Linora Gives Cress A Swimming Lesson

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,
Cress and Diena are here.

Cress is nodding off, sitting in a chair with a book in his lap. Curled on his shoulders are two lizards giving warmth to his body, as his head leans back on the chairs headrest.

Diena giggles at the young man "You probably need some sleep.All that study will do you no good if you drop dead from it..." She looks up at Linora's entrance "Good Afternoon to you!"

Linora finds a comfy chair and flops. "Hey Diena." Then she looks over at Cress. "Ah, he's usually nodding off," she says with a grin.

Cress' head jerks up as he hears a voice, "huh? Wha'? Oh, hello, Linora," he says to the one he knows.

Linora giggles. "Morning, sleepyhead," she teases. "What are you doing out at this hour anyhow? Do you know what /time/ it is?" On her shoulder, Spray chirrups as if in agreement.

Diena smiles "Well, as long as he doesn;t do that In class I'm sure he'll be fine" she giggles.

"What time it is?" Cress looks around him, shaking his head, "No, I don't. But I was a little tired...."

Diena smiles "It's about mid-afternoon, I believe. Did you stay up all night?"

Linora shrugs. "I never had a class with him, so I dunno." She grins at Diena. "Not like you, you're in class alla the time." She shrugs, still grinning. "I dunno how you squeeze so much in." She turns back to Cress. "It's the middle of the /day/." Turns back to Diena. "He's /always/ up all night. Ask him."

Cress nods at Linora's comment, "yeah, most nights that is. I can't help it, I just never get to bed when it gets dark."

Linora giggles. "Or at all sometimes."

Diena smiles "Well, isn't that the rumor about us starrys.. that we stay up all night. I only wish I could fit more classes in. Especially to get one of those nifty distance viewers" she points to Linora's. "So what did you two have planned for the rest of the day?"

Kezzra walks with a light step, in from the Main Hall Balcony.

Cress gives a lopsided grin. "Oh, you know, starcrafters are better off if they can stay up all night," he says to Linora, then turn to Diena whose name he picked up from Linora, "I was going to try and sleep a little...."

Kezzra slips into a chair, curling her legs beneath her.

Linora shrugs, she just got up after all. "I might go to the lake, if it's warm enough to swim today." Hates to miss a good swim. Then she notices Kezzra enter and grins widely. "Hey, look who's back in the hall! How are you doing?"

Diena pats Cress on the soulder "You need it.".. she looks up at Kezzra and lowers her voice "Good Morning, Journeywoman."

Kezzra smiles, looking up from the babe in her arms. "I'm quite well, thankyou. And yourself?"

Linora gives Diena a look for the formal tone before smiling back at the journeywoman herself. "Great, thanks." She leans forward in her chair to get a better look at the baby.

Cress leans back in his chair, disturbing Idoru who crawls down into his lap where she curls up to fall asleep once more.

Diena smiles at the displaced firelizard "Poor thing." she snickers. She looks up to Linora "Well, if you like water the bathhouse is always warm. I could sit in there for hours today. In fact, maybe I will.." she thinks.

Linora turns at the slight noise and stifles a giggle at the drowsy green. "You still feeding her sweetbread, Cress?" she teases lightly. Then at Diena's comment, she makes a face. "Ah, who wants to sit in a bath all day? I wanna /swim/. Crystal Lake is tons warmer than the beaches at Ista this time of year."

Cress shakes his head at Linora's question, "only when she wants it. And that's not very often. I think it was just a phase she had there for a while," he says smiling.

Diena stretches and looks in her pocket for piece of meat for Dart "I suppose I'll probably study today. I still haven't memorized all those constellations yet. I wonder if its possible"

Linora blinks at Diena. "Do you ever do /anything/ but study?" She catches herself, remembering the journeywoman's presence. "I mean, classes are important... we all hafta study... " She looks at the floor, for once out of words.

Diena smiles, feeling like the study nerd "I know its silly. I guess I'm better with the books than I am socially." She blushes.

Kezzra giggles. "Just don't study too much. Have fun too. Right darling?" she says placing her finger lightly on Rasha's nose.

Diena smiles warmly at the little baby "Oh, everything is fun here. Even studying." she giggles, softly so as not to disturb the baby.

Linora blinks again, taking another look at Kezz. Lucky for her the journeywoman's too smitten with the new baby to mind. She smiles.

Cress nods off again, along with his firelizards. Not that he's not trying to stay awake, when there's people around, he just can't keep his eyes open.

Diena looks down at Cress "Do you think he needs help back to his dorm?" she looks worried.

Linora grins. "Nah, he'll just doze off here, like always."

Diena frowns saddly "I hope he doesn't drop his little flit." she says.

Linora shakes her head. "They hold on /tight/." She's felt those talons herself... well, 'Mute's anyhow.

Diena smiles back at the baby "How is she doing today?"

Kezzra smiles, glancing up at the others. "She doing good, thanks."

Linora grins. "Look how big she got already." In the tone usually reserved for her firelizard... or whichever one she might be oiling. She looks back at Kezz. "I s'pose it'll be a while before you're back to your regular duties and stuff."

"Huh," Cress says as he wakes up again, for no other reason sharp talons digging into his shoulder. "That hurts, Dixie."

Kezzra shrugs lightly. "I don't know. I'd like to get back as much as I can... but I want time for her too." Kezz? Saying she wants to work less? Okay....

Linora's smile widens. "Fell in love with her, didn'tcha?" Her eyes look surprisingly knowing for one who looks so young. She gets up and walks over to Cress's chair, looking down at him as sternly as she can manage. "Either go to bed, or come swim with me."

Kezzra nods. "Seems I have."

"Swim?" Cress says, his eyes widening somewhat. "I don't swim to well, Linora...."

Linora chuckles, her eyes twinkling as she looks down at Cress. Novel experience, looking down at someone, and she's liking it. "Wanna learn?"

Cress' eyes flicker, here and there around the room trying to avoid contact with Linora's. "L-learn? Water's not too deep, is it?"

Linora giggles. "Not by the shore. Course ifya go /out/ a ways... " She kicks at his foot. "C'mon. It's fun. You can see clear to the bottom."

Cress shrugs, then stands, taking up the challenge. "All right, maybe it'll wake me up a bit."

Linora grins widely. A swim /and/ company. "Maybe you can teach 'Mute to fish, while you're at it." She waves to Diena and Kezz and goes out.

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 winter sunset.

Cress moves slowly in from the Hold Field.

"You're sure it's not too cold?" Cress inquires, "I mean it is s'posed to be winter, isn't it?"

Linora pulls off her sandals and walks right down to the shoreline to test the water. "It's nice and warm," she calls back. "You'll love it." Without another word, she splashes in, clothes and all.

Standing at only 5'5 this young man's size is not impressive. His blond hair is bleached by the Istan sun, which has also darkened his skin to a bronze color. Narrow gray eyes are framed by light-colored lashes and brows, and his cheekbones are angular as is his chin. His muscles are hardened, from long hours of hard work, done in his previous life as a trader. A scar runs along the right side of his neck and his most obvious feature is a missing inch of his right little finger.
His legs are covered by coal-coloured trousers, which are well worn and patched in many placed. A broad leather belt keeps the trousers from falling down around his ankles. A darkgreen shirt covers his upper body, also showing signs of beeing old, having rips along a number of seams. His dark boots, which come up to the ankles, are scuffed but are well-polished with a shine. Cress' Pack hangs heavily from Cress's shoulder. Perched on Cress's shoulder is Idoru. Perched on Cress's shoulder is Dixie.
Red and silver in a double cord and single loop appoints him as apprentice to the Star Craft.
Cress is 18 Turns, 9 months, and 3 days old.

Cress stares after Linora, then sits and pulls of his boots, and shirt. Standing again he moves to the edge of the water to test it with his toes. "Hmmm, doesn't seem that cold," he says. "You'd almost think it was summer."

Linora ducks under and swims back to shore, surfacing a few meters away from where Cress is standing. "It's always warm," she informs him, just catching his comment.

Cress unbuckles his belt and takes it off before entering the water. Don't want it to get ruined because of a swim. "I've tried swimming a few time before," he says confidently as he moves further into the water, "but so much that I swim very good..." He looks to her for some help.

Linora wades closer, still up to her waist in the water. Not that it's that deep on Cress, him being taller and all. "It's easy," she tells him. "Long as you're not afraid to get wet. Most people float." She eyes him. Not a lot of body fat there... then decides he'll prolly be okay since he looks pretty strong.

Cress shakes his head. Afraid? No. Just of drowing, but not of getting wet. "Okay, so what do I do?" He says, not letting that fear into his voice.

Linora grins. He really has no clue? Well, maybe there's not that much opportunity to swim when you're a trader. "Wade out a little farther," she suggests. "It's easier to start if you're already kinda /in/ the water. 'Sides, ya float better when the water's deeper. I dunno why, ya just /do/." She takes a few steps back herself, up to her shoulders, then gives up and just treads water. She looks at him. "Can you tread? That's a good place to start; saves a lotta energy when ya start to get tired."

Cress nods, as he wades out further into the water, loosing the ground beneath his feet. "You just kick your feet, right?"

Linora nods. "Yeah, but use your arms too, like this." She's paddling slowly, her arms skimming the surface of the water from in front of her out to her sides. "Makes you float better." Abruptly she disappears under the water, splashing to the surface a short distance away and shaking the water out of her hair. "It doesn't take a lotta energy," she calls out, raising her voice a bit to be heard, "but it works."

Cress copies Linora's motions with his arms. "This isn't that hard," he says grinning. "So what's next?"

Wintermute blinks in from ::between::!

Linora paddles back over. "Try this," she suggests. She suddenly dives, cutting through the water with a dolphin kick, her ankles together and her arms stretched out in front of her to steer. She surfaces almost a dragonlength away, then dives again to swim back near Cress, where she explodes to the surface with a shower of water and a wide grin on her face. "Ya don't hafta go that far, though," she assures him. "Not the first time."

Wintermute dives down from above entering the water right in front of the nose of his humanpet.

Cress shakes his head free of water splashed onto him as his brown lizard entered the water. Then he takes a deep breath and dives under the water himself, surfacing only a few moments later, without having gone even half as far as Linora.

Wintermute surfaces too, with a squirming fish held tightly in his talons. A proud chitter comes from him as he lands on a rock on the shore.

Linora catches up to Cress with a lazy backstroke, flipping in a complete somersault under the water before righting herself. Still too deep for her to stand, she just treads. "Not bad," she remarks. "Your lungs'll get stronger with practice." She blinks as 'Mute surfaces, following his path to the shore with her eyes. "Did he just do what I /think/ he just did?"

"Who? What?" Cress says, having not seen his lizard come up with a fish. He follows Linora's eyes to look at 'Mute. "Is that a fish he has?!"

Linora grins widely. "Looks like it," she says. "Good thing he can't oil himself, huh?" She paddles a bit closer to shore for a better look.

Cress looks carefully at Linora's movements while he treads water, then follows her to the shore. "There's something he's been keeping from me, I think," he mumbles, trying not to get water in his mouth.

Linora splashes up to the shore, wringing out her hair, stopping a respectful distance away from 'Mute and his prize. She looks back at Cress. "Yup, it's a fish all right," she grins. "Neat trick. When'd you teach him /that/?" Not catching Cress's comment.

Wintermute is busy dissecting the fish, he caught. Using his talons, he quickly has the fish disected in several pieces, disregarding the head and fins of the thing. He then sets to eating what's left with much enjoyment.

"Teach him?" is Cress' answer as he scrambles after Linora, running his fingers though his hair trying to shake it relatively dry. "I didn't teach him." He look in wonder at the brown, trying to figure out who /did/ teach him to fish like that.

Linora looks surprised. "Maybe they /don't/ hafta be taught," she muses, wondering how soon her own will figure it out.

Cress bends to pick up his belt, and buckles it around his waist again, all the time looking at 'Mute gulping down that fish. "Or maybe he learnt from another firelizard," he mumbles.

Linora slogs the rest of the way out of the water, wringing out her shirttails, as if it made any difference, and wishing she'd remembered that the late afternoon air /would/ be cooler. Catching Cress's comment, she shrugs. "I s'pose," she says thoughtfully, trying not to shiver. "He's not hanging on ya all the time like the others do."

Cress shakes his head, still keeping an eye on the brown, "no, he been spending a lot of time on his own lately." That was a strange experience, 'Mute just coming out of the water like that with a fish in his crasp. "Strange..."

"He sure seems ta have got the hang of it," Linora remarks, unable to keep from shivering in the rapidly cooling evening air. She looks at Cress apologetically. "There's a fire in the dining hall, isn't there?" Trying to remember; she's only been in there a couple times.

Cress nods, "there ought to be," he says as he picks up his shirt and pulls it over his head, the fabric showing dark spots where the water's soaking through. Picking up his boots and pack, he takes one last look at 'Mute, deciding to leave him there with his fish, he heads toward the Hold.

Cress moves slowly to the Hold Field.

Linora picks up her sandals and follows after Cress.

Dining Hall
Coming from the other rooms, the Dining Hall seems a little dimmer, Which it is. Positioned throughout the room are about a dozen tables suited for up to eight people each. It is far more than the Hall needs, but it is always nice to be safe than sorry. A table is set up off to the side. On it is a collection of cooled juices and fruits which are kept fresh from the nearby Orchards. With the constant state of furor created by recent events there few drudges not busy elsewhere, So please serve and clean up after yourself. A fire burns merrily along the west wall, and overstuffed, cushioned couches and chairs have been placed in front of it.

Linora's arms are wrapped tightly around herself and her lips actually have a bluish cast to them after the long chilly walk back to the Hold.

Cress sighs with relief as he moves to the side table to pour a mug of klah. "Want some," he asks Linora as she comes in behind him.

Linora pulls a face. Klah. But it's warm... "All right," she says, not very enthusiastically. She heads for the hearth for what little warmth is still coming off the ashes there, slowly getting the feeling back in her fingers.

Cress pours a second mug for the shivering girl and follows her to the hearth. "Here you go," he says handing her the steaming mug. Being the forgetful starrie he of course forgets to ask if she wanted sweetener in her klah.

Linora just stands holding the mug for a long moment, warming her hands. Then she sips experimentally, with the expression of a condemned prisoner... which shifts to one of complete disgust as the beverage hits her tongue. With some difficulty, she swallows. "This stuff is awful."

Cress gives her a somewhat pained look as he realizes that he forgot the sweetener. "Did you want sweetener?" He says, already moving to the sidetable to get it for her.

Linora blinks. "I don't s'pose it'll help much," she starts to say, but Cress has already gone after it. She shrugs and waits. Who knows?

Cress brings the bowl of sweetener back from the sidetable, his bare feet slapping the floor. "If you put plenty of it in it helps. That's how I learned to drink it." And now he takes it straight, no sweetener at all.

Linora takes the bowl and just pours. Just before she has klah syrup, she stops, and hands the bowl back to Cress. "That oughta do it." She tries again. "Okay, now it just tastes like sweetener." She shrugs. "It's a little better, I guess." She sets the mug on the hearthstone and goes to light the fire, figuring she'll dry off quicker that way.

Linora takes a long match and reaches into the fireplace to light the fire.

The fire blazes up and crackles, and sparks fly up the chimney.

Linora adds some logs to the fire.

The fire crackles and pops as the new log starts to burn.

Cress laughs and considers putting some of that sweetener in his own mug, but decides against it. He hasn't used the stuff for Turns. "That's better," he calls over his shoulder, returning the sweetener to the sidetable. "Let's get some warmth in here, the floor is deadcold."

Linora hugs right up against the now blazing fire, sitting on the hearthstones with her legs curled under her and picking at her blouse to let the air circulate under it.

"Careful you don't set yourself on fire," Cress says as he sees her sitting so close to the blazing fire. He sit himsleft in a chair close enough to the fire so he can strech his legs out and get some heat into his near-frozen feet.

Linora stops mid-sip to grin at Cress. "I think I'm too wet to burn."

Cress chuckles, "still I wouldn't want to have to run for a healer bare-footed..."

Linora giggles. "Don't worry. Just tell me if I start to smoke, and I'll back off." She's beginning to relax as the chill leaves her, and her eyes are twinkling.

Tierza walks in from the Gar Hold Entry Hall.

Tierza glances at the chalkboard to see what the menu is for today.

Cress shakes his head, chuckling. His feet are warming up nicely now, with the fire blazing. "I still wonder where 'Mute learnt to catch fish like that...."

Linora shrugs from her seat on the hearthstones, a little puddle forming around her. "Who knows?" She glances up at the sound of footsteps and waves when she recognizes Tierza.

Cress looks over his shoulder as he sees Linora looking there. He didn't hear any footsteps, so he's quite surprised to see someone there. Nodding at the woman he slumps back into a more comfortable position with his feet still turned to the fire for warmth.

Tierza startles out of her sonombulent state and grins at Cress and Linora. "Hey you two.. How goes Starrie-world?"

Linora stands up, her back to the fire, the better to dry it. She grins at Tierza. "Great. Seen Bryden lately?" Remembering another, less pleasant, dip in the lake.

Feet now completely dry, Cress bends to pull on his boots again. He's not sure he's heard that name before, so he just sit back, cradling his steaming klah-mug between his hands.

Tierza *shudders* "Not if I can avoid him first..."

The fire leaps and crackles, and a few sparks rise slowly into the chimney.

Linora grins widely. "Yeah, me too," she says. "You two know each other?" Turning to dry off her front now, but still looking over her shoulder.

Tierza says, "We have met I believe. Natch introduced us in the Harper one day."

Cress nods, the memory coming back to him. "Oh, that's right. Tierza, wasn't it," he says looking up at the woman.

Tierza says, "Good for you. But call me Tie (Tea) most folks do... I'm an assistant gardener here.. for the moment anyway."

Linora grins. "Expecting a promotion?" she guesses. She starts picking at her trousers, steam rising from them as the warm fire dries them.

The fire leaps and crackles, and a few sparks rise slowly into the chimney.

Cress streches in his chair. "Hrmmf... Well, that swim was a great idea, Linora, but I'm afraid it didn't do much for my sleepiness..."

Linora grins at Cress. "I'm kinda tired myself... guess I'm dry enough now to head back for the dorms... if I don't hafta go outside again."

Cress shrugs, "well, at least my feet wont freeze on the floor now I got my boots back on," he says, wondering the instant he said it, why he'd have to say something /that/ dumb.

Linora stifles a giggle, sitting to pull her own sandals back on. "C'mon, let's go back," she says. "I need a nap myself." She waves at Tierza.

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.

Cress moves slowly in from the Main Hall Balcony.

Linora stops to wave at Cress before disappearing into the girls' dorm. "G'night."