Nice Warm 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.

Summertime makes the beach a popular place! So, on this particular warm and sunny afternoon, there's the usual weyrbrats running around in the waves and dragons being washed by their riders. At least most of the crowds from Seryth's hatching have gone back home, leaving Xanadu to its residents. Well, mostly. Luraoth's here on the beach, but she's not bathing - except in the sun. The gold is stretched out on the hot sands, basking comfortably. There's a pair of children - four or five turns old - burying her in the sand. Or at least her tail, they… haven't gotten more than a few inches along it yet. But they're working on it, with all the studious intensity that they can muster. Luraoth's pretending that she hasn't noticed them, instead watching along the beach. Mostly, she's looking out over the water, with occasional glances down the shore. Every so often she even looks to Soriana, who's standing near her head. "-got to adjust," she's telling her dragon quietly, because sometimes, using the inside-her-head voice is too much effort. Luraoth chirps and tilts her head, an acknowledgment and 'yeah, but!' in one.

Popular, indeed, for the beach had been recommended to So'l by several people already. Of course, time to relax has been somewhat reclusive the last few days but now, with most of his business in Fort settled, the rider and his dragon have dropped their last load of supplies 'home' and now come in to land on the beach. Luraoth is immediately spotted and as So'l works to loosen and then remove Sharuth's riding straps, the gleaming bronze reaches out with a gentle brush of thought. « It is amusing to let them bury your tail, » a pine-scented wash of dragon laughter rolls through the link. « How are you doing, dear Luraoth? » So'l pulls the straps aside finally, dragging them up the beach and giving Sharuth license to bathe to his heart's content. Watching the dragon slide into the water, he smiles before turning to wave towards the gold and her rider. "Afternoon, Weyrwoman," So'l greets warmly but with formal respect, given the salute. "Enjoying the sun?" It's been since 'the morning after' that he saw the goldrider, their paths not crossing until now.

Thankfully with Seryth and Kanekith's clutch hardened and the hatching immanent, after a half-hearted bellow of disgruntled challenge, the senior queen was disinclined to interfere with Luraoth's rising and so Thea had remained in Xanadu during the junior queen's mating flight. She remained as long as she could on the sands with Seryth until she could no longer… Just where she headed remains unclear, for she wasn't seen amongst the tavern crowd or in the milling unrest in the caverns. The eggs finally hatching, she's now finally able to enjoy a restday and so after all the weeks of baking on the sands, the Weyrwoman slips to the beach to enjoy some downtime. She's planning to swim, it looks like, for under her wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, she's in a bathing suit and beach wrap, carrying a rolled up towel. She's seen Luraoth and Soriana from the top of those cliffs, intending to go say hello, but of course S'ol and Sharuth land as she's making her way down those stairs. Well then, she'll say hello to the both of them, since she hasn't yet welcomed the bronzerider to Xanadu. She already knows of S'ol, thanks both to keeping up with hatchings and Seryth's informing her who'd won. And so she makes her way towards them rather than the water just yet with a cheerful, "Hello Soriana. Hello S'ol." She gives a slight bow of recognition to their dragons. Seryth… isn't in sight.

« If they are to be minecrafters, » is Luraoth's answer, « they must learn to dig. » Her thoughts are a shifting plane of pink and white sand rolling over the back of something, unseen, moving beneath it. « Besides. How else will there be buried treasure? » There's a bright quivering of gold along the sandy plane of her mind, a teasing sight before it recedes into the depths once more. « I am well. The sand is warm, the water cool. » So she shows, in mental images of summertime pleasures on the beach. « How are you? » She's likely noted the bronze's presence to her rider as well, for Soriana runs her hand along Luraoth's head and glances in that direction. Yep, that's a bronze from Fort, along with a rider (also from Fort). Soriana gives a nod to So'l. "Hey," she says, lifting her hand… but in a wave, not a salute. Because… "You can call me Soriana." It's her name! And unlikely to be worn out. Hasn't happened yet, anyway. "It's a nice day, yeah," she says with an awkward smile, one that maybe gets a bit wider from gratitude as she turns her attention to the senior Weyrwoman. "Hello, Thea." That greeting's an easy one - even if Luraoth did provoke Seryth's challenge, her insistent summons tracing even through the hatching grounds that were the senior queen's domain. That's why Soriana brought ice cream with her report, but it's not like she could have done things differently, and Soriana - dragonhealer that she is - knows it. Luraoth - now that the moment is past - has no inclination for challenges, and chirps a cheerful greeting aloud.

Sharuth has moved far into the water, the bulk of his body disappearing beneath the waves. If Luraoth is buried treasure, then /he/ is the sunken variety. His own thoughts — pictures of frosted pines and snow laden oaks — thaw in the summery imagery Luraoth sends. « I am very glad you are well, » comes the bronze's reply, full of genuine pleasure to hear this. « We are well. So'l has made the necessary arrangements for lodging here and we are settling in. » Meanwhile, So'l isn't going to crowd Soriana and Luraoth's good time, though it /is/ nice that Soriana means to drop the formalities. "Soriana then," he nods, keeping his smile /purely/ polite and platonic. He knows the junior Weyrwoman means to keep some distance between them — or so she hinted when last they met — and so the bronze rider makes to keep dragging the straps farther up the shore. Until, of course, Thea is there and welcoming him so warmly. Someone cheerful? In Xanadu? Given his current experiences with the people here, this kind of surprises the bronzerider. "Fort's duties, Senior Weyrwoman," So'l greets back with a smile and a salute. "I've heard wonderful things about you," he nods, "and it's good to finally make your acquaintance, ma'am."

Thea is perceptive enough to pick up nuances of… awkward between the pair. But it isn't so much noticed as it is that she's been there with the waking after a flight with a person you've never so much as said hello to. It's awkwaaaaaard! Even though it's all the dragon-prompted, not everyone reacts to it in the same way. Some greenriders go all cuddly and want another go-round upon waking. Some people scream and flail to the other side of the room while throwing things at the malerider and chatter-screech, "Get the F- out of here now!" Isn't So'l lucky it was Soriana he awoke to? Even kind-hearted people have issues to deal with after flights that can put a strain of unintended reticence into the mix; Thea knows this firsthand and so her greeting to Soriana is accompanied by empathetic look in her seagreen eyes as she asks, "How did Luraoth fare after her flight?" Having turns of mating flights experience behind her, she's easy-going about Seryth's having felt challenged at the time; Seryth has already forgotten it. Friendly? Xanadu? But of course the Weyr is friendly! So'l has just had the awkward intro to it. See? She and her junior weyrwomen are on first-name basis. With a sputter of laughter in return to the Fortian bronzerider's formality, she says, "Thea, So'l. Shells! Senior Weyrwoman is just a mouthful and ma'am makes me feel old. And Xanadu's to Fort and her queens. I heard you've a new one there now." Her smile is warm and easy, but then, she didn't awake in bed with him. If she had, it would be a different story.

Being naked together is too formal for So'l? Noted! This is, after all, only the second time Soriana has met the bronzerider, so that's all she has to compare it to - unless maybe he was passing by one of the times she's visited Fort? If so, she doesn't remember him. There's a lot of faces, and even when you glance over the new-weyrling lists… maybe Thea remembers all of them from all the weyrs. Soriana doesn't. But she nods to So'l's agreement to move to names - given he's the one who saluted her, she wasn't sure but what he might not object - and while she may or may not be reading the exact meaning and gradations his smile intends (there's a lot of options between 'different continents' and 'same bed'), at least she's got one of her own as well. Luraoth's thoughts curl like a wave in the surf. « It is good to settle, » she muses, then lets the white foam free to float upward. « but also to see new places. You and yours do both, here. » The curl of her thoughts has made her tailtip curl as well, where small children bury it in the sand, and one of them glares with four-turn-old indignation at the dragon as he pushes the tail back down. "An' stay!" Luraoth turns her head to peer back at him, eyes bright with amusement, and… keeps her tail down as they re-bury it. Yes indeed. Soriana's used to this sort of thing, and so only barely spares them a glance before returning her attention to Thea. How'd Luraoth do? "She's well. No injuries, she's been basking and we've been doing some short flights while she's still up for it." Because being stuck at the Weyr (and worse, the sands) is… not so fun. As Thea well knows! "How's Seryth?" Speaking of being stuck on the sands. Soriana smiles, amused, as she adds, "Luraoth's wanting to meet the hatchlings, but she knows she has to wait." Even if she occasionally needs reminders, but… that's why dragons have riders.

Sharuth enjoys the water greatly here. After all, the lake in Fort Weyr has almost completely frozen and certainly the snows aren't as enjoyable as the sands. Even so, a part of him — a big part — misses those snowcapped pines and frigid climes, even if Xanadu's weather /is/ more tolerable for his rider. « New places are always fun, » Sharuth sends back to Luraoth. « Perhaps you could recommend some places to see while I am here? » Diving below the water, the bronze closes the appropriate eyelids and swims, catching a few Southern fish in his maw before surfacing again. « We could even visit some, before the eggs come? » While his rider may have no aims on spending romantical-time with Soriana (he does, after all, have a girlfriend now), Sharuth is all about caring for Luraoth now that he is here. So'l, meanwhile, notes the woman's smile and appreciates it. The morning was awkward for them both and maybe the wrong feet were handled the weight. "Thea," the bronzerider turns to the other goldrider. "No more 'ma'am', I promise," he smiles wide. Straps still in hand, he nods to the pair before moving off a bit, his leatherworking kit tucked in an armpit. Apparently, those straps need a little working.

It is /summer/. Thus. Time to play hookie as often as humanly possible. Which is why Mur'dah is dragonless and in his swim trunks and sandals, with a surfboard tucked under his arm, striding for the waves. Nope, not a dragonrider. La la la. Ask someone else to help you move. "Sori!" he calls, tossing up a salute and then a wave with a grin. "Testing out another boat?" he teases, before his steps falter and he comes to a halt. Guilt. That's guilt on his face. Cough. "Hi, Mom," the teen says to Thea, before slouching in that direction. And noticing So'l. "Oh, hey, you're the winner aren't you? So'l, from Fort, yeah? I'm Mur'dah, nice to meet you," he says cheerfully, extending a hand to the Fortian bronzerider before he sticks the end of the board into the sand, wiggling it so it stays upright.

Yep, that's part of the fun of Senioring. Thea gets to memorize lists of impression names - mostly the gold and bronze pairs - in addition to other diplomatic prepwork. As Soriana assures her there was no injury, her gaze wanders down the length of Luraoth to her tailtip, to spy the children working and a gentle smile forms. Back to Soriana, "She's well, thanks. Glad to be off the sands and back to her shady wallow in the forest." And of course she grins almost mother-proud about the new hatchings, "Seryth too. I keep telling her that in a sevenday or so they'll be out exploring." She shades her eyes to peer out into the water after Sharuth, flicking a glance at So'l and chuckling. He can be taught! "Good enough. Save the formalities for wing activities. Otherwise we'll all be too stuffy." She goes on pleasantly, "Have you gotten your quarters, So'l?" And there's her son, whose face she can read like a book. Whyfor guilty? She doesn't manage the wings - that's the Weyrleader's job. She doesn't keep close enough tabs to know who's restday is when. So that just gets a considering look, but no questioning from her.

The flecks of rising spray become a series of vistas, in Luraoth's mind. « There are mountains that hold snow, » she says as she shows them. « Even in summer. » Just as between is always chill, and as Fort is always different from Xanadu - though the weather, at least, may overlap on certain days of spring and fall or fall and spring. « I do not fly to them. » Not now, but she offers Sharuth the places regardless, the shapes of them from her mind as water-bubbles coming to meet him. Why not? « They are cold. » Oh, but there are other places to be visited. « There are forests, » she muses through other of those thought-bubbles, and shows a tree ringed with flowering bushes and bearing… shoes? Strange kind of tree, but Luraoth's thoughts - after a brief, almost expectant pause - wander on, mentioning swamps and plains and islands as she relaxes and lets the children bury her. Or at least her tail. Soriana makes a bit of a face at Seryth's (and likely Thea's) joy at escaping the sands, but it's just the knowing what's coming for her, replaced by a smile a moment later, one that turns into a grin at Seryth's own anticipation. "And getting into trouble." As weyrlings always do. She's also curious as to whether So'l has gotten quarters, so she listens for that answer before he heads off to work on his straps. At least until she's greeted by someone else. Mur'dah can't possibly be a dragonrider. He's a surfboard rider. Obviously. It's completely different! Just ask him. "Heya!" Soriana calls, then sees the look he gives Thea. Oops? Should she have warned him of Maternal Radius? Oh well. She still laughs at his suggestion. "Already sank." The boat. That isn't here. "No survivors 'cept those two." She indicates the kids playing with Luraoth's tail, who don't notice.

Sharuth's thoughts dwell on those places, especially the forests. Though his heart will always belong to the forests of Fort, others bring him joy as well. Especially when there are such…odd trees involved. « We have much to see, then, » the bronze enthusiastically replies to Luraoth. So'l, meanwhile, listens to the talk of Luraoth's condition and nods along as Thea continues (and very warmly!) encouraging the dropping of stuffy titles and such. "Alright then," the bronzerider nods with a grin. "I'll be less…formal," he chuckles. When asked about getting his quarters, he nods quickly. "Headwoman Darsce helped me out there. Originally she told me we were staying in a hay loft and warned not to scare the cows," So'l explains, "but when we followed her map, she'd actually put us in a nice cottage with a big wallow for Sharuth. We'll be very comfortable there and we thank Xanadu for its hospitality," he bows his head slightly with respect. And then there's Mur'dah! With some kind of board? What's /that/ all about? "Hello there," he smiles to the younger man. "Yes, that's me. And you are?" Just then, a green firelizard zaps from *between* and lands on his shoulder, chittering at high speed. Instinctively, So'l turns towards Sharuth, who helpfully interprets. With a sigh, he says, "Looks like our beach day has been cut short. Darsce sent someone with supplies and I need to meet them for some reason. Enjoy the afternoon everyone," he smiles with less politeness and more genuine warmth now. He'll drag the straps back towards the water and when Sharuth emerges, they'll be on their way. « Unfortunately we must go. So'l is being summoned back to our wallow by akeeper of houses? » The term is unfamiliar to Sharuth but there it is. «I hope to see you later, beautiful Luraoth. »

Mur'dah is supposed to be making a delivery right now, but if no one asks, he won't tell. "Hey!" he replies to So'l. "Later. Is he nice?" he asks the ladies, glancing to the water and then back at them both. Then he laughs at Sori, shaking his head. "Shame, shame. Again, our boat building careers cut tragically short before they'd even begun. You ever been to the toy boat races at Rubicon, Mom?"

Yeah, heat insanity, it's a sisterhood of mutual-suffering. Thea's properly sympathetic at Soriana's upcoming stint on the sands. "At least the weather should be cooler then," she offers before smiling at the getting into trouble of the newest dragonpairs. Poor V'dim! How does he keep up with them?? Her gaze turns to So'l and she listens to his account, her face taking on a bland look. "Watch out for her," is all she says to that as the bronzerider takes his leave. Then her son-the-surfer (news to her) is asking about boat races. "I've been to Rubicon a time or two," she says evasively but the disquieted look does not account for routine hold visits. "Seryth says something's come up," she says to both and without further ado, heads off. So much for that swim!

« There are many things for you to explore. » The spray of foam dissolves into a view from above of the Xanadu area. « I wonder what your favorites will be? » Of this region, even if - in the end - Sharuth is a Fortian dragon. He's just here for a while, staying in temporary quarters. He does have those, right? Apparently he does! Even if the headwoman… okay, so that's amusing, and Soriana smirks briefly for Darsce's deception. It's not like the headwoman didn't do her job! Just… differently. It likely won't be the last different thing So'l finds about Xanadu. Soriana nods her agreement to Thea about the improvement in the weather, and there might have been more to say to So'l, but at the moment, he's returning to those temporary quarters, and so Soriana gives him a wave. « That can be what you explore next! » Luraoth says with a bright shimmer, then lets her thoughts drift from Sharuth's. « Be well. » Soriana looks back to Mur'dah, once So'l is gone. Nice? The question makes her hesitate. "He's very… affable." She's… not going to go so far as nice, but So'l is definitely trying to make friends and possibly also influence people, and Soriana… doesn't really want to talk about it. Boats. She can talk about boats. "Yeah, we'll never make seacrafters. Oh well." They'll just have to be dragonriders instead, and while she looks curious at Thea's tone, she doesn't ask of the senior, just nods to the Weyrwoman's departure. "Farewell!" she says. And hopes she won't get dragged into the whatever-it-is.

Mur'dah watches his mother go and then looks back at Soriana, a brow lifted at her evasion. But he's kind of learned not to press anyone about flight issues. If they want to talk, he's there, but…yeah. Not going to push. "I'm going to catch some waves before I get in trouble. Later, Sori," he says before he's jogging down to the sea.

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