Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.
The view of Xanadu from the top of the tall treetop cafe is spectacular. Spectacular enough that Ka'el has spent most of the free candlemark he's been graced with up there, jotting notes and generally getting caught up with things that seem to always run away from him. The view of the lake from the beach is just as mesmerizing, which is perhaps why the Weyrleader has made his way down from the Rustic Treetop to instead find a spot on the shoreline to continue his musings. This is perhaps why he's not adorned in beachwear. Granted, the legs of his trousers have been rolled up just below the knee, and boots have been discarded somewhere away from the reach of the water. He sits upon the sand with a notebook rested against his thighs. Knees are upturned and he faces the lake with a far-off expression on his face. The spring day is warm and the sun hangs halfway in the sky, marking it as somewhere near midafternoon.
Finally, warm days are here! To say that Briari is excited is an understatement. Today is her day off from chores and after an unsuccessful night of trying to find some entertainment, she has made her way down towards the shorelines. The view indeed captivating from up top and she was hankering to make her way down and enjoy the water. Wearing a pair of blue shorts and a matching bikini top that peeks out from an oversized shirt that slinks down upon one shoulder lower than the other. Her guitar is strapped over her back, jostling against her with each sandaled step she takes. "Hey Ka'el!" She calls out in a warm and happy voice as she dumps herself down next to him, grinning as wide as one can get.
Ka'el is likely here for a reason other than daydreaming, but daydreaming seems to be the only thing his mind aims to do for now. It's the sort of comfortable day for it, or … at least, that's what he's telling himself. His eyes begin to droop in that relaxed sort of way that tends to happen when the attention drifts, but his focus is soon revived by the sound of someone calling his name. He blinks out of his daze, focusing on the horizon before he turns his head to one side to search for the culprit. It doesn't take much searching, as soon she's right there at his side. Plop! He blinks once before recognition softens his expression. "Candidate," he greets in return, gently flipping closed the contents of his journal. "How does the day find you? Well, I hope," he asks with vaguely lifted brows.
"The day is amazing, as always." Briari shifts her guitar across her knees and begins to strum along the strings. Her eyes half-lid slightly as she hums a few bars. "So, came out here to hang out by the water also? You have no clue how excited I am that we're having a nice, warm day. I went shopping with Kyra and Chrystyne a few days ago and helped them pick out some new swim wear for our day's off." As her fingers pick up the pace along the instrument, she softly sighs happily.
Ka'el's eyes are drawn to her instrument now as she begins to play, and his head faintly cants to one side while he watches. "Please forgive me if you've shared this with me already, but are you a harper?" he asks with a small smile, attention flitting from the instrument to its musician. "And I came to … gather my thoughts I suppose is the best term for it," he says with a nod, looking back across the surface of the lake. "If you haven't the opportunity yet, I'd suggest you'd explore Xanadu. I've a feeling there may be quite a few times during Candidacy that you may wish to do the same. S'always nice to have a list of less-traveled places to go to, if needed." A smirk. "Not that the beach is actually a less-traveled place, especially now that it's finally warmer. But…at times, it's easy to find moments to yourself."
"I am a journeyman harper, yes. I travel and tour Pern, singing and performing for some of the Weyrs. I put on a show in Fort a few months ago, and had plans to do one in Half Moon until I was searched." Briari says as she leans in to bump his shoulder with hers, continuing to hit each chord perfectly with her fingers as she plays the long necked instrument. "I plan on doing a lot more exploring, yes. To be honest, I thought I'd hate it here, but I really enjoy the fact this place has 'seasons', and not just one long snow storm. I love my beach but even I can get bored of it once in awhile." Her lips tug slightly upwards into a smile. "Don't tell my brother, because he won't believe it anyways, but I hope to impress even more now so I can stay longer and make this place a home."
"That sounds like a life of excitement," Ka'el remarks, brows lifted. "Touring Pern… Just you alone, or do you have accompanists that travel with you?" he asks with genuine curiosity. The brush to his shoulder is met with a light smile, and he continues to listen with interest. And apparent surprise as well! "What?" he laughs, momentarily interrupting. "You thought you'd hate it? Surely Xanadu's reputation isn't so bad that you'd think so lowly of us straight off," he says with a crooked grin and faint elevation of a single brow. "I'm happy to hear your opinion has changed but…still!" He chortles, head shaking a little as he sits back a little, pressing the palms of his hands against the warm sands to prop himself up as he leans back. "Your brother seems like an alright fellow. He has to be made of sturdy stuff to be willing to stand in-between two quarreling women he barely knew as he did a night or so previous. Was he surprised to see you here?"
"I travel with a few band mates. I have a drummer, another guitarist, a back up singer, and one that does flutes and bells." Briari confirms, giggling at his reaction. "No! Xanadu has a great reputation, it's just that I was born and raised on the beaches of Monaco Bay. It's a life of luxury. I could spend all day on a beach just watching the sun and the waves. Snow just drives me crazy, it's nothing personal." At the topic of her brother, she smiles fondly. "I love him so much. He's all I got in my life sometimes. He's my rock. He's also a bit nutty and adventurous. Of course he'd jump in between two proddy girls. Probably hoping they'd fight over him or something." She cackles under her breath. "I don't know if he was surprised. He laughed at me, and laughed more, and more, until he could not breathe."
"They'll be missin' you while you're gone then," says Ka'el of her bandmates. "They probably feel lost already. Heh, maybe they'll have you back … maybe they won't. I've forgotten how drastically life is put on hold until the eggs hatch. No Candidate fully knows just where fate will take them til that day comes. And even more difficult is that no one can really be sure when that day will come." Fingers curl inwward a bit, digging gently into the sand. "I've been to Monaco Bay a few times. … A handful of times, actually. Mostly on business, but there've been a few instances I've gotten to go for pleasure. Never did make it to the beach, but I was introduced to a few other spots that were just as entertaining." He and Briari sits on the shore, acing the lake. It's a warm spring day, somewhere near mid-afternoon in time. "He laughed?" he remarks, chuckling. "Why? … Were you the type during your childhood that never, ever wanted anything to do with dragons at all?"
With a small bad slung over her shoulder, Chrystyne comes to visit the beach here at Xanadu. She's dressed in typical baggy clothing, though all white today with pants and tunic edged in silver. Spying Briari first she heads over towards her friend before Ka'el is seen. Pausing she approaches after a moment's thought and inclines her head to both. "G'day Weyrleader sir, Briari."
"Yeah, I've got a few letters. They miss me but it's alright. It's not a big thing. They are still traveling and playing. Most of them are apprentices who are getting some great experience and exposure, but it's just for fun, and some extra marks." Briari says as she continues to play the guitar on her lap. "But yes, he laughed, a lot. He thought it was hilarious. That's all. The fact that I got searched for the first time for his clutch. He's just a doofus, that's all. I just never thought I'd be searched in general. I mean, I'm excited. I'm /so/ excited." She admits to him with a grin on her face. "I haven't wanted anything more my entire life. I'm not sure if I should get my hopes up, or stay level-headed. I don't know. But… I just hope that my lifemate is out there on those sands, sir. I really do." Her voice cracks with emotion as she slows the chords down upon the guitar before she looks over to Chrystyne. " Hey! Come to enjoy the nice weather? It's Spring!"
"Level-headedness seems to be the best way to go, in my opinion," says Ka'el. "Though still hold on to a certain level of hope. It's a balancing act, truth be told. Not too hopeful to save yourself from possible disappointment, but not going at it with the attitude that nothing at all will come from it, either." He grins gently before his attention sways to Chrystyne, who earns a wave of a somewhat sandy hand. "Candidate Chrystyne. Good day to you," he greets, smiling. "Seems like everyone's being drawn outside. Spring's a difficult season to ignore when it calls to you," he says, grinning. "And just wait until summer. There'll be tons of people here, looking for a chance to cool off in the lake." And let's not even begin to mention the beach parties! Briari's melody continues, and Ka'el lightly drums his fingers in time. "If your lifemate isn't out there this time around, at least you know now that there's something in you that the dragons like. I stood two times in total. It was the second time that Kanekith found me."
"Thank Farnath for spring!" intones Chrystyne as she stops before the pair. "You stood twice before finding Kanekith?" she folds herself into a cross legged position next to Briari. "Both times here?" is questioned. "I'm so nervous and it's not even close to the hatching day yet!"
Leaning in to rest her shoulder against Chrystyne's, Briari gives her friend a sunny grin. "You shouldn't be nervous. You are such an awesome person and I bet the dragons are arguing in their shells right now over you." Briari giggles again as her fingers pick up a bit more on the strings. "I plan on dragging you and Kyra out for some shopping now that the weather is clear. Kyra mentioned going out and getting some nicer clothes, maybe a swimsuit. I think it'd be fun."
Ka'el nods to Chrystyne in answer. "I did," he verbalizes with a smirk. "I was searched once before for a Xanadu clutch… Yumeth and…ah, I can't remember the bronze. No matter though, it was … a difficult clutching. In the end, there were only three eggs on the sands, and my hopes weren't too high on Impressing, given the odds." He shakes his head. "But no. Kanekith was waiting for me turns later and…heh, the rest is history. Their history, anyway. "I'd tell you not to be nervous, but I'd be wasting my breath. I don't know of anyone who hasn't been nervous at a hatching. I can only tell you that breathing is important," he says with a chuckle and solemn nod. "In and out. Repeat. You'd be surprised how easily that can be forgotten in the heat of the moment, especially if you have a dragon staring you in the eyes."
Chrystyne gives an awed look to the weyrleader. "Ooh." digesting that she nods. "I hope he wasn't upset you looked for him early before it was proper time." she casts a glances around them at the sand. "Breathing is important. I'll try to remember that." to Briari she asks. "Shopping? Where at?"
"Well, I'm sure we have a market of sorts here, right? A trader alley? Bazaar?" Bri' asks as she pauses playing her guitar for a moment in thought. "What was it like? To be left out on the sands without a dragon?" She asks curiously to Ka'el as her head swivels over towards him. "I'm glad you found your lifemate, but, was it hard that one day?" Rubbing the back of her neck with a free hand, her fingernails dig into the skin to work out an itch.
"Traders come and go pretty frequently," Ka'el assures the shopping-inclined women. "Especially when there are eggs a'sand. And if you're seeking something less new and more … heh, free, then the stores are always available," he reminds, removing his hands rom the sands to lightly brush him palms together. Arms are then draped over upturned knees. To their questions regarding his hatching experience, he first shakes his head to Chrystyne. "Heh, not in the slightest. He made quite the theatrical appearance from his shell, actually and was too happy to strut before finding me. I don't even think he realizes I stood before," he notes. And then, to Briari. "It wasn't as lonely as it could've been. Again, with so few eggs, there were plenty of us that didn't impress. None of my friends did, so…it was just…sort of, another ordinary day." He gently rolls a shoulder, then grins to the both of them. "Do either of you have firelizards?"
"Me?" Chrystyne shakes her head. "I don't, no. Never had many people in Red Sands Hold who had any queens or greens." shifting the way she's sitting she draws her knees to tuck up under her chin to look towards each person as they talk.
Briari gives a shake of her head. "I don't have any either, but I've taken care of my mother's. She had about ten running all about the weyr and so I'd feed and play with them. They were such brats, but so hilarious." Smirking to herself, she leans backwards and plants her hands behind her as the guitar settles across her knees. "But, I'm glad you didn't have it so rough that time you were left standing." Thinking, she hums to herself. "I hope that we have a couple of traders near by that has some great clothing on sale."
Speaking of new clothes, Kyra makes her way down towards the lake, wearing a pretty blue, oversized sweater made of loose-knit, soft wool and a pair of long shorts that come just shy of her knees. She has on some simple flat shoes as well, her short hair decorated with a couple little white flowers, either intentionally or just from walking around. She sees the others and breaks into an easygoing grin, lifting her hand in a light wave before she tromps her way within talking distance, "Hi, guys. Uh, sir." That's for Ka'el, "What're you doing over here?"
"Ten?" boggles Ka'el with a broad grin. "Faranth, and here I thought I had a weyr full." He glances up, left, then right, and upon seeing no firelizard of his anywhere nearby, he gives a short and sharp whistle (and likely a mind-tug to accompany that!) It isn't long after that *pop!* A bronze appears from Between. Far smaller than Kanekith, yet just as big in pride. With a chirrrup and charr, the lizard alights upon the sand, standing at attention. Quasar's number one Lizard, reporting for duty, Sir! "Meet Alloy," says the Weyrleader. "My very first mindlink. Having one of these sort of .. nearly eases the transition of having a dragon constantly in your mind," he says, giving the bronze's headknobs an affectionate rub just as Kyra comes into view. This Candidate is a little less known, but she receives the same friendly smile just the same. "Hello there. We're wistfully thinking of shopping," a nod to the other two Candidates, "and I am giving sage advice about Candidacy and standing." Sort of!
Giggling, Briari says, "Yeah, ten. She collected them or something. Crazy old firelizard lady. I think she just wanted more kids and was mad that dad kept having them with other women." Awkward! ".. But, you know.. flights and all. It happens." At the sight of the firelizard, she lets out a coo. "Aw, he's so cute! Hi Alloy!" She wiggles her fingers towards him. Wiggle-wiggle. "Hey Kyra! We were talking about visiting the traders and then see about getting some new clothes and swim wear. You look cute today by the way."
"Ah, thanks. I was thinking about that the other day, too," Kyra says as she closes the distance fully, giving a sort of casual salute to Ka'el as she introduces herself properly, "Hi, I'm Kyra. Hello, Alloy." This is for the firelizard, of course, and she moves as if to pat her pockets only to sigh and wrinkle her nose. She misses her jacket, cute as the sweater might be. Bleh. Pockets, man. Pockets. She folds her arms instead, offering a somewhat apologetic smile now to the small creature, "Sorry. I usually have jerky with me, but I don't today."
Oh look, new faces to investigate! Alloy is the type of firelizard that needs to know everyone! No matter the fact that he'll forget them all before the day's end. Still, he has a job to do! So it's with a mighty important strut that he approaches Briari's wiggling fingers to inquisitively sniff. The woman's words regarding her parents and children … well, Ka'el fails to comment, which possibly is for the better! He chuckles though, glancing to Kyra. "Oh it isn't him that you need to worry about when it comes to treats.." he says. "The other should be -…" And right on belated cue, there's another *pop!* And a *flop* right after. A second firelizard, also bronze, appears. Though this one is a bit more … rotund than the first, hence the flop as he immediately flops down on the sand. "And Nugget," he introduces. "He'll be the one who'll act as if he's starving, beware," he warns the two of them.
Caught up in her own thoughts for a few minutes, Chrystyne stares out across the sands. Jerking her attention once more to the others she notes that Krya's arrives. Smiling brightly at her friend she gives a bit of a wave. "Ten of 'em. Wow." she shakes her head in amazement. "Guess she never met a homeless fire lizard she could resist." she coos softly at Alloy as he appears. Then the next one gets a bright-eyed look. "Sadly I've no treats with me for either one."
"Well, it started with about three, then they started breeding, and there was dad's that she kinda took off his hands, not by choice. Sorta .. just.. told him to suck it up." Briari says with a laugh in amusement. "Sort of." She reaches out to rub the bronze's headknobs a bit, then lets her fingers slide under his chin for a scratching. "Aw, chubby lizard is cute too. I want a firelizard now." Plucking up the guitar again, she begins to strum along the chords a few more itmes. "So, how about tomorrow night we go shopping then? I'm a decent haggler."
Kyra finds a place to park her butt for the time being, folding her legs up under her and offering Chrystyne a bit of a wave only to look curiously at the new pudgy lizard, "Oh. Hello." She holds her hand out for that one, grinning a little bit, "Nugget. Ha." For Briari, she looks over towards her and shrugs, nodding, "Yeah, sure. What about you, Chrys? You in?" After a momentary pause she suddenly offers Ka'el an easygoing grin as well, "And you? We can find you some snazzy dresses, I'm sure."
Nugget is not chubby! He is ….. well … okay, so he's chubby. But he's also cute (which is possibly why he is chubby) so that's okay! After a languid stretch, the round one is on his claws and immediately on the lookout for snacks. Jerky, anyone? Or even better, nibblets of cakes nad sdweet things? Spying Kyra's outstretched hand, he toddles over, hungrily sniffing but finding no traces of anything yummy at all! He huffs against her palm, dismissing her to instead investigate Chrystyne. Ka'el chuckles. "Like you said," he remarks to Briari, "they are entertaining. And sometimes impossible to deny. Nugget's impression to me was a bit accidental, and.." What's this about a dress? Blue eyes flit to Kyra, and he lifts both hands up. "Ooh no, not me. I lost a bet once and nearly had to fit myself in one once, but the bloke took pity on me …thank Faranth. You ladies knock yourselves out. I'll happily keep my figure in trousers and shirts, thank you!" he laughs.
Chrystyne awes as he heads her way to investigate her. "He's so cute!" now she wants one as her eyes light up. "A dress? You almost wore a dress?" she laughs loudly, amused highly by this. "Oh yes though. My parents would nevrer believed I went shopping for clothing!"
"They're both cute. I'm taking one." Briari says jokingly as she swallows Alloy up in a bit of a hug before smooching the top of his head. "I think you'd look terrible in a dress, but the three of us are going to look awesome in one. I hope I can find something red. That will definitely turn a few heads and break a few hearts." After letting go of the little flit, she picks up her guitar again and begins a rowdy tune filled with playful energy. "Now that the weather is getting better, maybe we can all pick up some new swim suits also. How 'bout it, Kyra? Bikini?"
Kyra stretches her legs out a bit, letting her knees bend so she can prop her elbow up on one, ruffling her short, slightly curly hair in the back, "Yeah, I was thinking of getting one. I figure I can expand my wardrobe beyond just stuff I can wear to work in." A casual shrug followed by Kyra arching a brow and twisting her lips into a wry smile, "Who cares about turning heads or breaking hearts? You're boy-crazy, Bri." She makes a playful little flicking motion with her fingers to punctuate the statement, then grins a little at Chrystyne and Ka'el, "Hey, some guys like dresses, nothing wrong with that…" Heh. Turning her attention fully to Chrys, she adds, with a lighter smile, "Any idea what you're hoping to find?"
"Ha, if you take one, I can guarantee you'll bring them back before the end of the seven," laughs Ka'el, watching as Nugget (the chubby one) implores Chrystyne for treats. He has big, begging eyes! Alloy is not above getting his head rubbed and scritched. Even a very important lizard like him needs some pampering now and then! Ka'el's eyes turn Chrystyne's way, and he nods, pressing a hand to his chest. "Swear I'm not lyin'. But, thankfully, not a dress has ever been worn by this man, who knows no man who fancies wearing dresses," he adds with a grin to Kyra. He begins to rise now, brushing off sand from the seat of his trousers once he's on his feet. "Good luck with your adventures with dresses," he says to all three, "for now, I must take my leave before Briari's music compels me to stay longer than I should." He has dancing feet! But, a Weyrleader's work is rarely done for too long.
"And what's wrong with being boy crazy?" counters Chrys towards Krya. "Ooh, I think red would look good on you, Bri. I think I want to find a nice flowing skirt but yellow and white I think." she spares a glance down at her white and silver clothing picked out today. "My parents told me to bring like 7 different outfits." her eyes rolls upwards briefly before more attention is given to the pair of fire lizards. "Any clutches ever found around the beaches here?" as Ka'el moves to stand she waves. No treats are to be had for Nugget, big eyes or not from the imploring fire lizard. "A fine adventure it will be surely. Have a good day, Weyrleader sir."
"I'm -not- boy crazy." Briari says almost a bit too firmly, as if the topic is one that is exhausting for her. "I don't want anything to do with boys." Giving a pause in her guitar playing, she pushes herself up to her full height, dusting off her knees. "Have a good day, sir. Thank you for hanging out with us. We'll try and find something for you at the traders. Maybe something nice for your little cute friends here." Casting a smile to Chrys, she says, "I think yellow and white will look nice on you."
"So you want to turn the heads and break the hearts of… girls?" is Kyra's curious response to Briari's rather firm response, cocking her head to the side and giving her friend an inquisitive look. She blinks at Chrystyne and furrows her brow, "I didn't say there was anything wrong with it. Why're you guys so defensive?" She rolls herself easily up to her feet, dusting off her backside and offering Ka'el a little wave by way of farewell, seeing as he seems to be on his way out. Arms folded loosely, she looks between Briari and Chrystyne for a moment, then comments in her own idle tone, "Probably blue, too."
Something for him? Ka'el smiles kindly but gently waves off the offer. "Don't spend your hard-earned marks on me, but thank you for the kind gesture! As for clutches," is answered to Chrystyne, "no recent ones have been found on the beach to my knowledge, but that doesn't mean they can't be. Keep a sharp eye out, and you just might get lucky." He calls to his firelizards to come, which .. only one of them does. The ever-obedient Alloy. Nugget is still hopeful that someone will produce a snack for him, and it takes a second mental tug to finally get him away from the girls. "Take care, all three of you," he says with a polite dip of his head before he and his bronze entourage move along the sands, heading off toward the meadow and leaving the Candidate to their boy (or girl) crazy talk.
Giving a wave to the Weyrleader, Briari slips her guitar over her shoulder. One cheek gives a slight twitch before she says to the two of them. "I should head off also. I need to talk to my brother about a few things and hopefully get dinner with me. I'll catch you two tomorrow for chores." She says with a quick smile to them. "Then we'll go shopping at night. Hopefully we'll find what we're looking for." With that she starts off down the sandy beach as well, heading back for the paths that leads to the mainland.
"Again..what's wrong with being boy crazy?" Chrystyne repeats. "I think we've some very cute boy candidates in our very own barracks." she stands, brushing off sand from her pants as she does so. "I'd hardly want to turn the heads of girls." is stated mater of factly. "I'm not defensive!" is said to Kyra. "Just like boys." is muttered. "I'll walk with ya Briari. I want to grab a sketchpad from under my cot and work on the eggs some. Shopping I will do anytime we can."