."

"Porenne," She said in return and took the Lady's hand. "Very good to
meet you too. Vestian has told me so much about your Hold." Not really
but he'd mentioned it a time or two and that said a lot.

"Karsone," the Lord Holder said by way of greeting as he gently took
Porenne's hand. He did not release it right away but instead turned
his eyes to the Hallmaster. "You have an incredible eye, Vestian. My
father always saw it in you. Of course you'd land the second
prettiest woman on Pern. After Liandris, of course," he said, turning
a wink to his wife. His smile turned back to his guest. "Welcome
Porenne. You will make a perfect addition to the beauty of Crystal
Waters. I hope you enjoy your time here."

Vestian smiled at all the compliments as he knew he should, though he
felt a little uncomfortable. The last time he had passed through
these halls he had been merely a journeyman on a job, and Karsone had
been friendly, but was a Lord Holder's son. Now they were basically
equals. "Your Hold is one of incomparable beauty, my Lord. I can see
your father left it in the best of hands. And I am so pleased to see
Lady Liandris again. You have not changed since the day I painted
your wedding portrait."

"Thank you very much M'lord," Porenne dimpled first at Lord Karsone
then Liandris as if with a shared joke. Vestian was right. "This place
is very beautiful." She looked out across the waters and the way they
moved. "Crystal Waters is an appropriate name. Thank you for inviting

"Oh come now, we couldn't have the wedding for the future Lord of
Crystal Waters and not have Vestian here," the Lord Holder said giving
the Hallmaster's arm a gently tap. "I'm only sad that he can't paint
his wedding portrait as he did ours. And my sister's too, don't you

Vestian felt the tap like it had been a slap across his face. The man
could not imagine how empty his hand felt at this moment without a
brush in it. But he could not let his smile falter. No. He was a
Hallmaster now. "Yes, how could I forget. It had been an honor that
your father had chosen me for such important occasions. I'm sure
Master Moddly has captured the moment perfectly, m'Lord." The words
burned his tongue even as he uttered them. _Vestian_ had been the
portrait painter of Crystal Waters, not that pretentious porcine.

"Ah, he did alright," the Lord shrugged as he reached for his wife's
hand once more. "And you call me Karsone," he said pointing a finger
at Vestians chest and then towards Porenne. "Both of you. We need
not stand upon ceremony among friends here."

Liandris tucked her hand into Karsone's and hugged his arm. To her
point of view Master Moddly wasn't half as good as Vestian but then
that was probably why he was now the Hallmaster. "Please come in," she
smiled. "We have some refreshments prepared for you."

Porenne beamed at the obvious compliment to her husband. She was one
of his greatest fans even if he didn't really seem to notice most of
the time."Of course," she smiled at Karsone. "It is an honor."

Last updated on the August 21st 2018

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