The Deep Dark Night

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing
A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places.
The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the rock edifice where, high above on Xanadu's Star Stones, the ever-present watchdragon sits on the lonely peak. Directly south is the hatching arena, the large round complex taking up a large portion of the perimeter, a line of trees visible beyond it. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the infirmary is a human-sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Wandering Wherry Tavern. Tucked neatly under the arch, to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Petals and Pots Garden Shop'. Southwest lies cliffs where windows for the administrative offices have been cut. Underneath them are the entrances to the crafters complex while north and west along the cliff's base, a broad path leads to the feeding grounds. Due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr - the meadow, the forest beyond. At the far edge of the clearing, beside the trail leading to the forest sits a clocktower.

It's night time. Due to the power outage that Datsun caused for the entire Weyr, it's back to the basics for all of Xanadu tonight! There is one particular somebody who's enjoying all of this, however. Through the darkness, the Clearing dimly lit by darkness, there's a black shape busily working on building a pile of strangely shaped blocks that keeps getting bigger and bigger the more Datsun keeps going back and forth across the Clearing collecting more blocks then depositing them on the pile. Whatever could he be up to?

Grumble. The power is out! Hand-carrying water (the pump's electric!) and fetching glows probably builds character. Soriana didn't need that kind of character. She didn't want that kind of character. Too bad, now she's got that kind of character! She's finally managed to escape, emerging from the hatching arena and pausing to let her eyes adjust to the dark.

Though the darkness a small form moves slowly across the clearing, n-talya newly arrived at Xanadu weyr cluthes her bag as she moves along slowly carefully, seeming perhap to struggle a bit with her load but determined to carry it.

The last black block is thrown at the large pile with a loud bang, tumbling down to the edge, where the black form of Datsun shoves it back into place with a boot before walking back to survey his work. Satsified, the Journeyman Woodcrafter takes out something from inside a pouch on his belt and the sound of striking flint comes then a spark then a small flame. Soon that small flame grows bigger and it's thrown on the pile with Datsun turning and running for his life as a split second later, the entire pile of blocks explodes into flames to turn into a roaring bonfire.

Soriana has just about gotten her eyes adjusted to the dark when there's a burst of light. Blink. Oh, look, it's a fire. Fire good! At least, she hopes this is one of the good fires and not the burn-down-the-Weyr sort. Framed against the light is a figure in silhouette, and she stares a moment before making her way over to get a better look. Also, to appreciate the fire.

Natalya blinks and blows some of her bangs ou of her face as she spots the fire begin, turning she begins to move in its dirrection, saying softly, "hello.." to the dark forms near to the fire as he nears.

"YES!" yells Datsun, silhouetted by the fire, stopping and turning around once he's at a safe distance from the bonfire, throwing his arms up and out into the air. The Journeyman begins to perform a fire dance around the flames, spinning and stomping and jumping. When someone approaches him, the Woodcrafter reaches out and grabs Natalya's hand, pulling her alongside him, "Come on! Let's dance!"

Natalya lets out a sounds the comes out something like a squeek as she is pulled out to dance, bags she was carrying get droped with a clatter, what could she have been carrying in them anyways, as she is sweep up into the dance?

If the dancing figure is still kind of hard to make out, the voice is a clue. Soriana laughs, and continues toward the fire, reaching out her hands to feel the warmth and then grinning toward Datsun and Natalya, giving a playful bow to them before spinning herself. Who is she to refuse a fire dance? Nobody, that's who. Fire touches a primal chord! A brown firelizard appears soon after, swooping around the flames to join in his own version of the dance.

Datsun lets out a laugh as Soriana joins him and Natalya in the fire dance, letting go of Natalya's hand to focus on the dance. "Whoo hoo!" He lets out with joy, moving at a fast pace through his stomps, jumps, and spins. As he does, dust is kicked up behind him and around him, the heavy boots of him creating loud thuds with each step he takes, drawing attention from other people curious as to what's going on. Soon enough, there's a couple of others joining in on the dance, creating a line of fire dancers, their shadows thrown against the ground by the flames.

Natalya blushes as she is release and skitters to the side of the dance content to watch and move to retrieve her belongings she smiles though as she moves.

It's kinda like that one dance, and kind of like the other one, and Soriana joins in with her own version, stealing from an assortment of line dances according to the music of the fire crackling. Her stomps and Datsun's end up more or less synchronized, except when they don't. The firelizard swoops again, flames lighting his hide as he plays tag with the sparks.

Soon enough after several more wild circuits around the bonfire with Soriana, grinning the entire time but even Datsun can't keep up the quick pace. He finally steps back out of the growing line of dancers with a puff. Noticing where Natalya is, he manages to walk over before falling down on his butt, panting as he grins up at her. "I'm sorry about that. Journeyman Woodcrafter Datsun of Xanadu Weyr, at your service." He holds out a hand in greeting.

Natalya smiles at Datsun's greeting and says in barely above a whisper, 'It is nice to meet you sir…Im Natalya…um, apprentice Dolphineer…Just arrived this evening.." she looks about and says, "I was having alittle problem finding where I was supose to be going this evening.."

-spin, and- Bits of Soriana's routine are turning out to be less dance and more stolen from martial arts. Which works fine, so long as she sticks to the move and block parts and makes sure nobody's head is in the way of it. She keeps on dancing for a while after Datsun stops. She's had a long day, and while on the one hand, that makes her tired, on the other hand, it means she's rather enjoying an excuse to cut loose and be wild for a bit. Her breathing gets faster, but she keeps dancing, pushing herself as she stomps and turns and jumps.

Datsun chuckles, turning his eyes to watch Soriana's half-dance half-fighting, yelling out, "Whoo! You go, Soriana!" to encourage her with her dance. Turning back to Natalya, he manages to catch his breath after a few moments, standing up to his feet and brushing the dust off himself. "Don't worry about it. It's too late to be doing any work. You might as well join us and enjoy yourself, Dolphineer Natalya. Are you hungry? We can cook up something with the fire."

Natalya blushes and says, "I could use alittle something, I missed supper with the move and all." she smiles a bit as she watches Soriana frolic about the fire.

Round and round and round Sori goes, and where she stops- ah. There. There is where she stops. Eventually, even flickering flames and a cheering audience can no longer convince her body to keep circling, and she peels off from the fire, panting and grinning as she stumbles off to join Datsun and, oh, hey, who's this? She grins to Natalya. "Hi (huff) there (puff)."

Datsun chooses this precise moment to try and take advantage of Soriana at her momentarily out-of-breath state by placing his elbow on her shoulder to use her as an armrest. "This here is Apprentice Dolphineer Natalya. She's just arrived and is hungry." His next words are directed to the new girl, "Excellent, look, they're bringing out some food." He points at several Cooks, who've heard of this impromptu gathering, has come out with some food. One is carrying a spit while a couple of others carry a porcine to cook. "So where are you coming from?"

Natalya smiles shyly to Soriana as shes tumbles in and says softly, "Hi.." her attention returning to Datsun shes says, "I was born in High Reaches, but my family recently decided to move this way, and well.."

Soriana eyedarts suspiciously at Datsun, and if he's going to treat her like an armrest, she's going to poke his side. Poke. Pokepoke. Poke. Then she looks back to Natalya, and after taking a deep breath to refill her lungs with precious oxygen, grins. "Welcome to Xanadu! I-" she says, then is distracted by the cooks passing by. Oooh. "-would not say no to some of that. Uh, I mean, I'm Soriana. Dragonhealer, Grade One." She drags her attention back to Natalya. "Oh, High Reaches? I've been there a few times. It's just always so cold!"

Datsun lets out a yelp as his side's poked, causing him to sidle away from the girl while swatting at her poking. Staying out of arm's reach from Soriana, he turns his attention back to Natalya, "Aha, another Northerner! Welcome! I'm from Far Cry Hold, beholden to Lemos Hold, went to the Woodcraft Hall." He leans forward and speaks in a quiet voice confidentially to Natalya, "She means she's an Apprentice Dragonhealer. Grade One is Apprentice." He explains for the different ranking system they have. "And well what?" He adds after catching that Natalya didn't finish her sentence.

Natalya giggles a bit at the poking and says softly, "Well now I am hear..been taking lessons with the dolphineers and I am supose to meet my journeyman here tonight but I can't seem to find him anywhere and well with the lights out.

Muahaha. Poke trumps armrest. Soriana wins this round! She grins, then rolls her eyes at Datsun's helpful explanation about her grade. "Sort of, anyway." But there's no point in going into the details right this moment. She nods to Natalya's answer. "Yeah, the power's out to everything. I don't know what happened, but it's certainly been a pain."

Datsun looks over at Soriana at her comment about his explanation, "I don't know why you Dragonhealers have to differentiate yourselves from the rest of the Crafts." It's clear he prefers the old system versus the new system, just like he does with everything else. However, he moves on, "Your journeyman, huh? What's his name? Maybe he's here." He suggests, looking around at the people who have come to join the bonfire, several groups sitting around the fire chatting behind the line of still-going fire dancers. As for who's responsible for the power outage, Datsun takes a deep bow before standing with his back straight and shoulders squared. "You are welcome. No thanks necessary."

Natalya says softly, "His name is journeyman Drathon…" in responce to Datsuns question and continues, "Maybe they have more ranks the the other classes, I mean more then just a handful you know.

"…what?" says Soriana, looking over at Datsun with raised eyebrows. "What do you mean, welcome? And I'm certainly not about to thank you! The lights are out, the pump and ventilation systems barely work, there were broken lightbulbs in the laundry basket, and the computer nearly caught on fire."

"Drathon… Nope, I don't know him. Do you know what he looks like?" Datsun asks, shaking his head, "Nah, Grade Two is Senior Apprentice, three Journeyman, and so on. They just have different titles." He shrugs before slowly smiling at Soriana's words, "I know. Isn't it great? The entire Weyr's back to the old ways! It feels like home. 'Sides if I hadn't done it, this bonfire wouldn't have happened and we wouldn't be eating roasted porcine." He waves over at the Cooks doing their business.

Natalya shakes her head slowly, "I haven't met him before." she rummages though he bag, pulling out a snorkle, and some fins, as well as mask… various other items can been seen as well until she pulls out a small sheet of papers, with her instructions to Xanadu weyr…"See it says I am to meet him here tonight…I am sure he got delayed with the power outage.." she gives the young woodcrafter a look..

"The difference-" Soriana butts in, "-is that skill at dragonhealing is ranked independent of a craft affiliation, because dragonhealers recognize that one person may want to pursue multiple skillsets, unlike some of the more …traditional… crafts." She does not seem nearly so amused as Datsun at the loss of power, which is probably why she just said traditional like it was a dirty word. "There can be bonfires without power outages. What did you even do?" she asks the woodcrafter with arched brows, then glances to Natalya. "If you're by the fire, you're at the easiest to find point. So, it should be okay if you just stick around. Maybe wave a fin from time to time."

Datsun tilts his head at Soriana, raising an eyebrow. "In other words, Dragonhealers will allow their people pursue other whatever they'd like to?" He pauses and considers that for a moment before shrugging, "That doesn't sound anything different than the other Crafts. And if it weren't for tradition, you would not be here." He points a finger at her, "Your parents came from your grandparents, and they came from their parents then they came from their grandparents, then they came from their parents, who are your great-great-great-great-great-great…grandparents. Having children is a tradition." As for bonfires without power outages, he just shrugs, "It wouldn't be as fun with the whole Weyr lit up, now would it? This wouldn't have drawn as much people." Then he steps closer to Soriana, "I hit some sort of buried thing in the ground with my shovel. If my handle had not been wooden and my boots hadn't been leather… I would have been a goner and you would be crying right now and Natalya would have met her Journeyman."

Natalya says, "Still sounds like you inconvienced alot of people for this little fire….and well caused alot of extra work. Traditions are all good, but doing stuff just cause it is traditional doesn't mean it is better."

"Yeah? So when's the last time you saw a dragonrider make Master in anything?" retorts Soriana. "Or a double Master?" As he lectures her about parents, grandparents, and tradition, she rolls her eyes again. "That's not tradition. That's basic biological imperatives. Tradition is when people act like something's better just because it's old. You know what else is traditional? Thread." She snorts, giving her head a shake. The argument about bonfires being better against darkness doesn't much seem to convince her, and as for his narrow miss… "Lucky for you, then. Glad you're not dead, I'm still not going to thank you for it."

Datsun turns to Natalya, "It wasn't on purpose. The Senior Journeyman had the site cleared and told us where to dig to set the foundation for the cottage we were going to build. I didn't even see whatever it was I hit." As for the last, he tilts his head, "Look where the nontraditional way got us. It's not dependable." He waves an hand around at the dark Weyr. "Shells, technology almost killed me." Then it's Soriana's turn, "When's the last time you saw a Grade Five Dragonhealer be a Master in anything? It's impossible to be Master and be able to devote your attention to two different things. Dragonriders have their dragons and duties to the Weyr. It would be mental suicide to be a double Master." He shakes his head at the thought, actually grinning at Soriana. "You're right about that. I admit I'm wrong about the having children thing. Thread wasn't traditional, it was forced on us. All of the dragons happened because of Thread. If it was not for Thread, there would be no Dragonhealer craft for you."

Natalya shakes her head slowly and says, "Accidents happen.." she frowns, 'this talk of tradition against non traditional is not good though…" she looks between the pair, "I ahve seen fights start from it… I am glad you are ok… and maybe you are right, they should have had things like that marked so you would know not to dig there but…"

"That's kind of the point. Being a Master is all about the duties. Being a Grade Five is all about the skills." Soriana shrugs, then nods slightly at Datsun's acknowledgement before going on. "Life without electricity was forced on us too. The Ancients had more tech than we'll ever have." She frowns for a moment. "Technology isn't always reliable, that's true… but I bet a lot more ships were lost at sea before we had satellite reports for the storms and radios to call for help. And there were a lot more people with pneumonia, back when the only way to heat rooms was smoky fires. Tech's not reliable, but that's a reason to double check it, not throw it all out." She glances to Natalya, and frowns somewhat, but doesn't say anything in response.

"And look where the technology got the Ancients. You told me The Frozen Boy story. He's an Ancient and the poor guy's stuck up there in that capsule on that spaceship for eternity because the capsule wasn't working right." Datsun answers, looking up at the stars for a moment, thinking about the Frozen Boy. "Electricity is great, sure, but I can see just as well with fire or glows as I can with a light bulb." His eyes drops down from the sky to the two girls, "I grew up with the old methods. They've been proven to work. However, I will say that there are good points for technology. I like photography. And it did create new Crafts." He nods at Natalya, "Your Dolphineers, for one. We didn't have that before. That's a neat Craft." Soriana gets an eyebrow raise, "A Master isn't about skills? You can't reach Master without having the best skills. There are a lot of duties, yes, but Grade Fives have duties too. They need to manage the entire Dragonhealer craft. Who to accept and who to reject. How to get supplies. All of it. It's the same thing as a Master does." Natalya gets a thoughtful look, "I'm going to make that suggestion to Journeyman Jethaniel. He should at least have some kind of warning. That was too close a call for me."

Natalya says softly, "new ways or old, I think it is a matter of finding a balance to see what works best, a blending of old and new you know.." she smiles and nods.

"Since when are you an expert on the dragonhealers?" asks Soriana with an equally raised brow. She looks at Datsun for a moment, then frowns. "Yeah, things went wrong for the Frozen Boy. I bet things went wrong at your traditional hold using your old methods, too. That's life. Things go wrong." She gives her head a shake, and her mouth closes like she's biting off more words instead of saying them.

Datsun shakes his head at Soriana, "I'm not, but all Crafts are the same. All Holds are the same. All Weyrs are the same. The ones at the top positions run everything, and every single one of them have huge responsibilities. Somebody has to, and it's them." He just shrugs, crossing his arms as he studies Soriana. "Of course some things went wrong at my Hold but not much. When your Hatching Sands' technology broke, it was my traditional Woodcraft that brought the water to help fix the heating coils under the Sands. The old methods are more simple, that's why it works better." Then he smiles at Natalya, "You bring up a good point, when I think about it. Ever since I came here, I have absolutely fallen in love with my power tools. It's much easier to cut wood with it, but if that breaks, I still remember the old way of doing it. It'll always be my backup plan." To Soriana, "Don't completely discount the old ways. Even I can admit the new ways have their good points." Looking over to the Cooks, "I think the porcine's done. Let's go get some. Natalya, tell me more about your craft. Why'd you pick Dolphineer of all things when you're from High Reaches?"

"Or, at least, you're convinced they're the same." Soriana's frown deepens as Datsun brings up the Hatching Sands. "And if it hadn't been for technology, that fresh water would have stayed cold and useless. Your traditional Woodcraft didn't add one degree of heat, and I suppose you did it all without those power tools, too." She shakes her head. "I never said I discounted them. Those are your words, not mine. All I said is that tradition is a bad reason to do something. The things themselves might be good. Being traditional doesn't make them good." At the mention of food, she shakes her head. "Go on, then. I'm not hungry." With that, she starts off away from the fire, heading across the darkened clearing and disappearing into the black of night.

Natalya looks on as Soriana leaves and says softly, "She has a point Traditional doesn't mean good, neither does new though." she shakes her head slowly before looking back to Datsun.

Soriana gets furrowed brows from Datsun at her words, silent as she leaves him. His eyes watch Soriana's retreating back as he considers her words. "Why would tradition be bad?" He asks mostly to himself, sighing. "Weyrbred versus Holdbred. Sometimes I don't like Xanadu. Too damned complicated." His eyes turn to Natalya, studying her. "Some traditions are bad, like arranged marriage, but some new things are bad as well, like having a three way dating relationship."

Soriana is out of earshot for that. This is probably a good thing for all involved.

Natalya blinks and says, "yeah a three way dating things is…yeah…I think you should drop the tradition thing, yes the old ways are good for some things the new for others…just going about saying it that way is bound to stick in folks craw…."

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