Xanadu Weyr - Garden
An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place.

On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.

Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.

The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also alluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic.

It is an absolutely stunning summer day at Xanadu. It's almost too nice to be doing chores, almost. However there are chores that the candidates are assigned to complete and Nyvex is not the type to skirt out of his assigned chores. The extremely tall blond is in the garden's enjoying the sun baking his already golden skin. He had a shirt on at some point. But something about being at Xanadu brought him back to the time back on the Ranch. And the fit harper turned candidate former runner rancher spent a lot of time working in the Xanadu sun. He does have a funny looking hat upon his head. Keeps the sun out of his bright green eyes. He is currently kneeling in the dirt pulling out weeds. At least he thinks they are weeds, hopefully no one will tell Kasle about his lack of a green thumb. He does hum while he works and while he is not the greatest at gardening, he can carry a tune.

Despite the trauma of the egg touching, the prospect of getting in a little painting has Avi's steps light as he flounces (Yes, flounces) into the gardens with his satchel over his shoulder, a basket of goodies in his hand and a canvas under his arm. Making his way toward one of the grassy patches on either side of the path, he immediately tucks the basket aside, sets up the easel and sets the canvas. Course, it's a lovely day and a lovely day requires a lovely outfit. Averil has no shortage of lovely outfits and has chosen a flouncy, lacey dress in pale blue and white. Mind, there are heels and stockings and an equally darling pale blue head band in golden locks. All in all, he looks very much like Xanadu's very own version of Alice in Wonderland. It is in the midst of drawing his satchel over his head and fluffy his hair back into place that he notices the humming, his head turning to regard the other candidate working in the soil. It is only after a moment or two that he stoops to snag charcoal out of his satchel while noting, "We're allowed to pursue our crafts, you know?" It's curiousity that colors his tones, though, pale grey eyes slanting back toward Nyvex before drifting back to his canvas. "Although, gardening is an entertaining pastime."

Was Nyvex the only one not traumatized by the egg touching? He seems to be very good spirited about the whole thing and has been super excited about the prospect of getting back on the sands. He is usually sunshine and positive vibes though. He is in his own little singing world while he works until Avi is practically right upon him. His verdant gaze shifts towards the newcomer as they come in. When he spots that dress, he takes a long look to take it all in. Even before looking at Avi's face. He offers a smile to his fellow candidate. The words are taken in and he contemplates it. "I completely understand. But I was assigned a task and I couldn't skip out on it. Even though I would rather be singing on the beach. I can sing while I garden." He lifts his discarded shirt up to wipe his brow. "I'm Nyvex, by the way. I don't think we have been properly introduced yet. You will have to introduce me to your fashion designer sometime. I have absolutely the worst fashion sense. I could use something fancy. Usually my motto is, do these pants fit? Great. Do they make my butt look good. Even better. Other than that. I don't really know much about fashion. That and skimpy clothes get me better tips when working as a bartender." He looks down at the plucked 'weeds' or what he hopes are weeds. "I guess it's entertaining. I just hope i'm not removing anything I shouldn't be removing. They just said get rid of these things." At least watching him get all glistening with sweat in the dirt might be entertaining. Anything to put on a show.

There is considerable merit in the assumption that sweaty shirtless men are entertainment. They are. Absolutely and without a doubt, given Averil's occupation, he sees more then his fair share of them. It is the introduction that is met with a flashing smile, golden hair whispering over the artist's back as he glances back at the other candidate. "Averil, although I prefer Avi. As for my clothes? Frida's Fripperies in Ista, she makes all my dresses, corsets, stockings, assundries. She's very, very good." And he's more then happy to spread the word about her talents. Turning back to his easel, he rocks on his heels, considering a moment before relocating the easel to allow him to be able to talk without craning his neck. "I've done some of the chores on the board," he admits. "Children and Runners I can handle… The living cavern, though?" He gives a mild shudder at the thought. "To crowded for me,"

After spending most of the day shadowing a rider, Kasle is more than ready for a little relaxation! The gardener-candidate has decided to retreat to her favorite spot in the entire Weyr: The garden. This is her domain; she considers several of the beds to be personal projects. While she might not be able to spend every waking moment on beautifying Xanadu, right now, that doesn't keep her from checking in and doing a little work on her own time, right? Bells chiming softly as she strolls along the path a few minutes behind Averil, the dark haired woman breathes deep of the familiar, comforting aroma of flowers, fresh turned earth, and bruised leaves. Wait… She frowns, black eyes hunting for the source of the bruised leave smell, reaching for one of the thin black braids that frame her face. A look of shock and horror fills her face when she sees the poor uprooted plants near Nyvex, "Not those!!!" She runs over, falling to her knees to pick up some of the 'weeds', "Oh, you poor dears…"

Ny listens to Averil's introduction and the explanation of name preference. "Great, Avi it is." He smiles back at them. "Ahh, well I don't think i'll be in Ista anytime soon. I do need some sort of fancy dress clothes for a Gather. I only have special stuff for my stage performances however I don't have anything for a real fancy Gather. He listens to Avi explain about the dislike for crowds. "Ahh, I don't think they had a task that I wouldn't do. I spent most of my childhood mucking stables. I think I can handle anything that they throw at me. Sorry you don't like crowds though. If you get overwhelmed with them. Just close your eyes and take a deep breath and just block out the world. Imagine you are flying on the back of a dragon. Or are in a garden painting. Anything that you enjoy. Just don't imagine people naked. It totally doesn't work. And then you're stuck with that awkward feeling of being with all these naked people." He offers his bit of sage advice. And then Kasle is there and he has a completely bewidlered and confused look on his face. "What do you mean? Those are the exact plants they told me were weeds and that I needed to get rid of them all." He looks at the plants and looks at Kasle and he looks genuinely confused and also apologetic. "Was that wrong?" Yes, it was very wrong. Either he got very confused or someone told him the wrong plants as a prank.

Averil blinks at the woman streaking over (With the accompanying chime of bells) to craddle plants, a bemused smile tracing over his lips. "You had a fifty shot at pulling the right ones," he asides to Nyvex. Course, as he listens to Nyvex, his brows end up furrowing, confusion clear in those pale grey eyes. "You perform with runners on stage?" It's the advice regarding crowds that has him giving a faint smile, his head shaking slowly. "I prefer to avoid them." The plant fiasco has him falling silent, though, his brows furrowing as he turns back to his painting. "Can you replant them?"

"I'd just planted these last sevenday." Kasle sighs, looking mournfully at the decimated patch of ground, "If they didn't like it, they could have told me before…" She gently sets the poor plants back in the pile and pushes herself back to her feet, dusting her hands off. A short glance is directed over at Ny and Avi, giving them both a vaguely apologetic expression, "I, uh… Sorry." She flushes a little, embarassed at her own reaction to the devistation, "I guess I get a little… obsessive about some of the plants here." Averil's question gets a jingling shake of her head, "The roots were damaged. Some might come back because all of the roots weren't pulled, but most would die." She offers a small smile, trying to assure Nyvex that all is forgiven, "They're just plants." Though her first reaction clearly states that they're more than that to her, "I can help you with the rest, though, if you want."

Nyvex looks at Averil with his bright green eyes. "I have performed with runners before. Our line of runners are some of the best around. We did a lot of equestrian shows." He enjoyed riding, just didn't want Beastcrafting to be his career. "Oh shards. I definitely broke some eggs on this one." He curses and looks really apologetic. "Yeah, what Avi said. Can we replant them?" He is hopeful. "Maybe the flowers you thought were flowers, were really weeds? You know beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And you see something special in every plant." Yeah, he's trying to smooth talk his way out of this mistake. However at least he didn't mean to upset her or harm the plants. He looks at the wake of destruction. "Well, at least we know that if I had been getting rid of the right plants. I would have done a fine job at eliminating them." He gives almost a sad pout. Which is like a puppy who has been scolded. A really really tall puppy. "And here I was, happily plucking out the wrong plants." He looks at Avi, "I blame you for not convincing me it was too beautiful to be doing chores." He is only teasing. "I'll do anything you need me to do to help fix the problem though Kasle. I really didn't mean to mess up any of the gardens."

"Shiloh trains runners," Avi provides without a second thought. "He's very, very good. Taught me to ride and everything." Pausing a beat, his smile warms, the affection in his eyes obvious. "All the runners on his family's ranch are working runners, though." Course, the rest has him laughing, his hands turning up in a C'est la vie gesture. "I did try," he reminds. "You could have been singing." Course, now he's curious, his painting (Fortunately not started) forgotten as he drifts close enough to peer at the plants. "Surely there is some way you could save them?" It's Kasle's apology that has him shaking his head, his smile gentle. "You have nothing to apologize for at all."

Kasle shakes her head, her smile reassuring, "It's okay. You were told to pull these." Maybe the person giving instruction didn't realize that they were new plantings? She bends and starts gathering the discarded greenery, "We can just put them in the compost and they'll help the rest of the garden later." She looks completely out of her depth when it comes to the conversation about runners, "Yeah… I've never been on a runner before, myself." She chuckles softly and shrugs, "I've ridden a dragon before, but that's as different as an orchid from a rosebush."

It is at that time that the candidates are alerted that an egg touching is to happen shortly and the three make their way to get ready for time on the heated sands getting to know the unhatched dragons.

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