Who

Xanthee, Nasrin

What

Picking up from Part I, Lord Melqade offers an uncommon suggestion.

When

It is afternoon of the twenty-eighth day of the fourth month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

VTOL Swamp Hold

OOC Date 30 Jun 2018 04:00

 

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"How dirty can you get?"



VTOL Swamp Hold

This small hold is a solid bastion of stone in the midst of the murky wetlands of the Igen River. However, the constant moisture and verdant crawl of insidious mosses, vines, and clinging plants gives the place a distinctly decrepit and even creepy feel. Stone and dirt paths wind between trees and buildings with a seemingly permanent seep of water emerging between rocks and gravel, pooling stagnantly in any low spots along the way. Living fully up to it's name, the population of vtols in this swamp settlement is annoyingly high in the warmer months, and the hold Healers have made something of a specialty out of repellant salves, soothing lotions, and bite and sting treatments made from local flora. This is not a locale anyone voluntarily lingers at on a regular basis - unless one was born here. Or nearby.


Xanthee for one would not like to call this place hers, but she comes from a background of customer service and is very good at plastering on a smile and nodding her head a little bit at Nasrin's sardonic comment as if she were issuing a real compliment. At the thanks for the hanky, Xan just waves a few fingers dismissively, "That's why you keep me around," although the raven haired girl preens just slightly before turning and bowing her head respectfully when introduced. "It's really like no other place I've ever been," she replies with a bright smile and all sincerity. As they are led towards the gazebo, Xan, bringing up the rear, takes an interest in the fascinating plants all around them, peering at each intently. When the Lord Holder points out the huge one, her emerald eyes grows wide as saucers and she makes sure to give it a wide bearth, "That's amazing," she breathes before making her way into the gazebo, waiting for Nasrin to sit before she does, taking off her wide-brimmed hat and smoothing any flyaways from her braid with her hand.

It may not be Fayatr's ocean breeze coming through the cloth screens, but the air is moving, bowing the fabric in slightly from the outside. Nasrin contracts the parasol and leans it against the doorframe, peeking around for Fayatr who waves at her then stations himself outside. He means to poke the carnivorous flower with a stick when no one's looking. "Do you want this back?" Nasrin whispers to Xanthee regarding the hanky. Lord Melqade goes into some summary of family history, then says how the total of the Hold's flamethrowers doubled when a new smith got posted late last Turn. A tray of green and black olives are delivered with some decent wine. Nasrin accepts half a glass as no wine buff. "…but I do have an offer for you if you have a bit of time." Melqade looks to each woman curiously. Almost suspicious, Nasrin asks, "oh?"

Once settled, Xanthee nods a little bit and covertly takes the hanky from Nasrin and stuffs it back in her bag. She does a very good job at actively listening to Melqade as he talks, making eye contact, bobbing her head at all the appropriate times. When the olives arrive, she daintily samples a couple, and like Nasrin, accepts a half glass of wine, because although she is quite the wine buff, she'd rather remain clear headed while doing her job. When at his last and he makes the cryptic remark about an offer, Xan is wholly surprised when his eyes look in her direction. Surely he just means the weyrwoman, she thinks, before tilting her head with a bit of a quizzically raised brow, no sure what she should say.

The wine, maybe infused with some sort of berry, is rating a little higher to the weyrwoman. After the cooled beverage touches her lips, she swallows the sip and waits with Xanthee to be enlightened. "You know about the healing properties of our native mud. Well, we have a bath house with pools of it for a full-body experience if time and desire permit you. It's one of our better kept secrets." Using a small wooden pick, he takes a trio of olives and eats them one at a time. Nasrin, not expecting that offer, opens her mouth, then consults with Xanthee while partially putting her back to Melqade. "Well," finding the whole thing amusing. "How dirty can you get?"

Pools. Of Mud. Xanthee's not sure she's hearing correctly for a moment, blinking owlishly while maintaining a polite smile before turning just slightly in Nasrin's direction, her voice kept low, "I'll try anything once I suppose…I heard politics were dirty, I don't think they meant this literally though." Shrugging her shoulders, she just kind of grins, "I'll do it if you do." Cause everything is tolerable if you know someone else is going through the same thing.

Practical, stable Nasrin deliberates over the unique offer. After receiving Xanthee's contribution, she swings her shoulder back to announce to Melqade, "curiosity has gotten the better of us. Where is this bath house?" And does it also have security measures to keep the VTOLs out… Melqade smiles a satisfied smile and rises from the chair, pausing as one of the assistant stewards opens the door for them all. "Right this way. It has everything, towels, fresh water to rinse, and I'll arrange for more olives." Grabbing her parasol on the way out, Fayatr is informed of their change in location. He raises an eyebrow, then shrugs. Women. "I'll wait out here. My wife will ask way too many questions." Blurting a laugh, Nasrin matches pace with her assistant. "Here we go, back to age ten again." DEAGING HERE WE COME~

Eating olives in a mud bath? Never would Xanthee have guessed how this day was going when she woke up that morning, but she's more than happy to roll with it. Word that there would be water to rinse off with does make her feel a little bit better about this whole thing. Putting her hat back on her head, she gets up and heads out the door being held open, a polite nod for the assistant steward. As Nasrin falls into step with her, she giggles softly at her comment, "I sure hope not, Mal might not recognize me when I get home."

The bath houses are a married architecture of gothic and post year 3599 on old Terra Firma. Nasrin's head is considering the style of trim when she isn't aware Melqade is leaving before actually entering. No men allowed. Two current Holdfolk are 'soaking' and they look quite bug-eyed at the women. Rounding around a screen to change, she takes a towel close to her and enters a lukewarm pool. "Here's mud in your eye…" to quote the quote while hoping it isn't literal. Once in up to her shoulders, she opens the eyes she'd been clenching shut. "A different viscosity than water, that's for sure. Like curdled milk with a slightly better smell." Score?

Her curiosity getting the better of her, Xanthee is actually a little excited for this unique experience by the time they reach the bathhouse. Slipping behind her own screen, Xan disrobes and likewise wraps a towel around herself. She's a little more hesitant though, dipping just a toe in to test that consistency herself. Once satisfied that it doesn't feel particularly unpleasant she finally slips near Nasrin, scrunching up her nose as she goes, "Oh Faranth, this feels so weird!" Finally settles, she just lifts a hand and lets the mud ooze out of her fingers. Looking at the two holdfolk already there, she bobs her head at them, "So how often do you need to come here to actually feel the effects?" she asks them.

Nasrin checks the status of her hair, already up in a crown of twin braids, but the little strands at the base of her neck are already lost to the ooze. There's more bend to her legs and she sinks slightly deeper, the mud cool and sticky as pudding. "We come here mostly to gossip," one resident answers with extraordinary truth, "but at least once a sevenday. Our skin here in the Hold is the softest you'll find." "Yeah," her companion chimes in, "our husbands think so too!" And they laugh about that. Nasrin, looking across the mud to Xanthee, says, "you'll have to poll Malosim as a neutral third party."

Xanthee's braid does trail a little bit in the mud before she loops it on itself to make a sort of bun, at the back of her head. "Oh, I love a good gossip fest. Anything juicy?" she adds with a twinkle of interest in her eye as she settles more comfortably in the mud. After getting over her brain initially screaming that this was just not right, Xan can appreciate how pleasant the feel of the mud is although it's still quite novel. To the two hold women, she laughs in response to their honest answers, her cheeks coloring with a blush at Nasrin's mention of her beau, "Oh I'm sure he would be most obliging on that score."

"Oh we gas on mostly about different residents and happenings here, sometimes other Holds we've been to. We got a whiff of a hint you were from the Weyr from your knots. So what is it you talk about if not husbands?" "Or their weird family!" The other tacks on. Nasrin can vouch for weird families, but does nothing to educate the women on their identities. "If not husbands or in-laws we have a lot of different relationships in the Weyr." This bores the the woman with the redder face. "Here we've been talking about who's going to be marrying lordling Qalen, which is an honest effort as he has a new lady each month." "No, day seems like!" "Then there's our harvest festival usually everyone's drunk at and we still don't know who broke the urn of the Lord's last runnerbeast. Cremates them all and keeps them in little jars. Kinda cracked behavior, you think?" Nasrin looks up, "an uncommon practice." "No, it's daft is what it is. So it broke, it's all dust, so put it in the flowerbeds and be done with it." The weyrwoman is trying very hard not to laugh to the point it's about causing a gas bubble.

Looking slightly disappointed that there isn't juicy gossip to be had, Xan leans against the edge of the pool, definitely feeling more relaxed if nothing else. At the mention of husbands, she just shakes her head a little bit, "No husband here," she'll make that clear before nodding in agreement with the goldrider and her comment about the different relationships in a Weyr. She does take a small interest in the story about the heir and his behavior, trying really hard not to smirk, "Maybe he's being spoiled with choice." Watching how Nasrin tries to stay diplomatic in the face of the relentlessly blunt holder women, definitely impresses Xan as she comments on the idea of cremated runners, "I don't know, it sounds kind of sentimental actually. Some people just love their animals." Shrugging mud covered shoulders, she relaxes back against the side, eyelids drooping as she quietly enjoys the soaking.

Nasrin will carry on with the other residents until they take their leave, then find the quandary of how to eat olives when one's hand is caked in swamp muck.

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