A Commission Breakthrough

Follows on from Karona's Dilemma - Thea's Solution (Karona is Searched).


Xanadu Weyr - Smith Forge

Loud, dim, and hot is the large area set up for the Smith's forge area. It's been roughly divided into separate areas, the large common one holding the main forge lodged against the western wall, with bellows at the ready and a chimney rushing high to open in the ceiling outside. This is the area that the apprentices are taught in and are able to use, the nearby wall clasps a vast and unspecialized collection of tools, while the built-in shelves of another wall host jars of nails, crates of wood and metal scraps, spools of wire, sacks of sand, and heavy bins of Cromcoal, all decorated with a fine coating of grime and sawdust.

To the other side are the separate forges for the Journeyman's use, each one kept clean and neat, even when in the midst of a project. Behind and to the back lies the more private forges reserved for the few Masters that stay here.

There is a door to one side that leads into a hallway and to the dorms and rooms of the smiths that call Xanadu home.

The smith forge is always a busy place at Xanadu. And there were lots of deliveries that had to find their way there. Today K'ael is in charge of the job, he's got a few crates from here and there that he's wheeling in on a dolly. He whistles a bit on this way in, then takes the clipboard with the paperwork off the top of the stack once he's inside. He can wait until one of the smiths gets a chance to come and tend to him. There was no rush and always plenty more crates to deliver no matter how much he worked his butt off.

Some smith starts to shout "Kar— oh.." remembering halfway through that the resident doorman was searched. And yet, there she is, over by the door, sprawled on the floor surrounded by blank pieces of paper, a very chewed pencil in her hand. "I've got it!" Karona shouts back, getting to her feet and dusting herself off with a grimace, before moving to eye the crates. "Right… where do I sign?" she asks all business, though there's a slight frown when she looks up and sees that the delivering rider is K'ael. "Ah. Sir." she tacks on, flatly.

K'ael chuckles a bit and leans against the stack while he waits on a smith to tend to him. He hands over the clipboard to Karona, then blinks at her. "Sir? Shards Karona. I'm not a wingleader or even a second anymore. Also it's not like I'm that much older than you. Anyways, where do you want them? They're heavy, it'll be easier with the dolly." He nods to the paperwork. "Cookin' the books over there?"

Karona signs the clipboard with her chewed up pencil, then hands it back to K'ael. "There's a storage cupboard over by the hallway," she points to the forge's other exit. "Just put them over there, someone will be along to put them away properly. Smiths can handle a few heavy crates." she says, though she doesn't look capable of lifting that sort of weight. She glances back to the blank sheets of paper, and grimaces. "A… commission. It isn't going well." she furrows her brow, and hesitates. "…I… hm. It's… to be a sculpture… to go in a rider's garden." A sculpture of what? She doesn't seem able to bring herself to say.

K'ael accepts the clipboard, but he'll let Karona keep her gnawed pencil though. He leans the stack back a bit and wheels it over to where she points, wriggling the crates to the ground. "Alright, sounds good." K'ael would lift them for her, if she even tried. But he's happy to put them where she wants them. "Oh? Something intricate?" He blinks then. "Didn't know you were into that sort of thing. So what's it supposed to be? Or is it going to be one of those abstract art pieces?"

Karona nods slightly, following K'ael as he takes the crates to the cupboard. "Right… That's the spot." she says, rather unneccessarily, perhaps just to fill a silent moment. The questioning on her sculpture has her frowning again, very near grimacing, but she does answer, at least. "Ah, I'm into these." she notes, pulling a fat blue marks pouch out of her pocket, and shaking it. The marks clatter faintly, packed too tightly to make any more noise than that. "This is just the first payment." she adds, regarding the pouch fondly a moment, before popping it back away. "If I can figure out what to sculpt." she says, with a frown. "The order is frustratingly vague. I'm to title it "love", and it has to be 'sensuous'." she grimaces. "What that means, I have /no/ idea. Such subjective… things. What would /you/ make?"

K'ael nods and smiles to Karona. "Need anything else lifted? Any deliveries I can take while I'm here?" He blinks. Then laughs. "Oh yeah. I miss those, too. I'm going to have to kiss a little more butt before I get paid more, though. I can't make sculptures or anything else that requires talent." He tilts his head and blinks a bit. "Uh… sensuous? Heh, that sounds… interesting. Me? Hm…" He scratches his chin a bit. "Two hearts. One right-side up, one upside-down."

Karona shakes her head slowly. "If it didn't pay so well, I'd tell the rider… I couldn't do it." There's a slight pause after 'rider', possibly a self-censoring one. "If I don't get promoted to senior journeyman soon, I might need to start kissing some butt myself." she mutters, then shakes her head. "Hoping this commission gets me there. Didn't anticipate this, though." she adds, flicking at the simple white knot on her shoulder. That might set things back a little. "Two hearts. Huh. That… makes sense. Heck of a lot easier to sculpt than hands…" Hands? "I wonder…" she murmurs, glancing back at the crates. "Hmm…" she drifts off into thought, mumbling quietly, then blinks, and turns red. "Ah, sorry! I forgot where I was a moment. I, uh, thank you, that's… something to think about." She frowns slightly. "I've never sculpted before… Do you think the metal used might make a difference?" Well, it's a sculpture, those are all about looks, right?

K'ael chuckles. "Well, maybe if you do a good commission job you won't need to be a senior. You can just do some sculpturing work on the side." He blinks at the knots, then he grins and nods. "Well, if you impress it won't matter, either. Steady work then, with the marks. Won't make you rich, but hey." he chuckles. "You'll have to do the hearts just right though, to pull off sensuous. The two hearts… if you do it right, they ought to look like a curvey lady." He motions with his hands. "I mean, I guess you could do something more complicated." The bronzer scratches his head. "Maybe. I mean, for coloring and what not. Don't want it to be cold-looking."

Karona shakes her head slightly. "I need that promotion if I'm ever going to make master. I don't plan to sit around at journeyman rank forever." she states. "…well. Unless I impress. I suppose /that's/ possible. But I can still do craft work as a rider, right? I just wouldn't reach master rank." Which, really, would take a lot of pressure off. "A… curvy lady? Hrm. I… Hrm. How do I know this rider is even /into/ ladies? Not exactly the kind of thing I can just.. ask." Not after the last time she tried to ask someone that. "Mm.. I should ask around later, see what metals other smiths recommend. It's got to be weather-proof, or weather-resistant at least, if it'll be sitting in his garden." she says, with a slight frown. "I'll… see what I can find out. But I think I should use different metals, two perhaps? To, uh, symbolise two people…" She furrows her brow. How does she know the bluerider is only seeing one person, or anyone? "…too many variables."

K'ael nods to her. "Yeah if you want, just can't be a master. Xanadu has a whole wing for crafters. It's a big crafting weyr really. And if you wanted to take time off, you could just join another wing for a while." He chuckles. "Well, just because the rider isn't into ladies doesn't mean they won't find the general shape of one sensuous. Men can't really pull that off. They could be involved, but there has to be a woman for that to be… that. Maybe I'm biased though. You could always run the design down the commissioner, right?" He nods about the metal being water resistant. "You could also maybe do like… some sort of twined thing. That looks like legs twisted up together."

Karona nods slowly, furrowing her brow. "Right… right. Couple craftriders in here." she waves a hand at the forges. "That's not a problem." If she decides she even wants to craft. Again, /if/ she impresses. "Hmm, I suppose. Such an annoying commission, I'm not in his head, I don't know what he wants, argh." she throws her hands up in the air, and starts to head back to her papers. "…marks are good, though…" is murmured. Nope, she's not wriggling out of this one, trapped by her own greed. "Mmm. Maybe." she says. "Maybe… I do kind of like the heart design though, that… makes sense. I might use that."

K'ael nods to her. "Unless you want to be a master. Then I guess you probably wouldn't have accepted that." He motions to her knot. Then he shrugs a bit. "Well, you should make it your own, too. Uh… when I say the word sensuous to you what's the first thing that comes to mind? I know what I think of, but the commissioner probably isn't too much interested in what I think." He scratches his head. "Art is more about feeling I guess. I mean, you have the skills to make what you want, just have to sort of put the feeling into the art."

Karona wrinkles up her nose. "My feelings? I have to put those in? Be a statue of nothing, I'm not convinced love exists, and sensuous? That's… not a word in my vocabulary, and my father's a harper." Meaning she's learnt lots of fancy words, like 'vocabulary'. "I suppose metal is the ideal medium for me, it's cold and hard." she says, with a grimace. "I… I guess… I don't know. Flowers?" she suggests, lamely.

K'ael laughs. "Yeah. Probably. I mean, I would think so. For a good piece of art. Or it should at least stir emotions in others." He grins to her. "I dunno. To me sensuous is about sex… but not just like the animalistic act. More like being fertile and sexy. At least when it's coupled with love. Don't have anyone that triggers those kinds of feelings for you?" The bronzer could strip and prance around for her, if it would help. Though his idea of sensuous might be a little skewed. Most things remind him of sex.

"But I don't /have/ feelings!" the smith candidate protests. "At least… not of /that/ nature." her nose wrinkles again, and she shakes her head. "No… no-one. Not in turns, nor do I /want/ anyone. I have /things/ to do. Work and. And chores." she trails off, with a frown. Yeah, work isn't that great of an excuse for being single if she ditches half the work day to go be a candidate. "…and besides, I'm a candidate. That sort of thing isn't allowed." Karona's face is colouring though, /something/ come to mind… "Silk." Or substitute here Pern's closest fabric. "Soft and slinky … dress. I don't… don't /wear/ dresses… but they're nice. Th-they feel nice." She eyes her hands, the calloused hands of a smith, working hands. Hands that may have only touched silk once or twice, ever. There's a moment of silence, and then she jams her hands in her pockets in irritation. "But that's pointless, he wouldn't want /that/." she mutters, face very red. Did she really say that? Oh dear. One of these days she has to learn how to control that mouth of hers.

K'ael blinks. And then he chuckles a bit. "Oh come on… There's gotta be someone you at least find attractive. You go for the big hunky guys?" He flexes for her. "Or the thinner sensitive types? Or uh… women?" He blinks and her, then laughs. "Well, sex isn't allowed. Yes. But it's not just about sex." He nods to her then. "Ooh silk, yeah… that's nice. All flow-ey… You can get silky sheets, you know… no need to restrict yourself to a dress…though that might actually look interesting as a sculpture. Something flowing like that. Especially as metal."

Karona shakes her head firmly. "Men." she states, definitively. Not women. No. "I… I suppose I like holder type men." she doesn't seem too convinced about that part. "Older me— hang on. Is this relevant?" she asks, turning on K'ael. But the mention of the sculpture pulls her back on track, and she looks sheepish. "R-right. Something abstract maybe, flows and folds and… hmm. That… that might actually work." she muses, moving back to gather up the papers, pencil in hand. She jots down some notes, glances up a moment, and then continues writing notes. "…hm, yes…"

K'ael nods to Karona. Men it is! Holder types. "I gotcha. Someone like my brother maybe. He's pretty big, taller than me, about the same muscles. Takes care of the family cothold now mostly. But really laid back, soft spoken. Too old for you though, and handfasted too. But that type." He laughs a bit. "Well, yeah. Just trying to sort of talk a bit. Maybe something will give you an idea." He grins as she turns to the paper. "See? You got something there. And I didn't even have to help."

Karona bobs her head slightly. "…yeah. Men like that. Marrying types. Riders can't /be/ married. Married people don't get searched." She assumes. That's sounding awfully specific though, and she seems to realise this, clamming up on /that/ subject. "Mm, something. Not sure it's workable… but I'll see what I can do. But… you did help, sort of. I've been puzzling this thing over for /days/, feels like weeks. May be. I guess… I never stopped to consider what /I/ thought. It's not /for/ me. I've never made art before, it's… it's new." she furrows her brow slightly. "Should've asked my father when I was there…" she murmurs. She visited Karell? But 'love' and 'sensuous' are hardly things to ask one's separated parents about.

K'ael chuckles and nods. "Yep. We can't. Thankfully. We would make terrible terrible spouses. Well, most of us would. Heh… he asked -you- for the commission though, right? So its still about doing what you think is good and represents your spin on the theme. He nods to her, chuckling a bit. "You should've. Your ma…" He grins. "She can be sensuous if she's interested. Trust me." He laughs. "Sorry. Probably too much info for you. But I bet your da would know something about it."

Karona snorts, in response to riders making terrible spouses. "You're telling me. Things'd've gone a lot different if.." she furrows her brow, and shakes her head. "…never mind." Likely she was about to say something about marriage and her own parents. She scowls when her mother is mentioned. "I'm not talking to /her/." she mutters. "Or /about/ her. Especially not to my father." The candidate frowns at the papers in her arms. "If you'll excuse me, sir, I have metals to research." she states, then walks off, headed no doubt to wherever the smiths keep the reference texts.

K'ael blinks a bit at Karona. He tilts his head at her. Clearly her mother's riding ways didn't much suit the smith. Maybe if she impressed she'd soften up on her mom a little. He chuckles and raises his hands defensively. "Right right. Sorry. Anyways. Good luck with that." He gives her a waves and heads off back to work.

Further exploration in Friends?.

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