Willimina, Igraine, Dustin, M'tej, Onari


Igraine dances with a mystery man, Willimina tries to comfort her friend, and Dustin is helpful and cheerful!


-- On Pern --
It is 8:07 PM where you are.
It is evening of the tenth day of the fifth month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass.
In Igen:
It is the fortieth day of Spring and 84 degrees. It is a clear night.
In Southern:
It is the fortieth day of Autumn and 83 degrees. The night is clear and humid.
In Southern Mountains:
It is the fortieth day of Autumn and 12 degrees. It's cold and dark out.


Red Butte, Gather Area; Igen Coverage

OOC Date 12 Mar 2016 07:00


willimina_default.jpg igraine_default.jpg m-tej_default.jpg onari_default.jpg

"I'm guessing those work breaks are why you Zingari can dance?"


Red Butte

Far removed from Hold and Hall, out in the utter midst of the plains of Keroon, sits the unique, solitary stone dome that every weyrling most likely knows better than any other landmark on the face of Pern - the Red Butte. Rings of eroded bedrock and sandstone ring this small mountain like long-frozen ripples worn by weather, upheaval, and time. Valleys and scarps surround and fade into the varied strata of the plateau itself. From both the ground and the air, the strikingly-hued Red Butte remains one of the most impressive and recognizable features of the entire Northern Continent.

It is the fortieth day of Spring and 84 degrees. It is a clear night.

Dragonfire Masquerade Fairgrounds

A very large section of the plains around the Red Butte have been manually cleared for the fire festival happening here. While the gather at Igen River Hold had been packed into a tight square, making it a maze of booths, this gather is set up in circular rings. The center ring is the main fire and recreational dance floor, then there is a ring of booths outside the fire, and a ring of booths and performance areas around that. Everything is fire themed, from the glassblower making glass dragons and flame pendants to the spicy food and fire displays! Drink flaming shots at the bar, or play the murder mystery!

Come All! Enjoy the delights of the DragonFire Masque out at Red Butte!

As the second night of the Red Butte gather gets going, the crowds are thin to start. Recreational dancing happens near the fire and vendors hawk their wares, the smells and aromas of spicy foods cross the gather grounds to tempt those without. Dazzling displays of daring happen as Zingari performers test their luck and play with fire. There seems to be a bit of a crowd lining up to try the murder mystery booth the Zingari have set up. Music and joviality abounds. And at the center of it all stands Willimina, surveying the gather to make sure things go as planned.

Igraine stands fidgeting near the healer's tent, wanting to join in on the fun. She's costumed to look like some tropical species of avian, her mask tapering from brightly colored plumage to a sturdy and colorful beak. She watches as the crowd starts to thicken, wondering how many drunkards and cracked skulls she'll have to deal with tonight.

A man at the shorter end of the 'tall' spectrum, and the more muscular edge of 'athletic' has adorned himself with standard-issue blue-version Gather finery, and a hand-crafted leather mask stained of a similar blue. Black leather gloves, supple, match heavy black boots and a belt. There's no particular theme, but there IS a mask. Seems he has come unaccompanied by companionship, for he has been one of the occupants of the dance floor, switching from one unattended female to another, showing no particular preference, but a practiced, vintage-style of dance. He, at least, is not drunk. Or, if he is, he's the sort of hard-drinker that doesn't reveal the vice until well into his cups.

Dustin is wearing a simple domino mask as he has been asked to help carrying supplies behind the scenes. He is moving a large barrel of wine from the stories to one of the stalls that's selling it. He sets it down and talks to the wine seller a bit before he picks up the barrel and puts it on one of the empty racks. He wipes off his hands as he says good bye to the wine seller and heads out into the gather proper.

Willimina stands at the fence around the recreational dance area, brown eyes watching the dancing from behind a scarlet colored mask adorned with black plumes. Her dress matches, dyed an even deeper scarlet with black lace and trim. Disguised like she is, she looks just like any other Zingari woman here, though her stature may speak to her rank. She waves at those who pass and steals a drink from a passing tray, some bubbly form of liquor she'd never had before tonight.

Igraine is silent as she watches the passers by, all laughing and having a fun time. She twists a peacock blue handkerchief in her hand, leaning against the post of the healer's tent. Laughter rings around her. Honey brown orbs scan the crowd until they land on a masked man in blue. They follow him about a bit, after all, the man in blue was much more interesting than staring at the walls of her tent.

And Igraine is about the sort that the man in blue would approach. Unattended by any, and not engaged in conversation or drink. He will, as he sips a drink of out of a flask that attaches to his belt, stride toward that woman. He does evade a couple whose merriment has them inattentive to their path; they plow through the crowd with heavy shoulders and much laughing. Into the clear of their wake, the fellow steps and stride over to Igraine, as he clips the flask back to his belt, "Ma'am?" His accent marks him only as a voyager of the planet; no current geographical region could have produced quite that mix, "It seems I've no partner for the next dance. It'd be a boon if you'd accompany me?" Sounds like he might be smiling, but the flash of teeth might only be an idea, behind the mask.

Dustin moves over towards one of the food stalls and he gets himself a mini meatroll. He stands off to the side to watch the dancers and eat his food. He doesn't seem to be too worried about his lack of costume or the simplicity of his mask.

Willimina notes Dustin's presence near the dance floor and waves at him, a smile planted on her lips. It's been a grand gather so far and the young leader finds herself in high spirits. "Good evening Dustin, how fares the evening for you?" As leader, it's her duty to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves, working or not.

Dustin gives a wave back to Willimina and he moves in a bit to her hear, although staying out of the way of any of the dancers and so he can finish his mini meatroll. He wipes his hands on the back of his pants, "Good evening Willimina. The evening fares well, doing my best to help those running the stalls tonight."

Igraine blushes as the man in blue approaches, thankful the tint is hidden beneath her mask. She looks back to the other healers when she's asked to dance and they shoo her off. "It would be a pleasure, sir." Igraine curtsies and steps away from the healer's tent to join the man in blue.

Until they reach the dance floor, the cyan-donned fellow will offer an unnecessary hand to Igraine, as a guide, with a dip of his head, "You honor me." And once the two have achieved the dancing area, a bit farther from the harpers, the man moves with purpose, alacrity, firm light hold of hand and touch on her shoulder, the subtle indications of his next movements, as the music starts again. He does dip his head toward her, so basso voice might inquire, "Enjoying the Gather so far? Or are you working too hard?" His dance style is different, but experience dancing indisputable.

Willimina nods. "That's good to hear, I take it they aren't working you too hard? I told everyone to take time to enjoy the gather." In fact, Willimina had set u the shifts precisely so that her people could all have a chance to celebrate. She sips at her drink and turns her eyes to the dancers at the floor, smiling when she realizes someone had snagged Igraine for a dance.

Igraine takes the mystery man's hand with a smile and allows herself to be led to the dance floor. She relaxes easily into the steps of the dance, following her partner's lead with grace. "I am. Our leader was very kind to schedule in break shifts so that all of us could enjoy the gather." Igraine smiles again as they twirl around another couple on the floor. "Are you enjoying your time here sir?"

"Always!" The assurance is there, reverberating. Perhaps a coincidence that a dragon, somewhere, roars. "Gathers showcase some of the best and worst of the people that make up Pern, and the entertainment - scheduled and unintended both - always merit attendance." As he realizes that Igraine is skilled, her partner tries for a twirl, lightly guiding her into a brief empty space between dancers, and deftly pulling her back in, with an audible chuckle. "I'm guessing those work breaks is why you Zingari can dance?" His hand, warm in the gloves, give her a slight squeeze to her hand.

Igraine laughs. "We're taught to dance almost as soon as we can walk, not all of us are as good as some." Igraine goes into and out of the twirl without any issues, as light on her feet as some of the best dancers. "For example, I am not as good as our dear leaders. Now they are a something to behold." Igraine could practically explode with jealousy over how graceful Tallel and Willimina are together.

Dustin shakes his head, "No they aren't working me too hard. I'm happy to help out others. I'm sure that everyone else is having a great time. How are you doing this evening?"

"The leaders of a caravan must be skilled persons indeed, for such a group of people to meet the challenges of traveling Pern during Threadfall, so graciously and effectively. And dance — It is a celebration of life, motion, camaraderie," the man asserts, though quietly, when Igraine is up close again, and he has her within the circle of his arms for another brief moment. "Better than swimming, because for the best experience, you dance with another." The man in blue steps into something that Igraine likely has not seen or experienced - dance steps at least 400 turns old-but which has likely spawned so many descendant steps and techniques that she is likely familiar, "Better than a fight, as generally you don't accrue as many bruises." Again, sounds like the fellow smiles behind his mask.

Willimina nods. "I am doing well, Tallel is with the children and I am enjoying a bit of time off. I dance later, but for now, I drink, and enjoy." Willimina laughs and raises her drink before taking a pull from it. A couple walks by laughing and they greet Willimina who waves jovially back. "I'm glad you aren't working too hard, but do take the time to enjoy some of the gather, eh?"

Igraine giggles as her partner regails to her the joys of going to a gather. "Oh sir, you have the right of it there!" She stumbles a little when her man in blue changes up the steps of their dance, but recovers quickly enough. "Oh, you must teach me that particular set of steps! It seems much better than the version we dance now!" She smiles, her face lighting up underneath her mask.

No time like the present; Igraine's partner firms up his hold a touch, and pulls her in slightly, so that he can murmur the directions - a series of numbers and 'right' 'left', together with the touch of a pull or a push against Igraine's shoulder, or her waist. "It works for dances such as these, and three-beat dances," the man murmurs, "with a quicker beat. My mother taught me the steps - they are fairly easy but look more complicated than they are. She was, once upon a time, a Harper and I was frustrated with the harder dances she was always trying to get me to do."

Igraine laughs as she tries to learn the steps that her navy colored partner tries to teach her. "They may be easier spoken than performed, but even harder when one already has a set of step memorized." Igraine laughs. "I must be doing this wrong…." She stumbles once more and looks around blushing, well, maybe there's something she doesn't know, for once.

"The excellent thing about dancing," the man in blue rejoins, "Is that if you do it with enough confidence, everyone thinks YOU are doing it right, and THEY are doing it wrong. So, it's all about confidence, see?" He'll move the young woman back into a more familiar dance, before indicating an 'And again', together with counting, to the older style steps. "That's what works for old codgers like me. You're also eye-catching, miss, so more than likely folks aren't looking as much at what you're doing as you, yourself. So do it with confidence, which lends even more allure to you!"

As the night thickens and the booze flows, so does the smoke of the gather, and the raucous moods of the attendees, drunk on firey entertainment and fabulous music. A masked fellow in blue dances with a costumed Igraine, while Dustin and Willimina chat over to the side of the increasingly-busy dance floor.

Igraine relaxes as blue moves them into a more familiar set of steps, and when he moves them into the second round of oldtimer steps, Igraine is much more on the ball than she had been before, moving through the steps with only one or two minor fudges. "It also helps when one has a strong leader. It really is how well the leader dances that makes the dance look good." Igraine had never had the finesse to dance alone like Willimina does, but she'd usually pretty good with a partner, specially one who knows what he's doing.

The second night of the Red Butte gather is in full swing. Fire is everywhere, creating pinpoints of light in the blackness of night. Costumes and masks in every color known to Pern are abundant! Spicy food is devoured, the murder mystery booth explored, and a few familiar faces can be seen about. A young leader in costuming of scarlet and black talks with a masked shepherd, whilst a masked and disguised rider dances unbeknownst with a spy adept. Whiskey and wine flow freely and there is much fun to be had!
( http://harpers-tale.wikidot.com/firemasque )

"If I have any skill, it's due to the diligence of my poor mother, most of whose higher teachings absolutely did not stick." Igraine's dance partner admits with a chuckle. "But my father managed to woo her away from walking the tables, to a life of a cotholder, so I am guessing he might have had some latent charms that I can only hope I might have inherited. -There, you are getting it now." As the dance winds down, the man shifts back and sketches a bow, with another quick squeeze of Igraine's hand, "I thank you for your kindness in dancing with me, ma'am. It has been a pleasure that I'd soon repeat, but I must return home, so I am fit for duties tomorrow."

A small contingent of the Reika had arrived earlier in the day, Onari included…though the caravan daugher herself has not been out and about until now. The outfit she appears in likely has much to do with it - a scarlet gown with gold and vermilion flickering among the folds of her skirts, a shimmering sash draped from right shoulder to left hip, and a red mask that, upon closer inspection, is wrought of light metal scrollwork and painted not only red, but black and gold, each color fading into the next. The brown waves of her hair are caught up into a high tail and left to cascade down to her shoulders, left to a more natural curliness than usual. Those who know her shouldn't have trouble recognizing her; the mask fits her face quite closely. She skirts the edge of the dancing, looking for familiar faces as she sips at a glass of wine she picked up somewhere along the way.

Igraine is sad when the dance ends, but gives a curtsy and smiles at Blue's comments. "Tis I who should thank you, had you not asked me to dance, I'd still be staring at the healer's tent walls, bored out of my mind." Igraine gives a softer smile. "Safe travels to you then, I hope you enjoyed yourself!"

After escorting Igraine to the side of the dance floor, the fellow in the plain-but-functional blue costume sets into crowd, becoming easily lost within.

Willimina lets her eyes wander the crowds, she goes to take a drink and realizes her glass is empty. Frowning, she goes in search of a waiter and a fresh glass of that deliciously fruity wine. Whilst searching the crowds her eyes land on a familiar figure. Willimina's skirts whisper around her in a silent song as she idles up to Onari, a smile on her masked face. "Well, well, look what the wagon train brought in! How are you Onari?" Willimina greets in excited tones as she opens her arms to greet the Reika girl.

Igraine is escorted to the sidelines and makes her way back to the Healer's tent. Time to give someone else a chance to roam the gather while she tends to the drunk and injured. A healer's work is never done…

Onari looks patently relieved to have Willimina be the first familiar face she sees, though whether or not it's because it's Willimina or because of some other reason is unclear. It's likely both. Either way, the Reika woman greets the Zingari leader with a warm grin and returns the offered embrace, careful of the drink she carries. "I'm well, Willimina," she replies, "and I need the distraction right now. You've outdone yourselves again; it looks beautiful. And this wine is amazing." She promptly takes another sip for emphasis. "It's been a long time since I've been to something masked."

Willimina pulls out of the embrace with a smile, the feathers on her mask waving about with the motion. " Thank you m'dear, it is grand, isn't it?" Willa grins. "We are good at distractions my dear!" And as if sensing some unease in her ally and friend, Willimina grabs two shots from the next passing waiter and offers one to Onari. "We can talk about it and drink, or we can just drink, it's up to you." And then, leaning in so that Onari can hear her without Willimina shouting, she offers. "And if you are worried about running into S'ayde, he isn't here tonight." From what very little the young leader had been able to glean from the spymaster, things were a bit awkward between the ex-lovers. Perhaps it's the liquor fueling Willimina's worries about what's off about Onari this evening, she may be waaay off, but she wants to lend a listening ear anyhow, woman to woman.

If Onari is projecting unease, she is unaware of it…though how easily she accepts and downs the shot Willimina holds out to her may be a bit telling. The suggestion that she's worried about running into S'ayde draws a surprised lift of brows from the Reika woman, and she shakes her head. "Oh, it's not that…though I admit I'm worried for him, not about running into him. I know I hurt him…and no amount of apology from me is going to erase that, but I'd hoped to at least know that he's alright. Is he alright, do you know?" she asks, earnest concern in her gaze as she looks to Willimina.

Even under the mask, it's easy to see Willimina blanch under Onari's line of questioning. Willimina downs her shot and grabs another from a passing waiter, downing it before she speaks, chocolate orbs serious behind her red and black mask. "S'ayde…isn't himself." And that would be the understatement of the year, considering the meltdown the greenrider had had, and that Willimina had then heard about later. "He's…angry, and lost, and…heartbroken." Willimina places a hand of comfort on Onari's arm. "What happened was neither your fault nor his, Onari. Some things just aren't meant to happen, he'll heal." Willimina clears her throat, something else lingering in the liquor glossed depths of her eyes. "I don't think you'll see him for a while though…" Word travels fast on the grapevine, specially when one has Zingari spies camped outside her wagon at all times. "The irony of certain things …has him furious." Willimina will be honest, for honesty's sake, but she feels deeply for both of her friends, and is here for both of them in this.

At first, Onari gives a sorrowful shake of her head. It has been months - nearly a Turn - since things ended with S'ayde, and the fact that he is still in such a state is disturbing to her. She can't quite believe what Willimina says about fault, but doesn't pull away from the comforting touch offered. Willimina's last elicits a frown, a crease drawn between finely wrought brows. "It has him furious?" she asks, bitterness limning her tone before she gives another head-shake, dismissive of her own words as she lets loose a deep sigh. "It's enough to make me wonder if I'm cursed," is almost muttered. "I think…maybe it would be best, Willimina, if I stopped coming to train with your spies. Just…disengage from it entirely. For his sake." Her eyes rest nowhere in particular, and she downs the rest of her wine without thinking. "I can't decide if I want to get drunk or just do something with a little risk involved right now."

Willimina would be surprised to find that Onari's thoughts align with her own when it comes to S'ayde's behaviors. "He loved you deeply, he mourns what he thought you could have been." Willimina gives Onari a sympathetic look, she knows how it feels, to think you're cursed. She blanches a little, feeling the bitterness. "I… don't think the situation is what made him angry…I think he's angry that you've moved on and he can't, things seem pretty serious between you and your new beau." Willimina sighs, horribly flustered about relaying this, but she feels it needs to be done. "And if you feel you need to stop training here with our spies, I'm sure Javid would be willing to continue your training. Though I wouldn't worry about it overmuch dear, S'ayde barely works with the spylings these days and he'll eventually come to his senses and be able to separate his feelings from other things, and he'll find someone else to love." Willimina shakes her head. "The death of first love is never an easy one Onari, and to some extent it never truly dies…" Willa side hugs Onari. "You and S'ayde will be friends and thick as thieves again someday I'm sure, he cares for you too deeply to cut you out, and I think he would be hurt more if you cut him out." Starting to walk off toward the bar where flaming shots and more substantial liquor awaits, Willa tows Onari along. "I say we get drunk…because it's better than dwelling on things we cannot change. Let's have some fun, eh?"

"I know," Onari murmurs, second-guessing her decision to come more and more by the moment. But no - the reason she came was not to dwell on old wounds or re-hash current sorrows, but to distract herself. If it's known that she's serious with someone else, then it's also likely known that that someone is also a Candidate now, so she doesn't comment on that observation. "I hope he does," she says of S'ayde finding someone else to love, returning Willimina's hug. "And I hope we can be. I would never cut him out…unless he can't stop pining." The line would have to be drawn somewhere, but she hopes it won't come to that. Allowing herself to be towed along, she eyes the flaming shots, smirking. That certainly seems risky enough. "Aye, lets," she agrees, and will happily partake until she comfortable buzzed, at least.

With Leader and friend toasting the night away, and the gather carrying it's own sort of life, the gather goes well into the night, and who knows what the last day will bring? Two nights down, one to go before the closure of the Red Butte Gather.

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