Anxious Assumptions
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Xanadu Weyr - Rustic Treetop Café

Perched on the cliff overlooking Xanadu's beach is a gnarled and massive skybroom tree. The bark and outer layers are sturdy enough to support the thriving, brushy top, but the interior, which is hollow, contains a spiral staircase that leads to a cafe built on a high platform amongst the branches. With a panoramic view of lake, sky, Weyr and the mountains beyond, the treetop eatery offers both sheltered seating just inside the trunk and tables on the wide deck that encircles the old tree.

The cafe's decor is comfortable and rustic, but closer inspection shows the smallest embellishments to be artfully combined into one detailed masterpiece. The wood of the doors, floor and walls of the trunk have been stained a dark mahogany that lends the space a sense of intimacy. Tables in various sizes have been carved to mimic driftwood, the chairs and benches padded with oiled sailcloth cushions to provide weather-proof comfort. Each table has an aged brass lantern filled with shells and agates gathered from Xanadu's shores, the sparkling natural mosaics holding tapered candles upright in their embrace. Lamps hang from the ceiling on silver poles, the thick frosted glass carved into intricate pastel shells or swirling white-capped waves. At night the colored glass softens the glowlight to enhance the ambience.

During the day, the retractable doors allow leaf-spattered sunlight to fill both the outer deck and the smaller interior with green and gold light, as well as allowing pleasant breezes to cool the interior. On clear nights, farviewers perch on the elaborately carved railing are free for use to enhance the gorgeous view of the stars over the Caspian Lake, the Sea of Azov beyond and the rock formations of the Weyr.


An autumn rainstorm has just blown through, leaving the weyr wet and chilly, but with the sun poking out from behind grey clouds as it sinks towards the horizon. The sunset will no doubt be spectacular. As people resume their duties, Mur'dah finds himself in the cafe, sitting at a table and watching the sun drop lower towards the horizon. Sipping from his hot cider, he picks up a fried tuber stick and dunks it before he eats it. All in all, a calm afternoon drifting towards evening. Oh, there's paperwork there too, but that's of no consequence.

Johhny steps onto the main floor of the cafe from the spiral staircase with his Firelizard, Belevro, perched on his shoulder. Johhny looks around, curious to see if anyone else was there, and notices Mur'dah. " Hey. " He says, almost in unison with a chirp from Belevro as if greeting Mur'dah. Striding over to the serving table he grabs some Klah and a sweetroll, then sits down across from Mur'dah. " How are you today? "

Mur'dah looks up in surprise when another speaks to him, his head tilting slightly. Brows arch upwards when Johhny just invites himself to sit at his table, and he glances around quickly - is someone playing a joke on him? "Uh, hi," he says, looking over at the teen. "Can I help you with something?" The firelizard is noticed, and then ignored for the moment, though Mur'dah does reach out to pull his basket of tubers closer to him. His.

Johhny notices his error and begins gathering his stuff, " Oh, apologies. At the Smithhall I'm used to just sitting down. No one really minded. " walks over to a nearby table and sits down. His firelizard leaps off and lands onto the table infront of Johhnys forearm and rests his head down onto it. Johhny takes a sip of Klah and a bite of sweetroll, then affectionately scratchs the little blues head.

Mur'dah blinks again, once more startled when the kid…gets up and leaves. "Oh, I…well. Um." Wait. "You could join me if you wanted to. I don't /mind/, I was just surprised is all. Usually up here," and he gestures around the restaurant, "people just don't sit anywhere, like they do in the craft or in the living caverns. I'm Mur'dah." Introductions are a good place to start, right?

Johhny gently lifts up the firelizard and places him onto his shoulder and picks up his food, again, and walks over to the table Mur'dah is sitting at and sits down. " Mur'dah… Interesting name. I like it. My name is Johhny. "

Mur'dah has to grin at that, nodding. "It is, though less interesting than my full name." Wait for it. "Muireadhach Coldstone." Say /that/ one three times fast. "Well met, Johhny. Smith, then?"

Johhny momentarily gapes at the length of the Muireadhach's full name. " Muireadhach Coldstone Muireadhacc.. I see your point. " What a mouthful of a name. " And I am an apprentice smith. "

Mur'dah nods, "Smiths seem popular around these parts. I guess we need a lot of them." There's a smile then. "Do you have a specialty yet? Want some food?" he adds, nudging the basket forward with a finger.

"I would imagine a place like this," Johhny says as he waves his hand out towards the majority of the weyr. "would require plenty of smiths. Specialtys? Nothing specific, but I have a knack for extruding. Making long thin lengths of metal and such." He shifts his gaze to the basket of fried tubers. "No thanks. In my preference tubers dont go well with Klah and sweetrolls." At the mention of Tubers his firelizard perks his head up with a inquiring chirp. "May he have one? Tubers and High Reaches. Two things he loves."

Mur'dah nods with a little smile. "Extruding. That's a skill. So you take the bars of metals and then…get them down to wire for…all sorts of stuff, huh? That's essential. Do you make anything? Or do you extrude it and pass the wire along?" Glancing at the firelizard, Mur'dah smiles a bit. "That's fine. High Reaches? Has he even been to High Reaches? Long way from here. And cold."

Johhny nods "Well, I usually pass on the wire but once I was allowed a good length of wire to make stuff with, so I tried knotting a part of it but it snapped. Too brittle." The firelizard, after being given permission, leaps down to the basket and grabs a fried tuber and beings devouring it. "Easy boy. Dont want to get hurt." Johhny says with a smirk. "I'm not actually sure if he goes to high reaches. I just know he goes somewhere very cold, every time he comes back from between he brings back a bubble of frozen air."

Mur'dah smiles a bit, and even chuckles softly. "That's just between. Doesn't mean he's gone somewhere cold - other than between. You ever been between before? It's…like nothing else."

Johhny fakes shivering a little. "if the air he brings back is like that all around in between, then thats really cold. I heard that its impossible to breath while going between. Is that true?"

Mur'dah considers for a moment. "I've never tried. I always hold my breath, so…I don't know if that's just me or if you really can't. Someday you'll go between for some reason, and then you'll know. I'm always amazed the dragons - and firelizards - don't mind it."

Johhny nods "Next time you go between you should ask your dragon how it feels, if thats possible. How do dragons speak to people anyways?" Johhny inquires.

Mur'dah grins. "He says it's cold. But it's not…horrible for them like it is for us. And it's…well. I can't exactly explain it but he's in my head, in my heart. I just hear his voice," he admits, tapping his temple. "You get emotions from your firelizard, right? Same basic idea, only with a dragon is's far stronger and there's words."

"Still kind of hard to understand, but I do emotions from Belevro. I heard somewhere that dragons know what their rider is doing, always. If thats true, it seems a bit intrusive." Johhny says.

Mur'dah shrugs, leaning back in his chair with his mug cupped between his hands. "It…doesn't feel intrusive. You get used to it. It's like…I mean," he lifts a hand, "do you think your hand is intrusive? It's with you all the time, never goes away, hopefully…"

Johhny lifts up his right hand, looks at the palm, then flips it over and looks at the round scar with a grimace and a sigh. "I see your point."

Mur'dah smiles, nodding as he eats a few more fries and then gets to his feet. "Help yourself to the rest of that. I've got to get back to work. Clear skies, Johhny."

Johhny waves farewell to Mur'dah. "Have a nice day, D


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