Where the hills of Gar meet the softer plains of the valley, rock slowly turns to gravel, dust and earth, leaving a large natural courtyard tucked against the walls of the hall. A low wall marks a boundary for the courtyard, rock and earth's battle for domination kept outside of it. Strong doors set in the hill wall, provide a new way to get into the hall, long windows letting light into the otherwise quite dark hall. They look out upon a grassy valley, filled with water, vineyards and herdbeast. Trails formed by the feet of human wind around rocks and trees, trailing off into the wilderness.
It is a winter sunrise. Sunlight chases away the darkness, turning the sky a rainbow of soft colors, from green to gold to pink to blue.
Stretched out on the low wall are Venusnv and Azrael.
Connor is here.
A thin well built lad with broad shoulders and muscular biceps. He has saphire blue eyes that shine with a cold light highlighting his expressionless face and nut brown hair. He is tall for his age with a golden tan and rather long legs. His hands are smooth but capable of almost any job. While seeming threatening from a distance he emits an aura of serinity and safety which only highlights his tall figure.
He is wearing a deep blue cloak draped over his shoulders. Under that is a green tunic with a red sash tied at his waist. Light brown pants come down to his dark brown leather boots. Connor is holding a knife.
Connor wears the knot of a StarCraft Apprentice.
Connor is 16 Turns and 1 month old.
Linora walks out, checking out the sky with a critical eye, not really looking where she's going.
Connor smiles at the other person, says something but fumbles around with the name, "Hi, um..."
Linora blinks, just noticing the courtyard isn't empty. "Oh! Hi. I'm Linora." She looks at the other apprentice quizzically. "I don't think we've met?"
Connor says, "No, I don't think we have, I'm Connor."
Linora grins. "Hi. Think it's gonna be a nice day?" She peers at the sky again. "Pink at dawn's not usually a good sign, butya never can tell." She shrugs.
Connor exhales, relieved he didn't forget yet another persons name, he quickly makes a mental note that THAT is Linora. Connor hmms at her assumpsion, "Maybe, to tell the truth I've never noticed myself."
"I got a brother in SeaCraft, he useta always tell me stuff about the weather... I only remember some of it, though. Not really enough to be useful. Been around here long?" She looks up at him... used to looking up at folks but gee it's hard to get a fix on a face.
Connor quickly looks at the sky noting it is pink freverently hopes that that isn't a bad sign, and a worried look passes over his face just long enough for it to be noticed. Connor looks down at Linora, not quite hearing what she said. Connor askes Linora to repeat what she said, adding an appology for not paying attention.
Linora blinks. "I asked you if ya been with the StarCraft long," she says, figuring there's no need to go on about the weather with someone who's not really listening much. "But if you're busy or something, I can leave ya alone." She shrugs.
Connor quickly shakes his head, "I'm not busy, not yet anyways. There is something I was hoping to go to later, good weather would be nice." Stealing one more glance at the sky, then looking back down at Linora says, "I've been in the StarCraft for a few months, you?"
Linora smiles. "Me, too," she says. She looks up at the sky again, then shrugs. "Mostly it's been nice out. What's going on... ifya don't mind telling me?"
Connor shrugs seeing no reason to keep a secret, "Rishandra, though I don't know her personally, is having her Journeyman project later on, it is going to be a sort of party I guess, her Harper friend is also going to be playing for her project as well."
Linora nods, grinning widely. "Sounds fun. I don't know her at all... " she shrugs, figuring it's private or she'da heard about it before. "So you're just hanging around here until then?" She checks for a book or any other sign he might be studying.
Connor laughs, "I can't go anywhere else, I have Kazandar watching me like a queen watches her eggs to be sure I don't leave without permission."
Linora looks surprised, then grins. "You must've given him a real good reason to watch you." And she wants to know what it was, from the gleam in her eyes.
Connor flicks an imaginary speck of dust of his shoulder and shrugs, "I guess."
Linora narrows her eyes a bit. "Don't wanna talk about it, huh? Must be good." She takes another look around. "Looks like it's gonna be a nice day after all... prolly warm enough for a swim even. I'd ask you ta join me, but maybe you can't leave the courtyard." She grins widely, her eyes teasing.
Connor saurcasticly laughs, "Funny..."
Linora says, "Aw, c'mon. Give it up. Who am I gonna tell?" She grins. "I don't even know anyone yet. Well, a few people, but nobody important."
Connor looks around cautiously, "Do you really want to know?"
Linora rolls her eyes. "Why d'ya think I /asked/?" She looks around, too, but doesn't see anything to be concerned about. "So?"
Connor grins, "Then you must have a boring life, get in trouble for yourself. I don't see why you care..."
Linora looks surprised, then bursts out laughing, merry peals echoing across the courtyard. "I deserved that," she admits. "It's none-a my business." She grins up at him. "So my life is boring. Maybe I just hang around the wrong people."
Connor puts up his hands defensivly, "Now don't get the wrong impression about me..."
Diena walks in from the Hold Field.
Diena smiles at Linora and Connor.
Linora waves at Diena as she enters, then grins back up at Connor. "Who, me?"
Connor waves at Diena.
Connor turns back to Linora, "Yes, you."
Diena blushes "I'm sorry.. am I interrupting?"
Linora turns to Diena, her eyes merry. "Well, Connor here was just trying to convince me he's not a troublemaker. I'm not buying it. How was the picnic? Sorry I couldn't make it."
Diena giggles "It was pretty small.. only two people were there. It's OK.. I will plan another one later"
Connor discards the last thing Linora said, "Sorry to hear that, I'll try to come to the next one." Connor then turns back to Linora, "Yes, I can go that far"
Linora blinks, momentarily forgetting what he's talking about, then remembers. "Okay," she says, smiling. "Water's always warm, even if the air could be warmer." She looks over at Diena. "You two met yet?"
Diena smiles "No worries. Of course, I have some food left over. Bubblies anyone?"
Diena nods her head "I've seen him around though. Hi.. I'm Diena!"
Linora sticks out her hand, always up for a bubbly pie. "Thanks Die," she says with a smile.
Diena hands Connor a bubbly "Eat up.. they may still be a little warm. I think Kitryo and I ate all the wherry though.."
Connor smiles, "Thanks."
Linora drops her hand, looking from Diena to Connor and back. Then she shrugs, not sure what to do next.
Diena smiles "What do you two have planned for today? It looks like classes are out"
Connor hands Linora his pie, he filled up earlier anyways.
Linora looks /really/ confused now. But that doesn't stop her from taking a bite of the pie. "Pretty good, Die," she says. "I was thinking about having a swim. Looks like it's gonna be kind of a nice day for it, and the lake's nice and warm." She looks back at Connor. "What I'm trying to figure out is whether /he's/ coming, or if he's just gonna stand here in the courtyard all day. I mean, it's okay if he wants ta do that, I just met him and stuff. But it kinda sounded like he might want to."
Diena giggles "Well, I'm going to explore this place a little bit. I've been hanging aroudn in the achives too much"
Diena walks to the Worn Trail.
Connor shrugs "I'm game for anything."
Linora looks after Diena, a bit bewildered at the sudden departure, then back up at Connor. She gives him a wry grin. "Don't get too excited or anything," she teases. "Meet you at the lake?"
Connor says, "Sure."
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 winter midmorning. The sun seems brilliant in the southeastern sky. It is clear, cloudless. A faint breeze tickles the land.
On the perch are Tokain, Meremed, D'argo, and Br'nee.
You see Rizza, the Gar Swing set, Mudpup, a pile of wood, carved lake monster, Lake monster, and Floating Wooden Firelizard here.
Connor walks in from the Hold Field.
Floating Wooden Firelizard
You see a little ten foot boat int he shape of a golden dragon or firelizard, all in wood. It floats by the side of the lake. One of the firelizards wings appears to lay down, a possible enterance to the vessel. Inside, the firelizard is very clean and spacious. All along the walls are benches for seats and there is one long bench in the middle for seats or laying down. Near the neck are two oars, like you will really need them.
Connor looks around and doesn't think he has been here before.
Linora stops about a dragonlength from the shore, staring at the boat at the edge of the water. "I don't remember seeing that before," she remarks, half to herself. She looks back at Connor, who appears confused. "Never been to Crystal Lake? You'll love it."
Connor shrugs, "I spend more time at the waterfall." Connor strides up next to Linora and looks out at the lake, "It is alot clearer than Green Lake at Ista, the water that is. You been there?"
Linora makes a face. "I tried that a few days ago... I didn't know about the slippery part at the top." Then she grins. "Water's warmer here, anyhow. And you can see clear to the bottom.
Connor smiles, "Its fun up there."
Linora shakes her head, still grinning. "One a the senior appy's got a laugh he'll remember for a few sevendays, I think," she says. "Green Lake? I oughta know it, if it's at Ista, I'm from there..."
Connor starts luaghing, "Me too, at least thats what I said in the interview."
Linora peers at him again, as if to see if he might look familiar. Then shrugs. "Well, it's a pretty big place. I'm sure I never saw all of it. I was mostly at the ocean beaches anyhow." She plops down on the grass and stretches her legs out in front of her, looking out over the water.
Connor stops laughing, "I'm from Brita Hold."
Linora furrows her brows. "I dunno where that one is," she says. "My family's at the main hold; I never really got around much 'fore I came here to the StarCraft hall." She shrugs, not bothered much by her ignorance of local geography. There's lots of stuff she doesn't know, after all. Why worry?
Connor exhales in relief, he has tried so hard to excape the Brita steriotype, "It isn't exactly close to Ista."
Linora nods, satisfied with that explanation, then leans forward to tug off her sandals.
Connor sits down and leans his back against a tree trunk.
Linora rubs her toes into the grass, then turns to look at Connor. "Don't feel like swimming?" She looks back to the lake. "Maybe we could try that instead?" She points at the boat, which looks like nothing so much as a giant floating firelizard.
Connor nods, since he isn't a very good swimmer.
Linora gets to her feet and walks down to the water's edge.
Linora enters Floating Wooden Firelizard.
Connor enters Floating Wooden Firelizard.
Connor looks around, "Well..."
Linora is sitting near the front of the boat, looking around. She hands Connor an oar. "No fun sitting by the shore," she says with a grin.
Linora dips the other oar into the water and pushes against the stony lake bottom to free the boat, and it bobs a bit.
Connor sticks his oar in the water and strokes.
Connor notices he is the only one paddling and that they are going in circles.
Linora uses her oar to keep the boat traveling more or less straight... not really being accustomed to rowboats. After a bit, she rests the oar across her lap and looks back to the shore, then down over the edge of the boat. "Oooh, you can see clear to the bottom," she exclaims, nearly toppling in before catching herself.
Connor peers over the edge to see for himself, then looks back at the shore noting the distance.
Linora looks at Connor, trying to gauge his expression. "Don'tcha swim at all?" she guesses.
Connor grins, "Of course!"
Linora returns the grin with a wicked gleam in her eye. And stands up, rocking the boat slightly. "Good."
Connor grabs the side of the boat in preparation for what he thinks Linora is about to do, hoping he is wrong.
Oh, no. He's right. Linora pushes off the edge of the boat, rocking it dreadfully, and disappears into the water, clothes and all.
Connor falls in the lake aswell, kicks his boots off and throws them in the boat, and begins to tread water.
Linora surfaces with a splash and looks around to see what kind of damage she did. Seeing Connor treading water, she begins to giggle. "Good thing you can swim," she teases.
Connor swims over to Linora and splashes her with as much water as he can, "That was not funny."
Linora ducks under the water, can't get any wetter, then resurfaces. "Sure it was," she says, grinning. "For me."
Connor looks at his tunic and sighs, "Maybe green is unlucky after all."
Linora splashes back over to the boat, which somehow wasn't overturned, and hangs onto it with one hand to save herself some treading water. "You'll dry off," she suggests, looking a bit concerned now. "The sun's nice and warm, and there's a good breeze."
Connor dives under the water and pulls Linora off the side of the boat then grabs on himself, "You're the Istan," he remarks, "I'm sure you can swim longer than I can."
Linora surfaces, sputtering. "That was a nasty trick," she says, not entirely sure how nasty the intent was. She treads for a moment or two, watching Connor.
Connor laughs for a bit then climbs back into the boat, he extends an oar for Linora to grab onto so she can get back in too.
Linora grins at Connor briefly before diving under the water to surface on the other side of the boat. Finally, she hauls herself out of the water to sit on the edge of the boat. "Thanks," she says. Don't want him to think she didn't appreciate the offer, even if it wasn't needed.
Connor grins, "You have to admit, it was funny, and no worse than what you did."
Linora wrings out her hair, a puddle forming in the bottom of the boat. "I didn't know you were gonna fall in, y'know."
Connor shrugs, "Its okay," Connor then backflips back into the water and swims to the shore.
Linora shakes her head, smiling, before taking an oar and rowing the boat back.
Linora walks a little way up the shore, then flops on the grass in the sunshine, looking up at the clear sky.
Connor shakes his head, "I have to change, I'm going back to the hall."
Connor walks out.