You walk along a small path through a large open field. Tall billowing stalks of wheat blows back and forth in an almost hypnotic pattern. You hear the gentle laughter of small children playing one of hundreds of games, ringing from some distant part of the field, lost in the sheets of wheat. Some small patch calls out to you as you pass it, asking for you to join it in another day of doing nothing. It promises to hide you from the gaze of all others and keep you company. But to listen ... or go on ... a tough decision ...
It is a summer afternoon.
Alexander is standing on a small dirt patch in the field, facing away from Linora.
Stormy grey eyes the color of germanium alloy glitter in a clear face, dented slightly by the dark smile that toys occasionally upon his non cupid bow lips (sorry to disappoint). Tousled russet hair, heavy, coarse locks with their bronze highlights usually tumble into his eyes, except for now, when it's been meticulously washed and combed for the Vintner Festival. Short for his age, lean figure is dark from endless days in the sun and dirt, skin burnished to warm olive with intermittant tan lines. His form is covered in various scrapes and bruises, testifying to all the banging his body's received in its few turns.
He is wearing a loose white tanktop and baggy red shorts with a black stripe running down the side. On his feet are battered sandals that aren't very aesthetically pleasing, but durable enough. Alexander carries his Alex's Thwaping Stick by his side, in a leather sheath.
The double-corded knot of a Steward's Assistant is pinned to Alexander's shoulder in a single loop of forest green and royal blue. Amazingly, it manages to be relatively untangled.
Alexander is 12 Turns, 3 months, and 5 days old.
Linora makes her way across the field toward the gardens from the StarCraft Hall. Her step is lighter than it's been for some time, and a little smile lights her face. It's a beautiful afternoon, life is good. Her mind so occupied, she doesn't notice Alexander until she nearly walks into him. "Hey, Alex." She beams a smile for him to see when he turns around. "Glad you gave up on that puff or whatever." His hair looks much nicer brushed.
Alexander jumps and quickly buttons his fly. "Holy crap!" he yelps as he hears Linora behind him, and turns around. "Ah.. right.. thanks."
Linora blinks, suddenly realizing what Alex was doing in the middle of the field, and starts to giggle. "Sorry," she gasps, not about to ask /why/ he picked such a public place to relieve himself. And let's not ask the usual next question - 'what're you doing?'... she'll have to come up with something else to say. But since she's still giggling, nothing comes immediately to mind...
Alexander grumbles and searches for toilet hide. Seeing none, he plucks off a leaf and stuffs it down his shorts. "Uh.. huh," he replies warily. "I think I'll go wash my hands off.."
"Good idea." Linora's still giggling. "You can wash 'em in the lake or something." She doesn't bother to comment on the leaf. If it starts to itch, he'll prolly get rid of it.
Alexander walks to the Crystal Lake.
As you walk along the path, you find yourself near the center of the valley. Situated here, is Crystal Lake. This lake is named for its clarity. At nearly 100 feet, things can still be seen as if they were closer! Unfortunately, this is also a danger, as one has trouble gauging depth, so swimmers beware! A natural spring feeds the lake from underneath, keeping it a nice 80 degrees, even in the winter, though it can get much warmer in the summer. A large square has been set up a short distance for the shoreline.
It is a summer sunset.
Alexander is scrubbing his hands off vigorously in the shallows of the water.
Linora follows Alex to the lake, having nothing really better to do for some reason. She looks up at the darkening sky with a smile... stars'll be out soon... then tugs off her sandals and walks down to the water's edge to sit with her feet in the water.
Alexander sits down too, in the water. "Nice out, huh," he mutters.
Linora grins. "Yeah. But it kinda always is," she remarks. Except when it's not. But usually folks can count on good weather around Ista island. She digs her feet into the sandy lake bottom, watching the little fish scatter. "So whatcha been up to?"
Alexander splashes around randomly. "Oh. Blah. I went fishing yesterday. And I didn't catch anything."
Linora eyes him, surprised. "You went to the ocean?" That's where folks fish, isn't it? Forgive the poor Istan girl, not even realizing there might be fish worth catching in a /lake/.
Alexander shakes his head and peers in the lake. "Neh. Here."
Linora ohs. "In a boat at least?"
Alexander points to the Carved Monster. "If that counts."
carved lake monster
Creeping from within the depths of the water, this catastrophic lake monster is none of the norm. Lurking about brings an aura of conundrum to those who watch it's every movement because if one actually does this, they'd know something is dubious for it only moves with the shallows of the water. Spines throughout its body give the countenance of one that you wouldn't want to chance upon with in person. Fangs file adjacent along its gargantuan mandible of a mouth, terminating just before the hinges bounding it to its cheekbones. A glistening shine of verdant envelopes the plurality of the body, drowning slightly subordinate to the extremities, where immense claws emanate. Colossal phosphorescent tawny orbs appear as if they are staring right through you, and maybe they are, so you might want to be solicitous with your every movement. A long tail stretches several ways from behind, completely emerged with the rough scales of spines. If one peers just a wee closer, they might come to the attention that something seems to be attaching the beast together, making it conspicuous that it's divided into four sections, therefore drawing on the conclusion that this could possibly be just a structure of pure divinity made out of wood.
Linora looks hard at the carved monster. Not a boat. "I don't think so," she says soberly. "No wonder you didn't catch anything." She leans back on her hands to look up at the darkening sky, the first bright stars just becoming visible in the deepening twilight. "So that's all? Fishing?" Or trying to fish, rather...
Alexander nods quietly. "Yes. Well, what did you expect?"
Linora shrugs. "I dunno. Don'tcha have harper classes? Or a job? Or friends to play with?" Shells, what a boring kid... "You're prolly even old enough to apprentice somewhere, ifya wanted."
Alexander sighs melodramatically. "Oh, the sacrifices I make for entertaining the hold!" he cries, not that he's beeing very entertaining right now.
Linora blinks and looks away from the stars, at Alex. "You? Entertain the hold?" How had she missed that? Sarcasm is always lost on her, don't bother.
Alexander shrugs and splashes water at Linora. "Yeah. Usually. I ought to go herdbeast tipping or something."
Linora is splashed, didn't see it coming. She lifts a hand to wipe the water off her face, shaking droplets from her fingers, not bothering to get upset. Her clothes'll dry, they always do. "Sounds dangerous." Herdbeasts are big. And smelly.
Alexander drops his shorts, pulls off his shirt, and wades into the lake without a leaf. "Uh huh," he replies absently. "I just heard that it's done in more rural areas.."
Linora shrugs. "Oh," she says. "I guess." Still doesn't sound like a fun thing to her. "Guess there's not much to do 'round there," she remarks. She leans back on her hands again and looks up at the darkening sky.