Another Holdbred Snagged for the Sands

Xanadu Weyr - Beach

The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.

The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

It's winter in Xanadu! Which means there's not too much going on by way of swimming. The water is even too cold for K'ael. Which might be to Pora's relief, since this means he's fully clothed and all. The bronzer is having a roast! He's got a firepit going, and is slow cooking some herdbeast over the flames. It looks like it's getting close to being done, and smells yummy. There's also a post of sauce sitting on some hot rocks which he's using to baste the roast. His gigantic bronze Azaeth is close-by, laying down with his head on his forepaws and watching the fire.

Having heard so many things about the mythical weyr beaches, it was only a matter of time before Pora came to check one out for herself. As she approaches the shore of the nearly-frozen lake there's a little bit of trepadation on her face, as if uncertain what amazing sight she might come across. This quickly fades into disappointment when she sees a pretty tame, ordinary scene out in front of her. Clearly, Winter was not the time for this particular excursion. However, a sniff of the air alerts her to the smell of delicious roasting herdbeast, and her eyes quickly locate the source. She's surprised to see the familiar bronzerider by the fire, along with the gigantic dragon. The smell is too alluring to resist, and in a moment she's making her way closer, smiling shyly. "Hi!"

Sure it was kinda cold, but the beach is still nice. It's pretty and all. Just cold. It's of course a little nicer in summer when you could run around and go swimming. But it still made a good place to do some wood-fire cooking. They usually frowned on building a fire in the forest, or in the caverns or something. K'ael looks up when he hears a familiar voice. "Oh, hi! Pora, right? You're the holdbred girl from the hot springs! Did you come to partake in some delicious herdbeast? It's just about ready. At least come sit for a while and warm up." He pokes at the fire a bit with a stick. "How are you doing? You liking Xanadu?"

Pora's shyness seems to spike a little at the description of her as the 'holdbred girl from the springs', but she covers it up with a quick smile as she approaches and makes her way to the nice warm fire. "Oh, it's not just for you and… your lifemate?" She asks, of the herdbeast, glancing between the roasted meat and the towering bronze. He certainly looks like he could at the whole beast. She hunkers down by the fire, trying to get warm. "I like it a lot… but it's very different from what people said."

K'ael grins to Pora. "Hm?" He laughs then. "Nah, Azaeth doesn't much care of cooked beast. He likes his meat raw and bloody. I'm just gonna eat my fill and put the rest of it in cold storage so I can make some sandwiches tomorrow. Gonna go for a picnic I think. There's plenty here though! So let me get it down and we can feast!" The bronzer works on getting the roast down and into a big pot so he can cut it and baste it a little more. He puts some slices on a plate and hands it to Pora. "Don't be shy if you want more." He starts in on his own slices then. "Different? What were people staying?"

"Really? Is that healthy for dragons?" She asks with a curious look in the direction of the hulking bronze. "… I guess that makes sense. Someone told me that before they mate, the dragons swoop down on beasts right out of the herd. I guess there wouldn't be time for cooking in that kind of situation." She looks quite thrilled at the meal. "Oh, this looks great! Thank you so much." She grabs a slice, digging right in. "Mmm… and people were saying lots of things. Like, nobody's have any clothes on." More chomping follows.

K'ael nods. "They're carnivorous. Like felines, basically. Dragons always get their meat fresh. If you're curious you can hang around the feeding pens to check it out. I dunno if you have the stomach for that sort of thing though." He grins. "Before a flight is different. There they're just interested in blood. For a lot of energy right before the flight, which can last a while and is tiring." The bronze rumbles a bit, as in affirmation. He laughs. "Well, people are a lot more… free, at the weyr. That's for sure. We still wear clothes though. Same as everyone."

Pora looks very appreciative as she continues to gobble up the offered meat. "Mmm. Well, I did grow up on a farm. If you wanted meat for dinner, you had to kill it. But… I'm not exactly sure seeing something like that would make for good entertainment." She chomps more of the food, and looks thoughtfully out at the frosty lake. "Yeah, but Desri was saying the beaches have lots of naked people… but I guess it's cold for that. Or she was messing with me… but that doesn't sound like her."

K'ael chuckles and nods. "Same here. It can be kind of entertaining, for like… educational purposes or what not. The cycle of life and all. Big dragon eats smaller herdbeast." Azaeth chomps his teeth a bit. "Heh. We're making him hungry, he says." K'ael blinks, and laughs then. "Mm… most people wear suits I guess. I dunno. I wear a suit just do I don't get sunburn in inconvenient locations. Some people don't though. You get used to it, and all. Too cold for swimming though, honestly. Maybe in a couple of months."

Pora gives the giant bronze a somewhat sheepish smile. "Sorry. You sure you don't want any of the cooked meat?" She asks, holding up one of the last morsels she hasn't eaten yet. "It's really good, if you like any cooked meat at all." She listens to K'ael correct a few of her notions about weyr life, to which she replies. "Oh." In a tone suggesting she's not certain whether to be disappointed or not.

Azaeth wrinkles his nose at the offering and huffs a bit. "Heh. He says no thank you. He can't understand why we feel the need to ruin it. If he's hungry he can just go hunt something out of the pens." The bronzer though is enjoying the ocoked meat. He chuckles a bit at her reaction. "Sorry, to disappoint. I'd run around naked for you now, but it's cold out. You'll have to take a raincheck." He laughs a bit, then eyes the bronze for a second. Then he digs through his pocket and pulls out a white knot. "Azaeth says you should take this. So you can learn about the dragons in the proper way."

Pora turns just a little red at the suggestion, shaking her head. "Uhm, that's really quite alright. You can keep your clothes on." She says with a little giggle, gulping down the last of the meal. "Mmm. Thank you. That really hit the spot. And…" She eyes the white knot handed to her, reaching out to take it with a curious expression. "… What's this mean? I've seen a couple people wearing them…" Her ignorance of weyr customs appears again.

K'ael chuckles. "Fair enough then. You're welcome. I like to do cookouts once in a while. You're welcome to stop by, though I can't really say when I'll be having the next one." He grins a bit. "This will make you a candidate. So you'll live with the rest of the candidates, have candidate chores, learn about the dragons… And then best of all, when the clutches hatch you'll get to stand on the sands to try and impress a dragon of your own! Even if you don't impress, you'll get to meet people and it'll be fun."

The idea seems to take a moment to sink in, as Pora's eyes dart between the knot and the man who gave it to her. "R… really? You think I could be a dragonrider?" This thought is apprently quite new to her. After it sinks in, a wide smile crosses her face. "Oh… thank you! Thank you, too!" She says, the second one directed to the bronze. "I won't let you down! I'll work really hard, I promise!"

K'ael grins and holds out the knot for her to take. Once she's taken it, he starts to clean up the beast and whatnot. "Sure, you'd be a good dragonrider I think." He chuckles a bit. "You're welcome. Now, don't work too hard. Or you'll make all the other candidates look bad." There's a few minutes to load up the extra food and whatnot onto one of Azaeth's pouch. It would be brought to storage later. The fire is already dying down, so the bronzer will leave it go out on its own. "Come on. I'll show you the barracks."

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