Walk the Plank Apprentice!

Xanadu Weyr - Beach
The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.
The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

The autumn season has brought with it cool rains. Today it's sprinkling and Kera strolls purposely along the beach heading to the docks. Well, one of them at least. With a pole over her shoulder and a small plastic bucket clutched in one hand. She's humming to herself, but the brown blue darting this way and that around her chitters and churls adding his own little tones to whatever the apprentice is humming. She's not wearing her uniform, but the ever present knot is firmly in place.

It's weeeeet. So is Takapola. So are the various boxes and barrels being unloaded from one of the ships docked here, but fortunately, they're mostly waterproofed. Actually, that's not so much fortune as good planning, because it's like they're been on a ship out on the ocean and the ocean is made of water. Or something. Regardless of the exact reasons, the stuff's nearly unloaded, and Takapola's carrying one of the last boxes down the gangplank. Knot? Nah. He's not wearing one. But he's got a box, and he carries it down the dock to the join the stack.

Kera pauses in an out of the way spot, watching the dock workers moving about in their chaotic little dance. The brown firelizard settles on a pilon perch next to where the apprentice stands. She nods with a polite smile as two men struggle with a huge plastic crate between them. "What'dya think Mini, Those the supplies Journeyman Cyrus been waiting for?" The lizard gives a soft little trill and Kera shakes her head "Nah, I didn't either really." The next group coming down the plank gets studied by Kera as well. "Oh! Watch your step! It looks slippery."

Chaotic? If it is, the dockmaster'll probably yell at someone. Well. More than he usually does! But now that he's set his box down, Takapola pauses, looking back over the dance of barrels and crates, then glancing over to Kera. Slippery? "Could be worse! Two holds back, the entire dock was covered in algae. Practically underwater."

Kera looks around to the one that speaks up, his words bringing a grimace to her features "Eww, that doesn't sound sanitary at all!" Leave it to the little healer to point that out. No one would know if she didn't mention these little things afterall. Right? Frowning a bit "It wasn't Rubicon Hold was it?" She shrugs it off "Wherever it was, sounds like someone needs to get a differant job if they can't keep the dock safe. Shaking her head, she shifts her fishing pole to plant the butt in the sand by the dock. Looking over the newly arrived man. "I'm Kera, by the way, and this is Minimur." She gestures to the brown perched next to her.

Takapola is indeed the one! The one and only one that is Takapola. "Definitely not clean enough to eat off." A pause. "Unless you're a snail. Then, you could eat off it. Or eat it off. Or something like that." He grins, and shrugs. "Nah, not Rubicon. Tide…water Hold? Maybe?" A cartographer, he is not. What is he? "Hello, Minimur!" He greets the firelizard first, with a fancy bow. Kera? She just gets a grin. "Hi! I'm Takapola."

Kera smirks a little "Maybe someone should inform the snails that a feast has been laid for them two docks back?" An agreeable nod dips her head a couple of times over the news that Rubicon /should/ still be as she recalls. Grinning at her brown's puffing out of his chest when he's greeted, Kera works to stifle as Minimur starts showing off now that he has an audiance. "Oh, cut that out you." An affection little scratch is given to the brown before Kera turns her attention back to the newly arrived man. "Well met Taka…pola" The apprentice stumbles over the name briefly. "Welcome to Xanadu."

"A fine plan!" Takapola agrees. "A feast for snails, the invitations gilded and ornate! Curlicues of slime, set out for their pleasure, a summons fit for the very Lord of Slugs himself!" He grins. "And Lord Minimur of the Firelizards shall be their standard bearer." Despite not being a snail. But hey, he can fake it, right? "Aw, call me whatever you like," he says to that stumble on his name. "It can't be worse'n what the captain does." Another grin, and then a nod. "Thanks! A fine Xanadu it is, I'm sure."

Kera hears the newest title given to her lizard and reaches up to rub at her eyes as Minimur's chest inflates a little more. "Yesterday, he was Master of the Sky, today he's Lord of the Lizards…" She shakes her head with an amused smirk. "There'll be no appeasing him now." Canting her head a bit to watch Takapola. "Hmm, Do I even wanna ask what the Captain called ya?" Already, her head is shaking. "Probably not." Eyeing the boxes lining the dock curiously, she flicks her fingers towards them "All these things yours?"

He's evidently a fine lizard indeed! Takapola grins. "You may just have to feed his ego until he explodes!" Because that'll make things better. Uh-huh. Suuuure it will. As for Takapola's own titles? "Better to leave some mystery." His grin's a teasing one now, but at the question, he outright laughs. "What? Mine? Hardly!" He shakes his head. "I've barely got the clothes on my back."

Kera glances along the stacked crates and bundles lining dock while reaching up to swipe a few sprinkles from her face. "Are you newly posted? Or if you are looking for someone, I could try and point ya in the right direction." She gestures towards the general direction of the Weyr and gives a little shrug, "I'm pretty certain there is no algae buildup in Xanadu. Expecially in the infirmary."

Takapola grins. "Or are they going to tie me to a post and leave me out in the rain?" Just what does the captain think of him? "Oh, they probably won't leave me behind. I'm just useful enough. Most days." A grin, as the last of the boxes are set down and most of those with the sense to get out of the rain… do so. "Infirmary, huh? Y'ever have to treat algaeitis, there?"

Kera chuckles at the question and seems to give it a little thought before shaking her head "No, can't say that I recall treating a case of that." a quick lift of her shoulders nand she goes on "I've still a good number of turns left to my studies, so maybe we've just not gotten to that chapter yet." Waving off the idea of future studies. "Don't rush me, I'll get to it eventually." A little laugh slips out before she gestures back to the ship "Ah, so you're part of the crew then?"

"It's probably part of the advanced course," Takapola acknowledges with a nod. "Serious condition like that, y'can see why!" So serious. Which is why he grins. "Wouldn't want to get ahead of yourself. Or behind. Or… off to either side, really. Just not a good thing, being double-placed." As for the ship and himself? "Aye. That's Senior Apprentice Takapola, also knows as, 'Ey, you! Tak!'" That last is in a gruff voice. Probably him faking the captain's tones.

Kera nods seriously, trying to stifle her grin "You're probably right, something that serious wouldn't be taught too early in my studies." As Takapola intruduces himself fully, her gaze drifts to the ship briefly then back. "Ah, well, nice to meet you Sr. Apprentice Tak." Since the ship looks to be mostly unloaded, she shrugs "Don't know how long it takes to reload, but there is always something hot in the caverns if ya want to get get out of the drizzle a bit."

"Definitely not," Takapola agrees. "There'd be panic if word got out too soon!" He gives Kera a bow for his introduction (this version), as well as a grin. "Kind of you to say so." That's with a wink, and then he laughs for her question, and shrugs. "Neither do I. It depends on what's ready, what's been arranged and what's going to be added onto the cargo today because there's a good deal on it or someone thinks it'll be handy further down the route. We'll be here at least for the night, though. Restdays and all." Which work out a bit strange, aboard ship. But what's this? "Food you say?" Kera, you have Takapola's attention. Not… that you didn't before. But you have extra attention now. "Lead on, O Beneficence of the Infirmaries!"

Kera glances once more among the crates, bundles, and men moving about the docks as just 'how long' it will take to reload the ship comes into perspective and nods back to Takapola. Grabbing her pole and bucket, and gestures back the way she came with a grin. "I do think I might have mentioned something about food." She starts off a few steps and pauses to see if she's being followed, and to whistle for her lizard. The little brown flutters up from his perch and flitters about as he darts ahead of his little healer. "Afterwards, ya can track down the Headwoman if ya need to find a cot for a couple of days."

"You might," Takapola agrees with a nod. "You did, in fact! A mention. Of food. Warm food, I believe. If we're going to be specific about it. Not that I'm picky. But you did say." He grins, and trails along with Kera, looking about to see what this place is he's ended up in as he does. "Oh, we'll likely be bunking on ship, 'less it's an extra long visit here. The captain'll arrange something if it, I expect. Besides," he leans closer, and speaks in a confidential tone, "Headwomen are dangerous. They give out chores."

Kera can't help but chuckle at Takapola's manner as they walk along towards the Weyr. Casting a skeptical look to the ship's crewman. "Are you sure I promised warm food? Surely hot food would have tugged your stomach strings better than warm?" Flashing a little grin as she continues on, a nod tips her head a time or two before she smirks, matching Takapola's confidential tone. "OH, dangerous is when she's in a good mood. It's best to try and stay on her good side. If ya can't, ya do like I do. Hide, often."

"Weeeeeell," Takapola says consideringly, "That depends on how warm. Or hot. They're different points on the same scale, you know." He grins to her. "Why, do you have hot food? Or are you just," a sad sniff, "taunting me?" And then the grin's back for a moment, before it's on to matters of headwomen in confidence. "On her good side, but not in her good moods. So. Is her good side the one with the bad mood? Or is it the other way around?"

Kera smirks and pats down her pockets with a frown and sigh "I'm afraid ya found me out. I've no food to share, warm or otherwise." An overly dramatic sigh before she snaps her fingers with a quick grin. "But I know where ya can get some. And there is no taunting in the food line. I promise." His questions are given some thought over her next few steps, til she finally shrugs. "I'm not sure there is a differance. But I admit I don't know her very well, and my experiances with her haven't been…very pleasant conversations." Another shrug lifts her shoulders "So I'm probably not the best person to ask about the Headwoman's 'sides'."

Takapola gasps with (completely fake) outrage. "No food! No nourishment?" He eyes her suspiciously. (The suspicion is also fake.) "I don't know. Maybe you're just trying to lure me off into your lair so you can do awful, terrible things to me." Eye. Suspiciously. (Grin.) "But me, I'm just a poor hapless soul, so… lead on! To my horrible fate." So horrible. He's sure. And he ambles right along with her as she ponders abut the Headwoman, arching a brow at the lack of difference and then following it with a shrug. "Well, suppose that's why you hide, then? If you can't beat 'em, don't get into the fight in the first place!" Now then. About those caverns?


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.

Kera points out a few places of interest as the two make their way trough the light drizzle towards the caverns. "And there's the Wanderin Wherry. It's loud, but they do really tasty herdbeast burgers." And there's the gardening shop. "I can take you on a tour of the infirmary later. Soo many sites to see in there ya know." And none of the sights, or smells, are liable to be pleasant. She's joking about the infirmary tour of coarse. And then they are in the caverns, she pauses to leans her pole against the wall, out of the way. Then she's pointing out the klah pots and food tables, sniffing from the differant dishes steaming the air. "And just as I promised. Hot food!"

Oooh, the sights and sounds of Xanadu! With a local guide. "The wherryburger must've wandered away. Good thing the herdbeast was slower." The gardening shop doesn't get much interest. The infirmary, though… "Y'think you can even get me in? I mean, those places…" Takapola shakes his head. "VIPs only!" That's Very Injured Persons, probably. And then they're in the caverns, and - "Gasp!" Takapola's eyes go wide, and he puts his hand over his heart. "It's true! All the fabled stories of legend and lore, they're true!" So fabled. And legendary. And food! "I must investigate the depths of these tales and pots!" So… he goes that way. To investigate! And also eat. Because foooood. And he's a (no longer growing) boy. With a hearty appetite.

Kera chuckles and follows Takapola towards the food. "It does look like the legends are indeed true." Grabbing a couple of bowls, she serves up some stew for herself and some lizard meat in the other. Preparing some mint tea to go along with her meal, she peers back around and has lost sight of the apprentice crewmen in the crowded line.

"So very legendary." Takapola grins, and picks out.. oh, this and that and the other thing. All sorts of tasty things. Gotta try them all! Oh, and some of this, and some of… okay, maybe his bowl and plate are far too full now, so he'll call this good enough for a first round and look for a table. Also? He can look for Kera. He seems to have lost her. Oops?

Kera seems to have lost the guest to the Weyr in the chaotic bustle of everyone trying to get some food. Managing to find a table with a few empty seats, she sets her bowls and mug down, then whistles a couple of notes sharply. A few seconds later, a brown blur detaches itself from a wall perch and flutters towards the young healer to settle on the empty seat next to her. Stretching up on her toes, Kera peeks toward the crowd converged around the buffet tables and spots flashes of yellow and orange through the midst. Lifting a hand, she waves trying to get Takapola's attention. "There are seats over here."

A lost Takapola! Kera can put up posters. Or maybe she can just locate him! He comes when called, you know. Well, usually. He also comes when waved to! Evidently, because, you see, he does, dodging past a few bits of the crowd to pop up near Kera. "So there are!" he says, then sets his plates down. "Or were." Not anymore! Because he's going to take at least one of them. And so is she!

And another seat is taken by the brown lizard that flutters impatient wings before Kera puts a bowl in front of him, which he waste no time in lurching towards. The apprentice healer darts her gaze here or there, waving to a few nods or greetings sent her way. Taking her own seat, and sipping from her minty tea, she gives the visitor a chance to dig into his plate before her questions begin. "Do ya know if there were any traders on your ship?"

Yep, firelizards are definitely deserving of seats! Entire seats. Takapola nods to Minimur as the fellow sets into his tucker, but there's no time for further conversation, because the sailor does the same! Omnomno- what's this? Questions? Okaaaay, he supposes he's not actually starving and can pause for long enough to talk. Swallow. Hmm? "Oh, yeah. There's one we picked up from the Ista gather, he's mostly got some trinkets and the like, and I think there's one following the wood trade…"

Kera nods at the news and perks up a little "Good to hear. Couple of things I'm wantin to get." Not seeing a need to elaborate further on the what it is she wants to buy, a few spoonfuls of stew are given her attention. "Ista Gather huh. Hmm. Did you get to attend some of it?" A big chunk of wherry is fished out of her bowl before peering across the table.

Takapola grins. "I expect, being a trader and all, he'd be glad to sell 'em to you. Traders are like that. They… trade!" Yep. True fact. Another few bites of food, and then he shrugs about the gather. "Saw it there, ran through, but we'd gotten the inventory worked out and were loading then, so I didn't get much chance to actually enjoy."

Kera chews a few seconds then a few minty sips from her mug as she listens, then chuckles. "It's probably just as well, Gathers are a good way to spend all your marks in one fell swoop anyway. Then it takes months to get some saved back up." Doubly so on apprentice pay. A couple more bites are taken, giving Takapola time to eat while chatting. "So, where will your ship be off to next?"

"But if y'don't have marks in the first place, you can't spend 'em!" Takapola grins, as if this is a good thing. It isn't, of course. But he grins anyhow, in between the food. Where's he off to? "Along the coast, probably. Some of the small local holds."

Kera chuckles and can only nod agreebly "There's alot of truth in that." A couple more spoonfuls and her stew is mostly gone, which allows her turn give the tea further examination. A quick glance down to Minimur shows the brown has slowed in his eating, but that doesn't stop him nosing through the bowl for the better pieces of meat. Kera breathes in the minty steam coming from her mug and smiles. A little sip is taken, then another. "That probably depends alot on the weather though right? Like if this drizzle turns into a full blown storm, you might be here longer than ya thought?"

Takapola glances toward the doorway. "Well, sure," he says. "If it's enough of a storm to make the sailing too dangerous. Though we've been through rain and wind before, will again. It depends how storm of a storm it storms." He grins. "Captain's call and all." He tilts his head. "Why, have you heard weather reports?"

Kera dips her head a time or two listening, her attention flicking around to the entrance when Takapola does. Not recognizing anyone coming or going, she peers back across the table. His questions gets a quick shake of her head "OH nothing going on that I know of." She shrugs. "Got a rest day, so was gonna take advantage of the the rain to do some fishing."

Takapola sure doesn't recognize anyone! He's just looking in a general sort of way. He nods, though. "Fishin' in the rain is good! Usedta spend some of the rainy days that way, back when I wasn't on a ship yet." A shrug. "Suppose I might still, if I had enough time on shore."

Kera nods agreeably across the table. "Everyone always says the fishing is better when it rains. I'm not sure why, since I've never noticed a vast differance in my catch when it rains or not." The apprentice shrugs and chuckles at herself then takes another drink from her mug, eyeing the dwindling mass briefly. "Well, there aren't many, but there are a couple of little shops scattered around the Weyr. Looking around those might give ya a few candlemarks to hide from any extra duties your Captain might come up with." she finishes with a smirk.

"Oh, see, that is because the fish get confused." Takapola grins. "You've seen bubbles in the water, yes? It's the same idea. They see the water up above the surface, and think the air's just extra big bubbles, and so they'll come swimming along through it. You can catch 'em bare-handed, if you're patient enough." As for the shops… he laughs. "I've no need to get rid of marks."

Kera lowers her nearly empty mug to the table and ponders the good fishing explanation. "I never thought of it like that." Nodding slowly a few times, she rises to her feet, taking the last drink of her tea. "Oh, I wasn't mentioning it to spend your marks. Just suggesting a couple of places you could go to avoid being given extra duties. Not sure how it works on ship, but my Journeyman sees an apprentice that looks like they are bored, and he fixes it so they aren't anymore. If ya get my point." Lifting her mug "Be right back." Scurrying quickly back towards the large pots, she gets herself a refill and returns back quick enough.

Takapola has many thoughts, oh yes he does! Duties? Yeah, he gets plenty of those, too! "Ha. Captain'll notice if anyone's not done their share. But we're on shore, so it's fine until the cargo's ready for loading. So… until tomorrow, at least. After that?" A shrug. "We shall see, we shall." While Kera's gone, he focuses on working through his meal.

Kera reaches for the lizard bowl, setting it on a nearby perch for other lizards, since Minimur is currently looking rather sluggish and curled up on the chair. Plopping back down in her own, Kera warms her hands around the mug. "Well, I've pointed out where the hot food was. As promised. Anything else I can point you towards?" The apprentice smirks very slightly as her gaze darts around the cavern, "We were speaking about the Headwoman earlier, did you need to track her down?"

Takapola grins. "So you did! And fine food it was. Also hot. Fine and hot. At once! This is a … fineness … not to be underestimated." He puts hand over his heart, fake-bows despite the table in the way. "Well, I should probably get back to the ship." He says, and doesn't move. The headwoman, huh? "You think she'd be up for making good deals? Advantages in trade and all… that sort of thing?"

Kera grins at the tablebow and sips from her mug. Trading with the Headwoman? Fingers tap against the mug handle as she considers and finally shrugs "I don't know to be honest. If it was something that helped the Weyr, she might see that something is worked out." A gentle lift and drop of her shoulders. "I've only had a few conversations with her." Lowering her voice as she leans slightly forward "I do my best to stay under her radar." Now at least.

"See, they're of two minds about taking initiative, back on the ship. If it works out, they tell you how it was a good thing and you should do it more. If it doesn't, they tell you how you shouldn't've done it in the first place and the failure served you right." Takapola grins, then tilts his head at the mention of staying under the radar. He nods. "Why's that? Heavy hand with the chores?" Or, his arched brow implies, something… more. The Terror Of Xanadu, the Headwoman of Doom!

Kera sips her tea, something Takapola says causing her to snort in amusement. "I've heard something along those lines a few times before." Gathering up her dishes, the apprentice healer, cant help but cast a glance around, as if expecting the Headwoman to swoop down from the rafters. "I had a few little mishaps my first turn here." A quick shrug given as Minimur is nudged "Wake up you." Grinning at the brown's lazy yawn she peers back across the table. "I need to go get this little guy scrubbed and oiled." Scrubbing! Oiling! The 'lazy' little brown seems to be not that sleepy afterall, he hops up quickly and settles on his little healer's shoulder with an inquisitive shitter. "It's been nice meeting you Takapola. Hope you can find your way around without getting too lost."

Takapola grins. "It's one of the principles of the world! Or so I hear." If the Headwoman's about to swoop down on them… Takapola doesn't know it! He's a terrible lookout that way, but he nods to the mishaps. "Well, she'll probably forget about it, sooner or later. They usually do, it's not like there's not plenty of things going wrong around a place this big." He shrugs, then looks to the firelizard, back to Kera. "Thank you for the fine and excellent tour! I'm sure I'll find plenty to occupy me. More than I should. According to some." He grins.

Kera laughs when it seems Takapola has his bearings, now that his belly is full of hot food and nods. "Alright then. I'll leave you to find your own mischief then." She wiggles her fingers "Have a good evening." Another quick nod and she heads off to drop her dirty dishes off before winding her way towards the infirmary tunnel.

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