Assumptions and Assignments

Xanadu Weyr - Headwoman's Office

This grand office belongs to Xanadu's illustrious Headwoman. With walls of mahogany, dusted and polished to an elegant shine, this office gleams of cleanliness and organization. An entire wall is covered from floor to ceiling with bookshelves, upon which are catalogued each and every tithe delivery, complaint, report and gathering organized by the Lower Caverns Staff. A fairly simple desk sits off center of the office, made of the same red wood that the walls are built from and behind it sits a hard, high backed chair.
A large rug, woven of the same design found in the Weyrleaders' Office upstairs can be seen on the floor, greeting those who enter this office for whatever reason with the crest of Xanadu Weyr, making it hard to forget where exactly you are. Glow lamps are situated here and there, but the largest of which sits upon the clean surface of the Headwoman's desk, kept neat with the writing utensils situated off to the side.

For a foggy summer afternoon, it's still much more enjoyable in Xanadu than it is in Fort, at least in terms of the weather. After heading back to Fort Weyr to report in on the previous night's happenings and arrange a few things with Wingleader Nishka, Sharuth and So'l have left the snowing, blowing, and freezing cold behind to once again bask in warmer climes. Except fog doesn't really help with sunbathing…but Sharuth will just have to make do. He's returned to the meadow, resuming his preferred spot by the pond while So'l makes his way into the weyr proper and — after asking for directions (twice!) — meanders up to the Headwoman's Office and knocks just firm enough to be heard on the door.

Fog? Perfect! This is sure to be a bad hair day, isn't it? Mornings after a goldflight are generally off to a slow start, with whichever cooks can making it to the kitchens to offer a simple breakfast of hot cereal and lots of klah to those who manage to make it in time. Thankfully the Weyr management - and the people who reside in Xanadu Weyr - understand the widespread effects a rising gold has on the adult population and so not much is expected before noon. Darsce? Hasn't been in… this office long. But she's not looking groggy or rumpled or hung over, nope! She's in a soft summer dress of lilac, hair tied up off her neck with a dark purple ribbon in anticipation of the muggy heat associated with the current humidity as she stands behind her desk with a mug of klah in hand and sips it. She's contemplating the chaos on the surface of her desk - there are books and papers scattered all over it - when the knock sounds at the door. "Come on in," she calls without looking up.

So'l enters as he's beckoned, smiling politely at the woman behind the desk. "Headwoman Darsce," he says, "I'm So'l, from Fort Weyr?" He assumes his identity is common knowledge amongst the weyr leadership at this point. "Soriana suggested you might have a place for Sharuth and I to stay while we're in Xanadu?" Ah yes, they'll need lodgings while they go through the joys of clutching, watching, and hatching with Soriana and Luraoth. For the bronzerider's part, he's dressed in a loose tunic, light pants, and heavy black boots. He doesn't have a great deal of summer clothing, especially since it's in the middle of frigid winter in Fort.

Common knowledge? Uh… no? Why would they know who he is? Some of them, to be sure, might if their dragons have informed them of just who won that flight. The other goldriders fled the Weyr for parts unknown last night - some have probably not returned yet. Darsce has neither dragon nor firelizard, hasn't heard the gossip and hasn't seen the other weyrwomen as yet. So to the…rider? Iceblue eyes flick to his shoulder. Ah yes, rider, she notes. Of Fort. Well-shaped brows lift at his questioning tone and she regards him over the rim of the mug she's cradling with both hands. "Are you sure you are, indeed, he?" she drawls with a slow smile of pink shimmered lips. Because he doesn't really sound like he’s sure. She takes another longer sip of klah as he speaks of Soriana and… "Wait, what? You're… staying at Xanadu now? Why's that?" Either her brain is slow to catch up or she's going to require him to explain, since a mind reader she is not.

Oh. Interesting. Things obviously work differently at Xanadu than at Fort, it seems. At least in terms of information sharing and the rumor mill. They must not have nosey Aunties! Maintaining his polite smile, So'l chuckles and says, "Yes, I'm sure. And I apologize; I thought word might have reached you. Soriana's Luraoth rose last night to mate. My bronze Sharuth caught her. The goldrider advised me to see you about accommodations since we'll be spending a lot of time here in the coming months." No question-y sentence enders now. He'll be direct now that he knows knowledge apparently hasn't spread. "She mentioned lodgings in the forest and that you would be the one to arrange them." His eyes sweep across the desk and he finds himself glad that he's not a Headwoman. That would be /way/ too much for him to keep track of.

Either that or Darsce has simply not run into said nosey aunties. There are likely plenty of people who already know who flew which gold. But in this conversation that's irrelevant. Darsce stares at… So'l? Yes, he's sure. So'l. "Duh, I knew one of 'em rose." Darsce says with a roll of her eyes. She hadn't known which gold and didn't much care at the time… because she had…other things on her mind. She doesn't really care this morning, either, except…she frowns with vague concern when the gold’s name is mentioned. To his explanation she shrugs a negligent shoulder while her eyes narrow and the large man is getting an up-down sort of look through mascara'd lashes. It's more of a considering look than an unfriendly one. "So… you're the one, hmm?" One hand leaves the mug, her gesture absently bids him to be seated. Still with the watching him, she also sits allowing the silence to stretch almost uncomfortably before she abruptly asks, "Did you beat her up?"

This…is turning out to be a /very/ strange day. Culture shock, apparently? So'l weathers the eyeroll without commenting and then allows the make-upped woman to study him. Arching an eyebrow, he waits for her to actually say something and when Darsce does speak, the bronzerider nods. "Yes I am," he replies a little less warmly than when he'd first walked in. Sliding down into the chair, he assumes the Headwoman will — you know — do Headwomanly things in regards to writing out orders for said lodgings or giving him a map. Instead, the silence ensues and when the question is finally asked, it has So'l sitting forward with disbelief. "Beat her…up? Why would I do that?" « Remember your training, So'l, » a gentle voices floats into his mind. « This isn't Fort. People are different here. » Sending a note of thanks, the rider strips his tone of defensiveness and says, "We did what we were expected to do. I'm a gentle man so no, I didn't act violently towards her," he nods, his tone more polite now.

When is being a dragonrider not strange? Darsce is living amongst them, she's seen plenty of oddball things. Yes, indeed, she's wearing makeup. It's flawlessly applied, with a light touch to enhance rather than make her look garish or obvious. She's aware of headwomanly expectations, but this headwoman is, perhaps, not the expected sort. She does things to her own agenda and, at the moment, she's more concerned about something other than So'l's lodgings. She'll get to it. Her demeanor is coolly skeptical while So'l… talks to his dragon? She's unaware of the exchange, not included in it, has no idea what is said. Her answer to his question is another shrug and an almost flippant-sounding, "Just checking!" Oh, his retreat into polite formality is noted, but she doesn't apologize for asking that, merely listens to his assurances without comment, iceblue eyes still taking his measure. Does she believe him? It's hard to tell. Her manner thaws a little, a hint of a curve forms on her mouth as she turns her glance to the clutter on her usually-neat desk and manicured fingers sweep stuff to one side so she can set her mug down. Back to So'l, she settles against her chair. "So yes, you'll be staying since Sharuth will want to be near his mate." The young woman certainly seems to understand things about dragons and their riders. While she doesn't exactly congratulate him, it's a vague sort of welcome. "So I'll get you some guest quarters." That's said easily enough as she swivels in her seat, unlocks a cabinet on the wall behind her and withdraws a key. This she dangles for him to take, but she doesn't exactly tell him where the place is… yet.

"We very much appreciate that," So'l replies, his tone still polite but now distanced. He's an outsider; what did he expect? Warm pats of welcome and hearty hellos? Maybe he did but maybe he shouldn't have. The bronzerider watches the woman move to the cabinet and then return, reaching out to take the offered key. "Thank you, Headwoman," So'l replies with just a hint of warmth. He'll look at the key for a moment, eyes searching for any writing that might clue him in on where he's staying. Something like 'Guest Cottage 2' or 'Guest Weyr (East End)'. But more than likely, it's Darsce who'll have to direct him. Eyes flicking back to the headwoman, So'l grows silent and waits for her to give further instruction. He can play the silence game, too. He's stated his intentions for being here and asked for help already. No point in rushing the woman, especially if she's intent on playing him for some purpose. Instead, he'll settle back in his chair and /wait/.

Oh, he'll be getting those warm pats and hearty hellos from some of Xanadu's folks! Many are quite friendly! But this is Darsce he's dealing with and the silvery-blonde is… well, she can be friendly too, but… perhaps it's an off-day for her? It might have zero to do with So'l, to be quite frank. The headwoman hasn't gone far to get to the cabinet, in fact, her butt never left her chair. She drops the key into So'l's palm - there's nothing but a number on it - and then opens a drawer. Hm. Where'd she put her pen? She shuts the drawer, paws through the wreckage on her desk and aha! There it is. She has a container with blank notes with her own letterhead upon them. She selects one of these and begins drawing a rough map. Focused on her duty now, Darsce's purpose is to see to So'l's comfort. In doing that she must information-gather. "Do you like cows?" she asks casually. Mind not the smile! Perhaps she adores cows?

"Cows?" So'l asks, a little mystified by the woman's question. "I don't…dislike them," the bronzerider replies, his eyebrows arching. This woman's a weird wherry, it seems. "Do you house your bovines out in the woods?" For as he mentioned earlier, Soriana had indicated he would be staying in a cottage in the forest. They key, meanwhile, isn't helpful in terms of narrowing down a locale and so So'l simply pockets it for the time being. "We don't need a /lot/ of space," he offers helpfully. "We tend to spend most of our time outdoors anyway," the bronzerider nods. "And I'm sure Sharuth and Luraoth will want to be together elsewhere so as long as there's a comfortable bed and a place for Sharuth to curl up, we'll be fine."

The headwoman certainly might seem odd on the surface. But then, it seems few try to look past the exterior. Darsce's smile grows at So'l's confusion. Perhaps she just likes to bedevil bronzeriders. Her pen scratches while the woman draws that map, though she chuckles at the question as she hands it over. He doesn't dislike cows? Sweetly sarcastic, "Good because you're getting a room in the hayloft. The feeding ground and bovine complex are both in the forest." She reclaims her klah mug. She needs it, even though it's only her third. Her brows twitch quizzically about Sharuth and Luraoth. "Are you?" she purrs, amusement rippling in the two-word question. Some queens aren't the cuddly sort and can be quite snappish when brooding, but she doesn't mention this. "They'll have to cuddle elsewhere, because, you know, cows. They'd get upset." She pauses, give him a feigned look of concerned, "You aren't allergic to hay are, you?" Is she… messing with him?

"Sharuth seems to think so," So'l smirks in response. "But he could be wrong, I suppose." He feels like he's playing some kind of game with this woman; a back and forth of exhausting volleys. He isn't really the political type — which is probably why he rides Search and Rescue — and so he quickly tires of the exchange until, at last, a seemingly straight answer! As the map is handed over and the weyr's location revealed, however, confusion clouds his face once more. "Not that I mind sleeping in a hayloft…" he starts, "but how is Sharuth supposed to stay with me up there? I'm assuming it must be a /huge/ building but his comings and goings would spook those bovines, whether Luraoth wants to cuddle with him or not." He fixes the woman with a quizzical look and tries to figure out if she is, once again, trying to play him. /Exhausting./

There's nothing political about Darsce either. "You'll figure it out," Darsce says with a flip of her hand and apparent disregard for the plight of poor Sharuth. She's just…well… she likes to push people's buttons sometimes. She reaches with a pink-lacquered fingernail to taptap that map So'l is holding. "You will find the place furnished and stocked with dishes, eating utensils, fresh linens and blankets. I'll send someone out within the hour to deliver some basic foodstuffs." How's he going to cook anything in the hayloft? He'll figure that out too! "The hot springs are just though the main caverns near the entrance to the resident's hall. There are bathing supplies and towels in there." Does she tell him he's really been assigned a cottage with a private bath? Hell no! "Please go have a look at the hayloft. If it doesn't suit you, come back to see me. We have a spot on the coastal road." Beware! That spot could be a mud puddle! (There is another guest weyr in the meadow. It is not offered). "If you need anything else, see me. I'm here from just before breakfast until dinnertime. Welcome to Xanadu Weyr." The formal words are spoken with professionalism but oh, the gleam in the iceblue eyes will tell that the joke is on So'l, for when he follows that map it will lead not to the hayloft but a nice little cottage with a wallow near the barns but not in them. Poor So'l. He'll either develop a sense of humor or walk around exhausted for the duration of his stay.

'You'll figure it out'? Exhausting x2. So'l understands he's just a guest here and should be happy with whatever they're given but come on…a hay loft? After Darsce explains everything he apparently needs to know, the bronzerider nods deeply and offers a parting, ever-so-polite smile. "Headwoman Darsce, we appreciate Xanadu's hospitality." And though /he/ doesn't know it's a quaint cottage waiting for them, there is still a genuineness to his tone. "I'll take a look but I am sure we will make it work. Thank you again for your time," he nods, noticing that odd glint in the woman's eyes but — not knowing her — entirely unsure of what it could possibly mean. He'll offer a wave in parting before heading out, closing the door behind him and starting his way along the map's directed path. Walking with purpose, the barns eventually come into view and he turns to approach them until realizing the map means him to go /past/ them. Rolling his eyes — wondering what could /possibly/ be down that path — he keeps walking, stopping in surprise as he sees the pleasant-looking cottage and a wallow that's more than adequate. "She's a tricky one, that Darsce," he says to himself before summoning Sharuth to join him. He makes a mental note to get her back (in a good way) for her strange welcome to Xanadu Weyr…

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