Knot Another Apple! (Garawan is Searched)

Xanadu Weyr – Meadow

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

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

Autumn has come and with it, the cooler, crisper air that heralds summer's passing. Amidst the changing of nature's colors, residents of all sorts seem to be enjoying this particular meadow. A father and his son toss a ball back and forth, two young lovers are nestled on a blanket sharing a picnic, and there's even a class of some kind taking place out here. Harpers, perhaps? Hard to tell without getting close but the young people seem to be enjoying their time outside. More central in the meadow is a rather large bronze dragon, his rider — brawny, thick, but small in comparison — lying back against him while reading a book. Sharuth seems to be sleeping given his position and closed eyes but his tail flicks ever so slightly now and then. So'l, for his part, seems absorbed in the book until — reaching the last page — he slaps it shut and looks thoroughly unhappy.

And of course where there's a group of people, there's going to be someone selling something. This time it's Garawan, at a hastily-made but still sturdy stand-front. What's he selling? Apples, it looks like! Apples, applesauce with cinnamon, and apple juice. Apples are even available already-cut. This is being done by someone else, though… someone that looks like he may be related to Garawan. They share facial features, even if they don't look exactly alike. For himself, Garawan is manning the stand, taking the money and distributing the goods to those who've bought them. He's also keeping his firelizards from eating the goods! Well, mainly his little gold firelizard is taking care of this— when either the brown or bronze get too close, she will raise her hackles like an irritated cat and warble fiercely at him until he backs off. She's doing a decent job, too!

Resting atop the bronze is an even smaller lump of the same color, though paler in shade than his much larger cousin. Kon looks up at the sound of firelizard squabbling and sniffs the air curiously, his eyes suddenly whirling with excitement. Apples! Nom nom. The firelizard flits down to So'l's shoulder, taking roost there and nuzzling his neck. Let's go, So'l man! Chuckling, the rider puts his book down and looks around for the source of Kon's current excitement. "Ah," he smiles with understanding. "Should have known," So'l rolls his eyes, rising to his feet and leaving Sharuth to sleep while he and the firelizard meander over to the apple stand. "Afternoon," the bronzerider nods to Garawan, Kon excitedly fidgeting on his shoulder. "This one wants some cut apple pieces," So'l points to the firelizard, "and I'd take some of that apple juice, please."

"Right away, sir," Garawan replies, offering a businessman's polite and kind smile. Not quite a full 'Trust me…. really!' smile, but close. He looks to the similar-looking man. "Tiberiu, cut another apple for the gentleman, if you wouldn't mind." Pause, and he looks at Kon. "Would you like the apple peeled?" Some firelizards don't like peels, and they might get stuck. Speaking of firelizards, Garawan's fare have noticed Kon! Princess, the gold, stands in her place, drawing herself up and looking very regal indeed. If she were a cat, she'd be licking her forepaw. Bruin, the brown, is chirping a friendly greeting. And the bronze, Ohsidi, is trilling out a quieter greeting. He is, however, looking at the stacks of cups and nudging them into a more organized pattern.

"Do you want it peeled?" So'l asks, turning his head to regard the bronze. Excited chirples escape him and thus the rider says, "Sure, if you don't mind. That'd be great," he nods, returning the smile. Lowering his right hand into a pocket, he fishes for some marks while Kon warbles back a greeting of his own to Bruin and Ohsidi. It's Princess, though, who really steals his attention away from the thought of apples to come. An admiring trill floats to her, the little bronze waving his odd, silver paw in greeting. So'l, meanwhile, asks, "How much will that be?" From behind, however, Sharuth has stirred from slumber and raised his head to regard his rider. Something obviously passes between he and So'l for the bronzer nods and says, "Let's add a couple dozen apples then, whole. In a bag is fine," he chuckles. "Dragons hunt phenomenally well…but this one is apparently hungry for fruit today," So'l chucks a thumb over his shoulder.

"Sure!" This from Tiberiu, who deftly cores and peels the apple, then cuts it into sections. Bruin seems to be wanting to get a closer look at Kon, as he starts to circle in the air around So'l slowly. Ohsidi however, is concerned about his precious stacks of cups. Particularly when Garawan picks up one of the cups for So'l's apple juice. If a firelizard can go 'ACK!', he does. A plaintive trill emits from him, and the shuffles the stacks of cups around again until they're to his liking. And Princess? A tailflick in Kon's direction, and a haughty 'I'm so beautiful' look. As So'l indicates his dragon's wish as well, Garawan nods and begins to put the required amount of apples in a bag. "Of course. That'll be…" There's not much hesitation, and he names a price. He's added it mentally. And it /is/ a fair price. "That's for everything all together, of course. I'd still recommend coring the apples before eating them. The area around the seeds is bitter."

"Appreciate the advice," So'l smiles, handing over his marks and taking the large bag of apples. "I doubt Sharuth will care much, though. If he can swallow a fish skeleton, I don't think a bitter core will bother him much," he chuckles, watching as the cup is retrieved and filled. Kon looks up briefly at Bruin — who circles overheard — and warbles playfully at the brown. But yet again, Princess is stealing the show with that look of hers. At least until thud thud thud! There's a dragon approaching and he is apparently keen for those apples So'l's holding. Lowering his great head, Sharuth sniffs at the bag before turning his muzzle to regard Garawan. Head cocked, his breath puffs out and smells vaguely of raw meat before the bronze turns to look at So'l and open his mouth. Apples please. "Sorry, he's a little impatient sometimes," So'l laughs, taking one of the apples from the bag and tossing it into Sharuth's maw. Chomp chomp goes the dragon! Except something doesn't taste quite right and a slimy core is spit out onto the grassy floor. Gross!

Garawan chuckles at the statement as he hands over the bag of apples. The juice and cup of apple pieces are handed over too, and the marks are accepted in return. "Perhaps it won't. I've even known some riders say theirs prefer the core for the bitter taste." Oh yes, Princess is so very beautiful and regal and— ACK, DRAGON. Princess scrambles over to where Ohsidi is keeping a close eye on the cups and hides behind the stacks. Which of course causes the bronze to squawk at her— NOOOO, not the cups! Garawan, however, offers a polite bow to the bronze. "Greetings to you," he offers to Sharuth.

Nudging the core with his boot, So'l smirks and looks up at Sharuth. "Really? You pick /now/ to be picky?" A low, amused rumble comes forth from the bronze and So'l just shakes his head. "Alright, alright…no cores." Looking around, the rider confirms that there are no customers waiting before asking Garawan, "I'll happily pay a little extra if you'd core some of these and help me feed him?" It's not exactly an Apple Vendor's job, of course, but heydoesn't hurt to ask, right? So'l sets the bag on the counter and removes an apple, a pocket knife appearing from /somewhere/ and quickly used to core the fruit. Sharuth, meanwhile, has turned back Garawan and at the thought of the man helping, his eyes whirl with an imploring blue. Please? Opening his jaws, he catches So'l's offering before waiting for Garawan's. The firelizards, though, Sharuth pays no mind. Kon, however, has flown over to rest near Princess and Ohsidi. His chitterings are soothing: not to worry! Sharuth is friendly. With both a silver and pale bronze claws, he starts helping Ohsidi with the cups.

Garawan just laughs quietly, but has the politeness to cover his mouth so it doesn't look like he's laughing /at/ Sharuth. Or So'l. He nods, though, when he's asked if he can core some apples. "That's not a problem, sir," he offers. He looks to the other fellow manning the stand. "Tiberiu, can you handle the money for a bit? You know where the price chart is if you need to look again." The other fellow nods, and offers a salute. He has better than a pocket knife… he has an extra apple-corer! It's a piece of sturdy sheet metal that's been bent into a cylindrical shape and has sharp jagged edges on the end. It's forced through the top of the apple, around the stem, and cuts through the apple to remove the core entirely. Garawan will also come out form behind the stand so he doesn't have to just peg the apples at Sharuth's head and hope to land them in his mouth. Bruin lands near where Kon had landed. If a firelizard can pull a '…really?' expression, he does… right at Princess. She looks suitably traumatized, poor little damsel, and will probably seek to hide behind Kon if possible. Ohsidi trills gratefully for the help. Yay, setting the cups back up. Have to have them in order….

"Thank you kindly," So'l smiles back, grateful for the assistance. Moving aside — to allow other customers to approach and do business — the bronzerider cores another apple while admiring Garawan's coring tool. For every one apple So'l can core, the vendor will no doubt do four or five. "Impressive little thing, that," the rider chuckles, tossing another apple into Sharuth's waiting mouth. Tongue suitably laden down now, the bronze closes his jaws and chomps, chomps, chomps before opening them once more. More! With a hearty laugh, So'l shakes his head and says, "He very much likes your apples. This is Sharuth, by the way," he nods towards the dragon, "And I'm So'l." Knife cutting into another fruit, the rider looks briefly over to ensure Kon is staying out of trouble. And he is! In fact, he's helping to restore order, see? Cup stacks are rearranged in concert with Ohsidi, the bronze taking orders well and helping to put them where desired. And then he stands tall, extending his wings a bit to hide Princess behind himself. While his chitters still reiterate that Sharuth is not to be feared, there's no question that he stands as valiant guard and protector!

"Pleased to meet you both. My name is Garawan," the trader offers. Truthfully Garawan wouldn't be doing them too quickly, his hands aren't that strong. But he'll get them out at a decent rate! And he'll load the apples into Sharuth's mouth when it opens. Nomfnomf apples! "My mother had this made by a smith," Garawan comments, of the corer. "Sometimes it cuts into the core if I aim it wrong, though. Then the whole apple tastes bitter, since it rubs the bitter parts all over the inside of the apple. Thankfully I manage not to do that most of the time." Ohsidi warbles happily at the assistance, thank you so much! Princess will be peeking out from behind Kon, sniffing in Sharuth's direction. Safe?

"Well, it's certainly faster than a knife," So'l nods, tossing one last apple into Sharuth's waiting jaws. Tying up the bag, he'll save what's left of the apples for later. Watching Garawan toss his last one in as well, the bronzerider says, "Alright, Shar. That's enough for now. Besides," humor tinges the young man's voice, "you already ate this morning." The dragon chomps down on the remaining fruit and swallows, giving a nod to So'l before turning back to look directly. At. Garawan. With a very gentle nuzzle, Sharuth thanks the vendor for both his apples /and/ his assistance. And then? Then he bugles excitedly, raising his head to trumpet his song into the sky. "Really? Him?" Not that So'l doesn't trust his dragon's judgment but he's just surprised, that's all. Sharuth lowers his head again and pushes his nose against Garawan, breathing heavily on the man once more — only this time, it smells like raw meat /and/ apples. Yes, him! "Garawan," the rider's voice takes on a more formal tone, "Sharuth thinks you may be worthy of Impressing one of his children?" Question? See: still surprised.

Garawan puts the last cored apple into Sharuth's mouth. He steps over to the stand and swishes the corer in a bowl of water that's probably been put out specifically for that purpose. The water is clean, so it's probably been changed a couple of times. He comes back in time to… get nuzzled? Garawan chuckles and will raise his hand to pat Sharuth's neck gently in return. "You're quite welcome." The bugling has him jumping a little, so sudden is it. He looks between So'l and Sharuth, blinking a little. Then, Garawan is nosed! And when So'l explains what's going on, be blinks as well. He looks just as surprised as the rider. Once could have been a fluke. The dragon probably had a stuffy nose or something. The more formal tone is registered, and Garawan bows to the dragon. "Thank you, Sharuth. I am honored." He looks to So'l. "I would like to Stand, if I am permitted to." Formalities all around, yay!

Sharuth seems /very/ pleased that Garawan is willing to Stand. And then? Then he's nosing at that bag of apples again. "Later," So'l laughs, the formal tone falling away as he pulls the bag away from Sharuth and sets it down on the ground. From his pocket he pulls a small length of white cord — a Candidate's knot — and gently pins it to Garawan's shoulder. "In that case, you are officially a Candidate, Garawan." The bronzerider grins a toothy grin and says, "You'll want to move into the Candidate Barracks right away. There are rules, of course," of course! "to abide while you wait to Stand. You'll want to review them once you move in. And if you have any questions," So'l nods, "we're happy to answer them. Good luck on the sands," he smiles wide. Sharuth, meanwhile, has taken to standing proudly and bugling once more. He found one!

Garawan sits still while the knot is pinned on— don't want to get poked by pins! If 'pinned on' is literal. He nods to the mention of there being rules for Candidacy. He's Stood once before, so he knows. But he doesn't point that out, it's not really important. "Thank you, sir," he offers. He's already starting with the formal title— getting started with the respect from the time that white knot gets pinned on! Besides, a refresher course wouldn't hurt. "I just need to pack some clothing," he mentions. And he smiles again when Sharuth bugles, chuckling slightly. He isn't quite so surprised by it. Princess on the other hand? She's hiding under Bruin, who looks quite surprised by having a Princess 'pillow'.

"You're welcome," So'l nods back in return, his thoughts returning to when /he/ was Searched just under a year ago. Shaking his head at how quickly times change, the bronzerider offers one final grin and says, "We'll see you around, Garawan. Thanks again for the apples," he nods, picking up his bag and motioning Sharuth to follow. He stops back at the booth quickly to collect the peeled apple slices, juice, and of course Kon, who seems to want to stay. But the firelizard does as he's told and takes to So'l's shoulder once more, warbling goodbye to Princess and the rest. As for Sharuth? With a head bob of his own, the great bronze follows after So'l, looking back to whuffle goodbye to Garawan before turning forward once more.

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