Side-line Gig

Xanadu Weyr - Craft Complex

The large area has been separated into a variety of smaller sitting areas, couches and chairs organized into rings and squares, tables set where they can be used easily. A few desks for studying are pushed against one wall, while another has a variety of doors spaced along side it, opening into private quarters for the ranking crafters posted at the weyr. A set of double doors opens to the general apprentice dorms, and a long hallway stretches outwards, providing access to the various workshops.

The initial missive that got sent after the latest issue of the Newes found itself lying about the Weyr, read only: 'I'm interested in hearing more about this possible position. ~Ashkeia' And bore upon it a sample of her talent, the sketch that of a feline caught mid-pounce, its shadow almost touching the poor trundlebug about to become a toy. In the communication that followed, a meeting was arranged, and that's what has the plump apprentice sitting alone at one of the casual areas within the Crafters' common room. She's even gone so far as to set up a little tray on the nearby table, a pitcher of klah and some cookies filched from the main caverns. Leaning back comfortably in her seat, mug that still has steam escaping out the top in hand, she's occupying herself with reading a book as she waits.

O'ric is not one to normally be late for things, but it appears that his disgreement with the Weyrleader has had an effect on more than just the Newes. Regardless of reasons it's a good fifteen/twenty minutes after the arranged time that he eventually turns up at the common room, bringing with him a small notepad and the note that Ashkeia had sent initially. His approach to her table is fairly swift indicating that he had asked around for a description before arriving, and his greeting is far cheerier than most would have anticipated from his arrival expression, "Heya. Ashkeia?" He pauses, grinning as he realised that with his pronunciation it rhymed. "Hope I haven't kept you waiting too long."

Good thing indeed she's got that book, and as the minutes tick past there's only the occasional glance up towards the door whenever someone happens to pass through, a quick check of shoulder knots. So when the knot of a brownrider appears, her attention lingers but she's not inclined to embarrass herself with a hail only to discover she's got the wrong rider. Book closes only once he's approached, and she snorts softly for the rhyme as she leans forward to set it on the table before standing to offer her hand. "That's right. And you must be O'ric, unless he's sent a stand-in?" Smiling for the joke, she shakes her head. "Not terribly. You've given me a chance to catch up on the most recent romantic Harper tale that's got all the girls in a twitter. Klah?"

O'ric nods, "Unfortunately you get the real thing." His handshake is warm, but brief, and he blinks slightly at the mention of a romantic tale, expression clearly stating his thoughts on the matter - why would you? He quickly shakes his head at her offer, "Not just now, tends to put me to sleep to be honest." There's a pause that follows, slightly awkward as he thinks how best to proceed, but eventually he just asks, "Good time to talk about the drawings or do you want to finish your drink first?"

Ashkeia's smile only turns brighter for that expression, but she doesn't answer the unspoken question. "Help yourself if you change your mind," she says as she sits again, the offer to pour for him only happening the once. "That is why we're both here, isn't it? I can drink and talk, though I haven't yet attempted to both at the same time. So unless you're afraid I'm going to dump it over your head…?" Amused. She gestures for him to sit down already, brows lifting. "Forgive me but I do have to say, that mention was the most interesting thing about your last presentation."

O'ric stares for a second, trying to figure out if she's joking or not and eventually settling on laughing and hoping that she was. "I've had worse dumped over me." He slips into the indicated chair as she speaks, unconsciously leaning a little away from her in the process. "I know." He nods, in total agreement regarding the blandness of the Newes recently. "Seems our new Weyrleader isn't entirely enamoured with the idea of a journalist in the weyr, which I suppose I can understand a little. New guy, doesn't want to be seen condoning gossip. Hopefully we can get back to normal soon, but in the meantime I figure we can spice things up a bit with some pictures if I can find someone good enough and willing enough to help."

His hope is correct, Ashkeia's laughter joining his for the brief duration. "A shame," she says, sounding genuinely sympathetic. "Well, I'll let my work speak for itself, and you can decide on 'good enough' or not." She nods towards the sketch pad on the table. "As for willing… that depends entirely upon you. Just what sort of illustrations are you looking for?"

O'ric looks relieved as Ashkeia laughs as well, relaxing into the chair and reaching for the sketchbook. "People mostly, I guess? To be honest I'm not sure. Here." With this he offers over his own notebook for perusal, in it a few boring stories about Weyr and Hold happenings - still no word on Lady Johanna, bedbugs in the dorms, that sort of thing. "What sort of thing would you think of to go with those? Wouldn't be looking for more than maybe two an edition, but we do have to make three copies." At the rear of the notebook, behind all the stories, is a loose sheet that has an extremely poor drawing of a runner on it - three legged and with a speech bubble coming from it saying 'I am a runner'.

Ashkeia nods as she reaches to take the notebook. "Might want to skip past the first quarter or so, then," she notes of her own sketchbook, the foremost pages primarily covered with nature studies. The people — and anatomical studies — show up later on, with a few pages devoted entirely to hands, feet and ears. "Ick." One could assume she's reached the notes about bedbugs. "Well, an irritated laundress hanging out sheets, or a rumpled bed with creepy crawlies on it for this," tapping the page, "would be most obvious. Not sure about Lady Johanna… a frowning Healer?" She tsks, her lip curling a little in disappointment. "A baby for the birth announcement. There's not much particularly inspiring here. Do the pictures necessarily have to accompany a story? —Cute." Yes, she's just flipped to the last page. "Your work?" she asks, holding it up.

O'ric flick-flick-flicks through looking confused and impressed by turn. "Don't suppose you know what a bed bug looks like close up?" he doesn't look up as he speaks, turning one page round to try to get a better perspective. "Lady Johanna… I sort of thought maybe the shelf of the Hold or something. It doesn't need to be actual people unless you really wanted to. Could slip in a nude or two, see if anyone actually noticed." This last trails off into silence as his head jerks up and he reaches for the sheet. "Um… yeah. Was an idea for a present for someone." More mumbled than spoken he adds, "I promised I'd get her a runner if I ever found a million marks."

"No," Ashkeia admits. "But it shouldn't be too hard to find out. There's undoubtedly an illustration in a Healer's manual somewhere, and there'll be plenty of dead ones to study soon enough." Fingers crossed, anyway. She tips her head consideringly for mention of the Hold, but doesn't get too far before 'nude' is mentioned. Brows climbing towards the ceiling, she gives him a very long, penetrating look. Is he serious? "Nudes." No inflection. "That's sweet," she decides after, relinquishing the sheet to his grab. "In the absence of a million marks, a picture is the next best thing?"

O'ric sort of shrinks a little under her look, "Not really nudes. Joke. Bet some people would like it though." Quickly he latches onto the change of subject, even if it does drift them off the topic they should be discussing, but giving him something to focus on that isn't Ashkeia and her pointy looks, "Actually I'd sort of thought about getting someone to make her one. A little one she could sit on her dresser or something." He pauses, then shrugs, "Stupid really."

Ashkeia shifts her gaze to the tray, leaving O'ric in the clear as she selects a cookie with much care and deliberation. "No, it's not stupid at all. You should go along with the idea. I'm sure a Woodcrafter could probably oblige, or there's some sculptors amongst the potters in the Glasscraft. Or, if you've got a few extra marks, Journeyman Moria is a 'blower." Helpfully offered. "Do you mind waiting here a moment?"

"Woodcraft." O'ric nods, "Hadn't really thought of trying them. Hadn't thought much past the it'd be fun to do to be honest. I'm not too good on the art side of things, in case you couldn't tell." He risks a joke, but as she asks him to wait he blinks. "Um… sure. Don't need to run off or anything, I can work on a couple of stories or something."

"Don't worry, it's not obvious," Ashkeia replies teasingly, her voice dropped almost to a whisper as she glances back at the brownrider and tips him a wink. "Don't sell yourself short though. The written word, when properly wielded, can be as much art as any painting or figurine." She lifts her hand palm up, half-eaten cookie being wiggled at him. "There's just something I'd like to show you, before we discuss this," the cookie redirecting to the sketchbook, "any further." Rising, she turns towards the doors that lead to the apprentice dorms, and won't be gone much longer than maybe five minutes. When she returns, she has a second, much smaller sketchpad in hand.

O'ric's healt tilts to one side as he considers Ashkeia, her comment suddenly casting her in a different light - intriguing instead of someone to be slightly scared of. "Can be far more hurtful than a weapon too, if you use it right." His tone suggest he has experience in that particular use, but he doesn't comment further and merely nods as she heads off, staring after her for a moment before nodding and then going back to looking through her book.

The slightly pained expression Ashkeia left with is gone by the time she's returned, but it could suggest some experience of her own with the hurtfulness of words. A small clearing of her throat as she sits back down is simply to let him know she's there if he's become too absorbed. "I would not welcome word getting out about this," she tells him quite seriously once she's got his attention again. "And I will know exactly who did the telling if it ever does." Possibly going back to slightly scary, but she will relinquish the new sketchpad into his possession. "Art… has many forms. And the human body can be a beautiful thing." Nudes. Incredibly tasteful ones, but still. Men and women both.

O'ric did indeed need the cough to drag him back from his thoughts, and as she tells him of 'that' book his eyes go wide and he stares at it almost as if expecting it to jump up and bite him. "May I?" Presumably he means to look through, one sketch book abandoned in favour of the other. "I swear I won't tell anyone and.. if it helps any I was going to offer you the position if you wanted it before you even brought that one out." A pause and he adds, "And I was still joking about the nudes for the Newes. Weyrleader might appreciate them, but I'm more scared of the Weyrwoman than I am of him."

Ashkeia nods for the 'may I,' amusement entering her expression for the look of his. "They would certainly 'spice things up,'" she notes, giving him a grin. "Let's simply call it… an example of the extent of my willingness. She does have something of a formidable reputation. I've perhaps been fortunate in not making her formal acquaintance. So tell me, what sort of schedule would we be looking at? Obviously, my work for my Craft must take precedence. But as you say, only one or two sketches per publication, it shouldn't require too much time. I imagine all you're really after are quite simple line drawings, yes? Not," the incredibly detailed and shaded pieces he's currently looking at, her nod finishes for her.

O'ric takes a moment to answer, attention more on the sketches than on his companion - until the point he realises that is what he's actually doing. "Um… What? Oh, right. Yeah. Well we only do one a month so not that much, and just simple things. Maybe a title for the Newes? Something prettier than it is at the moment. Just to make it a bit more noticeable, especially since we're really restricted just now." Trying to make it look like he's paging back having forgotten something he flicks back a couple ofpages to glance at a drawing again, then closes the book and offers it back. "So should I take it that's a yes, then?"

Ashkeia at least doesn't seem put out by the preoccupation with that particular sketchbook, and is polite enough to hide her smirk behind her reclaimed klah mug. "I'll work up a few different designs for you to choose from," she offers. "Yes, definitely." Mug set down, book accepted back, she lifts a shoulder in a shrug. "I've greatly enjoyed reading it since I was posted here, and I would hate to see it disappear simply because one man has an issue with the content. If I can help in some way, to keep people's interest in it alive…." Glancing up to make a time check, she wrinkles her nose. "Forgive me, but I'm afraid I must cut this short. My Journeyman is far less lenient towards tardiness than I am. I'll send Malaise — she's my green — to you tomorrow with some concepts. I hope it will be a pleasure working with you, O'ric," she adds as she rises, collecting her other sketchbook. She can't linger too long for polite farewells, before she really must hustle off to the workshop for the rest of her day.

O'ric nods, staying seated for a moment after she stands, "Nice to know someone appreciates it, got a black eye over it when people first found out who did it." Not to mention several threats as well. "Welcome to the team Ashkeia." He nods as she mentions sending the green, "I should be here, I think. If you ever need to find it my place is off the coastal road, just look for the one with the flowers." Which sadly describes quite a few of them. "I'll speak to you soon," is his closing farwell, though after she hurries off he suddenly remembers, "What was the name of that glasscrafter?!?" But by then she's gone and it will just have to wait for another day.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License