Klah, Girls, Doom and Destruction

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.

It's evening at Xanadu and it's horrible outside, cold rain and foggy. Most residents are tucked up somewhere warm as a result and the caverns is where Vivian has decided to hole up until bed time. She's curled up on one of the comfy chairs, a small table next to her, a few other similar chairs nearby. In her lap is her little bronze baby, a pot of oil and a hot mug of klah sits on the table as she oils the crooning little fella.

After having quite an eventful time out in the fog, Rogawani is in no great rush to repeat the experience by trapsing out into it again this evening. Luckily his task doesn't require being out in the weyr proper. Carrying a basket of clothing, a spool, and a puffy round pincushion, the boy walks into the caverns, scouting around for some place not already occupied by those seeking refuge from the weather. It's not too surprising to find some seats available by Vivian, and his mouth quirks slightly from that thought. As he approaches, Ro' offers a small smile, "G'evening Vivian. Mind if I grab a seat?"

Vivian hasn't even glanced up before she's replying to him. "So long as you're taking it somewhere else to sit on it." She says before looking up to find out who it is. "Oh hi Rogawani." She reels out his full name with a bit of a smile. "Taking up seamstressing?" She asks him with a bit of a grin, her hand reaching for her Klah and finding it mostly empty. "Tell you what, I'll let you join me if you go and fetch and fresh pot of klah for me, I appear to be out." The lashes bat up at him and everything, her tone all sweetness.

As is pretty usual, Rogawani seems to take Vivian's more icy reaction in stride, just smirking a little bit. "But then I wouldn't get to bask in your glory." He chuckles, teasingly, and sets the basket of mending down with a smirk on his features. "Nah, candidate chore for the day. Terrible at it, but I couldn't get anyone to trade with me." He nudges the pile with his foot, and then seems to consider her offer. "Sure. Gives me an excuse not to work on this just yet." Any excuse seems to be a good one. Atop the pile of mending, though, there seems to be a bit of brown cloth with animal shapes drawn on it. That can't belong there, right? "I'll be back." He inclines his head, and then heads off for the kitchens, rather than for the tables.

Vivian puts her mug back on the table and goes back to oiling the little bronze after a few imperious headbutts draw her attention back from fluttering her lashes at Rogawani to get him fetching and carrying for her. "I never did like sewing, one of the nannies tried to get me to do those little designs on stuff. Didn't take to it." Or she found someone else who would do it for her.

It doesn't take too long for Rogawani to return, carrying with him not only a fresh pot, but one strait from the kitchens, complete with hot-pad to set it on. He's been in and out of the kitchens so often lately, that he's managed to tally up a few favors. "Hot klah, ma'am." He says in his best 'polite' voice, reaching out to fill her mug before setting the pot down on the table. Then, setting the pretenses aside, he flops unceremoniously into a chair and pulls up the brown piece of cloth, turning it in his hands before grabbing for a pair of scissors. "He's a young one, was he part of that clutch on the beach?" He asks, starting to cut out one of the shapes, ignoring the rest of the mending work which seems to be mostly socks.

Vivian continues to rub oil into some particularly dry patches on the bronzes skin, using her finger and a small cloth. His return and play-acting earns him initially one of her more disapproving looks, but she doesn't keep it up for long and a bit of a giggle escapes her lips, unusual in itself. "Thanks darling." She tells him with a smile. "He was yeah, I only found them because I almost stood on a little green from the clutch, I had somehow managed to blank that sharding miner that was with them from my mind." She makes no comment about his shape cutting, though she has noted it.

The memory of that day seems to come back in bits and pieces, and Rogawani nods. "That's right, he was trying to get that little bronze to come to him, too, wasn't he?" Finishing the shape, which appears to be a runner in motion, the boy tosses it onto the arm of the chair before beginning another. "Glad to see you got the little fellow. I hadn't been paying that much attention at the time. Just trying not to end up with another one." He smiles a little, perhaps because of the giggle she lets out, or perhaps thinking about his own lizards. The next shape to join the pile seems, appropriately, to be a lizard.

"I think I was actually threatening him at the time." Replies Vivian. "The firelizard, not the miner." She adds the explanation so she doesn't sound like quite soo much of a witch. "I only had Aine before that, but yeah I tried pushing the bowl of food towards him and he ignored it, decided he wanted hand fed instead." She sighs and shakes her head as she moves onto another patch of bronze hide. "They grow up so fast, it's not like they need too much care, Aine's taken over as mommy for him anyway."

"I've found threatening them doesn't do much good." Rogawani replies, amusement in his tone of voice. Another runner shape is tossed on to the arm of his chair as he glances towards the socks. Reluctantly, he sets the brown material to the side and picks up a handful, throwing them over his knee. "My bronze was much worse, total troublemaker." He explains, eyebrows looking down as he tries to stick thread through a needle with more failures than successes. "But he was my first one. Kassi was much easier, all three of them are off somewhere, probably playing in the fog, no doubt." He muses, and finally gets the thread through, looking triumphant until he has to actually do something with it. Frowning, he turns a sock thisway and that, trying to figure out how to attack it best.

Vivian nods her head by way of reply. "It didn't with this one, he decided to stay with me instead of digging into the bowl I was offering him." She shakes he head and finishes up with the little one, folding the little piece of cloth away and closing up the bottle of oil. Cervaux hops up and onto the table while Vivian starts to move. "I have no idea where Aine is just now, she'll probably be terrorizing something, wanting them to play catch with her." She collects her mug of klah and after kicking off her sandals curls her legs up onto the comfychair with her, clasping the mug in her hands.

"Well, the only one to ever choose to stay with me was my little green. The bronze was a gift from a rider who thought I could use one if I ran into trouble on the trails, and… well the gold hatched into my hands on accident." Rogawani admits, with as much chagrin as he can manage. As he starts to pull the needle through the sock, his eyes flick back towards the firelizard, and in the process he ends up skewering himself. He doesn't make a sound, but he does tense slightly before looking down to try again. "So how have things been going for you? I've heard there's a lot of work because of Hisolda being gone." He shows momentary interest, but tries not to move his eyes from the task.

Vivian lifts the mug to her lips for a few demure sips while she savours the heat coming from it. "Aine's egg was a gift from Mom." Of course. The little bronze stalks about the tabletop for a few moments, poking a head towards the sewing before he turns and heads back to Vivian, clambering up onto her knees, letting out a little creel before he moves in to curl up against her chest. "It's getting there, between her gone and breaking in the new Weyrleader it's been a lot of work, D'son I think is almost there though, but there should hopefully be less work coming my way soon with Hisolda and Thea sorting their workloads out." She explains all of it without much in the way of complaint. "See how it all goes or more importantly how long it lasts for." There's the resigned sigh, right there at the end.

Somehow, miraculously, Rogawani manages not to spear himself any further on this particular sock. He finishes up with ragged, not quite strait stitches and then hangs it over the edge of the basket to mark it as 'done'. "My mother doesn't even have a firelizard." With a chuckle, Rogawani seems to just be enjoying talking, grabbing up another sock and wiggling his finger through a hole in the toe. "Is D'son settling in okay? I have't seen much of him, but I don't see much of any of the bronzeriders these days." His eyebrows knit together slightly, showing some thought at that. "So Hisolda is coming back then?" He asks, trying to get the next sock started.

Vivian seems quite content to just sit and watch someone else working and so she does. "I'm still hopeful that D'son will be able to patch things up with her where Mom hasn't been able to." She replies about Hisolda. "But yeah he's settling in fine, I've managed to get him up to speed on everything he needs to know, he's a quick learner is our new Weyrelader." Unlike a certain little bronze who hasn't found out that klah is hot and should stay in the mug as he sits up quickly, knocking the mug from Viv's hands, spilling it over himself and it's with a frightened squawk that he disappears between, and Vivian emits a gasp of pain as she tries to peel her now klah covered top away from her skin. "Oh shells that hurts." She growls with a bit of a wince. "Well I suppose time for a change at this time of night means off to bed as well." She uncurls her legs from the chair and slips her sandals on. "I'll catch you later Rogawani." She says to the other candidate before she heads off to her room in the residential housing.

"Glad to hear." Rogawani replies easily enough, his usual response to things going on beyond his level at the weyr. It's not as if he really knows what's going on, but he at least tries to be interested in it. "Watch-ou…" He winces as he expects what comes next, the lizard spilling over the hot mug of klah. "Are you okay?" His voice changes abruptly, looking at her with momentary concern, as if he might bolt from the chair. Then, when she suggests heading off to bed, he settles back again. "Oh, alright. G'night Vivian." He offers, and then looks at the spill on the table. With a sigh, Ro' sets the sock down and goes to fetch a towel from the serving table to clean up.

The caverns are busy this evening, as the fog has now settled in for the end of another day. Much of the weyr has settled in to the caverns for the night, and thus there are relatively few spots open. Some are starting to drift off to bed, but for the most part there is a costant thrum of chatter through the big room. Rogawani is on his way back towards one of the couches, a few spots nearby him still free for whatever reason might have driven them off. The table before him is covered in spilled klah, and he bends over to wipe at it with a towel. Nearby, is the basket full of mending he was assigned, with a few scraps of cloth thrown over the arm of his claimed chair.

Morlanol is knocked into by Vivian as she leaves and he glares at her retreating form for a moment before turning back to the room. Agate and Bloodstone hiss at her as well, seemingly having picked up their bonded's dislike of the Weyrwoman's daughter. Morl favors Ro with a smile once he notices the boy, apparently yet another candidate he 'just happens' to run into while they've been assigned mending. He nearly trips over a small child as it runs past him, then he manages to navigate his way across the crowded room to Ro and flop down next to him on a seat, "Hey, Ro… wha' goes on?"

"Oh, hey there, Morl." Rogawani greets, looking up briefly from cleaning the table. The towel is stained brown with the color of klah, and he sighs, giving up on getting most of it out and just leaves the towel there. "Not too much. Haven't head anything about the girl we found…" He admits, and lets himself flop back with near exhaustion into the chair he'd been sitting on. And then, he yelps breifly, and pulls a sock from under him, needle still sticking out. "Ow." He mutters, and rubs at his rear end. "Mending duty." He holds up the sock and needle, and then just tosses both back onto the top of the pile in the basket.

Morlanol passes a surprised look, "Still nothin'? Bu' a girl so young, cert'inly someone must care." Agate and Bloodstone set about slurping up the klah spill. Morl jumps when Ro yelps, then settles again. He gives the offending mending an odd look, then gives Ro a smile, "Y' wan' some help? Tha's quite a pile y' still have. Oh, an' why'd Viv go runnin' ou'? She couldna known I was comin'."

"Well, I'm sure the healers are taking care of her 'n all." Rogawani says off-handedly, shaking his head. "But nothing about why she got dumped off by the renegades, or what's going to happen with her now." He fills in whatever was missing from his earlire comments. He scootches himself a bit, trying to shift the pressure off of his recently needled behind, and then lifts an eyebrow towards Morlanol. "You any good with sewing?" He asks, and his eyes flick to a pile of small animal shapes cut in brown cloth that seem to be lingering on the arm of his chair, then back to the miner. "Vivian?" He blinks. "Oh, her firelizard knocked klah on her, that's all."

Morlanol blinks, "She stormed off… 'cause a flit knocked Klah on 'er? Tha's one wierd girl… wierder than mos', even." He grins, watching his flits lick the klah off the desk, and nods to Roga, "yeah, I'm good at sewin' an' such. M' ma made me help'er with it when th' ki's were nappin'." He follows Ro's glance, then looks back at Ro, "What're those fer?"

The caverns are fairly crowded even though it is late in the evening. Most of the weyr has retreated to the inner chambers due to the ever-present fog that still lingers outdoors. Many of the tables are full, but some weyrfolk are starting to wander towards beds as time moves on. Rogawani and Morlanol are seated at an area a few couches and tables grouped together. On the table, there is a klah pot and mug, and a towel that seems stained brown with spilled liquid. "I wouldn't say stormed off, but… she did get doused with hot klah. Not exactly comfortable." Rogawani shrugs, and then his expression seems to brighten a bit. "Can you keep a secret?" He asks, leaning forward towards the miner.

Hair standing up in funny damp spikes, D'son seems fresh from a bath as he ambles into the caverns and heads over not for klah, but a few meatrolls to snack on and wanders through seating arrangements and catches that bit about the klah. "Doused with klah? Ouch. Who did?" the Weyrleader asks with a little wave. "Hey there Rogawani."

Morlanol leans in as well, Vivian forgotten, "ye-" He's cut off by D'son, he turns, initially looking somewhat irritated, then he immediately become polite as he notices D'son's knot, "Evenin', Weyrleader. 'Twas Vivian wha' got doused with th' Klah."

Rogawani is being a bit more careful, and thus he notices when the weyrleader approaches and draws back a bit. "Hey, D'son." He greets in the more casual way he tends to have with most of the riders in the weyr. "Yeah, Vivian's little bronze knocked over a cup of klah on her. She's okay though. Just decided it was a sign she needed to head to bed." He explains, and then turns back to look at Morlanol, half-serious again. "You have to promise you won't tell Tali about this." Apparently he's not exactly worried about the Weyrleader spilling his secret plans.

D'son is in the process of biting into one of those meatrolls he collected when Morlanol explains about the klah. "Vivian? Shells. Her firelizard? Oh okay and good, good, glad she's okay," the Weyrleader says with fading concern, looking between the two young men at this last bit with raised brows. "Planning doom and destruction?" he jokes a little.

Morlanol grins, "I don' know, he hasn' tol' me yet." He gives the Weyrleader a wink as his two flits finish lapping most of the klah up off the table with a pair of satisfied burps as they flop sleepily onto the table. Morl gives them a somewhat exasperated look before turnin' back to D'son, "I'm jus' glad it happened 'fore I got here, else she prob'ly woulda blamed me for it."

Ruzel comes in from the fog, a little frown on his face. The candidate's mood has been all over the place lately, and it seems like the onset of the fog has not helped his disposition in the least. He shuffles over to the serving tables to get himself a hot mug of fresh klah. While looking for a spot to sit he notices the weyrleader and his two fellow candidates. He makes his way over, forcing a smile and saluting the rider. "Weyrleader. Guys. Great weather, huh?"

"Come sit." Rogawani invites the bronzerider, motioning to one of the still available nearby couches. Apparently most people were avoiding them due to a certain someone's former presence, at least that's a fair guess. "And no, not doom and destruction. Not unless a gift for a girl qualifies." He mutters, and then looks more seriously at Morlanol. "Listen, Tali said she wanted a riding jacket like mine. So… I got one, right? And I want to kind of dress it up nice with little cutouts of animals 'n stuff." He holds up one of the animal shaped pieces of brown cloth. "But I'm hopeless at sewing stuff so… can you give me a hand, please?" The boy's look is almost pleading, clapping both hands together. Then, Ruzel's appearance distracts him. "Oh, hey Ruzel, come join us." He lets his hands drop to his sides again, reaching for the sock he'd been mending before all the plotting started.

"She would?" D'son asks Morlanol casually as he casts Ro a grin and comes around and flops down in one of the still open couches and has another bite of meatroll. Up come his eyes and he nods politely to Ruzel. "Candidate," is the the also-polite greeting. Rogawani's explanation makes D'son blink a few times. "Uhhh … well, I can sew straps …"

Morlanol nods, looking quite earnest as he does so, "Yeah, she don' like me much. Dunno why. She mentioned holes, I sai' I was a miner, an' then she got real mean an' said I'd have better luck impressin' a wher than a dragon." He gives Ro a knowing smile, "I don' know why y'd care, bu' sure, I'll help y' make a presen' fer Tali." He glances up, "Oh, hi, Ruz. Draw any cool pictures lately? An' how'd things go with F'yr las' nigh'?"

Ruzel takes the invitation from Rogawani, sliding into the nearest unoccupied seat at their table and setting down his mug. Having caught only the last bits of the conversation after he approached, he seems curious. "What are we sewing for who now?" He smiles over at Morlanol, having a sip of klah before he answers. "Well, I have done a few nice pieces… but the fog is making it hard to work right now, you know. I do most of my work outdoors. Anyways, F'yr picked out a couple nice pieces for her weyr, got everything squared away."

And now it seems that Rogawani has to bring Ruzel in on the plotting. "Um, I'm trying to add little animals to a riding jacket for Tali." He explains, seeming a little bit… shy? Well, he is a fifteen year old boy, "Morl, I like her, I just want to do something nice for her, okay?" He lifts his eyebrows, knowing full well how much the miner isn't one for understanding the appeal of girls just yet. "Here." He takes up the first few of the cut-out animal shapes and a piece of folded up paper from his pocket. Reaching down into the basket of socks to work on, he pulls out a brand new, pale brown riding jacket, which had been inconspicuously hidden in his mending assignment. "Right, so… this shows what I want to do." He offers the whole pile, design and all, across the table to Morlanol.

"Fy ordered art from you?" D'son asks Ruzel in surprise and then clears his throat offers a hand over. "Sorry, should introduce though I mean, you know the whole Weyrleader thing, but um, hey there, D'son, bronze Inimeth's." He eyes the pile of what Rogawani's got going. "Nice jacket," is what he comes up with.

Morlanol takes the package from Ro, snatching it up off the table quickly, knowing that the flits certainly didn't get all the klah up off of it. He scrutinizes the plan, speaking to the others as he does so, "I's good tha' she foun' some stuff. I was 'frai' she'd ge' all dusty an' not fin' nothin'. Specially since I hadn' hear' from 'er." He gives the plans a few more sweeping glances, then looks up at Ro, "I coul' prolly do this in a couple days dependin' on how much time Tali spends in th' barracks an' which chores I ge' 'signed. This is real nice leather, though, wish I ha' one like it."

Ruzel raises his eyebrows and smiles at Rogawani, picked up out of his formerly cloudy mood. This development is apparently news to him. "So, you've got your eye on Tali, huh?" He ponders for a moment. "I suppose I could see that. You two would make a nice couple. So, what can I do to help? I'm afraid I'm not much for needlework… but this does look like a nice design." He looks up at D'son's question, blinks, then chuckles and shakes his head. "Unfortunately, no. I was working in the storage caverns, F'yr came by to pick up furniture for her new weyr." He pauses and thinks. "At least, I think it was for her weyr. She just said she had a large space to furnish."

Rubbing at the back of his neck with his usual sheepish expression when embarassed, Rogawani gives a little nod of his head. "Yeah, it's like the one I've got. She said she liked it." He admits, "I'll cut out all the pieces if you could help me with the sewing Morl?" He asks, and then glances towards Ruzel, "And… if you could help by letting him know when Tali's comin' into he barracks? Think you've got a better view of the door from your cot." He reaches down to pick up the socks that had fallen out. "I would -really- appreciate it." He glances towards Ruzel then, thoughtful. "We really need to get word out on your art, you know. Get some riders to order things. That one you did for my mother was really nice."

"Oh furniture … huh," D'son continues to look puzzled. He listens to the plans for Tali's jacket with a little grin. "Sounds really thoughtful," he remarks. "You know, personal."

Morlanol grins at Ro, "Yeah, no pro'lem. I thin' she'll like it." Agate gives a curious cheep before flopping over to change position. Morl flips the jacket over in his hands, "How many 'ave y' go' cut so far?"

Ruzel laughs a little at Rogawani's comments on his work. "Well, thanks for saying so! I'm glad you liked it, and I hope your mother did too. You know, I'd be happy to do you a piece for Tali if you wanted… although a handmade present is always the best way to go. I'm sure I couldn't make anything that'd have the same effect on her as the jacket. I'll be happy to serve as lookout." He turns his grin to Morlanol. "How about you? Any girls in the candidate group that you're sweet on?" The question is entirely teasing, since he already knows Morl's opinions on the subject.

Rogawani looks towards D'son, and then shrugs a little bit, trying not to seem 'too' into it. Afterall, he's still got to be a tough guy, right? Pppsh. "You should order something from Ruzel, D'son. He does really wonderful peices." The boy suggests before looking back at Morlanol, "Just a few for the bottom. I'm hoping to get the rest cut out tonight, even if I have to do it on my cot after lights out, under the covers, with glows." Apparently he's thought it out that far. Ruzel's question about girls Morl might like, though, lets him turn the table on the artist, "Hey, no badgering other people about their love interests unless you're going to cough up yours."

"Um … don't know what I'd use them for," D'son says with a little duck of his head. He looks up after a second, looking a little amused. "Was that badgering? Just asking is just asking, right?"

Morlanol blushes deeply, "Well… I uh…" He takes immediate advantage of the topic change, "Wha's th' poin' of art? Y' hang it on th' wall an' talk 'bou' how nice it looks an' how pretty y' think it is."

"Badgering? It was just an innocent question." Ruzel says with a smile that absolutely fails to convey innocence. "The weyrleader has the right take on it. And I can't help but notice our friend dodged the question. Highly suspicious." Still, he is a little put off by D'son's reaction to Ro's suggestion. "Use them? How about using them to brighten up your weyr, as my fellow candidate suggests? I find art can add a touch of culture to one's living space… if I might ask, how do you decorate your home, weyrleader?"

"Uh huh. Popping a question on the poor kid. Tsk. You should be ashamed of yourself. He's already turning three shades of red." Rogawani continues, waggling a finger towards the artist before plucking at one of the socks on his assigned lot of mending. He drags a needle and thread through it, in such a rough and haphazard way that it is no wonder why he asked for help with the jacket. "Vivian was telling me that you're getting settled in now, how're you taking to Xanadu?" Rogawani asks, trying to turn some of the attention away from the candidates and back towards the Weyrleader.

"Um. I have you know, portraits. Of the people I care about," Dels explains. "And um, you know, stuff. From the beach at Ista. I'm not really into the whole um, staring at pretty thing," the Weyrleader continues and pops another bit of meatroll into his mouth so that when Rogawani questions he has to hold up a 'hold on a sec' finger. Swallowing quickly he shrugs. "Been settled in for a while. It's a little cooler here than Ista and I miss the ocean, but it's not too cold at least and well, it's been pretty exciting so far."

Morlanol gives Ruzel a dark look, "Well… there is this one girl… she's kinda nice, though she tries t' hide it…" He tries again to grasp for another thread of conversation, "Y' coul' get a picture o' yer dragon 'n' you t' keep ferever."

Ruzel chuckles a little at the finger-waving from Rogawani. "Oh, come on. We're candidates. Besides that, we're friends, aren't we? There shouldn't be secrets between us all, right? Besides, look how red he's getting." When Morlanol finally answers, he follows up with another grin. "Really? I'm surprised! You're really growing up, huh Morl? So who is she? If you tell me, I bet I can help you…" With the interrogation done, he gives the bronzerider a smile. "Ah, well, if you already have portraits up it does sound like your weyr is well-decorated. I find there is no better art than that which features people you love."

Rogawani lifts a hand and smacks it to his forehead, "Morl, you should have quit while you were ahead." The ex-messenger mutters and just shakes his head from side to side. He tosses the mended/mutilated sock back into the pile and grabs up another one. Without the jacket hiding beneath, though, it seems he has a lot less left to do than it seemed before. "Well, the ocean isn't too far. Just a dragon-hop over to Rubicon." He suggests, but then nods about the rest. "Better than becoming Weyrleader at High Reaches or something. Vivian was saying she thought you'd be able to get Hisolda to come back?" He asks, still not participating in the interrogation of his miner friend.

"Not the same as water all around," D'son says with a grin. "But I like it here pretty well," the Weyrleader continues. "And uh yeah, we've been trying. Think we need more than you know, two assistants to support her, regular time off, that kind of thing." Dels shrugs at Morlanol's suggestion. "What for? I mean, we're together all the time, don't need a picture of that to remind me." A little practical are we? He smiles though at Ruzel. "Yeah. Got the two most important faces in the world on my mantel."

Morlanol blushes even deeper and shakes his head, "Naw, she don' like me at all…" He looks to the Weyrleader, "I like th' beach here well 'nuff… 'course any beach's a step up from Crom. I migh' wanna ge' a drawin' o' my paren's if they manage t' get a ride down fer th' hatchin'…" He gives Ruzel a leading look.

"Are you encouraging our friend to keep secrets from us?" Ruzel says with no small amount of amusement to Rogawani. "After all, how are we to help Morl out if he doesn't share these sorts of things?" He gives D'son another nod. "Well, my art could hardly improve on that. But sketches and paintings can make nice gifts as well." He chuckles a little and smiles at Morlanol. "Aww, c'mon, who is she? I want to help you, Morl. Maybe I can do something to help. And if you're asking me to do a drawing of your parents, I'd be more than happy to. Do you have a picture of them?"

Slowly, Rogawani looks back at Ruzel and lifts one eyebrow. "I'm asking the both of you to keep a secret from Tali. Least I can do is not sniff into your secrets." He seems perfectly okay with that arrangement, eyes looking back down to the mutilation of another sock. "I'm sure you can get a rider to bring your parents, Morl. It's a big thing." He's still trying, in vain, to keep the stitches strait and talk at the same time, "I hope she does come back. Thea seems… overworked since she left."

"Where would they be coming from, Morlanol?" D'son asks about the candidate's parents. "I'm sure a ride can be arranged," he says encouragingly then puffs his cheeks out a bit. "Thea kind of … does that to herself," he says with a little shrug. "She needs to learn to chill out. But yeah, overall, just seems like the caverns are a little understaffed, so we'll be working on that," Dels says just a little vaguely.

Morlanol continues to blush, "I'm no' sayin'." He perks up when the mention of arranging a ride for his parents, "I'd love a drawin' o' my folks if they ge' here, bu' I don' have a picture or nothin'." He turns to D'son, "Their hol' is in upper Crom. I's a li'tle minehold up in th' mountains."

Ruzel seems a little amused by Rogawani's logic. "Oh, come on. If we trust each other to keep secrets, we should trust one another to help us out with our troubles. Besides, it would hardly be fair of me to assist you in winning Tali over and not to help Morl, right?" The reasoning makes perfect sense to Ruzel. Plus, he clearly finds this quite entertaining. "Well, I suppose I can wait until they fly in to draw them… of course, if that's when the hatching is, I might just be a little busy."

"I think we'll all be a bit occupied at the hatching." Rogawani chuckles to himself, causing another stitch to go out of place. Finally, he seems to give up on getting them in any sort of shape and just ties off the repair, tossing it back into the basket. "If he wants help winning a girl, I'll help. But I'm not going to torture the poor kid. Especially with him helping me out." He tosses the little wooden darning egg up and down in his hand, as if debating tossing it at Ruzel, but decides better of it. He does glance back over at D'son, but doesn't comment about Thea, his eyebrows drawing in as he goes to grab another sock.

"Crom, got it, I can make sure they're on the list of people who need rides over," D'son notes to Morlanol, expression earnest. He shakes his head a couple of times and eyes that last meat roll in his hand. "My advice about girls, just be yourself."

Morlanol grins, perhaps a twinkling of tears in the corner of his eyes, perhaps it's just that he's tired, "Thanks, D'son." He gives Ruzel a look that gives nothing away, though the blush is as present as it was before, "If'n y' c'n figger ou' who it is, I'll accep' help. I'll give ya a hin'. It's not th' girl from Telgar 'oo looks like 'er face go' stepped on by a dragon an' can' stan' t' be even a li'tle dir'y."

"True enough." Ruzel responds to Rogawani. He grins again. "Well, come on, Morl isn't a kid anymore, but he's still a young man. As his older, wiser friends, we have a duty to do what we can to help him out in navigating the troubled waters of romance." Morlanol's 'hint' makes him laugh heartily. "That's hardly a very good hint. Shards, that poor girl…"

"I like that advice." Rogawani chuckles towards the Weyrleader, but then glances up at the emptying tables, and then towards the other two candidates. "It's getting late guys. We should probably start finding our way back through the fog. Otherwise the weyrlingmasters will probably tan our hides for being late." He mutters, grabbing up the basket of mending to take with him. The corner of his mouth lifts a bit in a smile, and he nods slightly to Ruzel. "Sure sure. He doesn't seem too troubled, though. And I don't want to think about -that- girl. Ugh." He closes his eyes, probably picturing Tali instead. "Um, yeah, let's get going." Better off not following that train of thought.

"Duty huh?" D'son asks Ruzel with some amusement and is very clearly not participating in baiting Morlanol for the identity of his mystery girl. He nods at Rogawani's words about needing to go. "YEah. Pretty much all you really can do. And if you're lucky it all works out."

Morlanol carefully bundles up the future gift for 'Tali and stuffs it under his arms. He stands, nod-bowing to D'son as he does so, "Thanks, sir, fer takin' care o' my folks. Bu' Ro's righ', i's get'in' late an' I'm sure I'll be up early in th' mornin'. 'Specially with addin' this t' m' plans." He turns and hurries to catch up to Ro, "Don' ferge' t' ge' me th' res' o' th' pieces soon."

"Poor girl." Ruzel ponders for a moment, having another long sip of klah. "Hmmm. Someone should really give her a makeover or something. I mean, it's really just sort of unfortunate that she has all these people talking behind her back like this. Then again, she's one of that group from Telgar…" In other words, who cares? "Lemme know when your folks get in, Morl. And let me know if you change your mind about needing advice. We're friends, after all." The weyrleader earns a bit of a smirk. "Yes, duty. Don't we have a duty to help our friends?" It's just a coincidence that this all proves so entertaining.

"I'll have em' to you tomorrow morning." Rogawani says over his shoulder as he plucks up the basket of mending. Giving a small bow of his head towards D'son, "G'night, Weyrleader." He uses the more formal title this time. "Coming Ruzel?" He asks, already walking with Morlanol towards the cavern exit. He leans over towards the miner and whispers, "Don't let him get to you too much. Like who you want to like." Keeping his voice hushed, and then he steps out into the foggy night, hoping that between the three of them, someone might be able to figure out how to get to the hatching arena.

"Good night," D'son says to the departing candidates, lifting a hand to wave. "And good luck," he tacks on with a smile, finishes off his snack and pushes to his feet to find his own way home.

Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barracks

A long, low ceiling room opens off the entrance hall to the arena, one wall slightly curved as it is set against the outer wall of the arena itself. Cots are set evenly the length of the room, in two rows, each with its own small press at the foot, for personal belongings. Wide windows are spaced along the outside wall, letting sunlight in, while other lights are available for the night time hours.

Morlanol sneaks into the barracks room, looking both ways before moving the rest of the way in. His stride becomes more confident once he sees that Tali isn't there. He crosses to his bunk and sits, unfolding the bundle to look more carefully at the plans and the pieces he currently has. He pulls out a box of pins and starts carefully affixing the finished animal cutouts in their appropriate places.

"Don't worry. She's not here." Ruzel says with a smile over at Morlanol. He's already taken up his position as lookout near the barracks entrance, keeping one eye out to make sure Riyontali doesn't make a sudden appearance. "It's really nice of you to do this for Ro, you know. He's a good guy."

Morlanol nods, continuing the pinning process, "I'm doin' i' 'cause he's a nice guy an' 'Tali's a nice girl. I may no' fully unnerstan' th' girl thing, bu' if i' makes 'em happy, why shoul' I stan' in th' way when I c'n help a frien'?"

"Of course. You gotta stick by your friends, or you're no kind of friend at all." Ruzel says, glancing back at Morlanol. "I hope you didn't take what I was saying earlier too harshly. I didn't mean to embarass you too much, I just wanted to help…" He trails off, then looks somewhat concerned. "Wait. The girl you were talking about… it's not Tali, is it?"

Morlanol stops working on his project for a moment to shake his head violently, "naw, she's nice 'n' all, bu' no. I's been clear e'en t' me tha' Ro's liked her fer a while." He pushes hard to get the last few pins into place.

"Really?" Ruzel sounds a little surprised by that. "Huh. I need to pay more attention. I hadn't picked up on that until today." A mischievious grin alights on his face, and he looks back at Morlanol again. "Ah, that really leaves only one girl it could possibly be, doesn't it? It's got to be Cenlia."

Morlanol blushes deeply and becomes suddenly interested in his work, forcing the needle through the supple leather again and again in tiny, binding stitches.

It's the evening in the barracks, and Ruzel is seated near the entrance. He seems to be keeping an eye on it, as if on the lookout for someone or someones. He's also carrying on a conversation with Morlanol, who is seated on a cot nearby working on a leather jacket with animal designs. Ruzel seems awfully amused by something, laughing. "I knew it! Can I predict these things or what?" He chuckles and shakes his head. "Don't worry, Morl. Your secret is safe with me. But if you ever need help…"

Morlanol grins a little as he continues to sew, "Thanks, Ruz. If'n I do, I'll let y' know. Bu' I thin' she thinks I'm too young… an' th' kiss was def'nately bad…"

Ruzel chuckles again and grins back over at Morlanol, taking his eyes off the entrance for a moment. "Well, it is generally better to wait until a more opportune moment before springing a move like that. You know, someplace romantic. Like the beach at night. Liquor helps too, but given the limitations of candidacy you may need to improvise."

Morlanol blushes again, not as badly this time, though he jabs the jacket particularly hard on the next stitch, "I had t'… 'twas a bet… didn' even know I liked 'er then…" He shifts somewhat uncomfortably, as if remember the consequences for that particular mistake.

Cenlia has made it back to the barracks, four firelizards in tow. Bronze Charmer and midnight-blue Rogue are perched on her shoulders, while booze-brown Trouble and bright blue Mizzle flutter along behind her, occassionally squawking or chittering at this or that. Cenlia heads straight for her cot, waving a, "Hey," to anyone she spots. The girl is hauling a sack of… branches? Yep. Branches. The leaves sticking out of the top of the sack, as well as the shovel handle, look wilted and damp. But Cen herself is relatively clean at the moment, though her hair is slick, as if just coming back from the bathing cavern. She flops down on the bed with a groan, muttering, "Sharding /Eledri/." It's debatable whether she heard any sort of conversation, given the crooning firelizard by her ear.

"Well, I was raised that you don't need to take a bet if it'll hurt somebody else." Ruzel considers that for a moment. "Well, maybe I wouldn't say kissing counts as harm, but…" It's then that Ruzel hears Cenlia's approach, and realizes that he has taken his attention off the task of watching the entrance. He looks over to Cenlia and smiles in a way that he approaches is nonchalant. "Oh, hey, Cen. Need some help with that?"

Morlanol blushes deeply, concentrating on his stitching. Stitch. Stitch. Stitch. Agate and Bloodstone both give a welcoming chirp to the new arrivals. Stitch. Stitch. Stitch. He takes a deep breath. Stitch. Stitch. Stitch. The blush starts to fade. Stitch. Stitch. Stitch. He looks up, a bit of pink still tinging his ears. Stitch. He smiles, as if noticing her for the first time, "Oh, hey Cen… Wha's… with th' branches?"

Cenlia shakes her head at Ruzel's offer, kicking the sack unceremoniously to the side of her cot as she says, "Nah, just some garden stuff I gotta look at." She stretches and waves off the flits, who also look rather newly-cleaned and perhaps oiled. Her four firelizards scurry for spots on the pillow, a couple of them trilling back greetings to Morl's flits. Cenlia gives Morlanol and his blush a curious look, but she seems preoccupied as she eyes the sack full 'o branches, "Stuff I got from the forest. Gonna see if I can do some grafting maybe."

Ruzel looks between Cenlia and Morlanol, noting the boy's blush and the girl's curious look. He decides to do his best to cover for the younger boy. He gives Cenlia an almost apologetic smile. "Don't mind him. I was just telling him some stories of my exploits." He eyes the branches again. "Grafting? Grafting them to what?"

Morlanol continues to stitch, smiling up at the other two as he does so, doing his best to hide his youthful discomforture, "Yeah, he shouldn' tell such stories in poli' comp'ny." Stitch. Stitch. Stitch. "Grafting?"

"Dunno yet," the Cenlia says, "Prolly some potted shrubbery. Forgot I stowed it and figure I'll take it romorrow if the stuffs still alive." She doesn't seem to concerned about the branches, though, as she gives them another kick. The gardener girl raises an eyebrow and snorts at Morlanol's statement about polite company, but she turns back to eye the branches and says, "Yeah, stick one bit of a plant to the stem of another, makes somethin' interesting." She doesn't seem too big on explanations, though, as she pulls off her boots and socks, tossing the latter in the dirt clothes bin and then sitting cross-legged on the bed as she asks, "You guys heard anything about what happened to that renegade girl they found?"

"You're probably right. I'll try to show a little more tact in the future." Ruzel assures with a smile over at Morlanol. The last question from Cenlia steals his attention. "Renegade girl? This is the first I'm hearing of that… what was she up to when she got caught? Nothing good, I'm sure."

Morlanol gives Ruzel an odd look, "She's jus' a li'tle girl, Ruz." He turns back to Cen, shrugging a little, having set his stitching aside for the moment, "Ro sai' she was bein' seen to by th' healers, bu' no one's comin' forewar' t' claim 'er or take care o' her. Makes me kinda sad."

Cenlia shrugs at Ruzel, "Dunno, was in the fog. Think she might'a hurt Tali's canine," though there's no concern in Cenlia voice, for either the renegade girl or the dog, "Think some rider carted her off." There's a pause and then Cenlia adds, "Hope she tells where Kate is. If she knows. Sir Kinseth's been worryin', and I figure Thea too."

"Well, that's bad news." Ruzel says with a troubled frown, rubbing at his chin. He's still clearly trying to keep one eye on the entrance, but he's more than a little distracted by the converdation. "Well, at least they caught her. But unless she's just some screwball, I doubt she'dve come out here just to hurt a canine. What could she be up to?"

Morlanol shrugs, putting a few more stitches into the jacket as he does so, "I think Ro said she was 'bandoned by the ren'gades, bu' I don' know why." Stitch. Stitch. Stitch.

Cen shakes her head and says, "I dunno, but from what I heard, the whole lot of 'em were just… crazy. You heard about the stuff they found in the caverns, though? Ain't coincidence, I say." Cenlia is frowning now, an Charmer flutters back over to her shoulder to nuzzle her ear. Cenlia makes a face, continuing, "I been meanin' to ask Thea, but all them shardin' chores." Cenlia makes another face, "But from what I heard, was a pretty bad lot, 'specially if there's renegade dragonriders."

Jessamin sits up gingerly on her cot, rubbing the back of her head and only wincing slightly. She looks down at her pillow, chuckling as she sees her two younger firelizards, one brown and one blue, curled up on the pillow on either side of where she rested her head. The third, Madder, trills softly, perched on the head of her cot, while the other two are still snoring away. "What wonderful protectors you three are!" She smiles warmly, standing and pulling up her blanket to cover the two on the pillow. Her steps are steady enough, thankfully. Bits and pieces of the gossip reach her ears, so she remains otherwise silent, glancing about the barracks at those present.

"Well, renegades aren't the most stable lot to begin with." Ruzel looks left and right, leaning in a little to speak in a hushed voice more appropriate to telling scary stories. "They say there's one of them who eats people. Been hearing stories about him for years. Once, I heard he…" Before he can scar their minds with more terrible stories, he notices Jessamin waking and breaks into a wide grin. "Jess! Wonderful to see you. How were chores?"

Morlanol starts as Jess wakes, but sighs as it stops Ruzel from telling more unpleasant stories. Agate and Bloodstone both trill a happy, wake-up trill when Jess's Madder trills. Morl continues to stitch on what looks like several pieces of cloth and is clearly *not* mending.

Cenlia eyes Ruzel, mild amusement evident in her expression from the slight upward tilt of one side of her mouth. She's heard some stories too, though the gardener girl snorts at the mention of cannibalism, saying, "Ya mean Kefai?" That name sure has been floating around a lot lately. Cenlia glances over at Jessamin with a, "Hey," in greeting. She gives Morlanol another curious look, this time at what he's working on instead of his face, but doesn't ask.

Jessamin waves over to Ruzel when he calls out to her; her smile is cordial, and her tone remains somewhat hushed. "Ruzel… didn't even make it to the runner stables through all that fog. I'll consider myself lucky not to be dressed down for it. Thanks, I'll stick with what I know and take care of some mending." Too, she waves over at Cenlia, smiling. "Hi there… what did I manage to sleep through this time?"

Ruzel seems just a little surprised when Cenlia comes up with a name. "Huh? No, I don't think that was it… name started with a Y, I think. But you know, it's entirely possible that there's more than one cannibal renegade out there. Seems like the natural place that cannibals would end up." He looks over to the sleepy Jessamin and smiles understandingly to her. "I barely made it out today myself. If they make you do the extra work I'll help you out, alright?"

Morlanol continues to stitch studiously, paying most of his visual attention to the stitching. "I think Kez did say somethin' 'bou' human bones at tha' camp they foun' las' time she stood." He glances up quickly to give Jess and Cen a smile before returning to the work, "I doubt they'll make us, more can'dates'll be in there t'morrow. Mos' o' th' chores don' need t' be done ev'ry day, they jus' wanna make us work."

Cenlia reaches up to give the very nuzzley Charmer some scritches while she says, "Hunh, dunno if he ever ate anybody. Was crazy though." There's a grimace as she adds, "Am glad we didn't find bones when we went to check out…" bit Cenlia trails off, biting her lip, her eyebrows furrowing as she falls silent.

Jessamin offers a grateful smile to Ruzel, inclining her head. "That's really kind of you. Thanks!" She edges out her shoes from beneath her cot with her toes, and slips them on. Madder cranes his neck, peering at her with a chirp of inquiry. Jessamin shakes her head. "No, you stay put for now, hmmm? I'll be back in a little bit." She pads softly towards the entrance of the barracks, picking her steps carefully so as not to wake any sleeping Candidates.

Ruzel frowns just a bit. "From what I've heard, it sounds like Keziah had a very difficult candidacy last time she stood. Renegades, feline attacks… by comparison, ours has been a breeze so far. Though in some ways it has been a little bit less of an adventure. I've been thinking we need to at least arrange some sort of celebration." He shoots another smile in Jessamin's direction. "Anything for a friend."

Morlanol watches Jess leave, then shrugs, going back to his sewing. Obviously whatever he's doing is very important to him. He grimaces slightly, "I hope t' never fin' human bones m'self." He stops stitching, glancing up at Cen, an idea suddenly coming to mind, "Hey, Cen, c'n I help y' with th' graftin'? I've go' weedin' t'morrow fer a chore anyway."

Cenlia raises an eyebrow as she listens to Ruzel, the gardener girl muttering, "Shards, surprised nobody ended up dead. I got enough adventure gettin' lost in the forest." Cenlia makes a face, though she tilts her head at the mention of celebration, saying, "D'had might be able to help with that." She doesn't explain how, though, as she turns to regard Morlanol with a slight shrug, "Sure, if you can get up before it's light out." Because, unfortunately, Cenlia is anearly riser - dawn likely being the best time to work outdoors.

It is an exhausted-looking Riyontali that stumps into the barracks. She's wearing a sour expression, and flops uncerimoniously into her window-cot with a groan. "I swear, I never want to see that old man again in my life. Old people are supposed to be nice." The girl mutters darkly, then squints up from her sprawl, and rolls onto her belly, eyeing the others with amused curiosity, but saying nothing yet. Has she finally developed some tact as to not jumping into a conversation at first go? Probably not.

Ruzel smiles and waves to Jessamin as she departs, then grins over at Morlanol. He waits until Cenlia isn't looking in his direction, then mouths the words 'good move' to him and gives him a thumbs up. "Morl's pretty crafty, I'm sure he'd be a big help. He…" Ruzel trails off when he hears the voice of Tali and spots her approach. He frantically waves to Morlanol, trying to signal him.

Morlanol hurriedly folds his work, wrapping it in a worn blanket and sliding it under his pillow when Ruzel signals him. Then he smiles at Cen, "Shoul' be able t' manage tha', used t' hafta ge' up at dawn t' work in th' mine back home."

Cenlia waves a greeting to the arriving Tali, "Hey. Old people? Heh, ya never met the old aunties in South Boll. Some of 'em were shardin' scary," she grins crookedly, though turns back to Ruzel with a raised brow, "Crafty?" Cen glances briefly at Morlanol, saying, "Well, he can mend clothes." Though she gives the miner another curious look - first he helps her with mending and now offering help in the garden? She nods, though, saying, "I gotta talk to Satoris aout goin' down in the mine- oh," and she reaches over to grab the sack, pulling out a small wrapped bundle and holding it up while saying to Tali, "Got ya somethin'." She waits till she has Tali's attention to toss it over.

Riyontali doesn't catch Ruzel's flailing arms, or Morlanol's quick hiding of something. Her eyes are closed and she seems to be wishing entirely too hard that sleep will take her. That has likely never worked, and it doesn't this time — and she opens an eye and grins wryly over at Cenlia. "The aunties at home used to trap me and tell me about what I used to do when I was a baby for /hours/." She groans, then grins. "Who can?" A glance between Ruzel and Morlanol. "You two? Lucky." She snickers ruefully, and with a little squeak catches the bag. "Really? What's…" But nimble fingers have it open quickly, and there's an 'oooh' at the mushrooms. "These the ones from down there? Or — no, wait, they're not down there yet. You know, I bet they /would/ go real well down there." The fungi are cradled cheerfully. "I bet th'cooks won't mind making us some steak and mushrooms, yeah?" Right, because Tali being anywhere near the kitchen is always a good idea.

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