Glorious Subjects

Xanadu Weyr - Meadow
A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves. The meadow continues with gentle rolls and dips, grass tall and short waving in the slightest of breezes, and eventually those hills grow higher and steeper, ending in a large ridge that provides a fine view of that meadow and the rest of the Weyr, gazing out over the multicolored roofs of the houses and the cliff that holds the caverns.

Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, and a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing. Trees border the northern side of the meadow, and more of those low, rolling hills can be seen to the northwest. A road passes through the meadow, coming from the east and used by traders and crafters alike. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests or ore from the mountains are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

It would surely be a far better thing if Averil had not been noticed. (Yes, Shiloh, we can see your terror-filled eyes and rapid nodding. Mind your own business.) But on this gloriously crisp Autumn afternoon that is not yet too cold to need more than an additional layer, the meadow presents too picturesque a view to be resisted. Though the grass is mottled green and brown as the seasons roll their heads, the meadow is as active as ever with the varied comings and goings of the Weyr, both human and dragon. Brace yourself, Avi, because what was just contentedly sunning blues and greens in their varied range of hues with the occasional brown for accent, has just added a shinier presence that is landing not nearly far enough away for the BOOMING MENTAL PRESENCE not to stand a good chance of bowling over the unexpected. « ONWAAAAAaaaaaAAaaaAAAARD!! » The much too heroically loud cry sounds as herald to the arrival of the GLORIOUSLY GORGEOUS GLORY that is GLORIOTH. Fortunately for everyone, F'yr is slipping from riding straps in the moments after the bronze alights so impossibly nimbly on his agile paws and thus there is, at least for one moment, the smallest chance that F'yr will notice Averil first and not— « WHAT HO. » Oh well. It was a nice fantasy while it lasted. The off-key theme music amps up as the dragon swings his helm-traced head to turn whirling eyes on the small figure. « YOU HAVE COME TO IMMORTALIZE THE RADIANCE OF MY VALOR AT LAST! » What took him so long? But also, does anyone really know what Glorioth is talking about or cares to contemplate the much scarier, 'how does a dragon with a memory that short immediately recognize someone he's never met?' It's fine. It's probably fine. BREATHE, SHILOH.

The day is PERFECT for painting. And the meadow, with it's comings and goings more then enough to lure Averil from the darkened corridors of the crafters quarters. (They're NOT REALLY DARK.. But in comparison? It's a valid descriptor)That there are people aplenty and blues and greens, and even the occasional brown to capture his attention and cast him off on fabulous flights of fanciful imaginings? Well. It's enough. It's enough that Averil has found himself a spot central enough to see /everything/ and offkilter enough to keep him from attracting to much attention. In short order, easel and watercolors are arranged just so, his brushes all protruding from the loose knot of his hair in an array that is not just fancifully fashionable, but practical, as well. To his credit, the heroically loud cry that erupts does not have him running for the hills. Instead, it inspires a quietly warm laugh as his gaze sweeps toward the approaching bronze and his rider. It is the rest, though, so obviously directed at him and not just general noise-making, that has him glancing curiously over his shoulder (just to be sure) before looking back at the pair.

It is the question, itself, and not the fact that he's spoken to (at?) that has him dropping into a crouch to rummage through his satchel. Shiloh, after all, had warned him about Xanadu's dragons being weirdly (and loudly) conversational. "Actually," he provides as he pulls out a sketch pad and flips it open. "I am." And he is. And the claim is proven when he flips the sketchpad around for dragon and rider to see. "You're welcome to go over the sketchs I made of you and Inasyth and choose your favorite? Or," he offers. "You're welcome to pose with F'yr if you prefer?" It is at that point that he flashes a smile at F'yr and extends him the sketchpad. See, Shiloh was totally OVERREACTING. Of course, all of the sketches in the pad are of both dame and sire and eggs. A fact which has Avi immediately apologizing. "I only caught a glimpse of you on your arrival," he explains to Glorioth. "Not nearly enough to capture you in all your glory-" ioth.

If Averil has never been treated to the sight of a man in riding leathers making all the controlled motions to get down from the height of a dragon's neck then he is now. The only reason it's relevant to note just how good F'yr makes bronzeriding look by dint of his physical prowess is because Glorioth is about to laugh his tail off. « AHAHAHAAHA HAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA! » Wait, he's not done. « HAHAHAHA AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA. » And why? Well, F'yr's smile is already wry, amused, unchallenging, before the explanation even comes from the dragon whose head swings low to buffet his rider a step even as F'yr is starting to work to loose the riding straps from his lifemate.

« WHY, MY MINISCULE MEMORY-MAKER, SURELY YOU CAN SEE THAT MY F'YRSOMELY PATHETIC LIFEMATE WOULD ONLY DETRACT FROM MY PERFECT PERFECTION, MY DASHING DREAM-WORTHY DISPLAY OF VALOROUS VALOR AND HONORABLE HONOR? NO, SURELY YOU SEE, » Trust us, Avi, you want to see, « THAT I AM AT MY BEST ADVANTAGE WITHOUT ANY UNWORTHY DISTRACTIONS. » That would be Inasyth and the eggs. He doesn't even contemplate being sorry about this sentiment because that would require sparing even half a second of thought about anything vaguely not ALL ABOUT HIM.

F'yr's clearing his throat though, to so calmly, so rationally interject, "But the eggs, Glori, it would be good to have something to remember them by." Because— « AH, YES, MY F'YRLESSLY FORTHRIGHT FATED ONE, THE PROOF OF HOW EXPERTLY I IMPALED MY SISTER— » Yes, don't worry, F'yr looks appropriately pained, like he's trying so hard not to laugh. « —AND SPREAD MY VALOR TO THE NEXT GENERATION, WHO THOUGH THEY WILL NEVER MATCH MY INESTIMABLE INCREDIBILITY, » seriously, does anyone believe this except the dragon?? « MAY COME CLOSE, THROUGH THE GIFT OF MY GLORY. »

F'yr is biting his lower lip now but he masterfully schools his features (because this is his everyday, all day, folks) and swallows down the laughter to look to Avi. "I think he's saying he'd like something done of just himself, if you'd oblige him. I think he could manage to—" F'yr glances up at the dragon who hasn't actually become still but is fanning his wings just so to appear to best advantage, to make it appear that wind is still streaming through them, "—well, mostly stay still for it. If you're willing. I think he would let you take a closer look at his anatomy, too, though the scale…" He frowns a little, "Did a firelizard help with that?" It is, size-wise less to take in, after all.

Of course that's when big helm-head is nosing in, literally, getting his enormous head down close to his rider and Averil still thankfully not right there, to add, MAGNANIMOUSLY, « NEVER FEAR, MY WELL-INTENTIONED ILLUSTRATOR, WHO BETTER THAN I TO KNOW THAT YOU IN ALL YOUR— » sorry, « YOU-NESS COULD NEVER CAPTURE ALL THAT IT IS TO BE GLORIOTH. » Watch him flex, y'all. But listen, he'll accept less than perfect art because who could ever capture all o' dis awesome~ He'll answer that, in the narrative: No one.

Averil blinks in the face of that uproarious uproar, pale grey eyes widening mildly as the sound of Glorioth's amused disdain for F'yr's presence in his portrait washes over him. It is enough to leave him momentarily breathless. He does, however, flit his gaze toward F'yr, and while he does not offer him anything more then that look? He'll hope that it conveys the fact that this? He's got /this/. It is only in the wake of Glorioth's very pointed points that he tilts his head and turns a gaze on the bronze that he usually reserves for the most troublesomely vain holders. "True, Mighty Glorioth," he assures in tones that are soothing, and praising, enough to make it clear that, while he is small, he is still a harper at his core. "And if that is truly your command? Then I shall be most happy to see your portrait done to your satisfaction. However, could it not be that his presence in your rendering would only serve to make it undeniably clear just how magnificent your visage is? After all, how could even the most villainous viewer dare deny the facts as presented to their own eyes? What better way to immortalize your magnificence to the entirety of Pern?" It is also a credit to his harper training that he withstands the rest with perfectly straight face, offering a flourishing bow before adding. "Your wish, however, is my command." Because at the end of the day, he is all too keenly aware of the fact that he is not even close to a mouthful for a dragon. Course, he's paying attention to F'yr as well, his chin dipping in a quick little nod as he straightens from the bow. "Of course, whatever suits is fine with me, F'yr." And then there is a HEAD. A very LARGE head very close to where he is standing. And that? That has him drawing in a slow breath and counting to ten backwards. It is only once he is certain he is absolutely calm that he turns a grateful smile on Glorioth. "I would consider it a great boon to be allowed to attempt such a quest. And," Faranth help for the momentary lack of sanity. "Am most eager to hear all your advice for a perfect rendering." Really, Avi, probably not your finest moment.

What this interaction undoubtedly proves is (1) why Glorioth should not be allowed to talk to people and (2) why Harpers should not be allowed to talk to Glorioth. The thing is, it doesn't really inflate the dragon's ego because this dragon has never known a doubt in his life. Nor a consequence, come to think. It's fine. Glorioth takes Averil's tone and entreaty as his due. If anything, « MY HEARTFELT THANKS, PETITE PAINTER. IT IS A JOY TO MY ME THAT YOU ARE SO ATTUNED TO MY NEEDS. » This is, in fact, the only thing anyone should ever think about, as far as the bronze is concerned. F'yr is scratching his beard, but he could teach one of those Harper classes on poker face judging by his ability to hold his own. (Can one even imagine what mental acrobatics the rider must be doing to ensure no stray detrimental thought verges into a place the dragon might "hear?")

"Glori, don't you need to go check on the eggs? I can get things settled with your artist." F'yr's casual remark is very convincing and earns a, « RIGHT YOU ARE, MY F'YRIGHTFULLY RIGHT LIFEMATE. » The straps fall to the ground as F'yr finishes with the last buckle and he reaches to the head that's still right there and gives it a roughly affectionate rub. "I'm sure everything's fine." « OF COURSE AND ALL THE FINER WHEN I HAVE ARRIVED. » Because he improves everything, of course. And without so much as a thank you, he's turning to take the running steps that bounce his tiny-for-a-bronze form up and into the air, wings snapping out and beating him up and away to veer almost immediately in the direction of the hatching arena…. leaving F'yr to coil the straps in his wake and look over to Averil with a wry smile. "He liked you." It's a compliment. But maybe don't tell Shiloh. Does it need to be explained at all to Avi why F'yr feels the need to cant his head a little toward the diminutive artist as he continues to wind leather lengths around his arm, "You alright, Averil?"

Avi watches it all with an expression that is somewhere in the vicinity (but not quite buying land) of bemused and delighted. So much so that his smile is broad as Glorioth heads back to the sands, pale grey eyes crinkling at the corners as he turns a dazzling smile on F'yr. "Alright? He's… He's.." Oh here it comes, brace yourself F'yr. "/Wonderful/." Ah, Avi, dear sweet Avi, may you never lose your rose-tinted glasses. "I like him too," comes quickly, the words accompanied with a quick bob of his head and another wondering look cast toward the directions of the hatching arena. "He's… A.. lot." He admits. "A lot, a lot. But.. You know," he muses as he turns his attention back to F'yr. "There is an acting Master at Harper Hall that is a lot like that. His students dreaded him, but I always had fun when he was around." Probably because Avi was nowhere close to ever being a threat. "I painted a lot of portraits of him, as well," he admits.

And yet, Avi, F'yr can't help but agree, smile as lovesick as any man in the midst of the partnership of his life, something that weathers the test of time and every obstacle and gives nothing for any of the hiccups or hurts along the way. "I agree. Not many do." Though F'yr does not wear such tinted spectacles about his own life, so tempering that smile to something more appropriate to current company he finally looks toward Averil again and not the direction his dragon left in, adding a sincere, "Understandably. I gather some dragons are a little more flexible than he is which tends to help with less… extreme interactions." A lot is a good way of putting it. "But if you can deal with him, you can probably feel comfortable dealing with most of the dragons here. They've all got their quirks. Some are as much in their own way." SIMMER DOWN, XANADU, F'YR IS NOT CLAIMING TO HAVE THE MUCHIEST DRAGON OF THEM ALL.

"I think you'll be fine anytime you want to come to the hatching arena now." Not the sands, of course. "But they're due to hatch within the next few sevens, so if you want a chance to see them again before that… And of course, if you can manage, coming to the hatching would be an experience, too. I hadn't seen one when I came." He might be rambling a little bit now, glancing over to Avi with a briefly abashed smile. "Sorry. Didn't mean to bend your ear." He might just be a little tired, coming to the end of it all.

Averil follows the line of F'yr's gaze, his head giving a mild shake as he brushes one hand over the back of his neck. "I think," he admits. "If I were that big and had claws and teeth and could fly? I'd be a little sure of myself, too." Avi certainly can't fault Glorioth for that. "He was friendly.. Or at least, I /imagine/ that was friendly for a dragon? I have a sum total experience of one." So he really can't tell for certain. Tugging a paint brush out of his hair, he offers another mild shake of his head for the apology, his lips twitching in a quiet smile. "I like it," he admits. "Barring Shiloh and Tej not very many people stop to talk to me. Unless they want a commission, then it is all business." As he speaks, he gathers up his palette, his teeth worrying at the corner of his lip as he starts mixing a range of gold and bronze hues. "I've never been to a hatching," he admits. "Well, not that I remember? I might have gotten taken to one by the nannies at Ista when I was very young. But, I intend to go," he promises. "And I will poke at Shiloh to make sure he comes with me." Which leads him to slanting a glance back toward the hatching arena. "If I paint him standing over a vanquished foe? What kind of foe would you suggest?"

F'yr is a man who thinks before he speaks, thus there's a nod for the matter of the hatching, and an immediate answer for the last question: "Herdbeasts. A pile of herdbeasts. Young. Old. If you need inspiration and can stomach it, watching the dragons hunt in the feeding grounds might provide inspiration." Then there's a thoughtful silence before he addresses the rest. The large man finishes winding those straps and then ducks his head to pass the large coil over and sling them across his chest for ease of transport. His hands tuck the ends of the straps into place as blue eyes return to the slighter man.

"'Friendly' doesn't really begin to figure into it for Glori, really. Inasyth, now, she's friendly. I think she was being on her best behavior so you weren't unnerved, but… most of the golds are-" EXCESSIVELY, "-very friendly. But they're friendly in the dragon way, so it's hard to get one's head around until one experiences it. Or was for me, anyway. I think I was expecting something like a large canine or maybe— I'm not sure, a runner. Something, anyway, but not what I got. "It happens that you wanted to talk about Glorioth's favorite subjects. Himself and heroics." F'yr says it matter of factly but with a smile that allows for how that might sound to some. "What do you like to talk about when it's not business?" This might be F'yr-style offer of friendship.

The question catches Avi off-guard, pale grey eyes flicking up to the bronzerider before darting back to the blank canvas in front of him. And, while he does intend to answer, it still takes a few moments before words will come. "I don't really know," he finally admits as he starts blocking out a massive form in pale gold paint. That, however, is just the base, the highlights that will shine through in the final rendering. "Tejra, she's the one friend I had before coming here, and I tend to talk about clothes, or art, or whatever harrowing adventure she has been up to recently. I don't… I don't really have friends," he admits without so much as glancing at F'yr's face. "That's probably my fault really. I'm not.. I'm not really like the other men I've met." Pausing a beat, he lightly clears his throat, a subtle tension lining his frame and his chin tilting up in an unconsciously defiant gesture. "I like to wear frilly dresses and ribbons… Not the sort of thing that tends to endear me to most men." And still, he's not glancing at the bronzerider, preferring not to see him walking away, or worse, looking sympathetic.

Hopefully, hopefully, Averil has noticed that F'yr is a man whose mind takes a bit to process things. It accounts for the pregnant silence, the slightly dipping brows. He has, however, enough experience with the need to not let some silences last too long, so maybe the shrug will have to suffice as comment? "I don't know anything about dresses or ribbons. I used to just wear farm clothes until someone told me I should get some shirts with color. Blue, they said. Then I wrecked so many of them during weyrlinghood I gave up on getting nicer things altogether for a while." This may not quite seem to address the point, but it's neither pity nor censure, so there's that.

A little more to the point, blue eyes come away from the sky and down to Averil's face as he offers. "I'm not really like other men I've met. I found that out when I got here. Slowly." Then again, what average Joe would partner up for life with Glorioth and love him completely. It says much about F'yr's flexibility for all that he looks the part of a brainless lug good for lifting heavy things and not much more. "But if you wanted to talk about the things you like, I'd be glad to listen." That sounds good, right? It's real, too, though he does clear his throat, hands settling themselves on the coiled straps to add as a caveat, "But I may've gotten taken to task a time or two for inattention when it comes to ribbons and frills by a few of my relations. But I can try." LISTEN, he's only human. And he lacks a personal interest in frills and ribbons. He is not perfect, alas.

Whatever Avi was expecting for a response? That was not it. It is, in fact, surprising enough that his brush pauses midsweep, pale eyes slanting a curious glance at F'yr. After a moment, he draws in a slow breath and dips his chin in a nod, his gaze sweeping back to the canvas. "It's silly to judge people for what they wear. If you want to wear farm clothes, you should wear farm clothes." Pausing a beat, his smile turns winsome as the brush sweeps through deep hues, deftly blocking wings and belly and the underside of Glorioth's tail. "Shiloh dresses like he's still on the ranch and it's very fetching. You should try a hat," he adds with a glance at F'yr. "You'd look good in a hat."

It's the rest that has him considering even though his visual attention returns to the canvas in front of him. "I like Xanadu," he finally offers in serious tones. "I like that I can be myself and most people won't even bat a lash. I'm still getting used to it, though," he admits in quiet tones. "It's…. It's different. Course, it's confusing, too. Scary, you know? But in a way that makes you keep wanting to test the water." That he is not exactly talking about Xanadu anymore is something he hasn't realized, yet. Still, his brush slows, his head giving a mild shake as he lightly clears his throat and starts adding in finer detail. "I'm rambling," he notes with a quiet laugh. "Tell me about you? How long have you been in Xanadu?"

F'yr's lips twitch slightly. "I like the blue shirts. I just didn't know what to look for that wasn't what I'd always known. Ajral was very helpful. Katailea, too. An eye for that kind of thing. Sometimes it's nice to grow a little." Certainly, the bronzerider has thrived since arriving here. "I have hats. Made a straw one for a party before turnover." As the least effort costume possible: a farmer. Shh, it still counted. "But I'll think about wearing them more often. Mostly it's the helmet now, for flight." He was probably wearing it just as they were landing but off quickly because they're not precisely comfortable as these things go. "Ru'ien has a skirt he wears sometimes. No ruffles." That last is added on as almost an afterthought. "He wore a dress to that party before turnover and looked—" The smile broadens a little, like F'yr has a secret, a good secret, and it warms his expression. "Anyway. Some might take issue, but not me." He probably has Averil's back if the need should arise, really. And… well, with F'yr comes Glorioth, even if no one will escape without some commentary about effeminate sentimentalities.

"Different, confusing, scary." F'yr agrees with everything as the dips of his head indicate, but he adds one more, "freeing." Then another, "Amazing." His smile widens a little, the love of the place evident in his expression. "When I first got here, I decided to say 'yes' to every new experience that came my way. Worked out okay overall, but there were some moments I wondered if I'd survive." Literally. He means literally. "But it's good. It's really good." He means that, no judgment in the least for the rambling, if it was. "I got here about six months before Glorioth shelled, and he's a little over two now. Came from my family's farm in the region. Started as a gardener. Ended up assisting the Weyrleaders, after I brushed up with the harpers." There's a fond smile for that, for Avi by association. Brushed up here means finished learning to read, write and do numbers. "What I should tell you about, that I think you'd appreciate because you're an artist is about what it's like inside his head. If I can find any of the right words." His eyes go to the sky, seeming to ponder that a moment. It seems to be a topic for another time, though. "So art, dresses with frills and ribbons." He squints a little, "Travel?"

"I can't even imagine," Avi admits. "I mean, I've read accounts at Harper Hall, of course but it all seems so fantastical." Chewing that the bottom of his lip, his visual focus remains on the canvas, the brush he had been using tucked back into his hair (Which has numerous drops of bronze and gold spilling onto his locks— it's OK though, it's watercolor). Drawing out another with a considerably finer tip, his tongue poking from the corner of his mouth as he goes about blocking out points of shadow and light. "You should try to paint it," he suggests helpfully.

Travel? It.. depends, he admits. "I don't go to many places, but I read about them? Some I have to research for books I'm doing illustrations for, but not actual travel." Setting the brush aside, he steps back, one hand sweeping up to push stray strands of hair out of his eyes. "Do you miss your family?" Family is something he has always been curious about, not having one of his own? He can't really imagine the kinds of ties that are formed. It is only belatedly that he shakes his head, pale eyes squinting into the distance for a moment before he notes. "I'm not really sure saying yes to things is good for me." Which is promptly followed with that squint being turned on F'yr. "You really have a friend who wears dresses?" THAT? That is definitely something he wasn't expecting.

There's a little understanding nod of F'yr's head for the fantastical nature of… well, everything. His eyes follow the brush and the drips and his head tilts just a little. One hand comes up to indicate, "That alright?" because former farmer F'yr probably does not know the difference between watercolors and whatever they used to whitewash things back home. "Painting is probably not really my thing. Did a bit of drawing now and again when I was young, but not anything like what you do." Stick figures, Avi. He probably drew stick figures. (Or only slightly better.)

The rest… well, he's arrested. His expression, steady as it tends to routinely be, just holds. After a moment, he clears his throat and nods his head just slightly. "Sometimes I do. I'm building a family here." That one is an anchor he can grasp in the moment of internal storm. "It's a good one. One that understands and accepts me." This, one might assume, is somewhat different than the one he left, somehow. "I've only seen Ru'ien in the one dress, and his skirt, but he looked good. Comfortable. He might talk ruffles and ribbons with you. He makes jewelry." This seems to occur to him to add as a helpful perhaps appealing detail - one artisan and another and all that. "Actually, his dragon is something of an artist." That's said slowly with a small degree of caution. "She's Glorioth's sister…" Is this sufficient warning about Kihatsuth? "She has a wicked… well, sense of humor among other things." Maybe that will do.

Averil's smile is quiet as he nods his head, pale eyes watching F'yr for a long moment before sweeping back to the distance. "The dragons in Ista were not so…. Well, I mean, I suppose that would not be fair to say. They were not so demonstrative with those who were not their lifemates." Falling silent for a long moment, he adds. "I think I like the larger personalities at Xanadu better. I'd like that," he adds with a glance back to F'yr. "Meeting Ru'ien." Forced to wait while the paint dries, he slips his hands in his pockets as he draws back a step, his weight rocking on lightly on his heels. "Building your own family seems like a worthy pursuit. Although, I find it very hard to imagine that you have any problems with people accepting you." The bronzerider just strikes him as too friendly and approachable not to have a very large circle around him.

F'yr's lips might be a smile, pressed slightly together and turned up just a little at the edges. There's a silence for a beat, two, then, "Not every different thing is as evident as ruffles and ribbons." His tone does not diminish Averil's own uniqueness, but rather simply implies F'yr might, beneath the very stereotypical bronzerider look (he looks like the kinds of people who end up on the covers Avi creates for a living, after all!), there is at least one thing about his essential makeup that might make a challenge of that. "I like the dragons here, too." He turns the conversation to something distinctly easier. "I should get back to the sands before Glori decides anyone else might be a shifty-eyed foe-villain." Like Shiloh. At least this will confirm any of the BeastCrafter's accounts of Glorioth's unique view of the world. "If you don't meet him before there's a good moment, I'll introduce you to Ru'ien." He nods a little to the canvas, "Enjoy your craft, Averil." Then he's starting to head in the direction of the hatching arena.

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