The Newest Apprentice

Summer - Month 2 of Turn 2720

Craft Barracks
Long and low-ceilinged, the barracks have been designed to accomidate as many apprentices as possible while still providing a quiet place to rest and study. It's been divided up into quad rooms, each complete with two bunkbeds and tiny desks. Intersped between them are the utilitarian bathing quarters to accomidate twelve at once. The rooms themselves are separated into two wings: one male, and one female. They're of equal size, though while the girl's quarter has been decorated with all sorts of hand-painted art on the walls, the boy's quarter tends to be a bit more plain. And maybe smelly. The center of the building is a shared common area that leads out into the quad. It's designed primarily for study, again, with round tables set out with writing supplies and long slate blackboards set up on two of the four walls.


It's late into a summer night, and it's hot. Even though the sun has long since set, it's not cooled off much. Perhaps that's why Etinei is still awake, sat at one of the round tables in the barracks' common area. She has practically a library's worth of books set out on the table, many of them open; before her is a notebook, in which she is writing in a tiny, precise hand. Dressed in shorts and a long, flowing shirt, she's sat cross-legged on her chair, bending over her work with an air of intense concentration.

Despite the late hour, the door to the barracks opens, and a pair of voices can be heard - something about 'find an empty cot and it will be sorted out in the morning' - and then there is a solitary figure entering the common area. A figure who is definitely not dressed for the weather, and from the flush that occupies her face, she knows it. Scrambling to tug off the heavy cloak around her shoulders, the young woman is occupied for a long moment by looking around her, a wide grin appearing on her face before she spots Etinei, jumping a little. "Oh, hello.." She offers easily, even as she drifts closer, a bit cautiously.

Etinei isn't very quick to look up from her work. Whatever's happening in the vicinity is background noise that can be blocked out, apparently. But it does register that someone's talking, and Etinei's head lifts, looks left and right. Talking to who? Her eyes come to the newcomer, and with the absence of anyone else to be addressed, it seems like it must be her that the other girl is talking to. "Hi," is the reply, a little cautious. "Can I help you?"

A few more steps close the distance, and after settling her cloak over the back of an unoccupied chair, Wendyn is slipping easily into the seat across from Etinei without waiting for an invitation, resting her elbows on the table top as she leans slightly. Eyes dart briefly towards the books, before back at the other young woman. "Based on the fuss that young man made about -the hour- and being a disruption, I didn't expect anyone else would be awake." Wendyn offers, as if that explains everything, without actually answering the question.

There's still that wariness in Etinei's eyes as she watches Wendyn take a seat. They seem very much opposites; Etinei fair; Wendyn darker. The heavy cloak gets a quick look, and the obvious question comes to mind. "Have you come here from somewhere/ A cloak seems excessive at the moment." Cutting right to the point, apparently. She reaches to adjust a book so it's aligned just so.

Leaning back in her chair and shifting her elbows, Wendyn takes a moment to ensure that she isn't nudging any of the other apprentice's books, before laughing softly. "Aye, Crom. Where it is also not quite dinner." An inclination of her head towards the door and the late, dark hour outside, she continues, "I was so glad to get out of the the dark, cold, terrible place I, well, I apparently got quite ahead of myself." The perils of rushing into things. Eyes rest on Etinei for a moment, contemplating, before she grins and offers a hand across the table. "Wendyn.. Apprentice Miner."

Etinei settles back into her chair, still cross-legged but ore upright and attentive now she's got a person to talk to, rather than work to hunch over. "Oh." There's a pause as she consults her mind's archive of location information. "Yes, I suppose it must have been rather cold when you left." She looks back across at Wendyn as the other considers her; then she reaches out to take the offered hand, her grip just firm enough to call it a handshake. "Etinei, Apprentice Techcrafter. You've been assigned here, I assume?"

Wendyn gives Etinei's hand a bit of a squeeze before letting go, settling her elbows back on the tabletop as she settles in. "I have, thank Faranth. Crom is terrible enough in the summer, but the winter? Everything is gray. I mean, everything." A shiver that has nothing to do with being cold, and the miner apprentice is finally then it seems registering 'tech crafter'. "Oh, technology? That must be fun. What are you reading?" Ever so nosy, she is tilting her head, to try and ponder out the upside down words.

Clearly, Etinei has never been to Crom, for her next is a question: "Oh? Why is it terrible in the summer?" She nods when Wendyn talks about the tech craft; she's happy to answer the miner's question, too, for it's about her craft and therefore a safe subject in her mind; one that she's happy to talk about for hours, if given the chance. "Well - I'm trying to work out what I'd like to specialise in, so I pulled the books about communications that looked interesting and…got stuck in." The books look like dense tomes indeed, and very dry reading. "Are you thinking about that, yourself?" Since the woman looks to be on the older end of the apprentice scale.

"Have you ever been to Igen?" Wendyn asks, in return to the question about Crom. And then, without waiting for an answer, she is plowing right ahead. "Sure, there is no snow in the summer in Crom, but it is never… properly warm. Rukbat sets, and you need a cloak. Mountains are not the same as dunes." As if that needs to be said. The miner pauses for a second, listening to Etinei's explanation, before laughing softly. "Ah, nah, I've had mine since the day I entered the craft. Gems. Just like one of my dads." Eyes flick back to the books, tilting her head. "What else are your options?" Because communications sounds… rough, even if Wendyn won't say that aloud.

"Um," Etinei doesn't have to think too long about that; her answer comes practically straight away. "No." She listens silently to Wendyn's explanation of Crom's weather, nodding slowly. "I see." But does she see? Or is she just saying it because she feels she should? Either way, the solid ground of craft talk is more appealing to her, and Etinei settles back into that. "Oh, gems. That must be very delicate work." She has a fleeting knowledge of jewellery work, apparently. Her options? "Engines, or engineering, as well. I like everything, so I don't know how I'm going to choose." But she sounds upbeat about the idea of having to choose, rather than morose.

"Engines or engineering?" Wendyn repeats, humming softly over the options, before shaking her head. "Well, good luck, I suppose. Maybe you'll just.. wake up and suddenly know what the right choice is." It can totally work like that, right? The miner shifts slightly, sitting up a bit straighter at the mention of delicate work, seeming quite proud for someone to recognize that. "Aye, it can be. And very precise. Makes it hard to look at others' jewelry though, without thinking someone did a sharding terrible job on a gem." So, perhaps Wendyn is a bit rough, just like an uncut stone…

Etinei considers that with an absent look down at her notebook, and a slooow nod. "Maybe, yes." That would certainly make things a lot easier than spending all this time trying to work it out. Readjusting a leg, she looks back up at Wendyn. "That must be really annoying." She pauses to think, and another question arises that she just has to ask. "Is Monaco particularly good for gems? I'm not a native myself, and it's not something I've looked into." Gems not generally being a part of machinery, after all.

"And its apparently rude to tell someone they were had, too." Wendyn sniffs at that, as if such a social mistake is just ridiculous. "I mean, wouldn't -you- want to know?" And then at the question, she shrugs. "You can cut anywhere, really, doesn't matter where they dig them out. But my mentor is from here, and finally was assigned back, and I am -finally- able to move too, thanks to the greatest brother -ever-." And she is rambling a bit in her excitement. "Frankly, I feel like being able to feel my fingers year round will probably be an improvement."

"I would," Etinei assures her. Despite the fact not a bit of jewellery can be seen on her person, but…her point still stands! "Oh, I see. Well, it is lovely weather here." Pause. "And there's a beach." Pause. "Lots of things, really.Was it your brother who brought you here?" She's just full of questions, despite the fact that she should probably be turning in for the night. Yet, here she is, looking well awake.

With the unplanned for time change, Wendyn is obviously not any sleepier than Etinei, and so she seems completely unbothered by the continued questioning, though she does glance around her and drop her voice -just in case- as it seems the next bit might be interesting information, at least in her mind. "Well, see, I should have been here a few sevendays ago, but uh, some things happened. And he helped me get out of it." Or rather, most likely, the punishment. "Shards, I could spend all -day- at the beach." She offers with a wistful sigh, leaning back and tilting her chair onto the back legs.

This doesn't seem to make things entirely clear in Etinei's head, but she nods nonetheless, her expression mildly perplexed as she does so. "Oh. Well. You're here now? And in summer, so you'll be able to enjoy the beach." Another thought comes to mind, and, still watching Wendyn with a hint of curiosity in her blue eyes, she asks: "do you ever go join the people that mine the gems? Or do you just work with what they give you?"

Wendyn is just a perplexing creature unfortunately, and generally completely oblivious to this fact, which makes her even -more- perplexing. "I am here now, and its summer and its -warm- and shards, how am I going to be able to even sleep." The miner rambles cheerfully, and loudly, before remembering that people are in fact sleeping not far away, and lowing her volume to a more appropriate level once more. "Oh, we all start in the mines - mine safety, identifying them, getting them out intact.. I guess they feel you appreciate it more, and will be more careful, if you know everything that goes into getting them out in the first place." A slight shake of her head, "Shardin' glad to be past those lessons."

Etinei listens with interest to Wendyn's answer, and this one seems to hit the spot, if her little smile is anything to go by. "And onto actually making things, right?" She closes her notebook, neatly lining it up with the edge of the book next to it. She can sense she's not going to get any more writing done tonight. "I suppose we'll be sharing the barracks - you'll have to show me some of your work. I don't really know a lot about jewellery, so you'll have to forgive me if I ask silly questions." Her voice is soft - though it seems like it normally is this way, rather than for the sleeping people nearby.

"And actually making things. Or well, getting things ready to be made?" A pause, and she shrugs. "When it comes to settings and the like, well, that is probably left to others, but.. cutting and shaping and polishing?" A confident nod and a grin, "Then I will be your girl. Even if right now its mostly trying techniques on the imperfect ones." Eyes slip to the movement as the notebook is put away, and she nods a bit distractedly. "For sure - my trunks are suppose to arrive, well.. tomorrow I guess." Finally, her eyes slip back to Etinei, "Silly questions are never a problem, otherwise how would you learn anything."

Etinei isn't immune to the idea of looking at shiny, pretty things. "I look forward to seeing what you do." She offers up a little smile, before starting to close the numerous books spread across the table, gathering them into a couple of piles. "I should probably return these. Would you like to come with me, and I can show you where they're kept?" Useful for Wendyn - and a possible heavy lifter for Etinei. A win-win situation?

"Perfect, I am not sure I could actually settle down yet.." Wendyn says in agreement, carefully getting to her feet - and after a moment of contemplation, leaving her cloak, before reaching for a pile of books and letting Etinei lead the way.


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