Introducing Soriana

Xanadu Weyr - Clock Tower
Once located in the forest, now thanks to an ice storm that took out the trees between it and the main area of the Weyr this square clocktower stands at the far edge of the clearing. The structure is made of a dark gray stone, and each corner is framed by a thick wooden beam. Beside the clocktower, behind a fringe of trees, a large lake has been dug. It's obviously an artificial lake, as it's shaped too perfectly oblong-shaped.
The tall, towering structure rises up easily past the leafy growth of the forest behind it, three sections of bare gray stone walls stacked atop each other, each one slightly smaller than the one it's built on top of. Each one of these "sections" is joined with more of the same dark wood that frames the corners of the tower. The wood forms a framing around the top and bottom of each section. Near the top of the structure, right under one of the clock's faces, there's a ledge with railings. This ledge is big enough for a dragon to land upon.
There are no windows in the tower, merely one slit in the middle of each one of the four walls that make up each section. They look like they could be used to mount an attack from the inside. There's only one door in the place, it seems—a dark wooden door that matches the beams that frame the clocktower. It seems to be the only entrance to the tower.
A loud ticking sound permeates the air from above, not so loud that it's painful, but enough that it's heard well. It's not overly loud, but it's loud enough to be heard. The clock at the top of the structure keeps near-perfect time; it strikes the hour, every hour…one strike at one, two strikes at two, etc. But at noon and midnight, it strikes eight times, a melody from old Earth, before striking the hour.

With spring in full swing, the weather is doing what is usually does in this time of year. Days upon days of sunshine and fair weather can be interrupted by a random shower or storm without little warning, perhaps lasting a few minutes or hours before clearing up again. It certainly does keep one on one's toes! Today's one of those 'after the storm' days. Things smell fresh, clean, and wet. Though the sun is out, there are still moist and muddy patches here and there. Ka'el has been spending some time at the clocktower as of late, perhaps hoping to scratch the itch of tinkering with metal. But at the moment he's outside, and the random muddy dragon prints hint that Kanekith has been here too, although the young bronze isn't immediately seen. He's asked Soriana to meet him if she can after lunch and before the next weyrling class, and as he waits, leaned against the brick of the tower, he stares off towards the forest.

Being a weyrling in springtime means sometimes getting lucky with sunny weather during obstacle courses or other outdoor tasks and sometimes… not. Unlike blizzards, none of the AWLMs will accept rain as an excuse to get out of anything. Soriana's been busy - haven't they all - but not so busy that she hasn't made time to show up. Her lunch has been eaten, though she's just finishing up a redfruit pastry as she makes her way toward the forest's edge and the clocktower. Luraoth makes dragon-prints of her own, heavy marks in the mud despite the apparent lightness of her step. As they grow closer, Soriana lifts her hand in a wave, and Luraoth chirps. Sori glances to her for a moment, then nods. The gold dragon scampers off at a hop-step over the muddy ground, looking for a good sunning spot, and Soriana continues toward Ka'el.

Something triggers in Ka'el's mind. A sixth sense … or more like, dragon sense. Kanekith isn't too far off, and the gold's presence is an alert felt by his rider as well. And thus, blue eyes flit from the near yet distant forest to the approaching pair. He grins, pushing away from the curved wall behind him and lifting a hand in return wave to them both. "Hey," he greets, moving forward to meet her, eyes trailing Luraoth for a moment. But oh, pastry! Almost finished but not! "Ahh, those weren't out when I ate!" he says, eyeing her morsel greedily. "And you saved a bit for me, how kind." A grin accompanies his tease, and as he nears her he reaches as if to snag what's left of her treat from her.

Unfinished pastry! It's got… sugar. Also apples, flour… all those good things. There's only like a bite left - maybe two if you take 'em small and delicate - and while Soriana could shove it in her mouth between pastry-acknowledgment and pastry-grab, she doesn't. She does smirk, though, and when Ka'el reaches for it… she dodges his grab! The pastry soars past as if carried on the wings of dragons (not that their own dragons are flying yet, occasional longing looks skyward notwithstanding) and extends on to reach for Ka'el's face. Handing her pastry over? No way. Extending it so he can take a bite? Yes. Why, she'll even give him the whole thing! …so long as he takes it with his mouth. "Lucky me, getting there late."

Alas, a miss! Ka'el's grabby hands find nothing but air as the treat is kept at bay, causing a look of anguished defeat to claim hi face. Nooo! But such a look of woe is short lived, for it seems as if he hasn't completely lost this battle! Apparently getting the gist, he does not continue his battle and instead allows the prize to come to him. Small and delicate…Ka'el could possibly be, but instead he opts to lean forward and overbite, purposefully pressing his teeth against her fingers (gently, mind you!) while deviously grinning. He soon makes quick work of the offered piece though, gobbling it. Yum. "No one makes a pastry like whoever makes'm in the kitchens," he says in sighed appreciation. "How's Luraoth?" Standard question.

Sure, Ka'el can be small and delicate - when it comes to, say, clockwork, or fine gauges of wire. Under these circumstances, not so much. Soriana grins, yielding the pastry to his bitings and getting only … bitings … in return. And yet she grins. "Maybe. I might have to go check some other pastries first, just to be sure. I mean, I wouldn't want to miss anything. It'd be a lot of work, but you've got to keep an open mind" and hungry stomach "about these things." At the question of her dragon, she glances in that direction. Luraoth's quest for a sunny spot has been pre-empted by peering up a tree and chirping at a small avian that's squawking imprecations at her for disturbing it. Soriana hehs, then looks back to Ka'el. "She's good. How's Kanekith?"

"Taste testing? Shardin' amazing idea. You're right. How'm I to know there aren't better pastries bein' made in some forgotten kitchen on … Ierne or something? It'll be my quest once we're flyin'. To visit Weyrs and Holds and everyplace between to find the perfect pastry." And gain about eh, fifty pounds in the process! His gaze follows hers to Luraoth, and he can't help but to laugh at her predicament. "She's gettin' a tongue lashing. .. Beak lashing.. Er, whatever. She looks good." A grin. "Kanekith is…" His eyes shift now, off to the forest. "Good." Right? He smirks then reaches for her hand to take within his own. "I realized somethin' a little while ago, and it got me thinking… There's someone I forgot to introduce you to. So… wanna meet somebody?"

"It can be your new craft," Soriana says with a grin. "Pastry-taster." Because that's totally a real craft. As for Luraoth, well, Soriana laughs too. "Bird's probably got eggs. That or-" and the or remains unspoken, because Luraoth 'overhears' that mention of eggs and has to ask a flurry of related questions of her rider. Soriana glances that way, and after a few moments of silence where she answers those questions, the gold leans her head up again and chirps to explain to the bird that she doesn't mean any harm and apologize for the disturbance, and… well, anyway, Soriana looks back to Ka'el. What were they talking about again? Her hand takes his back, and then she tilts her head to the side questioningly. "Someone…" Like who? What? She gives him a look, but the mindreading still doesn't exist, so she has to settle for, "…suuure."

Sori's confuzzled tone isn't answered with anything much more than a small smile before Ka'el moves, guiding her away from the clock tower's path, around a half dried puddle of mud, and a few yards closer to that forest. He pauses then, his hand still holding hers. "There's someone here to meet you." His words are not directed to Soriana though. He speaks to the trees, or more correctly, whoever may be residing within. Which, for a few ticks (not tocks) seems like…nobody. No one but the wind and the forest creatures within. Ka'el makes a vague face. "C'mon…" Still nothing, and vague lines become apparent on his forehead as he stares forward, words of a different sort being said now. Gradually, some handful of seconds later, there is someone that can be seen approaching. A large and bronze colored someone. Kanekith's lumber is slow and very deliberate, making it a point to show he is in. No. Hurry. to get to where he's going. Wings are kept tucked, but it's becoming obvious now that as the months go by, forest walks are going to become very cumbersome for such a large fellow. With a snort, he makes out of the brush and towards the two weyrlings looking from one (Ka'el) to the other (Soriana) with swirling eyes lingering on the second. "Soriana, meet Kanekith." Because you know, it hasn't like you haven't been living with the guy for the past four or however many months.

Yep. Definitely some trees here. There's probably some birds, too. Well, definitely some birds, but most of them are pretty well hidden, what with the trees and all. Trees, bushes, lots of leaves and grass… uhhhh… Soriana gives a sideways look at Ka'el. What's she waiting for, again? (Also, who?) Her gaze returns to the treeline in time to see Kanekith arriving. Her gaze lingers on the bronze, because if she can't get on with the meeting whoever it is, she can at least give him a looking-over. Not that she doesn't see him daily, but… well, she was watching dragons even before she turned dragonhealer, and it's not like she's stopped since then. So she gives him a nod of acknowledgment as he heads toward them, and is just starting to look past him again when Ka'el speaks. Blink. She glances back to her fellow weyrling, with an arch of one brow and, a moment later, a slight curve to her lips. Is that so, huh? Her gaze returns to the bronze, and she smiles as she inclines her head. "Hello, Kanekith."

Oh yes, look him over Soriana, for he is a fine specimen to behold! Even as Kanekith merely…stands there, he stands in such a show-offy way. With tree limbs no longer a factor, he has no problem allowing his wings to span just a little. And the way his head is lifting now? His natural carrying level, don't you know, with just a slight turn away from her .. either giving grand view of his profile, or making it also known that he is not interested. Ka'el does not let his bronze's antics deter him though, and after giving Sori's hand a squeeze, he releases it. "He says hello." Which Luraoth could vouch that he definitely did not. Ahem. ".. Y'see, what I realized was that I never really … told him who you were. Everything after they hatched happened so shardin' fast, and the dragons seemed so smart already, I never stopped to think that he might not know everything. Especially faces. An' people that I've known for turns. Like… if Kei'lan or Kage or Kord or any've them were to come right now, would he understand that he's my brother? Or my father? Or Orik? If I've never told him, how would he know? So, maybe, if you got to know you, an' knew what you were to me, maybe he'd be less…Maybe he'd be more…." How to put this nicely? "Maybe he'd be better. When I'm with you."

Soriana gets the nagging sense that maybe Kanekith is not entirely enthralled with this introduction, but she returns the squeeze of Ka'el's hand, then lets hers fall to her side. Her head tilts, watching Kanekith mostly but listening to Ka'el. "Maybe he'd get that it's different. Like how Alloy's different." Because Soriana is so like a firelizard, right? "Dragons are pretty smart, but they can have blind spots." Willful ones, sometimes, but Soriana doesn't go there. "So. Hey, Kanekith. I'm Soriana. Luraoth's rider. Ka'el and I… well, we're together. That means…" shards, this is the hard part. What does it mean? Ideally in words that a young dragon can understand. "It means we decided to…" dragon words, dragon words… "share things. Sorta like impressing, only with humans, and it's different because a human only ever has one dragon but can change who he's together with." Soriana quirks her lips, glancing to Ka'el. "Different relationships." Again. This time, even different-er.

Ka'el can only hope that Kanekith gets it…or at least gets enough of it that some of his snarkiness can be set aside. Here's to hoping! He clasps his hands behind his back as Sori speaks, his eyes staying rooted on his dragon for responses, both verbal and non. Kanekith's head remain angled away. He knows why he has been brought here with her. He understands that this deals with him and her. Why this deals with him and her is the mystery. She matters not, but for reasons beyond his grasp, she matters to him, and he is the only thing that he cares for. And so he listens while giving every indication that he's not. His tail swishes. His body is shaken a little to rid himself of a bothersome fly. And .. share. Finally, he turns his head squarely to her, pondering the word. « I do not understand why I must share mine. I have not agreed to be together with you, rider of Luraoth. When will he change and be together with no one? » These words are not given to Soriana and instead cast both to Luroath and Ka'el in reply to be relayed. Ka'el's lips did twitch at Soriana's 'change who he's together with' portion, though Kanekith's answer has his brows knitting.

And relay those words Luraoth does, to a Soriana who stands and awaits them. Her posture is fairly relaxed. She's not worried. She is interested. She is waiting. This conversation… matters. But she's not worried. Not really; it's hard to be too worried with Ka'el standing beside her. This is just meeting his dragon. It's sorta like meeting his family, only… not. "S'true. You haven't," she agrees to the bronze with a nod. "But you've got to share him because if you don't, he won't be happy." She tilts her head, looking not at Ka'el, but past him, back at the clock tower. "I met the man who built that tower, once. He was with no one. Just him and his dragon." She turns her gaze back to Kanekith. "He wasn't happy. He felt sad because he didn't have another human, even though he loved his dragon." Her gaze remains on Kanekith. "You haven't agreed to share Ka'el with me, but I'd like it if you did. Being with me makes him happy, and I think we both want him to be happy." Go on, talk about the boy like he isn't even here.

Yeah. This totally isn't weird at all. Ka'el is getting both sides of the conversation straight from their sources, and he's just a bystander. And also the main topic. And so…he'll just stand quietly? That's what he's doing for now anyway, and by doing so, gaining some information he wasn't aware of. She met the tower's maker? Both his head and Kanekith's tip up to look at the tower's apex, though Ka'el's stay there where as Kanekith lingers only briefly. The dragon is contemplating her words. He has no reason to believe the human would lie. Lying is an alien concept. For him, everything is truth. But could it be true that he himself is not enough? That without this girl, or if not her, some other human's companionship… his Ka'el would not be happy? He makes a low sound in his throat, an almost warble that doesn't quite make it. "She's right, bud," the weyrling speaks up now. "You are amazing. You're more than I ever dreamt a dragon could be, an' bein' your rider is .. probably one've the best things that could've ever happened. But my friends are important too. Soriana is important to me, and I know you don't like to, but if you'd let me I'll show you the reasons why." Well. Most of the reasons, and he smirks a bit to himself. Words aren't forthcoming from the bronze immediately, but he does move, lumbering nearer to the two before lowering his head to Soriana's level to watch. Stare. « I shall have him show me why. Then … I shall see. » See as in 'understand'? Or as in 'consider sharing'? He can be cryptic, too! « Now is the time for hunting. I hunger. »

Luraoth is staying out of this conversation, except for her role in relaying Kanekith's words. Her mental presence is simple and pleasant - the warmth of sunshine and a gentle breeze that picks up what Kanekith says and brings it to Soriana. As Ka'el begins to speak, Sori takes her turn at being silent and listening. She smiles crookedly at the praise for Kanekith the amazing, then nods to the importance of friends… and more than friends. When Kanekith approaches more closely, Soriana returns his gaze steadily. Dragon, meet human. She's smaller than some of the animals in the feeding pens, and yet she stands fearless to meet Kanekith's stare. He can't just glare at her and make her give up her claim to Ka'el. When Luraoth conveys his message, Soriana nods. "Thank you, Kanekith." Though maybe it's premature, if he's just agreeing to pass judgment on her! "If you have more questions-" interrogations "-for me, just ask Luraoth. Enjoy your hunt." Soriana smiles, and steps aside - away from Ka'el, though her eyes seek his to offer him some of that smile before he and dragon depart.

Kanekith has nothing more to say. He has much to ponder … or disregard, depending. A breath is exhaled through the nostrils, warm and snorted, at Soriana's thanks. His head is lifted soon after, up and above her while wings unfurl and flap once, kicking up a gust of air just as Ka'el exhales a breath of what could possibly be relief. He needn't've held on so tightly to the mental leash, ready to tug if the lurching became too hard and words too rough. This was downright pleasant in comparison to what he was half expecting! Kanekith backs off now, retracing his forward steps before he turns, sending a brush of pressure to Luraoth. A gentle hello, if not entirely belated. Ka'el glances to Soriana, and that smile is returned as he steps toward her after she's stepped away, seeking one more touch which he takes in the form of a brief kiss to her cheek. "Thank you .. for not thinkin' this was a stupid idea." A grin is flashed before he goes, feeling a pang of Kanekith's alleged hunger, off towards the pens of the hunting grounds.

The warmth of Luraoth's mind brushes more directly against Kanekith's as he greets her, her thoughts tinged with affection. There's a sense of her rider, tucked back in a sunny field that is Luraoth's own thoughts, but revealing that presence (possibly accidentally? Or possibly not…) is the closest she comes to commenting on the recent conversation. For Luraoth, there's no question at all that Soriana is a good thing, but she doesn't try to force that idea on the bronze. After all, she has no question at all that Kanekith is smart enough to realize it! Soriana reaches out to Ka'el as he comes toward her again, brushing her hand against his as the touch of lips to her cheek makes her smile wider. "Weird, yes. Stupid… nah." Her grin is teasing and hopeful both, and as she glances to Kanekith, it turns more to the hopeful. "Good luck." To Kanekith in hunting. To Ka'el in explaining. To herself, in Kanekith accepting those explanations.

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