High Reaches Day Trip

High Reaches Weyr - Lake Shore
Extending all the way out to the bowl wall, this large, beautiful lake draws human, dragon and firelizard alike throughout the Turn. The crystal-clear waters are fed by mountain springs, remaining chilly even during the heat of summer. High above, accessible via a rough, steep path, there is a ledge for diving into the waters below.
Along the pebbled shore at your feet, crystal-clear water, fed by mountain springs, ripples and splashes into waves that can be gentle, playful or choppy as the season commands. High above, the star stones are visible, etched in a vigilant reminder of turns and threats long gone against the wide skies. When the weather permits, firelizards, dragons and fish are plentiful; even the weyrfolk will swim in the lake if the temperature outside is warm enough. Sienna-hued rocks, warmed by the sun and dashed by the blizzards are visible beneath the surface, fine pebbles scattered among the pale sand below that shifts with the waves.

In one area of this candidacy, at least, Ajral got lucky. Given the prompt of getting something nice for the Weyr from somewhere else — something unique to that place, Ajral was able to note a thing from the place of her birth that would work nicely. That wasn't the part where she got lucky, though: the lucky part was knowing that one good friend's dragon would probably be very enthusiastic about going somewhere. As it turned out Inasyth was enthusiastic about the end goal as well, and if Rhodelia hadn't wanted to go, she wasn't able to let that be known because of being overruled entirely. So off they went to the Northern Continent, to Ajral's home of High Reaches, where she was successful in avoiding maybe-siblings and other people who would actually want to talk to her in favor of taking her friends, human and dragon, directly to the corner of the beach where she thought she might find her quarry. "You can help look if you want," says Ajral, be-sunhatted but still in a sweater and long pants because while it might be spring in High Reaches, it's spring in High Reaches, "Or just hang out. Whatever suits."

Enthusiasm and Inasyth go together like peanut butter and jelly! The young gold clearly thought that this was a GREAT IDEA (PERHAPS EVEN LEIRITH'S GREATEST EVER!!!) and was heading for her riding straps before Rhody could even agree, although agreement was pretty short behind, even if there might have been a little finagling of schedules required to get the couple hours free for the trip. Once on the ground, Rhodelia shivers a little bit, clearly not quite remembering how could the northern mountains can get even in 'spring' despite her sweater. "I'll help. Ina says she will as well…" Although as she casts a look over her shoulder to where she left her lifemate, the visiting gold has already gotten a couple curious browns and bronzes arrive. "and try to get her new friends to help as well… Just how big are these rocks you're wanting?"

"Not," answers Ajral, oh so very helpful — which makes it something of a challenge, maybe, for a gold and bronzes to hunt them out! "The core stones are very large but we're nowhere near them. The ones that end up in the sand would fit in your palm. Barely, so I guess more like would fit in your hand. They should be sea-smoothed, at this point … er. Lake-smoothed, I guess. Green and brown, mostly green, and you know it's the chloromenlanite because it's partially translucent." She is poking the sand with her feet, borderline kicking it around but with less enthusiasm (hopefully Inasyth doesn't notice that seems to be the way - oh well, fat chance) as she gets closer to the shore and eventually overturns one of the stone in question. It's dirty, imperfect and full of cleaving inclusions of unattractive kinds of rock though. "Like this, but less, er, disappointing." And apparently not THAT difficult to locate, but finding nice ones is the goal.

Rhodelia gives a nod of her head and sets out, eyes on the ground in front although a little less enthusiastic as she's not kicking so much as occassionally nudging the sands when a likely bump looks like it could be a rock. Pretty soon, a trio of dragons, led by Inasyth of course, begins combing the lake shore as well. They did take notes and there is much movement of dirt although not much discovery yet. Thankfully they're going in the opposite direction. « WE'LL COVER MORE GROUND THIS WAY!!! HAHA!!! » As Ajral uncovers the first rock, she'll peer at it. "It can't be that disappointing, can it? Maybe save it and give it to Ru'ien in case he can figure out any way to use it? Maybe break it up and use it to make some mosaic pieces with the pretty part of the rocks?"

Squatting down on the ground — not sitting, because then she would have wet sand on her pants, and Ajral is just too prim for that one, sorry — Ajral is now combing through sand, trying to find specimens that aren't full of other things. Like the one that might have concrete in it. The one with some other kind of weird grey thing in it. "Oh, yes, I hadn't thought of that, actually. I guess we aren't too terribly space limited when it comes to bringing things back." Their conveyance isn't just friendly and good at rock finding, but also large. "I forgot this actually feels nice on my fingers. Very spa-like. Cold though."

"I didn't bring all the strap bags, but we definitely got room for as much as we can carry," Rhodelia grins and makes the safe estimate that the carrying capacity of their own arms is greatly less than one of the largest dragons around. One of the less spoken of perks of goldriding, although drawback is just so much more hide to scrub. Tradeoffs. Rhody isn't so prim and proper and kneels down in the sand to help start digging. Her knees might get a bit wet, but at least her butt is safe for now. "So one thing I don't understand is… how are there just so many of these rocks just sitting here? Wouldn't like… generations of Reachians have found uses for some of them?"

It would be impressive if they could even come close. No real risk of bringing more than Inasyth could handle. "Oh. Sure. They're actually in most of the area firestone mines, too, and they kind of get in the way, but these ones I think are coming from under the water. Other than small things like jewelry and really teensy teacups, though, they aren't too useful, and since nobody considers them valuable," Ajral discards another few things that looked like it might have been chloromenlanite but turned out to be green seaglass or other weird overgrown pebbles, "because they are in fact everywhere, no one thinks about the fact that to other people it could be. I've never really seen anyone comment on it, I just thought that it might be a good thing to add to the proposed collection." Not as if Ajral knows how many other people might bring undervalued gemstones, but even just one is nice. Forty is nice too. "I think the Smiths don't like working with it, for the most part. Breaks too easily or something."

Rhodelia might be part magpie because she slips those discarded seaglass pebbles and pockets them into her flight-jacket. "Ahhh, well… if folks aren't gonna use them then… we can certainly appreciate them. Give the rocks a good home. Nice and warm and all that." Because clearly everybody needs some pet rocks. The dragon digging gets a little bit more enthusiastic until Rhody focuses in that direction and Inasyth uses her back legs to fill in what was looking to become an actual trench. No beach booby traps should be left in their wake!

Take all the pretty foreign beach rocks! They are nice in part because they're different: Xanadu doesn't have these particular stones, even if certain areas on its coastline are even more beautiful. Ajral doesn't get homesick because she considers nowhere her home, but it is easy to miss her childhood when taking in the expanse of rocky beach. "Exactly. We can probably get away with taking quite a few before anyone cares, and then it's just because the sand would look weird. But from outside the area it must be some kind of delicacy — that was the wrong word." Rock, do not eat.

More likely to get shooed out from dragons creating sand-holds than from taking a couple of the beach rocks in all honestly. After a bit more digging, Rhody finally pulls out one of her own. It's small, only about an inch and a half long, but decently ovalish. "Loook, look!" It's almost childlike excitement that she bats Ajral's arm to show off her find. "We can figure out the right word later. Trinket? Oddments?"

Or from being Ajral, if a certain couple of people notice her, but she is laying low - otherwise known as not going indoors. Stick to outside and nobody gets chased down by former foster mothers and scolded! "There you go, that one's perfect," is accompanied by a bright-eyed smile. "Regardless of what it's called. I think trinket's good, but oddment is a really excellent word in general." She manages to unearth one a few moments later: browner than the more appealing green of many, but it's really smooth. A greener, but smaller piece gets added to the collection a minute or two later. "I hope it's not any trouble for you to be here politically, like, you aren't stuck going to meet the Weyrwomen or anything just because I needed a rock …"

Rhodelia laughs a little. "Maybe that's what I'll do with all the extra space in my barn. Start a museum of trinkets and oddments. All the weirdest stuff on Pern." It's not hoarding if you carefully shelf and label everything, right? As for being weird, she gives a little shrug. "I don't think so. Ina made sure to announce loudly this was not officially at all, just out for a little stroll of the wings when we arrived. Besides… we should spend more leisurey time in places, right? Can't risk losing the mental imprint of a place for when you really need to go back."

Ajral should have thought of that, but her brain doesn't operate in the mode of thinking about the logic of betweening even when by now it should because she's only been at Weyrs for pretty much, say, eternity. But being at this Weyr makes her wonder things, now, that she didn't wonder then, and — no. Rocks! Focus on rocks. "I'd pay entry for that. I wonder if people would be bringing you other things to add to it as a fee. What the shells is this thing," is amended, and Ajral unearths from the sand some strange object that upon closer inspection will turn out to be a very bent-out-of-shape dessert fork.

Being at this Weyr and possibly also the fact that there are some eggs getting very close to hatching back home. Rhody considers the suggestion with perhaps a bit more seriousness than required, but also a good deal of theatrical hmmming. "That could work. And they better. If they don't got the entrance fee, maybe they don't get in!" Nevermind that Inasyth has a habit of just inviting anybody over for any little reason. But then Ajral has that brand new oddity. "Huh. That's weird. Maybe a firelizard stole it from the living caverns and kept dropping it from as high as it could until it got buried in the sands…"

That doesn't help. Especially since considering her age, and also what she told Ki'lian, this is likely to be Ajral's very last time approaching any hatching eggs. Standing here at the Reaches interests her approximately less than not at all; if an interest less than zero is possible, she has it. "It kind of looks like it," she agrees with the 'dropped repeatedly' assessment, after turning it about with her head tilted to get a better look. "Do you want a mutilated fork for your museum?"

"Gotta start somewhere!" Rhody grins as she reaches out for the fork and once she has it, adds it to that pocket with the seaglass. Good thing flight jackets have plenty of pockets! "Good thing it didn't like stab anybody. That'd be embarrassing to have to explain that a dessert fork rained from the sky."

"… we don't actually know it didn't," Ajral cannot resist pointing that out, even though she's still digging through the sand and discarding things that are just regarded as 'other parts of sand,' which is basically everything — there's also a small piece of driftwood, but it's essentially filed as 'sand sequela.' "But we have to assume it didn't, unless we want to make up the story along with it. I know I would be alarmed if I got hit by that. I'm really glad I'm not finding actual trash with my fingers, dubious though the fork's trash status may be to some …" And, jackpot, another couple of the genuine article rocks.

"Ewwwww!" Rhodelia's face scrunches up as she protests. And while she doesn't remove the fork from her pocket, she does remove her hand from it. "I don't know… maybe we should make up stories to go along with it. The better the story, the more visitors the Odditiy Museum might attract. With their own odd stuff to add to it…" It's a circle of weird attracting weird.

"So perhaps the fork did fall from the sky and not brain anyone," Ajral will sort out the gross part, have no fear, "Or otherwise injure anyone, but it came from nowhere and is in fact some sort of … cloud-produced weather fork with no known origin. Even if people will still assume it was firelizards or avians, give it a mythos." She shouldn't be good at this, since she is supposed to help people clarify truths for a living … but it's the sort of excitable storytelling that she might be inclined toward for entertainment. And there's something very Xanadian about tall tales, something that's eaten its way into her soul over the past nine turns. But regardless of that, High Reaches' odd natural rocks remained familiar, something created by iron and undersea stone and deep rock over time that was only found there — small but memorable, significant and safe, and definitely iconic enough that bringing them back to Xanadu for the challenge presented is the right choice. In the end they bring back enough for everyone who might like a rock, and the largest and finest for Leirith's museum … and are not caught by the assistant headwoman who raised Ajral or any of the goldriders.

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