Lark, Tzajal


Two Crafters cross paths in the Pens and are rudely interrupted by panicked wild wherries, of all things…


It is afternoon of the nineteenth day of the seventh month of the fifteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Pens, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 20 Nov 2018 05:00





Here thar be pens, in a variety of shapes and sizes fit for all manner of beastie. The largest pens are those housing plump herdbeast for human or draconic consumption. A few of the smaller pens are unoccupied, though there are remnants of their former occupants still evident on ground and fence. The actual pens themselves are made solidly constructed, proof of Igen's resilience in improvements. In each pen there are troughs for feed and water, and they appear again by the stableside.

Ungodly hot is the day and Lark has stripped down to the lower layers of her clothing that she so often wears in the evening. They are stuffed into her satchel which has been so quickly abandoned in favor of roving the pens. Shoes have been removed leaving her upshot in a pair of airy trousers and loose sleeveless blouse in white. Loose ringlets dips here and there, fraying about her face with the excessive heat shown upon her brow in a generous sheen. Perhaps she is here to be free of the invasion that has crowded out her usual spots but in either case the large eyed starcrafter is leaning down currently to inspect a pen and its contents. Her hands remain far enough away not to leaves fingers unwarily near an unfriendly occupant.

Welcome to Igen’s summers, where no matter the time of day, it’s hot! Now that the sun is beginning to lower and the worst of the oppressive heat is abating, the Weyr is coming back to life again. That includes the animals as well, though most are still huddling under shaded covers or near water. Workers of all sorts are drifting here and there too, appointed various tasks though any heavy or labor intensive work that isn’t an immediate concern will be left nearer to nightfall. No sense risking heatstroke! At first, the pen that Lark chooses to inspect appears empty but movement soon betrays the contrary. From the shadowed comfort of a covered shelter, steps a runner who’s coat gleams gold-like in the summer sun. It’s a fine bred creature, clearly well tended to and yet… alone. Blue eyes fix curiously on Lark and the runner looks intrigued by its ‘guest’. Hoping for a snack, maybe?

Lark straightens up from her peering when the runner comes in sight and the tip of her nose wrinkles in delight. Her own blue eyes stare back and she lingers close to the edge of its pen, tilting her head as she gives him a look an a forelock of curls moves against her sparkling brow. "Well hello," she chimes warmly. Her voice is pitched a little on the low and inviting side. "Your color is …extraordinary," she remarks in faint awe. She brushes a few wisps of air, thankful for the occasional stir of air that is like life. She breathes in deeply as one washes over her ands he lifts both hands to wipe from brow over hair. The starcrafter brushes her hand to the outside of the pen, taking a sidestep to keep the runners interest. Sadly she has no treats to give but it has yet to find that out.

If the runner could take a compliment (or even understand it), it would probably preen right about now and show off a little! It does, in fact, move as Lark moves but probably not in the way she’d hoped. The runner’s ears suddenly pin back flat against its skull and it makes a few sounds that are territorial and warning in nature. A hoof is pawed against the ground and the entire body language changes, though it does not charge the fence — yet. His coat flickers and gleams in the late afternoon, certainly eye catching and beautiful (and rare). Again he tosses his head, but before there is chaos, a voice speaks up quietly behind Lark. “Might wanna step back a bit. He’s got a bad temper on most days but is just an outright beast in this heat.” If she happens to turn around, she’ll spot Tzajal standing there, looking equally as uncomfortable in this weather but dressed accordingly. Unlike that runner though, he has a more easy going smirk curving his mouth and a far more approachable demeanour.

Stars are her forte so when Lark is confronted with the hostile reaction she goes still, utterly so. Those blue eyes flicker over the form of the runner and its attractive coat. Her gaze lingers perhaps for two long but the warning from behind her breaks her fixated attention. There is no question for the understanding of the situation he gives and thus her bare feet bring her a few steps back, the runner considered once more before she turns to look back over her shoulder. "Good thing I follow the rule of the unknown. Touch nothing." Her full lips quirk into a half smile before a gold brow draws upwards to crease her forehead. She turns then to faec Tzajal fully and those curious eyes may make a quick study of him as well. "I think we all take on a level of animalistic reactions in this ridiculous heat." She takes a few steps closer, either to speak or perhaps just gain a better distance from the pen and its riled contents. "You seem to know a great deal.." she begins and then tilts her head to regard Tzajal. "Are you willing to show me about?"

“Eh, well… with Iapetus, you don’t even have to touch him somedays. Just getting too close will sometimes set him off if he’s in a mood.” Tzajal explains with a low sigh, as if he speaks from experience. It seems the stallion knows the man well, as the displays soon taper off and the runner loses interest, choosing to graze instead for any hopeful blades of hay or grass in the baked dirt and dust of his pen. Tzajal’s gaze observes the animal for a moment, but soon turns back to Lark herself. No doubt sizing her up or trying to place her and failing to do so. “… and if we’re going to stick to rules,” He points to her bare feet. “You might want to fix that to start.” Grinning for her mention of everyone’s tempers fraying, he chuckles. “Good point! Though I have to ask, what brought you here? Something’s telling me you’re not a new stablehand…” That grin only broadens for her next question. “I’d like to think I know a great deal but that’d depend on who’d you talk to!” Everyone’s got opinions, but Tzajal is being modest about the reputation he holds here. Instead he holds his hand out to her, in offer of greeting. “I’m Tzajal. Herdcrafter Journeyman and specialize in beast healing mostly. That creature there,” He points to the now “calm” stallion. “Is mine.”

Wiggling her toes as she looks down at them she hmmms with a quirk of one side of her mouth. "Right…well then," She turns her head as if trying to find something and she does. A few feet away are said boots and pack and she is quick to fetch them. The small things are unlaced already so its a matter of getting dusty, somewhat dirty feet back into them. It means when he offers his hand she is half pulling them on, leaning over. She brings her foot down to help slips the rest of it into her boot before she offers her hand over. Small and charcoal stained. "Lark, Starcrafter Senior Apprentice, likely to be one forever," she says of her rank. She quickly snatches up the next boot and with another wiggle, shove, stomp she is once more shod. "Well then I have not talked to anyone but you so we can both assume I am of the idea that you know a far more than I do, which means a great deal. And as for what brought me? A change of pace, this time of day the kitchens are unbearable and it is often where my idle hours are spent. I hope that is not a problem? I had not really considered my presence being a bother." She tilts her head, arching a brow before warring with another errant curl.

Tzajal laughs for Lark’s observations on her forever-station of being an Apprentice. “Yeah, it feels like that doesn’t it? I remember being stuck at that point, too.” However long ago, given he’s well into his thirties now! Looks are deceiving and thought his hair has greyed along the temples, he is not that aged. He blinks as she talks, listening patiently and politely as he regards her in a new light. “Starcrafter, huh? Don’t think I’ve ever crossed paths with one of your Craft before… unless it was to seek a runner for travelling purposes.” And even then, that is more a task he delegates to stablehands and not to himself or Herder Apprentices. “Guess you got a point there. Just like I’d not know a thing about stars and…” He fumbles a bit, before looking rather sheepish. “There you have it, see? I don’t even know half of what you do. How ignorant is that?” Grinning, he gestures for her to follow her, but only so that they can find somewhere slightly shaded to stand, rather than in full exposure to the sun. “No!” He’s quick to reassure her. “No, not a problem, so long as you stay out of the pens and don’t harass the herds or animals here. You weren’t doing anything wrong either with Iapetus. Like I said, he’s just mean to those who haven’t learned how to handle him.”

"Forever and a day more like," Lark adds and glances back towards the direction of the crafter domiciles. "The head starcrafter has a thing against..women in his craft. I feel like I am climbing uphill on an neverending slope. Maybe one day," Her smile warms, wrinkling her nose and showing off rather full dimples. "You can say you have now. Something new every day," she points out and already sweat is starting to trickle down the back of her neck and across her collarbone. She arches and swings her satchel to her shoulder moves to follow him, shadowing his steps until they can reach somewhere less toasty. "You are not ignorant though if you were curious..you would be welcome to come during one of my chartings. I go nightly," she says, looking to other pens as they pass and it is only when they find relief that she pulls a waterskin from her sack and drinks from it. offering it back to him as she lets the gulp linger in her mouth to drive away the dust and dry air before swallowing. "Good..I would hate to make a bad first impression. Is he yours then?"

Ah. There’s a heavy sigh from Tzajal when Lark shares a little more of her struggles. “I’m sorry.” He genuinely means it too, from the way his mouth sets in a grim line. Sympathetic, almost! “Never really grasped why some feel they need to exclude women or make it so damn difficult for you. Craft should be about skill, not gender…” He trails off, exhaling a bit and letting that grin return. “But enough of that.” It could be that he’s had this ‘argument’ plenty times before and in as conservative as a Weyr as Igen is, Tzajal may be erring on caution in voicing what may be ‘revolutionary’ type thinking. “Keep at it though. One day, you’ll prove to them. You made it this far, yeah?” That’s something to consider, even in his eyes! He chuckles, “Nightly? Well, that’d depend if I am awake but should I ever have a late night… perhaps when the next foaling season is due. Then Faranth only knows when I sleep!” Herder humour, but more truth. Shaking his head at her offer, he declines the waterskin for now. “Yup.” Tzajal almost beams from pride. “He’s mine. Turns and Turns of careful, meticulous breeding and I finally got him. Not only that? He recently sired a foal with his colouring and a colt, at that!” While he’s off on a tangent sharing his victory, there’s a commotion going on further down. It sounds an awful lot like chaos on the move and lots of distant shouting.

"It is part and parcel sometimes, but he can't just get rid of me, he's stuck with me." Lark seems amused by this prospect of annoying the head starcrafter just by default of her gender and presence. Sharp blue eyes regard him however, her expression softens a measure or two as she pulls back the waterskin and takes another big gulp before she stuffs the cork back in. She slings it to her shoulder and sets the satchel down now so that the next faint breeze through the pen area can be fully appreciated. The back of her blouse is getting a bit damp from the weight of the satchel holding it down against sweaty skin. "Well then well done, he is beautiful…quite so and more to follow. I would not mind seeing them..if you have them still?" Her eyes range the pens then and wipes the back of her hand to her forehead. Though the commotion breaks her gaze from him as her chin lifts. "Did you hear that?"

Tzajal grins, “His progeny, you mean? Taver is still very young and with his mother with the other mares and foals. Doesn’t have his sire’s temper, so far as I can tell…” He was probably going to get to inviting Lark to follow him. If there’s one thing this man loves to discuss, it’s his line of work but more so his personal breeding project. It’s a safe, neutral topic and it’s obviously a passion of his! Alas, chaos strikes and her query has him frowning and focusing elsewhere beyond their current conversation. Though he quirks a brow in question, it won’t take long for him to figure it out. “Sounds like trouble, that’s what. Hold on,” he mutters the last, stepping aside and clearly intending to figure out the source and settle it swiftly. Instead, the trouble comes to them in the form of wild wherries stampeding their way through pathways and over fences. A few of the stupid creatures go right into Iapetus’ pen and are promptly challenged by the stallion. “The f—“ Tzajal’s surprised exclamation and curse is drowned out amid the ruckus as he promptly ducks back in by Lark’s side. “Where’d in Faranth’s name did they come from!?”

"Sounds like you have your hands full," she remarks and as they intend to start to move she goes for her satchel again. She holds still to her waterskin and then pauses when he looks to see what is going on. The sight of the first few are just the warning to the onslaught that follows. Lark's eyes widen and she ducks as one clips past her head and looks to him before there is a flapping of wings and their obnoxious cries as they come threading through the pens. As a measure of keeping herself safe she swings her satchel and manages to clock one and send it skidding to the side. It leaves her open and catching her breath in the blistering heat - lungs suddenly burning with her quick breaths in an adrenaline rush she winces. Up comes her other arm as she is over extended. The beast flaps its wings and beak comes at her. The waterskin connects just barely with the talons and it is ripped open, dousing a portion of Lark in water. Fighting with the thing now caught up in the remnants of her waterskin she catches one, no, two talons along her upper arm and hisses, tossing the spend object aside to carry the wherry to the ground with it. She stumbles back and brings her satchel up in front of her as pale shoulder begins to trail angry red. She winces a little but is trying to live through the wave of them.

“Shards, girl!” Tzajal had been so caught up in the moment as if he can’t quite comprehend just what is unfolding. He’s dealt with troublesome scenarios before but nothing quite like this! Having spotted other Herders and workers chasing the wild wherries and taking care of the chaos left in their wake, he’d turned to her just as she struck the first one. He’s having to do his own fancy footwork to keep from being a target but he’s got something far better than a satchel and waterskin; he’s got a belt knife! Sure, it’s meant more to be a multi-purpose tool and not a hunting weapon but it’ll serve. Without skipping a beat, he’ll dive for where Lark has been pinned. If any wherries are still passing too close, a good gaze with the blade will be enough to deter the panicked creatures. “Quick! Give me your hand! Come on.” He’ll hold out his free one to her and once it’s gripped, he’ll hold on firm and tight as he seeks to drag them both to safety. Heat be damned and by the time they’re out of the danger zone and closer to the stables, even Tzajal has to stop and catch his breath. Wiping at his brow, he’ll scowl at those angry lines on her skin. “Shit. You got tagged good, didn’t you?” No thread of panic in him, though he’s muttering under his breath. “… if someone took down the wherry pens, there’s going to be hell to catch for that…” Oh, if only he knew! For now though, his concern seems focused on Lark.

There is no question in her whatsoever when he offers. Her damp hand reaches out and takes his, her grip rather firm in his own as she continues to use her satchel as a shield to cover her head and face as they run. The heat is searing, the air is befouled with the burning sensation that leaves her coughing a little when they finally stop. Her blonde curls have not been spared and by now her white shirt is splattered with a bit of her blood. She shakes her head, lowering the satchel which has some tears in it. She is busy giving that an inspection when he comments on her wounded shoulder. Her satchel hits the ground with a soft thunk as she turns her head and lifts her arm to get a look. Trails of blood are already slowing down her arm save for one that caught her a little deeper than is likely good. She winces a little and then looks up at him with a furrow of her brow, beads of sweat caught there. "Nothing that won't heal..is there anything I can tie about it?" For the moment at least. Now that it has her focus she actually grits her teeth.

Reassurances come in small doses and one can be taken in that Tzajal, though a beasthealer, is no stranger to injuries in the field. As a seasoned Journeyman as well, he knows how to react and despite the ongoing confusion and flurry of activity around them as more folk are made aware of the situation, he manages to flag down some level headed aids. “Fetch some clean cloth and some water, will you? Then go check on the herds and flocks and get me a report immediately!” Grim faced to them when he turks to Lark, his expression smooths to something a little more comforting. “It’s probably looking worse than it is. Doesn’t seem like anything major got hit, but we’ll have to worry about infection. I’ll get you temporarily patched up but you’ll need to be seen properly by a Healer…” He looks apologetic then, as he crouches by Lark and peering a little closer to her wounded shoulder. “I won’t be able to personally guide you there, but can send someone with you.” He’s got all sorts of damage control to deal with!

"Just want to be sure it doesn't keep bleeding," Lark admits and her little nose wrinkles. A breath is exhaled as the one deeper cut continues to offer a steady stream of blood that flows, collects at the curve of the inner side of her elbow and drips down to the ground. Its making a small puddle at this point. She watches him order a few people around and looks back to him. "Anything will help, really thank you." She says as her fingers flex and she winces. "Lucky it didn't get me in face or neck," she says off handedly. There is a nod for his offering of help to get her there. "I can find my way even..you are going to be needing all the hands you can get. Once I am seen I can come back and help," she offers him, glancing again to the wound as she then lifts her other hand to the water that fallen over half of her. Her curls damp and strung out are pushed back behind her ear.

“We’ll put some pressure on it and that should stave the worst of it,” Tzajal remarks almost breezily, as if this were nothing at all. What could would it be to panic now, however? It wouldn’t and he keeps himself calm and collected for both their benefit. Even as the bandages and clean water arrive, he’s hardly missing a beat and goes right into the motions of cleaning the worst of the skin around those wounds and set a temporary and thick bandage; all with her permission of course. “Wherries aren’t usually so dangerous, given we keep domesticated flocks… Either something spooked those one’s something awful or we’ve got a bigger problem.” He remarks idly, grim cast to his features while he works. At last he’s done and with a sigh, he shakes his head. “As much as I appreciate it, I don’t think that’s wise with how your shoulder is. That’s enough ‘excitement’ for one day, eh?” Offering his hand again, he’ll help Lark back to her feet, as well as collect her satchel if she doesn’t already have it on her person. “There. That should hold you until you get to the Infirmary! You sure you don’t want an escort?” He presses again, looking uncertain on whether he’ll honour her final decision not to have one or not regardless.

Lark won't stop him from seeing to her wound but saying its pleasant would be going a little far. She watches what he does but ends up turning away to grit her teeth and wince a few times. All in all it could have been worse and she plucks and settles the edge of the bandage. "Thanks.." she says and as she rises with his help there is a faint curve of her lips to follow. Taking her satchel she sets it to her other shoulder, the wet one. Glancing back at what is likely still a matter of contained chaos she finally accedes, "Very well, because of my shoulder, " she admits with a bit of humor before she shakes her head. "I got this. Now that I have this lovely bandage I should be able to find my way there without too much trouble." Her chin lifts and before she turns to go she says, "That is probably ..the most interesting introduction I have ever had, I look forward to actually seeing the rest of your work." She says and lingers for a moment before turning, favoring that shoulder but leaving the pens with intent to reach the healers.

“Focus on getting that shoulder checked and mended!” Tzajal doesn’t say it unkindly, but it’s his way of showing his concern but also hinting at a suggested promise that they’ll cross paths again soon enough. He’ll likely come and check on her, at a later time or date but for now? Someone can be heard calling and specifically for him. Sighing heavily and muffling another curse with the scrub of his (clean) hand over his face, he’ll hastily bid Lark farewell. “Good luck and I’m sorry you got caught up in this mess! I’ve got to go.” And off he goes, at a hurried clip again despite the heat! He’ll have his hands full soon enough alright and when it’s apparent that the situation is much larger and not as isolated as once thought, well… it’s going to be a long set of days for him and many others!

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