Xanadu Weyr - Meadow
A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.

Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a stone wall and low rolling hills can be seen to the north. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests to the southwest or ore from the mountains to the southeast are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

Xanadu is cold and snowy! There's no doubt that winter is here, but at least it's arrival has been thus far gentle. Icy blasts of blizzards have yet to come, yet rest assured Ka'el has Search and Rescue /and/ the riding members of tech craft alert that such a day may be on its way. (He's on a proactive kid, don't you know?) The Weyrleader's been busy with things that have nothing to do with the Weyr itself for some days now, but, gradually, he's been emerging back into his role as the leader of the wings and have been checking up on things. Like the conditions of the landing areas. Mainly, the clearing. And that's where he's heading from, having checked the levels of ice to find them unalarming and normal for seasoned riders to maneuver. No need for drastic measures! Which is disheartening to Kanekith who was ready to show off his de-icing skills. And thus, the bronze is grumpy as he follows behind his rider, dragging his feet and snorting more often than what is necessary. Ka'el's boots crunch the layer of newly fallen snow as he moves along, bundled in a long black jacket with gloves and a dark gray scarf. "Stop pouting."

You call this cold? Why, in Soriana's day… uh… yeah, this is pretty much what she called cold. Also snowy. It's a pretty accurate example of being both cold and snowy. Which is the sort of weather that should have her off being proactive like the Weyrleader! …or, failing that, tucked away somewhere warm and pretending the cold doesn't exist. But she's doing neither of those things! Instead, she's out in the meadow, dressed warmly. Because it's cold! And so will she be, if she stays out too long, but for the moment she's not iced over and is instead… loitering. Near the stables, in fact. "…so can you get some?" she asks the groom she's talking to, who rubs his beard and goes, "Well… probably?"

Snow! It's that wonderful (depending on your perspective) thing that's falling from the sky. And it has caught the attention of a certain weyrling, who has braved the cold weather in her warmest clothes. Not that most would be able to see her, of course, because Innes is stretched out on the ground, her entire body sinking into the blanket of flakes. Her body may be going numb, but it's sort of… relaxing? Or maybe that's just her brain going numb, as well. She's staring aimlessly up at the sky, but her 'deep' contemplation is broken when a passing rider nearly trips over her. Oops. There's a fair amount of swearing and a gruding apology on her part, before she's left alone, sitting in the snow. It's from this point that she spots Ka'el and Kanekith, and offers them something that's a cross between a salute and wave, or maybe just a bit of arm flailing. Either way, it's a greeting. Soriana's presence goes unnoticed, but that wol be far more likely to happen if Innes ever gets to her feet. If.

Mrrrrrrommmgggrrrrr… That's Kanekith's long lament. Who knew a dragon could make such a sorrowful noise? Kanekith is the king of random sounds because sounds get him attention, and right now … his rider is not paying him any mind! The nerve. But while Kanekith is king of sounds, Ka'el is the emperor of ignoring those sounds, which he's aptly doing now. He's on a mission! to somewhere… He's heading in the general direction of the forge but is easily sidetracked by the sound of the cursing rider and Kanekith's decision that maybe The Girl that he's spotted will give him some sympathy. He's veered off towards the stables. Hello runners! Don't mind the big bronze that's heading towards your home. He's waaay more into bovines as a meal! His regal head lowers down to human level and swirling eyes are set upon the Junior Weyrwoman Soriana, completely ignoring the bearded man near her. Although he doesn't go as far as nudge her, he does place his head down veerrrry close to her shoulder and sort of lingers there. Hey. Hey. …Pay attention to me. Ka'el slows, glancing to the stables with a quirked brow. Then.. "Hey!" He nearly trips over Innes himself, even though she's sitting. He comes to an abrupt stop, half slipping in the snow. Blink. "…Are you alright?" Because why else would she be sitting in the snow?

Crunch, crunch, crunch go Kanekith's footsteps on the snow. Soriana'd have to be deaf to not hear them! …or else distracted. And that looming head… well, the guy she's talking to certainly notices it! He stares up at giant bronze head. Not that he's not used to dragons lurking after riders, but this is not a Soriana sort of dragon, on account of it's bronze. So, uh… Soriana acts like (pretends that) she doesn't notice Kanekith at first. "Well, if you get the chance, check on it. And let me know. Okay?" Bearded-man nods, and then slips back into the stable. Which leaves Soriana with a piteous bronze dragon and no excuse to ignore him. So she turns to look at him. "…really?" she asks Kanekith, her lips quirking in an amused smile. "Are you sure?" And then she looks away from him (him! The bronzed king in glory!) to see if she can spot a Ka'el nearby. Kanekith might be wandering by himself, but then again… aha. A Ka'el! And someone sitting down that she can't see clearly over the snowdrifts. She waves before looking back to Kanekith the mournful.

The unfortunate soul who tripped over Innes made a mess of the otherwise largely undisturbed patch of snow around her, and the weyrling surveys the damage with dismay. A patch of nearly flawless snow, ruined. That other rider ought to be strung up by her toes. Innes slaps at the snow with her arm, sending a spray of it in the general direction of the departed rider. Take that! Her gaze goes back to Ka'el eventually, her expression one of mild surprise at his question. "Of course I'm alright." She flop back in the snow, propping herself up on her elbows. "Why wouldn't I be alright?" She twists around, eventually rolling over in the snow to see where Kanekith disappeared to, and finally spots what she's pretty sure is a familiar face. Now fairly covered in snow, she turns back to Ka'el. "What about you?"

Kanekith is no fool! Not even the blind can be ignorant of his presence! And if asked, he'd likely assure that even though the blind may lack sight, they most assuredly feel his magnificence. It's like an aura! And that is why it is so irritating when Ka'el disregards him. He's the only one that is able to pull off this feat! Or at least, the only one that Kanekith would admit to. And so, he knows Soriana knows he's there. She can't ignore him! Even though she does for a little bit. But then, ah there it is! Attention on him, just like he likes it. Murglemrrr. That is his answer to her. Such a conversation they're having! Who says communication has to happen telepathically? He lifts his head a little and slowly swings it to his rider. See? This is how it's supposed to work! Take notes. Ka'el is not taking notes. Not at all. But he does look amused and has a lifted brow towards his dragonmate and weyrmate. Uh. Okay. (They're both crazy!) But, crazy or not, he waves to Soriana, then waves her over. "Sori! I think we've a case of winteritis here!" he says, pointing a gloved finger to the snowy Innes who he now looks down at with a tsking sort of click of his tongue. "I've seen this just once before. This is the first sign, and I'm afraid it only gets worse from here. The next phase is: Snow Eating. You'll want nothing but ice and snow for every meal."

The only one that Kanekith doesn't ignore right back because they don't deserve his greatness? Soriana nods sagely to Kanekith's complaints. "Well, I can see where you're coming from." It's rather hard to miss, given the giant pawprints. "But you know, I rather suspect he has a point too." That's right, Soriana. Side with your weyrmate! Against his own dragon, too. How cruel. "Let's see if we can work this out, hmm?" And so saying, she leaves the stables and makes for Ka'el and… a snow-covered creature who might, just maybe, be an Innes. If the …winteritis… hasn't gone too far already. …winteritis? Really? She arches a brow at Ka'el, a faint smirk before she looks to Innes the Snowy. "Well, that's…" Wait. Back to Ka'el. "Ice cream, or just ice?" It's an important distinction.

Innes doesn't have winter… itis? Whatever it is, she's itis-free. To prove this point, she scoops up a handful of snow, licks it out of her gloved hand, and makes a face. "I don't think that's going to sustain me. I need real food. I'm an active snow creature." To demonstrate this fact she rolls around a bit more, nearly rolling right into Soriana. Uh, hi? She sits up again, the snow sticking to her clothing and her hair all a mess. "I could live with ice cream, though," she decides, grinning over at Soriana. "I think Ka'el's the one with winteritis." As she speaks to her fellow goldrider, she's attempting to ever-so-subtly gather up a decently formed snowball. The fact that she's practically one with the snow does help, a bit. "What do you think?"

Kanekith snorts as yet another person abandons him. (Although he more so abandoned Ka'el than the other way around but..pft, details!) He'll show them! He'll go home. That's what he'll do. He'll go home and curl up in the warm barn and they'll miss him terribly! And thus, that what he does, making a mighty fuss in the process because he must leave with a dramatic flourish. Wingsnap! Ka'el does look his way. It's hard to ignore all of that, besides, though poor Kanekith isn't getting the reaction that he hope for. The Weyrleader snickers and shakes his head, more amused than anything else, then turns his attention back to his goldriding companions. "Not ice cream. Plain, from the sky, ice." Flavorless! Frozen water! The horror! And look, Innes is already eating it! Well.. not really. He laughs at the face that she makes and at her snow-rollingact. Total case of winteritis if he's ever seen one! Which he hasn't. "A second sign of winteritis is denial," he says, crossing his arms and shaking his head in a woebegone way. Poor, poor Innes. "Remember Trestian, Soriana?" The totally made up person that he just invented now? Yeah, that Trestian. "Suffered from it durin' Candidacy. The last stage of it was the worst." Does he notice any sneakiness from the snowbound goldie? No. No he sure doesn't!

The snow sustains the snow part of Innes-the-snow-creature? So she doesn't melt away into… uh… water. And an Innes, non snow creature version. Who aaaaalmost topples Soriana and turns her into a snow creature too. Not that there's an impact, quite, but Soriana's attempt to move back a bit and ensure that there isn't one has her discovering that snow is slick. Fortunately, it also crunches and compacts down, so her foot doesn't slid far and she keeps herself on top of both of those feet. "Ice cream is an important part of a balanced diet." Or… all of a balanced diet, if you rig the scales. "Ice… uh… not so much." Soriana gives Ka'el another eyeing. Also, another smirk. "Tres…" Who? Because she doesn't remember anyone by that name. Certainly not in candidacy. Double-certainly not… She glances to Innes. Back to Ka'el. "Hallucinations might be a sign of winteritis. In fact, I'm pretty sure they are." Along with denial. So no excuses, Ka'el!

Innes looks up at Ka'el with wide eyes, feigning rapt interest in his explanation. Not that she's not interested, per se, but her level of attention shouldn't require exaggeratedly wide eyes and excessive nodding. Which… she's doing. It's a new, fun game called Humor the Weyrleader While You Prepare to Throw a Snowball at Him. And she's already an expert. "If I'm the one with winteritis, I should be the authority on what I eat," she points out, canting her head to grin in Soriana's direction. Yes! Back her up! Because what are fellow goldriders for, if not to gang up on bronzeriders? "I think SOriana has a point. A really good point. I've also heard that spontaneous snow infections are common." Which makes this the perfect time for her to lob her fully-formed snowball in Ka'el's direction, aiming for his chest. Of course, she's sitting on the ground so her aim isn't as good as it could be, but maybe crosswinds and… other factors that determine flight path will work in her favor?

It is a good thing that Soriana did not fall, else Ka'el probably would be less inclined to play and more inclined to drag her off to the healers for a full examination! But, as luck would have it, she keeps her footing and thus, overly dramatic Ka'el does not make an appearance! As Sori denies the existence of poor Trestian, Ka'el slaps a gloved hand to his forehead. "Not you too, Soriana! Memory loss. Definitely a sign." There sure are a lot of signs to this alleged disease! "I studied winteritis, remember? It was an optional part've our Weyrling curriculum. I don't think it's being offered this year," he explains, eyes turning to Innes at this part. "That's probably why you might not've heard of it. It's very rare." What isn't so rare are gold riders sticking together, though. Soriana's turning on him! What happened to being on the side of your weyrmate? He grins and has been grinning for a while now, which makes all of those 'signs' a bit hard to swallow. "Also, snow infections are n-.." *splat!* Ahhhh, a snowball! Right to the…well, luckily, Innes's aim isn't so far off that she gets anywhere too far south on his body, but his jacket does get a snowball the belly! Fwoomph! He gawks at her, then looks down at his jacket, then to her. "And now…we're enemies!" he proclaims, kicking a booted foot in attempt to kick up snow at the both of them. Soriana is his enemy too, apparently, for she's in his line of snow-spray fire!

"Oh, you are so full of-" Innes doesn't quite get to finish this undoubtedly colorful thoght, because she's getting hit by a snow barrage. She screeches and takes cover, which… is essentially diving into a snow bank. Effective! If the goal is to get covered in even more snow than a boot could manage. And then rather suddenly, the girl is staring up into the sky with a bewildered expression. A certain someone wants to know where she is. Wants to know because… Innes swears loudly and slaps away another armful of snow. "I'm supposed to be somewhere. Now." Which she clearly isn't. So! The weyrling quickly gets to her feet, kicking one last wave of snow in Ka'el's general direction before she takes off. "I'll get you later," she threatens, and then to Soriana, "Don't let him win! You have to stand for both of us!" Until next time, of course.

Not the healers! They'd probably find something else for Soriana to not be allowed to do. But fortunately Soriana doesn't fall down, instead considering on Innes's dietary requirements. "But if you don't, then you aren't. So really, we can only trust you if we can't trust you." Because who'd trust someone with winteritis? It's clearly a terrible condition. A terrible condition that turns goldrider against bronze. No wonder Ka'el (so full of being proactive (aaaaand maybe certain other things) studied it! A terrible condition that leads to snowballs. Also flung snow! "Ackpth!" goes Soriana, though truth be told, there's nothing that gets much above the level of her knees. "Hey, don't you go infecting me!" Because that's how winteritis spreads, obviously. "…are you declaring snow-feud on me?" she asks Ka'el with a mock-glare. It's like blood-feud… but less deadly. "Well! You shall soon see that-" Er. That it's going to be just her against him, because Innes has other places to be. Soriana blinks at the other goldrider. "Oh. Okay." These things happen! In fact… nope, Luraoth confirms that there's nowhere she's supposed to be right now. Whew! Good. So Soriana finishes waving to Innes, "He shall know cold!" It's like proper vengeance. Only… not.

Wisdom. Ka'el is so full of wisdom. Oh, he knows he is, thank you! And he's always happy to share his wisdom with the youth of Xanadu (because these two girls are so many turns younger than himself). He's also usually happy to share kicked up snow with the youth of Xanadu too. Sharing is caring! He laughs as his spray attack hits its mark. Though he didn't really have a "mark" that he had in mind to hit. Just…anywhere on the body, which he has accomplished. Yahoo, two for one! And now he knows he must be on the lookout for retaliation, for goldriders are notorious for retaliating. "I can't re-infect the infected!" he counters to Soriana, who apparently is one of the infected ones. "And yes, this is na official snow-fued, declaration. You and your sad little army will regret the wrongs you've wronged!" All those unnamed wrongs that they've done! And look, Innes is so afraid she's bowing out! He grins knowingly at her. There's always someplace to be or someone needing you! He starts to wave, but heys! as snow is kicked at him instead. "Argh! This is war!" Full out war! With…no death or blood or dismemberment. Or actual injury. Or any real fighting. Or cause. Or prize. … It's that kind of war. He kneels to hastily scrape up a handful of snow to messily press into a snow pancake rather than ball. "Fire!" he cries to his invisible army, and one snow…uh…frisbee is thrown. War!

"You're going to have such an advanced case," Soriana… threatens? Because it's a real thing that she can totally threaten, and this infection is under her control. Which… maybe it sorta is. "My army," all, uh, none of them, "will squash yours! And spear them with icicles. For good!" Oh yeah. That's how this war is fought. Even if Soriana's going to be an army of one… she'll still fight until the end. …of the war. Not the end of… either one of them, really. It's not that kind of war. "Hah!" she cries as Ka'el's snow-frisbee… wobbles to the side and disintegrates. "Your attempts only fuel our victory!" By which she means she's going to take one of the chunks of failed frisbee and pack more snow onto it so she can throw it back at him.

Oh no! Snow frisbee has failed him! Whyyyyy!? A look of pained disappointment twists Ka'el's expression as his attack fails. So dramatic! But he hasn't time to mourn his first attack because Soriana's already on the move for hers! And, gasp! How dare she use his broken up snow disc as ammo! "That was just a test throw! Now comes the real attack. Your icicles will melt in fear!" Because that's what usually happens to icicles when they see the superior army that they've been thrown towards. He drops to his knees now and uses both arms to hug a pile of snow closer to himself. He. Needs. Ammunition! Too bad he doesn't have that aforementioned army to help him create supplies! Ah, to shards this this. Flinging handfuls of fisted snowpowder for the win! The fact that he's a sitting (kneeling) duck to her re-formed snowball isn't important! At least… not until it explodes on him when it's thrown. "Ahh!" He recoils back, clutching at the area of his chest where he was hit, and…floomph! Down to the snow he goes, twitching. … Twitch.

"War is no time for tests!" Right? Because it's fast-paced and energetic and involves flinging weaponry at the opponent as quickly as possible. "The icicle is a noble weapon!" …because… uh… they grow along the edges of noble holds! Also along the edges of random small cotholds with no pretensions of anything, but that's not the point here. At least not the one that Soriana's making. But Ka'el seems to be catching on to how to properly engage in Cold War, because he's gathering up munitions. If only he'd thought to do it sooner! Because - as her snowball paffs against him - now… it's too late! "Take that, winterbeast!" she cries. "For the glory of the snow… cream empire!" Which is totally a real thing, and also the thing she's fighting for. Truefact.

"I … shall not….be…conquered!" bravely winces the twitchy Ka'el, fingers curling against the snow as he musters up his strength. It's so hard, you know. What with the blood that's pouring out of his explosive wound, sapping his energy. But he can't give up! Look at him, so noble! Struggling to sit up again, his body quivering and quaking. The sweat…well.. the sweat of effort is non-existent because he is neither hot nor injured or exerting as much effort as it seems he is in accomplishing the act of sitting up. "You..and your people..will live only to…..regret.. the day you crossed Ka'el!" He's sitting up now, snow clinging to the back of his head and jacket. Then, he slowly starts to stand, but in the process of that he pauses, as if listening. "Oh… right." He shakes his head, dismissing the fog as he rises to his feet easily. It's a miracle! "Forg-… Nearly forgot I was meeting about the state of firestone levels today," he says, swiping snow from his front and back and shoulders and hair and…whew! Snow everywhere. "Our war is paused for now. An uneasy truce…" Smirk.

Soriana adds insult to injury, despite the injury being actually nonexistent, because she kicks more snow at Ka'el to go with that from the snowballs and also the stuff he gathered in on himself. "You will know the meaning of defeat soon enough!" she informs him. Kick, kick, kick. Snow, snow, snow. …actually what he'll know is the meaning of cold and wet. Especially as Soriana reaches for another bit of snow. "We will-" wait. What's this? Ka'el is no longer struggling against the deadly snow-wound he's received. Also he's… "Always something, isn't there?" Soriana half-grins and tosses the half-formed snowball off to the side. Goodbye, weapon of cold! She has no more need of you. "The day will come when all debts are settled," she says. "But that day is not today." And so… truce! She grins.

Ka'el gives his head a doggish shake, yet his hair is still peppered with snow. Ah well. It'll melt off when he steps into a warm place and no one will be the wiser! Not including the dampness to his outerwear, but oh well! Jackets and scarves and gloves can be shed. "Always somethin'," he agrees as he moves closer to her to slip his arms around her and mock-glare at her. "Be prepared to surrender to me, for I am merciless in my attack. I was only teasin' you now. Next time…you'll feel my full wrath!" He grins, then laughs as he hugs her goodbye, embracing her tightly. Like old times! In the days where lives were carefree and secret attack snowball fights were the biggest worry of the winter season. He kisses her cheek, then lips, then lips once more before pulling away, giving the barest of glances to her jacket-covered abdomen area. "Oh, and whatever you needed," he nods to the stables, "if he can't get it for you, let me know. I'll see what I can do." Thank you Kanekith for being both vain and nosy. He gives her a little salute plus a grin. "See you later. Or home." And off to his meeting he goes. Hi ho, hi ho!

"Ooh," Soriana says. "Wrath-y." These are the kisses of wrath! The wrathful draping of her arms around his neck, and the downright fearsome nuzzling to his cheek before she's busy with kissing him for a moment or two… but only a moment or two. They're good moments! Like snowball fight moments, which are carefree in a way that things haven't been since… well, candidacy at least, but back then they had other things that they thought were important and life-shattering. Maybe they've always been like this, with serious things and silly ones, and the serious ones have just gotten to be ones that more people than just them and their parents care about. As Ka'el draws back, Soriana glances after his gaze to the stables. Hu…oh! "It's not important," she says with an airy wave of a hand. Just a random idea that she had that she wanted to see if could be a random thing happening! She might forget it before the day is out. Ka'el, though… him, she won't forget. "See you later," she agrees - home is later - and gives a kinda salute type thingy (complete with grin) before heading toward… someplace warm, to melt the winter-itis right out of her.

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