Who

Willimina, Amania, cameo by evka

What

Immediately follows A Foot in the Door. Amania meets Willimina and is further overwhelmed. Still, she ends up with a job - and a home.

Backscened

When

It is afternoon of the thirteenth day of the sixth month of the eleventh turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Caravan Grounds, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 28 Jul 2017 06:00

 

willimina_default.jpg Amania43.png reveka_default.jpg

"You seem like you'd make a better dancer than a guard…"


igencaravangrounds.jpg

Caravan Grounds

Deep grooves in the hard packed earth criss-cross a large patch of denuded ground, bearing mute testament to the caravans that frequent this area. Despite the midden holes set back a ways from the main center of traffic, the air is sweet, redolent with the sagebrush that forms a loose perimeter around the flattened expanse. In what is as close to its center as the vague boundaries suggest, a stone ringed fire pit has been dug and surrounded with the odd log or two, ash overflowing from its darkly blackened core.


Willimina has been ever busy since her return to Igen Weyr, renegotiating trade contracts, setting up new ones with a few people in the bazaar, and of course, letting the whole Weyr know that their most colorful caravan has returned. The performance nights have been busy and full, and there is much to be done to prepare for the one tonight. There's an air of frivolity in the camp as her people go about practicing their routines. Willimina herself is giving instructions to their dance master. She has not resumed that position, having yet to recover her pre-Taliana form. Something the dance master says makes Willimina laugh and she just shakes her head. One of these days her dancers will learn that the rules se puts in place for safety are there for a reason. "Don't let her get too high up on those things, now. Despite the fact that she's right, she would break her neck if she tried certain things from that height. I want it kept low. If he bar stays low, she stays away from tricks I don't think she's ready for yet." The dance master nods and begins moving away, leaving Willimina to scan the crowd for her next project.

The next project, if it can be called such a thing, is approaching at the heels of a young Zingari woman. Amania feels like a shadow in the midst of all this color, dusty and charcoal-dark clothing still covered over in a sand-hued robe. The splash of blue across her waist and the lower half of her face would fit in nicely, were it covering her entirely. The crossbow slung at her back further adds to her air of seriousness. But there's nothing to be done about it now, and she follows in Reveka's wake toward a dark-haired woman who's just been left behind by the dancers - the woman Reveka named as Willimina, if it is indeed the caravan leader.

Willimina's sharp gaze spots Reveka moving through the crowd with someone whom Willimina does not recognize. She moves toward the young woman, a look of curiosity and suspicion on her face. "Reveka! Who is this you've brought into our midst?" Willimina raises an eyebrow and looks past Reveka to the woman following her.

"This is someone who has been looking for you, my leader. I thought I'd save her the trouble of having to locate you." Reveka smiles, somewhat apologetically, there were protocols in place for things such as this. "She seeks to find employment with us."

Willimina looks to Amania and her covered self with a calculating look. "Alright girl, come around, let me have a good look at you. Where do you hail from? What sort of employment do you seek?" Willimina is seemingly abuzz with questions, and she has her reasons why. "Remove your headscarf, girl. I can't get a good look at you if you're all covered up."

Reveka waves Amania forward with a nod of encourgement.

Amania, fully prepared to answer, isn't quite expecting to be so spoken for. She also isn't expecting the small volley of questions from Willimina - at least not all at once - and finds her brain playing catch-up for a second as she processes which she's supposed to answer first. "My name is Amania," she informs the caravan leader a bit curtly as she begins unraveling her headscarf, the titling of 'girl' being all too familiar in an unpleasant sense. Her face is soon uncovered, the klah-dark pools of keen eyes now complemented by full lips, a confident jawline and almost elegantly slanted cheekbones softened by youth. Dark hair is pulled back into a simple tail, and all in all, she has the look of a girl unaware of her own beauty…but carrying a hidden need to become aware. "I'm from the Undergr- from Kurkar Hold, caravan leader," she continues as she folds her headcovering a bit haphazardly. "I'd heard you might be in need of another guard…or at least willing to take one on, maybe."

Willimina dismisses Reveka with a wave of her head and nods. She takes another good look at Amania, taking in every detail, every nuance. "Well Amania, well met. You'll forgive my insistance you uncover yourself, but I find myself leery of unexposed faces these days." Willimina seems to relax, though her gaze most certainly remains riveted upon Amania's form. "You seem like you'd make a better dancer than a guard, but if that is the position you are looking for, we can always use more. Do you plan on staying with the caravan? Or is this something temporary for you?" Willimina asks because she needs to know, and because it will help her to place the young woman. "Coming from Kurkar I'm sure you have an array of applicable skills, We know a few from the underground." Or at least, S'ayde does.

Amania's gaze follows Reveka briefly, a subtle but grateful nod given to the other girl before her attention is squarely back upon Willimina. "I'd heard the Zingari had some troubles recently," she says with a nod when the caravan leader mentions being leery. The girl is taken aback, however, when Willimina says she'd be better for dancing than as a guard. "I…I've never danced in my life," she admits, a dusty rose undertone coming to her cheeks. Clearing her throat a bit, she quickly moves on to the next question. "I was hoping to stay, if you'll have me," she replies, fighting the urge to drop her eyes as though begging for it. "The Underground is all I've known, and I needed out. Being in the Bazaar for a while's helped, but it starts to feel the same after a while, too. When I heard about the Zingari, I hoped…maybe I could find a place here, and see more of what's in the world this way." She dares to hold hope in her eyes, still uncertain despite Willimina's line of questioning. She also doesn't know if she's going to be able to fit with the Zingari at all, considering…but she's seen enough to know she wants to try, and to learn.

Willimina chuckles. "Perhaps not, but you've the frame for it," she says of being a dancer. "We have had troubles recently, troubles that I am hoping are over for now. But we are not out of the woods yet and the extra help is appreciated. How good are you with that thing?" Willimina asks of Amania's crossbow. "I hope at least a decent shot, though if you stay with us I'll insist that you take a self defense class with the Guard Captain and that you learn to use a set of knives as well." Willimina eyes the girl one more time and decides a warm smile is needed here. "My people can be a bit overwhelming at first, but they are a good people. They'll treat you well." Willimina looks about, waving a hand at the caravan. "We welcome those from all walks of life, so if you want a job, you have it." Willa catches sight of a Zingari woman being shadowed by what looks to be a Zingari guard. The woman goes about drudgery type work and seems to be ignored by everyone, though many eyes watch her like hawks. "And keep your eyes out for that one, she's not to be trusted." At least not yet.

Amania considers Willimina's evaluation but isn't quite sure what to do with it just now. Then the big question comes up, and the girl pulls her crossbow into her hands. "Better than decent, I promise," she tells the caravan leader, and plucks a bolt from the leather quiver at her hip, peering around for somewhere to demonstrate. "I've never been as good with blades, but if someone can put up with me, I'm willing enough to learn." Spotting a wooden pole with a distinctive knot near the tapered top end, she loads the bolt and pulls back on the crank before taking a good look at the woman Willimina tells her to watch out for. "Why? Was she part of the trouble?" Amania asks, then lifts the crossbow, takes aim, and fires…hitting the knot at the top of the pole dead center and startling a brown firelizard that had just decided to perch there.

"I'm sure I can find someone to teach you, and I promise, it's not that hard to learn with the right teacher." Perhaps Willimina will set Amania up in one of S'ayde's classes, he's a good teacher with green students. Willimina's eyes travel to where Aztrexia goes about her work, a goodly amount of animosity sliding through her chocolate brown orbs. "More than…" is her response to Amania's question about the woman. However, Amania is then demonstrating her skill and Willimina looks a bit impressed. "Better than I could do with that thing, alright. Well, I suppose we ought to get you settled in then? I can get you a meeting with my guard captain Griggs in the morning, he is currently traveling with some of mine on a delivery."

The answer about the drudge woman now has Amania very curious, but she decides it's probably best not to press for details, especially since she's only just arrived. The matter of getting settled in now has her focus, and she eyes Willimina curiously. "Settled where?" she asks. Between the cave she grew up in and the adobe walls of the resident terraces, it hasn't occurred to her that to stay with the caravan, she'll be end up living in a wagon, of all things. Even being surrounded by them through this entire conversation!

Willimina laughs. "We have wagons that the guards share, or you can set up in the wagon for unwed women, or you may commission one be built. We also live in yurts, one of which can be grabbed for you in almost no time. It really all depends on where you would like to stay, my dear." Willimina waves at the caravan and grins. "Would you like a tour of the caravan? Perhaps we can grab a yurt for you for now from one of my best weavers, he's been producing them for some of our sister caravans."

Not knowing any of the other guards yet, Amania is immediately wary of the idea of sharing with them. Then she's being presented with even more options - a single women's wagon? Commissioning her own? The idea seems audacious. Then Willimina presents her with a word she's not heard before, and her brows furl in bemusement. "What's a yurt?" After processing that the caravan leader has mentioned a weaver, she suddenly looks to the tent that Reveka had pointed out earlier. "You mean one of those tents?" Now there's something she'd not considered before. "How do they survive the sandstorms?" Even as she asks the question, she's nodding to the idea of a tour. Best to get acquainted with where everything is now, even if she'll likely have to be reminded for a month or so.

Willimina nods and waves at Tallel's yurt. "Aye, one of those. We usually have them staked down well enough that they don't fly off with the sand, but most of us stay in the wagons during a storm." Willimina begins by walking around the area that the main fire occupies. "Here is where caravan business is conducted and meals made. The little ones also learn their songs and stories here." Willimina waves at the story weaver's circle and smiles. "The wagons parked around this area are the single men's and women's wagons, the guard wagon, the stores, and my family's wagon and yurt." Moving on, she moves to the performance areas, where stages, stalls and areas have been built and marked off. "This is where we perform. Most of our performers park their abodes around this area, or the outter ring of wagons, both of which have guard quarters parked amongst them…"

"I… That sounds good," Amania says of the yurt idea, warming to the though of how nice it must be in the heat. When there isn't a sandstorm blowing. Once again, she finds her head moving on a swivel as she follows Willimina, just as it had with Reveka. The sheer number of people represented by the wagons and stages and stalls starts to make her head spin. "There's so many of you," she notes, fully aware that she's stating the obvious but not certain what else to say. "More than any of the other caravans here."

Willimina laughs loudly and turns an amused eye on Amania. "And many, many of us yet." Despite those who chose to go their own way, The Zingari are still many in number. "The Zingari are not just one caravan, we are many - Haeyleri, DauDin, Armida, Kheeriin, and a few more, each led by one of the first Zingari families, each as colorful as the next." Willimina continues on, pointing out their residet wagons, the wagons for the elderly, the runner and herdbeast pens and where to take her washing or clothing repair work. They eventually end up at Timotin's wagon, the aforementioned weaver. Willimina knocks on the door briskly and awaits an answer. "This is Timotin's wagon, he is our best weaver. He can help you get a yurt and set it up."

Amania can't decide between looking offended at Willimina's laughter or anxious for perhaps coming across as dim. It ends up being somewhere in between, but she also doesn't think the caravan leader is laughing at her expense, so both notions subside fairly quickly. Learning that the Zingari are many caravans surprises her. "So there are even more Zingari? All over the continent?" She can hardly imagine what it would look like to have them all in one place. As they go along, she takes particular note of where laundry and clothes are handled, even though she doesn't have much in the way of garb. When they approach Timotin's wagon, she nods, her hand straying reflexively to the small pouch of marks at her hip. "How much will it cost?"

Willimina nods. "Aye, more of us than one could count." She smiles to think of it, all the Zingari in one place is a spectacular sight indeed. "Perhaps if you are with us long enough, you shall see the whole of us when we gather for our spring festival." When Amania asks how much her yurt will cost her, Willimina almost looks offended. "While you may have to purchase certain things amongst us m'dear, we do not charge our own for an abode. It will cost you nothing but your hard work and loyalty." Emphasis is put on the word loyalty and Willimina eyes the girl for her response.

Amania's eyes widen, a more obvious crack forming in her stoic wall in that she looks like she might start to cry. Loyalty? For a place to call her own, food in her stomach, marks in her pouch…loyalty is something that will come without question, even if it's a muscle she's not had much chance to exercise, save on herself. "But…it doesn't seem right," she says, her tone thickening slightly as she tries to keep a firm grasp on the emotion welling beneath the surface. "I'm not actually one of you, and…and…it's a whole place to live." Swallowing a sudden lump in her throat, she looks up at Timotin's wagon. "Are there clothes, too? I don't have much; I could pay for those at least…"

Willimina grins and shakes her head. "It is as right as it should be. You'll work hard enough that you earn the space you live in. You'll get a guard's uniform, but you'll have to purchase any other clothes you need unless you decide to perform, and then performance clothes are provided." Willimina clasps her hands just as Timo sticks his head out of the wagon. Before he can speak, Willa turns to face him with a smile. "This is Amania, Timo. She'll be working with us and traveling with the caravan from now on. She's in need of a yurt, can you set that up please?" Timotin nods and greets Amania before telling them both that he'll find them when he has it finished and set up. Then, he disappears inside and all is quiet again. "Timo will show you how to take down and put up your yurt properly when he has it finished. For now, I sugggest that you return to the main fire and get something to eat, and perhaps something to drink. You look shellshocked, child."

A uniform. Another one of those regimented things Amania didn't really give much thought to when she'd decided she wanted to be a guard. But it's another set of clothes, and she's most certainly grateful for that. She does her best to study Timotin when he pokes his head out, finding herself blushing unaccountably when the man addresses her. Then he's gone again. Everything moves so fast within the caravan, or at least it does today. Taking a deep breath, she looks to Willimina again and nods, not even huffing when she's called a child because the woman is right. She is a bit shell-shocked, just as much as she'd been upon arriving at Igen. "I think I could use both," she admits, and turns to see if she can spy a clear path back to the fire. At least she now knows that, when in doubt, heading for the middle will get her ther eventually.

Willimina smiles and leads the way, giving Amania something to follow amidst all the chaos that is normal Zingari life. Once back at the main fire, Willimina is kind enough to steer Amania to a table and collect her both a drink (possibly hit with a heavy dose of whiskey) and a bowl of the day's stew. "Here, that should put some color back into you. I suppose we are a lot to take in, but trust me, the routine becomes secondhand in no time."

Amania sits easily enough, shrugging off her crossbow and the sand-hued robe that swaths her once she's there. "Thank you," she murmurs before digging into the stew with aplomb. Even in the summer heat, it hits the spot, and so does the drink…though she makes a strange face at the mug after a few deep pulls. Something is in it, but she doesn't have any idea what. "I suppose I'll be finding out soon enough," she says of it becoming routine with a smirk. "It all feels a lot better than where I've come from, and I haven't even been here a candlemark."

Willimina nods her head at Amania's thank you. "You're welcome." She studies the girl as she eats and the face she makes at her drink. "It's whiskey. You'll find that in healthy supply around here as we produce it." Willimina smiles. "I'm glad you find it better. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some matters to attend to. Do not be afraid to seek me out should you need something though, it's a lot to get used to at first." And with that, the leader is off, chocolate curls swaying behind her.

Whiskey? Amania goes wide-eyed at Willimina again for a moment before eying her mug again. She's not had whiskey before. Really, she's not had any alcohol before, though she isn't certain why not. Perhaps it just never crossed her mind, considering everything else she'd been trying to do up to this point. She nods as Willimina takes her leave, managing a, "Goodbye, Willimina," before the woman is out of earshot. Alone again, she sits and eats, looking around and trying to take in as much as she can from her quiet vantage by the fire. Soon enough, she'll be on duty among them, sleeping among them…exercising her loyalty to them. The Zingari are to be her home now. With how she's been received thus far, her loyalty is the least she can give them.

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