The view from up here.

Characters R'en, Tivaly
Synopsis A chance encounter on the Star Stones leads to talk of knots and their significance.
Out-of-Character Date September 23, 2014

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Igen Weyr - Star Stones
A flat notch on the eastern rim of the bowl, this area is only large enough for two dragons to comfortably rest. Its primary purpose is long past, although the ancient star stones remain. Cut from the native sandstone and inset with metal so many ages ago to frame the pulsing red star above on the eve of a pass. The stone is ever so slowly eroding from the elements, but is nowhere near collapse. Never again shall the finger and eye rocks to align with that dreaded celestial body. Now this area serves mainly as the lonely watchdragons perch. The view from is spectacular. The bowl spreads out below to one side, and beyond that are seen the low weathered mountains and the shimmering yellow deserts. A small shed topped with a solar panel located against the rising rim of the bowl provides an air conditioned area for a rider to rest out of the heat of the day. A door in the stone wall near the shed leads to a winding spiral staircase that links many lengths below to the series of inner caverns. The view may be epic, but transport by rider is much more convinient than those winding endless stairs.

Somewhere between sunset and dusk, there's still enough light to see without aid though it's starting to become darker with each passing half hour. There are no dragons on top of the star stones, though the fact that R'en is here with his jacket beside him is indicative that he likely arrived by dragon rather than the massive staircase leading up to the top. Sitting with his legs dangling over the edge, he looks over as though trying to see if he can actually pick out anyone below - though it's pretty much impossible. A satchel is sitting beside him that's laced closed while there's a small bag of jerky that's open beside him. It's that odd time between eating and bathing at night for most people, which means that the star stones are usually unoccupied, which suits him just fine.

To come up here by staircase requires some pretty serious fortitude. Or maybe just stupid amounts of curiosity. Given that the girl that arrives at the top of that staircase wears Harper blue on her shoulder, it's likely more owing to the latter than the former, though the high color in her cheeks and the fact that her hair has come loose of its tidy bun in several places, not to mention the sweat showing around her hairline, probably lend some credibility to fortitude, as well. Regardless, she stops at the top, ostensibly to catch her breath, but also to scuff her feet a few times on the landing, announcing her presence in an unobtrusive way (so as not to scare the man sitting on the edge of a cliff into falling off that cliff). Loathe as a person usually would be to ruin something as idyllic as what R'en's got going on, Tivaly doesn't try to hide her arrival, but rather waits to be noticed.

One would hope that if R'en were easily frightened, that he wouldn't sit so close to the edge where he could fall off and end up less alive. It holds true as the sound of scuffing feet is heard behind him, and his attention turns from the ground below to the young girl who managed to make it up all of those stairs. "So, how many are there?" He asks lightly, not the first question most would think to ask someone they don't know, but he is a little strange. His knot is crumpled up with his jacket beside him, though his gaze does seem to capture a glance of hers before he offers a quick smile and returns his attention to where it was initially as though to invite her to do as she will - he's obviously not disturbed or leaving.

Perhaps not the first question she was expecting, true, but at least Tivaly has the mental wherewithal to place the point of that inquiry. With an apologetic shrug, "I lost count somewhere between 'completely out of breath' and 'my calves are on fire now.'" There's no indication, from tone or posture, that she can place the man as the wearer of a bigger knot than her own, and his isn't immediately obvious; coupled with the fact that he's just some guy sitting on the edge of the star stones, and she approaches the encounter with a careful casualness: polite but not obeisant. She answers the smile with a quick return and approaches the edge with care, lifting her chin so that she can see beyond the cliff with at least a yard between her and where R'en sits. "What are we looking for?"

R'en seems pleased that he's not recognized, in so much as a person can seem pleased about something in particular when they look out over the land. A small quirk of his lips betray that pleasure, but beyond that he seems more placid than anything else. "Hope the trek up the stairs was worth the effort?" He asks, wondering what her immediate impressions of the star stones are from someone who doesn't have the ease of a dragon to get to them. As she moves closer he remains where he is, only moving things to the opposite side so all his things are gathered in one place rather than spread out like he owns the place. "Nothing in particular. Are you the new Harper? Siv.. Rav.." He tries to remember, yeah, he's terrible with names but he's sure it was on a transfer paper somewhere.

Tivaly watches for a few seconds, likely seeing little enough of what might be going on so far beneath them, the distance and the coming twilight combining to make the view pretty but indistinct, an Impressionist painting of blurs and blobs. After weighing that, she can only answer a vague, "Mm," for whether or not it was worth the effort. It was, after all, a lot of effort. But the breeze is helping to take the edge off the worst of that, and R'en's latter question (specifically, the guesses at her name) is amusing enough that she has no immediate complaints. Drolly, "I am the new Harper, yes. And it's a fair ways to come for 'nothing in particular.' Or do you always have your evening snack on the edge of a cliff?"

"Does there always have to be something specific to look for?" R'en asks, arching a brow as he turns to look at her. The question seems genuine, as there is no one specific place he looked at any more than another - other than the fact some movements were noticed here and there and draw more attention than the places that're still. "It's not so far, I didn't have to walk up the stairs." He answers, and returns his gaze back to the direction of the scenery rather than the Harper. "I guess I do, it's not uncommon. So, what /is/ your name?" He asks, reaching for a bit of the jerky to stick it in his mouth to chew on it.

"Always?" Tivaly denies the absolute imperative with a quick, small shake of her head, but goes on to clarify, "Dragon or not, there must be closer, more immediately accessible places for one to snack," but her tone isn't looking for an argument, and the pause, brows raised, invites clarification but doesn't demand it. As for what her name is… she takes it as an invitation to (not unbravely) approach the edge, sitting carefully, managing her skirts with conscientious decorum (so as not to give anyone down in the bowl a free show), and answers, "You're on the right track. Tivaly." She offers a hand for the shaking, and a chance to fill the first moments after he's stuffed food in his mouth, the gesture allowing for time to chew. "And you are…?"

The jerky isn't as chewy as one would expect, not taking too long before R'en's managed to finish it so he can continue the conversation. His blue gaze seems fixed on something in particular before he tears his attention away to take the offered hand for a shake and offering, "R'en.", as the answer to her question. "Perhaps there are, but few are as quiet as here. I can also go back down the stairs myself if Sindrieth doesn't want to leave the sands and get me." It's always important to know that there's a way back if dragons become unreliable, and right now the bronze is. "What's your reason for coming all the way up here? You're the one who walked /up/ the stairs."

Tivaly would not be a very good Harper if she didn't recognize the name immediately, and she very obviously does. It shows in the way that, withdrawing her hand from the shake, she pauses a moment, and in the way that her mouth opens briefly and then closes again, and in the breath she takes through her nose in the pause after its pronouncement. "Of course you are," she says with a quiet humor, with a momentary shake of her head. To her credit, she doesn't immediately start bowing and scraping, but she does essay a look that blends an appropriate measure of apology and embarrassment: yeah, sorry she didn't even, like, call him 'sir' or anything. Knowing who he is makes her a little less inclined to call him out about sitting up here all by his lonesome, so she foregoes it and answers R'en's question instead. "Curiosity. How could I wear the knot in good faith without it," and she coils a blue cord around her index finger, tweaking her own knot and assigning blame to it all in one quick gesture.

R'en certainly doesn't exude the command and stature that perhaps is written about Weyrleaders in texts, and in the surroundings of the star stones with his jacket off and feet dangling over the edge, it seems more like he's just an average person trying to deal with something in their life that's bothering them. "Of course?" He questions, then shakes his head with a bit of a sigh at the change of demeanor once he's given his name - even the subtle things, he seems to notice. There's a measure of disappointment in the change, though he reaches for the jerky to take another bit out of the bag. "Then you must be a good Harper. I'm sure there are some that aren't curious, and are more interested in hiding in texts rather than exploring." Not that he knows a lick about Harpers, really, but he can pretend a little, right? "Knots have more control over a person's life than is fair." He mutters, perhaps to himself as he sticks the jerky in his mouth as he glances at her toying with her own knot.

Of course? And Tivaly just nods and shrugs, unable (or perhaps unwilling) to explain why that would evoke such a rueful reaction from her. "I'd like to be," is what she can say for the quality of her Harpering, not in the fishing-for-compliments way, or even the ambitious youth way, but in the 'given it some honest thought' way. R'en's mutter has her looking his way more frankly, the aforementioned curiosity plain in her expression even when, with a flick of pale eyes and a slight backward lean, she looks to where he's dumped his coat and his crumpled knot, maybe now putting the broken pieces into a complete picture. "For some of us more than others," she commits, treading carefully close to sympathetic, while doing all that a teenage girl can to respect that a man's pride might not bear a girl's pity.

"You're an Apprentice? I'm sure that working here will give you some opportunity to advance to Journeyman if you really want to." R'en seems to think, at any rate, in so much as a person who isn't entirely sure how advancement works in other crafts can be - though he has experience in his own. When she leans backwards, he leans forwards a little to slouch a little and continue looking over the edge. The knot is there, though only part of it peeks out from under the jacket as though he made a conscious effort to put it that way. "So, what do you think of Igen? You're pretty new here too." He asks, though his attention is still on the ground below as he considers his own opinions. "Visited often or had family here?" He wonders, to see if that also seems to color people's opinions.

As to whether or not working here will advance her career, Tivaly agrees, "It can't hurt my case, at any rate." His slouching and the persistent distracted quality of his attention on the bowl floor are enough to keep her from pressing the weighty talk of knots, though a question lingers behind her eyes before she casts them out at the deepening dusk as well, looking at nothing in particular (partially because she's not particularly sure what she's looking at, but hey). "It's very hot," she answers, trite and safe. "And my family are all Harpers, who I don't think have had much cause for coming to Igen. And you? Before…" <Insert his preferred turn-of-phrase for becoming Weyrleader here.> "You were at… Monaco Bay, I believe?" Because the Life and Times of Weyrleaders is the sort of thing nosy Harpers would be asked to study, yes.

"Of course it wouldn't hurt. Though, how many Apprentices get an opportunity like this?" R'en asks, lifting his gaze from the darkness of the ground below and back towards her. He seems curious, like he just doesn't know if it is as rare as he thinks it sounds. It's not something he's ever kept up with before, out of his scope of interests. The answer she gives about Igen is answered with a quick nod of agreement, "It is. But, it's cold at night too." He's quick to remind - and even as the sun is starting to set, it's growing cooler quickly. There's a moment that he looks almost aghast that someone knows where he's from, but then his expression turns to something much more somber. "Yes, Monaco Bay." He answers, shifting so he can stretch a little - seems he may have been sitting here a while.

"Not so many," Tivaly muses, giving it honest thought, her eyes unfocused while she runs through a mental roster of her colleagues. "Which is why, despite the heat," and now the settling chill, yes, "I'm not complaining. Igen is definitely… different, but the experience is invaluable." As long as she remains clinically detached from it, as she is presently. While R'en stretches, while she shifts to fold in around herself a touch (now that the cold has been mentioned and she's not dying from the exertion of getting up the steps, she can't help but notice it), she spares a darkly amused smile to the shadows below them, asking, "Have I dared to know too much?"

"You must have impressed someone to get the opportunity." R'en seems to have decided, giving her a quick smile as he shifts to start closing up the bag of jerky so he can unlace his satchel and shove it back inside and relaces things back up. A momentary glance towards where the sands are ilicit a roll of his eyes though he makes no comment. "Igen is different, you'll get used to it. As will I." He says, giving her another look over as she folds up a little more on herself. "It's common knowledge, I guess. Suddenly my life has become an open boring book." It's not like there's a lot about him other than he's a Journeyman healer of some skill, and is originally from Ista. No weyrmate, no children, no scandals. At least not yet. He smirks a bit, and adds, "Cold? It's only going to get colder soon. Should probably start heading back down, even though I know you just got here."

Tivaly's, "I must have done something to someone, indeed," is agreeable albeit vague, as is the way she smiles enigmatically about the possibility of the both of them getting used to it. She was sweating buckets five minutes ago, and now she's wishing she had a jacket, and he's up here with a hidden knot, where few are likely to find him, mhm. But there's nothing cryptic about the fact that it's getting cold, nor that she takes the suggestion and finds her feet after having only lately left them, crossing her arms and holding her biceps with her hands once she's standing again. She starts toward the steps, pauses, and turns back to say honestly, "I've met a lot of Weyrleaders in my life. You don't seem like most of them. So maybe they," and she looks at what can be seen of the troublesome knot, "have control over where we go and sometimes what we do, but not who we are." With a shrug that acknowledges that it's cold (and metaphorical at best) comfort, she adds, "For what it's worth."

R'en pushes himself to his own feet easily enough, reaching to grab the bag and the jacket he'd had on the ground with him and slinging the first over a shoulder before without even asking her if she wants it - he attempts to drape his jacket over her shoulders at least for the walk down the stairs. The jacket is nice enough, dark leather that's fairly worn as it's the same he's had from weyrlinghood, if denied, he'll wear it himself. No dragon is coming for him, that much is apparent as he also walks over towards the steps, no so much to follow her but knowing that the cool air is only going to get much colder far more quickly than either of them are likely prepared to deal with. "You're young. You can't have met that many, could you?" He wonders, but takes the compliment for what it's worth and doesn't argue about her sentiment.

Some combination of good breeding and being honestly effing chilly leave Tivaly free not to argue about the coat, to insist she's fine. Tougher girls might have refused the offer, but she's a girly-girl, and she holds it by the collar with a smile to accent the quick, "Thank you." So she doesn't take it totally for granted, boys giving up their comfort for hers, but she handles it decorously. Her age and the number of Weyrleaders she's met is answered while descending the stairs that she got lost counting on the way up, with her noting, "I lived at Harper Hall for sixteen Turns. I've seen my fair share of fancy knots, and a few other people's fair shares as well." Pause. "Or else I'm lying for the sake of your ego." He can be the judge.

R'en just tucks his hands in his pockets as he walks down along with her, not so close but not so far away either. He wouldn't have argued either way about the jacket, either she takes it or she doesn't - he wouldn't have seemed upset either way. It's definitely getting cooler as they descend the stairs, but he seems to be alright, or is good at pretending to be. "Welcome." He says, and scrunches his nose. "I've met my fair share too, at Healer's." Though he goes into no detail as he just continues going down the stairs, though it takes far longer than he might have initially suspected. "There are a lot of stairs." He idly muses, though if he's counting them or not - that's anyone's guess.

Tivaly returns the jacket, unharmed (and the perfume'll air out in an hour or two), with another small but honest thanks, once she's back safely in the inner caverns. A courteous faretheewell is her end of the encounter before she's off to do Harpery-evening-things, or maybe to find other people being weird all by themselves and impose her presence. Either way.

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