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Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.

The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.

Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

From the Xanadu BB

It's happening again! Leirith got another terrible idea in her head and nobody can really answer why Risali hasn't stopped her. But overnight, by some miracle of « MINIONS! », an amusement park made up ENTIRELY OF CARDBOARD BOXES (there must be a shortage somewhere) sprung up by the water overnight. Everything about it is questionable, but functional: a ferris wheel, carnival games, vendor booths, a merry-go-round, even a cardboard ramp where you can slide down on a crayon-decorated cardboard monstrocity. Those mimosas probably aren't mimosas at all, but they're always suspiciously in supply along with cakes and spun sugar. There is plenty enough to do, all of the crayon-scribbled doors are even functional , and the Leadership hasn't torn it down, so it's probably (questionably) safe. So sit back, relax, and go for a wild ride! Afterwards, please be sure to post that log on the wiki! We want to see all of the fun and shenanigans you get up to, though you certainly don't have to get up to any of them if you don't want to!

There are so many excellent reasons for visiting a veritable cardboard carnival. First and foremost, because there is such a thing as a cardboard carnival and it's here. Some come for the games, some come for the rides, but it's very obvious what Stefyr's favorite-of-the-moment is. That paper wand holding that massive cloud of spun sugar, tinted in— what's this? It looks like layers of color, starting obviously with a pretty pink, and it's almost twice the size of the big man's head. He keeps it protectively close as he uses teeth to peel tufts of tastiness and his tongue to hook them into his mouth. Blue eyes do travel elsewhere, insomuch as is necessary to keep this precious confection safe, but he might be missing some of the finer points of this really wonderful, awfully terrible idea as he strolls in the sunny summer afternoon.

What is this cardboard monstrosity?! Samuven stares wide-eyed at the carnival as he comes in off the docks, stumbling a step as he drops down to the beach, "What in th'-" Then he spots Stefyr and his cloud of sugar. He blinks. And blinks again. No, the image doesn't go away, so the sailor-candidate makes his way through the crowd toward the other man, "What's goin' on?" One hand gestures vaguely to indicate the cardboard rides and booths around them, "I did ne know thar was a gather." Or whatever this is, "I mean, I saw somethin' when I wen' out this mornin', but I ain't paid no attention…" It was still dark!

Stefyr is caught in the utterly awkward act of trying to coax, with tongue only, a much too large piece of pink fluff into his mouth when Samuven speaks to him. He has to move the convection on a paper stick in order to even see Samuven. Cue the blush that might just be reflecting the pink of his treat, except a touch darker. He lets one hand free from the paper cone and uses it to shove the sugar the rest of the way into his mouth, hurriedly chew the dissolving mass and mid-chew, rather than waiting to swallow, he manages a muffled sound that comes out sounding something like, "Ay, riff." When he swallows, it finally makes more sense (POSSIBLY) as he explains, "Leirith." Then his brows lift a touch in silent inquiry if that's sufficient explanation enough. It is for Stefyr, her unfortunate Minion. "Gather might be too grand a term." He observes, casting his eyes about. "But I've never been to one, so I don't really know." He looks again to the sailor-turned-candidate and makes silent inquiry of his personal comparison.

Samuven chuckles a little at the blush, though he frowns a little at the muffled mouthful. "Oh…" Leirith. That makes more sense. Especially since the blond man has had the pleasure of speaking to the… opinionated queen. He nods slowly, still looking around, "So she saw t' all this, huh?" He doesn't really seem that surprised. Maybe he's heard stories about Xanadu's eccentric senior queen? Probably. Now he gestures at the cloud of spun sugar, "An' that?" There's amusement in his voice and a faintly curious tilt of his head, "Looks… interestin'." To say the least.

There's something in the water. The natural heave and ho of the expansive lake waters churn slightly, shoved up from beneath, seathing and writhing in a wholely unnatural threat of something headed closer for shore. A fishing vessel is caught in the disruption, the hull of it cast dangerously leewards to nigh beam ends. There's some distressed, surprised shouting from the crew that all but goes muffled amidst the breeze out on the water. And then it's gone. The surface flattens. The depths beneath remains dark and all the more foreboding. What DOES come is the ominously black figure from far down the beach, from somewhere past the curve of the natural inlet. His high boots gleam faintly in wetness as if he'd been wading. His dark hair, as unkempt as ever, hangs wetly against his face. Glints of silver'd metal move sharply with the form of him, in that absolute swagger he has about moving down the beach his posture has clearly already claimed. Close enough to see his expression, and there's a scowl on it, an annoyed-but-not-surprised reaction to all the cardboard- or the candidates. Or both. "Interesting is not the right word, lad." Arises a heavily accented voice, dark and graveled. It doesn't really matter what the topic of conversation was or if he's invited, you see, because Ki'lian is just going to assume it's about the cardboard and his distaste of it.

"Well, I'm sure she oversaw all this," Stefyr's voice has a grin in it. "Her minions did the actual work." Now that grin manifests on his face, by which one might conclude that for whatever reason he didn't have to be one of them! A Miracle of Leirith, completely without the booming call of « MINION! » to disturb his rest or daily duties. That's worth grinning about. The fact that he moves the TOO BIG FOR ANY ONE MAN spun sugar a little closer to his body, protectively, is just knee-jerk reaction. Then he's extending the multi-layered, multi-colored confection over in case Samuven wants a taste. "I asked for a dragon size one." And since there's an ominous figure in black, with dangerous glints of metal and general levels of intimidation, the tall, broad-shouldered blond blinks blue eyes between the currently pink on the outside sugar cloud and then at the man and extends it in … surrender? PROBABLY, HE'S JUST GOING TO SHARE. A man that big might draw the line at defending his sugar cache. "What is the word for it, sir?" He inquires in a comically earnest way. This is not Stefyr being a smart mouth - or if it is, then he's got an exceptional poker face that speaks of guilelessness.

Wait… What? Who? Might as well add in a 'where' and 'when' to that list of questions. Samuven blinks, eyes wide, when the black clad man inserts himself into the conversation. For a moment, the blond man swells up to stand up to the newcomer, but then he deflates like air let out of a balloon, "It does look like some of it could be fun, though…" For his part, it's a definate comment about the carnival, "And some of the snacks look tasty." Or at least interesting, as attested by his eager pinching off of what is intended to be a small piece of Stefyr's sugar cloud concoction, but ends up being a strip about six inches long. "Ack!" He tears it in half and offers the larger part back to the other candidate, "Sorry. Did no' mean t' take s'much." Spun sugar never pulls apart like you expect it to…

The edge of that annoyance simmers into a bead of amusement, though it's the sort of amusement nobody wants to see- the lurking, curious sort of a predator about to toy with its food. Ki'lian's falsely warm grin curls faintly crookedly at the left side of his mouth, a small breath through his nose something of a humored noise. When that white-flag of a gesture of the candy-fluff is demonstrated, his left hand wrapped in a dark cloth rises just enough to dismiss it. There's a delay between when Stefyr asks that question and any sort of response. Less that he's considering an answer, and far more that the world is expected to wait for his answer. Too-light eyes rimmed in kohl look over Samuven, that boots-to-face flick of a glance which then returns to Stefyr. Brows rise when he tips his head towards the mess of cardboard, crafting shadow-darkened lines over his face in a mockery of interest. "Inconvenience comes to mind." A beat, and humor grown for the next non-specific response, "Fragility. Would be a shame if it rained, aye? Before you could upset your stomachs on the mess of sugar or chance your necks on that- whatever it is." It's the ferris wheel that prompts the last bit. "If you're looking for danger, there's plenty other options."

Stefyr's eyes flick down to the portion of pink that's offered back to him and after a considering moment flashes a grin. "I think you'll manage to finish it somehow. Once you've tasted it." He makes an exaggeratedly ecstatic face. It's so good, y'all. If the blond's face is anything to go by, it might be better than sex. It's that kind of face. (NOT THAT STEFYR WOULD KNOW.) The contrast of this expression and Ki'lian's isn't at all awkward. Although, really, the big blond sobers up quickly enough, clearing his throat, because it's not just Samuven here to see him, it's also this… man. This man who gets the blond's slightly apologetic respect. (But only slightly, because have you tasted this???) "Those are all good words," he agrees solicitously. Ki'lian can be right, Stefyr won't fight him. He didn't want the spub sugar cloud, after all. But Stefyr does, so another bite is taken.

Samuven chuckles and rolls both pieces of spun sugar into a loose ball before cramming it into his mouth. He rolls his eyes in appreciation and chews twice before the sweet treat melts away, "Tha's good." He looks around at the cardboard booths, "Whar'd ye get tha' from?" Ki'lian's description of the carnival gets a shrug, "Well, jest think a' th' cleanup us candidates'll have t' do when it does melt in th' rain." That should give any black-hearted soul a warm mushy feeling. Kinda like the cardboard is going to be after the next storm! He tilts his head at the man in black, "Danger like what?" Not that he would needlessly put himself in danger, but he's not about to let anyone accuse him of being a coward!

Man of the sea shifts where he'd come to stand near the candidates, paused before venturing further into the ghastly cardboard deathtrap, his wrapped hand settled on the handle of the cutlass at his hip, the other decorated in rather rings upon each finger reached to scratch at the base of his earring'd ear. There's something rather dismissive of the pair, if not mildly tested, by that simple motion amidst the candy-enjoying sexface nonsense that transpires. "We could hurry that up, mate, if that is your answer." Why wait for the rain to come? There's methods to get to total destruction far before that time. Ki'lian doesn't seem much inclined to desire hoards of white-knotted folk swarming the beach for that concept, though that vague, ominous offer he grants in return hardly sounds empty. More like… thoughtful, and forebodingly inspired. When Samuven bites that hook, those too-light abyssal eyes look to meet his, just as his head tips towards the water. "If you're up for an adventure, you'll need to just take that leap, aye? Where's the entertainment in having all the details beforehand." The water surges again, closer now, threatening to break the surface as the water's tension strains against the mass that undulates like some Stygian nightmare.

Stefyr's eyes dare to leave the predator in their midst only because he has to watch to see if Samuven truly appreciates the gift to candidate kind that is spun sugar (in massive amounts that someone, who almost definitely isn't Leirith, will regret letting Stefyr get ahold of and consume, later) and his expression falls a little when the reaction isn't nearly as overdone as his own. His sad puppy eyes turn toward Ki'lian. He's obviously a man down on his luck, a man in need of distraction. Of adventure. Of DANGER. Well, maybe not that last one. His brawny build says bold adventurer, his expression says… well, maybe he needs to be tucked into a blanket nest somewhere and coddled. After a moment where he sighs just a little, the big blond points out in a tone of resignation, "You know, if you hurry it up, as long as you do it in some sufficiently badass ways, Leirith probably wouldn't even be mad about it. Although the Weyrleaders might not like the waste of the cardboard…" He trails off though, because dutiful Weyrleaders' assistant or not, this is arguably not a legitimate use for so much of it in the first place.

Samuven's eyes widen a little at the suggestion that he would willingly put himself in reach of a leviathan pretty much guaranteed to drag him into the deepest part of the lake and leave him there, "I, uh…" He doesn't want to look the coward, but he also doesn't want to drown. (And he would drown, since he is only just starting to learn how to swim.) He licks the last of the sugary residue off of his fingers, appreciative of the sweet treat, but not willing to put as much enthusiasm into his enjoyment as Stefyr. He straightens, rolling his shoulders back and puffing out his chest, "Jus' tell me what t' do!" Yep. Poor decisions are being made.

The rapscallion's smirk draws a little broader for a moment, the enigmatic expression touching the corners of his eyes. "That's a lad." To both of them, drawled in the manner of his accented speech- low, haunting, and maybe a bit slurred at times from the hint of permanent self-induced inebriation. Pleased with the acknowledgement, the distaste of the sugar-indulgement from moments before has been erased, and he lets his arms spread to either side. Welcoming. "We needn't hurry. We've got all the time we need." As if the black spot was just painted upon them both, that which torments the sea rises from the depths. The water swells, and an unfortunate smaller sail boat is caught and overturned as that wraith-like shipwrecked beast finally emerges. Somehow both skeletal and immense, the dragon's ravaged hull of oily sheen meets the shallows, rivers of dark water falling from massive cannon-holed tattered sails that fan partially to soak everything within range. Oh yes, do not doubt that it includes the edge of that carnival. Soggy edges ensue, you see, as Zyddagath draws himself further onto the beach, massive paws aged in unnatural decay pausing… oh way too close to the edge of one of the foodvendor-y type structures which starts to sag as pools of water from his haunted figurehead of a face drains. "What say you to a bit of a ride." He lets that linger, but corrects soon enough with a gesture towards that sail boat that's now also on the beach, overturned onto its side. Sure, it's his. Go with it.

Though Samuven's apparent willingness is taken in with a slight arch of a brow and the other brow joining it when his prevarications were taken as willingness by the man with the power, the real expression of note comes when Zyddagath does. Stefyr was just stuffing his face (literally, cheeks bulging) with the spun sugar when there's this really profound moment of change. As the beast drags himself from the depths, the big blond's jaw slackens, offering a view of dissolving pretty, pink-and-now-also-yellow sugar in his mouth, but that's not all. The piece he hadn't quite finished shoving in (yellow) had hung suspended from his lower lip, like the hook that caught the fish, for just as long as it took for the sugar to dissolve along the wet, open seal of his of his lip. It drops with comedic grace to the ground in front of the big blond. He might not be solely responsible for the volume of hyper grubs today, but he's helping share the sugar love, for sure. His jaw snaps closed and he looks from dripping dragon to dark devil and back. "You want to go for a ride? On that? Him, I mean?" His tone might be dubious to the point of unconscious rudeness. The quick blue glance toward the Ferris wheel and back to the man says quite plainly that the candidate thinks he might rather take his chances with SOMETHING SAFER than that dragon. He swallows (and his mouth was empty this time). His next word is quiet. Maybe Ki'lian will miss it: "Okay."

A ship? Now that's Samuven's style! Oh the skellital dragon's arrival puts a damper on things. A huge damper on things! He hesitates a moment. And another. And one more for good measure… "So you want to go sailing?" What's so dangerous about that? He's been on the water most of his life! Forget the big scary dragon, there's a boat he's never been on in the offering! He offers a distracted greeting to the decayed looking monster and hooks his thumbs in the wasteband of his trousers, "How long d' ye wanna be out? Iffn it's long, we should le' th' Headwoman know we'll be gone." And it'll be with a rider, so if something happens and they need to get back to the Weyr quick, they can, right? Right?!

A shared fetid pleasure drifts across the expression of the man, never quite solely his own. Zyddagath's attention on the cardboard is fleeting, and when he turns it must be by luck alone that the whole of it isn't leveled. It's kind-of-mostly intact when the bronze receeds like ill-fated floodwaters from the edge Leirth's carnival. There are OTHER THINGS to be done. Tattered black sails risen, collect loosely at the risen, corroded leviathan's side but although his forelimbs sink into the waters again, his gaunt, hideous frame settles on the sand like some ancient ship ravaged by time and war left to rot upon the beach. His positioning, mind, is utterly intentional. Of course it would be. Blackened, wretched dragon lies between the candidates and the dock, where that sailboat should still be anchored near. "Brilliant." This, to Stefyr as the man reaches to clap him relatively hard on the shoulder with his good right hand. Something more has been added to the feeling, the reaches, the flavor of this interaction. A chill that draws up the spine, that stands every hair up upon end. So-faint, but oh is it there. Fear. Foreboding knowledge that something comes. Amidst this, as if Ki'lian is unawares, he tsks through his teeth, that roguish grin shaded further just as those words of his drip with honey'd venom. "A young man of the sea yourself, I take it. Then ye know as well as I, the journey is just a part of it." There is no doubt that there is more than just commandeering a ship from a home port right under the dockmaster's nose with two of the Weyr's candidates after sullying the creation of its Queen dragon. "Now, go on, lets get this thing back in the water. Zyddagath will be our guide once we're out." Guide to where? Was there something about talking to a headwoman? No, no, nevermind all that.

To Stefyr's credit (that's street cred, by the way), he does not weep right then and there. He does not disgrace himself in some other horribly unmanly fashion. In fact, the only thing his face betrays only resignation and defeat. Yes, he's doing this. This is what's happening here. He gives his cotton candy confection a mournful look, and then starts helping himself to enormous bites. A man just wants to enjoy his candy, okay? Not scarf it down like it's fellis in a cup. But abandoning it would be a far worse crime, so through pink and yellow to blue and finally green, the young man works quickly. Fortunately, spun sugar compresses a lot so heroic bites are possible without choking. He probably needs a drink after all, that but that is just not in these cards, so he moves toward the boat that he's finally noticed, but waiting before he gets too near for instructions as to how to apply his useful brawn to the task at hand. Stefyr knows nothing of boats but takes instruction well. 70% of the time. At least. Don't ask Leirith if her percentage of compliance is the same. (IT'S NOT. 15% at best.)

If the apparent sailor and dragon rider thinks going sailing on a comandeered ship, then Samuven is going to go sailing on a commandeered ship! And he's completely oblivious to any sense of fear or forboding, "Aye." He's a seacrafter through and through, "Born an' raised." He chuckles and nods, "Th' journey's th' best part. Th' destination's only important f'r sellin' what ye're shippin'." He hesitates for a moment when they have to get close to Zyddagath, "He, uh… He ain't gonna eat us, is he?" The dark dragon sure does look like he might… Like a beast out of some of the stories that his father used to tell to keep his mind off of leaving his whole life behind when his mother died.

There is exactly zero remorse for Stefyr's lost time with his treasured candy fluff. The game has only just begun. Darkness, it whispers. Its skeletal finger beckons. It waits, oh so impatiently patient. And it grins for those that fall closer, wander towards that madness of their own true desire. Fortunately, this boat doesn't require a coin for its final passage. It's not THAT boat. At least, not yet. Ki'lian lets the candidates move first, watching too-intensely their direction or lack-there-of. Samuven's question gets an uneven shrug of his shoulders in the same motion as starting forwards to the craft, the rustling of the dark leather he wears earthy and subtle with a more nefarious clink of metal folded within each stride, "Y'needn't worry 'bout that. He prefers much more interesting methods." Of eating them? The very not-answer is left at that while he reaches to drag the anchor from the sands it had lodged in, tossing it and its wad of rope into the gut of the deck to be dealth with shortly. "Port," He tips puts his hands on the lip of the stern. "Grab portside, there, will you." He waves at Stefyr, then towards starboard for the younger man of the sea. He himself stands at stern, though looks as if he's only going to pushing the one hand. "Use those muscles, lads. Sooner we're in the water, sooner we'll be off. I have a couple of mates to meet up with. Perhaps I'll change that mind of yours," The latter is to Samuven, "Ye just haven't had the right destination." The words are curled with a breathy chuckle-like sound, deep from the depths of his chest.

Sorry, Darkness, there is no madness in Stefyr's true desires. There is a whole lot of mature sense in his true desires. There is, however, a whole shell of a lot of madness in these things the big blond is doing in spite of his very rational, true desires. These rational desires don't help though; there's plenty of shameless nerviness, if not quite outright fear, and anxiety in anticipation for that whispery, shiver down the spine presence to feed on, if it so desires; perhaps this is not his food of choice, but since Samuven is oblivious, it's the closest to dinner the darkness is going to get (so far). As Stefyr regards the bronze, there's something so resigned in the look, that if the bronze opened his mouth, it might seem Leirith's assistant would walk willingly in. Since that is not the order of the day, the candidate does as he's bid. "Port" and "starboard" mean nothing to this young man, but waving and vague directing works out, so he takes up the port side as bidden. Muscles he has and with a small grunt that might be more habit than need, he aims a look across to Samuven to silently coordinate the effort of lifting and moving toward the water.

And to starboard Samuven goes, repeating an old joke his dad is fond of for Stefyr's benefit as he does, "Starboard is right 'cause it's got a 'r' in it." Both hands grasp the side of the small vessel as he prepares to heave the boat back into the water, "Heave, Stefyr!" Put some back into it! He shrugs at the thought that he needs to find the right destination, "I jes' always p'fered th' journey. Bein' ashore ain't been comf'rtble in a while."

Fortunately, it's not a giant ship, nor is it far from the water. The effort to get the sailboat upright and floating will take a little coordination- and a lot of getting wet up to their trousers or so. The BlackPearl'd beast beside them makes progress as they do, a phantom of the ocean slipping back into the lake where it had come. Zyddagath stays above the surface, though, as if still maintaining that barrier between the dock and this makeshift crew. Ki'lian's standards for this particular crew are hardly high, and maintaining a ragtag group is considerably the norm for one like he. Or, at least, it used to be. It has been awhile since he needed a few pawns. "Didn't your father tell you any tales like any decent seaman? You ought to know there's more than just an uncomfortable night or two to be found on land. Besides, not going to find any lasses without a fishtail out there 'til you get back." Once (if?) they get out into enough water that boat no longer drags, he'll remain at stern as if to hold it steady for them to get in before he does. "Tell me." This is to both of them now, as he waits for them to board and settle with a false sense of patience like serpent coiled in the grass, "What is it that you both want? Are all of your hopes and dreams back on those sands?"

Stefyr needs little encouragement to put his broad back into the task, following Samuven's instructions just as easily as Ki'lian's. He's from sturdy farmer stock and the benefits of this are obvious in the not ease, but relative lack of difficulty he has in handling the craft once he's figured out where to grip for best ease of movement. He aims to work with the other candidate to get the thing where it needs to go and is careful to make sure he gives a nod before putting it down, lest poor Samuven be left holding the whole load for any matter of moments. He doesn't seem bothered by this task of manual labor… what else are candidates for? He does eye the bronze, and perhaps even takes in the position that Zyddagath maintains, his expression briefly thoughtful (it looks a little like it hurts). Wet only bothers him in so much as he looks mournful over his boots - not made for water immersion, thank you very much, especially of the salty variety. He'll climb in, if not altogether his usual even-tempered self, sighing. The nerves show in the drumming of his fingers, listening to the sailors' exchange but contributing nothing, also not distracting from it. When asked, he glances toward the rider and his lips press briefly together in a line before replying, "I might settle for living through this." He eyes the water, "although I can't really imagine this is more dangerous than going to the office every day." Even if rumor (correct? not? who can say) has it that Risali has been more ghost than there in recent days.

Samuven shrugs one shoulder, his voice strainted with effort, "Ain't never felt th' need t' chase lasses ashore." Once the boat is floating, he almost eagerly scrambles aboard, anxious to get out of the water. He offers a hand to Stefyr, should the farmer-lad need it, and then to the man in black. He shakes his head, "Iffn I don't Impress, I'll go back t' sailin'." For him, this is just a momentary distraction; something different to do.

Little effort comes of Ki'lian hefting himself over the side. With the candidates in place, he won't flip it over backwards getting in as he does. It's a relatively typical sail boat, meant for a handful of people, though not so large as to be overly cumbersome. The bronzerider sits at the tiller, settling there with the kind of cocksure manspreading that claims the space. "If you're talking about Risali, then I would wager a bet your dangers are about the same." Meeting up with pirates to make an exchange. Surviving a day in the office of the senior weyrwoman. Same thing. And, really, his tone is almost flat, despite the persistent devilish amusement which has stained it before. Fluttering above them arises out of nowhere, too leathery to be a seabird, and too close to be a dragon. At least, not the current-day dragons. The dark brown firelizard, about as charred and accursed as the bronze afar has appeared out of Between to land on the top of the mast, in absence of a real wherrysnest. "That doesn't speak much as to why you gave up sailin' to start with. The love of the water's a hard thing to give up, even for a bit." Ultimately, the current is with them. As they pass beyond the easy sights of the dock, Zyddagath had briefly swam beneath and in front of them, granting a nightmarish wake that eased and quickened passage. With that closeness brings a reminder, a resurgance of that feeling of dread, that chill and gut-clenching discomfort. Now, too, are distant whispers. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of whispering disembodied forelorn voices that are too far and too many to make out even a single word. However, after a few minutes, the corrupt disturbance from below… vanishes. The feeling- gone. The voices- gone. The bronze has left them, or so it seems. How long can a dragon hold its breath? Didn't the rider say the dragon was going to lead them? Whatever. They're headed away from the Weyr. Southwest, for those who've got any sort of barings about them. One, two, three, and they've made a slight curve following coast, Xanadu vanishing behind.

Stefyr does need Samuven's hand to deal with the balance issues inherent for a landlubber on a ship, even a craft so small is this. Those fingers still drum his nerves on his thigh and he's a little unnaturally still at first, but slowly he lets his body move just a little to the shift of the water under the boat. His nod to the bronzerider is enough to confirm that, yes, it's Risali's office they're talking about and given the odds, he doesn't look as terrified as he might be if this were worse. This is just wetter (but even that's really only sometimes true; don't ask). He probably should have asked before getting in the boat, but what the shell, after a few minutes on the water and a glance over at Sam, but not looking at the rider, "Are we doing anything that will get us booted from candidacy, Rider?" It's not actually a request for a name, for all that these candidates got in boat with a stranger wearing a cutlass and exuding danger and, if not debauchery at present, at least the promise of dastardly deeds. It's probably a valid question. That the young man shifts a little in the craft might be because that nightmare has refreshed itself, but the blond's jaw sets and he's here to stay, even while they're close enough that he could jump and swim to shore, which isn't for long, and his fingers dig into the wood of the boat, holding it as tightly as he did the riding straps for every flight he's ever taken.

Samuven shrugs, "When a queen dragon d'mands ye come work f'r her, who'm I t' say no?" He looks over the side of the boat as the shadow passes under them, shivering a little. He nods encouragement to his fellow candidate, giving him a half grin. The suggestion that they might be doing something to get them booted from candidacy earns a frown and a sharp look, "I wouldn'ee think so?" Surely not. After all they're doing… whatever it is… at the insistance of a rider. Right? For his part, Sam looks extremely relaxed. He's perfectly at home on the small ship.

"You've not exactly given me a reason why you want to Stand, so why would you be worried about that?" Ki'lian responds in that innate callous nature that fits that ice-touched chill of those eyes that seem to be watching them more than waters ahead, of that horizon that ever-calls. The shadows that craft him bare ever deeper, ever thicker, as they pass from what bids as 'home', to the beholden areas beyond. That reply sits there, heavy and of a reminder of his original question- what is their desire? and if it isn't the eggs, why have they potentially given it all up for them? Eventually, though, in that same manner of being eternally unhurried, used to a world that waits for his commands, he does offer more words. Possibly, slightly more encouraging than before even if the scene that starts to unfold ahead of them is less emboldening. "It wouldn't do me any good to get you kicked out of candidacy." Nor would it benefit him to be in that much trouble. Honesty comes without much filter, though the grey areas remain dense and unclear. "As for meself, I needed a bit of a crew for the afternoon before meeting up with a handful of scallywags that needn't get much closer than they are." He drawls, attention pulled past them both as a larger ship comes into view, moored just off the coast and partially hidden by a small island cropped with boulders and a few sprouts of ancient, thick trees. "Fortunately your friend here has some experience to get you both home, and with a stolen sailboat that you recovered to boot. Nothing like a bit o'brownie points under that goldrider, aye?" Hopefully they've been paying attention to the directions they've headed- at least he kept them close to shore. It won't be that hard.. when he leaves them to their own devices. "Adjust the sheets for me, mate." He says abruptly to Samuven, meaning they need to slow their approach since they're headed right for that ominous ship and the rough-looking crew that has slowly started to collect along the railings to see who is headed their way.

"I am Standing," not want to stand, Mr. Pirate-Man, am, "Because I want to be a dragonrider." Stefyr's expression is so gloriously deadpan, and his tone so damned bland that he might as well have just broken the news to Ki'lian that the grass is green, the sky is blue, or dragons lay eggs to reproduce. "I have also," he will generously volunteer in a voice slightly more colorful, but not by much, just candor on the open water, "accidentally ended up with more than one rule infraction to my name and would like to avoid another." Blue eyes turn to Ki'lian, serious now for all the ridiculousness of the spun sugar earlier. He must be taking a moment to process that. "Sam, are you capable of getting us back safely? Do you know the route?" Did they really go so far? Stefyr doesn't know. All that silliness that comes so readily to the usually easy-going former farmer is just gone. Shards just got real, yo. If that nightmareish presence is looking to glean anything from the minds its haunting, it might relish the implacable mind now subverting nerves about being in the boat in favor of ensuring there will be a safe return of two candidates to Xanadu's docks in short order. And what will he do if Samuven's answers are the negative? A cut of a look toward Ki'lian doesn't spell anything out for the older man, but the younger man's options are limited.

Samuven shrugs again, "I ain't n'er done nothin' else. Didn' seem like I had a choice. Thought I'd see if life had oth'r plans f'r me?" It sounds like he questions his choices as much as the rider does. Wait… stolen sailboat? He narrows his eyes a little, but does as he's told, pulling the proper ropes and slowing the small vessel as they approach the larger ship. Stefyr's questions earn a nonchalant shrug and a nod, "Easily. If nothin' else, I c'n follow th' coast back." He gives the other candidate a considering look at the sudden seriousness. He's never seen the older candidate be so serious, though there is a light of curiousity in his eyes and he makes a mental note to ask about the other time's he's accidentally gotten in trouble. Should prove a good story for the trip back!

The sailboat is guided to a boulder outcropping on that tiny island, close enough that the side scrapes, and the vessel jars. Ki'lian pauses before rising, fishing some scrap of hide tucked into his jacket, before reaching it out to hand to Stefyr. "Not good enough." He's amused, one heavy eybrow raised as he waits for the younger man to take his offer, "You aren't Standing, not until the dragons hum. Until then, you can leave anytime you want. Think about it. Are you running from something that was, or hoping for some fantasy to play out so you're never alone again." This time, it's not a question. He's stern, seriousness outbidding the devilish toying he's teased up until now. "You can't take it back once it happens." That note, if Stefyr is so good as to take it, is a written note to the dockmaster, including random coordinates and that he had enlisted the help of candidates to take the vessel the short way back to Xanadu while he was otherwise engaged in dealing with the wrongdoer(s). A pass. A weaseling out of what exactly happened. Ki'lian steps on the seat he once captained, and over the gunwale to the rocky surface beyond, abandoning the pair to their own devices. "You're invited to stay if you wish. Plenty of rum to settle those nerves, a game of dragonpoker for the shirt on your back.. you know, the usual. You've still got your escort. Or, you can make it home before dinner." See? He can be reasonable. If they decline to get their groove on with this particular partyboat, the man in black would tip his head to them, a mockery of a bow and a sly, diabolic grin to send them on their way, barring any hiccups in Samuven's skillset. He'd head across the small island, that joke of a barrier between the candidates and those friendly folk, and ascend a rope ladder onto the deck to join the gaggle of men.

"Running from, running to. I know what I'm doing." For all that the claim is lofty, all of the words come out with a near deadly seriousness. It doesn't look like Stefyr is about to expound upon these replies, but at least they're more polite than just not answering the stranger, who has yet to justify why the shell it's any of his business. Stefyr's lips set in a line, but he takes the note given him, only glancing at it long enough to determine to whom it should go and holds it since all his pockets are presently still wet. "Another time," might be more diplomacy than truth, but he looks to Samuven. "I'm ready to get back." There's a cardboard carnival waiting for them, blast it. His demeanor that's gotten down right prickly in the exchange with the bronzerider softens slightly after a long breath, "Tell me if I can help. I don't know anything about boats."

Samuven hesitates for a moment. The offer is tempting! But no… He can't justify stranding Stefyr. Or getting the other candidate in anymore trouble than they're already in. He shakes his head, declining the invitation, "Thanks f'r th' offer, but we'll have curfew." Long before he'd be ready to leave. He nods to the other candidate and moves to take up the spot Ki'lian has vacated, "Give that rope there a pull and tie it off."

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