You're Quite Old

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in its own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as have walls hung with numerous tapestries that provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt. The stone is carefully leveled but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.

The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area is the one near the Kitchens, where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. It's plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr, instead feeding people in shifts as they come off duty. On occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are borrowed from all the other areas.

There's also a big fireplace set into the western wall, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

Exits lead off in all directions, the largest an archway to the northeast that leads outside. Near it there's an alcove with hooks for coats and shelves for muddy boots. A tunnel to the east goes to the infirmary, and a set of stairs just a little south of that lead up to the offices and administration area. To the south, a long and sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs. The kitchen is off to the southwest, while the residents' quarters are reached by tunnels going west, deeper into the cliff.

A nippy fall day has most people indoors and warmly dressed. The young teenager with the dark auburn hair and smoked gray eyes sitting at the table by the great fireplace is no exception, with a warm jacket, blouse, ankle-length skirt and moccasins, all a little too big for her. She has apparently just finished a hearty lunch and enjoyed the feasting. On the table near the dishes rests a open squarish black hard-shell case lined with dark blue velvet on all surfaces. Its contents, a fine dark mahogany lap harp with mother of pearl inlay on the soundboard, rest on the table as well and a gentle, somewhat haunting song is drawn from the strings by thin, fragile fingers. Her face is as strange to the Weyr as her melody, and still painfully thin…but from posture it would seem she is getting stronger.

“I don' care wha' ye wan'. It ain't poss'ble t' get it righ' now." A loud, booming voice proceeds a certain aging rider into the caverns, arguing with a slender man with a Fort Weyr knot, "Pick somethin' else." If'an turns and walks away from the other rider, scowling at the girl and her harp. For the moment, he ignores the strange harpist, focused on acquiring a mug of klah before heading in her direction. He stands back, brows furrowed as he just stares at the young musician with one arm folded over his chest and sipping on the hot drink. He's dressed against the chill in comfortably worn dark brown riding leathers. Pale eyes study the girl for a long minute as he waits for the song to end, "Cain't ye play somethin' with a li'l more pep?"

Natira looks up, only slightly surprised to find herself with an unexpected audience. Then a faint half smile. "Oh of course, I can do all kinds of songs." The maiden obliges with another tune, a more sprightly song, like the dance of falling leaves in the autumn wind, much faster than what she had been doing and quite lively, with short, energetic glissandos and a lot of arpeggio thrown in.

If'an gives a small, satisfied nod and pulls out another chair at the table she's seated at, turning it around to sit with his arms folded on the back. His scowl fades into a much more neutral expression. Again, he waits until she's been playing for a while, slowly nursing his klah, never taking his eyes off of her, "Ye got skilled fingers, doll." There's a certain… note to his voice that implies he's talking about something completely different from her skill at playing the harp, a near invisible smirk turning up one corner of his mouth, "Ah ain't seen ye 'round b'fore." Then again, he doesn't know every face at the Weyr, either.

Natira stills the strings of her instrument and gives another half smile. "And I haven't seen you, sir," she says in her quiet but firm way. "Name's Natira. I've only been here a few sevendays so I haven't seen everyone. And I'd remember a face like yours easily." Spoken with a completely straight face.

"Hmm…" If'an's smirk swiftly turns into another scowl at her comment about his face. He's obviously trying to decide if he should be offended or not. Meh. Whatever. He waves a hand, "If'an." Not 'sir', "Brown Izzuth's." Yep. He belongs to the big brown thief. Just like anything else the spotted beast that uses him as a mental punching back decides is his, "Don' let Iz see tha' thing. He'll wan' one 'a his own." Though what use a dragon could possibly have with an insturment is anyone's guess, "So where ye from, doll?"

Natira inclines her head. "He won't even know about it," she says smoothly. "My grandpa was a brownrider, not much older than you are. Ky'gur, brown Soriath's. Browns are interesting." Then she decides to get to the question. "Goldstone Hold," is the simple answer, simply stated. "I prefer the Weyr."

If'an returns the incline with one of his own, "'Preciate it." He raises one brow at the word 'was', "Mah condolences." He nods, "Been there a couple times. Nice place." He chuckles, smirking again, "Minin' ain't f'r ever'body, though." He gestures vaguely at the cavern around them, "Iz hatched here." His arm returns to its perch on the back of his the chair in front of him, "One 'a Seryth 'n Romth's clutchs." So a long time ago, though that can be easily guessed just by looking at the rider.

Natira listens intently. "Goldstone is nice to visit," she concedes. "Living there…I guess it depends on your inclinations and your family. It wasn't for me. I like gemstones well enough but not enough to make my life devoted to them." A beat. "I remember Grandpa mentioning those two. I don't think Soriath was from one of their clutches but it was at about the same time. Like I said, you're almost as old as he was and he was quite old."

And the scowl is back, full force when If'an is called old. His eyes narrow and he grunts. He lifts his mug to take another drink and suddenly flinches, just a little, his eyes unfocusing in the tell tale look of a rider talking to his dragon. A quiet growl comes from the aging rider and he sneers before he refocuses on the girl across from him, setting his nearly empty mug down on the table to join her dishes with a thump, "Keep practicin', kid." He stands, leaving the chair where it is, "Ye c'n use it." It's a pathetic retort, but it's the best he can do with his head ringing from the mental blow of his dragon interrupting him. He mutters quietly to himself, "An' I gotta go kick some'un's spotted ass."

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