Who

Taurie, Eryzz

What

Merchant's Daughter Meets Harper

Backscened

When

-- On Pern --
It is 11:46 AM where you are.
It is noon of the sixteenth day of the fifth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.
In Igen:
It is the forty-sixth day of Spring and 84 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.
In Southern:
It is the forty-sixth day of Autumn and 58 degrees. The day is dreary and overcast. A warm autumn rain is falling down in soft drizzles.
In Southern Mountains:
It is the forty-sixth day of Autumn and 12 degrees. It's really damn cold out.


Where

Southern Weyr, Boardwalk, The Kitten

OOC Date 03 Mar 2018 07:00

 

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“I think it’s the latter. But then my personal motto is, ‘It’s not paranoia if they are really out to get you.’”


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Boardwalk

The Boardwalk is still standing after the floods; though there's damage to the wooden parts, leaving gaps to trip the unwary, the weather-smoothed ancient stone is more or less intact. Not so the stalls: even though the water has receded, between those that could be moved wholesale to safety, and those that were swept away by the storm tide, there's little left of them. Still, Southern resilience will win through: though only a handful of traders are currently in business, rebuilding has started.

It is the forty-sixth day of Autumn and 58 degrees. The day is dreary and overcast. A warm autumn rain is falling down in soft drizzles.



Midday and the weather hasn't let up still. The warm autumn drizzle doesn't seem to deter one new arrival to the Weyr, Eryzz, the newly promoted jr journeyman Harper, is making his way down the Boardwalk even though he had been warned that most of the vendors have yet to return after the flooding. His slate grey eyes are as overcast as the sky, cast down to the walkway in front of him to make sure he doesn't fall victim to one of those missing boards. He's dressed in a thick brocade jacket of navy blue, collar turned up to reveal lambskin on the inside over black linen pants tucked into his clunky boots. Pausing when he finally spies a few stalls that are actually conducting business, removing one hand from deep in his pockets, he runs his long fingers through his mop of coal dark hair rakishly before wandering for a closer look, adjusting the satchel that he has slung across his body.

Taurie doesn't really mind the rain saving the fact that it has completely ruined her hair and the bit of kohl and rouge she'd applied this morning. "I'm telling you Indris, we've forgiven the debt owed for this last shipment, you couldn't help that a storm wiped out everything. Of course we won't hold you liable for the loss of the shipment. But we simply cannot ship you a new batch of product without having you pay for it first. We'd be doubly in the out if we were to make an exception here, because you would owe us for the new shipment and any further orders after that. I simply can't budge, I'm sorry. Father has strict policies concerning these things…" She sounds exasperated, as if she's been arguing with the angry vendor for some time now.

"And wha' exactly do you expect me ta' do in th' meantime miss? I got to make a livin' somehow! An' if I don' have product ta' sell then I got no livin' ta' make! I've been in business with yer father for turns, been a loyal customer all this time an' yer tellin' me he canna' give me a break just this one time?"

Taurie sighs. "That's exactly what I'm telling you Indris. I don't have the authority to override this, and I don't have the funds to front you either, I just got settled and my finances haven't been worked out yet." And her monthly stipend isn't something she wishes to risk on a vendor that may or may not keep his word.

Eryzz tilts his head as he catches the interaction between merchant and angry vendor, one thick black brow hiking curiously as he ambles his way closer, making sure his knot is quite visible as he shamelessly eavesdrops. The exasperation of the young woman is clear, and in this harper's mind anyway, she is being more than reasonable. So with the slightest upturn to his lips, Eryzz steps up to the two at this point and says with a bit of an ironic chuckle, "Nice weather we're having isn't it?" his voice is mellow in an unflappable kind of way. His hand combs through his dark locks again, as he clears his throat. "I couldn't help but hear you two talking business," because they weren't being quiet is the implication before he continues. "Anything this impartial Harper may help you with?" He swings his steely gaze from Indris to Taurie, lingering longer on the latter.

Ah! a Harper! Just what Taurie needs right now! Wonderful negotiators, harpers. And besides, better put on her BEST face, lest word get back to her Harper Mother that she's being unreasonable with the merchants. "I was simply trying to explain that my father cannot front an entire shipment of goods when the last was wiped out by a storm. We won't charge him for the last shipment, but if he wants a new one, he'll have to pay upfront. This storm took its toll on our business as well and we can't afford the loss, or, potential loss."

"An' after a storm like tha', how am I ta' be expected ta' pay? Th' storm took all I had…there's no marks or trade left for me to build back what I would need ta' pay yer father for a new shipment!!! I think I've showed enough loyalty o'er the turns ta' be trusted miss!"

As much as she would love to help him out, Taurie can't and the shame and frustration of the situation obviously bothers her, but she cannot budge one iota here. Not one. She waves a hand at the vendor, looking to the harper as if to say 'You see what I'm dealing with here?' and fights the urge to roll her eyes upward.

Eryzz nods considerably at both arguments, looking as if he is really considering both sides here. "Well I can definitely see how this runs into a predicament." He turns first to Indris. "You say you are a loyal customer of this lady's father. But I don't see him here. I see her." and he points towards Taurie before swinging his gaze over to her. "I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for full payment for your wares, credit is always at the discretion of the individual merchant." With a turn and a shrug of his shoulders, he looks at the vendor, "I mean, there's really not much you can do at this point except beg… a young woman..in front of all and sundry.." And he narrows his eyes, hissing through his teeth, "And do you really wanna be known as the guy who begs?" Hey, he said he was impartial, he never spoke to his skill as a negotiator.

Indris looks as if he's about to explode with argument, until Eryzz brings up begging. The man is a man after all, and the thought of being seen begging a woman for a lend in credit has the man's prideful hackles up. He shakes a finger at Taurie, his features contorted in frustration and rage. "Now you see here missy, yer father will be hearin' of this and if'n this policy of yours is true, you've just lost loyal business.!" And with a glare for the harper, and a more venomous one for Taurie, Indris stalks off down the boardwalk muttering about backstabbing merchants and their whore daughters.

Taurie looks like she might object to being used as a misogynistic example for how Indris shouldn't want to be seen, but the tactic works and Indris is off, even if he isn't happy about things. Taurie glares after him and then turns to Eryzz with a half smile, half look of offense on her face. She sticks her hand out in greeting and steels herself. "Thank you for helping." She says, both stiffly and genuinely. It's an odd mix and she clears her throat, hoping she didn't sound rude. She lifts her eyes to meet with his and makes eye contact. Firm eye contact, it was like her father's mantra. Don't ever trust someone who won't look you in the eye, her father always said. "I'm Taurie." She adds, belatedly.

With grey eyes darkening after the man's 'whore daughters' comment, Eryzz broods momentarily before the young woman is thanking him and putting a hand out for him to shake. He stares at it for a moment, then looks back up at her before curling the corner of his lip up in a half-smirk at the look of offense on her face and takes the hand, shaking it maybe a little too roughly. "No need for thanks. Just doing my job miss." The firm eye contact is remarked with a simple rise of a single dark eyebrow, and is returned just as intensely, but with a touch of humor. "Eryzz, Jr. Journeyman Harper. Well met Taurie." For a long moment he forgets that he's still holding onto her hand and quickly drops it awkwardly, running his hand again through his coal black hair, a nervous habit maybe, as he drops his gaze briefly.

Taurie wonders at the lingering touch but offers up a smile in place of awkwardness. She places her hands on her hips and rolls her eyes. "Well, as you could see, I was getting nowhere with him. So I'm going to thank you anyway, because I could not have been rid of him sooner. I feel for him, but there is simply nothing to be done about the situation." A moment more and she's wiping at her cheeks, knowing her kohl must be smeared from the drizzling rain. "Let me buy you a drink as thanks? Please?" Anything to get out of this damn rain! Taurie runs a hand through her damp locks and raises an eyebrow.

"A drink?" Eryzz asks, both eyebrows raising appreciatively as he ponders Taurie's offer with a look of skeptical surprise, maybe a touch of suspicion creeping into his tone. "Really, it was no bother." he gives a half-hearted chuckle as if really it was nothing, cause it kind of was. "I'm not even a negotiator, I'm specializing in Archiving." His self-effacing manner seems genuine enough. But then he sighs and looks up at the rain drizzling down on him and with a long drawn out sigh, the harper just shrugs, "I may as well. Gotta learn where the nearest watering hole is eventually." His lips press together in what could almost be a smile, although it's held back, cautious.

Taurie sighs and shakes her head, those hands going right back to her hips. "What is it with men arguing with me today? It really was a big help…" Despite Taurie's obvious offense at the earlier comment, she really is grateful and wants to show her appreciation. His specialization catches her attention and she grins. "If I'd have been a harper, that's where I would have been too. I do a lot of the bookkeeping for Daddy and you should see his business archives. He would be forever lost if he didn't have me to organize for him. Come on, I'll show you a place called The Tipsy Kitten, it's been my favorite thus far…" And then she's returning that smile of his with a genuine one of her own before she's off and if Eryzz actually wants that drink, he better follow.

Blink blink. Eryzz wonders at the young woman's insistence, pleasantly puzzled, but willing to go along for the ride. "I'm not trying to argue with you." He puts his hands up to show he is harmless really, the barest hint of a smile on his lips as he looks down at her, grey eyes half-lidded as he nods with a sigh. "I guess the Tipsy Kitten it is. What a name. There's gotta be a good story behind that." he exclaims as he pushes his hands deep into his jacket pockets as he waits for her to lead the way.


The Tipsy Kitten

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Here there be drunkards: a marble bar and the gorgeous array of colored bottles behind it would be enough to draw them in, but more yet lures those to enjoy the recreation the Kitten has to offer. Windows allow light to naturally illuminate the first floor of the tavern in the daytime, while green-tinted glows shine after nightfall. A door behind the bar leads to the tiny kitchen, while a stairway leads above to the rooms available for rent. Among the hubbub and the ruckus, a calamity of tables scatter through the open space, plenty enough for dragon poker tournaments on rest day eve.


Taurie laughs. "Aye, I wish I knew it, perhaps we should ask the proprietor." She looks over at Eryzz from over her shoulder, nose scrunching in amusement. She prances ahead and keeps small talk going until they reach the Kitten and walk through the swinging doors of the Southern saloon. As she walks in, she's glad of the dry warmth of the tavern and pushes her damp hair back once more.

Eryzz enters the Tipsy Kitten, holding the door for Taurie who led him here. His own trek was done in silence, allowing the girl to fill it with small talk if she wants to. As he steps in after her, his slate grey eyes take in the tavern with his usual intense regard. "Not bad." he adds casually as he side-eyes the merchant girl in a subtle invitation to choose where she wants to sit, his hand reaches out to run through his damp hair.

Taurie picks a spot near the stairs, and leads Eryzz there with a look of appreciation for him holding the door, since he didn't seem to enjoy the verbal thanks before. She slides into a seat and works her hair into a damp, messy bun at the nape of her neck. "Ah, this is much more pleasant than being out in all that rain." She gives a happy sigh, and one might wonder if she notices how the damp has made her clothing cling to her, the waiter certainly does, and near trips at the sight. Recovering, the youth swaggers up to the table and asks what they would like to drink. "HIm first…" Taurie insists.

Eryzz sees that little trip by the server, and wonders about it briefly before he looks back at Taurie and indeed catches how her damp clothes are clinging to her. Taking her suggestion that he order first, the dark haired harper clears his throat briefly. "I will have a pint of ale." he says simply before looking back at Taurie, slate grey eyes firmly on her face as he folds his arms on the table top in front of him. "Your turn." he says simply with that pressed lip almost smile that he favors. And once she makes her order, he bobs his head, "Yes, this is pleasant. I bet it gets busy in the evenings." he says that in a way that leaves it up in the air if that is a good thing of a bad thing.

Taurie orders juice, with a splash of rum and a basket of bread rolls to snack upon. "It does, sometimes, but for the most part, I've enjoyed my experiences here. It's fun to people watch and they get all types in this haunt." It's one of her merchant's skills, people watching. "So what had you down on the boardwalk on such a …damp day?" Green-blue eyes focus on Eryzz as she props an elbow on the table and props her head upon her palm, fingers curling around her own cheek, a damp lock of hair spilling into her features.

"Well I will keep that in mind." Eryzz says as he dips his head in thanks as she relays her experiences with this particular establishment. When he's asked what he was doing on the boardwalk, he chuckles softly, "I was hoping to do some shopping actually, I just got posted here. My first posting actually as a journeyman. And I have a very bare room. Just wanted to cozy it up a bit I guess." He gives a non-commital shrug of his shoulder as he gives her a soft smile. "I guess I don't have to ask what you were doing there."

Taurie perks a bit. "Mm. I need to do some shopping along that same vein, I decided when I came from Ista, that I'd basically start with everything new. The only thing I brought with me besides my clothes and other necessities, was my bed and the matching tables. My father made them of driftwood and I absolutely adore them. I really do need to decorate…" She looks thoughtful for a moment, and when she comes out of it a bit, their drinks are being delivered. She perks even more and even giggles a bit when Eryzz makes his quip about her business on the boardwalk. "No, I suppose you don't. My father's Southern contacts don't shmooze or hobknob quite as well as the others I've encountered elsewhere on Pern. I'm having to learn a brand new dynamic down here, I'm afraid." She sighs.

“Oh, so you’re new here too?” Eryzz asks with ague interest as she relays that little tidbit of info, nodding along as she talks, just going along with it until their drinks arrive and he pulls his ale over to his side of the table. At her last he just shrugs, “Maybe life at Southern isn’t as cushy as life up north. Maybe you need different tactics than schmoozing an hobnobbing.” there’s something almost cynical in the way that he talks, scoffing with a touch of morose as well, although his slate grey eyes hold a touch of warmth. With the quirk of one thick dark brow, he lifts his glass of ale in a toast. “To finding your own way of doing things.” he says, his intense eyes staring into her face, but the barest curl of a smile on his lips.

Taurie nods, a slight smile tipping up her lips in response. “Yes. Pretty much fresh off the boat, haven’t been here long. I came in just after a nasty storm hit.” She looks thoughtful when Eryzz suggests learning a different tactic. “Indeed. I’ll figure it out eventually.” She lifts her own glass when the harper makes his toast, her own lips quirking in response to his. “Cheers.” Taurie’s blue-green eyes lock with Eryzz’s and she drinks from her glass, examining Eryzz from over the rim. He is pleasant to look at. What is it with harpers and the handsome boys? Taurie shakes her head a bit to clear her thoughts, a very slight pink running across the bridge of her nose. “So, did you choose your posting here? Or were you assigned?”

Eryzz nods thoughtfully at mention of the storm. “Yeah, no one told me, so it was a nice surprise when I landed. I’m not sure if it was purely ignorance on the Hall’s part, or if someone deliberately failed to give me the head’s up.” He leans a little bit, and lowers his voice before he continues. “I think it’s the latter. But then my personal motto is, ‘It’s not paranoia if they are really out to get you.’” his dark humor is accompanied by a dry chuckle and just the barest hint of a twinkle in his eye. Lips remain though in the little curved, not quite grin of his as he takes another swig of his drink. At seeing that little blush start just across the bridge of her nose, it does pull the corners of his mouth just that much closer to real smile-dom. When she inquires about how he managed his posting here, he narrows his eyes suspiciously and leans back to look at her for a long moment. “I was, of course, assigned here. Having just newly walked the tables, I would hardly be able to influence my first posting as a journeyman.” His words are spoken with self-effacing modesty, but again flavoured with just a dash of dry, sardonic wit.

Taurie shakes her head. “I bet you it was the result of a prank on you…” She says of Eryzz not knowing of the storm. His motto earns him a chuckle of Taurie’s, she herself appreciating the dry humor in his comment. That tug of lips of his has Taurie's hopes up that she might get to see a real smile, but no, he sort of narrows his eyes at her and answers. “Of course, but you never know who has hooks into the upper ranks, nepotism is a thing sometimes.” She chuckles and leans back in her chair, drink moving to her lips as she studies Eryzz with both fascination and curiosity.

Eryzz raises one eyebrow quizzically as he makes a show of really scrutinizing Taurie’s face for a moment as if looking for something there. “Well you seem trustworthy enough, but you first must swear that you will keep what I am about to say between us, understood?” He is leaning forward now, elbows braced on the table top as he moves closer as if about to share a secret of the greatest import, grey eyes intense in their study of hers, locked and unblinking while lips are still pulled into a straight line, no hint of curl now.

Now it’s Taurie’s turn to give a half suspicious look, but she sets down her drink and nods, arms crossing under her bosom. “Alright, understood then, I promise.” She raises an eyebrow, blue-green eyes alight with an odd sort of curiosity, as if she’s slightly unsure of what she’s about to hear, lower lip catching in her teeth. She notices then that his steely grey gaze is intense, something she could see being mesmerizing in another light.

Do Eryzz’s eyes dance just slightly when the blond girl leans forward? Surely not, he is the perfect picture of seriousness now as he lowers his voice to a whisper. “I may have hinted that to a couple of key people in the Hall that Southern is where I would like to be sent after I walked the tables. But it’s not because I was interested in the rich history or writing about the wildlings that make the jungles home as I told everyone.” Here he takes a moment to turn and look to one side then the other, before he leans closer, his face mere inches from her own as he whispers ever lower. “I heard that Black Rock Hold is a den of pirate activity, and the only thing my mother ever told me about my father was that he was a pirate captain, and this.” He holds up his right hand where a signet ring with an ornate letter E is engraved, “Is the only thing I have to go on, I don’t even know his name.” He lets that percolate for a moment before a smile, a real one crosses his lips, and he scoffs, “Of course, I’m almost positive my mom made that story up because the truth was a lot less exciting, but I figured, if I make some inquiries, and come up with nothing, I can at least say I’ve tried, right?” And his tone has returned to a self-deprecating sarcasm as easy as that.

Taurie’s eyes widen with surprise when Eryzz gives up his secret, a spark of interest lighting in those blue-greens as he speaks. Pirates? Really now? Now that is a juicy piece of information from the young harper. Though, there might be some unease there too, being the daughter and heir to an Istan Merchant’s business, well, pirates are a source of interest, and fear. Bad for business those buccaneers of the sea. “Well well, that is an interesting quest to take on…If you like…” And now it’s Taurie’s turn to lean in and lower her voice, a slow smile curling her lips, “I can check our records, Papa meticulously keeps track of any attack or theft that happens to our ships, and who was involved, if he can.”

Eryzz’s smile widens just slightly as Taurie offers up her help. Maybe he had an ulterior motive in revealing this little tidbit of information to the Merchant girl, but he tries not to let it show and instead, he merely shrugs his shoulders dismissively, “I wouldn’t want you to waste your time or anything. I really meant it when I said, I’m almost sure nothing will come of it. Mom…well, she had a flair for story-telling. I think she believes it, but I couldn’t find anyone back home to corroborate what she was saying. So I’d rather find the truth myself. Not that I would ever tell her though.” The first real warmth enters the even and almost deadpan tone of his voice for a moment before he clears his throat and realizes suddenly they are in very close proximity with each other. A little cough gives him an excuse to sit back and turn his head as he coughs some more, going slightly red, but surely from whatever is caught in his throat, With a long swallow of his ale though it seems to sooth as he settles back in his seat.

Oh! There! Is that a smile Taurie sees?!?!? Surely she should take a mental picture because she has a feeling those don’t come often from Eryzz. “It’d be no trouble at all, really.” Still, she listens patiently to Eryzz’s telling of his mother’s words and nearly laughs when he realizes they are quite close together, but she’ll save his dignity and hold back. She leans back, half a triumphant smile on her own lips complimenting the slight blush that blooms under her skin, unbidden. Well, seems Eryzz isn’t the only one a bit flustered by the closeness.

Eryzz narrows his eyes just slightly again at the blush that seems to color her cheeks, lips pressed firmly together, so that only the upturned corners betray the smile that was there. Drawing out the moment by slowly finishing his glass of ale, he seems to be considering again, the wheels always turning behind those slate grey eyes of his. Tapping the finger with the signet ring on it gently on the glass, eliciting a softly musical sound, he cants his head to one side and nods slightly. “Ok then. Any help you could offer would be most appreciated Miss Taurie.” and the half smile he graces her with has a hint of playfulness as he follows that with, “We’ll have to hook up sometime and I can fill you in on the rest of the details. Unfortunately I have business to attend to right now. But you can always ask around the Crafter’s Complex if you want me.” Then he realizes what he said and a bright blush colors his whole face, “Want to find me” he corrects himself as a hand reaches up to nervously comb through his coal black hair.

Taurie giggles and covers her mouth when Eryzz makes his little faux pas and nods her head, not able to help it this time. “I’ll be sure to keep that in mind….should I want you.” She drops a wink to Eryzz and pays for the drinks, handing the marks to the waiter as he moves by. She stands and gathers herself to leave. “I have to get going too, see you around then Harper Eryzz. Mm?” Another wink and Taurie is headed back to deal with the Merchants and Traders around, perhaps she’ll manage to end her work early today and get to checking on those ship’s records.

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