==== January 3rd, 2013
==== Donatien, T'ral
==== T'ral isn't sure what kind of boots Prymelia would need. Donatien sets him straight.

Who Donatien, T'ral
What T'ral isn't sure what kind of boots Prymelia would need. Donatien sets him straight.
When There are 0 turns, 3 months and 21 days until the 12th pass.
Where Southern Weyr


Donatien's Workroom
This is a true work-room - benches line the walls of this room, and tools are hung with care along the wall. A heavy desk, covered in scraps of fabric, leather, string, and tools lined up by size, sits along one wall, a heavy wooden chair tucked under it.
A cobbler's bench sits in the middle of the room, backed by a large tool-chest that is piled with coloured leathers varying in softness and thickness.
As a nod to the rest of the Weaver's duties, a sewing desk is tucked into a corner, stacked with several rolls of fabric and watched over by a silent dress-form.
Above the benches, shoes and boots hang from racks, lined by sex, size, colour, and finally types. A more reinforced rack supports the heavier work boots that laymen use for working the Weyr itself.

On a warm, sunny morning, the apprentices are scurrying back and forth, celebrating Southern's spring weather. Donatien is taking a quiet, late morning - if he had any, his hair would be mussed, but he just looks a bit sleepy, dressed in casual clothes. He's leaning back at his office desk, just observing the rack of shoes along the wall while a mug of steaming klah is in hand and occasionally sipped. Quiet Southern morning.

It's edging toward late morning, so T'ral is half-way through a busy day. Breakfast. Wing meeting. Drills. Bath. Normally, he'd be headed for another meal (and may have brought it with him), but today he's got a leathers folded into a neat bundle and a pair of well-too-small-for-him boots in his hands. He nods a greeting at Donatien, "Morning, Weaver." It had been a turn since he'd placed an order, but the store looks much the same, stock changed, the many catalog images might be different, but T'ral's not got much of an eye for such things. That's what Donatien's for. "I've a question for you and possibly an order. Depending."

Donatien looks up, entirely startled as there's suddenly someone else in the room. Still, a languorous smile stretches over the Weaver's face: "Good morning, sir. My apologies," a hand gestures over the informal clothing, "I'm still not used to leaving my door open for drop-ins." Some habits go Between very hard, but that's neither here nor there - Dien takes a long sip of klah, eyeing what the young Wingrider has brought, "How can I help you this morning?" A wry grin at the boots, "If you don't mind my analysis, those boots are a little, ahh, outside your personal style?" Unless there's something T'ral hasn't been forthcoming about, but that's not a Weaver's business… until he needs to make measurements.

"My apologies," T'ral looks at the door. "I'd have knocked," he shrugs, his arms are bundley. T'ral could give a wherry toot about the kind or quality of Donatien's dress, so long as he's dressed. T'ral is wearing clothes he commissioned back before weyrlinghood, recently brought back out now that the weryrling uniforms are a thing of the past. For all that he doesn't pay much mind to clothes, he's sharp and neat as a pin, a product of his upbringing no doubt. The boots in question -the ones in his arms- are old, sloppy, ill-loved and all around hostile-looking things. T'ral leans over to set the leathers down on a footstool and comes back up with the boots. He looks around for somewhere to put them, grinning, "Ah, heh, they're not for me." He grimaces, cocking his head, "Can you make boots for someone from boots that don't fit them?" He winces realizing the improbability, "It's a surprise, so I can't really have her in."

Donatien nods shortly, taking a moment to drain the rest from his mug. He doesn't stand up; from one hand gently rubbing at his knee, the new weather has left him feeling a bit less get-up-and-go than usual. He does share a semi-disgusted look at the old boots, professional sensibilities offended for a moment. As for shaping boots, Dien gives a slightly watery grin, "Ahh, alas, to truly fit a foot, I must see the foot in question," a disappointing response, Dien is aware, so he offers a second option, "However, if I've shod this person before," there's a faint grin at the cross-Hall reference, "I can provide a relatively good guess." According to Donatien's grimace, this is not his favourite way of working. "Has this woman," by the look of the boots, "been to my shop before?"

T'ral's face falls that the boots won't be useful. He'd figured. He shifts, brow furrowing, "That's what I was afraid of." Idly, he looks around for that handsy Apprentice. Arnaut? Arnaud? His eyebrows raise at Donatien's lifeline, "Ah. I'm not sure. Have you made anything for Prymelia, the Trader?" His eyes are lit, hopeful. He's got it bad. Poor kid.

Crushing hopes is never pleasant, and Donatien does look apologetic: "If I were to even try, I could cause more damage to her body than do good by improving on those." There's little question of what Donatien's referring to, but he won't offend his eyes further by looking at the pair that T'ral brought in. Alas, Arnaut is off on a little break or mission; whichever, the young man isn't here. Dien does offer a little grin at the name of the intended recipient: "Ahh, Prymelia." Dien falls silent for a moment, eyes casting along the wall before he says absently, "I haven't made footwear for her, but I have made a business deal with her over a pair of walking sandals." Is that enough? Dien hmms, "I think that would be enough for size…" One hand reaches out for one of her old boots, "And this might tell me enough of her wear-pattern…" The Cobbling Weaver is off in his own little world of leather and soles right now, please leave a message after the tone, beep.

Beeeeep. Uh. This is T'ral, you can reach me at 6 Dopey-over-Prymelia lane. T'ral hands the boots over, hearing in Donatien's voice a descent into his milieu. He leans forward as if, a little closer, he could see the workings of the Weaver's brain. "Ah, I can show you where those," a flicker of a glower, he's not fond of them either, "Cut on her feet." Though Donatien can probably tell.

Donatien don't do no housecalls, but he accepts the boot readily enough, peering at the sole, along where the boot meets the sole, the location of any cracks or tears in the boot, inside the boot. Dien wonders, "Would Miss Prymelia be offended if these boots were… taken apart?" The Weaver is looking at the boot like this is the only hope for this pair. "I can tell where they're pressing, certainly," Dien's nose is practically in the boot, and then a hand to feel around inside, "The leather inside will wear different, and in time, that will reveal in cracks, stress, and discolouration on the outside, especially in poorly constructed, or boots that should have been retired Turns ago."

T'ral's rueful grin is answer enough, "I can assure you that she would not miss these boots in the slightest." Except maybe right very now as she's traipsing about the Southern Wilds without them in the mud and the muck. Whoops. As much as he can without getting in Donatien's way, T'ral is trying to peer into the boots too, but shiny dome in the way! He winces as Donatien picks out the very spots that rubbed blisters on the Prymlelia's feet. He leans away, fingers drumming lightly on the worksurface, "So. Can you do it?"

Donatien nods, unaware of where Prymelia is at this time. "Wonderful. I hope her sandals are still giving her feet pleasure." That's said absently as the Weaver continues to examine one boot closely, then the other. "Miss Prymelia's other footwear was in roughly the same shape as these," Dien comments, slowly coming out of Cobbler-mania. As to if this job is possible? "I can create a basic sole and boot, relatively shaped to her foot, but it will not be perfectly bespoke," Dien says, though he does offer an option, "It might actually be better to choose from the boots that I have on the wall," a wave of one hand at the wall of footwear, "And it would be more timely and," there's a gentle pause, "affordable." He's aware what new Wingriders get as stipend, he's been around, and, "I can show you a selection of boots in her size range and decor."

"They're very complicated!" T'ral boggles, a trifle indignant, remembering all the difficult strappy bits, eyes distant. His ears go a bit red, remembering his company. He clears his throat minutely, "Ah… eh… she loves them," he supplies quickly. He looks at the boots already assembled, brow furrowing. They're handsome. Oh. Colors. He hadn't even considered what color would work. Brown, he was thinking. That went with lots of things, right? Classic. He sighs, "Those are handsome boots." He looks at the old-cruddy boots and raises his hand, "Even I can tell the difference between these," he gestures at the terrible boots, "and those," he nods at Dien's wares, "But… mightn't they still rub?" He scratches at a jaw, a grimace drawn one side of his face into a fan of worried wrinkles. Hateful boots had rubbed Prymelia's feet pretty raw.

Too polite to smirk at T'ral's indignation, Dien still smiles knowingly, "But they do look quite marvelous on her, if I remember." Dien sits back into his chair, watching the young man's perusal of the works of wearable art he's put up there. His boots and these miscreants? Dien snorts, "There's little comparison, but that they go over the foot," and this Cobbler's not ashamed to sound a bit arrogant, though that passes quickly as he points out, "Any new boot will require a 'breaking in' period, for the leather to stretch to the wearer's use and movement." The shrug that follows is unconcerned, "It's when the shoe doesn't adjust adequately after that period that we know we haven't found the right fit." Don't we! But before there's much time to protest, Dien also adds, "So we find the best fit and wait for the shoe and the wearer to fit together." If Pern had an alternate belief system, Dien's would be footwear.

The bluerider concedes, "They do look lovely." Ahem. Business to do. He shakes his head, "But not for traipsing the wilds. Which she is content to do in her sandals because of these," hateful boots gestured at. T'ral has worn two sets of pre-made Donatien boots, so he really shouldn't be concerned overmuch. "Out of curiosity, how much for a fully-custom pair? And how long? Wouldn't a partially custom pair stand a better chance of … breaking in well?" For all that he's bucking for custom boots, he's open to guidance. He turns his attention to the boots displayed, picking up a shapely pair of almost knee-high boots in gleaming brown. They have a low square heel and some light detailing in the stichwork, fanciful feathery filigree, gleaming iridescent, but -T'ral notes- not overdone. Handsome. There're even straps. Yay. Turning them over in his hands -because clearly he knows what he's looking for- he asks, "Would these work well as both work boots and riding boots?"

Donatien raises one thick eyebrow, "I would imagine 'content' is not the best word. Some people wear their boots so long that they become used to them." Dark eyes run over the wall of footwear, Dien steepling his fingers in thought. "A good bespoke pair," Dien starts, "Is approximately two marks, and five seven-days." There's a small one-sided grin, "Some of the footwear in my collection were bespoke, but their buyers decided half-way through building the shoes, that they needed something more immediate." Dien looks at the pair T'ral has touched, "Those are decent riding boots, but more for show. And," tragic look! "I would hesitate to subject those to a long day's work, especially when the wearer might be going through rougher terrain." Dien might not be talking about the ground, either. "What about those to the left? No… yes, those under your hand there," as T'ral moves his hand according to direction: "Those would be about her footsize and shape." The ones Donatien has pointed out are clearly riding boots - the small half-inch heel, the shaft ending just under the knee, but etched into the leather is a subtle pattern of ribbons and bows, only clearly distinguished in a certain light: "Those are much less showy, yet still pretty and feminine if the situation calls for it."

"No. 'Content' isn't the right word exactly, but you take my meaning." He puts the showy boots down and hrms as he looks along the row. He inhales sharply at expense and fixes Donatien with a rueful look, "Yeah. I probably shouldn't spend that much." The time, the time he could swing. Though… she really shouldn't be without good workboots. "I rather think she'd like showy boots." He picks up the boots Donatien had directed him to. Pretty. He peers down the barrel of the boot, leather smell rich. "Do you have anything with a bit of color? Or a stone or something?" Prymelia is nigh pathologically attracted to detail. T'ral not so much. Looking for a happy medium. He's rather afraid that if they're not striking, she won't wear them. Of course, if they fit better than her old boots, maybe that would be enough.

How to put this delicately? Donatien exhales slightly and tries, "Most women love showy boots - the problem is that, on the road, other people might like them too." Dien isn't one to raise alarm unduly, but he's been around enough taverns: "Colours are nice, yes, but a stone would likely be asking for unwanted attention." Unless it was limestone, but who wants limestone on their boots? "Why don't you look down thataways," Dien gestures a bit further down the line, "There's a dark green pair that I made a while back that might be suitable." Dien does think a bit further, "Unless you would take a pair of plain tall boots and a pair of shorter, more decorative ones to keep for special occasions?" He starts recalling others, some plain but the pattern of dye beautiful, others wherhide and likely overly warm for Southern's climes, but he directs T'ral back and forth along the line, then starts explaining the artistry and construction of each pair, pausing only when Arnaut brings in a mid-morning snack. T'ral wanted boots? After this, he may never see a pair of boots the same way again.

Naive, this one. By one miracle or another, T'ral is un- or at the very least under-exposed to the seedy underbelly of Pern. He simply hadn't considered that showy boots would mark Prymelia out. Only that she'd like them. He gives the ribbon-stitched boots another look, a frown of worry tracing across his brow, wondering where Prymelia is and how she was faring. And if she'd be home soon. He gives his head a shake, returning his attention to the Weaver, listening attentively thereafter to Donatien's description of each of the boots, storing the information, cataloguing. A good while in he'd picked out a set of boots. A darkly handsome deep chestnut colored pair with understated stitching of stylized flowering vines at the seams along ankles and shaft. Concession to color? A removable tooled band of leaves and flowers dyed in jewel tones, the straps cross over inset, in front of heel and around the counter, three straps held together with round metal rings. Colorful strappy bits with buckles- she'd love it. And removeable. Good idea Donatien! (and he'd rake up on T'ral buying new strappy bits in this color or that). Even after he'd settled on those boots he listens to Donatien's impromptu cobblering lecture, expanding T'ral's knowledge of boots, boot history and boot manufacture by orders of magnitude. He is, thus, startled when Arnaut makes an appearance. He glances at a sand timer on Donatien's shelf, "Is that the time!?" He gives Donatien his due and waits with ill concealed impatience as an apprentice lovingly (READ: slowly) bundles the boots for the bluerider. Waiting, rolling from toe to heel, bouncing as he rolls forward, he settles back, stilling. "Thanks for taking the time to explain things. I think she's going to love them." He grins. Poor, poor kid. And finally the wrapping is done. Leathers tucked under one arm and boots under the other, T'ral backs through the door a quick bow and nod for his respects and, in a twinkling, is gone, leaving Donatien to his -this late in the morning- now woefully underdress-ed-ness.

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