Foggy Day

Ten feet away the solid earth
Changes into melting cloud,
There is a hush of pain and mirth,
No bird has heart to speak aloud.
-Sara Teasdale

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.

The Clearing is shrouded in a grey blanket of thick fog. Wisps of the stuff swirls about the ground when people move. It is swirling now because Thea is moving, although she's not going anywhere quickly. Her hands are out in front of her face like a blind person feeling her way. Her feet are slowly tap-tapping there way across the Clearing.

Himself, A'dar is not moving. He's listening. He nods to his lifemate's mental warning, and 'sends back his own mental acknowledgement. Then he speaks aloud. "Hello? Who's there?" It's as much a warning that he and Zei are out here as anything else. Squeaks from a firelizard punctuate his question.

Shep, in his customary place curled about Thea's shoulders, squeaks back to the squeaker as Thea stops abruptly. Not that she was ever moving very fast. "Uh, A'dar, is that you?" She squints into the blurry void, waving a hand to hopefully clear some of the fog, but it's no use, the eddies just roll back upon themselves. Fine droplets of mist cling to her hair, eyebrows and the tips of her lashes turning brown to silver, making her less visible.

"Yes, it's me," A'dar calls back. He turns in the general direction of the voice and walks that way. Slowly, so he doesn't bump into anything. Including the speaker. He only walks a few steps, though. "I'm over here, Thea," he notes. "Though…I don't know where you are in relation to 'here'…."

Thea can't help but snicker at that, answering, "And I don't know where I am, so I can't tell you where -here- is, either." Her voice sounds closer, though and she's edging nearer, a dusky shadow emerging from the gloom. "Trying to find the Caverns and the glow I had just makes this fog worse. It get's all… glary. So I shut the thing and just left it by a tree." She tilts her head to listen. "This darn stuff muffles everything."

"Tell me about it," A'dar notes. "I think I can see you. If so, you're about ten feet away from me, and I'm slightly to your right." He steps forward a little bit, so she can see him better (though if she's not careful, she may end up bumping into him). Zeituth is close behind A'dar, not wanting to lose his lifemate in all this fog.

Thea moves carefully towards the darker shadows to her right. Just above her head twin pinpoints of yellow can be seen winking as Shep, standing on her shoulders and bracing his forelegs atop Thea's head, turns this way and that. He's 'helping' her navigate. She draws near enough to dimly make out Zeituth behind A'dar, "Hello you two…er or is it three? I thought I heard a chirp or a squeak…" Even this close it's fairly hard to see clearly. "Now the question is, where are -we-?" She peers into the void, "We should be near the Caverns by now. I really want something hot to drink."

"Four, actually," A'dar notes. There's another trill, this one slightly lower and more velvety, and it originates from somewhere around his shoulders. Though Aloysius flies to Thea, as if to act as her guiding light. So if Aloysius is flying around…then who squeaked just now? A'dar chuckles. "All right. Let's go find the doors. This way, if Zei stays next to them we're assured of not getting lost."

Thea blinks at Aloysius, "H-how can he fly though this? I'd be worried he'd smack into a tree or a wall." She follows the foursome. Hey look! It's the blind leading the blind! Shep chirrups at Aloysius, but remains atop Thea's head and shoulders. "Y'ever see stuff this thick?" she asks A'dar. "I haven't, except for blizzards back home. And then, we stayed put."

"I don't know, truth be told," A'dar replies. "I think he can see. Well, I *hope* he can, anyway." He chuckles. "If he runs into something, he'll come back." And hope Aloysius doesn't lead them into trouble! Luckily, though, he's heading right for the entrance to the Caverns. "Oh hey! I think he's managed to find it!" A'dar notes. He looks to Zei. "Can you stay here? You're a bit too big to go inside. And I wouldn't want you to get lost. I know it's cold, but…."

"He can? Huh, I wonder how…" Then her out-stretched hand is touching rock wall and her voice lilts her relief, "He has!" She steps onto flat, level stone, saying, "Seryth is snug in her couch and Ruin wouldn't venture out in this stuff. He's with her, keeping all cozy and warm." She reaches up a hand to give Shep a chin-scritch, "This guy wouldn't let me go by myself."

Xanadu Weyr - Delynni and Ryukith's Secret Hideout
This clearing is secluded from the others, but one can see the stables clearly from the back portion of the clearing. The grounds are thick with herbs and flowers, and the wallow is filled with soft deep sand. A stone and brick woodfire oven and grill stands at the far end of the clearing. At the same time a ring of stones set up as a firelizard nest stands beside the cottage. The exterior of this long low cabin is very battered. A shutter is missing here or there, a roof panel has been broken, replaced, and broken again. One of the eeves has developed a colony of gossomer spinners and another a nest of small brightly colored avians that peck at the wood. Every so often a green, blue or brown firelizard can be seen climbing into small open cracks in the wood. Sometimes the green even steals and eats the young of the avians when their parents are away. Flowering ivy all but chokes the porch in color and sweet scent. A windmill and several half broken sun panels provide the quirky battered dwelling beneath them with power and water drawn from a well, the wind and sun. Though the electricity is spotty, prone to blackouts at odd times and only a few electric lights are present in the house to illuminate the darkness.

The cottage itself is long, low. Its simply a series of rooms, connected together. There are half walls and sliding panel doors to seperate them. The interior is heavily pine and oakwood, finished to a bright shine. The sleeping room is snug and warm, and the only one that contains an actual door.

Given the space, the water and electricity, outdoor cooking and the luxuries in the kitchen the dwelling may once have been the cream of the crop of weyrs as far as luxuries are concerned, but its now fallen into disrepair and requires several repairs and lots of maitenance.

A'dar has arrived.

"He was the smart one," A'dar notes to Thea's mentioning that one of her firelizards wouldn't come out in the fog. Zei snorts from his place at the door, where he's sat down outside. "Well, I was hoping it would dissipate. But then…it's kind of like swimming while you're on land…." A pause, as Aloysius stops. "Uh…Aloy? I don't think this is the Caverns…doesn't 'feel' like them…."

Delynni is seated near the sliding glass door to her weyr. "No its no-ot." Delynni says in a sing song voice as she leans out the door in front of the Weyrlings. "Man this fog sucks doesn't it?" She asks with a smirk. Ryukith appears out of the gloom behind Zeituth and croons quietly close to the younger dragon's earknobs, trying to deliberately startle the younger blue.

Thea just stops, blinking and confused. "I… don't think we're in the Caverns," she comments unnecessarily to A'dar. And they're clearly not in Kansas. She turns in place, "Where -are- we?" She studies what she can see through the gloom as brown Shep just sinks from the top of Thea's head, creeps under her hair to crouch on her shoulders. When Delynni speaks, she nearly jumps out of her skin. "Ah…oh, we are so so sorry," again with the squint, "Where are we?" Because she doesn't recognize the voice and can't see very well.

"Oops! Sorry about that. I—dah!" A'dar is actually not the one startled. It's Zei, who lets the dragon equivalent of a girlish shriek as he's startled by Ryukith, and jumps, tail swinging. A'dar looks back, squinting to see what's the matter with Zei. And then Zeituth calms, seeing it's just another blue. If Zei was a cat his ears would be laying back in annoyance. A'dar snickers, and then addresses that voice again. "Sorry about that…."

Delynni laughs. "You're in my weyr! Nice little pad isn't it? Flowers draping all over the porch and everything." Ryukith ducks the tail and snorts in the draconic version of laughter. "But its so big and lonely here. My weyrmate dryssa lives at Ista. So when she's not here, I rattle around like a bean in an old tin can." Delynni sighs sadly.

Thea blanches at A'dar's startled exclamation, Zeituth's shriek and finding they've stepped into someone's weyr. "Oh, oops! Rider Delynni, we certainly didn't mean to end up -here- although…" she give the place a second look-over. "It's nice, what I can see through this fog…" her voice trails off and she edges back towards the exit, "We need to get to the Caverns and it's been quite a trip, I'm sure you know that by now." She smiles in a lop-sided fashion, "You wouldn't want to point us in the right direction, would you?"

Zei flicks his tail a couple times, looking annoyed. And A'dar is snickering slightly at Zei's predicament. "I think your blue just startled mine, Rider Delynni," he notes with a chuckle. He was going to hear it from Zei later; yelping like…a hatchling just wasn't dignified! A'dar 'sends assurances, and then notes, "Ah…yes, that would be helpful. Even light in this fog would just get lost, so that wouldn't help…."

Delynni laughs, "Just Delynni you two. I don't really care about titles. They're just marks of achievement that's all." Delynni has a cup of peppermint tea in hand. "Aw do you two have to go? You could hang with me for awhile if you'd like." Delynni offers. Ryukith snickers a draconic smirk, chuffing curiously.
"Delynni, then," Thea answers. "I'd love to stay for awhile, sure. We were, well I was headed to the Caverns for something hot to drink. And maybe dinner. Not sure why A'dar was going…" She eyes A'dar out of the corner of her eye, "Were you even headed for the Caverns?" She can't help but grin a bit at the interplay between the two blue dragons.

Zei snorts rather unceremoniously, more at his rider's seeming inconsideration than at Ryukith. "Well, I was actually just out there," A'dar notes. "I was actually looking for people who were lost in the fog. Guess the whole 'guide' thing didn't work so well, eh?" He looks to Aloysius, and the blue 'lizard ducks behind Thea. A'dar turns a bit. "Zei, it's all right, he was just playing. Come on, don't be such a wherry." The tone is kind, though.

Delynni laughs. "Well, if you truely want the caverns, the stables are right behind my weyr. follow the fence, its got rails nice and sturdy you can't miss it. It will take you back to the path so go left along the fence okay? That should get you back to the main path."

Thea's face undergoes a rapid change from socially pleasant to aggrieved disappointment. "Another time, maybe, Delynni? Seryth tells me she's 'made some dirt' in her couch." Thea's eyes roll, "Her words, not mine. But I have to go shovel the couch and help Seryth get clean." She sighs as she steps to the door, "Will I ever be glad when they can *between*." She pauses at the door, "Thanks…" and she steps back out into the swirling mist cloaking the evening.

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