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.

The caverns are bustling as it's just past the lunch hour and off to one side sits a very tired-looking wherhandler eating what looks like half a sandwich. The rest of his food is simply being pushed around on his plate as he sighs, staring at it.

A gust of cooler air licks across the cave's interior as the main entry way opens. Tenebrous ambles in, a large travelling pack on his shoulders. A brief nod to some of the kitchenstaff has him coming over to one of the serving windows. There's a quiet conversation and a few small objects exchange hands before the forester backs away and looks around the room.

Hyrlon doesn't even notice one more body in the mix, instead pushing the greens around on his plate in no discernable pattern as he sighs once again.

"It won't do any tricks if you keep pushing it around like that," comes Tenebrous' dry voice. The man ghosts over to where Hyrlon sits, unbuckling a few of the clasps on his running bag. "You look like a handler without his Wher, sir."

Hyrlon starts when Fetch's voice comes from nowhere, then glances up sheepishly, "I can hope… Hysk's asleep… I can't seem to do the same." He sighs, then asks quietly, "How do you do it?"

Tenebrous shakes his head quietly. "I'm asleep right now, Herder. I'm just very, very good at what I do." He offers a brief smile before pulling out a chair. "May I sit?"

Hyrlon shrugs, "Sure… dont' see why not… but I meant really… how do you manage to attract so many people to you?"

Tenebrous blinks. "Sir…Hyrlon, I have…" He rubs one side of his face. "What in the name of Thread are you talking about?"

Hyrlon shrugs, "It seems like everyone likes you… I don't get it I guess… I mean, you're a good person, but all these people running off to spend time just with you… how do you do it?"

Tenebrous titlts his head. "I'm…afraid you have me confused with someone else, sir…I'm…a fetch…" He eyes the doorway, and the world beyond. "I'm…I live most of my life in the woods. The only things that come running for me are the bugs, and that's only in the…summer?" He pushes his hood back a little, revealing unfocused blue eyes.

Hyrlon chuckles, "Fetch… I'm not oblivious. I know Janelle's been spending a lot of time in your woods… so's M'nol's girl… Phylicia… and I hear-tell you've even managed to acquire the company of our illustrious junior weyrwoman, Thea."

Tenebrous smiles slightly. "Handler, Phylicia is my apprentice, as sanctioned by the hall. Her choice of study is herb lore and botany. And for Thread's sake, man…the woods aren't mine. I don't own them. Not at all." He tilts his head then. "Janelle is…my friend." He says the word like it's from a foreign language. "She's very kind…"

Hyrlon nods, returning the grin, "I know… what I don't know is how you manage to effortlessly surround yourself with beautiful women, not matter what your interest in them…" He sighs, "Especially when I can't even manage one."

Tenebrous laughs a little. "My apprentice came to me because of a lack of options, not a choice…and the Weyrwoman's injuries required supervision. My apprentice and I were available with a quiet place to rest. I highly doubt that, if asked, the Weyrwoman would tell you that she injured herself to spend time in our company." A pause. "As for Janelle…" He shrugs. "She's my friend. We both prefer the woods and quiet to the more…vivid activities of the Wher. She's the only one that willingly spends time around me, I think."

Hyrlon sighs again, "I doubt that, but it's true that she kept disappearing to see you…"

Tenebrous shrugs. "And if she does? She seeks the stillness of the forest, sir. That is my domain, even if it's not my property, so I should think our friendship is at least as much coincidental as anything I could have done."

Hyrlon sighs, eyeing the greens on his plate as if they were personally at fault for his current conflicted state, "I just don't…"

Tenebrous tilts his head. "You appear to have misgivings about the time I spend in her company. I assure you, I have done nothing to harm her or mistreat her in any way…"

Hyrlon shakes his head, "I know that, Fetch… I wouldn't be being nice to you if I thought otherwise…"

Tenebrous murmurs, "And yet you do not deny my statement about misgivings. Have I done something to offend you?"

Hyrlon shakes his head again, "no… well, not besides calling me sir all the time." He chuckles softly, "Really it's her I want to understand…"

Tenebrous ahhs. "You have feelings for her then?" He heans back a little. "I begin to understand." He inhales a little. "Perhaps it would set your mind at ease to know that, to the best of my knowledge, Janelle and I are…friends."

Hyrlon manages to quirk half a smile, one corner of his mouth pulling up a bit, "She said the same and I believe her as much as I believe you." He pauses, then hurriedly adds, "Which is a lot. I'm just lost in all of this… she wants to leave… to go somewhere else to earn her Journeyman's knot…"

Tenebrous nods slowly. "Yes, Handler. She does. ANd it is her right to do so. We'll be going to Rubicon soon, her and I, to explore just that. I have business up there, and know the area. I offered her the chance to come with me, and she accepted. Perhaps…you should join us?"

Hyrlon nods, "I probably will… but if I go where she goes, her concerns will stay the same. If I don't, then I may never see her again… not much room for travel for a wherhandler." He sighs again, "I convinced her to talk to Satoris about it and see what he has to say, but it's still her choice."

Tenebrous nosd again. "Then you must respect that, I'm afraid. Janelle's choices are her own to make." He smiles slightly. "DO you kow how long it took me to coax her into swimming last fall?"

Hyrlon nods as well, "They are and I wouldn't want it otherwise…" He cocks one eyebrow and asks quietly, "You got her to swim?"

Tenebrous murmurs, "She came to join me, but yes, Handler. Without pretense, without string or attachment or social convention."

Hyrlon casts his eyes back to his plate with a little bit of trepidation, "When? she never mentioned it…"

Tenebrous shrugs. "Awhile back. It was brief, and we never did it again." He smiles. "I think it was more for Jansk than anything. Janelle tells me that the little one loves to swim, and so she does. We made quite a time of it before she went to work that night."

Hyrlon's shoulders tense for a second, then his brain kicks in as to what Fetch /actually/ means and he sighs, "Hysk likes to climb… what kind of time?"

Tenebrous mms quietly. "A time that you should ask her about, I think, if you're so curious." He stands slowly. "I am not familiar with jealousy myself, sir, as I have very little to be jealous of…but it is not a mantle that you wear well."

Hyrlon sighs, "No one does… I'm trying not to be… but it's hard. I've never felt quite like this about anyone…"

Tenebrous begins buckling his satchel secure again, murmuring, "It's actually very, very easy, and that's what I don't understand about everyone in this place. It's why Janelle and I spend so much time together. No one else gets it."

There's a brief popping in the air as a brown firelizard appears in the air near Tenebrous' head, churring rapidly. Tenebrous jerks his head around, eyeing the flit with a mixture of shock and apprehension. "I haven't even taken a bath yet!" he exclaims.

Hyrlon shrugs, "Everyone's different, Fetch… And she's special." His head comes up with great speed when the flit appears, then he just kind of stares at it, "I thought yours was gold, Fetch."

Tenebrous blinks. "Mine is, without a doubt, a gold….this one isn't mine…" The last strap of his satchel gets settled into place and he glances back at the flit. "We have an *infirmary*, little one…" The brown simply snorts and pops *between* once again. Tenebrous only whips his hood up again to ward off the crisp air. "Yes, Hyrlon. She's very special…as in not your run of the mill hold girl. Bear that in mind and you'll be fine." He starts towards the doors out at a trot. "Not even time for a damned bath," he growls.

Hyrlon nods slowly and smiles, "We're going walking. Baby steps." He watches Fetch near the exit and quirks an eyebrow, "Safe trip."

Tenebrous snorts at the doorway. "If only."

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