Xanadu Weyr - Caverns
A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.
Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs and southwest is a wide tunnel, carefully roped off to avoid accidents.
A bright autumnal morning has dawned over the weyr bringing riders and residents alike to the caverns. many seek food, some seek company while they work, the weyrleader apparently comes here to seek sleep - or something definitely approximating it. Over in one corner of the room, R'sul is surrounded by paperwork, head dropping and lifting suddenly in the classic trying-to-not-fall-asleep pose.
X'hil stumbles in muttering, and heading straight for the klah, glaring tiredly at the clearing now and then. The usually tidy and well-presented young man is actually wearing the same clothes he wore yesterday, and they're kind of rumpled, as though he's been wearing them since yesterday. His shuffling is accompanied by a slight limp, though that's been fading these past few days. He grabs the klah, and moves to a table at the edge of the room, near the corner. There's a mutter that might be a greeting directed at R'sul, recognising an apparent fellow sleepless rider.
R'sul grunts in reply, or perhaps it was just another aborted snore, it's hard to tell. Th enext time his head jerks up he makes a point of keeping his eyes extra wide open, as if that would help, and looking around the room. Groggily he heads for the drinks table, only to be waved back to his seat by one of the caverns staff who isn't particularly in favour of spilled klah this early in the morning. He turns and heads back, aiming for his own table but ending up at X'hil's instead. "Mornin'." Blink blink peer. "Alright?"
X'hil mutters a "Morning." in response, gripping his klah mug in both hands as he sips at it. "Rough night. /Dragons/." he says, with a slight movement of his shoulders that might be a shrug. Must be careful, must not spill the precious klah. "Kinseth is such a worrying wherry." That doesn't /sound/ like the distinctly egotistic bronze, but apparently it is. The man doesn't really have much else to say, not yet, anyway. Must wake up. Yes.
R'sul nods, "R'miel." is his initial reply, with no real detail following. "Trade you?" There's an attempt at a laugh, to turn this situation into a joke, but it falls a bit flat. "What's Kinseth worried about?" He's waking up a little, the arrival of a mug of klah at his elbow ensuring that it'll be a status that lasts for a little while.
X'hil grimaces at mention of the former weyrsecond, muttering, "I heard the man took off with his mate again, for good this time." He knows about the first time because that's why he got his brief weyrsecond knot in the first place. "Eggs. Lusiath. Seryth." he answers with a scowl, these being Kinseth's worries. "I think I liked it better when he only chased, well, only /caught/ greens." But there is a hint of pride buried deep in there. No, really.
R'sul nods, "Dumped us right in the proverbial." There's a tone of annoyance in his voice, something rarely heard. At the explanation of X'hil's problems he nods. "Eggs. Problem for everyone." His head dips for a moment as he rubs his hand across his forehead and gives a big yawn. "Want a distraction? I've got a mound of stuff needin done that you could bury a green under."
X'hil scowls a little, and glances to the exit. "He's fussing over Seryth now, sulking over Lusiath, but he doesn't want to /leave/ the Weyr." The man shakes his head, and eyes his klah. "Could use a distraction." he admits, with a sleepy yawn. "Not getting much work done with /him/ like /that/." Or sleep, evidently. If he were more awake, he'd probably put two and two together and get four, but right now he's coming up with three.
By right R'sul should now be steepling his fingers and saying 'exxxxcellent' since this get-sleep-quick plan suddenly seems to be working, instead he stands up again and moves back to his original table, scooping up a pile of work and then heading back to X'hil. "You remember reports, right? Best thing for forgetting about… everything." Everything including sleep if you have enough of them needing read over or done. "Shouldn't be anything too scary in there."
From the direction of the kitchen, an older woman walks along with Rogawani, the two chating amiably about some neice or newphew standing for the clutch at Ista. Then, as they reach the edge of the tables, she leans over and whispers something to the younger boy before passing him a folded parchment. "Sure thing." He comments, giving his best service smile. Then, the two part ways and Ro' tucks the folded page into his pocket. The mention of eggs catches his keen ears, causing a brief look at the two riders as he heads towards the fireplace to claim a helping of the older rolls still set out from the last meal.
X'hil nods at the paperwork blankly. Nope, still coming back with a three. "Mmm, yeah. Had to do these when I was filling in for R'miel." Wait for it, wait for iiit… Three. Three. Five. Three. Shards but he's dense when he hasn't slept. "Reports. /Fun/." Ah, sarcasm. "I'll … get right on that." Yawwwn. He peers sleepily over at Rogawani, and waves the messenger over, though he does mutter, "Could you bring the klah pot while you're at it?" It's kind of like a message delivery? Cough.
R'sul hadn't even noticed Rogawani until X'hil speaks to him, turning to blink at the boy for a moment - brain will kick in eventually. Gives the boy a quick nod, and signals that yes he'd like a whole pot too please. Having farmed the reports off easily, perhaps too easily, he leans back in his chair and for a moment it looks like he's finally going to fall asleep. "Need something else." Up on his feet again, a long blink, this time he heads for the tunnel that leads down towards the inner caverns.
Halfway to the prize of partially stale meatrolls, Rogawani turns his head when the voice of X'hil ends up directed his way. Tilting his head to the side, he straitens just a little as both the bronzer and Weyrleader look his way. "No problem." He says crisply, scooping up a few of the meatrolls, popping one directly into his mouth before reaching for a handful of mugs and one of the nearest klah pots. It's a bit of a juggle, but somehow he manages to get three mugs and the pot over to the rider's table where they are set down with a clunk. "Mmmmwmermo." He mumbles with the meatroll still in his mouth, motioning back to the stoves as he heads back to get the second pot.
X'hil blinks as R'sul gets up and heads down the tunnel, leaning sideways out of his chair to try and see where the man is headed… And sliiightly falling over, with a loud clatter of falling chair and bronzerider. Cough. He gets up and brushes himself off, reseating himself and trying to pretend that nothing happened. And then there's klah! The man looks gratefully up at Rogawani, with a tired half-smile. "Hey, thanks!" he says, tapping the paperwork. "Need to wake up. Work to do." He, well, he's not exactly /thrilled/, he far prefers hands-on sort of work, but he does seem to be welcoming the distraction, at least.
R'sul isn't gone long, a quick trip to the office and back, and he flops back down into his seat. Peering about he catches sight of Rogawani and spends a moment wondering where X'hil has gone with the work. When he finally notices the right table, the one he should be sitting at, he gets up again and moves flopping down again with a quiet 'urf' and another yawn. "Fia's gonna kill me." Which more or less confirms he's been there all night. he eyes the pitcher of klah, turning for a moment to look over at Rogawani and see what he's up to, and mor importantly if there's a second pot on the way. "Present for you." A bundle of cord is tossed over towards X'hil, landing about halfway across the table.
A laugh catches itself in Rogawani's throat, obstructed by meatroll. Luckily, the choking cough that follows makes it sound as if he weren't amused by X'hil's antics, but mearly bit off more than he can chew. Chewing quickly, he's back to collect the second pot even before R'sul returns. This time, with an extra hand free, he loads a few of the rolls onto a plate along with some fruit. Balancing the plate, plus a second pot of klah, the boy heads back to the table for a second time, setting these down with a voice that sounds suspiciously like one of the weyr vintners. "Snacktime today is meatrolls with fruit, and a side of klah cerca this morning. It's a good turn for klah." Jokes set aside, Ro' sits himself down, giving the riders just a -little- space as he starts in the rolls.
And there it is. That big honking four, sitting right in the middle of the table. X'hil blinks a little, furrows his brow, and then unfocuses his eyes. He sort of sits there in a trance-like state for a few minutes, the only indication that he's still alive the fact that he's continuing to sip his klah. Finally, he snaps out of it, and hesitantly reaches for the knot, pulling it back more confidently once he's gotten a hold of it. "Er. Thank you. Sir." he mumbles, trying to conceal another yawn. Well, that certainly /is/ a distraction. He blinks a little at the knot, then shrugs, and switches it out with the one on his shoulder, tossing the old one onto the table. He grabs a meatroll absently, and nibbles on it. Kind of anti-climactic really. 'Tada, knot!' 'Oh, thanks.' 'Tada, meatrolls!' 'Oh, thanks.'
R'sul eyes meatrolls, eyes klah, eyes Rogawani with a look that can only be interpreted as 'who are you?', then finally eyes X'hil himself. At least the knot isn't coming sailing back over the table at him, it's a good start. Course he now has Niva to deal with. He goes to say something uplifting and meaningful, but it really just comes out as 'Arngggh' as a yawn takes over.
One certainly can't say that Rogawani is the fastest on the uptake, especially when there's food there to distract him. He's halfway through his second meatroll before he even notices the look from R'sul. Careful to swollow the mouthful down before speaking, he gives a polite little nod and a timid sort of lopsided smile. "Uh, I'm Rogawani, sir." He's never quite sure how to introduce himself to the ranking members of the Weyr, even after living here most of his life. "Messenger." Pausing, his eyes glance at the tray, and then the two riders before giving a sheepish look. "I… can move over there if you want." Apparently not sure if he's worn out his welcome.
X'hil glances up from his knot, peering absently at Rogawani as R'sul eyes the messenger. Rogawani is the Bringer of Klah and Food, what more needs to be known? The man seems to be waking up a little now, it's been a gradual process since he first shambled in here like the sleepless zombie that he was, but that fall helped, and so did the shock of the new knot. He's finally awake enough that he recognises Rogawani now, and he blinks. That was Rogawani? Wasn't just some drudge? He /did/ think it was odd when the 'drudge' sat down at the table. "Still need to get that letter out." he notes absently. That letter for his aunt. He shuffles through the paperwork absently, frowning at it. Nope, this is going to require more klah.
R'sul ohs, nodding politely to the boy but not really taking in the introduction. While X'hil may be waking up R'sul is slowly falling more and more asleep. A hand is dragged through his hair, then he stretches carefully, back arching until it clicks a little and he settles back into the chair. "Stay." Is his reply to Rogawani, "He's going to need some company." Should never leave someone in shock on their own. "Think I'm going to go curl up. Get a lecture if I don't go home at some point."
"You still need to get that letter to me." Rogawani replies to X'hil, trying to smile a little while looking between the two half-asleep riders. "If you want to grab it, I'll make sure your paperwork doesn't wander off." Sneaking a hand out, the boy grabs a piece of fruit and rolls it between his fingers. "You both look like you need sleep, though." Apparently this is his professional opinion, shared just before he takes a bite out of the fruit, quickly wiping a dribble of juice from his chin with one sleeve.
X'hil sketches a brief salute to R'sul as the Weyrleader mentions heading off home. There's a yawn from the 'new' weyrsecond then, and he frowns at the paperwork. It's unlikely he'll get too much of it done before passing out, but, he'll /try/. Kinseth was not pleasant to live with after he lost the knot the /first/ time. There's an absent nod to Rogawani, and the man frowns at the paperwork. "I, er. I think I need to write a new letter." This is big. Big news. His aunt will be so proud. Or rather, upset if she finds out he /didn't/ tell her.
R'sul lifts a finger, pointing towards Rogawani for a moment, but whatever he was about to say gets swallowed up in another yawn. With a bit of a grunt he pushes his chair back, getting to his feet slowly and stretching again. This time he manges to say something to Rogawani, a simple order, "Make sure he sleeps at some point. Too much work, never sleep." X'hil's salute brings a flicker of a smile, and he nods back. "You know where I am if you need me." One hand reaches for the klah pot, decides against it, reaches again. After that moment of indecision he grabs, taking one pot with him and no doubt earning himself a lecture from both Fiara and the Headwoman. Still… he can deal with that when he's more awake.
For a moment, Rogawani looks back and forth between X'hil and R'sul, having already noted the re-promotion of the younger bronzerider. "Well, whenever you have it ready." The boy certainly isn't going to rush an exausted rider to write a letter. Turning his attention back to R'sul, the boy blinks a little bit as he's assigned as X'hil's babysitter apparently. One klah pot and one bronzerider down, the boy pours himself a mug and then looks towards X'hil, feeling a bit more comfortable with just him than with the weyrleader as well. "So… congrats, right?" Pausing and looking a little skeptical, "Just don't fall asleep on the paperwork okay?"
X'hil chuckles a little, though it's a tired chuckle. It is either way too early or way too late - judging by last night's exploration, and Kinseth's mood at the time, it's probably the latter - for the bronzerider to be awake. Has he slept at all since he got back? He's still wearing the same clothes he wore yesterday, he never wears the same clothes two days in a row! "That remains to be seen… Calmed /Kinseth/ down a bit, at least." That's good, right? But he shakes his head. "I'll … try not to." is his response to falling asleep on the paperwork, with a long yawn almost immediately following.
Without a word, Rogawani fills the bronzerider's mug with klah from the remaining pot, nudging it over towards him. "I think you need this more than me." The boy comments, bemused as he grabs for another meatroll. Picking at the fluffy bits of bread wrapping it, "Think he'll calm down once the eggs are laid? Thea did say it would be about a seven day or less." Trying to find the positive side of things, he rips off part of the end of the roll, at least attempting to eat slower than his normal rushed pace. "Lucky for me, I think R'sul was too tired to remember me in the morning, so hopefully I won't get into too much trouble if your dragon keeps you up."
X'hil is slumping a little in his seat, but he accepts the klah gratefully, sipping slowly at it. "So." He pushes the paperwork aside for the moment, he really /should/ sleep first, though he does occasionally glance guiltily over at it. "Thanks. For the klah, and," he waves his hand at the food. "Yeah." He nods, frowning at the klah absently. "Hope so. Probably be impossible to drag him off the sands, /again/. Such an over-protective sire." There's affection in his tone, and something wistful lurking beneath that. He raises an eyebrow as Rodawani mentions the guessed length of time until clutching, and smirks a little. "And how goes the betting?" he asks, idly considering his options. He earns more marks now, doesn't he? Hmmm…
"Not a problem. I always miss the early meal because of my morning run to Black Rock." Rogawani explains himself once the fruit is suitably finished off. With only a few meatrolls left, the boy pulls the plate towards him, figuring the rider isn't going to eat. "Guess that means less adventures out into the wilds until after his eggs hatch, with both you and Thea on sands duty." There is a slight bit of disappointment in his voice at that, as if he had actually enjoyed the excursions from the Weyr. "Mm!" The betting question comes as his mouth is full again, quickly washing down the roll with a slug of klah. "Pretty good. The stablemaster is taking care of the bets since he claims to be impartial." With a snort, Ro' shakes his head. "But I've gotten a few higher wagers from the holders when I told them that your dragon predicted eleven eggs."
X'hil snickers, and shakes his head. "Kinseth… He's ambitious. I hope you didn't take him /seriously/?" he asks, though he is somewhat amused at the higher wagers. He never said he didn't want to eat though, and he reaches over to pinch another meatroll to nibble on. "I know, I really… I liked heading out there, it was, well, not /fun/," because that would imply it was frivolous or something, "but exciting. Kind of. In a cautious dangerous and eerily quiet sort of way…" he trails off with a shrug. "It was … interesting." he admits, ever the curious man.
"I didn't, but the holders did." Rogawani says with a bit of a wry smile. "Like I said before, I don't have the marks to bet, but the holders like to ask me for anything I've heard." With one of the few remaining meatrolls gone pilfered by the bronzerider, Ro' has to content himself with a remaining piece of fruit. "The betting will pick up after the eggs are laid though. Then it's all about colors, and who's got family standing on the sands. That sorta thing. I've only been a messenger for the last few clutches, but everyone seems to enjoy wagering on the hatchings, even if they lose." Swirling his cup of klah, the boy nods to what the rider has to say about the explorations. "Well, for me it's not every day I have a chance to go see places beyond my routes. I've never even been North."
X'hil nods slowly, and takes a gulp of his slowly cooling klah. "Well, if you're looking for odds, people with rider blood seem to be favourites, though my own mother was only the third in our family to impress, as far back as anyone can remember, anyway. People who've stood a few times are a little riskier, but there's always a chance that /this/ will be their hatching. My brother and sister have been standing since they were old enough. I'd put marks on at least /one/ of them impressing. Probably my brother." But it's a little early to be betting yet, the eggs haven't even been laid. He's curious then, and he raises an eyebrow. "How are the odds towards having a gold egg? You can't /always/ tell before the hatching, but sometimes they can be fairly obvious." He's asking as the rider of one proud sire, naturally.
"That's what my brother always says." Rogawani nods ruefully, draining down to the bottom of his cup of klah. "He just turned twelve and you can bet he's going to be parading infront of every dragon he can to get to stand." Sure, there's a little jealousy there, but Ro' is content enough with his lot in life to offer a small shrug and a smile. "Not great odds on either clutch to be honest. Just one rider put a mark on Seryth having a gold, but that's all I know of. Solarith has a couple of wagers, but…" His voice drops a little, as if he didn't want to admit this much. "I think some folks are still shaken because of our missing gold. They don't want to see another one impress only to leave or go missing."
X'hil nods slowly. "Well, there'd be long odds on Solarith's clutch, I think I heard that a /brown/ caught." he says, a little skeptically. Browns don't catch golds often, no. Not that there's anything wrong with that, exactly, it's just how it is. "Hey now, my /mother/ impressed, and the only other riders in the family were in her generation, her brother and her cousin. Good solid holder stock, through and through. And yet, I've known kids of riders, from long lines of riders on both sides, who've stood and stood from the day they became old enough, till the day they became too old. There's no way of knowing, dragons just… It's difficult to tell who they'll pick. /Usually/ they make the right call." he scowls a little, thinking of that missing gold.
"A brown?" Rogawani seems a bit surprised to hear about this, but then again all that happened before the gold came to live at Xanadu. "I hadn't heard that. I'm betting a bunch of the holders don't know either." With a chuckle, he shakes his head, "I'm sure the wagers will change with that news." As he swirls around the dregs of his mug, Ro' sets it aside with a bit of a shrug. "Well, the holders and crafters like to see it when one of their own impresses. I hope a few manage to score dragons this time. There was a bit of mumbling after the last clutch hatched, since most of those who bonded were from the Weyr itself."
X'hil shrugs a little, and eyes his klah mug absently. "Well, that's what I /heard/, any way. Brown." he nods, glancing to the exit idly. "Most were from the Weyr because of the dragon flu, dragons couldn't really /go/ anywhere." Right. Not even to dragonless holds? Well, maybe… X'hil wasn't really 'here' then, exactly. Probably facing off with some sheep, or stranded in the infirmary, or, /something/.
"Hrm. I'll have to find out for sure. Wouldn't want to tarnish my good name by passing bad news." Rogawani sits up a little straiter, taking his job as messenger and impromptu news passer seriously it seems. With the plate cleared, and his mug drained, Ro' stacks the two together and then gives a sideways glance at the sleepy bronzerider. "You should get some sleep. Won't do the Weyr any good if you fall off your dragon because you haven't gotten any shut eye." There's a joking tone to his voice, but the message is serious enough. "Unless you have ovines hiding in your weyr I'm sure that the paperwork will still be there when you get up."
X'hil nods at Rogawani's sleep suggestion, yawning widely. "Well, you know, don't tell anyone I told you, don't want to get in trouble." He's not sure what could possibly lead to trouble, but he does have a knack for getting into it, so, better to be safe than sorry. He takes his paperwork, and stands, leaving the empty klah mug and his old knot behind on the table. At the suggestion of /ovines/ hiding in his weyr, he narrows his eyes at the messenger, and stalks out, muttering something about nightmares. Well, he's in for a fun, er, day. Because it is just morning, after all. Day of sleep. And nightmares.
"My lips are sealed." The boy replies, making a motion across his mouth as he reaches over to collect the riders' discarded mugs. The women in the kitchens would have his neck for not cleaning up after himself. Not sure what to make of the muttering, "Uh, have a good rest!" It's a somewhat unsure attempt at making up for mentioning the infamous ovines. Giving a glance at the knot, Ro' plucks it up with the intention of delivering it to someone who'd know what to do with it. With all the problems of people masquerading with fake knots, better safe than sorry.