==== December 20, 2013
==== Jithan, Sara, Aaron, Mailli
==== Sara goes to see what it would cost to keep the Northern Harpers out of the loop.

Who Jithan, Sara, Aaron, Mailli
What Sara goes to see what it would cost to keep the Northern Harpers out of the loop.
When There are 0 turns, 5 months and 3 days until the 12th pass.
Where Harper's Wing, Smith's Wing

sara.jpg, jithan.jpg, Aaron

Harper's Wing
"Large and open, this particular cave room has been scrubbed to the bare rock, and then repainted in vibrant Harper blue. Long tables have been set up as desks, with chairs spaced evenly behind them, and a large chalkboard on wheels dominates the front of the classroom. The walls are lined with various cubbies, shelves, and doors, holding a variety of supplies, instruments, and offices. One corner of the room as been given over to painting, a cloth laid under an easel to protect the stone floor, and various pots of paint, brushes, and canvasses sit at the ready for those with an artistic bent.

"Always get lost let me see… he said…" Sara mutters to herself as she turns a corner. The bright Harper blue greets her eyes and she sighs with evident relief. A once over of the room has a small smile breaking out onto her face, so familiar. She steps boldly into the area, searching for a harper.

Jithan just happens to be, at that moment, stepping out of his office. He turns as he pulls the door shut, locking it behind him before he turns back towards the exit, and sees…. A woman. With a knot that's similar to his own, but with the colors of a different Weyr. Recognition slowly dawns, and he smiles. "So, after all that, the bastards went and promoted you, huh? Well met indeed, /Senior/ Journeyman Sara," he says, extending a hand in greeting. "I'm Jithan, late of the Hall at Fort. What brings you way down this way?"

Sara's gaze upon Jithan is measured and cool, the gaze of one who has learned much too late much too often that smiles do not always mean what they show. As he speaks however, a small wry smile breaks upon her face. "Very unexpected, I will assure you. But, I am afraid you have me at a disatvantage Senior Journeyman, For you know of me, and I know little of you."

Jithan chuckles a little, shaking his head. "The whole bloody Hall, or at least the more senior of us, know about you, Sara. And I had a bit of a personal interest in your success. That ass they saddled you with was a classmate of mine, many Turns ago. I hear your man gave him quite the attitude adjustment." A sly little grin accompanies his words, and he spreads his hands open. "Ask and ye shall receive. What would you like to know?"

Sara's gaze softens slightly, "It is good to hear others share the same opinion of him as I do. Sometimes I wonder if his placement is not as much a punishment as my own." Forced to work with a WOMAN? Curiosity dances in Sara's voice as she asks, "Are you here from the weyr proper? Or are you one of those who cut ties to go to Southern?"

Jithan chuckles at the idea, shrugging. "Who can tell, our betters work in mysterious ways," he says with a wink. The idea of Peaston being forced to work with a woman /does/ amuse him, but as far as Jithan's concerned, Sara hasn't done anything to deserve being forced to work with Peaston! "I was sent here by the Hall to spy on the Weyr," he says simply. No doubt, anyone would've assumed such anyways. "I've been sending back reports on the comings and goings, and how the Crafters down here are doing. Faranth only knows if anyone's reading them."

"Stubborn idiots." Sara shakes her head slowly and sighing. "This," She pokes at the knot showing her promotion, "I think was less about acknowledging their idiocy, and more because some customers have wondered why Peaston outranks me. Bad for business you see." A half smile creases her face, "So tell me, Harper Jithan. What kind of mischief is Southern planning? Will the hall need to step in and save the souls of the children?"

Jithan laughs a little, shaking his head. "Some of the children down here, I'm convinced they have no souls. But, the ones that do? No one's going to need to save them. They'll grow up well-rounded, and very educated, if I do say so myself." He winks, shrugging. "No mischief that I've been able to find, though. A lot of sharing of old, lost techniques, but no mischief."

"So, people being sensible." Sarcasm drips liberally from Sara's lips. "What an innovation. I wonder, if the hall is reading, perhaps it can be contagious."

Jithan grins, and then can't hold back the laughter. "I'll tell you what, I'm just starting to write up this seven's report. You wanna come cough on it a couple time?" he asks, pointing over his shoulder to his office. "Anyways, what brings you down this way?"

"If only it worked that way!" Sara looks upwards to puncutate the wish. "I wanted to meet the resident harper. My friends down here mentioned that there was a new one, and I wanted to get your measure. See if you were as stiff as those up north."

"Oh, you're not the first to say that, believe me. Sadly, let's face it, as far as the apprentices are concerned, we're the stuck up, old, hidebound ones. Such is life, huh?" When she reveals her mission in coming down, he nods. "Well, I hope that I'm a bit more flexible, hmm? I think the temperature has seen to that."

"A little bit warmer then normal huh?" Sara finally relaxes completly, her curiosity satisfied for the moment. "Then let me ask you a question. How much would it take to have you… leave off something from your reports."

Jithan arches an eyebrow, studying her for a moment. "That entirely depends on what the omitted something is, Sara." A simple enough response, right? "Your visit down here? Sure, not a problem, and it won't cost you a thing. Anything else? You'll have to ask first, and find out later."

Sara waves away the offer, "I would appriciate them not knowing the particulars, but more than that…" Pause. "What is the largest instrument, do you say, that Southern has? Or another way, the most complex?"

Jithan doesn't pause, just gestures to a door that /isn't/ his office. "I've got a full floor harp in there, believe it or not. It's a pain to keep it tuned in this humidity, but it's worth it. Why?"

Ohh, Jithan has peaked Sara's interest and she will lead (if Jithan doesn't step forward to do so) into the room to examine this harp.

Jithan was already walking that way, actually, reaching into a pocket and pulling out a keyring to unlock the door. Opening it, he bows Sara into the little room, most of which is taken up by the harp itself.

The harp is coverd and Sara wastes no time removing the cover. Expert hands run over the wood and across the strings. Each tuning peg is examined for wear and tear, a smile on her face as if the harp is her new best friend. "She has been very well kept."

Jithan watches the examination from the doorway, then chuckles at the proclamation. "I do my best. Harder to get replacement pants down here then up at the Hall proper," says the man who spent the first 42 Turns of his life in said Hall.

THAT earns an unlady like snort from the skirted harper in the room. "Send up to Igen. If you'd like, I'll take all the measurements and craft the pieces myself. There is no reason to put extra strain on the instrument by having it missing the pieces it needs." Sara turns away from her examination of the harp to lay her eyes on the haper again, though one hand continues to rest lovingly on the instrument.

Jithan grins at the snort, then nods at the offer. "I think I can manage to remember that. Sara, at Igen, for parts." He watches her examination of the harp, and when she turns back around, he's grinning faintly. "So, the purpose of you asking this is…?"

"Imagine an instrument several times over more complex then this, and twice as big." Sara skirts around directly stating- her relaxed exterior becoming slightly more tense.

Jithan is leaning against the doorframe, and blinks a couple of times. "Well, that'd be quite the pain to keep tuned. You'd have to have a /very/ dedicated Harper down here to make that happen. Are any of your, ah, friends, willing to make that commitment?"

"Well. Less then you would think. Tell me, if an instrument was brought down here that was that complex, would you keep it out of your reports?" Sara raises an eyebrow. Now is the moment of truth. "Knowing what we both do about the… opinions our compatriots up north have towards the new and unusual."

Jithan is quiet for a moment, visually considering the implications. "Well, that all depends, I'm afraid… See, my orders were to report on the doings of the Weyr leadership, the oldtimer crafters, and any newtimer crafters that left their crafts to come down here. The only way I could follow my orders /and/ not report on the… instrument, would be if a nowtimer Harper, who was /assigned/ down here by the Hall, was involved with bringing it down here," he says with a wink.

Relief. "I'm sure that something of the sort could be arranged. Tell me, harper Jithan. Have you ever vacationed in Ista? It is really quite pleasent this time of year."

Smith Wing
Clearly a place where Things Happen, the Weyr's Smithy is a busy place. Long lines of wooden workbenches and tool racks greet visitors. The tops of the benches bare heavy scars of cutting and burning in some places, and remain pristine in others. One side of the area is given over to a cluster of forges, anvils, bellows, and quenching tubs. Two noticeably smaller forges are tucked off by themselves, obviously intended for finer work or even jewelry. On the opposite side of the hall, as far away from the heat and flames of the forges as possible, is an area for the woodcrafting contingent of the Weyr's Smiths. Carefully stacked cords of wood line one wall, drying before use. In the very back of the Smithy, as far as it could be from everything else, is the massive structure of a smelting furnace, fed by a set of four massive bellows that are set up to be pumped by two people each. Stairs on either side of the structure give access to the top of it, and a primitive crane assembly looms over all of that, ready to lift massive crucibles of molten metal from the furnace. Various doors, all with good locks, lead off of the open space, either to store rooms or offices for the more senior Smiths.

Even this late in the evening, the smithy is still noticeably hotter then the rest of the craft complex. Fires still glow in several of the forges, but there's just one figure working amongst them, ensuring that everything cools down at a safe and proper rate. The hulking form of Southern's Weyrsmith is king of his lonely domain this evening.

Lonely for only a little longer, for who should cross the threshold but a newly minted Senior Journeyman. "Aaron!" She calls out when she identifies his hulking frame from among the tools of his trade.

Aaron looks up at the sound of his name, a broad smile flashing white teeth against the soot-stained skin of his face. "Sara!" he calls back, making his way over. "I thought you weren't allowed down here?" As he gets closer, he turns and heads to a wash basin, quickly washing off face and forearms, toweling them dry before turning back to his guest and finally noticing the new knot. "When did that happen?!" he asks, pointing. It's not quite a salute, but it /is/ recognition!

Grim may have taken over the rest of the world, but here, tonight, everything is all smiles. Sara grins brodly and holds her arms out. "No hug my friend? "

Aaron laughs and wraps his arms around the tiny Harper, lifting her off her feet with his hug. "You know there's always a hug for you, Sara," he says before setting her back down. "Welcome back to Southern!"

Sara hugs the large smith tightly, even as his strong arms squish her quite plesantly. "Cool down here, I had almost forgotten it was winter! Igen is blazing right now, when the sandstorms are not attempting to scour us into oblivion. How are you my friend?

Aaron takes a couple steps back to ease the neck strain, and shrugs. "I'm alright. We had quite a few injuries with a events up in Keroon the other night, and now they've got me cranking out extra flamethrowers. Other then that… I'm doing really good!"

Good job Aaron, wreck the mood. "Igen was hurt badly too. A'lory came though with just slight scoring." Sara's smile has fallen slightly and she shivers, even though it is not particulary cold.

Aaron is very good at that, after all! "I'm glad it was just slight, Sara. Yules got scored too, though I don't know how badly." They're not exactly friends anymore, apparently. "Anyways, enough of that, congratulations on the promotion! When did that happen?"

"Yules? You mean Yulena, that cook that came down here impressed?" Sara shakes off that bit of news, perhaps she would look the woman up another time. "Just in the last three days. The 'why' is still a mystery, but I'm not about to say no! It puts me on equal footing now with that ass I have to share a shop with at least." Well, offically on equal footing.

Aaron tilts his head a little. "Peaston's still in Igen? I thought that A'lory would've had him… removed by now." And by 'removed', Aaron obviously means 'dropped in the middle of the desert without food, water, clothing, or possibly even skin. "At any rate, congratulations. Care for a celebratory drink?" he asks, producing the always-present flask and offering it over.

"Even A'lory cannot remove someone posted by the hall. They insist he stays and well, he stays." Sara shrugs, "he has given up Weyrsecond, so has even less now than before." The flask in hand is eyed, "My dear Smith, you do know that some of us enjoy our stomach lining in one piece?"

Aaron shrugs, uncaps the flash, and takes a long draw from it. "W'rin /let/ him give up Weyrsecond? I have to say, I'm a bit shocked. Who took his place?" Aaron may be far removed from the politics of Igen, but it still interests him. "Awww, c'mon, try this. It's just redfruit cider." For the 'winter' season, right? Right.

"W'rin doesn't strike me as someone who would keep one unwilling in a place. With the controversy over the new wing arrangements," Sara shrugs at this and leaves off the idea. "I have not found out who has replaced him yet." The flask is eyed one more time. "It it burns…" But Sara is smiling as she takes the flask, a cautious sip.

Burn? Who would think that /anything/ in one of Aaron's flasks would /burn/?! Certainly not the Smith himself. What's in there now, though, is an exceptionally mild hard cider, no stronger then beer. "Ahhhh, I see. Well, all's well that ends well, I suppose. Do I have to salute you in public, now?" he asks with a grin.

The pair stand in the middle of the forges. Sara tips the drink back to her lips again as the first taste proves the mildness. "Aaron, the day you salute me is the day the world will cease to move from summer to winter. I /did// have a favor to ask of you, if you have the time."

Mailli makes her way towards the Smith Wing of the crafter's complex. There is the sound of boxes being carried, and if the occassional, "Shards" is any indication, the boxes are heavy, "Oh good. You're here," the boxes are carried in by a senior apprentice, and then carefully placed in an out of the way place. A second senior apprentice follows the first, "Shards!" he exclaims as he barks the back of his hand on the doorframe, "Thank you. You two can go visit with family or friends now," dismissed the pair of apprentice disappear like they'd never been, "Don't know what's in there, but the boxes bear the Smithcraft seal. Figured I should bring them here," explanation before questions. Got to love that.

Aaron grins as Sara takes that second sip, and then, as she speaks, he draws himself up and fires off a clean, crisp salute, like he hasn't done since his apprentice Turns. A few moments later, he looks around, grinning. "Well, the world's still here, so I think we're alright. What kind of favor was on your mind?" Mailli's entrance brings his attention to her, and the apprentices, and the crates. "Where in Faranth's name did you dig those up, Mailli?" How's that for a 'hi, how are ya?'?!

Sara is too busy laughing to reply to the Smith's inquiry, and when the dolphincrafter appears Sara turns that smile on her. "Hello Mailli dear!"

Mailli grins in return to Sara's own smile, "Hello Sara," she can't help but chuckle just a little at Aaron's salute, "I brought them up from that wreck I've been working for the last too long. Last of the crates I could get at, sorry won't be anything more out of The Sea Forge. What a name, at least I think that's what the name of that ship was T something e Sea F something ge. Your guess is as good as mine."

Aaron grins at the laughter, then shakes his head and heads for a work bench and pulls out a stool, gesturing the other two to stools, if they want them. "Well then, lemme hear Sara's favor that she's come all this way to ask, and we'll take a look in them, hmm?" Because, sorry, Sara got his curiosity first.

Sara turs her attention to Aaron, "With this, I finally have the last thing we needed to transport the harpsichord down to Southern. I've spoken with Jithan, and he seems willing to keep the existance of the instrument quiet from the North. With thread falling well…" Sara's shoulders rise and fall. "It is beyond time. I wanted to see if you were still willing to help us with the logistics on this end."

Mailli gives Sara a fond smile, "I remember hearing that once," she looks at Aaron, "I think the dolphins could help with finding the safest route?" she'd have to talk with the pods around here of course.

Aaron arches an eyebrow, and nods. "Of course I am, Sara. Say the word, and I'll be there. I'm sure Kat can give me a ride to Ista." At Mailli's suggestion, he nods. "Valuable cargo, not a bad idea."

"We would be greatful for any help we can get," Sara says with obvious warmth as she looks between the two crafters. "I'll buy both of you drinks when the harpsichord is safely here and away from the raveges of time and thread.

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