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 forty-six firelizards.
You see Old Auntie sit-by-the-fire, OOC NOTICE (look sign), Hobbes, Generic Sign-Up Sheet, Charcoal Drawing, Picture, White Clay Egg Pot, Demetre, Box, Tent, and George Dubya bush here.
Lis ambles aimlessly in from the Central Bowl.
Lis' oval-shaped face is filled out with a pleasant pudginess that adolescence couldn't melt away, upturned nose sitting 'tween mud-puddle brown eyes. Half-spirals of brass unwind into soft waves just above her shoulders, trimmed for practical riding purposes but long enough to satisfy her vanity. Skin fades to a honey'd alabaster, pouring over her now-smooth face and any uncovered skin.
Water water everywhere, and not a drop to drink... Rich sapphire serenity of the chilly northern oceans keeps Lis safe and snug from High Reaches' most bitter weather, the dye left to run in eye-pleasing swells and troughs of gradient. Darts and seams fit a bomber jacket to her curves, twin slits in the hem at the hip giving her needed mobility. Trousers are indecently snug but sensibly plain, dyed to match the jacket in the gentle wavlets of peternatural blue. From there, cuffs dive into the depths of navy to light's absolute absence where boots inch up to cup calves and clasp ankles. Fearsome breakers send spray and foam over the last handspans of her sleeves, fizzing out at last into alabaster gloves, and marking her a Tsunami rider from badge to bottom.
Midnight's black coils in a single loop around the blue of twightlight, flashes of celestial silver seen through night's colors - looped thrice, and be-tassled twice. Soaring through an evening sky is a garish green ribbon matching Alymath's hide, and sitting just beneath it a stray wave; this all the knot of a wingsecond of the 'Reaches.
Lis is 25 Turns, 3 months, and 17 days old.
Lis has no apparent threadscoring.
Lis grumps in at this most ungodly hour, trailing in snow from the outside and not giving a wherry-wing about how much she lets in by holding the flap open. A few old crones complain from the fire, and the usual gaggle of late-night drunken debaucherists slur intoxicated insults at her. Even her wing senses odd vibes, and refrains from its usually-enthusiastic greeting.
Reiko knocks in from the kitchens with a late-night snack, looking unusually wide awake. Night turn in the infirmary, no doubt. Seemingly oblivious to the draft, she dumps her tray onto a hearthside table with a bit of a bang and strolls over to fill a large mug with steaming mud-that probably was decent klah several hours previously.
"Don't be so /loud/. Half the weyr's sleeping, you know," Lis snaps irritably at the innocent Reiko. The other half of the weyr... well, Faranth only knows. "And why isn't there any decent klah?" she demands to know, peering into the pot with one bloodshot eye. "Who's on duty in the kitchens?"
Reiko arches a brow. "Anyone actually sleeping within earshot of the living caverns, shouldn't be." Like the drudge she'd spotted dozing in a chair in the corner of the kitchen. She looks into her mug with vague surprise, then takes a sip. "It's fine. What are you talking about?" Shells, klah is klah. Reiko could care less how long it's been cooking. She saunters back to her table and sits down, without bothering to answer Lis' final question. It's really not her problem who's on duty in the kitchens.
Lis scowls after the sauntering girl, attempting to pour herself a mug only to discover the dregs are starting to coagulate. "It's /sludge/. I wouldn't serve it to candidates, let along ranking riders. Sharding lazy imbeciles working the night shift..." The klah pot is slid expertly down the table where momentum carries it onto the lap of another sleeping drudge who yelps at the sudden hot parcel and scurries off to the kitchen with it. Away stalks the greenrider, unsatisfied and cranky - though spreading around the bad mood is beginning to help.
Reiko watches Lis over the rim of her mug, emerald eyes sparkling with amusement. Someone's cranky. A long satisfying sip - really, the stimulating effect is only increased with age - then she sets the mug down with a thump and starts in on her stew.
Lis stands darkly in the middle of the caverns, trying to summon all her looming and imposing powers. Reiko's sparkle-eyed stare is noticed, and she demands irritably - how else? - of the girl: "What're you looking at?" Surely the custom-dyed leathers in all shades of sea blue can't be calling any attention, nor her less-than-sunny demeanor.
Oh, not at all. "You." From her expression - lifted eyebrow, twisted halfsmile - Reiko apparently likes what she sees. In fact, Lis is probably the most... interesting thing she's seen in the caverns all night. She lounges back in her chair, long fingers drumming idly on the side of her mug.
Lis folds her arms across her chest, making the leather stretch and shift with the effort; it's not quite attained the butter-softness of a well-work set. "/Me/. And, do tell, why me? Is it some sort of rider fetish? Or is there another nasty rumor going around and you can't look at me without smirking or being disgusted?" queries the greenrider nastily, brows coming down over narrowed eyes.
Reiko laughs. "Why not?" She waves a lazy hand to indicate the rather-uninteresting rest of the caverns... silent people, sleeping drudges... and casually avoids both questions. "You mean to tell me you don't want to call attention to yourself?" Her eyes flicker appraisingly over the 'rider... and her leathers... before returning to her face, her smile almost taunting. Almost.
Lis shifts her weight from one foot to the other, black-booted toe tapping in annoyance. "Not anymore, I don't. I'm happily weyrmated, with no cause for complaint." About /that/, anyhow. Surveying the rest of the caverns with a slow turn of her head, she does notice that she's the most interesting thing - but won't admit to it, only issuing a soft 'hmmph'.
Reiko nods, slowly. "If you say so," she says mildly, returning to her stew. "Of course, those leathers say otherwise..." By now, the shaken drudge has returned with a fresh pot, skulking over to the hearth to hang it over the coals, one wary eye on Lis, ready to bolt at the first sign of danger.
"What? What about my leathers? I got them dyed to match my badge," Lis explains, holding out the sleeves before turning her shoulder to indicate the looping, tassled and wave-crested tangle that indicates her Tsunami Wingleader's right-hand woman. "These are rather conservative," she comments snootily, leading to the obvious follow-up question: what's /flamboyant/?
Reiko mmmms noncommittally, her expression dubious. "And they did a lovely job... I suppose I haven't been at the Weyr long enough to actually have seen anything that you might consider... less-than-conservative." A twisted smile curls the corners of her mouth, and she gets up to refill her mug. Let's mix the fresh with the mud... perfect.
Lis emits a grudging 'Thanks' at Reiko's compliment, finally taking a seat outside of companionable distance from her girl - or anyone, for that matter. "Really? Are you sure you've been in the weyr for more than a few minutes?" asks the rider sarcastically - though the hyperbole may not be so far off the mark, with the sort of sleaze that lurks in more places than the underbelly of weyr society.
Reiko laughs again, and doesn't bother to clarify her statement. It'd likely only offend, and she /is/ trying to eat, after all. She tops off her own mug, then fills one for Lis, dropping it off on the table in front of the rider on her way back. "You're welcome." For the compliment, and for the klah. Settling back into her chair, she returns her attention to her stew.
Lis suspiciously accepts the peace offering with another skeptic peer into the contents of the mug. One slosh, two sloshes - it seems normal - and so the rider takes a long, satisfying sip. "Thanks for the klah. They should've put a new pot on anyway, by now, for the early morning rush: sweepriders, and the like." Shoulders slump in the release of some of her crankiness, but she still stares off into space, brooding over something.
Reiko shrugs lightly, resting her spoon on the rim of her bowl... a sort of 'what can you expect' gesture, born of many predawn hours spent alone in the caverns with sleeping drudges and terrible klah. Of course, /that/ drudge - the lucky one who caught the klah pot - looks pretty wide awake now. And surprisingly diligent, trotting off to the kitchen for yet another fresh pot at Lis' comment. Smirk. "You riding early sweeps today?" She breaks a large hunk of bread into manageable pieces and sops at the remaining stew, unwilling to let any go to waste.
"No. I just can't sleep." Lis' terse answer is steeped in crankiness as she's reminded of the early hour and the insomnia plaguing her. The klah mug spins between her fingered, twirled by its handle as she lets out a weary sigh - weary, but not sleepy, and that much the worse.
Reiko lifts an eyebrow. "Can't sleep?" As someone who drops almost immediately into a dead slumber and /might/ be awakened by an avalanche - but maybe not - Reiko has a hard time identifying with this problem. The last of the bread disappears, washed down by a long sip of klah. "Why not?"
"Why not? Why not?" Lis keeps her voice from rising to a hysterical pitch, letting out a sadistic chuckle instead. "Oh, take your pick: kids, grumpy holders, Threadfall - now that's always a good one - weyrmate, wingmates, lifemate... /Especially/ lifemate." The greenrider directs a baleful glance out into the bowl, where her dragon resides - or would reside, were she not cowering under the ground weyrs for shelter. "Damn fool green's been keeping me up all night." There's not to much anxiety as a sulky resentment.
Reiko laughs outright, suddenly feeling quite fortunate with her present lot, even if she's often bored senseless. "Alymath's not glowing, too?" Like all the others? The entire non-greenrider population of the Weyr's been cowering for days, dodging either raw lust or unbridled rage... or both.
Lis spears Reiko with a dagger-tipped glare for even mentioning the possibility. Greenriders are famous for being in denial. "Of course not. She's just still touchy about her Threadscoring. She's never been scored before, in all the six and half Turns we've ridden together." This is stated with a ring of pride in her voice; not many pairs can claim that.
Reiko ahs, nodding slowly. Of course not. "I see," she says mildly, getting up for a refill. "I'm sure it must have been traumatic." Managing to sound nonchalant about the whole Thread thing despite her holder background... easy to talk a good game tucked safely inside thick stone caves. She tops off her own mug, then extends the pot towards Lis with a questioning expression.
Lis lets an annoyed snort while she informs Reiko, "It was not /traumatic/. We're old enough to know how to handle it. Between back home, to kill the Thread, then get some numbweed and redwort wash. Alymath had to be stitched up, but Catia did such a nice job, you can barely see the scar. Of course, there /shouldn't/ have been a scar in the first place..." Depression - or at least a black mood - sets in again, and she sinks into broody silence, ignoring even the offer of klah.
Reiko shrugs. Clearly the aftermath was traumatic, whether the actual scoring was or not. But Lis hardly appears to be in a mood to debate semantics. "Because she shouldn't have been scored in the first place?" Apparently deciding she doesn't need the additional exercise of walking back and forth from table to hearth for the multitude of refills she's sure to need, Reiko brings the pot back to her table, stopping on her way back to refill Lis' mug for her. Whether she wants it or not. More klah is never a bad thing, in Reiko's opinion.
"/Exactly/," Lis admits, thunking a fist against the table for emphasis. "I mean, I know accidents happen, but I'm a /wingsecond/. They're not supposed to happen to me." Another case of the 'it's always somebody else's, it seems. Klah is downed dispassionately now, barely tasted except for scalding heat.
Reiko hms thoughtfully, lowering herself back into her chair and topping off her mug again for good measure. "Who are they supposed to happen to?" She hadn't been aware that rank and status exempted people from simple facts of life.
Lis doodles random linear shapes in the ring left by her klah mug, swirling her finger around without any real intention except to derive some distraction from it. "I dunno. People who aren't careful - who don't check their straps ever Fall - who never look over, under, behind and around themselves while their dragon's flaming - not people like /me/." There are always the slackers that get away scot free, and make everyone resentful.
Reiko mmmms again, considering that. My, what an education she's getting today - she'd had only the vaguest idea of what being a dragonrider involved. "I'm sure Pern would be a much nicer place if bad things happened only to the folks that deserved them," she remarks at length, topping off her mug again. From her expression, she wouldn't have to think too hard to come up with a handful of such deserving individuals.
"It would be, wouldn't it?" Lis sighs wistfully, inviting a sound track - but none comes, so she must keep talking. "But this is reality, and not... fantasy." Reality is ugly and mucky and unfair. The rider nudges her mug around the table, enjoying the spreading of the ring across the time-polished wood. "Why are /you/ up so early?"
"Actually, late turned into early." Reiko shrugs. "I pulled a late shift in the infirmary... so there will be a nice, alert person to wake Kariel or Elehu in the event of an actual emergency." Or in case any of the sleeping patients decide to wake up. She snorts lightly and tops off her mug again.
Lis snaps out of her slump briefly to give Reiko a sympathetic expression. "Late shift? That's no fun. I used to do that in my apprentice days - work all day, too. Hardly got any sleep, but the work took my mind of other things, namely a boy." Again, the brooding remumes; it's going to be a long day.
Reiko mms a vague agreement, regarding Lis over the rim of her mug before setting it back down on the table. "I didn't know you'd come from a craft." She tops off her mug again, even though it's far from empty. "Aren't there some sort of rules about that?" Boys, that is.
"Starcraft, actually. The Gar crafthall, down at Ista." Lis supplies the background breifly, moving on to the meat of her answer. "The only /real/ rule is 'Don't get caught'. If you're caught, the other rules apply. So it helps to know 'em, I suppose." They were just a bad bunch of apprentices, the ones she knew.
Reiko laughs. "I see." She shakes her head slowly, then pauses for another long sip of klah. "Must be awful, sneaking around." Much nicer here, despite the insanity - nobody really cares /what/ sort of trouble pleasures you.
Oh, there's a few nosybodies and moral preachers, but they're far and few between. "Actually, it was kind of exciting," Lis confesses to Reiko, an unrepentant grin flashing across her face. "There was always that sort of rush, that you might get walked in on, or seen. Or even ratted on." Interpret it as you will.
Exciting, eh? Reiko still won't be signing herself up for a craft anytime soon. But she has to acknowledge the validity of Lis' statement, nodding slowly. "I suppose." Then a slow smile curls the corners of her lips. "And did you find yourself in that sort of ... position ... often?" Surely between working and studying, there wasn't /that/ much time for... ahem.
Kaslarna arrives from deeper in the Weyr.
Gigi arrives from deeper in the Weyr.
Standing 5'8, Kaslarna seems to have reaches her final height. Pixie style brown hair frames the elven features of this girl. Her blue eyes sparkle with humour and her lips are curved in a friendly smile. Long legged and skinny, she matches her companion Gigi, the Southern Racer to perfection.
Kaslarna is dressed simply in contrasting colours. Her white shirt is plain with one padded shoulder for Pyxis to perch on. The shirt is tucked neatly into black trousers whose only decoration are a few embroidered leaves falling down her legs. Around her waist is a belt, from which hangs a belt knife and a variety of pouches. Black worn boots cover her feet, reaching up to her calves. Around her neck is a pale blue scarf, clasped by a dragon made of jade. Perched on Kaslarna's shoulder is Pyxis. Perched on Kaslarna's shoulder is Emmy.
On her shoulder a simple blue and black knot signifies her as High Reaches Weyrfolk.
Kaslarna is 20 Turns, 9 months, and 8 days old.
Lis draws herself up in her chair, scrabbling for some prestige and dignity as she informs Reiko, "For your information, my first flight was /also/ my first man. Some of the other apprentices were more daring, but not me." This girl went through her experimentation stage at this hotbed of depravity. Her sunnier expression seems to cloud over again, however, and Kaslarna is greeted merely by an apathetic glance.
Kaslarna enters quietly, stopping briefly as she sees the other occupants. "Morning." she says, inclining her head to each of them. She meanders closer, and pulls up the closest chair, glancing around to see if either of them object.
Yikes. Reiko takes another look at Lis, trying to imagine the rider as innocent apprentice... Lis is /legendary/, after all... and quite failing. After a moment, however, her customary composure returns, and she greets the new arrival with a nod.
Lis can't help but grin ruefully, however, at Reiko's brief loss of composure. "Hard to believe, isn't it? But it's true, it's true. You can ask any of my clutchmates - or Pyrene or Tyara, if you dare." Those nannies are vicious and bloodthirsty, she swears. At Kaslarna's greeting, she lets out a groan: "Morning? Oh, shells, don't let it be morning yet!"
"I think its morning anyway." Kaslarna comments with a slight grin. Then belatedly remembering her manners she introduces herself "I'm Kaslarna."
Reiko casts a sidelong glance at the entrance, and the bits of daylight flashing around the hide covering as it moves with each chilly draft. "It's morning, all right." And her klah pot is empty. Turning to Kaslarna, she introduces herself rather curtly. "Reiko." With a bit of a sigh, she gets to her feet, empty pot in tow, hopefully to exchange it for a full one. The unlucky drudge with the scalded fingertips vanishes into the kitchen at her approach. Clang, bang, the pot is exchanged for a full if not terribly fresh one, and Reiko heads back to her table. "Refill, Lis?" A questioning glance is sent to Kaslarna as well... she's willing to share her bounty. Such as it is.
"Lis," the greenrider of that name replies to Kaslarna, introducing herself as well. The empty klah mug is slid towards Reiko with a slight flick of the wrist, shading her eyes from the slices of sunlight that seem to jump into view with razor sharp edges. "Mmnf."
Kaslarna shakes her head. "Not for me thanks." She settles in her chair. "Its nice to meet you both."
With a shrug, Reiko fills Lis' mug brimming and returns to her table. More for her, if Kaslarna doesn't want any. She fills her own mug and sets the pot down with a thump before sliding back into her chair and slouching comfortably. "Been here long, Kaslarna?" Reiko hardly knows all the Weyr's inhabitants, but she thougt she'd at least seen most of them around. Emerald eyes slide over to regard the woman, flickering appraisingly over her before returning to focus on the klah.
Lis idly realizes she's on her third, if not fourth cup of klah; it surely can't be good for her insomnia. This mug is nursed moreso than its predecessors, a small sip taken every so often. "Nice to meet you. I guess." She doesn't mean anything mean by it - she's just tired and cranky and possibly proddy.
Oh, no. Not proddy.
"It would be about two, three Turns now." Kaslarna replies "I came just before a Hatching, not the most recent, but the one before that." Then she blinks as Lis's knot registers in her mind. "Greetings to your dragon ." she says then grimaces "I seem to be forgetful this morning."
Lis is in no mood to notice anything - whether it's people she's met before, or that she's got klah dribbling unattractively from the corner of her mouth. "Oh? /Her/. I suppose /she's/ enjoying the morning, at least," mutters the greenrider darkly.
Pity poor Reiko if klah has any effect on her... with the amount she consumes she'd never sleep at all. Witnessed by the second /pot/ on the table in front of her. Lis' comment gets a wry halfsmile. "Likes the snow, does she?" Most of the dragons do, she's noticed.
Kaslarna tries to hide a smile at the mental images of dragons playing in the snow. One of the fire lizards on her shoulder gives a quiet cheep, and Kaslarna whispers quietly to it. The next cheep is slightly disapointed.
"She prefers the sun, if she can get it. Especially in Ista. I wouldn't believe she'd hatched in High Reaches, if I weren't there when she did," Lis observes in a faintly rambling tone, a ghostt of an amused smile curling at her lips. "Trydanth loves it, though, so she'll play in it with him."
Kylaris arrives from deeper in the Weyr.
Kylaris nods to Lis
Kylaris is a young man, 16 turns old, with sparkling blue eyes almost hidden by an overgrown mass of dark blonde hair. He has a light build on his 5 foot 9 frame the only real feature on him is a long white scar along his right arm, which stands out against his olive skin
Kylaris stands proudly in a stout set of black boots, tan leather pants, and an oversized full length coat that seems to dwarf his body
He is awake and looks alert.
Kylaris is 16 Turns and 3 days old.
Kylaris sleepily runs his eyes, "im so tired after the trip from ista. Is there any Klah left?"
Lis peers at the newcomer with the same cloudy listnessness. "Check the pot, by the hearth," she volunteers to Kylaris, slumping further into her seat and crinkling her spine even more.
Reiko chuckles... if she hadn't actually seen dragons playing in the snow, she'd hardly believe they actually did. "Ista's lovely... I was there yesterday in fact. Seemed half the Weyr turned out for P'rru's turnday gathering." The newcomer is eyed appraisingly, then she points to the pot on the table in front of her. "You're welcome to some of this... unless there's a fresher pot on the hearth." Since she hasn't seen hide nor hair of that drudge, he'd probably do better with her first offer.
Kylaris takes the pot and pours himself a cup, "If this doesnt wake me im tempted to go back to bed" looking around for a seat he spots the one G'deon mended last night........ and avoids it. instead he takes a seat by the heart.
Kaslarna nods a greeting to the newcomer, "I'm Kaslarna." she introduces herself.
Kylaris hops to his feet gives a quick bow, then seats himself again.
"Go back to bed!" Lis suggests, voice sloppy, slurred and nasal from her own lack of sleep. "Too scorched early to be running about if you're tired." Her own klah mug is eyed with some disgust, as if it were responsible for her being up.
"P'rru had a Turnday? Good for him," Lis finishes, nearly forgetting that.
Kylaris questions "How was P'rru's turnday?, i met him last night with Hiliza down in the bowl"
Reiko eyes Lis, her eyes twinkling with amusement. "Indeed he did... and Dsalth as well." She doesn't bother introducing herself to the young man who apparently has no name, in spite of his polite bow to Kaslarna, smoothly answering his question. "How could it be anything but lovely? Sunshine, good food, plenty of wine..." Her voice trails off, a vague smile lighting her face as she remembers.
Kylaris realizes he's just barged into a room without introducing himself, "Sorry for the rude interuption, i a Kylaris previously of Ista but now i reside here in High reaches"
From her quiet place on the floor. Kaslarna canine Gigi, stands up and streches. "No Gigi." Kaslarna says in a firm tone but the canine pays no attention. Kaslarna gives an apologetic smile. "Gigi seems to want out so I'd better give her a walk out in the bowl. Nice to meet you all." A plantive whine emerges from the canines throat, to be answered with "I'm coming." With a nod, Kaslarna rises, and makes her way out to the bowl.
Kaslarna exchanges the protection of stone for the bowl outside.
Gigi exchanges the protection of stone for the bowl outside.
Lis goes home.
Reiko idly watches Lis leave, then tops off her mug again. "Well met, Kylaris," she responds automatically. "I'm Reiko.... formerly of Nabol." Make something of it if you want. She lounges idly back in her chair and takes a long sip of klah.
Kylaris leans back and enjoys the heat from the hearth, "So how long have you lived in high reaches?"
Reiko shrugs. "About half a Turn, I'd say." More or less. It all sort of runs together.
Kylaris smiles "i only got here yesterday after....." suddenly his face dims slightly and he tails off.
Kylaris stands quickly, his eyes red with tears and runs off in the direction of the dorms