Rider or Drudge?

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.
Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs.

A day or so after the Weyrleader's office exploded in lights and sound and glitter (surely there's gossip about that), Mur'dah is in the living caverns, dressed in loose, grungy clothing. Mop and bucket in hand, the brownrider is working on cleaning up a spill by the food tables, the juice and bubbly pie mix promising the recent appearance (and disappearance) of a toddler, likely swept off to the baths by an irate nanny. Mur'dah seems in good spirits though, humming to himself as he mops the stone floor, dunking the mop, squeezing it, and setting to again with fluid strokes.

Tucked into one of the quiet corners, sits the huddled form of another. Kiena hasn't spotted Mur'dah yet and likely never would have given the grungy clothing he's wearing and the tasks he's doing. Nothing she'd ever expect him to be working and slaving over and so the bluerider remains focused on her task. Which is more like a personal struggle. Her arch nemesis of the day? A jar of salve. Muttering and swearing under her breath, she's rigged it in a way that she's sure that she's got the grip and leverage to uncap the stupid thing with one hand when - POP! - out it slips from her grasp and goes skittering over the smooth surface of the table and swiftly followed by her mad scrabbling to keep it from falling to the floor and shattering. The end result has her half sprawled on the table's surface, her good arm outstretched with the jar clamped down under her hand. With a frustrated groan, she rests her forehead down and is likely swearing another streak of curse words. "Stupid… sharing… jar…" Grumble.

Mur'dah looks up at the frustrated sound of another, contrasting with his contented humming, and blinks when he sees who it is. "Kiena?" he asks, tucking the mop against the table to meander in her direction with a frown. "What's up? Need some help?"

Kiena recognizes the voice and that alone has her tilting her head to peer up at Mur'dah as he approaches. She has tucked her head against the curve of her arm, the salve jar still grasped in her hand as she slouches on the table top. Taking a moment to frown at him and peer in obvious confusion (and curiosity) for his getup, she snorts and then shifts to lean back. Her other arm is raised, lifted from where she keeps it cradled close to her chest. The hand is bandaged and clearly immobilized. "This is what's up." she grouses irritably and then flicks her fingers of her good hand at the salve jar. "Mind opening that? This is itching and driving me insane." Save her sanity! If she ever had any to begin with. "What's up with you? And the… clothes."

Mur'dah frowns when he sees her hand, sliding his lanky form into a chair across from her and grabbing the jar, and trying not to make it look /too/ easy as he swiftly opens it with a twist and pushes it across to her. "What happened?" he asks, brows furrowing. Staring at the bandaged hand for a moment, his eyes flick to her face, searching for any other clues. "I'm on drudge duty for a sevenday because I pulled a prank on the Weyrleader. He didn't appreciate it," he says with a little shrug and slight smirk.

Kiena knows exactly how easy it is and that is what has her in a mood. She was fine with the patch up in the Infirmary. Oh, she sputtered a bit about fourteen days off Smithing and her duties, but stupid naive Kiena thought'd she'd be able to do something. Instead she's barred entirely from the forges for now, save for inventory work or whatever else can be done one handed (very little). Every day tasks are difficult and now she's just souring on this whole injury thing. Whine, whine, mope. "Got too cocky with my work and was reminded of the dangers?" she drawls with a snort and then sighs. "Worked the metal too fast. It was bad and too thin, so it shattered. Took me by surprise and got a shard of it in the hand…" Which he's about to see for himself, since she's unwinding the bandage. He's not squeamish, is he? "Thanks." she mutters about the jar, pulling it close before she carefully removes the last of the bandages. Her hand well… doesn't look nice. But only because it is freshly made and freshly healing. Inflammed (but not in a bad way) around the sutures, one goes between her ring and pinkie finger and she dabs that one first and then flips her hand over to reveal the curved gash across her palm and deepest in the thumb pad. "You what?" Kiena looks up to stare at Mur'dah and she almost starts to laugh until he says the last of it. Oh. "Really? Ugh, that… sucks Mur'dah. I thought the prank idea was a good one. You… was it with that party ball thing?"

Mur'dah isn't squeamish. In fact he leans forward to peer at it, grimacing. "Shards." Literally! "That sucks, Kiena, I'm sorry. Glad it wasn't worse though." She didn't lose a finger or an eye. "It'll heal fine though? No nerve damage or anything like that?" His lips quirk in a smirk and he shrugs. "Yeah, that plus some glitter. He…really didn't appreciate it. I thought it was a good idea too but apparently it wasn't. So. I cleaned his office and now I'm stuck doing chores. It's no big deal though. Wish he'd laughed, but. Oh well." There's another shrug and a swift glance around. "Be right back," he says, striding off to gather some dirty plates and take them to the kitchen before he returns with another platter of food. Setting it out, he grabs two meatrolls and returns to Kiena's table, offering her one while he takes the other. "So how long will it take to heal?"

Kiena grunts softly when he mentions it 'not being worse'. This is worse enough for her! "Yeah. Kera stitched me up and both she and her Journeyman said I'd be fine if I just followed their orders. No damage, just can't use it. So I'm down to one hand…" she mutters. Blinking, she'll tilt her head as she listens to his retelling of the prank and again, she's struggling not to laugh. What results is a sort've half-snorted snickering and an apologetic look. "Glitter?" she giggles at one point. "You didn't! Jays. What a kill joy." That last bit is muttered low, just in case any ears overhear it and she frowns. "It was just a bit of fun! He's sounding as stuffy and anti-fun as my brother." Then he's excusing himself and Kiena nods her head, bending to the task of refastening the bandages and tucking it securely. "Sorry that you got saddled with the sucky work. How long?" Kiena asks on his return, only to look a bit cheerier for the food and she takes the offered meatroll. "Fourteen days." she grumbles around a mouthful of food.

"That's gotta suck, just having one hand," Mur'dah says with sympathy. "Can't even put straps on with one hand…" Buckles are hard. "Well if you need any help let me know, I'm not doing much but these chores. I mean I'm /busy/ but it's nothing I can't dart away from for a little bit if you need something." Then he grins. "Yeah, lots of glitter. I got him cake too but…the glitter got all over it. He was pissed." Then he laughs. "Shards, I'd love to see Th'ero and Ka'el together. Maybe we should do that. And have lots of booze out. That'd be interesting to watch." Then he shrugs. "It's no big deal. I pranked the Weyrleader, there's got to be consequences for it. I feel bad though. I took Raelii with me and she kind of got in trouble too." He glances around. "I don't know what her punishment is, but she was with Sori…" Guilt. He's got guilt for /that/ part of it.

Kiena slouches into her seat and smirks, "It does suck. I hadn't realized HOW much it would suck until I tried to start my day today…" And realized too late that almost every simple task is now difficult. "Thanks for the reminder, Mur'dah!" she quips, giving him a frowned look that soon eases back into a smile for his offered help. "I'll let you know. So far, you've helped me once today already." She taps the side of the jar. "Mind closing it?" Because she can't. "Pissed because of the cake? Or just cause he can't handle a bit of glitter surprise and fun?" Kiena snorts, careful to keep her words low again. Brows lift at his next suggestion and the bluerider laughs gruffly. "Oh shells! To be a vtol on that wall. It'd either go awkwardly and silent, awkwardly and full of cryptic jabs or… they'll kill each other. Total toss up!" And she's really stretching the truth. Kiena's opinion of her brother is quite warped. Shaking her head, her mood sobers a little when Mur'dah becomes guilty when he explains Raelii's involvement. "Don't. Don't feel bad, Mur'dah. How were you to know? Maybe she'll just have to help Soriana out for a bit." Which can't be a bad thing, right?

Mur'dah shrugs, "I think he just…I don't know. I can't guess how he thinks," he finally says, giving up on trying. There's a low snicker as he's on his feet to fetch more dirty dishes and wipe down a table, and then he's back. "Eh, I don't know. She just got here and already she's in trouble. I need to find her soon and apologize. Figure out what her punishment was…"

Kiena can only shrug her shoulders as well and give Mur'dah a sympathetic look. "I'm sorry it turned out so bad for you. You and Raelii both." Though she gets the whole punishment thing. Still… there are worse pranks to pull on people! Not that the bluerider would know… honest! (She totally does.) Frowning as he gets up to leave again, she grimaces and has to bite her tongue when he returns. Somehow seeing him stuck to such… meaningless work is grating on her. "Apologize," Kiena agrees with a nod of her head, considering it and then smirks as she adds. "And make it up to her. Big time." Problem solved!

"Thanks," Mur'dah says as he settles again and eats a few bites from the meatroll, before he's reaching forward to finally cap the jar. Not tightly though. "You ever pulled a prank on someone?" he asks curiously. Then there's a nod. "Yeah, I will. Not sure how though…but. Somehow I'll make it up to her."

Kiena has just finished the last of her meatroll, only to grimace as she realizes she had used the same hand to apply the salve. Her nose wrinkles and she makes a slight gagging sound. Ugh. Uggggh. Eyeing Mur'dah as he returns, she coughs. "Uh, yeah. I did but it wasn't really my idea to start. I was caught too… It was embarrassing. And I may have done something with spiderclaws once…" she admits with a crooked grin. "I wasn't much of a prankster, really. I can appreciate a good joke though. Tasteful ones, right?" Where no one gets hurt. "It'll come to you, you'll see. Try not to let it stress you out, alright?"

Mur'dah eyes her for a long moment. "You want to elaborate on either of those?" he teases. "Eh, I'm trying, but. I'll feel better once I know how she's doing. I guess she's meeting people though, right? That's a good thing…" Right?

Kiena just gives Mur'dah a long look as she considers giving into his teasing jab to elaborate and then snorts, shrugging her shoulders again and then grimacing as she has to readjust her hand against her body. At least the salve is setting in and she's no longer plagued by the dreadful itching. "I was talked into writing love letters to Western's Weyrsecond and making them anonymous of course. Only… he caught me in the act. And then thought I was serious. Dunno how I got myself talked into that one…" she mutters and then gives him another sympathetic look. "I'm sure her punishment won't be that bad, Mur'dah. I mean, you were the brains behind it, right? And yeah, it is one way for her to meet new folk and who knows… Maybe she won't be that upset over it all? Everyone does silly things in their lives." It's just the way of things!

Mur'dah blinks at her for a moment and then /snorts/ a laugh, having to cover his mouth so it doesn't sound as rude as it could. "Wow," he says, "did he…feel anything?" Did she break his heart? Then he sobers and nods, glancing towards the caverns. "Yeah, I was the brains - or the lack of brains. It was my idea anyway, she was just there with me." And she had the glitter.

Kiena sticks her tongue out at him anyways when he laughs and tries to cover it up, a slight blush covering her cheeks. "What? Ugh, no. Thank Faranth… but it was awkward. He had a weyrmate and I was supposedly with Zi'on. So." Awkward. No broken heart! Oh, she's not done yet. Clearing her throat, her blue eyes dart around the cavern and satisfied no one is lurking too close she lowers her head and whispers gruff and low to Mur'dah. "And then with the spiderclaws, I and another Candidate caught a bunch and… dressed them in personal stuff. Ya know? Underthings." She didn't! Oh, but she did. "Ever try to grab your knickers back from an angry spiderclaw? I'd not recommend it." Cue a wicked grin. "Let's see…" Sweet Faranth, there's more? "I think that was my last one… Though midnight skinny dipping with my fellow female Weyrlings doesn't really count as a prank as much as it was 'let's break the rules'." Smirk. Back to sobering, Kiena nods her head and reaches out with her good hand to try and either pat Mur'dah's arm comfortingly or give him a bump to the shoulder. Knowing the bluerider? It's the latter. "It'll all work out in the end. If ya need help, I'm here. Cause Faranth knows I'll probably owe you by the time I'm mended." She'll owe a lot of people. Stupid blunder!

Mur'dah nods, "Very awkward." Then he's laughing again, shaking his head. "Faranth. I wish I'd thought of that one. That's a /great/ prank…I can only imagine the chaos." As for midnight skinny dipping, Mur'dah just grins. "I love doing that." No prank, just fun. He takes the shoulder bump with a smile and a nod. "Thanks, I just might. I'll keep you posted for sure."

Kiena grins wryly, "It was pretty chaotic. Don't think I was caught for it either." she admits with a bit of a wink. "Hmm, well. Now you know? Didn't think you were such a fan of pranks…" she murmurs. Uh oh? What's that look to her eyes? She will have a lot of free time on her hands. Of course, she'll try to be productive like a good little mature bluerider ought to be. But that can only go so far, right? Right. "Deal. Hmm. You know…" she pauses for a moment, tilting her head as she chews at her lip to consider. "Is this friend of yours, Raelii, nervous around dragons? I'm going to need help with Ujinath's care and while I'd normally go harass the weyrbrats, they sometimes get distracted. And my girls…" Are in Western. Where she can't go even if she wanted too and she glowers at her bandaged hand. Grr, frustrating!

Mur'dah snickers. "I won't tell a soul." As if it's still an open cold case back in Western. "I'm not a huge prank fan but they have their time and place." And Mur'dah just failed at both. Tilting his head, he considers the question for a moment. "No, she's not nervous around anything, so far as I can tell. She's fine around Kalsuoth." He gives her hand a glance and then gives her a sympathetic look. "Would Ujinath be nervous around her?"

"You better not," Kiena mock glares at Mur'dah and attempting her best threatening look. Which is, of course, ruined by the grin that follows seconds later. "Mhm, neither am I. They've their time and place. Sometimes worth it, sometimes not." she agrees and then gives him a curious look before looking down at the table top, deep in thought. "Ujinath would be alright with her. She's young, I trust her. Helps that she's female." What? "Good that she doesn't seem spooked by the dragons. We'll see though, how this…" She brandishes her injured hand. "…pans out. The report has probably reached Ka'el by now. Wonder if I'm going to get my hide flayed for it." Smirk.

Mur'dah winks. "I won't," he promises. "He prefers girls to boys?" he asks curiously. "Yeah, I think she could help you out a lot with him, but…I can't speak for her of course. But if I see her I'll mention it. And she's not that young, she's my age." He looks at her hand again and grimaces, before he frowns. "Flayed?"

Kiena winces a bit and looks a touch sheepish. "Yeah. Might've been something he picked up from me. For the longest time, I preferred the company and friendship of other girls and women." she mutters and then gives him a sharp narrow look. Don't read too much into that! "Just didn't trust men. So I think he kind of picked that up and with him always looking out for me… he is more relaxed around the female gender." She shrugs and then chuckles dryly. "Thanks, Mur'dah and alright, good point. Not that young!" She stands corrected! Leaning forwards, she nudges him with her curled fingers against his arm. "I was kidding! Though I will have to be… reassigned I guess. Given something to do. Not right if I just sit on my butt."

Mur'dah's brows lift at that sharp, narrow look from her, and all he does is nod. "Makes sense." Especially with the pieces he's pieced together or assumed about her past. "Yeah, I get that. I think our dragons do pick up on those sorts of things from us. Who to trust, who not to trust…" Then he studies her arm thoughtfully and grins, crooked and swift. "You could always help me out with my chores," he says innocently. "You can fold laundry with one hand, right?" Then, before she hits him, he's moving on. "Maybe sweeps? If someone helps with the straps…don't need two hands to fly. Hate to see you stuck doing paperwork for two sevens."

Kiena nods her head and smiles crookedly, looking a little at ease that he so readily understands her often-times confusing points and observations. "Yeah, exactly." Her brows lift then for his suggestion and she does hit him, but it's a playful smack against his shoulder, followed by a nudge as she wrinkles her nose at him only to sigh, "You know… that'd be tempting. Boring, but tempting. I could fold one handed. Some stuff I'm not helpless or hopeless on. Only problem is is that your chores are punishment based. Is my help cheating?" She doesn't want to get him into further trouble. Kiena shakes her head at the last remark, "Maybe. But — I don't like being dependent on folks and… and it's kind of humiliating not being able to mount up on my own."

Mur'dah laughs when she smacks him, leaning over to return the favor. "Naw I wouldn't ask you to do any of my stuff. Besides, I'm sure your right and Ka'el would see it as cheating. Or me dragging yet another person down with me into my depraved behavior," he says, grin crooked and amused. Then a frown. "So you'd rather not fly at all for two sevens, than get help with your straps?" From his tone, that's not something /he/ would be willing to give up.

Kiena grunts and weathers the return with a crooked grin and snorts. "Depraved behaviour?" she drawls, eyeing him. Really? "Please don't tell me he used that word. Besides, I'm perfectly capable of choosing whom I help or not." she points out and then blinks, only to frown heavily. Well… now that he puts it that way? She chews at her lower lip and then swears under her breath. Damn. "No. You're right. I'd go mad to be grounded that long… It'd be like being pregnant all over again." Only that was for months, not weeks.

Mur'dah grins crookedly and shakes his head. "No, he didn't. And that's true, you are, but I'm pretty sure he'd be irritated if I got help with all my chores. It's supposed to be a learning experience for me." Learning how to do menial labor! Woo! Then there's a slow, knowing smile and a nod. "I'll help with the straps whenever you want," he says, "if Ujinath trusts me enough to be near him." And that's not sarcasm, it's genuinely stated. "Oh, speaking of the twins, are they here yet? I've got their turnday presents and everything. I didn't get them clothes." Bummer.

Kiena blinks, "A learning experience how?" she asks with a frown. Didn't they do enough of this as Candidates? Or… never, really. She shakes her head, still not quite understanding Mur'dah's punishment but she won't argue what she cannot change. She rolls her eyes at him then and smirks crookedly. Neither is she being sarcastic (okay, maybe just a little!) but really? He doesn't think Ujinath trusts him? "He'll be fine with you. You don't have to worry about that, Mur'dah." she murmurs. It's the truth! She shakes her head and looks down at her bandaged hand again. "No. They're still in Western Weyr, though everything is pretty much finalized here. I… don't even know if I have Between clearance." she mutters and then tilts her head curiously, only to smile warmly. "You got them gifts?" He shouldn't have! "You know… they're going to cling to you like glue because of that. What'd you get 'em, if not the clothes?" She can know, right?

Mur'dah shrugs, "I have no idea, but the Weyrleader gave me a sevenday of chores so I'm sure I'm supposed to learn something. I don't know if it's what he intended but I /have/ got a better appreciation for how much work goes into keeping things running smoothly. And good, I'm glad he'll be okay with me." There's a pause while he darts off to clear some more plates and wipe down the table before he's back. "Are they excited to come here?" he asks curiously. "Hmm. Well, you can get them when that's healed," he says with a nod to her hand. "Yeah! It's their fourth turnday coming up, right? Sori and I went to the Rubicon River boat races and I found two boats for them. Little toy things, with a string at the end, you walk them along the shore. I thought maybe we'd paint them and I can write the names on them that the girls pick out, or something. Seemed like a fun little thing we could do. I always hate when I get clothes for turndays. I want toys." Still. He still wants toys and probably always will.

Kiena smirks but nods her head to him when he further explains the punishment and reluctantly she allows that part of their conversation to slip away. That and he's also darting off again to do said chores and she is left to mull over her thoughts. She's also scratching at her arm, just along the fringes of the bandage and when he returns she looks a touch guilty. She wasn't scratching her hand, honest! Just thinking about it. "I wouldn't know," she murmurs honestly. "I think they understand what it means but I don't think it'll really click until the day of." From her grimace and worried frown, she's expecting a meltdown from the toddlers. Always expect the worst, right? Kiena's eyes linger on him the entire time he explains the gift and her expression brightens considerably as she laughs. "I think that's perfect! They're active girls and those will keep them entertained for sure. Great idea, Mur'dah. Or was this Soriana's idea too? And let me guess…" She snickers. "You want to help them with it, don't you?" Men and their toys!

Mur'dah gives her arm and then her face a pointed look. "No itching." But he knows. He knows how irritating it can be. There's a small nod and a sympathetic look. "Maybe I'll give them the boats the day they get here? Distract them a bit, maybe? And, uh, it was both of our ideas. She starting asking me about the girls' sizes and favorite colors and I didn't know any of that, so. Boats." Boats save the day! Then he grins, "Well yeah! Obviously. I think it'll be fun!" Mur'dah likes kids. Who knew?

Kiena almost sticks her tongue out at him again for the pointed look. She knows! "That might be a good idea. A welcoming gift and a Turnday gift," she murmurs thoughtfully and then smiles crookedly, giving him a thankful glance. "It was nice of you — both of you, to think of them. They'll love the boats. But don't complain to me if they start nagging you and dragging you out to play with them." she drawls with a gruff chuckle. "And just between you and me? I don't know their favourite colour either." Gasp!

Mur'dah chuckles, shaking his head. "I'll play with them when I can." But he's a rider, he's got other priorities. Like cleaning tables, and he's off to clean another one. Sure he's chatting with Kiena, but he's doing his chores at the same time. "You don't?" he asks, a bit surprised and then grinning. "Well that's something we should figure out, I think. That's important information."

Kiena laughs and knows all too well that he has other priorities. So does she! Which is why the twins are fostered and not under her care. She gives him another look on his return and snorts, "Uh huh. One of those crucial bits of information? For all I know, they love all the colours of the rainbow. At least we have an excuse with the boats to ask…" Sneaky! She frowns a little, "There's a fair bit I don't know about my girls." she murmurs.

Mur'dah nods, "Well, it's hard to get to know them when they're in another weyr and you and the father don't get along well. Now that they're here, you'll get to know them much better," he says with confidence, smiling reassuringly at her. No guilt! "It's a fresh start for you all."

No guilt! Well, maybe a little guilt? Kiena does her best not to show it too much, though it lingers there deep down. "Good point. Still, there could have been an effort made. I mean, how hard is it to just ask 'em and then remember it." she mutters and at his reassuring smile she only smirks and snorts softly, but takes it to heart all the same. Leaning back in her seat, she will settle comfortably with her injured hand still cradled against her body and her focused turn to Mur'dah. "Mind if I ask you another favour?" she drawls with a chuckle. "Not to make you do more work than you're already stuck with, but mind grabbing some drinks?"

It's a calm afternoon, and Mur'dah and Kiena are chatting at a table in the caverns. The brownrider is knotless and dressed in drudge clothes, so one can be forgiven for assuming he is as he's dressed - a drudge. Pushing to his feet, he shrugs at Kiena. "There are more important things to know and remember," he remarks. "Sure thing, what would you like? That's one bonus of working in the living caverns. I've been eating so much…I'm going to get fat." Yeah, right.

A'ven attracts some attention as he enters. To many here, he is a new face so those who do look a bit overlong cannot be blamed for it really. Some display considerable surprise at first, but after a bit of a pause, they nod, perhaps feeling as though they've solved the puzzle that caused their initial surprise. After a brief look around, the man smiles confidently enough. He certainly looks like he's been here before, but his voice is unmistakably nervous, "Hello…" he offers quietly to the tall but skeptical looking rider who is trying to look inconspicuous himself as he eavesdrops, A'ven continues, "Did I miss lunch?" He spies Mur'dah and, thinking he's a drudge, simply asks, "Do you have something like a stew? I'm afraid my stomach is still a little upset… I need, mild and warm…" then he blinks, tilting his head as he looks a little closer at Mur'dah but says nothing as yet. The other person he notices, mostly because he happened to walk in while she was talking, is Kiena, and here he is, at least temporarily at a loss. He nods, saying simply, "I'm A'ven." as that will do for now, though his smile is warm, almost practiced.

Kiena is hardly dressed as a drudge and in her casual clothes. No riding gear and no work clothes for her on this day! Her knot is still pinned to her shoulder however. "Like what?" she prompts Mur'dah with a quirk of a brow. Do tell? "Oh, I don't know. Surprise me? Or just good 'ol water. That'll do too!" Scoffing a bit, she just rolls her eyes and shakes her head, some laughter filtering into her voice. "Yeah right, Mur'dah. All you're eating you're probably burning off." she points out, only to fall silent as A'ven approaches, a touch wary and cautious. Would she recognize him from Western? It's hard to say, though she is certainly giving him the curious once over and then having to bite down hard on her lower lip when he begins talking to Mur'dah like a drudge. She'll even lift her hand up to try to cover the snickers that follow. Poor, poor brownrider! Some friend she is. Lifting eyes that are now bright with amusement at the situation rather than directed to the newcomer bronzerider, she smiles tentatively. "Afternoon, A'ven. I'm Kiena, rider of blue Ujinath. You here on visit or…" A tilt of her head, trying to glimpse a knot if there is one there to peek at. "… new?"

Mur'dah turns his head and gives A'ven a swift once over, tilting his head slightly and then grinning with a nod. "Aye, sir, you did but you just have yourself a seat and I'll get you something straightaway. Right?" With a swift wink to Kiena, the brownrider is turning to vanish into the kitchens, seeking out some sort of stew or something like it for the bronzerider. And a drink for Kiena. Surprise her, she said. Well! He can do that.

A'ven's grin widens considerably as he turns his shoulder a bit to show his knot. He seems as proud of it as a young lad might be, just trusted with his first wing duties. "My visiting days are over. I'm here to stay.", he says, and then blinks as that statement sinks in for him as well. "Well, it feels good to say it anyway. I've always liked it here." "I'm pleased to meet you Kiena. Ask anyone and they'll tell you you can't go wrong trusting your life to a blue rider… although I have to say, I think I'd be a little airsick… myself, all that darting about." He chuckles kindly and the skin around his eyes wrinkle merrily. When Mur'dah disappears briefly he can't help but ask, in a low mutter, "He's got the look of a rider about him… but I can't be sure… is this some sort of costume he's playing at?", asking Kiena but referring to Mur'dah.

Kiena's brows lift and eyes widen a bit as Mur'dah runs with it and she has to fight to keep from gaping or bursting out laughing less the game be given away too soon. Turning her attention back to A'ven, she'll gesture for him to take a seat if he wishes to. "Welcome then, to Xanadu! Well met too, A'ven." She snorts then, snickering. "Is that so? Funny, that's the first time I've ever heard anything of the sort concerning us blueriders. Sure it wasn't brown?" she drawls and smirks. "Oh, it's not that bad. What, him?" Kiena will jerk her head a bit towards the direction that Mur'dah has vanished to and peers up at A'ven. Once confirmed, she just can't help it any longer and begins to laugh, gruff and soft and she keeps her voice low so as not to draw that much attention. "Oh, he's a rider!" she informs him with a grin and leaves it at that.

Mur'dah emerges a moment later with a silver tray, upon which he's put a steaming bowl of stew, a basket of bread, and a single flower. "Your meal, bronzerider, sir," he says, putting the tray down in front of A'ven with a deep bow. "One moment, miss, and I'll be back with your drink." And he's sweeping off again with a flourish!

A'ven can't help but laugh now, shaking his head a little bit, "Thank you… I think.", he manages before the man is off again. Well, perhaps he heard that on his way out. "How long have you lived here Kiena?" "I'm afraid I don't know all that many people yet, other than of course the Weyrleaders and such… and that really doesn't give one a feel for a place, really…." "Maybe you could show me around a little?", he says, not really expecting an answer. "I'll have my first sweeps tomorrow and I'll have to pretend I know my way along the lake…" He muses, "You know, when you're first a Weyrling and all you learn is the basic landmarks and between reference points, you really miss something… we really should encourage more ground exploration for riders." He stops himself, and smiles, realizing such thoughts are not quite as urgent for him as they once were. He sighs contentedly.

Kiena frowns as she rapidly runs a few calculations in her head, only to shrug in the end with her one shoulder. "A few Turns at most? I transferred in as well. And no, I suppose not but… I'm sure you'll get to know the rest of the Xanadian crew soon enough. At least you've sweeps first thing! That's a start, isn't it?" Right? Get to know your Wing! Or something. The bluerider doesn't look too certain, but given she was so reclusive (and still is at times) she's… probably not the best guide on 'how to make friends'. Chuckling, she does in fact give A'ven an answer for that offer. "I could if you're wanting a tour. I've nothing else really to pass the time…" Lifted is her injured hand, just for a moment and followed by a crooked smile. "Though honestly, if you're wanting the real tour you can ask the "drudge"," she stresses that with another snickered laugh. "Since he was all but raised here." Listening curiously, her head tilts a bit and her eyes study him again for his reflections. "Is that so?" she begins, only to stare at Mur'dah as he sweeps in and out again with a flourish. Miss? Her nose wrinkles. Oh boy, he's playing it up!

Mur'dah is, and why not? He returns with Kiena's drink. Frosted glass, fruity concotion, alcohol…and a twist of fruit. And a little paper umbrella. "Here we are! I hope it serves," he says as he flops down in his vacated seat with a grin. "So, A'ven, what brings you to Western from wherever it was you were before? And I /was/ raised here. Not 'all but' raised here. Lived here my whole life except for a few months when I was an heir." Hand wave. Not important.

A'ven wonders if the man has been drinking what he's serving, "Brings me to Western?", he says with a confused look. "I'm coming from Western… some would say fleeing but honestly, that usually happens faster doesn't it? No indeed, took me months and months to decide where I wanted to go… I'd hardly call that fleeing. Left things in good order, I think, before I made my way here." He laughs a little darkly, "Western's fate is its own now… has been for some time — although I miss some things, what I have gained more than makes up for it." A long look at Mur'dah, "Perhaps I'll have a drink too." He looks Kiena's way, "Well, if you have the time I would appreciate getting to know the place, but don't let me take you away from more important things. You certainly have sweeps of your own, perhaps a family… which reminds me I need to tell Kimmila where I've transferred to…my daughter needs to know where to find me." He smiles, looking far away for a moment. "Yes, a drink… just a small one."

Kiena did say to surprise her and Mur'dah certainly did! "Oh, it'll serve just fine!" she muses as she reaches out for the glass and takes a small sip. Finding the beverage to her liking, she grins to the brownrider as he flops back into his seat. "Thanks." She'll even toast a bit with her drink before nursing it slowly. Then she waves her injured hand a little in a gesture of her own. Okay, so she got some of that detail wrong! Kiena starts a bit when A'ven confirms he's from Western and she fidgets a bit on her seat, giving Mur'dah a sidelong look. "It's not easy making the decision to transfer." she agrees softly and knocks back a little more of that drink. She smirks at the bronzerider, "More important things? With this mangled hand of mine, all my 'important things' like smithing and duties are on hold. My family…" Is in Western. "… no, nothing like that. Not yet. So whenever you're free or bored, I'll probably be kicking around. Unless they can find me work to do at the forges." But she sounds doubtful.

Mur'dah tilts his head as he listens to A'ven ramble, and though he /tries/ to stay focused, his attention is swiftly drifting. "A drink." That he can do. "Yessir," and he's on his feet to select a drink for the bronzerider. If Kiena gets a fruity thing with a lemon twist and umbrella, A'ven gets…a glass of red wine.

A'ven asks Kiena, "Is that how you hurt your hand? At the forge?", his mouth thins, realizing he might have asked sooner. He looks hard at the injury, his Healer instincts and curiosity getting the better of him. When he realizes he's staring he reflexively covers the action by drinking his wine, mostly all at once, kind of automatically. "What's your name, rider?", he finally asks Mur'dah with a wide grin. He's been waiting to do that for some time, can't fool him with that drudgity-drudge-drudgyness. A blink, a shift in focus, "Where'd my drink go?", he suddenly asks.

"Yep," Kiena confirms and while not exactly boasting of it, she's quick with the honest answer. "Sliced it on a shard of metal when the piece I was working on snapped. Was my fault, really… Worked it too much, too fast. Weakened it and didn't realize till it was too late. Lots of time lost…" she murmurs and grimaces. In more ways that one! At his staring, she frowns and then scowls a little bit before tucking her hand away. She's no clue that he's a Healer — not yet anyways. "Looked and bled a lot worse than it was," she adds after relaxing a little. Touchy bluerider is touchy! She snickers, "You drank it." she drawls with an amused look and then promptly knocks the rest of hers back.

Mur'dah grins crookedly, shooting Kiena a 'you told him!' look before he answers. "Mur'dah, sir. Brown Kalsuoth's rider temporarily reassigned to drudge work." Then he laughs. "You drank it, sir, but there's plenty over there. If you'll both excuse me," and he stands with a small bow, "I must get back to my chores. Kiena, I'll see you later. A'ven sir, welcome to Xanadu."

A'ven grins, liking the style of the brownrider immediately, and the easy banter with Kiena. "You don't need to call me sir.", he says pointedly grinning. "I didn't care for it when I was a sir." He gets himself some more wine. "I think I'm going to like it here.", he muses. "Well, since you were kind enough to tell me your craft I suppose I should say something about mine. "I'm a Healer… I'm sorry for gawking at your hand… it's … habit."

Kiena also quirks a brow for Mur'dah's constant use of 'sir' and she's left to wonder if that just him being the "drudge" for the day. As he stands, trying not to roll her eyes at his bow, she'll flash him a broad grin. "Definitely. See you around, Mur'dah." she says, only to give A'ven a curious look again. Another piece of the puzzle and she frowns, something clicking in her memory but brushed aside when he shares his Craft. Brows lift and then she laughs, looking a touch sheepish now for her reaction. "Ahh, that explains it! Well. Might be then that we cross paths again, given being a Smith, I'm guaranteed to be back in the Infirmary at some point. Or, at the very least, getting this taken care of. Not for another two sevendays though." Sigh. Now it's her turn to push her chair back and stand, bobbing her head in a brisk nod to A'ven. "I should be going too. Might see if I can't do something at the forges. Even if it's sorting papers. Don't worry on the gawking. You've a good reason!" All is forgiven! "Clear skies and welcome. Best of luck on your first day!" And then she's gone!

A'ven spends some chatting with a few ohters, and finishing his wine, talking animatedly with several people before deciding he'd better find Glyith before he orders another drink.

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