The Happy Harper
You find yourself in the well-lit Happy Harper. It seems to be perhaps one of the most cared for items of the hold. The walls have deep-red wood panelling, and glow baskets placed at a very regular interval. There are about six tables for eight and four booths in the corners. All the tables and chairs seem to be of a very nice quality and very well taken care of. Serving also as the center of social interaction at Gar hold, it is usually where one looks to find anyone.
Diena smiles as Linora enters "Good evening.. I see Keris lost track of you for a few moments" she says, raising her mug.
Linora looks up, surprised to hear another voice for some reason. As if the Harper would be empty. "Oh... hey, Diena."
Diena chuckles "You look guilty tonight. Sneaking away?
Dart blinks in from ::between::!
Linora blinks, and takes another look at Diena. How did she... ? No. Just a guess. She shakes her head. Slowly. And sinks into a chair, propping her chin on her hands.
Diena calls to the drudge "A drink for my friend.. My bill" she says as she looks back to Linora "So what happened?"
Linora takes a deep breath, and lets it out slowly. For a long time it looks like she won't say anything at all. Then finally she shrugs and mumbles, "Got a lot on my mind."
Diena looks up from her drink "Oh? Whats going on?"
Linora drops her head into her hands, tangling her fingers into her hair and staring at the tabletop. "I dunno." Of course, what she means is she's not sure she can talk about it. But it's more or less the same thing. Net result, she keeps it to herself.
Diena frowns a little. "Well, if you can't tell me, I hope I can still make you feel better. How is your work coming along?"
Wrong question. Really, there probably aren't any right questions right now. Linora drops her head onto her folded arms and shuts her eyes. She shoulda just stayed in her cot.
Diena turns to the drudge "Could you ask the bartender to add a little something to her drink"
Linora lifts her head off her arms to regard Diena with red-rimmed eyes. "Appies aren't s'posedta drink," she whispers. More rules.
Diena looks down at her own mug and raises an eyebrow to Linora "They aren't?" she asks innocently.
"Appies can't do /anything/." Linora drops her head back on her arms.
Diena makes a hmmmmmm to herself and thinks a minute, before asking "So.... what else should appies not do?"
Linora doesn't bother to look up again. Diena should know the rules as well as anyone else. Wasn't it Diena who was obsessing about the rules when she first came to the Hall? Giving Lin a hard time? The only sound coming from this apprentice now is a muffled sniffle.
Diena takes a cloth off the table and hands it to Linora "Or at least, what are we not supposed to do that is troubling you tonight" she adds.
The cloth disappears under Linora's folded arms. A long snuffle later, she lifts her head, her face a bit pinker and puffier than usual. She's sure Diena doesn't need to be told what's bothering her... and she knows if she tries to tell, that she'll lose that last little hold on herself and fall apart completely. So she changes the subject. "Wanna cut my hair for me?"
Diena's eyes widen in shock "Your beautiful hair, Linora? Why wwould you do such a thing" she asks.
Linora shrugs, biting her lip a bit. "Why not?" Maybe she needs a change? Anyhow, it's just hair. It grows back. Musta grown four inches in the past Turn.
Diena grins "Well, if you need me to I can do it.. I cut my own, you know, when it needs it" she tries to offer a hopeful smile.
Diena is a tall gangly young woman of six feet. She appears to be healthy and well muscled, ready for any type of labor. Her skin, however, is a pale white, with the exception of her ruby cheeks and dark red lips. Her straight, thick hair is a raven black and hangs to her waste. Her eyes are a grey green that seem to shine out under her dark mane.
Wrapping itself gently around her tall, slim frame, this simple dress of fine, navy blue wool sports a fuzzy, miniature cable knit texture. Its square neckline gives a glimpse of skin, while the dress' bodice hangs loosely, with a straight waist. Long sleeves caress her arms, finished at the ends with a more pronounced stitch to hold the wrists snug. The dress' long, flowing A-line skirt sweeps gracefully across her hips and down her legs, ending at the middle of her ankles. Patch pockets, carefully aligned with the direction of the cables, are sewn on the front, large enough to carry the essentials of the apprentice. As a finishing touch, the neckline, cuffs, top of the pockets and hem of the skirt are trimmed with grey piping, giving the outfit a crisp, clean feel. Dark brown shoes, plain but nicely tailored and neat-looking, complete the ensemble.
Diena wears the knot of a Starcraft apprentice.
Diena is 17 Turns, 11 months, and 5 days old.
Linora manages a small smile... the first she's had all day, since before dawn. "We prolly oughtta do it outside or something," she suggests, getting to her feet. Now that she's decided to do this, she wants to get it over with. "I don't think I could cut it straight by myself." And Diena's hair looks okay.
Diena stands up "OK, Let me have Dart get my scissors and mirror" she says, taking her flit and looking him in the eyes intently for a moment.
Dart suddenly disappears ::between::!
Dart blinks in from ::between::!
Dart flies slowly over to Diena, seeming terribly weighted by the little canvas sack between his talons. He drops in on the table as she cringes, hoping her mirror isn't broken "Are you sure about this?" she asks Linora.
Linora nods. "Yeah." She's already pulled the ribbon off to loosen the runnertail. Now she quickly braids it down her back with deft fingers, tying it off with the same blue ribbon. "Just cut the whole thing off... here." Indicating a level just below her shoulders. "An' then we can clean it up and stuff." You'd think she'd done this before?
Gar Hold CourtYard
You stand on the porch of Gar Hold. Just inside you can see the elegant, yet simple design of this burgeoning hold. Outside, you have a beautiful view of the hold valley. Large trees line the trail here, creating a nice canopy of shade for the weiry traveller. A couple of paths diverge from the hold to follow their own paths. Each path is set with red brick cobblestone. Flower Beds line the porch creating a nice feeling of returning home. Several rockers, a bench or two, and a swing can be found on the porch, for those who wish to come out and enjoy the beauty of nature.
It is an autumn evening.
Linora walks out from the hold, one hand fiddling with the end of her long braid of hair, which is flipped over one shoulder. She sits down on the porch steps and looks up at Diena. "Just do it all at once," she says, steeling herself for the shock. She's made her decision, after all, and she's sticking with it. "Right here." Her hand moves up the braid to just below shoulder level.
Diena ties the braid off so as not to unravel it and begins to cut slowly, starting at the bottom and cutting a half an inch off at a time "So why the big change?" she asks idly.
Linora pulls the braid out of Diena's hands as the first half inch of hair hits the ground. "Please," she says. She's been growing this hair for Turns. It'd be awful to see it piled up in the courtyard in half-inch bits. She holds out her hands for the scissors. "Let me do it... an' you can even it out?" She's pretty sure it'll be too awkward to manage alone.
Diena nods "If it will make it easier" she offers a nervous smile, hoping Linora doesn't ruin her hair. She calls to Dart and cradles the little brown in her hands as they both watch Linora cut.
Linora pulls the braid over her shoulder again, then takes the scissors and hacks it off. Slowly. Like a dull knife through a thick rope. Finally it comes off in her hand. She looks at it for a moment with detached interest, then smooths it across her lap and shakes her head to free what's left of her hair - a jagged, uneven mass swirling around her shoulder level. With a sigh, she hands the scissors back to Diena, smiling a little tentatively. "Even it out?"
Diena tries to hide her look of horror at Linora's jagged hair. "Yeah. I think I can" she says.. and she isn't lying.. "It just may be a tiny bit shorter than you expected" she sits herself behind the girl and begins snipping carefully to even the girls hair. "I have always had to cut my own hair, so I don't think it should be a problem."
Linora holds very still, not wishing to make Diena's task harder than she already has. "Okay," she says quietly. "Thanks."
Dart chitters away, as if he were actually trying to guide Diena in her work. It seems lke nearly a half an hour before she sits back with a sigh and says "It's even" before handing Linora the mirror with what are now shaking hands.
Linora takes the mirror and eyes her reflection critically. Yes, it's definitely even. One hand fingers the freshly-cut ends hanging just above her shoulders, then pushes it experimentally behind her ear. For a long moment she just... looks. Then she smiles. "Thanks Die... I love it." Turning to her friend, she hands back the mirror, then gathers up the abandoned braid, wrapping it around her hand.
Diena nods "N..nn.. No problem" she stammers "I hope its OK" she adds.
Honey-blond tresses, sunstreaked with platinum highlights, fall just to her shoulders, curling slightly at the ends now that the weight of their previous mass has been reduced. A few wispy pieces refuse to be tamed, often falling into her face to be brushed impatiently behind her ears. She's more or less stopped growing, a mere fingerwidth above 5' tall, and though she'll probably never be overly curvy, she's lost the childlike look she once had. Her features are regular if not actually striking, except for her eyes: palest blue, nearly white, they shine in stark contrast to the smooth, even tan that seems never to leave her skin no matter what time of Turn it happens to be.
A lightweight cotton shirt, crisp and cool, is tucked neatly into a pair of tan trousers - sleeveless, with a softly scooping neckline, dyed a soft, robin's-egg blue. The trousers, amazingly, actually seem to have been made to fit her, tailored flatteringly to waist and hips, following the lines of her legs and hemmed neatly just below her knees. On her feet she wears a pair of knotted wherhide sandals. Spray is curled lazily on Linora's shoulder, tail wrapped around her neck, apparently dozing as usual.
Red and silver intertwine in a single loop at her shoulder, the small red tail denoting her status as StarCraft Senior Apprentice.
Linora is 16 Turns, 2 months, and 18 days old.
Linora looks surprised. Diena had done just what she asked, and it looked nice. Okay, so it was a big change... "It's really okay," she assures her. She tucks the coiled braid into her pack and stands up, brushing bits of hair off herself. Then she smiles. "Even if it was awful... it's just hair. It grows and stuff." She shrugs, obviously not thinking her own hair was anything worth getting excited about.
Diena chuckles "It has taken me years to grow mine.. and it isn't even that long... I don't know what to do with it" she says, brushing hers back. It lands plainly across her back, looking quite neglected.
Linora tilts her head, looking at Diena's hair as if for the first time. "It's pretty," she offers. "An' it's pretty long." She shrugs. "Ifya decide ya want help doin' something to it, I can return the favor and stuff." Do what, though? Cut it? Not if it's taken Turns to grow it out. Color it? Not much you can do to black... 'less maybe Etain has some ideas.
Diena shrugs "I just wish it could be more shiny and lively.. like yours. It just seems so dead" she frowns "Yours looks great short.."
Linora blushes a little bit at the compliment, but her words sound doubtful. "You wanna cut yours?"
Diena shakes her head :No, I have to keep my hair long. Maybe I can put some herbs in it" she chuckles "Or use a different sweetsand"
Linora smiles, a little apologetically. "Oh... I don't really know a lot about herbs and stuff... maybe you oughtta talk to Tai? Her hair's like yours, kinda... but different. Anyhow... I oughtta get back to the Archives and stuff, 'fore Keris misses me." Silly mentor probably won't even notice she looks different. Heh.
Diena nods "You ahve a good night, Linora. I still have some notes to take" she says with a tired smile.
"Thanks." Linora's smiling now... only her eyes look a little sad. "Seeya 'round." With a wave, she trots off across the courtyard, back to the Hall.