What A Steward Does

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing
A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places.
The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the rock edifice where, high above on Xanadu's Star Stones, the ever-present watchdragon sits on the lonely peak. Directly south is the hatching arena, the large round complex taking up a large portion of the perimeter, a line of trees visible beyond it. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the infirmary is a human-sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Wandering Wherry Tavern. Tucked neatly under the arch, to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Petals and Pots Garden Shop'. Southwest lies cliffs where windows for the administrative offices have been cut. Underneath them are the entrances to the crafters complex while north and west along the cliff's base, a broad path leads to the feeding grounds. Due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr - the meadow, the forest beyond. At the far edge of the clearing, beside the trail leading to the forest sits a clocktower.

Bundled perhaps a bit too much for the ride, the young Qirin is quick to start stripping off his jacket upon his entry into the summer of Xanadu's climate. Of course, the rider who brought him here is already quick to move on to the next job, leaving Qirin with wandering eyes around the large Weyr. Wandering through, he places his jacket over his arm and pack on his back, gazing about for anything he might recall from Turns past.

Jethaniel is out in the clearing today, looking at things with the same eyes as ever (modulo the ship of Theseus argument) but a new perspective. He's just been out by the meadow, and now he's making his way back toward the caverns, walking slowly and with frequent pauses to survey his surroundings. During one of these pauses, he notes a young boy wandering around. This is included in the survey, and Jethaniel hmms.

Seeing a man in similar gazing situation to his own, albeit for different reasons, Qirin stops in place to look back his direction. His mouth twitches into a brief smile towards Jethaniel, but then he's quickly back to gazing and briefly wandering towards the Southeast and what might be his direction of choice. Maybe. Admittedly, the boy looks completely lost, and that's not lost on him as he stops again, looking back towards Jethaniel. There's clearly an internal debate going on with Qirin before he gives up and starts towards him.

Jethaniel looks away, then back again to notice the boy heading toward him. He gives a slight nod, and takes an entire step away before stopping again. "Ah. I suppose that would be part of it, yes," he mutters to himself then turns to face Qirin and takes a few steps over to meet him. "Hello."

Qirin's smile twitches again as he approaches, and replies softly and slowly, "Hello. Umm, it's been a while since I've been to the Weyr…" Not quite getting to the point, he does seem to look around some more rather than directly at the man, and hefts his bag more squarely on his shoulder.

"Ah?" says Jethaniel. He waits for a moment, as if looking for more context. Unfortunately, it is not immediately forthcoming, and he stands with lifted brows for a moment before glancing to that bag. "Hmm. Perhaps you require help in settling in?" he suggests. He sounds almost hopeful. That would allow him to problem-solve this situation!

Qirin gives a brief nod whilst his fingers fiddle with the straps of his pack. Leather stitching; fiddle, fiddle. Finally, after a moment of silence, he adds, "Yeah, I'm visiting family. It's been…" and he pauses another moment, doing the math in his head.. "Turns at this point, I guess." With the guy trying to be nice and helpful to him, Qirin gives a more appreciative and sure smile. "The Caverns, maybe?" He extends a hand in greeting, although a bit warily. "Qirin, by the way…"

Family, yes. Jethaniel nods, and then he blinks. "Oh!" he says. "Now why didn't I think of that?" He smiles broadly for a moment, and stares off into the distance before nodding briskly. "Yes, quite." Oh, but wasn't he having a conversation? He was. Jethaniel's attention returns to Qirin, and he regards that outstretched hand before extending his own to give a light, friendly shake. "I am Jethaniel." He pauses a moment, and there's a small quirk of his lips as he adds, "Xanadu's Steward."

"Steward?" Qirin blinks in a moment of surprise. That's just dumb luck that he runs across one of the Weyr's senior staff on arrival. He speaks up a bit, his voice kinda squeeking out, "C-can you pass a message to my cousin then? Let her know I've arrived?" Informing Jethaniel of who his cousin is completely eludes the young teen, but he does look up to the man hopefully.

Those quirked lips remain. "So I have been informed," says Jethaniel. "As of yet, I have seen no evidence to the contrary. Therefore, I shall continue to work with this hypothesis until I discover one that better fits the data at hand." He then tilts his head at Qirin's question. "With the current data, no, but the situation is easily remedied." Jethaniel smiles. "Who is your cousin?"

Oh, he didn't know. "Umm…" Qirin's timidness is quick to return, the strap being fiddled with more as he attempts to formulate his reply in a way that doesn't make him seem like a name-dropper or worse, some random kid just wanting an 'in' with the clutch on the Sands. Where's his mother to deal with these questions, like last visit? With a bit of pink color to his cheeks, he replies, "Weyrwoman Thea."

Jethaniel awaits that answer, head tilted to the side in a continued but silent question. "Ah," he says when it's finally provided, and nods. "Very well. I shall inform her. I would, however, advise patience. She may be otherwise occupied." He smiles. "I can show you to the Caverns, if you like. Will you be staying here?"

Thea being busy doesn't phase the young boy. He just gives a minute nod. "For a while," the boy admits. "Mother figured it'd be a good idea for me to see family this wint— summer. Summer. Instead of being at the Hall." Qirin looks about again before looking up at Jethaniel. "If you could show me the Caverns, I'd appreciate it, sir."

"Mothers do tend to know what they're talking about," Jethaniel says, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, then nods. "Certainly. I was going that way myself." He gestures in a general direction, then starts off that way at a slow pace suitable for a youngster to keep up with. "Would you like me to arrange a spot for you in the dormitories?" Maybe he's noticed the boy's shyness and figures the fewer conversations with authority figures, the easier all this will be.

Qirin is quick to follow suit behind Jethaniel and keeps pace pretty decently, all things considered. "The dormatories sound good," he simply replies, one hand having a death-grip on his pack, and the other a death-grip of equal measure on his jacket. "…Thank you for your help, sir."


Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

Jethaniel nods briskly. "I shall speak to the headwoman, then," he says, then smiles at the thanks. "That is what a Steward is supposed to do, is it not?" The question is, perhaps, slightly less rhetorical than might normally be expected. Soon enough they've arrived at the caverns, and Jethaniel points out the tables with food near the kitchens. "If you'd like something to eat, go ahead. I'll let interested parties know of your arrival."

Food! The refreshments in the Living Caverns can certainly occupy a young shy boy. Qirin turns towards Jethaniel and smiles up at him again. "Thank you, sir, I appreciate it." He gives the man a nod as he lets the pack fall from his shoulder, gripping both it and the jacket precariously in one hand as the other reaches out towards the man for another shake. That's what one should do now, right? The corner of his mouth twitches up in another smile.

Jethaniel smiles back, and gives the hand another shake. That is, after all, what one does with outstretched hands. "Welcome to Xanadu, Qirin." And, repeating the name to himself so he doesn't forget it, Jethaniel heads down the administration hallway and vanishes. Maybe he finds Thea, maybe he doesn't and simply leaves a note. Either way, he remains vanished, because there's a stack of paperwork on the Steward's desk that needs resolving. Before long, one of the assistant headwomen will come out with a description of who to look for and a cot assignment. If it turns out Qirin's not who he says he is, then Thea (when she has time) will notice, and a meal's worth of food and some clean sheets will have been wasted on the young intruder. This is well within the margins of error, when it comes to running a Weyr.

And Qirin… Once Jethaniel has departed, he's happily enjoying the summer foods he hasn't seen for more than a fair share of sevendays from the other continent. He's patient. And with luck, he'll see the twins before the day is out.

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