Logs:Sweets and Sails

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Sweets and Sails
Dramatis Personae

Kyrie, Owen, Tock, Thorian, Veronica, Albrecht, Wendell, Faruq, Olivia, Denali, Darren

22 July 2015


A gathering at Valhalla with many sweets and some troubling news.

Location

Arena - Valhalla - Hedge


This cavern is large, about half the size of a football field. The walls and ceiling are made of a black stone, shot through with silvery veins which glow, providing all the light that's needed. The open cavern is circled by small rooms. Directly beneath those rooms are stone stands and pavilions where people can watch the action happening further down, where the cavern flattens out and forms an oval-shaped arena.

The arena is a good six feet lower than the lowest of the stands, and there's a wall which separate the two. Hanging on the wall, at eight feet intervals, are shields, each painted or decorated differently. At one end of the oval is a small room which holds targets that can be used for target practice. At the other end are racks of weapons and armor that can be used by those who don't have their own. There's a doorway there, too, leading to the armory, which holds a wider range of weapons, along with more armor.

The rooms that circle the arena are widely varied in purpose. There is a clinic with cots for those injured in the arena, or who just want to rest. Another room holds a forge for those who want to make their own gear. There are also rooms for the hobs which reside here, and some which hold beds for those who choose to do dream training, along with a kitchen area including a storeroom. A final room is through a tunnel, and is brightly lit, due to the plants it houses within.

Now that Valhalla is open, people are free to wander in and out as they choose. The lights are on today, because Kyrie's here! She's down on the arena floor, and a dummy has been drug out, one of the human-shaped ones. Her shield is on her left arm, her sword in her right, and she's busy beating the dummy to death with both.

Owen is just outside the medical area. He pulled out all the supplies and he's working on stacking and organizing them, with labels and printed out sheets that are to be laminated that'll show where everything is. He has a tape measure as well and he's used a carpenter's pencil to mark where the 'fridge type' areas may go. He's paying attention to Kyrie, now and then, as he's working on the ground surrounded by supplies.

It is almost warm outside! As such, Tock has been out cycling prior to her stop over at Valhalla. She is dressed casually, for once, in lavender blouse and dove grey trousers, a simple summery sun hat atop her head. As always, a silver (blue-shimmery) locket is clasped at her throat and a matching metal-woven bracelet at one wrist. Her crystal blue eyes scan about the room, first this way, then that, taking in Owen and Kyrie's activities. Again she shows with a small basket on her arm, this time bearing an assortment of biscuits from a local bakery. A little wave is offered to any who glance up to her entrance.

Kyrie doesn't immediately notice Tock since, hey, she's having fun beating up an inanimate object. She's been at it for a while, it looks like, since there's a sheen of sweat on her brow. But after a moment her arm stills and she sniffs, before turning to find the source of yummy smells. "Are you always going to bring food when you come by?" she asks, grinning.

"Ooh food. I'm hungry," says Owen - he's ALWAYS hungry. He puts down a pack of bandages and pushes himself to his feet with a grin, "Hey, I dunno if we met before. Owen. Nice to meet ya, and thank you for bringing the food by! I bet Kyrie's got a good appetite going, she's been going at the dummy since I first got here to do my inventory."

Tock chuckles at the question, laughter light and tinged with a slight music-box tinkling. “Perhaps not always food, but a something. Carrying a basket is my substitute for laying out tea, when I am out and without my tea service.” Somehow, that second-generation lingering English accent comes through just a little bit more when discussing tea. The corners of her lips tick upward in a smile as she comes closer to offer the basket's contents to the others. “And certainly, in a place of hard work such as this, I entertain notions of hungry people to provide with sweets.” Her free hand she offers to Owen. “Please, call me Tock. I was here the other night for the gathering, but it /was/ rather crowded.”

Kyrie shrugs and shoots Owen a grin. "Just working out some things. I think you missed the revelation that happened last week." She wipes her sword off and sheaths it, hooking her shield to her back before heading for the others. "I could certainly use some tea, though, assuming you brew it properly and not how most Americans seem to prefer it," she says, heading out of the arena to where Owen and Tock are. "Luckily, you did hear that we're going to have a cook here, didn't you? Which I think is absolutely needed. Hard work means big appetites."

"Indeed. And I'm ALWAYS hungry." Says Owen as he brushes his palms. He's been working on cataloging and organizing the medical supplies; Kyrie on beating up a dummy and Tock has arrived with biscuits. Owen offers his hand to the latter, "Owen Thorpe. Resident good natured dude. Kyrie and I go back, you need anything medical you just lemme know. Or, you know, if you get more biscuits than you know what to do with."

The rhythmic, perfectly timed tap-tap of a light wooden cane against the floor of the cavern heralds Thorian's arrival. The man is dressed in a pair of fine khaki's and a white dress shirt, whose sleeves have been pushed up to just below the elbows. The essence of autumn is strong with him this evening, that edge of a crisp fall night about his aura bringing with it a faint scent of smokey bonfires. He remains silent for the moment as he comes to a stop to just listen, his gaze sweeping about each of the trio present.

Sure, tell the Spring about a continuous hunger. Tock's grin widens as she waggles the basket /just/ a little. “Please, take to your heart's content. It is what they're here for.” Her handshake is a precise thing, fingers curling just so, wrist's motion to follow. “That is a pleasant enough thing to have in residence, I'd say. I am no resident, but have volunteered my services where they might be of aid. Mucking about the hedge, some combat, technology, 'spinning...” She pauses a moment at Kyrie's mention of the other night's revelation, head tilting a few degrees off centre but not further pushing the topic. “Yes, having a cook will be lovely. I am old-fashioned in my tea, generally speaking. Habits picked up in past centuries will do that. Though I do admit to being American-born.” The tapping at the entrance draws Tock's gaze around. Her hand, once freed from its handshake, lifts to wave. “Good evening. There are biscuits if you have an interest in such.” She's become the sugar pusher for the night, it seems.

Kyrie looks over at that sound, and she blushes of all things. Which, naturally, has her back straightening. Valkyries can't blush, so she has to be all stern! Except for the grin and eyeing of food, anyway. "And that, if you guys haven't met him yet, is Thorian. He's going to be doing research for the place," she says, snagging a biscuit and biting into it, leaning against the wall where she can watch all three of them. "Thorian, this is Tock, an assistant trainer, and Owen, trainer and medic."

"Sup bro," says Owen with a wave to Thorian. Biscuits? Well, Owen has his ruck nearby and he just happens to have a handful of grape jelly MRE packets and a canteen kit. So he'll take a handful of biscuits cheerfully and sit down, slicing them neatly to add jelly and grinning as he begins to eat, "Thanks, Tock, I super appreciate this. These are awesome!" he adds. "Holy cow. Ommmmmmm."

"Biscuits?" The way the man phrases that question shows he clearly isn't British, not equating it with the lovely sugary treats the group already present has. The man begins forward, a strolling, lazy pace forward as he leans against his cane to help his left leg. Thorian's hand lifts to offer a wave, "Good evening Owen. Tock. And Kyrie," There is a brilliant smile for all of them, and even his hair illuminates to shades of gold with small dots of white like the stars in a nebula. "lovely as ever. Good to see you have visitors to Valhalla."

“Thank you, Kyrie,” Tock replies for the supplied introductions. “We did get a chance to speak just a bit, as you were heading out with Olivia, I believe. It is good to have a name to add to it.” This is given with a nod to Thorian. Owen's tucking into the food lights the clockwork girl's eyes, quite obviously pleased. “Just bringing about sugary things for hardworking people. And you are more than welcome, Owen.” Her grin widens a bit more. “Research? Do you mind if I ask your field? Or is it more broad-ranging in scope than that?”

"I hope to have more, and more often," Kyrie says, smiling at Thorian. "Though, I'd like to think of the volunteers and trainers not as visitors," she admits before finishing off her biscuit. "How are all you doing, though? And uh, have you heard of anyone else who might want to be involved here? Trainer or trainee or anything else?"

Owen is with the others - Tock, Thorian, Kyrie, Owen is sitting down near a medical rucksack with stacks of supplies from the medical wing stacked up - he's organizing them. Right now? He has a military style canteen out with fork and knife and he's doing a serious tuck in, as the Brits say, into five or so biscuits from Tock, covered with grape jelly. "The healing meeting went well," he tells Kyrie, "They had some questions, I can go over 'em with you. But we got me - PA, one ER doc, a med student, one doc from the 19th century we're bringing up to speed', several EMTs and I think I have counted five oneirosphyicists in various skill levels, plus a dive medicine person that can help me."

"A name I'm certain will stick to the tip of your tongue." There is a brief look of innocence that creases Thorian's features as he comes to a stop, and for the moment the man just sticks to observing these sugary biscuits. "I run the CHIME Museum in Fallcoast. I do hold degrees in anthropology, history, astronomy... and am currently working on a PhD in astrophysics. Then there is the occult side of things that I am now beginning to delve into." There is a certain warmth and passion about learning. His shoulders lift into a hapless shrug at Kyrie's question, "I haven't, but I will continue to spread the word. As for me? As well as can be expected." His voice falls silent, those twilight eyes shifting to fall upon Owen, listening with interest at the description of the sorts to be had in the healing area.

“I'm afraid I do not have any additional volunteers to offer. As for trainees, I imagine I should have some to deliver sooner or later. Picking folks up in the Hedge with the Shapers, bound to happen. Having a central location for education is superbly suited for the newly arrived.” Tock looks appropriately impressed at Owen's list. “That is /quite/ the assortment you have there! Afraid I've only a touch of first aid training myself. And a bit of kiss-it-better finger waggling.” There's that Spring again. Her tongue gives just the slightest cluck against her front teeth, perhaps in a light return of Thorian's teasing. She nods along with Thorian's list of studies, either way, perking /visibly/ at the mention of astrophysics. “Really, that is lovely! Where are you studying? I make a point of keeping up with classes and lectures here and there. The physical sciences are a favourite area of study for me.”

The impressed whistle that escapes Veronica's lips upon entrance indicates this is the first time she's been in Valhalla. She's also completely inappropriately dressed for any physical training, wearing tattered jeans and flip-flops. Strolling by the shields to gawk, she eventually ends up near the group and offers a cheerful smile and a wave. "This place is badass," is her totally expert opinion, hands shifting to her hips as if to give her words emphasis. "I'm Veronica," she introduces herself a few beats later, lifting her chin in a casual greeting. The biscuits get a lingering, curious look while she finds something to lean against.

"Do any of them want to help out here, though, Owen?" Kyrie asks, from where she leans against the wall. Tock, Owen and Thorian are nearby, at least some of them indulging in baked goods brought by Tock. Her head tilts as she shifts focus to Thorian. "That doesn't sound exceptionally pleasant. You should fix that," she decides with a grin. "And Tock? That's why he's our research guy. That and, you know, because he volunteered." Her gaze slides over to Veronica and she nods. "Hi. I'm Kyrie. First time here?"

Wendell approaches the place slowly and cautiously, carrying a large box of donuts. He's got a lazy smile on his face as he walks into this strange Valhalla place again. The last time he was there was around the opening, though towards the end, now that he heard the name again and a man's word of helpful little advice, he decides to take up the offer and see what's going on. He said if he needed something and the sad fact was the ogre always needed something these days...be it food or something else. In the time being he was uncertain and his face occasionally reflected that, but for now he had a box of donuts and place to go for help so at least he had that going for him. He sniffs the air, and a bevy of familiar scents rush in. Wendell comes in with slowly as he tries to figure out what he's looking for. Upon coming inside a strange out of place feeling overcomes him again but he continues onward into this building. The ogre clears his throat, coming in slowly behind Veronica due to his cautiousness and hesitation. "Hello." The fuzzy ogre says questly as he gives those assembled a wave. "I thought I would visit this place again because Faruq Muhammed said this would be a good place to go if I need help."

Owen finishes another biscuit - he's down to two left now, eating them with grape jelly. He sips some water from a Camelback, sitting with medical gear arrayed around him and a heavy rucksack. He nods to Kyrie, "They do. They asked if we were aligned here if they'd be required to do shifts in the clinic to always have someone on duty - I told them next meeting, we'd bring you in and you could chat at them. But they were very excited about the facilities and options. I was wrong, actually - two ER docs, I forgot Doc - my friend from my military days, a Navy guy named Arkady. He's a local doc too." he says. "We're going to do two training sessions for them and I'd love to do them here - one combat-oriented, post combat or during combat medical care, and then a second one that's most day to day training related. Then we'll do another get together meeting." he says. He lifts his hand to Veronica, "Yo. I'm Owen. That's Kyrie. She's the lady in charge. Wendell! Hey man! Come in, Tock here has some awesome biscuits to trade you for those donuts! Oooh, you got a chocolate glazed in there brother?" he asks the other man. "Kyrie, Wendell came to the Freehold a bit ago, I got him set up. He's a good dude."

"I've little coursework to do towards the degree: it is all research towards a published paper. I know a few people, you see," There is a twinkle of mischief cast towards Tock at that, though Thorian's broad smile is quite sincere, "I'm putting together hypothesis on the interactions of nebula and how their makeup affects the type of star systems that will form. The few of us working on it plan to submit it as a research candidate for NASA's James Webb Telescope program." A warm ripple of laughter comes from him at Kyrie's words, a side long glance cast towards her, "Some days are better than others. This one? Has involved too much walking." He pauses just a moment, shifting his attention to the new arrivals, and once more his hand lifts in a wave, "Good evening. I'm Thorian."

"Hi Wendell. And I'm not surprised Faruq mentioned this place. He's probably been my biggest supporter," Kyrie says, smiling. Owen gets a nod. "That's fine. Medicine and healing is something I'm absolutely okay with being taught here. And I'd be happy to come to the next meeting. I do want to meet all volunteers before they actually start doing anything here. With my name on the deed, so to speak, I just want to ensure that everyone's on board with the purpose, you know? Not that I don't trust them, or you, I'm just cautious." She frowns at Thorian then. "Sit down if your leg is bothering you," she says, pointing to the stands. "That's what they're there for," she says, hands settling on her hips.

“It is a great set-up, isn't it?” Tock echoes Veronica. “Hello, I'm Tock by the way. The biscuits are here for the taking.” All it took was that one look, apparently. She offers the basket in Veronica's direction, then lifts it again as Owen mentions it to the newly-arrived Wendell. “Speaking of new people and places that are ideal for them to go. Hello, Wendell.” Thorian's talk of his research snags the bulk of her attention right back, however. “Knowing people is always handy. That sounds like a fascinating topic. What brought you to it?” Not that mentioning the telescope sparks her interest any further or anything.

"Yup!" Veronica replies to Kyrie, a smirk pulling at the corners of her lips. "That obvious, huh?" she grins, sliding a hand into her back pocket. "Nice to meet you all," her head bobs, and then she takes a moment to look around the room one more time. "Oooh, thank you!" Tock had her at the offer of food. She doesn't hesitate for a moment, reaching out too quickly snatch one up with a hungry look in her eyes.

"Here,' says Owen as he rises, eating the last two biscuits quick, washing them down and moving to get a chair, dragging it over near Thorian, "Doctor, why don't you sit down?" he echoes Kyrie, "You mind if I take a look at your leg, is that cool?" he asks as he crouches in front of the other man.

Wendell nods. "I got one chocolate. I could trade yes. I'd like cookies." Wendell tilts his head and looks at Thorian and those others who have introduced themselves. "Hello, my name is Wendell I've been here for about two weeks now. Been living at the lighthouse. Sometimes I wander around time but sometimes I get lost and hungry but I look forward to when I can be around that other side without worrying so much." Wendell turns to Kyrie. "Yes, I heard Kyrie was the one to ask for if I needed help with something so it makes sense that you are the lady in charge." He tilts his head and observes her for a moment before turning to Wendell takes out his chocolate donut and eagerly looks for biscuits to trade or snatch up. He settles for putting the donut beside them and snatching up 4 or 5 of them. "Thank you for the cookies Tock."

Owen adds a quick aside, "Wendell could use some help assimilating on the other side, you all, if we know anyone that can help. ID, place to live, learning how to live there, stuff like that."

Tock's question is such a perfect setup for such a horrible response, that the Fairest cannot resist. Sweet innocence rings from his tongue as he looks towards her, "What can I say? I'm attracted to heavenly bodies." But then comes the real response, his hand shifting to motion towards his hair, which looks like the fingers of heaven themselves in the night sky, "After Things, it was an area I became fascinated with." A lumbering sigh, but all good natured is cast towards Kyrie and Owen, the first getting a rather pointed of teasing look, and the latter a warm offer. "It is why I have a cane, truly. And thank you Owen, but no. It is a quite old wound that refuses to heal, regardless of any means used. A long story for another night that I'd be happy to share to see if you've ever heard of anything similar."

Kyrie looks pleased at Tock's comment to Veronica, then grins to the latter. "Just a bit," she agrees. "What sort of help are you needing, Wendell?" she asks, eyeing Thorian now, eyes narrowed slightly. But she doesn't press the matter or say anything further for the moment.

"Um. Nothing urgent yet..." He turns to Owen then back to her. "But yes he just said some stuff. Need an identity or something. Would like some kind of work. Maybe help figuring out what I can do first so's I can make some money. Maybe get a place, but the identity is most important. That and maybe a job that doesn't have the person asking so many questions...." Wendell shifts around. "Uh can I take a seat somewhere?" Wendell moves to take a seat with his box of donuts. "Yes Owen covered a lot of it...."

“You're quite welcome,” Tock offers in answer to those collecting biscuits and offering thanks. She looks amused at Wendell's sharing donuts, not the only one to come peddling sugar any longer. “One of my motley-mates likely knows someone who could help with the ID situation. I think he's a professional...knower of people that know people.” That much is said with all due fondness for Ali. Tock's laugh returns, music box quality all the more prevalent for the heartier sound of it at Thorian's ongoing teasing. She'll play with a door left open, as well. “There /is/ something to be said for all of those invisible forces of attraction.” A simple nod lets Thorian know that no additional elaboration is needed for 'Things'.

"Fair enough. But if we can, I'd like one of us to see you, OK? And if you're on any painkillers, let's make sure you're not rocking the opioids, cause we want that mind razor sharp for that all awesome science you're doing," Owen says as he rises to his feet. A smile to Thorian, he will hand the man a card with a number on it before he gets a chair over for Wendell - next to him. He'll go to get cool flasks of water, to bring it over for folks to drink.

Kyrie draws her attention away from Thorian and settles it on Wendell. "I can't help with any IDs, but I have a parkour gym if you wanted something that didn't need a lot of training. Spotters are always good," she offers with a little shrug.

"Knower of people? I might need to know this guy too," Veronica muses between bites of biscuit, giving Tock a thoughtful look. "Mmm," she murmurs happily, dusting lingering crumbs off her fingers once she's finished. "Are you all super smart scientists or something?" she wonders in an impressed tone of voice, glancing over at Owen and Thorian.

"Oh er, maybe....I'll think about it some and keep looking anyways. I don't know that much about parkour. Maybe I will find something." Wendell shrugs and puts two biscuits in his large, toothy maw and starts crunching them happily. "Thank you anyways. Will definitely keep your offer in mind as well as others if I get them. I might fight this guy who knows guys. If I know the guy who knows guys maybe I could find a guy who can get me what I need. That would be nice."

Thorian's attention shifts, casting a glance towards Kyrie and a warm smile graces his lips, "Truly, o valkyrie, I am fine. Promise." His head dips into a small nod towards Owen, offering up a bit of information to hopefully ease his mind, "Mirabella and Ryan are quite good friends, and help me out. I do hope Mira at least was attending your meeting." There is a twitch to the corners of his mouth, and he can't keep the bemusement off of his features at Tock's counter, his head just shaking a bit in an effort that sends bit of stardust floating around him, until they fade into nothingness. "Truly. That pull that one cannot resist until things collide into one big bang."

"I'm not super smart or a scientist," Kyrie tells Veronica, shaking her head. "I'm a fighter. And organizer, I guess," she says, shrugging and dropping down onto the stone seating, but positioned so she can see the rest of the people gathered about. "And not a problem, Wendell. It's not for everyone. It's just the only job I can offer," she explains before giving Thorian another look. "If I thought otherwise, I'd trip you and shove you into a seat," she warns him.

Owen has a huge pile of medical equipment around him - he was cataloging stuff - and he has his rucksack nearby. He's finishing putting a chair near Wendell and settling water flasks near everyone. Folks are standing/sitting around talking. "I'm not super smart of a scientist. Just a physician's assistant," he tells Veronica with a smile. "Al - my friend? He could use a strong guy at his repair business, I bet. If you want me to introduce you two. Or maybe Liv, she runs a service and could maybe use someone strong to haul stuff around," he adds to Wendell.

And lo, there is a selkie. Obviously because the power of Owen's friendship summoned her. She's got a satchel draped over her should, and takes a moment to look around with liquid dark eyes to try and place where people are. And the evident people present seems to please her no end.

Wendell nods. "It's fine, Ms. Kyrie. I'd rather look for some place that could use somebody though. Anything I could concieveably do...." Wendell strokes his chin. "I'll look around some more. Talk to people. I might find something. I could use a couple small jobs to keep me going too." Wendell nods as Owen speaks. "I may speak to them. Maybe they can give me some money for some work here and there and I can have stuff to do. What does this Olivia person do?" The snowborne creature asks, furrowing his thick white brow. "I'm eager to learn about all the different stuff I can do." Wendell shoves two more cookies into his maw again and takes a sip of water.

"So this's the place, huh?" Albrecht steps along into the cavernous chamber, resting the heavy wooden oar that he's hauling around butt-end on the ground like a walking staff and craning his neck to look around, free hand raising up to scratch at his scruffy sea-weed beard, "Not bad. Not bad a'tall."

Kyrie grins and lifts a hand to wave to Olivia. "Hey there. Were your ears burning? Because Owen was just talking about you," she says, grinning. "Wendell, you can ask her yourself," she says, inclining her head toward the woman. "And Al, too, no less. Owen, do you have magic you haven't shared with the rest of the class?" she teases, waving Albrecht over as well. "And thanks, Al. You still want to train here?"

"It's the old senior master sergeant in me," says Owen with a grin, "Al, Liv! Tock brought some killer biscuits. Wendell brought donuts. This is Veronica too, over here. Wendell here is fresh from the Trod and he's needing a new ID - we're squaring that away cause someone here knows someone - but he could use some work. He isn't sure what he's good at yet, but he's strong and willing to learn. I suggested either one of you may use a strong back to move stuff around now and then. Just get him a little work to get a head start. If the hospital didn't do such detailed homeland checks I'd get him snuck in there."

"That's still awesome," Veronica grins at Kyrie as she claims a seat on one of the benches, swinging one leg over the other. "Please, you still have to be smart to do that," she snorts and waves a hand at Owen, chin lifting a little. With biscuit devoured, she glances from face to face, focusing for a long moment on the new arrivals. "Hey hey," she greets with a wiggle of her fingers. "The biscuits are amazing," she chimes in, bobbing her head toward Owen in confirmation.

“I can pass information on to Ali, if you'd like. I'm sure no fighting is necessary. He tends to be more of a talker,” Tock assures Wendell, including Veronica in the offer, as well. “I am a student of science, bit of an inventor, bit more of a crafter...and enjoying hearing others talk about their pursuits.” Her grin takes on a slightly lopsided cant, lips lifting just a few more degrees to one side. “There are so many types of forces and bonds to explore,” she adds almost off-handedly to Thorian as she waves to the new arrivals. “Good evening! There are still some biscuits to be had.” See? Basket. Has biscuits, will share.

A warm ripple of laughter comes from Thorian as he casts a glance towards Kyrie, a playful wink cast her way. "I hardly think tripping would be necessary." His head shifts at a couple of familiar voices, and up a hand lifts to blow Olivia a kiss, while Albrecht gets a wave from the Eternal Echo. The man offers Tock a sidelong glance, and while there is clearly more to be had in play on the tip of his tongue, it twists to something more serious. "You should come by the Museum if it interests you. There is even a planetarium. And, I've a question or two for you on crafting."

"Looks like it's carbs all around," says Olivia merrily, "Because I brought brownies and lemon bars. I think I might have said the word 'brownies' somewhere in Kyrie's vicinity once and she gave my fierce valkyrie eyes, and thus, brownies." Smiles all around, and she adds, "My ears weren't burning, but I'm convinced Owen is magic. I'd say like a unicorn, but DaisyLu cusses way more than Owen does. And I bet her kick is nastier." The seal-woman then turns and smiles at Wendell. "This Olivia person does awesomeness, that's what she does."

"Thanks," Kyrie tells Veronica, grinning. "And it's good we have several crafters, Tock. I'm a hedgespinner and blacksmith myself. I think we'll need as many of them as we can. I've love to see everyone in the freehold outfitted with good hedgespun weapons and armor. Eventually," she says, sighing softly. Thorian gets a shaking of her head. "It might be. You're stubborn. And what, my crafting answers weren't enough?" she asks him, brow arching. Then she pauses and perks. "Brownies?"

"Brownies?" asks Owen from where he's stacking and counting packets of bandages and a smile at Veronica, "You're nice for saying so, by the way, about the smarts. Thanks!"

Albrecht - once he's finished his visual inspection of the place - brings his free hand up in an wasy sort of wave to the people who've greeted him. "Her brownies're to die for," he comments casually as he strolls along towards the others and the gathered, offering a bob of his head to less-familiar faces, "Albrecht Wagner. Call me Al."

Wendell nods. "That all sounds real good. Oh did I say I'd fight him?" Wendell strokes his chin. "I didn't mean that. I don't think er...maybe have done some fighting at some point. I'll do it again if I gotta. But anyways." The fuzzy white thing whips his head around to Olivia. "Oh you brought brownies AND lemon bars. That does sound like awesomeness. I mean it doesn't show what you would need help with...." He purses his lips. "And wait, you said you wanted EVERYBODY to get weapons and armor? Huh....you must be really preparing for something nasty." Wendell frowns. "But I guess there's nothing bad happening yet right? I would have heard so."

"...and lemon bars, people with one track minds. Thank you!" Liv point to Wendell. "Someone who pays attention! Actually, I'm a seaplane pilot, but I'm not hiring right now. I'm sure I could help you find work though, if that's what you want." Desire is important to this Spring, and her connection to her Court is a noticeabe mantle without it being overpowering. She takes a moment for a delayed reaction mock-vapors at Thorian's blown kiss in her direction, wriggles her nose at him, and notes "Be fair, Al. You think my everything's to die for. I'm still aiming for launching a thousand ships." Confident, a little? Then, "Sorry Owen, but Kyrie gets first crack at the brownies."

"Did I mention I was in the military?" mutters Owen. But he knows better. No one lets him have first dibs. Therein lies madness.

“That sounds like a lovely idea. I'm open to questions,” Tock answers Thorian, dropping the next chemistry nerd line that was forming in her mind as more matters-at-hand crop up to be dealt with. “Hopefully I can add to whatever Kyrie already has to offer. I am less of a forger, more of a mechanic, tinkerer, and sometimes artist. We might be able to come at things from different directions, sum our knowledge.” She turns a warm smile on Olivia and Albrecht. “Hello, good to see you! You can call me Tock.” The last is offered in return for Al's introduction. “It is best to be prepared even before anything nasty decides to come knocking, Wendell. Good tools are the best start for any situation. And in the case of defensive situations, good tools means good armaments.”

Laughing brightly in amusement, Veronica slides to her feet and gives the group a wave goodbye. "I should get going, but thanks for the snacks. Have a good one, guys!" she bids with a grin before slipping along the edge of the room toward the entrance, whistling as she shuffles.

"Damn right. I'd have to cut you if you tried to snag a brownie before me," Kyrie states, standing and moving over to Olivia to snag not one, but two brownies. But then she sits back down, freeing Olivia to be rushed for her brownies. "Bye Veronica. Come back whenever you'd like, and let me know if you need help finding a trainer."

Albrecht sweeps the wooden oar in his hand to point in Olivia's direction. "Guilty as charged. I could start building ships, or I guess I could carve an apple. That one might be easier," he teases right back, a wink of one sea-dark eye. His own mantle is muted with the stronger swirling about from others, the faint and haunting sway of lantern light only noticeable when he passes a shadow. "I do general maintenance, myself, if we're sharing what we do. Also, I fish." An up-nod of his head to Veronica, "Take care. Stay safe out there, eh?"

"Your answers, Kyrie, were marvelous, just as you are. But the more I can procure, the better it will be, yes?" The Fairest gives the valkyrie a look at that, but it is softened with a wink cast her way. The man shifts a bit further against his cane, that left leg stretching out as Thorian speaks, "I should be off myself, I was but passing through.” This time when his hand lifts, it is to blow a kiss to the valkyrie and hostess, before he casts another look towards Tock. It takes but a moment for him to produce a card with all of his information and that of the museum, held out for her, "Feel free to give a call whenever, or drop by. A pleasure to formally meet you."

"I desperately need one. I can run and hide. That's about it. So let's talk, because I'd very much like not to die," Veronica points to her eyes, then Kyrie, wiggling both brows before departing. She pulls her multicolored hair up into a ponytail as she slips out, shoes flip-flopping away through the cavern.

Kyrie hrmphs at Thorian's answer, but her lips are slightly curved upward. She bites into a brownie and, with her other hand, waves to him before he leaves. "So was everyone mostly checking out the place, or was anyone wanting to do some training while they were here?" she asks curiously.

"Aw okay...I'll look some place else." Wendell hovers his hand above a lemon bar. "I don't see why brownie rights should be enforced with violence." Wendell frowns as he looks over at his brownies. "I mean it's fair buut." He turns to the leaving Veronica and waves. "So....this place is for preparing for war yes? Or fighting, maybe not war." Wendell bites his lip with an underbite. "I heard it could be dangerous out there...took a chance today without coming with my cleaver thingy."

"For fighting, and defending yourself, and others," says Owen to Wendell, "And she wouldn't really cut me bud, we're friends, we go way way back she and I. It can be very dangerous. But she can help you learn to defend yourself. And don't you worry, we're going to find you an awesome job man, just you see." The brownies are clear so he'll take one and gesture to the pile, "I'm going to finish cataloging all this kit for Kyrie, so I'll be quiet for a while. BUT ... Al, Al doesn't know it yet but he's totally going to help me make a submarine for the ocean here in the Hedge." 'help me' translates to 'make for me'. Then Owen gets to work.

Tock waves again at the departing Veronica. “Have a good night!” She nods in agreement with Thorian. “Not to step on any toes, just to enhance the effort. I'll be sure to do that,” she replies with sincerity as she accepts the card, trading it for one from the Gilded Hills Airfield. “Likewise to you, with calling and meeting both.” Her eyebrows lift slightly in tandem. “There is submarine building going on?”

Kyrie shakes her head. "No, not preparing for war, or at least, not a specific war. But there's always going to be trouble with Loyalists and the like. I'd rather we be prepared when trouble happens rather than caught off guard." She gives Tock an amused look. "You're not stepping on my toes. I was poking at him, not you." People are hanging out, eating brownies and lemon bars, brought by Olivia, and biscuits from Tock.

Olivia blows a kiss to Tock. "Can I bring you something? Everyone's crazy for the brownies, but I love the lemon bars." She waves to Veronica on the way out, and then lifts a brow to Thorian. "I swear. I get here, you leave. Did I skip deodorant? This is becoming a problem." She holds up a yellow confection. "Come get a lemon bar before you leave. Also, too many clothes." Because the forms must be obeyed. To Wendell, "It's always good to learn how to handle yourself, even if there aren't any evident threats. You'll learn, cutie-patootie."

Albrecht's brows both lift (much as Tock's do), his head turning slowly to watch Owen depart. "I am, am I?" There's a hint of dry amusement, there, and he gives his head a shake before moving over to sit on the lower part of the stands--leaning the oar beside him and leaning back, stretching out long legs, "See you around, Thorian, give everyone my best, eh?"

Wendell says, “D-defending others?" Wendell furrows his brow. "Okay...that's good I guess." Wendell strokes his chin. "So...you'll help me find something to do? That would be great!" Wendell nods and pops a lemon square into his mouth with a sip of water. He rubs the downy fluff on back of his neck. The ogre smirks briefly at the little nickname as the end. "I'm not sure what I'll be doing. Sounds like lots of you come here to learn about fighting. I know there was a lot but I don't remember the specifics even though I see the marks. It's strange. Things was done with my mind and I'm no longer certain of a lot of things...."”

A distant rumble comes from the back hallway, a deep voice cutting across the wide open space. "But we are preparing for war. We should always be preparing for war. Preparation is what wins wars," Faruq, tall, broad-shouldered and just uncommonly massive steps from the darkened hall. His brow is sweating, and although he looks good in the suit he is wearing, he does not exactly look comfortable. It might be cool in Valhalla, but the temperatures are only rising without. He carries, in one hand, a black briefcase, and in the other, a pink and white striped bag with a pink and red ribbon tying the handles together. It might be lingerie.

With cards exchanged, Thorian offers Tock one last smile, coy and teasing as he muses, "You might regret giving me your number. I've no willpower when it comes to texting while drinking." The Fairest offers a hearty laugh at Olivia's words, and indeed the man limps his way towards her, his good hand reaching out to pluck up a lemon bar. "I simply know you can't keep your hands off of my clothes, Olivia, so I feel it is my duty to resist temptation so you can pass out your delicious finger foods for people to savor." In he leans to offer her a kiss to the cheek, before his attention shifts to Albrecht, flashing the man a friendly smile, "But of course. And it is always good to see you, Albrecht."

"It's not just for fighting," Kyrie corrects, shaking her head. "It's for anything that can help keep us alive. Healing, survival, things like that. Fighting is just the focus, I suppose," she says, eyeing Thorian again with that same narrowed-eyed look. "Hi Faruq. You made the party this time. There are brownies."

Tock gives a small chuff of laughter at Kyrie. “Oh, good. I imagine he bears some poking at.” Her free hand lifts, catching Olivia's kiss to deliver it playfully to her cheek. “I would /love/ to try one of your lemon confections, Liv. They smell delightful.” A few beats and another chuckle has her adding, “as do you. Don't let the departures reflect on you any.” She grins at Thorian once more as the fellow makes his way out. “No regrets for me in most things, and I expect this to be much the same. I'm anticipating the entertainment now...” Tock holds her basket up once more as Faruq enters and foods are mentioned. “There are also biscuits. Full bellies make for good preparation in many cases, as well.”

Rumour of the place has gone out and about, but Denali has yet to properly make her way over. She needs a distraction. She honestly needs a heap of them. But this will do - for now. The woman makes her way through from the Hedge itself. A visit to Winslow was due and the leafy seadragon waits without. The artist picks her way through the place with a mild curiosity. She's wearing colorful leggings; a shimmering purple-blue that are made to look like scales. A joke, perhaps, for the woman bears a smattering of translucent blue scales of her own. The dark grey, v-necked tee she wears is a bit oversized and often gives glimpses of the black bra beneath, but certainly frames well the tattoo work across her chest. A messenger bag thumps against her hip and for the moment, as she ventures her way in towards where the voices are, she seems quite caught up in her own world; lost in thought and examining all or most surfaces.

"You're not wrong," Faruq says to Tock, setting his pretty pink bag down on the table with an unceremonial thud. "But we're lacking in protein. All carbs and no protein is just going to make you fat and lazy," he's talking to Tock, though the 'you' is more of a proverbial one. He does, however, look her over slowly as if estimating potential future weight gain from eating lemon bars and biscuits. One eyebrow slides up his sweaty brow and he reaches up to stroke his moustache for a moment before tearing open the pink ribbon and pulling out...more brownies. They're excessively fancy artisan double-chocolate chip fudge swirl whatever the hell else ones. There are four boxes of them. He leaves three on the table and takes one to wordlessly pass it to Wendell.

Albrecht rests his hands back against the stone tier behind him, leaning back a little and stretching long legs outwards; ankles crossed, the oar resting beside him like a warrior's spear ready to be snatched up at a moment's notice. Although not quite so menacing. It's just an oar, after all. The arrival of Faruq is acknowledged with a casual up-nod of his seaweed-bearded chin, and he asks in good-natured ribbing, "...so those meat brownies in those boxes, then, man?"

"Oh, he certainly does. But I think he prefers to do the /poking/ himself," Kyrie replies to Tock. The first brownie is finished off with a soft sound of yumminess. Then there's a curious look given to the newest arrival, immediately followed by a second, longer look. "Hi. Welcome to Valhalla. I'm Kyrie." She even missed the addition of more brownies to the room.

"I brought the donuts here to share!" Wendell beams as he observes Faruq coming through the door. He tilts his head. "That was really well said, Faruq...." He strokes his fuzzy white chin. He turns to Kyrie and then back to Faruq. "Oh you're those like Owen who prepares for the wars and stuff right. So that all makes lots of sense. Thanks for letting me come here by the way..." He turns back to Kyrie. "Okay not just war, but survival and medicine. That might be good too. Getting lost in the woods is scary." The broad shouldered feral ogre shudders just a little bit. He turns his dark gaze do Denali, entranced by the colors for a second before turning back to the couple that seems to run the operation, observing them like he expects them to say something. When Faruq gives him the box, he widens his eyes in wonder and opens the box nice and wide. "Wow this smells great, you got really interesting taste Faruq."

Olivia pulls a Brand; turns just so Thorian catches the corner of her mouth when he goes to kiss her cheek. Sorry not sorrry. She then plucks up a napkin (there were totally napkins, ok ok) and she's hand delivering a lemon bar to Tock. "Hey, Faruq. Always a party." Her smile for the solemn man is fond.

Lemon bar in hand, Thorian turns to cast a innocent look to Kyrie, fluttering his eyes towards the Valkyrie. "I do." He readily accepts that slight change in the offered kiss, and when Olivia sweeps on to see to her treat delivery, the Fairest begins to lazily stroll his way out of the cave. "Enjoy, everyone. Hopefully you all don't have a sugar crash at the same time!" And with that, the nebula haired fellow is gone, lost from sight.

“I'm sure,” comes along with just the slightest hint of a smirk for Kyrie. There are enough reasons for amusement tonight! Tock is chuckling again as Faruq sets out yet more brownies. “Alas for the carbohydrates, says the fellow bringing more sweets in force. We shall all just have to find active amusements to burn off the sugars,” she says as she accepts her own sweet treat from Olivia. Her basket finds a place on the table for people to claim more biscuits from while her hands are busied with her own deliciousness. “Thank you!” She gives a firm nod to Wendell's assessments. “Knowledge is power, both in breadth and depth. Those are all good things to prepare for.” Then there is lemon bar to be sampled, pleased expression obvious with eyelids closing for a moment.

There's a slight narrowing of eyes at Kyrie as the valkyrie introduces herself. Something suspicious, perhaps. It's at least a mild recognition, maybe. Confusion, primarily. Denali shakes her head, finally, turning it into an awkward nod. "Denali," the woman offers, finally, by way of her own introduction. "Been... meaning to make it by. Been busy. Sorry." The woman is a bit distant, distracted. There's dark circles beneath her eyes. Thorian's departure catches her attention, but she frowns in the wake of it and starts to meander her way towards Olivia; bag thumping against her hip as she goes.

"No reason to be sorry," Kyrie says, shaking her head. "You look familiar, though." There's a pause and she glances back to Tock, shrugging. "He is what he is. And how have you been, Olivia? Oh, and what would you guys think about having a tournament here, to officially open the place?" she asks, her gaze sliding back to Denali.

Faruq nods once...and solemnly...to Olivia. "It is. A party. It could be more. We could have put all of this effort into a dance club. Why not install a bar?" His tone is low, even, flat--if one did not know him, it would be quite easy to take his tone as being serious...because it is. He reaches into the bottom of the bag and removes a small stack of flat bars wrapped in blank paper. The aroma of deep, dark, rich chocolate is intoxicating coming from them. He gives one to Tock, but says nothing further to her. Instead, walks the short distance to Albrecht to hand him one as well. "Try it." He opens one for himself. It looks like a chocolate bar, but softer.

"Hey, 'Nali," Albrecht calls over to the siren, his lips pursing a bit in a frown as she's watched for several long heartbeats. Then he's realizing that Faruq's approaching, sea-dark eyes lifting to consider the man, brows lifting a bit. There's a moment's paused, then he reaches out to accept one of the bars. He brings it up to inhale the chocolate aroma, pauses once more, and then takes a fairly large bite from the bar. Not a nibbler, this one.

"I think that would be terrific." Olivia says to Kyrie while glancing sidelong at Furuq. "Especially given it's your time of year. You might check in with the Crown, maybe there are prizes that can be pulled out for the occasion. I don't know if I'd compete, I'm not a fighter, but I'd definitely attend."

Hearing Denali introduce herself, Tock turns to lay eyes on her, as well. She waves but for a moment before chocolate bar is being offered out and her hand is otherwise occupied. Dual wielding desserts! “Yessir,” she replies to Faruq as soon as her mouth is empty of lemon bar, though hers was not the chocolate that came with an order attached. Obligingly, she takes a bite and chews it over thoughtfully.

Well. The Selkie is busy. Denali hovers for a moment, perhaps uncertain what to do. The scrutiny from Kyrie leaves her with rounded shoulders; fingers tucking around the strap of her bag. It's Albrecht's call that breaks her from that wavering moment of uncertainty and she hikes her way over towards him. "Al," she answers the call, once near enough that it won't be a shout. "Sorry I left earlier. I had to... deal with something." Fingers tap, tap, tap against the bag's strap and she casts a look towards the arena proper. "This is... quite the place." The glance catches Tock's wave and there's a nod towards the clockwork lass.

Wendell pops a three or so cookies in his mouth. "A tournament? What kind? What for?" He asks just a little bit confused sounding. "You want another celebration yes? Or something?" Wendell furrows his brow. "Something for Summer because it is your time of year?" Wendell shrugs. He pops another cookie in his mouth and closes his eyes. "Mmm." He opens them slowly and looks around. "Good to see people here anyways. Welcome any time to get together. Especially now that I could really use help."

Faruq takes a large bite of his own, frowning slightly as he considers the taste--and it does taste good. It also tastes a little different. He swallows, looks up at Albrecht, and then back at Tock for a moment, before looking to Albrecht again. "Cricket Flour," he tells him. "It's a protein. Sustainable, economical, renewable. I'm going to be investing in this company. What do you think? I've been giving it to the students--trying to encourage them to eat healthy when they want to do anything but."

Kyrie shakes her head to Olivia. "It's not just for the fighters, but to bring awareness to the fact that this place exists. And people like watching fighting and competitions," she says, shrugging. "So like, hand to hand and sword fighting, archery, that sort of thing," she explains, giving up her scrutiny for the moment.

Albrecht's chewing doesn't stop even after the revelation of what it is. "Not bad," he admits, taking another bite and chewing while he talks--garbling his words just a little, Mister Table Manners he isn't--to Faruq, "Not bad at all. I'd say go for it, personally." It gets a thumbs-up of approval from the seaman, and then he's looking over to Denali. A faint smile, once he's swallowed, and he shrugs one shoulder, "Hey, you don't owe me anything, Denali. You had shit to do, it happens. And yeah, it's a pretty nice set-up that Ky's got going on here."

“Grasshopper cookies,” Tock can't help the tangential pun once she has finished her first sample bite of the chocolate. Her slight nod is one of approval. “It is a good plan for foodstuffs, though. Insects are an excellent, ubiquitous, and often overlooked source of protein. “That sounds like a fun way to attract people by, Kyrie. Nothing like a display to fill the seats.” Reggie's air show antics might be at the forefront of her mind with that thought.

Olivia looks over at Faruq and gives him Sad Selkie Eyes. Why no cricket chocolate stuff for her? But she's immediately distracted by Denali's arrival, and points to her bag. "Is that full of kittens?" she demands to know. "If so, I need to be emotionally prepared." And to Kyrie, "Like I said, I'd definitely attend."

The artist's nose wrinkles a bit at Albrecht's words and she shrugs in answer to the barnacled-man. "Kinda," she answers, lips twisting slightly in a touch of internally-focused frustration. The bag, pointed at and spoken of brings Denali's attention to Olivia. The flap is raised and prominent within? Her sketchbook. "No kittens. They're all with your Russian friend. Promise."

Kyrie smiles at Al's comment about Valhalla. "Thanks. I had some good help, though." She starts in on her second brownie. "And that's awesome, Olivia. I'd be thrilled if the stands could be filled." She goes quiet then, her expression thoughtful.

Faruq considers Albrecht's response for a moment, but he turns and walks back toward the table abruptly, apparently satisfied. There are still more cricket chocolate bars in his hands, and when he catches Olivia's look he wordlessly passes her one with another nod--it's a useful and variable form of communication, the silent nod. "I told her she should include a chess tournament," Faruq adds to what Kyrie says, light-flashing eyes still focused on Olivia.

Wendell says, “Swords?" Wendell furrows his brow. "Won't that be dangerous? Er...I guess there's fencing and erm, Japanese fencing. I forget." Wendell shrugs. "But whatever works for this place...." Wendell looks down at his cookie and chews it slowly. "Oh....I thought that was just a name, but that's okay." Wendell keeps cheerfully munching them. "I met a Russian man, he brought me to that thing." Wendell leads back a bit. "I got a lot of time on my hands for now if anybody needs help here....." Wendell turns to Faruq. "Oh you're a teacher so those teenagers I saw were your students?"

Albrecht crooks a brow up at Denali, but when her frustration ends that statement he just shrugs once and takes another bite of the bar in his hand. As he chews, he offers the other half mutely to her to see if she wants to give it a try, giving Olivia a bemused look, "...kittens?"

“Live kittens or the other kind? It's quite a difference as to which kind of emotional preparation is needed,” Tock observes, peeking over at those discussing bag contents and tiny cats. She alternates small bites of lemon and chocolate bars, letting the flavours intermingle a bit on her tongue as she listens to the others' talk.

Olivia looks askance at Kyrie. "Need some help organizing things? I'm already helping Thorian with some fundraisng for the museum; I know my way around events. Thank you, Faruq." She noms, explaining to Albrecht and Tock, "Denali showed up the other night at Maddy's with a literal box full of kittens. I was having dinner-breakfast with Arkady and he took all of them. Selfish cat." Pout.

"That couldn't hurt," Kyrie admits to Olivia. "I can organize fighters or, obviously, places like this, but big events like parties or tournaments? Out of my area of expertise," she says, looking a little sheepish.

There's a glance towards the offered brownie and Denali nears Albrecht to accept it. Having heard mention of cricket flour, the woman seems... uncertain, but then she's eaten worse. Or better. Or it's all up to the partaker, really. There's a thoughtful nibble, but she nods to Olivia's explanation. Her own mouth full, of course. "He said he'd give you that one, Pansy," or whatever the Russian word was, "once she's old enough." This said once she's swallowed. Mostly. "Their mother... had been hit by a car, I guess. Found 'em all nearby. He seemed to know what he was talking about, y'know?" The artist shrugs, returning to nibbling tentatively at the brownie.

The rest of the bars are deposited onto the table with the other snacks. They don't look quite as appetizing as quadruple chocolate rock chip whatever fudge heaven and hell brownies, but there they are. Faruq finishes his bar, dabbing politely at his lips and stroking his moustache. He is listening to Olivia and Kyrie, but he pays Wendell a little more mind. "They are my students. I teach one-week summer adventure classes for teens. I'm also a professor of the School of Meteorology at the University. I also work with the National Weather Center and--" Faruq points off into the distance, specifically toward the target range, "I instruct here."

"Ah," ahs Albrecht at the explanation, his head bobbing a few times when the pair explain. "That makes sense. And I'm sure he'll take care of 'em well enough." The chocolate - cricket chocolate, anyway - is surrendered with a faint smile, and he drops his hand back down to rest on the stone a little behind him, leaning back once more to observe Denali's reaction to it.

“Ah, that explains it.” Tock nods sagely at the details on the kittens and the mention of the tiger-fellow. “It's good he was able to take the little fuzzies in.” She listens in on the planning for a spell. “I'm not much of a party planner myself, but I could pretty up any sort of physical or digital media announcements you might want to post, if you'd like.”

With Kyrie next to her, Olivia tilts so she's leaning against the valkyrie, head resting on her shoul - err, bicep. Kyrie's tall, okay? "We'll make it work. Figure out what specific events you want to have, and I'll get word out and speak to some folks who can help keep things organized."

Wendell looks at Denali and frowns at what seems to be the most absurdly sad story he heard recently. "Aw. Poor things." He turns back to Faruq and quickly snatches a fudge heaven and takes a bite. "Oh that sounds really interesting. Teaching and being outside, studying weather." Wendell says enthusiastically. The ogre takes a look at the targeting range. "You teach shooting or something? Oh that's cool." He tilts his head looking at it. "What kindsa guns do you like to use most if you don't mind me asking?"

Kyrie glances at Olivia with some measure of surprise, but after a moment that look fades and she just allows herself to be used as a pillow. "Right now just the tournament. I don't know that talking to the crown would be worth it though, since, while this is for the freehold only, it's not freehold holdings," she ponders. "But some sort of prize would be good. I don't suppose you guys think that hedgespun ribbons would work?" she asks hopefully.

It's Faruq setting the cricket bars in with everything else that draws Denali's attention there. She takes another bite, chews. That's three, at least. Finally, the woman shifts a few steps and looks... uncertain, at best. It takes her a moment, but she finishes it. There's a small shake of her head to Al. "I don't think it's for me." And then, the woman, is reaching for one of the //proper// brownies. She sinks to a seat near Barnacles and drags her bag into her lap. For the moment, it'd seem, content to listen. Wendell earns a small shrug, but a tilt of the head to Tock. Assent, perhaps. "He seemed to care for them greatly, so... I'm not worried. They have a home and someone who knows what they're doing." But she falls quickly quiet again, letting the others turn to talk of planning.

"They come in other flavours," Faruq comments off-handedly to Denali, "but that...that is the best one." His attention slides over Kyrie and Olivia, but only for a moment because it is with Wendell that he is having a conversation. His jaw saws back and forth, and his knuckles clench a little tighter around the handle of his briefcase. "You should ask a mother which one of her children is her favourite--she has one, but she knows better than to tell anyone that. If you are interested in learning, I would start you off with something simple to use, but powerful: a Simonov SKS probably. It is good for beginners, and relatively easy on the pocket book--" Faruq pauses, considering Wendell for a moment before adding, "You could help me out around here to pay for it if you needed to."

“Pretty things and bragging rights? I think that would work nicely,” Tock opines regarding the ribbons after a moment, less time for thought and more for clearing her mouth before speaking. Her lemon bar is, by now, a thing of the past. Only a bit of the chocolate remains.

"It's a little different," admits Albrecht with an upward shrug of both shoulders, "I mean, it's not going to replace actual chocolate, probably, but I'd eat it if someone handed it to me." And he did, in fact. His fingers shift to rest against the stone as he maintains his semi-sprawled lean while Denali settles nearby, and he watches the others talk planning and training for a handful of moments. Then, a look to the Siren and a slight frown, "Everything alright?"

"What would people do with the ribbons? Or maybe you could do markers of a sort? For crafting services? That would go over well." suggests Olivia, straightening and now she too is peering at Denali, perhaps a touch worriedly.

"Depending on how many different competitions we have, that could potentially be a lot of things I have to make, though," Kyrie points out. "If they're wanting weapons or armor though, and anything else, really, I'd have to have help for," she says, gaze flicking over to Tock, then to Denali.

"I guess it's just... not... my style," Denali admits, almost sheepishly to Faruq. She does find herself listening in some interest to the talk of firearms, yes, but then Albrecht is speaking to her. Her attention pulls back and the woman shifts slightly, looking towards him. There's a press of lips, then a small shake of the head. "Yes- er, no. I don't know. I haven't been sleeping well and there's... a lot." A pause and her brow furrows, voice dropping a bit lower as she notices eyes her way. Maybe fearful that she's disrupted things. "There's a lot going on, yeah? I mean, I've been... studying, since I became a Magi, but I'm not used to so... much."

Wendell shrugs. "I wouldn't mind helping you around much, er, what would it entail?" The ogre tips his head forward. "A Simon-what? Eh...maybe. It might be good. Might be able to help out some. Could even help with work. He listens to the rest of them. "Wow you seem, quite excited about this whole thing...even for people who don't seem to be that into fighting but erm...good luck on that. Yeah I'm willing to to anything. You know, if it passes the time and could possibly lead to work, why not."

Albrecht's head dips in a nod of understanding; not paying attention to the others now, just the siren as he leans forward, hands clasping between his knees as he reverses his slouch. Twisted on the stone seat to face her a little better. "Well, from what it sounds like... I don't think anybody'd be ready for that sort of thing. Especially since you said you-- y'know-- recognized some of them," he says in low tones, "That'd give anyone a hard time digesting, Magi're not."

"So limit them." Olivia suggests. "Do markers for small items for most things, and maybe one or two big ones for the major draw events. There might even be other hedgecrafters willing to ply their trade as prize makers, too. But if it seems too complicated, best not to try and force it." With a smile and a murmur of excusing herself, she slips closer to Denali, studying her with concern and not even bothering to hide it.

"There's a lot of upkeep here. Ms. Falkman is in charge, and organizes everything, but if she is too busy I could easily find something for you to do--even if it's just oiling the guns and sharpening the swords. Someone needs to do, and any help is welcome. Have you walked the Hedge much, Mr. Goldmann? I am considering a survival course--" he stops mid-sentence and turns toward Tock, snapping his fingers in her general direction, "--which is something I've been meaning to speak with /you/ about, whenever you have the time." Without looking in Kyrie or Olivia's direction, he adds, with a lift of his chin. "Medals. Gift them medals for their wins--the kind that can be worn proudly day-to-day or on the battlefield."

“What does anyone do with ribbons? They make for lovely ornaments.” True enough, Tock's somewhat dated taste has both her hat and neck bearing ribbons even as she speaks. “I can certainly help with crafting items if that is needed. But you make a good point about the sheer /number/ of promises to fulfill, potentially, Kyrie.” Tock's head tilts, quieting as Denali speaks and Albrecht confirms her suspicions of what is troubling her. “It was a horrifying sight. But people have the warning off the place now. And those that were missing them have the chance to know what became of them, as well...” She is quiet for a time, until there is pointing her direction. “Course as in class, or course as in physical thing one makes one's way through? Perhaps a combination thereof?”

Lifting a hand to rub at her face- unaware that it smudges some of the eyeliner she's wearing, Denali sighs. "It's not just that," she offers quietly to Albrecht. There's a glance to Olivia and she leans back a bit, lifting her voice enough for the Selkie to hear. "I spend a lot of time in the waters around the Lighthouse, yeah? Patroling, checking things... There's a lot of fish closer that're usually further out, but that could be tides. Except... parts of things have been washing up on the shore. This isn't just in the Hedge, either. Both sides-" she lifts a hand, tilting it one way, then the other. "Bringing in a lot of birds. But in the Hedge..." She takes a breath. Slow inhale. Slow exhale. "There's sails on the horizon. The ship... I can't imagine how big it must be, that I can see the sails out there. And whenever I see them, it... it feels like it does right before a storm-" here she looks to both her water-dwelling fellows. "You know, that feeling? Where everything is heavy and still?" The mer is unable to quell the shudder that runs down her spine. "I don't like it. I don't know what it means, but I don't like it."

The concern and sympathy that softens the lines of Albrecht's features fades slowly as the siren's words carry on, the tone of his skin slowly shifting towards the ghastly pallor of the drowned. "The ship..." It's barely a whisper, and it's unsteady. The man's hand reaches out without really thinking to wrap about the wooden pole of the oar leaning beside him, webbed fingers clenching until knuckles are white as parchment. The apple of his throat rises - fallows - and he looks towards the exit, tongue moistening his lips. He tries to speak, fails, and just stares off into the distance, muscles coiled and tense as if he expected something to burst in at any moment.

"Eh, I wander some but I wouldn't call myself good with the Hedge. Weeeell, I mean...I dunno. Not like somebody smart like Owen I don't think. I've done my share of going through the woods and stuff but I can only get by. I can fight with my hands and axe some if that would help. Part of a chapter I kinda wanted to forget but...it's a part of me now. Maybe it won't be all bad." Wendell shrugs. "If it helps me now, I'd be willing to do anything. Sure I could maybe help out around here if you need it." Wendell looks at the water dweller with concern as she talks about what's going on but can't bring himself to say anything.

"A combination is exactly what I was thinking. A test of skill to assist them in learning...not only navigation, but survival, and basic skills that some never think to accrue. Being able to jump and climb and swim in the adverse conditions therein," Faruq is still pointing. He is not intended to be rude, but a consistently pointed finger is easy to interpret that way. But his words fade out into a distant, threatening rumble. His mottled, misty skin shifts and darkens, light flashing from somewhere within. His gaze tilts slowly in Denali's direction. He says nothing further.

"What ship are you guys talking about?" Kyrie asks, brow furrowing. "I haven't heard anything about any ship around here. At least none that don't visit the marina or the like," she says, sounding both confused and curious.

“I am certainly willing to lend a hand with that task. Survival, navigation, and the like being more my speed than the pure athleticism, of course. But either way.” Tock doesn't seem to be bothered by the pointing, but the reports from Denali? Those lower her brows and thin her lips.

Olivia looks back and forth between Albrecht and Denali. "You should show me," she says softly. "I know that feeling, and you're right, it isn't good. Albrecht?" She seems surprised when he reacts so visibly.

"I don't know what ship," Denali says, lifting her hands, palm up. "I just know that there are fish meant for deeper waters coming closer to shore. That animals, not all aquatic, are washing up in bits and pieces. And that sometimes, I see a ship on the horizon. A ship... too massive to be right. It's the fucking Hedge, alright? That's too close for comfort. Too close to home-" And it's now that she notices Albrecht's reaction. The siren reaches a hand out to his arm. Perhaps in an attempt to comfort. Or to quell his own storm. "Do you know something?"

"I'd like to see, too," Kyrie pipes up. "I may not be a creature of the water, but if it's a threat to the safety - and sanity - of those in the freehold? I want to do what I can to help eliminate that threat. That /is/ what all this training is about, after all. Keeping people safe. We deserve it."

"It's our duty," Faruq tacks on to what Kyrie says.

There's silence from Albrecht, just staring off at the exit -- or beyond, into places of his mind's eye -- and gripping that oar beside him as if it were the only thing keeping him from falling. At least until there's that hand on his arm, and then he exhales, long and slow and ragged. A turn of his head, ducking a little, to look to Denali. "I need to see these sails," he says in low, tense tones, "I'd know them. If they're what I fear. If it's the ship I see in my nightmares."

Tock nods firmly at Faruq's affirmation. “I am also not a water creature, but I would be of whatever aid I can in this, and pass the information on to the Shapers for the same.”

Wendell furrows his brow concerned again. "Is the lighthouse in trouble? But...I live there. If there's something I can do I gotta do something...eh maybe not though. Not sure what I could do though..." Wendell strokes his chin. "Um....hope everyone is alright?" Wendell takes a fistful of bug cookies and shoves them in his mouth. He looks a little bummed but munching on them looks a little better. "Well...I guess the water creatures can probably take care of it."

The mer's hand remains put on Albrecht's arm. Perhaps the barnacles speak to a part of her. A part still lost beneath the waves by a darkened cliffside; battered by dark storms. The woman draws a breath, tipping her head in a nod to the others. Denali looks, briefly, towards the tunnel, then around the room. Surprised, perhaps, in some parts by the attention her news has brought. But also, maybe a bit bolstered. Relieved. It's been a weight on her far too long and her shoulders shift a bit. "Those that can might watch the shores, for the bodies that wash up. All I've seen have been animal so far, but..." She can't speak to it. Not after the pit. "It hasn't come close yet-" she notes to Wendell. A glance to Olivia and Albrecht then, primarily. "I can't guarantee we'll see it, but I'll bring you both out the next time I go?"

Kyrie glances to Wendell. "I disagree. Everyone needs help sometimes, and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. It's why we're stronger as a group than as individuals," she says before looking back to Denali. "I know you don't know me, but I really would like to help."

Olivia smiles at Wendell, and suddenly she has too many teeth in a predator's smile. "We're not creatures." she says, and considers a moment. "We should definitely go." Kyrie is smiled to thankfully, but she's not sure what to suggest, which is odd for Liv.

A slow breath's drawn in, and then exhaled, and Albrecht nods once, then again, his eyes closing. He doesn't draw away from the hand upon his arm, perhaps reassured by the contact, grounded by it to some degree. "I'll watch the shores," he says, voice a bit rough around the edges and tightly-controlled, "I'll ask Owen to... to do the same. It could be anything. It isn't necessarily... that ship." He's telling himself, that, probably.

Wendell furrows his brow. "Is that what I said? I'm sorry..I didn't realize it at the time. It's just some bad habits. I need to learn to stop thinking of myself like that too." He scratches his head then leans towards her slightly. "Well...do what you need to do I guess. Hope it works out."

Kyrie glances up at Faruq, then over to Al and Denali. "I spend some time along the shore of the Hedge. I'll keep an eye out as well. We'll do what we can. And Wendell? You don't have to fight, especially if you're not trained for it, but let us know if you see anything from the lighthouse, okay?"

Tock nods as everyone sets out offers. “I tend to be a little wide-ranging in my wanderings at times. But I will certainly keep up an awareness and keep people informed of anything out of the ordinary.”

"This might require a lot of swimming, yeah? And... going pretty far out." Denali lifts a hand to rub a bit at her face again. At least the smudging is now almost symmetrical. "Just recon, for now. If it's something bigger? I'll tell people. Just like I posted the warning about that pit. I'm not gonna stop people from walking the shores and checking things out, but... just in case it's something bigger? I think us who can handle the waters might be best for the initial recon." The woman releases Albrecht's arm, patting it gently. "You can stay by the shore if you want. I'll ask Owen if he wants to go out. He's a good diver. We'll get a better look."

Olivia gauges between Denali and Albrecht, gives Denali a little squeeze of her hands, and carefully shifts her lean to rest against Albrecht. Her forearm drapes on his shoulder, as if she somehow thinks her weight is going to anchor him a little away from his distress.

"If you guys want to leave information here, you're more than welcome to. Or the lighthouse, of course, if you want to share it with the rest of the freehold. I don't want to alarm anyone, but if this is a serious threat, they should know," Kyrie muses. "Or meet here to discuss things, if you want a less official setting."

"We could always set the course near the shoreline," Faruq says to Tock, raising an eyebrow. His hand still rests on Kyrie's shoulder. He seems to have forgotten it was there. "In this environment, it would be beneficial for potential combatants to learn the basics of swimming in any case."

Albrecht's weight shifts a little to lean against Olivia as her arm half-drapes across his shoulder. "He's no better a diver than I am," he growls a little, stirring from that initial terror to anger now at some level, "And he doesn't know what to look for, if it's... Him. I need to see it myself." Fingers slowly unclench from the pole of his oar, and he notes, "Whatever this... ship is, whoever holds the helm, we need to keep the lighthouse's cannons warm."

"Hey," Olivia says gently to get Al's attention. "Even if he doesn't, it doesn't hurt to have company out there, and you know Owen's good to have your back. And we don't even know what is out there. Right?" Her tone is pitched soothingly, perhaps persuasively. "We're no worse off than we were five minutes ago."

“It seems a good plan. Get people used to dealing with shore environments and water. How not to get cut off by tides and the like. There is a lot of both to be had hereabouts,” Tock answers Faruq, head tilted as she considers.

Wendell shrugs. "I'll do what I need to. If it'll help me do what I want to. I don't mind doing something that I'd rather not now if it helps me get want I want in the future. I just hope that lighthouse stays safe." Wendell frowns at the prospect. "I'm practiced enough. Might have to. I dunno. I'm anxious. We'll see what happens...."

Albrecht's eyes, dark as the sea at storm, lift up to meet Olivia's own. Silence, then a slight nod. "I wouldn't want to go alone anyway," he admits with a grunt; glancing to Denali, then back, his jaw setting slightly, "Owen's right. We need to build a boat."

Olivia makes a little scrunchy face at the idea of a boat, she's a seal, she swims, not sails. But she doesn't argue the point either. She eases off of Albrecht a little, content to weather check the room quietly.

"Swimming is a good skill to have when we live in a coastal town," Kyrie agrees, nodding. "I can swim, but one of you would definitely be a better instructor there," she says with a faint smile. "If anyone here wants to learn, can I send them to one of you?"

“Submarine building?” Tock echoes her earlier question, lofted brows and all. “Might be I could be a help in that, if that /were/ a serious suggestion, after all.”

Albrecht's hand comes up, brushing against Olivia's arm as it draws away. A brief, faint smile is offered up to her, and then his hand drops back down to his knee. "A submarine? I don't... well. I don't know, maybe," he frowns, brow knitting a little, "I'll have to think on it."

"I think Owen would faint like a Victorian lady who just got her ankle fingered if he thought he could get his hands on a submarine." Olivia observes, and then looks sheepishly at Tock. "Err. Sorry."

"I'll pass on submarines," Kyrie says, nose wrinkling. "I don't like being enclosed like that. If you guys make a boat, I'll happily climb on board, but not a sub," she says, stretching her legs out to get more comfortable.

It might be Olivia's sheepish look more than the comment itself that earns a laugh from Tock. “Oh, I am not quite old enough to qualify. Was the Edwardian era already before I came around.” Given, the distinction of years isn't a /large/ one considering the brevity of said era. Despite all the dour talk, her smile ticks back into place. “It would be entertaining to provide something that would give him that level of the vapours, and if it is to be of use, as well? All votes in favour.”

Wendell laughs quietly to himself as he continues to pop cookie after cookie into his mouth. Still somewhat confused from what's going on, but the idea of the ogre fainting like a Victorian lady seems to bring himself a small amount of amusement as he continues to munch on whatever snacks are left about Valhalla quietly. Well not that quietly. The crunching of the ogre's teeth are still loud enough to those who sit right next to him after all. The creature still seems to eat with a ravenous hunger.

Darren has come back to Valhalla, he made it for his first shift at the gym, but he is back to hang out and see who all are here or coming to the training area. The beast/dragon moves easily into the gym, looking around and upon seeing Kyrie, he walks over to her. "Hello." he says to her and he looks around at the others gathered here, he gives a slight nod to them.

Stirring from her own reverie, Denali glances around. She seems satisfied at talk of swimming lessons and shore patrols, her attention shifting to Olivia and Albrecht. "I only offered," she tells the man, "in case you didn't want to go. I'd..." Brow furrows a bit. Touching on their Keepers is a tricky place. For some, at least. Perhaps for most. "Understand, yeah?" The woman shifts and starts to climb to her feet. "We'll go soon. Us three and I'll see about Owen, as well. He's a Warden. We've already discussed patrols and the like. We'll get to the bottom of this and figure out what the Lighthouse-" here her voice rises, looking to the others, brows arching. "needs to do, alright?"

"It would be funny to see Owen faint with joy," Kyrie agrees, lips twitching in amusement. She glances over to Darren, nodding to him. "Evening," she offers, remaining stretched out. Even valkyries can get all comfy and lazy, now and again. But then she frowns at Denali. "You don't want me helping?"

Olivia interjects smoothly, "I think what Denali's suggesting is that the people best suited to particular aspects of figuring this out should do the initial scouting. It's not an issue of not wanting anyone's help, just efficient use of people as a resource."

Tock offers Kyrie a small smile. “Maybe a boat with a smaller, deployable submersible. Get the best of both worlds? Either way will likely take a bit of time to get there while the others can go seeking straightaway.”

"I know." A little nod of Albrecht's head towards Denali, a faint smile, "Just let me know. I'll be there, with whatever we might need, eh?" The pale hasn't gone out of him entirely, although he's still clearly shaken.

Darren looks to the women seeing as Kyrie is all comfy laying down, "Hello everyone," he says as he looks to them, dragon like horns moving swept to the back of his head. He stretches and looks to be ready to do some kind of training. "What's going on and who is suited for what if you don't mind my asking?" he asks as he looks to the women.

There's a strained look on Denali's features, but they lift a bit as Olivia breaks in. The woman is not a people person, not really. Not generally. "I don't know how far out we might go. Or what we might see. I don't want to take a boat or anything the first trip out. Usually it's just me and Winslow and we can move quick and independent, yeah? Once we know more, I promise we'll let the Freehold know. And-" The woman is nodding to Albrecht, reaching out to pat at his shoulder again. "Like I said, eyes on the shore can be good, too. If something other than an animal washes up, I think everyone would like to know right away. Especially, she notes, as an afterthought, just a couple paces away, "if it washes up on the outside." As in... the real world. She does glance towards Darren, but as she seems about to depart- perhaps leaves it to the others to explain.

Despite Olivia's logic and Denali's answer, Kyrie continues to frown. Clearly she doesn't like being left out of potential fights. Crazy Summers. But she shrugs a shoulder. "Just don't like the risk of it," she says, sighing softly, but she gives in, or so it seems.

Tock is shifting in ways that imply a departure coming soon, as well. Removing the remaining biscuits from her basket and leaving the box on the table, tucking the basket handle over her arm. She gives the newcomer a small wave. “Hello. Sorry to be running off just as others are coming in, but I do need to be getting back to the airfield.”

Wendell waves to Darren with a long white fuzzy arm. "Hello. They were just talking about some problem." Wendell shrugs. "Eh, maybe those outside of...them won't be able to help. But that's okay. Sure it'll stop being a problem before it hits the land." The ogre waves goodbye to Tock as he reaches for another biscuit.

Darren shrugs, "No worries." he says as he walks over to where Kyrie is and he sits down on the ground and moves into an easy front split, legs moving out along his sides. "Nice seeing you ladies," he says then lays down on his chest for a moment as he lets the muscles in his legs pull slightly and he sits up and keeps his legs out at his sides. When Wendell tells him a little of what was being talked about, "What problem?"

"Al?" Olivia says suddenly, "Think you can come home with me? You can take a peek under the plane's hood, hang out on the boat with me. I'd like the company. But no rush if you're not ready to leave." Or maybe she thinks the Autumn needs the company, but hey, it's much easier to make out like it's him helping her, right?

Albrecht's hand lifts, fingers brushing against Denali's as she pats his shoulder--another faint, grateful smile to her, there and gone again like a wave crashing upon the rocks. "Hm? Oh, sure--" A nod of his head to Olivia, "You had some engine shit you needed me to look at anyway, right?" It's an easy facade to use, it seems.

"See you later, Tock," Kyrie says, nodding to the woman, before she gives Darren an odd look. It doesn't last long though, but shifts over to Olivia. "Which boat is yours? Maybe I can drop by sometime. Bring something to say thank you for the brownies with."

There's a bit of a smile to Olivia. Grateful, perhaps, for her handling of the barnacled man. And then Denali is shuffling her way out, a hand to her eye. Scrubbing at the already smudged makeup. She'll just blame the motorcycle if anyone asks once she gets back to the Mills. Wind did it. Yep.

“Have a good night,” Tock replies with a wave to the others also making their way out and another for Kyrie. “Thanks for having us again. Things seem to be shaping up really well here.” She heads back out the way she came, to reclaim her bicycle.

"Brownies?! I almost forgot there were more." Wendell snatches another brownie and waves goodbye to everybody who was leaving again. "Stay safe I guess...." Wendell pops another brownie in his mouth. "Mmmm. I'm really glad I came here. I should learn to bake some...and get an oven so I can thank everybody. Wish I could find some way to thank everybody for all their help....." He frowns and strokes the white hairs on his chin as he ponders this conundrum.

Seeing the odd look from Kyrie, maybe he did something wrong, and he moves away from her and continues to go about stretching a bit before closing his legs and looking off to those who are leaving. He covers his mouth as he yawns a bit, not sure of what to do about the conversation, he just sits there quietly for now.

Kyrie gets to her feet. "I should get going, too. It's gotten late, and tomorrow always has a great deal to do," she says with a wry smile. "All of you take care, okay? And Livie? I'll drop by sometime," she promises.