Life, Death, and Aquaphobia

Xanadu Weyr - Beach
The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.
The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

It's evening, and the rain that fell during the day has mostly cleared up, though the clouds still hang low and occasionally send a few drops down to earth. Walking along the wet sand, barefoot, Mur'dah has his head down and his boots dangling loosely from his hand. Just walking, apparently, while Kalsuoth pads alongside his rider, the brown's paws often slipping in the sand but he manages just fine, head down and wings tucked closely to his sides.

Bad weather. Perfect practice for sky sweeps with limited visibility! Ka'el has indeed seen use of weyrling classes in which they had to practice seeing through their dragons' eyes, for his rain-goggled vision surely has been compromised! But with the rain stopped and the evening beginning to clear, his shift is over and he and his flying partner, a shaggy haired blonde man a handful of turns older than him, riding brown, part ways. Kanekith glides lowly over the lake, wings spread languidly as he makes his way towards the sands with clawtips of a hindleg skimming the water. His flight slows over the shallows with a few heavy wingbeats, and a low trumpeted sound is given to the familiar dragon he senses ahead. «I am here.» He lands within the shallow water, and a very wet Ka'el braces himself for the impact as his bronze comes to a trotting sort of stop, water up to the ankles.

Out from the edges of the beach leading to the meadow and clearing prowls the slender and lean cerulean blue form, odd splayed feet sinking in the damp sand as he pauses with his head lowered and posture wary. From around his side, Kiena appears and she glances upwards as she passes her lifemate. "Quit it." she mutters. "Nothing's gonna come jumping out and attack, Ujinath. Go swim!" There will be an affectionate smack given to the blue's forelimb and Ujinath will whuffle fondly and apologetically before slinking off towards the water's edge. He'll freeze though as he catches sight of Kalsuoth not far off and then Kanekith is arriving in style. The blue lifts his head and snorts, wings flaring slightly from his sides. Nothing jumping out, huh? Kiena had begun to wander aimlessly over the sand but paused to peer across the sands and a crooked smirk settles on her features. Straightening, she begins to wander closer though much like her blue she is hesitant and actually does wave, rather than lurk as she would normally.

« So you are, » is Kalsuoth's level reply, the brown's mind cloaked heavily in shadow as he greets his clutchbrother. Looking up, Mur'dah's brows furrow and he hesitates before moving forward towards his friend. "Hey," he calls, glancing skyward and then back to the wet bronzerider. "Tricky flying weather." Turning his head as Kalsuoth does, the brown rumbles a greeting to Ujinath while Mur'dah looks for Kiena. Finding her, the brownrider actually smiles - though brief - and waves.

"Really? In the water?" Ka'el snorts at his lifemate as he pulls his goggles from his eyes and wipes his face with a gloved hand. Kanekith's wings spread and fan, flicking droplets of water to and fro as he works at drying them off. "Hey!" complains Ka'el, ducking his head a bit. "Wait til I'm off, eh? And out of the water, please? .. It doesn't matter that I'm already wet. I don't want to be any wetter." His eyes are rolled but his hands rub at the bronze's neck as he indeed moves out of the shallows and onto the squishy sand. Ka'el notes Kalsuoth and his rider and he waves a hand to him. "Yeah, a little. Just glad it wasn't a storm." Which isn't any reason to call off sky sweeps, it'd seem. Kanekith's head swings in the direction of Ujinath, and he snorts out a breath though his nose, causing Ka'el to turn his eyes that way, spotting Kiena not long after. "Now it's a party," he says with a grin, starting to unbuckle himself. "Good to see you, Kiena!"

Ujinath's head swivels just enough to peer from Kanekith to Kalsuoth as he attempts to keep both under his 'watch' and as the bronze comes wading out of the water, the blue will begin to back up with his wings once more tucked at his sides. Kalsuoth's rumbled greeting is returned with a brief and brisk low rumble, but the blue is distracted with deciding whether or not to swim after all. Unlike her lifemate, Kiena is actually sociable this evening and returns Mur'dah's wave, followed by a brief smile and dip of her head. "Evenin' Mur'dah. Out for a stroll too?" she drawls before her blue eyes drift to Ka'el and that smile reverts back to a faintly amused smirk. "Good to see you too, Ka'el! Just back from drills?" Obviously?

Mur'dah nods absently, pushing bare fingers through his dark hair. "I guess," he says, glancing at the sky. "Hey, so. About Kera…" But he cuts off that train of conversation when Kiena approaches, and he gives her a warmer smile. "Of sorts," he admits with a small shrug, frowning briefly at the water before his smile switches back on again. Behind him, Kalsuoth sinks to the sand with a wuffle, digging talons into the damp grains. « His dam's sire is dead, » the brown offers softly to bronze and blue. Because that's not something that Mur'dah would just toss out there on his own.

Unlatch this. Unbuckle that. And Ka'el is free! "Yeah, an' what a joy they were," he remarks to Kiena, voice lathered in sarcasm. "My ridin' partner today? He's aces, really. Heck've a flier. But when it comes to his shardin' hair" Eyes are given an exaggerated roll. "You'd think the rain was runner dung mixed with mud and a splash've urine. He's worse than the vainest of women." He grabs on to one of his straps, readying to dismount, but pauses as he glances to Mur'dah. Oh yes. There's a conversation to be had there. But before he can comment on that, he pauses to focus on Kanekith, though the message gets a little lost in translation. His dam is dead? … Give it a minute… His eyes go wide, straight to Mur'dah with a look of horror. "What, Thea?!?" In his mild panic, his foot slips and *whoops!* down he goes. *Thump!* He falls and lands on his back on the wet sands with a wince. Smooth.

Kiena quirks a brow at Ka'el's sarcasm laced voice but she listens, only to let out a short bark of laughter before sobering again, eyes darting a bit. No one heard that? Good. "Of course it was! Don't you know rain is awful and can be the end of all things?" she drawls in a mocking and wavering voice, her smirk widening. "Who's to say it's us women who're the vainest? Obviously he's prime example that males are!" Glancing back to Mur'dah, she frowns as she studies the brownrider for a moment though her smirk eases into a lighter expression. "Of sorts…?" she presses, only to blink. Ujinath stares as Kalsuoth as the brown shares and the blue relays faithfully to his rider, leaving poor Kiena to just — awkwardly freeze. Uh. Uhh… crap, what do people do in cases like these? Offer hugs? What's that saying? Or do you… panic and fall flat on your back? Jolted from her own scrabbling thoughts, Kiena grimaces and shakes her head at Ka'el, already stepping towards him though her eyes remain focused on Mur'dah. "Nicely executed." she tells the bronzerider in a tone dripping with sarcasm though to the brownrider it softens. "You alright?" There. That's neutral enough! … right?

Kalsuoth snorts at his clutchmate. « Did you do that on purpose? Of course it's not the Weyrwoman. » They would /know/. « Mine's dam's /sire/. In Cold Stone. » That forsaken place which has a darkness surrounding the name, though after a moment Kalsuoth edges in some golden light, pinpoints here and there before it is all cloaked in darkness once more. « We go back tomorrow for the, » what's the word, « funeral. » Mur'dah frowns at Ka'el, striding forward to hold out his hand and haul him to his feet if the bronzerider takes the help. He casts a sharp glare at his dragon, and then back to Ka'el. "Of course not Thea. My gr - her father. And…" he looks at Kiena with a grimace and a shrug. "I loathed him." So…yes and no? It's complicated, what else is new?

It seems to be a good time for evening walks; Ph'rys likes the beach, and he and his cane are often seen taking a waltz around the lake shore once their day's duties are done — whatever today's duties were involved a lot of writing, as the greenrider-harper's hands are stained with ink still — it is rarer that he's found with a dainty bright-green dragon trailing behind him. She's giving the water itself the occasional disdainful look, only perking up when she spots other dragons. Younger dragons, her favorites. Even if the other dragons are voluntarily being wet. Her rider's not paying attention until he spots Ka'el's fall, and butts into the conversation smoothly with only, "All right, bronzerider?"

Heh heh. What? Kanekith do such a thing on purpose? The bronze cants his head one way than the other. « Why would I? » If not for giggles? « My mistake. My head still lingers in the clouds, and you were not so clear. » He lowers his head towards his fallen rider, pressing a coppery muzzle to a heaving chest. Thea is not dead. Phew. He KNEW that, really. If she had been, the whole weyr would be in uproar! Dragons kreeling. Residents bawling. Mur'dah..definitely not strolling the beach wanting to talk about Kera. And so as he lays there catching his breath, he does his best to not feel like an idiot and thumps his dragon's muzzle before closing his arms around it. He looks up to Kiena. "Only half a heart attack. I've had worse.." said with a crooked grin that melts from his face upon realizing the real message. He looks to Mur'dah, his expression difficult to read. He pushes Kanekith's muzzle aside to take his hand and pull himself up. "Sorry to hear.." he offers with a vague frown. "You…need anything?" His eyes flit to another beachgoer, Ph'rys, and he nods in answer. "Nothin' broken. Can't complain."

It's complicated is all too familiar to Kiena and at Mur'dah's grimace and shrug, the bluerider frowns back and smirks but does not press him further. "Fair enough." she mutters. Who is she to judge? She barely shed a single tear when her father died at sea and if one did fall, it may have been from joy! She steps back a bit as Mur'dah steps in to help Ka'el, snorting. "Uh huh. Somehow I don't doubt the truth of that," she replies, only to start as Ph'rys is suddenly there. Sneaky greenrider! At least, sneaky to her as she was too focused to even see him approach and that earns him a wary but studious glance from the young Smith and bluerider. Who are you? Ujinath meanwhile is edging his way closer to the group, foregoing his swimming in favor of seeing what all the fuss is about or would have, had he not been distracted in observing the bright-green arriving in Ph'rys' wake.

Mur'dah helps Ka'el up and shrugs. "I don't know," he says honestly. "Going back to Cold Stone tomorrow for the funeral. So. Make sure my weyr doesn't burn down while I'm gone? Might be gone a few days, I'm not sure. Whatever Grandmother needs. And my uncle. And Mom, of course, Marel…" All of them. He frowns, shaking his head again and looking around, spotting Ph'rys and greeting him with a little nod. Glancing back at Kiena, he offers her a smile before he reaches out to clasp Ka'el's arm. "I need to talk to you for a second." Tug.

Ph'rys is, indeed, quite sneaky. That or he's just quiet, which is the more accurate conclusion — soft footfalls, and the wooden cane doesn't make much sound on an outside surface. Not that Ph'rys himself makes much sound, either. Ka'el's conclusion gets an accepting smile-and-nod, and for that matter everyone else gets the sort of head-jerk that serves as greeting. He's at least wearing his knot: Harper journeyman, Asteroid rider, green dragon, and that's going to provide more context on him than anything he says. Like — nothing. Ciolanith is quite the opposite: she's chatty, and being sure to say all her hellos. « How is the wretched water? » she inquires, sounding cheerful and light even around the word 'wretched.' « Cold. I bet it's cold. That just makes it worse. » Ujinath's attention is rewarded with Ciolanith looking his way and tilting her head pretty far over to the side. Hi new friend.

"You think I speak lies?" says Ka'el, giving Kiena an appalled look. "You should hear the time when I nearly had a full heart attack. Now that's a story worth hearin'." And also a story that'd be a total made up fictional tale, but hey! Who doesn't like fiction? But if he can joke, then obviously he's alright. He brushes at the seat of his pants, now decorated with wet sand. Joy! Kanekith settles on the beach, wings fanned a bit to dry while he observes the other dragons. Cautious blue Ujinath and the newly arrived green get special attention, as these two are not as familiar as his clutchmate. He rumbles deeply in his chest, a greeting accompanied with a chilly brush of a breeze to the mind. « Cold, yes. It awakens the senses. Why do you dislike it? » Ka'el eyes his dragon. Be nice. Be. Niiiiice. He mentally coaches just before his attention turns back to Mur'dah. "With all the rain, I'd be more worried about a flood than fire. Yeah, I'll keep an eye on your weyr," he agrees easily enough. But then, a talk? His brows raise fractionally as he nods, sweeping his attention to Kiena and the quiet greenrider, "Excuse us a moment," he says politely before allowing himself to be tugged along, expression turning serious. "..Is Marel alright?"

Ka'el and Mur'dah's part continued in A Lesson of Girls and Other Things

"Of course I think you speak lies! You're a bronzerider!" Kiena fires right back to Ka'el with a smug little look but her tone is all teasing. She's a fan of fiction, but not at times like these. That story will have to wait, it seems! The bluerider snorts, "Look forwards to hearin' that tale, if it's even MUCH of one." she challenges with a wry smirk. As Mur'dah begins to tug Ka'el away, Kiena only nods her head and steps back a bit herself… only to find she's now standing alone with Ph'rys and aside from having stared at the greenrider, she hasn't actually said anything. Uh. "Evenin'." she quips, blunt and to the point. This is being social, right? Cue an awkward pause, followed by a cough and a bit of fidgeting. Ujinath rumbles back to Kanekith, still wary around the bronze though Coilanith's behavior soon has the blue's full attention. Head lifts, neck arched as the bright green is tilting her head like that and… wait, friend? He snorts, long tail lashing about his feet. Yeeeah… no? He doesn't even know her! « It's just water. » comes his blunt reply. « It's not like it bites or hurts! »

Everybody is Ciolanith's friend, or at least someone interesting. She'll talk to anyone. And she is also just as happy to explain why she doesn't like something: « Yes. It's water. I don't like it. It feels wet all the time. And stingy. And if you get it up your nose wrong it burns and then it does hurt. » Despite the litany of complaints, still good-natured; her head's still tilted sideways and her tail is swishing about calmly. "Chaotic one, it seems," says her rider, who is totally stellar at socializing. Really. He is just as social as your average brick wall. Ciolanith's behavior does at least give him something else to respond to: "Oh, hush, you don't even remember why you don't like water. Don't bore these poor people," dragons, "with your kvetching."

Kalsuoth watches his rider walk down to the docks and huffs, head swinging back to watch the other dragons. « Water is a good and a terrible thing. It is all in how it's used, » the brown remarks.

Kanekith watches his rider and slowly folds his wings again. There's a rumble in his chest, a hesitation, but the bronze does indeed stay put. The dragons here are interesting besides. Even if the topic is water. Swirling eyes focus on Ciolanith, and his head cants to one side. « It feels wet because it is a wet thing. » He nearly sounds humored. Nearly. « Water must like you as little as you like it considering all of the ways it offends you. »

Kvetching what now? Kiena just peers at Ph'yrs as though he's the oddest form of rider or human being she's ever seen in her life. It could be the awkwardness talking too, but the bluerider can only fidget for so long and skirt around it before she has to do something. With Ujinath caught up with the green, she won't exactly bolt though the thought has tempted her. "When are things not chaotic?" she mutters, glancing briefly to where the others have wandered off before shrugging her shoulders. "Eh, don't worry about it. She's actually got Ujinath puzzled. It'll be good for him." What? "I'm Kiena, by the way." Ahh, there we go! Introductions. Not that she fills in the rest, as the rest is there for anyone to see on her shoulder knot: Asteroid Wingrider, bluerider, apprentice smith. All the nitty gritty!

Ujinath rumbles and fidgets where he stands, white talons digging into the soft sand as if to cling to it. « He has the right of it. » the blue points out with a huff sent to Kalsuoth, before he extends his mind back to Coilanith and Kanekith. « Then don't get water up your nose. Simple as that! And how can water feel? It is not a living thing. » Is it?

« It responds to its surroundings, » Ciolanith points out gently, « and reacts to its environment so I think that makes it living. » It may or may not make it feel. Ph'rys is not going to try to correct her on that one (even if he did manage to convince a classroom of young children once that fire was alive; this insistence on water's living state is probably his fault.) "Ujinath, hm. And Kiena. My name is Ph'rys; that's Ciolanith and being puzzling is one of her specialties. Never shutting up is the other." Considering how often he talks, well. Someone has to. He does offer a hand to shake, despite his regular quiet; he's just bad at conversation, not so much stand-offish. "She almost drowned as a weyrling," may be added just to provide human context to her nonsense. "Water is her mortal enemy in the absence of Threadfall."

Kanekith tosses his head back and makes a noise in his thraot that .. could possibly be … a dragon's version of laughter. « Alive? How can thing as water be alive? It breathes not. Breeds not. It is water, only. As air is air only. Or rock is rock only." Claws dig gently into the sand. « Sand is sand, only. » Oh he can go on with non-living things. This he knows! Or rather, he's pretty sure he knows. He's pretty sure he knows everything, though. « Perhaps you have breathed in water too often. »

Kalsuoth rumbles softly, almost serenely, « Everything has life to it, brother, » he remarks, feathers rustling in his mind. « Water can give, it can take. It can heal and it can kill. How is that not a form of life? »

Ujinath falls silent to mull over Ciolanith's gentle reasoning only to shake his head. « No. I don't think that's quite right. » he states flatly as he settles back on his haunches. Not as wary now, but not entirely sprawled out relax either. But the green is laying out some good puzzles and the blue is always up for an intellectual challenge if in the mood to focus. « That is an element of nature. » he points out to Kalsuoth, though the blue takes his words to mull and pick apart as well. To Kanekith's comment, Ujinath adds his own. « Metal is metal and fire is fire. Elements. A part of life but not life itself. » Deep. Sort of? Kiena's gaze trails briefly to her lifemate, a brief concerned look flickering in her eyes before she's focusing back on Ph'rys. His offered hand is stared at, the bluerider hesitating before clasping it in a brief hand shake. "Well met." she murmurs, only to flinch and grimace at that tidbit of information he shares. "… how? I mean. If you don't mind?" Cause this is totally what strangers talk about! Near death experiences?

With these particular strangers maybe it's perfectly normal — it's a conversation topic that isn't small talk, and so Ph'rys is perfectly satisfied to talk about it in the same calm but largely unemotional tone he talks about most other things. He's a little bit like Morgan Freeman, in that way; always with the same relaxed voice. "She was a real wee one, few days old, ran off too fast away from one of her brothers and fell in the lake. It was funny until I realized how she was flailing about and couldn't get her head up. Not due to defective lungs, but she was frightened, kept swallowing water. Biggest fuss she's ever caused and it was over twenty turns ago, so at least she's kept it calm since then." Relatively, since Ciolanith is still not exactly a calm and level-headed sort — but no drowning or any other dramatics. « Fire is alive. Fire breathes. It needs air to live. It reacts to those around it. It eats. It reproduces. »

Kanekith rumbles, « Water effects life, brother » he says, his words thoughtful. « It is not life itself. » Pictures conjure in his mind and are shared with the others. Waves crashing on a beach. The ocean engulfing a ship. Rain causing a dead field to turn green. The other dragons make good points too. Elements of metal. He knows those well. And fire. Fire! His eyes brighten with interest at the word, head swinging from brown, to blue, to green, settling on her. « Fire lives? I believe fire lives, yes. It lives grandly. Hotly. Grandly » A bit of pyromaniac here? .. maybe, considering how his watery thoughts quickly turn to steam with the influx of fire. Woo fire!

A relaxed tone is probably for the best as it keeps Kiena relaxed, despite the awkwardness that is slowly edging away and perhaps her concern in regards to her lifemate. She makes one attentive listener though and at the end of the tale, she blinks and shakes her head. "That must've been awful to experience all the same. And… she's always remembered?" she murmurs, glancing from Ph'rys to Ciolanith and back to the greenrider again. Ujinath is caught up in the conversation now, his mind utterly focused on the topic as he absorbs it all greedily and yet keeps much of himself still aloof and distant. « In a different way, perhaps fire is alive but it does not talk and it has no reasoning. It is wild and chaotic. Nature and element. Not alive like you and I and ours. » he points out before absorbing himself into the images shared from Kanekith. In his interest with fire, the blue withdraws a bit. « Fire is deadly. But fire is strength and power too. Fire is many things. So is water. » Is he repeating himself? Most likely.

"Oh, no. Not at all. She has no clue, she just remembers very clearly that she doesn't like water. And frequently comes up with different excuses not to go anywhere near it." Ph'rys shrugs, and despite the hassle he's relating the expression on his face is mildly loving. (His expression never really leaves the range of 'mild' regardless of emotion.) She is his dragon, whether he likes her or not. "I was real young, so it was probably nearly as bad for me. Not used to having a lifemate yet, and all that panic. Though I barely remember, at this point, how it actually felt." Ciolanith, if she's even paying attention to their conversation, is not being affected by her rider's remembering the one major unpleasantry of her youth. She is having a serious conversation about elemental nature over here. « Do you need to be intelligent to be alive? VTOLs don't have reasoning either, » she observes — if they do, she can't tell where they keep it. « I think they are alive the same way fire is. Water kills fire though. Another good reason to avoid it. »

« Wild. Chaotic. » Kanekith repeats the words spoken by Ujinath, his tail whipping against the wet sand once before settling still again. « Deadly. » Deadly? Yes, it is, but this is a word that he has trouble associating with. Dragons don't kill. Not people, anyway. They kill to eat and that is it. Not for fun and not due to recklessness. But still… deadly and strong and powerful. Fire is a thing to be respected, and it is obvious that flame is a thing that Kanekith does respect. His head turns towards Ciolanith now as she turns everything back towards water. Water kills fire! Ha « Then maybe you were right all along about water. Maybe it too deserves respect. »

Kiena frowns as she continues to keep her gaze focused on Ph'rys. "So… how do you get her to bathe?" she asks, not bothering to hesitate this time over whether or not she should be prying the greenrider with such questions. Even if he can't recall how it felt, the bluerider's mind is creative enough to work up a few scenarios and she shudders, crossing her arms over her chest as if to ward off those thoughts. "Ugh. I don't even like to think of how that would feel! Young or not… that's not a pleasant experience. And I thought Ujinath and I had a rough Weyrlinghood." she mutters. Speaking of, the blue has settled himself down on his belly now, though his talons continue to knead the sand in an almost idle and fidgeting manner. « Deadly. » he agrees with Kanekith, but it's clear that neither does he quite grasp the concept or the one thrown at him by Ciolanith. « Perhaps. VTOLs are insects. Something else entirely. We talk of… elements. » He is silent again to brood and mull over the ongoing discussion before speaking again, his voice lowered. « All deserve respect. But that does not mean to fear them either. »

Ph'rys actually laughs, in his way; a single short and soft chortle of a laugh. "Quickly and with a lot of cajoling, generally speaking. If only she weren't gigantic, I'd sponge bathe her. When my kids do it she's a bit more tolerant." Not the primary reason he has sole custody of his children, but it definitely doesn't do any harm. If he's reacting negatively to the memory internally, it's only with a little bit of a blanch to his coloring in the external. « VTOLs, » the green guesses, « are like dirt. Like things from the land. Which is an element? » It's a guess, but she's trying to make a good one. « Maybe everything is an element. »

Kanekith has gone quiet, his mind pondering VTOLs, fire, and elements. His head turns in the direction in which his rider went off to, checking in silence that he's still there and everything is alright. He doesn't flee his company though. Heck, this may be the longest conversation he's ever had with other dragons without pissing one of them off! Get the record books ready! But now that he's in his own headspace, there's little else heard from the bronze.

Kiena blinks and is almost surprised when Ph'rys laughs and she can't help but smile back in response. Look, she's not pissing people off either or scaring them away! She must be growing soft… or something. "That does not sound fun or easy," she murmurs, trying to even begin comprehending trying to cajole Ujinath into a bath every time it was needed or, Faranth forbid, try to sponge bathe him. Ugh, no thanks! "You've children? And she doesn't mind them?" she asks next, giving him a lingering look as if to reassess her guess on his age, not that that matters in the slightest bit. Yet there is a curious flicker to her eyes, as if hesitating on something and unsure and yet wanting to and desiring to say more. Ujinath is focused and yet becomes so lost by Coilanith's next topic to debate and the blue flicks his wings in frustration before settling more on his side with a low rumble. « You've lost me, I'm afraid. All I know is that things are far more complex and that is that. It is what it is. » Cue a mental shrug and the blue says nothing more as he lays his head down on the wet sand and turned to face his rider, as always!

Ph'rys is so not a people person that he apparently gravitates to, and does well with, other not-people-people. The vague smile lingers, as he continues to narrate, talk always easier when it's direct: "Two. I suspect she may like them better than she likes me on most days." As things quiet down amongst the dragons, Ciolanith is at least allowing it, not pressing too much for further conversation. When words fade out, the imagery of her mindscape comes more into play, her vines tangling and reaching out hesitantly and sociably to the others. She won't keep rambling, but it was a lovely discussion and she's still here. Later she might have to get a dictionary definition of 'element.' Her rider, on the other hand, is watching Kiena with his own muted curiosity; provided she chooses to keep speaking, he is clearly still listening.

Kiena has had to learn a few valuable lessons when it came to dealing with others. She was worst, far worst, prior to Impression but even after that it's been a gradual improvement and with considerable setbacks from time to time. Doesn't help that Ujinath mirrors so many of her old habits. Talk is much easier when direct and as Ph'rys continues to narrate on his personal life and family, she allows her guard to slip and she chuckles dryly. "That fond of them, huh? And they around the same age, your two kids?" she asks softly, only to pause and add in a quiet murmur as if about ready to reveal something she does not speak of much — if ever — to anyone. "I've two girls. Twins. Ujinath fawns over them, which is odd since he doesn't like, well… anyone." Ujinath's tail twitches in the sand and he shifts a bit as Coilanith keeps contact through imagery now and he will extend his outwards tentatively to her reach. His mind begins as nothing but sprawling fields of dried grass under a startling blue sky that roll away in sloping hills towards a distant horizon that looms upwards with a dark forest and mountains beyond. Yet on the edge of that first dip in the ground is a high, high fence that hums and buzzes threateningly. Electrified. A clear 'limit' line — no trespassing.

"It might be something about them being our kids — Ciolanith likes most people, but she certainly doesn't tolerate the same level of, well. Fuss. Mine are pretty far apart, nearly eight turns, but they get along. With each other, and her." Any mention of their mother is notably left out, but it doesn't seem as if that's something that concerns Ph'rys. Or his dragon, whose vine has reached its way to coil mentally around him as well: she is paying attention, now. Though she has respect for boundaries, and while she is notably pleased at Ujinath's display of tentative trust, she doesn't press any further than where she's allowed to let her leaves fall. Leaves and twining vines and the sound and feel of wispy winds, that's all she is. Subtle, when she isn't being glaring — and the boldness comes with words. "My brother's dragon can't stand anyone but his kids, either."

Kiena shrugs her shoulders and keeps her arms folded across her chest as if not entirely comfortable with their conversation. She has no issues in listening to Ph'rys, but when it comes to her answering she seems tense and hesitant. Guarding her words, cautious with how much she shares. "Could be? Maybe they just sense that kids are innocent or something. Different from adults? An adult knows better, a kid doesn't. Something like that." she says with a crooked smirk. That made sense, right? "Eight Turns isn't so big a gap, though I suppose between siblings it could be… At least they get along." Kiena won't pry any further and thus does not ask after their mother. That information the greenrider will have to give on his own terms. Ujinath is relieved when Ciolanith respects his boundaries and keeps the contact minimal. If there is one way to win over the blue it's to do just that. So she will continue to see all that landscape of rolling hills and mountains, occasionally broken by the flutter of birds in flight or the stirring of wind but nothing more and that fence always there and looming, though no longer humming quite so loud. Kiena shakes her head, "Funny. And here I thought Ujinath was the odd one out when it came to being so… reclusive." she drawls.

"Y'rei's dragon can't even stand him most of the time so I'm not sure how good of an example he is in terms of behaviors," Ph'rys says cooly; the coolness is likely due to some disapproval of either his brother or his lifemate and not Kiena and Ujinath. Ciolanith — in a rare move of acting like her rider — has softened into quiet companionship, and even neatly lies down on the sand herself, legs folded mostly underneath her. She is not physically near the other dragon so much as she is at just the appropriate distance for hovering over Ph'rys; that said, internally, she's enjoying the shared mindscapes. "Pia sometimes acts more like her brother's nanny than his sister, but it's the difference between being a little boy and a preteen girl; I know he'd like a sibling closer to his age, though I'm not so sure it's likely to ever happen. I'm not much for fostering."

Kiena frowns and gives Ph'rys a long, lingering look as she tries to weigh whether or not the greenrider is overexagerating or not. "How… does that even work? I always thought a rider and dragon were one. Disagreements happen but for the dragon not to be pleased with his rider?" Mind blown. She's trying to wrap her mind around it but fails, miserably and for that reason misses the coolness in his voice, even if not directed to her. Ujinath is also in a rare mood, permitting to keep his mind open enough for Coilanith to linger there. Normally by now he's shut everyone out after the initial glimpse but as she's given him no reason to, he doesn't. Could be he feels no threat from her either. "It still seems like a good… family." Kiena ventures to say, awkward again and further more when he states his opinion on fostering. That has her grimacing, but guilty of all things. "Fostering has it's merits. Not for everyone." she mutters and falls silent again. Time for a topic change? Glancing towards the waters and then the evening sky, the bluerider exhales softly. "I should probably head back. Early shift tomorrow at the forges and I pulled extra today. Need to recoup if I want to keep the Journeymen from breathing down my neck over any little imperfection."

"Definitely not against the idea of it, believe me," Ph'rys corrects — or perfects — his statement to clarity, "so much as I would not be a particularly good candidate to foster, and so my son is stuck being the only little boy around unless I choose to foster him out, which has yet to actually come up in either direction. I was a fosterling myself, though to an aunt. And Y'rei — they tolerate each other, but I haven't ever claimed to understand that relationship. I can't imagine ever not loving her, I can barely remember not being a part of her, and vice versa. They function, so it isn't my place to ask." Not, apparently, a brother he's close to. He does have five of them. He probably approves of the other four. "As the sort of Journeyman who does that," he adds, and now there is a little bit of a smile, "I would say it seems a sound plan. It was genuinely nice speaking to you, Ujinath's Kiena." He means that, clearly — and the fact it's worth pointing out must mean he does not genuinely enjoy speaking to most people.

Kiena seems to relax a little when Ph'rys corrects his statement and the bluerider nods her head. "There is nothing wrong with it either way." she murmurs again. "I chose to because caring for twins was too much at the time." Never mind that she was so young either. She does not venture that far however, leaving the discussion to end there in favor of returning to that of the greenrider's brother. She can only shake her head, baffled and struggling still to even accept such a concept. "I suppose there must be something then if they tolerate eachother enough to function. Still… odd." And that is that! Though she can relate on disapproving of siblings. Oh, could she ever! Kiena snorts, amused as she shifts her weight to one hip. "No offence meant, of course! Someone's got to keep us rascally Apprentices in line after all, hmm?" Sarcasm, that! She's a good apprentice, honest! His sincerity of enjoying their conversation catches Kiena off guard and she shuffles her feet a bit, head ducking down and sheepish. "Yeah? Well. Same to you, Ph'rys. Clear skies!" she murmurs and a touch hurriedly. Time to go. Now, before she does something to undo all the good. Offering a quick dip of her head in respect, the young bluerider hurries off and Ujinath pulls himself to his feet with a rumble as she shakes off as much of the wet sand from his hide. « Farewell. » he says to Ciolanith, also brief and to the point with the green before he is turning away to walk along side his rider.

"And none taken — I am sure you do your job well," Ph'rys can say confidently in response to her feedback on just how it is said journeymen act. After all, if there's respect for the senior in the field, there's usually a good reason for it. His smile is thin but it's there as he nods his head with a, "Good night, to you both." He doesn't seem to be departing just yet himself; Ciolanith isn't done with her basking in soft sands, as it seems. « Evening, » is her wisps-of-wind response, her vines and dust of fallen leaves retreating back into her own personal space. She might be taking a nap; Ph'rys can deal.

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