Xanadu Weyr - Meadow
A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves. The meadow continues with gentle rolls and dips, grass tall and short waving in the slightest of breezes, and eventually those hills grow higher and steeper, ending in a large rige that provides a fine view of that meadow and the rest of the Weyr, gazing out over the multicolored roofs of the houses and the cliff that holds the caverns.
Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, and a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing. Trees border the northern side of the meadow, and more of those low, rolling hills can be seen to the northwest. A road passes through the meadow, coming from the east and used by traders and crafters alike. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests or ore from the mountains are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.
It's an absolutely lovely spring morning, skies a wide open blue with nary a cloud to be seen. Slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of the meadow, an enormous gold dragon has sprawled out to let the weyr's children play on her like an interactive jungle gym. The torn up stump and root system of a tree hulks nearby, the great hole it came from surrounded by three little saplings wrapped in cloth bulbs. From the weyr proper comes Esiae, a fourth sapling bobbing on her good shoulder and a shovel in her hand as she hikes her way up towards the gold. She has a few candidates trailing along after her, likewise armed with shovels to help replace the damaged fir.
Zak is one of those said candidates with a shovel popped against his shoulder. Hijacked on his way to lessons he cheerfully is shanghaied from that daily chore to help with this one. Whatever this one is. Taking several long legged steps to catch up with Esiae he gestures towards the bulky gold sprawled out nearby. "She's tolerant of being used as a child's playground?" he asks.
Mind clearly elsewhere, it takes a second for Zak's question to filter into Esiae's mind, but she's quick to grin and nod over at Sonyxaeth, whose wing drops to the ground for a toddler to slide down it with a giggle. "Oh, yeah, she loves it," Esiae says affectionately. "Loves children, period, and they love her. Practically waxes philosophic, going on about how our whole future is wrapped up in teeny tiny packages." This amuses her rider to no end. "But she also has a great big butt and broke a tree trying to pull a stunt meant for much more agile dragons, so now we get to clean up her mess." Sonyxaeth, who had been peering over at them interestedly, suddenly looks elsewhere. Nothing to see here. "Gotta level out the dirt first, then we'll plant these saplings and hope they'll take, yeah?," she asks, explaining the chore to Zak and the others before they get started.
Maorin hopped on the shovel train somewhere along the way. There's a slow grin at the climbing and playing of the children though, laughing. "Hey, why not? If I had such a versatile playground when I was little, my mother would never have gotten me to come inside!" He takes a peek around Zak then, brows lifted quite curiously to stare at the broken tree, and broken ground, and broken..well..everything. "You mean there /wasn't/ a big, giant tornado that did this? ..Look, remind me to stay indoors when dragons do acrobatic tree-bashing? I like being in once piece. One nice…not flat piece."
Zak eyes the destruction done giving a sharp whistle in appreciation at the damage. "New trees?" he asks doubtfully. "They'll take without like constant tending to?" inquires the boy who probably still has sand in all his clothes cause he's that new to Xanadu. "Alright then. Level the dirt." sounds simple, right? Bring down his shovel he looks all ready to attack said unleveled dirt.
"Yeah, that's about the only complaint we get about it, outside of the usual 'my baby skinned her knee' business. It's hard to make them go home." The reveal that it was Sonyxaeth who caused the destruction goes about how she thought it would, Esiae smirking at the both of them before sticking her shovel into the dirt. She certainly favors her right arm, which is still visibly bandaged under a light work shirt, but it doesn't seem to stop her. "Well, she broke the tree in winter, but we couldn't exactly replant then, so we dug up the trunk just today." But still. Yes. This was her gold's doing. "Aww, come on, what's so bad about being a pancake?," she asks Maorin oh-so-sweetly before she laughs and shakes her head. "Don't worry. She won't be doing that again." Indeed, the gold looks abashed, even from here. As for the trees… "No idea, taking care of 'em isn't my business after this. Lilia only said I had to get them planted. I think it was supposed to be some kind of punishment, but she didn't say I had to do it myself, so." Here they are, drafted! Don't they just feel loved.
"The story of my life. Survive nearly being blown to bits only to end up flattened." Maorin sighs, dropping one arm from where he's been holding his own shovel, slung across both shoulders. He swings it down, planting the metal end in the dirt. "Oh no, sure. I can see the appeal. I'm sure flat is a very slimming look on many people. Not really my thing, though." He gets to work though, tossing a glance over at Esiae with lips pressing together. "Should you be doing that, with your arm..well. With whatever happened to it? You can totally just..dump the trees in the holes if you want. And supervise."
"Out of the frying pan and into the fire!" remarks Zak cheerfully. He's not the one getting flattened so he can be cheerfully optimistic about it. Working along side Maorin in the dirt he only casts a brief glance to the gold rider's arm when Maorin mentions it. "How many trees are there to plant?"
Esiae laughs for Maorin's sarcasm, eyes scrunching over at him. "Well, it'll make for a really interesting eulogy, at least?" Because that's comforting. "'How'd he die?' 'Oh, I heard he was squashed by the weyrwoman's gold.' They'll be talking about it for weeks." Twinkle~. "Only four trees. I think that's a few too many, myself, considering there was only one here to begin with, but I suppose just in case some don't survive, they want to make sure the area will be covered." The goldrider actually looks surprised at Maorin's question, but it's immediately dismissed with a shake of her head. "I probably shouldn't be, but I'm not gonna make you guys do it all yourselves. That just wouldn't be fair. Besides, I'm sure you're getting your fair share of work anyways. Is it going alright so far, your chores and lessons?" Distraction tactics, go!
Maorin grins slowly, shrugging. "Well so long as it's talked about, I guess. Remember me as I was!" Shovel is lifted in a salute before the candidate gets back to work on all that dirt. "If you're sure you wanna keep doing it, then by all means. I'm not turning down the help at all." There's another pause, since working /and/ talking seems to be a bit difficult for him. He'd run out of breath if he had to do both at the same time. "Things are going great on this end. Doing a bit of this and that, stuff I've sure never had to do before. It's good, when you think about it. Having people around on hand that know how to do a variety of things, just in case." Because that's the plan, obviously. Not just to keep errant candidates busy, or helpful and free labor. "Spent most of the day workin the laundry, even. Zak, what /did/ you end up doing, anyway?"
Zak alternates the working and talking fairly well. As Maorin talks Zak listens and works. As a question is posed to himself he pauses, shoving the shovel into the loosened dirt. "I..got drafted for this!" a hand waves around themselves to encompass the work area as well as the people in it.
"I'll write a really lovely ballad all about it," Esi promises with a cheeky grin. The Ballad of Fishboy! It's practically a sensation already. "And nah, I'm fine, honest. It only hurts if I pull it the wrong way, and Sony's playing scout in case a healer walks by." All bases covered! She, too, takes a minute to work, nodding along pleasantly when Maorin describes his experience thus far. "Oh, absolutely. It's all stuff you'll have to know to be self-sufficient, especially in the event you impress. Could you imagine caring for a dragon if you don't know how to wash your own shirt?" The horror! She flashes a sheepish grin over at Zak when he indicates his chore for the day ended up being hers. "Whoops. Hopefully I didn't drag you away from one of the more interesting lessons. I always liked rider shadowing, myself. Galaxy wing's the best. I think, if I hadn't impressed Sony, I would have done that instead of continuing Harper studies."
"Ah, I did that the other day. It was pretty interesting to follow someone around and see what's what." Maorin grins, looking down to the dirt again while he works at the whole digging process. "Well I for one am glad she pulled you, Zak. Granted if she pulled all of us, we'd have this done in no time flat. But, I suppose it only does take a couple of shovels to dig a couple of holes."
Zak pretends to look concerned. "A ballad? But aren't those long and drawn out? I'd think he would need something a little better than a ballad about the whole incident!" shaking his head he grins amiably. Shoveling more dirt he works for a bit more before answering. "Oh no, wasn't shadowing today." at least he hopes it wasn't. Hard to tell since he never actually showed up to see. Oops. "We're getting this done fairly well, Maorin." he agrees with his fellow candidate.
Esiae chuckles for Zak's assertion, taking a moment to think about it a little overdramatically. "I suppose. I could make it a limerick so that it's a little extra exciting," she drawls, dumping another couple shovelfuls of dirt into the hole as she thinks on it. "There once was a candidate from… Where are you from?," she asks Maorin with a squint, because that'd help. "Nerat'd rhyme nicely with 'flat,' but…" She perks interestedly when he mentions he shadowed someone the other day. "Oh? What wing?" She does nod for their hard work, though, leaning on her shovel as she glances it over. "I do appreciate it. We're close to being done with this part, if you don't mind leaving a couple patches shallower than the surrounding areas. We can just plop the new saplings right in."
Zak grimaces a little as he handles the shovel handle. No gloves! Oh sure he was given them and he stashed them away in his pocket instead of putting them on. Still he works through the pain cause they are almost done. Right? Patting down the dirt around one hold turns. "Finished!" he half announces half asks. "I think he's from Monaco. Maybe." he can't remember.
Esiae huffs when they finish, pushing her hair back out of her face and wincing as she rolls her shoulder. Okay, maybe she did overdo it a bit… "Nice. Wanna give me a hand with the saplings?" Her face falls a little when Zak answers about Maorin's origins, lips pursing with feigned annoyance. "Monaco! How in Faranth's name am I supposed to rhyme something with Monaco. No. He was born in Nerat." Poor Maorin. He just can't catch a break. "There once was a boy from Nerat. He was everyone's favorite 'brat. He got himself searched, to Xanadu he lurched, Sony sat on him and now he's flat." She's entirely too pleased with herself about that.
Regardless of him actually liking or disliking the limerick, Zak decides to simply say he likes it. It is quite catchy really and perhaps it'll supersede the whole Fishboy nickname. "That could catch on." poor Maorin indeed. abandoning the shovel where he as he moves over to help with the saplings now. His stomach rumbles loudly. "Monaco..Ronaco?" he attempts to rhyme. See, he can play along.
Perhaps Esi realizes she's being a little bit patronized, or maybe she catches that belly rumble, but she flicks Zak an amused look for his simple agreement as she picks up her own sapling, stripping it of its cloth bulb before depositing it into the ground. "Maybe. It doesn't have quite the same level of drama as a proper ballad, though." She snorts for his attempt to rhyme with Monaco as she packs the dirt around the first sapling before going to fetch the second. "Ronaco, of course. Why didn't I think of that," she teases, eyes dancing with mirth. "I think I can manage the last one, if you wanna skip off for an early lunch. I'll sign off on your morning chores."
Zak would object he isn't that hungry but there's more talking from the direction of his stomach so he is more inclined to take the weyrwoman up on her offer. Giving a crooked grin her way he adds a look of gratefulness. "Thanks!" he snaps a salute cause he does remember being told about that now and he scoots off in search of food.