A Welcome Break

The Vault
No more than a hideaway amidst the gothic grandeur of the StarHall, this cozy lounge is a place of laughter if not greatness, warmth if not splendour. The close stone walls are insulated with tapestries of all shapes and sizes, most a little worn, several faded and a good many depicting scenes from childhood stories. The mismatched chairs and sofas are in a similar state, rescued from cellars and rubbish-heaps but perhaps more softer and more comfortable for that, scattered in a rouch circle on a hardwood floor. A low round table in the centre of the room holds cards, discarded hides, mugs, and a pot that holds klah as long as someone remembers to fill it. The one window at the back wall lets light and air into the warm, cozy room.
Scattered troughout the rooms are numerous glowbaskets. Thin hides, that would be transparant if they weren't coloured in light shades of red green and blue cast a colourfull and happy athmostphere troughout the room. Small bells and sticks, hung near the window, create soft, eerie yet comfortablly soft sounds,

Shanel walks in from the Female Apprentice Quarters.

Dixie blinks in from ::between::!

Linora is sprawled on a comfy chair near the window with her nose in a book, amazingly still... for her. A light breeze ruffles her hair, and a hand lifts to push it out of her eyes, but she doesn't look up.

Shanel wanders in looking for something to do. Upon seeing Linora so absorbed a nasty little grin lights up her face. Shanel creeps over to the chair, she falls loudly into the arm of it, "What's up Lin?" Tilting her head to the side slightly she adds, "You don't mind if I call you that right?"

Linora nearly jumps out of her chair as Shanel bounces onto it, whipping her head around with a surprised expression. "Um... nothin'... just studying and stuff." She blinks slowly. "No... I don't mind, I guess." She's gotten used to hearing it, after all... just not from Shanel.

Shanel rocks back on heels and regards Linora with a somewhat bemused expression. Her eyes twinkle with succes of scaring the older girl. "Need a break?" Shanel know how badly she always needs one. Unable to hold still for long the child bounces up and begins to pace. "It's really nice out. Let's go for a walk."

Linora can't suppress a little smile at Shanel's energy, remembering a time not too long ago when she couldn't sit still either. "Sure." She flips the book closed and slips it onto the chair behind her as she gets to her feet. "A break'd be good."

Grinning with delight, Shanel leads the way out to courtyard. It's been such a good day that nothing could bring her down for now.

StarCraft Courtyard
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 spring afternoon.
Shanel is here.

Idoru blinks in from ::between::!

Shanel bounces out the door and down the steps. Really there isn't much reason for all this extra energy. Just her age;) Turning to face Linora, "So where should we walk?"

Linora blinks again, then shrugs. "I dunno... we prolly shouldn't go too far, though." She looks around, almost nervously, remembering the Holder's warning about holdless folk about. "We oughtta be okay together, though, right?" A lot of protection Shanel would be... but one of 'em could run for help if anything happened.

Shanel grins at Linora's obvious discomfort. "Don't worry, we wont go far. And I can run pretty fast if I have to." Picking a direction at random the burnet wanders off. A zig zag pattern of course, what did you expect? ;)

Linora laughs and follows after, taking a mostly straight path since she's not moving quite as quickly as Shanel, meeting up with the younger girl just about every other zigzag. She takes a long deep breath, smelling the air... fresh and warm, and sweet with the scents of an Istan spring. "Yeah... it is a real nice day," she says quietly.

Shanel's meandering path seems to be leading the girls torwards the field. Sencing something in Linora's speech, Shanel stopps abrubtly. Holding completly still (for her) 'Nel cocks her head to one side "What's up Lin, you sound kinda depressed." Of course being so out of it on the gossip front never helps much :)

"Nah." Linora shrugs, smiling a little. "Not depressed." Thoughtful and depressed are completely different. "Anyhow, it's too nice a day t'be depressed." Her smile widens a little. "An' it's still warm enough to swim." Being pretty sure she'll be okay if she's careful.

Water, did somebody say water? Always one for swimming Shanel grins thoughts of possible depression forgotten with 'Nora's reasurance and clever diversion. "Race ya."

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 spring afternoon.

Shanel walks in from the Hold Field.

Linora trots off toward the lake, not really feeling like she can beat Shanel racing and not really up for trying. As she heads down the grassy shore she pulls off her sandals, hopping a bit but not stopping.

Idoru blinks in from ::between::!

Shanel races along making a beeline for the water. Nearly tripping herself, Shanel tries to slip out of her sandles before she reaches the shore. Only to succed in tripping herself head over heel into the clear, warm water sending crystal droplets everywhich way.

Linora laughs as Shanel nosedives into the lake, clothes and all. A little less enthusiastic herself, she takes the time to shrug out of her clothes. About time this new swimsuit got some use, after all. Leaving her things in a rumpled pile, she wades into the lake. Carefully.

Carefully? Oh no that's not allowed. Shanel stands up dripping from her tumble. Eyeing Linora she gages the distance between the girls.....and sends a spray in general direction of the other girl. Caused, of course, by jumping up and down in the water. ;P

Jerek walks in from the Hold Field.

Jerek wanders down towards the lake.

Linora giggles. Oh, it's not the wet she minds, and she sends it right back at Shanel goodnaturedly. Then she drops to sit in the water, her arms extended to her sides for balance. Or ballast. Or something. And tips her head back to soak her hair... much less heavy now than it used to be. "Nice, huh?" she calls to Shanel. Spotting Jerek entering, she gives him a wave. "Hey, Jerek." She doesn't add, 'how's May?', but her eyes are twinkling.

Jerek waves as he sees others about, and plops down on the shore, "Hi linora."

May? Whose May? Not that Shanel know the boy but still. Ohhh, she's so out of the loop. Trudging happily out of the water to strip down she proceeds to wring out her soaked clothing.

Linora pushes up out of the water to float on her back, idly spinning in lazy circles and watching the sky. At length she drops her head to one side to look at Jerek. "How ya doin'?"

Jerek smiles, and shrugs some, "I;m ok, how about you?

Having gotten as much wrung out of her clothing as possible Shanel look toward the older boy "Hi, I'm Shanel." She grins and head back to the water and Lin, wipping dripping hair out of her face as she goes.

Jerek waves to Shanel, and smiles, "I'm Jerek

Linora dares to paddle a little further out, still in a lazy backstroke, eyes closed, loving the feeling of the sun on her face. As she overhears the introductions, she can't help grinning. "All the time you've been here, an' ya never met before?"

Jerek has disconnected.
Jerek falls asleep.

Shanel pops above the surface in time to hear Lin's comment. "Nope. I don't know many of the guys here." Shanel just shrugs, she may be hyper but not very socially apt.

Linora thinks about that and at length supposes that she really doesn't, either. "D'ya know mosta the girls? Just 'bout everyone I ever talked to is gone." Or going. She jack-knifes into the water, swimming underwater briefly before surfacing a short distance away to tread water, her expression an odd mix of happiness and relief.

Shanel shakes her head. "Not really. Just a few good friends." Dunking herself briefly to wash stray hair out of her face, Shanel thinks about what was said. "That's to bad." Shruging, "I'm not gone." She grins and then dives under, being careful to stay only were she can touch.

Linora grins. "Nope. You're not gone. Ain't seen ya 'round much, though," she adds thoughtfully, popping up to float on her back again. "I still can't believe how many went for Search." What were the odds?

Shanel moves up towards the shore were she can sit. She frowns, "I've been studying a /lot/ lately. My marks haven't been very good." Shanel stares at her hands and the sand sifting between her fingers.

It takes a few minutes, but Linora does eventually notice that Shanel is no longer swimming. With a quick somersault she shifts to an easy crawl stroke, paddling neatly to the shore and lying on her belly with her chin on her elbows... most of her body still in the warm water. "Got a lotta classes left t'take?"

Shanel shrugs, "Sorta, mostly I need to come up with a project, but I can't think of anything." Frustration flits across her features quickly hidden by adjusting her seat.

Linora nods, one finger scratching random patterns in the wet sand. "Yeah... that /was/ kinda hard," she agrees. "Lotta research." Lots of time in the archives, poring over dusty hides.

"Yeah, I guess." Shanel sighs, glancing at the sun. Relunctantly she pushes herself out of the warm, water, "Duty calls. And I need to change first." Smiling at Linora she impulivly leans in giving the girl a quick hug. Blushing, Shanel runs up the beach, grabs her clothing and heads of toward the hall and dorms therein.

Shanel goes home.

Linora blinks as she's hugged, not even having the presence of mind to return the gesture before Shanel retreats, managing only a quick wave. "See ya." Not even sure if the other girl heard her, since she's halfway to the gardens by now... with a sigh, she rolls over onto her back and stares up at the sky...