Ice Watch

Xanadu Weyr - Meadow
A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves. The meadow continues with gentle rolls and dips, grass tall and short waving in the slightest of breezes, and eventually those hills grow higher and steeper, ending in a large rige that provides a fine view of that meadow and the rest of the Weyr, gazing out over the multicolored roofs of the houses and the cliff that holds the caverns.
Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, and a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing. Trees border the northern side of the meadow, and more of those low, rolling hills can be seen to the northwest. A road passes through the meadow, coming from the east and used by traders and crafters alike. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests or ore from the mountains are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

What few leaves that are left on the trees have a layer of frost clinging to them. Winter's fingertips are brushing along Xanadu, leaving behind visible traces of itself on the edges of weyrs, buildings, and natural things. The tips of grass are white with ice, and Ka'el continues to survey the ground conditions even at this early stage of the winter season. Nothing has frozen over. Even the kidlets are disappointed that there's no ice for them to skate upon just yet! But they remain bundled and hopeful for snow, just as Ka'el is bundled and watchful for snow. The long, black trench that he wears looks new, molded for both fashion and function. The knit cap he wears, pulled down over his ears, is far less fashionable, yet is full of function to keep the head warm! He holds a clipboard in his ungloved hands, an item he's been seen with all but constantly as of late, as he jots notes and writes things worth remembering. Or things to do. Or both. "Woah, there!" he says as a posse of kids skitter past him, laughing and giggling as they chase one another, paying the Weyrleader little mind as they continue their game. "Watch for ice!" he calls in their wake."..And if you find any, tell me where!"

Another is wandering about but at a far more sedate pace than the children who go skittering past the Weyrleader. Kiena's out for a walk, despite the risks of ice to her health. She can only stay cooped up indoors, be it the weyrbarn that is her home or the Weyr itself, for so long. Deciding she's had enough of sitting on her backside, she bundled up, tried to ignore how her jacket doesn't quite fit right and heads out. She's just in time too to hear Ka'el hollering after the children and with a smirk, she slowly approaches. "Find any what?" she drawls, head tilted curiously. Her hair has been braided back — or most of it, as a few strands have looped forwards but act quite nicely to insulate her ears against the cold.

Ka'el watches after those kids, partially to make sure they don't slip and fall on anything, and partially because he's waiting to see if any one of them actually acknowledge that they've been spoken to! Only one does. A little girl with unruly brown hair who turns around just enough to give a salute. "Aye-aye, Cap'n Weyleader Sir Mister!" she says before turning around to catch up with her herd. Ka'el blinks, then smirks, shaking his head as he glances back down to his clipboard of scrawled notes. He should add that to the list of…hm? Eyes blink up at the sound of a question, spying Kiena's approach. "Patches," he answers, nodding to the expanse of meadow. "Of ice. Specifically in the clearing, I should've clarified, but I doubt any one of them will take the task to heart and've likely already forgotten about it. Though," he continues, thinking aloud as his eyes lower down again, "ice on the meadow would be ideal. Not for landing purposes, but if we could keep the weyrbrats contained this winter with their ice sliding, there'll be less worry of them running all over the place trying to find one. A meadow ice patch might work out well."

Kiena's mouth twitches as she fights to keep from laughing out loud at the elaborated title the little girl fires off to Ka'el but her mood promptly sobers once she spots that clipboard the Weyrleader carries and as he explains why he's out here. "Probably won't. They're kids and their attention spans are… not to be relied upon," she muses, only to chuckle. "Ice patrol again, then, is it? Should have known." Since the seasons have turned! Kiena glances out over the meadow, one hand absentmindedly rubbing the now visible and unmistakable curve of her stomach. "Hmm. Could or… why not by the Theatre? The weyrbrats all gather there as it is."

"The likelihood that they'll disappear into the forest when done is greater than I'd like," says Ka'el, glancing that way. "Not that the forest has housed dangers above the usual. But, if there's anything that's to have my seal of approval on it, I'd rather the risk of mauling, avalanche, or general getting lost be down to zero." A smirk to himself at that, and he rolls his shoulders back gently, straightening his back. "In any case, it's a passing thought that really depends on the depth of our winter and the resources available." He smirks, crossing a 't' and dotting an 'i' before lowering the clipboard down altogether and settling his attention on the blue rider. "And of course the willingness of volunteers to possibly construct a proper border around the area. As for the clearing, all is well for now. Landing conditions continue to be favorable, though if.." He pauses there, cutting himself off wit ha shake of his head as he removes himself from his tangent. "How are you?" he asks.

Kiena quirks a brow, "Disappear how?" Maulings and avalanches? She looks a touch confused but she holds her tongue. "So it won't be a bad thing then if I admit I hope our winter is mild?" Honestly, she's not saying that to crush any children's hopes and dreams! Even if he's prone to rambling, Kiena listens politely enough though her smirk is amused when he catches himself at it. "I'm well enough," she murmurs with a faint smirk and a slight pat of her hand to her belly. "Keeping busy now that I can no longer Smith. Or fly. Good thing the girls are old enough now to tend to most of Ujinath's needs and he's fond of them. How're you?"

"General curiosity," Ka'el answers. "Thoughts of bigger, grander sliding spaces in the woods nearby. We've had children lost before… It's been a while," he admits, sounding grateful for that, "but it's happened. I don't trust kids to make good choices. I've first-hand experience with that now." Another smirk, and he tucks his clipboard beneath an arm, nodding as she speaks of Ujinath, the girls, and her overall busyness. "They're feeling better then? The girls?" he asks. "It's been a time, but the last I spoke with you, they were ill," he remembers with faintly lifted brows. At the question posted to him, he nods a little. "I'm well. Busy, but a good sort of busy. A constant sort of busy," he chuckles with a faint lift of his shoulders. "Meetings and hold visits and talkswith wingleaders. Running with the Wings. The…usual," he says, smirking vaguely. "And the change of seasons only promises things to be busier. Like you, I hope for a mild winter. Less … issues."

Kiena grimaces at the thought of children lost to the forests but promptly shakes that thought away. "Of course you can't trust 'em to make good choices… they're kids!" She remarks dryly. Blinking, she realizes just then how much time has passed since she last spoke to the Weyrleader and his concern brings a faint smile in response. "They've recovered fully, as they always do. You'd be surprised how fast they can bounce back. Full of energy again… which is fine as they can use that in tending to Ujinath," Under her watch, obviously. "And it tires them out. Quite useful, really." It's a win-win all around! "Mhm. Such is the life of a Weyrleader, eh? And what of things beyond duty? Skyler and Soriana are well?" As for the seasons, Kiena only chuckles. "Then lets hope it is a mild winter. Less issues. Especially since this little one," She points a gloved finger to herself. "Is due right in the heart of it."

"Good to hear. I'm glad they're doing better. And it's good to know that in some turns I'll have a dragon-tender for hire in Skyler. If Kanekith allows him to do the job," he says off-handedly. "He's a very .. particular sort of bronze, and thus far Skyler hasn't proven himself to be gentle-handed in most anything." Ka'el lightly rubs his chin in thought, though eventually laughs the image of the youngster slapping dragon oil on his lifemate's hide away. Her question of life beyond his knot brings a reserved smile, yet a smile nonetheless. "It's going well. They're well," he answers. "And I hope the same is for you and yours." Well, the 'yours' beyond the twins, who he's already inquired about in more detail! Another smile is offered in reply to her dueness, nodding to that as well. "Speaking of winter, I should give the clearing another pass and check in with the beastcrafters. The herd's been doing well since the bovine complex's intervetions some turns back, but .. it eases my mind to know the numbers we have for the feeding grounds." No dragon shall go hungry this winter!

"Give it a few Turns yet," Kiena laughs softly. "And you may be surprised? I find the dragons are oddly… forgiving usually towards children. Ujinath is a good example. I'd like to see you or Mur'dah or even most Dragonhealers try to touch him…" From the expression she makes, she need not elaborate there. It'd not go well! "… but when it comes to the girls or any children for that matter? He's a total push over. Baffles me, really. Anyone of age, over fifteen and he wants nothing to do with them." Usually. Search is the exception. "I'm glad they're well. Mur'dah's doing fine too. Keeps busy with Comet," Which is nothing new. "Interventions?"

Ka'el chuckles. "We'll see. They've already had a rather interesting first contact with one another some months back. There's probably a volume written somewhere about the bond between a dragon and his lifemate's children. If there is a bond. Or lack thereof." It sounds like something a dragonhealer probably has researched, anyway! It's probably fascinating. He takes a slight step back, readying to take his leave, but lingers to elaborate on the bovine comment. "It might've been before you came. It was before Kanekith, anyway. Xanadu was fearing a shortage of dragon prey. Something about the herds.. Couldn't tell you the details though. But the bovine complex was built because of it. There was a large round up, and since then the crafters at the complex have kept closer tabs on the herds. Numbers and breeding and … whatever else to ensure numbers don't drop so low again." He's definitely no beastcrafter! "And I, being the type that wants to make sure that all dragons are properly fed this winter before winter gets along too deeply, aim to check those numbers," he nods in the general direction of the forest. "If you'll excuse me. Have a pleasant rest've your day."

Kiena tilts her head again, "Did they?" Clearly she's intrigued! She chuckles as well, "Probably. If there's one thing I find, is that folks are quite fond of writing about anything and everything." There is a flicker of surprise as he takes a step back, but she does not linger on it. Of course he would have his duties to attend to and she… well… will continue to search for something meaningful and useful to do while the hours tick by. "Ahh, yes. That was before my time. Could've been a sickness or something that led to that or… something." His guess is as good as hers! Glancing towards the forests, she will look back to him and nod. "I won't keep you then, sir." she murmurs and slipping her hands back into her pockets, she will give him a lingering look as she turns to walk the opposite way. "And you too." Pausing, Kiena says this from over her shoulder before resuming her careful pace. There better be no ice!

A shortage of herdbeast is definitely a headache that Ka'el does not want! What would they do? Import from surrounding holds and Weyrs? Let's hope Xanadu doesn't have to find out the hard way! "If they insist on having me watch just how they check the wellness of a bovine like last time, I'll regret that you didn't keep me," he snickers, though with a visible grimace behind it at the memory. An exhaled sigh follows, and the clipboard that's been kept clutched beneath his arm is pulled out and held within his hands again. He looks at her and, for a moment, seems conflicted. Not a smile, nor a frown. Just a look. One that's mildly troubled and discontent. One that doesn't last long either, for he soon moves, shifting his body to turn away after a nod in her direction. Bovine, he here comes! Crafters…please, no demonstrations this time.

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