The Wobbly Harper

Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian

The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

Early in the Spring season and the sun shines bright and warm on this late morning. Kera is jogging along the beach getting in her morning exercises even if it is almost time for midday meal. Her lizards flitter about above her, the little pair churling and chittering happily to each other and Kera as well. Out in the water, a green dragon lurks just below the water, her snout sticking up a bit as she swims along almost lazily, pacing her rider along the beach.

In the sky above the beach there is a quick flash of brown as a dragon emerges from between. The dragon makes a few lazy circles in the sky coming lower and lower to the ground with each pass. Details would become more visible. This particular dragon carries with him two people. His rider is a young man probably no more than twenty turns old, while the other is most certainly very easily pushing thirty. With a very slight croon the dragon alights on the soft sand of the beach with a gentle swish of his tail along the surface of the sand. The rider quickly and efficiently turns to undo the straps of the passenger, apparently fairly eager to be rid of him, or just in that much of a hurry. Once the straps are undone Sydney makes his way off of the dragon in a rather bumbling fashion, almost face-planting in the sand before he catches himself at the last moment. He lifts his hands to brush his tunic straight and looks back up to the rider and the dragon, "Thank you my dear gentleman. It has been a singular pleasure." he says, a slight slur obvious in his voice as he makes a little half bow, "Perhaps we will meet again some day." The dragon looks back to his rider in silent communication, the riders eyes glazing for a moment, "It is possible." the rider says quickly as the pair once again take to the skies and in very short order are off to wherever they are headed leaving Sydney there on the beach. He raises his hand to his eyes to shield the sun so that he can watch them go and off they are like a pop. Once they have disappeared from sight he takes in his surroundings, taking a few slightly wobbly steps along the beach. The spring weather is certainly pleasant enough and he smiles as the warm rays of Rukbat dance and play along the gentle waves, "I should have come here many sevendays ago." he says to himself, taking a few more wobbly steps along. He then becomes aware Kera, her lizards and the snout of a dragon. It is a weyr after all, "Greetings." he calls out to the young woman.

Kera slows her steps to a walk as she spots the dragon landing further along on the beach. Taking the time to catch her breath as she continues on, the passenger is spotted nearly tumbling from the transport dragon, and then the brown stirs up sands when it leaps back into the air. Looking from the airbound dragon, to the water where her own dragonmate partially surfaces and veers towards the shore. At the greeting, Kera dips her head polite to the Journeyman. A somewhat wobbly one a that. "Welcome to Xanadu Weyr Journey Harper." Stepping closer, but not too close and looking the man over some, "I'm Kera, Moncerath's little healer." She gestures to the green splashing her way from the water as her brown lizards tries to perch on the green dragon's head. The young gold lizard settling on Kera's shoulder as the visitor is watched a few seconds "Excuse me sir, but are you alright, do you need to sit a moment?"

Sydney offers a polite smile to the young woman and her dragonmate as well, "It is a pleasure to meet you both." he says with an off kilter little half bow. After righting himself with a small amount of difficulty he plants his feet in the sand to make an effort to stay straight, though he still moves from side to side slightly, "It just so happens it would be marvelous to sit down. Could you by chance, my dear lady, direct me to the nearest tavern?" A man has to have his priorities straight after all, "I would be happy to sit down and have a drink of whatever it is they drink out this way."

Kera reaches out as if to offer the man a steadying hand, but steps back as the man manages to keep his feet under him, in a slightly teetering sorta way. The tavern request soon explains the lack of steadiness. It seems the infirmary won't be getting a new patient, quite yet at least. Instead, the tavern owner will make a couple of marks. Reaching up to give her shoulder passenger a scratch, her other hand gestures towards the meadow "There's a tavern in the main clearing, you have to venture across the meadow. You should spot it before you get to the main caverns."

Indeed the infirmary won't be getting its newest patient just yet, though give it a few hours and more than a few drinks and that may well be in the cards for the evening, if only as a place to sleep it all off. He smiles as the young healer, how could he no after all, she is clearly trying to be a helpful sort, "Fear not my good lady. I'm not quite drunk enough to need assistance just yet." he says with a grin and a slight slur in his voice, "Though if you wish to reserve a cot in the infirmary for this evening I wouldn't mind in the least. I have stayed at many fine infirmaries all over Pern and it would be nice to add another to the list." As she recites the directions to the nearest tavern it becomes very clear that perhaps he should have given more specific instructions to the rider and his dragon. It can't be helped sadly. He lifts a hand to point in the general direction, "That way huh?" He asks. He takes in a good deep breath, "Ok. Certainly worth it I hope." he says to help steel himself for the long, wobbly journey to the tavern. While drink is certainly at the top of his list he can't quite bear the thought of being so rude to the young healer who has been both more polite and caring than most he meets, "If you would care too. I'd be happy to escort you back to the weyr my dear lady. I'd even be happy to buy you the drink of your choice if you'd care to accompany me to the tavern. Though if you and your lovely dragon must continue your training I wouldn't want to interrupt." he says focusing his gaze on her dragon for the moment. What a lovely green.

Kera lifts a bit of an amused brow and a gentle shake of her head. "I'm afraid the infirmary isn't for sleeping off ale and wine. Hopefully you won't drink enough so that you really will need an infirmary cot sir. There are probably spare Journeyman rooms in the crafters caverns though." Certainly giving the man his own room would save the apprentice dorms a sleepless night from the drunken snoring that would no doubt echo in a growly way through the dorm hallways. Considering the man's offer, she looks towards the little café on the beach then down at her sweaty clothes with a frown. "I guess I am better dressed for the tavern right now." Canting her head at the nameless JrHarper, maybe the walk to the tavern will have a sobering effect. She trots off to where her satchel and towel are on half buried boulder. A few moment she returns, "You should try the Herdbeast burger there while you are sampling the wines." Kera flashes a grin as Moncerath warbles and waddles awkwardly across the breach.


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 ever-present 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.

Sydney begins his wobbly journey from the beach to the tavern. A quest of epic proportions no doubt. He puts one foot in front of the other. Slowly but surely they make progress toward the end goal, that most wonderful of places: the local tavern, "That would be absolutely divine. Certainly better than most accommodations when I travel." He hadn't really given any thought to her attire or his own for that matter, "I am sure that we will be fine my good lady." he assures as he looks past her toward the waddling dragon. He can't help but smile, "Your lifemate seems to be a very fine lady." he says looking back toward you, "A very pleasant shade of green." As she adds her thoughts about the added dining options he nods his head once, "I might be inclined to partake of something like that, but first to business!" he says slapping his hands together in excitement. Alas he has forgotten to mention his name, if that was pointed out he would doubtless be awash in embarrassment for his rude behavior, especially in the presence of such a kind young lady.

Kera keeps her pace casual, nothing the wobbly Harper shouldn't be able to keep up with, even if he has to teeter a little. Mention of her dragonmate brings a quick smile to her face, and she looks back to see the mostly drip dried dragon trailing along in her awkward little waddle. The green keeping her over-large wings up from the sand, then grass as they pass into the meadow somewhere along the way. "She's the best dragonmate one could have." The greenhealer nods decisively at that, not caring that she's biased or whose around to hear her bragging over Moncerath. Her steps slow and she rubs a hand over the muzzle that extend to nudge her shoulder. Seeing her dragonmate settled and sunning herself she seems distracted for a few long seconds before turning her attention back to the Weyr's visitor. Gesturing towards the Tavern "Oh, what business brings you to Xanadu sir?" Her not so subtle way of asking if he's being posted here.

"Ah. How lovely." he says as she motions toward the tavern. It seems that the trail of (no so) epic adventure has slowly made its way to the final destination. He notes the smile on her face and nods, "That, my good lady, would not surprise me in the least. After all she is the perfect one for you." he says with a quick motion of his hand in Kera's direction. When she asks the further question about his reason for being here he lifts a hand and points to the tavern, "That is the reason that I am here, but I suppose I just wanted to be somewhere a bit more warm for awhile. I consider it a sort of vacation between work. My master will no doubt have a new assignment for me eventually, but in the mean time I'm going to make the rounds, and see how many rounds can have me." he says, not bothering to be so polite as not to laugh at his own little play on words, "Though I take it from your knot that you, my good lady, are stationed here and given your attitude I have little doubt you are a great asset to your infirmary."


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. Behind it are drinks for those not inclined toward ale, as well as a door leading to the small kitchen where snacks are made and a back room that probably holds yet more ale.

Kera nods agreeably after another look to Moncerath and steps towards the tavern door. Polgara's still on her shoulder, but she whistles shrilly and holds the door open a few seconds longer, long enough for a brown blur to swoop through before the door closes him out. "I think so, yea." This about Moncerath being perfect for her compared to another dragon. Squinting into the sudden dimness, she ends up blinking a couple of times, til figured emerge from the shadows. It's barely lunchtime, so there are still seats to be had before the drinking crowd arrives. "Table or bar sir?" She points out a couple of likely tables for the Weyr visitor to choose "Oh vacation huh? That must be nice." A quick nod over his inquiry of her posting "Aye, been posted here for a handful of turns now."

The dimness of the tavern is most agreeable to his eyes after being out the bright rays of Rukbat for the better part of the day thus far. He breathes in the fresh, or not so fresh air of the tavern, and exhales loudly. He is now in his native environment, "I think we could find a spot at the bar. You tend to get your drinks quicker if you sit closer to the tap. Don't want to waste those precious few seconds." he says with a smile as he makes his wobbly way toward the bar with the green rider in tow, "My master has found that it is only useful to have me around in small doses, and I have found that small doses go a long way, much like shots." He then takes a seat at the bar, "If he needs me or any of them do I'm not terribly difficult to find. They will send a dragon and I'll be off to my next destination." He taps his hand on the bar to get the attention of the keeper of the tavern, and once he has it, "My good sir I would like a tall glass of your finest ale, and the lady would like…" He glances over to Kera, "You may feel free to order whatever would please you the most." he adds. In the back of his mind he heard her speak about being there for a handful of turns and has the where withall to respond, "Splendid. I'm sure its wonderful to live in a stable location."

Kera trails a couple of paces after the wobbly Harper, who's already had more than enough to drink in her mind, but she's smart enough to keep that to herself. Rummaging around in her satchel, she tugs out a towel and spreads it across one of the a portion of the bar and coaxes her lizards to settle down on it. Listening to the man a moment, she just smiles as he insist his Master will send for him when it's time for his posting. Maybe, they sent him away to 'dry out'. It's not working well if that was the case. Plopping down on one of the stools, she looks to the bartender as he starts taking the man's order, then tosses her own in as well "Juice please. And a herdbeast burger with crisped tubor strips." Her mouth is already drooling just ordering it. That done, she nods to the Harper "Hmm, I hadn't thought of it before, but I guess you are right. There is a calming effect knowing I won't have to pack up and move like that." she snaps a couple of fingers together to make her point, then reaches over to begin petting Polgara and Minimur.

There will be no 'drying out' at least not this evening. He intends to live life to the fullest, and also experience the largest number of full glasses possible before the tavern either closes down or he finds himself closed down, either of which is a really good possibility. Thankfully the master of the tavern is quick on the drawn and the tall glass of ale is placed before the man in short order, "Thank you good sir." he says lifting the glass to his lips and savoring the flavor, the smell, and the touch of the ale as it goes down into his belly, "Ahhh." he replies setting the glass back on the bar, "Glad to hear that you are so comfortable." he says before lifting and taking another gulp of the fine ale.

Kera continues to absentmindedly give her lizards attention, alternating between the two. She thanks the bartender when juice appears in front of her. Chuckling to the Harper's enthusiasm for his ale, her own reaction to the contents of her own glass is somewhat subdued in comparison. A hint of a shrug over something "More comfortable now than it used to be. This was my first posting." And her last most likely if Moncerath has any say in the matter. Trying to be patient as her stomach growls, she clears her throat to cover the noise "So, sir. think you'll spend time around Xanadu before you head off to a new vacation spot?"

Sydney continue to drink heartily from the glass, though he is certainly able to multi-task sufficiently to listen to and hold down a conversation with the young woman, "I remember the days of my first posting. I was over in Fort Hold, which was far to close to home for my liking, but apprenticeship is a time to get through and not worry to much about I think. You have more freedom now, no doubt, which you will probably find suits you." He stares absentmindedly at his glass as she asks him how long he will be staying, "I haven't the faintest idea, my good woman. I was not given a timetable of how long I was to be away. They could come for me right now I suppose. It would not be the first time I had been plucked out of a tavern by a rider sent to fetch me." he shrugs, "I suppose I'll stay at least a sevenday. Perhaps longer. Though I have heard that Ista was lovely this time of year."

Kera nods to the drunk Harper, her gaze slipping around the bar briefly as she dips her head towards a couple of people she knows. Turning back to the bar, her eyes light up when she spots the waitress coming from the kitchen area with her lunch. "Now that's what I'm talkin about." She leans forward and takes an appreciative sniff of her plate and quickly catches the waitress before she can vanish. Ordering a bowl of lizard meat for her pair, she grabs a crisped tubor and munches on it with a chuckle "Hopefully, they'll be polite enough to let you see the bottom of your glass first." Her voice goes lower at the last bit, in case someone might take offense. Thinking a moment, she nods gently "I'm still an apprentice, but yea, I do have a bit more freedom. Moncerath needs somewhere a bit roomier than barracks to stretch her wings after all." Hearing the man mention visiting Ista, she winces slightly "I hope you find a guide there before ya go exploring that area, Ista can be a tricky place."

Sydney is indeed drunk, and likely to get more drunk as the day progresses. He smiles warmly upon seeing the arrival of the young lady's meal which she seems to enjoy with relish. He observes her little flits and has already met her lifemate, "It would not be the first time I've had to take glass to go." he says with a slight hiccup, "Please excuse me." he says holding a hand to his mouth for a moment before he is willing to continue, "You do seem to have quite the family here." he says motioning to the lizards and back outside toward her lifemate, "Are there any members that I have not met?" he asks. Talking about family is easy after all, and not too cerebral since his brain is already swimming in a not small amount of ale, which he helps along with another drink from his glass, "I will certainly keep that in mind if I make my way over there." Though truthfully he'd probably just see the inside of whatever tavern was closest to where he landed.

The waitress is back much quicker this time, all she had to do was scoop some meaty strips into a bowl this time, and plops the bowl down before rushing to a table that riders are gathering around. Taking a bite from the burger, she looks to her flits, the brown digging in messily while the young gold manages to eat more daintily. Offering a sympathetic wince to her chatting companion. Finishing her bite of food first "That must get pricey, having to pay for the glasses and mugs that get hauled off with ya." She grins at her little joke and tears off another bite, Kera shakes her head "No sir. Minimur, Moncerath, and Polgara." She gestures to the lizards or towards the direction her dragonmate is curled up outside as she names them. "This little Lady is still some months off before she'll be a turn old." tiny lizard cheeks and chins are scritched before she cants her head to the Harper "How bout yourself sir? You've a friend flitting about somewhere?"

Sydney nods his head approvingly, "It seems like a good little family to have." he says grinning. How could a person not grin in a tavern? "I suppose it might every now and again, thankfully I don't get interrupted all that often, but I do have a collection of mugs and glasses from all over Pern to my name." What else is a roving alcoholic to collect after all? "I certainly hope not." he says considering her question for a moment, "Because if that is the case I have quite forgotten, but I don't think so. Probably wouldn't have forgotten that." When she motions to her youngest lizard he speaks up, "And what a proper little lady she is indeed."

Kera stops chewing a couple of seconds, trying to imagine being always so drunk you don't remember such things as. "Hmm, well, guess everyone needs a hobby, right?" She's talking about the mug collection. Taking another bite, her gaze drifts to her winged feeding pair from the little bowl. "Yea, she's certainly a neater eater than Mini, that's for sure." A little smirk at the brown when he burps noisily and continues on eating. Tossing a tubor crisp in her mouth, she chews some before speaking up again "If ya don't mind me askin sir, where were ya posted last?" See if he can remember that before asking anything else. Another bite vanishes from her burger.

Sydney finishes draining his glass and places it back down the counter with a look to the bartender that says, fill it up man! Which does thankfully happen in short order so that he might begin again. While he is waiting for this he considers the lady's question, "I suppose you could say that I'm still on my first posting. It's a little bit complicated and I don't wish to bore you with the interior politics of the harper hall." He lifts the new glass to his lips and takes another draft of ale, "I apprenticed directly at the hall, they did not believe I was suitable to be placed on an outside assignment. Instead I became an assistant to one of the masters there. My job, at present, is to go where he tells me to go. I assist the law harpers with particularly challenging…things." he says clearly losing his train of thought, "In between I get time to myself."

Kera scarfs down most of her burger and tubor crisps during the conversation, good thing since a few comments that went through her mind may have gotten her in trouble for sure. Like maybe if he didn't drink so much, he may have been deemed suitable by his peers. But no, she doesn't say that. A little wince at the mention of a law Harper "I certainly don't envy the headache that can bring. I've no head at all for trying to remember…" She pauses mid sentence. Then hurried shoves the last bite of her burger and wraps her tubors in a clean scrap of cloth to shove in her satchel. "Excuse me sir, sorry to rush off, but Moncerath is feeling itchy and I need to get her oiled up." Plus Polgara's growing hide could always use a bit of oiling up. Putting her marks for the meal and waitress tip on the counter, she peers to the Harper as she settles her satchel across her shoulder "Nice to meet you sir…well sorta meet you." She adds with an amused shrug since she still doesn't know his name "I hope you'll find the 'Crafter's Cavern' alright sir." She says that last bit louder while catching the bartender's eye. He nods in understanding as Kera gathers her lizards, one on her shoulder, the other scooped gently under her arm. Waving to the man, she turns and hurries out to get her itchy dragonmate oiled up.

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