Rhydian, Xh'zil


Awkward talktime.


It is evening of the nineteenth day of the seventh month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Southern Weyr Boardwalk

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.

Amongst the vendors who call the Boardwalk their home is, of course, a vendor of drinks that cause warmth and fuzziness on a wet winter evening. An awning provides shelter from the rain, with several folk huddled beneath it, sipping their beverages, avoiding getting wet in the hopes, perhaps, of being able to make it home without getting a good dousing. On the edge of the crowd, sipping a mug with contents hot enough to steam in the chill of the evening, is Rhydian; the Starcrafter stares serenely out at the falling rain, while sipping on his drink and trying to avoid being bumped by whoever's closest to him.

While rain isn't something that tends to bother him very much, rain and chill together are something even Xh'zil isn't particularly interested in powering through if it can be avoided. Thus, the bronzerider has found himself under the awning and feeling entirely too crowded. He gravitates toward the edge, brushing past but careful not to actually bump Rhydian back out into the rain as he stills nearby with a polite, "Excuse me," for the uncomfortable proximity.

There's room enough for Rhydian to move over a bit without risk of getting wet when Xh'zil comes up beside him, and so he obliges by scooting a half-foot off, as far as he can go without bumping into the person on the other side of him. He smiles at the rider over the brim of his mug - which contains mulled wine, as the rich aromatic steam gives away - taking a sip before speaking to him. "It's, um, quite crowded, isn't it?" Idle chit-chat for two blokes stuck together!

"Indeed," says Xh'zil. It's not exactly sarcastic, but there is a sense he's not incredibly impressed with being told the obvious. In case that itself isn't obvious enough, however, he adds, "And it's raining." He glances at Rhydian more directly, taking in the whole of him before his gaze shifts back out to the aforementioned rain rather than the crowd.

Rhydian has a smile for the rider when he's looked over; an easy-going, I-don't-mind-the-rain smile. "Oh, yes. The rain's been kinda, er, constant, hasn't it? Day, night… always raining." Which suits him just fine. He curls his hands around his mug, holding it at chest height to draw more heat from it. "It could always be worse. Um… it could be sleet. Or hail. At least the rain doesn't, ah, hurt?"

There are no smiles from Xh'zil. He doesn't seem to have a face that smiles anymore than is necessary out of common politeness. Clearly not even that much, since there are still none forthcoming now as his gaze draws back to the crafter. "Doesn't it? You seem to be nursing that drink quite closely. It it wasn't uncomfortable, that would hardly be necessary. Besides, it it was sleeting or hailing, none of us would be as likely to be out here."

"Oh, um, that's for the cold, not the rain," Rhydian explains, with just a hint of a blush colouring his cheeks for being called out in such a way. "It's, er… it's comforting. The warmth. I don't mind cold - I grew up in it. But feeling warm is a, uh, lot nicer than letting winter into your bones." He raises his mug to his lips, drawing a sip before lowering it again. "I quite like hail. I'd be out here in it."

The look the bronzerider gives the rain suggests he feels like the cold and the rain are currently one in the same. And he's not particularly fond of either just now. "You're out here now," he points out. It's not hailing. "But you wouldn't be if it were sleeting? It would have to be colder, anyway, and fewer people are willing to deal with the cold to that extent." And because he's not a barbarian, he introduces himself, "Xh'zil. Bronze Mishonth's."

Rhydian wrinkles his nose at the question of being out if there were sleet falling, instead of rain. "Um… sleet's not my favourite. It doesn't know what it is - ice, snow, rain? Slush. Bleh." He shrugs, then offers the newly-introduced bronzerider a hand warm from the side of his mug. "Well met. Rhydian, Starcraft journeyman." A beat - then he adds: "Rain-lover."

Xh'zil eyes the hand for a brief moment before accepting it with one of his own, slightly cooler, in a firm, professional handshake. "I suppose that makes more sense," he says in regards to Rhydian being a starcrafter. "So is it rain that's your favorite, then? I'm not sure I've ever given it much thought." It's taking a lot of effort for him to maintain this small talk. If he doesn't sound like he actually cares about the answer, it's probably not personal.

Having had plenty of experience with people who care little for his occupation, Rhydian is actually quite pleased that Xh'zil would ask him whether rain's his favourite. "One of," he replies with an enthusiastic nod. "I'm, ah, fond of storms, but rain is beautiful. I don't think you can, ah, beat the smell after it falls - and I like how it, um, washes everything clean. It's nature's clean-up. It's perfect."

"I think I prefer the way it smells after a lightning storm. The reaction of the lightning with the air. Something about that. It's… nice." Xh'zil doesn't say things like this very often. Personal things. Fortunately Rhydian doesn't know him well enough to realize that. Ah, the joys of random meetings with strangers. "I think insects aren't given their proper due for cleaning up," he adds. "I imagine they do quite a bit more than rain."

"Oh - oh yeah, that's… I mean, I, uh, I agree - that's one of the best - it's not just a smell, it's a whole, um, feeling, like…like a tingling in the air? Like the air knows something's just happened and it's like… it's like… holding onto it, or um, or something." It's difficult to explain, but whatever that je ne sais quois is, it's something that excites the Starcrafter. Less exciting, however, is bugs. "Ah. Um. Right. Insects are… I guess they're important, too. That's more Farmcraft territory, though, than, um Starcraft."

"I didn't realize the world was sectioned off so perfectly," says Xhaz in regards to Starcraft versus Farmcraft. "I'd expect a starcrafter to know perfectly well that the air is incapable of feeling or knowing anything, however." He doesn't seem to think Rhydian actually believes that so much as he's pointing out that he lacks whatever sentimentality it would take to relate to whatever the crafter is saying.

Rhydian blinks up at the taller man, a frown creasing his brow. He pushes his glasses back up his nose, then gives a gentle shrug of his shoulders. "Well. I, um… nothing's perfect. I'm sure if the, ah, insects started to affect my work, then I'd take time to, um, to study them. They know more than the, haha, air, for sure." The Starcrafter isn't quite comfortable any more, and he runs his tongue over his bottom lip before upending his mug to drink down the last of his mulled wine. "I'm, ah, going to get myself another - would you like anything?" It's an ask out of courtesy rather than anything else.

Without commenting on the rest of what Rhydian says, Xh'zil responds, "No. That won't be necessary. I think I'll be on my way." Apparently the rain is a better option than hanging out under an awning with a bunch of people he isn't particularly interested in talking to. "But thank you. It's been a pleasure." Which is the sort of thing you're supposed to say. With that, though, the bronzerider heads out into the rain to continue with his business.

"Oh, sure. Nice to, ah, meet you too." Formality for formality, Rhydian offers Xh'zil a bob of his head and a farewell wave before nudging his way through the crowd, heading for a refill.

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