Xanadu Weyr – Meadow

A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.

Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a stone wall and low rolling hills can be seen to the north. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests to the southwest or ore from the mountains to the southeast are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

It's a clear summer's morning, and though the clouds promise rain in the afternoon, right now they provide much needed shade for the tropical weyr. Dressed casually in loose trousers and a button down tunic, Mur'dah walks across the meadow leading two runners, hoping his hunch is correct and his twin is free this morning to be stolen away for a little ride. He's checked with the shop, made sure she didn't have anything important that needed doing, and he might have even spoken with M'kal to clear Marel's morning for this surprise. Time will tell if his plan worked though, as he ties the runners up to a low branch and approaches his twin's weyr, knocking on the door and pushing hair out of his face. It needs to be cut again.

The door to Isyriath's barn-like part of Marel's cottage is open, leaving a clear view of the caramel-coloured brown fast asleep amid a heap of blankets that cover his paws, the end of his tail, and his nose. Since that part of the weyr also leads into the house, Marel must be sure that no-one is going to attempt to steal from her (or that her brown will prevent anyone getting that far). The speed at which she can walk has increased of late, thanks partly to further healing and partly due to progress from using a tall crutch to support herself to using a slimmer cane made of driftwood, wildflowers etched into the pale wood. This means she's quicker to answer the door than she has been in the past, though she's leaning her weight on the cane by the time that she gets there and swings the door open to discover her twin on her doorstep. Narrowing her eyes in a mock-frown, she asks, "Do you need feeding again?"

Mur'dah grins at her and steps forward to offer her a tight hug. "No, I've come to take you away!" he says eagerly, half lifting the satchel slung over his hip. "I even have food for you. I didn't make it," he promises, grin crooked. "C'mon. I've got runners ready, let's go for a ride, huh?" Please? He's put a lot of thought into this outing.

Marel's fingers curl in the back of her brother's tunic as she hides her face in against his shoulder for a few moments, seemingly happy enough just with just Mur'dah's presence and their hug, yet eventually she steps back, and it looks like she's going to head back into the cottage and refuse. "Hang on," she murmurs, the door left open as she turns to head through to the bedroom, returning with a small vial and a sealed jar filled with a substance the right colour for numbweed. "In-case," Marel tells him quietly, handing over both of the glass containers without further comment, trusting him to take care of them.

Mur'dah stands in the entrance to wait for her, and when she hands him the vial and the jar he nods, flipping up the cover of his satchel and tucking them inside safely. Then he grins and offers her his arm. "Which one do you want?" he asks, gesturing to the runners he's selected for their outing. Both calm enough, but eager for a trip out, one is a brown and white pinto and the other a buckskin.

Close to the door, Marel abandons her cane and takes a couple of tentative, unsteady steps before accepting Mur'dah's arm and leaning into him while she gets her balance again. She reaches back to swing the door shut behind her, not bothering to lock it, not with the door to the barn already open, her belief that no-one will try to ransack her home one that extends to factoring-in her absence. "I'll go for her," she replies, gesturing to the buckskin. "Or is it a him?" Hesitation then, not for whether 'her' runner is male or female, but for needing to confess, "…You might need to help me."

Mur'dah matches his pace to what she needs, nodding as they aim for the buckskin. "That's a gelding," he says, glancing down at her with a grin. "Sure, I can help you up. What's the easiest way?" Stopping beside the runner, Mur'dah looks at her leg thoughtfully. "You want me to give you a boost on your good leg?" he offers, "and you can swing the bad one over? Or do you want me to lift you up and you can sit sideways and then swing over?" At least the buckskin is placid, standing there just flicking an ear back at them.

"I, er…" Admitting to needing help is one thing, but discussing the best way to go about it appears to be edging towards a kind of embarrassment that doesn't sit well with Marel. "First option. I think." Whatever the case, that's what she aims to do, getting a grip on the runner's saddle in-case she should fall; a grip that shifts as and when she eases her bad leg to lie against the buckskin's flank, boot finding the stirrup on that side. "Thanks."

Mur'dah nods, helping her up with a gentle but strong boost, and once she's mounted he flashes her a grin and moves eagerly to the pinto's side, jumping up into the saddle before reaching forward for the reins. "Any particular place you'd like to ride? Or should we just go where we always go?" Through the forest to the beach.

Marel fidgets in her saddle, taking a moment to stare down at her bad leg like it's a separate entity to her, but it's just a little theatrically done, even if she's rather good at making that sort of thing look awfully convincing. "…I'm not sure we should go far…" she starts to say, dragging her gaze back up to her twin. Only, no, that's totally a lie, for a nudge of one heel coincides with her deftly unlooping the cord that restrains her runner, the length of thin rope securely gathered up with its reins as the gelding falls into a quick canter and then a lazy gallop that has them bolting across the meadow and towards the forest. "You're so slow!" Marel calls back, her smile broad and eyes bright. It might be the most spontaneous thing she's done for… months.

Mur'dah laughs and whoops, a grin splitting his face eagerly as his twin /cheats/ and takes off before he's ready. "You're such a cheater!" he hollers after her, expertly spinning his runner and leaning forward, urging it into a gallop after his twin, aiming for the forest with another laugh. The wind in his hair, the runner beneath her, and time with his twin? What could be better? Oh yeah, food. Well he's got that for later.

Does Marel hear accusations of her cheating? Perhaps, but she doesn't spare the time to yell back that she isn't, seeing as she is. The route she takes across the meadow is unnecessarily long and she likely startles a few residents by having her runner weave between and close to other weyrs and cottages, but eventually she draws her runner up along the line of trees and the break in them that signals the beginning of a path through the forest. She leans forward a little to rub a palm along the buckskin's neck, idly picking stray strands of grass and petals from its mane as she waits the few moments for Mur'dah to catch up.

Mur'dah catches up a moment later, panting with a laugh as he reaches over to give his sister's good leg a /poke/. "That was so unfair," he laughs, grinning at her as he calms his runner before moving into the trees. "So how's things, Mare? Life good? Leg healing?" he asks, smiling and trying to keep the tone light and easy, as fitting the ride.

Marel follows after this time, not silly enough to try charging on ahead through the trees. "It's… okay," is the safest answer she can offer, shredding one of those stray pieces of grass as her runner steps steadily on. "You know M'kal moved in. He said something about babies when we were arguing a while back, but I don't know whether he was serious or not. I think he thinks I want babies." She gives a one shoulder shrug. "Or maybe he does." She shrugs her other shoulder this time. Talk about her leg any more, she does not. "You?" How's his life, one assumes, not does he want babies with anyone.

Mur'dah turns in the saddle a bit to give her a look of concern. "You're already arguing? That'd be something to talk about though, right? Baby plans and…whatever." Him? He smiles a bit. "I'm good. Busy. Doing research on buying a cothold to rent out, and maybe some racing runners. We'll see, though. Also helping a family move from High Reaches to take over the herds here. They've got a daughter our age, Raelii. She's really cute, have you met her yet? She's…/full/ of energy." He's blushing.

The brownrider gives a short bark of laughter. "Surely you know enough about girls to know that being with someone isn't all about being sickeningly in love all the time?" Marel questions, not the least bit troubled. "There would be something creepy about agreeing about everything all the time, anyway." With her runner about to put a step wrong, she gives a gentle tug at his reins to guide him and keep him from tripping. "I suppose runners would be a good investment, depending on stabling costs. And, well, the fact that they might not be a long-term thing if they get hurt." As for that blushing, she arches a brow and simply stares at her twin. "Did you pick the family based on the daughter?"

Mur'dah snorts a laugh, grinning crookedly at her. "I know what it's like to live with /you/," he fires back, but it's fond and teasing, an easy banter between them. "Yeah, I'm doing some research, though there's a promising colt up in Keroon I've got my eye on…" Then she's staring at him, and he straightens his posture and frowns back at her. "Of course not! 'sides, it wasn't my decision any, Jeth had to interview the father and approve the move and all that, but. She's here already. I brought her here so if you see her say hello, okay? She doesn't know anyone but me. She's really nice."

"Shall I also tell her that you want to write her poetry and that you absolutely adore her?" Marel enquires, a hint of a tease playing about her lips. "Or would you rather that wait for our third or fourth meeting? Or when you're proposing weyrmating to her? I'm perfectly happy to wait for a time that's convenient for you." She wrinkles her nose and for just a second or two looks distinctly uncomfortable. "…Are we calling him 'Jeth' now? What are we supposed to call a… brother-in-law-steward-journeyman…?" Also, person designing shock-anklet. "What does he want us calling him?"

Mur'dah blushes crimson, choking out a cough. "/Marel/!" he protests, ducking his head. "No! I…no. I suck at poetry, you know that." Right. /That/ is the problem. He gives her a narrow eyed /look/. Then he shrugs. "I don't know. I always say his full name wrong so I just call him Jeth. I don't know what he wants us to call him. Steward, probably, in public…do you think it's a good match? Them two?"

"So, you do adore her and you'll just throw yourself at her then?" Marel deadpans, impervious to blushing and that look. "Do you want flowers for her? Or isn't she into that sort of thing? Do you know?" It's no coincidence that she pings one of the branches over her brother's head to make tiny leaves fall down around him like little petals. "If he loves her, then…" She draws her lips to one side. "I mean, loves her for her and sees past the silly, flighty thing she does. She's not an idiot. If he understands her, then rather him than someone else."

Mur'dah coughs. "I…don't…I don't know how I feel about her, Marel," he mutters. "But she's nice and I like hanging out with her." Waving a hand, he shakes his head to try and get all the leaves out of his hair with a snort. "Flowers? No. Not…not yet. No, no flowers. I don't know what she's into. She likes sports. I think." Then he's quiet a moment and nods. "I think he does. She's a bit different around him than she is around others. I think he knows the /true/ her. The smart one."

"Well, just make sure she doesn't know you have money and think she might get lots of pretty things if she likes you," Marel warns, matter of fact and to the point if only to deliver the warning while she can, unable to spare Mur'dah's feelings at the same time. As for Darsce and Jethaniel: "They love each other enough to get married, whatever their reasons are. He doesn't seem like a bad man or a violent one. He'll probably stand more from her than others will. And he doesn't let her blind him." She levels a quick look at her twin. "She said no to the anklet. He said yes. That's an argument and they still love each other."

Mur'dah blinks at her, startled. "She wouldn't…" but he trails off. He doesn't know her /that/ well. "Huh." It's good advice, he just needs time to digest it. Quiet for a moment, he lets his runner pick his own path around a rough patch before he glances back at his twin. "I don't like the anklet," he admits quietly. "I think they'll do fine though. The wedding is here, right? At the weyr?"

Marel stares straight ahead as she states, "I need it," of the anklet, like 'the sky is blue' and it's that simple. "Luraoth went up and not even a flicker. Not a second look at any green. I've neutered my own dragon." She might be reading a text book or a report, so even is her voice. The thin line of her lips says more than enough for her; that she's not going to speak any further on the subject. "I think Darsce wants it to be held here." The wedding. "I don't see where else it would be, unless he's got a family Hold somewhere."

Mur'dah isn't going to push it either. Wedding talk is much safer. "I think here would be best. It's nice here, the family is here…" Turning in the saddle, he grins at her. "Maybe I'll invite Raelii." And he winks. Turning back into the saddle he gives the runner more rein so he can pick his way down the path which dips now to a small little cove where they used to come and play when they were kids. "Want to eat?" he asks, guiding the runner to a stone overhang that provides shade, the sand beneath it soft enough to relax in without getting too itchy.

"Because inviting a girl you like to a wedding isn't at all slightly bordering on the romantically insane!" Marel calls ahead, guiding her runner to follow after her brother's. "Maybe I'll throw off all rider and Weyr traditions and propose to M'kal while we're there," she jokes, voice low. "…Maybe D'had could have the three of us married off by the end of the day." Out of all their siblings, that is. Of eating, she declares, "As long as you're telling the truth and you promise you didn't make any of it…"

"Really?" he asks, glancing back at his twin. "Huh. Well, if you say so." Then he laughs. "Aren't you guys already mated? I mean he's living with you…" As for D'had, Mur'dah just shrugs. "I didn't make it, Mare," he laughs, dismounting and offering her help to get down whether she wants it or not. Once down, he'll spread out their meal and they'll chat and laugh as the morning progresses, talking about nothing and reconnecting as siblings and as twins. Time much needed.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License