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.
Just a candlemark or so past midday, and the slightly overcast morning turned into a beautiful sunny day. A cool breeze blows across the water as Kera scrambles back up her floating dragon's shoulder. Loosing her balance when the surge of the water causes her dragonmate to list to one side suddenly. Turning and straitening her legs, Kera swooshes back into the water to surface a body length from Moncerath's outstretched wing. Rather than climb back up yet, she simply drapes an arm across the nearest portion of the wing and floats along like a bit of stuck driftwood. Quite a few lizards, both wild and banded are winging around and chittering with wild displays. Kera tries once more, actually scrambling up onto her dragonmate's back with no straps. Instead of sitting, she crouches low trying to keep her balance in the ever shifting water.
Soriana pauses near the entrance to the weyrling grounds, finishing up a conversation with someone. Luraoth's staying behind, watching the young dragons at play (or maybe playing with them herself), but Soriana heads along the shore at an easy pace. She probably recognizes some of those firelizards, but she doesn't pay much heed to them - firelizards having fun is business as usual! So are dragons floating in the water, and humans with them… she pauses, shading her eyes as she looks out across the water. "Scrubbing's easier when you can stand!" she calls out, though she's not entirely sure if she's near enough that it'll be heard. If she isn't, oh well!
Kera continues to crouch a moment, then starts to stand slowly, arm surging out and wind milling as if to balance herself a bit when the water sloshes against Moncerath again. A foot slides right out from under her and she flops on her but, sliding right over the green's shoulder into the water again. Not detered at all, Kera's head bobs up out of the water and after swiping water from her eyes,s he works right back up to the saddle position and takes a moment to sit and consider her options. Hearing a voice, she can't quite make it out, but recognizes Sori quick enough and waves from her' dragonseated water bound position. After a few seconds, the green's muzzle turns shorewards and slips though the water. "G'afternoon. Sorry, but I didn't catch what you said…"
Soriana keeps watching, her brow furrowing as she does. This doesn't really look like dragon-washing, does it? There's… a dragon, and a person, but the dragon's just floating and the human is… standing? …okay, not any more. Trying to stand, falling over, and sitting. She waves back, still with that puzzled look, and lingers around as Kera heads back toward shore, greeting her with a smile and then a laugh as she shakes her head. "That might be for the best, I'm not so sure it actually would have helped." The Weyrwoman looks from Kera to Moncerath and then back again. "So what were you trying to do, anyway?"
Kera leans forward slightly to rest her hands on Moncerath's neck, one hand gently patting the green's hide affectionately. Head cants uncertainly at having missed the original question. Doing a controlled slide, on purpose this time, back into the water she wades onto the shore. Steps move towards the blanket she haphazardly spread out, and grabs a towel. "Oh, I was trying to stay standing while Moncerath worked up a little speed." Looking back towards the green sloshing in the water, Kera spends a few seconds towel drying her hair. "Which is seems virtually impossible, since I oiled her after a scrubbing. Hard to keep your footing when the dragonhide is oily and wet both. Then the whole falling out from under you thing happening." That last bit said mostly to herself as she puzzles out how to go about the task. Shaking it off, she turns her attention back to Sori, gaze darting up and down the beach as she talks. "Just a silly little way to keep myself entertained really." A quick shrug before she goes on. "So, um, things going well today Weyrwoman?"
Soriana's brows lift as Kera explains what she's been up to, and then she laughs. "I'm glad you're doing it in the water." If she's going to do it, that is! "…and that the weyrlings are up in their bowl." She grins. "Not that they need the help coming up with terrible ideas, I'm sure." She gives her head a bit of a shake, then hmms. "You might talk to the dolphineers, though. They're bound of have some idea what'd give enough of a grip." Dolphin hides are sleek, and Soriana… sometimes encourages terrible ideas. Why not? "It does seem amusing." That'd be why, not why not. She smiles at Kera's question, and nods. "Oh, things are fine. Glad the weather's warming up." She grins, glancing down along the shore. "Soon enough you'll be getting the heatstroke cases into your infirmary."
Kera grins to Sori and looks back out to the lake. Moncerath wings keep herself afloat while she drifts and bobs on top of the water. The greenhealer blinks to Sori. "I certainly wouldn't be going without straps up there." She flicks her gaze skywards momentarily. Mention of her giving the Weyrlings terrible ideas makes her look towards the other end of the beach thoughtfully and grins. "I'm sure they've better examples if they wanna eat funny looking mushrooms, or burn something down. I remember a group of Weyrlings doing that when I was first posted here." Kera turns her attention pointedly to the blankets her stuff is scattered over, working to keep her sudden amusement to a minimum. A couple of glances are flickered to the Weyrwoman before she settles the damp towel over her shoulder to keep them from burning. "Oh, I hadn't even thought of that. Good idea. Will ask mom or Nat, whichever I see next about it." The healer sighs at the reminder a seasonal ailment and nods "Hopefully those air units the will keep heat strokes to a minimum. As long as people get plenty of fluids and use their heads…" She trails off knowing that is asking a lot of some people.
"Can't say I'd know who," Soriana answers Kera - which is true, she doesn't know of any weyrlings who (technically) did those things. She smiles crookedly, looking over beach and water. "But weyrlings do seem to come up with bad ideas. I'm not sure whether to blame them or the dragons for it, really." She grins, then nods to the greenrider. "I think they've got a good material for it… something skin?" She hmms. "If you put it on your boots… it might help. And they use it with the dolphins, so it wouldn't scratch Moncerath." Dragon hide is tough stuff! …when kept properly oiled. Just like people can avoid heatstroke if they keep properly hydrated! Soriana smiles. "We can hope. And for the ones that don't, well, you'll remind them." She grins. "You think the infirmary would let you call it a duty shift to walk around with a bottle of water and give people drinks?" …probably not. But, hey, it's a thought, right?
Sydney stumbles his way onto the beach, carrying with him a satchel of papers that is presently hanging open. The papers within fluttering in the breeze threatening to rip them from the bag. If the owner of said bag is concerned it doesn't register on his face. In fact it doesn't look like much of anything is registering on his face. He walks a few paces onto the sand and gazes out at the waves, "Ooooookaaaaay." he says in a long drawn out slur. He takes a few more wobbly steps and plunks himself down on the sand in a rather ungraceful manner and begins to rummage through his bag. First things first he takes out his flask and places it lovingly on the sand and from there proceeds to take out a half written sheet of paper and a pen that was buried somewhere in the bottom of the bag.
Kera cant resist smiling over to Soriana "And some ideas were 'not' so bad. Trouble or not, bathing the young dragons in the hot springs while the snow piled up outside wasn't the 'worst' of ideas I've heard." Kudos to Innes on that one, she's not gonna say that out loud though. Nodding at the dolphineering information "I'll see what I can work out. Moncerath has been enjoying the little game, so why not see if we can have a bit of fun with it." The Weyrwoman's concerns about distributing water is given a nod. "I don't think anyone is actually scheduled to do that. I can check the duty logs and suggest it to the Journey on Duty." Catching a whiff of something, her attention slips back around the beach, noticing a wobbly figure, stumbling into an undignified *plunk* onto the sand. Trying to regain her line of thought "Um, maybe have crates of bottled water just inside all the main exits too." Shaking her head, she flicks her fingers towards the Harper "Um, have you met Harper Sydney yet Weyrwoman Soriana?"
"Worst is a long way down," Soriana says with an amused smile. "Better not to go competing for it, though. There's always the risk you might get it." She grins, then shakes her head. "And you lot were the last to have that excuse, anyhow." Soriana nods about the dolphins and smiles crookedly about that water distribution - "Probably junior apprentice grade work even if it does exist." She turns to look at the harper as Kera indicates him, smiling politely. "I don't think I have, no." Which makes it convenient that Kera is providing introductions! "Hello," she says, taking a moment to look him over, and regardless of whatever it is she sees, she says, "Nice to meet you."
Sydney lifts his head and as he hears someone say his name and lifts a hand to shield the rays of Rukbat from his eyes to see if he can get a bead on just who it is. He squints a bit as he spots Kera, she seems vaguely familiar the man thinks to himself. His chest heaves in a sigh, no work to be getting done now, "Hello dear lady, its always a pleasure to see you." Yeah. Like he really remembers. Then there is another voice which causes him to shift his head just a bit to bring her into some sort of focus. He may be drunk, but he isn't so far gone yet as to not recognize the knot the woman wears, "I trust, my good werywoman, that you will forgive me if I do not stand. I've had considerable to drink." he states dispassionately, "And I fear that if I made it to my feet I would just be on the sand again a few moments later. Despite that though it is a pleasure and a wonder to meet the esteemed Senior Werywoman of Xanadu. You are spoken of with great respect all over Pern." Again conjecture on his part, but you are never the worse for wear from laying it on a bit thick.
Kera smiles at the memory , not at all sorry to have given her young dragonmate a good scrubbing in the hot springs. After introducing the man to Soriana, she tips her head towards the Harper herself "G'afternoon Harper Sydney. Get an early start today?" An amused grin playing across her features as she listens and shifts the damp towel on her shoulders. Well into Sydney's speech, Kera cants her gaze to Soriana, brow arching as the Harper slurrs it on thick.
If someone knows your name, there's one of two options. Either they've met you before, or your reputation has preceded you. Actually, three options. They've met you before, your reputation has preceded you, or they're a good guesser. Soriana's smile remains in place as Sydney proceeds to explain his own personal situation, nodding at the bit about forgiveness (which probably grants it, right?) before bringing her head back to the fully upright position as he continues. There's an arch of her brows as he explains just how much reputation precedes her, though the smile remains in place. "I suppose, as a harper, you'd know," she replies. "Harper Hall has always been known for their knowledge of what's spoken across Pern." Also their love of wine, though she'd thought that was mostly just a joke and a reminder to wine and dine the ones providing the evening's entertainment. But, hey, she's always up for learning something new.
Sydney is a man of consistency. Granted, his consistency is mostly to do with drink, but the situation being what it is one cannot complain too much. Everyone must have a favorite passtime after all, "My dear lady I get an early start every day. It's the only way to get anything done." Though he doesn't linger on her too much you have to pay attention to the higher ranking parties first, it is only right, "The Harper Hall is known for many things." he slurs out. If he had a train to go with that thought it derailed somewhere along the way, "Oh yes dear woman! My knowledge is vast." he exclaims with a wink, "You learn a lot observing on your ass." Just as he is doing at present, "Ahhh!" he adds as he digs into his bag once more removing a rather large bottle of wine, "Have either of you seen that charming red headed young lady? I'd very much like to see her to give her this."
Kera lifts a corner of the towel, cants her head one way trying to dry her ear out, then the other one as Sydney and Soriana pass greetings and even more flowery phrases are bantered from the Harper. Looking between the two after he mentions looking for a red head woman, she chuckles softly and murmurs to Soriana "I think he means Innes?" Sending a curious look back to the Harper "Do you mean that woman in the caverns the other day? The one trying her best to embarrass me?"
So very many things. They write songs about - actually, wait, these are the Harpers. They write songs about many things, only sometimes including themselves! Soriana nods to that, and smiles. "Is that part of the harper training? Or just your own personal expertise?" Sydney's question about a red-head makes her brows arch - it's a big Weyr - and then she glances to Kera as the greenrider starts to explain. …trying to embarrass… yep, that does sound like Innes! She nods, and looks back to Sydney. "She's likely out and about on her duties," she says to him, and then her smile broadens. "Getting an early start to the day." It's important! A good way to get things done, or so Soriana hears from reliable (probably) sources.
Sydney sets the bottle down on the sand and claps his hands together pointing at Kera, "That is the one." At least he is fairly sure it is, its possible he met other red heads in the meantime, "I'm sure that she is getting an early start." he replies to the weyrwoman. He can't help but smile a little at her, she seems to have good way about her, "If you do happen to spy her, please do be so kind as to let her know that I'd like to see her." he requests politely. As for his special expertise, "They tell me I have two area's of expertise. One is the drink, and the other is the law." he says holding up the paper he had previously been working on, which ironically enough appears to be written in perfect handwriting and if it were to be read would be both insightful and coherent.
Kera nods when Innes turns out to be who Sydney is trying to track down. "If I happen to see her, I'll let her know sir." Eyeing the brandished page that he claims to be a page of law something or another, Kera chuckles and shakes her head "Healer manuals and diagrams are more my area." Head cants to the Weyrwoman "That would probably be more her area of expertise." Nothing like knowing where to pass that buck up too huh Soriana.
If that redhead isn't the right one, maybe Sydney will just have to get some more wine! …just to give it all away. Soriana smiles. "I'll see what I can do." Maybe if she does, she'll get a finders' fee in wine. Then again, maybe she'll just do it out of the goodness of her heart. Soriana laughs at Sydney's dual specialties. "Please tell me you've got contracts with the vintners that you're working on?" She grins. "Because it would go together so very well!" The particular document he was working on gets a glance, but nothing more than that. It's not on her desk, she doesn't have to care about the details until it is. She glances to Kera for the rider's comment, and grins. "Practice makes perfect?"
"Alas, my good werywoman, I don't get to work on contracts usually. My focus is more in dealing with criminal cases." he slurs out. Yep. That's right if someone is found guilty or innocent largely rests on him in some cases. Lucky people, "I do appreciate that." he says to both the werywoman and the healer, both who whom seem quite helpful this evening. He puts the paper back into the bag and sighs. There is a perfectly good bottle of wine sitting there and he eyes it with interest, "If you both would care too you may join me for some wine. I do believe I can pick up another bottle for the absent young lady."
Kera considers a moment and nods to Soriana with a smile "Maybe not exactly perfect, but kudos for effort at least?" Looking back to Sydney, she gives her head a quick shake "Thanks for the offer, but I need to go get Moncerath strapped up to visit Rubicon." She flashes a wink to Soriana "Need to see what mom suggest about staying upright on a wet dragon." Gathering up her towels and blankets, sloppily draping them over her arm, she waves to the sandbound man. "Nice seeing you again Harper Sydney." A quick look to the Weyrwoman with a friendly wink "Thanks for the suggestions ma'am. And I'll check into that Bottled water duty." Another quick wave "G'afternoon!" IS called out as she starts off at a lazy trot towards the steps. Moncerath splashes her way onto the shore, well away from the people, and takes to the air. The green still manages to fling droplets everywhere though as she veers towards her forest retreat.
Soriana's eyebrows lift again as Sydney states his focus. "Really? Huh. That must have its own challenges." Maybe it explains why the harper drinks so much? She smiles at his offer of wine, then looks to Kera. "Straps are important for that!" Unless Kera plans to take the long sea road, but Soriana's grin is a teasing one. "Good luck," she says to the rider, and while her lips twitch for the ma'am, she lifts her hand to give a half-salute (or maybe it's a confused wave, who can tell?) before looking back to Sydney… who seems to already be sloshing even before Moncerath drips on things. "Well," she says with a smile. "I do have some meetings to go to, so today probably isn't the best of times for wine." But she's curious, so! "Any particular vintage?"
The harpers face shows a bit of disappointment when one of the the potential guests bows out, apparently having a rather important errand to run, "Good evening to you my good lady. Travel well." he calls out to her as she seems to be on her way. He then refocuses his attention on the remaining potential guest, "One of the joys that I have heard of being a senior weyrwoman is that you can get away with nearly anything that you care to get away with. Who knows, you may even enjoy the meetings more if you've had a bit of wine in you." he tempts, "As for the vintage lets see…" he reaches down and picks up the bottle and begins to look for a date, but unfortunately the label has been rendered quite illegible by being stuffed into the bag, so the harper will have to improvise, "Its an 'anytime is a good time to drink'. Very good turn I hear." he remarks with a smile, "Is there really a bad vintage of wine?"
"Get away with, mm, that implies there aren't consequences," Soriana says with an amused smile. "Surely you, working in law, know all about consequence." She pauses a moment, and then her smile widens. "Though I suppose it's true that there's no law against it, exactly." Just other sorts of things that might come about because of doing it. "And for that matter, the wine might mean that other people have more of a chance to get away with…" She laughs. "…whatever it is they're trying to get away with today." There's always something! And - at least if you're Sydney - always some drink to go with it. "Popular one, too," Soriana says of the vintage he claims, then hmms very consideringly for his question. Bad wine? "I think they call that 'vinegar'."
Sydney can't argue, much, "I suppose, my good werywoman, that there are indeed consequences. Though I would implore you to look upon the positive ones as well as the negative ones." All sorts of wonderful things have happened because of wine and drink in general, "I don't believe you need me to extol the virtues of a good wine, or even a middling one." Surely a woman of refinement and taste will appreciate wine. He tempers his rather jovial set of comments with a more serious one, "Do you trust your weyr so little?" Perhaps a bit of malaise has crept in here as he has seen at the hall, "Because if that is the case you have made your own case for having a glass or two." He waves away the comment about vinegar.
Soriana extends a hand to Sydney in invitation. "So, what are these positive ones? I wouldn't want to make a decision without all the right information," she encourages as she smiles to him. "I mean, just because I know what I like in a wine, that doesn't mean I have the same palate as someone more practiced!" At the question of trust, she simply laughs. "I have a great deal of trust - and trust placed in me." Her tone is more serious now than the teasing about wine-tasting, though she's still smiling. "I want to do my best, not simply 'what I can get away with'. If I wasn't needed at those meetings… I wouldn't be there."
"I could hardly be called a good wine taster." he replies quickly, "My expertise is more in quantity than in quality. Though I would say that the benefits are innumerable. The first being that it smooths social interaction. You find that you can tolerate a wider variety of people than you could without a glass. You also feel a pleasant feeling of euphoria that would not otherwise be there in a rather dull setting. A person also tends to see the world in a better light." If that has been his experience he isn't saying, "In short it will make your meetings brisk, your heart full and your social interaction exciting." He could go on of course, but won't press the werywoman any further than that, "And, my good werywoman, I am certain that you do. Hence your stellar reputation."
"Sometimes quantity is a good thing," Soriana acknowledges. Is now one of those times? That, she's not saying. "But I'll leave you to your studies - of wine and law - because I had better go and see about those meetings of mine." She grins. "Without the wine to ease them along. I'll just have to find my merits other ways." Instead of making her attempts to walk exciting, her bladder full, and her speech… the opposite of brisk. "Enjoy your afternoon, harper Sydney. I hope you'll find it more than merely tolerable." Perhaps even euphoric, since he has an entire bottle to work through in that pursuit! Soriana waves to him, and heads off along the shore toward the rest of the Weyr and those various meetings where she's needed.
Sydney nods his head sadly, alas all the potential guests have been exhausted, leaving the only guest that truly matters…the full bottle, "Good day to you werywoman. I do hope that your day is more exciting than it sounds like it might be. It was a pleasure meeting you though, and perhaps we will meet again. I shall be leaving for Ista soon, but if I see you in the meantime perhaps we can share a glass then." As she moves away he rummages in his bag and not surprisingly pulls out a corkscrew. What sort of harper keeps a corkscrew in his bag? A good one! "It looks like its just you and me my beauty." he says as he works open the bottle and begins his journey into the abyss.