Hjaskr, Ksenia


A trader and a wildling, sitting in an alcove. It goes fairly well before they sing fare-the-well.


It is afternoon of the twenty-second day of the second month of the second turn of the 12th pass.


Secluded Alcove, Ice Fields, Southern Mountain Area

OOC Date



Secluded Alcove

Secluded Alcove
A place to knit and sew and drink klah and have a reprieve from everywhere else. It is cozy. There's a hearth here that is kept blazing and cheery, keeping the room warm despite its far distance from the hotsprings. One side of the room is filled to overflowing with throw pillows nearly two feet deep — it makes sense, because the other side has scraps of cloth and stuffing and sewing implements. People come and stitch pillows to toss to that side, kept contained by a low stone ridge; kids like to play in it. Otherwise there are couches and throws and the quiet murmur of conversation.

Timor: moon5.jpg
Belior: moon1.jpg

-- On Pern --
It is 1:34 PM where you are.
It is afternoon of the twenty-second day of the second month of the second turn of the 12th pass.
In Igen:
It is the fifty-second day of Winter and 40 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.
In Southern:
It is the fifty-second day of Summer and 108 degrees. It is sunny and bright. White fluffy clouds drift lazily across the china blue sky.
In Southern Mountains:
It is the fifty-second day of Summer and 28 degrees. It's really damn cold out.

There are stranger things than the sight of roughclad Hjaskr settled in amongst the little old ladies of the alcove, serene as the day is long, but perhaps not at the southern hold. Is he knitting? No, he's mending, thick fingers deftly closing a rift in a pair of hardy dun pants. The chatter rising around him is loud enough to indicate he has been here a while, long enough for the side-eying to die down and for the well-bundled aunties to all but ignore him.

Hjaskr might just blend in, but Ksenia won't. Clad in sumptuous layers of bright clothing in colors of tangerine, lemon, fire and ivory, with reddened espresso locks twined with ribbons of equally bright colors, the trader woman is as far from belonging as she possibly could be here in the ice fields. Especially here in this alcove with knitting aunties and a mending Hjaskr, and dressed more for revelry with the way the clothing wraps around her torso only to fall into the legnth of skirt set low on her hips. "Oh! Pardon me," her lilting trader's voice softens the syllables, adding a flare to her voice to match the brightness of spirit. "I don't think this is the way to the food." One track mind, maybe.

"No," Hjaskr says without looking up, sticking his tongue between his teeth for a moment to thread the next needle with a dark strand of string, "Dining hall on other side of Hold. A long walk for rancid pork." Somehow that makes him laugh, a chuckle that bubbles up broad-built chest. Only then do his eyes shift to take in Ksenia, and he pauses to examine her elaborate get-up. "You are…" Wait for it, wait for it. "…not from around here?"

"Rancid pork?" Ksenia wrinkles her nose, drifting closer to Hjaskr while shooting the murmuring Aunties a quick look. "They serve rancid pork here?" Dark brows lift as she walks closer on feling-light feet. "I am from the jungles," she answers, tipping her head to the side. "Once of the Roma, still am, but." She squints and then shrugs, "It's complicated, baba." Not that she's all that interested in talk of her station in life. "It would not surprise me to find the fancypants dragonriders serving rancid meat to those who live off the land. I brought marks to pay, but, never will Ksenia pay good marks for rancid food." Hjaskr is a curiosity.

"That is what they tell Hjaskr," he placidly returns, he in his heavy leather jacket and his furred collar. He'd look like a pimp if he wasn't so woefully built like a simple, brute thug. "Of the Roma?" His eyes lift. "I have heard of Roma, before. You have traded with those of the ice valley, then?" Hjaskr references a tiny little pocket of wildlings snuggled up against the highlands where the ice shelf begins, and indeed, they have wandered out to commerce with the Roma caravan in earlier days. "Complicated." He tastes the word. "Your clothes complicate you enough," he decides, dark eyes eyeballing all of that color with a kind of morbid fascination.

"Aye, we have." Ksenia finds a chair near the wildling man, watching him not with the curiosity of one who's not met one of his ilk before, but of one outlying society to another. "I particularly enjoyed the snow-feline pelts we would get from your people, boyo. Very soft to the touch." Crossing her legs with flair, she bounces one foot that's clad in a heavy boot that goes against all the delicacy of dress, but probably hints that deeper winter wear is somewhere in the Hold, left once the warmth within permeates. "Color is life, baba," she breathes, tawny eyes flashing with amusement. "It is not my fault that all of these stuffed-shirted folk dress in drab colors." It's like a parrot sitting next to a penguin, right?

"Difficult to hunt," laments Hjaskr. "Such thin hides, you must be careful when you skin them. But… soft, yes. Warm." Nostalgia lurks within his deep voice. If Ksenia is the parrot, Hjaskr will gladly be the penguin — though even the penguin may be dressed too formally for this wildling. Instead he dubiously stares at her colors, more. "No, no, color is death, on the ice. Stand out, predators kill you. You, you last, ahh." He scratches the scruff creeping down his jaw, "Maybe thirty minutes."

"Worth every trade we made for them," Ksenia counters, also exhaling a soft sigh. "Too bad my sister stole mine." That would be her own lilting lament, her accent adding a liquid quality to the words she speaks. "If thirty minutes is all I have, baba, then it will be the best thirty minutes of my life. Ksenia does not change who she is just because the way might be dangerous!" That comes with the proud lift of chin as this girl has enough pride to sink a ship. "Ksenia." A jutting out of name by way of introduction. "Once a First Daughter in a long, unbroken line of First Daughters of the Roma."

"Sisters are good for such things," Hjaskr replies, his smile turning inward and fond, his expression amused and distracted. Such is that he sticks his thumb with the needle and jerks reactively. He sucks momentarily at the pad of it, dark eyes considering Ksenia's wild statement and her introduction silently. He critically examines his thumb thereafter. "And I am Hjaskr, son of Bjordn, of the ice valley. We may not be so," he eyes her clothes, "Confusing, but we live, see." Patent superiority THERE. Men.

"Sisters are good for a lot and not so good, too," Ksenia's statement is thoughtful, but she doesn't lapse to silence and contemplation. Instead, she watches Hjaskr stick himself with the needle and then make his proclamation with superiority. This gets a light peal of laughter from the trader, "Baba, we Roma, we live. To the fullest." She is the one with the pride and superiority here, entirely comfortable with her life. "Well met, Hjaskr, sone of Bjordin, of the ice valley. Perhaps, someday I will tell your fortune." A slip of a smile crosses her features as she regards the ice wildling.

"But you say is complicated." Hjaskr puts aside the pretense of stitching his ripped pants. "Speak you high of Roma, but yet you say you are only… how did you say?" He rolls his eyes upwards as if beseeching the heavens themselves for answers. "Once of Roma." Eyebrows lift. Come on, Ksenia. Storytime. He has the most approving look for her easy mastery of his name, though. That's priceless right there.

"Isn't life always complicated, baba?" Ksenia watches the pants get set to the side and turns tawny eyes to his dark ones, a subtle humor flared across her expression. Joyous? Perhaps. "I still am Roma, but I am not of the same position. I have made choices that have set me upon a precarious path, see. Sometimes, to live what you want, it is necessary to brave the unknown." Is that clear enough? Probably not, so the woman shrugs. "My life has turned a different direction, but I hope to bridge two worlds. I care naught that one of those worlds is filled with stuff-shirted men on dragons." Impish is the look given for that. "I regret nothing, baba, which is the most important." His approval is a startle; surely, his name is not that difficult to say!

"Complicated? No." Hjaskr shakes his head. "You live. How is that complicated?" He doesn't get all this complicating things. First Hannah, now Ksenia. His expression clears at her words, though: "Well, you are living, then. Not complicated. You are Ksenia first, Roma second, yes?" The stressing of the hierarchy there is mild, but somehow profound. His nose wrinkles towards the end. "Dragonmen. They stink." Pensively: "Puff-people." Non sequitor, thy name is Hjaskr.

"Yes. I am Ksenia first. It is only complicated because my father would make it so." Ksenia wrinkles her nose, but beams when Hjaskr gets it — albeit simply, but gets it. "Ksenia, first. Roma, third." Is there a second? It's not expanded upon. "I am a teller of fortunes and a trader of shiny things," sly is the cast that comes to her mien, "And I enjoy fleecing the stinky dragonmen of their marks." After a fashion, she hazards a fat little smile, "Dragonmen have their uses too, you know." But see, the non sequitor throws her off as large, tawny brown eyes blink. "Puff people?"

"And second?" Hjaskr is the bald-faced ferreter of secrets, pun intended. He wrinkles his nose at her again at her comment about dragonmen and their uses; he KNOWS that face. "You people," he accuses, "Think of sex incessantly." How the hell does Hjaskr know the word 'incessantly' when he can't use is properly, for Faranth's sake. Continuity issues, carry on. "It must be exhausting." Like wildlings are different? But he is eying her again, a bit more curiously now. "Is for the second, a whore? You certainly dress…" He GESTURES. "Fit to sell wares."

"Sex?" Sorry, Hjaskr, one does not give up secrets when one is suddenly MISDIRECTED by blatant accusations. "I did not say sex. Dragonmen have their uses for keeping us alive, but also providing willing and often naive victims from which to strip them of their marks, boyo. Sex has nothing to do with it except that they are all weak to the ways of the body," Ksenia leans forward, a shrewd look to the depths of tawny eyes. "When one must eke a living from a harsh world, baba, one learns to use the tools one is blessed with." She smirks, those eyes of hers burning with a humor, ironic. "I dress fit to my tastes, baba. At least when I hit the end of my life, I will be able to say that I have lived to the fullest of who I am. Call me a whore, if that is your desire, Hjaskr of the ice valley, but saying such words do not make it true. Who, now, is thinking only of sex?" He is the one that brought that topic up, oh-future-gigolo-Hjaskr.

"So you are saying you have never had sex with a dragonman." Hjaskr LOOKS at her, unwavered by her rant on the usages of dragonmen and their deep… pockets. He dismisses the rest with a manly prerogative. "They have taught me this… concept. Whoring." The aunties are probably staring at him, by now. "We wildlings of the ice valley, we do not… it is so strange a concept." IT IS FREAKING WEIRD OKAY. Why would you SELL SEX it is not a THING.

"Hjaskr, Ksenia does not kiss and tell of her love life," Ksenia bares a sharp-toothed grin for the wildling man. "People are silly. I would never sell sex. Why sell it when there are other ways in which to get marks and make trades? It is silly, but men like to pay for it, boyo. Namely, because they pay for not only prized body in which to bury their hilts in, but they pay to have their ego stroked." She shrugs, and flicks her fingers. "I would never consort with whoring, but that doesn't mean I won't flirt with the customers to divert their attention so I can gain access to their pockets." That is what yields the arrival of the sly smile.

"Huh," Hjaskr seems to have an EPIPHANY because of Ksenia's words. "Egos. That's what it's all about," he muses more to himself than to her. "Thank you, Ksenia. Even if you have sexed your dragonmen, you are very… hmm. Much to think about." About this pressing topic of whoring and why on earth anyone would do it. He rises to his feet, with his pants half-stitched, gathers the other few items he's mended, and nods deeply to her, a more formal farewell than most get from the big wildling. "My thanks again, first-Ksenia third-Roma," he intones. "Much to think about," he echoes himself, before walking past her and out the door. Apparently thinking requires more space than the alcove provides.

"It is all about egos," Ksenia murmurs, watching as the wildling man comes to his conclusions, allowing only a private look to cross her features at the assumptions he makes of dragonmen. A little shake of her head, for that, though she murmurs in correction, "Man." Singular here as she makes presumptions upon concurrency in Hjaskr's words. Then, she hazards another fat little smile as he makes comment on things to think about. "You are welcome, Hjaskr of the ice valley." A faint smile as she inclines her head to his formal farewell before watching him go. When he's gone, she glances to the aunties and then bounds out of the chair and spritely stalks out of the alcove on feline-graceful feet. A private little smile adorns her expression, as perhaps, she's thinking about what kind of lovely food she can fleece from these partial hold people. Sashaying out into the hallway, the trader woman disappears from sight.
Add a New Comment