Xanadu Weyr - Incomplete Clock Tower
Deep in the foliage at the side of the landing field, a small path gives way to a rather large clearing. Within the center of this patch of bareness amongst the trees and other plants of the jungle stands a square clocktower, rising up through the canopy of trees. The structure is made of a dark gray stone, and each corner is framed by a thick wooden beam. Beside the clocktower, 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, 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.
Atop the three sections is a fourth, this one as wide at as the tower is at the base. Two large holes, one facing northwest and the other facing southeast, where clock faces will eventually go. Right not, however, they're framed in with thick, tightly-pulled cloth to keep the elements out. The final section is capped by a roof of wooden shingles, one that resembles a squat pyramid.
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.
It rings out over Xanadu's forests, and possibly beyond. The area around the clock tower fills with the sound of ticking as the clock strikes the hour. Twelve times. Midnight. What a weird time to start up a clock! The one responsible for this tower is nowhere to be seen outside. But his gray-striped lifemate lays upon the ledge high above the ground, asleep even though he's so close to the source of the chiming.
Kire has been out looking at the stars when he heard the ringing. He packed up and came to investigate what was going on. He sees the clocktower and looks around, "Well I see he's finally got that working. I've been wondering when it's going to start." He looks around to see if anyone else has come out to see the starting of Xanadu's clocktower.
Jessamin just emerged from the small path and into the clearing; for a moment, her eyes seem misted over and her smile somewhat faint. But when the clock chimes out the hour, her smile brightens and she looks up towards the tower. "Well, about time." Absently, she tucks an unruly lock of honey-gold hair behind her ear, taking little note for the moment of anybody else around her, lost in her own musings.
It takes ontali a moment to get through the jungle, but discreetly following one of the Weyr's residents, the girl does come. She smells of fresh hay and maybe a little like a runner, but is at least clean, as she blinks up at the tower. "Whoa." The girl breathes, peering up at it in what could be amazement. "It's so /loud/." She tucks day-end-frizzy hair back after dusting her hands off on her trousers, glancing around with a tentative smile at those emerging from the jungle. "Shells."
Thea steps out from the path leading to her weyr, her hair mussed and her eyes sleepy. She's been in bed by the rumpled look to her and she's, yes, wearing pajamas. Or somesuch thing comfortable to sleep in. Her hands are over her ears and there's a frown on her face, "I… really hope that thing isn't going to go off every hour." As the chimes stop, she lowers her hands with a sigh of relief. "Nice tower. Not so nice racket." She looks through the crowd, apparently trying to find someone. "A'dar?" Not finding him apparently.
There's a bit of a thrashing in the surrounding forest, branches pushed roughly aside to reveal Enkavir. He looks tired but sleepless, dark circles brushing the skin beneath his eyes and his hair has gone way beyond unruly into madness. His eyes dart over the gathered crowd then up, up, up the tower. "Is it going to make that sharding racket every hour on the hour? I have enough trouble sleeping as it is." His scowl transfers from the tower to the people gathered, frown deepening a bit. "What's this, some sort of unveiling party? I guess I shouldn't really wonder why I wasn't invited." Arms cross over his chest and then he glances over at Thea. "Hey there. Yeah, my sentiments exactly."
Jessamin glances down at the little girl, chuckling softly at the wide-eyed expression of amazement on her face. She reaches out to ruffle those reddish locks, a few strands catching on slightly needle-pricked fingertips. "You've got that right. I hope it's not going to go off all the time." Turning her gaze back to the tower, she crosses her arms in front of her, gripping the edges of her shawl to pull it more closely for warmth.
Once the clock has finished striking, it settles into a quieter ticking. The hands move slowly, marking the passage of time, an hour and a minute hand, no second hand. The dragon on the ledge seems to shift, and peers down from above. He gives a trumpeting bugle, and stands, stretching his wings for a moment, before leaping off and gliding gracefully into the clearing. He approaches the crowd and sniffs at them, eyes swirling happily. It's a moment or two before the clock tower itself opens. From it comes a dusty, unkempt A'dar, with black grease spots here and there. His hands are completely black, and one of his fingers is wrapped up as if he'd hurt it. "What's the matter, Zei?" he inquires. "Why are you—oh…." He regards the people before him with surprise. "Ha…must have woken you up, didn't I? Sorry about that, I had to know how loud the chimes would be. I've gotten them quieted down, so it shouldn't be that loud again…."
Kire frowns as his firelizard wakes up from it's nap in his jacket's inner pocket and starts to creel loudly. "Oh shards." He swears softly as he takes the brown firelizard out and he starts to try to placate it with soothing touches and gently words. The brown will have no part of it as it creels loudly again. Kire sighs softly as he reaches into his left outer pocket and takes out a day old meatroll. "Here you go I know you like them when they get stale and crunch." The firelizard's creeling is silenced with the crunching of meatrolls. He looks over toward the others and gives a smile, "Sorry about that. He doesn't like to be woken up. And from the looks of it neither do you four. I hope you are all doing all right." Kire of course was up and about. He looks over to A'dar and nods, "Good otherwise you might have a weyrfull of sleep deprived folks and dragons coming after you."
Jessamin looks over at A'dar, with a shrug of her shoulders and a smile. The lock of hair she tucked behind her left ear a moment ago is already working its way free. "I was awake already. Couldn't sleep." She takes a few steps back, separating herself from the group though remaining within earshot and line of sight.
Riyontali stifles a giggle with a hand, peering around at the half-asleep ones, not without sympathy. The creeling firelizard is peered at curiously, but then she's grinning awkwardly at Jessamin. "Aw," There's a faint chuckle as she peers up, watching the dragon take off — at least she's lost the "oh shells it's going to land on me" look! "It's not too bad. The bell in our cove that told us they were back from fishin' was louder." There's a brief pause, and a quick glance around, before the stablehand is grinning sheepishly at A'dar. "Nossir, I was already awake." Said curiously as she peers up at the tower. "Bet that took a shardin' long time to build."
Thea ducks through the growing crowd to reach Enkavir's side. "Hey." It's a rather muttered greeting, for she is sleepy still, but glad to see him is written in her eyes. A'dar's appearance delays whatever she was about to say as she gives him a small wave. "Finally finished, is it, A'dar? You've done a nice job." And she does seem to mean it, even though there's obvious relief at his announcement. She smiles over at Riyantali, "Did you get settled then, Tali?" There a few others she doesn't recognize, Jessamin being one and she's giving her a nod as well.
Enkavir glances behind himself to find a convenient tree trunk for leaning. He tips his chin up in a silent greeting to A'dar as the man finally appears. "It's pretty… spectacular, really. I feel a bit sorry for people with weyrs just around here, even if it's a bit more quiet. But still, nice job." He scrubs a hand through his hair, or tries to and is almost successful, then stifles a yawn. "We have a weyr full of insomniacs already by the looks of things." He gives Thea a bit of a warm smile and shakes his head. "Most of us anyway. I for one think I might go see if I can catch a few winks." His eyes flick to A'dar. "No more chimes tonight? Or at least none so loud?"
A'dar nods, and gives a small smile. It's pretty much been the only kind of smiles he's been capable of lately. There's a raised eyebrow at the noisy firelizard, but he doesn't remark on it. He gives a nod and a smile to Kire, though, recognizing him. Jessamin he doesn't know, but her appearance and comment receives a tiny smile in return. He looks up at the tower at Thea's remark. "Hmm…yes, I'm happy with the way it turned out…" he says quietly. A'dar looks back at the crowd as others speak, and half-smiles as Zei walks between them, sniffing at people he doesn't know. To Riyontali, A'dar replies, "Been…quite a while, yes. Can't remember exactly how long. I get busy doing something, days pass before I realize it…." Enkavir's comment is met with a very soft, mirthless chuckle. "Not that loud. And only at noon and midnight. But I've made the chimes much quieter," he promises. "Nothing like that. I had to see how loud they were going to be, for precisely that reason…."
Kire ahs a little bit at Jessamin's answer, "So am I. I'm up every night to see the stars. My name is Kire, I'm a Senior Apprentice Starcrafter. IT's nice to meet you." He brushes the meatroll crumbs off his hand and offers it to Jessamin. He looks ath the other girl who says she was awake as well and has heard a louder belly. "I don't know if I could stand any louder. Even from where I was it almost made me tip over my starviewer." He nods to Enkavir, "Yes it is very spectacular. I wonder how long it took to build." He rubs his chin gently and hmmms softly and chuckles at Enkavir's comment, "Well my sleep patterns are for day time sleeping and night time viewing. Only way I can see the stars." He nods politely to Thea, "Good to see you again Thea." He nods, "I would be very proud of it A'dar it is quite an achievement. I hope I know how you feel when they complete the observatory here."
Jessamin smiles, brows raised in an expression of mild surprise as she is approached. Her needle-pricked fingers curl around Kire's hand with a firm grip, and she shakes it once. "Nice to meet you, Kire. I'm Jessamin, late of Ista Weyr and just a seamstress at the moment." A shadow seems to cross her visage with 'at the moment', but it is chased away by a warm smile. "I'm still getting to know everyone here. Have you always been of Xanadu?"
Riyontali's grin for Thea is somewhat tentative, but she drags it on anyways, unconsciously dusting off her hay-flecked trousers. "Yes m'am!" An enthusiastic response, for once. "I've been working since about noon when we got it all straightened out an' stuff…I just don't want to go to sleep!" There's affection in her glance back towards the stables. "Not really working since sundown though. Brushing 'em mostly. Can't sleep. Were you asleep?" A rueful smile is offered to the frazzled-looking pair, then extended around to the other three gathered around the 'tower. "I can't even imagine how long it took to build it. Did you build it all by yourself?" To her credit, the girl faces down the dragon with no more than a tilt of her head and a little smile, watching his eyes. "Eep!" To Kire. "Aren't those expensive? I'd hate to break one." She winces, but then squints curiously. "'Reaches, Ista…shells!"
Thea watches Enkaivr head off, "Night… Kav," she calls softly to his back. Then she nods back to Kire, "Hey Kire. What's up?" She chuckles softly, "Besides the stars." She is close enough to hear Jessamin's introduction and is quick to ask her, "From Ista? Do you know Ysa? She's the new Senior Weyrwoman there…a friend of mine." An eyebrow raises at something she's noticed about her, but she doesn't comment other than to say, "Welcome to Xanadu Weyr." Easy and friendly, but there's a thoughtful look on her face. She nods, "I was, Tali and hope to be again soon." The teen's chatter brings a bit of an amused grin to the weyrwoman's face, "Might want to get some of that if you're to work tomorrow, though. Wouldn't do to fall asleep under a runner, now." It's A'dar Thea seems to really want to talk to and she excuses herself to step closer to him, "So… you're finished with it. What, ah will you do now?" there's concern in her eyes as she looks at her friend.
A'dar smirks. "It's taken a while," he notes to Kire. "As I say…I can't remember how long. I'm sure you'll feel a great deal better about your observatory." The statement is cryptic, and there's a shadow of something in A'dar's eyes as he speaks, but it's hard to tell what it is. Riyontali's statement brings a smirk from A'dar. "Not /all/ by myself, no," he answers. "Took a great deal of trips to Ierne…." He trails off as he mentions Ierne, frowning sharply. He does NOT like the thought of that name, it seems…. Thea's stepping closer to him breaks him out of the little momentary pause, and he blinks at her question. "Hmm…actually, I don't know…" he answers. "I'll have to…think on that a while…."
Kire smiles as he give Jeesamin a firm grip back and he nods politely, "It's nice to meet you too Jessamin. I have a friend named Kai who does all sorts of wonderful things with fabric. She made me a couple of nice shirts, I'm sure you two could trade seamstress secrets." He shakes his head, "No I was born and raised at Fort Weyr, but left to pursue my craft at Telgar Hold and the Starcrafter CraftHall when I was 12. I've recently been assigned here at Xanadu to help the Weyr's Starcrafter. I hope one day that spot will be mine." He nods to Riyontali's comment, "Yes they are you have to be very careful with them. If I broke this one my nights viewing Xanadu's sky would be over until I paid to have it repaired of I made on myself, the latter being more likely as that is what you have to do to become a journeyman, at least in the speciality that I want to pursue. Still I can't wait. I'm very excited that my model got picked to be the one that they are going use to build an observatory here. I even got to pick out the spot, although I still have to talk to the Weyr's Leaders about building near the Star Stones." He smiles at Thea, "The stars, but they are always up there." He chuckles a bit at his own joke and turns back to the girl who asked him a question, "I'm Kire by the way Senior Apprentice Starcrafter. It's nice to meet you." He offer his hand to her as well as his firelizard continues to chew into the meatroll. He looks back at A'dar and smiles, "Well I won't be supervising it some master are coming down here with a bunch of journeymen and other apprentices to do work. I hope that I'm at least allowed to participate, but I'm sure you know how it goes."
Jessamin offers a small shrug to Thea, canting her head slightly to the left; a gentle night breeze blows errant locks of hair back away from her face. "Personally, no. Bits and bobs here and there, but I don't remember talking to her." Her smile does not waver, though there is that shadow in her eyes for the briefest of moments again. "Thanks for the welcome. I won't be giving up on Xanadu anytime soon." She turns her attention back to Kire, the mention of fabric and the prospect of meeting a fellow seamstress brightening her countenance considerably. "Sounds like someone I'd want to meet." She falls silent, listening to Kire's tale. "I'm glad I listened to my mother and took up needlework. At least I'll always have something… left standing on the sands, or not."
Riyontali's giggle for A'dar is pleasant, accompanied by a ghost of her own smirk. "I see." The girl giggles. "I've heard Ierne is good for all sorts of things." There's a stout nod, and she's peering at Thea curiously. "Aw — well, good luck! Bet the bed'll be all the softer for a bit away from it…" A booted toe scuffs the ground as she grins, peering up at the tower now. "Nah, let's hope I don't fall asleep there — that'd just be terrible…" Nod-nod-nod, before she's shaking Kire's hand with a smile. "Tali. Nice t'meet…aw, shells! I think I might have left that stall unlatched on the bottom…shells, shells…" With a frightened glance around, the frizzy-haired lass bounds off into the jungle.
Thea just nods to Kire, "Yes, they are and it's a good thing, too." She smiles warmly at Jessamin, "Let me know if you need anything. I was an apprentice at Weaver Hall a few years back." She returns her attention to A'dar, murmuring in a low voice, "Get out a bit more now, ok? Come flying with Seryth and I?" She doesn't comment about Ierne. Riyontali has her chuckling once more, but as the teen scurries off, Thea also is turning towards her weyr, "G'night everyone." There's a huge yawn, "Bed calls." So saying the rumpled and tired woman glides off into the night.
A'dar nods to Kire's statement. "Do I ever…" he sighs softly. He and Zei exchange a look, but no words. A bit of sad color enters Zei's eyes, but it is gone rather quickly. "It's a major trading center," A'dar replies to Riyontali's noting of Ierne. "I could only find many of the things I needed there…." Thea gives him the directive to get out more, and the ghost of a true smile haunts A'dar's face for a moment. Just a ghost of one. "If I can catch you…weyr business is more important," he notes. Then as she leaves, "Goodnight…."
Kire smiles at Jessamin, "I'll be happy to introduce you to her next time she is here. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't impress on the sands. Xanadu just had a hatching a couple of days ago." He winces, "You better go check on them I'll see you around Tali." He waves to Thea as she leaves, "See you later." He smiles at A'dar, "Well I'm sure that you are both happy and sad that it's done with. Have you given any thoughts to your next project?"
Jessamin is the one to wince now, just shaking her head and looking down at the ground. There is a bit of a hitch in her voice as she speaks. "Yeah, I know it was just a couple days ago, trust me." She simply lets the sentence hang in the air, shuffling a bit as she seems a bit reluctant to speak further, for the moment.
"…Some…yes," A'dar replies to Kire's question of his next project. He does not give any clues, however, to what that 'next project' might be. He notes Jessamin's discomfiture and frowns a little. Then he looks to Zei, and the two share a look again. Are they talking? Seems so. And then A'dar looks back to the still-open door of the clock tower, and there's a familiar sound. It's that of a firelizard. A blue firelizard pops out of the clock tower and flies to A'dar's shoulder. There's a silent exchange between the two of them, and then the blue 'lizard flies over to Jessamin. It doesn't land on her shoulder, but it hovers near her, sniffing at her. Then it squawks to her quietly, bobbing gently in the air. Seems it's trying to cheer her up!
Kire smiles, "Well I can't wait to see it. Who knows maybe you'll help on the observatory." He looks over to Jessamin, "Well there will be other hatchings, nothing is going to stop the dragons from rising. I wouldn't worry about it too much though. It must be a hard thing, but at least you have a chance. Someone like me will never ever ever stand on the sands. It doesn't bother me though. My mind is too stuffed full of stars and planets and galaxies for there to be room for a dragon."
Jessamin is startled out of her train of thought by the squawking of a firelizard very close by. She looks up quickly, leaning back when she is faced with the whirling, faceted eyes of a tiny azure draconic cousin hovering in the air very close to her. She reaches out with one hand as if to scritch the top of its head, a smile gracing her lips once more. "Well hello there… where'd you come from?" She looks over to Kire with a self-depreciating smile. "I guess you're right. It's just a bit of a disappointment the first time around. I guess things happened so fast that I didn't have as much time to prepare myself as the others. There'll be other Hatchings." She actually chuckles as she looks back at the blue firelizard, and then back at Kire. "Who knows, you might be surprised one day."
A'dar chuckles airily to Kire's suggestion. "I'm just a clockmaker," he notes. "Such things as stars and their study are over my head I'm afraid…." A smirk, though. "But one supposes large things may need to be moved…and perhaps you'll need gears for that…." He thinks a moment. His attention is attracted momentarily to Aloysius, the blue firelizard, and the little pleased sound that emanates from him as he's scritchied by Jessamin. "That's Aloysius," he introduces. "I'm…admittedly not very social. That's where he comes in." A smirk.
Kire shrugs a little bit, "Wishing for a dragon is like wishing on a star, it's fun to think about, but except in very rare occasions. It's not something I think about really having a dragon that is. I have other things to think abut." He pets his own brown, "I hope that he calms down when he's stopped growing. He's a terror."
Jessamin can't help bursting out in laughter at Kire's description of his firelizard's nature. "Sounds very much like a child." Scritch, scritch. Aloysius continues to be the recipient of her attentions as now she scritches him lightly under the chin. "You're just as much of an attention seeker as that green dragon I saw back in the clearing." Her smile turns into something akin to a grin, her eyes sparkling with mirth as she glances between Kire and A'dar, and their respective little charges-on-the-wing.
A'dar nods to Kire's observation of the firelizard. "They tend to," he replies. "At least, Aloy did. Oihana's still in her 'prissy miss' stage, though…." Aloysius seems quite happy with the scritchies, and will land on Jessamin's shoulder if she'll let him, so that he can more easily receive the attention.
Kire nods, "That's good to hear, it's been terrible trying to train him. I've given up for now, perhaps when he's full grown and settled down some. If ever." He sighs as he pets the firelizard gently. "Well I'm glad I have just one for now. I'll be avoiding firelizard hatchings until this one is grown."
Jessamin does allow Aloysius to land on her shoulder, brushing her hair out of the way of entangling talons. "Bold, aren't you?" Scritch, scritch, scritch. She tries to mimic the little trilling noises so characteristic of a contented firelizard, but winds up instead sounding more like a lost wherry hatchling. She seems to perk up a little bit at the mention of firelizard hatchings, but does not seem willing to speak on the matter. "I guess all you can do is love your firelizard, and hope that's enough to guide them… just as much as you would a child."
A'dar smirks. "They tend to ambush you," he notes of firelizard hatchings. Aloysius is quite contented with the scritchies and trilling, doing so himself—trilling contentedly, that is. "Hmm…Oihana should be going proddy soon herself," A'dar notes. "Well…within the next couple of months, I think. She's a green, and almost two turns old, so…." A shrug.
Kire smiles as his firelizard gives a yawn before heading back to sleep in Kire's inner jacket pocket. "I guess so that's what I try to do." He smiles, "Well hopefully you'll have a nice clutch with her. I'm glad I don't have to worry about that. One firelizard is enough I couldn't imagine all those eggs to watch over."
Jessamin smiles, scritching the little blue's chin a bit more, before letting her hand drop to her side. "Come on now, you're sweet, but you can't stay with me all night." She chuckles softly to herself, smiling to the two men present. "Well, as soon as this one releases me, I'd better be off and about. It really was nice meeting you both."
"Greens only lay three," A'dar notes. "Though…I may have her sterilized. With us being so far out this way, it's not likely she'll clutch, unless Aloysius there is the clutchfather. Unless it's a wild one. I don't see them out this way too often, though…." Said firelizard takes off from Jessamin's shoulder as she notes that he needs to go (though likely prompted by A'dar to do so). Aloysius sniffs at Jessamin once more, as if to memorize her scent, and flies to A'dar again, landing upon his shoulder. The auburn-haired fellow gives a smirk to the firelizard, and pets him briefly. "Pleasure meeting you," he offers. "Apologizes again for waking anyone. It won't happen again. Sleep well."
Kire nods a little bit, "Indeed I have to head back to my viewing, the night sky won't wait for me forever. Congratulations on your completing of the clocktower A'dar. It's a great accomplishment." He nods politely to Jessamin, "It was a pleasure to meet you as well Jessamin. I hope to see you around." He heads back out to the meadow.
A'dar nods as Kire makes to leave as well. "Goodnight to you as well," he offers to Kire. "Sleep well." He smiles, and waves to the man as he wanders off. And as he's left alone at last, he simply walks back into the clocktower. Zeituth flies back up to his ledge. And the night is quiet again, except for the soft ticking of the clock.