====December 15, 2013
====Ranivar, Mienta
====Water-crazy people who also like maps meet.

Who Ranivar, Mienta
What Water-crazy people who also like maps meet.
When There are 0 turns, 5 months and 18 days until the 12th pass.
Where River Clearing, Southern Weyr



River Clearing
Just north of the river delta, the jungle's grip loosens enough to expose the sand-enriched soil and lichen-kissed rocks as the river battles through the rapids before dumping into the gentler delta. Cacophony of sound is made through the roar of the rapids, the spray of white water as it rains upon the nearby shores, and the shrieking of birds and wild firelizards that call from the nearby jungles. Treacherous to cross, most would follow the bank to either the river's delta or the calmer river bank, but a few courageous souls find the lure of the rapids too tempting to not cross as the far bank holds the promise of accomplishment.

This is winter in New Southern Weyr; it's probably like winter in Old Southern, too, but Mienta wouldn't know. She'd never actually been to the Southern Continent before her move here, and she has only just begun to get used to the way the weather works, and the seasons — they're backward, from the North, but winter never really seems like winter. (Not that winter at Ista seemed much like winter, either.) Mienta seems perfectly satisfied with the weather, however, as she is walking barefoot near the riverbank in only pants cut off just below the knee and a loose twill top with three-quarter-length sleeves. She is also drawing. While walking. So it can't be a very good drawing.

At first they're distant, barely heard over the roar of the rapids nearby. Then, louder: a series of WOOOOOs travels with a red-headed man in a boat that leaps through the treacherous whitewaters. "Whoo!" One last exclamation for posterity, and Ranivar makes his way to the shore, paddling in a way that could almost be called cavalier or smug, and hops out of the boat in nothing but swimming trunks, pulling it to shore with one hand across the scrape of pebble and sand. He runs a hand through his hair, notices the nearby occupant, and grins broadly. "Lovely day, eh?"

Mienta lowered her sketchbook to get a better look in the noise's general direction before she could even see anyone attached to it — once she figured out the sounds were ones of pleasure and not of complete and total terror, she stopped having to worry about a potential rescue and could instead laugh. By the time Ranivar actually gets to where she's standing, she's grinning. "It is," the dolphineer agrees, pushing a bit of hair that had been offset by the wind away from her face. "Surprisingly for this time of year, I would think, but maybe not. Do you do that often?" A gesture, with the sketchbook, at the boat.

"As often as I can," Ranivar says, his grin still one of total bliss as he takes a moment to carefully wring out the sides of his dripping trunks. "This is a right wonderful change from High Reaches and Ruatha. All this fur was less helpful than you'd think during their winters both biting and rainy." Finished with his brief, idle task, he pats his shorts one last time and bows, regulation perfect. "I hope I didn't intrude on your private thoughts with my entrance. As for myself, it's a joy to come across even more beauty in this already stunning setting. Journeyman Harper Ranivar. And, if I may be so bold, how may I address you?"

"No, just working, nothing I can't always finish later —" Mienta is not too fantastic with compliments, and so she diverts her glance toward her hands for a moment, but at least she does actually manage to send it back to his face rather quickly. "Mienta," she says. "Journeyman dolphineer, but you're welcome to just use my name. And you might have to show me how to do that, at some point." She hasn't got a boat of her own, and the dolphins, while incredibly playful, are not inclined to go white-water rafting. Not quite like that anyway.

Another bow bends the Harper at his waist, and his smile is definitely on the boyish side. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance then, Mienta," he replies, then straightens. "Dolphincraft, you said? I'm surprised you've not taken to the rivers here already of your own volition." Frowning slightly, Ranivar gives Mienta a purely professional once over, running a hand over his mustache and beard with idle contemplation (though it's hard to hide the small raising of his eyebrows in appreciation. "Strong upper arms, and an experienced swimmer. No need to ask then if you've a proper swimming suit, then. The two piece affairs aren't precisely practical." Then he shrugs, his easy smile returning along with a glint to his eyes. "I've never thought of how to go about teaching someone how to, as they say, 'shoot the rapids'. Gitar, certainly, but… hrm." His attention shifts to the drawing in Mienta's hands, and now his eyebrows raise in earnest. "Oh, what's that you were working on?"

With a small smile at his surprise, Mienta clarifies, "Not in a boat. Dolphins can do some crazy things in the name of fun, but shooting down rapids like that — I suspect the calves would get in trouble with their parents and the adults wouldn't want to risk injury." Humans, of course, are welcome to risk injury and the dolphins will just (metaphorically) shake their heads and come dig them out again. "I promise I would not be caught dead in a two piece swimsuit. It's a map," finally, the answer. "Of this area. Helps to walk it while doing a preliminary sketch."

Nodding, eyes intense, and murmuring assent, it's impossible to accuse Ranivar of not being a good listener. His smile is indulgent at talk of dolphins, and very faintly naughty at the talk of swimsuits. Talk of maps, though, has him fully shooting his Harper Ray at Mienta. "Cartography? You don't say! Before I settled on teaching the basics of music, I considered pursuing that as my focus! Would you mind if I took a little peek? I don't want to hold it, though. I'm still a touch sodden from my river run on this lovely winter afternoon."

It's an awkward angle, but Mienta holds up the sketch so he can see it — and it really is sketchy, but for sketched lines they still look well-trained. "I have absolutely no musical skill whatsoever, so I can't say we're quite even, but I do at least enjoy listening," is her acquiescence to any interest in his career field. "And funnily enough cartography wasn't my first choice, but I ended up here. And with a place so uncharted as this —" She pretty much just looks a little enraptured with the whole thing. Someplace that has literally no maps of it. And she's the cartographer there.

Mienta's enthusiasm is infectious, at least to Ranivar, and his posture falls fully into nearly childlike glee. "You are luuuucky," he says, drawing it out with more than a hint of envy as he scans the scribbles with wide, dark eyes. "What have you found out here? Have you at least taken a guide into the deep jungles to help with the big cats? Have you run into difficulties? Is that squiggle part of the river delta or is it supposed to be some part of the landscape itself?" The questions are rapid fire, interspersed with pauses as he scans the sketch intently.

"Um — that's rock crag; I haven't been in the jungles yet at all to be perfectly honest, not more than about fifty feet or so in because nobody wants me getting eaten and I don't have rider friends or anything, and the deep seascape is amazing." Mienta was initially trained to map underwater, of course, so she's been doing a lot of that — not, unfortunately, that she has it with her in her more compact sketchbook. "Rocks and reefs and everything. It's very colorful."

Ranivar just gapes here, for a moment. "You're serious? You can do that yourself? Well, I mean, with your dolphin companion. Don't you run into problems if you hold your breath for too long or go too deep?" He's scootched in closer to Mienta at this point, their shoulders almost touching. "Most importantly… what's it LIKE down there? I've dreamed of seeing it, but I'm still primarily a land animal."

"Dark, the deeper you get," Mienta explains with a soft laugh. That's probably the most basic thing one could say about deepwater swims. "And yes, you're not supposed to go down for too long and if you go too deep you can't get back up again — though that's part of where the dolphins come in, they'll get you up and down quicker than you could alone. Coming up too fast after being very deep can lead to pressurization sickness though which — that might be too much detail. Anyway, I have a divesuit. Without that I wouldn't be doing it, so I wouldn't recommend that, say, weyrbrats go on deepsea excursions."

Posted incomplete by request of Ranivar-player who had RL happen. This will actually get finished, promise!

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