Falling Into Candidacy

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing

A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a this and sharp border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.
The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the Caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the Infirmary is a human sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

Its a beautiful glittery calm winter day. Snow has been properly cleared now from the paths and people are able to travel relatively well. Right now the young people of the weyr art taking advantage of the snow. A group of young boys has built a fort and is throwing snowballs at anyone else that tries to come near them. An imprompty 'Queen of the Weyr' competition has broken out near a high pile of snow and ice that the kids are competing over, climbing up to the top and playfully pushing their fellow players off the very top. And near a more clear area of snow Inuelle is nearly done with building a snowman, with twit arms, a knitted hat and even two wooden buttons for eye and a long tuber for a nose. But it looks like there are more snow creatures in the offing, for she gives a happy laugh as a little brown? green? firelizard bursts out from under a pile of snow, chattering excitedly. "Two days ago you hated snow. Today I can't keep you out of it. Silly…" she sticks a tongue out at the 'lizard, who chirps before jumping up and then back down again into his snowpile. Fun!

With a shovel, sweeping brush and dustpan it appears that one person in the clearing is half way through her new chores yup and she is looking tired, Kinzie has obviously been helping with the clearing of snow and it shows with the damp patches littered around her shirt and jerkin where the snow has melted, her boots are reletively wet and muddy and she is attempting now to stick to the drier patches and the newly cleared paths. The firelizard's antics grab her attention however and so does the failiar face of Inuelle and she begins to head over towards her with a smile "Hi Inu" she says happilly as she gets closer to the young baker "how are you both?" she says watching the firelizard in the snow.

Middle of the day for some folks but the end of a long one for an acting wingleader, whose seen coming out of the Tavern with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder as he shrugs into his jacket and pulls up the lapels - standing his collar up against his jawline. Hands are stuffed into his pocket as he curses something backwards at the door of the tavern as it swings closed, something about 'cheats' and 'lost marks' in there as he steps not-so lightly toward the playing children. His eyes snap toward a child that threatens a snowball with such ire behind his blue gaze that the kid hesitates and instead redirects it toward a friend. Until he walks by and a snowball beans him in the back of the head. The kids all start to laugh and scurry into hiding as Lan pivots around, squinting an eye and looking for the guilty party. Chip on his shoulder or not, he crouches low and starts to ball together some snow. Seeing the one boy that hesitated before trying to weave and dodge around forts and snowmen, Lan let's fly his snow ball. It zips through the air with a light whooosh sound and lands off target - hitting the ground relatively close to Kinzie's boots. Lan goes for another snow ball with a sheepish look to the girls and hurls another one after the scamp, with a one-two step heave toss. This causes an all out SNOWBALL fight! Snowballs start raining down on the brownrider and anyone close to him… which means at this point Inuelle and Kinzie are likely to get caught in the crossfire.

Inuelle greets Kinzie as she approaches. "We're both doing well," she says, saying 'both' in a meaningful way, and touching her nose. "Do you want to help me build a snow drag…!" SPLAT! Snow suddenly knocks the knitted hat right off her snowman's head! Before she can finish her sentence the snowballs are firing at her and she takes cover behind her snowman. "Oh dear!" said with something of a laugh, as she's already in process of forming a ball of snow with her hands to throw with a happy giggle.

If the snowball narrowly missing her boots didn't get her attention then the one that smacks straight in to Kinzie's leg does and she makes an all out dash to try to find cover, using the shovel and dustpan as a make-shift shield "Shell's!" she cries out as one ricochets of the shovel make a slight clang before in shatters to the ground and she is, not for the first time today, showered with snow "Like i'm not wet enough already!" she says sulkily while trying to look out for where Inuelle and seaweed have managed to get to, heading towards the snowman she ducks as another snowball rushes past them, ok this is war! and a glint appears in Kinzie's eyes which say she means business and she starts to build up an arsenal of snowballs.

Ers'lan has his arms up since the kids were directing their aim at the adult who dared to throw a snowball back at them! The brownrider is somewhere between raucous laughter and hapless yelps. The only cover it so dart behind the snowman that Inuelle was building. Unfortunately, there are already two girls trying to take cover there. At least he can use it to somewhat block the shots being take at him, stopping one with a glove catch - even though some of it still splatters in his face. "Ladies," he greets them in his sea-farring tone, dodging a few more punted throws, "Reckon we best get firin back." He does smirk though as he notes a burly brown coming into the area, the beast as big as his bronzen fellows. "Back up be arrivin-" he grins as he lobs one snowball back, getting a kid right in the head. Zhaoth for his part is catching some of the snowballs with his maw, anything that bounces off him harmless. Some of the kids on the otherside are already complaining about unfair advantages, causing Lan to hollar back, "Surrender 'n he be narh buryin ye swashbucklin ruffians in snow!" Zhaoth has turned around to position himself in the 'ready to dig' pose.

Inuelle giggles as Ers'lan takes cover with them. "My Mother says, 'If you don't know how to cook, learn.'," and she starts packing up the snow to make a snow fort of their own to help protect them and she starts to pout. She was enjoying the idea of a fair snowball fight. But now she's on her butt in the snow and her firelizard, oblivious to the snow, is still building his little tunnel under the snow. "Seaweed, come on out of there if you don't wan't to be squashed." The little brown, yes 'he' is showing more of a brain color now that he's soaked in snow, tunnels out of the snow and looks up, then squawks at the approaching dragon. Bail out! *SNAP! ~between~*

With a grin at the browrider Kinzie nods a greeting from her now rather large pile of snowball ammunition "Well we'd best get to it as it doesn't look like they'll be surrendering anytime soon!" and she ducks as another well aimed snowball zooms past her ear "Shards these kids are good aims! what have you been training em here!" she says aiming at, and narrowly missing, one of the young offenders with one of her own, but before he can duck again another well aimed snowball hits him in the rear as he tries to get behind cover "Hah!" she says triumphantly before helping Inuelle build up their own fort.

"Tis narh fair when this 'ere lass be already cold 'n wet 'n we be outnumbered. Zhao be tippin the scales aye," he notes as some of the kids are rushing out from behind him, trying to get out of the way of the snow-shovelling dragon if the brown were to start! Ers'lan continues to toss snowballs at the other side, as an all out -war- starts. They even start to pelt Zhaoth! The dragon snaps at the snowballs striking his side - harmless to him, but then he starts his snow kicks, spraying snow at any offenders.

A wayward snowball might hit Inuelle in the head or side of the head if she doesn't duck right away… An icy one might knock against Kinzie's shoulder if she doesn't cram herself behidn the shelter of the snowman!

Inuelle was rather upset that the dragon joined the game. Now she's outright diving for cover, scrambling to get behind Ers'lan in order to avoid the flying snow, but unfortunately she stumbles in the store and her approach is more of a…well fall. At Ers'lan, both mitted hands out, hair flying, and if he doesn't get out of the way they might crash! "Eeeek!"

Flattening herself to the ground as a very determined snowball flies towards her, Kinzie is now muttering as her slightly wet clothes are now WET clothes! She brushes it off and continues the enslaught firing as many snowballs as possible at their attackers as they duck behind forts and snowmen and each other as they try to escape her aim. She sticks her tongue out at one of the youngsters who decides to pull a face at her and while she's not concentrating a snowball hits her right in the back of the head OUCH! snow is sprayed everywhere and she's momentarily caught off guard and far too slow to even attempt to catch Inuelle as she stumbles.

Ers'lan is a big guy, thickly chested and considerably taller than the girls. It will take more than a tiny lass of 5'4 to bowl him over! Rather, as it happens and Inuelle stumbles toward him with mitted hands out, his arms instinctively curl around her to cushion her fall into him. At the same time he's lowering them down to take cover behind the snowman and Zhaoth, since at this point the brown dragon has side-swayed toward them, becoming a larger shield than Inuelle's snowman. Ers'lan smirks at Inuelle and helps to right her, "Ye ok lassy?" His eyes roving toward Zhaoth who holds up a wing closest to them to help keep some of those snowballs going through his legs away from their side. Lan glances toward Kinzie too, "Oo, reckon that be smartin'…" he notes of the snowball to the back of the head. Oh and his arms, yeah, Inuelle can stay there however long she needs to.

Inuelle is now being helped back to the snowman, and she's looking at Ers'lan ins a strange way. A little red faced, embarassed, and blushing. "Thank you," she says. "I'm sorry, I should be more careful," she stammers out, and tries to regain her balance again. "Seaweed? Where'd my flit go?" The brown flit has taken the defensive stance of flying high enough about the snowfly to avoid being hit. And he chirrups at her to calm her down. Inu is a little star struck indeed.

Kinzie rubs the back of her head where the last snowball hit and looks up to Ers'lan "You ain't kidding" she says with a grimace "you ok?" she says to Inuelle before smiling happily and thankfully at the brown, who is now acting as a draconic sheild "For the sake of my head I thank you" she says with a chuckle to the dragon before getting back to business! that is taking out the multitude of youngsters who've decided to take pot shots at the three snowman guarded figures "Shells" she says ducking yet another stray snowball "you know I may be imagining things but I'm pretty possitive these youngsters seem to be multiplying" there is a quick head count and, yup, it appears that the free for all has attracted more participants though they seem to all be joing the other team… No fair! instead of snowballs Kinzie takes to flicking heaps of snow with her shovel.

Ers'lan considers Inuelle's red faced embarrassed look, eyebrow lifting with a slight crook as his lips twitch to pull up in the corners. Oh yeah, that's an acknowledging smirk toward her look, not mocking, nor conceded, just appreciative. "Dun be apologizin. Tis icy out 'ere…" he notes as the reason for her stumble but isn't really hurried in dropping his arms. The man does mutter quietly, "T'would narh wan'cha ta be fallin on yer pretty face thar." Oh Lan. Shameless. The man crans his eyes back toward the war going on around them, grinning as Zhaoth swishes his tail to flick a good spray of snow at the opposite side. Kinzie earns a chuckle, "He be sayin that yer better off inside. In the warm, he be sayin yah should narh be wet and cold, cuz ya need ta be healthy fer the eggs." Ers'lan draws his eyes back toward Inuelle, giving her a quiet smile, "Reckon yer little beastie is playin it safe up above. But I reckon Zhao be thinkin yee should be playin it safe in the barracks with Kinzie."

Inuelle looks up at the brown dragon and smiles. "Thank you kindly, but I'm not sure apprentices are allowed to visit the candidate barracks," she says. "I really don't know, I think that…oh…" she blinks and looks over at Ers'lan. And then looks over at Kinzie. And then looks back up at the brown "I beg your pardon, sir," she says to him, with a little bob. "But I'm not sure I understand what you meant." She is now chewing on her gloved thumb, but to look closer one would notice there's already a hole in the thumb of the mitt where she's been biting to get at her nail. Nerves of steel she doesn't have.

Snowballs are still raining down all around but Kinzie is now distracted by the scene in front of her, she smiles happily for her friend and is also quite pleased that she isn't the only one who doesn't get it straight away… but she remains quiet, not wanting to ruin Inuelle's moment, and only occasionaly looks away to throw a few well required snowballs at some pesky youngsters who are getting just a little bit too bold for her liking.

The snowballs keep on coming and Zhaoth is getting annoyed by the barrage, turning to snap at the air to catch those that he can. Ers'lan tilts his face some at Inuelle, watching her start to chew on her glove as his comment doesn't really make its mark, at least not right away. "Reckon I dun narh know either..Lemme check with 'im…" he notes at first, chuckling as his eyes turn toward the brown, whose muzzle is now turning toward them. An instant later, the feeling of sparks crackling can be heard throughout the area, touching softly the minds of those who are in the vacinity - compelling some to stop the snowball throwing. Some. It does take a low angry growl toward the mob of youngsters to get them to turn on one another instead. There's even some who start wrestling eachother. This allows the brown to snort, his nostrils flaring as he leans his muzzle down toward the snowman, bumping the head on it accidently. "Watch out!" Lan notes as the head of the snowman tumbles toward the three of them.

Inuelle squeaks and gets out of the way, running towards Kinzie for safety. Well then! She chuckles. "Maybe we should go inside somewhere, a little less wet and wild…" She looks over at Ers'lan. "Sir?" She's still confused about the being invited indoors by a dragon, she probably thinks the brown was just being polite.

"I think you have the right idea" Kinzie nods in agreement to Inuelle's suggestion, looking down at her clothes that are more wet that dry now "Maybe a hot drink is in order and also something to eat I'm half starved after all this un-required exercise" she says with an exagerated roll of the eyes. She certainly isn't going to be the one to explain the situation to Inuelle, nope nope nope, she is not spoiling that suprise when the baker finally works it out.

Ers'lan scrambles out of the way in time before the big clump of snow that was the snowman's head dumps where they were just sitting. Climbing to his feet, Lan dusts off his coat and his pants of the snow, glaring back at Zhaoth, "Reckon this be why I dun narh take ya out more offin-" he states, even as the brown has made a step to stop Inuelle from going anywhere, planting his large thick leg down right in front of Inuelle. Inuelle using 'sir' has him blinking some, adding as a side note in his own confusion, "Tis Ers'lan, ye can call me Lan, most folks be doin the same." He notes his brown's leg being in the direct path of Inuelle, causing Lan to rock back on his heels as his arms cross, "Reckon she do be a good looker." Kinzie is also considered after this comment, which could mean that he was talking about her, until his eyes slide back to Inuelle. "Reckon ya can get a nice hot drink 'n eatins after we be finished 'ere." He walks over toward Inuelle, flashing a knowing smirk at Kinzie, before he reaches to take the bakers hands in his own (if she allows him to), "We both be thinkin yer a pretty lass 'n ya would look best in white." Say what?! The man shakes his head some, chuckling, "Dun know that this ever be happenin to us befer. Zhaoth be thinkin yer a lassy fer the dragon eggs. Reckon he figures ya could be takin on all those dragon eggs iffin ya took on all these youngsters with us." A beat as his thumbs rub over her hands, "How bout it?" Oh yes, he still doesn't know her name, but looks matter, right? It must be the baker thing.

Inuelle is gobsmacked. Eyes wide and mouth open as he's taking her hands, and talking about being white, and eggs, and finally she makes a frightened little squeak. "Me?" Yes, that is the question. Then its apparent that she's putting a lot of thought into it, but its a bit difficult for her to do any thinking when an attractive older man is holding her hands. If blushes could melt snow, it would now be summer here. "I don't know. If Mother thought I was insane to Impress a firelizard, she'll have a fit over this," but the look on her face and her big smile indicates that this isn't such a bad idea. "All right, s..Lan. I accept the challenge!" Of course, she says that with more strength and energy than she has. Fighting with snowballs in the cold has left her shivering and a little exhausted. And trying to stay sturdy on her feet. "Can we go in now please?" she says, looking at the brown that had stopped her in her tracks, with pleaaaaading eyes.

Kinzie lets out a little cheer and gives her fellow candidate a quick hug, very quick mind considering she's cold and wet! "Congratulations" she says happily then looks to brown and rider "Now she's agreed I think we need celebratory warmth and food" she says and a shiver spreads through her as if to punctuate that sentence.

Ers'lan looks between Kinzie and Inuelle at the gobsmacked answer, "Aye, ye, reckon tha one already be a candidate." Ok, there's the official word for it there thrown in. Yes, candidate. The whole time that she's deliberating the choice, he's using his charm to help convince her into the right answer, for his dragon's sake! The fact that she blushes hard has his lips spread into a very attractive smile, "Reckon we all be needin ta bust away from our mother's skirts at some point lassy." He cants his head to the side some as his eyes consider Kinzie, to note her reaction as Inuelle debates. Finally, once the answer is given, he chuckles, "Good, cause I reckon iffin ya did narh want ta, Zhaoth would've made me throw ya over me shoulder 'n carry ya to the barracks. Ya be his first 'n he dun narh take 'no' fer an answer." A wink as his hands drop from her own, so that he can shuck off his jacket and give it to the shivering young woman, even going so far to position it over Inuelle's shoulders, "Both of ya need some dry clothes." Zhaoth pulls back to sit his rump down in the snow, making this purring pleased like sound, tail flopping back and forth. "Reckon we should be goin ta the barracks first, then food 'n hot drinks."

Inuelle willingly follows Ers'lan to the barracks. Blushingly holding his jacket around his shoulders, her own brown firelizard chittering after her excitedly. Yay lets go inside. "I knew you'd be freezing," she tells the little brown. "You always try to do more than you really should…" she says to him. Not that this is a bad thing, for she's happy to let the brown climb inside both his and her coats and warm up. Awww.

With a sudden look of panic Kinzie looks from Ers'lan and then to Inuelle "shard's I had better get back to the barracks anyway! I'm supposed to be at the stables and I really should change first" she looks down at her clothes and wipes them again, like that will actually do anything "I'll see you later Inu" and she looks over to Ers'lan flashing a smile "Never caught your name but mines Kizzy" she says with a grin before taking off at a run in the direction of the barracks.

Ers'lan doesn't seem to feel the cold that the women do, which could be due to the fact that he came out of the tavern prior. In either case, he's putting his arm around Inuelle if he can to guide her to the barracks, starting to talk to her already about what she has in store for her. He will at some point offer, "Ya can come ta me at any time iffin ya have questions or iffin ya want ta help with Zhaoth." Eventually, with Kinzie running off on ahead and him offering a wave to the other girl, he'll help settle Inuelle in, which means he'll get the candidate coordinator to set her up on the candidate lists and get her all the comforts that come with becoming a candidate.

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