Jan 17, 2021 8:23 AM
smol bell in urtho's tower
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Skan is delighted to work on that! It does end up taking a few tries to get something that works well, and once it exists it's still clear that he needs some practice at drawing before he'll be any good at it, but he's still so so so happy about it. 

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Maybe they can take a drawing class together.

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Skan is so flattered that Azabel wants to do that with him, and yes it would make him very happy. 

There are a couple of drawing classes being run in the Tower, it turns out, only one of which is compatible with Azabel's schedule or in a room that Skan can easily fit into (most of the Tower is gryphon-accessible but the belowground levels are pretty cramped for him; Skan is at this point unusually large and brawny even for a fully adult gryphon.) 

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Well, she can attempt to sign them both up for that one!

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It's in the evenings at the end of the schoolweek. The teacher is surprised but pleased to have her first ever gryphon student! It's a beginner class and fairly well paced. 

The session continues, uneventfully. Skan's parents' friends successfully get pregnant with their first child and are, apparently, very very happy about it. 

Three weeks later, Skan reports that another gryphon couple asked Urtho about children and were - well, not quite denied, but informed he wanted them to wait a month so he could think about it. 

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"Did he say why he wanted to make them wait?"

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"I think he wass worried they're too clossely related or not a good pair for ssome other reasson, and would have a baby with birth defectss?" 

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"...how does waiting help with that?"

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"Maybe he wanted to sstudy the quesstion more or get advice from the Healerss? And - it ssounded like he thought they might change their mindss once they thought about it." 

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"Does that seem likely?"

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Shrug. "I don't really know them." 

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"Can you introduce me?"

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"Sure, I can do that! I'll assk my parentss to introduce me to them firsst, I don't actually really know them, I just heard about it." 

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"Thank you!"

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Skan gets back to her later that day. "Their namess are Lythar and Eshata. They can talk to you tonight if you sstill want to?" 

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"Yes please!"

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Skan offers her a flying ride over to the gryphon eyrie again after supper. 

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Lythar and Eshata are expecting her. It's still not that easy to tell gryphons apart when she hasn't interacted with that many adults, but Eshata has a reddish sheen to her fur which is quite recognizable. 

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Skan introduces them. "And thiss is my friend Azabel!" he says proudly. 

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"Hi, it's nice to meet you! I'm trying to talk to lots of gryphons with - a wide variety of experiences, for the book - and Skan mentioned you'd gotten put off when you asked about having kids?"

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"- Oh, right, yess." Lythar glances at his wife. "He ssaid our baby might be born very ssick, becausse of - I didn't quite follow, did you, dear?" 

     "Becausse of what liness we come from, he ssaid." 

"Right, that." Wing-shrug. "He ssaid that a year ago he'd have told uss no, but - that thingss are different now." A questioning look at Azabel. 

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Azabel thought to bring all the notes she's working from on the original gryphon relatedness situation and looks up their names. "Did he say what was different?"

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"That we are mature enough ass a sspeciess to - make ssome of our own decisionss," Lythar says. 

     "Whether we want to take the rissk," Eshata adds. "It iss not for certain that our baby would be ssick. And - if we were brave enough we could try more than once, I ssuppose." 

Azabel can find their names fairly easily in the records. They're somewhere between first and second cousins - first-generation gryphon relatedness is messy, due to all the crossmatching of the source stock and modifications in-womb - and also they're both identified as probable carriers of a particular gryphonic defect. They had minor birth defects which were fixed easily by the Healers, but now after further decades fo study, it seems likelier the trait that caused those is inherited and that a double dose of it in their child would be fatal in early childhood unless treated - and isn't something the Healers know especially how to treat. It's only speculative that they carry it at all, though, this isn't something the Healers can See closely enough to diagnose directly. 

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"Did he explain what the risk was?"

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Another glance at each other, this time sheepish. "Yess, but - we did not really follow," Lythar admits. "Neither of uss was ever much good in sschool." 

     "He ssaid to talk to the Healerss," Eshata adds. "That they could explain it better. I - haven't yet been brave enough." 

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