Ksenia, Threvobek


An Igenite and a Southerner meet on the crowded docks of Southern Weyr, the dangers of both weyrs are discussed.


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


Boardwalk, Southern Weyr

OOC Date


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Ancient-cut stone stretches broad, smoothed by the wind and the weather and the rain to create a boisterous center of commerce. Wood overlays stone in places, patterned and pretty, to attract the eye of those traversing the strip to particular vendors. Though not the size of the tremendous markets of the North, the boardwalk's offerings show the knowledge of ageless crafters: Smith contraptions, Herder-certified animals, Starcraft maps and Weaver textiles are only some of the things that may be purchased, among the spicy scents of beach food and the contrast of bright shells and dark stones from the shoreline.

It is the fifty-fifth day of Summer and 99 degrees. The night is clear and humid.

Timor: moon6.jpg
Belior: moon2.jpg

-- On Pern --
It is 7:42 PM where you are.
It is evening of the twenty-fifth day of the second month of the second turn of the 12th pass.
In Igen:
It is the fifty-fifth day of Winter and 34 degrees. It is a clear night.
In Southern:
It is the fifty-fifth day of Summer and 99 degrees. The night is clear and humid.
In Southern Mountains:
It is the fifty-fifth day of Summer and 21 degrees. It's cold and dark out.

On the cusp of sunset, the late afternoon southern day still has plenty of light left to catch the eye, although darkness will fall soon enough. The sweltering heat has risen to almost the triple digits with the humidity a factor certainly at play, though as Rukbat slides down the azure bowl of the sky like the running yolk of an egg, sunny side up, the temperatures slowly but surely cool. Light bleeds into the darkening skies as the last of the Boardwalk sales take place. One woman stands at a booth, dressed in a dress of butter-yellow to contrast against reddened espresso locks of hair woven in a myriad of ribbons and braids, seems to be arguing the point of sale. "I swear to you the stall down the way has that for half the price, baba." The honey'd amusement of tone carries a sly humor as Ksenia fingers the fabric of something. A glint of gold can be seen 'round the expose midriff where the criss-cross bodice of her dress meets the skirt.

For the second time in a sevenday Threvobek is a globetrotter— his path stretched over the Southern Sea to the place where even archivists sweat. The man of Igen is garbed in traditional linen, shirt carelessly buttoned. He's alone if you don't count the brown firelizard stealing the shade behind his head. Valmai wilts, head barely held level with the stablehand's jaw. Rev catches the smell of something he likes, sandals allowing his saunter to go softly down the market. He doesn't have a buyer's gusto, browsing without ever leaving the central circuit of progress. Eventually he encounters Ksenia from in front poised on the opposing side. She's captivating enough.

Ksenia is not without her own escort, although hers is fatter, bronzer, and full of lazy and far enough away to be perched upon a branch where the egg-yolk yellow of the last of Rukbat's light can still be caught in the dying afternoon. "No, baba. This is of lesser quality. I will not spend hard-earned marks on quality I could make myself with my own toes," Ksenia argues, until finally, she throws her hands up into the air and abandons the merchant with a disgusted sound. He tries to holler after her, but to no avail. Pride lifts her chin as she stalks away, incidentally sashaying right towards Threvobek — if only because her fat little prize is lurking in that direction. "Excuse me," she starts to say as she tries to skirt around the Igenite even as the crowds would thwart.

Threvobek is modestly surprised when he scratches his chin his fingers come away wet. After performing a private rueful grin, contact with Ksenia's eyes are met, but she doesn't quite have his. Given this small breadth of free reign, his eyes get as far as her back before the merchant whose stall he's hogging up, tries to sell him fishing paraphernalia. "I like eating fish other people have caught, thanks." A relaxing pastime, sure, but there's no livlihood in it for him. "You're excused," after shirking the seller, "but only if you tell me your name." She's likely heard the courage in young mens' opening gambits before, this one's accent all but drips sand.

"Bargaining for the price of a name, baba?" Ksenia pauses now, one brow lifting as she surveys the Southern interloper. From her lilting, rolling accents she is most certainly a trader and most certainly from Southern. Tawny eyes regard the Igenite unashamedly, perhaps seeking to delve his game. "Only if you tell me yours. A name potentially represents power." Folding her arms across her chest, she shifts her weight and spares a glance to one of the stalls to her right, the merchant hopefully holding the limp body of a fish. A minute shake of her head before attention is returned to Threvobek. "You are not of here, boyo. You carry the hint of sand and heat of a place I only so recently left." Impudent, sly.

Valmai, the gangly brown over his first month in age, lifts his head and exchanges a choked trill to the bronze of his kind. That took way too much effort and Threvobek feels the living weight on his shoulder fall further down his arm. Rev buoys the 'lizard with a roll of his upper arm. Stop looking like fish bait! The stablehand presents his face again to Ksenia, cinching her gaze this time. "Rev, short for Threvobek. I am from Igen," no willingness to dodge that, "what made you leave? If I can be so bold to ask." The Igenite seems harmless, comfortable in whatever charisma he comes by. Behind him the merchant appeals to a pair of legitimate fisherfolk and boy does he reel them in. Two for 1 deals! Act now before it swims away!

"Ksenia, first of Ksenia and third of the Roma," Ksenia flashes a feral smile that shows a hint of the flash of white teeth as her eyes slide from the Stablehand to the little brown that slides on his shoulder. The fat creature lurking nearby only manages a half-hearted little sound. It is too much effort and he is full of crunches. Tawny eyes sweep back to the Igenite, hazarding a fat little smile, "Because it was not my home, boyo. You could say I was visiting, and then," shrug, "came back home. Southern is where the Roma roam and thus I am here." The fisherman is reeling in his catch, but another comes up with a strange contraption. Faint cat-calls can be heard as the new seller attempts to hawk his rather strange ware, "Look at this! Yes, heh, heh! Combination fishing pole and bucket! Also makes fish giblets! Will not break!" He jams it against the table, showing it off. "Will not!" He taps it again. "It broke!" Scandalized. Ksenia, meanwhile, gives a look for the merchants and side-steps away from them. "What brings you, Desert Dweller, to this land of prideful dragon riders?"

Threvobek pulls himself half under an awning to clear up some space for the marketgoers, the vivid blue canvas tinting the stablehand's skin and garments to sapphire. Valmai doesn't notice he's now ranked as a blue. Threvobek pins his glance some place over Ksenia's ear and lets it stay there, too languid to move it past her shoulder. It becomes mildly entertaining to watch the merchants compete but with no bloodshed he feels like the baitfish swimming in spheres on a near table: out of water. "Well met then, I often indulge the Reika and Tlatoani so I appreciate good trade." His grin is small but guarded. "My restday actually— caught the first dragon I could to see this continent. A day's all I'd spend though. Maybe longer if more resembled you." No pretenses here.

Ksenia is intrigued, lured into old sayings such as 'curiosity got the cat', and follows him beneath the awning. The blue shatters soft across honey'd skin and adds cool notes to reddened dark locks, though tawny eyes remain shrewd as she considers the visitor. "Southern has many charms," she starts to say, a crafty quirk to the easy smiles. "Have you delved into our jungles yet? They are full of dangers and mystery and people with spears that hunt the longer game." Again the flash of too many teeth, mirth writ upon the easy-going mien. "Ahh, baba. Southern has many beauties. The dragon riders have a fair number among them, their gold riders included. You are young yet, still thinking with your little brain, eh?" Oh, does she tease. A forward lean, impish twinkle to her eyes, "But Ksenia? She is off the menu, boyo."

Threvobek drives some hair out of his face and over his head but it's not like it stays. He just angles his head to keep it more or less out of his eyes and grunts an earnest laugh. "Who said anything about little?" He sobers then, aware he's indulging Ksenia far too much as a stranger. Looking abroad, "I haven't put myself in the jungle yet, I feel I need about six more knives and maybe a tall friend who at least makes a better target." Seeing the woman through the blue shimmer, "so…." surely leading up to a question, "does my name have power or not?"

"Because all men's little heads are little, boyo. Only men care about its size." Ksenia's laugh is not unkind, nay, but it is prideful. Even for all her flamboyance, she has the mannerisms of a nowtimer and skirts the edge of propriety in both dress and vulgarity. Well, mostly. She angles a shrewd, intense stare upon the visitor, brows lifting delicately. "Perhaps. Everyone's name is power to someone. I tell fortunes for the Roma and I have learned that there is little as powerful to one's friends or foes than the indulgence of an identity. I suppose yours could be if you've spoken the truth." The truth is a nebulous concept to be molded, apparently. "I would not go into the jungles as you are, no. Or I wouldn't recommend it for the soft spine of a northerner. I delve into those trees with naught but a knife and a bow and arrow to fetch my dinner." She teases, toying with the Igenite like a large feline after a tasty treat, "But then again, I am of sterner stuff, baba." Challenge? Perhaps. Or conversation made for tawny gaze drifts to the fat little firelizard, considering. "Sometimes," her eyes snap back to the young man, "The people in the jungle steal you away." It sounds like a great adventure, right?

THE HEAT. Threvobek shifts but tries to mask his discomfort as some irritant in his sandal. When you can taste the air you've got troubles and right now it's a mixture of raw fish, bodies, fried mash, and maybe hedonism, he's not quite sure. A sidelook at Ksenia has Rev trying to scry her credability for leaping into the living wilds. "You haven't seen my spine." Defensive, but still benign. His flamboyance is a thing relocated to to what's under the surface. Besides, Ksenia looks way better with belly chains of the two. A more straight-on look, blue tint doing nothing to beautify his hazel irises. "Are they seen again, these people?" Cannibals!

Ksenia watches the subtle play of muscle and bone and stance, nuances drift across Threvobek's face in as much as he allows, not disguising the nature of her observance. Cast in the shades of the sky, the shadows shift darker as Rukbat bleeds overhead, dissipating towards the peaks of the Southern barrier range in the distant south. "Touche, baba." Mirth dances in tawny eyes touched in shadow'd blue, adding, "I don't know. The stories don't say, but I will say that not all encounters dubious end in nefarious ventures. Sometimes you can find true mystery and adventure. Though, just as easily you can find an empty, drifting vessel upon the water with no life within. I suppose," she leans a hip against the corner of the table nestled beneath the awning, "that's up to your taste for adventure, eh?" The light fabrics of her dress, the way it criss-crosses her torso and lets the air touch bare skin does much to alleviate the weight of sweltering heat from the so-obvious native. Noticing his discomfort, she cants her head to the side. "Igen was a very, very dry place. The deserts were beautiful but deadly. Much of value bled into the desert sands, I think."

Threvobek scrubs at an eye but not to dispel any mirages; Igen is rife with those and he has that practice. Ksenia's scrutiny is openly permitted but there are no movements or obvious flexes made for her benefit alone. She is taken, so she claims. "I guess it is." Hearing everything the trader nymph has to say and facing the direction of jungle growth. "There is a certain lure. And menance. Like Igen, but different. But Igen I understand, Southern, here, it would take another lifetime to learn. There are days when I might hate my desert but I know it." Has the squint marks and sun scars to show for it. "Here, before I go," a quarter mark is placed in the Roma's hand, fingers surrounding the back of her hand for a shared instant of sticky heat. "Give up some of my fortune, will you?"

Ksenia's expression is enigmatic, though full of an easy-going friendliness that is either truth or artful lie. "Igen is deadly," the trader comments, lightly enough though something scores the firmament beneath such simple words. "But beautiful. There is beauty in everything dangerous, and I suppose our fair jungles would take a lifetime to learn, boyo, but perhaps worth it, eh?" Once a Southern girl, always a Southern girl. She leans in closer, drops a whispered secret, "Just beware of the dragonriders, they have enough pride to sink a ship." Then again, he's an Igenite and presumably already knows. The press of mark to palm, along with the connection of shared, sweltering heat, brings a flicker of surprise to lurk within tawny depths of golden brown eyes. "A bit of fortune." Again the observant woman casts a look upon Threvobek, nothing sultry in her eyes, but a cool sweep of attention to pick the smallest details. "I could tell you that your life would be easy and you would find your fortune in the desert sands of your weyr, but that would be lie. I believe you're a sort drawn to danger, so here I impart upon thee, baba. Beware that you do not find yourself bleeding on the side of the road." A final pause, a deadly caution given: "Beware of travelers that would seek to disguise their intent behind the false face of a beggar or the injured. Beware that you are not caught in a net of darkness, oh-so-strange-Igenite." Abruptly, she smiles — fey and bright — and withdraws her hand. "Clear skies, then."

Threvobek gives a glance again to the directional thicket of old growth forest. He might come back to conquer something in there one day and maybe some of his pensiveness gives that ambition away. He awaits the measure of his fortune with glances to and from the attractive clairvoyant. "I grew up in a Weyr. Riders are regular men, and women," the latter gender included after all, "with their strengths and faults amplified. Someone wise told me that." Good ol' S'kwa. As his fortune is dictated Rev looks up through the awning's ceiling, matching its seams with Ksenia's predictions. "Sounds like you're describing a day in the bazaar. I'll be careful, thank you." For the heads up and for featuring prominently in his next bro-convo with Segany and Jalebren. "Good to meet you, Ksenia." A formal bid and head bow convey at least groomed reverence. Valmai is roused enough to open a second set of eyelids and stretch out his toes. The man of Igen then incorporates himself back to the crowds.

"Yes. I suppose that is true," Ksenia's acquiescence to his observation on dragonriders is something thoughtfully added, her eyes turning far away to the moment before she's snapped back to herself. "The bazaar is a place to be wary of. As dangerous as our jungles and as rife with predators," but she doesn't shiver in dread nor give much away than a boundless joi-de-vivre. "A pleasure, Rev," she offers with the outlandish flare of a curtsey. Then, as he turns to go, she tips her head in response and moves in the opposite direction — or rather straight for that fat little firelizard. "Oh come on, stop giving me the woe-be-bone eyes," she scolds fondly. "I swear, I cannot believe Cha'el left me with a nanny-lizard," she huffs, scooping up the fat little bronze and disappearing into the crowd.
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