Follows on from A Commission Breakthrough.


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 buildings, 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.

Stables and a smithy are settled on their own plots, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a fence can be seen to the north.

It's late afternoon in Xanadu, the sky just beginning to darken. Work is beginning to wind up around the Weyr, where it's able. Outside the forge is a large metal.. sculpture of some sort, two wavy sheets of metal, in different colours - different metals - winding their way around one another, up into the sky. Well, not the sky, it's only a couple of meters tall, but it's… impressive. Frantically rubbing at the sculpture is a smith candidate, Karona. She keeps glancing up to the sky, and then bending back to her work with vigour, muttering, "No, no, no…"

Lan is apparently one of those who has disentangled himself from work, whatever it was that he was doing in the hours before it came to an end, his path draws from the beach. It is an assumption that like Karona, he had invested his afternoon in craft-chores. Upon closer inspection, the knicks from netting and fish scales on hands, as well as the smell of the seacraft can draw the former conclusion correct. The would be sailor-turned-candidate only finds himself distracted from his meandering stride when his eye marks some motion near the smith forge in passing, squinting his eyes at the object of Karona's firm attention. A boldness lends to him turning aft toward her, forgoing his other objectives for a time to witness the perfection that Karona is attempting to embody upon the sculpture. "Be that thar thing that ya 'mates be talking 'bout?" Mates being this man's way of defining 'friends' as it were, for those who had enough time spent around the seafarring lad.

Karona looks up from her work to eye the sky again, catching Landers in her gaze on the way back to the sculpture. She doesn't seem to pay him any attention, instead turning back to her work. Until he speaks. She stands up a little straighter, and peers at the man. "Mates? I don't have mates." she says, seeming confused. Whether she understands he means friends or not isn't clear. "People are talking about this?" she asks, face flushing slightly, eyes flicking back to the work, and then to Landers. "Really?" she asks, looking surprised, and perhaps a little bit flattered, that anyone would be talking about her work.

Lan's neck tightens as he draws it back square with his shoulders, rebuffed at first by her first retort, a hand working to the back of his neck when she peers at him in such a manner. The guy clues in after a time. "Ahh… 'mates. Not /mates/," he emphasizes the difference by pronouncing one sharper, adding in afterthought, "'Mates like ya friends, pals, comrades. I reckon I forget 'bout the whole shorebound lingo, time ta time." He waves it off shortly there after, shuffling toward the scuplture with hands shoving down into his pockets, rolling forward to lean his weight on the balls of his feet, "Aye. Tad bit. Reckon it something worth a talk iffin people are talkin." As if he makes all the sense in the world, his seafarring accent thick and rambling his words together. A shrug then, "Anyone who be knowin ya be talkin, tis only whar a friend do." A pause as he stares at the sheets of metal twisted up together, "Whar is it?" Blank faced look. Some people don't understand art and by his look, he was one of them.

Karona's brow knits a moment, and then realisation dawns, her entire face seems to snap to comprehension. "Ahh. Friends. Nope, don't have those either." she says, with a wave of her hand. "Least, not as far as I know." she adds, with a shrug. She takes a few steps away from the sculpture, and then turns back, to eye it in the fading light, hands on hips, frowning in thought. "I suppose it is. Looks much better in proper light, and it'll look even better once I've got it polished up. But it's not bad, I suppose." she concedes, grudgingly. "Er…" she glances sideways to Landers. "…it's a sculpture. Some rider's gonna stick it in his garden, and look at it." There's a shrug for that, it's obviously not her thing, but a commission is a commission. "Paid well."

Lan gives Karona a long dubious look, expression remaining fixed with eyebrows slanted high and his lips hung open a gap, nose wrinkled slightly. Finally he makes a 'fah' like sound, gesturing with his hand, "Dun be teasing me. I reckon I be more gullible 'round shorebounds, the pretty ones worse." A wink as he confirms, "Ya do. Everyone does, even iffin it jus be one. Ya have ta look in front of ya," a welcoming and much more gentler expression blankets him now. Prime example? Shining. Indeed. Redirecting his attention back toward her piece of work, as would be proper and respectful, his eyes follow the curving twisting shapes of metal, listening for a time. At the announcement of what it is, he gives a little snort, "Aye, I knew it t'were a sculpture. Whar does it represent?"

Karona blinks a little at Landers. "…right." The wink has her brow wrinkling again, in confusion, but only for a moment. Landers' following words seem adequate explanation. "Well, if you say so." There's a pause. "Uh… thanks." she says, shooting the man a smile, briefly. The attention on the sculpture turns her own that way, and she frowns at it, hopping forward with her bit of rag to rub at a dull spot. "Er, represent? Ah. Right. Represent." her face colours. "You have to understand — this… was a commission. I had to follow certain, uh, guidelines…" she says. That isn't an answer, though. That is conspicuously not an answer at all. She just keeps rubbing at that dull spot.

Lan scrunches his face together when Karona looks away from him, shifting awkwardly as he withdraws his hands from his pockets and now crosses them over his chest. Her responses weren't too encouraging. So instead of replying further, he merely watches with a posture that is attentive, eyes fixed on the buffering of polish the sculpture receives. "Aye, ya said t'were a commission. I reckon all commissions have guidelines ta follow, t'wouldn't be one else." A little jaw flex there, commenting afterward, saying with an expectant tone, even if he has no right to demand an answer from her, he still poses it, "Well? Whar it all mean?"

Karona's lack of friends seems to stem from her obsession with work, judging by how she's acting just now, though her constant glances to the sky may be some indication. "Sorry, have to get this shined up while there's still light." she explains, though that is still not an answer. That dull spot positively shines now, and she takes another step back to eye the sculpture. "Right… uh. He asked for a sculpture. To be titled "love"." she says, grimacing slightly. "…and it had to be 'sensuous'. His word, not mine." She states, looking up at the sculpture, scanning for dull spots, likely. "It's… it's abstract, it's not meant to look like a thing, just… bits of metal. Hopefully sensuous bits of metal." though her tone is dubious - how can metal be sensuous?

Lan keeps out of the way, stepping back when appropriate so not to interrupt the artisan at work, as it were. For the constant glances toward the sky, his own eyes flash that way. The emptiness, save for the odd dragon sweeping against its coloring sky, did not hold the man's attention. "I get out 'tove ya light then," positioning himself where his shadow also doesn't interfer with her attempts to make the sculpture shine. For the subject matter, Lan gives a little 'tsch' sound, "Seems ta be typical, no need ta be defensive 'bout it. Sensuous love be not a bad thing." Nope. Nope it wasn't. A frown then to the white knot attached to his shoulder, lips tweaking as if he wasnted to gnaw on the restriction that came with wearing the knot. Eyes eventually return to Karona, nodding at the description of the sculpture, as much as she would give him anyway.

Karona glances to Landers' knot herself, eyebrow raised slightly. "It is when you're in that knot, -" she seems about to say something else, but cuts herself off, face reddening. "…I suppose it bothers me a little, how freely some talk about… such things." she snorts. "But, for enough marks, I'd craft anything." She eyes the sculpture, appraisingly, hand going to a pocket absently. "This? Was for enough marks." she states the obvious, darting forward again to polish another dull spot.

The sailor-turned-candidate lifts his brow expectantly when she indicates the knot and instead of completing her thought, trails off, to leave him blinking openly at her. The reddening has him blink a few more times afterward. "Tis a Weyr. Tis ta be expected," he finally breaks after his own mental stall caused by her reactions, "Tisn't such a bad thin, nah." A look over his shoulder draws his gaze away from her, spotting a familiar figure of a greenrider down the way. A large grin snaps onto his face, before he shoots Karona a look, "Good luck 'n all. See ya in the barracks later." A departing smile is left with her until he turns his back on her, jogging off toward that greenrider.

Concluded in BWOWM! (A Commission Completed).

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