Avani is Searched

There may be some missing poses before and after Lerta's involvement. Feel free to add them if you have them. :)


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.

Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs and southwest is a wide tunnel, carefully roped off to avoid accidents.

Avani reappears, as chance would have it, just as Rished approaches Thor. Of course, she might not be recongnisable at first, having traded in the fine gown she wore to the Clutching with more practical and comfortable clothing, if it wasn't for the fact that she seems to have found her messenge bag and has traded in her Sea Foam Daughter knot for that of a Runner. She turns towards the table which houses her firelizard and freezes as she sports Rished. "Um…" she blinks, flicking her gaze to the remaining bubbly before her bronze"Hurry up, Thor!"and back up again. "Hi?"

"Uh. Hi." Concern quickly bleeds away and is replaced with sheepishness, though neither of his hands is free to rub the back of his neck. Rished looks at Thor, then at Missy, before looking at his food plates. Navy and Suede are already perched on his arms, leaned out to get at the food /on/ the plates. If he had designs of having his own plate … well, they've changed that. "Uh. In a hurry?" he finally asks, brows knitting just a little bit.

Lerta sashays into the caverns, short legs clad in loose woven pants and a ruffled tunic encasing her torse. Short dark hair has been pinned back with barettes and her face looks freshly scrubbed, droplets of water clinging to her bangs and cheeks. The chubby rider heads straight for the buffet table, skirting through the post-clutching crowd with familiar ease.

Avani glances down and flushes as she catches sight of her present garb. "You could say that…yes," she admits finally. Thor, for his part, has torn through his final bubbly and looks to his mistress with interest. "Set to go, Lordling?" she murmurs, rewarded by a gentle croon. She shifts the strap of her pouch even as her weight moves from one foot to the other.

"Oh." Well, there goes the option of casual conversation. Rished is at a slight loss for what to say, so he settles on, "Okay. Well, uh. Safe running? Maybe we'll see you around again, huh?" Navy and Suede appear to be having an eating race — hungry, hungry 'lizards! — while Missy just looks huffy about it all. The bubbly crumbs are eyed and she whuffs at them, only to swing her head demandingly back to Rished.

Avani nods and motions to Thor, not moving until the bronze has settled upon her shoulder, his talons sinking into the strap of her pouch in order to save her shoulder from injury. Even then, her glance is just towards the exit to the clearing beyond. Her brow furrows for a moment before she glances at the Woodcrafter. "There should still be a crowd out there, right?" she sounds hopeful, though her eyes hold a certain air of…desperation?

Lerta skirts around Rished as he stands there, arms full of firelizards and a plate. "You look overloaded, apprentice," the rider remarks with an amused smile. "You might want to unload some of those firelizards before they make you drop your plate." Brown eyes are warm with mirth at the crafter's expense - it isn't every day she gets to see a person be so sorely used by their firelizards.

"Yeah, sure. There should be," Rishy replies to Avani, casting a look toward the exit. Still, his brow remains a bit furrowed. "If you want, I, uh- can-" and his thought is interrupted when the rider approaches, a sheepish smile quickly being aimed her way. "I- what?" Seems he hasn't even caught on to the 'lizards going to town on his food. A glance down confirms the rider's words and he just stares. "Oh, c'mon! Navy, Suede. You two know better." A frantic look about finally yields a section of a table and it's there that the plates and 'lizards are set. Missy still looks fussy, stomping a wee foot. /That/ isn't what she wants now.

Avani nods and takes a step towards the exit before the greenrider joins their area. Wasn't Rished offering something a moment ago? She glances towards the exit again, and nips her lower lip once before pressing both together and making them disappear for a moment, her nostrils flaring slightly as she lets out a breath. "Well, I should be going then…" she offers with a nod to Rished. The rider is given a quick curtsey before she lifts a hand to rub Thor's eyeridges with her middle and index fingers and turns to move towards the exit.

Lerta chuckles as Rished settles the plate, and then firelizards, onto the table. "That's the idea. Do they normally eat all your food?" she asks curiously before shaking her head. "Nevermind, I don't want to know if they really are that badly mannered." She turns, glancing to Avani and asking, "Did you need some help, Runner? You look to be a bit… at a loss." Lerta inclines her head toward the exit and the clearing beyond. "Need help getting through the crowd? I know it can be overwhelming if you aren't around them much."

Avani freezes for a beat, glances between the greenrider and Woodcrafter. "Oh, no, uh, Ma'am," she offers finally, addressing the rider, "I wouldn't want to be a bother. And it's not large crowds which bother me." Another glance to the exit where the trickle of newcomers increases the chances that the crowd will be gone by the time she get out there. Or that her Father might come in search of her and Thor. "I was just stopping over to feed my bronze, and now I should go." She gives another thin-tipped smile, strained, even for her, and then turns, making her way through the crowd with a practiced ease.

Lerta nods at Avani's dismissal of her offer and turns away again without another word. She turns her attention to Rished's firelizards with a thoughtful expression. "I think you might want to hurry about feeding them, then, since I'm fairly sure your green just decided to take matters into her own paws, as it were. And I don't think the cooks will appreciate it if she makes a mess of the clutching feast," the greenrider says, pointing toward the buffet tables.

"Oh. Okay. Uh, safe running." He said that before, right? He can't rightly remember. Rished watches Avani go and is about to turn back to where his bloated blue and brown are now just dozing on the table when the rider speaks again. "Huh?" He does a recount of fed 'lizards and then makes a face, catching sight of Missy. A short, low whistle is given, just enough to catch her attention, and the green wheels right back around with a disgruntled squawk to aim a landing for his shoulder. "/Jays/. They're not this bad all the time, I swear. I think it's just all the chaos and all. Thank you. I uh-" Pause. "-forgot my manners, too. I'm Rished. This is Missy, that's Suede and that's Navy."

Avani pauses at the exit, muttering a soft "Shards!" to herself as she sees just how close that Istan brownrider decided to wait. Probably her Father's doing, actually, what with Thor being 'hungry' and all… She glances back over her shoulder and weaves her way back through the crowd. She flashes the greenrider a quick, toothy smile, then tugs on Rished's sleeve and speaks to him in a low voice, "So… Is there another way to get to the Traces that wouldn't march be past the brown outside?"

Lerta watches Missy's prompt return with a raised brow. "Well, maybe you do have them under control," she concedes after a few moments. "I guess they'll be fine, then," she says with a false pout. "Oh well. Adanaith was so hoping to have an excuse to talk to more of the 'little cousins', as she calls them." Avani's return attracts her attention back to her, and the rider tilts her head. "Change your mind about needing help?" she asks.

"I don't know. She might still need a talking to." Given how she's kneading at his shoulder, it's a wonder that Rished's not wincing. Much. "I don't know if a draconic intervention will help the other two with their neverending hungers, though. I mean, if she wants to try, uh, then she's more than welcome to. I don't know if they talk to dragons all that much." The return of the Runner isn't noticed right away, not until his sleeve is tugged. "Uh." The tugged sleeve is given an odd look until his gaze lifts up to the source of the tugging. "Probably. Or-" some thought or another clicks along the gears in his head and he looks over at the storage cavern's entrance "-we could throw a hooded cloak over you, and hide your, uh. Thor? Right?"

Avani flicks her gaze towards the greenrider, "Um…" She looks to Rished, then back to Lerta, "No?" Thor chitters at her from his shoulder pouch. "Just directions, really," she amends. The Holder-turned-Runner-once-more blinks at Rished's suggestion, "That would work… except that I don't relly feel comfortable taking more than the stuff I'd left behind the last time I…" mud-green eyes move to the greenrider again before she continues, "had to leave suddenly."

Lerta shrugs as she listens to Rished. "If they have problems, let me know and I'll have her talk to them. She tries to be gentle, but she tends to forget how scary she can be to firelizards," she says. Avani's response elicits a frown from the greenrider, who glances between the two. "Are you sure you're okay? You look pretty stressed there. If someone's causing you trouble, you should report them to the headwoman. She'll make sure they get taken care of."

Rished nods firmly to the suggestion, reaching up to try to ease Missy's moody clawing. "I will. Promise. Though … I don't know how scary a dragon /can/ be to a firelizard. It can't be that scary, can it?" He has no idea. A glance is given to Avani, then, his mouth drawn to a side. "It's okay. There are tons of cloaks in there that no one's claimed." There's a nod to Lerta's suggestion, with the teenager briefly going quiet. In that silence, his stomach makes an audible growl and he makes a face, excusing himself to retrieve a bit of something from one of the 'lizard-occupied plates.

Avani can't help it, she laughs, lifting a hand in a belated attempt to cover the sound. "I appologise, greenrider, but I'm afraid the Headwoman has no sway over my concerns," she offers. She turns her attention to Rished again but just as she opens her mouth, another voice is heard, "Avani? What's keeping yo…?" The Runner turns to see her sister, still very much dressed in her finery. "What are you doing? Where's your dress?" the older woman looks towards the exit and frowns as she realises that she's drawn some attention from the crowd. Moving closer, she only speaks when she is near enough to ensure the conversation is at least partly private, "Where do you plan to go?"

Lerta opens her mouth to respond to Avani's words when the finely-dressed woman interrupts. Lerta was born and raised in a Weyr, and is still very uppity about respect toward riders. Plus, Avani looks like she could use some help. "Excuse me, ma'am, but you are interrupting my conversation with this young lady, and further, interrupting the clutching festivities. Please excuse us, so we can finish our discussion," she says, voice chill as she moves to insert herself between the two women.

He returns a moment later after having wolfed a bit of roll and meat … just in time to catch the rest of Avani's words. "You're in a Weyr, now." But that's all Rished gets out before the other woman shows up and he blinks a bit, glancing from the dressed up girl to Avani and back again. While Lerta moves to intercept, he fidgets just a little and extends a hand in an offer to gently pull Avani back a few paces. Helpfully. And if he can manage that, he'll try to step a /little/ in front of her, providing a subtle, secondary buffer of protection.

The new arrival pauses and blinks as she finds herself suddenly facing a greenrider. She looks up with the same almond-shade eyes (though these are a deep blue instead of Avani's mud-green hue) and shakes her dark tresses slightly. "My appologies, greenrider," the woman offers, "but if I don't soon return with my Sister, the Lady Avani, our Father will come in search of us and then you will understand that I am not at all being disruptive to the Weyr's celebration." As Avani sorta freeze, allowing Rished his moment to pull her back a step or two, Thor croons to the new arrival. With a shake of her head, the would-be Runner lifts up her hands, "No… It's okay, really. Chin's just doing what she's been told." To Rished's response she offers a brief smile, this one even reaching her eyes, "Oh, come now, if it was that easy, Lords would never bring their offspring anywhere at all." "And that would be rather dull," Chin agrees, before looking to the greenrider, "Which is exactly what will happen to the rest of Sea Foam's Daughters if Avani doesn't return with me promptly." she looks past the rider once more, "Preferably not dressed like a runway." Avani blushes at the comment, glancing down at herself once more.

Lerta frowns, looking between the two apparently sisters for several moments, her eyes unfocusing slightly as she thinks. With a slow smile she nods, moving out from between the two. "I see. Will your father object to an escort from one of Xanadu's riders? At the least to the ridge for your departure. It would not do for Xanadu to not show respect to a visiting Lord," she says smoothly, eyes sparkling with mischief.

Rished is about to reply to Avani's words when his attention snags a bit on Lerta's comments. After a moment or two, he nods and glances to Chin at her latter words. There's a wry pull at the corner of his mouth as he replies, "Well, it'll take her a lot longer to get all dressed up again. And it doesn't sound like he has a whole lot of patience left." And, from his stance, it appears he might well be tagging along for this little venture, whether it's wanted or not. In the meantime, don't mind his uncomfortable shifting from foot to foot.

Avani shifts her stance and nods, moving back towards the storage room. "I…forgot myself. I'm sorry, Chin," she glances at Rished and offers a slight smile, "I've had practice getting ready quickly. It should only take a moment or two more…" "Easily forgotten and forgiven," Chin offers with a smile, watching her younger sister leave. As for the rider's offer, the future Lady Holder glances towards the exit, "Perhaps you might advise the brownrider outside the door that we are on our way and that…Thor is nearly done his meal?" She shrugs at Rished, "Avani's not nearly as quick as she thinks she is at times." Attention returns to Lerta, "As for an escort… I don't see why my Father would object, though we do have the Istan rider to bring us home."

Lerta nods to both of the women, then glances to Rished. "Please wait here, apprentice. I'd hate to see the Lord latch on you as the reason for the lady's delay and cause problems for you. I'll make sure she's taken care of, no worries." And Lerta winks to the apprentice, quickly smoothing her face before turning toward Chin again. "I'll let him know you are on your way out. Sea Foam Hold, right? And an Istan brownrider…" She nods as she moves off toward the entrance.

There's a slight, if dubious, nod given to Avani, but Rished's apparently well aware of just how out of /his/ league all of this has gotten. So, when Lerta speaks, he nods and moves slightly, half-turning back to his food. "Right, yeah. I guess that makes sense." Pause. "It was nice meeting you, too," that seems to be for the rider, more than the other holder-type, though Chin /does/ get a respectful bob of his head. He offers a half-smile to Avani and Lerta and then finishes that turn, moving back to his food with a low-murmured, "Good luck," for Avani.

Chin nods, looking towards the room where her sister is doubtlessly changing and making sure that no one is heading in that direction. "So…" she offers after a few moments have passed. "Are you a friend of Avani's?" It is just a few moments longer before Avani reappears, her short hair in little more ruffled than usual, and her messenger pouch on her shoulder. Thor glides before her, warbling at Chin and Rished as he circles them once before following his mistress towards the exit the greenrider used.

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 this and sharp border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. 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 Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

Lerta is waiting in the clearing with her green, Adanaith, beside the brown from Ista. She's patiently waiting for the Sea Foam Holder to turn his attention to her so she can explain why she's there, but she isn't going to interrupt him. Adanaith is watching the caverns entrance intently, the smallish green fairly dancing in place with eagerness. Only Lerta's hand on her shoulder is keeping her from moving closer to the caverns.

Avani and Chin exit the Caverns at about the same time, Thor just two wingbeats behind. The younger sister is once more in her dress, though her hair is a bit more ruffled than before and she has her messenger pouch over her shoulder. She offers her father and the riders a curtsey, as does Chin, which Thor glides towards Adanaith, warbling a greeting to his green cousin before circling back to settle upon his mistress' shoulder, talons digging into the strap once more.

Adanaith returns Thor's greeting with a soft croon, her voice deeper than usual for such a small dragon. The green then prompty shuffles forward, ducking her head to try and butt between Avani and her family. Lerta steps up to Adanaith's neck, placing her hand on the dragon's great jaw, and regards the gathered Lord and his family, waiting for their reaction to her lifemate's action.

Avani gives a half-jump sideways at the green's reaction, spotting Chin's surprise at the green and her Father's displeasure at her keeping him waiting so long. "My appologies, My Lord… I remembered that I had forgotten some things in my haste which should rightfully be returned to the Waystation as soon as possible." Sea Foam's Lord Holder just nods and motions his daughters closer, "We would best be off then." He looks to Lerta and her green, "If you would be so kind as to let her pass, greenrider."

Lerta says clearly, "I'm afraid I can't do that, sir. Adanaith is insistent that your daughter remain here and stand for the clutches on Xanadu's sands. As I'm sure you are aware, there are two clutches on the sands right now, and Adanaith feelss that your daughter would make a wonderful candidate for the hatchlings within." The green whuffles Avani's skirt, making it blow in the wind of her breath, and croons to the runner. "Lady Avani, would you be willing to Stand for Xanadu's clutches as Adanaith asks?" Lerta inquires, looking firmly at the girl and not her father.

The greenrider might not be looking at Sea Foam's Lord, but Avani certainly is. Perhaps surprisingly, it's Chin who comes to her rescue, taking a step to block the girl's view of their Father before turning to address him. "She certainly couldn't refuse, Father? What with the emphasis you always put on your Daughters to perform their Duties." The man's expression darkens at the reminder, his gaze settling on Avani who finally manages to look away and up at Lerta, then at Adanaith, then at Lerta. A flicker of suspicion moving through her mud-green eyes, "If it is your Lifemate you asks, Adanaith, then I am honoured to accept." Thor gives an excited trill, but his mistress' eyes still remain on the greenrider, waiting to ensure that this is not just an attempt to get her out of her other Duties. Which she was running away from a moment ago.

Lerta is spared the immediate need to answer Avani's question by Adanaith's very determined nudge against the lass, pushing her toward the hatching complex with her pale nose. "I assure you, Lord Holder, Ladies, this is very much Adanaith's choice. No rider can force a dragon to Search someone they do not feel is appropriate, and Adanaith would very much like you to stand, Lady Avani." Lerta manages to look mildly offended by Avani's suggestion, though she struggles to keep the delight from her face at the implied acceptance of Search.

Avani goes to flick her gaze towards her father, but actually finds the view blocked by one of Thor's overly shiney wings, and Chin, dark blue eyes shinning. She looks down at the green muzzle, still somehow managing to keep her balance (probably an after effect on tripping on the Traces) and takes a step back, before offereing a curtsey. "I would be honoured to accept, Adanaith," her gaze shifts to her father and she gives him a curtsey of his own. "And should I be left Standing, Father, you will, of course, still have the right to call me back to my Hold." Respectful but somehow withdraw all at once, how does she do it? The Lord Holder remains standing for a moment and then turns to the Istan brownrider nearby, "We must return to Sea Foam. Come, Chin." Avani's older sister gives her a wave before turning to follow their Father to mount the brown. A moment later, the brown giving Adanaith a soft rumble, they are pushing off from the ground and soon *between*.

Adanaith responds to the rumble with a soft trill of parting as the brown departs and noses Avani once more toward the hatching complex, absolutely insistent. "Well, that went better than I expected," Lerta comments with a grin, watching the brown vanish *between* before looking back to Avani. "I'm Lerta, by the way. Let's get your things settled into the barracks and then you can get back to enjoying the party, hmm?" And without waiting for a reply, Lerta begins leading the way toward the barracks within the hatching complex, Adanaith trailing along behind to shepherd Avani as far as the doors.

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