====December 4, 2013
====G'deon, Maosa, L'ri, D'cen, Yules, T'ral, Cerise, Arianne, Jedi, E'don, Kyara, Renalde, Br'er, Q'fex, Jesha, Bailey
====Southern's weyrlings graduate to senior!

Who G'deon, Maosa, L'ri, D'cen, Yules, T'ral, Cerise, Arianne, Jedi, E'don, Kyara, Renalde, Br'er, Q'fex, Jesha, Bailey
What Southern's weyrlings graduate to senior!
When Winter, 7 months and 3 days until the 12th Pass
Where Upper Bowl, Southern Weyr

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Upper Bowl

The graceful sweep of spacious bowl lies scoured clean by an easterly breeze. Detritus is whisked neat to the eastern steppe of the bowl that lies several feet lower than the western plateau. White walls contrast the rough granite of the rivercliffs: the giant maw of the Hatching Cavern lies in the thickest part of the western wall, sheltering the training grounds and weyrling barracks lying nor'west. Directly north lies the leadership courtyard, heavily humid and subtly scented by intrigue.
It is the ninth day of Winter and 70 degrees. It is partly cloudy, but still warm and bright. Clouds have started to drift across the sky again. The jungles are almost dry.

The day is just starting to wrap up throughout the Weyr, while in the upper half of the bowl, activity is only just starting. Weyrlings and weyrlingmaster staff members have been gathering for the past half hour or so, some antsy, some curious, some just bored. Bit by bit, however, they're joined by members of the rest of the Weyr, proving this is still something affecting everyone, and not just this weyrling wing. The task of officiating has fallen to the rider who is by far the oldest on the Weyrlingmaster's staff, as G'deon finally approaches the group of weyrlings, a washed leather bag in one hand. "Weyrlings! Assemble!" No fancy leotards required. Or capes. Or superpowers at all, really.

It's just as well: who KNOWS what fruitloop theories Osweith would dream up to explain a sudden outcropping of superpowers? Maosa has spent the waiting period leaning on Osweith's foreleg, a bubble of stillness and silence. At least she hasn't been staring at anyone; she's had her eyes closed. Napping, possibly. But don't worry, the dragon has been doing plenty of staring, watchfulness backlit in vivid blue. At G'deon's call, the wild girl shifts seamlessly from 'apparently asleep' to 'calmly in motion', her silent steps shadowed by Osweith's precision.

L'ri may not be the fellow in charge, but he's still entirely here as moral support - although for Weyrlings or Weyrlingmasters is anyone's guess. He's just here, to help out. With a little smile playing on his face.

D'cen thinks that it's a good thing nobody has mentioned capes and tights aloud really, or else Rax would surely thnk he'd loo dashing in them and nag him until he procured some. The jacket thing is bad enough. He's right quick to give his lifemate at quick headnob scritch before falling in with the rest of the weyrlings though, his expresson akin to a cross between patient and curious. Maybe he's up to somethng Osweith! But probably not. This /is/ Dayce afterall.

For all that others might be bored or restless, Yules is anticipating; next to Desmeth, she's busy watching the crowd grow. Perhaps for some familiar faces, old colleagues in the kitchen or so on. However, slowly her face stills until the call for assembly is made. She's not the first to fall into place in front of the Weyrlingmaster staff, Desmeth peering curiously from behind, his tail slowly moving to curl around someone else's tail nearby. Oh hey there.

T'ral is definitely not bored. Today was important. He and Esanth are as decked out as a weyrling pair with few resources can be. T'ral and Esanth walk forward, the two-legged half of the pair on extra-careful watch for anything Esanth might trip over -including himself- because WOW that would be just perfect. Faceplanting at graduation. The normally light-hearted weyrling is solemn today. Face calm and still. He picks a place near the front, so he and Esanth will be able to see. At his chosen mark, he stands at attention. Silent. Waiting.

This is their chance. The moment. That opportunity in which Jiamoth (and Cerise, but mostly Jiamoth) can show that they've learned everything they need to learn to take another step towards becoming hugely respected and productive members of the Weyr at large. In short: the green be posin'. She stands (at her own insistence!) behind Cerise, who has been ordered into a loose parade rest until they're called to order. The dragon's beaked head is held high, her immense wings mantled, her tail curled just so about her broad haunches. She is also radiating pride, an emotion not echoed so much in her shorter half- the ex-performer's eyes have taken on a certain glaze, a look common to those who are ready to stop standing and maybe…sit down. Lean? Possibly even lounge. But Cerise's interest is fanned with G'deon's summons and she snaps to full attention.

Arianne tries not to bounce on the tip of her toes much. She always finds these little ceremonies rather happy occasions regardless of the snark being constantly funneled into her mind. So there's a bright smile on her face when G'deon calls things to order; and she waves a little excitedly at the weyrlings when they form up. Otherwise, she waits beside the other non-weyrling staff to watch the proceedings.

Out of curiosity regarding the bulk of the weyrlings, and respect for individuals among them she knows, Jedi's here too. Oh wait, there's also that wingsecond thing — yeah, she's here. Today's a big day for them, so although she's not blatantly showing it - she is indeed excited for them.

Never one to be classified as one of the more eager of the weyrling group, E'don is on the tail end of the group standing to attention. He's been caught up in a betting ring of some of the underachieving weyrlings of the group during their idle waiting; it's only important that one gets their bets in early on who gets the honor (or is the sorry sucker) to get leadership knots today. It's only G'deon's sharp call and silent reminder from Qianvaelth that brings the bronze weyrling around from his conversation, and he's moving towards where his lifemate stands with a silent hand gesture back at the group of dispersing riders. Qianvaelth has been standing this whole time, a steady and unmoving hulk compared to most of the other weyrlings, even when E'don finally settles himself next to the bronze's haunches and to attention.

It isn't happenstance that Kyara turns up for this; she's got a friend among those being called to assemble, and naturally she'd like to be here to see him go through this transition. Call her sentimental; she'd admit to it, too. The Igen greenrider stands among the onlookers, hands clasped at her back as she gazes out over the Southern weyrlings, trying to spot E'don's tall, lanky form through the rest as Liareth nobly surveys it all from a ledge not too far away.

Renalde has found a nice bit of shadow to stand in, and there he sets his feet, standing with his arms crossed across the watch. His gaze flicks from where the weyrlings stand to over there where people are still totally moving and doing stuff.

This is definitely the sort of thing wingseconds are expected to go to. Thus, Br'er: he's standing with his hands in his pockets, all serenity as he examines the pickings. Maybe he's plotting something; it would be like him to do that. Inlayraith is nowhere to be found, of course. (Crowds aren't her thing.)

With one hand balanced on her cane, her other hand clutching a drink, Jesha is definitely prepared to party. Even her outfit is showy, a purple short-sleeved button up with turquoise whorls, and a matching, slouched hat on her head. Think 'elderly Blossom'. "Good luck, y'all! Great job!" she calls out at intervals, flicking winks at the likes of G'deon and Q'fex.

There's a weyrleader! He is of course here, as Q'fex's are like to do. His face is amused at the lineup, watching the faces of the weyrlings with ill-disguised humor. He's been in those boots. He knows what they are all thinking: YEAH BABY, FREEDOM TO SEX IT UP TIME.

G'deon waits for the weyrlings to gather and for the spectators to find their vantage points, but once motion has calmed, he steps forward, raising his voice to command level. Age may have taken many things, but not that. "I know most of you are more interested in what comes after this rite of passage, but I must still say a few words. Hopefully kept brief," this said with perhaps a glance at his own lifemate. Silent word counter? "What has felt like no time at all, and yet far too much time," he continues, with an amused glance toward some of the weyrlings, "we come to this day, when we remove your training straps and declare you are ready for the next steps. With those steps come greater respect and greater duty, but also greater danger. Far greater. In the months, and indeed Turns to come, some of you may fail. Some may merely fall. Some… some will die." He stops to fix the line of weyrlings with a grave look. "But it is a necessary step, and so we celebrate. But first, there are new knots to hand out, so please stand in a line to make it easier for these old legs of mine. You can leave your lifemates' sides for now."

It was all going so well until the use of the D-word in there. Cerise was listening, listening, glancing at the crowd and flicking a skewed grin at someone out there, listening some more- and then the grin is gone, vanished in a flash of the appropriate soberness. Her brother's grin? Not quite so easily vanquished, until she steps forward and hooks arms with him to proceed to their new stage marks. If she straightens his collar as they go, no one will notice, right? Right! Yes, they might well die in the coming Turns…but there's no reason to look sloppy while marching towards those heroic deaths.

T'ral's brow furrows at G'deon's words. He gives his head a toss, jaw clenching. This had been hammered home. Failure. Falling. Pain. A phrase had stuck with him from their early studies. 'It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should be thankful that such men lived.' He turns and smiles, bright with pride at Esanth, freshly oiled and decked out in his new straps - charcoal gray, thanks Cerise- and then he's back to solemnity again. Together, with his wingmates, he steps forward, looking to one side then the other, to see who he's shoulder to shoulder with. A slight smile on either side before he returns to attention.

Maosa isn't really good for these types of crowd scenes, alas. She is, presumably, thinking something (unlikely to be about sex, possibly about food, probably about some arcane Mountain Man belief) but man if her face isn't an expressionless blank of extreme blankess as she steps forward to take her place in the line, a little towards the back. Has anyone ever noticed she doesn't seem to blink as much as she ought to? Probably Osweith has. Maybe he thinks she's an alien, descended from interstellar travelers from a distant world.

Raxsonath's hide dulls ever so slightly at the mention that some of them will die. But, he also straightens a little and bristles with determination; causing D'cen to cast a look his way and make sure he's 'settled' before he steps up towards those who are also gathering in the line. All the other weyrlings are given a long look, and his breath hitches on a stubborn sigh thinking on how many of them will no doubt wind up in the infirmary (some, probably from the vast amounts of alcohol they all intend to imbibe).

Desmeth is much more interested in the ritualistic words than Yules, who was until the moment G'deon started speaking again, trying to nudge Desmeth from resting his chin on her shoulder. S'comfy there. She does listen, swallowing briefly at the intonation that not all of us are going to make it out of this, but she steps forward as requested. Desmeth barely keeps his chin from hitting the ground, huffs, then settles quickly as Yules finds her own spot in the line-up of weyrlings.

Arianne is like whoa-zombie at the moment because work sucked today, and so has very little to pose except for being there and watching all the weyrlings like a good Wingleader ought to. Once in awhile, she may try and nudge Br'er and whisper something about who they need to bribe to make sure they get who they want in their wing. She plans ahead, yo.

It's subtle, Br'er's little wince at the reminder of the Weyr's imminent shift into a 50-turn danger zone, but there. He's more than content to distract himself by nudging Arianne back. There's something, not quite fully audible, about already having 'plans' about that. Ominous!

Renalde has eyes pointed at just one Weyrling, as they go for those knots. Does he shake his head just slightly at the clear emotions crossing T'ral's face. Are they really related?

Oh, mention death. That'll make E'don totally move forward from the warm protection of his dragon's shadow. Qianvaelth is seemingly unphased by G'deon's somber speech and his rider's slight paulor to the reminder that their new lot in life holds the risks mentioned. E'don clearly stalls, failing to move forward with the rest of the group until there's an audible, exasperated grunt from his dragon. 'Go now.' The bronze isn't putting up with this shit today. Not something this important. And so, E'don takes a few steps forward as ordered, eyes locked to the ground in front of him. G'deon definitely knows how to throw a party here.

That would be Bailey, showing up on the other side of Renalde. She has a half-smile on her face for the Headman's expression, but otherwise the goldrider is just here to observe the procession of promotions.

Never doubt it that Jedi is making a list, and checking it twice when it comes to the weyrlings. She's probably just deciding if there's any of them she wants to mention to Th'seus when she sees him next. Or maybe she's just thinking about the next Attempt to Seduce Renalde. Or about what her granddaddy's been talking about. Something gets muttered to Jesha, and then Jedi's back to paying attention to the weyrlings.

Q'fex keeps one eye on Jesha, because he's a smart man in SOME ways, half an eye on Br'er, because he's … just a man in some ways, and the remaining half an eye on the proceedings. G'deon is enough to keep his attention when he really starts talking, though, and any bit of joviality in the weyrleader's expression fades to a game-day mask of impassivity.

Jesha is still around, leaning in to listen to her youngest daughter's murmurs and hiding her weariness behind a deceptively deep guzzle of her drink. Further inspection reveals that not much liquid is actually drained from the tumbler, but gotta save face. Even the chiselled perfection of Q'fex's derriere can't compete at this moment against G'deon's solemn-faced speech, and Jesha's eyes are glued forward.

For some reason - and it's Osweith, so you probably don't really want to KNOW the reason - Osweith has suddenly gone from carefully observing G'deon to carefully not-observing Kraakenaeth. He's obviously looking at that other dragon, the one behind the bronze. There's no observation going on here. Don't be silly. His tail, unnoticed by its owner, gradually shifts into a casual question mark.

Kraakenaeth nothing to see here, business as normal, it is all in your mind Osweith.

Thankfully, Renalde is not clued into operation Seduce Renalde, or he might be finding his way out, only-son's-graduation or not. Bailey gets a faint smile from the headman, before he's looking back up at the antics on the stage.

This wait is far shorter, and G'deon has already opened the bag in hand while walking to one end of the weyrlings. With quiet murmurs for each weyrling, pitch intended for their ears only, he continues down to the other end of the line, placing the new knot in each weyrling's hands. However, he skips over three of them along the way, and once he reaches the other end, he puts a few steps' distance between the weyrlings and him before turning back to them. Then, he singles out those three. "Yules, Cerise, and E'don. Please come forward."

Desmeth is sure there's nothing untoward going on. Instead, he's eyeing the brass, the not-so-brass, and then everyone else. Yules is just… looking like something fishy's about, as she's passed over. Like someone put pepper in the klah, but this time, she's not able to scold whodunnit. Still, let sleeping felines lie, the answer will come out, and so it does. Desmeth's head swivels forward as Yules steps forward, the look on her face a little bemused. Did her knot get dropped in the dye or something?

D'cen gives nod, thanks, and salute, all in short order when he received his new knot. And though he's busy exchanging out the old for the new, the call to the three weyrlings specifically to step forward grabs his attention and he looks up to make sure he's watching what'll happen next. There is a curious little smile on his face too, as it seems obvious to him where this is going. He could be wrong! But, his nerdsense rarely lies.

Cerise ends up looking right, to admire D'tri's knot, and then looking left, to admire T'ral's. The lack of her own lends her expression a certain bemused suspicion, seen mainly in those magnificent eyebrows. Those likewise skipped are marked and at least one of them is cause for thoughtfulness; her better half, there in the back, burbles rather more happily. Shoulders squared back, she waits- and then steps crisply forward to stand before G'deon when called out. Salute? She has one of those for him, and it's stage-perfect, even if the grin she adopts is non-regulation.

Wat. The look that filters across E'don's face is shock; pure unadulterated shock. He glances to his left and right, presumably to try and make desperate eye contact with Yules and Cerise. 'Are we in trouble?' he mouths across the line towards Cerise first; perhaps she sees his desperate pantomiming. And then he looks the other way towards Yules, brows knit together. And then he follows suit after the two women, smoothing his tunic down with anxious preening as he steps forward. He isn't smiling. Oh no no. His pale skin seems to be getting clammy now— but he does the best to follow up with a salute, just for good measure. That's what competent weyrlings do, yes?

Br'er leans over to mutter something to Arianne, bearded chin jerking at the trio summoned forth. He's smiling, toothily. He's also shifting his posture just a little bit, which could be accidental (standing around is tiring!) and could be because Q'fex is looking at him and Br'er has theories about his, shall we say, best angle for viewing.

You overhear Br'er mutter, "I vote we … a charm offensive … … … into Serval. … //good …" to Arianne.

Let's just skip past Maosa, who hasn't changed her expression yet: she's patience on a monument. Osweith, watching intently in the back, has flicked his wings open just the slightest bit. His tail lashes, once. Weird.

Kyara shifts lightly from foot to foot when she hears E'don singled out along with two others, a quiet smile playing across her her lips as she watches those weyrlings advance. That the bronze weyrling looks scared diminishes her expression just a little, but she isn't surprised, either. They'll probably be talking later, she imagines.

Arianne flashes a dimpled grin at Br'er, apparently nodding in agreement with whatever it is he's said. "That, and something else in the works." she agrees, suggesting that there's at least a little more in the works regarding his suggestion. "Fill you in later." she adds quickly, before he starts posing for Q'fex. And before the additional knot-handing-outs happen.

Disappointment from Esanth is immediate, the cold of the Void sucking light from the stars. He had really wanted this for them. And then it's gone. The warmth of the hold, stacked high with crates, metal grating rings underfoot as T'ral touches down. Tinny music from elsewhere, a march. For T'ral, there's relief and disappointment both. He's proud of his wingmates -no question!- they were all good choices, if for different reasons. Cerise a strong mind, Yules was solid and dependable, E'don was… Qianvaelth was bronze. He's a little disppointed that D'cen didn't get a knot. He turns, with all the other weyrlings to salute, a slight quirking of his mouth as he sees the dumbfounded look on E'don's face. You poor bastard.

G'deon gives the three approaching weyrlings a smile that is downright fatherly. He just can't help himself. After they've moved forward, he goes first to Yules, removing from a jacket pocket the weyrling wingleader's knot. Again, there are quiet murmurs, likely heard by all three, if not much beyond them. Cerise and E'don both receive the wingseconds' knots. Was there a hesitation with the latter? Just maybe. That completed, he steps back once and nods to the group, blue eyes resting on each of them in turn. "Expect more tomorrow, but for now… Catmint, dismissed! For everyone here, please move to the living cavern, where refreshments and music have been arranged."

What does pride look like? It is a quarter smile playing out on Renalde's face? Or is it suppose to be more? Either way, renalde claps with the rest of everyone, and then with one last nod to Bailey he's fading backwards towards the living caverns. There is probably SOMEONE not doing their job that needs to be chided into it.

It's a moment before Yules can react, and that's something she'll have to learn, accepting the knot with a bit of astonishment. She hears the murmurs happening, it's just that her brain is filtering them out as not-relevant-information right now. Desmeth, however, is quite happy to express himself over those noises, hooting and … well, he majestically doesn't honk, but there's one little note that sounds close at the end. For her part, Yules turns and looks over at her fellow weyrl… now, wingseconds? And fellow wingriders who are still weyrlings. Finally, Yules starts to smile.

"Ha, called it," is the whispered observation that escapes from the corner of Cerise's clamped lips, when Yules gets pinned first. As for her own knot, well- it's Jiamoth who has something to say about that, her clear and high voice ringing out over the bowl in triumphant pride. "Thank you, sir," she says to G'deon, with another salute. Upon dismissal, she turns to her fellows to give them claps on the shoulder. "Nice! Congratulations!" Even E'don is included in this; maybe she nipped at a bottle early, before the ceremony.

One person not surprised at the weyrling tappings is Q'fex, who has a slight, fixed smile for Yules in particular. He has a polite clap to go with the flow of events. He takes a moment to sweep his gaze over the entirety of the weyrling class, one after the other, and he waits to watch the procession towards the living caverns. His eyes MAY just dart over to Br'er every now and again. Or maybe he's looking at Arianne. Who knows.

"GO YULES!" shouts Maosa, of all people, before lifting her fingers to her mouth. Who knew Maosa could whistle. "And Cerise!" No mention of E'don, of course. (Boys are terrible).

T'ral breaks into a lope and joins the freshly knotted wingleaders. He draws up at attention, totally non-regulation dopey beam, and snaps a salute. "Wingleader. Wingseconds."

That knot G'deon hands over to E'don is taken tentatively. It's examined — tentatively, and he turns it over in his fingers with startled and frankly, a look that seems close to a cry. A whibbly cry. "Really?" He mutters under his breath, before he's glancing up to flash Cerise and Yules a soft smile. "Well, they picked the best, huh?" He says this to the two women, motioning to their knots with a half-hearted smile as he fiddles his onto his shoulder. There is no self-congratulatory mention of himself. Clearly E'don does not like these turn of events. But he's shuffling off with the pair, back patting along the way. He even gives T'ral a return salute in response, but he looks, well, distracted. "I need a drink." Quick! To the caverns!

The last of her glass polished off, Jesha looks a bit worse for the wear, setting the empty vessel somewhere RP-convenient and staring off into space, lost, for the moment, in memories and faces transposed over the new full-riders.

G'deon watches the weyrlings for a long moment, a fond smile still curving his lips. Then, now that his own duties are completed, he shares a quick grin with Nylanth, then turns to make his slow, ambling way toward the living cavern. He does make one quick detour, however, to hook an arm through Jesha's. There is a small comment for the brownrider, then a grin as he then continues the trek toward food, drink, and perhaps even dancing.

Bailey has a last whistle before slipping away, likely off away from the living caverns. Shirking? Bailey? Never.

With the short-and-sweet ceremony over, Br'er is departing from Arianne's side and threading through the audience towards Q'fex. Whom he greets with a manly clap on the shoulder, grinning toothily. "You going to the festivities, or?"

Food has been promised: thus Maosa takes her leave from Osweith (who is still Not Staring at certain bronzes in the vicinity) and joins in the exodus towards the Lower Bowl. FOOD.

Cerise gives Maosa both thumbs up- power to the people, so long as they have vaginas! "Too bad we can't have all the drinks, what with drills'n'between training and everything tomorrow," she says when her hands drop. One is pressed to her heart in mourning for those bottles undrained.

Q'fex doesn't PINCH Br'er but it is a close thing. "I suppose so." His eyes drift over the weyrlings and others as they filter off towards the living caverns. "Want to join me?" His smirk finally directs over to his … Br'er, just a bit crooked.

If Yules were classy, or coordinated, or cool, she might do some funky chicken walk to the Living Caverns. Fortunately for everyone, she knows she isn't, and a quick, mostly-modest grin over at Q'fex and Br'er (turnover buddies 4 life?), Yules starts towards Desmeth, following the crowds to the Living Caverns.

"Oh, of course. You know me and a party." It's platonic to grab someone's elbow, isn't it? Because Br'er brushes his hand against Q'fex's, the better to nudge him towards the general direction of the caverns. FESTIVITIES AWAIT!

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