Less Than Tasteful Gifts

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.

Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a stone wall and low rolling hills can be seen to the north. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests to the southwest or ore from the mountains to the southeast are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

With the weather having turned nicer, Kera and Moncerath have been venturing away from the weyrling areas a bit more. Right now the greenling is enjoying sunning herself with a couple of other weyrling dragons. Her hide is well oiled, even that tricky spot near her headknobs. While the green snoozes in the sun, Kera is copping some shade in the shadow of a large boulder half buried. Minimur is slouching down Kera's shoulder, as if he too is reading from the manual the greenling reads from.

The improvement to the weather from an anthropocentric (or dracocentric) perspective is such that Jethaniel is not wearing a jacket today, just a neatly-buttoned shirt of dark blue, accompanied by grey slacks. The shirt is, however, still long-sleeved. He has a clipboard in one hand as he walks along one of the trails in between the weyrs here, pausing at a fork to refer to something on it and add a quick note. The continuation of his route brings him past the cluster of weyrlings, and he inclines his head in what is, presumably, a gestural greeting to accompany the provided verbal one of, "Good afternoon."

Afternoon means that harper lessons are dismissed for the day and the young ones Miah helps with set free (if you can call chores freedom). The young red-haired woman walks one of the paths crossing the meadow, alert grey eyes taking in her surroundings as she is wont to do and so she has seen both the group of weyrlings and the Xanadu steward from afar. Her cottage is in the forest beyond the meadow and she could very well be headed there to change from her neat blouse and calf-length skirts into something else. She's got a book under one arm, it's a nice day, perhaps she's going to find a quiet spot to read and unwind. Except that her gaze remains on the group and her steps seem to take her there with a purpose. She's got a light step but somberness in her eyes as she greets them with a mild, "Ah. Found you." And a very tiny smile.

Kera reaches up to gently nudge Minimur's head to the side so she can see the page and end up scritching under the lizard's chin. It keeps him distracted at least while her eyes drift repeatedly across the manual. Frowning at a certain line, she mutters and flips back through the pages, scanning for some trivial fact. The greeting draws her head up quickly. Lifting a quick hand in greeting "G'afternoon sir." Shifting the book to tuck under her arm, Kera gets to her feet, "You're doing well today?" is inquired with a smile, her gaze slipping over to watch Moncerath a few seconds before peering back towards the Steward. The new voice draws her gaze towards Miah, lifting a curious brow at her statement. "G'afternoon ma'am." Unsure what the woman was looking for, Kera turns her attention back to Jethaniel, figuring it's him that's being hunted down.

It is certainly possible to assign that term to chores, as language is a dynamic tool. The suitability thereof is left to the assessment of the listener, and is likely dependent on the relative interest a particular student holds in lessons as well as the particular chore to which they are assigned that day. "Quite so, thank you," he answers Kera, then proceeds to ask, "Yourself?" He does not, however, keep his attention entirely on her for the answer, because Miah's purpose - whatever it may be - brings her into proximity, and he inclines his head in an acknowledgment of her arrival. "Oh?" he asks, a mild interrogative, then lifts his head once more to regard her calmly. "It would appear so. Serendipitous, that." If he is, in fact, the one being hunted, he makes no move to escape.

Oh surely hunted might be more nefarious-sounding than the quiet Miah intends! Her manner might be all business, but she's come unarmed. She'll wait while the two exchange pleasantries and though her glance takes in the growing baby dragons and the firelizard draped upon Kera, it does not linger there, preferring instead to the human faces before her. Weyrlings first and then steward - all get equal time. "Hello," she answers both, for to not would be rude. She gets straight to the point but her question is put to the weyrlings in a gentle way, though somehow, nebulously Jethaniel is included in it, "Were you in Mire Hold this past fall?"

Kera nods agreeably to Jethanial. "Glad you are doing well sir." A grin slips over her features as she jestures towards her sunning dragonmate. "I'm well, been quite busy with Moncerath." Shifting her manual from one arm to the other, her gaze slips to Miah again, canting her head at the red haired woman, as if trying to place her. A quick nod is given to the question about Camp Swamp…or Mire Hold as it is more commonly known. "Yes ma'am, we um, well we plain got lost and some residents from the Hold found us wondering around the swamp." The greenling gives a little chuckle and shakes her head at the memory of the miserable bug infested trek til they were found.

"Dragons are, in fact, known to be rather time-consuming." Jethaniel glances to Moncerath, then returns his attention to the more human portion of the surroundings as Miah asks her question. Jethaniel assuredly was not, and yet he frowns slightly. There's a tip forward of his head, a tug of his lips as certain words rise to them and are discarded, unspoken. Their replacements are slower to arrive, and he's silent as Kera provides her own answer, then adds onto it instead of producing a new comment entirely on his own. "…for which actions, we are grateful." Though what's he saying we for? It's not like he was in the swamp… so he must be using some alternate group definition.

Camp Swamp! Try saying that aloud to Miah sometime! Her eyes narrow a fraction at Kera's interpretation of their misadventure and her lips purse but somehow, oddly the expression is neither intimidating nor unfriendly. She's frank, not one to beat around the bush, "You weren't lost. Gabit and Tarmin found you inside the walls of Mire Hold," she corrects. "After you were dropped off by two dragons in the marsh right beside the hold." Kera may be chuckling, but Miah is not. And yet for that her grey eyes are kind and as they flick to the steward they are soft even though her mouth is unsmiling. She's grave as she informs him, "My people are still outraged by the trespassing."

Kera cants her head at tthe woman and grins suddenly, finally placing where she met the woman, and it wasn't at the Hold. The woman manner seems to confuse her and a quick glance to the Steward to see if he knows what's up. Each additional statement from the woman cause Kera's smile to fade, til she's almost frowning. "Excuse me ma'am, we we're dropped off. But that doesn't mean we were not lost. We had no idea where we were. And we pitched in as best we could while we were there." She doesn't mention any supposed outrage since she saw none directed towards them. Her attention drifts from Jethaniel to Miah as the conversation directs.

Jethaniel's expression is somber as he listens to Miah, nodding slightly for her clarification, then meeting her gaze as she turns to him. "Understandably so," he replies, his tone calm and level. He looks to Kera as she presents her counter-argument. "The lack of communication with the candidates was intentional." His gaze returns to Miah, and he continues. "They were not made aware of the situation." Nor have been, to this point. "The error was on the part of Xanadu. The intrusion at Mire Hold was unintentional; I nevertheless apologize on behalf of the Weyr." His head dips, then rises again to look at Miah steadily. "Given the holders' stated desires, I am not aware of an appropriate means to offer those apologies in person." Or, rather, to the persons of the holders so outraged.

Miah's grey eyes return to Kera, "Now you're a little closer to the truth," she says briskly. Her eyes actually crinkle at the corners as a smile forms. "No one's blaming you for being there. Was Weyr dragons that dropped you off, after all." She seems aware of how they spent their time in the hold and doesn't comment further upon it, for Jethaniel is speaking. She nods, "That was pretty apparent from the fussing they made." And her chuckle is somewhat sympathetic to the plight of those candidates, now Weyrlings as her head turns to the small group Kera a part of, "Mire is not an easy place to find oneself a guest. And Gabit can be… Hmm." She lets it go with a wry shake of her head and a smirk. To the both of them then, "I'm forgetting my manners. I'm Miah. Of Mire Hold. Gabit and Tarmin are my cousins." And then she's gravely regarding the steward. "Ah and this is why I've come to you. They will admit to you to come speak to them. If… you are the one who knows the legal precedent for agreements of this nature." That is: honoring boundaries and not crossing them.

Kera looks to Moncerath as the green shifts in her slumber, stretching her neck out daintily onto the back of a clutchmate. A lazy snuffling from the green and Kera grins a little and peers back to Jethaniel and Miah. The woman's comment is met with a simple shrug. The weyrling told the truth from the start. The group was lost, plain and simple. Giving an exaggerated shrug to send Minimur fluttering to find a differant perch, Kera offers a smile and nod at the woman's greeting. Staying quiet a moment, letting the Steward greet the holder, she speaks up afterwards. "I'm Kera ma'am, Moncerath's weyrling." A quick motion to the green in the young group of dragons. "But we've met before..here at the Weyr."

Jethaniel nods as Miah notes the lack of blame attributed to those candidates, now weyrlings. He seems satisfied by that part of things, and simply listens to the rest of what she has to say to Kera. A forgotten introduction is, as failures of manners go, at least an order of magnitude less than a set of unwanted guests, but when Miah makes hers, Jethaniel inclines his head to acknowledge it. "Jethaniel, Steward of Xanadu." Not that, given she came to find him, she doesn't already know, hence the somewhat perfunctory nature. He arches his brow curiously at her revelation, and his mouth parts for a half-voiced "Ah," at the preliminary statement thereof. He continues to listen, then nods. "I am somewhat aware of legal precedent in this space, yes." He's no harper, but he's seen enough covenants to have a passing familiarity. "Further, I am capable of speaking on behalf of the Weyr." Which is also important, if he's to be doing the talking. "I would be glad to discuss a formalization of our future interactions and the means to ensure said rules are abided by." A pause, and then, "Is there a particular timeframe in which they would prefer this meeting?"

Ah, things are never as 'plain and simple' as they appear! Kera told a partial truth, in effect misleading. The group may not have known where they were, but they were never 'lost and found wandering in a swamp'. Hence this could be construed as a lie. But Miah does not pursue it. She knows the truth, having had communication from Mire Hold and the ones who were watching those dragons drop the Weyrlings off. Either of them meeting before, or to acknowledge Moncerath, "I know," the harper's assistant says quietly without looking in the green dragon's direction. Instead her gaze returns to Jethaniel and her eyes are steady as she listens. He isn't a harper but, "Chalm says the only harper he'd permit in Mire is now a dragonrider." Her grey eyes darken, but she lifts her chin a touch and continues, "He wants someone with authority who /isn't a rider// to assure him the lands will not be invaded." And oh, when? "Sometime this summer. Gabit will send word." She draws a breath, "And I will take you in on foot. No dragons." Uh oh?

Kera simply nods to Miah and watches Jethaniel and the resident. Her gaze slips from one to the other as their verbal sparring lobs back and forth. For a moment during the conversation, she has to actively work to not roll her eyes and snort. Who would want to invade a swamp? Glancing briefly down to her manual, then switching it to the other arm, she rubs at a muscle ache. Listening to the woman's demands, Kera gives her a curious once over but doesn't speak up, just following along and trying to pick up a couple of things.

"I am not a rider," Jethaniel confirms. Nor - given his age - is there any chance he will become so. Sometimes, it is useful to state already known facts; at others, it is useful to not comment on stated facts, such as that harper turned rider - and Miah's reaction thereto. His authority he does not mention, but he considers it sufficient; so, evidently, does Miah, or she would not be speaking to him. He will, of course, discuss this with Thea… but, despite the fact that she could countermand his authority, he fully expects she will not, and so proceeds as if he has that authority. He nods to the time given, approximate as it is, then… "Ah." His face goes still as he considers the ramifications of that request, and he's quiet a moment. Once his conclusions are reached, however, his nod is brisk. "Reasonable. If possible, I would prefer a sevenday's warning in order to clear my schedule." Because he certainly won't be making any other meetings from the swamps of Mire.

It's a pleasant conversation, actually. Miah nods amicably to the fact Jethaniel is not a rider. Yes, this is why she's sought him out and not gone to the Weyrleaders. "They asked me to find someone in authority who is unbiased; I am confident I have." The young woman smiles slightly, pleased at the man's agreement to come. "A sevenday's notice. You will have it," she assures him quietly, adding sincerely, "Thank you." Her mission, accomplished, she nods to the steward, then to the weyrlings - Kera particularly since she's obviously listening in. The elusive woman slips into the forest. Perhaps she's concocting a mind-control potion with the herbs she's oft seen collecting. Perhaps the steward should be warned of the horrors of the swamp. Maybe it's a plot to kidnap him - oh noooo!!!

Kera 's attention continues to slip from one to the other as they seem to negotiate a workable deal. She gives a polite nod and adds a wave to the woman's retreating back, seeming confused by the woman in general. After a few long seconds, she shakes it off and peers back towards the Steward. "They have…interesting people…there." Another shrug given as her attention goes to Moncerath, the green rustling in her sleep. Kera starts towards her dragonmate, only a few paces away, already fumbling inside her shoulder satchel and pulling out a small pot of oil. "I don't understand where this outrage she spoke of came from. Granted, we didn't see many people at first, or even speak to many while we were there. No one seemed….outraged a she said sir." Dipping her fingers in the little pot, Kera chuckles softly "In fact, the ones I did see, seemed amused at some of the chores we tried to do."

Jethaniel might dispute the fact that he is unbiased; he is aware of several biases he holds, and expects there are others of whose influence on his decision-making he is unaware. There's a slight twitch of his mouth as indication of those thoughts, the flex of a 'but' left unspoken. What he says is, "It is my hope the conversation will be a satisfactory one." He will certainly do what he can to make it so, including making the approach on foot. If he's to be kidnapped, at least he can attempt to make it an efficient and productive experience for all concerned? It is certain to be an informative one; the effects of a mind control potion… would be one possible explanation for Jethaniel's acquiescence to Miah's requests. Another possible explanation involves certain diplomatic relations and the strained nature thereof, but Jethaniel does not see the need to specify his reasons. "Thank you," he says to Miah's promise of warning - he does have things to do besides meet with unhappy holders. However, those other tasks may be delegated; Jethaniel, as Steward, is the most efficient unit available for non-rider authority. "I will look forward to hearing from you," he says to Miah before she departs. Though perhaps that should be that he'll look out for it? He looks to Kera again as she speaks of interesting people, and arches a brow. "How so?" he asks, then frowns thoughtfully as she continues. "Their hospitality speaks well of them; it does not necessarily imply they desired those guests." He glances to the forest after Miah, then returns his gaze to Kera. His lips twitch with a faint smile. "Much as one may react to a… somewhat less than tasteful gift." With a polite smile… until the giver has left the room.

Kera smears a little oil between in the spot between Moncerath's wings, working it into the hide then scanning for other spots that are drying and reoiling them. Nodding thoughtfully as she listens to Jethaniel. "It was obvious we weren't really welcome. But they weren't threatening us, or anything along those lines." She gives a little shrug "Their welcome could be comparable to some of the weyrfolk when it comes to posted healers." Smoothing oily fingers along a few dry patches, she tends to them and looks over her shoulder to the man once more. "Most people here at Xanadu aren't very outgoing when it comes to certain things. The swamp people just seem less going to everything in general and were very eager to see our backs."

"I have received reports of outrage regarding certain posted healers," Jethaniel says, his tone mild. "There is, when such a report is received, always a reason. It is often useful to discover what it is." He smiles slightly. "There is, so far as I am aware, no requirement to be outgoing. I expect the Mire Holders have reason to be as they are; I remain grateful that they treated the candidates well during that unexpected visit, and am glad for the opportunity to discuss our future dealings." Or lack thereof, since that's what the holders seem to prefer.

Kera soons runs out of oil in her little pot and smears the last of her small stash over Moncerath's shoulder. The attention has defiantely woken the young green, who stretches slowly with almost feline grace. Til her limbs try to tangle up and she stumbles awkwardly, but manages to not fall over, this time. Kera reaches out a steadying hand to her dragonmate. Darting a quick glance to the Steward when he mentions complaints against healers, she can't keep the amused smirk off her features even though it goes away quick enough. "Probably one or two with my name in them if some of the patients threats are to be believed." She does nod agreeably "I'm glad they took pity on us that's for certain." Wincing at what might have happened otherwise, a quick shake of her head is given. "She's hungry again so I need to go cut some meat." Waving cheerfully with a grin, "Have a good evening sir."

"I believe matters concerning the healers are intended to be confidential," Jethaniel says regarding threats, patients, and who they complain about, then nods to Kera's departure. "Farewell." He lets her start moving first - it seems advisable, given Moncerath's stumbling - then proceeds down the path to continue his own work for the day.

Kera nods once more to Jethaniel and moves along with her Moncerath and her awkward lumbering gait.

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