From Okay to Alright

Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern
It is often whispered in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.
The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company.

It's a fairly busy night in the Wanderin' Wherry, the tavern filled with people relaxing over a drink or three. There's still tables free here and there, but it may take some searching to find them amidst the occupied ones. Soriana's at one of those, sitting by herself at a small table with a glass of something-or-other brown and a half-nibbled plate of cheese and crackers.

Mur'dah walks in, the brownrider still favoring his right ankle, though by this point it might be more from habit than any actual pain or tenderness. Hard to tell though. Stepping aside, he lets someone pass him before moving up to the bar to order an ale and a basket of fried tubers. Casting his gaze around the tavern idly, he spots Soriana - alone - and smiles, offering a salute that shifts into a wave, and a little finger point here, there, question mark?

Soriana reaches for one of the crackers, her hand pausing as she sees Mur'dah over at the bar. She smiles, though it tugs wryly sideways at the salute… if that's what it was, instead of just a funny-looking start to a wave. As for the silent question, she turns a hand to indicate one of the empty chairs by her - nobody's yet stolen them for one of the overcrowded tables - and shrugs. It's an option!

No, it was a salute, proper, just as he was instructed and also what he's requiring of the weyrlings. Practice what you teach and all that good stuff. Taking his ale and telling the bartender where he's sitting, he walks over to pull out a chair beside the weyrwoman, settling down with a smile. "Hey, Sori, how're you doing?"

Apparently it just takes Soriana a moment to think through salutes, proper or not. While she's waiting for Mur'dah, she assembles a cracker and bit of cheese into a stack on her plate, then looks up again as the brownrider actually approaches. "Hey," she says. There's a little twitch of her lips, one corner tugging inward for a moment. "I'm… okay." She smiles, though it may look a bit harried. "How about you?"

Mur'dah lifts a brow at that hesitation. "Just okay?" Then he shrugs. "I'm alright." Then there's a smile. Just alright. "You first."
Soriana frowns slightly, and looks down to the cracker. "Yes, just okay." She takes the cheese from the top of it, only to put it back again in the same place. It's not that she doesn't hear what Mur'dah suggests, it's just… "So what happened to your leg?"

Mur'dah leans back, quiet for a moment when a waitress brings his chips, which he takes and then nudges to Soriana in a silent offer. "What's going on?" he asks, casting her a concerned look, before he glances down at his leg with a small smirk and a shrug. "I rolled it falling off a log, then just…never took care of it and kept aggravating it. It's mostly better now, just a bit tender."

Soriana shakes her head slightly to those tubers, though she does remember to murmur a, "Thanks," complete with flicker of smile. She doesn't answer the question immediately, instead listening to what he says about his leg. "Mmh," she acknowledges. "Glad it's gotten better." Even if it's not all there yet, just mostly. And she's… "Does there have to be something?" Though, well… Soriana's eyes turn to her drink. "Inkfoot died."

Mur'dah shrugs to the question about there having to be a something - not really? - but then there /is/ something, and his expression falls, shoulders drooping. "Shards, Sori, I'm sorry. Old age?" Please don't be something horrible and traumatic… He sips his ale and nibbles on a tuber chip, watching the tavern for a moment before his focus shifts back to his clutchmate.

Soriana keeps her eyes on the glass. Oh look, it's a drink. That she's had some of, and will have more of, and… "Yeah," she says to Mur'dah's question. "In his sleep." Which is as good as it gets, which isn't actually that good, but Soriana shrugs a little as she reaches for the glass and has a large swig of it, setting it back down and turning her gaze back to Mur'dah. "So. That's me."

Mur'dah nods, reaching out to offer her arm a brief squeeze. "I'm sorry." It /is/ a nice way to go though. "I heard Ka'el moved in. That going alright?" he asks, sipping his ale and leaning back a bit in the chair.

Soriana flicks eyes to Mur'dah's hand and gives a slight nod. She doesn't actually smile, but she doesn't particularly frown either. What more is there to say? Topic change, that's what. So. Ka'el. "Yeah," she says. "That's good." Better than okay, at least in that part of her life. "Kanekith's even getting used to it." Slowly.

Yeah, maybe not the best topic change but at least it's a change? "Good," Mur'dah says, sipping at his ale and taking a slow breath. There's a pause (an awkward pause?) and the brownrider smiles a bit. Time for another topic, and maybe one that will have her relaxing. "So I helped birth a camelid. It was so gross, I still can't believe I did it."

Soriana's not really noticing awkward right now. She does let her gaze drift out over the tavern, then nibbles a cheese and cracker, then… she looks back to Mur'dah as he speaks again. "Yeah?" There's an arched eyebrow, a quirk of her lips to go with it. "Didn't know you'd taken an interest in the beastcraft."

Maybe it's not awkward. Maybe it's comfortable. Mur'dah shakes his head. "I'm not. I don't, I mean. I just, well. It just happened?" Right, that's how all good stories start, right? "I was up visiting Rae, and she'd gone after a pregnant camelid who'd run off. Found her and one baby, and the mother wasn't doing well, so I, uh," cough, "reached up there and birthed the twin. Then there were felines." Right, just that little side note, no big deal. "Mom didn't make it but as far as I know the babies are doing just fine. I should go visit. They're actually pretty cute."

Maybe it is. Soriana keeps that questioning expression as Mur'dah goes through and denies any beastcrafting tendencies, then nods as he gets to the actual story. "Might've been breech," she says. "Seen that with runners." She shrugs a little. "Or just the strain, if they don't twin normally." Oh boy babies! Which… are cute, apparently. "You sure you're not going to turn beastcraft?" Soriana teases.

Mur'dah shakes his head, considers, and then shrugs. "I've no clue what it was. Maybe she was just dying and needed help, but I pulled it out at any rate." Probably rupturing things in the process. That poor camelid. "Oh yeah, you ever birthed a runner?" Wait, that sounds wrong. "Helped birth a runner." Better. Then he snorts, shaking his head firmly. "No thank you. I'll be back in Comet soon enough, where I belong."

"I've done foalwatch," Soriana says. "With my mom, mostly. So I've seen healers do it." But she hasn't done it herself, at least not the messy bits. She nods about his plans for Comet. "Yeah, I heard you were in Pulsar again. On the weyrlingmaster side of things. How's that been?"

Mur'dah shrugs a bit, stretching his legs beneath the table and taking a slow pull of his ale before he answers. "It's been fine. I've enjoyed parts of it, but…it's pretty clear it's not for me. I've a whole new respect for the staff though, I'll tell you that. I just know it's not what I'm best suited to do. So. Once they graduate, I'll be going back to Comet. I gave it a shot." Shrug.

A fine to go with the alright! Soriana nods as she listens. "Fair enough." A sip of her drink. "Why'd you go for it in the first place?" Her tone's a curious one. "I mean…" Her lips curve in a crooked smile. "You weren't always a model student back when we were in there for the weyrling side. What made you decide to be the one teaching the rules?"

Mur'dah snorts a bit, eying her with a smirk. "I know. You'd think with as poor as our Weyrlinghood went, I'd want to stay away. And, well…I was asked? Invited? And I'll try just about anything once. I figured why not give it a shot? Maybe I'd love it, or be good at it. Turns out…neither. But I'll see it through to the end. It's not all bad. Just..definitely not what I'm meant to be doing."

Soriana tilts her head to the side slightly. "That bad?" she murmurs of their weyrlinghood, frowning for a moment before letting the expression slip away. "I suppose it's hard to tell before you've tried, yeah. Though… well. If you try to do everything that's offered, you might not have time to focus on what you really want." She considers on that a moment, then hehs. "So is Comet what you're meant for? Or just a place to wait for something better?"

Mur'dah shrugs slightly, sipping contemplatively at his ale. "Wasn't all bad, but it certainly had its moments of…badness." Badness. Mur'dah haz gud wurds. "This one isn't all bad either, not at all. But…you know that feeling you get when you know something isn't right? I've had that for a while now. And…I don't know. Might be forever, might be a stepping stone to Wingsecond, or something more. Who knows. But I really enjoyed being in Comet and I'm looking forward to getting back."

Moments of bad. Soriana hmms, and nods. "So's everything, I guess. Just… different amounts of it." She shrugs a little, then tilts her head about that feeling. "I guess. Well, if Comet makes you happy, that's a good enough reason to do it." She smiles. "Not like we're going to run out of things that need to be taken from point A to point B anytime soon."

Mur'dah smiles and nods in agreement, finishing his ale. "I'm looking forward to Comet," he says, pushing to his feet. "I'd hope not! Otherwise I'd be out of a job. Was nice talking to you, Sori. Hope you enjoy the rest of your day. I've got to get back to the barracks." With a warm smile and a wave, he makes his way back out.

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