Veresch, Onari, Finn


Veresch comes to the Reika in search of a gift and some information. Finn and Onari are happy to oblige.


It is evening on the twenty-eighth day of the sixth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Igen Weyr, Caravan Grounds, Reika Encampment

OOC Date


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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.

It is the twenty-eighth day of Summer and 118 degrees. The night is clear, the wind stirring.

It's not quite late afternoon, not quite dinnertime yet, with only the faintest streaks of the approaching dusk in the sky as Veresch makes her way to the caravan grounds and, from there, to the Reika caravans. Her steps are firm and even, girl on a mission, and she's clad in wherhide leathers, dark and comfortable — long-distance messenger outfit, perhaps. When she reaches the correct area of the grounds she slows down, casts her gaze about, hoping to spot one of the younger Reika before she has to deal with the stern patriarch.

Veresch won't have to look far; the youngest of the Reika is hovering just at the edge of the circle of rustic wagons, both the runner and the thick top layer of clothing she's wriggling free of coated in the dust of the road. Onari and Gola have just returned from elsewhere, it seems, and the trader girl is quite intent on both not dying from heatstroke and getting at least somewhat clean. As she makes her way over to a large basin full of water kept near the main wagon, she just happens to look up in time to see Veresch approaching and gives the younger girl and enthusiastic - if tired - wave before reaching in for some water to splash on her face.

ENTER: From the other side of the space between the wagons, the next youngest of said younger Reika, tripping and laughing as he runs, holding a bolt of cloth aloft and out of reach of a younger sibling? Cousin? She's fuming and, well, shorter than the rangy smith who doesn't really even have to try that hard. He stops, plants and dips his head down to steal a quick kiss as the girl crashes into him. Uh… Definitely not a sister. Or cousin. The girls yelps and hops back, a swat that might have been a slap fended off by lowering the bolt of cloth. "Finn! It's too hot for your… your…" the girl stomps and snatches the bolt from his hands, "Shenanigans!" Finn laughs, about to say something in response when, with both hands choked up on the bolt, she clouts him upside the head. "Oof!" He rubs at his head, hand flashing out to snare the girls hand. Whiff. "Aww. Ciedise, I was just… Ciedise!" The girl rolls her eyes and shoulders her way past Onari and Veresch giving Onari SUCH a look. He trots after the girl and checks up against the sight of his sister and the weyrmessenger. "Ah, heh. Evenin' girls."

Veresch, seeing Onari, brightens and hastens over, one hand raised as well. She's barely at the girl's side before the rest of the Reika show up, and SHENANIGANS appear. "I thought all animals are randy in the spring," she remarks very drily to the beast's younger sister, though there's a hand held up for Finn too, of course. "Evening, Onari, Finn." Her tone of voice is bracing today, firm: "I'm off on a bit of an errand soon, but there's something I thought to barter for here as well. I need a knife, and some information. I can pay for both, of course." There's little about either a messenger or an assistant's duties that allow her to barter for such things. "I know it's a little late, but perhaps you'd not mind?"

Onari is toweling off her face when Finn's latest shenanigans victim blows past, and the trader girl scowls after Ciedise for a moment before rolling her eyes at her brother. "Am I going to have to smooth some hackles again? No. You know what? You can do it this time. I'm the one talking people around enough of the time…" Veresch coming up and making the remark she does nearly earns a smirk, but Onari is irked enough at Ciedise's departure that she just shoves her sleeves up around her elbows and plunges her hands in the water to scrub at her arms with a huff. "Someone's still confused about when the seasons change around here," she scoffs - mostly in an aside to Veresch, but she's not bothering to keep it from Finn, exactly. Finishing her scrubbing, she sighs and throws a damp cloth around her neck before leaning against the wagon. "Sounds important," she observes before thumbing at her brother. "The man for knives…" Then she gestures at herself. "The girl for information…but it depends on what kind, of course."

"Ah, Veresch, Onari," Finn sighs their names, looking off after lovely Ciedise, he falls into a wistful slouch, "It's the wise trundlebug that labors through the Summer to survive the Winter so that he may enjoy the Spring." Yes, that was labor. Difficult, difficult work. Someone's gotta do it. He sighs again, "Hackles?" Faugh. "Naw. She's all bark that one." Apart from walloping him. He grins at Onari leaving him to smoothe things over, "I'll see to it," a sly, too-toothy grin. At Veresch's statement his eyes take in her bearing and her dress and he straightens, nodding at Onari's description of competencies. He waves Veresch along with him and snags the cloth from Onari as he moves by and snaps it at her, turning around to walk backwards and peer at Veresch while he wipes his face and then leaves the towel slung 'round his neck. He plucks his sweat-soaked shirt to circulate air under it, "How are you not dead?"

"Brothers," Veresch comiserates to Onari. What memories she still has of hers are much like this, although he had already been old enough to marry, and she old enough to embarrass him when with girls. "I don't want to know about, ah, Ciedise's bite. Or bark. 'nari, you should make him clean up after himself, so that her father can beat him, not have talks with you." Swift punishment! She moves past the basin of water around to the back of the caravan, promptly setting down on a short stool. "Special Weyr Training," she mentions impishly as she removes a bag, then the jacket. "I'm going night-riding. Weather eyes say it's going to fall close to freezing up in the air, so." She wants all her limbs intact, thank you. "I need some information about water routes along the Central Range foothills to start with, and a knife for a guy."

First, Onari's eyebrows jump when her brother filches the cloth meant to cool down her neck. Then she pushes off the wagon angrily. "Fiiinnn!" Grabbing another rag, she dunks it in the water and stomps over to him, rusty dirt showering off her boots as she closes the distance and flings the sopping thing into his chest with a wet shlock. Satisfied, she turns to Veresch, her expression schooled to coolness as if nothing just happened. "'Night-riding?' On…a dragon? Or runnerback?'" 'In the air,' should give it away, but Onari is thinking the air at this altitude, period. At the mention of water routes, she turns thoughtful, though it's the knife thing that brings a smirk. "'A knife for a guy'… To use on a guy, or to give a guy?" she asks, the smirk sliding into a sly grin.

Finn grins wickedly at Onari and flinches at the wet rag tossed his way. Apart from the shock of getting pelted, it feels great and he smiles fondly at Onari before wadding it up and tossing it back at her. "Whoa, whoa. There will be no beatings, nor talk of beatings." Hands held out, pacifying. A concerned look has crept onto the blithely happy face at the thought of Ciedise's father. Not the sharpest knife in the smithy, ol' Finn. And, then, worry is forgotten in a moment. "In the air?" asked right atop Onari's request for clarification. He doesn't assume arunnerback, because WHY? Finn's backward progress towards his wagon halts. Rather like with Ciedise, but no roguishness at play here. "You going flying?" Light-colored eyes track up to the first stars of evening glittering on the eastern horizon and back down to Veresch. A knife. For a guy. He holds out forestalling hands again and smirks as Onari asks his very own question. Great minds. Because Veresch is lookin' mighty fierce. He narrows eyes at her warily and looks like he's about to shut down negotiations, "For the latter," he opens a panel on the side of his wagon, "I'd really recommend a dagger." A small selection of blades appears. None, Veresch may note, are daggers.

It's quick, and it's hidden, but there's a whisper of melancholy in Veresch's expression as she watches the two of them play. It's … odd-sweet, an emotional taste combination, spiritual umami. "In the air," she repeats as she blinks it away, glancing at both siblings. "I'm going on a dragon; I've asked them to drop me off there at an incoming caravan, so I'll take the land-route back. Might be gone for a good whack." Her mouth turns almost prim, but there's a hint of devilish teasing. "It's for a guy. No stabbing yet." Up goes one arm, and she motions a little past her fingertips. "Arm about … that long? I want something solid and practical, but a bit pretty too — man-pretty? Is that a good description?" Her eyes drop to the selection of blades, and she blinks thoughtfully at them. The tranquil frown on her face twitches a little, and she reaches one hand out to sweep above the fan of pointy death, never quite touching, closet-covetous. "These are… really nice, Finn."

“That’s what I’m saying,” Onari says to Veresch suggestion about letting Finn clean up his own messes. As the younger girl explains what she’s doing and what she’s after, Onari stops nearby and goes about ridding herself of dirt-infused boots and riding pants, content now to be barefoot in the slightly damp pants of light linen she’s been wearing beneath it all. She smiles broadly over the fact that Veresch gets to go on dragon-back, then laughs at the description the girl uses for the knife she’s after. “‘Man-pretty,’” the trader girl echoes with amusement. “Aye, knives are one thing that could fall under that category. Must be a rather special guy, if you’re going after one of Finn’s knives for ‘im.” Not that she’s biased or anything. The look she gives Veresch over this whole matter is very curious…though it also suggests Veresch doesn’t have to say anything until they’re somewhere without her brother around, if that’s preferable.

A sigh, rather like a grunt in how it catches the back of his throat, but the wistful cast to Finn's features casts it in the sigh category. Eyebrows hike at the mention of being dropped with an incoming caravan. He darts a curious look at Onari who more clued in on the comings and goings of other trains. He extrapolates from Veresch's gestures the relative size of the 'guy' for whom she's shopping. He grins at Onari's echoing of Veresch's phrasing, beaming a bit at Onari's praise, which really just means the toothy grin stretches wider. "I'm all about 'man-pretty.'" His eyes drop to the wares, "Thanks, Veresch. These are the newest," He indicates a trio of blades, nudging the nearestwith the knuckle of a curled finger, "That's the one I was working on the other day." It's a heavy thing, bold, the blade a good seven inches, curved and countercurved along the serrated spine. There's another, more elegant, but eminently functional, notched at the bolster to cut lines, serrated, double-edged, sporting a little diamond inlay of banded malachite at the fattest part of the grip. Lapis inlays, gold-flecked, on the butt of a stubby, tough-looking blade, sitting atop a handsome sheath with lapis beadwork. There are a half-dozen others, sturdy, functional and handsome. As Veresch is admiring the work, Finn takes the opportunity to look over the girl's head at Onari, arching a single knowing brow, grin going all lopsided and impish. It would probably be best to have 'girl talk' without Finn around, yes. But, hey, he might have some key insights. STOP LAUGHING.

"I haven't forgotten." That's to the mysterious noise at the back of Finn's throat, but it's left alone there. Enough time to rattle cages later on. "I'm here after information as well, 'nari, not just the knife. The one's almost as important as the other. But… I don't know. He is kind of special, but we've not talked since the Hatching." A weyrling then, obviously, and the reason for her carefully flat expression. Enough explanation right there. One finger reaches out to poke at the knives, careful, trailing it over lapis-work and malachite inlay and the nasty edge of a serrated spine, until it's clear she's not looking only for a gift, though all of them would be too heavy in the hand for her. Finally, hesitantly, she picks up the one with malachite inlay, frowning a little at the weight of it in her hand, and holds it perhaps surprisingly expertly. "This one," she says, as it flicks around in her hand. "How much?"

At the reminder of the other reason Veresch has come to visit, Onari nods and backtracks a few steps to take up the discarded riding gear she’s set aside. “Information. Aye,” she says, huffing a bit of a sigh. “Give me a few minutes; I’ll be right back.” With that, she vanishes into her wagon, emerging a short time later with her clothes changed to a long, light skirt of dusty green, a loose shirt of cream-colored ramie, and some simple, slip-on shoes. In one hand is a long roll of hide, while the other holds a glow basket. “Water routes,” she explains as she nears Veresch and unshields the glows against the waning light. Unrolling the hide, she reveals a map - simple, yet carefully scribed, illustrating the whole of Igen’s coverage area and then some in each direction. “They’re more numerous - and shorter - heading west, for good reason.” Her fingers brush a the largely blank expanse of the Telgar Steppes and Great Central Desert before moving to the eastern side of the mountains. “No need for so many as you head south along the River, since irrigation is easier. Still, there are a few, mostly from the River Hold, and usually carrying the drinking water they prepare there. You can see them getting more numerous as the roads move off to the Red Butte and the Keroon Plains.” That area gets traced, and the trader girl glances over at her younger friend. “What do you need these for? Or can you say?”

Finn nods at Veresch's selection, looking to Onari about the information the weyrmessenger is seeking. "I hear they keep those weyrlings under pretty tight wraps." Whoops. Uh. Finn scratches at his jaw, "I mean, he'll be glad to see just about anyone when…" uh. Hmmm. That wasn't any good either. Maybe Finn should sit out of 'girl talk.' It's not that he's embarrassed precisely, but, well, he doesn't want Veresch to be uncomfortable. "He'll really like that one," full on dopey grin back in place, "It's one of the first I've tried out with, yanno, ornament." 'Man pretty.' "One and one-half marks," he says of the price. As to the other business, he shows Veresch the remainder of the knives while Onari gets changed. As they're looking over the maps, he helpfully holds the glowbasket so Onari's hands are free. At one point he interjects, "Good fishin' there," he points a callused finger at a spot. "Or… was it there?" Hmmm. He blinks. "There. Definitely there." It's not a body of water. "Leastwise, it was back a couple turns ago when it flooded. Washed up all manner of interesting stuff."

Veresch watches Onari go with slightly wide eyes. This is somewhat easier than she had imagined! She stares fixedly at the map as the trader re-emerges in comfy clothes, and even more so when it's unrolled so that she can look her fill. Finally, with too much information before her eyes - she's not trained to a Harper memory - she sighs. "'nari, what would it cost me to trade for a copy of that map?" That tack of diplomacy only lasts until she registers what Finn is actually saying; her head snaps around when she does, and quick as blinking an eye she smacks him on the shoulder. "D'you just not ever think before you speak?" she asks, surly, sweet soprano acid-lined. "I'm not looking to be some once-off Weyrling celebration that they can screw around again, okay?" Sheesh. One hand digs at her waist, and she digs up a handful of marks, likely from her dwindling post-Hatching win. "Half a mark. And it'll dip, if you insult me like that again." She wants the knife, of course, but there is a limit. Finn likes dancing close to it.

Onari just rolls her eyes at her brother, not bothering to do anything else when Veresch makes it clear she can hold her own in the matter. Maybe Finn gets a few more points back by holding the glowbasket for them, but not many. "Bloody right you won't be," she mutters to the younger girl, though she eyes the half mark that gets offered. With a thin, apologetic smile and a small tilt of her head, she leans a little closer to Veresch. "At least a whole mark, Resh." Surely the girl knows Finn is already offering her a considerable discount just for being close to them all. What one of those knives would be going for in the Bazaar… The not-body of water Finn points at earns him a look. "And you…fished for the 'interesting' stuff, did you?" She huffs an impatient bit of a sigh and waves her brother's hand away, landing a smaller finger on the first spot - a tributary off the Igen above the Rive Hold. "He's right, though; this had good fishing. Somewhere to remember, if you're traveling thereabouts." She considers the map, tapping her chin and looking worriedly over at the main wagon. "There's another copy… but it'd be noticed if it was gone. I've heard there's a Harper in the Bazaar - an artist. I'll bet he could make a copy for a reasonable price."

Finn grins and rubs at his shoulder, "You'll have to ask Onari, she's the recordkeeper." And she probably has an extensive catalog of who he's run his mouth off to and what it's taken to mend. And that would be only the half of it. "Veresch," he leans in, bumping Veresch's shoulder with his, keeping the pressure there until she looks at him. His brows are canted upward, a worried furrow on his forehead, "You couldn't be, hey?" He looks entirely sincere. He shoves with his shoulder again and leans away, then looks down at the blade, sweeping a hand, "Especially not if you give him this." He winks and then, at her offer of a half-mark, he sobers. "I opened with my price to you." Onari's surmisal was correct. "And you're not wheedling a sliver less outta me just 'cause I hurt your feelings." At Onari's suggestion to seek out a Harper he nods. "Heck, you probably know the place already, what with messengerin' and all." About the 'interesting stuff' he simply hikes a brow and says naught. "You have a fishin' kit, Veresch?"

"I know," Veresch stage-whispers to Onari as she mutters about the price. Veresch isn't stupid, really, just mean like a wasp when insulted. Still, it fades agreeably enough when Finn sort-of-not-but-yes apologises, and her shoulders shrug. "I can likely draw it off myself, I was more wondering what it'd cost to be able to do so. I thought all of you traders were… you know. Protective about stuff?" Blame Goran. It's all his fault somehow. With slight sleight of hand, she holds up the marks that she pulled out, letting them tote it up themselves: a full mark in mixed currencies, and a challenging eyebrow. "Might have a kit about me somewhere, yeah. When you say interesting…" Pause. A considering one. "Mark thirty-second," she offers.

Blame Goran indeed! And the rest of the shady third of the Reika caravan. "Don't hang about the Varas too often," Onari murmurs, idly glancing about just to be sure none of that particular family are within earshot. "If you want to copy it, that's fine, and I can help you check it over…but I can't let you take it." She lowers her voice a little bit more. "You can certainly come by as often as you need, and I'll keep the copying materials stashed. You can even get started on it tonight, if you like." The exchange between Veresch and Finn is kept out of for the moment, an eyebrow raising at the increase the girl offers.

"The Varas are good earners, Onari," Finn's brows furrow, who's the diplomat now? He relents a bit, tipping his head to the side, "For good or ill she's right, though, you'd best look sharp tradin' with them. You'll get exactly what you bargain for." Said the way he says it, doesn't sound so good. "One and one-half marks and I'll offer you the same on one for you that you get to pick the materials on."

The two of them earn a strange look from Veresch. Trouble in the Reika camp? She ignores most of it though, inclining her head in favour of Onari's suggestion. "I'd appreciate it, 'nari," she murmurs, expression perking up a little. "It'd really help me, and it'd be helpful to have somewhere to stash all the stuff." A glance is shot at Finn - the mention of a Finn-knife of her own wins out - and she shrugs, taking out a few more coins. They're sifted into his hand, scrupulous measure, and she holds out her hand for the knife, fingers wiggling. Gimme. "Managed to arrange for your first dragon meet," she points out. "Greenrider named Claire, if you meet her whilst I'm gone."

"I know," Onari concedes to her brother, though her tone is grudging. "Papa was right to bring them along; they're saavy. I just…" She trails off, unwilling to say more for the moment. She hasn't quite gotten up the courage to tell Finn exactly what's going on in her head concerning the Varas. The troubled look morphs to a smile as Veresch and Finn strike a bargain, and then her eyes light up when it's revealed that there's a dragon meeting to take place. "Another chance to be up close to one of them, Finn?" she asks. "No surprise there, I guess." He's had quite the one-track mind about dragons since they arrived at the Weyr.

Who's the bargainer, now? Finn is. That's right, he just sold not one, but TWO knives. Never-you-mind that they were a bargain. "Done," he grins, about to spit on his hand and recalling her reaction before he relents, "Custom orders are half up front." He takes the marks and picks through them counting them out with a wrinkle on his brow. "One and three-sixteenths," murmured. Finally, "One and one-half marks." He tucks the marks away. "Oh? Claire? Where do you think I could catch up with her?" He grins at his sister and shrugs helplessly. Her look is noted, Finn may not be too sharp, but he knows his sister. There's something she's not telling him. Huh. He bundles up the blade and a sheath to match, wrapping it in a length of undyed cloth before handing it to Veresch.

There's an adage about having two bargains in the bush against one in the hand, or something. Veresch clearly doesn't feel cheated. Her hand folds around the cloth package and close for a moment, knuckles white, before her hold on it gentles. "There's one that I met in the bazaar. Pretty canny, but I think there's something going on there. He moves like a predator, not a Trader." The upside-down logic likely doesn't bear examining, she'd not be able to explain her perceptions. "A chance for you both," she says, standing and gathering her jacket. "I don't think she'd object to meeting two Reika as opposed to one." Finn is tossed a sour look. "In the Weyr, where else? It's just if you meet her somewhere in the next seven before I return, afterwards I'll search her out for you."

“If I’m around whenever she’s near…I suppose I wouldn’t mind it,” Onari says of meeting this greenrider and her dragon with a slightly nervous smile. Veresch’s description of the one of the Varas earns a raised eyebrow, but the trader girl thinks it rather apt, in all honesty. She doesn’t voice aloud who she thinks it might be, however. With a nod of approval for what her younger friend has just acquired, Onari proceeds to roll the map back up. “Alright, Veresch. Just let me know when you want to get started and what you want to do, and we can get to work. Do you need anything else? Some water or juice, maybe?” she offers, belatedly realizing that they didn’t even get so far as that courtesy.

There’s also one about fortune favoring the bold! Woo! There’s a school of thought on negotiation which posits that if both parties leave the table unhappy then the deal is good. Bullshit. Finn’s of the opinion that there’s always a happy middle ground. But Veresch doesn't seem happy. He looks at Onari, Finn's got a short list of his own on who that predatory trader could be. Onari gets a 'we're gonna talk later' look as he's helping her scuttle her maps and charts, mostly by keeping the glow trained on the work surface. To Veresch, "You okay?" He tilts his head, brows canting in a way that creases his forehead, lips pursed curiously. "Water would be great! Thanks Onari!" He tips his head 'round the other side of his wagon, "Come on, let's look at options for your blade." That'd cheer her up, right?

"No, I have to go. We're taking off soon," Veresch murmurs as she slings on her jacket. With one hand cradling her purchase close to her, she reaches out with the other. First Onari gets a tight hug (even though it's warm), then Finn a briefer one. "I'll be back in a seven or so to come and look at that map again. Don't burn down the Weyr until I get back, okay? I'll come and talk about knives then as well." Her eyebrows hitch happily. "Make sure you get enough gems and metal together for then!" Muahahaha; the price has been fixed, and no limits placed on what she can ask for, clever-pants Finn. Take that. With a last wave over her shoulder at them, she trots off.

"No promises!" Finn calls, smiling after Veresch's retreat. Whether on the burning or on the gathering of precious stones and metal, he doesn't say. It'll work for both. "Fair skies, Veresch, see you when you get back." He turns, following after Onari. "Hey, Onari." He rounds the wagon and she's no where. "How does she DO that?"

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