The Promised Land (Cooperative Storytelling)

Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian

The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.

The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.

Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

Whoever put this thing together tonight really put in an effort! There's tables set up with probably every kind of food ever, and look at those deserts. They are STUNNING. A small bar had been arranged with a Journeyman vinter from Benden at the helm, able to provide the usual favorites as well as special orders. A bonfire is already blazing not far off from there, someone assigned to tend it and throwing in a rather impressively sized log now and then when it starts to look anything less than spectacular. Further down the beach there were people getting the fireworks ready. Chairs had been arranged in a circle around a large spinner for the cooperative storytelling event, an older gentleman from Ista there talking softly with a few of the candidates who'd already arrived, "If you want to participate, you take a seat in the chair circle, I'll fill in the rest once the chairs have enough backsides in them."

Rinian makes her way across the sands, doing the slippy-slidey-not-quite-got-firm-footing dance through the softer sand furthest from the water, then stepping more easily on the firmer sand closer. She is escorted to the even by…Mr Duck. He's had some work done, as he no longer looks like a bad interpretation of a swan. His feathers are finely carved as are all his details, and he has been meticulously painted to make him as realistic as possible.

Where else would Sylvarin be but by the table of desserts, fussing over each one until they're all /absolutely/ perfect. His concentration finally breaks with the last of the finishing touches and the man straightens up with a sigh, both hands running through the thick locks atop his head. Are they /really/ perfect though? His blue-green gaze rakes over each dessert again before the Istan gentleman is stealing his attention. To stay or go…the baker seems torn but after a moment's consideration he moves to take a seat. Out of the corner of his eye he spots Rinian and raises a hand to wave in her direction.

Teinon has been making the rounds with everyone else, sampling whatever is available to try. Of course, the moment Sylvarin leaves his table of desserts, no fewer than three people ruin his beautiful display in their efforts to pick a dessert. As Teinon passes by, he kind of casually (under the guise of selecting a dessert for himself) straightens things up. Then he's wandering over to the storytelling circle. He stands back for a moment or two, but then shrugs to himself and slips into a seat next to Sylvarin. By way of greeting, he signs, "Desserts are good."

The prospect of some strange storytelling game isn't what draws Nessalyn to the beach - it's everything AROUND that storytelling, including desserts and the prospect of fire. As she limps her way along the sand, Cat follows at her heels, closer than usual to avoid other feet which might be nearby. She swings by that dessert table, probably ruining Sylvarin's perfect display (#sorrynotsorry) and Teinon's subsequent efforts to clean it up as she picks up a plate full of sugary delights. She's not exactly eager to join any storytelling enterprises, but she does make her way over to the group, attempting to ruffle Sylvarin's hair as she passes him.
Mathis had only been marginally effective in getting down towards the water before he'd tripped and went end over tea kettle thanks to the heaviness of his bag. Have no fear though, he pops right back up as if nothing ever happened. He's okay folks! Only thing bruised is his pride and that wasn't all that impressive to start with. Brushing himself off, a little flushed and a whole lot of awkward, he bends and scoops up the googly eyed tube sock he's been carrying around and returns it to its rightful place draped around his neck. It only takes a few slow motion steps before those hazel eyes widen and he looks over the digs. NIIIIIIICCCCEEE! Upon spotting all the familiar faces, he makes a b-line for the chairs, having missed the Istan's instructions. "What are we doing?" he stage whispers to no one in particular, finding himself a seat amongst them.

"Cooperative storytelling," the man says, giving that long thick braid of greying blonde hair a swipe off his shoulder, a smaller braid of deepest blue woven into it. That knot that's been revealed says bronzerider guys, "I was a candidate here, turns ago. Not much older than you." The man's chin is jerked towards Rinian. "Crops were failing, stores depleted, and there was quite the strain between weyrs. What aid we got, wasn't enough. Some of us put together something very similar to this in order to keep our minds off our aching bellies, except we didn't have such pretty desserts." Golden eyes slide towards Sylvarian, sweeping over the boy before his chin tips upwards. "I'll spin the pin, whoever it lands on will start the story. Just one line, simple. When done, spin the pin and the person who it indicates is next. If it lands on you again, just spin again." Scanning those present, brows lift. "Everyone ready?"

Rinian returns Sylvarin's wave then makes a stop by the food tables. She selects some of the delicious looking fare, though none of the desserts, and some juice, then takes them over to the circle with Mr Duck riding under her arm to free her hands for the food. She isn't aware of that part of the Weyr's history, and it startles her. She'll need to find out more from someone. In the mean time she takes one of the seats, settling Mr Duck in her lap along with the little plate of food, while the juice she keeps in one hand. She isn't entirely sure about this, but hopes the spin lands on someone who is Not Her so she can get an idea of it.

"Thanks…I didn't realize it was going to be /this/ big of an affair so some of the desserts were last minute." Sylvarin smiles softly at Teinon and begins to sign something along the lines of 'scoot your chair closer' only his poor attempt at signing is interrupted by the sudden ruffling of his hair. "Well well, look at who Cat…followed in." There's a chuckle on the baker's lips, not too bothered by the hair ruffling apparently. But then he's spying her dessert place and then looking at the dessert table and…yeah, it's taking everything he has not to go right back there. Self control though, he has it right now! And then there's the man's explanation and the baker is nodding, "Ready."

Teinon smiles and gives a little headtilt at Sylvarin, but the interruption earns one of his odd almost-silent laughs, and he grins toward the grumpy candidate. She gets a pretty cheerful wave to welcome her, before his attention is drawn back to the bronzerider, so that at least he knows the rules before things start! He pulls out the notepad and pencil tucked into his belt, and balances it on his knee for now. He came prepared! Poor Sylvarin will probably be forced to read it out for him!

That story told by the bronzrider evokes nothing from Nessalyn, not even polite interest. In fact, she's barely paying attention to his words, instead eyeing the chairs and participants for a moment, before volunteering, "I'm not playing." Which is probably to everyone's benefit, truthfully. Maybe she'll jump into the game with something horrifying later, but for now she nudges one of those chairs out of the way and settles herself on the sand on Sylvarin's other side. Cat curls up next to her, just barely touching her thigh, and she's not so foolish as to try to touch him. Instead, she gets to work on her platter of treats, mumbling something that might be a hello to Teinon around a mouthful.

The woodcrafter boy's mouth rounds out into an 'O' and then he closes it again, keeping quiet given the looks he'd been given. Finger twitch near his bag, a new project in there calling to him, but he's distracted by what's going on across the way. Decidedly he focuses on Rinian, rather than the trio of twenty-somethings, waving at her move and come sit near him so that he wouldn't end up stuck between two strangers.

The blonde Istan nods at Sylvarin, gaze lingering on the pad of paper Teinon holds, before it skips over towards Nesslyn. Rather blank in expression as she flatly declines, "You remind me of my youngest," That, might not be a compliment. "Suit yourself." Stepping forward, the man lowers himself to one knee with some effort and asks everyone their names. Once he's got them, he marks it down into a edge with an erasable marker. Sylvarin, Teinon, Rinian, Mathis, and P'rel. Who's P'rel you ask? Probably that guy there with the marker in his hand, struggling minutely as he pushes himself back up to standing after spinning the pin and taking a seat himself. He's old you know.
You have removed Nessalyn from the list.

The spinner points to Sylvarin.

Rinian is very glad it isn't her, and noting Matty's wave, she does a quick seat change to sit near him. Then she's quiet to listen.
Sylvarin's lips pull into a thin line, brows knitting for a moment before he speaks. "Once long ago, upon the deserted isles of the South were the Ruins of Avignon."

The spinner points to Teinon.

Teinon grins a little when Sylvarin is chosen first, and he looks over to listen attentively. When Sylvarin finishes and spins, Teinon's brow furrows. He thinks about it for a second, and then starts writing on his little notepad. He passes it over so that Sylvarin can read it out for him. "Within the Ruins of Avignon lived a great, lonely dragon and his rider, S'mel."

The spinner points to Mathis.

Mathis is absolutely thrilled when Rinian joins him, giving him something to do with his twitching hand as he loops around the girl's arm closest to him and gives it a quick hug. This done, he gives his almost undivided attention to the blonde guy until the spinner is spun and it lands on Sylvarin, to which he looks and cheers on with a grin and giant thumbs up. You can do it buddy! With interest he listens to the baker's part and then towards the spinner, glancing at Teinon for a second or two before snuggling in closer against Rinian. Unsurprised that Sylvarin's voice comes in place of a peice of paper being passed around, hazel eyes lift again only at the sound of the spinner being spun again. "Me? Oh uh…" Panic. Panic. Panic at the Dis…event. "The dragons name was Rith, and he had a secret?" Scrunching down, he presses his lips together.

Old bronzerider P'rel sits back in his chair and loosely crosses his arms over his middle. Golden eyes remain on Sylvarin only so long as they needed to, offering a nod. Yes, that was the way.

Rinian had, of course, just taken a bite of her meat pie. With a blush she quickly chews and swallows it, which of course seems to her like an eternity. "Rith was a very brave dragon, except for one thing…"

The spinner points to Nessalyn.

Nessalyn isn't playing! See how her butt isn't in one of those fancy seats? She lifts a brow as the spinner is pointed in her direction, glancing first toward Sylvarin as though to suggest that he take the turn, since she's obviously not involved. But then, after a moment of thought, she declares, "He was scared of cats."

Is P'rel smirking? Maybe. Hard to tell as Rukbat was mostly sunk beneath the horizon, any expression at all gone by the time that the guy with the practically tree trunks tosses another onto the bonfire to blaze it into life. He's quiet at least as his attention moves between each of them as the spinner lands on their name. Oh, he'd totally added Nessalyn's name against her wishes, but shhhh, it's a secret. Like Rith's fear of cats.

Teinon brightens when the spinner lands on him. He seems to be enjoying this. He starts scribbling away, and then hands the note to Sylvarin. "One day, a tiny, adorable kitten got lost in the ruins."

The spinner points to Rinian.

Rinian eyes that spinner, and this time she'd been sure to not have her mouth full. "The little calico was full of energy, and upon seeing the twitching tail of the dragon…she pounced!"

The spinner points to Mathis.

Oh spinner, why? Mathis thought it was getting good, eyes excitedly darting from spinner to selectee with growing enthusiasm, up until his name comes back up again. Awww, man! At least, so says his face, chewing thoughtfully on his lower lip as he tries not to think about all the eyes focused in on him expectantly, "But her aim was bad and she missed the dragon's tail, skidding straight into his terrified eye."
The spinner points to Sylvarin.

Sylvarin taps his lips a few times, head tilting to the side as he considers the next addition to the story. "Which was unfortunate for the dragon because not only was he /scared/ of cats but also terribly /allergic/." There's a slip of a grin on his lips as he looks to exchange a look with Teinon.

The spinner points to Nessalyn.

Someone is going to regret inviting Nessalyn to this circle, P'REL. Because while the techcrafter may have accepted the inevitability of participation, she has zero good intentions. When the spinner comes back in her direction after that lovely introduction, she offers, "His eye swelled up to double the size, and he broke out in hives all over." Can dragons get hives? Who cares, THIS IS FICTION. Cat's head perks up, ears twitching with the ghost of phantom Ferguses only he can hear.

P'rel regrets nothing.

Teinon smirks at Sylvarin and rolls his eyes for that crack. WILL HE EVER LIVE THAT DOWN? Ahem. He focuses his attention back on the story at hand. Which means on Nessalyn!

The spinner points to Rinian.

Rinian is starting to enjoy herself at this very unusual event, and so is quite happy when it lands on her again. "And as if the hives were bad enough he started to sneeze over and over…"

The spinner points to Teinon.

Teinon wheezes a laugh and starts to scribble on the pad, almost immediately. He passes it over to Sylvarin to read, with a gleam in his eye. "Suddenly Sm'el returned, and realized his terrible mistake…"

Sylvarin grins, sending a wink in Teinon's direction before tilting his head just the slightest. "For he had run out of herbs to help with allergic reactions, and his dragon's eye was now the size of a wagon." How utterly unpleasant!

The spinner points to Mathis.

Mathis had gotten up and gone over to get a heaping pile of food, nearly enough for three growing woodcrafter boys, having only just returned to his seat with a most pleased expression on his face. It's only when the spinner is spun and there is utter silence that he looks up from the roast wherry slab poised towards his mouth and blinks a few times. A little bit of eyedarting here and there, a semi-vacant expression on his face, and the person sitting on the side of him that wasn't taken up by Rinian leans over and murmurs to catch him up. Not that it wasn't interesting! The food, it had called to him. "And the wagon was being loaded by the rest of the kitten's litter, because they'd heard that only a dragon's eye could take them to the promised land of Nip…" Shoving the meat into his mouth…

The spinner points to Meion who'd been here the WHOLE TIME.

Meion pauses as she suddenly has to improvise. She gives a bright grin. "But of course, they were mistaken - as any true scholar knows, you need a dragon's sigh, and dragons never do that when having an allergic reaction!"

The spinner points to Rinian.

Nessalyn leans toward Sylvarin and Teinon, seeking clarification as the story progresses. "Are we using the dragon's swollen eye as a wagon now? Where did they attach the wheel?" Apparently that will be up to Teinon to answer since Sylv just VANISHED ON US.

Rinian takes a sip of juice as she thinks of what to add to this interesting change, "The dragon, with kittens on his wagon-eye finally let out the mother of all sneezes, that belched out flame even without firestone. The blast headed straight to…"

Teinon looks a little lost himself, and lifts a shrug at Nessalyn. After a bit of scribbling, he passes a note to Syl, who passes it to Nessa. "To the eyelid, probably."

The spinner spins and spins and…stops on Teinon.

Teinon is watching Nessalyn for her reaction, and at first misses that it's his turn. He looks up, startled, takes a minute to reassess, then starts scribbling anew. "…S'mel, who was in a nearby field searching for herbs to ease his dragon's eye!"

The spinner lands on P'rel.

Had P'rel, in his old age, dozed off while the candidates were busy spinning that spinner and weaving a tale of dragon woe? Oh hell naw, though his brows lift as his name is the next to be landed, exhaling a rough sigh. Somewhere a red eyed dragon rumbles and moves in the firelit darkness, catching off the bronzen flame adorning his forepaws. Grrr, fine. "His hair caught the brunt of it, burning it away with a sizzle and hiss, revealing the large birthmark he'd always had beneath it and the…" A long side-eye is given towards Teinon, who was responsible for all things. "…kittens…" Twitch, twitch for that word. "…found it to be oddly map shaped."

The spinner lands on Nessalyn.

Nessalyn appears unsatisfied with that response from Teinon, as though this story somehow deserves some form of scientific fact amidst the beautiful chaos. Still, despite the urge to abandon this ridiculous mess in favor of more desserts, she does stick around long enough for that spinner to land on her again. "So, using their sharp little claws, the kittens 'persuaded' S'mel to be their map and strapped him down to their dragon-eye wagon."

The spinner lands on Meion.

Meion frowns a little at the image, and considers. "From the wagon, S'mel reached out, stretching with the few herbs he'd gathered toward the dragon's eye."

The spinner points to Mathis.

Three quarters the way through that plate of food (what? he is a growing boy!) Mathis is not only paying close attention but he was waiting for the spinner to stop before taking another bite. This doesn't mean that he's prepared with anything, mouth flapping a bit before "Rith sighed in relief, and just like that the kittens, S'mel and the dragon were all transported to…" falls freely from him.

The spinner lands on Teinon.

Teinon smirks a little when the spinner lands on him. He gives a sidelong glance at Nessalyn, another gleam in his eye. Scribble, scribble, pass to Syl. "Nessalyn's bunk."

The spinner lands on Nessalyn.

Well, that's an easy one. "Where they were all lost forever, because once something ends up there, it never leaves." Nessalyn smirks, apparently satisfied with her version of an 'ending' - of course, that doesn't mean it has to end there. But the techcrafter does get to her feet at this point, to chase down a few more desserts before she returns to the circle.

At this point P'rel shoves himself to his feet, "Good enough, we'll stop there." With a wave of his hand, "Go enjoy the rest of the evening, and congratulations on your candidacy." With that, he signals to the workers by the fireworks and they start lighting them up. Pop. Zwing. Sizzle. Explody. PRETTY COLORS OVERHEAD.

Rinian says to Matty, "Remind me to stay out of Nessalyn's bed." She means it completely innocently too.

Mathis nearly chokes on that muffin in his mouth.

Meanwhile, Nessalyn is absolutely thrilled because things are exploding. Life is good.

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