Who

N'cal, Sienna, E'bert, Willimina, cameo by Prineline

What

Q&A between three riders and a trader in the Baths. N'cal may be leaving with more questions than answers, however.

When

It is early evening on the tenth day of the third month of the first Turn of the 12th Pass.

Where

Public Baths, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Public Baths

Stout walls have been erected around several naturally formed pools, serving to provide a semblance of privacy and protection from the harsh wind and sand. Above the pools, well cleaned walkways criss-cross beneath tiled arches and descend with a stairway or two leading down to each pool to provide one means of slip-free access through the area. Surrounding the pools there are benches, receptacles to put used clothing and towels in, and areas to get sweetsand and towels from - if you didn't bring your own.


With the arrival of a new season comes new weather to adjust to, and that isn't always easy - particularly in the air. New thermals go along with new winds, and sometimes, sometimes, those can catch a rider off guard. N'cal may be seasoned enough to know this, but he isn't immune, and the soreness of one such incident is what drives him to the baths after drills today. Long arms stretched out across the edge of his chosen pool with his head leaned back and eyes shut, the lean-muscled bluerider looks like he's been here for a while, long since done with the actual bathing part of things and just silently soaking to keep any further soreness at bay.

Sienna walks into the baths looking rather sullen. The injury of one of her recently graduated weyrlings hit her hard, driving home the danger everyone faces, and the weight of responsibility on her (and the rest of the staff's) shoulders. Stripping down, the AWLM slides into the same pool as N'cal, a sigh heralding her arrival as she settles.

Prineline has arrived to ease a few joints that ache with the onset of storms. As she takes note of Sienna and N'cal, the Headwoman gingerly settles into the occupied pool with her own little sigh. Silver-red hair is piled high so as to avoid dampening. Eyes slowly sink to half-lidded as she tips her head back, neck gently cradled by the edge and body lightly lifting into the buoyancy of aquatic suspension.

The first sigh brings N'cal's head up just enough for him to see Sienna without straining his eyes, which are slitted open just enough to permit looking without things being blurry. "Assistant Weyrlingmaster," the Arroyo wingsecond drawls, giving her a small smile and rolling his head over against his right shoulder as he senses that not all is well. "Is everything alright?" he questions, that bit of smile fading. The headwoman's entrance is noted, the bluerider's greeting a polite, "Good afternoon, ma'am," before he's looking back at Sienna, shoving damp hair back from his forehead as he brings his head up to appear a bit less languid about it.

Willimina slinks into the baths, a shadow amongst the shadows. She freezes when she realizes the pools are occupied, chocolate orbs widening. She tucks her towel tighter around her slim figure, taking a deep breath in. She isn't used to traversing the weyr itself, her Zingari pride keeping her with her caravan. But the hot, steaming pools are just too tempting. She drops her towel at the edge of a nearby pool and lowers herself in, leaning back with a deep contented sigh. She twists her long, curly hair into a bun at the nape of her neck and then relaxes, eyes drifting half shut.

Sienna dunks herself and when she emerges, she offers Prineline a polite nod. "Ma'am," she murmurs, before dark eyes move to study N'cal. She sighs. "Just…an injury in the Fall, is all. How are you? Everything alright with you and Iolarth?" Turning her head a bit, she spies Willimina and offers her a smile as well.

Prineline doesn't appear to be listening, in fact is that…? Yes. A small snore. Eyes are still half-lidded, giving fodder to the rumor that yes, the Headwoman does actually sleep with her eyes open so you will never get away with anything when she is in the room NOT EVER. Snore snort. Light splash. Unintelligible mumble. Snore.

Any greetings or smiles sent Willa's way are greeted with a nervous half smile from the Zingari woman. She gives a long blink, bringing herself to the present, and a watchful glint comes to her eyes. She reaches into the bundle of her towel and retrieves a small sack of sweet sand. She sets it on the side of the pool and dunks herself, disappearing beneath the surface of the water, leaving ripples in her wake. She re-emerges and begins working the sweet sand into her hair, one eye watching the Weyrfolk near her.

N'cal gives a hum of understanding, blue-green gaze falling on a vague point somewhere in the midst of the ripples in front of him. "One of…the newest to leave from under the weyrlingstaff, I'd heard. On Hogback. I'm sorry, truly." With a grimace, he shifts, letting his arms drop into the water. "Iolarth and I are well. Just resting up from a rough drill today; the spring wind shears here are troublesome, to say the least." A small smirk creeps in to lift one corner of his mouth. "I do hope Iolarth hasn't been bothering Kehemath overmuch in his eternal quest to get her to speak more." His attempt to bring a bit of levity along has nothing on the next sound to come along; the snore from Prineline has him blinking over at the suddenly somnolent headwoman in surprise. "Erm…I might suggest trying to wake her, but I'm not sure that would be wise." The shy woman nearby is finally noted, and the wingsecond casts a small smile her way along with a "good evening" before his attention is diverted back to the nearer two women.

Sienna glances at Prineline, staring at her intently for a moment. Then, slowly, she leans over to wave a hand in front of the Headwoman's face. "Wow," she murmurs when no response is forthcoming. Settling back into her spot, she sinks up to her neck and nods. "Thanks. Yeah, he was one of our recent graduates." There's a frown, and then a quick and easy smile. "Oh no, he's not a bother at all. She is very entertained by it, actually. She enjoys teasing him with it." She looks back at Willimina, with another smile.

E'bert has made his way in after a long day. As yet the newly minted Arroyo wingrider has not noticed anyone else. He plops down on a near by bench and begins the process of getting ready for the baths. His clean clothes are tucked into a cubby, while his towel and bag of sweetsand is placed within easy reach of the edge of a near by bathing pool. He just moving on autopilot right now, and will certainly sleep soundly once his head hits his pillow. No, he does not see those who are gathered. He's too focused on the task at hand.

"Evening…" Willa replies in a soft, even tone. She continues to work her lather through her hair, working through the thick tresses with some concentration. She listens to their conversation, a habit droned into her since childhood, information is always good to have. She returns Sienna's smile, though shyly. She wonders if she looks like one of the wild people that have been spotted in isolated parts of Pern, as she pulls things like sand and foliage out of her hair.

N'cal surveys the sleeping Prineline for an amazed moment longer before giving full attention back to Sienna again. "Ah, that would explain why he's so confounded sometimes," the bluerider says with a chuckle. "He's never quite known what to do with teasing. He likes her very much, though I'm sure that's obvious." Distracted now by what the other woman across the way is doing, N'cal gives a small, querying tilt of his head to her. "Were you caught out in a storm, miss?" he ventures with good humor, even as his eyes are drawn by the arrival of another. "Ah. Another of your recent graduates," N'cal observes to Sienna, giving E'bert a nod. "Settling in to Arroyo quite well and held his own nicely during that Fall. Even if he is a touch hot-headed from time to time," he adds with a wink at the young rider.

Sienna turns as E'bert arrives, lifting a hand to wave at him with a small smile, even if he doesn't notice. Looking back at N'cal, Sienna is grateful for him carrying the conversation. "Ah, yes. She's aware of it, which just makes her want to tease him more," she admits with a soft laugh.

Willimina freezes, like a wild animal caught grazing, brown eyes going wide and startled. She peers at the man addressing her through her wet tresses. "If you mean by practically live in them….then yes." A shamed blush follows her quick retort. One of these days she'll learn to keep her mouth shut. Back to the task at hand. She picks a few more stray twigs out of her hair and begins combing her fingers through it.

E'bert blinks at the sound of N'cal's voice then he's snapping a salute to the pair of riders already present. Nope, doesn't matter they're only wearing what they were born with E'bert's still giving them both a salute. Some things, once engrained, don't fade and this is one of them. E'bert looks around for the first time and looks like he may actually bolt. Female bits after all, and well the only girl he's seen naked and not thought too much about it has been Ivy, "Ma'ams, Sir," he says fighting the urge to just grab his stuff and go.

Perplexity reigns as N'cal regards the dark-haired woman, doing his best not to keep his eyes on her too long lest he make her blush deepen somehow. Had his question been inappropriate somehow? Then realization strikes, and he voices a quiet "ahh" in comprehension. "You're one of the trader folk, then? Perhaps one of the Zingari?" Since she doesn't strike him as Tlatoani somehow. He inclines his head, still minding his eyes. "Yes, that would explain it. I apologize if I've offended." Because he still isn't sure exactly what sparked her reaction. Considering Sienna's affirmation where Iolarth is concerned, the bluerider grins, shaking his head with a small laugh. "Teasing seems to be just as common among female dragons as it is among women," he observes wryly before his eyes are on E'bert again, and he waves off the salute even as he sketches one back. "Faranth, E'bert, do relax. You're in the sharding baths, lad."

Sienna closes her eyes, chuckling softly at N'cal. "And, just like women, some are better at it than others. Kehemath…seems a master, if she can intrigue her partner enough." Opening her eyes again, she looks at Willimina, concerned. "You're allowed to be in here," she offers kindly, guessing at a reason she might be so fidgety and flighty.

Willimina nods at N'cal's suggestions. "The Zingari are mine…yes." She disappears for a moment or two, rinsing the lather from her hair. When she emerges, she looks at Sienna and smiles, slightly. "I know… " Is her only response to Sienna's remark. Be begins the task of washing the rest of her now, turning so that her back and hair are all to be seen, not that being seen is anything shameful for her. She lives in a caravan, no privacy there. When she's done, she tucks her sweet sand back into her towel and drifts to the side of her pool that is nearest theirs, since they'd engaged her in conversation, she may as well join, or seem very rude.

E'bert nods as he finishes getting ready for his bath, and slips into the warm water. He'll just listen, and he'll just get clean. Yes, he's going to get clean.

With one of his newest wingriders seeming content to simply do what he came to do, and the unfamiliar Zingari woman currently with her back turned, N'cal focuses on Sienna once again. "Well," he says, lounging back against the side of the pool again, "it's certainly something I appreciate, which is perhaps part of why Iolarth does as well. At least, I can explain that it's what's happening when he gets baffled by it." He nearly doesn't notice when the other woman is finished and turned back to them, and he gives her a small smile. "Indeed, you are welcome here," he affirms. "I'm N'cal, blue Iolarth's. Well met." That, of course, could either serve to lessen or increase the Zingari woman's awkwardness…but he'll give it a shot, at least!

Sienna chuckles, winking at N'cal, amused as she runs her fingers through her curls to fluff them a bit. "Well, good. Because she's unlikely to stop. She enjoys it too much." Then Willimina is turning, and she smiles. "Sienna. Kehemath's," she supplies.

Willimina tucks a lock of wet hair behind her ear. "Willimina, Zingari Caravan Leader." She braces her arms on the side of the pool, resting her chin on them so that her arms and head are all that you see of her. "Well Met." She says. She's at a loss for what to say though, she's a trader…they are riders, vastly different worlds in Willa's eyes.

Catching himself in mid nod, E'bert finishes scrubbing himself clean. Unlike the last time he was here, he isn't trying to escape an uncomfortable situation. E'bert's simply trying to get clean so he can get his dragon to take him home. Stupid dragon anyway.

You overhear E'bert mutter, "Stupid … … … … … … … … … … … … has going on." to himself.

"Well, I hope that means she won't be surprised when he chases," N'cal returns, winking in kind. There's an air of inevitability to his tone - something he'd deduced about Iolarth quite some time ago. "I…hope you don't mind." Not that he has any say in the matter…but it helps to know one is at least on good terms with a greenrider, in his experience. Willimina's revelation of herself as caravan leader brings a smile from the bluerider. "How fare the Zingari these days?" he questions, genuinely curious. He's had some good dealings with certain members of the caravan in the past. Then some muttering from E'bert draws his attention. "Come again?" he questions, blinking over at the brownrider.

Sienna blushes a bit, clearing her throat. "Ah, I won't mind. But…are…do you know how her flights go?" she asks, looking a bit nervous. "Ah, leader? Well met indeed, it's a pleasure." She glances at E'bert, but well familiar with his moods, just leaves him be.

Shock, shock and more shock. That is the emotion that crosses Willa's fair features. Both winged brows rise of their own accord, making her look like she'd just seen a dragon adopt a clutch of firelizard eggs. "We're limping along…." She blurts before she realizes she's doing so. She looks from one rider to the next, looking incredulously out of her depth. The last rider she'd tangled with she'd gotten into a screaming match with.

E'bert blinks a few times as he sits in his pool trying to decide how best to get himself out and dressed, "I said, Karkath is a sharding stupid dragon. Insists I bathe before he takes us up to our ledge," something that E'bert seems to wholeheartedly disagree with. Though dragons can be very peculiar, and this seems to be Kar's quirk. Willimina is noticed again, and the young rider blushes slightly, "Sorry Ma'am," is offered for his grumbling over his dragon.

The nervousness accompanying Sienna's question is met with an eyebrow raised in slight concern. "I…don't, no; I've not been here even a Turn yet," N'cal replies. "Iolarth's only chased a few times since we arrived. Is there something we should know?" He turns that over in his head a bit; if it turns out Kehemath is on the violent side, he won't be too surprised. E'bert's reiteration gets a sympathetic smirk and a nod; they all have their quirks, certainly. Willimina's answer brings up another question…but N'cal waits to voice it, his regard firmly on Sienna for the moment as he awaits her answer.

Sienna is confused now, at Willimina's reaction. Shock? Whyfor the shock? "Limping?" she asks, with a mix of curiosity and concern. Then she looks to E'bert, and frowns. "Hygiene is important." Looking back at N'cal, the greenrider looks a bit uncomfortable and she just nods. But, "Later." Now isn't the time or the place. Though…she does shift a bit, showing him light scars that move across her back, layers and layers of them. All light, all not /horrible/, but there are a lot of them. Unnerving, much?

Willimina wonders what keeps the bluerider form voicing the question in his eyes, but Sienna addresses her first. "Yes… Limping. The Zingari have met nothing but disaster since the first freak threadfall at Keroon… We lost many. And then we lost a few more due to injury after coming back home. It has been one disaster after another since…ending with robbery and murder." She leaves that last bit unexplained, after all, the whole weyr had heard her screaming at Tuli about it. Some anger has crept into the young leader's face and it is as of yet unexplained.

E'bert looks from Sienna to N'cal, then he's scooting out of his bathing pool. There's stuff for him to do, "Yes ma'am," is said a bit belatedly to Sienna about her comment regarding hygiene. He's aware of that after all, but being dead tired he really would rather sleep first.

Unnerving to say the least! However, N'cal doesn't see the connection between Sienna's scars and Kehemath's flights, his mind immediately jumping to who could have done such damage to the greenrider. He doesn't know Sienna all that well, but there's a protective element to him that automatically kicks in when he sees (or senses) an injury to any woman, and he stiffens slightly at the sight, narrow features nearing a frown. "Of course," he says, nodding to her statement about later; it really isn't the time or the place, regardless of how curious he may be. For the moment, he listens to Willimina explain, somewhat answering the question he hadn't asked but Sienna more or less had. "That Fall caught us all by surprise," the bluerider murmurs. "I am sorry we could not protect you better that day, or thereafter, it seems. I have heard the Weyrsecond is working to address matters of crime in the Bazaar…the leadership is doing its best, Willimina," he tries to assure the woman. "Surely, you need only go to the Weyrwoman if the Zingari are in need of anything." By his logic, at least; being one of Arroyo's wingseconds affords him only so much knowledge of what may be being dealt with higher up, after all. E'bert's seeming departure is met with a nod and a murmur of, "See you at drills, E'bert." Otherwise, his attention is back to the women in the pool with him.

Sienna gives N'cal an apologetic look. "If you'll all excuse me," she murmurs, pushing herself out of the pool and grabbing a towel. "The Weyr does what it can, ma'am," she says quietly to Willimina, dipping her head. Drying, dressing, the AWLM is swift to head back into the bazaar and the weyr beyond.

Willimina sighs as she watches the two riders leave. She looks back at N'cal and her chocolate brown orbs convey weariness. "I cannot blame anyone for the Fall of Thread, sir; no one can be blamed for that." She looks around and sighs. "I know the Weyr does what it can, but I also know that people like mine, and the refugees, we fall through the cracks…people forget. And so we are left to scramble for ourselves, trying to eek out a living." This is more than Willa has spoken in sevendays with anyone outside her caravan. She silently wonders if it's a bad idea to lay Zingari business bare, no matter how vague.

"Clear skies, Sienna," N'cal tells the AWLM, though his eyes follow her briefly out of the water, still shadowed with a bit of concern. Naturally, Willimina has his full attention now. "It would be more difficult, were you not within Igen's walls, would it not?" he reasons, unable to comprehend how difficult it could possibly be within the protection of the Weyr. "Being a rider, I know I cannot fully appreciate what you must deal with, but I was a trader once. You are a hardy folk; you persevere, and you are an integral part of what shapes the life of the Bazaar and the culture that flourishes there. You need not go into details if you don't wish to," N'cal tells the woman, coming away from the wall again, "but if there is anything I can do to help, as a former trader…please, tell me. I will do what I can."

Willimina sighs. "I have no doubts that it would be an even harsher existence to eek out without being within the weyr, but it's not just fiscal needs…" She looks up, eyes softening and her demeanor relaxing, N'cal's confession of trader roots has lent him some leeway, "We are so few now… I'm calling my sister clans for extra hands, and without stock to make our goods, we sell no goods, it's no good for anyone. The robberies left us pretty much barren." She lifts exhausted eyes to the blue rider. "I appreciate your offer of help sir, but your dragon must keep you plenty busy."

Heaving a sigh of his own, N'cal starts a slow progress to the steps leading out of the pool. "He does," the bluerider concedes, "but after a decade of riding, I should hope I've learned how to look out for others as well as my own lifemate. If something catches my eye or ear that could benefit the Zingari, I will bring it to your attention." Deftly plucking up a nearby towel, N'cal steps from the water and wraps it around his hips as quickly as he can for propriety's sake in front of the Zingari woman. "A good evening to you, Willimina. Even roads below you, fair skies above." He gives the old Vandor farewell with a small smile, then slips off out of sight to change, disappearing out into the Bazaar bustle on the way to his lifemate thereafter.

Willimina stays silent, up until N'cal is walking away, and then she reaches out slightly, as if to catch him, even though he's too far away fro that. "Thank you…N'cal…sir," she says and flushes red as she extracts her own self from the pool and wraps her towel around, stowing her sweetsand in her hand. "Fair flying, sir." She adds and heads out herself, back to her wagon, and the dusty, gritty wind.

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