Who

Ellen, Hannah

What

Ellen comes around to find Hannah again, and parts after giving gifts and swearing herself into adulthood. (There's cheese).

Um. Delicious cheese?

When

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

Where

Nighthearth, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 16 Mar 2016 07:00

 

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"Now be damned an' open it, wouldn't you!"


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Nighthearth

A comfortable nook, this natural extension of the living room is cozily attired with overstuffed chairs and a couple of well-worn loveseats. All have been covered in various shades of green, giving the very incongruous appeal of a miniature forest hidden away inside… a grove of man-made proportion. Fish stews and spicy white-wherry chili are often kept hot on the minor hearths east and west of the main, for those whose hours defy when meals are kept. Ornate, the largest hearth towers high, rich with carving and utilitarian in fashion: it holds court by providing the weyr with rich klah, the air thick with the scent of cinnamon wafting.
On the perch are Ballygeary, Satinear, and Savvy.
You see Veritas here.
Ellen is here.
Obvious exits:
Living Caverns Stairs


Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day! It's raining in Southern again - full on autumn is Southern's rainy season. Hannah is, as always, affected by the cold and the damp, the lung Thornton's knife damaged giving her fits. So she sits, curled by the fires of the nighthearth, trying to chase away the way damp that's settled into her lungs. A few wet-sounding coughs leave the woman with nothing so productive, but it feels good. She's got a stack of hides spread around, but for the most part, she seems to staring off into space. Past dinner, the crowds aren't too sparse given the weather, but sparse enough that finding and talking to people is possible.

Ellen has cleaned up; the usual tatty-eclectic fashion forgone for a high collared gray jerkin belted at the waist, laced up the front and embellished by a mere single fern frond embroidered in emerald thread at the breast. Her mats have been combed out, the mass of it gathered back into a single thick plait and lord god almighty, she's even dug the crescents of dirt from her nails. She carries a basket over one thick forearm, though the formality can only go so FAR to scrub the amiable irreverence in the way her hand hangs loosely off the wrist it hangs from; her other hand resting in a fist off her hip. Thmp-THMP, her boots come to a stop just within the Nighthearth, jesting, "So here, I've found you again, lady goldrider."

Hannah - lost in her own thoughts - is easily startled and jumps up a foot! Not really, okay? The thumping certainly brought down some of that initial surprise. "Woah!" A hand raises - is it to her heart? Or to muffle the squeak. "Oh!" Another surprised look and then Hannah gives a little shake of her head, her voice strained against a cough that wants to be free but is willed to not. The woman's will is stronger than her body's desire! "I remember you." Humor presses her lips together. "With the tunnelsnakes." Her eyes fall to the basket, curiosity welling in them. "So here you found me."

Ellen's brows raise, just the faintest moment her squint-set eyes studying down Hannah's form when she jumps, "You're on edge." It's not said critically - though her smile has a faint twinge of rue for it. "Well. I've no 'snakes to huck at you today, if it's consolation." Just a MYSTERY basket. Poor Hannah's curiosity will have to wait, there's a cloth over the top, concealing its contents. She's not even looking at Hannah now - turning her BROAD BACK on the Weyrwoman to set her cargo in a chair seat.

"The weyr has been…" Hannah's voice is thin, strained, as she battles a cough. But she gamely continues after letting a little one out - shhh - "… beleaguered by … some harrowing events lately. It is safe within the weyr." This last statement is given with a steely conviction that carries the weight of Hannah's station with it. "And we will find out what happened to Sven." A touch of sadness for the man's death, but the shelf life of grief has passed. "If you see anyone shady… do let someone know." Somewhere, buried under the hides, Hannah unearths a klah mug. Still steaming, would you look at that.

"Do you one better," with her back turned, and thus no smile visible with delivery, Ellen's tone has a more noticeable quintessential casual-grimness to it, "And watch out for folks that ain't shady as well. Clean-cut and fresh-faced can carry a dagger as easy as a louse in an alley." She's getting SOMETHING out, or possibly a few somethings, as she carries on, "Ah well. This Weyr's got a strength to it. I've no second mind that you'll pull through. Wanna see something?" All without changing tone. Have a little MOOD WHIPLASH, Hannah.

"This is true," Hannah's agreement to Ellen's statement has a quiver of forgotten emotion before she shoves it aside. The past is not welcome here. "We would be forever grateful if you would. Maybe you'll see what others have not." A woman can hope, right? The conversation's swift turn has Hannah executing a soft laugh, more of a startled sound than not. "Of course. I want to see." As curious as the day is long, Ellen is not going to get a NO out of her.

It's possible that slight quiver is noticed - Ellen's head just slightly turns towards Hannah, exposing her to a one-quarter angle of profile - but heavy eyelids make it hard to detect the direction of gaze. And in turning around, her firm savage-crafted smile is still in place. And she's got her HANDS behind her back, "Right on. Choose first: Contrition or gratitude. One comes with a story." Is it a riddle?

Hannah is watching the young woman thoughtfully, as slowly the shape of the girl's features might be coalescing into a vision that might pique the memory. She curls her fingers around the heated klah mug and brings it to her lips. "Gratitude." Hannah's voice is quiet, curious, but she adds, "Because there is nothing to be contrite over." Another hint of a smile tickles across her countenance.

"I was walking in the woods, t'other day," Ellen's accent has a curious inconsistency; most commonly prone to rural roughness, it's milder here, more archaic, with her heels coming together and spine upright, mannish chin raised high as though delivering a report. Save her stone-steady devious grin, or the hands yet hidden behind her back, twinkling eyes beholding the goldrider's reserved features as though containing patient secrets, "And came upon a man. A rider, named of Oz'keyn - on of thine, m'lady, of the green Hirikoth. Fine hunter with a bow - keen eyes. In combining our efforts, we took to a fine hunt. Brought down a sizely feline, likes of which I'd be no fool to have tried on my own."

Hannah's attention never drifts from Ellen's face; the nuances are patterned into the conversation, matched along with the girl's inconsistencies. She is not bothered by such - her own pedigree comes from a variety of different paths of life. The secrets Ellen holds are like hungry little creatures luring Hannah subtly forward, the mug coming to rest on her blanket-draped lap. "Oz'keyn," jewel-bright eyes soften a little as Dhiammarath supplies information at the same time as Ellen. "Yes, he's new." A sharpening of her attention on the girl hints at the weight of anticipation. "A feline? You are full of surprises!"

This earns a brief show of teeth - for all of general cocky deportment, Ellen's grin seems less prideful for the praise than simply enjoying Hannah's willingness to play along with the show, "Among some Traders, lady, when two 'vans join in hunt, it's customary for the leaders of each to take prime pick of the bounty. It may be, thine is no 'van." Her grin grows faintly more fierce, "But I've little care for the minds of others. The Oldtimes are gone. And we've each to forge our own way, in t'here and now. And with respect to thee and thine, I'd see you have this." For all the ceremony, it's an odd touch that she offers a cloth-wrapped something held informally out between two pinched fingers. Her other hand remaining loosely on a hip.

Hannah listens to the girl, and as she goes on to explain the reasoning behind the thing in her hands, the Weyrwoman straightens her spine. Though her expression is still welcoming, and her lips still bear a smile, Ellen's formality is met with a certain formality of her own. It is in her bearing and in the iron-steel of her spine. It is in this way that she honors Ellen's ways: by giving them the same attention she'd give to a visiting dignitary. "The old times are gone, but so are the now times. Instead, we have our time, yeah?" Soft, nostalgic; then she leans forward to take the thing from Ellen's hand. "But first, your name so that I can call you something other than what you are." A request, this, not a demand.

"Ellen." Is given back, with equal full weight behind it, "Ellen of the Stars. Daughter of Mireille of long-ago Blacksands and guardian of my heart, and the man who roams, Cullen of Everywhere. You've the right of it - there is only the Now for us. And with this gesture, I make thee first witness to my ambition: Today, I found the Lepus Caravan, in friendship with thy Weyr, queen goldrider Hannah. I may be a 'van of just one today, but I am mighty." Teeth flash again. "And I aim to grow." A bold moment… immediately underscored when she starts first antsy-shaking one hand, then BOTH, "Now be damned an' open it, wouldn't you!"

No young girl this: a hardened soul to create her own caravan in the midst of the Weyr's authority. Hannah's eyes gleam with a certain appreciation for what spine lies within Ellen. "You will," this is stated with certainty, knowing intrinsically what it is that Ellen has within her. "Well met, Ellen of the Lepus Caravan, of the Stars and daughter of Mireille and Cullen." Her exuberance gets the first trills of real laughter from Hannah. "OKAY OKAY!" Even she drops the formality in favor of real humor and does what her fingers have been itching to do: UNWRAPS THAT FUCKER. What's in it?!

Smooth-polished ivory is laid bare; in creamy-white bone polished to a lustrous shine, fine-detailed vinery is carved in delicate detailing of an ornate hair comb. To one side above, set artfully into fixture, are two polished white feline talons in subtle ferocity. — Ellen stands, hands on hips, chin raised defiantly as she watches Hannah's face for the unwrapping.

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Hannah is arrested by some emotion, her vision long latched to the comb as this girl - nay, woman, leader - presents to her a present. She touches her fingers lightly to it and smiles, murmuring, "This is beautiful." It shows in her eyes when she lifts her head from the gift, "Thank you. I am sure R'ik will enjoy," what is this? Hannah being a touch ribald to sheer just a hint of that ladylike shine? "Taking it from my hair." Nimble fingers have already slipped the comb into her hair. It's awkward as fuck - let's be real, because she's basically in her pajamas, but HER HAIR WILL BE AMAZING. "Southern recognizes you, Lepus Caravan." A girl, in whole, more than a girl.

It puts Hannah in good company; Ellen's grin by default has an air of 'uncouth', laughing while shaking her head, "Like a wrapped present." It makes it easier, how she slides into a single glint-eyed moment of firmer quiet, locking eyes with Hannah and soaking in her final words and taking in a slow, deep breath, and then HUFF! Let's it out like nothing ever felt SO GOOD to the ears. "Great," she husks, and turns back to the basket, "Then recognize this fuckin' cheese I made you as well. And be damned that it's not necessary, I threw like - a LOT of snakes at you in the baths. Like. AT you, goldrider." A LOT OF THEM. She hands over a different shape now - soft and white and mozzarella-y, it's wrapped in long leeks, all gathered at the top and tied off like a purse. "S' a fresh stretched-curd. Not really that fancy, but milk ain't great in autumn-times - the center's still cream 'n curd, so have it on a plate when you cut it, yeah?"

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The comb is beautiful and the formality of it with the talons of the felled beast is a wonderful gesture. "No, but- " Hannah pauses when Ellen reminds her how many snakes there were. All those baby tunnel snakes had to get wrangled by a lot of people - and hey that old Aunt made it through without dying from a one poisonous bite! Still, Hannah is SWAYED by food. Those round, jewel-bright eyes widen and unconsciously, she makes grabby hands for these soft pillows of deliciousness. The way they're shaped, they're like soft boobs on a PLATE. "Oh my word," the Weyrwoman of Southern shoves a finger in one and just glops a whole blob on her finger and stuffs it in her face. "Oh my word. I love cheese." MmmmMMFFFmmmFFFFmmmmmFFF. "Thank you." Gratitude shows - but also greed as she just stabs her finger into the pillow thing again. Someone's stabby. R'ik might get a bite. Maybe.

R'ik might bite Hannah if he doesn't.
Shhhh. She can regurgitate it like a momma bird, nbd.
Savvy gags a little and almost topples from his perch.
Mm Hannah rennet.
HANNAH CHEESE.
That's just crackers.

My, my - so even aching layer of composure even Ellen has begun to recognize as quintessentially 'Hannah' has a few hair-tight fissures - Ellen's laugh should in all rights b booming, but in this moment, as the diminutive senior goldrider with the world on her shoulders is reduced to eating soft milky-creamy cheese with her HANDS, the young caravan leader has only… a soft, somehow heartbroken 'heh' for this nominal stranger. Smiling gently as her un-gentle features might allow. Like a sun-warmed ROCKFACE, "Yeah, I thought so." …And like a rockface as a setting sun might lose its warmth as the sunset arrives, her features return to a coarse stone, and her eyes slide closed with a heavy sigh. And, as Hannah snacks, she sets withdraws a hide from a back pocket; sets it on the table. On it, is a hand-wrought sketch… of Sven. She leaves her own fingers tented over the image. And again.. only watches Hannah's face.

A singularity of the moment is held in time-captured relief: Hannah, dipping her fingers in with the delight of a child. It is not long-lived, for as soon as Ellen's demeanor changes, some periphery sense has the goldrider pausing. Her finger lies halfway to her mouth, full of delicious cheese when her eyes fall upon the image that Ellen sets before her. Slowly, she completes the action and licks the cheese of, but each gesture rebuilds the mantle of responsibility and weighs the woman down. Minuscule - the comb slips just a hair, further off the crown of her head. Fresh washed hair is notoriously bitchy in wanting to hold a shape rather than slide free in silken strands. "Sven." Despair and anger braid together into a sound as hard as iron, for the guards are back in place and the innocence of joy lies like nuclear fallout in the detritus of the conversation left behind. "Where did you find this?" Carefully, she packs away the cheese - TO BE DEVOURED LATER - and turns her attention to the sketch. To what plagues the weyr, the weight of it drawing shadows beneath her eyes in proof of the sleeplessness.

The change from simple human pleasure to - what, refined human steel is paid witness to by Ellen, with a stony duty. As though witness to an lawful execution, and she takes up her own role without pleasure… but also without flinch, "Was there." She gruffs neutrally, returning her hands to her hips loosely, "Where it happened. Found it a sevendee or so back - thy guards were remiss in barring the door. I'll admit it to thee. And I've a powerful curiosity in me. So I went. I looked. Found that," she jerks her head towards the hide, "…Asked around some, trying to find the hand that penned it but…" She puffs out her cheeks and… exhales. "Well. It's thy Weyr. So I leave it to thy hand to attend." Even for all the grim business, her smile isn't forced - just grim, thin, in Hannah's favor, "That's all, then. I've business to get to. The rain sends vermin in where they ain't welcome, and I've two nests to clear out before day is through. Be well." And she makes a foreign salute, a firm jab of fist off the front of her brow, and turns to take her leave.

By degrees, each of Ellen's words build up the wall of Weyr around Hannah, though she tucks the cheese away carefully and gathers her things. "Thank you," her tone is heavy, weighted with the problems of what's been found. Her fingers touch along the planes of Sven's face, etched in sketch. "Be careful, Ellen. Be watchful." Even more feverish this last, an imploring demand - for now Ellen is more than Ellen. "And walk easy. I hope to see you around again." This last is sincere, touched in the warmth of the moment before. Of the gift giving and the formality of formation - yet the world is not given to light without dark and so she watches Ellen go. The features of her face frozen in perpetual worry, clouding in from the demons that feed and find prey of the people of her weyr. Only after Ellen is gone, comes the matriarchal whisper of maternal instinct: "You are of us now." And protected thusly. Then, Southern's Senior Weyrwoman takes her night into burning the wick on both ends for more evidence renews her vigor and it will be long into the next day before elusive sleep is had.

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