Guess the Gender! (Nornon is Searched)

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 sun hangs at half mast as it slowly sinks toward the horizon, the mid-afternoon finding the beach enjoying a sort of lackadaisical air as the waves roll in and out from the shore, the waters sparkling under the clear skies in bright reflection of the cerulean expanse above. People litter the beach in varying states of dress and sunbathing, accompanied by companions of varying sorts from dragonkin to canines, though the cacophony is kept to a minimum. The waters are just as busy with people and animals, the sounds of laughter and playful squeals punctuating the sea breeze with their exuberance.

Crouched at the edge of the water where the sand is damp from the rolling tide a young man is curled up as he watches the tide roll in and out, wetting his bare feet when it rushes in around his ankles. His chest is pressed to his thighs and his arms wrapped around his shins for balance as the breeze ruffles his sandy hair. His eyes seem keen on their observations, thoughtful as he stays just outside the waters. Nornon is clad only in a pair of swim trunks, chest bare and bronzed from all the solar exposure he has gotten in his time at Ista and now Xanadu, and his body is toned lean with the efforts of his work as a Beastcrafter and growing youth alike.

With the late fall seasons upon them, when a false summer day comes rolling in? You make the most of it. Which may account for the crowded state of the beach and will also explain the lurking presence of a certain cerulean blue who is stretched out on the sandy shore. Ujinath is watching the waters and more specifically one lean, almost boyishly skinny young woman. Kiena has escaped from the offices and is taking in some of that much needed sun and fresh air before the rains and gloomier weather returns. Strolling along the shallows, the Weyrsecond is busily trying to wrestle her messy tangles of auburn hair back into an equally messy runner tail at the back of her head. Luckily for Nornon, she looks up just in time to see him sitting there and promptly side steps to avoid colliding with him. "Had enough of the waters?" she drawls by way of greeting, giving him a curious once over as she smirks.

As he is nearly plowed into the youth rocks backwards a bit away from the bluerider and breaks off whatever thought process was going on inside to look up at her, an easy smile on his face. "Nah, miss, haven't event gotten in," Nornon admits and unfurls his frame to stand with a good bit of height on him, heretofore hidden by his curled state. "My apologizes for being in the way, though." A hand is offered with friendly intentions. "Name's Nornon, visiting Beastcrafter from Ista Weyr." Amber gaze seeks to meet the Weyrsecond's, a quiet intensity in that gaze that belies his casual airs. "Is the weather always this oddly unpredictable?" he inquires, his other hand gesturing broadly to indicate the false summer day Xanadu is experiencing expressively.

Kiena snorts gruffly at his apology, quirking a brow up in a slightly incredulous manner that looks serious but could just as easily be teasing. "In the way? Hardly. This is a public beach after all and one can sit or lounge where they choose. If anything, I was at fault for not paying attention." she drawls, her accent not quite that of the local Xanadian populace and carrying more of a Western and Emerald Isle twinge to it. "Well met, Nornon." she says with an easy air and even offers her hand to him. "'M Kiena, Weyrsecond and rider of blue Ujinath…" she pauses to jut her chin towards the lounging blue, who is now focusing his observant stare their way. "And senior apprentice Smithcrafter, when I've the time to dabble. The weather?" Her eyes drift skywards and she exhales softly with a shrug of her shoulders. "Sometimes? To be honest, I haven't been a resident long here in Xanadu and usually am so busy as not to be overly aware of the weather unless it's stormin' or whatnot. Can't say I'm complaining about this warmth though! Aside from it being an utter tease. We're liable to be all freezin' again the day after next." Smirking, Kiena glances out towards the waters for a moment before turning her attention back to Nornon. "So what's brought you from Ista to Xanadu? Beastcrafter business?"

A soft chuckle escapes the young man's throat lightly. "Well, fair enough," Nornon rejoins Kiena's commentary about the public state of their locale, offering a warm smile and the slightest of bows in acknowledgement of her accurate repartee. As the bluerider's hand is offered he takes it for a firm but brief handshake before sliding his digits loose and letting the arm drop to his side again. "Well met also, Weyrsecond Kiena. My compliments to you and yours." Head tilts toward Ujinath, an amber glance spared for the observant peering directed toward them. "Though I cannot pretend to be as knowledgeable as my sister, he looks in fine stead today." The remarks about the weather earn a bit of a glance about toward the surprisingly clear skies. "So I've heard others say as well. Hence why I'm out here enjoying it while it lasts. I suspect come the morrow I'll be back at work and avoiding the rains myself." He chortles lightly at the fact, taking it in stride. Her last question draws a lopsided grin out from him, however. "Aye, the Hall thought it would be in my best interests to explore some of the strains down here for my project, so I've been peering through dusty tomes of runner breeding for…" Amber eyes glaze for a moment in thought. "…at least a moon now."

Kiena can't help but grin a little for the formality or is that a grimace? Again, it is difficult to say with her. She has never been very clear with her emotions and usually comes off a little rough around the edges. "Thank you," she murmurs and then tilts her head curiously. "Your sister? Is she a rider?" Ujinath doesn't seem aware of the discussion of his health, though the blue seems to have no issues with pointedly staring. It can be rather unsettling, actually, how observant he is and not at all shy about it. Yes, he's watching you. And you, and you. Shifting her weight to one side, Kiena chuckles dryly. "Ahh, I see. So a runner specialist, huh? Have you met Idrissa by chance? She's the only other Beastcrafter that I am overly familiar with. So are you stickin' around Xanadu then for awhile, at least until your research is done?" Does she always ask these many questions? Yes. Yes she does and Nornon gets the pleasure (or not) of being her newest victim to pry at.

There is a certain pride in the young man's voice as he answers the question. "She is. Ryni and green Usislykith." Nornon manages the name without any overt mangling, clearly having had some practice with it. "She's a Dragonhealer also, so…" He chuckles. "she's quite a bit more familiar with dragons and their bodies than I could ever claim." The creepy stalker blue is largely tuned out, despite there being a faint undercurrent of that being watched prickle at the back of the Beastcrafter's neck. "Idrissa?" Eyes roll skyward again in contemplation as chin is tapped by the finger pointer finger. "I think I've run into her a few times, but I can't say that I recall a formal meeting." A sheepish expression and he rubs the back of his neck. "Though, I'm admittedly terrible with names and could be pairing it with the wrong face." A light shrug and then another question to answer. "As far as I know it's sort of indefinitely until I finish my project or the Hall says go home." His features turn briefly pulled in a grimace of mild consternation. "I genuinely hope I'm not impinging on the Weyr by sort of, er, crashing so to speak. I'm kind of new to how this works."

One would hope that with the green belonging to a sibling that there is some practice with the name! Kiena quickly runs both rider and dragon through her mind but can only shake her head. She has never met the pair. "I would think so. You never thought to follow the same path?" she asks, yet another question among the many already piled on the poor young man's shoulders. Ujinath is not so much a stalker as just socially anxious. He trusts very few, especially with his rider out among the crowds but eventually he will relax and seems to have done just that! The blue has stretched out and with a muffled 'whoomph' heard even from where they are resting, he has rolled more onto his side. Of course, his keeps his head pointed their way but at least now the first lids are drawn up over his eyes? Dozing and completely innocent! Honest. "Likely you have crossed paths with her, though I don't think she's actively in the Beastcraft now. Been awhile since I last spoke with her, but I know she was into runners too." Kiena then levels him with a blank look before her features break into another amused half-grin as she laughs gruffly. "What? Shells no. You'd be impinging on the Weyr if you didn't work, so far as I'm aware. Don't worry about it. If the Hall says you need to be here, then who's to argue with that? You're workin' or… studyin'." Both? "Bein productive is all that matters in the end. Though you enjoyin' this project of yours?" Now she seems to peer at him intently, as if to puzzle out the answer for herself before he can answer. Even more unsettling is when the Weyrsecond begins to circle around him in slow steps, drifting from one side to the other before going still again with her arms crossed loosely over her chest.

"Thought about it," Nornon admits in a slow drawl, as if contemplating it anew. "But my passion's been runners since before I could walk." A soft chuckle escapes him, memories of his family's cothold before the disaster springing to mind, panging slightly in his chest. "Now, I dunno. Shory would be proud of me either way, I reckon." A bit of a drawl seems to stick with him along with the evoked memories for a bit. "I'm a big interested in understanding how breeding affects the dragons, the clutch sizes, egg coloring, what comes out of those eggs…." He trails off and looks chagrinned. "Er, sorry. I sort of go off into my own little space when I start talking about my work." Clearly a life's passion for this young man. "I'll be sure to seek her out if I have the chance. Perhaps pick her brain." The remark about not being a burden seems to bring some relief to the teenager, whose shoulders relax visibly. "Working and studying," he confirms with a short nod. "I'm hoping to walk the tables sooner rather than later. My current knot is practically threadbare." There's a light jest in his tone at that, though his expression turns to sort of a cross between curiosity and consternation as the rider begins circling him like a feline considering something cornered. "Actually, despite the crick in my neck and the ink on my fingers I'm enjoying it thoroughly. It's fascinating seeing how different strains of runner being bred together and produce such wide results, but I'm coming to find that you can actually control and predict it, especially the more familiar you are with a given sire and dams forebearers traits." And he's rambling again.

Kiena notes the slight change in Nornon when he brings up his past, however subtle it may be and she does not pursue further inquiries of that type quite yet. She lifts one hand up long enough to wave it in a slightly dismissive manner when he apologizes for rambling. "Don't worry about it. We're all guilty of that. Ask me about my work in Smithing and I'm liable to talk yer ear off about metals and what combinations work best for what tool or weapon being forged." she drawls with a faint grin. "Besides, it's good to see such passion for the work you do." As for the threadbare state of his knot, the Weyrsecond only chuckles and there is a brief sidelong look cast to Ujinath before the bluerider is regarding the young Beastcrafter again. "Huh. So through all that reading, you've discerned a way to more or less predict the offspring. This would be useful say… if there were interest in a dark coat or some specific pattern? Don't runners come in all shades and variations? How in Faranth's name can you categorize all that?" Her brows knit together as she tries to puzzle it out in her own head, only to grimace and shrug her shoulders. Nope, not quite able to grasp that concept! "Kind of… eerie to think that something like that can be put to record and puzzled out." Kiena has ceased with circling Nornon like he is prey, but she is clearly regarding him with a lingering look that is beyond polite boundaries and perhaps unaware of it. Her next words too go back to his mention of interests in dragon and their breeding. "Have you seen the eggs yet of the current clutch? I know there are many theories as to what leads to this or that concerning the eggs, but shards if I know what is truth or not. Yet we can predict some things. Odd, isn't it?"

Nornon grins a touch sheepishly as the bluerider admits her propensity to ramble about her Craft as well. "I've gotten my ear talked off once or twice by a Smith when I asked about runner shoes and tack metals." A small chuckle. "It was enlightening, to say the least, though I probably forgot most of it by now." Hand drops back to his side, having been rubbing the back of his neck thoughtlessly. "Well, there is certainly a pattern to it, though I wouldn't say it's flawless to predict. There are still a lot of variables we don't know how to track of trace, or sometimes wild traits that just seem to appear without any nearby ancestor to account for them. Coat colors we have a wide range of terms to classify, including the patterns they sport, like socks, stars, dappling, patches, and so on. We also classify things like build, as well as any noteworthy records a particular runner sets, like speed, distance, stamina, et cetera." He breaks off, realizing he's starting to ramble again and chuckles. "It is pretty neat that so much can be tracked, traced and cataloged though." The rather intense looks he's getting are not quite sinking in for the Beastcrafter, who seems rather focused on the questions he's being pelted with instead. "I was actually there when they were laid. Spent the whole clutching trying to find a pattern to the shell colors and the number laid at once," he admits with a soft chortle. "I'm afraid that the dam was set on thwarting my efforts, but I am still collecting data. I might find something useful after the eggs hatch and we see what comes out."

Kiena laughs gruffly, "Don't feel to bad about forgetting half the stuff. I've likely forgotten what little I've gleamed about the Beastcraft and Healercraft. No room after awhile up here," She taps the side of her head. "It seems for newer things. Something's gotta give, right?" Yet for all of that, the Weyrsecond certainly pays considerable attention to Nornon's elaboration on genetics even though it's clear half of it goes right over the poor blue rider's head. Wild traits? Socks and Stars? For some reason that almost sets her to snickering, but she wisely chews the corner of her lip to keep from doing so. And then, at last there is the opening Kiena may have been waiting for and like any predator would do… she pounces! Not literally, thank Faranth. "Why not check your data up close and personal? I've heard sometimes, sometimes you can discern the gender of an egg from touching it from the glimpses of the mind presence within. Or it's just sheer luck, given it's a fifty fifty chance one to the other." Did she just invite him to waltz out onto the Sands whenever he pleases? Not quite, as she doesn't have that power to bestow but can offer something just as good. A once in a lifetime deal! Kiena rides a blue dragon and that blue in question is now rolling to his feet and shaking the sand from his hide before slowly lumbering over until he is close enough to tower above them both (and likely blocking what sunlight remains). All while his rider all but looms over the young man with a wry smile. "What say you, Nornon? Would you accept the offer to Stand as a Candidate for Luraoth and Sharuth's clutch? Ujinath thinks you'll make a find addition to the ranks, if you're willing!"

A soft chuckle slides from Nornon's throat at the bluerider's temple tap and he nods with a little grin. "So it would seem," he agrees amicably. Bare toes wriggle in the damp sand thoughtfully, though that stops as soon as Kiena asks if the Beastcrafter wants to examine them up close and persona for data collection. There's a certain light in his eyes as the idea appeals, shadowed by a touch of confusion about how that would work. The fifty-fifty comment does earn a chuckle. "Sounds easier than trying to guess a foal's gender, though." Any further elucidation he might have done is brought up short by the suddenly looming shadow cast by the blue and the Apprentice peers up at Ujinath, licking his lips in a slightly nervous gesture of thought. Fingertips press to thighs and toes curl in sand as the question is asked, sending a shock coursing through him. Lower lip is gnawed on as he rolls this around in his mind. The possibilities of his sister having Impressed and now his being asked to Stand bring up all sorts of interesting ideas about family genetics and their role in being suitable to dragons and he has to shake his head to clear it and jolt himself out of that long train of thought. "I?" Voice chokes, throat suddenly dry and he rolls his tongue around and swallows again hard. "Yes. I'd be honored." He's obviously still trying to work out the ramifications of this latest development, but it looks like he's willing to explore them!

Ujinath is harmless really and once it seems as though Nornon is agreeing to the offer, the blue backs away. He had sensed enough through his rider and from afar, but it never hurts to examine a little closer, does it? He makes a low satisfied rumbling sound followed by a snort and then the blue is turning away to calmly lumber his way up towards the tree line where he settles himself sprawled out feline like and yawns mightily. His work is done! Kiena meanwhile has tilted her head a bit to the side as she observes Nornon's reaction, keeping her expression carefully neutral until he accepts. Once he does, she grins broadly. "Excellent!" she drawls and shifting her weight she begins to rummage in her pockets, only to sigh and actually flush a bit. "And… I am a fool and left the knots I had back with my jacket in my office. Not that it matters…" Since Noron is dressed for swimming, isn't he? "You'll have to get your stuff organized, let the Hall know and all. Gives me time to fetch it for you." she murmurs and then with a sheepish smile adds. "Sorry for that. But, let's not focus on it. Congratulations, Nornon!" Or is it condolences?

A flush of something between embarrassment and consternation creeps up under his tan and he grins a little lopsided as his hand rubs at the back of his neck. There is a certain relief in the blue backing off, though on a conscious and logical level the teenager knows the dragon would never actually harm him. At least, not so long as he didn't harm the rider. Head shakes in response to the lack of available knots. "It's okay. I'd rather not get it wet, and I'd have to pin it on my swim trunks." Nornon laughs lightly at that mental image of the knot on his hip. "Thank you for the opportunity. I'll have to get word to Ryni, somehow." Amber eyes cloud briefly as he tries to figure out the fastest way to do that, then his eyes land on the fair of firelizards playing over the water and he smacks himself lightly on the back of the neck in an obvious "Duh!" gesture. "I suppose this means no more rest days for me, eh?" He chuckles a little at that. "Then again, a Beastcrafter's work is never done either." He straightens a bit and smiles at the congratulations. "Thank you. Uhm, does that mean I should call you ma'am now?"

Kiena laughs and genuinely at that! "Please don't. We don't need some… quirky fashion statement starting. Though honestly, some may consider it an act of rebellion or something like that." In a nutshell, the Weyrsecond is painting a clear message: don't do it. Even if it would make her laugh, as she just did. "Do you have a firelizard?" she suggests, "Or perhaps a transport rider could. Perhaps one of the Journeymen posted in your Craft has a reliable firelizard to use?" Though she grins crookedly when Nornon smacks himself and chuckles dryly. "Figured it all out then?" she drawls. "Oh, there are rest days in Candidacy. Just not as often. Trust me though, the days go quick all the same. Enjoy it all, while you can! His answer will come in the form of a nose wrinkle then. That'd be a no. "No… no, you can drop the ma'am bit. You'll have to salute me and all and address me by rank at most. Honestly, either Weyrsecond or just my name is fine. Really." Don't sweat it!

"Yeah, I figured it out." Fingers gesture to his dancing fair. "I don't know why I didn't think of my own firelizards. Guess I'm still trying to process the idea of Candidacy." Nornon chortles in a slightly self-depreciating way. "I suspect that will go by quickly, but I'll definitely do my best to enjoy the whirlwind." An easy grin shows his teeth starkly against his bronzed skin, though hands come up in a playfully mollifying gesture at the denial. "Okay, Kiena. I'll stick with your name, if that's all right." Amber eyes shift from side to side briefly before settling back on the Weyrsecond. "Though I suspect that won't be the case with every rider. Sort of a … play by ear, ne?" Arms fold over chest for lack of anything better to do with them and he frowns thoughtfully. "So, do I meet you at the Candidate Barracks, or… somewhere else?"

Kiena chuckles and nods her head in an understanding gesture. "Oh, expect that too. It's a shock, for sure. It took me awhile to adjust and by then it was almost Hatching day." she admits with a crooked smile. "Could go quickly for you though. Everyone is different, but you seem capable of adjusting just fine." Her smile twitches broader for a moment and her blue eyes are bright with amusement. "That's just fine. And yes, do play it by ear. Caution is generally the best way to go about it. So long as you're respectful in all ways, I don't think you'll encounter any trouble." she assures him and then glancing back towards the Weyr proper, Kiena chews thoughtfully at her lower lip and then nods. "I'll go get it now and give you a chance to get things in order." By which she means cleaned up and changed, no doubt! "Do you know where the administration hallway is? Ahh, no… scratch that. Yeah, I'll meet you by the Barracks. How long do you think you'll need before you're headed that way?"

A nod. "Noted." Then Nornon cranes halfway about to follow her cerulean gaze back toward the Weyr himself, thinking over what he'll need to do. "I'm still mostly living out of my satchel, so it won't take me long to gather my things. Shouldn't take me long to get dressed either…" Amber gaze slides skyward in thought as he tries to calculate walking distance and other factors. "I'd guess about half a candlemark, just to err on the side of caution?" he finally ventures, head tilting back down to meet the bluerider's eyes again. "If that's all right by you?"

Kiena's eyes also travel skywards as she listens and then factors in the timing. No doubt she's already stretched her "free" time thin for the day, but she'll smile broadly to Nornon all the same. "That works! I've just that much time left before my duties will claim me for the rest of the day." Giving him another lingering look, she'll offer him her hand again. "Welcome aboard, Nornon. I'll see you in a half a candlemark with your knot! Which means I best get going now, before someone finds me and I'm dragged away." she says with a long suffering sigh that almost makes the remark too casual. Was she joking about being stolen away? Probably not and her eyes are already darting back towards the meadow. "We'll talk more, alright? Once we get you settled with you knot. Now if you'll excuse me…" Kiena grins and then steps backwards a few paces before turning to continue on briskly back towards the Weyr. Later, she'll be at the barracks as expected with knot in hand and more "wisdom" to impart on the young man. A quick run through of the rules, a few questions answered and then off he goes! Free! Err… sort of? She'll leave him then to settle into the Candidate Barracks alone as she is called away, just as predicted, but luckily well after they've completed the last steps.

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