Klah Conundrums

Xanadu Weyr – Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs.

Kisa emerges from somewhere deeper in the caverns with a heavy pack strapped to her back. A slight frown crosses her lips as she kneels to make an adjustment to her right boot.

It's early morning - breakfast will begin soon. The fires in the hearth are roaring, just having has logs thrown on them to keep the winter's chill from the huge cavern. The stylish young woman just walking away from the hearth is, after brushing her shapely hands together to remove bits of detritus from them, examining her nails to make sure she hasn't damaged her manicure. She's not watching where she's going and so nearly trips over the kneeling woman. A strangled sound issues from her as she manages to avoid the mishap JUST in time. "Well. I'm awake now," she drawls. On her right shoulder is the knot of Headwoman.

There is a pause, just long enough to finish fussing with the boot, before Kisa looks up at the near collision. "Excellent," she says in a very precise manner. "There is nothing more dangerous than sleepwalkers in the caverns. I am glad to have been of service, headwoman." WIth a grunt and a pop of her knees, she straightens back up and tosses her braid back over her shoulder.

Despite her tendency to be in a less than optimal mood before noon - and especially before her klah, Darsce laughs. She's never been one to chide people for reckless behavior, since hers is… still often questionable so instead she backs up a step, a smirk twists her lips, "Since you've saved me from breaking my neck, the least we can do is feed you breakfast. Help yourself?" She sweeps a hand towards the serving tables where the cooks are beginning to set things out - pots of hot cereal, freshly-baked pastries and rolls. there will be more things coming but it's very early. "The klah is there and if you need anything, I'm Darsce. I'll see if I can help you." Her iceblue eyes flicker to the woman's shoulder in search of a knot. Not seeing one, she asks, "Passing through then?"

Despite her tendency to be in a less than optimal mood before noon - and especially before her klah, Darsce laughs. She's never been one to chide people for reckless behavior, since hers is… still often questionable so instead she backs up a step, a smirk twists her lips, "Since you've saved me from breaking my neck, the least we can do is feed you breakfast. Help yourself?" She sweeps a hand towards the serving tables where the cooks are beginning to set things out - pots of hot cereal, freshly-baked pastries and rolls. there will be more things coming but it's very early. "The klah is there and if you need anything, I'm Darsce. I'll see if I can help you." Her iceblue eyes flicker to the woman's shoulder in search of a knot. Not seeing one, she asks, "Passing through then?"

Kisa lifts her chin slightly at the knot check. Indeed. No knot. "I thank you for the offer, Headwoman," she says very formally. "I am passing through, yes. I had to stop and resupply, perhaps find a bit of work.

That knot-checking is fairly habitual after the renegade Laris snuck in amongst them; Xanadu's people are fairly cautious when it comes to strangers these days , so she'll find almost everyone looking for her knot. Darsce's smile grows a touch warmer at the woman's thanks, "Of course. There's plenty. And you saved my life, did you not?" It's likely hospitality would have been extended for this one meal anyway, but she's oft too playful for her station. As she hears the answer, she pauses in stepping past the woman. She does have trays to ready for the administration offices but it's early and she has time to linger. "Where are you from and where are you headed?" The questions are asked as pleasant, idle conversation and a third added, "What sort of work can you do?"

Formality is the order of the day for Kisa, it appears. There isn't a trace of warmth to her voice, but it doesn't come across unfriendly. It's just… well… all business. "I'm from all over. Trader. Keroon to Telgar route. I handled the bookeeping, kept the workers in line and the work flowing smoothly." There is a slight frown before she continues. "I have not really chosen a destination. I will keep going until I find a place that fits. Or I go broke."

Darsce understands businesslike. It doesn't always dictate her response, however. She isn't one to care one way or the other about most people being warm, cold, irate - whatever as long as they do not make her life difficult. Then it's a different Darsce. Right now she's still amused by the woman's initial acerbic answer and so she's smiling over that. "Walk with me," she says as she moves on past, fingers flicking with the flash of lacquered nails in a gesture meant to get her to follow. They'll be headed in the general direction of the serving tables, but Darsce's goal is to reach the klahpots. She needs it desperately, see. Trader, yes, the headwoman nods. "So… that's kinda vague. Were you…like a trail boss?" "What did you say your name was?" Now Darsce knows very well she didn't say, but since she's introduced herself, she apparently expects reciprocation. It's early morning, before breakfast and the headwoman is talking with a middle-aged unknotted woman near the entrance to the caverns.

Kisa didn't say her name? For the sake of all the cute little flying critters, she didn't introduce herself! "Ah. You are familiar with the term. Good. Yes, I was the trail boss." Then she blinks. Twice. "I am Kisa," she says simply as she follows.

An early start to the day permits an early end to it, in theory. Jethaniel's actual reason for emerging from the administration hallway, at this hour, may have more to do with having desired to go over certain documents prior to the start of his day. He has an early meeting scheduled, where early is still after a breakfast that has not yet occured… but only slightly so. As such, having perused his documents to his satisfaction, he is taking the opportunity to remove himself from his office prior to the official start of his day. Perhaps this will result in an impression that he is not working an excessive number of hours? After all, save for the vector of his approach, a morning visit to the klah pot is entirely reasonable. It will also, serendipitously, result in an encounter with Darsce, and when he discovers this fact, Jethaniel smiles, inclining his head toward her before glancing to the woman who, at present, accompanies her. "Good morning."

Familiar with the term? "Well, yes. I am. Caravans came in to Ierne Weyrhold all the time when I lived there." Darsce reaches for a mug, fills it with the steaming brew and offers it over to the woman. "Kisa, short and sweet; I like it. Cream and sweetner are right over there if you want it." If the mug is accepted, Darsce will pour one for herself, add liberal amounts of both to her mug and cling to it with both hands while sipping. Her developing habit, as part of her job, is to scan the caverns for signs of being needed and so she spots Jethaniel's approach. She lowers her mug. Her smile at him is bright, "Jethaniel, this is Kisa; she's looking for work." Then to Kisa, "Steward Jethaniel. He's the one you'd speak with unless you want to work in the laundry." 'No', she mouths silently to Kisa with a comic show of horror while shaking her head, 'you don't want the laundry.' Shudder. It's hot and sticky-steamy and the old women working in there never shut up.

Kisa accepts the mug with a short nod. Cream and sweetener? Not likely. She'd melt. Or burst into flame. Something unpleasant to be sure. "I am not familiar with Irene. Though I heard once that I have a rather distant cousin trading out that way." There is a blink as the Steward is introduced. Her klah is forgotten for the moment as she turns. "Steward," she says simply. Precisely.

Jethaniel's smile to Darsce is warm; his one to Kisa is more polite in nature. "It is nice to meet you," he says to her, inclining his head briefly before directing his attention away from her long enough to obtain klah with sweetener. Having achieved this and taken his first sip, he returns his attention to Kisa. The brevity of her answer causes a slight arch of his brows, and he regards her a moment, providing an opportunity for her to present additional content - or perhaps simply to reiterate Darsce's statement concerning her intentions. His own job title, he is already aware of.

Darsce has klah. Her mug is clung to for the life-giving, all-powerful stimulant that it is, but she has no real love for it. She merely needs it. Her eyes follow Jethaniel's movements as he gets his mug and fills it. She's back to sipping after her explanation, listening to both in turn. "What sort of work would a caravan trail boss do around here?" That's asked of Jethaniel but likely intended as an indirect prodding for Kisa to speak up. Unless she wants a job in the laundry as a washerwoman?

The older woman tilts her chin up just a touch. Washerwoman, indeed! Though it can't be much worse than staring at the south end of a northbound burdenbeast for hours at a time. "If there is work available to which my skills could be put, I would be glad to do so. Former trail boss, though I also did the bookkeeping for the caravan."

Klah is not capable of causing temporal shifts. It is, however, capable of causing a shift in people's perspectives regarding certain temporal periods. It can make make mornings tolerable and cause consciousness to be present! Even, upon occasion, coherency. Jethaniel has another sip of his. Darsce's question receives a small 'hmm', but he returns his gaze to Kisa to consider her answer. "There are a wide variety of tasks which require doing around the Weyr," he says with a small smile. "Those specific to the presumed skills of a trail boss… would include logistics?" He arches a brow in question. "Xanadu conducts a variety of trade - by caravan, ship, and dragon - and there is a great deal of organization involved in receiving and processing goods that might be compatible with those skills." A small tilt of his head. "As well as bookkeeping; the creation of preliminary accounts would be involved."

Klah will shift Darsce's temporal lobe, that's all she cares about! Except it also tastes great with all the cream and sweetner she's dumped in it, so there's that too. While Jethaniel speaks, she sips hers. At his wordage there's a burble in her klah mug as she sputters a laugh and stifles it before it can be more than that choking down of amusement. Iceblue eyes shift to Kisa. Is she good with parsing? Because the headwoman isn't always around to translate.

Kisa still hasn't sampled her klah. Maybe later. "Logistics," she says after a moment. "No stretch there. Though I imagine the major difference here to be matter of scale. One caravan versus a hub. You may wish to leave the creation, or at least the negotiation, to someone else. There's a reason why I was the trail boss. I couldn't sell water in Igen." Kisa is speaking of the creation of accounts, of course.

Another requirement of the job would be interacting with the Steward. As such, a comprehension of Jethaniel is desirable. He glances to Darsce as she sputters, a briefly curious look for her reaction, but then his gaze returns to Kisa. While he awaits her response, he has another sip of his own klah. It is not his first mug of the day. As such, he can consume it at his leisure. His day did, however, begin early, and as such, he does require its consumption, slowly or otherwise. The mug lowers once again, and he smiles slightly. "I do not have a detailed perspective regarding internal caravan proceedings, however, I do expect the Weyr's version is more complex. The role I have in mind is primarily coordinational; it would involve tracking projected arrivals and comparing goods promised to goods received. It requires proactive tracking of potential issues and early assessment, but the social interactions would be with other members of the Weyr administration and our transport and delivery wing."

This isn't Darsce's first mug of the morning either, but she's inhaling her klah. Maybe that's why she choked on it? Jethaniel's curious look is waved off; it's nothing. She turns to refill her mug as the two of them talk. Kisa seems to be doing fine and it's likely Darsce's sleep-slow brain making her work hard at following. "I need to check on something," she says to the both of them. Nodding to Kisa, she says, "Good luck," and then she steps away, aiming a subtle pinch at the Steward's rear as she passes. No one… saw that, right?

The barrage of 1/4 Mark words leaves the old wagon wrangler blinking. Language like that wasn't used while staring at the backside of that burden beast. "I see," Kisa says as she tries to make sense of it all. "A much larger operation. And no opportunity to kick a hungover wagon driver awake in the morning." Maybe she can work in the laundry. Could she kick the old women? Oh, great. Now she's being abandoned by the headwoman.

Jethaniel nods to Darsce's comment regarding her departure. "I will see you later," he says, then looks back to Kisa. Jethaniel is unaware of the observability of Darsce's action to the rest of the room, but he is assuredly aware of it himself. There is a widening of his eyes, followed by a glance after Darsce and a small smile, which he conceals in his klah-mug before lowering it once again and returning his attention to Kisa. Jethaniel's days seldom include the posteriors of mules, runners, or oxen, though such do exist. The role of Steward involves a wide variety of tasks. Kicking hungover wagon drivers? "In general, no. Such an incident should be reported to the appropriate supervisor for disciplinary action. In general, the structure of a weyr is less ad hoc than, I expect, that of a caravan; it is a requirement of the greater size. While initiative would be necessary, this is not a directive position, merely a coordinational one." Which is not to say it might not become so, but there is a limit to what Jethaniel is willing to suggest for a new arrival about whom he has little personal or professional knowledge.

Kisa finally sips at her klah. Cold. Perfect. "You would be surprised at the efficiency of a well placed boot." With a slight frown, she continues. "Sounds like you need someone with real training, not an old dirt kicker. Thank you for taking the time to explain the position, but I will have to decline. Maybe I'll find a place somewhere less civilized."

"There are desiderata other than efficiency," Jethaniel replies. "I am quite aware of the efficiency of certain processes, as well as their effectiveness. That does not necessarily mean I am in favor of their use." He has another small sip of his klah. "I would not necessarily dismiss your skills as inapplicable. My initial vocational training was not focused toward the administrative role of Steward." He smiles briefly. "However, it is up to you what position you will find yourself comfortable in. If you have further clarifications regarding your skills, I am willing to listen; otherwise, I wish you luck in your future endeavors."

Kisa regards her cold klah. "Just kicking people awake. Getting them to work. Keeping them from fighting too much. Making sure goods got where they needed to be with a minimum of fuss, and making sure people got paid. Nothing as fancy as what you need here." Old school and hands-on. Expensive words don't fit into her world.

Jethaniel listens carefully to Kisa's answer, and nods. He considers it for a moment, then smiles. "Have you considered a role as a dormitory supervisor? Your tasks would include rousing apprentices or weyrfolk in the morning, inspecting their cots and living spaces for cleanliness, observing their behavior for conflicts or other potential issues, overseeing laundry pickup and delivery, and maintaining general order as well as enforcing an evening curfew."

Kisa kicks at the heavy pack she had set down at some point during this conversation. "Sounds a little more my speed. Not much different from my duties when we settled in at our winter camp. I think I could handle something like that."

"Indeed, I expect they would be analogous… though the dormitories are likely to be somewhat warmer." Jethaniel smiles slightly for that, then glances in the direction in which Darsce departed. "This will require consultation with the headwoman." Who is currently seeing to other business. "However, if you are interested, I expect you could be assigned to a dormitory on a trial basis for a period of… a month, say? With an assessment at the end of that time and a potential long-term offer. Room and board would be included, along with a salary to be determined according to performance - though base value would be in the range of…" He considers a moment, then names a number.

Kisa considers it for a moment. "I will have to adjust my methods just a bit," she says. "Less kicking. Less colorful language. I think it can be done."

"Indeed." Jethaniel quirks his lips. "While the apprentices are here to receive an education, it is not advised that it include a widening of their vocabulary in non-technical fields." Though such a thing will likely happen regardless, and Jethaniel does not seem overly concerned by it. He has another sip of his klah. "Your stories regarding kicking may, however, provide a certain kind of motivation." Because sometimes, what's needed is a bit of tough love - but the exact nature of such motivation is between the dormitory supervisors and their supervisor, though she's not here right now to share her perspective.

This would be a perfect moment for for Kisa to show some sign of humor. But she doesn't. Instead, she gulps down the rest of her klah. "I am no praire flower. I have been known to make grown men cry. But I will try to tone it down a bit." Country bumpkin come to the big city. This could be… interesting. And possibly terrifying.

Jethaniel takes this response with aplomb, simply nodding. "If you do so here, I advise you to submit a report to myself or the headwoman providing the context. It will make things far simpler." For who? He doesn't say. He may, however, expect to receive a few reports of that nature - particularly during the initial adjustment period. How many of them he receives - from both her and other persons concerning her - may partially determine whether, at the end of the trial period, a more permanent offer is extended.

Kisa almost smiles. Almost. Good thing it was avoided. Such would destroy the world. Or, at the very least, her reputation. "I will wait for your decision," she states as she picks up the heavy pack. "Thank you for considering me for the position."

If Kisa smiles, a report will also be filed? Perhaps Jethaniel will see one pass across his desk… eventually. He nods to Kisa. "I will consult with the headwoman today. Where may I locate you to provide our decision?"

Kisa purses her lips. "I'm not entirely certain. I will be around, but I have no fixed place at the moment. I'm sure I'll find someone to stay with by the end of the day. I will send word at that time."

Jethaniel hmms, considering, and nods. "Arrangements may also be made for a short term stay. I may be located in my office," unless he's in a meeting or otherwise occupied, "should you have further questions." He smiles, and refills his klah. "For now, I must depart. Have a nice day." With that, he turns and departs once again.

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