Conamy Matters

Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

Another day, another… plague. Okay, so maybe it's not the best of winters, what with the normal sniffles being joined by a red-splotchy sickness that seems to target children and send them wandering around the weyr in feverish dazes, but… nobody's died? (Yet?) So, anyone trying to look on the bright side can at least have that, along with the gleam of snow and ice… where it hasn't been trampled by dragon and human into dingy slush, that is. …okay, so. It's somewhere in the middle of the afternoon, and D'lei is out on the beach applying oil to one of Garouth's paws, because the needs of dragons don't pause just because there's other work to be done, and the winter weather makes for dry skin in dragons as well as humans.

The needs of dragons may not pause, but neither do the needs of their riders, as demonstrated by the visiting pair making their way down from the weyr to the beach. The near-black brown walks with a sort of sedate dignity, his wings primly folded on his back as he picks his way along the path like a silent shadow. Next to him, setting the pace, ambles the comparatively tiny rider, with her fire-red dreadlocked hair, eye-catching green-dyed leathers, and bare feet. She has a bottle of something that is most probably alcoholic, judging by the very slight sway in her steps. With the grace and subtlety of 30 years spent living in each other's head, the dragon casually nudges K'ren toward safety every time she seems in danger of a spill, or about to walk over something that might damage even the most calloused of feet. As they reach the beach, and Jaykith notes the presence of bronze and rider, he tries to nudge his rider up the opposite end of the beach…. but it's too late. She's already seen them, and ignores the nudge in favor of heading D'lei's way. "Eeeeeey!" The drawled greeting is combined with a broad grin and a wave. Jaykith gives a long-suffering snort that K'ren seems remarkably oblivious to.

It's Garouth who's paying more attention to the beach, eyes flecked with green and yellow observing who's around - perhaps in the hopes of noticing a stray child before they walk into the water. A dragon and rider? Not so much what he's attending for, and so it's D'lei who looks up at the sound of a greeting and lifts a half-gloved and only slightly blue hand in answer. "Heya!" he says, then takes a moment to study red-head and dark-brown, as if to see if he actually knows these people!

As K'ren approaches, Jaykith only follows so far before he takes up a station on the beach, just far enough away to avoid needing to interact with the bronze. His tail curls around him and he points his nose toward the ocean, but a whirling eye remains trained on his rider.
Meanwhile, K'ren is all smiles and jovial good humor, apparently not sharing whatever reticence her dragon displays. "Keep eyein' a lady like that, she'll think ye mean to do somethin' 'bout it," she points out. "I ain't one of your'n. Just droppin' off a delivery. K'ren, rider of Jaykith." She thrusts out a hand for a shake, apparently not put off by the dragon oil.

"What, like introduce myself?" D'lei asks with a rise of eyebrows, then smiles. "I'm D'lei. Garouth's rider." He gives a slippery handshake - not as bad as it could be, he's a dabber of oil as opposed to a slosher - and nods. "The world, one package at a time." He grins. "Where from? You, I mean, though I suppose the source of the delivery is another possibility. Depending on just what you mean to say about it."

K'ren shakes the hand, then not-so-subtly wipes the oil off on the side of her leathers, still grinning. "Me? Ierne. As for the delivery… Well, gotta respect privacy an' all, this sorta job. So they tell me, anywise." She winks, and pauses for a pull off the bottle, whatever it is. When she's done, she offers it over with a quizzically raised eyebrow, offering him a swig if he wants it.

"Ierne, the place where there's definitely a shop selling that, you just have to find it." D'lei grins. "And get past the other dozen shops with things you didn't think you needed up until you saw them." He waves off the offered bottle, though it's with an amiable almost-shrug. "I'm already enough of an oilfingers." It's like a butterfingers, except the lipid is liquid.

"Yep," K'ren confirms. She tucks the bottle under her arm when he refuses it, her cheery disposition unaffected. "And fleets o' riders to cart it all home fer ye, after." She tosses a lazy salute to match her gap-toothed grin. "Though these days I pick up shipments all over, t'be honest. Seems like with all these shortages, always someone with an extra mark or two t'have somethin' brought in from somewhere else."

"That too." D'lei grins. "Though I've never quite been sure how many of dragons I see there are actually in residence instead of just passing through with their riders." He shrugs a bit, because it's not like it actually matters (at least not to him). "Makes sense that you'd be all over, though. Seems like when it's not a shortage outright, there's something to interfere with the boats or the wagons, and someone's still running low… just with someone else wanting to get it out of their warehouse."

"Ain't that the beauty of dragons?" K'ren remarks. "Jaykith calls all that the Global Conamy."
A begrudging whisper, accompanied by the smell of gunsmoke, insinuates a correction to the local area with a perfectly proper accent. «The Global /E/conomy.»
"Like I said, the Conamy," K'ren repeats, with a twinkle in her eye to suggest she might know very well that she's saying it wrong. "Cain't complain 'bout it, meself," she adds. "Gotta make a livin' somehow. Pay for all that dragon oil… Though I'm awful sorry for those of you's had your ships runnin' afoul of baddies and whoever. Ye ever catch the creeps?"

D'lei tilts his head in a glance Jaykith-ward as the dragon provides clarification, then back to K'ren as the person here who actually wants to talk. He nods to her as she continues, then gets an expression somewhere between wry smile and grimace. "Not exactly," he answers her, and turns his head to look out over the water for a moment. "We seem to have scared most of them off, but… actually getting rid of them's been hard."

K'ren's sympathy seems genuine as she looks out at the water, following D'lei's gaze. "Cain't imagine it wouldn't be," she agrees, with a note of regret. "Them types… They's like them itty flies. Ye think ye got 'em licked, but they're just hidin' in the trash bin like." She takes a deep breath, letting it out in a gusty sigh. "Lucky us to have the dragons, aye? Elsewise I 'spect they'd have tried for us, too. If ye ever make a plan to get the basterds, you send word for K'ren, will ye? I'll help ye get 'em. Won't even charge ye, neither." That sends Jaykith into a minor huff, which K'ren amusedly ignores.

D'lei tilts his head back to K'ren, with a faint wry smile as he does. "That's not always enough." His tone's a bit quieter, and his chin dips before he speaks again. "The dragons, I mean. Flies can buzz around a horse as easily as they do a bin." He grimaces for a moment, then shrugs. "If I make a plan, I'm not going to send word any further than I have to." D'lei grins, crooked. "The more ears that hear something, the more chance one of them's going to let it slip somewhere it shouldn't. One careless person makes an opportunity, and flies are very good at finding those."

K'ren nods at his explanation, but a shadow passes over her expression, fading the former cheerful grin. She looks at the water, lost in thought for a time before she looks back to D'lei. "Listen," she starts, more seriously than before. "You mean that bus'ness 'bout the horses? Ye really think they're gonna move on to dragon taxis and the like, or s'that just talk?"

D'lei regards K'ren in silence for a moment, as if he's looking for… something… before he speaks. When he does, his tone has something colder and harder than before. "I am aware of multiple renegades who have attempted to infiltrate Weyrs and be on the sands at hatchings. They know dragons are powerful… and these are people who have no issues hijacking a ship. What's the difference, except a pair of wings?"

K'ren's eyes go round at that news, and an epithet strong enough to melt Thread slips out. She scratches the back of her head, scowling. Even Jaykith seems to be affected, his eyes whirling a darker orange as his tail flicks with agitation. "I'll take caution," she decides. "Might need to have some talks with t'other folks like me. Make sure no one's takin' risks. I'll keep the sands stuff out of it…" She takes a deep breath. "Thanks for the warnin', though." She's already backing away, heading back toward Jaykith in apparent intention to be on her way. "Ye take care here, aye? And take care of them babies."

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