Seven spindles brush the clouds -- quite literally -- overhead, a jagged, spired cotillion grey-stoned majesty. The bowl from here is expansively large, extending a full half mile in both directions, and although sometimes a bit of a stretch, most of the hubs of activity can be easily observed. Hard-packed ground shows the common pathways, all of them meandering about the craggy bunch of boulders that form a centerpiece: carven, hand-worn and foothold-full, it gives a bit of centerpoint to the otherwise vast emptiness of the area.
To the north lie the hatching grounds and leadership weyrs, while the lows of herdbeasts mark the feeding pens to the northeast. A flurry of ever-present activity marks the living caverns to the west, and another time-traveled path the ground weyrs just adjacent to the southwest. Southeast, a glint of blue shows the lake, glittering and cold.
It is a winter before dawn. The clouds hover close and quiet in the pre-dawn dim, the still air cold with the chill of winter but damp with a hint of snow.
Clinging to footholds in the boulder-mound are eighteen firelizards.
Green Kelitath, green Zoryanth, blue Lainnoth, brown Revnath, brown Sevareth, bronze Telynth, green Miravith, gold Chayath, green Fiareth, bronze Rixesith, bronze Jhanath, bronze Farleth, brown Uillauth, and bronze Bralath are here.
Keris is here.
Linora walks in.
Keris lugs a couple of sacks across the bowl, all filled with precious charts that are /not/ supposed to go wet from the snow on the ground. Starcrafter looks worried, and he hurries towards the blue dragon waiting patiently for them. "H'llo, F'ish! Linora, are you coming?" Poor mentee.
Linora hurries out after Keris, rather heavily laden herself--a pack over each shoulder and a well-wrapped bundle of hides in her arms. "Coming!" Oh, /please/ don't leave without her. It'll take /hours/, maybe days, to find another rider with enough free time to bring her home. And it's cold! In a few moments she too has reached the waiting dragon, and she stands a little uncertainly, trying not to shiver. Since she can't quite manage climbing onto the dragon's neck loaded down like this.
Keris hands his luggage to F'ish as the rider offers to tie it all the Arielth's straps, and turns around to reach for Linora's. "You cold?" he asks, rather pointlessly, seeing how she's shivering. "Ah, don't worry, we'll be back at Gar soon enough. I must admit I'm looking forward to the weather as well," he admits, much to F'ish's amusement. Silly crafters.
Linora nods quickly, obediently handing over the bundles. "A little," she admits, pulling her jacket a little more tightly around herself as soon as her hands are free. But she grins broadly at her mentor's admission... even though she has more than one reason for being eager to return to the Hall. "I never wanna spend another winter up here again," she says fervently, scrambling up and buckling herself in securely.
Keris grimaces as he swings himself up behind Linora, groping for the straps. Ee, flying. "Me neither - don't get why all those apprentices keep agreeing to stand for 'Reaches clutches." Of course, a dragon probably makes up for the cold weather... "Off we go, then!" declares F'ish, once he's made sure his passengers are securely fastened. And soon, the blue dragon winks between.
Where the hills of Gar meet the softer plains of the valley, rock slowly turns to gravel, dust and earth, leaving a large natural courtyard tucked against the walls of the hall. A low wall marks a boundary for the courtyard, rock and earth's battle for domination kept outside of it. Strong doors set in the hill wall, provide a new way to get into the hall, long windows letting light into the otherwise quite dark hall. They look out upon a grassy valley, filled with water, vineyards and herdbeast. Trails formed by the feet of human wind around rocks and trees, trailing off into the wilderness.
It is a winter before dawn. The sky seems dark, and no stars can be seen.
Stretched out on the low wall are Rygel and Juperon.
Linora spends the entire journey--short though it is--pondering that statement, and in fact hardly notices the hop Between at all. Would /she/ say no if a dragon came looking for her? Then suddenly the air is warmer, and a bit less dark, and if she tries really hard, Lin can just make out the familiar outline of the Hall... and suddenly she feels they can't land soon enough.
Keris doesn't even bother ponder the question he just raised, seeing as he's too old anyway, and besides, who in their right mind would want to leave the StarCraft?! A sin. A crime. "Here we are. I hope you may have a most pleasant day, and live a life in peace," F'ish declares, the soppy poet that he is. And once the charts are all on the ground, the rider takes off with a sweep of his arm. "Weird man," Keris mutters, eyeing the blue dragon before it disappears. "Ah well, let's get all these things inside!"
Linora manages to keep a straight face at F'ish's declaration, but just can't stifle a giggle at Keris' comment as the dragon departs. But there's all this stuff to pick up now. "Okay," she replies quickly, ever the cooperative mentee, and shoulders her burden again. Hrm, she seems to have a bit more than before. But it wouldn't do to leave any of it in the courtyard--the precious charts that represent the coldest Turn of her life, and one she certainly has no desire to repeat.
Keris flips a grin at Linora in return, and picks up as many sacks as he can carry - how fortunate, looks like they can just manage it all. "Why don't we just begin by moving it to my room, and then we'll sort it out later? I think I accidentally packed some of mine with yours," he admits sheepishly, glancing at his mentee. Order is not his favorite thing.
"Okay." Lin's only puffing a little, really, by the time they get to the big Hall door, juggling the stuff in her arms to reach for the latch and haul it open. Even though she's generally a /little/ more organized than her mentor (hard not to be) she's long since grown accustomed to his haphazard ways.
Keris wanders casually to the StarCraft Hall.
Keris' Scene of Crime
A simple room at first sight; only containing two cots, a big and a small, a closet, a desk and a couch with a small table and a few chairs. Though when looking closer around, one might see that in here rules controlled chaos; stacks upon stacks of charts, books and undefinable hides are scattered on the desk and the floor, and the closet is locked to prevent things from coming crashing out any minute.
Glowbaskets are placed all over, making this room always bright with light. Midnight blue is on the ceiling, together with glow-in-the-dark paint dots creating an illusion of the night sky. The walls are covered with lighter blue, white dots creating a lot of constellations such as 'The Blue Dragon' and 'Love in the Sky', highlighted on black and red areas.
On the window ledge is Riiae.
You see Diane's Constellation Scroll and Keris' Private Bit Of Coded Insanity! here.
Keris is here.
Keris dumps all the charts in an unoccupied corner, motioning for Linora to do the same - if she can find room anywhere. "Ah! That was a hard time up the stairs," journeyman states, though he's not that much out of breath. It was worse when he had to climb to the StarStones twice within ten minutes. Yes, much worse.
Linora finds a rare clear spot on the floor and deposits her burden. "Star Stones are worse," she observes, sounding more relieved than anything else. "Only I never had t'carry this much up 'em at any one time." She starts rummaging through the packs on the floor, hoping to at least find the one with her clothing and her notebook. Anything else can wait.
Keris sighs dramatically and sinks into a chair. "Oh, the StarStones! I thank Faranth when I can get a lift up instead of having to climb the stairs," he admits, wiping imaginary sweat off his forehead. "Hmm, good to be back, then?" he asks, grinning as he very well knows how happy she is to be back.
Linora glances up, still kneeling on the floor, one hand still on the last pack she peeked into. "Yeah." The word by itself isn't much, but the warmth of her smile and the peculiar gleam lighting her pale eyes speak volumes. And then she's rummaging through packs again, finally hauling one out and hugging it to herself. "It was interesting. But I'm not in a hurry t'go back there or anything."
Keris chuckles and idly pushes a stack of charts away with his foot - just to make sure he won't step on it when he decides to get up again. "Hmm, I think I can restrain myself until the worst cold's over as well. Not that it's ever warm up there, but it /is/ nice to visit. 'specially the view when you fly in - it's great." He pauses, toying with the idea of getting a sketch drawn of the seven spindles. Hmmm. Or maybe a naming day gift for Riina. Erm. "Like the dragons? Kinda hard to avoid them there," he adds, mock-shuddering. Well, semi-mockingly.
Linora grins. "I like dragons fine," she replies. "Long as they're not glowy or anything." Not that it's hard to spot, now that she knows what to look for. "And... maybe a day visit. In summer. It is real pretty." Even the snow is pretty, really. Of course, the further she is from it, the prettier it seems. "So I guess I just gotta put this stuff together," she muses, pale eyes scanning the remaining bundles and packages. She means the charts, of course.
Keris shudders for /real/ this time of the thgouht of glowy dragons. Just look where that brought him. And speaking of... "Guess you don't want to return with me tomorrow, then? I have an errand to run," he says with a lopsided grin, winking at Linora. "Oh, you can do that later. We need to relax now. I think I'll find the 'Harper and get a nice mug of klah," he says with a content sigh.
Linora is so relieved by the thought of a break that she doesn't even make a face at the mention of klah, the way she usually does without even thinking about it. "Um... maybe not tomorrow," she admits a little sheepishly, the beginnings of a blush creeping up her cheeks. Even though it really looks like he's teasing, even to her, she feels funny saying 'no' to her mentor. She gets to her feet, still hugging her pack against herself. "I guess I'll go put this stuff away... I'll come back t'help you sort through this other stuff a little later on?"
Keris just grins at her uncomfortable no-saying. "Ah don't worry, I'm just picking something up... not related to you." Cerainly not. Ahem. "Let's go drink klah, then! And I'll get a hold of you when it's time to clean this up."
Linora has no doubt that Keris /will/ find her when he needs her. But she can't hide her relief that she doesn't /really/ have to go back to Reaches so soon, when she just got home. "Okay," she says immediately, her usual grin returning. And then she's backing toward the door, slipping out into the hallway with a barely audible sigh of relief as she closes the door after herself.