First Bits of Progress

Kilaueth senses that Rhadamanth's presence is a flicker of light that gradually widens, warm and bright. « Ro wishes for yours to know that some of the workers here have unearthed a - » And there's a pause while she pulls up an image of a large, very old kettle. « It is all that we have left, she says, but yours is welcome to it. »

Rhadamanth senses that Kilaueth responds rather slowly, the dull orange slowly brightening to that of a fresh lava flow. « That is a large helmet. » Kilaueth supplies, before passing on the message to her rider. « She says we can use it, certainly. And thanks yours. » The flow darkens a bit, as it starts to cool. « Should our riders collect it? »

Kilaueth senses that Rhadamanth considers this for a moment, illumination flickering slightly. « That will not be necessary. A small transport contingent is making deliveries in the area; it shall arrive with them. Is now convenient? They are ready to depart. »

Rhadamanth senses that Kilaueth does her own series of message passing, before it seems that there is agreement. « Mine says now will do. However they should land in the meadow to avoid the flames in the clearing. » The gold's lava flow picks up a bit more. « They will be met. Mine thanks yours again. »

Kilaueth senses that Rhadamanth fades from contact, leaving only a trail of reassurance in her wake. It is, of course, no trouble at all to help those in need.


meadow.jpg

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 buildings, 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.
Stables and a smithy are settled on their own plots, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a fence can be seen to the north.


Niva has managed to hobble out to the meadow, a pair of wooden crutches under her arms as she stands there, right leg in a cast from toes to mid-thigh. With her, ready to meet the wing from High reaches, is a rather large group of young men, each seemingly bigger than the last, all covered with a bit of soot, looking to the sky expectantly.

High overhead, a tiny wing of dragons emerge from between, perhaps of no more than four or five. While two head for the clearing, the remaining, larger dragons spiral down toward the meadow; conveyed between two of them is the immense kettle unearthed from High Reaches' stores, and flanking them, laden with a few extra bundles, is unmistakably Rhadamanth. Directing her riders to land a careful distance away from the Xanadu workers, the High Reaches Weyrwoman dismounts quickly once her queen makes contact with the ground, nodding at the wingriders to begin untying the pot. Indeed, this must be an important matter if she's come out herself to assist with the delivery. "Niva!" And Ro's greeting is certainly cheerful enough - until she actually nears the other woman and catches sight of that cast. "Gracious, I thought - I thought people were just making up tales again." Expression pained, she can't help glancing over the cast more slowly; old habits die hard. "We'd heard everything from broken toes to broken knees, but from the looks of that…" Trailing off, she gestures toward the kettle. "Anyway, I figured I'd see to them bringing it over, myself; what better way to coordinate a transport than to fly with it while I still can?" Still, the chatter is like a veneer to her underlying concern.

Niva looks a bit nervously after the two that split off from the small wing and head towards the clearing, but as there are no immediate shrieks of 'fire' it seems that there was no further accident as flames were fanned. Swiveling back, Niva takes a few unsure steps towards the High Reaches Weyrwoman as she arrives, accompanying her wingriders. Shaking her head at the greeting, Niva manages a rather strained smile as she looks down at her leg. "Few fractures. They say it'll heal, though.." The problem with hooved animals - crushing blows. "It wouldn't be as bad if it didn't itch." She tries to offer more cheerfully, though hardly succeeding, as her attention drifts to the large kettle. "Shards. They didn't seem so big, when they were installed." The group of men who had wandered out with her are now wandering towards the kettle, talking with each other and the other riders, as if pondering the means necessary to move it to its new home.

"Ah, yes. The itching is - an unfortunate side-effect of casting, " Ro grimaces, casting a look back over her shoulder at the kettle. "I imagine not. One of the assistant headwomen led a crew who managed to unearth this one from our stores. Faranth only knows how long it's been in there; apparently all of the others of a decent size were sold sometime ago, the headwoman tells me. Financial problems, apparently." But that was before her time. The other riders, while conferring with the workers, are making gestures toward the kettle and then the clearing, expressions dubious. Certainly, it could get flown over there, but getting it inside the caverns is another matter entirely.

R'sul wanders through, deep in conference with a smith. In his hand he has something that looks like a giant hoola-hoop.

"It will be none too soon when its off." Niva agrees further, before giving the kettle another once over. "Even one is more than we had before. It will save us some money, having to by prepared foods." The mention of financial problems, and the Xanadu weyrwoman makes a rather annoyed face. "Believe me. I understand that. One thing after another - I will not be excited to see our books for this turn." Watching the group converse, one of the young men finally speaks up. "Its not going in the caverns. It's gonna stay 'utside. Ain't sure if on the beach er in the Clearing yet, though." The others of the group are giving it a more thorough once over, standing on their toes to try and peek into it.

"I had thought of that, " Ro admits, calling back over her shoulder as she moves to unfasten some of the bundles from Rhadamanth's harness. "It's not much, but I thought I'd also bring you by a few other things out of stores, some of the dried and non-perishables that we'e able to spare for the season." There's a good collection of herbs and a decent variety of foods available in the packages that she hands to Niva, enough to perhaps season a month's worth of meals and supplement them if used sparingly enough. "Our books aren't going to be the greatest, either, " she admits, adding to the workers, "You'll want to give it a good scrubbing before you start using it. I don't know how long it's been sitting around for, exactly." And then, continuing her train of thought with the other goldrider, "But with the minor holder families coming through since the avalanches have hit hard in the passes, we'll be a little shorter than I'd like to be, particularly since not all of them can afford to pay for food and board."

The various bundles are counted silently, and Ro is given a rather thankful expression. "The majority of the spices we had on hand burned, so I appreciate the thought." The mention of the books, and she shakes her head some. "At least you have tithes to help rely on - we're on our own, for what we can trade for." Thus the barrels and barrels of fish they will likely be enjoying over the coming sevendays. The Xanadu Weyrwoman ponders for a long moment, shifting awkwardly from crutch to crutch, before tilting her head. "We lost a good portion of our herd, to the broken fence. We will be attempting to round up enough to supplement. If you and yours can arrange transport, we could augment your own herds in return."

"I had worried that they did, " Ro nods, smiling warmly at the Xanadu Weyrwoman. "That would be helpful. We can never have too big of a herd, especially with the prospect of new weyrlings later on in the turn." All that meat to be chopped! "We'll see what we can do about transport sometime next season. We're getting in a new shipment soon that'll take us through the rest of the winter, I hope; worry about getting your Weyr's resources squared away again. We'll manage until then."

"We'll send a message then, when we're rounding things up. I'll have Black Rock keep an enlarged herd for you, when you are ready for it." Niva nods slowly as it seems the young men have figured out precisely what to do with the kettle, for they've managed to get it up on their side and are now rolling it towards the beach, for its well needed scrubbing. Turning a bit on her crutches to watch the kettle go, she glances back at Ro, before giving her a bit of a smile. "Xanadu appreciates the help, Weyrwoman.."

Hithers and thithers; maybe one delivery rider goes barely noticed in it, maybe the young bluerider stands out like a hammer-smacked thumb. Either way, the dragon rustles about as he settles low enough to allow off his rider and passenger, along with a variety of bundles. And such is Cazai's arrival at Xanadu.

Ro relaxes slightly as the men roll the kettle toward the beach, dipping her head briefly to the older goldrider. "And High Reaches is pleased to be able to offer aid, " she answers in kind, hardly sparing the arriving and leaving dragons much of a glance, save for when her wingriders mount up and take to the skies, winking into between. "I believe I have a few minutes to spare to grab a cup of something before I head back, Niva, if you've a moment for a spot of tea or klah?"

Niva is distracted for a long moment by the arrival of another dragon and more bundles, gaze hovering on the woman and her goods before her attention is drawn back to Ro, and the older woman blinks a few times, before shaking her head. "I would love to offer, but with the kitchen and caverns mostly out of commission, we're trying to get things in order. As of this morning all they were offering was juice." Other things are more important for the fires, it seems. But, nevertheless, Niva is turning awkwardly towards the clearing, stepping slowly with her good foot and her crutches.

Cazai hasn't got *too* much, at least, though enough that it's pretty plain she's either moving in or is a lousy packer on one heck of a day trip. Suffice once she's got the big pack over her shoulders and the extra bags balancing each other out on either side, the next step is heading for the indoors. Since the first thing she does is head about the same way the two goldriders are, with a no-nonsense sort of carrying-enough-to-want-to-put-it-down stride, she's obviously been here before.

"Juice is fine, " Ro's quick to add, "and much more welcome in your climate, to be sure. With blizzards rolling in, " and there's a side-glance for Rhadamanth, who gives her rider an arch look as best a dragon can, "the warmer drinks are about all that's available to us - and all that's palatable." And she joins the party heading for the clearing.

Niva is slower than the bag-carting, newly arrived Cazai, as each step is carefully tested before completing it. Yet, the woman is eyed, and finally Niva pauses in her walk, to lift her voice. "If you're going to be looking for the Headwoman, she's set up office in the Residential Hall. Her office was smoked out." Oops. And then the slow pace is resumed, as Ro has already headed for the clearing herself.

Cazai drops in alongside, interest visibly peaked in the lifted brow and sudden disinterest in getting where she's going at speed. Those bags must be not so heavy after all. "So what happened?" she asks, apparently not much for preamble, falling easily into pace with the Weyrwoman. "All I got told was 'explosion.'"

"That is.. Unfortunately about all we know. No one will admit to being the one who started it, so it could have been anything, I suppose." An awkward pace to keep, and every few steps, Niva's pausing for a moment to adjust the crutches she's leaning on. "Everything was made worse by the sand and water, so its hard to tell what sparked it even now."

While she doesn't seem to mind, exactly, Cazai keeps that pace at a fidget, shifting foot to foot and pausing— even though it seems to be a mostly unconscious sort of fidgeting while her attention's taut on the conversation. "You think someone caused it deliberately?" she asks, arch surprise in the tone. "-That- I didn't hear." And adds, "Sand? Water?"

"They might not have been paying attention, something could have sparked or spilled. It could have been wiring, or something else. I.. I don't know." Technological specifics are not her strong point. Crossing into the clearing and making a wide circle around a group of workers setting down a ring of stones for a firepit, she nods. "There was a considerable fire, and the sand went on the greasy parts, and water on the rest."

Cazai lingers a moment or three to observe the workers, shifting her grip to sling one set of bags up over a shoulder and take some of the strain off a side. Then she catches up with a long couple of steps, falling into the halt-and-move pace again. "What exactly exploded? Or caught fire? I'm guessing some of the actual machines were involved— even if you can't tell where it started."

"Something behind the wall of oven's, as far as we can tell. That's where the explosion was, or at least the most damage. We don't know if it was electrical, though, or if some fuel just overheated." At the mention of machines, Niva nods, with a grimace. "The ovens are basically destroyed. Two of the 3 automatic spits were destroyed, and the other cooking surfaces are burnt beyond belief, from the grease on them, after the fire." She nods her head in the general direction of the caverns. "Once the Miners certify it, hopefully we'll have a better idea."

"Well, that'll keep us busy," Cazai says, with a kind of 'hmph' of something that might be satisfaction, anticipation— it's hard to say. "-Something- went wrong, plain enough. How long do you figure before they'll let us in to have a look?"

"Depends on how soon they can get the wher's out here to check. My hope is no more than a sevenday. Fish is already starting to get old." Niva tries to be funny, at least for a brief moment, before she shakes her head. "Then, we'll have to pull everything in there out, which won't be easy either." Oh, the fun of kitchen… remodeling?

Cazai hiccups a step. "A -sevenday-?" she says, slinging her bags down again, letting them swing a bit more freely, and plainly dismayed. "I thought… a day or two at most. And here I was looking forward to it." She only gives that a half-beat's pause, though, catching back up. "Have you already ordered new pieces from the Craft? I mean, supposing you're sure some of it's actually destroyed, not fixable."

"We've.. We've been waiting. Considering what pieces we can update, since we are replacing the majority of it anyway. But, we have to handle our books, before then." Oh, the pain of money. "You may be lucky, and have it only be a day or two, but, with them…" Perhaps the miners are not on Niva's list of most prompt crafters? Glancing over her shoulder at Cazai as she catches up back, Niva shakes her head. "You'll have plenty of time to see it all. No need for you to drag all your things around, and Hisolda can likely tell you more when she's settling you into a room."

Cazai accepts that with a nod that's not quite impatient, exactly, but certainly brisk. Anticipatory, even. "No, no, I play to put it all down as soon as someone tells me where to sleep," she says, edging into a wry humor that's at least more relaxed than her casually-businesslike attitude thus far. Apparently that's also enough to jog her manners, because she suddenly twitches in an oh-right sort of way. "Journeyman Cazai, ma'am. Techcraft." As if it weren't -blindingly- obvious already.

"Welcome then, Journeyman Cazai.." At least the rank and the craft were plenty obvious, though not the name. "She'll be in the Resident's Hall - perhaps we can arrange for you to look it all over, once you're settled. If you can avoid pulling it all apart just yet." Swiveling a bit, Niva leans against a chest-high wall meandering its way across the clearing's edge, shaking her head. "There may even be reports waiting for you, if those already here aren't taking their time."

"Oh, yes, looking forward to those," Cazai says, Igen-dry. "Reports. Reports are usel—" She catches herself with a sidelong, near-guilty glance, and swings the bags down to drop on the ground, evidently happy to take the moment's pause to spare her arms, which she promptly folds. "Reports aren't anywhere near as much use as a hands-on look, but I'll try to restrain myself. Hisolda," she adds, to commit the name to memory. "Headwoman. I'll make sure to introduce myself."

"In time, Journeyman.." Niva reminds Cazai with a hint of impatience in her voice, shaking her head. "The reports will have to do until its certified safe. I'm not going to risk it coming down on anyone's head." A short shake of her head, and the Weyrwoman motions at the large building for the various residents of the Weyr. "You'll want to go that way. Before anything else." An order? Or a dismissal?

Cazai smiles, a slightly sardonic, mostly apologetic thing, and stoops for her things again. "Of course, ma'am," she says. "I'm a bit partial to my head, myself, and none too fond of cave-ins. I'll just be off, then— unless you need a hand?"

"Thankfully, its not too much farther." Niva offers with a nod of her head to a short flight up stairs up towards the Queen's Ledges. "Get settled, and we'll arrange it for you. After its safe, so I'm not explaining to crafts how I lost their Journeyman." With another nod, her awkward pace is resumed, heading for the stairs.

"Oh, I don't get lost that easy," Cazai says with a cavalier sort of shrug as she re-shoulders one set of bags. "You have a good day, then." And off she goes, back to the let's-get-this-over-with-pace.

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