How to Talk to Dragons

Xanadu Weyr - Beach
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.

The beach is scurrying with activity today. The sky is overcast with sun peeking through patches in the cloudmass. More than a few dragons are being bathed or otherwise enjoying being in the water. A ways down the beach, well away from being in a dragon's way, Kera might be seen popping up from below the water's surface and treading some before she gets her footing and starting wading back to her towel covered little satchel. Crouching down and fumbling around with it a moment or two, she rises to her feet and starts back into the water. Once she swims out far enough, she dives down under the surface.

Among the dragons being bathed is a certain golden hide. Luraoth's out enjoying the water, which for the moment, means she's underneath it, swimming her way along the sandy bottom with undulating motions. Along she goes, taking care of the 'getting wet' stage before the 'scrubbing' part. Soriana will be here to do the scrubbing… soon! But she's got something else to finish first, and so for the moment, it's just Luraoth making sure she's good and wet all over and watching the other swimmers with underwater blue eyes.

Kera dives further down until she reaches the bottom. The young apprentice rakes her fingers through the sand at times, or prods with her small knife. At times she dislodges something loose and puts it into her little draw-string pouch before she has to surface for air. Sometimes she simply treads the water a moment before diving back down, other times she swims back to the shore, which she does now. As she drips onto the sand and moves to her things, the girl looks along the beach, shading her eyes with a hand as she squint. After a moment of peering here or there, Kera returns her attention to examing her most recent dives find. A mostly entact shell is plucked from the pouch and observed.

Luraoth continues her swimming along the lake-bottom. She's certainly stirring up some sand, rather more impressively than Kera's knife can manage, but thus far, she hasn't picked anything up for herself, just enjoyed the swim and the view of… legs, mostly. It's about now that Soriana comes walking along the beach from the barracks, carrying a bucket and looking up and down the shore. Hmm. There are plenty of dragons here, but none of them are her dragon. Y'know, the one that needs washing. So she reaches out to ask Luraoth, and while she conversates with the dragon to arrange a meeting, she walks along the shore and finds, if still no dragon, a Kera. That draws a wave.

Kera looks the shell over, back and front, a time or two before placing it on her spread out towel to dry some. She continues this pattern a few more times before her head lifts to peer once more along either side of the beach. Noticing Soriana approaching, she offers the Weyrling's approach and offers a cheery smile and wave. "G'day Soriana." That said once the Weyrling is close enough to speak with without yelling out.

Soriana returns the smile, heading toward Kera. As places to wait go, this one seems pretty reasonable. "Heya," she says back, and lowers herself to a crouch to take a look over the shells. By the time her eyes reach the end of the row, the smile has turned into a grin as she looks back up at the apprentice. "Building a collection?"

Kera smiles back down to the little shells she brought up. "It is certainly a start. I've a bunch I had from the hold. My mom probably has them stored in some little box somewhere." She laughs over that and gestures towards teh bucket in the Weyrling's hand. "You looking to find some shells too? Or spiderclaws?" She gestures back towards the water "I've not seen any of those, but to be honest, the water's getting to stirred up that I'm having trouble seeing just a few feet in front of me."

Soriana nods to Kera, then says, "Hmm?" at the question and glances to the bucket. "Oh." She laughs. "Nah, it's just some soap." She brings it around and gives it a swirl so Kera can see the suds and cloth inside. "Gotta wash Luraoth, we did the obstacle course today." Soriana shrugs, then hehs. Things getting stirred up… yeahhhh. She glances away, down to the water where Luraoth has just surfaced and is gliding her way in toward the shallows. "No spiderclaws for today."

Kera ahhs softly as she observes the swirls. She starts at one end of the of the row, flipping the shells over to get dry on both sides. "Yea, shame really. I sorta had a taste some spiderclaws, but no luck yet." Kera swipes her hand briskly along her arms, then flicking the excess water away from her fingers. Listening to Soriana, she arches a curious brow. "Obstacle course?"

"There's usually some around," Soriana says of those spiderclaws, then hmms. "They get harder to find around winter, though. So that might be part of it." She stretches her way back to her feet, giving the bucket a slosh. Luraoth's just about to washing position, after all, but first… "Yeah. One of the weyrling things, we go out and run the obstacle course sometimes. Less now that our dragons are flying, but every so often. Keeps things interesting. Also muddy." She gives a grin and a shrug, and starts down to the water's edge to meet Luraoth. Most of the mud's gone after that swim, at least.

Kera thinks about that for like half a second before smiling "That sounds fun actually. What type of obstacles are there?" She rises to her feet, bending to brush sand off the front of her legs before her gaze goes towards the young queen Soriana is walking towards. The waves wash up on the shore and then withdraw back a few times before Kera follows after the the other girl.

Soriana gives a sideways glance to Kera. Fun? "Yeah? You could come along sometime, if you wanted. Not at an official practice, but just… impromptu." She grins at that for some reason, then goes on. "There's hurdles, a couple climbing walls - which are pretty much just bigger hurdles for the dragons - a rope swing, this wheel-jumping thing…" Pretty standard physical training fare! As she gets to the edge of the water, Soriana kicks her shoes off and steps into the waves. Luraoth lowers her head, touching her muzzle to Soriana's shoulder lightly and chirping, then looks up past her to Kera. Her eyes are happy-dragon blue as she stretches her neck, and the gold chirps again, this time to the healer apprentice as Soriana steps down along her dragon's side to begin scrubbing.

Kera watches the interaction between Soriana and the young dragon. Pausing her steps a very cautious and respectful distance. She crouches down and rest her elbows on her knees. Nodding her head agreeably at a few items that Soriana mentions. "It sounds like an intesresting way to spend an afternoon at least." Kera thinks a few seconds "I take it you don't really like having to do it though huh?" As the young queen makes noises her way, Kera glances back over her shoulder to see what caught her attention.

"I don't mind it," Soriana says with a shrug as she works soapy cloth around Luraoth's shoulders and wingbases, "It's just that it sort of eats half a day, because I always need a bath after and so does Luraoth." She grins crookedly as she adds, "I can't exactly go running around in a dirty tunic and torn pants anymore." That's a very cautious distance from Luraoth that Kera's stopped. Perhaps even… too cautious. Sure, there are things behind Kera. People in the distance, all that sort of thing, but at the moment, Luraoth's gaze is intent on the girl herself. She takes a step closer, sliding out from under the soapy cloth, and chirps again. Soriana sighs fondly, and takes three human-steps to catch up with the dragon one, reapplying the cloth as she glances over to Kera. "Luraoth says hi."

Kera doesn't see anyone or anything very near them or anything in the distance coming closer. Turning her attention back around, the veiw is drastically differant. THERE YOU ARE! Kera's head jerks back a bit as she her eyes suddenly focus in on the much closer young dragon. Finding herself overbalanced in her crouching position, she ends up falling back slowly to land on her butt. Startled briefly, she quickly rights herself and jumps to her feet, brushing the sand off her backside. Blushing a little at Soriana's explanation, Kera ohs a bit and peers to the young queen. "Hello there."

Luraoth's head tilts to the side inquisitively as Kera falls down, her eyes flickering yellow… but then resolving to blue skies once more as the girl rises to her feet again. All's well! The queen dips her head as Kera greets her back, and Soriana half-watches and half-grins as she scrubs her way down along her dragon's hide with moments of the distracted dragon-conversation face. "She says you swim well," Soriana says, because hey. Might as well pass things along.

Kera ends up taking a half step back as she brushes the sand away, but otherwise holds her ground, mostly. She's really /not/ slipping back another half step. Looking from the young queen's inquisitive muzzle, to Soriana. "Oh? Um, well thank you." Her attention drifts from the girl to the young dragon and back agains, unsure which to direct her comments to. So, she settles for addressing both as best she can. "I may not be able to hold my breathe as long as a dolphin, but I can swin nearly as well as one." She gives a not quite but close to self-conscious shrug. "Mom sorta insisted on it."

Luraoth lifts one foot as Kera backs up, but… a glance and silent word or three from Soriana has her settling it back down. No chasing the apprentice today. At least, not any more than she already has. Neither dragon nor rider provide much clue on which of them Kera's supposed to be talking to - Luraoth's the one who's doing things like eye contact and nodding her head, while Soriana's mostly looking at dragon-hide… but she's the one actually talking. "Makes sense. You pick stuff up from your parents." Is that Sori saying it for herself, or is this Luraoth again? Dragonriders can be confusing. "She likes playing with the dolphins here, but they're better swimmers than her."

Kera tilts her head a bit, eyes flicking between Soriana and and the young queen's large head. A very disconcerting way to have a conversation. While she eyes the pair thoughtfully, gaze still drifting back and forth as they both seem to be holding a portion of the conversation to the apprentice. "I've not come across the pod yet. I'm sure those in their craft know each one one sight, or even voice. But unless there was some major mark, I could never tell them apart. Not really." After a moment longer of observing the pair, she peers more to the young queen. "You a certainly are pretty. There's no denying that" She grins a little and cants her head to Soriana. "And I had thought your firelizard was something to see."

"I can tell some of them," Soriana says as she wades deeper, then hehs and admits, "Most of the time. And then every so often I look at one and discover that either it's not the one I thought, or that I never noticed that marking before." She glances to Kera and grins, giving a shrug before hopping over Luraoth's tail to start on the other side. The queen tilts her head at the compliment, and… okay, she can't resist. She leans her head forward and tries to lightly nose at Kera's chest with a warm puff of breath. They're friends, right? Soriana doesn't stop her this time. That, or she didn't even try, because she's certainly got a fond smile. Nope. No denying it!

Kera nods as Soriana seems to make her point for her. "That's exactly what I'm talking about. Unless it's a very distinct marking, I… just…. can't…tell…" Her words trail off as the golden head starts easing closer and closer. Feet planted, yep. She's not moving, holding her ground she is…. So what if she looks like a stiff board stuck in the sand and tilting back. "Ca…" That comes out a bit higher pitched that she intended and clears her throat gently before trying that one again. "Can I help you with something….Lure..oth?" No doubt mangling the name vocally as well as visually.

Chirp. Luraoth leeeeans in with that great golden head, and Soriana can't help but grin at Kera's (rather unstable looking) position even as she nudges Luraoth's side and mind. Hey now. Don't scare off the holdgirl. Luraoth pauses in her pursuit, turning her head to look back at Soriana for a moment. Brown eyes meet blue, and then Luraoth chirps again and settles back into the water, curving her neck back to create a polite distance once again. "Just saying hi," Soriana says with a look to Kera and a crooked sort of grin. "She likes people."

Kera gives herself a mental slap as she considers how her words may have come off. With a little shake of her head the apprentice chances a couple of too casual paces forward. "I didn't mean to hurt her I mean your feelings, if I did." She seems a little flustered and her gaze slips from one to the other. "I've just never spent much time around dragons. Seeing rider or dragons coming or going from the Hall or Hold was a frequent occurance. But I myself never had much contact. And now, being in much closer and more frequent…" She gives a little shrug and continues peering back and forth between dragon and young girl. "Well, just not sure what to do. Who I'm supposed to be speaking with.." She pauses and peer more closely to Soriana. "That must make things doubly interesting for you hmm?" (Re with correction)

Luraoth remains where she is, though she watches Kera approach with green-blue eyes. Okay, so she doesn't quite remain exactly where she is, because she tilts her head down a little. Just a little. Soriana smiles. "It's okay," she says, and gives Luraoth's back a ruffle to include her, which makes the gold chirp. Maybe she's agreeing. Soriana doesn't report anything, though she does shrug. "People do both. Some will talk to the dragon, some to the rider. A lot of dragons don't care about other people as much, so that's simpler." For those other riders. Soriana's still dragon-translator! "You're kind of talking to both, I guess? Which doesn't really help, I know. It's hard to explain a dragon-mind. But… I could show you some books if you're interested?" Soriana hehs, and adds, "Luraoth just says she listens."

Kera looks between the pair as she listens to Soriana's insights. After a few seconds, gaze seems to drift towards the waves as they come up the shore a bit before slipping back down and. Snapping out of her thoughts she seems to come to some conclusion and cants her head slightly. "I suppose I have to adjust my way of thinking a bit. It just seems like it would be rude to talk about her like she's not even here. And yet, some might considered just as rude to address their dragon couldn't they?" Reaching up she scratches her head is if to shake out the cobwebs. She watches as Soriana continues to scrub over the huge dragon, jumping over the tail and moving as if she's had lots of practice at reaching all the awkwards spots.

That's probably because Soriana does have lots of practice. Also lots of dragon that needs scrubbing, so it's a good thing she's practiced at it. Otherwise, this might take all week! She lets Kera take all the time she needs to think it over, then hmms. "I don't think anyone's going to mind you talking to dragons. I mean, don't expect them to listen, or like… tell their riders what you said…" She grins. "Though, they might. Just don't rely on it. Dragons are… they think differently than we do. Even though we share minds, we're different."

Kera nods at the advice as she crouches back down, resting elbows on her knees again. "It gives me things to ponder later." Reaching down to rake her fingers in the sand absentmindly. "I would like to have a read at the books you mentioned though. I spend most of my days with healing manuals and charts. Nice to switch up the reading material sometimes." Her fingers poke a little deeper is if grappling at something. "There is no rush of coarse. I've got plenty enough reading for the next couple of days." She sighs and rolls her eyes a little at that. "The Weyrhealer is giving me a couple of days before he's giving me 'seeing what ya remember' test. Won't that be fun." That last bit comes out a bit on the droll side.

"Sure," Soriana says with a smile. "I'll send some over." They'll probably be dragonhealing books, so… more charts and manuals. At least they'll have different big words. Soriana will pick the simplest ones out of the set? …that may not actually be saying much. She laughs at the mention of the test, and nods ruefully. "And of course you don't know whether the lessons have changed since he was at the Hall, so he'll expect something different of you than what you've actually learned…" A little headshake, and then. "Good luck with that!"

Kera smiles when Soriana agrees to let her borrow some books.. "Thanks, I appreciate it." Though as the weyrling brings up that scenario, both Kera's eyes and mouth widen, a look of horror smothers her smile briefly. "I had not even thought of that!" Her hands go to her head as she ponders just how badly she could do on the Weyrhealer's test. "I need 'old' books. There's gotta be some stashed away in the infirmary somewhere. Dusting shelf, cabinet, wedged under an uneven cotleg maybe.." Her voices trails off as she starts muttering to herself.

Oops. Maybe Soriana should have just let sleeping tests lie! Oh, wait. Sleeping through tests is bad. She tries to hide her own smile as she gives her head a little shake and finishes up the last bit of Luraoth's scrubbing, then steps back to let the dragon dunk herself underwater and rinse. "Maybe you can wow him with your stunning new techniques instead?" she offers. "Or at least… well." She grins, and repeats herself. "Good luck!" Luraoth rises up from the water again, and starts off along the shore back toward the barracks. "I've got to go oil her," Soriana says, and waves. "See you later." She doesn't wish luck a third time, though. That'd be excessive.

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