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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 this and sharp 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 three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the Caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the Infirmary is a human sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

Summertime on Xanadu! It's morning, and the summer sun has not yet burned off the early fog that has settled lowly upon the lands, casting everything in an eerie gray mist. The grumblings from a few days ago from the weyrfolk have ebbed, thankfully, and the only remnants left of the random floodwaters that flowed into residential places are mere patches of mud and tiny puddles that'll most assuredly evaporate later on. ka-el has been busy for a while despite the earliness of the day. Donned in nondescript trousers and a colorless tunic with sleeves rolled up past the elbows, the teen emerges from the direction of the resident dormitories, carrying tin buckets in each hand, both of which are heavily filled with mud.

Altrea is picking her way across the ground, lifting her knees almost to her chest in an exaggerated prance as she tries to avoid mud, puddles, and…the grass? Worse, she's trying to do this ridiculous leap and hop act with a heavy suitcase in each hand. The effort is further thwarted by the persistance of her hair trying to get itself up her nose and into her mouth, causing her to make repeated pffth, pffth sounds while she tries to spit it out and wipe it away with her arms.

Ugh, he needs a break. Kale lugs his muddy load well into the clearing before he pauses, thunking both buckets down unceremoniously on the grass before raising an arm to wipe his brow with. Yes, breaktime is… now! He plops down onto the grass and digs into the pockets of his trousers, pulling out an apple which he goes about polishing with an edge of his tunic. But, lo…someone's coming! Instinctively he looks up even though it obviously wasn't he sound of a dragon about to land. One can't be too careful. He peers through the fog, making out the form of someone walking…or rather, hopping along. He blinks once, the form getting clearer the nearer the person gets. "Er…d'you need help?" he asks, glancing at the suitcases.

Altrea pauses mid-hop, wobbling on one foot. In between two frizzy curls, glasses slipping down her nose, she stares down at Kale. Daintily she drops her foot beside the other and inspects the ground before carefully putting down her suitcases. Then she stands up to her full height and says, all pomp, "Well, it's about time somebody with some /manners/ came along. You may take these to my rooms, please." She looks around uncertainly and then says importantly, "Well, I'm not certain where they are, exactly, but I'm certain they are here somewhere."

He may…what? Kale stares at her, blue eyes steady and uncomprehending. Hm.. the apple will have to wait. After sliding the ruby fruit back into his pocket, he stands, idly brushing off the seat of his pants. Maybe she's…no. After a brief glance to her person, he sees no knot that would signify some high rank of someone he expects to be spoken to in such a way. Plus, someone with a high ranking would most assuredly know where her room was! Leaving his muddy buckets behind, he approaches her, careless of where his boots land, be it dry land or soggy earth. "If you don' know where your rooms are, then that's probably gonna be a problem, miss.." Miss..maybe. Yeesh, she's short! Now that he's up and nearer, it's evident that young Kale is possibly an inch or two taller than the pompous girl. Though likely..that won't affect her pomp! "But I can help you find'm, but you can carry one've them at least, eh? Are you movin' in?"

Altrea somehow has perfected the art of looking down at someone even though she's actually looking up. It involves tipping her chin down and her eyes up over her glasses. "I've been carrying these bags for ages. My arms are tired. You wouldn't make a young woman struggle onwards when you are clearly the far more strapping specimen." There's a false note to her tone, as if she's already dismissed him as beneath her regard. "Yes, I am moving in, and if you'll point me towards the residency hall, I will surely find my room."

Well, perhaps she has a point. And if she's looking for the resident area, they're not far, and carrying her bags couldn't be worse than hauling a gazillion liters of water back and forth. Inwardly, he sighs. "Alright, I'll help you an' carry them /both/" he relents as he moves to the two suitcases, gripping the handle on one to test the weight. "An' the residency dorms are jus' there," he informs, gesturing in an easterly directin. "You've almost made it. Er .. may I ask where you're comin' from? You're not a rider, are you?" With no dragon in sight, he doubts it. "My name's Kale Crestwood, smithcraft apprentice."

Altrea looks smug as Kale takes her bags. Well, that was easy. "I knew you looked like a good boy." She minces in his wake. "Do watch the mud," she reminds him, looking nervously at his dirty feet and her very clean bags. "I'm from Rubicon River Hold," she adds. "I've come to study the dragons."

Not too heavy. Not exactly /light/ but Kale will manage. Spending days upon days in the forges loading and unloading stacks of metal is one way to build one's strength. Her compliment, which he's sure it was meant to be, is regarded with a smirk. "Y'make it sound like I'm a canine or somethin'," he remarks, looking vaguely amused. The mentioning of the mud causes an inner wince though and a vaguely guilty look on his face. "Aye, I will," he says as he lifts the other bag as well. "C'mon. They're this way," he says, nodding his head in the direction that he now starts off in. "Study dragons? Why, d'you wish to be a rider?" he asks just as his boot splashes in a muddy puddle. Er, oops.

Altrea cringes just a little at all the splashing and the mudding. She makes a sound like her soul is withering away inside her body. "Those were my grandmother's," she laments. "She gave them to my mother when she moved in with my father." She bites her lip and sighs, "They'll wash." Hopefully. But, more pressing concerns as she continues to skip after Kale. "Me, a rider?" she actually laughs. "Of course not, silly. Only the most august of personages become riders." Cue the sparkling eyes and the fangirl drool. "And I'm just, well, Altrea. Nothing special about me." She tips up onto her toes to crane her head. "Oh, is that it?" Her finger points towards the caverns.

"Ooh, oops.." Apparently not the type who takes much care at keeping overly clean, Kale winces as he spies the mud sprinkles on her bags. Erp, there goes his tip! (As if she truly had any mind to compensate him for his time!) "Sorry," he says, looking genuinely so, but there's not much he can do about it now. "No worries. Mud washes out've everythin. A few wipes and it'll be good as new!" His optimistic words are accompanied by a grin as he continues to lead her through the clearing. "August of personages?" is echoed blankly. "Y'mean..er, the brave sort?" That's his best guess anyway, and whether or not he's correct, he agrees. "I've met a few've our riders. One wingleader quite a few times. I guess you're right, but I suppose if you really /wanted/ it, you could end up a rider." He adjusts the weight of the bags while following her point with his eyes. "Er, no. That's sort've like .. a tavern. Eat an' drink an' all. You should stop by once you're settled. The best meatrolls are there," he says, stomach grumbling. "/There's/ where you're goin'." He uses his chin to gesture to the resident dorms. Where the mud thickens!

Altrea snorts dismissively, "I could /want/ anything an awful lot and never see it happen. I could want Lady Deisia to turn into a trundlebug quite mightily, and yet…" she gestures vaguely. It just hasn't happened yet. She looks where he's pointed and dread crosses her face. "There is certainly a bit of..ah…moisture on the ground there. Was there a heavy rain recently here? Does the water always pool there? It seems insensible to house the residents in a low spot…"

"But why would y'want that?" asks Kale, lifting a brow at the trundlebug comment. "A trundlebug's probably an awful thing to be. An' if that /did/ happen…I bet you'd be sorry. Though I figure it'd be sort've cool to watch." He snickers at the thought of a person shrinking down and morphing into the aforementioned creature, but his expression sobers a bit as she questions the current state of the residential area. "Er..aye…there was rain.." he says, nodding once, though the look on his face hints that there may be something more. "An'..there was sort've an accident as well with about…oh, maybe two thousand liters've water. But! It's dryin'. Lucky it's summer, eh? I shoveled the worst've it out of places. M'sure wherever it is you're staying is just fine!" Heh.

Altrea sways dangerously. "Two…thousand…liters?" she wheezes. She shoves her glasses up her nose in disbelief. "You— I — WHAT?" She stops dead, looking around like a cornered animal. "Well, that's unacceptable. I didn't come all this way just to - to sleep in a soggy bed!" She shoots an accusing look at Kale, because obviously he just planned that there should be muddy, soggy living quarters when she's just arriving.

"Er…more or less.." says Kale, not meeting her eyes cuz…you know, he had /nothing/ to do with /that/ mishap at all! Ahem. He carries on with her bags, though soon finds that he's the only one walking. He blinks, pausing to glance over his shoulder at the no longer traveling girl. Brows brows lift and he turns, heading back to her and (after giving the ground a look) sets her suitcases down. "M'sure your bed isn't soggy anymore." A pause. "Er, what I mean it, it probably wasn't soggy in the first place. I mean it was a day or so ago, an' it was far worse than what it is now! It's all mostly dry there now, an' only the lower weyrs got the worst've it.." Heh, see? It's all good! He grins largely at her. Hey, he's almost like a Xanadu spokesperson. He can't let her have negative thoughts about this place already.

He's grown two heads, Altrea is sure of it. That's the only explanation for why she's staring so hard. "Mattresses do NOT dry in a day," she says loftily, lifting her chin and giving him that 'You are a worm' look again. "If my bed is the least bit damp, I will… Well, I will do something! I'll complain to the headwoman, or the steward, or whoever it is that I must complain to in this - this soggy muddy place. To think, housing such majestic creatures in such filth. They aren't /beasts/ you know." Mince mince hop, like a strange frizzy ballerina. And neither is she, you see!

Kale grasps at her suitcases again, hefting them up with a grimace. Complain? Oy! "C'mon, you haven't even seen your room yet," he points out as he follows along after her, weaving around the few mudpuddles that are left instead of tromping through them as he did before. "I bet…all've your worries are for nothin'." As for majestic creatures, he shakes his head. "The dragons aren't in that area anyway. They're kept elsewhere with their riders, an'…no mud at all! See? No harm."

Altrea is clearly not convinced, and continues to pussyfoot around the mud and basically everything nature-like as the two of them near the disaster zone around the Resident Hall. Her myopic stare takes in everything, her nose quite firmly wrinkled. "I should have stayed at home," she laments finally and resigns herself to letting him lead her into her very damp and muddy future home.

Idrissa is making her way on out from the Cavern, a yawn escaping her in the process and she is busy rubbing at her eyes. Sleep, more sleep is needed, or at least a nap after being busy with working at the stables up until about a hour ago. And speaking of majestic creatures! A large steel-gray with tan highlights overgrown puppy is following at her sides carrying a toy within his large muzzle. Asher bounces upon his paws, seeming thrilled at being on the move again, long tail wagging about in the process. The canine catches sight of Kale and with a muffled wruff he is trotting on over towards him and the person he happen to be with. "Oy.. Asher don't tackle anyone.." This said while Rissa is following after him quick like.

As Kale and the newcomer are about to head in to the residences, Soriana's on her way out. There's a brown firelizard perched on one shoulder, and she's scritching him lightly with that slightly absent expression of someone trying to make sense of jumbled thoughts not their own. It takes her several moments to notice that she actually knows one of these people - oh, wait, there's Asher, make that two - but when she does, she grins cheerfully and waves with the non-scritching hand.

And lead he does, holding on to the hope that her assigned living space really is as mud free and dry as he's assuring her. And likely, he'd take her all the way to the residency area and help as much as he can with figuring out just where she's supposed to be staying (as he's just that type of helpful kid) but.. "APPRENTICE CRESTWOOD!" Wince. He'd know that bellow anywhere, and it's enough to have him stop. From the meadow comes a burly man with arms the size of treetrunks and a broad chest that his shirt is having a difficult time containing. An unshaven face is bearded, and a darkened face hints at much time spent near fire. "BOY, WHAT ARE YE DOIN'? HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN MORNIN' CHORES OR DO YE THINK YOU'RE HERE TO PISS THE DAY AWAY WITH PLAY?" It seems as if the fellow has only one volume: Loud! "Er..sorry," Kale murmurs to Altrea, setting her bags down. That's obviously his cue to go! "Jus' keep headin' thataway! You can't miss it. Good luck," he offers to the girl as he quickly heads back to the journeyman, sending a look and quick wave to Idrissa and Soriana, though he daren't speak to them. When near, the back of his neck is soon claimed by the large hand of the lumberjacklike smither, and he's guided back to the forges, being scolded all the way.

Kale is abandoning her? Altrea looks indignant as her bellhop is hauled away. She would be watching him go but something else draws her attention and she screams in terror. A monster! A great terrible monster! Running towards her! "Bad dog, bad dog!" she squeals, forgetting her quest to stay clean in order to leap to the far side of her baggage, which will probably slow the horrible creature long enough for her to get away while it is still confused by the clean, flowery luggage. "Shoo! shoo!" she adds, flapping her hand from around a suitcase while also trying to hunch her bulk behind it.

Idrissa blinks at the sudden bellowing voice, a hand lifted to say something to Kale as he goes sprinting off. She uhohs to herself and bet's someone is gona be in troublel now! As for Asher, he doesn't get close to Altrea, his goal was for Kale after all, an now the lady is saying bad dog? His great head tilts to the side, ears perking while he sits neatly upon his haunches a good ten feet from the woman that is shooing him. Idrissa continues forward and stops next to her canine, her bright gaze settled on Altrea now. "Ah.. He.. won't hurt you.." There is a pause. "Do you need help miss?" Look she is being NICE even though the lady is freaking out over her innocent canine here.

So much for Kale! Soriana gives the firelizard another scritch, and shakes her head as she continues on to where Altrea is now defending her precious, precious luggage (and also self). "He's just a canine," she says, glancing after Kale again before back to the young woman before her. What's that smith boy gotten himself into now?

Altrea's head pops up above her suitcase, just up to the eyes, wild and scanning for the dog. "It's going to /eat me/," she accuses, and then when the dog makes no move to actually try to eat her, she pops up boldly, puffs her cheeks and presses her lips together. "Mud and out of control animals and wet beds. You're all savages!" she accuses. Her head whips towards Soriana and she hisses, pointing at the dog, "THAT is not 'just a canine', it's practically a runner. It will EAT US."

Idrissa just watches Altrea, a finger lifting as she tries to stop the other but finds she is unable to. A glance is sent towards Soriana before she sighs and looks to Asher. "Asher, place." Is said softly. Asher blinks and pouts, his head lowers, ears pinning back and those eyes flicking over to Altrea, Soriana and then up to his owner before he turns and slowly trots away, tail tucked and looking as if someone kicked him down a set of steps. Rissa awws softly but watches to make sure the canine returns to where he belongs, an.. He does! The canine plops down near the caverns in a place she trained him to go for just such a reason. "Alright.. his gone."

Toral spreads his wings somewhat on Sori's shoulder, his eyes flecking with orange as Altrea rants. The girl herself seems less concerned, looking at the older (but shorter) one steadily. "Nah. Just any meatrolls you're carrying." Soriana glances to Asher as the canine departs, then shrugs. "See? All good." She glances down the suitcase, and grins as she adds, "Guess you won't want his help carting that."

Altrea relaxes as the dog disappears, holding her back ramrod straight. "Well….hmph." She clears her throat and says, "Thank you. I just don't care for canines, is all." Biting her lower lip she glances at her luggage and the resident hall and exhales. "I suppose I can manage," she adds reluctantly, though still looking hopefully at the two girls. Damsel in distress, see?

Idrissa tilts her head while peering at Altrea a moment and then looks over to Sori. So many people don't like canine's she is finding! Her attention turns back to the new person. "Asher could have carried them for you." This she points out while making no move to help it seems, well at least for the moment before something kicks her into helping. "Where are you going with 'em?"

Oh, sure, damsel in distress. There's bound to be one somewhere. If so, Sori doesn't seem to have noticed her yet. She'll have to keep looking. For now, she gives her brown firelizard another few scritches until he settles down again, and smiles, listening for the response to Rissa's question.

Altrea shrugs. "One attacked me when I was little. I don't trust 'em. Even if they can carry things." Like she said. He's practically a runner. "I was taking them to the Resident Hall. Or rather, that boy was…Whatever his name was." It doesn't seem to matter to her. "I have come to study the dragons."

Idrissa works with runners so doesn't seem to worried about the size of her dog. "I'm sorry you was attacked by one.. But Asher won't harm you I promise." She offers softly, offened her dog well then offened her pretty much. A slight nod is seen. "That was Kale his our friend.. I'm Idrissa Seacrest, beastcraft apprentice and that is Soriana." There is a pause while she eyes the bags a moment. "I suppose..I could give you a hand."

Studying dragons, huh? Soriana tilts her head, considering on that a moment, then grins. "Well, there's a few of those around here, it's true. If you keep your eyes open, you're bound to see one or two." Her tone is clearly teasing, even if it weren't for the fact that, well, there goes a green overhead, and there's a few sunning themselves up on the cliff. None of them terribly nearby, but there are most certainly dragons here. Sori steps closer, nodding as she's introduced.

Altrea busies herself with self-importance. "Right. Hale. It's nice to meet you, Iridessa, Sorena. I'm Altrea." At least she can get her own name right. "Oh, if you insist!" she says gayly at the beastcrafter's offer, all but stuffing the suitcases straight into Idrissa's arms as she sets off, unburdened. "Now, that boy said there was some sort of leak in the resident hall. Do either of you know anything about that?"

Idrissa blinks and scrambles a moment to takes hold of the suitcases and nearly stumbles over her own feet in the process. She winces a moment as one suitcase scrapes across her left palm, where she has some healing blisters that of course she didn't rebandage and perhaps she should have! A glance is sent towards Soriana wondering what she got herself into before she follows after Altrea, bags intow. At the comments to the sudden 'leak' a faint ah escapes her an she clears her throat. "There is work being done on the hatching sands.. So.. Maybe from there.." Oh dear.. Don't ask her this!

"Yeah, that's right," says Soriana as she steps to Altrea's side to stroll along. "Soriana. Daughter of gold Yumeth's Sorrin." That's just her giving a full and proper introduction, Weyr-style. So what if she doesn't usually go for the formality? She's doing it now.

"Work on the hatching sands?" interrupts Altrea irritably. "Aren't there brooding queens on the sands, though?" Aren't there always? "What sort of work could they possibly need!" Soriana, however, gets her slow and undivided attention. "Your mother is a weyrwoman?" she asks, and…is that drool, in the corner of her mouth? Oh my. "Do you think she'd meet with me?" and then, almost without pause, she contradicts, "No, of course not, she's surely to busy to meet someone as unimportant as me." She flusters for a moment and then steps in a mud puddle and lets out an indignant squeal. This day, not going her way at all.

Idrissa shakes her head slightly. "Well, no not at the moment at least." She offers softly with a glance towards Soriana that says 'help!' When it comes to dragn stuff she goes to Sori, the coltborn is still getting use to a lot of things here. At the squeal she looks back to Altrea and tilts her head. "Um.. You alright..?"

When Altrea gets flustered and steps into a mud-puddle, Soriana can't manage to hide the grin. Hah. She chooses, however, to not actually answer that question, instead addressing the one about the sands. "Of course not. Queens aren't ovines." Seriously! They're far more noble and dignified, and they don't go and mate every turn! Maybe back during the passes, but that time is long gone. "There's only four here at Xanadu - Seryth, Sahazyth, Yumeth, and Sonyxaeth, and Sonyxaeth's too young to rise."

Altrea wails, "I stepped in the mud." Horror of horrors! The world, it ends. She shakes her foot, splattering droplets of filth, and checks to see how Idrissa fares with her luggage. Really, they're almost there! "Thank you for carrying those," she says after an odd look at the girl. "I don't…it's not that I mean to be bossy, it's just that I've never been away from home before and it's just all so strange and I'm not even sure if they'll take me on as anything but a pot scrubber but I guess that would be okay as long as there were dragons, you know? But I'm much more of a scholar so maybe they could use somebody to keep the records or read or, I don't know, something like that." Does she ever breath. No, probably not. Soriana, again, has he attention, as the last 't' in that crosses her lips she's already on to, "Only 4? 4 is marvelous, that's amazing. I thought that the weyrs didn't have so many queens any more, isn't four a lot?"

Idrissa peers at Altrea and nods a moment while she follows along. "Well.. its alright. Coming here was the first time I got away from home too really." She offers softly and shrugs. "I don't see why they wouldn't take you on, just have to ask or your never know."

At least Altrea will have a chance to breathe when she's listening? Maybe? Soriana's not going to bet on it. Still, there are questions about dragons being asked! "Well, it's more than Fort or Western have," she acknowledges, with somewhat of a beam of pride. "They still don't go rising all the time. Not now that there isn't thread." Y'know, thread, way back in ancient history. For more present matters… "There's always something that needs doing," she agrees to Idrissa with a nod. "Scholar stuff, huh?"

Altrea can breath when she's listening, it's true. If you can get her to listen. Well, talk of dragons will do that at least. "Of course they'll take me on!" she decides, waffling back into confidence again like some floundering fish trying to get off the dock. "I have lots of talents, of course, and everyone on the outside deserves to know what dragons are really like. I'm going to write a …well, something, about living with dragons. It will be amazing. Harpers will sing it, I'm sure."

Idrissa nods to what Soriana says about the dragons, cause if her friend is saying it that its all true! An she does remember hearing some about it before as well. "I'm sure it'll be great." Is offered to whatever the other might be writing or what not. "So..where is your room?" Otherwise, the bags are getting heavy!

Soriana may have picked up a thing or three about dragons, somehow. She looks amused at Altrea's plan to reveal the great wonder that is dragons to the outside world. "Well, first thing, you should get settled in. If you want, though… best way to get a look is probably to go to the weyrlings practice. The grounds are down along the beach, and so long as you stay out of the way, nobody minds if you watch." But /after/ the settling in, if you don't mind! Poor Idrissa with those bags. Not that Sori's helping.

"Er, well, you see.." Altrea trails off and admits, "I'm not actually sure. They just told me the Resident Hall, they didn't specify a room. I assumed I was just to take whatever was available." Which makes sense, sort of. She squints into the Resident Hall and shrugs. "If you'd like to leave them here, I can take them when I've figured out where I'm to go. Thank you for your help." In truth, she's actually now angling her head towards the beach, probably with exactly what Soriana has suggested in mind.

Idrissa would of course be carrying bags and there is no place to persay 'take' them at the moment. A faint look is sent to Altrea and she nods while setting the suitcases down and makes sure they are out of the and not near any mud int he process. She brushes her hands off and eyes the plam of her left hand to check on the blisters. "Alright.. Well I hope your find it soon where your place is room wise." She peers around a moment then looks over to Sirana at the talk of the beach.

Well, okay, pausing the settling-in also works. The bags will probably get trampled by canines and thrown in the mud by rogue weyrbrats, but that's hardly Soriana's problem. "All right," she says. "I suppose we'll be seeing you around!" She waves, though she does note the peering beach-ward. "Good luck with the room." Y'know, the one for living in? As opposed to the big blue one with dragons?

The big blue one with dragons would probably be better. Altrea waves at the two younger girls like she's already forgotten they were there. "Yes, yes, thank you. Good bye now!" she calls, not even looking back, and scuttles off for the beach. So much for moving in.

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