Traders Can Cure Everything

Xanadu Weyr - Coastal Road


This coastal road runs parallel with the edge of beach that stretches endlessly beside the Caspian Lake. From coast to inland the dunes of the beach grow smaller and smaller until they eventually peter out into nothing but small moguls in the sand. The path is eventually seen to be blocked by a river that reaches the lake just south of the point where the road turns west and crosses a grassy meadow towards a sturdy wooden bridge that can be seen in the distance.

Midday in late spring finds the weather pleasantly cool with a light breeze ruffling the waters of the lake and stirring the leaves of the trees along the coastal road into a soft whisper. It's a peacefully quiet, serene lull in an otherwise busy weyr while most folks are up at the caverns chowing down on lunch. Across the beach and then the road slides a silent shadow and there's a whoosh of air as a queen backwings to land beside a rustic grey-sided weyrbarn. Looking far too dressed up for anything a Weyr might require, a dark-haired woman grasps her flight strap and after a surreptitious glance around to make sure there's no one to witness it, lifts the heavy skirt of her formal attire, kicks one leg over the gold's neckridge and dismounts in her usual swing-round dismount. She lands with a little hop and a quiet laugh of satisfaction. "I've still got it, Seryth!"

Osric has not yet been at the weyr long enough for the arrival of a dragon to not make him pause in his wanderings. He hesitates, tilting his head to one side as he regards dragon and rider, though isn't lucky enough to catch a glimpse of leg as Thea dismounts. Glancing around he decides it is safe enough to approach a little, moving forwards as he calls a simple greeting. "Hello."

Fleeing the crowds in the living caverns, Norela thought it might be nice to have lunch outside. After all, it's a lovely day, the sun is shining, and the weather is otherwise cooperative. She has a small basket full of food with her as she looks for a good place to settle. While she's doing that, she suddenly feels the rush of the air from the landing gold, swirling through her hair. She looks up at the massive dragon with wide eyes, belatedly remembering to salute the rider as she dismounts.

"Oh heya!" Thea's greeting is perhaps oddly casual for the formality of her appearance, hair all up in an intricate net. There's a quick stifling of a guilty flush at being caught dismounting in such a manner, but her smile is ready enough as she tilts a curious look at first Osric, then Norela. "No need to salute," she tells the girl kindly before concern furrows her brow briefly, "Oh, please tell me we didn't blow sand into your food?" One hand absently reaches for the gold's harness to begin the unbuckling process. "Haven't met have we?" She doesn't sound too awfully certain about that; folks coming and going all the time here, so she may have? "I'm Thea," her head tilts towards the patient dragon, "and this is Seryth."

It's Thea's attention turning to Norela that has Osric noticing her, and there's a second that shock registers on his face that he hadn't spotted her. He offers her a quiet, "Hey," then quiets to let Thea ask her questions. Uncertain if her introduction was aimed at him he replies anyway, addressing both women with a smile, "Oz. Osric, really, but it's a bit boring."

Norela seems rather taken aback by the informality of the goldrider's greeting, especially given the way the woman is dressed. Still, she does her best to calm down. "Oh, no no no. I think my food is fine…" She takes a look through her basket just to be certain, then nods. "Yes, yes, it's all good. No reason to apologize. It's an honor to meet you, Thea and Seryth. I'm Norela, I'm with the trader caravan visiting the weyr…" She looks sideways at Osric when he makes his introduction, looking a little surprised by how at ease the fellow addressing the goldrider seems to be. "Er, pleased to meet you as well, Osric."

"Oh is it?" Thea's looking just a bit puzzled at this. "Not anymore than Thea, I would think," the weyrwoman answers with a lift of one shoulder. "I think Oz is… catchy." Amusement curves her lips as humor glimmers in her clear green eyes, the look turned to include Norela as well in time to note the girl's discomfort. Her fingers release the buckle she's working on, drop to grasp her skirts so she can lift them just a bit without tripping when she steps over with an outstretched hand for each of them in turn. "Well-met, both of you. Welcome to Xanadu." Norela gets a second look, one of appraisal, "Trader caravan? What sort of things have you got?" Ah, women! Always with the shopping!

Osric shrugs a little, but is quick to smile again as his shortened name is tagged 'catchy'. His handshake is fairly firm, but far from crushing, and almost as soon as his hand is released he offers it over to Norela. "Norela's a lovely name though. Definitely not boring." He pauses a moment as if debating something, then asks of Norela, "Is it true you traders know secret recipes for things even the healers don't know about?"

Norela brightens up a little at Thea's interest in her caravan. The potential for a sale always lifts her mood. "Oh, lots of things! Clothing, furniture, candy, household goods, liquors, wines, soaps, art… is there anything in particular you're looking for?" Osric's question catches her off guard. She blinks and peers at him as she reaches out for the offered handshake. "Huh? Recipes for what sorts of things? I know how to cook, but I'm no healer…"

Thea's hand is cool (she's just Betweened, after all) as she returns each handshake with a brief squeeze before releasing them. Noting Osric hasn't said, she quirks a dark brow at him, "And you, are you new here, or passing through as well?" It's said lightly with a friendly lilt so that it doesn't come across as an interrogation or anything. That list of merchandise snags her attention. She must consider this. "Well, my brother has a turnday coming up and so does my weyrmate. And I have two new babes…" She turns to resume unbuckling Seryth's harness, so it is to the dragon's side her words seem directed, offhandedly, "I'd imagine he means special oils, lotions and tonics. At least the traders that came to my home hold had them."

Osric shrugs again, "I don't know, just something I heard in the tavern the other night. Someone said they'd bought something from the traders that was supposed to cure his leg or something. Something secret?" There's a slight questioning to his tone, asking for confirmation, but it fades as Thea speaks again, "Oh I'm here now. Not long, but my family thought it would be good for me. Try to break some bad habits."

Norela smiles even brighter at the goldrider. "Really? Well, I'm sure we could find something perfectly appropriate for them. Tell me about your brother and weyrmate, I'm sure we have something in stock that would make an excellent gift… though in my experience, you can't go wrong with candy. We have some lovely assortments from a Bakercraft master which are simply perfect." She looks back to Osric, more comprehending this time. "Oooh, yes. We do have some of our home remedies in stock… is there anything in particular you're looking to treat?" She pauses, then shakes her head. "Sorry, probably shouldn't be asking about your medical situation. That's rude of me."

Now that catches the weyrwoman's attention, that lifted brow hikes up a little further. "Break bad habits." She repeats slowly while her pale eyes remain upon the young man, really not all that much younger than herself. "Please tell me those habits don't include blowing up food and setting ovines afire?" There's a hint of laughter in the tone while eyes twinkle subtly. "Hmm, well, my brother is gonna be twenty turns. He likes to avoid chores, hang out with girls… he works in the stables, so…" she snickers in the way only a big sister can, "something to make him smell less… gamy?" Her weyrmate, now, this may take some thinking. Her eyes half-close as she taps a finger to her lips.

"Oh it's not me. My mam has chest problems, sharpness of the blood she calls it." Osric glances at Thea and smiles, breaking into a laugh as she speculates on his habits. "More like curling up into a ball when people throw things at me, and utterly failing to sneak about to avoid people."

Norela looks a little worried. "Someone's been setting ovines on fire?" That's just disturbing. She shakes it off and goes on, the smile returning to her face. "Ah. I believe I have the perfect thing for someone like that. Scented soaps and bath oils, we have a ton of them. I'm sure we can find some that don't smell too feminine, if he fancies himself a ladies' man." She turns to Osric, thinking for a moment. "I'm not certain what we might have to treat that… my father would really be the one to talk to."

"Depending on what someone threw at me, I'd curl up in a ball too, Osric." Thea's smile turns wicked. She can help him with that sneak-failure! "You need to spend time with my brother Tharen. He's got sneaking down pat." Poor abused Tharen, not here to defend himself, even. She steps around to the other side, her voice coming just a bit more faintly. Buckles clink and the harness begins to slide. "Oh yes," the weyrwoman assures Norela blithely. "It was an accident, though." More quiet laughter, "Not sure how much of a ladies' man he thinks he is; he won't even admit to me if he's got a girl, but something with a citrusy-woodsy smell might be nice."

Osric grins, his smile becoming slightly lopsided as it spreads grows, "Don't need to avoid anyone here yet, I think I'm okay for sneaking." To Norela he nods, "How long are you here for? Would be nice to talk to him about it, see if he can do anything. Can't be any worse than the not help she gets at the moment."

"Was the poor ovine okay, at least?" Norela asks, a little confused. "How does one accidentally set an animal on fire, anyways?" She scratches her head, then shrugs. "Well, at any rate, I am certain we can find an appropriate scent for you. Shouldn't be any trouble at all. Please, stop by the caravan sometime, we'll let you see some samples." She gives another smile to Osric. "We'll be here for at least another sevenday. Please, drop by anytime."

"Yet," Thea repeats Osric. Then sagely, "Wait to develop those sneaking skills until you need them and by then it's too late." She steps back around the side of Seryth that they're on, reaching with both arms to haul the straps off of the gold. Norela gets a little blink for her question, "Um, no. It died when it ran into the lake and Ulaekimajith cannonballed on him." Her lips quirk into a wry grin. Oh, she can laugh now! She gives a mighty yank and those straps come off in a tumble. As she's working on looping them, "My weyrmate, now. He's a former sea trader. Not sure what to get for him. Like sailing. Likes fine whiskey." She shrugs, then grins to herself, "Might need something to help him through the teething and tempers of our babes."

Osric laughs, "Maybe I will see about finding him then, just in case. Never know when you might offend someone." To Norela he smiles, bowing slightly, "Thanks. I'll definitely come by at some point, see if I can find you." He takes a step backwards, clearly intent on taking his leave. "Ladies." He nodes politely, "A pleasure indeed. I'll see you both again soon I hope." And with that he turns to leave.

Norela looks rather sad for the fate of the poor ovine, although a slight twitch of her lip shows that the humor of the story doesn't exactly escape her. She's more than happy to continue making her sales pitch. "Ah, well, then that's easy enough. We have a very nice selection of fine whiskeys from all over Pern. I'm sure we can find something he'd enjoy immensely." She gives Osric a wave goodbye as he departs. "Seems like a… nice fellow."

Thea would wave if her hands were free, but with all those heavy straps she's looping around her shoulder, she merely nods, "See you Oz, nice meeting you." Her eyes flick briefly towards the back of the departing Osric. "Sure, yeah, he does seem nice." It's more of an absent comment than anything else and her brief look after the young man shifts back to Norela in time to catch that sadness. "Stupid ovine was running wild all over the Weyr." Muttermuttering follows this, "It chased my friend into the smithy and set itself on fire with a spark somehow." She rolls her eyes, then they light up, "Ooh, do you?" Obviously interested in the variety of whiskey she's mentioning. "I'll stop by tomorrow then, though, you'll have to advise me there. I've never tried the stuff. Except on fish once."

Norela seems almost relieved when the details of the story are filled in. "Ahh. Well, that sounds more like the ovine set itself on fire. Much better than having some rogue nutjob going around setting animals aflame… I think." She shrugs and smiles. "Well, then I'll be happy to show you what I have. I'll make sure a nice assortment is set aside for your visit. It'll be an honor to have a goldrider shopping with us."

Thea mock-shudders. "Trust me - Cenlia wreaked enough havoc here to make any nutjob seem mild in comparison." The words are said with unmistakable fondness and a hint of regret as well, which might be understood by that one word 'was'. Those straps finally arranged, the weyrwoman inclines her head. "Thank you. I'll be by. Now if you'll excuse me, I've reports due on hold visitation. Enjoy your lunch, it's a beautiful day." With another one of her easy smiles, she turns and heads inside to stow those straps before heading back to the Weyr's offices.

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