Foreign Friends

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. The meadow continues with gentle rolls and dips, grass tall and short waving in the slightest of breezes, and eventually those hills grow higher and steeper, ending in a large ridge that provides a fine view of that meadow and the rest of the Weyr, gazing out over the multicolored roofs of the houses and the cliff that holds the caverns.
Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, and a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing. Trees border the northern side of the meadow, and more of those low, rolling hills can be seen to the northwest. A road passes through the meadow, coming from the east and used by traders and crafters alike. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests or ore from the mountains are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

Heavy autumn in Xanadu Weyr, the leaves have parted ways with the trees littering the ground in a fascinating mix of color. The grass has died down due to chill leaving it a dulling yellow, the world awash in red, and orange with only conifers refusing to bow to the upcoming cold. There's an occasional breeze that moves the temperature from tolerable to cold. Stalking through the northern side of the meadow is the brightest and darkest green dragonette, her small body creeping forward after an invisible prey object. Step step, crouch, and stop. Wings flair out in a twitch, her whole body hugs the ground feline in nature and movement, while her wings are FAR too large at over 4 sevendays old, there's grace unnatural in youth. Making up for that is a meduim height, plain, dark eye circled, messy-haired, young woman who is laying on her belly a dragonslength from Neifeth. Dawned in a bright chartreuse skirt and a plaid yellow and neon green shirt that buttons at her neck and wrists, her brightness could distract from the dragon.

Pretty much everything, everywhere, is cooler than Igen during the day. So maybe Alexa can be forgiven for dressing like it's thirty-below and snowing, when really the only thing falling are those autumn leaves. It's overkill. She knows it. Raaneth knows it. Everyone knows it. And yet, Alexa couldn't care less that she's bundled up in more layers than is practical, practically rolling from Raaneth's neck, much to the chagrin of her dragon. "It's Autumn," protests Alexa, who at least manages to stick the landing. "It's cold." And it is. To her, at least, who is far more accustomed to heat-stroke and sandstorms than brisk breezes and pretty leaves. And Alexa loves it; she just can't stop her grin. But while her rider is busy breathing in that crisp autumn air, Raaneth's head swings toward the slinky-green dragonette and bright-colored weyrling. « I see you. » And she's maybe a little amused.

The best-laid plans of baby dragons, trying to stalk down a fur beast that was making it's way through the meadow with no mind for bloodthirsty predators trying to end there lives. The landing of Raaneth alone is enough to send the furred creature skittering away, a leap being made one moment too late as powerful hind limbs and oversized front talons are hampered by wings that need a host double this one's size. Crashing unceremoniously into the ground, wings fully out and showing the electric neon colors of there sails, Neifeth GROWLS. «DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.» It's not a question, it's an assumption made in snark and barbed tongue, «DO YOU just go AROUND ruining the lives of everyone? OR AM I SPECIAL.» The height of whiney, snarky, every word is obviously meant to be harsh, and she's either short of brains of high on courage. Each word comes with a flash of thorns, brilliant orange trees to tight for comfort, and the smell of redwort. In contrast, Evi jumps up and fumbles towards her lifemate, not an ounce of grace in her body, her lilting quiet tenor voice hurriedly saying, "Nei, are you ok? Nei stop, she's… " Some of what she wants to say is no longer verbal, the fakest smile fills her face, and she gives a salute, using the wrong hand and her fingers shake slightly. "Um, Xanadus… Duties to um." Damn it, her eyes scan Alexa's knot as she moves closer, "Um, Yes. That place." Eyes tilt towards the ground and cheeks redden, maybe a few more knot color area lessons are in order. Whatever courage exists in the dragon is obviously missing from the rider.

A haughty snort, and Raaneth looks down (quite literally) upon the furious little green. « Oh, I can assure you, » she drawls. « You are not at all special. » Thorns deflected with the mental equivalent of a flick of fingers, the Igen queen settles her bulk in such a way as to suggest she is quite at home now and not about to be moved. Come hell, or high water, or *furious baby greens*. The bundled-up human of the pair just looks confused, but that might be the multiple layers of padding between Alexa and the world. Scarf yanked and hat pulled, she peers up at Raaneth, then over to Neifeth, then on over to Evi and her… greeting. "Igen," she supplies, with only a little dry amusement. At least her smile is friendly enough, even if she's eying Neifeth like she might be poisonous. No touchy! "It's the other hand," she adds, wagging one of her own at the weyrling. "You salute with that one…" But she's not being picky. More… humored. Like there's a joke somewhere in there, if she can just find it. "S'fine," she adds, stuffing gloved hands into her pockets because she's still cold. "At least you remembered at all. I always forgot the saluting bit."

Neifeth picks herself up off the ground, shaking her head and with great effort stretching her wings, sails fully open and taught. It's apparent that she's not proportioned for flight yet, and the muscles needed have yet to develop. At best, the wings make her appear like a dragon who is covered in an oversized bath towel, too much extra fabric. The return on her barb brings a sudden change in the snotty dragonette, her mind lavender clouds overtop a neon pink ocean «I doubt you'd know special if it bit you in the-» Words are abruptly cut off, the nauseatingly pink ocean snaps away as Evi blushes and elbows her lifemate, "NEI." Several steps are taken forward, bridging the rest of the gap until Evi is within a comfortable, conversational distance to the foreign goldrider. "Um, yes, Igen. I, we are new to." One hand motioning to everything around her, as if anything and everything might be what is new. The other hand goes up, and she salutes and curtsies an unnecessary gesture. Fidgeting with her skirt and swaying back and forth with her head bobbing up and down, she asks, "What um, brings you to Xanadu? Do you need… Help?" Never short on manners, unlike her dragon, there's a pause before she says, "Oh, I am Evi and um, this is Neith." Whether that is true or not remains to be seen, but it flows from her tongue quickly enough.

If dragons could arch an eyebrow, Raaneth's would be lofted. « Clearly, you would know better than me, little one, » is drawled just as easily, the Igen queen unfussed by the snap of Neifeth's words. « Your knowledge is obviously as vast as your wings. » Settling in her spot, the Igen queen crosses one paw over the other; a regal lady in the face of foreign foes, and as undaunted as the desert. If Alexa finds this peculiar, she doesn't let it show; a glance spared for the gold before she's smiling somewhat sardonically at Evi. "You don't have to do that," she assures. "I totally get it. Believe me. It wasn't that long ago that I was in your shoes." It was three turns ago but still. Close enough. "And it'll get easier," she adds, despite not being asked. As for what she was asked? "Nah. I mean, I don't need help. Came for… stuff." Hand-wave whatever 'stuff' might be. "But it can wait." A pause. A grin, and she adds, "Alexa. And this is Raaneth. Nice to meet you, Evi and Neith."

With great effort, Neifeth retracts her wings, shimmying to settle the dark sails over her back. Even through the banter and jibes, the green eyes whirl a content blue and green; she's not the least bit distressed. «At least I have an excuse. What's yours?» Evi's attempts at control only have mild success, biting hard on her lip, brows furrowing worriedly at Alexa. "I hope so." Squeaks out, turning her body so her lifemate can be within eye line. "Thank you from both of us." «WHatever.» Is chirped towards Alexa, and an exasperated smile fills the pale face, breath hissing out in a sigh. "Do you come to Xanadu often? I um, have never been to Igen, but my cousin lived at the beast craft hall for a bit." Offering up a mutual piece of information, her words come fast and overly perky. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Alexa, and Raaneth; please don't mind her. She's.. having a bad day." There's a grimace that might be a tell, Evi not yet comfortable lying. "Can I ask, what's the weather like? And um, Nei wants to know if you have anything fancy to eat. She's always stuck on food."

« How cute that you think age an acceptable excuse for ignorance! Adorable, » declares Raaneth, dripping sarcasm and sugary-sweet all over those words. She is unimpressed, but also unphased. "It's fine. She's fiiiiiiine," declares Alexa, though whether she's talking about Raaneth or Neifeth is anyone's guess. She can still smile through it. No one's lost a limb yet, so… "No," she adds, half-smirk and shaking head added as she admits, "In fact, I think I've only been here… once before. Aside from Weyrling lessons. It's kinda far," she admits. "But, well… It's autumn!" Which apparently says it all. Even if it doesn't. "She's a baby," she'll add, to excuse bad behavior. "I'm sure she'll grow out of it." HA. HAHAHAHAHA. "And yes, we do! Well, I suppose it depends on what you consider to be fancy. But Igen certainly has a lot of… exotic dishes. I grew up in Fort — Harper Hall. So Igen was quite a shock when I moved there. It's drastically hot in the day, but freezing cold in the night. I think I kind of love it," she admits.

Neifeth scrunches down, her belly nearly touching the ground and jaw skimming the grass. Two green dragonlengths away another fur beast scuttles about, probably preparing to hibernate with winter fast approaching. «Thank you, I am adorable.» The snark still in her mind, there's a flash of a cerulean forest that overconfident, unwarranted gaucheness and hubris. Evi giggles slightly at Alexa, smile all teeth and squinty eyes. "This is my first Autumn, I'm not from here." Small bounces up and down, side to side, beyond the weyrling fatigue evident on her face, she's still all wiggles. "Nei's idea of fancy is a new something small and cute she can um, tear apart." Chapped pink lips straighten into a comical line, brown-eyes bulging slightly. "I've never been to Fort either, or the Harper hall. Tell me about it?" Neifeth has slithered her way half a dragonlength from the creature and pounces, managing to hook it in a talon. Unfortunately, her oversized paws and lack of balance due to recent wing growth she can't seem to remove the furry beast. Instead, she is chewing it off like a furry meat popsicle with the claw the stick. The entire scene has Evi gulping, gross. "Do you ever get used to this part? How long did it take for this to be… Normal?" Obvious concern fills her face, this new life business isn't easy.

Raaneth seems to decide that Neifeth needs not comment in return, and so none is forthcoming. The Igen queen watches with idol curiosity as the little green makes her kill, offering neither congratulations not criticism. Even when the poor beast is eaten off her claws like a kabob. And Alexa just… won't watch. Even if there's a bit of amusement pulling at the dry little smile on her lips. It melts into something like sympathy for the weyrling before her. "I think it depends. Raaneth was… polite when she ate. But I nearly lost my lunch when she made her first kill. And when she blooded…" A shudder still runs down her spine, even if it's been Turns since that moment. "But, well… you love them. So you get over it." And you turn away when they eat, so you don't have to watch. But Alexa won't say that part. But she will try to distract her with discussions of Places Unseen. "Harper Hall is… well. Harper Hall. It's paradise if you love books and learning." Which, she kinda does. "I've only ever lived up North, and Fort territory is as old as it gets. It's all stone, and ancient architecture and a rather disturbing lack of modern convenience," she adds with a grimace. "But Igen is not much different there. We have some modern things, but nothing like Xanadu. You'll see it eventually, though. Once she's grown, and you can fly and go Between."

As Raaneth doesn't comment, neither does Nei. Evi turns away from the eating Neifeth who is enjoying her meal far too much, there's fanfare to her eating, and she rips meat from the bone and tosses it in the air catching each scrap with a snap of her jaws. "Greens, don't blood, do they?" Gulping down the excess saliva pooling in her mouth, a physical response to her dragons smorgasbord of a cute fluffy creature. "Nei only eats.. things she has seen alive, with her own eyes. The Weyrlingmaster's bring it to me, and.. we work it out." The bright, soft girl who fidgets has become head slaughter worker. "She's… particular." The sweetest word for picky and downright mean. "Can anyone go to the Harper Hall? And read? My Ma used to tell us you had to be a Harper, and that.. you had to be from the North. She said because we were from half-moon they'd not let me look." Finishing her last bite, Neifeth seems to feel the need to cut in, her voice relatively mild words still sharp but gentled as the words seem to mostly be meant for her partner, and the lack of maturity allows them to spill into other minds. «She was a WHER, ugly as the day is LONG. Nothing she said was anything but USELESS prattling of an overstuffed herdbeast.» Clearly meet the parents might not go so well. Evi shrugs, "Nei, maybe um.. find another one?" The subtle art of keeping her baby busy at least apprenticed if not mastered yet. "Can I just visit? Once I can fly? Can I visit everywhere?" Small bounces become giddy hand clapping and finger claps. World travel might be on the menu, "Would you be there? If I visited Igen?" A hand goes to a hidden skirt pocket, and a piece of paper is pulled out. The paper is folded into a rough square, and it's clear that it's been folded and refolded countless times. The creases open quickly, a pencil that should have been thrown away half a turn ago appears. The pencil is about as long as the girls pinky, "So, you're Alexa, and that's Raaneth." Writing all of this down, "You're from Igen.. and Um.. you're." Squinting at the knot, she might as well be trying to read hieroglyphics, nope. "You're a goldrider, so? Um? Senior? Junior? You're young. So. Junior?"

"Um. Some of them do, actually…" offers Alexa. Greens. Blooding. "But not all of them!" She's just… not going to weigh in on which side of the spectrum she thinks Neifeth will fall into (but that grimace says it all, really). "It's one of those things you just… get used to. Because they're worth it." She might not be the sentimental type, but there's a sappy smile for her lifemate regardless; green eyes cast toward the queen looming overhead for a moment of bonding. "OH! I think you can. I mean, probably not everywhere in the Hall, but definitely - they take visitors all the time. The library there is huge, and ancient." Which is either a great thing, or a terrible thing, depending on whether you have to transcribe it all. "And yeah… I mean, I don't really know how it is for anyone else — for non-riders," she qualifies. "But as a dragonrider you can pretty much go wherever you want." No guarantee on the warmth of the reception, however. "My brother went down to Ista the first chance he could get. He's a botanist. He's got this thing about plants, and apparently Ista has a lot of really, uh, interesting ones." She might not share that opinion. A crinkle of her nose and a little grin comes for the paper and pencil produced, but she'll happily offer, "Alexa, yes. And junior — though age really doesn't have much to do with it… But Neyuni isn't going anywhere anytime soon!" She might faint at the very thought of leading the Weyr.

Transcribing all of the information down on the paper, which is WAY TOO FULL. There's barely any room for anything to be added, but somehow in the margins in the smallest print possible Evi does it, she fits one more name on her list of people she's met since this venture started. "I'm going." There's a set to her voice that puts it all into place neatly. Refolding the paper, the news about greens has her lolling her head back to stare at the sky, maybe somewhere a far dead queen has mercy for the poor girl. "I do love her." The brightest smile, no signs of the doubt seen a moment before. The magic of impression still vivid as tears well up in brown eyes, "I've been to Ista, the plants are neat." Neat in a way that a piece of toast that sorta has Faranath burnt into it might be neat, novel neat. Before anything, more comes out Neifeth stretches and bounds towards the beach. Evi's eyes bulge, "She's not to be unsupervised, nice to meet you, Alexa, please come back!" With that, a messy sprint is taken off towards the forest, the run has too much bounce and arm movement to be effective. She's going on an adventure.

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