What's Mine

Xanadu Weyr - Forest
The trees grow thickly here, avians nesting in their branches and flitting about after insects. Flowers sprout up and speckle the ground between, the green of small plants and their blooms of bright saffron and cheeky rose that creep all the way up to the bases of the trees and adorn the fallen leaves and mulch of the forest floor. Those trees rise upward in their aged magnificence, gargantuan limbs casting often welcome shade, the general atmosphere and scent of the path is one of freshness and wild abandon.
A path winds its leisurely way through the trees, wide enough for wagons to pass. As it goes through into the forest, a number of other trails branch away, both more and less traveled. Many of them lead to private weyrs, but there's a few more trodden paths - notable among them a road to the feeding grounds, set against the western slopes.
The forest grows wilder the further north one goes, deep growth and ancient places, and the road splits in two against it. One branch leads to a clearing with a large stone building finished with wooden cladding, while the other turns back toward the meadow. Just before it emerges, a trail veers off to the Firelizard Theatre.

Rinian is glad for the arrival of autumn, as she's been finding the heat of southern difficult to adjust to. And while it'll never get as cool as she's used to, it is some relief at least. At the moment she's nestled in the crook of a lower limb of one of the large trees where it meets the trunk. Knees up and having no trouble with balancing there, she's thoughtfully studying from one of several books she has with her.

Men's voices interrupt the gentle ambiance of the forest. The conversation is interrupted at intervals by short laughter, the general feel of the approach something that should make avians flee into the sky, and the forest's land-dwelling beasts skitter for their homes. It's the sort of group that shouldn't be out in the daytime. The man of the sea leads five others, though while Kaellian is in black with all those silver accents, the chain 'round his neck, the rings on his fingers, those men beside him are in less flourished attire, sashes tied 'round their waists, one round his head, and all of them boast weapons somewhere on their person. At some point, the one in the lead quiets, slows, and murmurs something to the other men. They break off, leaving Kaellian on his own, and head further into the deeper forest where the shadows threaten to swallow them. Kaellian continues towards the woodcrafter-now-candidate, pausing as he comes to lean a shoulder on the tree. A light but harsh scratching sound accompanies the contact, and he folds his arms as he observes her from little distance away- perhaps a few feet from where that branch arises from the trunk. "'ello, love. Fancy finding you out here." Despite talking as slow as he naturally does, too-patient and too cocky, his arrogance a nigh palpable thing, there isn't really a pause before he falls into business, "My last job took me out earlier and longer than anticipated. I hope you haven't gone and sold my compass already." As if everyone is as devious as he, of course.

Rinian hears the voices, but doesn't really pay them much mind, as she is trying to make sense of what she is reading. That is, until there is a scraping sat her tree, and a voice just right there. More to the point, that voice right there. She looks down to him, the only time she can do that sort of thing as generally she has to look up at people. Except when they are people of reasonable height, like Risali. "Hello." She seems a trifle offended at his suggestion. "I would not do such a thing. It is safely back at the crafting area." She marks her place in the book and closes it, but doesn't move from her spot just yet. "I can go and fetch it for you."

"One can never be too careful, don't you think?" About assuming the worst in people, that is. However, nothing about Kaellian's expression seems to serious about that. No, he's grinning. Crookedly, with little lines at the edges of those too-light eyes that contrast so dramatically with the shadows of him. "I've left for so long, If I were you, I would have wondered just how important it really is, after all that drama made about it. And just how much it might just be worth, given its age. Sullied now, of course, by needing repairs, but surely worth something to a collector." Why he's pushing her is up to anyone's guess, his study of her face intent, curious, watching for something in particular. Waiting to note if, perhaps, it's there at all. There's no doubt he wants her to go get it, but there is no answer supplied to that question.

Rinian tucks a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Her expression is almost always serious, and so it seems still as she watches him with those green eyes. "I would not presume to think you would not return for it, as I understand things happen that can delay anyone." She shifts so she sits with her legs dangling from the branch, the books tucked neatly against her tunic. She doesn't address its value at all, but instead goes to business. "I tried to keep the repair as unobtrusive as possible, while still being sure it would hold well, even if treated roughly. Thanks to your delay, it is well cured now and I had the extra time to tint the hardened glue to blend better with the wood."

The man of the sea must have expected the avoidance of the topic, because he isn't off-put by that response. His bad hand wrapped in that black cloth rubs over his face roughly, the scratch of his calloused skin against his scruff a loud sound for quiet of the area. "I appreciate your.. detailed care. I look forward to seeing it." While everything he says is licked with a formality that doesn't match his attire, his person, or his 'craft', this is particularly woven with that sarcasm as innate to him as his accent is. Kaellian lets that hand that had rubbed his face, gesture towards the general direction of the craft complex. "Whenever you are so inclined," Is noted amidst the indicating, "I will be pleased to escort you."

Rinian frowns slightly, but it is in passing. The man is just plain scary, and she doesn't relish his escort. However, as they are going to the craft complex to get his item, she really has no reason to be concerned. After a moment's hesitation she slides easily from the tree, landing as someone who makes a habit of climbing them. Straightening she turns towards the forest's edge and starts that direction. "It is a beautifully carved case. Do you know who made it?"

Fortunately, Kaellian isn't in the mood to be aggressive about that escort. He doesn't offer an arm or bridge contact, but rather walks just to the side and behind her about one stride's length. He's right there, close enough that he'd probably bump into her if she stops too suddenly. Hovering, looming over her right shoulder. With his strides, the muted sound of metal clinks with each step, his boots falling soft but evident on the forest floor. His cloth wrapped hand rests on the hilt of his sword, and his other sways lazily at his side. "Aye, it is." Everything he owns is particularly valuable in one way or another. If not in monetary value, then in something even moreso. This, though, is one of those few things that have particular importance to him. "A long time ago, when I was just a lad when I was learning to sail," so much of that story is skipped over to the point it does it an ugly injustice, but he continues all the same, "There was a rumor about a captain who was the finest navigator in all the oceans. A man who had a compass that had been passed down from the ancients themselves, said to point one in the direction they seek and not just of the North." Not that it's true, or at least it doesn't seem to since the compass in question really does point North.

Rinian doesn't like having him just in her blind spot back there, where she can hear him, and feel him looming, but not actually see him well. Of course, anybody walking right there would bother her, because its hard to hold a conversation that way. Her light steps are quiet, and she doesn't wear anything that jingles or jangles, so she doesn't make much noise. She tries to slow down so she can walk beside him instead. She blinks at the story and looks at him, a bit puzzled as if not sure if to believe him or not. "That is a pretty fantastic claim.".

"Perhaps." Kaellian hums, his voice a quiet gravel-touched drawl. His speed doesn't change when she adjusts, and she is able to walk beside him instead as desired. If it bothers him, it's not apparent. Nothing really changes in his expression or the gaze that has watched her, and eventually drifts forwards in their direction, "But most drunken tavern tales are. The thing about them is that they are often dredged in truth, and one hint of truth is all you need to find an adventure worthy of pursuit. Me compass may not lead to some wild dream come true, but it is a thing of story nonetheless. Priceless in its own right." Making a broken and now repaired case less of an insurmountable thing. "Have you any special… items?"

Rinian should probably think twice about saying anything to him about valuables, but as now as the walk in more companionship than feeling like she's being stalked she answers without thinking it through completely, but then its not really earth shattering information. "No, not really. Nothing but my personal carving tools."

"Are those handed down to you, or purchased?" Kaellian's interest in the tools is faint, to be fair. It's almost an off-handed question, but an important one for the sake of his particular desires. Everything's value is different. Each grants a different power if held for… leverage. "Surely there is something else you keep close to you? No journal, drawings, charms?"

Rinian looks up at his face a moment, then back to keeping an eye on where she's walking, and the sky. Wouldn't do to walk right in the path of a landing dragon. "They were handed down to me." She does seem a bit proud of that. "They were my father's first carving tools. He has much nicer ones now, but these fit the size of my hands well. Very comfortable, and not difficult to keep sharp." They reach the entrance to the craft complex and she steps inside.

Xanadu Weyr - Craft Complex
This large area has been painted a soft cream with dark orange trim used as an accent. It's separated into a variety of smaller sitting areas, couches and chairs organized into rings and squares, tables set where they can be used easily. Recessed electric lights in the ceiling provide a warm glow, and a row of angled skylights on the eastern wall above the entrance give some natural light when bleary crafters first emerge. There's often a cart with klah parked off to one side to help with waking up or finishing that important project - or simply to be enjoyed with comfortable seating and good company.
Along the southern edge, an open archway leads to a library of books and records. There's something for every craft, it seems, from tomes of caprine diseases, to Pernese history and law, to gemstone identification, to sheet music, to sea charts and herbal manuals. There's even a few works of fiction, though none of it seems very well organized. Whatever is sought, it's probably here… somewhere. A few desks for studying are tucked in amongst the shelves, each with a lamp to illuminate the reading material. Near that archway, a long table holds a row of computers. They're connected to databases all over Pern, and are available for general use except when the computercraft requires them.
To the north, a pair of double doors open onto a grand hall, the vaulted ceiling designed with acoustics in mind. This space is used for lectures and concerts, rows of benches set up to face the front. Along one wall, instruments hang free or on shelves for anyone with the appropriate skills to use. There are often harpers here, practicing their craft.
A pair of hallways lead back from the western wall, one going to the apprentice dorms and the the private quarters for the ranking crafters posted at the weyr. The other provides access to the various workshops.

When she glances at his face, he's clearly been watching her, studying her. That same lingering intensity that is always looking for something. Waiting to see if it's there. Knowing it must be because it's there in everyone. Hers is just a bit harder to find. "I see." There's a flicker at the edge of his lips; it was an answer he approves of- something useful. "Were they a gift for when you entered the craft, or have you had them longer? And him, were they handed down to him?" Kaellian is a bit distanced, some thought or two taking his mind elsewhere, though those chilled eyes continue to linger on her, until they're passing into the craft complex and his gaze sweeps across the room- looking for something, someone. Overly observative about something that probably doesn't exist. He'd hesitate for a moment within, letting her take more of a lead again despite her desires, since he doesn't know his way around this place more than to the library he's 'borrowed' a number of things from already.

If she wonders why every time she looks towards him he's already looking at her, it doesn't show. Rinian should wonder about the questions on the tools, but something she's so proud of, she just can't help talking about them. "He gave them to me when I was seven, when I'd shown I could use sharp tools safely." She doesn't answer the rest of his question, however. "Just wait here, it'll only take me a moment to fetch it." She doesn't wait for his answer, but disappears down one of the hallways.

A few crafters pass them by, and his attention drifts after them, returning to Rinian as she speaks again in the makings of a.. command. Kaellian dips his head, almost a sort of bow. Though his presence is a heavy one, difficult to miss, difficult perhaps to even fit in as grand a room as this, he doesn't push her. Doesn't rush her. He does, in fact, obey with an off sort of smirk that could mean oh-so-many things. His forward motion stops just beside the doorway, maybe one step taken afer she'd started to leave him to bring him up next to a high back chair. Leaning back against it lightly, he waits.

True to her word, Rinian isn't gone long. She returns with a small package, as she has the case itself inside a padded wherhide case that should give it more protection. Of course it's black. She offers it to him quietly, waiting for him to inspect the work.

"Nice touch, lass." Kaellian comments of the black case, shift from that brief lean to straighten himself again. It's a high compliment, coming from him, since some bit of it actually tastes sincere. He's in no rush here, he never is, though the predatorial man moves forwards a pace or two to meet her before she's made it all the back to him. Part of him had been distracted when she'd returned, something about him being more and more awry as time goes on, as if something's coming. A foreboding, ominous hint that casts a darker and darker aura of him. Every bit tainted. When he reaches for that case, that gaze that had done little but study her, search her for something he's yet to find, finds only his compass in a way of a man possessed by possessiveness. It no doubt burned him to have left this for so long. To have had to leave it at all. That's why crafters are taken- er- recruited for the ship- to avoid this at all costs. The wherhide pouch is opened, the casing removed from its interior and turned over to inspect the back. Flip it open as if to check to make sure the compass was still adhered in place and not plucked from its securings. "A shame it is marred at all, but better than I thought might come of it. I suspect you wish earnings for your work." That's supposed to be a question, by the way. At least he's asking in some manner, rather than walking out on her.

Rinian seems pleased that he likes it. She did take care with it to make the crack vanish as best she could, but of course impossible to make it as it once was. Once things are broken, there is always some sort of scar. She is glad their business is almost concluded as he is shifting back to being very scary, unlike the more companionable walk and conversation on the way here. "It would be customary, yes." She doesn't suggest a price however, waiting to see what he will say on the matter.

"You'll have to.. be a bit more specific, love. You see, the customs that you're used to are not the same as mine. If you wish me to abide by me own customs to dictate what you're owed, you will be sorely disappointed." Everything comes with a price, but many times, it isn't marks that take the place of that price. It is a far more… interesting trade. Kaellian's expression remains faintly amused, but different. Darker. The hardness of his eyes less playful than they'd been before when testing, gauging her depths all over again, yet only finding a little something past her defensive shores. But it is something, and nothing is particularly safe within his grasp. "Now, what is it that you wish. A payment, or a favor?" It has the weight of a truth or dare that could hold life in the balance, but it would be he that would be in debt. Could he even be trusted to pay that debt if called upon? What might Rinian need that would require someone the likes of him?

Rinian really isn't used to people like him, and she thinks the less she has to deal with him…the better. Her answer comes easily enough, "Marks, please. To be honest, I am not sure a favor from you would be in my best interest." Well, can't say she's not honest.

"A shame, that. Everyone needs… something." Kaellian muses, his drawl so-heavily accented. There's disappointment in the fact he's not yet touched on mystery or hidden desire. "But you've yet to name your price. Someone of your level must have some sort of expectation."

Rinian has no idea that he's been trying to find some hidden desire of hers, or that she's frustrated him. She looks thoughtful and then says, "A half mark to cover both the repair and the wherhide case."

What happens next won't happen again. He awaits her decision like a snake lurking in the grass, patience in the mode of stillness and silence, giving its prey as long as it needs to settle before he strikes. Anything could happen, anything might have. But instead of hollow fangs laced in necrotizing venom, something else entirely comes around. A kindness? Surely not without consequence. Is it smart to take what he offers, when he offers more than what is owed? Does that mean she owes him? Kaellian's wrapped hand shifts to a pouch near where his cutlass's sheath is hooked 'round his wide belt. Though his chilly blue eyes never leave her, the dull jingling of woodpieces denote the marks he carries. Marks. That probably weren't his a fortnight ago, but that's a different story. When his hand opens towards her, he'd palmed one and onehalf marks. "For taking care of it, and keeping it to yerself."

Rinian watches him a moment, but when she reaches for the marks she only plucks out the 1/2 mark she had asked for. "Thank you, but this is sufficient for the work done." Apparently greed isn't one of her vices. Or at least it isn't obviously so. She even offers him a smile, with the deal finished, so far as she is concerned. "Hopefully the covering will keep it from needing repairs again, but if you have troubles with the repair under usual conditions, please let me know and I will see what I can do."

Silver ring'd fingers curl slowly back around the left-behind mark. The glint in his gaze is unpleasant, despite the smile offered to him. The grin is false, part of that general facade, but he bends his head, his shoulders to follow in a bow flourished more than it need-be. "So I shall." A proper 'thank you' is obviously lacking, but certain things are expected rather than appreciated. Kaellian's hand returns that mark to that mostly-hidden pouch at his hip. Business is concluded, as is whatever he'd been searching. The time had still won him two important things, things likely imperative for later. But not now. For now, he has other things that call to him, like men he had sent off on their own who have none of the constraints he does for their behavior. He should fetch them at some point, before they get him exiled right along with them too-soon. "Good evening, lass." It's damn near a purr when his rough voice falls, almost satin'd when it does. Curiously sinister, malevolent, despite that bow that only unfolds when he starts to take a step back, then turn to head back out of the Complex.

Rinian is only too glad to see him go, and hopes that repair never fails. Still, she stands her ground despite the very bad feelings coming off the man, and she is polite enough to not say anything like…never come back. She nods to him politely, but that is all, and then she watches him go. To be polite or just to be sure he actually goes?

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