A Visiting Dolphineer

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.

It's just after lunchtime, and the day is bright and quite nice. Thea and Zevida have just left for business reasons after enjoying a couple of drinks here, and the newcomer Chaise has taken her things (alongside several lads from the busy lunch crowd to help her) in order to move into her new weyr. It's left the visiting DolphinCraft Second to finish her lunch and sip on her tankard of wine in peace, her business for the day mostly completed. The bustle of the tavern is slowing up just a little, at this point, the first rush leaving full and sated to continue their daily chores.

X'hil swings by the tavern for a late lunch, grimacing at his diminishing marks supply, and ordering something a little lighter than he might normally order. "Half a plate of meatrolls and a shot of tanner's friend." he places his order, leaning against the bar and taking a look around. He recognises a couple of faces in the crowd, but there's no-one here he really knows all that well. It's Vrizana he settles on, with a friendly "Hello!" while he waits for his meal.

Vrizana glances over at the greeting, blue eyes flickering towards the originator with a hint of cool study behind them. Her brows lift, and she smiles faintly. "Greetings from the Dolphincraft," she offers in return. "I hope you've found the day well?"

X'hil nods a little, momentarily distracted as his food and drink arrive. He drops the marks on the bar, and moves over to sit near Vrizana. "Greetings!" he responds, cheerfully. "Not a bad day. Spent the morning with Izzy and the twins." He grins, and starts tucking into his food. "How was yours?" he asks, between mouthfuls.

Vrizana looks a little curious. "Izzy?" she asks politely. "I'm not terribly familiar with the people of Xanadu. I'm housed in Rubicon River." She glances to his food and then at her empty plate. "My morning has thus far been fine," she admits. "I arrived fairly early and have been conducting Craft business with some of the riders here."

X'hil chuckles slightly, and looks a little sheepish. "Sorry. Griselda, she works in the kitchens. We grew up together, we're good friends. And have gorgeous children together." The twins. /Friends/. Right. Well, that's really all that it is, friends. Occasionally more in the past, but not presently. "And, er, I'm X'hil." he offers, with a lopsided grin. "Sort of… between assignments at the moment. Though I'm hoping to find a placement in the Galaxy wing." Search and rescue, how he misses it.

Vrizana chuckles softly. "Ah," she says softly. "I have two children. My daughter is the eldest. L'ton was her father, a good eleven Turns past. And my son is the only child I had from my marriage to my late husband, Allain. It's been a few Turns since his ship was lost in a storm, though." She pauses with a fond, yet not sad, smile. "Rillian looks more like him daily. Zalla, though…" She laughs softly and shakes her head. "At least she got my looks," she admits as she lifts her tankard of wine for another draw.

X'hil chows down on his food with gusto, nodding absently. "Ah, I, we've got twins, boy and a girl. Little Grahil and Grahilda, nearing three turns." he nods, glancing absently to the clearing. "Er. Griselda named them." He was … elsewhere. He only found out about them quite recently. "I, ah. Sorry to hear that." he mumbles awkwardly, about Vrizana's late husband, then stares down at his plate for a moment.

Vrizana shakes her head slightly. "He knew the risks when he went on his boat," she says kindly to him. "If I've learned anything as a Dolphineer, it's that when the weather gets a mind of its own and decides to turn bad, it does so very quickly - and sometimes without warning if you're without a dolphin to let you know." She smiles over at him. "Don't get that look. Life is too short and full of too much joy versus its sorrows." She offers her hand to him. "I'm Vrizana."

X'hil frowns absently, and shakes his head. "If you say so." he sounds less than convinced. "I suppose there's not much without danger, really." he shifts a little uncomfortably in his chair - he'd been shot in the rear recently, and it was still healing. "I used to ride search and rescue… We were so /busy/." he sighs, and pokes at his food, then shrugs. "We did what we could, saved who we could, but it was hard." he says, forcing himself to focus on the good. And maybe change the subject. "I… Well met, Vrizana…"

"And you are?" Vrizana asks him politely, hand still extended. "And I do say so. Loss is a part of life. My basis is in oceanic recovery and marine biology. The second one is a world of beauty. The first one… is heartbreaking, a lot of the time. Search and Rescue takes who they can save. Recovery finds the ones who don't make it. Which is also why I'm here. I mean to speak with your Senior Weyrwoman over finding the lost vessel of Rubicon. I think a lot will be answered once I manage that." And she doesn't sound as if she can't. She shakes her head. "But, no. Life is full of danger. Without it, we wouldn't cherish the times there wasn't danger involved. I don't suppose we would know how, would we?" Thus with her deep thoughts, she laughs a bit. "Eh. I have my babies, and I have Icthyis. You…" She eyes him. "You're a rider, right?"

X'hil nods, taking and shaking Vrizana's hand. "X'hil, bronze Kinseth's." he introduces, with a small smile. "Used to ride search and rescue. Hoping to do so again… It's rewarding work, saving those that can be saved, though it's not exactly /easy/ to have to leave anyone behind, to lose anyone." He's conflicted over it, but he has to nod, "There's got to be hard times, it makes the good times all the sweeter. But, /shards/, I'd die if anything happened to Kinseth. Life would not be worth living. I'd just … wither up and die." He shudders at the thought.

Vrizana looks at him with a nod. "I can understand, to some degree," she admits. "You had the look of a rider about you." She chuckles and smiles, taking her hand back and wrapping it around her mug of wine. "A bronzer, though? You boys are trouble." She glances at him askance, blue eyes full of mirth. "Heard you had a gold or two go up here recently. I think I'm happy I was down in Rubicon for that, else I might've come up with another little one."

X'hil smirks a little, and dips his head at Vrizana. "Trouble, at your service." he 'introduces', with a flourish. He grins then, and sips at his drink. Little early for ale perhaps, but it's not like one glass can get him drunk. "Kinseth's … had interesting luck, with the golds, recently." he nods, not really /clarifying/ too much. "So smug about it, too." He frowns absently at 'another little one', then shakes his head. "Heh, I only just found out I was a father the other month. Not sure I'm ready for /another/."

Vrizana laughs and shakes her head. "Good thing. I've seen thirty-one Turns, now. I don't know that I /want/ another, though I'm sure I could have one. It can be difficult enough to raise two of them and help run an entire Craft. I suppose that's why Masters and beyond aren't dragonriders, really." She smiles over at him.

X'hil snickers, and nods. "Looking after a dragon does take a lot of time, and effort." Especially when the dragon is one of the largest bronzes on Pern. "I joined a craft a couple of turns back, but I'll be lucky if I even make /journeyman/ before I'm thirty, /forget/ about master." he rolls his eyes, but admts, "Not that I'd trade it for /anything/. Kinseth… He's… It's difficult to put into words. He's my /everything/."

Vrizana puts out her coins on the table with a quick smile for X'hil. "I can't understand that bond," she admits. "Icthyis and I have an arrangement. Partnership if you will. If and when he dies, I won't go mad from it or die too. It's… very human, really, despite the differences in intelligence and even species. We work well together." She nods at him. "I have to run, though. Business as usual for the Dolphincraft. I hope you continue to have a good day."

X'hil raises a glass to Vrizana. "It was nice meeting you!" he says, then glances to the door, absently. "Hmm. Kinseth…" he murmurs, pushing the chair back and standing. He pauses, makes sure to finish his meal, then heads for the door.

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