It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

So we tried something different for this scene. A sort-of RP challenge-game. We took a sentence or two from an applicable poem or literary quote to include in our poses. We used a poetry search engine to help. Quote were tweaked just a bit to fit Pern and are in italics within the poses.


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 is a dark and stormy night; the rain falls in torrents - except at occasional intervals, when it is checked by violent gusts of wind which sweep through the Weyr at intervals, rattling along the cottages of the meadow, and agitates the scanty flame of the lamps that struggles against the darkness of the Caverns. Before the fireplace, in one of the chairs sits Thea enjoying a sputtering fire and some quiet. Her workday has ended late, apparently, for she is here rather than in her weyr. In her lap is a garment she is working on and on the table nearby a steaming mug of klah.

It was a dark and stormy night; Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford

There is something tapping, something tapping on the Weyr's door. After a couple more taps Kire manages to come on in with a poncho on and he grumbles to himself as he has a small black carrying case with him, "Sharding storm." He hangs up his poncho and sets the case in a safe place. He strokes his hand through his hair to get some of the spike back as he makes his way over towards the serving table to get himself a mug of klah.

Morlanol enters the caverns, thoroughly drenched and, from the look of the lumps under his shoulders, barely managing to shelter his poor, wet firelizards. He coughs and shakes his head to try to clear the worst of the water as two tiny fire lizard heads perk from under the collar of his shirt just as another bolt of lightning flashes behind him, backlighting his undersized frame. He strips off his wholly inadequate jacket and hangs it on a peg near the door before he notices Thea. He sneezes loudly in time with another bolt of lightning, his flits shivvering beneath their insufficient cover. Without speaking, he makes his way to the table, leaving a trail of watery footprints behind him. A cup of klah finds its way to his hands as he stands near Thea and says softly, "Hullo, Thea."

The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift. The road is forlorn all day, where a myriad snowy quartz stones lift, and the hoof-prints vanish away. The roadside flowers, too wet for the bee, expend their bloom in vain. Luckily, Sigam spent the day away from the rain and cold, instead settling himself into a niche near the fire and bending his back over a series of books and scrolls on his lap. Each depicts various pieces of leaf-matter or muscles, all of which he seems to be studying with rapt attention, content with the quiet he and Thea seem to be sharing. It's only when Kire and Morlanol bluster in, cold and dripping wet, that he glances up, a small smile on his face. "Tut-tut, looks like rain," he jests.

A Line-Storm Song; Robert Frost

Tonight Thea's philosophy is this: Let us keep our feet in wool slippers and mix hot punches and talk about Comet Wing and messenger boys slipping along the muddy trails. Let us write of olden, golden days and hunters of the Holy Grail and men called 'knight' riding horses in the rain, in the cold frozen rain for ladies they loved. In this mindset, as she sews that handwork in her lap, she breaks the silence, asking Sigam lightly, "In all of your studies, did you ever hear any Old Earth tales?" Morlanol and Kire drip into the Caverns, her head turns to peer at them. "Nasty night to be out in all that. Couldn't sleep?"

Horses and Men in Rain; Carl Sandburg

A power is in the air, an electricity that can be felt down to one's bones. Morlanol shakes his head, "These two decided t' be more hungry than jus' a couple o' mea' rolls coul' fullfill." A sip of klah passes his lips as the two lizards begin to enjoy the libations of meat and water left for them on the table.

Merlin's Descendants; Irene Ratford

Kire nods, "Yah just black clouds out tonight I can't even see the stars out." He sighs softly, "A good night wasted, why couldn't it have rained during the day. I guess I'll have to do paperwork." He takes a drink of his hot klah and ahs softly as he goes to find a seat near the fire and he stretches out on the floor as he leans against the front of the chair.

Kai pursues the road not usually taken into Xanadu's Cavern. She pauses to see where the object of her affection is and strides over to Kire. "Hello, Kire!" She greets happily and pulls out a notebook from inside her wet jacket. She turns to smile and not pleasantly to the others gathered there before sitting down beside her young friend. "I've got something to show you!" she says with enthusiasm.

Sigam seems to consider Thea's question for a moment, eyes going distant with the perusal of his memory before he nods. "Sure, I know a few. There's one I know about a melancholy lord's son and his usurping uncle. Or, if you feel more whimsical, one where a run-away boy has a series of children fly off to a world where they never have to grow up." His lips twist at her comment about the weather, shoulders heaving even as he winks at the rain-soaked lads. "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so," he says, waving slightly as Kai appears. "I just hope it clears up soon. My puppy's quite mad."

Hamlet; Shakespere

T'maz slips in and heads for the drinks. He waves politely around, noticing that there are people up even at this late hour. A cup is grabbed and then he slinks quietly to watch what is going on, from one of the unoccupied tables.

Thea might say Some days my thoughts are just cocoons - all cold, and dull and blind, They hang from dripping branches in the grey woods of my mind; And other days they drift and shine - such free and flying things! I find the gold-dust in my hair, left by their brushing wings. But does she? No, when she opens her mouth to reply, the words are not so poetic. "I'm in the mood for stories tonight." She leaves the choice up to Sigam. Molanol's firelizards receive a grimace, "Be better when they can hunt for themselves. Then you can sleep the night through." Her needle flashes for a few stitches and as it does, Kai and T'maz enter and she gives them a polite nod. "Poor Kire. Paperwork doesn't sound like much fun."

Days; Karle Wilson Baker

Somewhere, death sighs, leaning on his scythe waiting for someone to die. In an odd segue, Morl brightens, "Th' harper back home was real old an' he sang ol' songs an' tol' ol' stories. Like I c'n sing tha' song wha' go' carved in th' table." Death's overalls turn pink. D'you wanna hear?"


Kire looks up as he hears the voice and he smiles at Kai, "Hey Kai, what brings you here in this weather? You shouldn't be out in this weather. I don't want you to get sick." He ohs as she sits down next to him, "What have you got to show me? New shirt designs?" He asks as he looks over at the Sigam, "Puppy? You got a canine?" He looks over to Thea, "What kind of stories?" He chuckles, "Yah still waiting for you Weyr leaders to make up your mind about that site for the observatory."

Kai unfolds her sheets. They are drawings of a fine Gather outfit, a dark green shirt and dark blue trousers with a fine pale grey vest with trim on it. She displays several illustrations, all pictures of Kire, wearing variations of the outfit. Back and front views are displayed. Sometimes the vest is long with plackets in the back. There are variations on the trim as well. She holds them out for the young StarCrafter. "What do you think? What do you like in particular?" Even though her ahir is damp and her jacket a bit wet, her smile for Kire is like sunshine on her shoulders.

Sigam and Thea seem to be on similar brain-waves, for instead of saying, 'Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!,' thoughts still being back on the stories of Peter Pan, he smiles gently up at the weyrwoman, books sliding off his lap as he shifts forwards eagerly. "It is the kind of night to share stories around a fire," he agrees, eyes quickly shifting to Morlanol as he speaks. "Really? He knew the old poems? What I wouldn't give for that knowledge," he pines, staring into the distance before blinking at Kire. "Yeah. She's sleeping back in my room, but I have one. She's a cute little thing - red-brown and white. Supposed to be a herding dog, I think. Tali gave her to me." He eyes Kai and her drawings, but fears to comment, sensing a certain kind of privacy in their moment.

William Butler Yeats.

T'maz listens to the Weyrwoman and Sigam talking to each other. Sips of his drink disappear as well, and then he tiptoes silently over and gets something to eat.

Thea tilts her head at Morlanol, "Perhaps after the story, sure." As Kire mentions the observatory, she teases, "What do you want with one of those blame things? I asked you well beforehand. Don't you get one!" But she is jesting really, "Tis up to Niva, not I." She leans to peer at Kai's pattern, being of the Weavercraft, such things interest her. "Nice." She offers her opinion, asked or no with a warm smile to the woman as she leans back, flashing T'maz a small smile,"Cook left some muffins in the pantry." At Sigam's comment she stifles a laugh, "A little Dog that wags his tail and knows no other joy?" She smirks, "Unless it likes to use your shoes for it's very own chew-toy."

The Star-Splitter; Robert Frost and A little Dog that wags his tail; Emily Dickinson"

T'maz nods."I suggested to the cook that she make some, just in case we had people that have the night time hungries." He smiles, and goes to get some."Got all sorts, redfruit, different berries, spice, and nut varieties…Anyone want some?"

Morlanol sighs, sitting and resting his chin on his upraised fists. He sighs again, staring off into space, "Have y' seen th' li'tle brown haired girl? She's so cute." He sighs again, "An' there's no way I'll get a kite to fly."

You're a Good Man Charlie Brown; Charles Shultz

Kire blushes a bit as there are several illustrations of him modeling clothing. He takes a deep breath as he looks them over with a serious eye so he can give his opinion on them. After a couple of moment and looks to Kai, "I think they are great. I like the dark blue, but all of them look great I'd be happy to wear any and all of them." He nods to Sigam, "That's cool I didn't know that a litter of puppies was born." He nods to Thea, "I understand, I'm just chomping at the bit to start working on it." He grins at Thea as he tease back, "Well originally I was going to look at the stars with it, but with a telescope that powerful I can…um….nevermind." He thinks better of his teasing and he looks to Morlanol, "Sorry I haven't."

Kai smiles to Thea. "Thank you, ma'am." She explains to Kire, "I was thinking the dark green satin shirt to match my dress, and the dark blue trousers to match Slidra…though the pants at twill or tweed. Slidra got some greath suede for the vests. It matches the bodices of our dresses."

Sigam outright laughs at Thea, deep and barking. "Thankfully, she has not attempted that yet, so don't you go giving her any ideas." He waggles his pointer finger warningly, mirth filling his eyes as he glances over at T'maz. "A redfruit muffin sounds excellent. Would you mind passing me one?" Shifting a bit, he smirks at Kire. "I don't think they were born here - I think they were imported and given to her. She couldn't keep them though, being a candidate and all, so she gave me the girl. I think she's going to find a foster for the male." He frowns, trying to remember if the girl had told him who that would be, and almost misses the comment about the telescope. "Oh ho, a useful tool, that! I'd almost like one myself," he winks, lip curling up at one corner. "More useful to being masculine than a hammer, too. 'I have a hammer! I can put things together! I can knock things apart! I can alter my environment at will and make an incredible din all the while! Ah, it's great to be male!'," he mimics in a stunningly snarky commentary of his race, chuckling all the while.

Calvin; Calvin and Hobbes.

Thea can't help but snicker at Kire's hastily self-interrupted statement, "So I guess I'll hear gee, you're so beautiful that it's starting to rain?" She asides to Sigam, "He called me a star once." Nevermind that he was referring to Rukbat. Her glance slides back to Kire, "Ever find that thing pointed towards my weyr and I'll have Seryth get the bronzes to belch flame and melt the thing into a puddle." A fair warning. "No thanks, T'maz, nothing for me." Then Sigam is regaling them with the virtues of being manly. "I just… sew things." Much less sweating and noise involved.

Gee, You're So Beautiful That It's Starting To Rain; Richard Brautigan"

T'maz nods, and goes and gets a few of each sort of muffin. He returns quickly, not wanting to miss a thing.

Morlanol allows himself to slump, the world spinning, his eyes closing. "To be? Or not to be? E'er to face the slings and arrows of can'dacy's misfortune. Or fall, fall, fall?" He stumbles over his words, his flits chittering at him confusedly.

Hamlet; Shakespere

Kire smiles at Kai, "Whatever you think is next Kai. You have a better since of fashion then I do. I trust you Kai I'm sure I'll look great. I love the shirts that you make me." he gives her a hug. He lets Kai go and he ahs softly, "I see, I wonder where she got them from I'll have to ask her next time I see her." He nods to Thea, "Indeed I did and you still glow brightly and radiantly just like a star. A twinkling star in the night."

Kai hugs Kire. "You're so easy to please!" she responds, pleased that he's happy.

Sigam raises his eyebrows and smiles, quietly amused by Thea's explaination. "Well, to be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest," he says, eyebrows raising and falling in the way of those that are being obviously and teasingly flirtatious. He bites into his own muffin, momentarily silencing him, but when Morlanol speaks again, he can't help but choke out a laugh through his mouthful. "You alright there, kiddo?" he asks, peering down at the candidate. "Don't go all quackers on us now." Sigam offers a bite of muffin to the firelizards, eyeing Kire wit amusement before returning his attention to Thea. "Very wise of you, weyrwoman. Now you know why I patch up dragons."

Light; author unknown

T'maz says "All men have the stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. For my businessman they were wealth. But all the stars are silent. You - you alone - will have the stars as no one else has them."

Little Prince; Saint Exupery

All that hugging between a 15 turn old and a woman almost twice Kire’s age receives a blink and an odd look from Thea, but no comment. The Candidate's strange statement does elicit a concerned, "Poor Morlanol, are you getting enough sleep lately? You look like you need to go to the gray things, the dark things, the far, deep things of dreamland." Sage nod. She listens to Sigam’s starry talk with a half-smile quirking her lips, "Hm, yes, Kire said something like that too." She gives T'maz a blank look, "Stars are all that? All I can think of is that they are huge hot balls of gas."

Dreams in the Dusk; Carl Sandburg

Morlanol holds up a finger, as if about to emit a brilliant piece of advice. His firelizards trill a warning, drawing attention to their eloquent master, "Never hit your mother with a shovel, it leaves a dull impression on her mind." Is he drunk? You're not sure. Maybe it's just an intermission.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid… movie

Kai catches the young man's words. She pauses, then laughs!

The essence of all jokes, of all comedy, seems to be an honest or well intended halfness; a non performance of that which is pretended to be performed, at the same time that one is giving loud pledges of performance. The balking of the intellect, is comedy and it announces itself in the pleasant spasms we call laughter. It is this laughter that grips Sigam now, for can only chuckle at Morlanol's strange, almost drunken behavior. He glances around the room quickly before picking up a blanket someone's left behind, tucking it around the candidate's shoulders, if he'll have it. "Children are all foreigners," the Dragonhealer sighs. He gives his study materials a long look before shrugging it off and brushing them to the side, sitting closer to the fire this time so his eyes shine their unusual shade of mahogany. "Well, then, Kire is a romantic," Sigam intones, glancing over at the Star Crafter in question, a smirk lining his face.

Various quotes; Ralph Waldo Emerson

Kai smiles with an arms around the young StarCrafter's shoulders, giving him a hug. "And what am I?" she counters.

The pouring rain outside is enough to soak a body even in a short amount of time. And so it is that D'had is shrugging out of a sopping riding jacket on his way into the caverns, messy brown hair drips water, adding to the trail left by clothing. Grumble. Mutter. "Damnit!" follows the scuff of chair on floor as it's kicked. So maybe he should have known that might hurt? Then again, that would be giving the man too much credit for his current half drunken state. Which may explain why the chair was kicked in the first place. Of course its then that brown eyes lift to settle on the group already within the caverns, narrowing his gaze as he peers towards them. But then that might just be too much effort and the bottle in hand is lifted in order that he might take a long swig as he saunters over.

Kai looks up at the rider coming in. "What's wrong?" she asks sympathetically.

Thea laughs outright at Sigam's definition of humor, "'Non performance of that which is pretended to be performed?' Sounds like a Candidate shirking chores, to me." Kai's question to Kire as to what she is gets a smirk and a quick quipped, "A cradle-robber?" Morlanol's continued strangeness draws Thea's attention. Her sewing is dumped upon the table beside her and she uncurls from her chair to pad over to the boy, "Are you drunk?" She’s sputtering a warning as she crosses the space to where he's stitting, "Boy if you've been at Cenlia's brandy or Satoris' ale, you really should know, they could both make you go and spend much of next day on the lav." She leans over, sniffing for a whiff of fumes, her expression remains suspicious in spite of no odors of alcohol. And then there really is someone coming in reeking of it. "Oh shards." Thea quietly notes D'had's sodden, both literally and brain-wise, state.

A Drinking Problem; Bernie Kyle

It was a dark and stormy night. A klaxxon rang. A northern ship appeared on the horizon. A woman screamed. Two little flits offered flowers in the caverns. Morl shakes his head, calling his flits to order, "Naw, jus' so tire' I can' seen straigh'." He stands, cracking his neck as he does so. His flits, knowing his intention, scurry again beneath the shoulders of his sodden shirt as he pulls his jacket over that, a flower sticking out from each side, being held by the weird little flits. He waves, "g'nigh', I hope I ge' up in time t' run t'morrow." He manages to slip past the drunken D'had and makes his exit.

Peanuts; Charels Shultz

D'had isn't that drunk. Yet. He is working on it though. But then there's Thea and lips quirk into that charming half smirked smile he often wears. "Hey sweetheart," he grins, draping an arm about the goldrider's shoulders as he comes upon the group without hazard of furniture getting in the way any further. "Catchin drunk candidates are we?"

Whether Sigam is just feeling bold all of a sudden, or if he's simply feeding off the newly-arrived D'had's drunken state, it's hard to tell, but his answer to Kai comes with a slow, wide grin. "A vixen," he bluntly states, matching Thea's 'cradle-robber' without intending to. He flicks an amused gaze towards the weyrwoman, frowning a bit at her new bluerider drapery, but he doesn't seem to find it comment-worthy. Yet. He's more concerned with watching Morlanol leave, puzzlement evident in his gaze. "Well. Good-night candidate, And flights of firelizards sing thee to thy rest," he murmurs, lip twisting up on one side. "Hopefully, his flitts will be hungry enough to pester him awake come morning - I'd hate to see him wakened by an angry candidate coordinator like that."

Song for Athene; Travener

Kai shrugs. "I'd say…just lucky."

Those who embrace stupendously charismatic beauty (or so D'had might think in his present post-Flight state of mind), inevitably have to accept ludicrous ugliness (he's in danger of getting what he's got coming to him); get deluged by a gory entrenchment of devilish looks (which Thea is giving him now); at some stage of their lives (the present). She's too busy giving the Wingleader a look of ire to notice Morlanol slip past. One hand reaches up to try and lift that arm draped about her shoulder, “D'had…Wingleader!" This isn't working. Her eyes flicker a silent appeal for help towards Sigam, while she stammers, "D'had, how about Kai here? Bet she needs a cuddle from a man rather than a boy."

Those Who Embrace; Nikhil Parekh

If he can't have her shoulder, then she shall just have to start drinking. Well it makes sense in his head anyway. "Aww, come on baby," D'had rolls the words off his tongue in a charismatic purr even as he allows the werywoman to remove the arm. The bottle in his other hand is offered over, "Drink?" Grin. Sadly he hasn't yet noticed the others, or taken the time to bother to look closer. Poor Thea was just recognized first and he was drawn in. "We could go back to your place and…" Someone put him out of his misery. Please!

Sigam's smile for Kai is somewhat wry, accompanied by a small shrug. "You make your own luck," he says, expressing his lack of faith in the whole ideal. His attention is quick to shift back to Thea, whose glance goes far from unnoticed. The Dragonhealer's lean body seems to go a little taut, and before he knows it, he's on his feet, politely inserting himself into the equation. "Of all the ladies, in all the weyrs, in all of Pern, you gotta bug this one?," he asks, a cool smile on his face. "I don't think she's interested." Thea could refute him, of course.
Casablanca; Ernest Hemingway

There is no puzzle to be a part of and D'had is a key which fits in no lock - at least not this one. Thea backs up a few steps, hands palm out, fending off the Rider and the offer of the bottle. "No thanks D'had." She continues to back up, as Sigam steps between them, sliding a grateful look towards the dragonhealer. "Tomorrow you'll feel better D'had, but tonight you need to uh, uh… go to Ierne and see if you can find Asher." She's not upset, really, by the look on her face. Flights and their aftermaths happen all the time, after all. But she is not receptive, either.

And I Lust; Hasan Ali

D'had shrugs, "More for me then," he comments primarily to himself as another swig is taken with her decline of the offer. A glare cuts towards Sigam for his interjection. "She," he starts with a slight slur to the word, "Is a very nice girl, don't you go botherin her none." Or he might… well something that he'll think of when he's sober. The mention of that other woman elicits a snort. Lets not mention her. Yes? "Damn woman," he grumbles. There's soon one of those weyr who- cavern girls sliding up beside him though and its this new blonde that's gained his attentions. Cue grin. "You be good," he notes, pointing a finger in Thea's general direction as the girl leads him off, the other four fingers holding that bottle of alcohol. Someone will be feeling like the idiot in the morning - someone being a certain blue rider of course.

Kai gives one last hug to Kire. "You get some sleep, Kire. I'll get to work on this for you in the morning." She takes up the illustrations and folds then together, tucking them securely into her jacket.

Sigam looks no more upset than the weyrwoman, but there's a certain rigidness to his back that denotes a vexation that his calm smile's hiding. "Begging your pardon, Wingleader, but I believe it is you that is doing the bothering." As the blonde cavern harpy approaches D'had, the 'healer shifts another inch further into the path between bluerider and gold, but offers the pointing man a hand-tilt in farewell. Kai he eyes, warily at first, before realizing he's gone into an overprotective paranoia because of the flight-boggled man. Giving Thea a smile, he crosses back to the fire, gathering his things into a small pile as if giving himself something to do. "I hope he doesn't feel that in the morning," he comments, though he knows better. "I'll give D'had one thing - he sure has guts. Yet, courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" Sigam's nose scrunches with this bit of sagely knowledge, a proper smile again worming onto his face. "I have no idea where that came from, but it seems fitting."

Quote - Mary A. Radmacher

As Thea watches D'had head off with the kitchen gal there is no slight relief upon her face. There’s a little head-shake and a half smile at his words. No sense defending Sigam at this point, the words will fall upon deaf ears. "I will be." Isn't she always? Kai gets a nod as she departs, then she exhales a breath she didn't know she was holding, "Thanks for that, Sigam." She snickers as he waxes eloquent, "Tomorrow, though D’had try again…" She places a dramatic hand upon her chest, "Heart! We will forget him! You and I — tonight! You may forget the warmth he (tried to) give — I will forget the (F)light!" so saying, she reaches for her mending and salutes the dragonhealer and makes for the safety of her weyr.

Heart! We Will Forget Him; Emily Dickinson

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