Afternoon Ruminations (October 06, 2009)

Ierne Weyrhold - Central Plaza (#850RJs)

The main plaza of Ierne Weyrhold is abustle with activity, as people of various occupation move to and fro through the area. The plaza itself is cobbled stone, much like the roads leading from it, and extends to the east, where it is abutted by a couple of large buildings.

The main administrative complex for the Weyrhold borders the plaza here, to the west; within, the dining facilities of the weyrhold, and the offices of the weyrhold's staff, are located. A single-story building just to the north of it serves as the guest hall, separated from the hall by a courtyard garden and reflecting pool. Roads lead northward, toward the main harbor, crafthalls, cotholds, and recreational areas, and to the south, toward the river docks and the 'rider residences.

People: A'ran, G'tor
Dragons: Shaseith

It is a pleasant mid-afternoon in the bustling central plaza of Ierne WeyrHold that finds G'tor seated comfortably on a bench strumming his guitar in a light, lilting tune. Three young blue firelizards sit before the grizzled brownrider, singing a lilting descant to his soft song.

From above, the dreamy jade form of Shaseith appears from between, her lithe fae form circling in a tight downward spiral, her form gleaming unusually bright in the afternoon sun. A'ran sits atop her back, a bag tied next to him on the white riding straps as they land with a graceful back-wing. Sliding down the green's shoulder, A'ran spots G'tor, offering a friendly wave as he unties his sack, meandering over. "Fine day to relax."

G'tor glances up at the approaching greenrider and smiles, strumming a last few chords before he silences the strings of his guitar. The blue trio finishes a few more lilting swirls of music before the quiet as well, "Fine indeed. This is my first autumn in Ierne, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes." He holds out a weathered hand and grins, "G'tor, brown Nyth's and weyrsinger."

A'ran takes off his riding gloves, gripping G'tor's offered hand firmly, despite his slender fingers. "Well met, Harper. I'm A'ran, green Shaseith's and Journeyman Healer." His emerald eyes smile, his hips tilting to a side in a slightly feminine way. "Ierne is really lovely in autumn. The lessened heat certainly is welcome."

G'tor grips A'ran's hand firmly in his own and gives it a strong shake, noting A'ran's effeminate motions with a practiced eye but not commenting. Instead a smile splits his scarred and weathered face, "After Telgar, the cool is a welcome change. Of course Talime thinks it too cold already. I hope winter isn't too hard on her."

A'ran nods, setting his bag down on the ground gently and flipping his ebony braid over his shoulder, resting his hand on his hip. "I promise that you'll get used to it. The weather is quite easy on old bones I'm told." He grins. "I don't know if I can imagine living in such a barren Weyr as Telgar myself. I'm much too fond of the flora here."

G'tor chuckles, "I'm not that old, I just look it. Too much dry air in my weyrling days." He sets the guitar gently against his stool and wipes his hands of grit, "Telgar's nice enough, just a little dry."

A'ran nods. "I've visited once or twice myself, as part of my between training. I can't say that I've been up there in turns however." He clips his gloves to his belt, starting to unfasten his jacket. "I hear it snows up there in the winter though. Doesn't that get pretty cold?"

G'tor shakes his head, "Not really cold. What we called good running weather at the Hall, cool enough to keep you from over heating, warm enough to not be dangerous if you were exercising… so, yeah, a little snow." He chuckles, "What about you, where are you from?"

A'ran nods. "I see, I see." He strokes his bare chin. "I was actually born and raised here. I did attend the Healer Hall for a number of turns, however, so I've seen some of the weather the northern continent has to offer. I came back here after walking the tables to Impress Shaseith." He smiles at the memory.

G'tor quirks an eyebrow, "I was under the impression that dragons didn't clutch here… lack of sands." He shrugs, "Doesn't really matter to me, anyway… I'll be perfectly happy if Nyth never sires again, Talime gets jealous." He grins, glancing up at the large brown nestled next to an overlarge green on the ridge.

A'ran shakes his head. "Plenty of sand on the beaches. Where do you think the Firelizards do it?" He grins. "Lack of traditional sands, perhaps, but plenty of beaches and warm coves for it. Plus the Queen isn't cooped up in a cavern for months brooding. I think our golds tend to be better tempered for it." He reaches out to stroke Shaseith, who has trundled over to inspect G'tor. "I know Shaseith likes it here."

G'tor chuckles, "I guess I heard wrong, then… either way I'll be glad if Nyth's far away when any female… well, yeah." He chuckles again, glancing up at A'ran's green Shaseith, "She's not on-cycle, is she?" He glances back up at Nyth and Warith on the ridge, then back to A'ran.

A'ran pats Shaseith's shoulder lovingly. "She's probably close, to be honest. Been a few months, but I'm not terribly worried about it. I'm sure she'll let me know in good time when she is ready to take wing." He grins. "Why? Worried she'll drag Nyth along for some joy ride that you'll have to explain to Talime?"

G'tor nods, chuckling a little, "A tad… when your weyrmate is better with a sword than you are with a guitar. She tolerates the proclivities of our dragons, but she's never happy about it. Still, mostly I worry about getting caught completely unprepared, I may only be 28 but a broken arm and several broken ribs have left their affect on my flexibility."

A'ran nods, his expression turning slightly serious with understanding. "I count myself fortunate not to have broken anything yet, but as a Healer I understand what you mean." He glances toward the main hall. "I'm a bit parched from my activities. I also missed lunch. Would you like to join me in the Hall for something to drink and perhaps a bite to eat?"

G'tor nods, sliding the strap of his guitar over his shoulder, his blues re-settling themselves with Nyth on the heights, "Something to drink would be good for my throat as well."

A'ran nods, picking up his satchel and gently shouldering it. "To the Weyr Hall then," he intones dramatically, meandering into the building.

Ierne Weyrhold - Main Gathering Hall

This large room could probably house twice the population of the Weyrhold, though admittedly it might be a bit cramped. The room is tierd, such that the southern and eastern sides of the room are much much higher then the northwest corner; this allows everyone to be able to focus on the main table, located there, where the Weyrhold's leaders often sit, for both meetings and meals.

A grand spiral staircase in the southwest corner leads up, to the offices and quarters of the Weyrhold's leaders. Wide double doors lead west, into the kitchen, and another set of wide doors lead east, out onto the plaza.

G'tor follows A'ran and moves through the not-too-crowded hall for a cup of redfruit juice.

"Ah, I'm still in luck!" A'ran crows as he makes his way to the table. Baskets of bread and rolls, along with several varieties of fresh fruit and a smattering of cheese selections sit out for those who can't wait for supper. The greenrider snatches up a plate, taking a roll, a citrus fruit of some orange variety, and a thick slice or two of something that looks like cheddar. Filling himself a glass of redfruit juice as well, he wander over to a nearby table, carefully setting his plate and glass down, letting his satchel slide gently to the flow before taking a seat. "So, how long have you been a rider?" he asks of G'tor.

G'tor grabs a roll and finds a seat at the same table as A'ran, "How long?" He ponders that for a moment, "15 turns, give or take…"

A'ran nods. "About seven, myself. It always seems to feel like just yesterday you were on the sand with that wobbly hatchling at your feed, looking for food, huh?" He chuckles. "Did you Impress at Telgar, then?"

G'tor grins, that glint of memory in his eyes, "Yeah, just yesterday. Just yesterday that that brown beast rolled into my life on Telgar's sands. Just yesterday I broke my arm trying to break up a fight between the weyrleader and the former weyrleader… just yesterday Nyth caught his dam. He only sired five eggs… no bronzes, he's been trying to fix it ever since." G'tor chuckles, eyes still lost in flashback, "Only yesterday that Talime transferred to Telgar from Igen. Only yesterday…" He sighs softly, "I'm only 28 turns… seems like forever and a blink all at once."

A'ran nods, peeling the citrus fruit with practiced ease, popping one of the slices into his mouth and sucking on it thoughtfully. He swallows, speaking: "I'm not much younger than you at twenty-four turns myself, but it seems like the same for us all. I suppose certain memories just stick with us, but the rest goes by in a blur on the… carousel of life, I think the saying goes."

G'tor nods, rubbing the odd crick in his arm, "Some more pleasant than others, too."

A'ran chuckles. "Indeed." He takes a sip of his juice, following it with a piece of cheese. "What made you decide to become a Harper? Love of teaching? Of music? Something else?"

G'tor shrugs, "I grew up in the Hall, never really expected to do anything else. The fact that I love music makes it all the better." He grins, "Harpers do a bit of everything, after all."

"They do indeed." A'ran grins before putting another piece of fruit into his mouth, swallowing after a few moments. "I've known at least a few Harpers myself, having attended Healer Hall for a number of turns myself. I think if I hadn't loved working with plants so much I might have become a Harper instead." He leans back, slouching comfortably in the chair. "The traveling bit always appealed to me."

G'tor nods, "Next best thing to a dragon is knowing you can be welcome anywhere. People are fascinating to watch. Part of why I've taken to Ierne, I think… so many different kinds of people."

The greenrider nods, tearing off some of his roll. "We are a bit of a melting pot," A'ran admits. "But I think it allows us to be far more free and creative than any other place, except possibly the Landing." He grins. "Some might call them odd even by our lax standards."

G'tor chuckles, taking a bite of his own roll, "Landingers are… unique… very unique… I'll stay away from the two-faced mountain, thanks." He grins, taking another sip of juice as he stands, "It was a pleasure speaking with you. I hope all goes well for you." And with that quiet statement, he takes his leave.

A'ran nods to brownrider G'tor as the Weyrsinger takes his leave, quietly continuing to munch on his late lunch of bread, cheese, and citrus fruit. From between a sanguine-brushed green flit appears, chittering as she lands and goes to steal some of the greenrider's cheese. "Hey now," the Healer admonishes without any real ire. "You should ask first." She burbles apologetically, managing to look contrite. The botanist chuckles, handing her a piece of cheese. "All right then, Air. Here you go, pretty thing."

Kire comes in for some lunch with a yawn as he just woke up. He moves over to get himself a mug of klah as he looks pretty bleary eyed. He mumbles a greeting before he moves over to sit down and takes a long drink of klah.

The Journeyman looks up from his conversation as he spies Kire from his peripheral vision. Offering a way in return, A'ran notes the bleary expression on Kire's face. "Long night?" he inquires amiably.

Kire nods a little bit, "Yah every night is a long night when you are a starsmith apprentice." He yawns again before he drink down some more of the klah.

"So it is." A'ran gestures to an empty seat at his table. "I promise she won't bite," he says, in reference to the green firelizard contentedly munching on cheddar.

Kire looks at the green firelizard, "She's a pretty one. I have a little green myself and two browns. I'm Kire by the way." He gives a friendly smile to A'ran.

"A'ran," he offers by way of introduction. "I've only got this little green. Well, and the big one outside." He chuckles. "Shaseith might say she owns me, however."

"It's nice to meet you A'ran. That's cool. I'm used to greens, Slidra and Kai are both greenriders and I stay with them." Kire says as he finishes off his first mug of klah. "Do you want anything?" He asks as he gets up another mug of klah and something to eat. He starts to make himself a sandwich and he checks out the soup of the day.

A'ran shakes his head, gesturing to the still half full plate of food. "I'm good. I just missed lunch while out." He bites into his half-eaten roll. "Any interesting celestial events I should be aware of?"

Kire nods as he comes back over balancing a plate on his klah mug and a bowl of soup. He sets it all down, "Nope the skies were pretty calm last night although soon I'll be able to get a much better view of the skies once the mini-observatory is finished."

"Oh, I hadn't heard they were building an observatory. I might have to check it out when it's done." A'ran chuckles. "I should come out of the jungle and my greenhouse more often. Where are they building it?" he asks, handing another piece of cheese to Airaloke, taking one for himself as well.

Kire ohs a little bit, "It's just a small one for personal use, it's going to be attached right to Kai's weyrbarn. I've got the plans back there." He says as he continues to eat.

A'ran nods. "It sounds like you'll have a great place to study. Astronomy is certainly a fascinating and beautiful field of study. I wouldn't mind learning a bit more about it myself. Navigating at night makes it very useful as well. How long have you been studying?" he asks, eating several more pieces of his orange citrus.

Kire nods a little bit, "Yah I've always loved it. I'd be happy to teach you. Oh about 5 years now. I helped to build the Observatory at Xanadu Weyr."

"I'd be glad to learn." A'ran smiles, finishing his fruit and starting to work more steadily on the cheese between speaking. "Most of my work seems to be spent under a canopy of leaves, so I don't see as many stars as you must during my work. Some plants only really bloom at night though."

Kire listens as he eats, "Really that's interesting to hear. Still it must be nice to be surrounded by greenery all the time."

An eager grin slits the greenrider's features. "It really is. I don't know what I'd do if I transferred up north. So much of it is rocky and barren. I'm glad I live in a jungle." A'ran offers some more cheese to his green flit, finishing the last of his roll. "Still, there are flora that are unique to each continent, so I suppose I'd find something."

Kire nods, "Just don't get transferred to Telgar. They are all desert, but Ista might be nice, that's sort of tropical or so I have heard." He says as he finishes his soup and stretches out, "Well that was a good breakfast. So what are you up to today A'ran?"

A'ran nods. "I've visited most every Weyr and Hold up north as part of my Weyrling training, so I know at least a little about the terrain." He reaches down beside him, pulling up a hemp satchel and setting it on the table, gently untying the knot at the top and opening it to reveal a number of cutting and infant plants in little containers made of a similar material. "I was out getting some fresh samples for my greenhouse this morning."

Kire ahs a little bit, "I've just visited some of the weyrs and holds in my training." He looks at the cuttings and infant plants, "So what are you going to do with them?"

"Study them, of course. I'm a botanist." A'ran smiles at his plants tenderly. "I'm working to catalog new plants and find medicinal uses for those both known and unknown, expanding our knowledge at the Hall with new and hopefully better treatments."

Kire ahs a little bit, "So how do you do that? I mean how do you test the plants for medical use so that you know what the right form is to take them in and what they can help cure?"

"It varies, really. Some of the work we can do with cultures, testing how different parts of the plant appear to react with certain cells, or bacteria. Viruses as well. There is a lot of working with the microscope and taking notes." He chuckles. "I guess I'm not so different from a Starsmith after all. We both spend a lot of time behind a lens."

Kire chuckles a little bit, "I guess not, that's interesting I've always wondered how the healers know what plant or what medicine goes with what disease, I mean like how did they find out it works on it, you just can't test it on a patient and hope it works."

"Well, in days not long past we kind of had to. We didn't have as much by way of fancy equipment, and oftentimes even when we did it wasn't readily available for the use of the average Healer. We're fortunate to live in a more modern time." A'ran reaches into his satchel, pulling out a small plant with a cluster of white flowers. "But with the aid of newer tools we can help people live a better lifestyle naturally. Beautiful and useful, no?"

Kire shivers, "Makes me glad I live now where I don't have to worry about the healers tested new plants on me that might kill me." He looks at the small plant and he nods a little bit, "Well it is very beautiful, but I don't know what it is so I can't say if it's useful or not."

A'ran nods. "I think we're all glad." He sets the flower down. "Well, from my studies so far the plant is good for things like reducing fever, which can be a good thing if a patient's fever starts to run too high. A certain level of fever is good, and helps rid the body of what ails it, but if it gets too high it can also do more harm to the body than good, so we Healers have to keep a close eye on that."

Kire takes a drink of his klah as he listens. "Really all that in a little plant, well that's good to know, are there any side effects of it? Like does it make you see purple dragons.

A'ran laughs. "I can't say that I've had anyone report seeing any purple dragons or anything out of the ordinary when taking it." He sips on his juice, still chortling softly. "I have found a few with some more… interesting mental properties, however. Of course, I don't specialize in the science of the mind, so I can't say what their uses might be as of yet."

Kire nods a little bit, "I've heard a little about them, but nothing like wear to find them or even what they look like and I'm not going to start to taste test just to see something out of the ordinary."

"I've known some Healers who will try anything for the sake of advancing their craft. I admire their dedication, but I feel the need to admonish at least some caution before jumping into such a dangerous practice. Some plants are toxic, also, so one has to be careful." A'ran looks serious, putting the plant back in his satchel. "Which is why I test things out in cultures first."

Kire nods a little bit, "Yah anything that messes around with someone's brain is something to be very careful of." He chuckles, "I wonder what it would turn your culture into."

A'ran nods, setting the satchel back down on the ground, draining his glass of juice and getting up to refill it. "It varies, really. Sometimes it has no apparent affect on the culture. In certain cases you do have to try it yourself, albeit in small doses initially." He lifts the klah mug in offering. "Need some while I'm up?"

Kire smiles, "Sure some more klah would be nice. Thank you." He offers his klah, "Must be dangerous work to test out a new medicine."

A'ran brings the klah mug back, setting his juice glass down and refilling Kire's mug. "It certainly can be. Usually with such an experiment you shouldn't be alone, but have at least one other Healer on hand to keep an eye on you in case something goes awry, and also to lucidly document the process." He puts the mug back. "Do you take cream or anything?"

Kire shakes his head, "No I like it just regular thank you." He yawns a little more, "Indeed never good to test anything by yourself, I mean if you succeed you'll need witnesses."

A'ran nods, coming to settle back into his chair, sipping at his redfruit juice. "That's quite true. So yeah, the Healer Hall has guidelines in place to try and keep their Healers as safe as possible while still making progress. We also occasionally test on animals, but most animals metabolize materials differently from people."

Kire takes his klah and nods his thanks as he drinks it down, "True and you don't want to hurt the animals either. So what do you like to do for fun A'ran?"

"There's fun?" he asks teasingly. "Actually, I love my work and find it quite fun most of the time because I get to explore and discover new things, but I suppose when it comes to time off I really enjoy things like swimming or reading." A'ran leans back thoughtfully. "Stargazing sometimes as well, though I doubt I'm nearly as familiar with the constellations as you are."

Kire laughs a little bit and nods, "I enjoy swimming and reading too. Well like I said before I'll be happy to teach you all about the stars."

Airaloke has meanwhile curled up on the table, dozing lightly, her wings and tail twitching occasionally. A'ran watches her fondly, a tender smile on his face. "What subjects do you most enjoy reading in your spare time?"

Kire smiles as he sees the little green curl up on the table. "Oh mostly adventure stories, just fictional books."

"Fiction can certainly teach us good lessons. I enjoy reading history as well. It's good to know where we came from. It gives us an idea of where we are going." A'ran takes a long sip, setting his mug down and sighing contentedly. "I also enjoy drawing."

Kire nods, "I guess fiction can teach us stuff, I just like reading it because it's fun."

A'ran chuckles. "It is fun to escape to another world for a few hours in a good story, isn't it? I sometimes draw characters from fictional stories, or do portraits of other people and such. It's fun to see something you came up with take life on paper."

Kire nods a little bit, "Yes it is always fun to escape to another world at least for a little while. There is a lot of fun stuff to do here too."

"There really is. Lots of places we haven't explored yet, and plenty of things to do where we have already." A'ran sips on his juice, moistening his lips. "Sometimes it's nice to just sit and relax though."

Kire nods, "Yah I love to explore and find secret places that no one else knows about."

Setting his cup down, A'ran nods. "I think many of us have that sense of adventure and wanting to find new things. The Southern continent is so vast compared to the Northern that we still have plenty of room to do it in. Sleeping under the stars in a secret cove you just discovered has to be one of the best things in life."

Kire smiles, "Very true, is there any secret spots around here that you know of?"

Looking thoughtful, A'ran ponders for a moment, stroking his bare chin. "I suppose you mean in walking distance. Well, there are a couple of nice, secluded spots, but nothing I would say is truly hidden." He offers a smile. "But maybe there just are some that I haven't discovered yet but you will."

Kire hmms and nods a little bit, "Well I'd like to go see them and explore around see if I can't find any hidden spots."

"Sounds like a plan, my friend." A'ran drains the last of his juice, standing. "Shall I leave you to it then? I should actually get these plants settled into their new homes before they start to wilt."

Kire nods a little bit, "Well I wouldn't want to keep you from your plants, perhaps sometime we can go exploring together."

"I think that could prove enjoyable. I can show you some of the quiet spots, and you can teach me about the stars. Perhaps an overnight camping trip, i you think you can arrange it?" A'ran inquires as he picks up his satchel, gently slinging it over his shoulder.

Kire smiles, "Sure that sounds good to me. I hope you have good luck with your plants A'ran."

A'ran nods. "I hope so too. Maybe next time we meet I'll have some new and exciting discovery to share with you." He pushes his chair back against the table, glancing at Airaloke. "You coming little one?" The green stirs faintly, but otherwise doesn't acknowledge the question. A'ran chuckles. "Guess not. Well, I'll see you around, Kire. Thanks for the company." With that he meanders outside.

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