Xanadu Weyr - Clearing
A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.
The cliff looms imposingly on two sides. Toward the southwest, a spire stretches up to high above where the everpresent watchdragon sits on a lonely peak with Xanadu's Starstones. A massive rocky spur extends to the north, curved slightly to hold the clearing and pocked with doors and windows.
The hatching arena and Dragonhealers' Annex sit to the southeast, built together into a single complex that takes up a large portion of the perimeter beneath its domed roof. To the southwest, wide steps lead up to the caverns, and almost directly south is the entrance to the Infirmary. Nestled between the infirmary and the main caverns there's a human-sized archway with frequent traffic - it leads to the Wanderin' Wherry Tavern.
Tucked near the arch, just off to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Wildflower Boutique'. Windows have been cut along the cliff in various places along the cliff. Those of the administrative offices are placed to have the best view of Xanadu's airspace - to the southwest, over the entrance to the caverns and the infirmary. Others mark the dormitories and those of lucky residents, while toward the northern edge of that spur cluster the windows and entrances to the crafters' complex.
The rest of the Weyr lies to the north and east - a broad road that leads through the meadow and the trees of the forest beyond. At the far northern edge of the clearing, just inside the perimeter kept clear of trees, a clocktower sits and proudly displays the hour.
It's springtime on Xanadu, but don't let the name fool you. It's still somewhat chilly even though most of the snow has melted. There's still patches of slush here and there, mostly in places where shade prevails. But newly sprouted green grass and dotted flowers on the meadow and hillsides does prove that the seasons have turned. It's a good thing! The expanse of this clearing is free from snow due to a lack of trees and the constant travel of dragons, wagons, and runners. Ka'el and Kanekith have recently landed, the bronze showing signs of slight fatigue this early afternoon. "Give me a moment.." murmurs Ka'el who now swings down form his back, half climbing, half sliding down to the ground. "If you hadn't grown so large, this process wouldn't take as long, y'know.." he says with a smirk as he goes about loosening straps here and there. "Having a blue-sized bronze wouldn't be all so bad would it?" he continues to tease aloud, much to Kanekith's chagrin. He snorts. Loudly.
Her travels have taken her so many places over the past 6 months or so that Marianita has learned to be prepared for anything. Much like the Boy scouts if such a thing existed upon Pern. So when she finds herself mounted upon a small blue dragon whose rider is marked with the colors of Half Moon Bay Weyr ( say that three time fast), she's dressed in worn, but warm riding leathers. Dismounting she gives him a wave and backs up as he leaps up to head away.
Turning to survey her surroundings within this new, to her, weyr she steps right into one of those patches of slush. "Oh!" she says in dismay when pulling her foot out of the puddle her boot comes off with an audible pop. Casting a furtive glance around it's an automatic look to see if anyone saw that!
"Come on, you aren't going to pout now, are you?" says Ka'el as he moves to one side of his dragon, only to have him turn his head away from him. A brow arches, and he steps back. "Have it your way, but keep in mind if you do, you'll be in those straps all day, tight as they are," he warns, arms crossing. It's nearly enough to have the bronze relent, but instead, Kanekith's attention is caught by something else. « A resident has lost its foot. This may be a concern, » he reports, to which Ka'el can only stare at him in bewilderment. "..What?" He follows the dragon's swirling gaze towards .. a severed foot! !! .. Wait. No. It's a boot, hopefully with no foot stuck inside! And with the bootless girl nearby, the odds for that are thankfully high. "..Thank you for the dramatic report.." muses Ka'el as he heads towards the woman. "Do you need help, miss?" he calls.
Drats! There's a witness for her potential embarrassment of this situation. One boot off she pinwheels her arms to keep her balance as she tries to hop onto a slush free zone. Thankfully she doesn't hear the bronze's concern over her foot being lost. It's Ka'el's call out that is heard and she flushes brightly. Trying to wave him off results in her balance being lost and she sprawls but thankfully on a dry patch of land.
Hmmm. Falling down sort of answers the question, now doesn't it? Ka'el gently winces as the young woman meets the ground, and he continues toward her with Kanekith only watching on. If dragons could look amused, he certainly would be looking so now! Bypassing a slushpuddle, Ka'el reaches the fallen woman, thankfully without taking a spill himself, and grins as he offers her a helping hand. "Well…this probably isn't the best of welcomes, but..heh, Welcome to Xanadu," he offers to the unfamiliar face, grin crooked. "The Weyr in which boots are lost and the ground wishes to be the first to welcome you."
Marianita rolls to her back with a peculiar chagrined expression as she eyes the greeting bronze rider. "Yes…well the ground and I have met thanks." the helping hand is taken to pull herself up. Still balancing one the one booted foot she keeps her other foot perched against her leg. "Thanks for the welcome to Xanadu. I'm Marianita."
Ka'el grasps her hand and pulls his arm back to assist with the standing. Success! Well, mostly. She's still one-footed, and noticing that has him glancing around for that wayward shoe of hers. "Marianita?" he echoes, pausing to look at her. "That isn't a common sounding name. S'very pretty.. Ah! There it is!" He smirks at the mud-stuck boot and goes to retrieve it, grasping at the top to pull it out of the sticky ground. "Could've been worse, I suppose.." he says as he brings it back to her, offering her the muddy shoe. "I've had boots burned, chewed, or near melted beyond repair!" A chuckle. "Ka'el," he offers in introduction, offering his free hand. "Weyrleader of Xanadu. And Kanekith," he says, nodding back to the bronze. "Who assumes the responsibility of Weyrdragon."
Marianita gives a sort of grimace at that and merely says. "My mother thought it sounded perfect for her oldest." it's hard to tell if the teen agrees or not with her mother. "Could have been both boots stuck." the now freed boot is given a quick look over once it's returned. None the worse for wear though both footwear show signs of heavy use. "Melted?" a quick glance is cast towards the Weyrdragon. "By him?" is questioned. Hastily she reaches for the offered hand, sans boots, to complete the greeting. "Well met, Weyrleader. I hope I'm not keeping you from anything important." since clearly Weyrleaders spend their whole day doing Important Things(tm). Her mouth twitches in amusement at the title given to the dragon. "Weyrdragon. So he's in charge of the…draogn side of things within the weyr?" she asks.
"Firelizard, actually," answers Ka'el to the boot-melting mystery. "I'd gotten my hands on some firestone and didn't see the harm in practicing a bit with it. He'd have to learn somehow, and reading up on it wasn't quite the tactic for me. Long story short…I learned the harm in using something I'd little clue about pretty quickly," he laughs. "I've wizened up a bit since then, thankfully. Playing with fire with him," a thumb-jerk to Kanekith, "probably would've ended with a burned Weyr." Kanekith begins to lumber closer now, likely picking up that the topic of conversation is on him… which is just how he likes it! "I've always time to visit with visitors," he answers kindly, waving off her worries. "What brings you to Xanadu? And Kanekith…ha, yes, that's pretty accurate. Though it's sort of a .. self-appointed title he's made for himself, he does a pretty admirable job of keepin' an eye on the dragons on duty. And dragons off duty. And dragons that visit.." A smirk. "He prides himself on his work, even if it makes him seem a bit nosy."
"Well I suppose he's earned that right I guess if he's fast enough to catch the Queen. That is how it's decided still, right? I mean I learned it in my classes with the harpers but…" Marian's shoulders shrug as if to indicate her uncertainty if that particular practice is still withheld. "I'm visiting actually because I heard that Xanadu had real good beaches. I paid a rider from Western to bring me here." which since he's now long gone her way back is in doubt but that doesn't seem to bother her at the moment. Casting a brief look towards the lumbering one she seems comfortable enough around him if a bit curious. "He's a gorgeous color." she admires.
Ka'el bobs his head. "Yes, that's still the practice. A bronze catches the Senior gold, and…" A gesture to his Weyrleader's knot. "A practice as old as time, I guess. Well, our time anyway. Old archives say things were different in the time of the Ancients but… heh, that's ancient history. Might as well be a fairy tale." And Ka'el is no historian! His brows lift at the mentioning of beaches though, and his grin broadens as he gestures in that very direction. "Some of the best beaches around, in my opinion. Granted…my opinion might be a little biased," he admits, sounding amused. "You should come back in the summer, or at least .. eh, mid to late spring. The water's perfect, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a time where there isn't a beach festival or father going on. Would you like an escort? I've a bit of time," he says, disregarding Kanekith's rumble as he vies for attention. He heard that praise! And gently do his wings spread, just so that she can see how the bronze catches in the sunlight! Isn't he just dazzling?
Marianita's expression shows she's only vaguely interested in history. As she chats she's slipped her boot back on and laced it up with a bit more tightness to the laces than was there before. Once that's done she continues to admire the bronze with an appreciative whistle at the sunlight caught coloring. "I'll have to be sure to return then though I'm not really much of a swimmer." she admits. "I'm more of an admirer of the beauty really. A beach festival sounds quite fun though!" her smile brightens up her expression briefly. "An escort? If you don't mind… otherwise my sense of direction may have be wandering into places I shouldn't be!"
Kanekith definitely approves of this visitor. Anyone who whistles at him and takes the time to appreciate the gleam of his skin certainly is worth having around! And so as his wings fold back so neatly in place, he gently arches his head down, puffing out a breath of warm air through his nostrils, to tousle his rider's dark hair before attempting a light nudge to Marianita's shoulder. "He likes you," reports Ka'el who rapidly combs his fingers through his tresses in an attempt to look something near presentable again. "Be careful. Flatter him too much and he's liable to show up in Western seeking you out for more," he jokes as he nods towards her. "The beach is this way. It's not too far of a walk, and if you like beauty, then you'll enjoy the short time it takes to get there. Xanadu in spring is worth the visit," he says, beginning to guide her off towards the meadow.
Marianita lets herself be guided towards the meadow as she falls along beside him. Her long legs will help her keep pace with him. "Guess I've made my first dragon friend?" she asks with a hint of chuckle in her tone. "I'm really only at Western for a few days actually but he can visit me wherever I land next." is invited. "Because really I can offer him flattery no mater where we are."
"Your first and only one you'll ever need, if you ask Kanekith. Which…I recommend you don't," Ka'el stage-whispers, shooting a look to Kanekith that's playfully fond. "And, oh you travel then?" he assumes as they move along, gradually leaving behind the clearing for grassier areas dotted with trees. The meadow stretches out beautifully, pale green with newly bloomed flowers adding splashes of springtime color here and there. "I've always admired those who travel and get to know Weyrs and their people on a more personal level than what a diplomatic visit would allow for. I'm sure you've seen much. Hopefully Xanadu's beaches will live up to your expectations." Which Ka'el is sure they will. He continues to walk with her through the meadow and eventually down to the shoreline. All the while, Kanekith follows, hoping for more praise to come his way. She hasn't even noticed the brilliance of his headknobs yet! And the shine of his neckridges? To die for!