Friendly Suggestions

Fort Weyr - Trader and Crafter's Square
The massive rock face that makes up the outer walls of Fort Weyr looms, ever present even here where a large space has been cleared among the trees. A well tended and worn path threads its way from the Entrance Square, broad and wide enough for even the largest and most cumbersome of Trader's wagons. It continues on some distance, running parallel to the outer walls of the Weyr until veering subtly towards the forests again where it will expand again into a circular clearing. The ground is hard packed and scarcely any grass grows, save for along the edges a few patches here and there where folk are known to sit and relax rather than tread. In the center of this clearing is a stone well, ringed by a swath of wild grasses but accessible to all.

Branching in multiple directions are more paths, another large and broad one leading to a secondary clearing that is clearly designed for the Traders benefit, offering several choice locations, most of them sheltered by trees, for their wagons to be set up and ample room for their beasts to be properly penned. Firepits, large and small, are arranged and set at safe distances.

Another path, still wide but meant more for small wagon or foot travel, leads to a third clearing which holds several wooden stalls, all simple of build but well cared for. They are set up in a horseshoe loop, allowing most visitors to glimpse each of the Craft-related signs that mark each one. During the warmer months, this half is meant to be a Crafter's market and the stalls are often manned by posted Journeymen and any Apprentices under their wings.

Other paths lead away from all these clearings and both the Trader square and Crafter square. Some wind their way towards Fort's Forests, while others disappear up towards the Mountain Pass or loop back around to return either to the Entrance Square or towards the tunnels leading back into the Weyr itself.


In the middle of the third month of the year, it would be a tremendous stretch to claim that it's actually warm outside. It would also be a stretch — albeit not quite so tremendous of one — to claim that the Trader's Square is actually busy. It's more the idea of busy — there are a fair number of people around, and most of them are, actually, doing things. It's just that they aren't, much, selling things right now. Today, it's more about cleaning, and repairs from the winter weather, and all the other quiet catastrophes and turbulence that make up an average year at Fort Weyr. A certain Steward can be seen, moving from one stall or stand to the next, listening to people and making notes about stuff. There are Complaints to be heard, after all, and he can at least pretend he's going to address them. "No," he says with astonishing levels of patience, "for the eighth time, the Weyr is not responsible for removing mud from the center of the square." He scribbles something on his clipboard, turns to the next page, and starts looking for someone who will at least complain about something different.

Apparently supervising the supervisory Steward is considered light duty for a guard; or, at least, that's what Alister was told when he was given the assignment. There's a freshly de-stitched but still-healing gash up near his hairline, all shiny pink new-skin, and one arm is in a sling. But his uniform is as pin-neat as it ever is, and his blue eyes are bright(ly amused) as he listens to Zhirayr. "If someone asks you that two more times, I win complaint bingo." It probably isn't actually bingo, but some Pernese equivalent. Shh.

Ralik is lucky in that glass is, by and large, a delicate thing to deal with on a good day, so anything not open for display is usually packed up snugger than a newborn baby. There are a few things that got scattered by the wind, but it's mostly packing material that he is working on sweeping up well enough that it's not littering the area around the glasscrafter kiosk. There's an apprentice trotting around trying to do random chores and Ralik is largely just ignoring him, his overall attitude pretty leisurely. He's used to Fort by now. He takes a moment to lean on the handle of his broom when he hears the Steward assuring someone that mud is not the Weyr's responsibility. Alister's cheerful bingo commentary finally earns a harsh bark of laughter from the tall journeyman, who coughs loosely into his fist before he jerks his chin and throws out, "Have you tried telling the potters that someone's trying to throw out good mud? They might have a fit."

Zhirayr actually looks quite thoughtful at that, as he makes a lazy-beeline over toward the glasscrafters' stall. "I might have to try that," he tells the senior journeyman. "Might help me win Complaint Bingo before my babysitter, here." That comes with a wave of the clipboard at the guard, who is guarding … him? The people around him? Zhirayr doesn't even know anymore. "Your name, sir?"

"That's cheating," Alister says with a good deal of amiable cheer rather than any rancor. His pursuit of the Steward seems lazy: long legs and long steps let him eat up the distance without actually hurrying after. He's probably supposed to be doing circuits around the square, and definitely was earlier, but. At the moment, it's following Zhirayr that occupies his time. "If you ask for someone's help."

"He didn't ask for my help, I made a friendly suggestion," Ralik responds to Alister with an amused look only to offer Zhirayr a loose salute with two fingers, "I'm Ralik. Top ranked glasscrafter present at the moment, so don't worry about any complaints from us." He's fighting back a grin, albeit not very well and not with that much effort actually put into it. He offers a hand over to Alister to try and round out the introduction, then next to Zhirayr, though he likely knows who the man is.

Notes taken, Zhirayr gets around to absently shaking the glasscrafter's hand, then rather transparently peers around the stall to see if there's anything else that needs to be noted. (See what he did there? Transparent? Glass? it's funny!!) "Would the absence of complaints right now actually prove that your craft has nothing to complain about?" he asks. "Or is it just that you've decided that you don't have any complaints, so nobody else is allowed to complain, but if I come back when you're not here someone might actually have something to say?" He mostly just sounds curious, though, not accusatory. So at least there's that.

"Sergeant Alister," the aforementioned identifies himself as he shakes Ralik's hand, grinning over, "And fine, it's only like cheating. No-one's supposed to know outside of whoever's actually playing." It's entirely possible he made up the rules to this while stuck on not-duty due to a concussion. Maybe even his most recent one! … probably not, though.

Ralik just seems to find the question funny, his eyebrows lifting before he chuckles and glances back at the stall, "The absence of complaints right now would indicate that any problems we encounter are being dealt with in-house. If I leave and someone brings a complaint to you, they get whatever that complaint is added to their chore list." He looks to the stall again and props his hands on his hips, shrugging as he adds, "Though I also don't think there's anything wrong just now."

Zhirayr smiiiiles — slowly, so it's all creepy and stuff. "Terribly clever methodology," he notes, and in fact makes a note of it on his clipboard. "Especially as I imagine that chores that need to be done regardless will, in fact, be done, regardless, and it doesn't matter if someone officially complains about them or not. Was there anything recent that needed to be handled with assistance?"

"Hey! Hey, you, stop that— !" Why is Alister suddenly yelling at Ralik and Zhirayr? That seems out of characte — oh, oh, he's not yelling at them — he's yelling through them, where out past their little conversational knot there is a scuffle breaking out. From the knots half-seen in the initial pushy-shovey, smacky-pully, it's a pair of apprentices from separate crafts somewhat ineffectually attempting to go at it. Maybe someone insulted someone else's mastercrafter, who knows. Alistair manages to look both aggrieved at the idiocy of children and relieved to have something to actually do, and gives an, "Excuse me, sorry about this," to the Steward and the Journeyman as he moves off, his, "Oh for Faranth's sake, hair-pulling, are you kidding me here—" echoing back after him.

And, thus thoroughly distracted away from his question to Ralik, Zhirayr is left chasing after the apprentice-brats as well, if only to make sure that the people who actually do have complaints — about, say, brawling idiotic apprentices — are heard briefly, but at all, and then promptly ignored. (In the end, Alister and Zhirayr have tied Bingo scores, and will have to wait for another day to see who gets to the blackout-win first.)


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