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An unusual step

Writers: Eimi, Emma
Date Posted: 26th December 2005

Characters: Almonteo, Thanja
Description: Almonteo asks Thanja to be his Hallsecond
Location: Harper Hall
Date: month 9, day 2 of Turn 3


It was with relief that Thanja opened the last carton of records she had brought to Dolphin Cove. These had been sealed when they left Topaz Sea Hold for the last time after the dreaful storm that had caused so much loss of life.

"I just need to find a home for these," she muttered to herself.

An apprentice Harper approached her and held out a carefully folded note. "Excuse me, Master Thanja, but this is from Hallmaster Almonteo."

"Thank you Wiander," she replied taking the note. As the lad sped off, she unfolded it. It seemed that the Hallmaster wished to see her as soon as was convenient.

Looking around her small domain, she decided that her files could wait, and closed the door behind her as she left her office.

Almonteo was there to open the door when Thanja knocked. "Ah, Master Thanja. Please, come in and have a seat!"

"Thank you sir," she said, sitting down. Unable to supress a sigh of relief, she said, "It feels good to have a moment's rest from the umpacking."

"Oh I understand only to well," he smiled. "And your Hall has been uprooted before. The Printers have had to face a lot of changes in the last couple turns."

"As have I myself," she said, a gentle smile on her face. "First the move south, then Nytha and An'dr Impressing... It's been interesting for all of us, or so you might say."

Almonteo nodded. "Yes, I heard you had ties to the North and to the Weyr. River Bluff, isn't it?" Such a person was valuable to him...

"That's correct, yes," she confirmed.

He studied her for a brief moment. "So I suppose moving here to the Weyr isn't such a strange adjustment for you."

"It is," she replied. "I've only really paid short visits to see the children, and that doesn't compare to actually moving somewhere permanently. But anywhere will be better than Emerald Falls."

Almonteo frowned thoughtfully. "What do you think of Emerald Falls?"

"A nice enought place, very pretty," she said, thinking of the sketches and drawings she had done. "But there was something about the place that would make me not want to make a permanent home there, I can't put my finger on it though."

"Do you hold any bad feelings towards the Lord Holder or the people of Emerald Falls?"

"No, no I don't," she said thoughtfully. "As I said, it was something about the place as a whole, nothing specific to any person there."

"Ah. Good," Almonteo nodded, relieved that not _everyone_ harbored hatred for the Emerald Falls Lord Holder. "I suppose you are curious as to why I asked to see you today."

"I am a little," admitted Thanja.

"Many things are changing for the Printers as well as the Harpers. We are one Hall now, and I want the Printers to know that their concerns and their needs are important." The loss of their own Hall identity, not to mention their home for a second time, could make this new change to the Weyr especially hard.

"And while change is good, this much is bound to have an effect on us all."

"Yes. We are both trying to adjust to the idea of living in the Weyr,"
**Some are doing better than others on that score,** "but we harpers are trying to adjust to the idea of having _women_ as apprentices. This is a big step for the Harper Hall. Of course the Printers have stayed co-educational."

"We couldn't have done that without Lord Jaryd. He was responsible for the decision that Kanydrin and I made to come south in the first place."
She smiled, "Although the warmer weather did help."

"Lucky for us," Almonteo smiled. The weather was certainly proving warm and inviting in their new home. "Thanja, this is a time for change, and some of those changes will be major. I want to take a rather unusual step, with your help."

"I'm intrigues," she said, looking up at the Hallmaster.

The Hallmaster smiled. "Master Thanja, this is no longer a Harper only Hall. Nor is it male only. I think its about time the Hall leadership reflects those changes. Would you consider being my new Hallsecond?"

"What about your existing second?"

Almonteo smiled sadly. He wished Ryndel could have worked out, but this was best. For everyone. "He is... unfortunately no longer my second."

The sad smile said a thousand words, something was clearly best left unsaid. Perhaps the two had had a falling out, or maybe there was something more serious involved. But whatever the case, there was clearly a need for a Hallsecond. "If you are sure, then I would be honoured to accept the position."

The Hallmaster nodded decisively. "Yes, Master Thanja, I'm sure I want you to be my Hallsecond."

Thanja smiled. All her life's work was worth it now. "Then it is agreed."

Last updated on the December 26th 2005

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