==== January 5, 2014
==== Nora, Prymelia
==== A brief encounter while cleaning up.

Who Nora, Prymelia
What A brief encounter while cleaning up.
When There are 0 turns, 3 months and 18 days until the 12th pass.
Where Baths, Southern Weyr

Nora24.jpg Prym%201.png


The steamy fog of the baths could be an entirely different world, transitioning from the well-lit brilliance of the inner caverns: a different world entirely, one wrought in dreams and humid fog. Steam lifts from hot waters, obscuring those who bathe within, drenching any who dare enter. Well-maintained, well-stocked, the baths offer pre-netted portions of soapsand in various scents, fluffy towels in orderly rows, and five separate spring-fed pools, all of differing temperature: from scorching hot to soothing chill.

It's a quiet afternoon in the baths, not a prime bathing time for weyrfolk, between the waves of wingriders. There are a few figures here amid the steam: a pair of older boys in the far pool, an ancient woman attempting some aquatic calisthenics, a rider — thickly and freshly scarred but healing — taking care as he washes. And there's Nora. She's just coming out of the changing area in her bathing shift, something pale and gunky on the side of her head, her face pinched in displeasure as she hurries toward the water.

Quiet is exactly what Prymelia could do with right now. Quiet and a long hot soak in the baths to slough away the dust of the road, the three lads that had tagged along with her back to the Weyr, currently nowhere to be seen. Travel-weary, the trader wearing breeches, boots and an oversized man's shirt, enters the bathing caverns with barely a glance for the few that occupy the area. Her mind a million dragon-lengths away and a contemplative frown on her face, she's almost on top of Nora before she notices the assistant headwoman. Coming to an abrupt halt at the scurry of movement, the other woman is set with an unreadable look, the gunk on the side of her head eyed. "Did the cook explode a batch of bead dough again?" A slip of sardonic humor slipping through as she drops her shoulder bag to a nearby bench and begins tugging her boots off.

Nora, nary so distant, manages to duck around Prymelia without much of a glance, wading straight into the water. "Worse," she answers, muttered as if she'd rather not open her mouth lest some of that substance manage to migrate far enough to… Oh, too awful to consider. But that's all she has time for, that single word, before she's ducking her head under the water, shaking and smoothing her glopped hair away from her face and straightening over the surface again with a shudder. "Ugh." No, that's not enough. "Ugh ugh!" But it's a little better now, enough that she can start for the soapsand. "Baby sick." Pity her, she's been barfed on.

Rather worn riding boots tugged off and set to one side, socks come off next and are stuffed into the footwear. Rising, Prymelia pads over to a screen, Nora's disgust at the stuff clinging to her hair, drawing a thread of amusement through the weary trader. There's even a suspicious muffle of noise from behind the screen that could well be a stifled chuckle when the assistant headwoman reveals the source of her distress. Wrapping a towel about her, Prymelia reappears and indeed fits the other woman with a pitying look. "Which is why I'd rather be on the delivery end than the maintenance end," she quips and dropping her towel, slides into the same pool, wading a wide berth around any baby puke riddled water.

"Catching or pushing?" Nora wonders without looking, too busy getting the soap across her face and down her neck. "They just handed her to me for a minute and…" Blerhk, apparently. Anyway, the soapsand will simply not do for her hair, so the headwoman sets to rinsing her face off, blinking water from her lashes and then poking about for a better product. "I could do without either," catching or pushing. "But it's not like Renalde is eager to get involved with that sort of women's business." She uses just the right stiffness of tone with those last two words. But nevermind all that. "Where have you been?"

The horrified look that sweeps across Prymelia's face just before she ducks under the water to wet her hair for a good scrubbing probably says it all. Coming back up again and sweeping the water from her face, she's quick to clarify. "Dear Lords and Ladies. Catching!" Reaching for a nearby pouch of sweetsand scented with something akin to Jasmine that she'd set down before slipping into the pool, "My mother's the midwife for our clan." The trader goes on to add. "I helped her out sometimes after my sister married." Eyes shut while hands work her hair up into a frothy lather, there's a pause and a tight grimace that suggests the Headman is so not a person she wants to be discussing while bathing. "Out on the road." Comes her initially terse reply. "Earning my place." A sardonic note slipping in.

There's a quick laugh from Nora for the speed and certainty of Prymelia's clarification. "Healers do most of it, but I suppose there's a tradition to have the headwoman, I don't know, involved to some degree. Or, well, whoever is closest to that." Which would end up being her, even if she isn't exactly dripping with maternal comfort. And so with some gentler soap located and applies to her hair, she makes her own crown of froth and glances over at the trader. "How's the road? Is there really a place to earn? I admit, I can never quite tell if you… belong to us or not." Not that she seems particularly troubled by it.

Scrub-scrubbing at her scalp and then rubbing at the longer ends of her hair between her palms, Prymelia ducks under the water to rinse off, hands slicking over her head and squeezing out the excess water. Swiping her eyes clear of liquid she sets Nora with a long look for her last comment. "And what would make it easier for you to tell?" She asks, naturally husky voice free of the snark that might have been leveled if it were say, the other woman's superior that had made such a remark.

Nora cants her head to slide a questioning look as the traders gaze rests on her for such a long beat. "I don't know," comes the easy impulse of uncertainty. "I suppose it depends on what you want. What you're looking for. I'm not sure I've really… heard that part." There's a quirk of a smile on her lips, the conspiring glint of an eye. "Did you hear anything on the road? I've wondered, some, with Keroon, if there won't be people looking to abandon their farms for better security, maybe return north." In other words, jumping ship on this whole resettling-the-south adventure. The answers might need to wait a second, though, while she bobs below the water again to rinse her hair.

Waiting until Nora's done just that; the trader busies herself with hitching herself up onto an underwater ledge and soaping her legs. When next the other woman is above water, her reply given is one considered. "A base out of which to run my own caravan. A place to call home where I'm not being judged by my gender and where my father isn't trying to marry off to some old git I've never met." A pause and then her gaze lifts along with her chin. "Independence." That having been said, she drops her leg back into the water and begins on her arms. "The opposite in fact," Pryemlia tells the assistant headwoman. "Three families practically shoved their sons at me along with provisions to pay for their keep." One arm done she starts on the other with a soft snort. "Up north is where it happened. There are those that believe down here in the South is safer for the time being."

It's probably no stretch to imagine that Nora started this day with a bath that met her exacting requirements, and that, aside from the baby vom, she has little else to tend here now. She's slow, though, in moving toward the edge, her eyes downcast in thought. "Independence," she muses, mostly to herself. But word of people fleeing to the south brings a bit of a grin to her lips. "I hadn't thought of it that way." And it's full of possibilities, or so says the scheming in the glance she tosses around the steamy space. "You'll have to come by and tell me more. I have a meeting I have to get to." It's something of an apology, and indication that she'd like to linger but can't. She climbs out and drips her way toward the changing area, a towel snagged on her way.

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