Divale, Xanthee


Xanthee comes across Parhelion doing some training and she has some questions for Divale.


It is before dawn of the twenty-fifth day of the eighth month of the fifteenth turn of the 12th pass.


The Pit, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 02 Dec 2018 05:00



"Has this satisfied your curiosity or do you have questions?"


The Pit

One does not enter The Pit so much as descend into it. Why else the name? The Steen ancestors paid for their square footage with sweat, excavating the area and building curved walls up around it. Wide, smooth steps descend into a large entry area that overlooks the pit and galleries. Floors, ceilings and walls have been whitewashed with limestone paste, increasing the amount of light reflected back from the numerous glow baskets hung on the walls. A rounded doorway to the right leads one into the business' "office", which is furnished in spartan style: cushions for kneeling or sitting upon, a desk that's low to the ground constructed of the same whitewashed stone as the rest of the building, and niches carved out of the walls themselves for decorative pieces. Here is a small sculpture of men wrestling, there is a wooden carving of a champion with a foot upon his vanquished foe.

Continuing on through the lobby brings one to another set of six stairs that descend into the galleries surrounding the sand-filled pits. A low wall separates audience from combatants, but even at its highest point, those in the galleries are never more than twenty feet away from the action. The sand is raked daily, with fresh sand added whenever the blood to soil ratio becomes too great.

It is the fifty-fifth day of Summer and 96 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.

Barely has the sun begun to rise and the Weyr is only just beginning to rouse. There's much to be done, before summer's heat in the desert drives everyone back inside again. The Pit had seen a flurry of activity during the night hours but long have those matches ended and the audience who came to witness the blood sport long since dispersed. The arena itself was cleaned and freshly raked but now all that work has been undone. Not by further fighting, but rather by Parhelion taking over the space for the early morning. Now is the best time for the riders to brush up on their specified 'training' in self-defence and more. Of course, the aim here isn't to injure each other, but rather how to avoid it and potentially disarm or disable their targets. It's not unlike some of the training the Guards undergo, but theirs is done carefully ? or as carefully as possible. A injured rider means one less to fly Threadfall! Divale may be Wingsecond, but that doesn't keep her from including herself in these training sessions. For a moment, she focuses on the newest recruits; a few of the recent weyrlings have been absorbed in and more are likely to come, but that doesn't mean they'll go easy on the 'new blood'. Having put one of the new female riders through their paces and two of the younger males who're close enough to her size, she dismisses them. Stepping back and closer to the edge of the arena, Divale will stretch out her arms and roll one shoulder while she ventures to her makeshift 'desk' (it's really nothing more than all her stuff gathered in one spot) and pulls out a waterskin. Taking a small swig from it, her dark gaze will scan the others still at practice; cold and calculating, she is undoubtedly taking notes for her reports to Eala later.

Sometimes it's good to be an early riser, Xanthee got in the habit long ago to do so if she wanted to get her daily jogs in before the day takes all her time from her. Weaving through the bazaar that has just started to come to life, the greenling is coming to the end of her run as she passes the Pit and notices sounds from inside. Slowing to a walk, she reaches for her waterskin before going through the entrance. Pausing by the door, the girl lifts her skin to her lips for a careful drink as her emerald gaze sweeps over the scene of below. Ah, self-defense training! This is certainly familiar to Xan as she watches her clutchmates in their new wing assignment and it brings a smile to herself. When she spots Divale at the edge of the arena, she replaes the waterskin and steps lightly but with surefootedness, down the stairs, until she's close enough to offer the brownrider a salute, "Morning Wingsecond, I don't mean to intrude, I was just passing and wondered what was going on in here so early."

"You two! Watch your timing. You're slow not only on defence but offence ? watch how you sweep your arm." Divale's voice is hardly a barked order, more like a cold lance through the din in the area. The two riders she singled out look to be older than her but they nod grimly to her corrections and do not challenge her observations (at least, not to her face). Well aware of Xanthee's approach and address, the brownrider doesn't immediately acknowledge her; not out of disrespect but she does have her Wing to look to first. Satisfied, she tilts her head and glances sidelong to the young woman, offering a nod and a belated salute of her own. "Not intruding, so long as you're not disrupting them," And she gestures with her hand towards the area and those within it. A beat of silence and then she smirks in that strange, vague way of hers. "Has this satisfied your curiosity or do you have questions?" Ever the blunt one, but there's a hint of dry humour there too. Xanthee has caught her in a decent mood, despite whatever personal matters are gnawing at her.

Xanthee patiently waits for Divale to answer her greeting, definitely not wanting to interupt any type of wing training. So she puts one hand on her hip and just watches for a moment, gaze narrowing on the two that the brownrider calls out trying to catch what they're doing wrong. When the wingsecond finally replies, she turns back with a smile. "Wouldn't dream of it." Disrupting them, she means. Her gaze slips back over the arena with Divale's last, her bluntness not terribly off-putting. "Well, I can see you're working on self-defense because Parhelion works with the bazaar guards at times. I've had some training in that on my own after…" she stops herself, deciding it's really not important, "…an incident that made me feel unsafe." Yeah that might have been too much information, but Xan's a sharer! "And I suppose that satisfies the curiosity that brought me in here. How often do you train like this?" she starts off small when it comes to her inquiries.

Divale's brow quirks up at that pause from Xanthee but any intrigue is not acted upon and she's let off the hook. "You're not entirely wrong, that we work with the Guards. Not Bazaar, but Weyr Guards." she corrects but almost in a dismissive manner as if the issue wasn't that major. She muses thoughtfully for a moment, before giving her the answer she seeks. "Parhelion has an agreement with the Steen family for use of this place. We train here whenever it does not conflict with their… business. There is also the balance between sweeps, drills and Threadfall, as well as the many duties a rider requires to complete." It's both a vague and direct answer, though she seems darkly amused by it as her gaze focuses more steadily on Xanthee; no doubt to see if the woman figures it out or makes her own assumptions.

Xanthee blushes a little in embaressment. Weyr Guards! She should have known that! Not the impression she wanted to give, but the greenling quickly composes herself when the brownrider goes on. "Ah yes, balance. Learning how important that is, and how the more things you add, the harder it is to do," she chuckles lightly. "But that's a good deal Parhelion has with the Steens. I'm woefully out of practice myself, but man, that looks fun." She says maybe a tad too enthusiastically before clearing her throat a tad nervously before she goes back to her inquiries, "So what does Parhelion look for in their rider pairs generally? Any traits particularly needed for the work you guys do?"

Luckily for Xanthee too, Divale doesn't seem in her usual mood to torment and the blunder is left to be forgotten. Which is odd, given the Wingsecond's general nature and her past behaviour around the young green weyrling. "You used to spar?" she asks bluntly and without much pause, save to give her a curious look over. "I vaguely remember you being the active type…" Shaking her head, that is brushed off as well, as the conversation steers to more serious topics. That question draws another shadowed smile from her and a low throated chuckle. "That would be better suited to ask Parhelion's Wingleader Eala." she remarks, mildly evasive. Instead, true to form, she attempts to turn the tables. "What do you think is required of a Parhelion rider?"

"Mmmmhmmm," Xanthee replies with a smile curling at the corners of her lips as she side-eyes in Divale's direction. "With Kyara, green Liareth's for a few turns before this last Candidacy. She's just had a babe, so that's why I'm out of practice," the girl explains, puffing up a bit at being known as an active type. Nodding along when Divale mentions Eala, "I've met her…once or twice, but just in passing. Maybe I'll see if I can track her down sometime." Too bad she hadn't thought of that earlier, as Igen's only greenriding Wingleader, Xan could have used some advice these last few months. Oh well, hindsight and all that. But then Divale is turning the tables on Xan and she's left going, "Ummmmm…" as she tries to order her thoughts. "Discipline maybe? Other than being essential in any rider, if you're dealing with combative people, you don't want any hot-heads doing so, cause that could probably escalate thing…" she trails off, hiking her brow as if to say, 'was that the right answe?'

"Best way to corner her is to go to the Guardhouse. Usually later hours." Divale oh-so helpfully suggests to Xanthee. Maybe a little too freely helpful, so it may be a wonder if she isn't setting a trap for the weyrling, her Wingleader… or both. She is patient and quiet while Xanthee gathers her thoughts; her expression leaves little to guess on what the brownrider is truly thinking. As standoffish as she can be, she's edging a little on approachable for once. Could be the topic they're discussing? Another one of those vague smiles returns and she nods, glancing briefly out to the arena. "Discipline is certainly one factor among many. You have to have certain level of resilience and a level head. Not all the situations we face are answered by physical means," Again, there's a gesture to the exercises underway. "We, in fact, rarely engage. Patrolling is chief among of what we do, but when faced with a situation the decisions made require a certain kind of mind." Fingers tap to the edge of her temple and her expression turns a bit grim. "It's a difficult balance. We're riders, first and foremost, so there are lines we cannot cross." Never mind that she DOES cross them on a semi-regular basis because she knows how to weave her webs well… but that's a whole other kettle of fish right there.

Being a rather trusting sort, Xanthee smiles when Divale makes her oh-so helpful suggestion, not seeing it for anything other than it appears on the surface. "Thanks, I'll do that." Xan replies before turning to face Divale a bit better. Finding nothing in the brownrider's expression helpful, she listens to her words intently with thoughtful nods and 'hmmms' peppered in there. "Interesting. It makes sense you would rarely engage, I get that," she concludes, nodding in understanding. Xan doesn't want to take advantage, but she has another question. "What's Eala like? As a Wingleader?"

Meanwhile, Divale is sorry-not-sorry for Eala, should the Wingleader be disturbed later by a visitor when trying to work on reports. There's an unreadable smirk to Xanthee's understanding but she doesn't press the weyrling any further. Nothing to gain from it, this time around! Blinking, her brows furrow and she looks almost displeased by the question put to her. "She is well suited for the rank," she murmurs in a level tone, but there's a hint of something lurking there too. Pride? Admiration? Could be both. Could be something more personal too but good luck dragging that out of her in confession! "Parhelion could have none better leading them. R'xim had his approach and Eala was Wingsecond under him for a time, so she had experience prior to it. Her holding the rank of Wingleader in a Wing like this should speak for itself." There's a hint of a bemused smirk now.

Xanthee panics internally when it looks like Divale may be displeased by the question, reactively biting down on her lower lip nervously. It's quite possible the brownrider may intimidate the greenling just a teeny bit. Nodding slowly, she swallows past a lump in her throat to be able to answer. "I meant no offense obviously. Uhhh…." The girl's mouth opens and closes a couple times as she tries to find the right thing to say. "She must be good at what she does to be a wingleader…I didn't doubt that for a second. I was talking more her leadership style…but I guess it's probably better coming from the runner's mouth as it were." She stands around awkwardly and sneaks a glance back in the direction of the exit, as if considering.

It would be no surprise to Divale if she learned that Xanthee was intimidated by her! She has that effect on some folk, more easily among those younger than her. "No offence taken." she assures the other but whether or not it's reassuring is left to be seen! There's a quiet chuckle, as Divale glimpses enough of a change in the weyrling's behaviour to warrant her own assumptions. "Relax. You did not ask something inappropriate," she points out dryly but without much explanation. It would reveal a fault in her, after all, to openly admit to Xanthee that her question brought the answer it did because Divale cannot touch much on emotion; even if it's giving her own opinion on another rider. "She is a strict but fair Wingleader. You could ask any Parhelion and they would give you their views as well. Our time here will be done soon and I know of some who are off duty for the rest of the day. I can give you their names?"

Xanthee actually does relax a little when told to, her smile returning easily to her lips. "Good, you had me worried for a second," she says with a nervous giggle. "Strict and fair sounds good though," she replies with a nod before she gets a familiar vague look on her face. She snaps back in time to hear Divale's offer to which she nods vigorously, "That would be great actually. I was just reminded we have morning drills though, so I'll take those names, and have Liowyth bespeak their dragons when I'm free." She waits around just long enough for that exchange before she gives another salute, "Thanks Wingsecond, Clear skies." and then sprinting up the stairs.

"Clear skies," Divale will return in farewell, once they've exchanged the necessary information. Her gaze will follow Xanthee for a spell when the weyrling heads up the stairs and then with a low sigh under her breath, she'll move away from the arena's edge and immerse herself back into her duties. She had been telling the truth when mentioning that they'd be finished here shortly and within the next candlemark, they're all dismissed and the Wingsecond has her own duties to attend to.

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