Books and Clothes
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Xanadu Weyr - Garden
An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place.

On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.

Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.

The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also alluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic.


This summer afternoon finds Sephany in the garden, seated at a bench and enjoying her lunch. She has been diligent with her studies and projects, an earnest student whose dedication and work ethic has shown through with each item presented for inspection. Now, however, there are no sewing implements in sight and while her sketchbook sits in a bag at her feet, it's a hard backed book in her lap that has taken her attention. Very carefully, she turns her head away so as to take a bite of her sandwich and not risk the pages and then, chewing slowly, back around to duck her head and drop her eyes to the page.

Gerazal has come out to enjoy the garden as well for his lunch. He walks around enjoying the flowers that are in bloom for the moment as he eats a meatroll. He spots Sephany and moves over towards her, "Good afternoon Sephany I don't mean to interrupt your lunch or your reading. You seem very intent on that book." He says as he moves to have a seat next to her.

Grey eyes lift, from page to Journeyman, and a polite smile forms. "Good afternoon, Gerazal," comes the easy greeting from Sephany, a clean finger used to mark her spot as her back straightens and she offers him her full attention. "It is one of my favorites," she confesses. "I was pleased to see that Xanadu's library carried it and couldn't resist borrowing it." She shifts in her seat, scooting just a little further to the side to allow additional room for him on the bench.

Gerazal smiles, "Oh what's it about?" He asks curiously as he continues to eat, "Yes the library here at Xanadu is rather nice. I love coming to the garden, so beautiful and peaceful. How have you been settling in? Everything okay? Your room all right?"

"It is a story of adventure that takes place before Thread was eradicated," explains Sephany. "I have loved it since I was young, though I've come to understand that some of the details are rather fantastical rather than factual, it is still an enjoyable read." But now she is sliding a ribbon into her place, closing the book. Leaning over, she tucks the item into the bag at her feet and, upon sitting up once again, moves her lunch plate into her lap for continued consumption. "Yes, I am quite settled. My room feels rather bare compared to Fort, but I am hoping catch a ride back to gather a few more things. It's a slow process; I wasn't sure what might want and keep stumbling upon things I wish I had brought with me," she confesses with a soft laugh. "Otherwise, I am doing well. It will be hard to leave…"

Gerazal nods, "I think that I've read that one, yes it does take some liberties with some of the details, but it does make for a more exciting read." He listens, "Well let me know when you want to head back for your things I can as a rider to bring you there and back. If you do need anything else just let me know and I can help. Oh you'll be leaving here so soon?" He asks curiously.

Sephany laughs brightly. "That is a good way to put it. A more 'exciting' read, yes," she agrees. A small bite of her sandwich is taken, shoulders rolled and head ducked to ensure that crumbs fall onto her plate and not her clothing. Quick, polite chewing and a shake of her head. "No need. I've a friend or two that are willing to take me back and forth. I just have to catch them when they're not so busy. And when I am not so busy," she explains. "And no, not soon. I simply meant in general. I won't be leaving for quite some time. I would like to at least stay to see Leirith's clutch Hatch."

Gerazal nods, "Yah, although the romance in it was pretty good and believable. Some books I've read just make you scratch your head and think geeze how did that happen. Well if they aren't busy and you need the time just let me know about it." He ahs, "That's good to hear I like having you around Sephany, you work hard and are creative. You are really going to go far as a weaver. Yah it should be something. How are the candidates robes coming along?"

"I'm not a fan of the romance genre for that reason," confesses the younger weaver. "I have found it to be utterly ridiculous and unrealistic. This one," and there's a shallow tip of Sephany's head to indicate the book in the bag, "I can at least stomach." Which is good, since she is taking another bite of her sandwich. Chew-chew-chew-swallow. A fleeting, bright smile for the compliment and then a brushing-aside in the form of, "I am just doing my job." Which is to be a good student. Her sandwich goes to her plate, crumbs brushed off as fingers are rubbed together over the ground. "It is going well, though I hesitate to do too much until there are actual candidates in the barracks; I won't want to make inaccurate assumptions as to the size that should be cut. However," and she hesitates briefly, "I did notice that we are limited on white cloth suitable for candidate robes. I was going to ask if I could put in an order with the Hall for a bolt or two… or five…?"

Gerazal nods, "Oh I agree I really hate when they try to shoe in a romance into an adventure story or even worse a mystery." He shakes his head, "No. You don't do your job. You go above and beyond it Sephany, you are a delight to teach and work with. You ask insightful questions. If you just did what I told you to do, that'd be just doing your job and that'd be fine, a lot of apprentices become journeymen by just doing their jobs, nothing wrong with that. I really think you have what it takes to one day become a Master. I'm sorry I don't mean to put that all on you, it's just well I've never had an apprentice like you before, who is so talented and creative. It's exciting to be teaching someone like that." He smiles, "Good thought of not doing too much but getting all the preparations ready. I can do that, five bolts of candidate white, and how many spools of candidate white thread will you need?"

Silent while Gerazal offers praise and insight, Sephany's eyes shift from Journeyman to garden, gaze distant because she really is listening, while he speaks. She just can't look at him right now. At its conclusion, there is not much that the apprentice can say in response other than an honest, "Thank you," while her cheeks fade back to a normal color. Praise, is not something she seeks or expects, and seems to be a source of mild embarrassment when given. The question of cloth and thread is much easier, and she seizes it quickly. "If they are the large bulk spools…?" and her brow furrows and her mouth thins into a line as she attempts mental calculations for an unknown group of individuals. "We have several in stock, but perhaps two or three more… just in case?" Over-prepared, rather than under, seems to be the goal here.

Gerazal smiles, "You are welcome. Just keep doing what you are doing Sephany. I just wanted to let you know how I feel, my journeyman when I was an apprentice was very frank with me about how he felt about my talents at the time. It encouraged me even when my projects didn't go exactly how I wanted them to. I hope you find it just as encouraging." He nods, "They would be. All right 5 bolts of candidate white and 3 large bulk spools of candidate white thread. I'll put in the request this afternoon, should be about a sevenday."

"I do appreciate it," offers Sephany tentatively . "I am simply not accustomed to it. My Journeyman at Fort Weyr was not a rude man, but he was rather…" and she pauses, as if to find an accurate way to describe him. "He is the sort that expects excellence in all things. You knew you were doing a good job when he did not offer criticism. If you presented something, and he offered no rebuke and pointed out no flaws…" and a grin grows, perhaps at a memory, "That was highest praise." A shake of her head and a quick, "I am making it seem as though he was awful… he's not. Just… a different sort of teacher." A nod of her head for the tally of items needed, a brief moment spent chewing on her lip as she contemplates her requests. "A sevenday is plenty of time; Leirith isn't even looking gravid yet. I will ask Risali, but I don't think she will clutch for another month. That will allow me to inspect everything," not that candidate robes need to be flawless works of art. "I appreciate your letting me have this task."

Gerazal nods, "I understand I've worked with journeymen who are just like that. I'm told I tend to gush over things, especially things or people that I like. Some people find it to be an excellent quality others tend to find it annoying." He makes a grim face, "Mmm if you like I can be a hard taskmaster, who never seems to smile and has a stick up his butt." He laughs a little bit and nods, "So shall it be done then. You are welcome. Honestly it's rather tedious cause it's all white and just a simple robe. That's why I was secretly hoping I'd just have to give a lesson or two on it and the candidates would make them on their own." He confides.

Sephany laughs in amusement. "Oh no, don't do that," she's quick to counter, for hard task-mastering. "I simply wanted to explain why it was…" that she can't seem to take a compliment. She does not finish her sentence, but lets it trail off into oblivion with a shrug of slender shoulders. "It can be," of candidate robes, "And I cannot promise that I won't be bored to tears at least once or twice, but," she's quick to clarify, "I take this project seriously." Nimble fingers pull the top of her sandwich apart, selecting a bit of meat to nibble on. "I plan on taking basic measurements for each candidate, cutting and preparing the cloth, and either assisting those that wish it or allowing them to make it themselves. I can't sit down and literally sew thirty or so robes," she agrees with another laugh. "But I can help those that are a bit challenged…"

Gerazal laughs, "All right I won't." He nods, "I understand." He listens as he finishes his meatroll, "I know you'll take it seriously as would I if I were on it." He nods, "Good, just make sure you check with Kera that she gives you the time you need with the candidates to help get them started. I'd work closely with her so that you know when new candidates come in so you can get those measurements or setting up times so you can do blocks of them. Whatever you think will work out best. If you do find yourself getting overwhelmed come to me before there's a problem. I'll do what I can to help and/or get some other apprentices to help you. Just keep me in the loop."

"I will make sure to do that," for seeking guidance if Sephany becomes overwhelmed with her project. Another bite of lunchmeat is nicked by quick fingers, vanishing into her mouth to be thoroughly chewed and swallowed. "You and Assistant Weyrlingmaster Kera seemed to know each other quite well," she inquires curiously. "Have you known her long?"

Gerazal leans back a bit, "Yah Kera and I have known each other since N'talya and I came here more years ago then I care to admit. She's a really good friend and godmother to both of N'talya and mine children, one of whom, Nikita, is in her third year of being an apprentice beastcrafter. Amazing healer as well as a rider and assistant weyrlingmaster.

"She's a Healer also?" This seems to surprise the young apprentice, grey eyes flashing to Gerazal briefly before they return to the sandwhich being ritualistically torn apart with her fingers. "How interesting. Must be very busy. Of course… she probably doesn't practice Healing as much…" speculation, idle and quickly dismissed as a final bit of meat vanishes in Sephany's mouth. Quick chewing, and a nod. "I love animals, and briefly contemplated beastcraft… but I enjoyed the process of creating clothing more." A little brush of her fingers and she makes moves to stand. "Speaking of… I should get back. I still have a few more items to mend up, and I'd like to do that before the end of the day." Plate in one hand, she bends and grabs her bag with the other, moving to slide it over her shoulder as she stands. "I will see you later, sir."

Gerazal nods, "Yes Kera wears many hats. Oh I'm sure with weyrlings about she gets plenty of practice in the healing craft. I'll see you back there. I'm contemplating the next line of clothing that I'll be designing. I'm thinking children's wear. It's been a while since I did just a line of those. Just something to think about." He says as he gives her a wave goodbye.


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