Wine And Wagers

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 twenty-nine firelizards.

G'deon quietly strides in from the Central Bowl.

Reiko is lounging in a chair, klah mug in hand, looking rather bored.

G'deon
G'deon appears at first glance to be quite calm and collected, though a mischievous gleam seems to tint his blue eyes from time to time. He has grown into a rather well built frame and stands at less than an inch under six feet. Many Turns of hard work have helped his shoulders fill out considerably, along with his arms and hands. His legs however are still the wiry limbs of his youth, which he'll never lose. Newly cut hair tops this young man's head, the short hairs glistening hazily, a sandy blond frame for a lightly tanned face accented by his calm blue eyes, clear and blue as the summer sky over High Reaches.
Grey is his shirt, like the morning fog rolling down from the mountains. Tawny, the trousers, like an old oak tree, paladin of the forest. Black are the boots, black, the belt, the deepest hour of midnight. Bronze, the buckles, silver, the knife, together an icy chorus. But be wary of that which is still concealed by more than just mere clothing. The human soul is more complex than what you picked out this morning.
Unwavering shadows intertwine with the deep dark blue of a glacier, the two cords forming a single loop. A small tail of the same black and blue hangs from the top of the knot, joined by a single tassel. Mingling with the cords is a fine ribbon of shimmering bronze, naming G'deon as a bronze senior weyrling and wingsecond of High Reaches.
G'deon is 20 Turns, 9 months, and 16 days old.

Tonalie arrives from deeper in the Weyr.

G'deon nods to Reiko as he walks in, quickly making his way to one of the long tables always supplied with some form of food. He also nods to Tonalie before piling his plate with cold cuts of meat and cheese, plus plenty of bread. "Good afternoon," he offers with a warm smile before taking a seat.

Tonalie
Ash grey eyes dominate the face of this tall and willowy girl, peeking out from beneath the wisps and tendrils of hair that curl in her face. Rosebud lips are set in a perpetual o-shape beneath a small nose that angles up pertly. When worn free, faun colored hair reaches to mid-back and shrouds the hints of curves rounding the appropriate places. Her fragile and ethereal appearance belies the strong-willed character of someone used to being in charge.
Tonalie's shoulders barely catch the material of the billowy white flax shirt she wears, the bottom edged in delicate lace and cropped a few inches above the waistband of her skirt. The deep blue of her skirt camouflages its gentle flare, a by-product of excessive amounts of material. Wherhide bootlets peek out from underneath. Perched on Tonalie's shoulder is Indigo Paintbrush.
A wide band holds Tonli'e silky hair back, a few escaping hairs curling in her face.
Tonalie is 19 Turns, 4 months, and 9 days old.

Tonalie wanders in, humming softly to herself. She snatches a sweetroll and begins nibbling. Hearing a familiar voice, she looks over her shoulder, before nodding to G'deon.

Reiko lifts an eyebrow, returning the 'rider's smile with a twisted halfsmile of her own. "Afternoon," she echoes, wondering that it's afternoon already. A quick glance at the woman as she enters, followed by a barely perceptible nod.

G'deon quickly waves a passing drudge over and whispers in her ear. The girl giggles softly and scampers off towards the kitchens. "How are you two doing today?" he then asks, attention returning to the others in the cavern.

Okiiri walks in from the Central Bowl.

Tonalie settle herself on the bench next to G'deon, the fabric of her dress brushin his arm. "Lovely, Giddie-dear," she purrs. "Been keepin' busy, yourself? I haven't seen hide-nor-hair of you in /ages/! And I've been /so/ lonely." She pushes her lower lip out in a becoming pout.

G'deon winks at Tonalie and nods. "Aye, extremely busy. It's the only way poor R'sli can keep me out of trouble I think." And he's probably quite right. "Today however is my day off... well, afternoon off," he continues, just as the drudge returns with a skin and a tray of glasses. G'deon peers at the markings on the skin and nods. "Good, thanks," he tells the woman who scampers back to the kitchens. "Tillek red anyone?" he asks while pouring himself a glass.

The second eyebrow joins the first, disappearing under Reiko's thick fringe of bangs. She hardly dares insert herself in any way between the 'rider and his... friend. But she would like some wine. "Sounds lovely." She slips out of her chair and steps closer.

Tonalie smiles softly and nods, lower lip caught between her teeth as she waits for G'deon to do the honors.

G'deon grins at Reiko and quickly pours another glass of the wine before setting it down in front of the woman, then at Tonalie's added agreement, pours another. His eyes spot Okiiri and he lifts the wine skin, gesturing to the young man to ask whether he'd also like a glass.

Tonalie murmers her thanks, idly twirling the stem on the glass between her fingers.

Reiko lifts the offered glass quickly, graceful fingers curling about the stem, and samples the wine with an appreciative Mmmmm. "My thanks," she says, still standing beside the table and looking down at the 'rider. "I'm Reiko, by the way. I don't believe we've met?" Including the woman in her introduction, of course. A glance over her shoulder following the direction of his gesture, and she nods at the other as well.

G'deon holds out a hand towards Reiko. "G'deon, Nylanth's rider. Pleased to meet you, Reiko. Have you met Tonalie yet?" he asks, gesturing to the woman beside him, "or Okiiri over there?" He begins assembling something that looks like a sandwich.

Tonalie nods politely, eyeing the two thoughtfully. She sips at the wine before choking and sputtering. "B...burns!" she gasps, totally unused to anything stronger than fruit juice.

Okiiri exchanges the protection of stone for the bowl outside.

G'deon peers over at Tonalie, a curious look on his face. "Well, I know it's not Benden, but it's not that bad is it?... Are you alright, Tonli?" he then asks, food forgotten for the moment. He takes a testing sip of the brew himself and shrugs. "Certainly not one of Tillek's best either though..."

Reiko accepts the offered hand with a curl of her lips that's almost a smile. "Well met," she says formally, before glancing at Tonalie. "I haven't. Pleased to meet you, as well." Eyebrow lifts at the girl's sputtering. She'd found the wine quite acceptable, so the reaction is unexpected.

Tonalie waves her hands slighty, trying to draw breath in, her cheeks flushed and eyes watering. "no...no...jus'...never had anything...quite so.../strong/!" The last word is gasped out, and she collapses against G'deon weakly, her chest still falling and rising in deep breaths.

Reiko smirks a bit, taking this as her cue to make herself a bit more... scarce. She takes her glass to a table nearer the hearth and settles in to relax a bit.

Nalahni arrives from deeper in the Weyr.

Nalahni
Large expressive eyes, framed by long dark lashes, are a deep rich brown, so dark that they appear almost black at times. The eyes betray all emotion: at times they will dance with laughter or mischief, other times they will shine brightly with tears, and sometimes they peer about with worry or apprehension. The girl's short height and slender underweight body, along with her timid, quiet personality, make her seem almost fragile. Her skin is bronze, tanned by Rukbat's gentle rays. When she smiles, her whole face brightens and dimples appear. Her waist-length hair is swept back into a low runnertail and held in place with a ribbon. The dark brown locks flow down her back in loose, gentle waves.
A dark blue tunic reaches just short of her knees and is secured to the slender waist with a blue sash, flattering the new curves of the young figure. The neckline is cut in a V and is embroidered with silver thread. The long sleeves reach the slender wrists and the cuffs are also outlined with silver thread. Dark blue trousers protect the long legs from wind rain or snow. Peeking under the pants legs are a pair of dark rbrown wherhide boots.
Nalahni is 13 Turns, 7 months, and 20 days old.

G'deon blinks at Tonalie for a moment, then grins. "Strong? Well, it's certainly not juice, but it's not exactly strong." He tries to get the attention of a drudge and asks for water, which is quickly delivered. "Here, drink some of this. Sorry about all that..."

Tonalie sips the water, washing the stinging sensation out of her throat. Sitting up slightly, she wipes the tears from her eyes, and mutters "Jus' not used to it" in a rather sullen tone. Oh, /she's/ not embarressed. Not at all.

Reiko quietly sips her klah, eyes politely averted from the scene across the room. Not that she's uncomfortable, mind you, but she knows when a third person is... unwelcome? From the corner of her eye, she notices another person enter, and she greets the young girl with a nod.

Nalahni gives a shy smile to the people gathered in the living caverns. Heading to the hearth she pours herself a cup of klah and sits down at an unoccupied place.

G'deon smiles at Tonalie and resumes assembling a meal of some sort. "I guess it's a developed taste, though I don't usually have problems with wine," he says casually before taking a bite from his rather lop sided sandwich. "Now cider on the other hand has to be just right, and some of those stronger drinks... no thank you." He finally notices as Reiko walks to the other side of the cavern. He blinks once, then glances at the glass left behind. "Hmm... maybe I'm the only one who likes the stuff after all," he mumbles.

Tonalie pouts slightly, her /encounter/ with the wine leaving her rather out of sorts. She grabs G'deon's sandwich and takes a bite out of it herself, before plopping it down in front of it's /original/ owner. She props her head in her hand and faces away from G'deon, eyeing the room as she chews.

Ashtyn arrives from deeper in the Weyr.

Ashtyn:steps in slowly, looking around to be sure he isn't interrupting anything.

Tatia slips in from the Central Bowl.

Reiko looks over at Nalahni from her seat near the hearth, one thin eyebrow lifted as she sizes up the younger girl. At length she speaks. "Afternoon." Well, Reiko isn't much of a one for conversation, apparently. But she dislikes being rude.

Tatia
Deep green is lit with a fire that smolders in the depths of Tatia's eyes, flaring now and then into flames. The intesity of her gaze is eased by the faint fleck of gold that mars the iris of her right eye, catching the light at odd moments. Further paradoxes twine themselves through the 'rider's appearance as a pale complexion smooths over a heart-shaped face, offering a stark contrast to the deep, nearly auburn red of hair that hangs straight and smooth to a spot just above the small of her back. On good days, that is. On bad, it flies in unmanageable tangles, and the 'rider has taken to forcing it into a thick plait in the effort to keep it under control. Both her nose and lips tend to be a little on the thin side - she'd call them 'delicate' - but she manages to hide this fact most of the time with either a bright smile or a withering glare. Her stature forces her to look up to most, refusing to give her the height she might want at times, but her frame is smoothly muscled, testimony to the constant activity life with Vespurath demands. Her movements have begun to hold a hint of the unconscious grace of someone who's nearly always moving.
Deep royal blue bruises the fabric of Tatia's shirt, which hangs from her frame carelessly. Tiny buttons hold the practical fabric in place at the neckline, and the sleeves taper to her wrist, ending in a cuff that keeps them safely out of the way when working or allows them to be shoved up to her elbows. The hemline is tucked neatly into black trousers that are nothing if not practical. Sturdy and cleanly cut, they already bear the stains resulting from a Junior Weyrling's hard labor. A belt of the same black is fastened 'round her waste, and the trousers end just soon enough to reveal a rather new, though already worn, pair of boots, barely noticeable as their black fades into the rest of the ensemble.
Cords dance together, one blue, one black, twining in a single loop as each stuggles for dominance. The opposing colors are threaded together with one of deepest, sage-splattered green, a ribbon that proclaims proudly that Tatia is a 'Reaches Senior Weyrling, a greenrider.
Tatia is 18 Turns, 6 months, and 13 days old.

Ashtyn
Ashtyn appears to be a youth untouched by the evils of the world. His skin is a golden tan, although smooth and almost flawless. His exposed arms are muscular, indicating a boy who has worked on them. His eyes are a boyish sky blue and seem to smile innocently. His hair is the color of corn and appears to be constantly windblown, even though it is always kept short. He smiles out of small lips at you.
His clothes seem to have seen far more travels than the boy wearing them. His tunic is tattered and fits loosely by a drawstring. His pants are of a patched and worn weyrhide. On his feet are sandals which appear to be a tad too small. All his clothes smell of sea salt, although they appear to be quite clean for all their roughness.
Ashtyn wears the knot of a High Reaches Messenger
Ashtyn is 16 Turns and 10 months old.

R'ave skulks broodily in from the Central Bowl.

R'ave
Flaming. Tangerine verdure seems to spread in a brushfire 'cross the boy's head, shorn tresses shimmering with marigold-lightened spikes of orange. A few unevenly layered thorns of chrome-bright fire-strands curl over the brink of his hairline - but his hair's length is gone. Brought out by his sizzling locks, lavender-burgundy irises --shot through with liquid cyan-- are singed, burnished, and opulently livid. Alabaster smoothes an unruddied complexion, health evident in the pale limning of his resiliently angled face; feminine cheekbones swirl to a wide jawbone and a thin, vaguely asymmetrical mouth. He scarcely manages to peak over five and a half feet in height, dimensions slight and slim -- carved with compact, etched lines of corded, wiry muscle. A little ball of muscle he may be, his lean body conceals it well, lank limbs sprawling, entire aura that of casual objectivity.
Uniform-geared: a royal blue shirt of no-nonsense fabric clings warmly to his arms and torso, navy collar a trendily folded v-contour. Long sleeves end in neat cuffs at his wrists, and as neat is the doubling of the hem over a suede-black belt. Cotton pants are uncomplicated and constrictive, taut from where they cling to his hips to his very upper thighs, where excessed of denim-like material spreads outward. The faded gloss of black boots are now scarred and dusty, and the loose creases of slightly overlong pants gathering 'round the worn heels. Coated for winter's harshest weather, his ignoble, chunky pink pea-coat clashes with his uniform, as do his winterized team of accessories: electric pink earmuffs, llama-wool socks, gloves, and a frilly-ended scarf.
A rejuvanated knot, now the minibronzer's rank is Senior Weyrling; dual twisted cords twine; an ebon length coiled with another strand of navy, forming a single loop. There within spirals a ribbon of red-veiled bronze, though streaks of faded material hint at silver.
R'ave is 18 Turns, 6 months, and 3 days old.

G'deon seems a bit out of it suddenly as he decides to just lean back, wine glass held gingerly in one hand. He raises the other to wave as more people walk in, but other than that he just stretches his legs out under the table.

Nalahni looks up, a bit surprised. The young girl really didn't expect anyone to greet her. Smiling timidly, she waves a hand to the woman who greeted her. "Afternoon." She echoes, then lapses inoto silence. It's not that she doesn't /want/ to converse, she's just shy.

Tatia shuffles in, scowling at the blue on her shoulder, who seems intent on making as much noise as possible. "I'm /getting/ there," she snaps, eyes turning toward her shoulder before flying toward the kitchens. "Shush." Hyde responds with a loud, long creel that's enough to make the greenrider wincem raising one hand to tug at her ear.

Tonalie finishes the mouthful, and reaches behind her to grab the sandwich for a second bite, which she promptly takes before returning the quickly disappearing sandwich to G'deon's plate. Hmph.

Ashtyn steps into the shadows that lead back into the Weyr.

Reiko might have continued to address the shy girl, but is distracted by the creeling of an apparently half-starved firelizard. Her head swings around to look, fringe of black hair sweeping her chin. Emerald eyes quickly size up the 'rider before politely returning to the glass in her hand.

A more and more confused look begins to creep across G'deon's face as he shifts somewhat in his chair. He takes a long sip of the wine, but for the moment... that's it.

Nalahni quietly blows on her mug of hot klah before taking a few sips. She glance s around the room, eyes settling on the firelizarsds longer than the humans.

"I /said/ I'm getting there," Tatia snaps, wincing again as this time the blue responds with a sharp squeeze of his talons, digging them into her shoulder. With a distinctly grateful expression flying across her face, she stops near a drudge and whispers a few quick words. Another creel rises, hightening in pitch. A pained expression replaces the grateful one, and with widened eyes of understanding, the drudge hurries toward the kitchen.

Tonalie herms and turns, eyeing G'deon over his shoulder. She leans backwards to lean against him, snuggling comfortably. "So, Giddie..." she murmers.

G'deon slowly sips at his wine before glancing at Tonalie. "Hmmm?" he mumbles somewhat.

Nalahni quietly sips her klah and finishes it off. Standing she quietly heads to the hearth for a refill.

Reiko shrugs and sips her wine, watching things unfold. The snuggling in the corner, the shy girl eyeing the firelizards, the distracted 'rider with the shrieking 'lizard... Interesting place. Glad she decided to settle here, indeed.

Tonalie exchanges the protection of stone for the bowl outside.

The drudge returns in record time, obviously as anxious to stop the ear-piercing screeching as Tatia is. Another grateful and the greenrider snatches the bowl from the drudge's hands, yanking out a scrap to shove it toward Hyde. Instantly, the blue quiets and his talons ease their grip on Tatia's shoulder. She sighs in obvious relief, now moving to drop into a chair near G'deon without so much as a greeting. "Shards. Irritating, aren't they?" she questions, shoving the blue from shoulder to table as he rips into a slice of meat.

G'deon laughs softly and shrugs. "Sometimes," he replies, leaning forward to lean on the table. "Young one?" he then asks, head tilted curiously to the side before he takes another sip from his wine glass.

Tatia shakes her head in obvious irritation. "No. That's the horrid thing. Had him nearly.. shards, nearly three Turns now. He just never got better. He's gotten me into trouble more times than I can count.. only thing he's ever been good for is getting Vesp nice and clean." She shrugs, shoulders lifting as she tosses another scrap toward the blue, who has finished shredding the first and just opened his mouth for another demanding creel.

Nalahni exchanges the protection of stone for the bowl outside.

Reiko drains her glass in one more long sip, then idly twirls it in her fingers, lounging back in her chair. At length she glances sidelong at the 'skin near G'deon.

G'deon slowly drains his own wine glass and slowly refills it, gesturing to Tatia and Reiko with the wineskin. "Anyone else?" he asks softly.

Tatia turns her gaze to G'deon, no longer distracted by a demanding 'lizard. The bowl is abandoned, shoved onto the table in easy reach of the blue. "What're you offering?" she questions, brow arching as if in discrimanting taste. Entirely feigned, of course - Tat couldn't tell good wine from bad if her life depended on it.

Reiko doesn't wait for a second invitation, particularly since G'deon now seems to be... unencumbered. She rises gracefully from her seat near the hearth and quickly crosses the cavern. She holds out her glass with a halfsmile for G'deon. "My thanks again." The other 'rider is given a polite nod. "Tillek red, I believe he said." Eyebrow lifts inquiringly at G'deon, as if for confirmation.

G'deon lifts the wine skin and reads the labels again. "Um... Tillek red from a couple Turns back. It's not bad, not Benden, but not bad." He lifts an empty glass towards the fellow Weyrling. "Want to try a bit?" He grins at Reiko as she comes back for some more wine, then he slowly tops off her glass. "There you go."

Tatia's eyes flicker toward Reiko, as if in the first recognition that someone else is present. "Oh, thanks," she notes, echoing the nod. "Tillek, huh? Well, I guess it can't be that bad, if you're drinking it." Doesn't she sound like she knows what she's talking about? Almost. "Not Benden, as you say, but..." A quick nods toward a drudge produces a glass, and she stretches it toward G'deon expectantly.

G'deon finishes filling both women's glasses, then settles back in his chair again, his own glass cradled in his hands. "What did you think of that Thread practice today, Tatia?" he asks casually.

"Thread practice?" Tatia questions, raising her glass to peer at the wine. If you went by her tone, it'd be easy to assume that she didn't have any idea what G'deon's talking about, though it's actually her absent-minded preoccupation speaking. Her eyes leave the glass, snapping upward to fix on G'deon. "Oh, it was wonderful." And now her eyes are glowing. "I mean, scary.. but something of a rush, eh?" Hey, she doesn't wear a wingsecond's knot.. she's not required to think responsibly. At least not at the moment. Leave that for the nexy practice.

Reiko withdraws the now-filled glass with a polite nod of thanks, and takes a seat nearby. Might just as well stay close to that wineskin, in case it's offered again. Indeed. One eyebrow lifts as the 'riders continue their conversation without interruption... or introduction... but she shrugs and lounges back in her chair to pick out what she can of matters she knows little about.

G'deon laughs softly at Tatia, then motions toward Reiko. "Tatia, have you met Reiko?" he offers, again in a rather quiet voice. Then to the other woman he adds, "Tatia here is green Vespurath's rider." He again sips at his wine, stretching back against his chair before nodding to Tatia. "Aye, quite a rush, but those paint and powder marks show just how far our wing has to go until we're ready for the real thing."

Reiko nods politely, a wry halfsmile twisting her lips slightly as she acknowledges the introduction. Better late than never, eh? But the conversation continues, and she refrains from interrupting.

Tatia shakes her head once, the movement short as she twirls her wine glass between fingers. "'Lo," she greets, forgoing the usual 'well met' in favor of conversation. Who can resist talking about Vespuath? Certainly not Tat. "I'm sure we'll get it," Tatia notes, shoulder lifting in a shrug. "I mean, it'll be a lot of work, but we've got time..." A slightly smug grin spreads across Tatia's face. "Besides, Vesp and I didn't come out nearly so bad as some..."

G'deon grins at Tatia and nods once, acknowledging her statement. "Did you see J'ker and Batmanth? Covered in paint, both of them. I might just ground both of them when the time comes. At least they can't hurt firestone." He turns back to Reiko and grins. "Say, are you new around here? I don't remember seeing you around before."

Reiko sits quietly and listens - lounges, actually - to all outward appearances completely relaxed and unconcerned, sipping her wine without expression. So when G'deon abruptly turns to her and /speaks/, she's caught a bit off guard. She blinks, sitting a bit straighter. "I am, in fact," she admits. "I arrived only a few days ago."

Tatia grins, finally lifting the glass for a sip. A brow archs in silent apreciation, and she laughs shortly. "Decided being grounded is an effective form of punishment?" she questions in amusement. Reiko gets another glance, barely curious as she falls silent. On the table, Hyde's hunger is slowing, and he's now disecting scraps with deadly precision.

G'deon just winks at Tatia. "You could say that," he replies before returning to Reiko. "Where'd you come from?"

"Nabol." Composure regained, Reiko looks over her glass at the 'rider with that same twisted smile... the one that doesn't /quite/ reach her eyes. Then her gaze flickers to the 'lizard on the table, appreciation evident for his... style.

Tatia snickers softly, hiding the sound in another sip as her eyes shift to Reiko. "Nabol, huh? How'd you end up /here/, then?" Hyde is ignored as Tatia basks in the fact that she /can/. Ignore him, that is.

Reiko shrugs lightly, fixing glittering emerald eyes on Tatia. "Wagon." Which is quite true, in a literal sense. After all, the 'rider hadn't asked /why/ she came, now had she? Not that it matters much. She's here. And she's /not/ leaving.

G'deon just grins at the two women and continues to sip at his wine, only pausing to request something from one of the drudges. "Never been to Nabol," he then comments at random.

Tatia's eyes flash in annoyance, and her lips part for a quick retort. Literal or not, the greenrider's quite sure the other knew what she /meant/. Her snapping reply is interrupted, however, by G'deon's remark - most likely a good thing - and Tatia buries her scowl in her wine.

The twisted halfsmile returns as Reiko spots the flash in the greenrider's eyes. Indeed... She glances over at G'deon. "You haven't missed much," she remarks idly, before lifting her glass for another sip.

G'deon laughs softly and shrugs. "Well, I'm sure someday I'll find out for myself. Personally though, I rather like it here at High Reaches. How about the two of you?"

Tatia slides her answer in swiftly, doing her best to cut off anything the other might have to say. Indeed. "We have snow here," she points out, shoving her glass onto the table. "Not to mention Vespurath. Makes it quite a bit nicer than Gar."

One thin eyebrow disappears under Reiko's bangs. Of course there's snow here... where's Gar again? Hm. To G'deon she drawls, "I don't know about Gar... or Vespurath... but I'm finding High Reaches to be quite suitable." Suits her fine. Another sip of her wine. If the greenrider had any point to her answer or its timing, it was lost on Reiko.

G'deon winks at Tatia. "I'll always have a place in my heart for Telgar, and even Ista, but I love High Reaches. The snow, the mountains, Nylanth..." He drains his glass and looks rather surprised to find it empty so soon...

Tafne steps lightly in from the Central Bowl.

Tafne
Darkness lingers about Taffy's solid form, her skin deep chocolate dusted with sooty gold and her lengthy tresses pooling into ebony shadows. Glistening could be applied to her hair, light catching in the silken strands until they glow in rippling waves. Matching them is delicately penned eyebrows that arch elegantly above oddly oblique eyes where pale pale hazel tapers into tawny topaz, their lightness enhanced by the the inky black lashes framing them. Wispy tendrils set off her other features; strong cheekbones and a classic look to her nose and chin. Her mouth is generous, full-lipped and expressive. Not tall, she holds an odd combination of winsome artlessness and sensual earthiness in her frame. At an initial assesment, she borders on the overweight with voluptuous curves and a womanly softness about her full bosum. Yet, beneath the lush figure is a tough frame and a core of solid strength.
She's clad in black and blue, the colors of High Reaches Weyr. The fabric of the tunic is soft but new, the cobalt shade shown up nicely by the soft raven black sisal of the shirt underneath. It's pulled in tight at her waist by a belt dyed to match the ebony wherhide of her trews as well as the leather of knee-high boots. The outfit still somehow manages to cling teasingly to her curves, from the swell of her bust to the wide hips and sexy calves. However, it seems she could not bear to let her bright hues go entirely; her hair is braided with a rainbow of ribbons, from mulberry and saffron to chartreuse, ginger, apricot and solferino. For practicality sake [or perhaps from her Captain's insistance] she's pinned the braids up, winding them round her head to form a corenet of color. Spi is draped comfortable over Tafne's shoulder.
Her shoulder bears a knot in black and blue, a double cord looped once and left with a long tail to signify that she is a Guard at High Reaches Weyr.
Tafne is 20 Turns, 11 months, and 20 days old.

The other's timing and statement, however, is not lost on Tatia, whether intended or not, and the greenrider straightens, eyes narrowing dangerously. It really is a good thing G'deon's here... between that knot on his shoulder and a friendly face, Tatia manages to sip at her wine rather than snap something she might not regret, but someone else surely would. "It certainly grows on you," she notes swiftly. "Besides, it's not like we're stuck here /forever/. In what, another couple of months, we can go wherever if we ever get sick of the cold.. or the people." Pointed? You bet. But at least her tone's sweet when she says it.

Reiko's smile is no less sweet, for all that it doesn't /quite/ reach her eyes. "I'm sure that's a comfort," she remarks, twirling her glass in her fingers and idly watching the wine swirling in the glass, composure intact. She may not have a clue why the greenrider seems so antagonistic, but she's dead-sure not going to back down.

"Aye, not too much longer... what, a month and a half now?" G'deon replies to Tatia, refilling his glass yet again. Don't worry folks, it's only his third. "Good point though, much as I love the Reaches'... I'd love a dip in the ocean right about now. The lake just doesn't do it for me."

Tafne steps in, footfalls heavy as she shakes cold droplets of water from her braided hair. Her gaze sweeps around, she nods breifly to the unfamiliar resident and then marches up to Tatia and G'deon. "Tell me, are either of your lifemates in the vicinity of the lake?" comes a swift query, spoken in a rich contralto. Once she's closer, it's possible to see that Taffy's clothes are somewhat damp, splattered with wet patches.

Desyana walks in from the Central Bowl.

Desyana walks quietly into the caverns and nods to G'deon and Reiko, tatia she avoids like a plague and the other person she gives a brief nod to as well. She needs her klah, then she may even be able to speak.

Okiiri walks in from the Central Bowl.

Tatia doesn't need a reason to be antagonistic. Just being Tat is enough. Hyde has finally finished picking apart his meal - the last several pieces quite literally - and with a short flap of wings, he curls himself possessively in Tatia's lap. Evidently he's quite amiable once he's eaten.. and not being bothered. She shivers, grinning at G'deon's words. Tat doesn't need a reason to shift moods, either. "It's still /freezing/ in there.. Vesp got me wet the other day." Speaking of which.. her gaze shifts toward the demanding Tafne, and a brow arcs as Tatia reclaims her glass and settles one hand on Hyde's back, scratching absently. "What?"

Tafne sniffs. "Simple question." Her tone is vaguely irritated, vaguely impatient and vaguely offended. Otherwise, it's just demanding. "Well? Is Vespurath or Nylanth near the lake? Or more pertinently, were they there ten minutes ago?" Plump fingers brush absently as her hair, sending another little shower of droplets falling. Cold droplets.

Reiko relaxes almost imperceptibly as Tatia's mood shifts. A nod is given to Desyana at the hearth before she turns her attention to the guard. The angry guard. Another sip of her wine. This would /not/ be a good time to interject.

Okiiri steps into caverns, away from the stables, at long last. It did smell in there, to say the least. And has anyone noticed the rather big draft around the 'Reaches? A finger-waggle is given Tatia-, Tafne-, Reiko-, and Desyana-wards, the latter accompanied with a wink for no particular reason except for the fact that Okiiri is and will always constantly be lost in a little world of happiness, joy, and lots of giggling. Let's end that right there. "'Lo!"

Tatia straightens, shoulder stiffening as her gaze goes blank for a moment. A mental checking-in with her lifemate. After all, Tat's been surprised by her whereabouts before.. and not to a good end. "Vespurath's not," she notes sharply, answering within seconds. That brow remains raised, and she dares to ask. "Why?"

Okiiri
The first most noticable feature about Okiiri would be his ankle-length silver hair held in a 'tieback'. It seems to be cut at an almost diagonal angle to avoid constantly sweeping against ground, and is obviously brushed quite often, otherwise it would appear more like a cascade of tangles. Soft grey bangs rest against forehead, curling at silver eyebrows, framing brilliant emerald eyes. Cheeks are rather pudgy, giving a somewhat cute look to Okiiri, not to mention rather small nose. Thin lips are a pale crimson hue, often the main source for expression. Okiiri is quite short, around 5'1, not to mention thin, with long legs and slender fingers, upon which many gold rings are placed. Skin is a pale shade, showing Okiiri isn't in the sun a lot.
A loose, thin, soft, cyan, long-sleeved shirt is donned as wear for torso, and appears a little big. To cover legs, Okiiri appears to have selected a pair of pale khaki pants. Footwear is a pair of brown wherhide boots, quite sloppily tied, but tight enough to cling to feet. Additional jewelry are a small silver earring in Okiiri's left ear, a few gold rings slipped upon fingers, a silver necklace with a small gold firelizard hanging from it.
A single cord of tightly woven sisal is wrapped around Okiiri's shoulder quite tightly, to 'Iiri's discomfort, to prevent the knot from sliding off during Okiiri's many hyperactive moments. Another single loop is also tied into the cord, both twined in colors of yellow and white, the Herder Hall shades, and the Probitionary Apprentice's knot.
Okiiri is 16 Turns and 4 months old.

Tafne throws up her hands promptly her expression shifting to mock despair. "I was by the lake, coming back from an errand. And there three weyrling dragons in the shallows. And the wretched creatures splashed me and then retreated so I couldn't tell for sure who they were." Outrage, only a little serious, colors her tone now and she plonks herself heavily in a chair. "And I'm damp and I don't have any more clean uniforms at the moment." Poor Taffy. Okiiri is seen and the guard nods briefly towards the Herder.

Reiko peers narrowly at the herder from the corners of emerald eyes, mentally doing a gender-check. At length she decides it's irrelevant, and she offers Okiiri a slight nod in greeting. Then the guard plonks down across from her, seemingly a bit less irate, so she gets a polite nod as well.

Desyana eyes the young greenrider and sighs, she had rather hoped she was in more trouble, to tell the truth. But oh well, there will always be another time, she is sure. Taking her klah and sitting near Reiko, she settles in to listen as well. News of any kind is newws, after all.

"Oh." And doesn't Tatia sound appropriately interested? She hides any evidence to the contrary in another sip of wine. "Well, it wasn't Vesp. She's napping in the bowl, I think." Think? Yes, Tat's never entirely sure. "But surely someone has something you can borrow?" Note how Tatia's not offering.

G'deon finally pulls himself out of whatever dream he'd been in and mumbles something about Nylanth being up on the ledge. "And I'm sure," he then asks before sipping the wine again.

Tafne awards Tatia an offended look. "The other guards are either too tall, too skinny or male. And it's not soooo bad that the laundry folk will take pity on me." Yes, poor Taffy. Don't you pity her? She's poities her. It sounds in her voice. However, with characteristic effervescence, she switches topics. "How is Vespurath but? She'd be nearly ready to graduate I'm sure." G'deon is cast a look. "Nylanth wasn't near the lake?" Just to be sure...

Okiiri hrms. A gender check would be wise, and a reality check for 'Iiri, at that. Eyeing the various delicies laid out before the Herder on the table, a select creampuff is chosen, and 'Kiiri finds a place to sit. G'deon, now noticed, recieves a wink since Okiiri's hands are full - not really, but still. The point remainds. Cremepuff finished, rather quickly, Okiiri looks around. What now? Things are too fast int his Weyr for poor 'Iiri, now.

Reiko gives Syan a smile as the other sits down nearby. "Faring well this evening?" The matter of the guard's uniform passes without comment, having met only one other guard, and one who definitely would /not/ be able to exchange clothes with this one. The cremepuff gets a glance. Fitting, no? Hm.

Tatia's eyes light up swiftly. Welcome to Tatia's favorite subject. "She's doing just wonderful," she intones, glancing down as a low croon rises from the blue in her lap. Much easier on the ear than earlier screeching. "We had a practice flight earlier.. went rather well."

G'deon nods idly along with Tatia's explanation, his own eyes rising to his bronze up in the rafters who's having a rather chittery conversation with the gold beside him. He takes another sip from his glass then sets it down, partially eaten sandwich pushed to the side in favor of a new one which he begins assembling.

Desyana says, "Yes, thank you. And yourself? Acclimating to the weyr? And /all/ it's elements?" A bit of a scathing look is cast at Tat, not much, but enough. "And have you found yourself a position as of yet?"

Tafne awwes and shivers. "Much better you than me. I can't stand flight. To be up so high without contact with nice solid ground - eeek!" Taffy hates heights. Strange for the offspring of a pair of riders. "Hmm. It would only be a month or two, wouldn't it? And you never know which greenling will glow first. I know there are wagers on it, did you know that?"

Okiiri blinks. What an empty feeling a cremepuff can leave you with. No matter. Trio to one side of caverns is eyed, and the duo at the other recieves the same look. 'Iiri appears to be in the middle of all this. No matter. Grinning, Okiiri bounces up from seat. Herder's got a mission, anyhow. He found Cayl, none the less, but P'rru's location remains a mystery. And, ah, you thought 'Iiri was going /elsewhere/ to look for P'rru - nah. Apprentice'll just have to make due here for now. Though, Okiiri must admit, 'e's never heard of dancing in the cavern. And so the appy promptly sits down.

Tatia's eyes widen at the idea.. "They're... /bets/?" she manages before resorting to the safety of her wine.. which is nearly empty. Not neccessarily a good sign for Tat. "On which... /shards/." Do 'riders have no decency? Did Tat really just question that?

Reiko doesn't miss Syan's look; her own faintly amused. Seems her tablemate may not be the most popular 'rider in the Weyr. "Well enough." Then she gives a light shrug. "And not quite yet, although I've met some... interesting people." At the word 'wager', she visibly perks, half-lidded eyes shifting to the guard. But the topic of the wager eludes her, the vagaries of 'greenlings' being outside her experience... and then her attention is abruptly distracted by the bouncing herder. Hm.

G'deon arches an eyebrow curious as comments and glances fly around the room... none of them aimed at him for the moment. Or at least, not that he's noticed yet. Not that he's noticed much of anything lately. Except the wine. Which he sips. Yes, good wine. "There are /always/ bets around 'Reaches, Tatia," he practically drawls. I've heard R'sli talking about what his and Areiah's kid will be. How many eggs a gold will lay, a green firelizard... how much wine Quara really has..."

Desyana chuckles a bit loudly at the greenrider's reaction to the 'bets' comment. She really is a young little thing, isn't she? Shakes her head. and /not/ in sympathy. Nope, this woman /tried/ to apologise and got sniped.. end of /that/ story. Now anything that girl gets, she deserves.

Tafne only grins, fingers sneaking a creamp puff off a handy plate as it goes past. "Well, of course. If it's any comfort, they also bet on which blue, brown or bronze will catch them too." Innocently said but there is a wick gleam in Taffy's eyes. Her gaze slides to Desyana and she pounces. "Would you like to bet on which greenling will go up first?" Oh, far too innocently - and sweet - said.

That certainly doesn't make it better in Tat's eyes. She's still trying to ignore the fact that Vespurath's green.. or at least what that means. "You'd think there'd be at least /some/ things..." she mutters, finally draining the last of her glass as her head tilts backward. Shoving it toward the table carelessly, she follows Tafne's gaze.. and eyes narrow just slightly. Her temper's bad enough without that glass of wine she's had... and is unaccustomed to.

Okiiri caught anything about wagers, bets, and general marks a little too late, and so is discarded. Okiiri's made... erm... bets before. None which anyone else would be flattered to hear about. Reiko and Desyana are eyed from their spot, while Okiiri also considers the general area of Tatia, Tafne, and G'deon. Interesting. But silence pains Okiiri, so do not expect it to last much longer. Pressure builds, shall we say?

Desyana says, "Hmmm, it certainly is an interesting prospect. But sadly, wishes and hopes don't always bear out. I think I'll save my marks, thank you" Eyes Tatia and grins.. Maliciously? Oh not Syan... "What about you G'deon, have you bet yet?"

G'deon, who has in the meantime finished his own glass, quietly goes about refilling it, then swiftly moves to top off his fellow weyrling's as well, whether she wants more or not. He takes a large bite from his sandwich before setting that down as well, then he begins making yet another sandwich which he sets in front of Tatia. "Helps with the wine," he murmurs with a wink. Blue eyes drift over to Desyana and he slowly shakes his head. "Nah, it's not fair, really, and I don't have many marks to my name as it is. Though..."

Reiko just... watches. Sipping her wine. The conversation has left her behind completely by now, but she's not quite ready to leave.

Tafne pouts but chuckles a moment later. "Smart girl. You might end up rich if you keep that up." she tells Deyana, extending the offer to the rest of the cavern with a light hearted 'Doens't anyone want to say which green will rise first?' before turning back to look blandly at Tatia. "I don't think many marks are on Vespurath yet. Not as first or last."

"Helps...?" Tatia begins, distracted from her glare-in-progress as her glass fills and food appears in front of her. Sure, she's seen the results of too much wine - but she's more than naive enough to assume that it'll never be /her/. Absolutely not. Kinda like she never loses her temper. "Oh, weyr decorating drained me, too," she sticks in, whether it fits in the conversation or not. Hey, he mentioned marks. It's related. Kinda. Her gaze turns to Tafne, and her glass is already lifted. Kinda grows on you. "There's... not many? Why not?" Yes, Tatia's bridling under whatever hint of criticism she may sense in her words.. despite her earlier horror at the idea.

"First? Who cares?" G'deon calls out with a wicked grin on his face. "It's which green rises /best/ that I'd like to bet on." He raises his own glass toward Tatia and winks. "And who better than Vespurath to go first and best where no others have gone before." Followed by Nylanth of course. Though he gets stuck sometimes... yeah.

Okiiri doesn't have too many marks, as it is, but there's no harm in a white lie, is there? Beam. Okiiri's perfect oppertunity out of just sitting there. "I'll place a bet!" is the shouted request, along with a waving arm. Or a pair of two flailing arms, perhaps. Yes, over there. The idiot. That's the one that wants to place a bet.

Tafne chuckles again. "Well... last I heard, peopel were saying Vespurath was maturing quite as fast as some of the others and there are other greens who really seem to be lagging behind. Branwyth is a favoured one for first Flight at the moment... Sasha, isn't she?" Branwyth's 'ling. Then tafne pivot and sees Okiiri and her smile gets distinctly impish. "Well then, which green did you wish to wager on and I'll tell you the odds?"

Reiko drains her glass and sets it carefully on the table in front of her before pushing back her chair to stand. Enough. Greenling? Rise? She's gotten a vague idea from the context what they might be talking about, but she certainly doesn't have enough information to stake a wager... tempting though that prospect may be. "If you'll excuse me..." to the group at large, then to Syan directly, "This might be a good time to check with the nannies. I heard there might be a position open there." Still not so sure about the weyrbrats comment, but she ought to find something useful to occupy herself with... before a more onerous task is assigned to her.

Tatia's eyes widen as they fly to G'deon, disbelief written on her face. Whatever she heard in those words.. aided by the wine, of course... gives the poor weyrling yet another chance to be scandalized. She's getting quite good at it."/Gid/!" she states swiftly, shocked. "I think Vespurath is just fine where she is, thank you." As in, on the ground. Safe. And now on to safer subjects.. other greens. "Sasha. Yes. Yes, she could be first. Yes."

Deeper, darker, narrower... passages kink and twist into the Weyr.