Runnerstock... and More for Xanadu

Ierne Weyrhold - Road to Ierne

You are standing on a well-kept stone-paved road bordered on either side by lush jungle. To the north, the road vanished into the deep greenblack heart of the mainland. To the south, the road comes to an end in a wide plaza and quay on the farther shore of a large harbor. Ships, some small, some very large, are constantly coming and coming, loading and unloading goods from the docks on the Ierne Island face of the harbor. Most sail upriver but some curve out of sight around the eastern branch of the river, the western side being rather narrow and prone to rapids.
At the end of the quay there is a bell, used to summon the 'ferry' if it is not here.

The chill air of winter has settled flurries over Xanadu, but luckily the air clears closer to Ierne. The small cothold that serves as 'weyr' enough for Sorrin and her lifemate is actually not in the weyrhold itself, but out a fair distance along the trader's track that runs between the weyrhold and the some of the more outlying areas. A glisten of snow lays over the stables and the pen where runners can be seen mulling about, chewing on bits of grass or otherwise not paying much heed to the weather.

Stepping out from her small home, Sorrin blows on her hands, warming them slightly as her breath hangs in the air. Her first response is to offer a small smile, knowingly looking to her left to the sight of her lifemate, Yumeth, already raising her head and crooning her own welcome. "I'm sure they'll be here soon, don't you worry, love." She doesn't speak like a proper lady - but with that more easy going accent Northern crafters tend to have. Crossing the frozen lawn, she reaches up to scratch honey-toned eyeridges. "That lonely, huh?" She muses, and then shakes her head.

This interaction lasts barely a moment, though, as Yumeth lifts her head to bugle, which causes Sorrin to cover her ears momentarily, stepping away with a laugh. "Easy, there." But she can spot the tell-tale signs of another dragon's arrival, even if not as clearly as the queen beside her. « Welcome. » Warmth and joy come with the signal that Yumeth extends to Seryth, her voice gentle and tinged with a hint of that girl-next door sort of innocence. Sorrin squints, though, trying to make out just who the Weyr has sent her way through the glare of Winter sun.

It isn't from *Between* that the golden dragon comes, but directly from Ierne, rising from beyond the courtyard and swinging north. Flying overland really doesn't take all that long from there and although word has been sent to Sorrin via Xanadu's stablemaster that someone will be coming, the name has been left out of the equation for some reason. Pale sun glints off the dragon's bright hide as she banks overhead, her great wings vaned to catch the breeze and ease her descent. Her audible reply is warble that echoes the gold's. Her comment is a serene wash of water over rocks, musical in tone, « Thank you! It is a pleasure to stretch my wings and visit a new place. » Her landing is made soon enough and swinging down catwoman-style is a fur-lined leather-clad, dark-haired woman wearing the Senior's knot of Xanadu. She's got a hop-jump and then strides forward with a warm smile and hand extended, "Sorrin isn't it? I'm Thea."

It takes a moment for the Sorrin to make out that glint of gold, and she can't help but raise an eyebrow in her dragon's direction even as Yumeth herself is getting to her feet, shifting those delicate wings and offering a companionable croon to the other gold as she lands. She's grown into herself quite a lot since her younger turns and the time away from the weyr has served to soften the harder edges of her personality, leaving her far more welcoming to the company. « It is good to get to see another dragon. It's been weeks. » Of course, there were the usual patrols and fly-bys, but not enough for her to get to talk to anyone.

Sorrin watches the grace by which the Senior dismounts, and it quirks one corner of her lip slightly into a wry smirk. Thank the first egg that they sent someone who wasn't some pretty princess of a gold-rider out to her. Taking the offered hand, the older woman grips it and offers a sort of amused smile. "Hadn't expected a Weyrwoman. Is the need for runner stock really so bad they had to send you out?" Her hand is quickly tucked back into her pocket to ward off the cold, "Mmm. Sorrin. This is Yumeth." The dragon, of course, is too busy trying to engage Seryth in conversation to notice her introduction.

Just don't tell V'dim Thea does that! Senior or no, he'd still skin her alive. Thea's shake is firm and while she's removed on of her gloves for that handclasp, she's soon pulling it back on. Seryth, meanwhile shows her dismay in a rain of concern, « What a very lonely way to live! » Her head lifts to eye the herd of runners and if she zeroes in suspiciously on the darker hides, lingering with a feral manner on the black ones, well. It's not coincidence! « They don't drop by to feed? » Try telling her runners are good for something other than food! "They are pretty well decimated," Thea responds to Sorrin. While she doesn't sound at all bothered by that, she does manage to sound appropriately grave. "I think we have all of five or so left. If that." Not that she's been in the stables to check, mind. "I had business in Ierne and since the stablemaster fell ill, well, they asked me to stop by." And here she pauses to give Yumeth a respectful bow, murmuring, "And Seryth is my lifemate. A pleasure to meet you both."

While these two dragons might be close to the same size, the way that Yumeth carries herself is more crouched, making her seem smaller somehow. « Mine tells me they are not for eating. The Weyrhold has fat heardbeast though if you are inclined. » In her mind, she transmits an image - complete with the green grasses of springtime - showing a black and white, slightly fluffy looking bovine. « I quite enjoy those. The white parts taste better. » Because, obviously, this makes complete sense.

Sorrin's eyes follow Seryth's line of sight towards the pen of runners, and her glance to Thea brings the question to her lips before really settling into formalities. "She have something against the dark ones?" Curious, the rider tilts her head slightly, and then considers the state of the Weyr's herd. "We took it pretty hard here, too. Lost more than half the herd before it played out. Got a good strong stud, though, and a few mares in breeding age. I suspect we'll get a few new foals come springtime." Even so, it's clear the handful of runners visible in the pens is about the extent of Sorrin's once larger stock. She motions as she walks, inviting Thea along with towards the pens. "I'm guessing it'd take 'bout most of my stock to get you back up to numbers if I guess right."

Thea flickers a glance over at Seryth and something passes between rider and dragon. The laughter of water over rocks echoes the dragon-laughter that comes from Seryth, who turns her gaze from those poor runners at last, « Runners taste delicious, but mine only lets me have the ones the herders can't do anything with. » There's a picture of a big, strong black runner shared then but not any sort of story to with it. « That… fluff doesn't get stuck in your teeth? » The Weyrwoman waits until Seryth is not focused on the herd, then relaxes, nodding a touch ruefully in reply to Sorrin, "She hates the black ones but she really doesn't remember why." Her firm smile erases what might have, for a fleeting moment, been a sad line to her mouth. Sorrin begins walking and Thea hangs back for a beat, takes a deep breath and follows. "I'd gladly leave Xanadu with the few we've got, but our delivery folk, foresters and guards would be upset. But really, taking all of your stock? That's…" What was her stablemaster thinking?

« Sometimes. » Yumeth admits with a roll of her angular shoulders, quietly mouthing at the meomory of one such incident. « Maybe if you had more runners, there would be extras you could eat? » She suggests, apparently trying to be helpful, but there is a shimmer of something silvery at the edge of her tones that suggests alterior motives. Ones that become that much clearer when Sorrin mentions selling her stock to the Weyr. « Yes! Take /all/ of them. Then maybe we can go live at a Weyr with other /dragons/.»

Perhaps it's the force of the suggestion, or the fact that Sorrin had surely heard this argument before from her lifemate, but the dark-haired rider just rubs at the bridge of her nose. "Yumeth, it's not that simple." The gold lets out a puff of warm air that ends up coming out as steam instead. In return, Sorrin raspberries right back at the dragon. Odd pair, these two. Then, as if realizing that Thea is there, she laughs sheepishly and decides to let the Weyrwoman in on the conversation. "We've been down here… by the egg, something like twenty turns or so now. She's a little lonesome for dragon companionship, and insists the bronzes here at Ierne are defective." « They /are/. The Clutch sizes here are vastly inferior to /real/ Weyrs. » Opinionated dragon much? But Sorrin continues anyways. "She wouldn't mind me selling the lot of them if it meant us being back in a Weyr again."

Seryth has developed a taste for runnerflesh born of forbidden fruit and vengeance. The reasons aren't elaborated on but there's a definite flavor of wicked delight in her reply to Yumeth, the sound of glacial ice crackling and creaking, « That's brilliant! You should come live at Xanadu with me and we can oversee them breeding tasty ones! » Thea, overhearing one side of this plotting, can only shake her head in fond helplessness while lifting both hands to rub at her temples with her fingertips. She's looking at the herd, can see they're at least healthy but there is where her ability to judge runner breeding and conformation ends. "I should have thought to bring R'owan with me," she mutters dropping her hands. She squints at Sorrin, both puzzlement and concern in her question, "Why have you two lived so long all alone? That… couldn't have been pleasant for either of you. Though you know, it really could be 'that simple' if you wanted to come and live at Xanadu. We lost four queens in the past few turns. We certainly have the room. And our stablemaster is aging."

A curious feeling like a breeze passing accompanies Yumeth's thoughts as the gold tilts her head slightly, her drawn out nose twitching and her mouth moving to draw back saliva that the other dragon's thoughts has coming to the surface. « Why is it not simple » She asks, « Seryth says we can. » And then, to the other dragon, the crouched, daintier gold weaves her head slightly. « Are your bronzes strong? » Leave it to Yumeth to go from thoughts of food to thoughts of males - the dragon is a simple creature at heart, it seems.

Sorrin, on the other hand, quirks a brow when Thea mutters, not catching all of it as her lifemate is talking over it and making it quite hard to split her attention. It's the quetstion that has her toying with the end of her ponytail, leaning against one of the fences as she turns to face the Xanadu Weyrwoman. "Guess it's 'cause of what happened." She replies, scootching herself up to rest against one of the fence's crossbars. "It's my fault Yumeth got hurt. I was young, and stupid, and misjudged a between in a storm. We ended up down here for nearly two turns 'fore the dragonhealers cleared her for flight. By that time, 'Reaches had a new gold who didn't care for Yumeth. So we ended up down here."

There is a look in those hawk-like brown eyes as Sorrin lifts her head, taking in the offer even as her lifemate seems to give a triumphant bugle at the thought. "Shush you." Sorrin murmurs, but there is a smile on her lips for her counterpart. "Gotta admit, I haven't the first clue about proper Weyrwoman stuff. I'd need a whole lotta teaching."

Seryth is once again contemplating that herd, her attention pulled back once more by Yumeth's question. Silence from her while she considers, then her answer is hesitant like an off and on summer shower, « I… don't think there are any sickly ones except for a runt that was hatched a turn or so ago? He may never fly though. » Really the bronzes don't seem to be anything she normally spends much time thinking about. Thea merely listens to Sorrin, nodding at the appropriate parts and wincing in sympathy for her accident. She crosses her arms on the top rail, props her chin on them and hmms absently. "I'm sure there would be a lot of new things to learn, but we'll all help you, if you decide to come." Her eyes shift to Yumeth at that bugle, a grin quirks her lips and she straightens. "I'll head back now. If you come, bring the herd, if not, sell me what you can afford to part with and it will be enough for now to replenish Xanadu. Either way, I will arrange a ship for transport."

The sound of Yumeth's bugle seems to be answer enough, and Sorrin simply shakes her head. There were few things that she and her dragon really came to odds about, and she had been quite selfish with her own tasks. Perhaps it's time to allow the dragon some indulgance. "I think Yumeth has your answer." Sorrin casts a her fingers towards the frail gold, who gives a croon and leans her head down near Thea, whirling eyes hopeful. "Tch." Sorrin rubs at the back of her neck. "Troublemaker." She comments to her lifemate, but there is a smile behind it.

As she gets down from the fence, Sorrin nods her head. "I'll get 'em on the ship, and then sort things out here. Just make sure there's some place for us to sleep when we get there." A smirk quirks her lips. "Slept enough out in the stables for a lifetime." Yumeth, on the other hand, seems to glow with happiness, rising a bit out of her crouch and stretching her frail wings. « Soon then. We will come. »

Thea chuckles at Yumeth's enthusiasm, reaching out a gloved hand to pat the queen if she will allow it, her assurance for the gold, which she'll allow Sorrin to pass on, is a kindly reassurance, "You'd like Xanadu I think. Lots of noisy talky dragons for you to visit with." As for the runners, she casts a dubious eye on the lot - not that they are in any way shape or form bad-looking - she's just likely wondering if she's in her right mind obtaining more of the creatures. Perhaps aware that the expression shows on her face, she says, "I'm not too partial to them, but wouldn't you know it, my children love them and can't get enough of them. Or ride them fast enough." She salutes Sorrin then, a wry grimace-like grin given the herd before she steps Seryth's way. "I'll have a Weyr readied for you by the time you arrive. We'll keep in touch!" And she climbs on up, fastens her straps, the buckles clinking metallically in the cold air. Seryth warbles a farewell to Yumeth, adding a rush of pine-scented breeze, « We will be waiting! » as she spreads her wings, launches and beats up to an altitude where the pair wink *Between*

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