Mellow> Calley crunches inside on snowy boots, her thin hands holding together the heavy coat slung 'round her shoulders. After a moment of blinking adjustment to the light change, she slips free of the coat, hangs it over her arm, and starts prowling an exploration of the cavern.

Living Caverns
The rough-hewn majesty of this cavern far outpaces any delight in the multitudes of curves that form its enclosure. The glabrous grey granite is shot through with translucent obsidian, lending subtly-veined sparkle to the walls and the foot-trodden smoothness of the floor that shows centuries-old placements of the scarred trestle tables; carven hollows give homes for the glow baskets and the coat-pegs that line the walls. No mosaics, no painting, no tiles: just a few well-done tapestries mark the pathway that lead to the kitchen to the north and the inner caverns to the west, and frame the nighthearth's stew and snacks, while a heavier strip of oiled canvas shields the unwary from the wind in the bowl.
Scattered about in various perches and niches are fifty firelizards.
You see OOC NOTICE (look sign), White Clay Egg Pot, Thief, and Slink here.
Calley is here.

Linora stumbles into the caverns with the bleary expression of one who has not slept yet, making her unfailing way 'mid tables and chairs to the hearth more by rote than by actually looking where she's going. With somewhat automatic movements, she fills a large bowl from the simmering pot of porridge, spoons on a positively frightful amount of sweetener, and makes her way to a hearthside table.

Calley is busily poking her nose into the cavern's nooks and crannies, from sniffing the nighthearth stewpot to touching a chary hand to the shining walls. As Linora passes her, she gives the other young woman a close scrutiny and then returns to picking at that bright obsidian.

A head of loose black curls balances slightly forward on this plain-faced girl's neck, which slopes long and narrow into a body to match, right down to her skinny hands and shanks. Her high, clear soprano's accent marks her as a native Fortian, and her eyes, a dark brown that seems even deeper against her tawny skin, reflect the same sharp concentration that guides her motions with maturing assurance.
Dull goldenrod cables wrap her in the woolen warmth of far-and-away seacrafter patterns: a man's castoff sweater that's bulky in the neck, sleeves, and waist. Her shirt's beige linen peeks from collar and cuffs; below, her skirt drops heavy panels to matching dark shoes that show their long use in shininess at toe and ankle.
She is awake and looks alert.
Calley is 20 Turns old.

After a few bites, Linora seems somewhat restored, sitting back to glance around the caverns. This time of day there aren't usually many about, so she's a bit surprised to spot a stranger. She offers a cheerful (if tired) smile, hauling herself out of her chair to find some juice. "Hey," she adds in spoken greeting, watching the stranger curiously as she pours herself a large mug of redfruit juice. "Never seen caverns before?" It might seem a rude question, but there's no mistaking the teasing gleam in her pale eyes.

"Not shiny ones," is Calley's equally direct answer. Slanting a long look over her shoulder at the blonde, she lets a gleam of her own suggest evaluation and amusement together. "I'm from Fort Weyr. Our caverns are dull affairs -- the walls, anyway, not what goes on inside them."

Linora grins. "Oh... I only been t'Ista Weyr, but I wasn't payin' much attention t'the walls," she admits. "I only been here a couple sevendays anyhow, an' most of it either freezin' on the Star Stones or bent over charts in the craft area." This doesn't seem to cause her any particular concern, however. "StarCraft," she adds, in case the colors are unfamiliar to the stranger. "I'm Linora." She makes her way back to her table without any indication that she noticed the appraising look and settles back into her chair. "Whatcha doin' here?" she asks with interest if not tact.

Osric walks in from the Central Bowl.

Calley turns her back on the walls, obsidian and all, and idly trails Linora back to the table. "Ista? That's far; never been there." Her tone's light, not giving much away but polite interest. "--'M looking to craft, myself, actually. Bakers." She pats a pocket of the coat slung heavy and dark over her arm. "Got a letter of introduction and everything."

Osric comes in, a long, dark blue scarf wrapped around his face, nearly obscuring it from sight, a small blue firelizard nestled int he crook of his arm.

Linora nods. "Well, I guess it kinda is... I dunno really. on accounta we came adragonback." Nothing's too awfully far away for dragonkind, after all. "I never lived anyplace else but Ista Island before. It's really cold up here." Her smile turns a little sheepish--she never minds stating the obvious, but she's aware she's not adapting very well to the change in climate. She spoons a bit more porridge into her mouth, then abruptly seems to remember the conversation and swallows hastily. "The food's good here, so I guess bakers is a good craft." A bright grin returns to light her pale eyes. "I don't cook so good myself," she admits. Her full attention now on her tablemate, she doesn't notice Osric's silent entrance.

Osric he gives a small bow to each of the woman in the room, then shifts his firelizard to his shoulder so he may remove the eveloping scarf from his face before he drowns in wool.

Calley, standing at Linora's table, lifts her head and a brief smile to Osric for his greeting, and then she's back to considering the senior apprentice before her. "Dragons, of course," she murmurs, as if reminded. More briskly: "Baking's a good craft, surely, and if I'm accepted here, I'll get to see how well /I/ cook, eh? In the meantime ... mind if I join you? I, well, don't really know what else I should be doing until someone finds me, and you've been kind enough to talk to me...."

Osric crosses to the hearth and pours himself a large mug of steaming klah, the then turns and seats himself at a table not too far from the hearth, and proceeds to remove his wool lined gloves after taking a deep drink of the hot liquid.

From Osric's shoulder, Kinley chitters as if he's having a conversation with Osric, and minces back and forth along his shoulder, obviously trying to get something.

Linora flashes the girl a bright grin and nods emphatically. "Sure. It's nice t'have someone t'talk to. I mean, there's my mentor, but all he ever wants to talk about is charts." Imagine that. "Which is okay, and everything -- I mean, it's my specialty and stuff -- but he does kinda go on and on." She might be blushing a little, realizing the implied criticism, but it's hard to tell in this light. And abruptly, she seems to realize she's babbling, and she shuts her mouth with a sheepish grin. "Sorry," she says quickly. "I kinda talk too much sometimes and stuff." Blink. "What'd you say your name was?" Maybe she was talking so much she missed it. Oops.

Osric releases Kinley, who launches into the air.

A delighted (and, yes, amused again) grin briefly stretches the Fortian's mouth, and then politely she introduces herself: "Calley. I hadn't said it, actually. Forgive my manners." Sliding into a seat across from Linora, she continues, "Charts? Star charts? I can't say that I've ever seen one of those before. Are they -- are they as good as looking up at the sky yourself?"

Kinley glides around the room gracefully and full of self importance, stopping occasionally to chitter to the other flits lining the shelves and niches of the room.

Zilla suddenly disappears ::between::!

Linora brightens further at the interest in her specialty, immediately forgiving Calley for any potential lapse in manners. "Well... it's kinda different. Warmer than lookin' at the real stars--least here!--but it kinda takes some practice t'know what you're lookin' at." She stirs her cooling porridge absently. "Real stars are prettier. I could show you sometime, ifya really wanted t'see... I think the baker area's kinda nearby the Starcraft area. Just upstairs there." And her free hand waves to indicate the shadowy stairs she'd come stumbling down not too long before. The chittering distracts her momentarily, and she cranes her neck to find the little noisemaker in the rafters, a bright smile lighting her eyes when she finally returns her attention to her breakfast.

Kinley smells the porridge, and, being the hungry, young flit that he is, any food is better than no food at all, and while Osric isn't minding him, Kinley drops down from the rafters and lands next to Linora's ceral bowl, proceeding to dip his little forepaw into it and take a bite.

Calley's shoulders have hunched against the onslaught of winged beasties: an automatic reaction, not a distasteful one, from her still-pleasant expression. "Oh, I'd like that," she exclaims, and her face brightens further. "New things -- say. You've got a guest, Linora."

Kalithja arrives from deeper in the Weyr.

Qwizcee Chirps happily to see his human has returned for him and gracefully flys down to greet her

Kalithja calls to Qwizcee, who flies over and lands on her shoulder.

Kalithja exchanges the protection of stone for the bowl outside.

Linora starts with surprise at the unexpected guest, a little shriek escaping her as she pushes her bowl (and the little firelizard with it, unless he's quick) away from her. It takes a minute or two for her to recover, and even realize what's just happened, then she lets out a nervous little giggle. "Huh. Kinda rude," she says, the grin returning slowly. "Um... anyhow--" gee, why isn't she hungry anymore?-- "c'mon up anytime, ifya wanna see 'em. Ifya don't mind the cold, maybe you can come up t'the Star Stones some clear night, an' see the real things. Wear somethin' really warm, though," she adds by way of caution. Well, of course the little Istan thinks it's colder than Between up there.

Osric turns when he hears someone cry out, and is horrifed to see his flit helping himself to someone elses breakfast. Jumping from his chair, Osric half runs to the table that Kinley has recently invaded, neatly dodging chairs and other tables. "Kinley!"

Calley jumps at the bowl's push, making sure that it doesn't slop /her/ way (nor the fire-lizard with it, one might hope), and pulls her coat up into her lap as if for another barrier. "Thanks, I'll look forward to it. I should be warm enough with what I've packed," she answers, distracted. "Bags waiting at home, should I be accepted here... Is the little blue yours, then?" she then wants to know of Osric. "He must've been powerfully hungry to go after our food like that."

Kinley sqwuaks when he sees Osric coming, and jumps to the rafters, knowing in his devious little mind that he is in trouble.

Sinead arrives from deeper in the Weyr.

Sinead trundels in, a bag of laundry slung over her bag, a smile on her face. "Hello," she says in a spritley voice.

Osric hangs his head, and nods to Calley. "Unfortuneatly yes. And he only thinks he's starving. "One pointed glare to the flit, then he turns to Linora, giving Sinead a half wave before he does so. "I am so sorry miss, would you like me to get you another bowl?"

Calley, past the fire-lizard kerfuffle, quietly tells Sinead, "Good morning. Looks like you picked a fine time to join us, eh?"

Kinley chitters forlornly and hunkers down on the rafter, his eyes whirling quickly.

Linora blinks again at the man's voice, turning surprised eyes on him. "K-Kinley?" she repeats stupidly, pale eyes trailing to the rafters again. Thankfully, Calley seems to be handling the situation a good bit better than Linora herself. "Um... no thanks," she says to the offer. "I was kinda almost done anyhow." Scrubbing her palms on her skirt, she turns back to her tablemate, smile beginning to return. "Sounds great," she says sincerely. "I don't think we're due any night storms for the next couple days or so, but y'never know around here," she adds, already distracted again by a third voice. "Hey," she greets the white-knotted stranger before just shutting up and letting Calley talk for a change.

Sinead chuckles slightly as she sets down the bag and moves over to the table of refreshments, getting herself a mug of klah. "Apparently so," she states. "Our dear headwoman has decided that she's not going to give us a chance to settle in, set us straight to our chores," this is given with a grin. "Hullo, I'm Ead," this is offered to Linora and Calley, not sure if they've met before. "Former guard recruit, current candidate for the upcoming clutch."

Osric srubs his hands through his hair in frustration and walks a few feet away so that he's under the beam where Kinley has taken cover. "Kinley, come down here right now!" He says in a muted, controlled voice.

Kinley chitters and minces along the beam, obviously not willing to come down.

"There's a clutch on the sands?" Calley asks blankly, glancing first at Linora and then at Sinead, who probably ought to know, after all, for confirmation. "Must've missed that, back home." She shakes her head, shakes it away, and offers up a genuine smile. "Congratulations on your Search, Ead. I'm Calley of Fort Weyr, Linora's latest guest to the wonders of the stars." Her smile tips shyly friendly at the other young woman with that.

Sinead chuckles as she watches the disobediant firelizard. "Try keeping a treat with you, maybe he'll come when you ask." The teen makes her way to her seat and mending before nodding Calley. "A pleasure to meet you Calley, and thank you. It's a rather interesting clutch, lots of pink eggs," far too many pink eggs in her opinion.

There can never be too many pink eggs!

Of course there can be.

Osric blinks in confusion at Sinead, then shakes his head at his own stupidity. Reaching into his belt pouch, Osric withdraws a piece of enticing meatroll. He extends his arm, the meatroll on his hand. "Oh Kinley, come cute little troublemaker..."

Calley says noncommittally, "Pink's nice, as long as it's only the eggs. They go away at a certain point, after all, right?"

Valen blinks in from ::between::!

Kinley chitters a little bit in nervousness, then drops down to his friend's arm, grabbing the meat as he does so.

Khena treks in from the Central Bowl.

Sinead chuckles softly. "Pink's not too bad, it's just there's far too much of it, though there are a few eggs there that I do like," and with that she offers a sharp trill and a blue flies to her shoulder. "Hullo Khena, dear, how are you doing?" Enquires the guard/candie.

Linora nods emphatically at the mention of the Clutch. "I been down the Sands t'peek once or twice, mostly on accounta it's so warm and stuff there," she admits with a little grin. "They're real pretty eggs, though." As eggs go. Ead gets a bright grin--she remembers her candidate friends from a previous Search at Ista--but the conversation has moved on while she was daydreaming about the nice warm Sands, so she just sips at her juice.

Osric holds the flit firmly with his arm and returns to his seat by the fire, too embaressed to go back to the table where the people were gathering. As he's stewing in his embarassment, he feeds more meat to the young firelizard and speaks to him soothingly.

Osric smiles as he sees Khena come in and waves to her in between giving Kinley his bits of meat.

Osric calls to Kinley, who flies over and lands on his shoulder.

Calley slants a sympathetic look after Osric in his retreat and then fixes for a moment on Khena as a new face in this new place. After a moment, though, she's back to Linora and Sinead, amiably chatting. "Don't recall seeing very many pink eggs on Fort's sands, but then, I was never much of one for that. About as much sensitivity as a stone, y'know; dragons ignore me. I should go see these pink ones for myself, though."

Coming in from the cold, Khena pulls off her thick gloves stuffing them in pockets as she weaves her way through tables and chairs. "Hello, Ead..." she says, pausing a moment as she spots the knot on the (former) guard's shoulder, "congratulations." A smile is tossed toward Osric as she passes him, then goes to pour a mug of klah. "So you're a Candidate now, eh?" she tells Sinead, a teasing smile playing on her lips as she turns toward her.

Pyrene wanders distractedly in from the Central Bowl.

Osric strokes the upset flit until his eyes return to their normal color, and makes soothing noises. "I'm sorry I yelled at you..calm down.."

Sinead listens to the conversation before adding her own bit. "Oh, the eggs are quite lovely though, rather pink, but lovely," this is spoken just as Pyrene enters the living caverns. "Thank you Khena dear," she offers grinning before waving towards Pyrene.

Kalithja arrives from deeper in the Weyr.

Kalithja releases Qwizcee, who launches into the air.

Osric releases Kinley, who launches into the air.

Linora giggles at Calley's admission. "I had a couple dragons pay attention t'me," she says without boasting, then blushes a little. "A rider once, too... but she was proddy and stuff so..." Her voice trails off, and then she abruptly gets to her feet. "Anyhow... I prolly oughta get some work done on those charts 'fore it gets too late. I wanna get a little sleep 'fore it gets dark again." She gives Calley a bright, friendly smile and gathers up her dishes, blinking a little at the crowd that seems to be gathering and offering tentative little smiles of greeting to all the new faces. "Nice t'meet ya, Calley... an' good luck and stuff. With the Bakers." And with that she drops her dishes in the kitchen and disappears up the stairs.

So many tunnels, so little time; you opt to head across the cavern and up the long broad stairs into the rooms above the lower caverns. Working rooms, these, filled with busy little crafters.

Mellow> Linora opts for broad stairs that lead up to the Crafting rooms above the inner caverns.

Mellow> After a quick nod to Sinead's statement about the eggs -- and a quick, bright smile after Linora -- Calley tucks her hands into the big, heavy coat piled in her lap and falls back into her own watching game for a moment. All the new faces...