First Impressions...

Xanadu Weyr - Coastal Road
This coastal road runs parallel with the edge of beach that stretches endlessly beside the Caspian Lake. From coast to inland the dunes of the beach grow smaller and smaller until they eventually peter out into nothing but small moguls in the sand. The path is eventually seen to be blocked by a river that reaches the lake just south of the point where the road turns west and crosses a grassy meadow towards a sturdy wooden bridge that can be seen in the distance.

Fair weather clouds sail across the blue sky, propelled by light breezes from teh west. It's arm in the sun, cool in the shade, and the air is clear and dry (FINALLY). The wind rustles the bright green leaves of trees and bushes and carries pollen, downy seeds, and the fragrence of wildflowers along with it. In other words, the lingering effects of the blizzard have more or less erased themselves…and it's actually starting to be NICE at Xanadu.

Though this outer part of the far flung Weyr might be unfamiliar to Candidates, the sight of the Weyrleader's bronze (or the only bronze, for that matter) reassures them that this is, indeed, the place. And near to that bronze stands Xe'ter, with a selection of buckets, towels, brushes, and other assorted necessities for dragon-cleaning.Of course, as soon as there's any HINT of Candidates in sight, the bronze launches himself into a pile of mud left over by melting snow, and begins to snort and root around like some overized canine having found something especially STINKY to roll in. Xe'ter almost drops brushes, he's so genuinely aghast at the bronze's antics…but whatever passes between them as the big dragon flops around is silent…

The eggs on the sands harden, slowly but surely yet they're still soft enough that Seryth is broody and anxious, requiring Thea to spend most of her time there in the arena with her. She does need a break from the heat, however and the queen does permit her brief breaks. Paperwork will wait and since there's nothing so terribly pressing needing her attention in the Caverns at the moment, the Weyrwoman turns towards the coastal road while taking her cooling walk. That breeze off the lake is just the ticket, fluttering her thin cloth tunic and trous, ruffling her hair and flowing over heated, flushed cheeks. Ahh, such peace! Leaves fluttering, birds singing, lake sparkling… dragon… wallowing? The sight is perplexing enough that it draws her down the sandy path to better see this phenomenon, craning her neck around the group of candidates there in search of the beast's rider. "Xe…..ter?"

And the candidates do come. Iforian and a small gaggle of other candidates make their way from the direction of the meadow, the tall miner candidate busy flirting with one of the younger girls so that he doesn't see the Weyrleader's bronze flopping around in the mud. It's not until one of the others gasps in horror that he looks up and stops short, just staring for a long moment until he hears Thea speak from behind them. He glances over his shoulder and steps aside, unable to resist leering a little at the Weyrwoman as he offers a bow, "Ain't seen 'im yet, ma'am." A young boy points over at the very dirty bronze, his voice breaking into a squeek, "I think that's his dragon over there, though, Weyrwoman." The title 'Weyrwoman' has Iforian looking first at the younger candidate and then back at Thea with a slightly calculating expression on his face, "Would ya care t' walk with us, Lady? We're lookin' for th' Weyrleader, too."

Romth rises up from where he was flopping, head dripping with mud that plops off his head and lands in little cakes at his forepaws. His big jeweled eyes WHIRL in amusement as he contemplates the group of Candidates, even as the aghast looking Xe'ter manages to regain some of his composure. Alright, it takes the young Weyrleader a few moments, and a dirty look to his bronze, before he strides forward, lifting his arm (in cast the Candidates are dense enough to NOT put two and two together…it's been known to happen). "Hola! Thea…Candidates…come on over. Romth's…just…done." Wallowing. In the mud. He shoots the bronze another dirty look, and Romth hrmuhmrmphs non committally, actually shrugging his shoulders and wingshoulders in a fair approximation of a human 'whatever'. Xe'ter clears his throat again, "Before we start…how many of you lot have done more than ridden a dragon once or twice?" Seems a fair question, really.

Thea has seen leering before and she's neither offended nor flattered. Choosing to ignore that, she greets the group equally graciously, including Iforian in her, "Good day, Canidates." Her smile beams for all of them as she falls into step with the group. "I can't think of anything I'd like more at the moment," she tells Iforian sunnily. Except maybe to use her flamethrower on something. Alas. There's nothing that requires that though. Yet. It's Xe'ter's voice that turns her attention from the group to where he is and she steps over to stand beside him with another long look at Romth. Pay no mind that her eyes are beginning to sparkle with amusement. She's just… happy. Yeah, that's it.

Along with the rest of the group of candidates, Iforian makes his way to Xe'ter, shrugging a shoulder almost indifferently, "Ain't never done much 'round dragons, but I'd help Mum with her wher when I was little." That's almost like being around a dragon, right? He looks up (and up and up) at the muddy bronze, frowning as he absently hooks an arm around one of the girl's shoulders, "He part caprine, 'r somthin'?" And there's that sneering smirk that he gives people so often that some might wonder if it's his only expression.

Jeniosa is late, isn't she? The beastcrafter turned candidate is hurrying to catch up to the group, short legs carrying her as quickly as they can, though she does remain towards the back of the group, blinking as she spots the muddy bronze. Oh dear, no wonder they need so much help, huh? She contemplates the weyrleader's question, but she's not one to speak up so she just kind of keeps quiet about the whole has anyone done more than ride a dragon once or twice. She was a candidate before, of course she has experience with washing a dragon, but, yeah, she'll just pretend she's a newbie at this as well.

Xe'ter looks over the group, as a few nod, and a few others look a tad nervous. A bronze is easily twice the size of a green, and even greens are monsterously large in the eyes of most folks! "Alright…" Iforian's given a nod as well, "Aye, well…I think most know my opinion of whers. Close enough. Those that have handled dragons afore…to the fore…towards his head. Those who an't…to the aft…get the brushes and buckets…and mind the water. Ye'll probably want to take your shoes off, but it's going to be chilly no matter what. This an't Ista…if ye get too cold, let me know, and ye can come up on to the green. I've klah and hot tea." He gestures, up into the grassier area up from the beach, and there's a large metal table that's been drug out into the sun…with a breezy little covering that's held down with several rocks so it doesn't fly away, and the large heating pots that will keep said beverages warm.

"Careful there," the Weyrwoman warns lowly and evenly on the heels of Iforian's sneering question about porcines, pinning him with an icy stare. "You don't want to tick the bronze off, trust me." Or the Weyrwoman, but that goes without saying. Her green gaze swings towards Xe'ter then, her amused question murmured for his ears only, "You're trusting the novices with his… nether parts?" Her smirk makes it obvious she's implying something but she doesn't elaborate. Her gaze sweeps the group, her eyes softening as they fall upon the shy Jeniosa and she gives the girl an encouraging smile. She certainly looks like a newbie to Thea!

Iforian glances over at Thea and shrugs, once more leering at her, though not as badly as he did before, "I knew a brown wher tha' was al'us rollin' 'round in dirt. Filthiest thing ya ever did see." And he thinks that makes him entitled to talk that way about the dragon, too, aparently. He gives Jeniosa a quick look that quickly goes from almost blank to almost smug, "C'mon, girly. Ya can help me 'round his wings." He nods at the Weyrleader's instruction on what to do if they get too cold, kicking his shoes off well back from the filthy bronze and moving forward to take up a bucket and brush.

Jeniosa hangs back even as the instructions are given, this could easily be mistaken for dragon nervousness on the young woman's part, but really she's just watching to see which area will have the least amount of helpers, especially of the male kind, scrubbing. And, well, once she figures out which area is to be less crowded, she'll head that way. Soon a largish blue firelizard is popping from between nearby and chittering happily as he dives towards the dragon and his washers, he'll help too! Iforian, the poor man, his invitation is ignored by the shy little beastcrafter as she moves off towards the front part of Romth, heads are always better than butts anyways, right? And, shoes abandoned, she moves to pick out a brush and bucket, taking her time, before actually moving into the water. A brief shiver, it's definitely not Eastern's water, it might take a bit of getting used to. Azurite, the big blue flitter, he dives beneath the waves, splashing those nearby(including his pet beastigirl) before emerging and heading upwards towards the top of Romth's neck. Quietly, Jen gets to work on the bronze's lower chest since, well, she's short and that and the legs are the easiest for her to reach, but the legs already have too much testoterone scrubbing along them, so she'll content herself with taking her time with her personal spot on the dragon for washing.

The Weyrleader gives the Weyrwoman a sidelong look, and then notes, "Aye, well. The hinder end dunna have teeth…or hearin'." The latter bit is said with some gravitas…and Romth gives a snortrumble of deep agreement, lowering his head down slowly until it's on a level with Jeniosa…huge eye whirling slowly blue.

Iforian's given a similar stare by Xe'ter, but nothing's said as the group settles into wash the layer of newly applied mud off of Romth's faintly irridescent hide. "'e says the mud makes the heat from the Sands itch less…I tol' him, a bath'd do the same, but you know him. Thinks he knows best, of the two of us."

Thea shrugs right back at the miner, coolly indifferent to the leering. It's like… she doesn't see it. He's so lucky the Weyrsecond isn't there, though. "If he eats you, don't come crying to me," she notes in an almost bored tone. The bronze, however, gets a wink from the Weyrwoman, tacit permission to nibble a little. Or show some teeth. Or maybe growl, even. As for the Weyrleader, she just snickers, admitting candidly, "I was thinking more of Romth's future progeny than Candidate welfare." As for her, she'll just stand back here and… supervise.

Iforian doesn't seem at all upset that Jeniosa chooses not to join him in scrubbing, instead offering an actual charming smile at a pretty boy that joins him up at the wings, "I ain't gonna get eaten." Or so he thinks, anyway.

Jeniosa has a big blue whirling eye in her face? Hmm, well, that is rather unexpected. Unlike some girls might possibly do, the small candidate doesn't squeal or startle..or even squeak one tiny little bit. "Hi." Yep, that's right she'll just talk to the bronze as if he were just another person. Okay, yep, she's blown her cover as a newbie, darn! Ah well, what's the worse that can happen? Oh, wait, don't answer that, she doesn't wanna know really. As her blue settles into helping with the great big bronzen beastie, Jen starts to scrub at Romth's chest, he can watch her all he wants, it's better to have a male dragon staring at her than a male person anyway, dragons are much more..amiable.

Heh. Amiable…but just as capable of leering. He settles a little lower, causing a less experienced candidate to meep on the other end, and drop their brush in the water. But he seems to be done, and whirls his big head around carefully, to have a look at Iforian instead…though he seems less prone to leer and more prone to just /watch/…a bit like a feline does a wrigling and half-dead webspinner.

Xe'ter chuckles, "Aye, well…suppose it's a good thing that their bits'r tucked up good and tight in th'pouch…asides, he'd stomp anyone that got too frisky with him anyway. Probably for th'best." He crosses his arms over his chest, and then reaches back and idly rubs at his shoulder…though it seems that perhaps it's because his sweater's a bit too tight, and not his joint! "S'not the worst lot I've seen…" He gestures to the would-be dragonriders, "Wish we'd had better luck at the Holds, but we had three refusals…who knew it'd come a day when folks didnae care to try and be riders?"

"That could get… messy," notes the Weyrwoman with a grin to the Weyrleader regarding stomping. Her eyes remain on the Candidates and she lifts her voice so it will carry to them, "Put your backs into it. You won't hurt his hide any." Jeniosa earns a hastily-smothered grin for her oh-so-wordy greeting to Romth while Iforian gets a headshake. "Have that one work next with one of the proddy-irritable greens," she tells Xe'ter idly before turning her head to blink at him, her expression alert, "Three… holds? Which?"

When it's his turn to be studied, Iforian just quirks a bushy brow and looks back at the big blue eye, his expression almost challenging. One would hope that the miner candidate wouldn't be quite that stupid, though… He wouldn't, would he? "I ain't gonna wipe y'r nose, if tha's what y'r thinkin'." Then again, maybe he is… Maybe it would do him some good to be at the mercy of a proddy-irritable green.

Jeniosa hears the meep at the other end and maybe even giggles a little, but she's quick to hide it, ayup. The Lone Feline Lady doesn't giggle, nope. She's quiet as she scrubs, but her ears are open and she's listening to snippets of each conversation within earshot, the local candidate chatter bores her, so she moves her attention on to the weyrleaders, now there's a conversation that could be interesting, and so she'll concentrate on eavesdropping on them while she continues to work the bronzen hide, giving him a good scrubbing as she wrinkles her nose a little at all the mud that rolls down the warm dragonhide into the water.

Xe'ter ehs a bit, and ohs, "One of the smallholds out near Rubicon turned us down…said they had too few hands as it were, and couldn't spare…an' two boys over at Hannista. And C'ar and A'ar were up north, on a diplomatic trip for the Weyr, visiting at the 'Reaches. Some little place..Stone Cold? Coldstone? Somethin' like that. Man even managed to offend their Reaches escort."

Does Xanadu ever have the green for Iforian! He might never be the same after her… attentions. The female rider might be even worse, for when that green hide begins to show teltale signs of glowing, the Weyr is inexplicably lacking in brown and blue population. In fact, "Send him to Analita," Thea begins casually enough and hopefully the so very organized Weyrleader will remember to do just that. She doesn't notice Jeniosa at first, zeroed in on Xe'ter's answer. "I'll have to visit Rubicon and Hannista doesn't surprise me one bit." She eyerolls as she says the latter name. But the mention of Cold Stone has her actually clapping a hand to her face and drawing it slowly down. "They went Searching…there of all places? Shells. What a faux paus. No, I can't imagine Thadan was very nice to them."

Xe'ter looks back to the goldrider a moment, and then nods, "Would ye like some klah, Thea?" He gestures…not to the hot pots, but to the weyrbarn beyond. "I'm nae sure why they escorted ours out to Search either…but A'ar seemed to be unhappy about it all th'same." It's a not so subtle invitation…come on, let's take Weyr business out of the hearing range of Candidates! They gossip.

Iforian doesn't seem to notice that he's being talked about, just continuing to scrub the broad bronze back and shooting Romth a narrow eyed look before he makes a casual, though very suggestive, comment to the boy that's working with him. He does, however, notice when the Weyrleader and Weyrwoman go to leave, even if they will still be in hearing range if something happens out on the beach.

Jeniosa doesn't gossip, she just likes to know what's going on around her, even if it's none of her business. Who's she gonna gossip to, her toddler daughter, or the felines of the weyr who will most likely find their way into her company eventually. But as it seems the weyrleader's chat will be moving elsewhere, the young woman doubles her effort in the scrubbing of bronzen hide and the avoiding of male candidates as long as she can. She's thorough in her scrubbing, definitely has some talent there, it happens when most of your closer family are dragonriders too.

He's… leaving them alone and unsupervised to wash his dragon? But perhaps Romth is more patient than the Weyrwoman knows. That or he can take care of himself. If there's a mudfight though… they'll likely hear about it eventually. Reluctantly, "Seryth's asleep, so for a little while…" Thea's voice fades off as she follows Xe'ter. They'll probably sit by a window? Maybe? Maybe not. She's clearly preoccupied and worried enough not to notice what the Candidates do and Ocelara will likely wander by to check up on them.

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