Fort Weyr - Fort's Forests ~~ Western Coastline
Forest falls away from the craggy edge of the coast, leaving dark rock bare of any greenery save the odd burst of lichens and whatever strange plants are purged onto the shore by the sea. This is no sandy shoreline by any means, but a rather pebble- and rock-choked region with the odd fragment of a boulder here and there. This is also where the dragon tail river finally ends, flowing into the sea — fresh water colliding with its salty cousin to create a place where no fish can be found.

The coastline continues onward into pebbled beaches and rocky tidepools, with the periodic flaring of beach grasses here and there. The waters themselves are blue-gray, flecked in the distance with white caps of foam and waves. Sea avians and the odd firelizard can also be spotted in the air and distance, fishing in those places where fish can presumably be found.

There's a caravan camped here and, at one of the places clearly mean to be considered an entrance, there's a broad young man leaning against the end of a wagon with a similarly broad canine laying a short distance away from his feet. They both look kind of bored. In fact, the canine is asleep and Haristal only just this side of consciousness himself judging by the way his head eases down and then jerks back up.

That boredom could possibly be about to come to an end, as a brown dragon, winging its way slowly overhead, stops to circle above the camp, spiralling slowly down to land at the nearest clear spot. His rider dismounts, and, as he's walking towards the caravans, strips off his helmet and gloves - autumn isn't cool enough yet to require them, even at this early evening hour. Upon approaching the snoozy-looking Haristal, he salutes and comes to a halt a respectful few paces away. "Fort's best," is Fl'n's greeting, accompanied by a wide, easy smile. "Would you happen to be open for business?"

Of course the canine comes to attention first, lifting its head to watch the approaching rider warily with a bark that's deep but not loud. It's enough to jerk Haristal into standing more properly, but he seems confused for the few seconds it takes him to focus on the man who's speaking. "Uh," he starts off brilliantly. Green eyes shift toward the inner caravan, then turn back to the rider. "Don't 'spose no one'll turn down marks if you got 'em."

"I have marks, and I'm looking to spend them," Fl'n says, giving a look back over his shoulder to where his dragon's waiting, his big eyes whirling blue-green in the evening light. "Fl'n, brown Rideth's of Fort's Haast wing," the rider says as he offers Haristal his hand to shake. "And I'm looking for two things - a birthday gift for my mother, and a fancy sort of buckle or something for Rideth's straps. Think you can help with that?"

Haristal meets the offered hand readily with his own. He has a nice, firm, but not overbearing grip. He's less certain about the rest, however, and again glances toward the inner caravan, this time as though he expects someone, anyone, to come save… whichever of them it is who actually needs saving. "Well. I don't know it all like some of the others do, but I can show you some stuff until they help you?" That's about as good as it gets.

Fl'n'll take that. He nods, looking around Haristal to see into the camp proper. "You keep looking over your shoulder," he comments curiously, looking back at the trader with a crooked grin, before he looks over his own shoulder, at Rideth. The dragon's ambling closer to the caravan in that awkward dragon-gait, shuffle-hopping along. Fl'n frowns, then looks at Haristal once more. "A gift for my mother first, then. Not jewellery; Thys gives her plenty of that. Do you sell cloth? Does your caravan have a specialty?"

There's a moment of sheepishness for being called out on the looking, but Haristal pulls his shoulders back into a more guardly stance and looks more or less properly appropriate. "They do some metal work. Some glass work. Leather? Think there's some cloth, but." He's not really sure. "They like to keep it…" he waves a hand, not coming up with the word. "They do lots of things." They. Not everyone can be a fancy trader sort.

"Diversity is good," Fl'n laughs, clearly amused by Haristal's explanation. "Tell you want. Let's look at buckles first, shall we? Since you definitely do some metal work and I definitely need something metal-worked, and Rideth," that'd be the big brown who's now looming close, head canted to watch them with his whirling eye, "is keen to see something shiny. Aren't you?" He looks up at his lifemate, grinning. "So… buckles?"

"Diversity," repeats the man like this is a particularly good word. One that he never would've thought of on his own. He's impressed. Haristal eyes the dragon for a moment, though, then nods to the rider. "I can show you that. He's not gonna break anything, is he? I'll get in trouble if I let one of them go breaking things."

"Who, Rideth? Naw, he won't break anything." The little (big, really, but small in the grand scheme of things?) brown wuffles a warm breath towards Fl'n, who shifts his gaze from the dragon to the trader. "He's curious. About you." Fl'n shrugs, slipping his hands into his pockets. "But he'd also really like - oof." Why oof? Because Rideth's just whumped him in the back with his nose, sending Fl'n sprawling an awkward step forward. He recovers himself with a haughty little huff, before glaring up at his lifemate. "Hey, trader-guy. What's your name?"

The canine has since put some space between their visitors and itself. If Haristal isn't going to be upset by their presence, neither will the canine. He's on his own now! "About me?" He doesn't have a lot of time to linger on what that might mean, though he probably wouldn't give it much thought even if he did, because he's introducing himself, belatedly, in the next moment. "Shit. Right. Sorry. I'm Haristal." For a moment he looks like he might offer his hand again, but then he remembers they did that already.

"Haristal." Fl'n repeats the name, with a nod. "Before we get down to the trading part, Haristal, there's something Rideth insists I ask you." The brownrider digs into his pocket… and keeps digging. "Shards. I gave it to that Gabriela kid… ok. Nevermind. Haristal, would you do Fort the honour of standing as a candidate for Kouzevelth and Kainaesyth's clutch? I'd, er, offer you a knot at this point, but… I don't have any left on me." He shrugs apologetically, while Rideth croons.

It's a little hard to tell if he gets it right away, eyeing the brownrider like he's speaking some weird language no one could possibly understand. "You mean, like… eggs? To get my own dragon?" Haristal looks at Rideth when he says the last, not suspicious so much as unconvinced that he's actually the one they're talking to.

Fl'n smirks at the lad's slow uptake. "Yeah. There's eggs on the Sands, they're going to hatch, and we need to have guys like you there for when they do, so the dragons have someone to Impress to. So yes. You could maybe get your own dragon, if you accept. No guarantees, no promises, no refunds or whatever if you're left standing, but, y'know. You could be walking outta this as R'stal, or something. With a dragon."

Haristal considers this all very carefully but says after a few moments, "I 'spose I should ask and see if anyone minds if I'm gone for a… how long does that all take?" He's considerate like that! "But a dragon seems like it'd be nice to have around." So that is more or less a yes, probably.

"Until the Hatching? Several sevendays. If you Impress? A lot longer; Weyrlinghood's a turn or so." Fl'n gives a little shrug of his shoulders; it is what it is. "But it's worth it. I didn't really do candidacy, but from what I've heard it's fun? People normally jump at the chance, from what I've seen." He slips his hands into his pockets, and looks into the camp, to roughly wherever it was that Haristal was looking earlier. "Go and ask, if you'd like. I've got plenty of time to wait for your answer!"

He nods along like this all definitely means things to him. Haristal glances back to where he was looking before, then nods again. "I'll go ask. I'll get someone to help you with your buckle, too." If he's going to be bugging the proper traders, he might as well but them about the things that will make them money while he's at it. Spoiler alert: no one's going to care about him leaving.

Meanwhile, Fl'n waits! And Rideth looks smug and happy.

It's not long before Haristal comes back with an older man in tow who seems pretty interested in the rider. "They don't mind," says Haristal, sounding pleased with himself like he might if he'd convinced them himself. He probably didn't. "Should I pack my things? I'll pack my things. This is Ulrow." And Ulrow is more than happy to take over and show Fl'n what he wants to see while Haristal gets his few belongings together.

"Good. Welcome to candidacy, Haristal! We'll be here for you, when you're ready to go." So Fl'n lets Haristal go do his thing, while he goes with Ulrow to do his… and then the trader boy's going to be swept on back to Fort Weyr, to join the ranks of the white-knotted!

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