Is Xanadu Cursed?

~~*~~ Fort Weyr - Lake Shore ~~*~~
This lake shares many features common to mountain lakes — a brilliant blue jewel nestled amongst the rocks. The waters are crystal clear, and the north shore slopes gently before abruptly falling away into the depths. This lake does have one significant differentiating feature, however. The south shore of the lake is a tumbled mass of rubble, rock and earth of an ancient rockslide smoothed only by the elements in the intervening years. This rubble, as well as the rather sheer east and west faces, makes for the north shore to be the only one easily accessible.

The chilly lake waters are an invigorating draw to weyrfolk and dragons alike as summer's heat bears down upon the Weyr. The calm jewel blue waters offer a pleasant respite upon which to bath, relax, or play. The shoreline buzzes with activity and at the peak of the day it can be hard to find a spot to stretch out. At night, like a great mirror the lake reflects the multitude of stars overhead with the occasionally shadow of a passing dragon breaking the serene visage.


What do you do with a group of weyrbound candidates? Stick 'em in the lake and make them wash dragons! The mid-morning weather is lucky temperate enough for it to be quite pleasant, even if the water's a bit on the nippy side. Split into two groups, the candidates have been tasked with washing a pair of blue dragons, and are armed with all the necessary tools while being dressed in clothing suitable enough for them to be up to chest-deep in the water, scrubbing away at dragonhide. The group that Amethyst is in has a blue with a hide that's a deep, near-purple shade, and he's very keen on splashing and sticking his nose in everyone's face.

After the battle with the Renegades, Sairon no doubt got a serious talking to. For all the stitches in his midsection and his broken nose, though, word spread he'd got the upper hand and defeated his opponent. It was a shocking development when the candidate was otherwise known for being an excessively laid-back guy who was prone to talking too much. To avoid getting stitches too wet while he healed and to avoid infection, he was put on supply duty and he's busy bringing batches of brushes, fresh sand, and pots of oil and mops to tend to any post-bath dry spots.

Cyrus is right there in the thick of it, washing away. He of course had no injuries, but that doesn't mean it didn't scare him. Especially not being able to be there to help his friends and being forbidden to practice for the moment. He has found that he rather likes the blue dragons, much to his chagrin since it was a blue that well…some things are better left dead and in the past, "Well…not too much longer now…" he says as he continues to work.

"Faranth, I know," Amethyst replies to Cyrus, with a little 'can't believe it' whistle. She's in there beside the Healer-turned-Candidate, scrubbing away… until she needs a replacement bucket of sand, that is. "Sairon? Is this too deep for you to come on in?" Turning to look at the shored candidate, she fires him a cheesily big grin as she waves him in… if he can come, that is. If not? Then she'll plodge through the water to get that bucket from him.

Shirtless to avoid any wet clothes he doesn't need to get wet, Sairon glances down to the long gash high on his midsection. Shrugging, he grabs up a bucket of sand and heads for the water. "Close, but should be okay." He calls out when he's close enough and walks out as far as he can before offering out the bucket. "Don't worry, not gonna come in too far and risk getting scolded." He says with a chuckle and a glance towards Cyrus.

Cyrus just shakes his head at Sairon's comment about getting scolded, "You know…we are in a perfect position right now. They need us too much to do all that much to us. If they don't have enough candidates the dragons don't have enough choice and some of them might not make it. They don't want that. There isn't enough time for them to go out and search more probably…" For someone who detests politics and cliams not to understand it, Cyrus has this pretty much figured out. He continues to clean away, "I'll be happy when its over, one way or the other."

Amethyst winks at Sairon as she meets him and takes the bucket, giving his bared torso a cheeky once-over. "Shame you can't come in deeper to join us." She bites down on her lip to suppress an amused smile, then turns in the water to return with the bucket to the blue's side. "You've got to wonder," she chimes in with Cyrus' conversation, loud enough for Sairon to hear, "whether they give us knots early so we end up working longer… or whether it's all a ploy to get as much free labour from us as possible." There's a lilt to her tone to suggest she's only teasing.

"Eh? I was meaning getting yelled at by the healers." Sairon says with a laugh towards Cyrus, "I'm pretty sure they can't yell at me anymore for wandering off. But you're right, they're stuck with me for now. It could have been a lot worse. We all made it out no real worse for wear /and/ took out a bunch of Renegades. Worth it in my book. Never get the best results without some risks." As Amythst takes the bucket and he gets the once-over, the crooked grin he usually wears gets just a bit wider and more lopsided. "Yeah, a shame. I'd love to help out but I can't risk ruining my new battle scar here." He may unconsciously flex juuuust a tiny bit, but hey, he's a red-blooded male. Somethings just happen that way. "Guess you can't blame 'em. They're feeding us, giving us a place to live, and maybe a dragon. Gotta earn your keep, right?"

Cyrus , of course, completely misses the point that was was teasing. He can be rather too much analytical at times anyway, "I think its probably a combination of both. I think early on its because they want to watch us and get to know us and how we think, and after that its all about servitude. I don't expect much to change if we end up becoming weyrlings, though I suppose at that point they can just keep us weyrlings forever if we mess up. They can't very well get rid of us." - Well she asked. He just continues washing the hide of the blue. Amy's look over to Sairon goes largely unnoticed. Ahh…love is in the air. Everytime he turns around. When Sairon speaks up he glances up, "Personally I think we are all being used…" he starts off and then glances between Amy and Sairon. He just shakes his head, goes back to cleaning the dragon mumbling something about there being two of them now.

"Next time." There's another playfully saucy wink from Amethyst to Sairon, while she scrubs at the blue's foreleg. According to a holler from his rider further down the shore, they're nearly done with washing him down. "Cy, buck up. Happy thoughts. Servitude is such a… strong word. It's like Sairon said - we're being fed, given shelter, have the opportunity of a lifetime ahead of us… we're just working for our keep, is all."

"And you /are/ the one that said yes." Sairon says while bringing a few more buckets to other candidates. "And yes, I realize they asked you not to leave, but you do realize if you really, really didn't want to be here they couldn't keep you. It's not that bad. You may not get paid for it like your actual work but this is still a voluntary position. It doens't last forever. Come hatching, you either end up a rider with a new job that you do get paid for - oh and a dragon - or you go back to your life as it was."

Cyrus can recognize on some level that he is being a bit morose. Recent events have done nothing to help his mood. He just shakes his head, "I really need to see Kera." he says to no one in particular. He knows that will brighten his mood instantly, and knows full well what the coping mechanisms are that work for him. He says no more about servitude, nor does he comment on what Sairon said. He knows full well he could bolt if he wants, "I bought my robe anyway." is all he will say.

Head-nodding shows Amethyst's agreement with what Sairon's saying. Their blue is finished then, and she tilts her head towards the shore, inviting Cyrus to walk over towards Sairon with her. "You could always send a note for Kera to come," she says, looking from one boy to the other, "but… well, you're the mindhealer and all, so you'll know better, but… shouldn't you try to find a way of making it better… without having to call on her?" She sets the bucket down, looking at Sairon to judge what he feels about her suggestion.

Sairon gives a noncommittal shrug in regards to Cyrus. He knows better than to poke too much at the prickly man. "It's almost over. Then you'll have your answer and where to go from here. Today is still today though and ya gotta get through it. If it'd mean that much to see her, ask if you can get a ride over for a few hours after duties are done. Someone around here would likely be happy to get out for awhile. You know we're here if you need to blow off steam, but, some things are private. I get it."

"I probably will…" Cyrus responds when Amy and Sai, "I do hope to see her before the hatching. Before either…." Clearly not particularly happy or disappointed with either outcome, such is the ambiguity that marks his life at present. When she goes on, however, his face frowns as he moves away from the dragon toward her and Sairon, "You act as if I'm on the verge of depression or something. I'm positively beaming in comparision to how I was when I lived over at Xanadu. This place might have its problems and I might grouse about them, but seriously….there is no comparison. Seriously…whatever happens you two, stay away from that place. It's….cursed or something." Not that Cyrus believes in that sort of thing.

"Xanadu is cursed?" Amethyst blinks, running her wet fingers through her short hair. The motion leaves it sticking up - which isn't helped by her ruffling it at the end. "Look, Cy, like Sairon said, we're here if you need us. I was just suggesting something… you don't have to listen. It's ok." She offers him a coy, crooked smile, reaching out to pat his shoulder, if he'll allow it. "We've got Xanadu on our list of places after Fort. Why's it cursed?"

Therynn has done a good job at recovering, and retracting since that fateful night where lives were threatened and some were taken. The young huntress has kept to herself a great deal over the past sevenday, sorting through the sordid mess that has clouded her being. Today is a new day, and despite some apprehensions to wander anywhere that's not carved in to the cliffside the calling to be outside cannot be quelled. To the lakeshore she goes, hugging the water's edge, walking barefoot. Up ahead she sees a group of Candidates, waving with an approach she says "Hi guys. How goes?"

"Never been there." Sairon says, and though he glances towards Amythest he seems disinclined to breech the topic of Xanadu. "I know my mom never seemed fond of 'em but I only went past the place. I like it here though. Think I might stick around, regardless of what happens. There's good people here." The arrival of Therynn brings him to look up from where he's standing mostly on the shore and the others winding up washing a few dragons with other candidates. "Hey there, Therynn. It's going. What about you?"

"I do listen to you guys." he says. He might not always like what they have to say, but he does take it into account, which given who Cyrus is, is a big deal that they might not always fully appreciate. He doesn't shy away from the pat on the shoulder, Amy is his friend after all, "Why it's cursed I couldn't tell you, but the effects I can elaborate on to great detail. First off…the old weyrwoman there betweened herself into oblivion not all that long ago. The new weyrwoman and weyrleader there aren't at all up to the job…no good is going to come from that, and don't get me started on the people there…not nice at all. I'm with Sairon, I'm staying here no matter what." He gives a wave to Therynn and smiles, "Hi Rynn. Good to see you."

Amethyst's nose wrinkles at what Cyrus has to say about Xanadu. "Well, cursed or not, it's down on Tashryn's list. I'll be headed there eventually after the Hatching, though we've got a couple of stops in between." She gives Therynn a finger-wiggled wave and a nod of hello, before canting her head as she looks at Sairon. "Is it you who's travelled a lot? You know, meeting so many people and trying to keep their stories straight is hard - but I think that's you?"

Therynn puts on a 'happy' face, though it has become much more genuine as days pass, conversations are had and self reflecting is done. Her smile beams, only a smidge less brightly than it used to. Her stride is no longer pained, although less self-assure than it once was. Breathing still provokes small twinges of pain, and hair is still parted to cover regrowing of bald spot but the unbearable lightness of being has become much easier to bear. The glistening water illuminates hazel eyes which look to Sairon, Cyrus and Amethyst. "I'm pretty ok thanks. It is.. going. Good to see you guys too. I came t'help now that I'm cleared for duty. What're y'all talking about?" She asks catching only a snippet of Cyrus' statement and Ame's intentions of traveling.

The stitched knife slash high on Sairon's abdomen is visible thanks to sans-shirt, but he's pointedly not far in the water due to it. His talking is slightly muffled thanks to his broke nose, but otherwise he looks pretty sound for an all out bar-style brawl with the Renegade. "Good you got cleared. Few of us got a good beating, but we came out on top. Just chatting about Xanadu some, nothing too fancy."

Therynn nods to Sairon, brows furrowing at stitches and the state of broken nose with associated muffled speech. "M'really glad we're all ok." She says to the shirtless Candidate "I was hurtin' fer certain but am on the mend."

"About Xanadu, yes," Amethyst echoes Sairon, smiling softly at Therynn. "Cyrus was saying it's cursed, and since I'm headed that way after the Hatching I was hoping someone might be able to explain why." She sets down her bucket of half-used soapsand and the brush she was using to clean the blue's hide, then sighs. "You know, if I had to clean a dragon as big as that every day, I'd have muscles to here." A hand about her head shows where 'here' is, and she rolls her eyes as she lowers it again.

"Better a little hurt, coulda gone a lot worse." Sairon says to Therynn with a nod of his head. "Wasn't going to let them take any of us, though, not if I could help it. Might have been a dumb move, sure, but there wasn't going back from it. It turned out alright in the end." He looks back to Amethyst with a wide grin. "Yah, it's a workout for sure. One of the chores of my sister and I was helping wash our dad's bronze. We'd have helped my mom, but, Avarinth does /not/ like children let alone most people. So, we stayed well away from her."

Cyrus listens as everyone chimes in about various things, "I suppose in the end whats important is that we are all safe, and for the moment here in a good place with relatively decent people. And of course us candidates are amazingly awesome…and if we are weyrlings we'll be awesome then too." he responds.

Therynn nods to Sairon, brows furrowing at stitches and the state of broken nose with associated muffled speech. "M'really glad we're all ok." She says to the shirtless Candidate "I was hurtin' fer certain but am on the mend." A warm smile and head wobble agrees in reference to no Candidate left behind "Me either." Regarding Xanadu she has little opinion, knowing very little about the area and choosing to stay out of the gossip. To Cyrus she smirks "Relatively decent.." there's a giggle here and she's just about to say something to Amethyst when bluerider T'rilan jaunts over and grabs her arm "Over 'ere Candidate.." he says pulling her towards the newest line up of arrivals. "I got special orders for you girl." There is no reluctance, knowing extra chores will be doled out aplenty for the mishap. "See y'all for curfew.." says Rynn, knowing the tasks ahead will take most the day.

"Dumb, but brave." On the verge of a laugh, Amethyst's grin is wide and tooth-flashing. "And at least you've had experience with your folks' dragons, huh? I've never had to bathe one in my life." Therynn being called away is a surprise, but the Smith-turned-Candidate still calls a farewell after her. "Actually, boys, I'm going to head on back to the barracks myself. I've got nursery duty next, and I need to be dry for that." She's currently dripping from being in the lake, standing in her own shoreside puddle. "See you back at the barracks?" Sairon is saluted, Cyrus gets a shoulder-squeeze, and then the turns tail to trot on back to their home-of-the-moment.


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