The Founding of Firelizard Fitness Camp

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 border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the rock edifice where, high above on Xanadu's Star Stones, the ever-present watchdragon sits on the lonely peak. Directly south is the hatching arena, the large round complex taking up a large portion of the perimeter, a line of trees visible beyond it. 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 Wandering Wherry Tavern. Tucked neatly under the arch, to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Petals and Pots Garden Shop'. Southwest lies cliffs where windows for the administrative offices have been cut. Underneath them are the entrances to the crafters complex while north and west along the cliff's base, a broad path leads to the feeding grounds. Due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr - the meadow, the forest beyond. At the far edge of the clearing, beside the trail leading to the forest sits a clocktower.

Behind the horizon, the sun has made its bed, casting Xanadu in shadow with the colors of dusk left lingering on the horizon. Blues and purples with just a hint of gold that lingers, but even that is beginning to fade with the onset of night. The day's been long but not necessarily bad. In fact, Ka'el, if asked, wouldn't have much to negatively say about his day. Which is a good thing when one is a Weyrleader. Currently, he's exiting the Caverns, greeting the cool air with loosed upper buttons of his collared office shirt. His jacket has been left forgotten on the back of his chair. He holds in his hand a small sack of who knows what, and when booted feet take him further out into the clearing, his eyes turn to the sky, searching. "Nugs!" he calls, glancing to and fro, brow arching. "C'mon Nugget, you know it's time," he continues to say to the empty air, nose wrinkling fractionally at the silence he's greeted with.

With the coming of night, it's the start of a new day. Even better that it's a rest day as well, so Zafirah and Zask are enjoy a period of time above ground. Zaf is meandering along, taking her time and letting Zask move along in her own awkward gait. Listening to a voice calling, the pair head towards the clearing and there they spy the Weyrleader. She frowns a moment though, as the young man really isn't that familar to her and then she shrugs "Lose someone did ya?" she calls out as she lays a hand on Zask who pauses to warily eye the man herself. There's a rough sounding rumble deep in her throat. "Easy girl."

Glance left. Glance right. Still nothing. Blue eyes exaggeratedly roll. "It isn't as if you can hide," Ka'el speaks to the night. "I know where you live. And, in case you've forgotten, you're stuck in my mind. So. You'd might as well get here." He turns around, having heard a shuffle, but the shuffle he did in fact hear was not the sound of the one he's looking for but instead the sound of someone's approach. Or rather, a pair of someones. The woman and wher are greeted with a smile as he straightens, turning their way. "Good evenin'," he offers, dipping his head to the woman of the pair. "Ah, less 'lost him', more …'he's avoiding me'," he answers with a crooked smirk. "You haven't come across a semi-flightless, very-rotund firelizard of the bronze variety this evening, have you?" he asks, keeping a slight distance. He heard that rumble!

Turning towards the wher Zafi addresses her. "Did you see one? I don't think I've seen one." Pursing her lips Zafirah then shrugs a little "Nope, afraid I can't say that I have. And Zask could actually really care less, to tell you the truth. And oh wait. I know who you are, or well waht you are. Zask, settle girl." She turns back towards Ka'el "Hold out our hand." she suggests and then runs a hand over the green hide "Zask, Weyrleader." she murmurs softly. There's a snuffle sound "Yes, Weyrleader." The green faces Ka'el and Zafi grins "Don't worry, you won't have to blood yourself or anything. She just needs your smell."

Ka'el's eyes bounce between handler and wher with interest at their exchange. "I suppose a wher wouldn't care much for firelizards," he admits with a shake of his head. "Worth a try." He tries to keep his voice even, doing his best to assist with helping Zask feel more at ease. But.. wait. What does she want him to do with his hand? Stick it out to the creature with a whole 'lotta teeth? "Life with one hand can't be so hard," he jokes with a half-grin. "Saw a man once with only one, but you wouldnt've known by watching him work." He chuckles and takes a slow step forward, cautiously extending his free hand out towards the green. "Zask, was it? Heh, well met. I'm Ka'el. Weyrleader, right, so I'm not one for you to fear. I like whers. I have a friend who's green like you, and I'm sure you're just as nice." Sweet talk! A sure-fire way to not get a hand bitten off….right?

The broad green snout lowers to the outstretched hand. Zask gives a bit of a snort and then she loses interest in Ka'el and then shuffles off to scratch a little at the ground and then lay down. Despite her awkward gait, overly long legs and huge feet, she seems to settle down almost gracefully. There's no fullumphing down onto the ground. Nope, she settles down and lays there as proudly as if she might be a gold. "Ah Ka'el. I knew it was something short. I know. I'm terrible. But names are well." She shrugs "I'm Zafirah. Zask's handler. We're one of the ones who search out those caught in cave-ins and all. And we're good at finding new veins as well, r keeping track of ones that jump around a bit. But don't mind her. She likes you." Maybe it's true, or maybe she's just saying that, course, it could be true with the next add-on "After all, she didn't nip you. There's one of the Masters that comes by every now and then. She makes a point of trying to get him. I dunno what it is. Probably the way he smells like something that died."

Ka'el keeps very still as Zask investigates his hand and smell, though she doesn't investigate him for long! When she walks off, he can't help but laugh a bit as he lowers his arm down to his side, flexing his fingers as if to make sure they're all still there. "Well that was wonderfully painless.." he remarks gratefully, watching as the wher settles down. "Well met, Zafirah, and thank you for your service to the Weyr," is added as she details her and Zask's jobs. He lifts his hand as she speaks of the aroma of one of those Masters and gives his a tentative sniff. "It's good to know that I don't smell of rotted meat…" he says, snickering. "Or of anything else that may make me seem tasty to a wher! …Speaking of tasty…" he glances to the little sack he's carrying and gestures with his head. "Do you think she'd like extra trim, no-fat-included strips of leftover meat from the kitchens? I was going to give it to someone else, but that someone doesn't want to make an appearance."

Zafirah gives a little nod "Our pleasure, sir." she replies and then tilts her head a little and then looks over at Zask "Well, I suppose you could always try, though she's recently fed. She gets cranky when she's hungry." A glance at the bag "Not that that's more then a small tidbit, but why would your firelizard be hiding from you? They're usually such greedy guts." There's a pause and she eye's Ka'el himself. "You didn't d anything to him, now, did you? Or did you do something that scared him off?"

Ka'el gives Zafirah an innocent look. "Did something? No I…" He pauses, thinking it over. Hmmm. "Actually, now that you mention it, I guess it could be said that I did do something to him," he says, nodding now as he changes his mind. "But let me explain!" he adds quickly, hopefully fast enough to deter any accusatory looks. "It wasn't something horrible like you're probably thinking. You see, Nugs is unhappy with me because he's been banned from treats. I've told the weyrbrats that've been feeding him to not do so anymore because…well…he's..heavier than what a firelizard should be," he admits with a crooked grin. "And so.. he's on what I guess is a diet of lean meats only. The kitchenstaff portions it out for me."

Zafirah does start to get that 'look' and then she blinks "You put him on a diet." She shakes her head a little and then laughs "That is rich. I"m not sure I've heard of a firelizard on a diet before. What about excercise though? Just starving him isn't really going to fix things. Likely he'll just sneak stuff. Let him have some of the stuff he likes. But make him work for it. " she suggests "He gets what he likes to eat, and you're happy because he's getting fit." There's a pause and then Zafi blinks a moment and then shakes her head a little "She's picturing a flit on a kite string." she smirks a little.

"I completely agree!" says Ka'el with a grin for he knows how absurd a firelzard on a diet must sound and definitely is. But hey, desperate times? "And I'm a step ahead of you. Tonight's exercise was to be a walk, or preferably flight, home with me.. But.." It's now that the wayward firelizard chooses to make his appearance. Maybe he was on his way all along but is .. just slow to get going? In any case, *poof!* One minute, no firelizard, the next…a plump young bronze appears from Between and plops on the ground directly between the two conversing people. He's most definitely…round! A plump body complete with a thick tail and wingspars. He's a thick looking guy who chirps a lazy chirp of greeting before he yaaaawwwwns. Maybe he was napping? "Heh. Zafirah, meet Nugget," he introduces within a chuckle. "A kite string, huh? Now there's an idea."

Zafirah eyes the lump of rock, oh wait, firelizard on the ground "Well, he certainly is quite the fellow. Isn't he?" she remarks and then she chokes "I don't think he'd do well as an anchor Zask." The wher just sort of shrugs a bit as if it's no real concern of hers. "I think perhaps you might try him off with swimming though. That way the water supports his joints and he doesn't overtask himself." she suggests after a moment.

Ka'el laughs. "Oh I agree with Zask. He'd probably make the perfect anchor, if anchoring were a thing that firelizards did." He laughs again, shaking his head and moving forward to squat and rub his fingers against the firelizard's head once his mega-yawn is complete. He looks up to Zafirah, brows raising at the suggestion. "Now that I haven't thought of," he says, rising again. "Swimming. … Grand idea, thank you! We'll try that out soon before it starts getting too cold." Nugget makes a grunted sort of sound as the image of water flashes in his mind. Nope. He doesn't want to do that. No thank you. Ka'el's head is given a vague shake as Nugget continues to lay there, as if the energy spent going Between has maxed out his quota. He peers at Zask. Now there's a straaange looking creature. Maybe he'll investigate. … In a minute. "Your day is just now getting started, isn't it?" the Weyrleader asks.

Zask is strange looking? Well so is a /fat/ firelizard. The green wher shakes her head a bit at the ungainly lump. "Well, you an even do it whens it's cold. Just take him into the baths." she suggests "That way he can get well scrubbed and everything as well. And I mean, who doesn't like playing with bubbles?" She asks. At the questions she gives a nod "Pretty much. Though we've been up for a little bit, just relaxing. It's been a long several days, so today is our turn to rest and relax. Tis a shame we don't have mmore handlers, its rare that we get time off together." she murmurs.

Okay. He's rested! Now .. Nugget can stand up, which he does without too much of a struggle, and stares at Zask. He's never seen a wher before! He's not quite sure what to make of her. So, he starts to make his way forward, his walk more of a waddling thing, to get a closer look. Chirp…chirp? Maybe she's like another firelizard. And thus, he tries to speak the universal language of … food, of course! Brief projections of his favorite humanesque treats are made. Pie nibblets! Candy! Cake! You have any of that to share, big lizard? Ka'el glances to Nugget, spying his movements towards the wher warily. "I'll keep the baths in mind. If we get this started, he'll be trimmed down in no time," he says confidently. "You seem to know much about animal fitness. Would you be opposed if I looked to you for other ideas from time to time? The timing is perfect. My days are usually full, but evens can be less so." A smile, but it tapers off a little at her last. "Yes. The few that I knew either moved or keep so much to themselves you'd hardly know they were around. There's one who lives in the woods…Niko's her name. Nisk is her wher.

Images of large fish, gutted with steaming entrails. Large caprines with white bone showing, sounds of crunching. Tasty bits that Zask herself enjoys are shared with the lizard. Huge chunks of meat, still warm from a fresh kill. "Don't worry. She won't eat him, and she's never been enclined to snap at them either. She enjoys the scritches she gets from them, especially when they 'help' with washing." she reassures the young man. "Well, me mums a rider and I learned a lot from Phaili." she gives a little shrug "I certainly don't mind. I'm always glad to have some human companionship. Miner apprentices aren't human afterall." she adds with a smirk. She nods a little at the mention of the name "I know of her. We're more familiar with Derin and Dersk. I was a little woried at one point that Iffy woul get a wher, his mother's a handler after all. But we got lucky and a dragon picked him first."

Fish? Nugget questions the unfamiliar picture. What is this possibly delicious delicacy that he's yet to partake in? Has Ka'el been holding out on him? Curious as he may be, the images of sugar plums that dance in his head still seem more appealing to him. But even so, this wher doesn't seem so bad! She doesn't scream danger, as Ka'el seems to worry of, but Zafirah's reassurances do the trick, and the vague tenseness in his shoulders relax a bit. "Oh, hey those are names that I know. Derin and Dersk," he says, grinning. "Dersk was the wher who stood on the sands when my dragon, Kanekith, was an egg. That was a sight. That wher was rather fond of Sahazyth and her clutch. I don't think anyone had ever seen anything like it." And there definitely hasn't been anything like it since. "Iffy? .. Oh, If'an, the Comet rider? Heh, it's hard for me to imagine him as a wherhandler. You've known them for a while, then?"

Zask isn't a bad wher, but the images of sugerplums gets a throaty snort of disbelief. How that can compare to even the tiny little spiderclaws that are a dainty delicacy is beyond the whers belief. "I do adore Dersk, and I'm not surprised that Dersk is rather fond of Sahazyth." she notes "I did hear something about that, but alas I wasn't available to watch the hatching." She snorts a bit though about Iffy "Yeah, I knew him when I was still an apprentice." She rolls her eyes "Faranth's gift to women and thinks he knows everything." she snorts a little and shrugs "But what can you say. He was a journeyman, and I was an apprentice and well." she shrugs.

"I believe he's relocated to …Ierne, maybe?" says Ka'el, speaking of Derin. "He and Dersk and Briana and Sahazyth. I haven't heard much from any of them since. As for If'an…" He trails and shrugs a shoulder. "He's a good rider. Maybe having a dragon has done him some good." Or made things worse! He wouldn't know, as the brownrider is not a personal friend. His eyes lift to the now dark sky, doing his best to guess at the time through that alone. "We should get on before it gets too late. As slowly as he's bound to walk, it may be some time before I actually get to my weyr." To that, Nugget makes an indignant noise and gives his thick tail a flick. Hrmph! Looking amused, Ka'el extends his hand to the wherhandler. "Was good to meet you. Here's looking forward to more chats in the future and a healthier firelizard for all of our efforts. Perhaps Zask will make for a good training partner for him … Not that she needs it."

Zafirah hmms a little "I think perhaps there. I don't remember exactly." She shrugs a bit. "Well, I dunno how he is as a rider, so I'll have to take your word on that." she notes as she take the offered hand "It was indeed a pleasure meeting you." she glances down at the firelizard "You'ld almost think he needs a purgitive with as thick as that tail is." she murmurs "And well Zask might think of ways to encourage him." she murmurs and then there's a glance at Zask. "No, you don't need firestone to encourage him." she snorts "Don't mind her. She's joking. Usually."

"I'm glad that isn't the case.." says Ka'el with a look to that tail. The mess…oooh the mess that would follow! But in Nugget's case, he's just fat in some places, thick in many others. The sturdiest little bronze that there ever was! But Firelizard Fitness Camp seems like it's a go with a membership of one firelizard and one green wher fitness trainer. With some red hot tactics to shed the weight! Zafirah's hand is shaken, and the mentioning of firestone just has Ka'el laughing. "That'd be one way to light a fire under him," he jokes, looking to Zask. "How about we save that as our very last resort, eh?" A grin. "Good evenin' to the both of you! And Nugs, you heard her. You'd better get moving else risk being lit up." With that, Ka'el starts off, leaving his firelizard to waddle in his wake.

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