Beach Party!


The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.
The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

A beach. A beautiful beach on a hot and hazy day with a blue sky filled with towering clouds and seem to go on forever. But the heat will not reach the people on the beach, for today Inuelle is throwing a 'Keep Cool' beach party! Tables with trays of cool lemonade and iced klah are set up here, as well as many beach umbrellas set on on the beach with beach blankets and towels. A table with some sweet foods, protected from bugs and sunline by a sun awning is set up farther from the water. "If you're going to eat a lot of food don't go in the water for an hour," Inuelle warns some children who come up to the table where she is serving. A few Harpers have set up under the shade of a tree and there is music floating through the air. This will hopefully be a good party…and a nice break from the heat.

Such a nice day. Soriana wanders down the stairs to join, stepping to the side as a couple of those children charge back up for who-knows-what reason, and then finishing making her way down. She looks at the gathering, and tucks her hands behind her back for a moment of hesitation before slipping over to get a glass of lemonade as something to do with herself and those hands.

Inuelle dances a little to the music as she serves food and lemonade. "Hi," she says when Soriana approaches. "Nice to see someone besides children here," she covers her eyes with her hand to shade them from the sun as she watches the young ones who are running to the water, or sitting on blankets eating the sticky food. "I do hope more people show up. I may have picked too hot a day for this, but wanted it to be a surpise." She blushes a little. "A treat for everyone in the Weyr."

"Hiya," says Soriana, and smiles - then takes a step back as a young boy runs right in front of her, chasing a butterfly. She stares after him a moment, and then contnues on her way toward Inuelle. "It's a nice day, anyhow… at least, I think so. Hot, yeah, but… that's why it's a good day to cool down." She lifts up her drink in a salute sort of thing, and then takes a sip.

Inuelle helps herself to an iced klah and sits in one of the convenient chairs next to her table. "Well, it was this, or let my mother badger into doing errands for her all day for the summer canning," she shivers. "The one thing I hate about being a Baker is canning. Yes, its useful to be able to store food. But its a lot of work and little cooking. I only enjoy the jams," she giggles. "Making jams is my chance to taste them before everyone else," lots of grins.

Soriana laughs! "So if you're going to be busy all day, might as well be doing something fun, huh?" She steps aside for another kid raiding the goodies. "I guess every job has something not so fun about it. Raising runnerbeasts is fun with the riding and training them… not so much with the mucking-out." Speaking of jams… she steps over and takes a little square cookie with a red dollop in the center. While she's at the table, one of the younger weyrbrats peers up at her with a questioning look, but she slips away again before he can actually form a question or anything. Back to Inuelle she goes! "Really, is there ever a bad jam?" she asks as she takes a bite.

Inuelle sighs. "Sometimes. If the canning process didn't work and the seal was bad, you might find one that has trouble later. But the weyr never gets those, the cooks here are very strict about the canning so it doesn't happy very often. At least not with the jams," she grins, and reaches for a cookie to eat.

Soriana hmms, and nods. "That's less a /bad/ jam, and more… a jam cut down before its prime. A jam that had a good life ahead of it, but encountered misfortune instead." She grins, taking another bite of the cookie. "I guess that's good reason to be strict, though… better not to waste stuff if you can help it. Doesn't make it any more fun when someone's staring over your shoulder, though."

If there is food and iced drinks to be had then Kinzie will not be missing this party no sir! In fact with all this heat she seems over eager to get herself something cool to drink, heading straight towards the iced klah with a determined look on her face. The sweat and flushed features show she's certainly been busy before she got to the beach, the runner pad and headcollar strewn over her shoulder probably give away what she was doing, she grabs a glass and gulps down the refreshing drink as if it was about to be taken away from her. She's so preoccupied she hasn't had the chance to look around her to see who is about, and it's not until she's finished her first drink, and of course grabbed another, that she even has a chance to look for a familiar face. She spots Soriana and she smiles making her way over towards the pair grabbing a few cookies on her way, got to keep the energy levels up after all.

Inuelle nods her head energetically. "Its even worse then that person over your shoulder is family," she says, and takes another sip of her iced klah. She waves energetically when Kinzie arrives. "Hey Kinzie glad you came! I was starting to think my party was a failure," she shakes her head a little. "Wonder where everyone is." Yes, just the three of them, the two Harpers, who, as it turns out, are more or less practicing under the tree together and agreed to practice out here mostly at the thought of free food and drink. One of them comes over to get refills for their lemonade and smiles to the girls before going back to join his follow Harper under the tree. The practicing, at least, sounds pleasant enough for all its awkward timing.

Kinzie smiles as she arrives "Hey there" she looks around at the small gathering and then towards the practicing harpers and shrugs "Seems nice and quiet to me" and she alters her smile to be re-assuring "I would have been here earlier but I was taking a moment to check in at the stables, on one of the new mares that came in" Kinzie is trying to explain herself, feeling a little guilty for being late "I haven't been able to check in on her much what with all the chores" hoping she at least made her fellow candidate feel a little better she takes a bite out of her cookie, washing it down with her iced klah "Plus this" and the cookie and klah are held up "Is delicious" she grins happily and takes a seat on one of the umbrella's resting the runner pad and bridle next to her, trying to make sure she stays in the shade.

Soriana smiles to Kinzie, and then nods to her at the mention of the horses. "Seems like everyone's busy… well, except for all the kids." There's a shriek from further down the shore, as a young boy puts seaweed in the hair of one of the girls and she chases him along with a brandished fist, and Soriana winces before looking back. "This stuff is really tasty, though."

Inuelle blushes. "Thank you," she says. Yes, she is the baker behind the goodies. And then she startles. "Oh dear, I think I forgot something in the kitchen I was going to bring!" she looks around, then back at the girls. "Could you two watch the goodies for a moment while I go get it? Otherwise the kids will make a mess of things," she looks at the boys hovering near the edge of the sweets table, ready to raid it. She's been trying to keep them from eating all the food and therefore depriving everyone else. "I'll be back soon…" she says, and she runs towards the weyr. Not a good thing to forget something at your own party!

"It really is busy at the moment" Kinzie agrees with that statement in between sips of drink "The stables were busy too, trying to get all the runners stabled and exercised before the tempersture got too hot, nothing like bathing a sweated runner that dries out before you can even get a brush through it's coat" she shrugs and leans back against the bench, watching the harpers as they practice, the melody soothing and seems to match the mood of the place, except of course the occasional screams that cut through like a knife edge as the children play. Running out of cookie Kinzie reaches over to grab something else sweet from a nearby plate and begins to eat again, speaking in between mouthfuls, when Inuelle dashes off she waves and smiles shouting a goodbye but unsure if it would be heard.

Soriana nods to Kinzie. "Yeah, the heat's like that. It's got even Inkfoot tired. He's curled in the back of the cave where it stays cool." She has another sip of her lemonade, and then blinks as Inuelle realizes she's forgotten something. Oh, no. She's being asked to deal with kids! Directly! Soriana's eyes get wide, and then she nods. "O-kay," she says. Gulp. She waves to Inuelle, and then tries to give those boys a stern look. Like she's in control or something. It's hard to pull it off when they're almost as old as she is, though.

Kinzie looks aver to Soriana then the kids, adding her own stern glare in to the mix, oh yes this tired stablehand will not be messed with… or at least that's the look she's going for, it may come off more like /please/ for the love of Faranth behave i'm tired. When she gives up on the whole staring thing she returns to sipping and eating with occasional conversation "I know, I tried to get out for a ride before the sun got too hot but I didn't quite manage it" and she shields her face slightly with her hand to look over at the horizon "Can't complain though, it's better and less problamatic than the snow!" she chuckles and sips at her drink, retreating to her place under the umbrella again.

The black-haired boy turns to the younger and says something under his breath, and then as soon as Kinzie turns away he sticks out his tongue at her. He takes a big plate of sticky rolls and cookies, but only one plate… and then the two run off to one of the umbrellas to share their gains. Soriana gives them a look, but is just as glad to have them gone (for now). She nods to Kinzie. "Yeah, it's a lot easier to find the horses shade than it is to stop all the cracks the wind gets through." Soriana takes a sticky bit of caramel and eats it, looking around as she does over the sands. Sands, hmmm… "Do you think the heat will help the eggs?" Not that the hatching sands aren't plenty hot themselves, but…

Kinzie chuckles and nods "Not only protecting them from the wind but you need to blanket each one up before they can go out, plus they can only have short exercise which can give them terrible problems with stiffness when they do finally get out" realising she's getting a little too over the top with her runner rants she decides the conversation of the hatching is a good switch and looks thoughtful for a moment "That's a good question.. I have no idea" she says with an honest shrug.

Soriana nods to Kinzie about the runners, but it's true enough that this is beach-party time, not runner time! Dragons, on the other hand, are always a topic of conversation around the weyr, especially when there's eggs on the sand. "Hmm," she says, looking around at the beach for anyone who'd be likely to know. Where's a dragonrider when you need one? Any of the goldriders would probably know, or any of the weyrling masters, or… really, any experienced rider. Shards, even the headwoman would probably know, because the faster the eggs hatch, the sooner there'd be a mob descending for hatching! But Soriana doesn't see any of those here, and so she simply has to shrug. "Don't suppose it's bad for them, at least!"

Inuelle does eventually trundle back from the caverns, her brown flit following along behind her. She's carrying a big basket full of…napkins, of all things. "I'm back," she says, and yawns. "Thanks for watching my table guys," she puts the napkins next to the plates. "Hope you guys haven't been using your clothes to wipe your hands on," she says with a wince. "My mother would scold if she knew I'd forgotten the napkins."

Kinzie ponders the thought of the weather effecting the eggs "I wonder how far they are from hatching" her face turns a little white at that thought but she shakes her had and smiles, sipping the last dregs of her klah "I suppose i'd better get myself to the baths, I need to get a wash before I get back to my chores" she niffs at her sleeve and crinkling her nose a little "Ok make that a definitely" giving both Soriana and the returning Inuelle a wave she heads out towards the meadow.

Soriana looks at the returning Inuelle with relief! "Welcome back!" she says. And see, nothing even got knocked over! Though there's more than a few of the youngsters that could use those napkins… not that they will, probably. Soriana looks at her own sticky fingers a touch guiltily and takes a napkin to wipe them on. "Yeah, uh… it's been fine." She spreads her hands to Kinzie at the question of hatching. "I dunno. I don't think anyone does, really… maybe the dragonhealers will figure it out someday." She grins at the mention of bathing. "There are worse smells than horse!" And sweat, yes, but still. She waves to the departing stablehand-candidate.

Inuelle also waves to the departing Kinzie, and then collapses into her chair. "Maybe it was too hot a day for this," she says, and then reaches for another mug of klah. Maybe not, for a small line of older senior residents come down the path, possibly drawn here by the sound of the Harper music playing. "Well, at least there are some people who want to enjoy sunshine," and she goes back to the table with the klah and lemonade to pour out for them.

Soriana refills her lemonade, and then steps into the shade to watch as another few kids go running past. Hot or not, they've still got plenty of energy! She hmms to Inuelle. "I dunno. Maybe there'll be more toward evening? Or maybe there's something else going on." An important rider-y something-or-other. Yeah. She hangs back while Inuelle serves the approaching oldsters, sipping her lemonade and watching. While she does, a young girl comes up to her and asks, "Is th'tunnelcat here?" Soriana shakes her head. "No, he-" And the kid's leaving before Soriana even finishes talking. Someone's got their priorities, apparently!

It's a hot day, and the beach is infested with young kids enjoying a good swim. Inuelle is throwing a little beach party, and she's stationed herself as a server at a table with food and drinks. Beach blankets are set up for the convenience of the swimmers and picnicers and chairs at tables with sun umbrellas and chairs for those who just want to enjoy a lemonade and chat. The air is filled with the music of Harpers under a tree practicing their music, to the delight of a small knot of elderly men and women who have come out to enjoy the good music. Inuelle and Soriana are at the food table having a polite conversation as Inuelle pours drinks. "Tunnelcat? Has there been felines around?" she asks, a little out of the loop of gossip about this particular subject.

"If Jeniosa has her way!" says Soriana with a laugh, but then shakes her head. "Tunnelcats aren't felines, though. They're long and slinky… the files call them mustelids. Ferrets." She shrugs. "I have one, Inkfoot, and… well… he's kind of gotten popular with the kids." She gives a what-can-you-do sort of shrug, looking out over the beach, and her eyes light on a group of the youngsters chasing each other around. "They like to play tunnelcats and tunnelsnakes. Like that." She points.

The hot day suits Alzanbri, who ambles down the beach with a loose gait, gingerly sidestepping most of the sunbathing parties. Mostly, his attention is focused on a pair of yapping puppies that dash about his feet, barking and yapping — until they catch sight of the water, at which point they go blazing into it at mad speeds. At that point, the boy has to stop, hands on his hips, to eye the pair with mild amusement. Does he glance sidelong at mention of felines? Maybe. Possibly. Either way, his eyes dart right back to those puppies before it's too obvious, and he just kind of…tilts his head in that direction. Nothing to see here!

Inuelle blushes fully. "I'd never heard of them before," she admits. Hold bred! She watches the arrival of Alzanbri and the puppies with amusement and then sets to gathering up the soiled and abandoned plates and cups of previous diners to put into a helpful bin near her table with a lid. "Better make sure the kids aren't leaving their plates on the ground to attract the bugs. I'll be right back," and she heads towards the sunbathers and shoreline in search of stray dinnerware. Okay, so maybe this is just an excuse to get closer to the attractive Alzanbri. Though Inuelle would never admit to such a tactic! Not in the least! Nevermind the coy fluttering eyelashes whenever she looks in his direction, nor the bashful blush as she bends down near where he is to pick up a cup off the ground. Blush!

"They're not that well known," says Soriana kindly to Inuelle. "They're good for hunting, though. 'specially tunnelsnakes." She looks up at the sound of yappings, and over to see… hey, puppies! She nods absently to Inuelle, then grins at the sight of the pups as they go dashing off to the water, watching them… and then glancing briefly to the young man they arrived with. A moment's inspection, no signs of recognition, and she shrugs and looks back to the young canines. Some things are more interesting than others.

Alzanbri is the /master/ of puppies, yes! …okay, so they're actually ignoring him with purposefulness, dashing around in the shallows and nipping at one another with gleeful abandon. "Oi, you!" The lad calls ineffectively, laughing when neither of the pups pays him any mind and shaking his head. When people start inching closer to him, his eyes widen oh-so-briefly, and he does an almost imperceptible crab-walk to the side. Avoidance? Possibly. Eventually, though, he catches on to that blush and smiles what /looks/ like a very smooth smile, nodding. "Hi there." The lad's voice doesn't break, at least, as he shares the smile back at the girl's companion. "We use felines. Dead useful." Is offered sincerely. "Or the smaller canines." Swiftly, though, he clams up, jaw snapping shut audibly. It takes a long moment for the wide-eyed lad to speak up again, but when he does, it's sheepish. "I'm Alzanbri."

Inuelle blushes, and clutches the retrieved cup in one hand, pushing her blond hair back over her ear with the other. "I'm Inuelle, hi," she says, and then stands there, smiling. "Adorable puppies. My Uncle is getting one for my cousins," more coyness and a small giggle. "Um, would you like some lemonade? Or some cookies?" she looks back towards her table.

"Well met," Alzanbri repeats dutifully, lowering his eyes to watch the puppies again. They caper in the water, splashing and yapping at one another, paying no attention to their human back on shore. "Useful puppies." He offers with a shrug and smile. "Hunters. Spent four sevendays' pay on 'em." The lad chuckles, then nods. "That's nice. They're good help." He smiles faintly once more, then blinks, squinting towards the spread. There's a long moment of awkward pausing, and foot-scuffing, before he nods slowly. "Aye. S'a nice day for lemonade. Thanks." He smiles again, but…well, doesn't move, yet. Perhaps he's frozen. On the nice hot day.

Inuelle looks as distracted by Alzanbri as the puppies are with the water. Then she comes back to herself. "Oh, what am I saying? I'm supposed to have this place cleaned up before I begin my afternoon candidate duties," she looks around and frets. "I'd better start taking in the empty dishes. Um," she looks at him shyly. "Well, you're a very strong fellow…do you think you could help me carry some things back to the weyr?" her eyelashes flutter a bit and she bites her thumb.

Well, if he's going to discuss the relative merits of things going hunting, then Soriana will go ahead and approach the boy. She nods. "Felines and canine are good for keepin' the snakes down, but the tunnelcats can follow 'em right into the tunnels." Then she goes looking after the puppies again, mostly ignoring Alzanbri and Inuelle as it gets all… flirty… and stuff.

Alzanbri scowls when the wrinklier of the pups takes a nosedive, taking a step forward before she can right herself, scampering out of the water sneezing and flailing. "Annie," The boy laughs, bending down to scoop up the trembling pup for an apparently brief moment of consolation before she scampers off again. When he looks back up, it's to blink owlishly at Inuelle, for all the world looking thrown for the flirtation. His smooth can't be retrieved — it's off in the clouds somewhere, and Zan is left trying not to flail as he glances between Soriana and Inuelle wildly. "Um." He starts. Pauses. Then grins. "That's true, it is. Guess I haven't spent too much time 'round places what have tunnels." That's contemplative, before he's eyeing the dirty dishes thoughtfully. "'Course. Sure, I can. Excuse me for a moment?" That, for Soriana, before he's whistling to the pups and grabbing dishes sheepishly.

Inuelle smiles happily at this and returns the cup she retrieved to the bin with the dirty dishes. "Bring this one please and follow me, I'l take the clean plates and cups," a considerably smaller stack at that on a tidy little tray. She gives Soriana a little nod, "Feel free to take any of the uneaten treats with you," she says. Hey, they had to go somewhere. She gives a thankful smile to the Harpers as she passes their tree on her way back to the Weyr. Its time to clean up! But the Harpers keep playing, because it is a nice day after all.

Soriana nods to Zan, with a smile as he agrees. When he excuses himself, she nods again, glancing back to him. "Sure." Inuelle gets a grin and a nod. "Okay. It was a good party! Just… quiet." Tasty treats will be nearly as good later as now! So, too, think a number of the younger kids who've been playing around. They all go to raid the tables, and that makes Soriana decide she's in not such a hurry to do so. Instead, she walks down the shore to the edge of the water, approaching the puppies and then going down on one knee to extend a hand and see if they're interested.

Alzanbri grins as he accepts his duty, piling on the dishes before setting off at a trot after the candidate. Awkward might the boy be, at least he knows how to shut up and listen to a female when she speaks! He returns quickly enough, trotting back down the beach hurriedly to make sure the pups haven't wandered; they haven't. Indeed, both take the pointed attention by Soriana to heart, and scamper over to her yapping delightedly. Zan slows to an amble, squinting at the pups and eventually smiling. "They're called Annie and…well, th'other's not got a name yet. 'Hey you' mostly." He hawks a laugh, then winces, glancing nervously around. "Will be useful eventually. Mostly pains in the arse now. Dimglows." The lad may talk a big game, but as he stands awkwardly a few paces away, he /is/ smiling towards the little mutts.

Soriana grins as the pups approach, letting them sniff at her fingers and ruffling about behind their ears and at their shoulders as they bounce about. She doesn't even notice the boy's return at first, glancing back to him when he speaks while stroking along hey-you!'s side. "The right name'll show eventually," she says with a nod, and then laughs. "Well, they're just pups. Inkfoot was the same way… 'specially when he kept waking up hungry in the middle of the night. Amazin' how a little thing like that can cry so loud."

The white-black-brown Annie blinks mournfully after the droopy-eyed pup, who squirms and yaps happily at the scritchin's, squirming around to plant happy puppy kisses on the hand. "Aye, when m'friend Esiae tells me what it is," He agrees with a grin and a brief, automatic glance towards the Weyr. "Inkfoot," After a moment, he murmurs, nodding thoughtfully. "Good name. Those'uns don't much cry since I got no-name. Sleep with my kid brother'n sister, anyways. They always cry, though. Got firelizards? That's some racket."

Aww. Puppies! Soriana giggles at the lickings, ruffling around at the pup. At the mention of Esiae, she looks considering for a moment. "She's the harper one, right? Yeah, seems like she'd know names." Then Sori's reaching over to give a ruffle between poor sad (unloved!) Annie's ears, just to make that pup wiggle too. "Yeah, I named him when I was just a kid -" says the girl of thirteen turns "- but it fits him." She nods about the pups, then frowns briefly at crying siblings. Animal babies she's all good with. Human babies? Apparently not so much, but it's only a brief reaction. At the mention of fire-lizards, she hehs and shakes her head. "Nah. Never managed to find a good clutch."

Theeeere goes Annie! She wiggles madly, ears flapping merrily as she gives a happy bark. No-name woofs, amiably wandering to the water's edge and pawing at it playfully while the little female soaks up the attention. Apparently more at ease, Zan laughs quietly, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly and ducking his head. "Esi's pretty smart, aye." He agrees. "Got 'im for her to share." Is explained softly, before he's lifting his eyebrows, grinning a brief, broad grin. Oh, he's used to the grown-up-ness that comes with having two digits to your age; he's got a sister not much younger. "S'right. I'm sure it does." The lad agrees with a sagely nod. "Like to meet a tunnelcat some day." That's contemplative, before he's glancing skyward, eyeing a distant speck of loud and obnoxious green. Wrinkling his nose, the lad shakes his head and flicks his hand towards the speck, huffing. "Well, she's glowy as a fireplace, if ya want one in a few sevendays. Speakin' of, I better go get her some food before she goes and bothers a dragon and gets her wings snapped off." Smiling apologetically, the boy salutes, clucking his tongue to call the pups to his side. "I'll see ya around." He grins, then darts off before the vividly green firelizard can chase him down.

"Yeah?" says Soriana. "I've got him around usually. Just didn't today, 'cause… crowds." She waves toward the breaking-apart party. "Not that he minds, but." -but she'd rather not be mobbed for it. She shrugs, and then shifts her position back a bit to peer up at the glowing green as well, then back down to Zan as he makes that vague sort of offer. "…okay, yeah. That'd be neat." She smiles warmly, and then grins as he mentions the need for feeding that firelizard, and salutes him back. "Seeya around!"

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