Introducing Xander and Lord of the Klah

Western Weyr - Living Caverns
Here is the center of Weyr life, the living caverns. These two main rooms were man-shaped from smaller caves, and are joined by a carved arch with depictions of dragons in flight and dolphins leaping in swirling waves. One room has many round stone and wooden tables and a stone fire-pit instead of a hearth. Over the round-walled, gas fired pit is a large conical hood made of polished bronze, with reliefs of dragons with their riders flying over ships guided by dolphins. This hood and chimney keeps the room smoke-free. Through the archway is an enormous hall, with long tables and benches, some carved from the rock floor, many crafted of wood. This room is a combination dining and meeting hall, and can seat over 300 comfortably. Above both rooms, angled shafts lined with polished metal bring in sunlight during the day. Electric lights also burn, day and night.

It's midafternoon at Western and most of the crowd has started to clear out of the caverns. That doesn't mean the food has been totally packed up yet though, and still people meander in and out of the caverns for foods. It's late autumn at Western and heading towards winter, which at the tropical weyr means it's the wet season and not as hot as it is during the summer. Zi'on seems to be one of those people who are lingering in the caverns since lunch. Western's weyrleader has learned that showing up during the main lunch hour meant more or less holding court. And since he was plunked down for the long haul it looks like he's just made the decision to keep working instead of moving back to his office where he belongs. He's got a few papers spread out that he's looking over and a plate with a half eaten wherry sandwich on it. There's also a cup of cold klah and an empty pitcher sitting there, which he seems to have forgotten is empty because every time a kitchen drudge comes to take it he waves them off.

A purposeful stride brings a recent newcomer to the weyr into the caverns, bootheels ringing against the hard texture of the caverns floors. Sea green eyes scan the inhabitants of the gathering place, landing on Zi'n for a moment as eyebrows narrow. Knot-reading is not this young man's forte, but thankfully the Weyrleader's knot is grand enough to at least convince him of the man's importantance. Striding over to the rider, Xander's chin descends in a formal nod of greeting. "Sir," he begins, chewing absently on his lower lip for a split second before taking a deep breath and regaining rather austere-like composure. "I hate to bother you, when you look.. fairly busy. But I was wondering if you would be able to point me in the direction of your Guard Captain? I am a recent arrival to the weyr, and was training with the guards back home, and would prefer to continue that vocation." An awful big statement for a seventeen turn old, but Xander appears all too serious, lips only twitching in a bit of a smile as he realizes he forgot to actually /introduce/ himself. "I'm Xander. From Half Moon Bay Hold."

There are a lot of people at Western, some are more visible most days that others. A long term resident, a long suffering youth named Solarus, is now hiding in the caverns under a table being assaulted by two boys with toy felines. "Git 'im!" At the very long table a bunch of people are sitting and eating, some members of the very large family Solarus-the-usually-invisible hails from. Mother and father, weavers who are both weaving away busily at hand looms, baby sister in her basket sleeping, the two young boys and one of Solarus's four older brothers, M'dren, who is actually a rider, and he's currently sitting half asleep at the table, head in his arms. The plight of the tired bluerider is clearly of more importance than the plight of the waif-like teenager being fluff-assaulted by his little siblings. "Ah save me! Help!" Solarus pretend-screams! "Solarus what are you doing under there?" his mother says absently. "Get up and act your age," she's working on her plainwork, needle going into the embroidering hoop, and coming out again. "Look at M'dren, you haven't seen him in days, at least try to behave yourself when he's here." Solarus colors bright red at this, and tries to get up, but is pulled on by the boys. "Let the kid have fun while he's still young," his father says. Make up your minds! is what Sol's eyes are screaming as he climbs onto a chair.

"Eh, I ain't that busy." Zi'on says, though he doesn't look up from his paperwork, waving his hand for Xander to take a seat if he wants. After a few moments Zi'on reaches over to pick up his mug and take a sip of his cold klah, which causes him to scrunch his nose up. "Bleh. The captain is…" He peers around, then points in a generally westerly direction. "That way." He laughs then, looking up at Xander. "Sorry, I'm kidding. He's probably in the guard barracks if I had to guess. They're at the mouth of the bowl." The bronzer grins then. "I'm Zi'on, from Ista weyr. Suldith's rider, he's from Western weyr. Now I- oop." Zi'on is interrupted by some fake screaming coming from Solarus' direction. "Ah, weyrbrats. Anyways, a guard, hm? We could probably use a few more. There was some trouble recently with pirates around the area. We rooted them out, but lost some good men in the process." Zi'on is sitting and apparently doing some work at a table. It's midafternoon-ish at Western.

There are in fact others milling about the caverns, despite the late hour. V'ric isn't…milling, exactly. He did head into the caverns, damp boots giving a mild squish against the stone floor. Of course, the brownrider seems to have been held up by a furious woman, and something about muddy boots. While stoic about the encounter, V'ric does at least take the care to wipe off any further mess from those same boots, head tilting. Is she satisfied? Well..probably not, but it's enough for the silent man to be allowed to continue on his way. There's a stiff look in the direction of the Weyrleader as 'pirates' are brought up, gaze flicking over Xander even as he offers a nod to Zi'on. The fuss..underneath the nearby table has him staring just a moment though, before he turns instead to get something in the way of food, namely a roll and a piece of fruit. Extravagant, he is not.

The large family is soon interrupted by a sigh from the bluerider as he rises. "Well, I'd better get off to duty," probably he spotted the Weyrleader and didn't want to look like he wasn't doing anything. A shuffle of chairs ensues in order to let him escape from the labyrinth of furniture. "See you later Ma," he kisses her cheek, pats his father on the shoulder and looks under the table at the teen and the two young boys. "Don't get into any more trouble Sol," says the bluerider before he strides off. "I haven't been in trouble," Solarus tries to counter but the rider is already off, saluting the Weyrleader as he passes to leave the cavern. Solarus turns a healthy shade of red and climbs out from under the table, finally escaping the boys who are now using their father's feet as a pretend forest for their toy cats. "Solarus, please go get us some more klah, and at least try to get some of your work done…" The teen stretches out to his full height, gives his parents a withering look from behind their heads, and turns to stomp a little towards the tables with the food, practically pushing past V'ric to get to the stuff in question. "Sorry," he mutters a bit, as he reaches for the klah pitcher.

Zi'on raises a brow at V'ric as he heads into the caverns with a furious woman trailing him. "Sounded like the headwoman. What'd you do? Knock up one of the kitchen staff?" Zi'on chuckles a bit. At least V'ric will likely finish his food. Zi'on's sandwich probably won't be touched any further. He's likely filled up on pie. There's a nod to M'dren as the bluerider makes his exit. The weyrleader watches as Solarus moves over to pick up a pitcher at the tables with the food. "Hey, you want to freshen me up while you're at it?" Solarus probably doesn't want to, but Zi'on may as well see if he can work a refresh out of the teen. For now though it looks like the weyrleader is back to work while Xander remains distracted.

V'ric looks a tad..annoyed for a moment when Solarus moves by, reaching a large hand out in an attempt to snag the teen by the scruff. "Slow down." Quiet, rumbled words from the brownrider. Really, the man doesn't often raise his voice. But the limb drops a moment later anyway, as he turns with his small sampling of food to take a bite of his fruit. Eyes narrow just a little as he returns towards Zi'on's table. "That would imply I actually slept with one of the kitchen staff." V'ric? Sleeping with people? Unheard of! He does drop into a chair though, settling there to work on the redfruit in his grasp, even as e trades off between looking at Zi'on, and eyeing Xander. "She took offense to unclean footwear."

Solarus is highly embarassed by the admonishment from V'ric, and ducks a little to avoid the reaching arm. He can't, however, avoid the Weyrleader, and dutifuly goes over to pour his klah for him, silently, face turning red again, more in his embarassment than anything else. He's saved from having to serve his parents by the sudden shrill wailing of the baby in the basket. The mother, embarassed, and unwilling to disturb anyone, picks up the baby and decidedly shuffles off her two youngest boys towards the resident caverns, leaving the father to gather up all the weaving stuff. All this is done with silent looks and nods, apparently they've decided to do their weaving elsewhere. "Free!" says Solarus in delight as soon as they are gone, and he does a little dance, the klah jug still in his hand.

It's midafternoon at Western. Zi'on is sitting at a table at least pretending to work, Xander was asking the weyrleader some questions but got distracted, Solarus is getting klah, and V'ric is tracking mud all over the caverns. "What?" The bronzer responds to V'ric's question. "There are lots of cute girls down in the kitchens. At least there used to be, I haven't been down there in a while. Hands off Kaliena though, or Th'ero's bro-dar will go off and he'll come to beat you up." He chuckles at V'ric. "Don't even know why she bothers with all the rain we've gotten lately." The weyrleader motions to Xander then. "Xander. Wants to be a guard." Zi'on gives Solarus a nod then as he tops off his mug with fresh klah. Then blinks as the pitcher he's holding does a little dance along with the rest of him. "Whoa! Whoa! Careful with that! You'll get my paperwork all klah splattered and Enka will ring my reck. Also, you could burn someone."

"If it's the only way he'll learn.." V'ric murmurs as Zi'on warns Solarus about burning himself. It's the best way to remember that dancing with klah is a bad idea! Another bite gets taken from his fruit though, even as he relaxes in his chair. Hey, he /was/ tracking mud. The angry lady made him wipe his shoes down. Still, it's a half-interested look he slants at the Weyrleader, eyes narrowing a fraction. "How nice of you to warn me about /Th'ero./" But is it /really/ the other rider he has to worry about? Fingers offer a slight twitch as he turns the fruit over in his hand, getting at the other side of it to bite. "Anyway..I don't care for any of them."

Solarus colors again. "Sorry Weyrleader sir," he says, and he quickly returns the klah pitcher back to the food tables. Then, well, he goes back to the table his family vacated, grabs a stack of paper and returns to the Weyrleader's table. Oh. "Is it all right if I sit here with you and do my drawings sir? If my family comes back looking for me they won't bother me if I'm sitting with somebody important." Uh, yeah. He's not very subtle about his motives is he?

Cue Ila'den, who moves into the caverns looking half a mad-man, half an /evil/ man, and the focus of all his evil? V'ric, of course. Was there ever a question? The weyrsecond beelines for his best friend and catches the man around his neck with one arm, leaning into him with a bit of a head-bump of companionship as weary, long sighs escape him. Yes, this could also be considered a sleeper hold, if a very /fail/ one. "Zi'on, if anything happens to any of your papers, Enka will be the least of your worries." Is that a threat? Grey hues blink after Solarus only then, as if he's seeing the man-boy-thing for the first time. SQUINT. "What on Pern did you drag in, Zi?" Ila asks all nonchalant and faux meanness. SQUEEZE ON V'RIC'S NECK. And then, to Solarus, "Don't blow up his head. He has enough visions of grandeur."

Zi'on peers at V'ric. "Him splattering my paperwork?" Not that Zi'on cares to have to rush someone to the infirmary, either. His search and rescue days were over. Then he grins to the brownrider. "You're welcome! But seriously. Hands off." Clearly it's not Th'ero that V'ric needs to be worried about. Not that Zi'on thinks V'ric is going to go chasing after Kaliena anyways. "Well. I'm sure there are some cute uh… boys down there, too. If you'd prefer." He laughs. Solarus is given a curious look when he comes back to join Zi'on and the scary brownrider. "Eh? Sure. But I don't think V'ric will be here that long. You got a name, brother-of-bluerider? Otherwise we can call you Lord of the klah." Zi'on looks up as Ila makes entrance, only to choke V'ric at the table. The bronzer raises a brow at him. "The least of my worries, hm? Why's that? because you know I'll have a nice big stack of klah soaked papers on your desk tomorrow just waiting to be copied over?" Zi'on laughs, then shrugs about Solarus. "I dunno. A weyrbrat of some sort. He hasn't told me his name yet, but his brother looked familiar. At least I assumed it was his brother."

And just like that, V'ric is /attacked/. How completely rude. But at least it's not a terrible surprise, and the brownrider /sighs/ when Ila'den's arm comes around his neck. He suffers through least until the bronzerider starts squeezing so much. A hand begins to intervene, gripping at Ila'den's arm to peel it off his neck. "/Enough./ I'm trying to eat." Sadly, all that's left is a /roll/. Good thing his attention flicks irritably toward Zi'on again. "I'd prefer nothing, thank you."
Solarus spreads out his sketches on the remaining available workspace at the table as soon as he gets even the hint of permission to sit there. "Solarus sir, my oldest brother is M'dren," he adds, looking almost approving at the idea of the nickname. Lord? He wouldn't mind being called a Lord, sure! But the sketches are now laid out and Solarus raises his hands a little bit in a shrug. "Second oldest is Dendren, and then Condren," he rolls down the names of all his siblings in a row, with him as the fifth child smack dab in the middle. "We're all Weavers, except M'dren, and mostly because he runs deliveries. But I'm not sure I want to be a Weaver either. Maybe," he pulls a sketch of a tree closer to himself and then pointedly takes his pencil and makes a few changes. All the adults chatter about personal matters goes over his head, but the fifteen turn old must be feeling important at least to be surrounded by adults for a change, instead of younger siblings and much more successful older ones.

Ila's eyes narrow (in jest, rest assured) when Zi'on mentions papers-to-be-copied as if to say, 'That is /exactly/ why.' He eyeballs his bossman just a little longer before turning his attention onto Vel and his attempts at escape. The brownrider is successful, but that roll? /Victim/. Ila'den grabs it up and pops it into his mouth with petulance, eyes wide in feigned innocence as he chews and stares at his best friend. 'DO SOMETHING,' that look says, even while saying, 'What ever did happen to that delicious looking roll you had, friend?' He will chew, slowly, and listen to conversations for now. He will also lean over Solarus in a shamelessly nosey manner to watch his sketching. "You're pretty good," Ila murmurs around his roll appreciatively, and nudgenudgenudges at V'ric. LOOK.

Zi'on grins and shrugs to V'ric. "Well, suit yourself. Can't say I didn't try." Maybe Zi'on thinks V'ric getting laid might improve his disposition? Though it's hard to get someone laid who doesn't want to be. "Well met, Solarus. I'm Zi'on. This is V'ric, and Ila'den." He motions to the rest of the motley crew. Zi'on pulls at his beard a bit. "Eh. I didn't want to be woodcrafter, so I didn't. I don't really remember, but I don't think I wanted to be a bronzer either." He laughs. "So much for that." Zi'on leaves off the list of his siblings though, no one has time for that. Also he doesn't remember all their names, or even half their names. "I come from a big family too, technically. I don't know much about most of my siblings." Even Zi'on looks over at Solarus' drawing when Ila points it out. "Can you do people, too?" He asks the teen. "I think I'd like a nice sketch of my son, while he's still little."

V'ric is also thieved from! This is just not his day at all. Still, the taunting look from Ila'den is met with prompt retaliation from the brownrider. In the form of a friendly fist jabbing into the weyrsecond's gut. Yes, Solarus can observe all the mature, adult behavior he wants to! There's an impassive look given to the drawings, at least, and a mild nod before he goes back to relaxing in his chair, minus one roll. And though he doesn't look like he's inclined to try and get another, he does speak up, softly. "If they're that good, get him to do one of you and Kiltara." He eyes Ila'den at that rather meaningfully. "I think she would appreciate it." After all, the young girl didn't seem to be /dealing/ well with the fact that her big brother now has a baby to be looking after.

Solarus is delighted by the praises for his drawing. "Yes, I draw people," he pushes a drawing of a lanky youth, older than him, towards the Weyrleader. One of his brothers? The features are closer to Solarus than not. At the idea of drawing all these people they're suggesting his eyes only get brighter. "I'd be happy to sketch people. Mom says I should work on my weaving designs though," he has a piece of paper nearer his hands that has swirling designs with birds and leaves. "I think I'd be happy if I could just design things that other people can weave," he says, and sighs. "Making clothes and things is kind of boring, mo-not-o-nis," he tries to pronounce the word, and he winces a little. He's pretty sure he got it wrong. Yep, he's got some weird attention span, he completely ignores the punching of stomachs. Or is ignoring it on purpose.

What's that, V'ric? Ila'den can't hear you over the sounds of his own encounter with death-by-roll. V'ric punches him, and the vengeful roll lodges itself uncomfortably in the bronzerider's throat so that he's left coughing to clear his airway. All danger of execution by dinner is quickly avoided when the first mug of liquid is grabbed in earnest and downed with vigor, regardless of /who/ this drink may've belonged to only moments before. When the damn thing is being slammed back down on the table (or nearby ones), Ila'den is smacking V'ric on the back of his head, and settling into a seat with a scowl. "If /anything/ he's going to be drawing a postmortem picture of you for mourning purposes."

"My son will be two turns soon. He's hard to keep still for very long." Zi'on looks over the picture and gives an approving nod. "So you are a weaver then? Or aren't you one? You should do something you like. Though I guess the weavers just don't let you sit around and draw. Just like I like to boss Ila around, but in order to do that I have to do all this paperwork, as well." He motions to what's in front of himself, then slides the drawing back to Solarus. Zi'on looks to the two riders then. "Calm down you two. Or I'll get the headwoman in here with her broom." There's a grunt from Zi'on as Ila'den picks up his freshly topped off klah in order to dislodge some roll from his throat. He was gonna drink that! When the mug is slammed back down, Zi'on tilts it to look into it, frowning. "So I guess soon enough we'll have two sets of eggs on the sand. I guess I should congratulate you Ila. But I'm mad about my klah. Also I was hoping for Suldith to have a hat-trick."

V'ric lowers his lashes just a little bit, shrugging. "Honestly, you would expose the kid to dead bodies? How cruel." V'ric, on the other hand, is not cruel. Stomach punching was /justice/. Justice for his sweet, sweet roll that was taken before its time. A flicker of attention is given to Zi'on, lips curving in what might just be a smile. Maybe. "Well I wouldn't want to run into her twice in one day." He shifts, feet sliding on the floor as he positions them nearer to the chair, but then stands. He moves, however, going toward the food to grab a /replacement/ roll before he starts out, hurrying silently to the bowl.

Solarus grimaces watching V'ric and Ila'den in their banter and nearchoking playful behavior. "Its like…watching my brothers go at it over some girl they all like," he says, pointedly, and then he looks over at the Weyrleader. "I'd be happy to sketch your son. When would be a good time for me to sketch him?" he starts pulling his sketches towards him, now worried about food or whatever getting on them. "I'm an Apprentice Weaver, only because everyone in my family starts as that. I don't know, there's not really a craft for artists. Woodcraft, not really my medium, um, glass is dangerous with the heat and the, moulten glass stuff," he looks stricken at the idea. "Harpers use music, not sketchbooks. I don't know…" He's a Weaver for the time being. "What do you think sir?"

Ila'den is turning his attention onto Zi'on and giving a rather humble smile as the Weyrleader makes conversation about the outcome of recent flights. "I would thank you, but given your current disposition over klah, I'm beginning to feel that it would be very far from a good idea. Regardless, thank you for the very conveniently placed drink." Grey eyes move to V'ric when the brownrider moves, trailing him out of the door with brows furrowed as he watches the bastard flee. What a /sneaky/ little man. Ila's on his feet only moments after the other has ducked out into the bowl, and his smile is for Solarus this time, interrupting. "It was well met, Solarus. I should've said it earlier, but when V'ric is around my first priority is /always/ to make sure he's miserable." The weyrsecond moves to stand behind Zi'on for a moment, clapping him gently on the shoulder, and then gives a nod to both the artist and his big bossman. "I'm going to chase after him, so try not to burn the weyr down without me." Zoom!

Zi'on grins at V'ric. "Me either. Of course when she comes around I generally duck under tables. And if I have to I just remind her about her poor judgement with that pirate she let wander all around the weyr before." There's a brow raised at Ila'den then. "You're welcome or something. Don't wander off too far. We need to talk about our schedules later since we'll both be on sands duties in the coming months." Zi'on gives the weyrsecond a nod as he heads off after V'ric. Then he turns back to Solarus. "Riders. Not all of them are rude, just the ones I attract I guess." He laughs. "Is that a common occurrence? Your brothers all fighting over one girl, I mean." Zi'on ponders and tugs his beard. "I don't know. I'll have to look at my schedule. Come by my office tomorrow and I'll see what Enka and I's schedules look like." He blinks. "You could be a harper. They have artists. Or at least would probably allow you to mostly draw. I dunno. My parents had conflicting views for me, so I ended up just standing a bunch of times and dabbling in the techcraft. At the end of the day it's your life and you're the one who has to live it. There's no rush, so you should find something you like. Or something you're good at that you don't mind doing." There's a shrug from the bronzer then. "Sorry. I know that's not really advice. Try a few things. There's my advice." He looks at his empty klah mug and sighs. "I suppose I should be getting back." There's a nod to Solarus as Zi'on stands to collect his things.

Solarus smiles widely. All the right things have clearly been said. "Thank you sir," he says, its short and sweet. "I'll have to talk to my parents about that whenever they get some free time. Weavers are really busy right now, stocking up on things like washclothes," he wrinkles his nose a bit. "And…napkins…" That sort of thing. "I'd better go before my Mom comes and drags me to the work room to finish my quota. If I can get that finished she said she'd let me help her work on her gather tapestry," he has a slight skip in his step as he heads towards the residences and a slightly out of tune whistle. Twee~t!

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