HarperCraft Hall - Archives
Carved from a large and wide cave, it extends deep into the rock until the back curves into a semi-circle shape and it gives the illusion that the Hall has no ground beneath it. The Archives are their own separate 'bubble' of sorts and the ceiling is supported by well placed stone pillars carved from the natural stone and etched with knotwork designs. Hundreds of floor to ceiling bookshelves fill this cavernous room and while packed full it is obvious that the material here is handled with utmost care and meticulously categorized and kept from decay and damage. Glows and the newer addition of electrical lights allow ample enough lighting and a few tables and chairs are arranged for use for anyone wishing to quietly read over the information they seek. Somewhere amidst the stacks is a plain wooden door leading to the modest and small printing room, a leftover from earlier times when AIVAS requested one to be built but most of the machinery now moved to another Hall.
Midmorning and the archives are populated with folks involved in a muted hum of busy tasks. Voices held to murmurs so the people sitting at tables pouring over tomes may read in peace, those doing research amongst the shelves can browse without clamor and those behind the desk may help those seeking assistance without having to raise their voice or bang their heads against the wall to think clearly. Joelle is one of those behind the desk, a large stack of papers fresh from the printer before her, folding them one at a time to fit into business envelopes. How many journeymen does it take to get a bulk mailing done? Why…one. Usually. Today? Well, she's also being trained on said printer. So…two. But… the other must be taking a break or something because Joelle is alone, folding away.
It'd be a bad idea then to allow the doors to slam shut behind one's entrance, right? Kiena's… not entirely graceful and while the doors don't slam, they sound loud enough! With a wince and a grumbled apology should she receive any glares, the bluerider proceeds to inch her way into the archives. Why the hesitation? Maybe she feels a little out of place here. She's neither Harper nor Fortian, having travelled half way across the world for some task or another. One of which she's determined to finish on her own until she realizes that she could be in these archives for ages unless she ask for help. Joelle won't find herself alone for long. She's an easy target, being the lone soul at that desk. "Ah, morning." Kiena begins after quietly clearing her throat. "Uh. Don't mean to intrude on your work… Think you could help me out?"
Some people jump, a few might peer owlishly at the newcomer, all go back to their tasks. Joelle? Is delighted. Folding papers is booorrriiinnngggg! The young woman wide-eye stares at Kiena, a feigned look of profound perplexity if there ever was one. Her eyes, a startling color blue, dart side to side, visibly debating her answer for a moment before she leans forward and whispers, "Okaaaaay, but you just got here?" And she is around that desk in two shakes of a lamb's tail, offering her arm as though in preparation to lead her back to that very door she'd just entered. She's kidding. Probably. But then again, this is Joelle.
Kiena is a liberator then from boring tasks! She's about to answer but Joelle moves fast and the bluerider just blinks, staring at that offered arm. Huh, what? No hard feelings if she passes on that, right? Her hand instead rubs at the back of her neck, underneath the wild tangle her hair has become, despite her efforts to keep it contained in a twisted bun and a few smaller braids (which still hold some wood and shell carved beads — old remnants of her time in Ierne). "Well, yeah? I'm a Smithcrafter, but I had to bring someone back to the Hall. I'm also looking for something… Was told it could be here."
"There I go, mixing up my prepositions and participles again," sighs Joelle with overdone chagrin. She flickers a wink at the other woman and adopts a more proper posture. That would be with her hands clasped demurely in front of her, meeting the other's eyes with candor (and a wee twinkle of devilment that she can't quuuite squelch). Her shoulder-length sable hair is neatly brushed, as befitting a harper but her blouse and skirts are chartreuse and yellow with fuchsias embroidery that would look more in line worn by one on a trader's caravan or something. When the newcomer speaks she perks. Ah, a mission! High adventure after the mundane paper-folding she's been tasked with. "What would you like to find? Or… would you like to find it?" she interrupts herself to muse. "Because it might be one of those have-to things which isn't enjoyable in the slightest, but must be done and is better once over with. Like looking up death indexes or plague statistics." She coughs, grimaces, halting her own train of thought. "In either case, I think I can help. I'm journeyman Joelle. How may I be of service?"
Kiena's brows lift and it's obvious that Joelle's lost her. Prepositions and what-now? She's also giving the young woman a closer look, as though not quite sure what to make of her — or her taste in clothing. But she appears harmless enough and grins for the enthusiasm shown. It's refreshing, to say the least! "Nothing quite so morbid." she admits with a slight huff of amusement. "Well met, Joelle! What I'm looking for are some old documents — guess you could say they're old versions of Smithing techniques. Been wanting to try something for my Journeyman project and while I've heard rumours of my idea being possible, apparently it's so rarely used it's antiquated. Pity, really. So… Guess that's where I need some help before I spend candlemarks in here scouring every shelf."
Joelle is harmless…mostly. But then she's usually in the archives or working with children. Who's to say what will happen if they ever allow her out to mingle with the general populace? The harper bobs her head a time or two history, yes, yes. Antique…smithcrafting? Cue record-scratching stop. Uh. She knows nothing about mechanics! "This presents a challenge," she chirps, feigning nonchalance. With her classes, her motto is 'The Key to Survival: Never Show Uncertainty'. Breezily, "No need to scrub shelves - we have drudges who cleanse them. But if you'll follow me, ah, Miss…? I can help you find the proper area to begin your search." She strides confidently, leading Kiena towards the shelves of tomes and manuscripts. She does seem to be moving with a purpose, heading to a specific area. Her tone is chipper, as she gestures to labels at the end of each row as they pass them by, "So the 500s are Pure Science, the 600s are Technology…" She draws a few shushes, lowers her voice to a whisper, "Unless you want history, those are the 900s, see?" Then she considers, perhaps this should have come first, "Or did you want to look up a specific work or author?"
"Kiena," Is the name supplied when the bluerider is finally clued in that she's skipped over the proper formality and never shared her name. There's a sheepish half-smile given too as apology, while the rest of her title (as it were) follow. "Rider to blue Ujinath. Senior Apprentice Smithcrafter." Say that three times fast! Following Joelle, her head tilts as her eyes scan those shelves again. "Don't think it'd be under Pure Science…" she mutters, smirking as they're shushed. Kiena has to fight to stop herself from rolling her eyes. "Mhm. Might try the 600s to start. Wish I DID have a specific work or author to go by but I don't." Time to start browsing! When something catches her interest, she just reaches for the item. There's no rules on that, are there? Because she's just going to help herself. "So is this your line of work then? Archives?"
Harpers are taught the sort of proper greetings to give dragonriders in Diplomacy 101, most likely. Joelle would not disappoint her instructor, were he present. "Well met, Senior Apprentice Kiena, blue Ujinath's rider. Which Weyr or Weyrhold are you beholden to?" They stop at the 600s row and she merely nods to Kiena's answer about work or author and says, "If you do find an author or topic, we have an old card catalogue near the front desk - which, come to think of it, might all be accessible at Landing via computer." Her gesture to the shelves invites the other to feel free to scour but not scrub those shelves, haha. No rules, no protocol except, "If you find something you want to borrow, please sign off for it at the desk." She's turning away to return to the desk when Kiena's question halts her. "This? Not…really. I teach beginners classes - reading, handwriting, grammar and the basics of music theory. Children, mostly. And fill in the rest of my time here as needed." Y-a-y says look on her face.
Kiena tries, and fails, not to grimace over the stiff formal greeting Joelle throws her way. Still, she's not about to correct her. At least there's no 'ma'am' being tossed around. "I'm from Xanadu." she answers and there's no mistaking the fact her nose wrinkles. No, it's not from the dust. "I'd rather not use a computer. Certain… levels of tech and I don't get along." She does, however, tuck away the mention of having to sign out anything she takes. Noted! One book is pulled, cracked open, quickly browsed and returned. She's reaching for another when Joelle gives her an answer. Quirking a brow, she seems… intrigued. "Didn't seem to thrilling," she admits, speaking of the paper folding. "But teaching? How'd you figure you'd end up doing that?" Questions. Odd questions, really.
Joelle's on duty, moreover the walls have ears in here. Never know who's browsing at one of those table over there, either. Nab her at the pub sometime over a pint of something tasting toasted, mellow and frothy. "Xanadu." Joelle's eyes just say 'wow' but she simply says with a perfectly straight face, "I've heard it gets…warm there." Warm, hot, same diff, right? As for the tech, she nods and if her eyes slip in guilty-fashion towards the printer room? It's totally coincidental, right? She lingers, because after all, there's nothing but that stack of papers waiting for her over at the desk. Speaking of, she grimaces at the folding job. Yeahno. Kiena's question is unexpected. She blinks a few times. "Teaching? I…have no idea? It wasn't planned. Unless…" Her face morphs through a quick succession of several expressions - all exaggerated - that begin with suspicion and end with, tragic betrayal, "…my parents planned to have me first to take care of their children. They had nine of them." That must be it! says the look on her face. "We have too much fun sometimes, so the kids all complain when I'm not there." Uh. Is this a trick question? "Why do you ask?"
Kiena might be wishing she was in a pub right now. Perhaps one is in store for her trip home! "What? Not… really, well, in the summer yes? It's not as tropical as, say, Ista or desert-like as Igen." she admits with an indifferent shrug of her shoulder. Again, she seems to focus on the book she pulled from the shelf. Why else is she distracted? It too fails to provide her with what she's looking for and she promptly sets it back (in the wrong slot) and continues on. A third book is pulled, a few pages carefully flipped and scanned while she listens. A few darted looks allow her to catch some of the expressions on Joelle's features but the bluerider doesn't sense any tricks. Not yet. "That's a big family. A lot of responsibility." Why does she ask? Cue another shrug and a vague smile. "Curious, that's all."
In the summertime, riiiiight. Joelle will go with that. She agrees nodding along sagely and then far, far too innocently says, "And no… volcanoes exploding, either," She lingers still, after all, most patrons don't do much beyond asking for what they need, fingers absently brushing imaginary motes of dust off of a book here, the shelves there. The misplaced book is dealt with in the same manner, deftly, automatically, without annoyance removed and inserted in the proper slot. She's spent enough time doing archival tasks that they've become second nature. "Ah," says Joelle, enlightened - or is that relieved - about the question. Curiosity works both ways, but she'll indulge hers after replying to Kiena's. "Yes, my mum managed to pop one out every turn until I was ten. But to be fair to my parents, they broke me in gradually and they were never far away. We always had a cotfull of neighbor kids too. It was fun!" She's being totally genuine. There's a pause and then she, having peered at a few of the titles Kiena has selected and made neither heads nor tails of any of them, asks, "What are you going to make?"
Kiena frowns as she looks up from the book she was half-skimming. "Not that I know of? Why?" Cue a very suspicious look. "Do you have experience with exploding volcanoes?" Do tell. Though she'll have her thoughts filled with Joelle's last reply about her family. Try as she may, she can't keep herself from wrinkling her nose at the idea of popping out kids that regularly. Ugh, that poor woman. "So you never found it difficult to have so many siblings AND have to watch over them all the time?" It's a miracle if she can handle her own brood all together most days! Which are few. As for what she's going to make, well… apparently Kiena finally has some success and with a grin points to a hand written page in the current book she's holding. Someone's old notebook? By the ancient look of the thing — most likely. "This! Or, at least… try to apply the technique of it to something. It's called chasing… or embossing. Tricky metalwork, general more for jewelry or decorative pieces. I'm not wanting to make something useless though but maybe an in-between. Pretty but still serves a purpose. That way no one can say good metal was wasted."
"Um…" Joelle seems to have to think about this. "Not with volcanoes, no." A pause, then casually. "But there were some rather vigorous earthquakes in Half Moon Bay while I was posted there. A few waves healthy enough to remove the docks and bar from their beach. What wasn't smashed by falling rock or wrecked by waves got burned." Hastily tacked on, "I arrived just after." So she A. Didn't experience it, B. Wasn't traumatized by it and C. Didn't cause it. Furthermore, "I think a ship or two might have exploded in the harbor also." She nods, her blue eyes widened dramatically as if to say 'for reals' even before Kiena can respond. Unspoken: that was one unlucky Weyr, huh? As for helping with her siblings, "Not really, no. Mother did a lot and some of the older ones helped. Mostly I just kept them busy." Does she look a trifle guilty saying that? Why yes, yes she does. She dutifully leans to peek at what the smithcrafter points to in that notebook and hms thoughtfully. "What sort of project would anyone claim wasted metal?" Perhaps she's asking for the sake of conjecture…but more likely it's to stall having to return to that stack of papers.
Kiena grimaces, "Ahh, yeah. I heard about that. They'd been having some bad luck for sometime…" Yet she never heard further about it. Joelle may have left it unspoken, but the bluerider isn't against saying it outlaid. "You ever hear what the cause was of the ships?" Even if it's long since resolved, she's curious! Her head tilts, "And that's how you kept them busy, right? The lessons." And they come back full circle, back to the original talk of her being a teacher. Now that the notebook has been explained, she closes it and tucks it under her arm. "Many. Metal isn't as common on Pern, so what we do have brought up has to be used carefully. Obviously priority goes to tools and important items and not to frivolous baubles. It can be hard to work with some of the leftover scrap though… but if I can find a way to kind of, hmm… repurpose it then nothing is wasted. So I'm looking up different techniques and heard of this one." She shrugs. Lots of technical stuff there.
"Never heard what made the ships blow up, no." Joelle says with headshake of genuine regret. "I was only there long enough for the aftermath, then was re-called to the hall." A touch of her former buoyancy returns as she lowers her voice to a near-whisper of understated drama, "I was sure as shell glad to have arrived and left via dragonback, let me tell you." As for her siblings, she blinks, then grins sheepishly. "Ah no. I hadn't entered the hall yet. Kept them busy with games, like I do my students now" With a twinkle, both her lips are nipped between her teeth and a finger is raised to them. Sssh. Trade secrets, she seems to imply. She ahhs about the usage of rare metal and comments airily, "This is why I could never be a smithcrafter. I'd want to make robots, decorations and music machines." With her chin she indicates that notebook under Kiena's arm. "Would you like to sign that out? Or, well, I'm keeping you from browsing other shelves aren't I? No rush on…that." Heh, Joelle, exit stage left before they yank you away with a hook. "I'll…just be…over at the desk, hmm?"
Kiena blinks as she leans in a little closer for that near-whispering and then has to stifle her laughter. Might not be the best time to laugh but… she's never been one to follow the norm. "Don't blame you." she mutters, amused. As for her secret, she'll lift a hand and make a reassuring gesture. It'll stay with her! "Smart idea. Might try that with my brood the next time I have to figure out how to keep them in line." Not that it'll work. Not with Ezzie becoming the spitting image of her — temper and all. "… why would you…?" It starts as a confused protest until Kiena realizes Joelle could be pulling her leg. Right? She snorts, "You'd need to be tech trained too for half of that and have the best of luck convincing anyone that all the resources necessary to make it are going to a good cause." she drawls with a smirk. As for that book? "Uh, right." Distracted again, Kiena takes a step backwards only to pause when it seems Joelle is attempting an escape. "So you've never seen Xanadu, huh?" Why does that sound like a trap? "Would you want to?"
"Because they're fun things!" It appears she is totally serious about that, even though she's lit up like glowbasket. "I mean, why do all of the training and learning if not to have fun with it?" Not that she went that direction with her training, nope! However, "If you ever want to waste metal..?" She wriggles a bit, points silently to herself, brows dancing up and down suggestively a few times. She's your girl! "I could give you plenty of ideas and actually could provide help with a music machine. At least with tuning the chimes or whatnot." Then Kiena with the "Best of luck convincing" comment bursts her bubble and with a moue of woe, Joelle amends, "Sadly, there's that permission clause and my harpers’ salary doesn't permit me to actually afford the purchase of metal in the event I couldn't convince someone that Pern needs something so frivolous." She sighs, hand to forehead in an overly-dramatic fashion. Mind not that conspiratorial giggle at the end there - her life is SO hard! "Never…seen Xanadu? Ahhhh, noooot yeeeet." The answer to would she ever is given without missing a beat, "Oh yes. I've heard people have a blast there." Innocent! She's innocent!
"Who said I wasn't having fun with my work?" Kiena counters, not about to get in an argument now over the pros and cons. Not that it'd be a true argument, as she's amused rather than annoyed by Joelle's replies. Especially when she begins dancing like that. "Careful what you wish for. Smithing is hard! You sweat a lot. And then there's the soot and the chemicals…" Does it still sound glamorous? There's a smirk to follow and a low chuckle, "Sometimes ideas are more precious than the metal itself." There's a shake of her head for the dramatic flair the girl goes for but as for her answer on Xanadu, well… the trap has been set and sprung! Kiena doesn't miss a beat either and from one of her pockets she pulls out a knot. A white one. "Want to see Xanadu? And with the best insurance to keep the Hall from recalling you early on in your experience. Can't pull a Candidate home until the eggs crack, can they? That is… if you say yes to Stand for Kairoikyriath and Saburath's clutch." Dangle, dangle! Here, Joelle. Have MORE temptation!
Oops? Joelle laughs, her waggling brows going still, but her eyes are still mischievous, as she clarifies, "I meant myself. I imagine you are having fun, or you wouldn't be a smithcrafter. Me, I'd be bored silly." Instead of just silly? Soot -no, but chemicals - has her perking a trifle, because there are fun things to be done with those! When would she, as a smithcrafter have the time to play with them though? But she's distracted before she can fly off on that tangent. The white knot, totally out of nowhere receives a deer in the headlights stare. Is then slow-blinked at several times. "Y-e-e-e-e-e-e-s?" She does still want to see Xanadu. The whole candidate-possibly-rider thing? "Uhm…" Obviously stalling for time, the expressions flitting across her face are almost comical while she thinks things through. "Not everyone who stands impresses," she muses, "but say I did. I could continue my craft later, right? I mean, you did. Are." The last word a hasty correction. "I do enjoy the children." If not the archives.
Further talk of Crafts will have to wait for another time. Kiena's gone and derailed their conversation into quite the tangent! "Yep. We're not in Threadfall-times. Lots of riders keep on in their Craft. Xanadu even has a Wing for it!" she explains and then chuckles, tossing the knot to Joelle. Hopefully she has good reflexes? "And if you enjoy working with children, there's always the nanny duty most Candidates groan about. Guess you'll fit right in on that, won't you?" Need she say anymore? "So. Is that a definite yes?" No pressure! Kiena certainly doesn't seem in any rush and she even grins while waiting on her to make her decision.
Joelle is intrigued, the expression on her face going from 'uhh wait' to 'well this could be interesting' as Kiena assures her. Perhaps that's what gives the bluerider the greenlight to toss the knot Joelle's way, which is caught and blinked at some more. "Yeah, wouldn't mind helping the nannies," she says absently before the question is asked again. She's back to her perky self by now and flashes the other a cheeky grin and a bob of her head, answering all in one breath, "I'mhonoredlet'sdothis!" She all but skips to the desk, where the person who was training her on the printer is back, with a techcrafter in tow (because y'see, somehow Joelle managed to push the wrong button and jam the thing). You'd think she just won the World Cup (if Pern had one, that is). Dangling the white knot for her to see, then lifting it high, she sings-songs a lilting, "I'm ouuuuuttaaaaaa heeeeeeere!" at the top of her lungs. Irritated shushings coming from the tables dampen her spirit not one whit; she laughs and ducks out the door before someone can throw a book at her.
Kiena can barely keep herself from laughing for Joelle's behaviour. She's liking this one already and likely wondering how Ujinath picks them out. It's only when the now former-Harper turned Candidate ducks out the door that she realizes she's been left behind. "Hey!" Wait up! Kiena will hurry after her and forget about signing out the book she has tucked under her arm. Oops? She can be forgiven this one time… right? Right. She has a Candidate-to-be to chase down and catch up with and bring home to Xanadu! Somewhere between finding her and preparing for the trip home, she'll be given the usual rundown provided she's gone and got actual permission from her superiors to leave (and yes, Kiena WILL double check!). Eventually. Depends on how long Joelle forgets about her!