Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern

It is often whispered in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.
The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company.

There is an interesting man sitting at the edge of the bar, a long staff propped up against the wall behind him. He has a lute in his hands and he's slowly sliding his fingers over the strings, twisting them tightly to tune the lute. A few strums of his fingers sends notes soaring through the air before he finds a discordant note and fixes that. This time of the day the bar seems relatively abandoned but this doesn't seem to bother the harper.

It doesn't bother Darsce either as she's just slipping in to find a quiet spot anyway. The heated room is in stark contrast to the sleet hissing down in Xanadu's early winter. The hood of her fur parka is the first thing flipped down, fur beaded with moisture, then she's slipping out of the jacket as she approaches the bar, eyes on the barkeep behind the lute-player. She's focused, for the time-being on one thing. Hopping gracefully up on a stool a few down from the man, she gives the 'tender her sweetest smile and a bright, "My usual, please." That done, she's reaching inside her jacket pocket and fishing out a small gilt case, places it on the counter in front of her. Only then does the man get a curious glance, mostly for that discordant note which makes her nose wrinkle. Then she greets him with a casual, "Oh hi Dom. You're back, hmm?"

"That sounds like Darsce." Dom says with a broad grin. "It has been a while, to be sure. I'm visting.. as it were. Needed to pick up some suppiles to have my new lute made and some of the best stuff is here." He admits. "This old girl is starting to wear down on me." He offers, tilting his head. "Sounds like its still sleeting outside."

"So you remember me, do you?" There's a smile in Darsce's voice, obviously amused by something. "It's probably because I heckled you for holding up the tavern wall last time, huh?" There's the sound of something being unzipped, then silence for a beat or two. Then an awful stench. Sharp, pungent, acrid. Something chemical. "It's a little too cold to be opening the windows," says the disparaging voice of the 'tender from over where he's mixing her drink. "Oh, supplies," Darsce says after a little snort which is all the reply the 'tender gets - she's ignoring him after that to ask Dominic, "What exactly do we have the best of here?" She sounds interested in that, anyway.

"Ah, trade secret. If I told then wandering ears would find out and I wouldn't have the best Lute in all of Pern." Braggart! "Well, perhaps it was because you heckled me.." He teases back in turn before he suddenly coughs. "What is that smell?" He wrinkles his nose sharply. "It's awful…just…rancid." He wriggles a bit. "uggah.."

"Trade secret!" This is a scoffed echo accompanied by a delicate snort. There's laughter in Darsce's tone, however. "They only sell to you then? Cos if they do that's just poor business practice there." As for the smell, she tsks disparagingly, "The guys always says that. It's just nail polish. This is mauve. Mama says it goes with my hair nicely." There's a glass-clinked on the counter just then. "Thanks!" is her bright reply to the disapproving 'tender, followed by a, "What'll you have Dom? My treat." It's the least she can do for fouling the air in here, after all.

"I wouldn't know how it looks, Darsce." That's said teasingly. "You'll have to describe it to me, sometime. It must be spectacular for that smell." He offers before he grins. "Oh, whatever. Doesn't matter to me." He admits before pausing. "Wait.. trying to get me drunk and take advantage of me, are you?" He grins. "And no, they don't only sell to me. They sell to everyone. But they make something to my specifications."

Darsce snorts. With a disdainful sound to her voice, "You wish! More like trying to get you drunk so you won't care about the smell," she comes back without missing a beat. Ouch! With a little sniff of wounded vanity she adds, "I don't need to get guys drunk; I'm usually beating them off with a stick." She giggles a little just then, "Or Daddy Darling is growling and making beat-you-up fists at them and they're running away fast." There's a waft of evil-scented polish air then as she waves her one hand to get her nails to dry and picks up her glass with the other sipping delicately. "You can have anything you want to drink." Her glass clicks on the counter and there's the clink of coins as she pays the 'tender. From the sound of things she's at least giving the bartender a generous tip for ignoring his plea not to ruin the atmosphere. She's a brat, but she can try to compensate.

"Daddy wouldn't dare hit a blind man, now would he?" Dom teases in turn, snickering at the disdainful sound. "Now now, you don't even know what you are missing!" He says, laughing a bit before he motions to Darsce. "I'll have what she's having." A pause. "So, aside from leading all the boys along, what have you been doing?"

"It depends on what the blind man is doing," Darsce tells him sweetly. "Tell me you don't use that to hide behind? Mama tells me that people are respon-sible (she chokes just a little bit on that word) for their actions." You can almost hear the eyeroll in her tone for his ‘don’t know what you are missing’. Could he be more obvious? As for having the same as what she’s drinking, she's incredulous, "Really? Do you like the pink frozen kind with the strawberry swirl inside? Cos that's what I'm having." She sips, then chatters on, "The guys are always acting like it's poison when I order it and they get whiskey instead." She quiets so he can change his mind if he wants, then smirks - not that he can see it. "Not much else," she answers truthfully with a snigger. Good thing her daddy isn't hear to hear that.

"Oh, nothing at all?" Dom hmms as he laughs. "And of course not. I use it to my advantage, and I am responsible for my actions.. most of the time.. and sure, I'll have it. I don't mind drinking fruity drinks. I don't care what others say. That's the difference between a man and a boy." He admits. "That's a big chuckle for not doing anything." He says, motioning towards her. "Why don't you sit closer. I like to hear and I'll be nice…promise."

Using his blindness to his advantage. There's a knowing chuckle at that. It takes one to spot one, perhaps. "Well, I'm over here because if I sit nearer, you'll pass out when I paint the nails of my other hand?" Darsce reasons, again sweetly. "Besides, your drink will taste awful." Hers though, doesn't. Go figure. But then, she's used to the fumes. There's the clink of more coins as she pays for his drink, telling the server, "Another fru fru for my friend." And true to her word, here comes a fresh onslaught of nail-polish fumes as she works on her other hand. His comment draws a cheeky, "What? My mom's a goldrider and my Darling Daddy is Weyrsecond. I don't need to do anything much." She's spoiled? Just a little. But at least she's being honest. The tavern is mostly empty but at the bar two patrons sit chatting a few stools apart while the tender lingers nearby.

Jethaniel pushes open the door and steps inside, tracking winter slush across the floor as he heads for the bar. If he notices the other patrons, he doesn't actually acknowledge them, just sitting down on a stool and ordering a mug of "Some sort of light ale." The tender raises a brow, and Jethaniel shrugs… so the bartender goes off and obliges him, providing the mug and being paid for it.

Dom shrugs a bit at Darsce. "That doesn't mean anything, to be honest." Dom offers to Darsce. "Many children of riders are fostered and not kept along. And Lord and Lady Holder children would feel themselves rather higher on the chain than you or I when it comes to not doing anything."

"Sure it does," disagrees Darsce. "Mom's an independant rider at Ierne, so she's got her own business. Daddy's paycheck is pretty sweet, so." She shrugs right back at him, unperturbed. "I doubt it," she says of Lord and Lady spawn. It goes without saying that not all riders’ children are fostered while some holders’ brats are, so she doesn't shoot holes in his reasoning. The tender brings his drink then and Darsce's carefully capping her nail polish. The air ought to clear soon - Yay! Jethaniel enters and he may not be saying anything to them, but she flutters fingers at him - her be-mauved nails flashing. "Hi." Then the imp in her just HAS to ask, "Do you like sweet, fruity drinks?" And iceblue eyes slide innocently towards the man with the lute on his lap as she waits for the answer.

Such chemicals! Jethaniel barely seems to notice the stink of it hanging in the air. The flutter of nails does get his attention, at least combined with the greeting. "Ah, hello," he offers to the young woman, as if he'd only just noticed her presence. Perhaps he only just has, for now that he's seen her, he spends a decent moment or three looking her over as best he can in the dim light of the bar. "Sweet, fruity drinks?" he repeats. "On a beach in summer, certainly, but it's hardly summer. So far as winter goes, I tend to prefer something with a sharper profile. More -" He lifts a hand up and then down, tracing over a mountain, "- Less -" And his hand goes over a smooth, shallow curve. "As it were."

"So you believe that you're better than me because you rely on your father's earnings instead of doing it yourself?" Dom asks, tilting his head to the side as he hears someone else enter and he nods towards where he thinks the man has entered. "How're you? She was buying so I chose what she was drinking." Dom shifts to reach out to try and grab the glass. "Because Darsce, if you think so then I think we don't have anything else to discuss." He takes a drink.

"That's two!" announces Darsce as Jethaniel gives his answer about whether he'll ever drink the sweet drinks, summer notwithstanding. And since he hasn't complained about the nail polish, she doesn't apologize for it, but does say, "I picked a bad day and place to do this, so in order to make up for it, I'm paying." Then of course, Dominic speaks and he's given a very confused look. "I never said I was better than anyone. I just said I didn't need to do much and was telling you why that's the truth," she points out patiently. She does lean to slide his glass closer to where his hand is, steadying it until he's got it so he doesn't knock it over. As to the rest of his commentary, she just shakes her head and tsks again. "Now see, suppose for the sake of argument I really thought that I was better than everyone in the world. Wouldn't it be better to discuss that with me to change my way of thinking with harper-logic and wisdom instead of huffing off all offended?"

Jethaniel blinks in perplexment. Did he just walk into something? It seems he did. How… curious. Also, awkward. He hrms, and takes a long sip of his ale, staring at the wall behind the bar as he does. Hmm. He sets the mug down again, then notes the slight ring from where it was set down the first time. Aha. He traces a finger along, coaxing the liquid into a crossed pattern in the center of the wetted circle, observes the way the fluid contracts on itself again. Quite a prolonged procedure, and all for the sake of avoiding the social situation brewing to his side. Oh, fluid dynamics, at least you're his friend! You don't go and put him in the middle of other people's arguments! …not that he can help listening in somewhat. The mystery and wonder of it compels him!

"No, but you implied it." Dominic offers, holding up his finger. "You are proud of the fact that you don't have to do anything. That much I know. It's a bit of an affront to those of us that do." Dom counters, taking a drink of his fruity drink. "But I'd rather not discuss if someone thinks they're better than someone else… it makes my head hurt." He says, smiling. "I'll just take your word on it."

Darsce's attention is caught by the runnels of fluid Jethaniel is tracing. So caught is she that she slides down from her stool to walk over and observe his tracings. But in truth, she's more fascinated with his absorption in it than the patterns he's creating. Arguments are awkward though and with this in mind she merely laughs lightly at the persistence of Dominic in having one. "I implied nothing," she says cheerfully. "I just did not apologize for not having to work. And you, my prickly friend. Are jealous. And you shouldn't be. People like me keep people like you in business." With that she heads back to the bar, retrieves her nail case and polish, leaves the marks for Jethaniel's drink for the tender and shrugs back into her fur jacket. That some furrier was pleased to have her buy. "Ta!" She's got things to not do. A nap or something. Hey she's a teenager - or was a month ago. Cut her some slack.

Jethaniel takes another sip of his ale, and sets the mug carefully to match the secondary ring. It's not as pronounced yet, after all; there was an insufficient condensation period between sips for that. There's an optimal length for ring generation, surely… too short, and there's not enough condensation; too long, and the surface of the mug will become saturated, reducing actual throughput until it recieves agitation in the form of a sip. The problem bears some similarity to that of cycle length in a hydraulic engine, though of course - Huh. He notices Darsce beside him just as she swirls away, and stares after her for a long moment. "Ah. Farewell!" he offers, then turns back to the drink. What just happened? He has no idea. Time for another sip of ale.

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