==== November 26th, 2013
==== D'cen, T'ral
==== D'cen leads a class on star navigation, then he and T'ral tromp, tromp, tromp down to the Nighthearth discussing stars, weyrs, their dragons, architectural minutiae, girls. Important stuff!

Who D'cen, T'ral
What D'cen leads a class on star navigation, then he and T'ral tromp, tromp, tromp down to the Nighthearth discussing stars, weyrs, their dragons, architectural minutiae, girls. Important stuff!
When There are 0 turns, 7 months and 15 days until the 12th pass.
Where Southern Weyr

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Star Stones
Jutting from the jungles, the caldera's northern most edge has been fashioned into the necessary star stones; two great boulders push up against the sky, weathering the winds that scour the ever-encroaching lichens that cling to the humid-moistened rock. A singular stone, so obviously man-made, serves as the eye-rock, long forgotten with only the wind's erosive touch to keep the greenery away. The stones stand upon the flattest point of the caldera, and any who climb the winding stairs, up the mountain's face, will be treated with a view worthy of the effort of the climb of the seemingly endless stone steps. Far and away, the entire weyr is exposed as are the vast jungles and terraced fields that dot the horizon. The Southern Barrier Range looms above the weyr, and from this vantage point, one can see the snows that clings to the summits. The winding Black Rock River sparkles far, far below. The ledge itself is small, however, so only a few brave souls and possibly one dragon could fit up here. With no handrails, the edge of the star stones's ledge offer a danger to the unwary who think to stand where the rock curves down into the bowl below.
It is the seventy-fifth day of Autumn and 45 degrees. The night sky is clear and cloudless. The wind has started to pick up more than normal.


Winter is getting closer. The temperatures have dropped and wind whips across the Star Stones. It is a clear night with only and the moons are slim crescents, high and hard, crisp. Stars blaze in Pern's sky, bright and clear. Weyrlings have gathered, ferried up to the Stones adragonback or clambering up the stairs from the Nighthearth. They are huddled together, sniffles and hunkered into coats, for a lesson in navigation by the stars. D'cen, a former starsmith has been tapped to lead the discussion. T'ral sits at the front of the crowd, he and the rank to his right and left, taking the brunt of the wind howling across the stones. His cheeks are red, eyes shining as he looks at the stones… the stars… the Star. His jaws clench and he breathes out, willing the cold from his bones, wrapping himself in imagined warmth that does a little to keep the chill out.

It would figure that despite the chill weather and the rather lofty heights which they stand upon, that D'cen seems more relaxed than at any other point in candidacy and weyrlinghood. "The stars appear to change position, every day. But if you look at them every night, you can't tell. It's when you look at charts spanning several sevendays that you can tell the constellations aren't appearing as they did before. That the picture has shifted. They also look different based on where you are. Igen, Ista, Benden. But…" he's going to continue, oh yes he is. He's JUST WARMING UP, people. Nerdorama is -here-. And he's pointing when he talks, gesturing at several constellations that are common knowledge.

T'ral had had just a bit of starcraft at the Hall. It was interesting stuff. He looks here an there in the sky as D'cen points. He hadn't really absorbed it until now, but the sky did seem different here than up North. He smiles, watching D'cen warm to the subject, at home, nerd flag flying. He looks up, dazzled by the brightness of the stars. It had been a long time since he'd just looked up at them. Prymelia would like this. Well, maybe not the cold. But… Right. Constellations. D'cen is pointing at the constellation that holds Alarph, a tiny blue star, dim and flickering. One that D'cen had showed T'ral just before the Hatching and that he'd named his firelizard after.

"… it's not that the stars are moving. We are, as Pern circles around Rukbat. Star charts in general are very important to the Seacraft, since they use it for navigation for that very reason. If you know where the stars should be at any given time, you know where you are. Useful for evening ::Betweening::." D'cen shares, giving the cold stone a fond pat. Like it's his best bud or something. "And then this right here, the Star Stones… we all know it's used to help chart the progress of the red star. Once is appears in the center of the stones… Thread will begin falling again." he notes solemnly, glancing out over the cold group and nodding especially at T'ral.

T'ral nods at D'cen's mention of using the stars to between at night. They actually seem somewhat easier to visualize than the terrestrial details. He shrugs deeper into his coat, chills going up his neck at D'cen's mention of the Red Star. Other folks in the cluster of weyrlings shift. Some craning to see if they can see the by the Stones the Star's progress. T'ral just looks determined. He raises a hand, "Will it be obvious?" And will it be right?! He clears his throat, "I mean… these Stones are old… what if they've moved?"

"The space between the stones has always been large enough to accomodate some shift in position. But these are solid. Part of the mountain itself. So unless the mountain moves? These aren't going far enough to be innacurate. I expect people ask that a lot and it's part of why we chart the progress of the star as soon as it's remotely visible. Just in case." Not minding the question at all, D'cen actually nods approvingly of it before answering and then calling on a few other questions. It's once people have shuffled out (or fled, as the case may be) that he gestures to the long stairwell leading to the Nighthearth. "You look cold, man. Let's warm up with some of that spicy wherry stew they have out."

T'ral nods not really liking that there was tolerance in the Stones, but that was that. As he understood it, the North would see Thread first anyway. In the South, they'd have a little more notice. "That was great, D'cen. I'm almost sad for any student's you'd've had." T'ral hops up, careful not to let any cold air into his coat. "It didn't take long for Southern heat to sink into my bones." He grins, breath pluming away, "You telling me you're not cold?" He stamps to warm his feet. "Wherry stew sounds GREAT." Shuffling along with D'cen is moving past the former-Starcrafter T'ral's eyes light with wonder as his hand whips up to points suddently off to the east, a falling star blazes an arc across the sky. "Did ya see it?!" He grins, another plume huffing out as he tromps back down the loong, looong stairs down to the Nighthearth.

"Thanks T'ral. Still feels more comfortable then… all this." Sweeping a gesture down towards the bowl where a bronze hide gleams, D'cen then stuffs his hands in his pockets. "I used to spend entire nights outside. I reccomend layering." Tugging down the collar of his weyrling uniform tunic, he gestures at the thinner shirt underneath. "Good way to keep warm." But then, their attention is caught by a falling star and he lets go a wistful breath. "I'd love to continue on star watching as a hobby. Isn't it really something? Inspiring, in a way." He takes a moment longer to start the stair tromp, whistling as they go. "Have you seen some of those real high up weyrs? With the -glass-? Now that would be ace."

"Yeah." T'ral nods, hard to tell what with all the tromping. "I'm hoping to keep up with the Archives. Or playing. Teaching. Something." He pauses, head cocked. Turning to look up at D'cen, a hand outstretched, fingers braced along on the passageway, "But… strange as all this is, it feels right. Like everything else was," he squints, "Preparation." He looks at D'cen, wondering if that makes any sense. He shrugs and continues the tromp. "Glass? Like in the Archives?" He shakes his head, no he hasn't seen those. "You could plant a tree in there and everything."

Well, now T'ral has piqued D'cen's unusual sense of humor. "Plant a tree in the archives?" he echoes. "Better make it a klah tree. To keep people awake trying to read through all the stuff in there." His sense of balance seems to keep him walking steadily despite the incline, as those hands stay firmly pocketed. It's a long ingrained habit now. "Most days, it does. Feel right I mean. And other days, I feel like I'm chasing Rax around the same way I did the first night he hatched. Just trying to keep him out of trouble." One can imagine how easy that is. "Esanth seems to be doing alright. Except for the occasional, uh, mishap that requires the dragonhealers."

"No!" Grinning, "In your glass-roofed weyr!" He waves dismissively, "The Archives already have a tree." He shakes his head and shrugs, guessing that D'cen had spent his time outdoors staring at the sky instead of nosing about the weyr - even as nerdy a place as the library. "He does keep you hopping, that Raxsonath." Good sort, that one. "Where does he want to lair up?" T'ral puts hands in his own pockets at D'cen's mention of Esanth. He snorts, "Esanth's a different critter now that we're flying. He's teaching me now."

"I haven't really got anyone to impress with an indoor atrium." D'cen points out, with a bit of a drawl. "Rax wants a spot where he can watch all the people and dragons. He's not really all that fussy about it. I think he's mostly hoping that if I get to pick the place, he'll get to pick a wardrobe I have to wear once we graduate. I'm working on some of the finer points of negotiation with him. Like, do a -really- need several long jackets? No." Sigh. He does perk up at the mention of Esanth being a different creature. "Well that's fantastic! What's he teaching you?"

Tromp, tromp, tromp. "We should totally have flown down. What were we thinking?" Tromp, tromp, tromp. Months of weyrlinghood have made it so this isn't as taxing as it would have been some time ago, but it still takes time. Nerd-alert, "Atria are inside by definition. Just a garden otherwise." Words. Important to Harpers. "Well," he shrugs, "They're walled in. Usually by buildings. A bit of outside, inside." What were we talking about? Right. "It's not to impress anyone. It's for," he taps his chest, "Here. Trees are good for the soul." Tromp, tromp. "Esanth is teaching me how to fly!" He grins over his shoulder, eyes alight, "Raxsonath is probably teaching you the same stuff. How to lean, when. Where to look so I don't get sick when he jinks."

D'cen nerds about anything star related, so he can handle listening to someone nerd about words. Besides, it -is- important. "Are they?" Hnh. The former starcrafter seems to consider that, looking thoughtful as they continue further and further down the stairwell of doom. It wouldn't surprise him to find skeletons right along the way; people who have expired just from climbing the damn thing. "Actually, he kind of enjoys me yelling at him to stop it with the showing off. Thinks it's funny. But yeah, -then- he teaches me how to do things like not get sick. Vomit isn't 'attractive'" he air quotes, with a snort.

T'ral barks a laugh. "He's really trying to gussy you up, eh?" The crisp air is getting slowly warmer. They're getting closer to warmth and food. "Want me to ask Prymelia to keep an eye out for coats?" A flash of a grin over his shoulder. He'd been considering taking Prymelia up to the Star Stones. The view was worth it. But not the walk. It'd have to wait until he could fly her up. She'd love the stars. That shooting star had been something else. "You'd love Esanth's mind, D'cen. It's like the night sky," he waves up towards the Stones, "But in" he gestures with both arms out, coming close to the low ceiling and close walls, "Every direction!"

"Sure. But nothing … fancy. Please." See D'cen's eyes? -Pleading- here. Just pleading. "You know, it's probably best that I don't see Esanth's mind. I'd be lost in it. And then I'd have to chart it. I'd just float there forever." Not entirely a bad thing to -his- mind, but as a rider it might not go over well. "Rax's is… well, sometimes it's serene. Covered in mists and gently rolling hills and green grass. But then, it's like being thrust in the middle of battle with swords and clashing metal. There's mystery there. It's an adventure." he admits, a brief smile appearing.

"You bet." Poor D'cen. T'ral can't see his pleading eyes what with the walking and looking down at the steps. He also doesn't really understand what a magpie Prymelia is with a love for colorful, shiny things. Though he should. Poor, poor D'cen. "Mists and hills and clashes. That sounds like the stuff of ballads! Did we Impress eachother's dragons?" He laughs. Tune in to Switched At Impression, Thursdays at 4 Central after As the Weyr Turns. Sounds are filtering up from the Nighthearth. Something more than the slap of their bootsoles, the huff of their breath and the echo of their voices. Warmth and light and people and … would anyone remember who they were when they finally emerged from the stairs? They tromp at long last into the Nighthearth and head to get some hot wherry stew. There are weyrlings everywhere. "You know, you think I'd be tired of your faces." T'ral grins at D'cen, "But I'm gonna miss you guys when we all scatter."

D'cen can't help but laugh at that, while he's piling up a bowl of stew. "Don't worry, T'ral. I expect we'll have plenty chance to get sick of each other's faces even before weyrlinghood is over. Especially when the Threadfall drills start and we're looking at the back of the same heads for hours at a time." Why, he sounds positively chipper at that. But maybe only because he has no idea he's going to wind up with a terrible jacket. "Now, how'd you meet Pyrmelia again?" Guy talk time. Where T'ral can do all the talking.

Side-shuffling in the lines for stew, T'ral winces, eyes shutting hard. "Awww, I forgot those were paired." Too bad Prymelia's not a rider. She'd be a lovely armful. "Prymelia?" he grins, ears coloring a bit, "We met in the Archives." The one with the tree, "She wanted charts of the sweeps the riders fly." He shrugs. "I helped her brother with some reading." His brow furrows, "Also in the Archives." The long and the short of T'ral's dating advice: Hang out in the Archives. Stew accomplished the two spend the rest of the dinner chatting over the strange shared turn of their lives.

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