Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts

Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern

It is often whispered in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.
The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company.

Twilight has been chased off by the more persistent spectre of night, but it is not so late that the patrons are rowdy. That golden hour where the conversation flows as freely as the ale and no one is so far into their cups that things have gotten out of hand. It makes for a pleasant, cheery buzz and a welcoming atmosphere for newcomers. And so Matrin has staked out a stool at one end of the bar, claimed by a barely touched basket of deep fried something or other and a glass of red wine. He's turned sideways with an elbow propped on the shiny mahogany surface and bright blue eyes that skim the crowd. Now and then bits of conversation flicker up out of the din, so a perpetual bit of a smile teases his mouth.

Over in a booth flanked by one of the windows that overlooks the clearing, the heavy drape pulled back and tucked behind her chair so an occasional glance out there affords her a view of who is coming and going sits the Weyrwoman. She's been here for quite awhile as the nearly-empty plate and half-drained wineglass will attest to, but other than an easy nod greeting people who hail her, she hasn't tried to enter the conversation that flows around the room. Not purposely reticent, but rather absorbed in some sort of report and diagram lying off to one side on that aged oak table as she has eaten in an absent-minded fashion. Now however, she simply gives up with a little whuff of exasperated breath that stirs strands about her forehead, leans back in her seat and sweeps the room with a casual look-round, perhaps simply to see who's come in.

Keziah has wandered into the tavern, mainly because of the hot spiced cider that's derved there and is an exclusive recipe of the barkeeps. Not to mention some of the delicious fried apples that she is so fond of. Her hair is wet and still dripping a bit and she has on a clean set of clothes. She looks a bit weary and her hair is just simply pulled back. Shadows under her eyes seem to complete the ensemble of an overworked rider/mother/and whatever else needs to be done. She seems to be absorbed in her own thoughts as well, or perhaps it's just a lack of sleep induced fugue due to an active near toddler baby.

That means Matrin is the only one who isn't either giving up on a task or totally bedraggled. In fact he looks downright dapper in a pale blue button down shirt, and crisp dark grey trousers, though the shirt's cuffs are rolled up and first few buttons are undone in a nod to the bar's casual atmosphere. His wandering blue gaze snags on Thea first, catching her in the midst of her casual look around. He lifts his glass of wine in commiseration with her similar goblet in the midst of shot glasses and mugs of ale, and his flickering smile settles more securely on his lips. Keziah comes next, catching his attention as she slogs in, and if she happens to look his way just then, he'll give her a slightly more subdued nod. No sense rubbing her nose in his cheery evening.

Thea's expression clears from preoccupied to something lighter as she meets that rakish toast, at least the corners of her eyes crinkle as the ice green warms with genuine humor and she, in the process of lifting the glass to her lips, pauses to salute him back. It's loud in here, loud enough that she'd have to shout to say it, and thus she merely mouths a silent, 'Welcome to Xanadu' to the new face. Outright merriment dances in her eyes then, because it's obvious that he could have been here for weeks and she'd just now be laying eyes on him. As for Keziah, the Rider's yen for those apples is no secret to her and she calls out a low-voiced greeting-of-sorts as the woman passes, "Get them to double your order of fried apples and I'll pay for yours too, Kez?"

Likely a safe bet. Rubbing Kezi's nose in anything tends to get people bit. Well, not really, but things happen. Not always Keziah's fault, but things happen. Course plenty of times it is of her doing, but that's besides the point. There's a frown at the nod from a young man at the bar. She arches a brow, a sort of do I know you look without the words behind them. Then there's a little shrug and a nod in return. She does give Thea a smile and a nod "Will do." she replies and thus she aquires her cider, with the double order of fried apples soon to follow. "Getting any work done here?" she asks as she looks at the diagram and another curious look towards the report.

Being met with warmth in those pale green eyes tips Matrin's grin into something a little crooked, though no less bright, and he lifts his own wine to his lips. It means that he's a little distracted by the time Keziah's frown registers, and he quickly clears his throat and wipes the grin away. Then she shrugs and nods and that seems to leave him mostly off the hook? Just the same, when the serving girl comes out with an enormous basket of fried apples which smell a million times better than whatever he ordered, he flags her down. Money changes hands (seems Thea won't be buying after all), and he balances the basket it one hand, cradling his wine in the other. The path across the bar is a slow meandering wandering thing as he sidesteps here and winds around there, finally ending up at Keziah's side. "Evening ladies," he greets. "I should have asked the locals what to order, apparently. These smell amazing."

There's a flicker of gilded-stitching and bronzed tapestry as the toe of Thea's shoe pushes on one of the chair’s legs and thus slides a seat out for Keziah, one hand patpatting the empty seat in invitation. "Not really, no." The answer is said with a resigned sigh and a nose-wrinkle at the diagram from under which that report peeks. "I'm having the worst time matching computer-printed maps to miner's descriptions. It's like they're speaking… " Here her eyes lift from that baffling paperwork to the basket-laden stranger and there's a slow smile of appreciation as she finishes, "another language. And you," this to Matrin laughingly, "Obviously don't work here." There's a surreptitiously sly look the Keziah's way, an ever-so-brief flicker that might pass unnoticed by the Rider as the Weyrwoman adds casually, "Why don't you join us?" Oh no, not trying to fix them up. Not at all!

Keziah eyes Matrin and then her fried apples he's absconded with. No matter that he brought it over. She does however sit down at the table with a nod and as the Weyrwoman invites the newcomer in, she scoots a little more over. "Well, it's not too terribly hard sometimes. Helps to be flying over the land as well with reports." There's a thoughtful look "Though, doubt that'd work for underground work, and well I'm sure mine's aren't a good place for our Weyrwoman. Not safe and all." she notes. A look back at Matrin "I do hope you're not going to pilfer too many." she states simply.

Mines? Speaking of which, in wanders Derin, a thin coating of mine-soot over his clothes and clinging to mussed hair, the young man must be fresh out of the mines. Of course, for those that know him, it's odd that he'd be out this early in the evening. Towards the bar he heads, leaning against it and murmuring a quiet order to the 'tender.

First things first - Matrin deposits the apples on the table between the two women. See, no absconding. Thea's supposition (accusation?) has him holding a hand to his chest in mock affront, tsking and widening those bright eyes. "I very well could work here. Maybe I'm the new guy, just off my break." That last to account for the half-full glass of wine that is still dangling in his hand. "They told me to get back to work and deliver these yummy smelling treats." Yes? Dark brows up he looks from Thea to Keziah, seeing if either of them buy it. The fact that he's not wearing his knot makes this ruse a little less than utterly ridiculous, but he /is/ still dressed the way he is. When the greenrider scoots though, he flashes her a brilliant smile and drops neatly down onto an empty chair. "I wouldn't think of pilfering even one, m'lady." That flashing white smile gets turned on the diagram next and he straightens a touch. "Oh, hey, maps?"

"Apparently not, since that hole has tried to eat me twice!" Thea quips with a snigger at Keziah's 'not safe for Weyrwoman'. She checks her merriment with a cough since the greenrider's wing was the one troubled twice to get them all out safely. One dark brow lifts as Derin enters, pale eyes track him briefly to the bar and observe him making that order. Hmm. Back to the two before her, the Weyrwoman twinkles a challenge in a side-long look to Keziah, then lifts a finger to tick back and forth in admonishment at the newcomer. "One, you'd know about the apples and two-" her merriment spills in a rich, but brief laugh as she glances Beldar's way, "Belly wouldn't let you have booze while on the clock." One hand twitches those papers protectively closer to herself, an elbow placed on top as she leans forward, one hand propping her chin as she regards him impishly. "So how about you try again?"

Keziah would be the last one to say anything about having to be rescued from a sinkhole. Though her's was not as exciting as the ones that lead to the ruins. Just a lot of teasing from her wongmates and a reduction of duties to paperwork until she gave birth. "Least it wasn't worse than it was." As for Matrin, she just eyes him a bit blandly. "Right." she says simply and then snags up an apple as she looks him up and down. There's another arch of her brows at the m'lady bit and she mutters something under her breath about working for a living, but it seems she's trying to behave herself. Likely because she's sitting with the Weyrwoman and somethings really are not done. "Suppose you can have some." she offers after a moment since she really outta be nice.

Derin gets himself served a chilled mug of ale and turns to lean his back against the bar briefly to glance around. Thea and crew are offered a nod of greeting, mussed hair swirling about briefly as he heads towards the table to offer a proper greeting. "Ev'ning Weyrwoman, Rider, Sir." Well, he doesn't know who Matrin is, so he gets called a Sir, isn't that nice. "Havin' a party without me o'er here?" He flashes a grin.

The warmth of the tavern seems to have drawn quite a crowd tonight. Among the new arrivals is one of the junior Weyrwomen, Briana. The mocha skinned girl peaks into the room, her golden eyes scanning the crowd until they fall upon the face of the Weyrwoman. With business like efficiency she makes her way to the table Thea is sitting at with a roll of papers in one hand. Seems she is here for business, not play. "Ah found you…" She says with relief upon her face before looking to the others at the table and giving them quick little nods of greeting before looking back to the Weyrwoman, "I just needed your signature on a few orders…"

'That hole' eating Thea makes Matrin's brows go up and he tips his chin upward to try and sneak a better peek at that map. But of course that only brings him right to that chin-propped grin and he clears his throat, drags that lopsided smirk back, and spreads his hands palms up. "Caught me out rightly, you did." But there's no introduction forthcoming for just a moment, because Keziah has offered some of those apples and he has to pause long enough to express his gratitude with, "Why thank you, they really do look delicious," and fingers that reach out to snag one. All of this of course gives Derin time to approach and before Matrin can either eat his bite or greet the miner, the 'W' word gets tossed around and his eyes flutter closed. "Right. Weyrwoman Thea. I, uh, I am Matrin." He offers a chagrined smile, no less dazzling for the sheepish in its curve, and tacks on, "Journeyman Harper. I'm actually here to help with mapping the mines." Seriously.

Thea gives in to the urge to chide Keziah for her grumpiness with a nudge to the leg under the table from the toe of one shoe and a soft clicking of her tongue. At least she's subtle about it? See, there's no bemoaning the fact that the greenrider is going to be single, like, forEVER. It could be Derin's approach and greeting that forestalls words to that effect, though, and her eyes slide towards the window, take note of the darkening clearing, then return to the miner and his ale mug. "Hello, Derin. Where have you left my hero, Dersk?" Matrin's introduction seems lost on the Weyrwoman as Briana joins them, her dark head turning to the junior while a hand is held out for that roll of papers. "Am I going to have to start shooing you out and locking the office door come evening? Sit." It's good-natured, but firm as she nods towards the one empty seat left at the table. Back to Matrin, who gets an 'oh-really?' skeptical sort of look before those maps are slid 'cross table-top with a glimmer of challenge in those ice-green eyes.

At the response from Thea, Briana's eyes widen a bit and she looks down at the papers in her hands, to the weyrwoman and back again as if she would argue. Finally she sighs and takes the ordered seat. "Maybe…just getting a head start on some work for tomorrow." She offers as her excuse. She glances across the table at Matrin and gives him a friendly smile, "New to the weyr or have I missed your face amoungst the crowd?" She asks good naturedly.

For Thea's skepticism, Matrin only has that grin which is (he hopes) nothing but charming. "I would have worn my knot like a good Harper if I thought I'd be meeting Xanadu's illustrious few." This takes in Briana and Keziah and even the mine-dusted Derin. Then his eyes are on the papers passed across by Thea, which he flips through slowly and with eyes that dart over the schematics with ease born of familiarity. Not that he knows these ones of course, but it is a language he speaks. Absently, he reaches for his wine and drains that last drink away before looking back up at the Weyrwoman. "Let me see what I can do. I'll get them back to you in the morning." And unless she makes it real clear that that is not option, he's begging excuses and slipping out, head bowed over a new project.

Thea watches Matrin intently through lash-veiled eyes, though appearing casual about it, relaxing back into her chair and sipping what's left of the white wine in her glass. When Briana is settled, that basket of fried apples is nudged her way (hopefully the silent Keziah won't mind sharing the double order with the junior), eyes never leaving the new-come Harper as he peruses those maps. There's an absent sort of wave to Derin as he's hailed from the door and scoots but then, lips part in bemusement as Matrin absconds with her paperwork and she's left speechless in his departing wake. It appears work is over for her tonight. A rich chuckle follows and she pulls her eyes back from door to table musing wryly, "If I find out the Weyrsecond paid him to do that…!" She leaves it unfinished with a headshake, but the idea is not too far-fetched, knowing D'had. "Have you taken the time to eat?" This to Briana.

As she settles into her fate, Briana waves over a waitress and orders one of the fruity cocktails. She looks over the Harper curiously as she waits for her drink, setting the paperwork down safely between her and the Weyrwoman. As the group seems to scatter at her arrival she gives a glance to the Weyrwoman and her former Weyrlingmaster, "Did I come at a bad time? I didn't think I was that scary.." She says though there is a twitch of her lips to show she is bemused by the timeing of the departures. As the fried apples are offered, the enthusiasm of which Briana reaches for them shows the answer to Thea's question.

Thea tsks at Briana about missing dinner, although there's frank approval for her ordering a fruity drink. "I hope there's alcohol in that." Ironic for someone who barely touches the stuff and deplores drunkenness, but yep, she really said it. As for her timing, the Weyrwoman shrugs, unconcerned and answers, "It's the Wandering Wherry." That explains it all, right? Indeed things are warming up as voices around the room take on a more boisterous level, the ale and whiskey doing its work. Scary might not be the word the junior is looking for as a few studs over at the bar seem to decide Briana worthy of outright appraisal. Thea takes the moment to unroll that paper and scan the lot before reaching for her pen.

"Yes boss, there is alchohol in the drink." Briana says like a child responding to her mother. The young woman has grown up in the last few turns at the weyr. Most accepting of her as a weyrwoman, though no doubt some still wary. It no longer weighs on her mind. She has generally come out of her shell, though she would definately be described as a workaholic. The junior actually seeming to enjoy paperwork. The notice of the men alas, she does not seem to notice and the closest hint of romance is that between her and Fl'ynn which seems freindly more than romantic. As the orders are signed, Briana can't help but grin. "So how has your day been?"

Thea's lips twitch in a slight grin at that answer and as her pen scratches across the sheet, her eyes keep to the task, but she pretends offense and fails utterly as she murmurs an amused, "Cheeky!" For another moment their little bubble is silent as she scans on down the lists of requisitions. Then, "A chair leg? JUST a chair leg?" Green eyes lift to Briana with a puzzled tilt, "How is it we need a new chair leg and not a whole chair?" One hand lifts to forestall the answer. No, don't tell me, says the gesture as she continues to read. "Don't let K'bragh talk you into a sack of feathers," is her cryptic advice as she draws a line through something then signs the thing at the bottom. "You need to play once in awhile, my dear." It seems the two share at least a comfortable enough relationship, even if Thea will chide her junior now and then for her tendency to overwork.

The drink is finally brought and Briana pulls out the little umbrella and twirls it between two fingers before taking a sip of her drink. She looks over the papers as Thea makes her way to them. The question about the chairs has her opening her mouth to answer before she is forestalled. She grins and raises a brow at the comment about feathers, "No feathers for K'bragh. Check." She says in all seriousness, though there is a look of curiousness upon her features. At the teasing she rolls her eyes, "I read plenty and go flying with Sahazyth.."

Firmly, "Trust me on this. And he tries it with every new Junior Xanadu gets, too, so watch him." Green eyes roll at K'bragh's eccentricities and Thea gives the younger woman a conspiratorial grin at their shared trails and tribulations. "Reading and flying," she says with mock sternness as she waggles a finger in mock admonishment, "are not playing." Those papers are rolled up and handed back to Briana. There's a mischievous curve playing about her lips now as she rises. "Your new weekly assignment will take you off-Weyr. To play." She reaches for one of those fried apples, sneaks a tweak at the too-quiet Keziah then steps away, pauses and adds over her shoulder, "I'll expect a -verbal- report, of course." No, she’s not going to add to that paperwork Briana's addicted to.

"Ok, will tell him to go hunt his own wherries." Briana says with a half smile as she looks over to the edits on the order. "I enjoy them?" She offers to the reprimand, perhaps enjoying the teasing a little. Briana takes the rolled up sheets and places them into a satchel. "Ok ok…I will get out and do…something. Maybe up to Igen and check out their new kitchen." She says with a look of put upon innocence and a twinkle in her gaze to show she is teasing a little. "I will see what I can get up to."

Darkly, "Don't give him any ideas. He's under the impression he needs permission for feathers. Of any kind." The Weyrwoman's eyes shift ceiling-wards as she adds, a silent 'thank Faranth' to that. For that comment about enjoying reports, there's a snort of disdain. Well-known for her own overwork, Thea has never enjoyed that aspect and has been quite vocal over the turns about that. As for seeing what Briana can get up to this week, she might just help that along tonight. There's an ever-so-brief pause and a few words exchanged with those young bucks at the bar. After she leaves, if they come beg Briana to dance with them? Totally Thea's fault.

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