True Winters

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.

The frozen meadow looks like a piece of artwork. Slumbering stalks of grasses are tipped with white frost. That is, where grass can be seen. A blanket of snow covers most of it, burying what once was green beneath its cold grip. The sky is clear though, but although the sun is shining, the temperature remains cold. Footprints have been left behind in the snow, showing of people that have come through recently. A dragonprint or two can be seen two, but for the most part the meadow appears undisturbed. Ka'el now arrives, wearing a hooded jacket with his hands stuffed into his pocket. A bronze firelizard pops into view, arriving from Between for a few wingbeats before popping out of existence again! Ka'el's shoulders faintly hunch as he glances to the left, eyeing the empty air before *pop!* The firelizard is back, some yards away from him with his wings spread wide.

Emerging into the meadow from beyond the weyr is Chrystyne who's bundled up in a coat with a scarf of many colors wrapped around her throat and mouth. Her eyes though are seen and she's paused in the meadow to look around with a bit of wonder to her expression. Her gaze darts towards Ka'el briefly, alerted by the sound of the fire lizard popping in and out of between and a gloved hand emerges from her pocket to wave.

Ka'el looks only mildly interested in the antics of his firelizard. He's had a long time to get used to his firelizard games, but that doesn't stop him from being amused by them. "Good show, Alloy," he says to the bronze just before *pop!* off he goes again. Ka'el's eyes are rolled slightly, but the amusement is still on his face, so it's all good! He continues on his way, heading in the general direction of the Caverns, but his walk is soon diverted by the sight of someone waving in his direction. He pulls a glove out of his pocket to wave back, offering a smile as hie walk heads her way. "You're a new face," he notes when he's near enough to talk, smile friendly. "Or at least unfamiliar enough for me to think of as new. Hello, and welcome."

"Oh quite new to the weyr though I've visited a couple times now." replies Chrstyne cheerful enough. A Red Sands holds knot adorns the left shoulder. "There's a trader caravan I'm traveling with parked at Black Rock Hold for a bit. Aint too far a distance from here and I do like getting the chance to visit the weyr when I can." a smile touches her eyes briefly. "I'm Chrystyne."

"Have you?" Ka'el thinks back, but her face remains an unknown. Not someone he's met during one of her venture to Xanadu! He hunches his shoulders a little more, but then stand up straighter, back to the cold. He listens to her, nodding, glancing in the general area that Black Rock Hold lies with a small and passing frown. "You're right. Black Rock isn't very far at all," he says knowingly, his frown gone at this point, replaced by a mild smile and a bob of his head as she introduces herself. "Well met, Chrystyne. I'm Ka'el, Weyrleader of Xanadu. You're far from home then, aren't you?" he says, eyes drifting to her knot. Not a Xanadu one, definitely!

Chrystyne is trying to keep from shivering too much. In that she's making an effort to be seen shivering a lot. Clealry not used to the cold is this one. She shoves her hands back into the deep pockets her her coat. A flicker of surprise crosses her expression before it's gone as he introduces himself as the weyrleader. As his gaze drifts to her knot she gives a bit of a evasive shrug as she glances away from his face. "Aye, that I am." not much to say on that evidently!

Being the observant fellow that he is, Ka'el indeed notices the shivering, and his eyes flit from her momentarily to shift to the side, gazing beyond the snow-covered meadow. Her words return his eyes to her, and he smirks, nodding one. "Well then I extend my welcome to you again, visitor. Welcome to Xanadu…cold and frozen as it is," he chuckles, sliding his hand back into his pocket. "I was actually on my way to warmer places. Care to join me?" he asks with a slight tip of his head. "The tavern is never short on warmth, if you'd like to accompany me there."

Chrystyne tries to not sound too terribly eager when she agrees, rather quickly. "Ineed then..that sounds wonderful." short and sweet is her acceptance.

"Grand," answers Ka'el, pleased that he won't be walking alone in the cold! "Of course, I don't know if you fancy drinks, but Xanadu has a fine array of them," he says, moving now to stand at her side, offering his arm politely. "Whatever the case, be it ale, wine, or a nice warm mug of cider….which sound rather good about now, doesn't it? Whichever the case, I'll buy you a glass in thanks for so graciously accepting my offer," he says with a crooked grin. He waits until she's with him, if she does choose to take his offered arm, before leading her off.

Chrystyne gives a crooked little smile at the offered arm but she takes it graciously. "My thanks kind Weyrleader." hopefully her teeth aren't chattering too much. "A warm mug of cider sounds excellent."


Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern

It is often whispered, in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.
The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company. Behind it are drinks for those not inclined toward ale, as well as a door leading to the small kitchen where snacks are made and a back room that probably holds yet more ale.

The tavern is not far from the meadow. A little walk, but not too bad. It's made all the more pleasant by the scenery. Frost and ice. Icicles glistening from shopfronts. Ka'el smirks faintly as he walks along with his companion. "Although it can be a pain," he remarks, "I like the way that winter makes things seem … new. Fresh." He gives her a sidelong look before smiling, approaching the tavern. He pushes the door open with his free hand, allowing her to move through. Warmth greet them, along with the aroma of food and smoke. It isn't ridiculously crowded, thanks to it being afternoon, and thus there are plenty of tables to choose from!

Despite the cold Chrystyne does seem to enjoy the walk from the meadow to the tavern especially when the scenery is quite pleasant. The frost and ice gives it a sort of picturesque look to the new places she's not seen yet. "I'm not much of a winter person to be honest. Back home we don't quite this much snow."she casts a wry look towards Ka'el as they step into the warmth of the tavern. A blissful sigh escapes her at this and she lets Ka'el lead them towards one of the many tables available to choose from.

"Do you get any at all?" Ka'el asks curiously as they move in further into the cavern. "Snow, that is," he clarifies as he guides her to an unoccupied table. "There are some places, I've heard, that don't get a single flake. I couldn't imagine not having a true winter," he says with a grin. "Though, I suppose that's because I'm so used to it. Making snowfolk. Winter festivals. Skating on ice.." He grins, releasing her to pull out a chair for her. "You mean to tell me you've never had the opportunity to do those things?"

Chrystyne's brow furrows briefly at his question then as the clarification comes she gives a small 'oh' of understanding. "Mm…some on the island but it's really a rare thing. More of a dusting at the weyr sometimes. A bit more at home at Red Sands." she gives a distant shrug at that then veers away from the matter of her home. "Skating." she blinks. "On ice?" she slides into the offered chair with a quick nod of thanks. "Oh no, i've not been to a winter festival with any snow activities." now she looks curiously about her as if a winter festival will pop up around them in here. "Are they fun?"

Ka'el pushes in her seat as she settles into it, then moves around to the opposite side of the table to sit as well. "A dusting of snow," he chuckles at the phrase. "I'd like to see that one day. And yes. Ice skating," he reiterates with a nod. "It's far more fun than you'd think. In truth, it sounds like a poor idea, doesn't it?" He smirks. "But I've to admit, there's nothing like finding a frozen over pond or patch've ice to go sliding on. The weyrbrats are all but pros around here," he says with a laugh, holding up a hand to call the attention of a waitress. "Winter festivals are very fun, yes. They're much like any other festival. Food, drink, music, games. But when you add snow to anything, it sort of .. amplifies the fun of it." He grins again, pausing as a waitress comes to take their order of drink. "What would you fancy this afternoon?"

From her expression it's clear that she's not completely sold on the whole skating on ice concept despite his explanation on it. "Amplifies the fun…" she muses over that a moment as he's catching the attention of a waitress. "I'd still like a nice mug of warmed cider if that's available."

"And I'll take the same," Ka'el says to the waitress. Blue eyes return to Chrystyne after their order is taken and the waitress heads off to take care of it. "Yes," he confirms with a humored look. "Amplifies the fun. And when one is a Weyrleader, sometimes 'fun' can be in short supply. I take all that I can, when the opportunities arise." He pauses, then, "If the Harpers here do put together a gather, which they tend to do from time to time, you'll have to come. It doesn't seem fair that you haven't experienced a proper winterfest! .. You're a … trader, you said?"

Chrystyne offers a faint smile towards the waitress before returning her own blue eyes towards Ka'el. "If the duties are anything like those of a Lord Holder than I can understand the short supply of fun. I do hope I'm not keeping you from anything currently?" one brow raises as she asks the question. "A..trader of sorts. For now." she says elusively. "I am unsure how long the caravan is staying there though I think they are in the midsts of plotting their next stop soon."

"I'm sure they're rather similar. I've met with the Lord Holders of Xanadu's beholden areas. They, like me, always seem to be happy for a break in routine for visits." Her concern over keeping him from his duties is met with a light shake of his head, accompanied by a grateful smile. "No, not at all. Fortunately, there are moments in my day that I can claim to myself. What better way to spend it then with getting to know a visitor? One that I hope finds her way back to us soon, after the caravan leaves," he adds, but a look of curiosity soon drifts over his face at the talk of trading. Or…not trading. "Of sorts? You haven't committed to the trader-lifestyle then?" he guesses. "Those that you're traveling with aren't your family?"

"I'm just traveling with them for now." Chrystyne admits as she answers questions readily enough without actually offering much more information than the question asked. "My parents and siblings are still at Red Sands." she says to clarify just the tiniest bit. "I wouldn't know what to do here though if I made my way back here if I didn't leave with the caravan."

"Aiming to see Pern?" Ka'el supposes, pausing briefly as two mugs of steamingly warm cider are brought to their table. He smiles and voices his thanks to the tavernmaid before returning his attention to her. "Most of the travelers I've met, those that travel with the caravans, have been a sort of .. family group. But I guess that isn't always the case, is it? I honestly don't know too much about the caravan lifestyle, but I can guess it has a great deal of adventure involved. And walking," he laughs. "And, ha. What would you do here? Easy. You'd ice skate and make snowfolk," he says, playfully as he wraps his hands around the warm mug. "Have you been away from your family long?"

Chrystyne copies his movements as she wraps her own hands around her mug, once the gloves are pulled off and stashed in her coat pocket. "Most of the caravan is family, yes." she agrees to that fact. "Just a few stragglers like myself who seek to find a place for themselves." her smile doesn't quite reach her eyes though. Surely there is more to the story! "Ah but ice skating and snowfolk making would only last while the snow lasts, hmm?" amusement makes her eyes sparkle briefly. "Then I would be out of a way to earn my living here." she shakes her head. "Not long but it feels longer. Only a few seven days."

Ka'el lifts his drink to his lips to take a small sip. It's hot! But it feels good as it goes down the throat, yummmm. He exhales a quiet breath of appreciation. "Life can surprise us sometimes," he remarks. "Finding where we belong sometimes feels like … the biggest task in the world. But sometimes, things fall together in place without you even realizing and you end up finding yourself exactly where you need to be, unexpectedly. I hope such a fate comes to you," he says with an encouraging smile. "And, ha. When the ice melts and the snow gives way to spring, there will be plenty of things for you to do to keep yourself occupied, and employed! But," he grins, waving his hand dismissively. "Of course I only mean that you should come back to visit us after you leave. Especially during festivals. Perhaps with your family," he suggests. "Xanadu is very welcoming, and maybe they would like to see real snow sometime soon!" he laughs, happy to continue to chat with her until duty calls him elsewhere.

"To visit, certainly." murmurs Chrystyne before she falls silent to merely listen as she sips tentatively once the hot liquid has cooled enough to make it drinkable without scalding the entire length of her throat. "Perhaps instead of snow people I can make sand people." she grins briefly. "Perhaps my parents would take time away from duties to visit here too…" though her tone makes it seem as if she's doubtful of that. She too seems content to continue to chat about life about the weyr and other things though generally any topics are about herself she generally only skates the outer layers and gives no in-depth answers. Eventually though she realizes the time and… "My pardons but it is not a long trip back however it's not too terribly short either so I think this visit should be ending now so I can begin my trek back." she says as she stands. "It's been very nice meeting and chatting with you, Weyrleader. Indeed an honor."

Sand people! It'll be a new trend. By the time their conversation begins to wind down, Ka'el's mug is nearly empty. As she speaks of the time, his brows lift and he nods. "It's run away from us, hasn't it?" he says as he rises with her. "A sign of good company." He smiles kindly and nods his head to her. "It was a pleasure speaking with you, Chrystyne. I hope the opportunity presents itself to do so again, sooner rather than later. Enjoy the rest of your stay on Xanadu, however long it may last!" he says, bidding her adieu before he too moves off, heading back to work.

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