Klah Spills

Xanadu Weyr - Rustic Treetop Cafe
Perched on the cliff overlooking Xanadu's beach is a gnarled and massive skybroom tree. The bark and outer layers are sturdy enough to support the thriving, brushy top, but the interior, which is hollow, contains a spiral staircase that leads to a cafe built on a high platform amongst the branches. With a panoramic view of lake, sky, Weyr and the mountains beyond, the treetop eatery offers both sheltered seating just inside the trunk and tables on the wide deck that encircles the old tree.
The cafe's decor is comfortable and rustic, but closer inspection shows the smallest embellishments to be artfully combined into one detailed masterpiece. The wood of the doors, floor and walls of the trunk have been stained a dark mahogany that lends the space a sense of intimacy. Tables in various sizes have been carved to mimic driftwood, the chairs and benches padded with oiled sailcloth cushions to provide weather-proof comfort. Each table has an aged brass lantern filled with shells and agates gathered from Xanadu's shores, the sparkling natural mosaics holding tapered candles upright in their embrace. Lamps hang from the ceiling on silver poles, the thick frosted glass carved into intricate pastel shells or swirling white-capped waves. At night the colored glass softens the glowlight to enhance the ambience.
During the day, the retractable doors allow leaf-spattered sunlight to fill both the outer deck and the smaller interior with green and gold light, as well as allowing pleasant breezes to cool the interior. On clear nights, farviewers perch on the elaborately carved railing are free for use to enhance the gorgeous view of the stars over the Caspian Lake, the Sea of Azov beyond and the rock formations of the Weyr.

Mid-morning finds the Rustic Treetop Cafe relatively bustling. Situated on the tree's outer deck, Esiae seems to have attempted to remove herself from the din of dining and chatter inside the cafe. Why? Gasp! She looks like she's actually trying to do work! Brow furrowed, the woman leafs through a book on her table, brown eyes squinting at figures in the log before comparing them to the ones on her clipboard. It's been a long, tedious morning already, judging by how deep she's hunched in the chair, a mug of klah forgotten and left to cool in the summer breeze blowing gently by.

"No, absolutely not." G'ir says as he walks into the Rustic Treetop. He's talking with what seems to be a representative of one of the nearby holds. "Look, I don't care how many marks you think it's worth. The weyrleader already set the price and we're not going to change it because your newly minted Lord wants to buy his mistress something nice." G'ir speaks at an even pace, not raising his voice at all "I too have connections, you know.. Don't think for a moment that we can't get our items from somewhere else." He turns and looks at the man who seems to be fidgeting. "Now, let your new Lordling know what our price is. If he agress, I expect to see the ships in the docks no later than two sevendays from now? Good?" He nods and turns to walk past tables and bumps into Esiae's. "Sorry."

"Oi, watch it!" Esiae's still-full cup of klah goes sloshing when G'ir bumps into the table, a rush of brown liquid heading straight for her work. Papers are hastily grabbed, the book of figures hefted up into her arms just in time. Narrow brown eyes squint up at G'ir, but the cranky expression fades from her face when she recognizes the bronzerider. "Oh, it's you. Sorry." Esi at least has the good graces to look abashed for yelling at him. A woman comes over with a towel to attempt to clean the mess, but Esi waves her away after taking the towel, awkwardly juggling her work in one arm while sopping up the klah with the other. "Was that that rep again?," she asks, spying the man's figure heading back out of the cafe. "Shards, but that new Lord is ballsy. That's twice in three days, ain't it?"

"Of course it was." G'ir says as he moves and reaches out to take the towel, hand brushing against Esi's as he begins to wipe up everything. "Sorry, Esiae." He says. "I'm trying to keep my cool and not drop his body out in between." He grumbles some. "His lord is a young son of a lord that died in an accident. He's not married, thus the mistress comment." He says.

"Ugh, thanks," Esiae says when G'ir takes the towel. This gives her the chance to sort out the mess she's made of her work, arranging it into a neat stack on her vacated chair until the table's klah-free. "No, don't worry about it," she says with an eyeroll of understanding. "You and me both. He came 'round to all of the administrative rooms day before last, as though knocking on everyone's doors might've gotten him what he wanted. Gave him a piece of my mind, I did, but doesn't seem to have deterred him." She tuts quietly for the audacity. "…Huh. I didn't know all that. All he kept going on about was the Lord, not the mistress," she murmurs, eyebrows raised in mild surprise. Curiouser and curiouser. "Well, hopefully now that you've set him straight, he'll call it quits. Surely he'll listen to you, you once being a holder and all," she says with a grin.

"Well yeah. The threat of a huge hold like Nerat coming down on the smaller ones…" He says before he laughs and sits down. "Holders don't have great opinions of women in leadership positions." He shrugs there. "All they see are boobs and ass."

Esiae chuckles a vindictive sort of chuckle when he agrees that the threat of Nerat might be enough to finally drive the man away. "Well good, 'cause I'd hate to see what'd happen to him if he accidentally bothered Weyrwoman Innes, next." Moving her stuff back to the table, Esi sits as well. "Thanks again," she says for him helping her clean the table. His next comment sets her frowning again though, expression souring as she says, "Yeah, well I see Lord Holders like that and I think they're a bunch of dicks, so I guess we're on the same page." She blinks and, as though remembering herself, clears her throat and shifts her gaze awkwardly around as though someone might've overheard her. "Er, sorry. Shouldn't've sworn like that in public, but that really ticks me off," she says with a snort and a shake of her head.

"Haha, there isn't anything wrong with that. I'm not a prude, you know. Even if I was raised at a hold, my dad was rather progressive." G'ir says as he shakes his head back and forth. "Most Lord Holders like that still think they own the people." He snorts. "Oh, how's your weyr? Need any upgrades? I just put a hot tub bath in mine." He snickers.

"Yeah, but still. Never know who's listening, and next thing you know, someone's coming after you for slandering their good name," Esiae says, so casually that it's almost too casual, as though maybe it's happened to her before. Maybe. "And yeah. I know. It's real frustrating," she says with a grumble, head still shaking. "Don't know how they manage it, in a society like ours, but…" Oh well. Not her windmill to tilt at. "And oh, uh, it's fine?" The question catches her off guard, but she chuckles for the idea of a hot tub, one brow raising. "Shells, really? That sounds a little intense," she jokes, head shaking as her gaze goes distant, visibly trying to imagine installing a hot tub in the Dreamweaver. It doesn't go well, apparently, because she snorts. "My weyr's the old remains of a ship. I don't think it'd survive something like that."

"Really? The old remains of a ship?" G'ir says before he shakes his head back and forth at that. Amazed. "I'd love to see it sometime, I'm sure it's amazing." He offers, before he chuckles. "Yeah, it's not intense, it's nice." He says

"Yep! The good ol' Dreamweaver," Esi says, contentedly smug as she is every time she gets to talk about her weyr. "Rumor has it, a Seacrafter went and got himself a dragon, but he couldn't give up his first and only love: the sea. So he got himself a great big boat and had the time of his life. Eventually, though, she got too old and had to be retired. Loving her too much to give her up, he converted her into a weyr," the junior concludes. "That's the short version, honestly, but I won't bore you with the rest. I might host a dinner there sometime soon. If I do, I'll be sure to invite you," she says cheerfully before shaking her head again. "I mean, I'm sure it is, but… shells. Doesn't it make the weyr hot and muggy?" Clearly there are ways around it, but she's caught up on the details for now.

"Ah, no…not at all. I can fill it up and empty it. I'm near the lake. The water filters in from the bay, heats up in a small resivior and pours into the tub…and then empties out." He grins at that before he ohs and nods. "That's a great story!"

"Oh. That makes significantly more sense," Esiae says with a laugh, leaning back in her seat as she considers it. "And I guess, if you live next to the lake it's more convenient than going the whole way in to the caverns for a bath, but…" She still probably thinks it's intense. "And yeah, ain't it a good tale? Such a great place. Still can't quite believe it's mine, now. There's still stuff in some of the rooms I haven't been able to go through, but he left some pretty cool stuff behind. Old tech. A chest full of nothing but marks. Makes you wonder what he was up to," she says with a laugh. "But it's interesting. Kind of a look back in time."

G'ir nods and laughs at that. "A chest full of marks? Sounds like you're wealthy now." He tells her, snickering a bit as he shakes his head back and forth at the tale. "Well yeah, it's not always full. I don't want to ruin my weyr." He says, leaning back a bit and sighing.

"I mean, I guess. It ain't a big chest or anything, and quite a few of them are corroded - I think saltwater got into the bottom of it - but it isn't like I need it," Esiae says with a shrug. "Might give it to folk or something." She clearly hasn't considered it - to her, all the other miscellaneous junk was much more interesting. "That's what I was wondering, though. I dunno where peoples' weyrs are, so I pictured just this… tub of water sitting around the meadow or something," she laughs, realizing it was a silly thought, now. "I'm not handy like that, so I never would have thought of such a thing. Huh."

G'ir laughs a bit at that before he shakes his head. "I'd offer, but I've been told doing that is unseemly." He admits, shrugging. "So I'll say that if you want to visit sometime, just let me know and I'll show you how it works."

Esiae chuckles when he mentions he's been told it's unseemly, head shaking with her mirth. "I suppose it depends on how you phrase it," she says with a snicker, but eventually she does nod, shoulders rising in a shrug. "Yeah, it'd be interesting to see the mechanics of it. I bet crafters had quite a challenge, pulling it off." She ponders that a moment before shaking it off with a sigh, pulling her books and papers closer so she can eyeball the stack with a sad sigh. "If only techcrafters could come up with a way to automatically do all of the paperwork. I appreciate what they've done so far, technologically, but Faranth how I'd love to just click a button and poof! - it's all done." If only.

"Yeah, but then what would we do?" He asks, giving a bit of a small laugh. "We'd all be out of jobs." He laughs and stands, reaching his hand out to try and help her up. "I can tell when a lady is ready to leave." He says. "It was good seeing you again."

"We could do real work," Esi says with a laugh. "Spend more time with the people. Help out in the dragon infirmary. Explore the weyr. Plan events!" Clearly, she's spent a lot of time thinking about what she could be doing other than work… "Oh, thank you," she says with a blink when he offers her a hand up, clearly not used to that. "I really should get back and get some of this submitted - away from klah," she adds with a joking grin. "You too, G'ir. See you around, yeah?" Waggling her fingers in farewell, the goldrider gathers that stack up into her arms and heads out of the cafe to scurry back to the leadership offices.

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