Forest of Surprises

Xanadu Weyr - Forest
The trees grow thickly here, avians nesting in their branches and flitting about after insects. Flowers sprout up and speckle the ground between, the green of small plants and their blooms of bright saffron and cheeky rose that creep all the way up to the bases of the trees and adorn the fallen leaves and mulch of the forest floor. Those trees rise upward in their aged magnificence, gargantuan limbs casting often welcome shade, the general atmosphere and scent of the path is one of freshness and wild abandon.
A path winds its leisurely way through the trees, wide enough for wagons to pass. As it goes through into the forest, a number of other trails branch away, both more and less traveled. Many of them lead to private weyrs, but there's a few more trodden paths - notable among them a road to the feeding grounds, set against the western slopes.
The forest grows wilder the further north one goes, deep growth and ancient places, and the road splits in two against it. One branch leads to a clearing with a large stone building finished with wooden cladding, while the other turns back toward the meadow. Just before it emerges, a trail veers off to the Firelizard Theatre.

Ahhh a summer morning in Xandu Weyr, before it gets really hot. But it seems the young woman with the long wet-seal brown hair is already ready for the heat of the day. She wears a red, white and blue vertical striped tank top and white knee length capris, a worn…alright just barely usable…soft-shell guitar case is at her feet and the equally battered instrument is in her lap. She seems focused, intent on something about the guitar's head or tuning pegs. A gentle breeze cools the clearing and sends long strands of hair waving gently.

His first full morning at Xanadu weyr finds Zachariah out and about exploring his new, however temporary, home. Weaving his way through the trees he looks….lost. "This isn't the beach." is muttered in annoyance. All too soon he's within viewing range of where Zaira sits. He stops in his tracks, perhaps uncertain if he should continue on and break the concentration of the guitar player.

Zaira hears the sound of footsteps…like many musicians her ears are particularly sensitive. She does not look up from her work but she does speak, her voice a low alto, soft and melodious. An almost enchanting voice. "I hear you…who's there? No worries, I'm just restringing this sharding thing and I can talk whilst doing that easily. It's rather boring work."

Zachariah's steps are hesitant still though he does approach closer. "Heyla." he offers a greeting. "Why're you restringing it out here…" his hands wave about him to indicate here being the forest.

Zaira does raise her head this time, stilling her hands momentarily. "Hey, can't say I've seen you here before, though I haven't been here more than a few months myself." There is a toothy grin from the apprentice Harper. "I'm restringimg it out here because I like being outdoors, with the beauty of nature around me. Oh and Rhapsody should be around here somewhere, probably hunting his breakfast at the moment but he never stays away long so you two will meet soon."

Zachariah's head tilts off to one side as he takes in her explanation. "Hmmm…interesting." he muses. Sparing another look around him he looks back to her in some confusion. "Who is Rhapsody? Why's he hunting his breakfast? Don't they offer breakfast here at the weyr?" belatedly he realizes she mentioned not knowing him. "Oh yes." he blinks. "I'm new here. I'm a candidate."

Zaira puts down the strings of the battered guitar and covers her smile with one hand. "They do serve breakfast here," she chuckles once the hand is gone from her mouth, eyes dancing. "Rhapsody's my firelized…a rather rotund brown. I don't overdo the treats but he still stays the same shape, so we're both used to it right now." She smiles again. "Shards what's wrong with my eyes? I didn't notice the knot, sorry!" The the right hand comes out, fair-skinned and delicately formed, with long fingers. "I'm Zaira, apprentice Harper. You may have seen me at the Treetop Cafe…I preform there Saturdays and Wednesdays and if there's a cancellation and they need a fill-in.

Zachariah does look relieved he won't be having to hunt his own breakfast. "Aha…that makes more sense." the hand might be noted but he doesn't reach out his own hand. "Zachariah." is his own introduction. "Just got here last night actually. Haven't gotten to the Treetop Cafe yet. Was actually seeking out the beach but…" a shrug indicates he clearly made a round turn. A loud excited squeal draws his attention up towards the blue zipping down to land on his shoulder. It draws an oof from him. "Calmly Blue. Calmly." he soothes his excited firelizard.

Forests are mysterious places. You never know what might be lurking among the trees! Like, for instance… rounded brown firelizards. And also… Garouth? Apparently. The bronze dragon isn't quite heading through the middle of things with Zach and Zaira, but that pattern of brindled hide might be glimpsed as he follows another path between the trees, on his way somewhere deeper to the woods… but he pauses, turning his head to observe with amber-tinged eyes and look over the two of them, then gives a low, deep huff before his head swings away and he continues on into the forest depths. He's hungry, after all, and while his return may not be so urgently needed that he can't hunt the way he prefers rather than using the feeding pens… he's still got places to be. So, on he goes!

Zaira nods and withdraws her hand. From her smile she's not at all upset. "I can take you to the beach after I restring this sharding guitar," she offers just a bit hesitantly. She doesn't want to be too forward and make anyone nervous. "You're not too far wrong. And the Treetop Cafe is right on the beach, or nearly on it. The views from the top are spectacular and they have telescopes so you can look at the stars after dark. Can't say I've had a chance to do that…after a shift on I'm about ready to eat something and go to bed, hoping that my lesson is in the afternoon next day." At Garouth's passing she cannot help a remark. "I think a bronze dragon just walked past us…did you see anything?"

Zaira smiles and returns D'lei's wave before turning back to Zachariah for a moment. "It's hard to tell in this light but I swear I saw a bronze walk by." The silver eyes ringed with gold return to D'lei. "How's it going? Well, I hope." The beat up guitar lies neglected on her lap. Oh well, restringing is not a critical or complicated thing that's time sensitive.

Not too long after Garouth's passage, D'lei comes along to follow after him. Well, okay, not exactly following, because unlike his dragon, he actually comes along the path… and also, his steps slow as he approaches. He's got an affable smile, and he lifts his hand in a wave of greeting as he, too, takes a look at the pair of them. "…you get used to them, around here," D'lei muses, catching that tail-end of the conversation. "Well, most people do, anyhow." A shrug, and then a bit of a grin, and he leans back against a tree to… loiter, apparently? Who knows.

Zaira smiles and returns D'lei's wave before turning back to Zachariah for a moment. "It's hard to tell in this light but I swear I saw a bronze walk by." The silver eyes ringed with gold return to D'lei. "How's it going? Well, I hope." The beat up guitar lies neglected on her lap. Oh well, restringing is not a critical or complicated thing that's time sensitive.

Zachariah's head turns to see who Zaira's waving at. Then he too gives a small wave to the loitering rider. Then he's back to peering through the woods. "Didn't see. Heard something though. Do dragons often go walking in the woods?"

"Well enough, really," D'lei says to Zaira, then hehs at Zach's question. "There's plenty of weyrs tucked in amid the forest, so… about as often as you see a dragon walking somewhere else, I suppose?" He grins. "Some of them certainly prefer to fly, no matter how short the trip, but some of them do like to travel by foot sometimes." He shrugs, because really, who is he to try to explain dragons and their ways? Besides, well… a rider of one. He tilts his head to Zach, looking him over, and adds, "How're you settling in?"

Zaira inclines her head. "Flight would definately be faster but perhaps more effort. The light was bad and it moved quickly so I didn't get a good look. And I've seen dragons going afoot almost everywhere else in this Weyr." Then as D'lei's attention shifts she drops slient, doing a little more work on her restinging the battered old instrument in her lap.

Aha…that makes sense. I didn't realize." Zach notes. He's not been within Xanadu too long. " Settling in just enough to get lost on the way beach,." he can totally make fun of his own self. "I met Zaira though." he now knows exactly two people here. "Was that Garouth then? Is he looking for something?" he asks curiously.

"Heh. You'll learn your way around with time, I'm sure," D'lei says to Zach with a nod, then tilts his head over to Zaira as she strings her instrument. "Glad to hear it," he says, with a smile… and then a glance back to Zach, and a heh. "Often. Sometimes dinner, other times… well." He turns his gaze toward Zaira again, and arches his brows. "You had a chance to look at the eggs yet?" he asks her, tone casual.

Zaira 's hands still their movement with the strings. Her expression is like that of someone caught doing something they thought nobody knew about. "I-I-I have," she stammers, eyes wide. "Not a really good look but I couldn't resist going up in the observation deck late last night. But I did see them. Eleven! That's a lot of little dragons for some lucky people!" Despite her contrition her voice is intense with passion and the silvery orbs almost seem to shimmer and whirl in their depths.

Zachariah says, “Oh I'm sure i'll get it eventually." at the mention of eggs he simply bobs his head in agreement with Zaira's excited comment. He only adds a murmured. "Lots of the color blue.”

D'lei smiles, listening to Zaira's observations… then gives a bit of a laugh for Zach's comment. "Doesn't mean much of anything so far as what's on the inside, of course…" he adds, then focuses back to Zaira. "So. Do you want a better one? I mean… well." He grins. "Garouth thinks Inasyth would appreciate some music, and while you certainly don't need to be a candidate in order to give her a concert, there's certainly no reason why you shouldn't get to have those experiences and see what songs they inspire you to write." He digs around in his pocket - and then his other pocket - ah, right. There's the white knot, and he extends it to Zaira with a crooked smile.

Zaira 's eyes widen, blazing in intensity. One slightly shaky hand moves to take the knot with just a hint of a of a bow. "Oh wow!" is all she can say for a moment. Then finally, "Thank you both. If Inasyth wants music I would be happy to play for her." The guitar is forgotten utterly. "I'll have to ask my journeyman if I should continue with lessons and performances or if I need to focus on Candidacy alone. I remember Father telling me being a Candidate is lot of hard work, the purpose being to either make you fitter or break you down, he never figured which in the three times he was a Candidate.”

D'lei smiles, and nods. "Ask your journeyman… and ask the weyrlingstaff, too. I don't know what they'll tell you, but… from what I've heard, folks in crafts often end up doing a combination. Nobody wants for you to get entirely out of practice… but some of the chores for the candidates are definitely training and not just busywork." He grins. "You'll likely want to move in to the barracks… Zach can show you where." A glance there, and a nod, then back to Zaira. "You don't have to, but… that way, you can be sure you don't miss anything." He grins. "Other than that… the rules are pretty similar to being an apprentice, honestly. Don't get in trouble, don't cause trouble, all that." Another grin. "But, again. Trust the weyrlingstaff, not me."

Zachariah gives a knowing nod as if he's the expert in all this. "You should move into the barracks. So they can find you when 'stuff' happens. " as to showing her the way he does cast a look back the general way he came. "Oh sure…I think I can get back." he hopes. "And show you the way." he adds.

D'lei smiles for Zaira's enthusiasm, with a fond tinge of memories to his expression. Maybe he's remembering when he went through this himself… or maybe when he asked someone else. That's the thing about being old, you have a lot of potential memories that may be drawn out about any particular experience. Though… "Don't push yourself too hard," he warns her. "You're no good to a baby dragon if you wear yourself out in candidacy. Learn, grow stronger, but… pace yourself. Okay? If it's ever too much… tell someone." There's a moment's stern look, and then he looks back to Zach, and laughs. "You can work it out together. She can get you as far as the beach, and then you can take her the rest of the way. Teamwork is another of those important skills that both of you are here to learn."

Zaira dips her head to D'lei's words of wisdom. You can't have pulled muscles and be exhausted on the Sands…you have to be rested and in good stamina to dodge around. If you aren't then you'll find youself really getting hurt. I already know some of my limits in regards to resting but I need to learn them with regards to strength." Zaira's wid smile beams on Zach. "Sure I'll take you to the beach. As soon as I get this sharding guitar restrung. Got it and the case from Stores so I'd have something to practice on and I don't know who managed to mangle it so badly."

Zachariah says, “Sounds great. Beach, barracks then I need something to eat." declares Zach. "Food I don't have to hunt.”

D'lei grins, and nods. "I'll leave you to it, then. If you have any questions… ask the weyrlingstaff." Another grin, because these two aren't his problem anymore! "But if you just want to say hi… or, well, have questions… I'll be around." He lifts a hand in a vague sort of salute, then turns it to a wave as he heads off and leaves the TWO candidates behind!

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