Fishing For Tales


Ahnika.jpg Jhath Rhyviel.jpg

Date: 6/18/2011 - IC: Turn 3, Month 4, Day 16
Location: Lakeshore
Synopsis: Out for a late evening walk, Rhyviel and Ahnika/Jhath encounter each other and share tales.
Rating: PG
Logger: Ahnika

Out by the shore of the lake, Rhyviel is being… quiet. No kids, no books and no loud voice from her for once, her attention is captured by the two simple words written on the lake's sign. Head tilted, she stares at them as if expecting something more or can't quite decide exactly what they mean, slight frown drawing her brows together. Occasionally, her gaze wanders beyond the sign and to the water, only to return to study of those words, no answer located by eyeing the lake itself.

Considering their poor eyesight at night, there are fewer dragons in the sky at this hour, which makes the two vague shadowy draconic figures swooping in over the midnight reflection of the sky that is the lake perhaps a bit more noticeable than otherwise. As the larger of the two backwings for a more graceful landing on the shore a few yards away, the smaller dragon and her rider angles up, pumping her wings to gain altitude and head, presumably, to her weyr (or someone else’s weyr). The rider of the dragon who landed waves to the other rider and only then does she unbuckle and dismount, landing with a soft sound in the sand before taking off her cap and goggles and tucking them in her belt. Ahnika gives Jhath an affectionate pat on the tall and stocky green’s neck before stretching first one leg and then the other, and starting to walk along the shoreline in Rhyviel’s direction.

Rhyviel's focus is slowly drawn away from the sign, the glowbasket at her feet nudged a little to the right as she tries to cast light in the direction from which she hears dragons landing and rider dismounting. Even then, she angles a quick look back at the words as though expecting them to change if she doesn't keep an eye on them. Satisfied that they haven't altered, she chooses to study Ahnika instead, bobbing her head in greeting. "Good evening," she calls, not to be rude, her voice a little too loud for the darkness and hour. "…Evening," is quieter and more rueful; her second attempt.

The dragon pair walk along side each other on their approach, with the dragon more hopping considering the difference in her legs than walking, but neither voice complaint. The greenrider’s woven bun of red hair at the nape of her neck is starting to fray, and she sweeps a gloved hand over her hairline to keep the tickling wisps of hair away from her face as she walks. Of course, such is only a moment’s reprieve from the sensation before they start tickling again and she starts to remove her gloves altogether in order to fix it better. With one hand ungloved, she looks ahead to Rhyviel with her greetings and grins, her grey eyes warm and expressing friendliness even in the dim light. “Evening,” Ahni says, her voice modulated appropriately. Then she looks out at the water and the rest of the shoreline before looking back at Rhyviel and the woman’s attire and finally says, “A perfect evening for one to gather her thoughts, in fact, no? At least until the rain comes.” There’s a beat pause and she introduces herself, “I’m Ahnika. This is Jhath.” The green dragon lowers her head in some semblance of a formal bow that seems more stately archaic and not entirely belonging to this time period or situation. But then, that’s Jhath.

"I'm going to run like all heck in a very unladylike fashion when the rain comes," Rhyviel admits, rocking back on her heels, which, on sand, just results in her wedging the heels of her boots into the ground. But, done is done, so she remains just so. "I'm Rhyviel. Well met," she answers politely, inclining her head just a little. "Ahnika," and now her gaze finds Jhath and she nods again, "and Jhath." She takes in a quick breath, seemingly about to speak again, focusing on the green, then her rider and back again. "You seem very polite," she tells Jhath, only to add the same to Ahnika, "She seems polite." The blonde shakes her head a bit, admitting, "I don't quite know what the protocol is. Does one speak directly to dragons, or is it seen as a liberty? Or do dragons think we're rude for only addressing their rider?"

The admission only has Ahnika grinning a bit more, and some minor tension in her shoulders relaxes a touch. “You and me both,” she says with a glance for the sky growing overcast, blocking out some of the stars, and then a look back to Rhyviel. Appearing sedately intrigued by the other woman and her praise, Jhath merely straightens and observes quietly from where she stands beside Ahni. Though the message is passed along and Ahnika provides, “Jhath expresses her gratitude for the compliment,” which is more or less about as formal as the dragon put it to her rider. Another smile followed by the removal of her second glove and Ahnika responds, “Treat dragons more or less as you would anyone else. Those higher up the chain of command might demand more respect than others, just as one might address a Lord or Lady Holder, and some others might just simply prefer to be ignored and left to their own devices, like some people do. Each one has its own personality and quirks, just like you or I. Jhath here, she likes to be included. It just means that I’m speaking for her since, well, usually, she is unable to project her mindvoice into another who is not a dragon.” Usually. Ahnika frowns thoughtfully a moment as she considers the one exception that was made, now probably close to a turn ago. Then she shakes that thought away and smiles at Rhyviel once more, “Are you a new resident here at Eastern then? Welcome.”

Putting theory into practice, Rhyviel nods at least a basic understanding and cheerfully assures, Jhath, "You're welcome." Wry smile touching her lips, she confesses to Ahnika, "I've thought about chatting to some of the dragons I see about in the bowl, but I was never sure if they'd just think 'why is this strange woman talking to me?' and call their riders to rescue them from my company." Hesitating, she reconsiders, adding, "Which some of them probably would, all being different." She's quick acknowledge and confirm that she's not been around the Weyr for long, inclining her head again. "Thank you. I've lived at Weyrs before, but I've not been here long at all. It's quite… different." A hand lifts and gestures towards the sign. "For example, why is the lake hopeless?"

Jhath’s eyes continue to swirl a blend of blue and green, indicating her disarmed interest as the other woman talks to them both. Ahnika smirks a bit at Rhyviel’s confession and nods, “Some would. Then again, some might do it just to have a way to talk back to you that didn’t involve gestures. Most dragons I know are pretty sociable and would probably like having someone other than a dragon strike up a conversation with them.” She thinks about that a moment longer, “Hmm. Inefredath, maybe not at first. She’s pretty shy and skittish in general.” Jhath rumbles in agreement, though neither seem critical of the fact. Ahnika glances from Rhyviel to the sign and back again, chuckling, “I don’t know first-hand about it being different. I mean, I’ve never lived in another Weyr to compare, but the way others describe them, I guess it is. We started calling the lake hopeless back when we were digging it, because it took a long time and a lot of work and even some people hurting themselves by lifting too much and such. Some days, it seemed we’d never get it finished, so … ‘hopeless’ and, well, I suppose someone decided to keep it as its name.” Then she turns back to Jhath a moment and shakes her head, saying aloud for the sake of politeness, “Before your time, Nobleheart.”

"I was wondering if it was a warning about the true nature of a body of water that otherwise looks rather innocent," Rhyviel responds, gaze skimming over the surface of the lake. "If there was something lurking in the deep or no dragon ever gets clean by bathing in it and so on," she elaborates, a small smile turning devious. "Fantastic material to frighten the kids that want to be frightened," she remarks. "And most of them do, in my experience." The basket at her feet receives another nudge, back into the little dip of sand in which it previously sat. "So, named for the feelings at its creation," she summarises. "Lucky that's not true of everything or everyone."

Almost twin-like, the countenance of the green dragonriding pair seem engaged at the more ‘fantastical material’ offered, though it is Ahnika who speaks, “Goodness, that’s a lot more interesting than the truth. Go with that.” She chuckles, adding, “Jhath says she likes a good Harper’s Tale, and I can confirm that. I used to read them to her when we were weyrlings.” A shadow of nostalgia crosses Ahni’s features and then becomes bittersweet, punctuated with a regretful sigh, and followed with a comment. “But no, about the only thing one might encounter other than people and dragons swimming in there are dead and partially frozen fish.” This comment comes with another chuckle and Ahni looks down at the basket briefly before looking back up again and explaining, “When they first put water in there,” her head motions to the lake, “someone got the idea to catch a bunch of fish in a net, Between back, and drop them in the lake. They didn’t account for the coldness of Between, I wager. At least, that’s what I figured anyway. I never did hear who did it.”

Rhyviel shoots a long look Ahnika's way, then back to Jhath, her expression unreadable as she tries to gage whether the fish story is true or not. That is, before she just bursts out laughter and folds her arms about herself as if it'll help keep her upright. "A lake full of dead, frozen fish," she gets out between fits of low laughter. "That's brilliant. I can almost hear the poor souls hitting the water and sinking." It takes her a few moments more, but she eventually gets herself back under control. "But yes, I suppose I should stick with the Big Nasty Creature Lurking in the Deep version. Warn the little ones not to get too close to the water." She glances down at her feet again and taps at the basket with the toes of her boots, seemingly considering something. "I have a lot of tales; books and the sort. Stories the traders and holdless tell down the generations. You'd be welcome to read some of them if you like," she offers.

Laughter is contagious. At least it is this time. When Rhyviel looks at the dragonpair and then starts laughing about the dead fish, Ahnika joins a heartbeat later, though perhaps not as deeply since, well, she’s known about it longer. Jhath joins too, making a kind of happy, huffing-chuffing noise from the back of her throat that ends in an obnoxious trill to make Ryhviel’s initial louder-than-necessary greeting seem trivial. Grinning as Rhyviel continues to talk of Big Nasty Creatures and such, Ahnika nods in agreement, “So far we’ve not had any drowning incidents, thankfully, but yes that wouldn’t be amiss – at least for those who don’t mind the nannies on their own.” Her eyebrows draw up a little at the mention of more tales and books and the sort, and she asks, “Oh, how delightful! Thank you. Are you a Harper then?” Her grey eyes look over Rhyviel’s clothes again, seeking a knot of some kind.

Looking up at Jhath when she adds her own laughter to mix, Rhyviel brushes stray curls out of her line of vision and smiles a curious, pleased little smile, quite as though she's never heard a dragon do such a thing, which, to be fair, she might well not have. It's her rider she winks at though, answering the Harper question with, "Not at the moment." Perhaps that's all she'd say, yet she moves to explain, "I've had the training, or a measure of it. But no. I'd much rather work with records and stories than sing or deal with the law, so that's what I do. The knot was a small sacrifice."

“Sounds to us,” Ahnika includes herself and Jhath together, “like you’ll fit in perfectly here then.” It’s stated without any hesitation or judgment and punctuated with a nod from the rider while the dragon simply looks on and rumbles agreement. “And Jhath would much rather have your stories than otherwise, she says,” Ahni adds with a grin, then says, “She particularly likes the kind where the hero or heroine vanquishes the nasty villain in some kind of duel or challenge by outsmarting him.” Because the villain is always a ‘him’ right? Sure. “We’re a growing Weyr, having already had some births in the last few turns, so I’m sure any of your tales that can help the nannies keep the littles from getting themselves into trouble would be greatly appreciated. Not to mention I’m sure, the adults would find it an enjoyable diversion, too,” Ahni says and Jhath snorts, to which Ahni adds without blinking, “And dragons.” There’s a moment’s pause where Ahni considers something and then asks, “Have you met any of the headwomen or stewards? They can get you settled and with an Eastern knot of your own, if you intend to stay awhile.” Ahni’s lost track of whether Indira herself is coming or going right now, so just vaguely includes them all together.

"Glad to hear that," Rhyviel replies, small smile growing little by little. "I confess there are a lot of vanquishing stories; some where you have to read between the lines a little for that to be so, but they're there nevertheless," she addresses to both Ahnika and Jhath. "Some more interesting than others and some that the kids probably shouldn't read, if I'm honest, unless we're into shattering worldviews at an early age." Bending down, she picks up the basket, looping it onto the wrist of her right arm. "I've not met the headwoman or stewards, no," she confesses. "I think that I would rather remain here than move on for a while, which is an odd feeling, but I suppose I'd better trust it. I'll have to seek them out and see what they'll have me do for that knot." A quick nod towards the caverns follows as she suggests, "Could get you one of my books now if you like? It'd only take a few minutes. I think sleep is on the horizon soon after."

Chuckling softly, Ahnika adds, “I’ll leave that up to the Weyr Nannies to decide. I suspect growing up in a Weyr full of outcasts and rebels, of a sort – no offense intended, of course – is progressive enough in its own right, but I have no authority here in such matters.” And while Ahnika is not afraid to make her views known and buck the system when it calls for it (reputedly so), she must apparently not see something like that as ‘calling for it’. “Indira is the Headwoman, but she has her juniors when she is unavailable, and there is Warin, too, the Steward, and I suppose he has some assistants, too. I’m afraid since drills have begun in earnest, I’ve lost touch a lot with that level of things here,” Ahni explains. With a glance toward the caverns in kind, Ahni smiles while Jhath does a not-so-subtle excited stamping of her taloned feet where she stands. “That’s very kind of you,” Ahni says, “if it’s not too much trouble. I don’t want to keep you from your pillow too long. How much? I think I have a few marks on me, but if it costs more, I’d have to get the rest of my marks from my weyr.”

Rhyviel freely admits, "Not having children, I have no idea what parents are letting their children read these days. I guess that if you leave your kid with someone to tell them a tale, then you get what you get, but," she shrugs, "it's not everyone's view." Her index finger traces a pattern in the air as she echoes, "Indira," and then, "Warin. Thank you. I've a Max to seek out too; I must get round to it." Mention of marks has her looking a little puzzled and, once the whole thought processes, she quickly shakes her head and waves the idea off. "Oh, copies of copies. I just finished another copy of the one I have in mind; I don't charge." She smirks. "Well, sometimes I do. But anyway, no marks required. Tell the stories or think of passing the book on when you're finished. All I ask." With that, she turns, meaning to head off to the caverns, retrieve said book and hand it over to rider and green with a bright smile before bidding them farewell and seeking out sleep.

Ahnika nods in agreement about people having differing views on child-rearing, but it’s the mention of seeking out ‘Max’ that has some of that tension in her shoulders returning with a frown, then a nod, “He’s the Beast Manager, Indira’s son, so, if you’ve a runner to stable he’d be the one to talk to.” And then the frown fades and a smile returns, “Oh, very kind of you. And that would be perfect. I have many foster siblings who would love the tale when Jhath and I are through with it, I’m sure.” Though she’s more likely to try and give it to Hope first, should the girl’s father and grandmother allow it. And as Rhyviel moves off to fetch the book, Ahnika and Jhath watch her go, with the former saying, “I’ll be around the lake here, then. Thank you. Good meeting you,” even if she will only be seeing her again shortly in order to be gifted the book. “Mind the dead, frozen fish in the meantime,” the last is said with a quiet chuckle before the dragonpair return to their stroll around the lakeshore and whatever private conversation they were having while Ahni stretched her legs a bit.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Three Dog Night - "Joy To The World"

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