Bowmaking Epiphanies

Xanadu Weyr - Woodcraft Shop

This cavernous building is where Xanadu's wood harvests are transformed into both raw lumber for building and wooden products for personal use. Upon stepping into the enormous place, the pungent tang of sap, fresh wood and sawdust permeates the air. Rarely quiet during peak hours, the whine of the giant buzzsaw with the banging of hammers and chisels makes carrying on a conversation in here difficult, if not impossible. Racks around the perimeter is where the different grades of planks, dried in the huge kiln out back, are stored for further curing.
In the back are work benches with neat racks overhead with an array of handtools for creating smaller items of fine craftsmanship. There, the acrid odor of oils and stains for finishing is quite strong

Here, Datsun the Journeyman Woodcrafter can be found in his element. He's sitting on a tall stool off to the right side at his workshop area. Built into the wall is a work table with wooden drawers on both sides below the table, leaving an open space in the center for Datsun to sit. Above the table are several shelves with arrayed objects, one set aside for commissions, the left side for finished commissions and the right side for ongoing ones. Directly on the wall are several hooks with different kinds of tools hanging side by side, arranged by size and type. He's currently working on the detail work for a bracelet, using a narrow tool to do the job for him as Apprentices come by every so often to ask him questions or show him their work for approval, to which Datsun replies with a nod or a shake of his head or points something out for them.

Zahleizjah is off on a quest today, things are movin' n'shakin' around here and the Starcrafter is working on building up her skill set while she can. So, this adventure at hand involved wandering to the Woodcraft Shop. She may, or may not, be looking for someone in particular, but as she wanders in it is clear she's out of her element. A stumble across the entryway has her knocking in to a large wooden fixture there, something fortunately unbreakable. "Oops.. umm sorry.. I'll be more careful.." is promised to those nearby sending >shifty eyes< her way. A deep breath is taken and she gathers herself before heading in any further. A familiar face is spotted in the center of the shop and Zahl speaks softly in an attempt to no completely muck up the fine detail work he's tending to "Hey Datsun.. mind if I as you a few questions about some bow carving?" She can obviously see he's busy at this very second and is quick to give him an out if needed "I mean.. I can see you're working on something already, but I thought who better to talk to than you about this little project.. I can always come back too." She's nervous and rambling, now she's in her element!

Datsun is used to occasional disturbances, thanks to the Apprentices that come by every so often. It's a wonder any work gets done at all. However, this particular project isn't an important one, or else he would have demanded to be left alone, fortunately for Zah as she approaches him. Her stumbling and knocking when she enters doesn't phase Datsun, used to loud noises such as hammering and the like. It's when she's by his side that he finally notices someone there, looking off to the side at the usual spot where Apprentices present him with projects but finding nothing there, his eyes shift up with a blink to see Zah. "Zah…" Since he's distracted and Zah's rambling, what she says doesn't make much sense to him so he puts down the bracelet and tool to give Zah his full attention. A smile, "Could you start over? I didn't catch that part."

Zahleizjah would've been able to handle such demands as it is one she's made and abided by for much of her own life. New leafs can be turned though, and reaching out to the amazing network around her is a great start. With so many talented people at Xanadu, she can't help but want to contribute and learn. Yes, she may have kinda crept up on the red headed Woodcrafter, but this again is not uncommon for the Starcrafter, awkward and 'graceful' no doubt! A few of the loud bangs nearby will probably make her jump from time to time, but she'll smile to the gent and work on proceeding with her Craft request. "Of course.." she'll oblige and start over, less skittish and more concise with exactly what she's here for ".. Soo… long story short, I'd like to make a pair of bows with a set of quivers for both Idrissa and I. She's gonna teach me about archery and I thought it'd be a nice way to thank her. Think it's possible?"

Datsun leans backwards in a stretch, turning his shoulders from side to side to stretch some more. He's spent a good part of the day bent over and that takes a toll on a person's back. leans against the lip of the work desk once he's done, listening to Zah's request. "You want to /make/ bows? You're not asking me to make you some, but to teach you?" That brings a smile to his face, nodding as he thinks about it, "Sure, yeah. I know a way how to make bows without many tools or big tubs to soak the wood to make it flexible or the like. If you do it right, your bows should be able to take down big game. How does that sound?" There's a pause before he asks another question, "Though, why do you want to learn about archery?"

Zahleizjah can imagine such a Craft would be demanding in ways never seen by a Starcrafter, unless she's making a distance-viewer which could involve many a hunched hours soldering together various metals and reducing glass for lenses. She knows how the Woodcrafter feels, paying no mind to his stretching as she waits to see if he'll take the bait, hook line and sinker. There's a nod, those bright honeyed eyes steadfast as she speaks "Well.. ya. I mean it's all fine and dandy just picking something up from someone as skilled as yourself, but I figure it means more this way and well.. it'd be really fun to learn how to make em from you so I can always fashion another in the future when I get better at archery n'all.." Oh yes! There's something she forgot.. "..I'd gladly compensate you for your time and provide the materials." He agrees and makes it sound like it'd be a rather easy task, but she reaffirms with "Really? That'd be amazing and seriously if there's anything I can do to repay you for this priceless skill.." As for the intentions beneath it all, the thought of taking down big game still makes her a little woozy and she says "and it sounds great! When can we start?" She's eager this one "..I.. really don't have alotta skills t'contribute besides what I've learned from my Craft.." and let's face it, fun as it may be, only the nerdiest of nerds find much value in Stargazing and galactic knowledge. "Archery sounds.. useful.. and like something I'd never do.. so, I guess m'trying to branch out these days or something.."

Turning himself towards the shop's proper, Datsun puts both of his elbows behind him on top of the work desk's surface to watch the bustling Crafters and the like. "All right. My Master should be fine with it, but I'll have to clear it with him first. I doubt there'll be a problem, though. The bows won't be difficult work, just tedious. A lot of rasping, time, and especially patience. So clear your day when you want to do it." At the compensation talk, Datsun looks at Zah, "Compensation, eh? I'm yours, then." He smiles, anything for marks! His pouch's been feeling all too light as of late. "Don't worry about materials, though, I'll have that taken care of." Sliding off his stool and standing, Datsun's eyes go down to Zah's feet and follows her up to the top of her head, presumably measuring how tall she is, "'Rissa's close to your height, isn't she?"

Zahleizjah leans in to the table ever so slightly, also watching at Datsun surveys the area. She nods and agrees "Yes.. that is a very wise route, wouldn't want there to be any trouble or it be a nuisance. Maybe I could even agree to contribute a few bows to the shop when I get better?" There's a genuine smile there, wall-flower blooming delicate petal by delicate petal. "I will make certain to have the day cleared for skill-building and cross-training craft studies. Oh thank you Datsun!" Excitement is adamant and she's reaffirming that compensation is readily available. Her own gaze will follow his to her feet for a moment and she'll oh when she realizes why she's being 'sized-up'. Of course measurements are important for bow size silly Starcrafter! "Uh yeah just about.. maybe a lil'bit shorter.." Since Zahl's 'getting old' and has 3 turns on the Beastcrafter.

Datsun chuckles, "If you find that you have the patience to make bows, then by all means, feel free to contribute. Hang on a second and let me go ask." He holds up a finger to indicate for her to wait for him but he doesn't leave before putting away the unfinished bracelet in the uncompleted commissions shelf. Once that's done, the Woodcrafter heads off towards the left side of the Shop, disappearing among the working Crafters only to be seen here and there. Through the passing workers, Datsun's seen speaking with an older gray-haired man. Upon receiving his answer, the Journeyman returns to Zah, "He says all right, s'long you're paying. By the way, how are you getting the marks for this?" He has a curiosity to know, "And does 'Rissa know about this?" Speaking of Idrissa, Zah's answer about her height has him nodding and reaching for a hand saw hanging on one of the hooks. Once he has the saw, the Woodcrafter motions for Zah to follow him with a smile, "C'mon. Your lesson begins now."

Zahleizjah shrugs a shoulder and shares the chuckle "Why not eh? Least I could do for the trade y'know.." She'll stay there while the Journeyman goes to asks, eyes crossing slightly as they focus on the 'gimme one second' index finger movement. Zahl really doesn't have some weird eye thing too, promise! She'll run her finger over the smooth side of the dangling bracelet, good thing she just washed her hands, and look at a few of the other items there while Datsun is talking to the Master. She'll glance over to try and peek for bits of info about how the inquiry is going. The Starcrafter will look a little nervous, a closet pessimist half expecting to get turned down, but as expected, marks talk and she's smiling brightly as they get the go ahead.. for a slight fee, as expected. "I've been saving since before moving from Western. I sell my viewers here and there, odd jobs and.. wait how much for each bow and the lesson to start?" Probably a good thing to ask before she mentions any allowance or anything. Curiosity is entertained, "Rissa has no idea. When she agreed to teach me t'shoot and mentioned she hadn't really been that in to it lately but would do it anyway, I figured nothing like a brand new bow to reignite the interest fire.." Zahl will follow Datsun, bobbing along with a wide smile "Really? Right now! I've been cleared for the evening so that's perfect.." Nothing but pure gratitude, she may have even forgotten that she was waiting to see how much this will cost her.

Datsun leads the way out of the Shop, choosing the clear path down the middle, waiting until Zah's side-by-side with him. The hand saw is shouldered on the shoulder away from Zah while his other hand rests on one of his several knives' hilts on his belt. "I thought that perhaps your Weyrleader father was giving you an allowance or paying." There's a guilty look on the Woodcrafter's face as he says this, glancing sidelong at Zah, "I'm sorry about that. As for how much it'll be, since I'm giving you extra time to teach you how to do this, I don't know how long it'll take to train you. I'll give you a price at the end. If it's too much, we can work something out." A shrug to indicate that he's not too worried about the price. "Ah, I see. Yeah, hopefully this will get her going again. If she's still lax about teaching you archery, I could. Free of charge, of course." A smile as he ducks out of the Shop into the Meadow.

Zahleizjah trots up to Datsun's side as they venture outwards to do some sawing.. or something. She'll be smiling, doing a great job at distracting herself from that gnarly inner turmoil. Doing nice things for others really seem to help cap that gnawing feeling and reclusive affinity that plagued Zahl so. "Well.. he helps but I refused to let him support me. I've been independent so long.." and living meagerly " I like to enjoy some of these amazing amenities while still keeping it simple and maintaining my responsibilities ya know? It pays to be frugal.." Wise gal.. maybe she's not a complete loss of a sobbing, nightmare ridden, emotional mess. Zahl might just make it to adulthood less than alone forever after all! She trusts Datsun will make a reasonable deal with her, nodding in agreement with a "No worries and that sounds like a wonderful plan. I appreciate your flexibility.." no archery pun intended. "I'm sure we can work out something rewarding for all.. maybe you'd even like to join us on some hunts?" If the Starcrafter can ever bring herself to do that sort of thing. It's a bit of a stretch the thought of actually taking a creature's life. Some things will never be easy to get used to. She smiles and follows him to the Meadow.

Datsun turns into the direction of the Forest behind the Woodcraft Shop, taking a path obviously well-trodden by many others before him along the grass in the Meadow. "How does he help you? I can understand your need to be independent. That's why I go deep into the forest to escape Weyr and Craft life for a day on a hunt or just a nice trip to see what's around Xanadu. It helps me feel better about staying at Xanadu." There's a small chuckle at Zah's words about the amenities, "The technology here is amazing, indeed. I didn't know what to even make of it when I first came here. I'd never even heard of a computer before. Here, it's an everyday term." There's a shrug, the old-fashioned side of Datsun showing. When she mentions hunting, she earns herself a studying glance, "Again, I apologize, but you don't seem to strike me as the hunting type. What we used to do back at Far Cry Hold was go out into the woods and mount hidden targets and you had to search for them and hit them when you found them. Maybe you'd rather do that instead." By now, they've gone past the first of the Forests' trees, but Datsun doesn't stop there, continuing further into the Forest along the path, nodding to those that they pass.

Zahleizjah didn't even know this little area existed, then again it was her first time in the Shop today and let's face it, she just doesn't get out to explore the nether regions of Xanadu like she used to, before that white knot made a home on her shoulder. She'll pad down the path as they converse, "Well, before I relocated to the barracks, I was living in that stunning Weyr with him. It was more amazing than any home I'd ever been to.." which isn't saying a whole lot considering her 'orphaned' upbringing, though it is almost expected and common for the Weyrleader to live a comfortable and semi-lavish lifestyle. "Now that I'm not staying there I still do daily chores for a small allowance.. which always helps. Weyrlife is so.. fortunate so not having to spend my marks on food as often has been really nice.." There's plenty of explanation but it's really all about Woodcrafting right now. "I've never hunted before but something about it sounds.. therapeutic. Plus one never goes hungry when they know how hunt." Not that it's really a concern right now, but survival instincts run deep. She's shrugging just as old-school nonchalantly "Oh computers, those electronic things ya?" She obviously hasn't explored all the technology yet. The idea that is shared next strikes her deeply "Y'mean I could learn this and do it for fun too? That sounds.. way more fun then killing something.." she just thought it essential her new skills provide in some way, then again why force yourself to do something when it's already taken care of by those who actually like doing that kind of stuff. She'll follow him as far as he goes, nodding as well to the passer by's.

Datsun raises an eyebrow, "Stunning weyr, eh? It's probably as big as the entire Woodcraft Shop is." The Journeyman muses, clearly imagining what the Weyrleader's weyr looks like, "Probably even bigger, since it has to house a bronze dragon too." His eyebrows go up at the thought before shaking his head, "Does it take all day to clean that place up?" Once they reach far enough into the Forest, Datsun stops, looking off beyond the tree before stepping off the path and into the trees where it's more denser. Now he seems to be looking for something, young trees in particular. A smile at her surprise for his idea of hidden targets, "Aye, you could. It'd allow you to enjoy your new bow without having to do the messy parts. You'd have to get someone else to put the targets up so you can't cheat since you wouldn't know where the targets are. It'll be like hunting." Once he sees a sapling, about a third taller than Zah is, he motions for her to come over to the young tree, "Stand by this. I think this one will do. See how it's not too thin at where your head is? You want a bit of thickness at your head's level so the top of your bow won't be weak." He points at the middle of the tree, "That will be the handle. Try it. Does it fit your hand? We'll shape it to fit your hand nicely later."

Zahleizjah raises one shoulder and wobbles her head "I mean I dunno.. it's stunning to me, but my standards are low.." She realizes this is a slightly embarrassing thing to admit, but it's too late now. There's a chuckle there as he muses "Eh.. yeah then there's that, the whole housing a dragon thing.." she can hardly imagine what it's like having to take care of that fully dependent being. The Starcrafter is just learning how to take care of herself fully, and who knows what will come of Candidacy this time around.. sadly enough low standards mean low expectations too, character flaws nearly to a fault at times. A brow raises, distracted from dark thoughts with a smile towards Datsun and a nods "He keeps tidy but the upkeep is definitely an ongoing thing.." Isn't that how it always is?! She'll stop and look around too, asking "Whatr'we looking for?" eyes scanning the area. "The messy parts.. yeah not really my style.." What a horror the idea of dragon feeding! "And of course! So smart, have them all set up. Maybe we could try this some time with 'Rissa and trade off turns setting up targets?" He's found what he's looking for and the Starcrafter will do as told. "Oh a tree for a bow! Of course.." that's what they're looking for. She takes mental notes as he explains, nodding and reaching for the middle of the tree that fits in her palm well, with a bit of extra girth to be shaped to specific contours. "Yep.. seems like a solid fit."

"Shells, I'm sure it'd be stunning to me too. I can't even imagine what a weyr looks like. Never been in one myself. Most people I meet are like you and me. Crafters or Weyrfolk or Holders. People who have tiny living spaces." Datsun replies as he checks out the sapling, "I'll bet the upkeep is a lot. I wonder how often you have to change out whatever it is that dragons sleep on, if they do sleep on anything. Do they sleep on the ground or on a rock?" There's a moment of curiosity, looking at Zah before nodding, "Yup, we can take turns with the targets. Ah, but not any tree." The Woodcrafter pats the sapling's trunk, "You want to make sure that the shape is at least curved like a D is. Less work that way. You don't want a perfectly straight tree. And you don't want softwoods. Pine, poplars, evergreens, those kinds of trees. What you want are hardwoods. Oak, maple, beech. This one's maple. Maple's easy to remember. Look at how the leaf is shaped. Five points and well, pointy." One leaf is plucked off and given to Zah as he takes the hand saw and begins sawing at the base of the tree as close to the ground as possible. "You don't want to use an ax or a knife. A saw is the best way to cut it down. Why don't you try to find a maple sapling that you think would fit 'Rissa. Remember how tall she is." That's a lot of information he's just given Zah to take into account!

Zahleizjah smiles and suddenly feels extremely comfortable as he empathizes somewhat indirectly about life in grandeur, or lack there of. "Yeah.." she realizes "I guess there are plenty of people like you n'me.." This very well could be a very defining moment for Zahleizjah in her life, the realization that, she's not alone. Sure there are varied degrees of what this means, especially from apprentices to dragonriders, but ultimately she understands in this very moment that everyone is just doing what they can to get by the best they can, just like her. *cues the inner bugle!* This means!! She actually already has something in common with every single being on Pern. What a basic yet life altering concept. Not that this type of revelation will provoke drastic changes overnight, but it seems that things are slowly evolving for this odd-duck of a Starcrafter. Mind is wandering again.. where where we? Oh, Yes! Bows and Weyr talk. "Well Yarovith has practically whole Weyr t'himself. I hear they like variety even.. some prefer sand, a rock, I've even heard of padded like dragonbeds! Must be an expensive and huge cot t'fit a whole dragon comfortably." She doesn't know a lot about dragons, well almost nothing really. They eat? Sleep? Fly? Y'know, the usual.
More mental notes are taken. "Like a D, hardwoods.. maples.." Most of this will surprisingly be remembered, a leaf examination taken with photographic memory. The 5-pointed leaf is taken and she's on the lookout, wandering past a few saplings of similar size. Nope.. nope.. Aha! A match is made, though she lost the sample a few back she's certain it's the same and just slightly smaller than the 1/3 of her height sapling they just found. "Got it!" A few glances observe how he saws so close to the ground and she waits to see if he'll have her cut this one down or not.

Datsun finishes cutting down the maple sapling and walks over to Zah when she finds the other sapling for Idrissa. A twice-over is given to her choice, "Yeah… this'll do. You might be a Woodcrafter yet." He smiles, offering her encouragement for her good work done. "Zah, the majority of people out there are like you and me. Working for a living. Whatever we have, we weren't given it. Just like how you'll get your bow by working for it." The cut sapling is put next to Zah, eyeballing her height and finding a point to cut the top of the sapling off, bending down on one knee and putting the top of the sapling across the upright knee to give himself a stable cutting platform. His saw is put to work at the point he chose, making quick work of it within seconds and tossing the top away. The cut sapling is stood next to Zah again, the cut top matching the top of Zah's head. "No way. A cot for a dragon? I'd hate to build one of those… Imagine the support that would require. Probably a support every couple of…" He catches himself, grinning as he goes off imagining how to build the cot. The hand saw is given over to Zah, "You do it."

Zahleizjah's lower jaw muscles contract slightly pulling her lower lip downward in consideration at the compliment, a head wobble has her smiling with a bit of a chuckle. "Thanks Datsun.. that's nice of you to say. I'd owe most of the credit to havin' a good teacher right from the start." She even dishes a compliment back? Seems she has some less awkward moments here and there. It's a good thing too 'cuz she's certain A'dmar is beginning to wonder. Datsun's words of wisdom continue to strike her profoundly, she doesn't over share her hardships, though there have been plenty of nasty ones, and instead considers all the people out there who've struggled just as hard and are still struggling to this day. Here she is in the forest, sharing this amazing experience and understanding just how grand life truly is. "You're so very right Datsun.. your optimism and knowledge amazes me. Seriously, feel free to share any time. It's wonderful talking with you and I'm grateful you agreed to teach me." She'll watch in partial horror as the tree is levied and cut, the base she might be able to swing, but you probably won't catch her with jagged blades contorting trees with recoil potential. "Yeah a dragon cot.. I couldn't imagine.." When the saw is handed over she'll go for the base no problem, and she's smart enough to know sharp side against the the wood. A firm grip is held and she moves it back and forth in even motions, hands close enough to the ground the bottoms get a little dirty. The small tree falls and she picks it up, saw in the other hand handing downwards and away "I um.. the top looks like it could use your precision and skill.." put on the Woodcrafter in a way that doesn't admit hesitance or defeat.

Datsun nods, "It's probably the Starcrafter in you. You have to memorize all of those stars' names and all of that type of stuff. Woodcrafters need a good memory too, or else we wouldn't be able to make anything with the wrong kind of wood or the wrong method or what have you." As far as being a good teacher goes, the Journeyman grins, "A good teacher's only as good as his student." The compliment is dished right back at her. Datsun can dish too! Though her next words about knowledge and amazement has him rubbing the back of his neck, a bit flushed. "Shells, you're making me blush." It's not said negatively, putting a positive spin, "I might not know much about most things but I do know wood. I'm still working on the people part, though." A laugh is let out when she so gracefully gives him the job of cutting the top, repeating his earlier actions that he did before with Zah with the newly cut sapling, only a bit shorter than before. "Okay, let's go back. We'll strip the bark and place it in clamps to hold the shape. It'll be seasoned in about two weeks. That's when you'll have to clear up your day to turn these things into bows." Datsun turns, going back the way they came towards the path out of the Forest back to the Shop, discussing the finer points of bowmaking and life with Zah.

Zahleizjah is full of shrugs, that character nervousness teaming up against her efforts to keep it at bay. It's not so bad right now though as she catches glimpses of kind hazel eyes beneath ginger hair. "Must be.." she confesses ".. never really thought about how useful the things I learned there could be for other Crafts like this one.." The tree in her hand is shook gently for emphasis. "Definitely wouldn't want to fudge up a whole project by using the wrong wood.. or method.. I like methods." The Starcrafter grins back with a bit of laughter as she nods in reference to the age-old saying. The dishing.. makes her blush profusely, she knew it was only a matter of time before that happened. So, now they're both standing there, red as beets except when he says she's making him blush it only turns her 50 more shades of red. "Oh.. umm.. m'sorry?" Yep.. can't forget she's a bit peculiar for very long. Then Datsun is leveling with her, and there's a sound moment there where much of that anxiety that swirls stands still. "Me too.. I mean with the people part, but I guess you could probably tell by now." The sapling and saw are handed his direction, grabbing the one that's cut to her size and waiting for those exact orders to head back to the Shop. "That long just to shape.. then we still gotta do all the detail work! Guess I should come out in a sevenday or so to cut some more for the next round then, eh?" Yes, she's already thinking about making more, continuing on with those mental notes as they converse on their way out of the forest.

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