A Glasscrafter's Request

Xanadu Weyr - Thea's Weyr

This clearing is sheltered by a thick canopy of trees, which seems supported at its centre by an immense, wild-growing fellis tree. Hanging from one of its high branches is a swing, made up of two ropes and a seat of softwood and leather. The grass is tall here and interrupted in places by clusters of white and blue alyssum. Alyssum covers the indentation of the wallow, remaining hardy despite being continually crushed. The constant sound of herdbeast in their pens can be heard close-by, though its source is invisible through the foliage.

The cottage itself is made of white softwood, like birch, though creeping vines cover all four of its walls from the outside and even encircle the brown-shuttered windows and matching door. The interior floor and walls are raw wood that has been sanded and lacquered to make them smooth and, for the most part, the inside is quite spacious. The bedroom area is plain, an ornately carved wardrobe providing the only real decoration, and at the rear of the cottage a brown lattice has been built into the doorway to a makeshift kitchen, where a breakfast nook has been carved into the wall, along with short counters. On one counter, a circle has been cut out and fixed with a clay-fired bowl with a nearby matching pitcher.

The evening is surprisingly warm, given the time of the year, which is to say…not frigid. The sun is low in the trees, casting strange, gold and green patters around the area, and some few of the nightbirds have begun their drowsy song. When Reconciliation appears, it's not in the air in front of the Weyr, or in the clearing near Seryth. It's in a very small void in the trees off to one side, a spot that Tenebrous frequently uses as his entrypoint when he's trying to remain unseen. Curious then, that Cila should use it as well. There's a brief gasp in the air as she appears, wings flapping to keep her aloft, and she flutters towards the cottage door, trilling out a questioning little song.

Thea's door swings open, but not because of any firelizard noises, no. Behind Cila there is an amused-sounding rumble from Seryth and that is likely the reason the weyrwoman has answered. "Hello Cila," Thea's arm is raised for the tiny gold to land if she wishes. "Why are you here?" Her eyes sweep the clearing but snow…it clings to every tree branch and leafless shrub, hiding anyone who might be there. She doesn't see anyone, but experience has taught her that means nothing. She folds her arms. leans against the doorframe and waits.

Moria is following a much more conventional path than Cila, stomping through the snow from the main forest trail with soft grumblings at the cold, wet and sticky stuff clinging all over her legs. "Sharding snow. It never snowed like this at Landing while I was there. Why does it have to snow here, now?" The glascrafter stumbles over an occluded root and swears a little more loudly as she catches herself on a tree, shaking the offending foot free. "And why doesn't she live in a queen's weyr like normal?!" This question is full of exasperation as Moriana reaches the clearing, not looking up yet from her awkward footing.

Reconciliation flutters closer to Thea's outstretched hand for a moment, talons extended for a land, but then Moria speaks and she squawks in surprise, quick flaps taking her up to the edge of the rooftop. There she lands amidst the snow, admonishing Moria with tiny squeaks and churrs. With a final mrrring sound, she looks down at the top of Thea's head, stilling herself and wiggling her behind for a jump… …which promptly causes the snow under her backside to slide. With a distressed keen, she goes careening down the slant of the roof, a fair-sized gobbet of snow pile-driving the little queen into a soft mount of fresh powder below. There's no motion after the fracas has stopped, but she can clearly be heard muttering to herself with little chirps.

Grumbling muttering glasscrafters in the middle of the woods in the evening tend to draw attention and so it is that Thea's attention is drawn to the woman headed down her path. Firelizards! Always getting themselves in trouble. Thea shakes her head at Cila, but she is in 'tough-love' mode when it comes to them. They sink or swim in life. Moria, however has a lifted hand and a call of welcome. "Hello? It's Moria, yeah? Are you lost?"

Moria looks up sharply as Cila makes all sorts of firelizard sounds at her, and promptly stumbles again. Hissing in irritation, the crafter pushes herself upright one more time, and bobs her head to Thea. "Yes, it's Moria," she says as she dusts herself off. "Ah, no, I'm not lost. I got a note asking me to stop by when I had a free moment?" She gives the rider a puzzled look, since she has no idea what Thea would want with her. Cila, in her new pile of snow, get's a lifted brow in regard. "Is that the same gold from the infirmary?"

As if in answer, Cila's head pops out of the drift, chuffing a little and shaking snow from her tiny headknobs. Another series of irritated little sounds and she's airborne again, lifting away to circle Thea's head a few times. Only then does she land on Thea's hand, snaking her small head up to look the weyrwoman in the eye. Something transpires there, a look from the little queen to the rider, and she suddenly cackles happily.

Thea chuckles at the puzzled look on Moria's face. "I was just wondering what you're doing wandering about in the snow, since you obviously look like you aren't out to enjoy the winter scenery." She's momentarily diverted as the firelizard lands on her shoulder. Her shoulders tense as she blinks at down at the tiny gold with a look of bewildered concern before relaxing, her lips curve and she raises one finger to scritch at the gold's chin. "Yeah, this is Cila, she looks to Tenebrous." She turns towards Moria, "Ah, you got the note then? Come on in, it's freezing out here." She stands aside to allow Moria to enter the cottage and gives the area another sweeping look. "Where's your servant, Cila?"

Moria finishes dusting herself off as Cila performs her acrobatics, ignoring the firelizard for the most part. Once clear of snow, Moria nods to Thea. "One of the benefits of the glassworks is it is always warm. It makes snow nigh on unbearable," she explains with a grimace. "Yes, I got the note. I'm a little confused though, as to why you wanted to see me?" She's still puzzled, but moves into the cottage as directed, not wanting Thea's home to get cold. "Ah, I appreciate you recommending Tenebrous to help me find that fern. He brought me a sample a few days back," she adds as she enters the cottage.

Reconciliation stares at Thea for another few moments before unfurling her wings again. Her little head snakes around to a spot several hundred feet back in the woods before she hiccups with enough force to topple her from Thea's hand…and promptly vanishes *between* again.

Thea peers out into the gathering gloom in the direction that the tiny gold is staring. As Cila disappears, she calls quietly, "Tenebrous? It's okay if you want to come." She waits for a moment longer, then follows Moria into the room and shuts the door. "Ah, you did get the fern then? I'm so glad. You are quite welcome." She's moving to toss another log on the fire, then gestures towards the table. "Have a seat?" She moves to the cupboard, "Would you like some tea?" She's removing a large cookie tin and returning to the table with it. "Your trip north, Moria. I want to help."

Moria blinks in startlement as Cila vanishes and Thea calls out into the forest. The woman peers around curiously before shrugging and glancing back to Thea. "I did, but…" and she trails off as the rest of Thea's words sink in. "You know about that?" she asks, staring at Thea open-mouthed. "How did you know about that? Tenebrous only told me a few days ago that he would have to check stores for the plant, and I just found out we don't have enough on hand for the project…" Moria trails off, then remembers her manners. "Oh, y-yes. Tea would be fine. C-can I help with anything?"

From a spot distinctly NOT in the direction that Cila was looking, a low chuckle sounds. Very slowly, a mound of snow shivers into life near the edge of the weyr and a white form rises up from it. What is soon revealed to be a white blanket is peeled away from the long, hooded coat that Tenebrous usually wears. For a moment, all he does is look in the direction of the dragon before turning to regard the cottage. "Still here," he murmurs to himself. Then he's moving to the recently closed door and politely knocking on it. "Your invitation is generous," he rumbles into the coming evening. "I wasn't sure you…were home," he offers by way of explanation when the door is opened. Moria receives a little nod. "Glasscrafter," he murmurs.

Thea turns towards the cupboard, opening a door. "Oh, sure!" She points with her chin towards the fireplace. "Wanna bring the kettle over?" So it is Xanadu, but Thea does things the old-fashioned way. "I saw Tenebrous the other night. Going North was my idea. It's full summer back in my home hold. All the plants are growing now…. And know the area well." She returns to the table juggling mugs and a few tins of tea, setting them down with a rattle of crockery for the knock at the door. She's over to open it and her smile has no surprise whatsoever in it. "Cila never hangs around without you nearby." She moves back to allow him to enter, shuts the door. "We were gonna have some tea. Join us?"

Moria nods as Thea directs her to manage the kettle, and collects that item with appropriate care for the heat it emanates. "Oh. I hadn't realized he had discussed it with anyone," she admits sheepishly, ducking her head as she approaches the table. The knock on the door has Moria pausing, kettle poised over the first cup, and watching as Thea opens it. "Healer Tenebrous," she responds to his greeting, selfconciously fingering her new knot with her free hand.

Tenebrous nods once to Thea with a little smile. "She goes…certain places without me, but in this case, I thought it prudent to follow." He nods to Moria, murmuring, "Not much of a healer. Just a fetch. Nothing more." One hand runs over the top of a piece of furniture by the door, mouthing the words 'Don't be a stranger…' But then he's pulling a seat over by the door and settling into it.

Thea heads back to the kitchenette, rummages in the cupboard and finds another mug for Tenebrous. She returns to the table with it. Moria's comment has her making a hmming noise in her throat. "Saw him outside the Infirmary the other night. The subject came up. I… forget how exactly." She drops a teabag each cup. "It is rosehips, and hibiscus flower, if you two don't mind that sort of tea?" Watching at the healer glides past her dresser with an apparent caress for the furniture. She shakes her head and as always objects, "Not just a fetch. And do you want to join us over here?"
Moria shakes her head slightly as Tenebrous denies his rank, frowning slightly, but she doesn't press the issue - Thea seems to be doing just fine on that front. "I don't mind that type of tea at all," she murmurs, adding hot water to each mug before returning the kettle to the fireplace. "Thank you for the recommendation about going North, Thea. It will help a great deal in getting this project completed on time," she murmurs.

Tenebrous shakes his head. "I'll scoot over when the tea's done. There's no sense in cluttering up the table before the time is right." Eyes stray to a bare patch no the floor for a moment before he closes his eyes. A moment later, there's a little gasp of air, and Reconciliation appears. Strangely, she's over by a bed this time, crouched on the floor off to one side of it. She offers a little whuffle and begins waddling over towards her … servant.

Thea slides into a chair, waving away Moria's thanks, "You're welcome. It was the first thing that came to mind when he mentioned stores and nothing growing here because of winter." She shrugs, "I've not been back since I left it nearly four turns ago." Tenebrous earns a browraise, but it is the tiny gold's appearance in hat particular spot that has her wincing and turning her gaze towards the healer. "Tea's done!" She sings out, after a concerned glance his way.

Moria nods, holding silent for the moment as she tests the temperature of her tea, blowing on it gently to make it cool enough to drink. The woman watches the gold firelizard appear once more, and glances curiously from the tiny creature to it's owner. She shakes her head slightly, lips twitching, though whether it is toward a smile or a frown is anyone's guess. Moria seats herself across from Thea and watches Tenebrous through blond lashes.

It's not long before Reconciliation's stately little waddle carries her over to Tenebrous' feet, and with a few wingflaps, she's scaling her way up to his shoulder quickly. "Come, young miss," he murmurs to her. "It's time for tea." He stands a moment later, bringing his chair over to the table. Thea gets a polite nod as he accepts the mug of tea, and for a moment, he merely inhales its aroma. "For a dried stock, you've kept the tea's contents remarkably fresh," he notes with approval. Then he sips, and nods again before wafting some of the rose-scented fumes to his gold. "Rose," he murmurs to her quietly. "If that bronze you were sniffing about earlier today brings you anything that smells like this, I expect you to tell me," he prods gently. "You're still too young for that sort of thing."

Thea steps to the cupboard selects another tin and returns to the table, glancing at the other two with a gentle smile. "My ma sent these - her special recipe." Removing the lid reveals some sort of fruit-studded cookies as the tin is placed where they can both reach them easily. She slides gracefully into a chair, glancing again at Cila at the healer's mention of a bronze. "So about this trip. Shall I send word to the Hold and enquire on your behalf Moria?"

Moria raises a brow at Tenebrous' words to his gold and shakes her head with a smile. "You treat her like a child. It is quite refreshing. Most people treat their firelizards like pets," she remarks. Thea's cookies get a curious look, and she takes one gingerly. After a tenative sniff, she takes a small bite, then closes her eyes and sighs expressively. "These are very good!" she murmurs, opening her eyes again to grin at Thea. "Your mother makes wonderful cookies." Ah, yes, business… "If you would, Thea, I'd appreciate it. The Glasscraft is willing to pay for the materials, and I can actually negotiate now, since I was promoted." She strokes her new knot absently and takes another drink.

"Having never had a pet before, I'm afraid I have no comparison to make," Tenebrous murmurs between sips of tea. "It seemed the thing to do, seeing as she looks to me as a friend and loved one, rather than a keeper or owner. Even my master's firelizard was more a companion to me than simply a creature whose company I kept for my own comfort." Then he's quieting himself, listening to Thea and Moria discuss their business. A cookie is accepted with a quiet nod, but he does not take more than a bite. The rest is quietly wrapped in a napkin, perhaps for later? The gold on his shoulder lays her head down, curious draconic eyes watching Thea as she moves.

"Congratulations for that, Journeywoman Moria," Thea responds with a graceful nod towards her knot. After a murmured thanks, she adds, "Dried apricots, walnuts, oatmeal and nutmeg with some sort of aromatic seed that I don't know the name of." She slants a questioning look towards Tenebrous. Perhaps he knows? When he wraps the cookie, she reaches out a hand with gentle fingers to tap the back of his hand and a slight head-shake. "It will mold and you'll be sick with the spores you inhale. They are too moist… and grain mold can be deadly." Her eyes return to Moria, "Payment… I will leave that between the Hall and Lord Thadan."

Moria listens as Tenebrous speaks, nodding slightly as he explains his reason for his behavior. "I can see how that would be the logical approach for you. As I said, it is refreshing, and I approve," she responds. Thea's warning about the cookies has her finishing her own cookie with a few quick bites, washing the crumbs down with the tea. "Just please be sure he knows we are willing to pay, and not wanting to just make free with the plant," she answers Thea, smiling. "I really appreciate how much you are doing to help me, and I'll make sure the Weyrwoman knows about it. This is for her wedding gift to Lady Ryeira, after all."

Tenebrous chuckles quietly. "And here I was saving it for the walk back to Stormhaven." He offers the weyrwoman a bit of a knowing smile and then unwraps it. "Such things are to be savored." Cila even has the good grace to sniff the cookie with an appreciated trill before Tenebrous takes another bite. The mention of Ryeira of Rubicon has him raising an eyebrow over another bite, but again, his silence holds. It's not nice to talk with your mouth full, anyway.

"Of course, I will mention it, for unfortunately if I do not, Lord Thadan would ask." Thea's voice is mildly pained admitting this. "Were it my hold…" She shakes her head, leaving the words unfinished. That chuckle Tenebrous does draws a half-smile from her lips, "I'll send the tin with you if you promise to eat them all within a sevenday." The silence stretches between the three with only an occasional pop of sap sputtering in the nearly-burned logs and the soft clink as chunks fall between the grate to the coals below while she sips her tea. Finally she rouses, "So… transport? I have harness for two passengers." Her eyes waver between the two. "How many are coming? And will we need more dragons?" There's apprehension in her tone, "Cold Stone Hold… is not used to dragons."

Moria smiles in understanding of Thea's statement regarding Lord Thadan, and relaxes to enjoy the rest of her tea. When Thea's breaks the brief quiet with her query, she makes a thoughtful sound. "Honestly, I do not know how many people we will need. I am unfamiliar with the specifics and peculiarties of the plant. I believe the Healer can answer that better?" She nods her head to Tenebrous, ceding the answer to him.

Tenebrous waves a hand quietly at the offer of the Tin. "Depending on how soon we leave, I might not get a chance to finish them. A waste of such proportions would be intolerable. I mean…if that were to happen, I'd feel obligated to say…" He purses his lips. "…throw myself over a waterfall." And he even says that with a straight face, though Cila's mouth does loll open in silent laughter. Moria's question receives a shrug. "Based on the sample I gave you and its yield, I don't know that we'll be able to gather enough materials in a timely manner if I'm the only one looking. To that end, my apprentice will be joining us on this trip, if there are no objections. Between the two of us, we should be able to gather what's required, though I'll have a much better idea about said requirements once we land and I have a chance to look around." At the mention of dragons, Tenebrous waves a hand. "We'll need at least one more, but I believe I can take care of that. I know someone in the transport wing that can help us."

Thea's eyes slide from Moria to Tenebrous. Her lips twitch into a smile as the corners of her eyes crinkle. "Then I shall send a few with each of you to enjoy with your klah in the morning so you shall not catch your death of mold poisoning… or landing too hard in waterfall pools." She listens intently to the rest, the tension leaks from her shoulders the mention of needing only two dragons. "You'll need guides in the mountain forests." Thea points out quietly. "While I am knowledgeable with the terrain, my brother Tharen, knows the further reaches better than I. We can both help you search and harvest." Her eyes once again shift between the two. "When do you wish to go?"

Moria nods as she listens to Tenebrous' evaluation of their needs, and offers, "It doesn't all have to be gathered in one day, but the shorter time it takes, the better. The processing time for the gathered plant can range from one or two days to over a sevenday, depending on humidity. If it takes several days to gather the pillarwood, I'll try to have our work sent back daily for Tresha, my apprentice friend who is handling part of the project, to start processing." She pauses thoughtfully, considering the 'when' aspect, and finishes, "The sooner the better. Within the month, definetly. Within the sevenday would be best." And belatedly, "Thank you, the cookies are quite good, and I appreciate your willingness to share."

Tenebrous mms quietly. "Glasscrafter, while I could reliably find the plant supply that you need here, by Xanadu in the summer, I have no idea what to expect to the north." He nods to Thea's comment about a guide. "A valuable asset, to be sure. He could brief the teams before we actually started our search, and then accompany my apprentice's team for added support, if it comes to that. And as to when?" He spreads his hands. "Tomorrow, or perhaps the day after. I only need enough time to speak with the other rider and for my apprentice to ready herself."

"My sevenday will be cleared with the Weyrstaff. I'm sure the Weyrwoman will allow me to leave the Weyr since this is for help in making a gift for her friend." Thea smiles briefly at both of them. "I will write to Lord Thadan tonight and have the answer by the wee hours of our morning." Another wry smile, "He is nothing if not efficient and prompt. And I offer him something he wishes." A pained look crosses her face. "My brother's return." She rises abruptly, her mug thumps upon the table, sloshing the tea. She steps to a drawer, selects a sheet of heavy vellum and a pen. "Shep will deliver and I shall send him to each of you with the answer." She casts an apologetic look to each in turn. "He will… awaken you by three of the clock, I'm afraid."

Moria doesn't ask what Thea means about her brother - there will be plenty of time for that later. Right now, she's finishing her tea and placing her cup on the table. "Well, if you're expecting an answer that soon, I should go make arrangements for my absence as well," she says, rising. "Thea, again, thank you for your help. It makes this project much easier to complete. Tenebrous, thank you for your willingness to traipse all over the place to find these plants for me. I know that is beyond what your duties would normally entail." With another murmured 'thank you both' beyond what she's already said, the crafter tucks her chair against the table and takes her leave of the rider and healer.

Tenebrous raises a brow to Thea's comment about her father's wakefulness with a shake of his head. "I had a patient in a cave that some consider to be barely livable. I wonder what his excuse is at 3am." Moria's comment receives a nod. "Truth be told, Journeywoman, that is exactly what my job is. I fetch things." He raises his mug to the woman as she leaves, but does not stand to join her, merely turning towards the fire instead. His little gold is helped down into the crook of his arm, where she promptly falls into a doze, and with a somewhat pensive look on his face, he gazes into the flames.

Thea returns to the table with the stationary, places it upon the table with the pen as Moria speaks. She inclines her head to the glasscrafter, walks with her to the door, then shuts it softly behind her. As she is returning to the table Tenebrous speaks. "Well, they are several hours earlier than we are," she explains the late hour. "Cold Stone Hold is on the other side of the Northern Continent." She slides back into her chair and for several moments writes, her brows lower in a slight frown now and then and once they twitch as in pain as her lips press together and her hand hesitates. The thing is finally signed, folded and sent on its way by faithful Shep…

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