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 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 two sides. Toward the southwest, a spire stretches up to high above where the everpresent watchdragon sits on a lonely peak with Xanadu's Starstones. A massive rocky spur extends to the north, curved slightly to hold the clearing and pocked with doors and windows.
The hatching arena and Dragonhealers' Annex sit to the southeast, built together into a single complex that takes up a large portion of the perimeter beneath its domed roof. To the southwest, wide steps lead up to the caverns, and almost directly south is the entrance to the Infirmary. Nestled between the infirmary and the main caverns there's a human-sized archway with frequent traffic - it leads to the Wanderin' Wherry Tavern.
Tucked near the arch, just off to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Wildflower Boutique'. Windows have been cut along the cliff in various places along the cliff. Those of the administrative offices are placed to have the best view of Xanadu's airspace - to the southwest, over the entrance to the caverns and the infirmary. Others mark the dormitories and those of lucky residents, while toward the northern edge of that spur cluster the windows and entrances to the crafters' complex.
The rest of the Weyr lies to the north and east - a broad road that leads through the meadow and the trees of the forest beyond. At the far northern edge of the clearing, just inside the perimeter kept clear of trees, a clocktower sits and proudly displays the hour.
It's a chilly day upon Xanadu. Definitely the season for coats and jackets! Also, it's the time of year in which kids are hopeful for snow, though it's not quite ready to do that yet. Ka'el is thankful for the lack of ice and snow, for that seems to cause more problems then not in the realm of dragon riding! For now, the Weyrleader is checking the clearing's landing conditions. His bronze dragon, Kanekith, is in the area too, acting as a test-dragon as he circles high in the air, observing from above before beginning to make a spiraling descent down to the ground to carefully land. Ka'el is jotting notes down on a pad of paper held on a clipboard, wearing a long, dark brown trench coat as he walks along the dragon-flatted grasses.
Without the hope of snow, not too many are flitting about the bowl, as it is a bit too chilly without a reason to be out in it. Most are heading do and fro on their quest to get to where they need to go. Not a certain youth, however, who has bundled up in an attempt to combat the cold. Kaitro makes his way across the bowl, testing every step before he makes his way forward. He glances up, watching the dragon circle above, and being wiser than most, seeks to make sure he's not where the dragon is when it lands. "Hey, Ka'el!" Kaitro calls with a friendly wave, waving his hand back and forth.
Kanekith slows his descent with backwings, legs stretched towards the ground. Ka'el watches his dragon land, keeping a keen eye out for slippage or any indications of hidden ice he may have missed. All seems to go well though, and he smirks after an exchange with his lifemate, jotting down a few notes before his attention is taken by the sound of his name. He smiles upon spotting the familiar face of Kaitro, lifting his pen-holding hand to wave in his direction. "Good day, Kaitro!" he calls in greeting, lowering his hand down. "How are you? You haven't stepped on any slick patches of ground, have you?" he asks, looking suspiciously downward. "I had a report of slippery landings, but haven't come across any ice to mark as a hazard spot for any incoming riders to be aware of. Yet."
Kaitro makes his way over, testing his steps carefully before he proceeds too far. "Not quite yet, but I don't exactly trust the ground at the moment, never know when you come across ice you can't see. And I don't fancy falling on my ass today." He laughs cheerfuly, wiggling fingers cheerfully at the bronze as he comes to a stop near the bronzerider. "Couldn't you just get the weyrlings to flame the ground or some other nonsence. Of course, that might just produce the ice we're tryinng to avoid." Hrmm… a finger taps thoughtfully at his lips.
Ka'el chuckles slightly and nods. "Hidden ice can be problematic in landing areas, especially for new riders who've dragons that haven't the experience of handling less than ideal landing conditions," he says with a momentary look to the sky. "Fort’s Weyrlings have taken wing…" he says, musing to himself. "One has already found his way here on a visit.." He pauses, refocusing on the young kitchen aid at the mentioning of Xanadu's own Weyrlings, laughing a bit. "Somehow, I imagine that involving more wildfires than ice melting. It's a helpful idea," he compliments, "but it'd require far too much flaming too often when winter does hit. And, yes true. The melted ice would likely only refreeze. The best things I've seen done are marking troublesome areas and … heh, practice landing," says, with a gesture to Kanekith, who is gradually making his way over. "Still working the kitchens?"
"I'm not a big fan of it, but at least I'm not a muddled-headed southerner." Kaitro murmurs half to himself, wrapping his arms about his chest as he considers the ground thoughtfully. "I suppose we'd better just hope for snow to give more traction. At least that is better for walking and landings than ice is." He laughs quietly, "I supose you're right, the flamings might just prove to be more problematic than helpful, but at least it would give them practice with firestone?" Even if it would use a lot of resources. "At the moment, yeah, still helping in the kitchens. I was toying with the idea of maybe helping shovel snow when it /does/ end up falling."
"Muddle-headed southerner?" echoes Ka'el with faintly lifted brows of question. His eyes soon scan the clearing again, pausing to watch a green dragon and her rider land some distance off with no problems to be detected. "My mind is always worrying over something," he offers as explanation. "This winter likely will be no different than any other. It will ice and snow. Dragons will land as they always have, just with far more caution. And my mind will worry about something else instead." He smirks a little, smiling wider once Kanekith joins them. His swirling eyes are set upon Kaitro, who he watches with mild interest. The mentioning of shoveling show has the Weyrleader chuckling. "Volunteering to do so, or after having been told?" he asks, looking amused. "Which….huh. How many turns old are you, Kaitro?"
"Yeah, you know, those southerners who come up here with the idea of seeing snow, and then not knowing what they're up against and causing all sorts of accidents? Those ones?" Kaitro shakes his head slowly, "Well, better to be safe than sorry, right? Better to worry about stuff and make sure that that everything is fine than not caring and have needless accidents, I feel." Kaitro grins to the weyrleader, shrugging his shoulders. "Volunteering. I mean, no one else likes to do it, and it wouldn't be too bad. I could always go inside and have a nice cup of klah afterwards and get warmed up in the kitchens. So I'm a better person than most to shovel snow. And I like helping out." That second question gets a blink, "16 turns, sir. Why?"
Ka'el ahs at his clarification. "I see. Though those who come to Xanadu for snow will probably be very disappointed! Granted, we have our fair share, but there are others who have more spectacular winters when it comes to the amount of snow." He pauses there, turning to his dragon who lowers his bronze head. His coppery muzzle lightly bumps against his rider's chest, and he exhales a puff of air through the nostrils. He receives a nose-rub for his efforts, and Ka'el looks curiously back to Kaitro. "This is Kanekith. He's adamant that he's introduced although I've assured him you are likely already aware of who he is," he says with a crooked smirk. "And your volunteerism definitely will be appreciated when the time comes but, I'm curious. At sixteen, have you considered apprenticing in a craft?"
"Well, sure, they could go to 'Reaches and face a blizzard and wind up in a whole world of pain. Or come here for our milder winters, even if we don't get nearly as much snow." He laughs at the bronze's antics, shaking his head in amusement. "Hiya, Kanekith, it is nice to meet you. I'm Kaitro." The lad would offer his hand, but a dragon is a dragon, and he's not on familiar terms with this dragon. "Well, that's the thing. I don't want to be tied to a craft I may not enjoy. I've my whole life yet, and I want to experience everything. I probably should start trying more crafts, true. I've dabbled in a couple, but there are so many things out there and I want to see them all. I don't want to settle until I decide that is what I want."
Kanekith shifts his head so that his muzzle is not so near his rider anymore. His attention shifts to Kaitro as he's spoken to. There is no answer from the large bronze, but if a dragon were to look pleased…one could possibly say that Kanekith does. Well done, lad! Ka'el gently presses his hand against the side of the dragon's broad nose, shaking his head in amusement. "Go on then. We're done here," he prompts the bronze, but the nosy dragon doesn't seem inclined to move anywhere! Refraining from rolling his eyes, just barely, Ka'el turns his attention back to Kaitro, listening to him. "I understand not wanting to be stuck crafting in an area you may not enjoy. Believe me, I do," he agrees, nodding. "Other than kitchen work, what else interests you?" he asks, tucking his clipboard beneath an arm. "Have you had opportunities to try other areas?"
Kaitro laughs quietly at the dragon, shaking his head in amusement and shooting an arched brow towards Ka'el, grinning. He lifts his shouders, rolling them in a indifferent manner and then rubbing the back of his head thoughtfully. "Well, I've sat with the weavers once or twice, tried my hand at sewing, and attempting designs, and a couple other things. Didn't think that called to me any. I enjoy helping in the kitchens, and that is what I have the most experience in at the moment as I enjoy being in the kitchens. Um, I've helped clean, watched the 'brats, shoveled snow, a little bit of everything really. I've even tried my hand at repairing things." Another pause, "But I really enjoy just living life, experiencing what it has to offer. And it has a lot to offer for one such as myself. So that is what interests me, just trying different things and seeing what they have to offer. You never know what life is gonna throw at you next, and I'd like to be ready for it."
"I've a friend who is a weaver. It isn't as easy as it seems," Ka'el says, raising his brows at him. "I commend you for even giving it a go!" He pauses there and nods as the young man continues on with his extensive list of things he's tried. Some successful. Some, not so much! "You have taken life by the horns, haven't you?" he says with a small smile. "Continue to sample, I'd advise. You'll never know what's best for you if you don't attempt different things. Which .. you seem to already know! But if you do want to specialize in a craft area, don't sample for too long." He pauses, thinking for a second. Then, "but, crafting isn't the only path in life, either. Maybe you'll end up being Xanadu's jack of all trades, eh? Someone we can count on for a little bit of everything." He grins, then nods over his shoulder in light gesture. "I've to be on my way and check another area with Kanekith. Good luck with everything .. especially shoveling, when the time comes!"
"It's hard work! I mean, half the time I ended up stabbing myself, and who wants /that/ for a living?" He laughs cheerfully, shaking his head in amusement. "Err, yeah, well, I figure, might as well try everything. It'd be a shame to commit to something and then decide something else is for me. I think, at this point, I might just end up joining the bakercraft if I'm serious with myself. But I'll give it another couple of months before I commit to it, I think. At least I'll have a little bit of edge if I do decide to go that route." He grins, shaking his head slowly, "Well, I certainly don't mind helping out when the situation rises. But eventually, one way or another, I'll make up my mind on something." Just what, he's unsure of. "Good luck with that ice sir, and I'll be sure to keep our pathways clean." As best as he can anyway.
Bakercraft? Ka'el nods, grinning. "I know that Cook will be happy to have another apprentice to … mold and guide into a capable chef," he says with a crooked grin. "The greatest things come out of that kitchen. She must know what she's doing!" The grumbling and screams of torture must be circumstantial, right? He grins clapping him on the shoulder. "Wherever you decide to go, I'm confident you'll do your best and good things will come of it. … And of those good things happen to come from the kitchen, then that's just a bonus for everyone." He grins and steps back, as does the bronze dragon nearby. "Good day to you!" he says with a wave before he turns to head off, looking at his clipboard once more.