Who

Cale, Kyara, Merakh, Prineline, tasna

What

Locals try to grab a bite to eat before a storm thunders into the Weyr, and one of those locals ends up with a candidate's knot.

When

A spring midmorning of the tenth day of the third month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Living Cavern, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

kyara_default.jpg merakh_default.jpg Tas15.jpg

igenlivingcavern.jpg

Living Cavern

Dim light from hanging glow-globes cannot fully camouflage the ravages of time and neglect on Igen's busy living caverns, though hints of its former glory peek through in the decorative cuts to the cave's natural limestone and the high quality of dusty, tatty-ended tapestries. Here and there, skybroom tables — stained dark by wood finish and a decade of grime — sit in loose groups, flanked by wicker chairs with pointy, broken rattan that pokes out to invariably find unprotected skin. The seemingly randomly placed furniture, however, at closer inspection, forms a sort of cross-shape of negative space. At the northernmost walls and nooks of the caverns, a long buffet table with tarnished lazy susans hosts an array of finger-foods and pitchers for the interested, refilled occasionally by drudges that shuffle in from the curtained entrance to the south, beyond which lies the kitchens. To the east is a large arch leading outside and, across from that, to the west, a set of rattling doors that open to reveal the tunnels and stairs of the inner caverns themselves.


(OOC Note: I'm missing any poses before the first one listed below.)

Prineline is nibbling the crusty, sticky berry juice bits at the edges of the pastry as she listens to the boy. At his suggestion she waves his basket away. "No child, you look like you haven't even dropped your voice yet. I keep my palate to a senior apprentice or above skill." Don't you know who she is? Now, moving on. "I assume your specialty is sweets? We have a few bakers who may need some apprentices in that regard. Keep you head down though, boy. Hard work is rewarded here." Well, hard work and illegal back alley dealings with sinister implications. Not a lot of black market baked goods, unless you count that poison-tampered brioche Prineline had sent to… wait, where was she? "Cale, do you know who I am?" One brow raises slightly, her expression neutral as she raises a couple red-stained fingers to lick clean.

Tasena is just one of the various passers-by. There is a hide on a board, and as she passes the sideboards, she starts taking notes, though only about the beverages it seems. At this time of day, such a thing is quickly done, and she disappears into the bowl, only to return several minutes later. She returns to the sideboard, but this time it's so she can help herself to klah and food, soon turning toward the rest of the cavern, only now giving much attention to those already present.

The youth blinks at Prineline and shakes his head. "Uhm, no? The fellow there said you were nice and I should probably.." He looks over his shoulder, peering for said person. "..huh, they're gone." He shrugs a bit, and looks back to Prineline. "Well, it's nice to meet you, anyway." ALmost a question, but the boy seems friendly.

The Headwoman is sitting to one side of a long, sparsely populated table. Cale, with a basket of fresh and free baked goods is making his rounds and has come to stand beside Prineline and offer her goodies. Tesena has just walked in, taking notes, not yet interested enough in anything to decide on a seat, but actively combing for one now that she has food. As for Cale, well, Prineline gives an audible snort. Prineline is not nice. Whoever said that to the young baker was clearly setting him up. "I'm your Headwoman, Cale. And I'm not nice." This is said with a smile that suggests she's half-kidding… well, like, 1/8th kidding… she does, however, as a mother, not unleash the entirety of her personality on the boy at first meeting. "Yes, Cale, take a seat would you?" She settles the predatory shimmer in her eyes to muted maternal gaze. "Now," she continues, assuming the boy will do what he's told, "I meant what I said about hard work. We have no room for laziness in Igen, and with the bad elements snagging kids from every corner, I need to know that you will benefit this Weyr." Stern look is given. "If you can promise to do that, I can talk to a couple of the masters here about your mentorship."

Tasena does recognize Prineline, as there is a long, wary sideglance given the older woman and Cale before Tas slides onto one of the benches at the opposite side of that table. Why? It's open space. Maybe the other diners are afraid of sharing her table? Who knows. In any case, the weyrfolk-cum-vintner's-assistant settles in for a late breakfast, though she seems far less enthused about it than her previous tallying.

It's never a good idea to skip breakfast before drills. Kyara is usually quite good about that, particularly with her lifemate urging her…but a late sweep and her first nightmare in some time kept her in bed a bit longer than usual, and so, breakfast got relegated to a post-drill affair. Urgent steps across the living cavern toward the food show just how well that's gone over, the greenrider scrubbing her face in an effort to stay upright just long enough to get the sustenance that will keep her upright for the rest of the day. Food gathered and klah obtained (and promptly gulped at), Kyara casts about for a seat and spots one near another late breakfast-er sitting near the Headwoman and a lad she's not seen before. "Good morning, headwoman," she says politely as she passes near, casting a bit of a smile at the boy with her before turning her attention on the next person she nears. "Would you mind if sat here?" she questions with a somewhat apologetic bit of a smirk. "It's a little full elsewhere."

Cale offers the headwoman a smile. "That's why I'm here, ma'am. Learn my craft and earn my keep." He moves to sit as directed, setting his basket down and folding his hands on the table in front of him. "I expect that, really. I'm excited for the opportunity to be able to train and help out. I mean, that's why I do what I do. I enjoy feeding people, and seeing them happy." He offers the headwoman and the newly arriving folks a smile. "Morning," he chirps to the rider and vintner, before looking back to the headwoman, still offering her a gentle smile.

Tesena gets a brief glance, though her arrival appears to be met with disinterested neutrality save a slight garment sweep. Kyara is given a light nod and before Cale pulls the Headwoman's attention back at hand. "Well, that's a good approach. Keeping people fed is apparently going to be a bigger concern than I first imagined…" trailing off as she ticks back to the discovery early this morning of the newly arrived herdbeast shortage. Baked goods for everyone! No really. Eat them. That's all you get. "You fly that fall over Keroon, Kyara?" The greenrider pulls in her attention once more as Prineline looks for signs of thread-related trauma.

Tasena is still surreptitiously watching the headwoman and baker when Kyara approaches, so there is a surprised blink at her before Tas waves to the spot just across from her. "Of course, ma'am, of course," she says quietly, waving a thin hand before she moves it toward her klah. She takes a sip, again glancing toward the two at the other end of the table, then grins across at Kyara. "Think he'll survive?" she asks the rider quietly, just over the rim of her mug. Too quietly to travel beyond them, but not so quiet the sound of an unintelligible murmur wouldn't carry. After a long sip of her drink, she sets it down, then again sets into her breakfast with half-hearted indulgence. She glances at the rider after Prineline's question, mildly curious.

Kyara slips onto the bench with a grateful smile, almost relieved in its appearance, and sets about loosening her jacket before popping a wedge of fruit into her mouth. "Kyara will do," she chuckles at waifish woman near her, holding out her hand. The number of times she's been called "ma'am" over the past few sevens… "Green Liareth's rider. Well met." To the question put to her, she raises a bit of an eyebrow, glancing sidelong at Prineline and the boy as she takes a drink of her own. "You mean him?" she asks quietly. "I don't know. Seems like he's got the right attitude for it…" From what she overheard. Prineline's question makes her wince a little, but the nod she answers with covers it. "Yes, ma'am. I did. I'm not without a scar from it, either…but I'll not be complaining." All things considered.

With a slow nod, Cale responds to Prineline. "I know. We never had to stretch it out too far, but I imagine it's going to be an issue. If baking is too inefficient, I can always help clean up, and I learn fast." He draws his thumb across the point of his chin as he mulls a thought over. A curious glance is thrown the direction of the rider and the crafter, but he's not inclined to break his conversation with the Headwoman.

There are generally few times when Merakh shows up in the Living Cavern, but today's a rare example: with the large storm looming over the Weyr and the smell of lunch drifting outside, she nips in to fortify herself against an hour or more of sodden wandering through the Bazaar. She's neat as a pin today, with tucked uniform just so and knot on display — yes, quite open about her job here. Her nose leads her to the lunch tables and there's a round of soft greetings for those she knows there as she scouts out a plate and mug from the washed stack.

Prineline notes Kyara's discomfort with a slight scrunch of the brows, but considering the youth of their company, the Headwoman allows the conversation to simmer. Tasena is at last given a light tilt of the chin in quiet acknowledgement as the Headwoman stands in a bustle of skirts and apron. "You will be cleaning, make no mistake of that." Sweet goodbyes just aint what they used to be… the Headwoman moves away without so much as a wave, though the look she casts to Kyara suggests the two of them may be meeting more privately sometime soon. The female guard recruit is passed on Prineline's way out and her knot is given a very sharp look. Prineline's lips lilt upwards only slightly as she sweeps past Merakh and disappears in a cloud of commanding poise.

"Tasena," the young woman replies as she takes Kyara's hand, "or just 'Tas' works, too. Been one or the other all my life. And Kyara, then," she adds, grinning. "Sorry, ma'am is just the default 'cover your aa—'," ahem, "'assets' response." She tones it down to a smile and picks up her mug again, then gives the other end of the table another look before returning her attention to the rider. "That last 'fall sure gave the ground crews some practice," she comments, her tone a little more gentle, though not by much. "Exciting and sick, all at the same time. With the bits that actually made it to us, though, I can only imagine what you guys had to face." She looks in time to catch Merakh's greetings, and gives the guard a nod in return, then watches until Prineline is out of sight, though she makes no comment.

With a rather large nod of understanding, Kyara gives a bit of a low laugh at Tasena's reasoning before filling her mouth again. Her mood much improved even after that little bit of food, she shrugs the rest of the way out of her jacket and calls farewell to Prineline before glancing down at the lad she'd been talking to. "Are you new here?" she questions, grinning. "The headwoman is no one to cross, that's for sure. She's a formidable woman, but she cares." In her own way. In the bit of silence that follows, Kyara listens to Tasena's words about the ground crews, giving the arriving guard recruit a smile and a nod before returning her attention to her food…but not immediately getting it in her mouth, suddenly a bit distracted - likely by some words from her lifemate, judging by the slightly vague look in her eyes. "Exciting and sick," she echoes, giving a light snort. "That's a good way of putting it. I keep saying it's thrilling, fighting Thread…in some strange, twisted way." Blinking, she fixes Tasena with an intent look. "You look vaguely familiar, but I don't think we've actually met before this. Have you always been at Igen?"

Cale watches Prineline go with lifted brows. "Wow. She didn't even breathe fire *once*. I guess I can't believe everything I hear." He glances at the others at his table, and offers his basket. "Pastry? Fried dumplings?" He shows off the goods with a smile. He avoids the thread-y subject, watching his tablemates with a close eye instead. When he responds, it's to another line, to Kyara. "Oh, yes, I'm still in my first week. It's.. different in a weyr."

Merakh is a bit more than amazed. By all accounts the Headwoman is a very tough customer, and to get a smile, even just a tiny one, seems like an achievement. It's enough to distract her long enough to miss the initial pitcher of klah, though she more than makes up for that with the second one. Then, as she eyes the tray of sweets available, she demonstrates that most guardly of skills: the ability to stir her klah and comprehensively pick over the sweet things, though there's a healthy amount of non-sweet to go with as well. No, she doesn't eat like a skinny Holder lass. Plate in hand, she idly makes her way to the tables. Her smile, when it comes for those greeting her, is slightly, professional. "Ma'am, miss. Apprentice." Pause. "May I join you? The weather's about to break, and I don't fancy soggy food."

"Off and on," Tasena answers Kyara with a small hitch of one shoulder that isn't entirely a shrug. "Started in the cantina. Moved to Southern for a bit. Now I'm back, helping one of the local Vintners with some studies he's doing." She finishes her last bite of food and washes it down with the last of her klah, then leans her elbows on the edge of the table as she turns to Cale. She shakes her head slightly in reply to the offer of pastries, then waves Merakh toward the table. "I'm not at all jealous of those of you who have to stand around in that. It looks and feels like it's going to be a whopper of a storm."

"Of course!" Kyara tells the guard recruit - goodness, there seem to be a lot of women popping up among them these days! - and gestures to an empty spot. To the baker, she gives another nod, agreeing. "Yes, it is very different in a Weyr. It took me a while to get used to, myself." Tasena's mention of Southern earns a lift of eyebrows. "Southern…might've glimpsed you there on one of my visits…" And then she's casting a contemplative look toward the exit, though whether it's for the impending weather or something else is anyone's guess. "Good thing we had morning drills, then. And if it's going to rain…" Abruptly, her eyes land on Tasena again, and she sits up a bit straighter all of a sudden, as if she's just been prodded in the side by somebody. "Tasena, would you mind coming with me for a moment? Just outside; there's something Liareth is asking of me that requires more than one person, apparently." Puzzled is her expression, though the fact that she's pushing aside her plate a little bit and pulling her jacket on again shows that it's not something she's about to question her lifemate about.

Cale nods tot he rider, then blinks at her somewhat abrupt change of tone and posture. He purses his lis and watches her for a few moments longer, then moves to carefully rise out of his seat and take his basket in hand. "Well, thanks for talking with me.." He offers up a smile and glances around, gaze setting on Merakh for a few moments before he nods once in recognition to himself.

The guard makes herself at home at the table, and has company for a bare few seconds before they up and leave. The request has her arching her eyebrows, but she shakes her head — none of her business. "Settling in well then, Apprentice?" she asks as she sets to, obviously about to enjoy her meal with gusto. "Obviously you passed the Headwoman's test — you're still here, I see." There's an eye-crinkling smile for that. "My suggestion would be to enjoy today for as long as you may, before the work begins tomorrow."

Tasena softly rubs her knuckles against an itchy spot on her jawline, then nods once to Kyara and also gets to her feet. "Sure, I have loads of time until I'm needed again," she answers as she pushes in her chair. She doesn't bother with actually clearing her space, exactly, after affirming the presence of the cavern's usual team of drudges, but she does stack her mug on her empty plate. She gives both Cale and Merakh a quick nod, then moves to follow the greenrider to the bowl.

Wincing, Kyara casts an apologetic look first at Cale, then at Merakh. "Sorry, I didn't mean to ignore…" She gives her head a quick shake, blinking a few times (with a mental be quiet sure to be voiced to a unusually insistent lifemate), before adding, "You're both welcome to come along, if you like. Liareth likes meeting people, and if you've never met a dragon before, she's certainly one of the calmer ones." She gestures for Tasena to follow, sweeps out an arm to further the open invitation to the others, and then leads at least one of her company outside, rubbing her forehead as she tries to understand what Liareth is on about.


igencentralbowl.jpg

Central Bowl
Cradled, childlike, in an easterly mountainous embrace, the steppes of the central bowl nestle cozily between lake and weyr. The latticework of dusty adobe paths spider out from the southerly Weyr Road, the wagon-ruts of which curve lazily to the northeastern bazaar, the adobe sprawl of the New Weyr reflected in the lake that dominates a large portion of outdoor Igen. A small footpath, just as abused, ambles away from the shores, travelling over rock and hill to the northern dragonet complex and branching itself due west to end at the entrance of the blessedly cool inner caverns. One cracked path, faint with disuse, leads southeast to the crumbling ruins of Igen-that-was. All around, the dizzying heights of the caldera's sharp-sloped sides are pocked here and there with ledges, the weyrs' draconic occupants needing no path to guide their way.


Curiosity has skinned many tougher cats than Merakh; the invitation sees her on her feet and idly snitching a sweetroll from the basket before she wanders outside. It's overcast enough that she shivers into her jacket, pulling it a little tighter around herself, and when she finally catches up to the other two and a nearby green, she stops with parade-precise movements. In lieu of popcorn, she nibbles at the pastry's flaky crust, watching intently.

Tasena blinks a few times upon exiting from the cavern. Just the usual process of changing light sources. Then she quickens her step momentarily to catch up with the rider as she tries to decipher which dragon might be Kyara's. She looks behind her to grin slightly at Merakh when the guard follows, but otherwise, her attention is on the greenrider. "She didn't say why extra hands were needed?"

Liareth makes herself very known very immediately, a stately prowl (yes, stately; it's a trademark) bringing the green over to the group from the left with surprisingly little noise. Eyes whirl a quick gold as she crouches to set a curious gaze upon the lot of them, though it's Tasena she chooses to whuffle at. "No, not yet," Kyara replies, watching as her lifemate inspects the others beside and reaching up to rub at the pretty green's jaw. "What's going on, love?" she asks aloud, and while the answer forms in Kyara's mind, Liareth takes one more long look at Tasena and proceeds to lower herself, roll onto her side, and lift one wing to expose her back. A rather large spot of darker hide is revealed there, and the green rumbles, craning her neck to look over at the people now behind her. "Really? Now?" Kyara asks in consternation, walking up to get into a pouch on Liareth's straps and removing a fair-sized clay pot with a wooden stopper. "You could've just waited for a bath…" But apparently not. Wryly, she looks at the others. "She's got an itch between her wings, and would like some help taking care of it. Apparently I can't be fast enough alone; it's pretty bad, and a good-sized spot, as you can see. Who wants to help?"

Merakh's head tilts at the green; she finishes the pastry quickly, but shakes her head after a neat wipe of her lips. "I don't think my hands would be suitable for the task," she demurs gently, looking at them. Elegant, long-fingered and strong, and the hide looks delicate enough to tear. She tips her head forward a bit, exquisitely courteous. "If your partner wouldn't mind, ma'am, I'd rather appreciate the view she makes from here. Perhaps the miss here would like to give it a try, or the lad?" There's another question, just slightly more curious. "Is that… a dry patch?"

"Really?" Tasena asks Kyara, giving the rider a surprised look that starts to look concerned when she studies the green. A moment later she lets out a soft burst of a laugh and starts to roll up her sleeves while glancing up at the sky. "Quick sounds good to me."

Kyara gives a bit of a laugh as she draws a bit nearer with the pot of salve for Tasena to dip into, slanting a bit of a smile at Merakh. "Your hands would be fine," the greenrider assures, getting a bit of salve on her own hand and showing Tasena where to start before beginning herself. "The hide's a lot tougher than it looks, trust me. And yes, it's a dry patch, but it's a little more than that. Lia's always had trouble with itching. She nearly wrecked our corner of the barracks a few times during weyrlinghood trying to solve the problem herself." As they work, Liareth sighs contentedly…though she's still got her neck craned, watching the woman helping her lifemate intently. Kyara keeps glancing over to meet that green-gold gaze with her own amber, a silent conversation carried even as one continues aloud. "You seem pretty comfortable around dragons," the greenrider observes of Tasena. "Lia says thank you for the help, and that she's glad you're not nervous around her." Glancing over at the woman once again, Kyara asks nonchalantly, "How do you suppose you'd handle something like this? Having to care for a dragon, day in and day out, plus all that goes along with it?"

Merakh's eyes squinch a little with amusement. "Ah, is that so? I'll remember for next time. It strikes me we may not so much different - I wrecked a few corners of my own earlier in life. She's beautiful though — I wish I could have had eyes that colour." She shifts a little for a better view of the way Tasena handles things, nodding to herself at the matter-of-fact way the oiling's accomplished, with a particularly thoughtful look in Tasena's direction as well. "Itches in the middle of the back are the worst," she meanders conversationally. "You always have to half-dislocate your arm to get to them, and I guess sometimes a convenient wall-corner is the closest thing to bliss."

Tasena shrugs as she applies more of the salve. "Always read people well enough. Dragons tend to give more than enough away, too, if you watch long enough." It's sort of like an answer. She glances back at Merakh, then over at the peer Liareth before turning back to Kyara. "You mean like a rider?" Tas asks, sounding amused. "I'm probably not the weyrwoman material the locals are looking for," she adds more quietly, turning back to the task at hand, "though as you proved, yourself, that's hardly the only option out there." There's another glance to Merakh, then, with a crooked little smile before she adds, "Other options for itchy spots, too, for that matter. Like finding help. Like this girl did," she adds with an extra little pat for Liareth.

Liareth decides to whuffle a bit at Merakh, which elicits a chuckle from Kyara…but there's something terribly amusing about Tasena's observations that draws a snatch of draconic laughter from Liareth and, apparently satisfied with the job that's been done, she rolls over onto her stomach, drawing into her usual noble posture of watchfulness as she surveys the woman once more. The eyes that were green-gold a moment ago now darken to blue as they turn on her, and the expression upon Kyara's face belies a slow realization of something. She'd been given something a few days back - something she was expected to give to another, but she didn't think she would actually be doing this, only being a rider for a few Turns now herself… Rummaging in her pouch, she finds it and palms it, looking down and uncoiling a white length of cord and inspecting it. "Yes. Like a rider." She smiles up at Tasena now, holding the white knot out to her. "Would you care to have the chance, Tasena?" Meanwhile, Liareth continues watching, very still as she observes this all playing out.

With the weather rumbling above them, Merakh's laissez-faire attitude disappears, and she casts a gaze at the heavens. "I'm particular about who scatches my itchy spots," she murmers, trying to calculate how long she has before the rain starts. "But for now, there's a whole plate of food in there that I have to get to before that grows any darker. Ma'am, miss, apprentice, do excuse me, please." Though there's a grin and a pert nod to Liareth at that whuffle, there's a bigger smile for Tasena's chance, and for Kyara, an odd respect that mingles with a newtimer's unease of female riders, even potential ones. "Good day." With that said, she makes her way back into the Living Cavern.

Tasena can't help but grin at Marakh's words, though it's Kyara's that grab her attention a moment later. "Wait, seriously?" she asks, quickly looking to the dragon who has gone about righting herself by now. She absently starts wiping her hands on her handkerchief while contemplating. It doesn't take long, though. There's a sudden grin before she nods once to the rider. "Sure, I'll try anything once."

Well, that seems to settle things for Liareth, who sends a pointed bit of a croon down at Tasena for her answer before pressing her nose into her rider's stomach. "Yes, love, thank you; I agree completely," Kyara answers an unheard commentary with a bit of a grunt as Liareth makes her stutter back a step, and she rubs vigorously at the green muzzle before her lifemate pads away a bit and then wings off. "Brat," the greenrider murmurs fondly before grinning at Tasena. "Good to hear. Lia…she's a good judge of character. She wanted to watch you for a bit. Listen to you. Help me make up my mind about you. Candidacy won't be easy, mind you…but well worth it, no matter the outcome. Follow me," she says, handing the knot over to the woman and gesturing back through the entrance to the living cavern. "I'll show you where you get to live now, before the sky opens up on us."

Add a New Comment