Fort's Festive and Frigid Illuminations

Mountain Pass /^\^\ Fort Weyr - Glacier Lake

Wind and water washed stones of harsh gray and black scatter the area surrounding a large bright greenish-blue body of water. As if carved out with a spoon the land abruptly dips down into a deep and pure crystal lake, where the bottom is visible because of how clear the lake actually is. The water is a strikingly contrast with the cold harsh landscape that surrounds it. The shore is rugged with large boulders and chunks of rock prevent easy access to the shore line, making it less than ideal for swimming. Of course, the water is also freezing to the touch as its source is the glacier nestled between the higher peaks of the mountainsides surrounding it. Marks exist higher along the walls of the gully, a washed out white water mark showing the variability of the water level, scarring the stone as a permanent reminder of what once was.
To the west of the lake, hidden in the grove of rock, is a foundation built up with matching stones. Its very indistinguishable against the background, often hidden from view as it so easily blends in. It spreads out away from the lake and towards more forgiving and friendlier grounds where some soil holds dominance over rock and ice. Once in disrepair, the entire structure has been rebuilt and expanded and in this rugged terrain it looks so inviting and welcoming despite it's odd location.
Still, to the north, the mountain peak towers into the clouds, often covered with snow and ice. This is where the glacier roosts, some hundreds of feet further up. Scaling it requires a skilful climber with ice and rock climbing gear. Its also treacherous and known for unforeseen fissures and the odd avalanche. Caution is aired when heading up that route.

Evening is rapidly descending, the temperatures dropping with it and the clear skies slowly draining of color as night sets in. The sinking sun casts a rather stunning glow over the snow and ice, one last display before it disappears beyond the horizon. Folk have been coming and going since news spread in the morning, some choosing to venture back before full dark set it and others willing to brave it to see the festival grounds lit up once the time comes. Music, conversation and laughter drift along on the air and the smell of roasting and cooking food can be scented even well before approaching the stalls or firepits. Despite being a festival mostly housed outdoors and much of its attractions fashioned or carved of ice and snow, there is plenty of ways to stay warm, beyond food and drink. Fires are located strategically around and there are a few covered tents, along with the cottage several feet away. Even the dance floors offer two options, though currently they are empty, though for how long is anyone's guess. There are Harpers about! And just about every other rank and position and type of folk in between.

The Weyrleader is present, currently standing more or less in the center of some of the intersecting pathways and by one of the many small fires with his weyrmate at his side. The Weyrwoman is likely present too, but caught up elsewhere on the grounds. Th'ero is dressed in a new formal outfit, much of which is hidden beneath a black fur trimmed and hooded cloak, the edges of which are embroidered in bronze-like and russet threads. Beneath is a thick overcoat cut with a v-shaped neck, also black and trimmed along the sleeve cuffs and shoulders in the same embroidered threads as the cloaks edge and the same goes for the tunic beneath that. Winter festival means layers! Hidden away on either side from view are his dagger and sword, now worn mostly out of habit and decor — hopefully. "Almost time." he murmurs, lifting his head to glance up at the skies and then over at the setting sun. "Wonder if they'll light it all at once or bit by bit." Light what and what now?

Th'ero slips his arm with Kimmila's, his outfit a stark contrast to her lighter one. "I'd imagine it is soon, with the sky now darkening. Oh…" The Weyrleader gestures out towards where the ice sculptures are. "Looks like they're starting with those first." he murmurs and with another glance around the crowds, he turns his attention back to the bluerider. "Want me to go grab some of the mulled cider? Have you seen any of the Candidates among the crowds?" He fidgets for a moment with the edge of his cloak, eyes scanning the grounds once more. One would think where they stand, they'd have a good clear view of all those coming and going but the grounds are large and spread out.

Music drifts again over the air and true enough, as the skies continue to darken, the ice sculptures are now being cleverly lit so that they are visible in an array of colors as the sunlight bleeds away. Some folk drift that way, but most are now heading towards the food and drink and others are lingering around the tunnel. Conversation and laughter continues, a near constant hum in the background and up in a nearby clearing, packed with smoothed snow, more dragons are coming in to land or take off as more guests arrive.

Kimmila gives Th'ero's arm a little squeeze. "No, stay here," she says with a smile, "I want to watch them light everything. And…I think that's Borodin down there?" Point! "And Angelique…though it's getting harder to tell with the sun going down." Even with all the extra light, shifting shadows can make things difficult.

From within the shadows of her hood is a small bronze who refuses to be left behind for anything. Angelique has reached the stalls and now clasps a warm mug of cider in both hands. Now she's free to roam a bit more to see which foods may tempt her. So far she's yet to seek anyone she knows out though surely there's plenty of time to mingle right! Right.
There's always time to mingle! Borodin takes another sip from his mug'o'warmth, then glances back and forth. Yep, there's people. Also more people. Maybe he should talk to one of those people? Like, say… "Uhm, hey," he says to Angelique as she passes near him.

Who would have thought this morning, in Kera time, when she was being whisked away to a surprise exam in the Hall, that she would be rewarded with a Wintery Festival when she was finished? Not the apprentice healer, that's for sure. So, here she is, roaming around all bundled up in her borrowed traveling gear, warming herself by one of the many fires as her gaze darts all around enjoying the icey decorations. A small brown snout peeks out of her jacket near Kera's neck. The girl offers a cheery smile and waves thickly gloved fingers to people that closet to her. "Hello."

Abigail has been here for a short while now, she is making her way on towards where the others are after leaving Niumdreoth with the rest of the dragons. The large brown settling down with a yawn escaping him as he waits and watches from his spot. Abbey sends a slight glance around, curious to who all may have made it, so far it seems like just about everyone is out. Clothing wise she has on a long sleeved light green blouse that is presently un-tucked a vest of dark brown that is left open with lighter brown pants and boots, a jacket rests loosely on her as well. Seems like there are a few out with firelizards and she has a brown perched on her shoulder as well, he is curiously peering out at everyone, and perhaps eyeing food bits that go wandering by him.

"Shouldn't be much longer now," Th'ero repeats again, his gaze following the movements of certain folk among the crowds. The ice sculptures are lit now and some of the snow sculptures are following, which only leaves the tunnel as the last to go. The Weyrleader stands close to Kimmila's side and when she points out Borodin and Angelique and he squints a bit to see if the shadows are, in fact, playing tricks. "I think you're right! Good. I'm glad some of them managed to escape out here for tonight. I think it's close to time for them to light the last part…" he murmurs and sure enough, the atmosphere around the grounds seems to change as folk murmur excitedly or in curious wonder as more begin to approach the now dark looking tunnel. What's so special about that? "Shall we?" he asks Kimmila with just a hint of a grin. Just as he's about to step forwards though, a greeting catches his attention and he turns to spy Kera and he offers her a reserved but welcoming smile. "Greetings and welcome. Have you just arrived?" Th'ero asks, tilting his head a bit to study her curiously and perhaps spy out a knot.

Kimmila turns as well to smile at Kera, adding in a quiet, "Hello," as she smiles, looking towards the tunnel. "Not long now," she agrees with Th'ero, and then looks back over to the girl. "I'm Kimmila," she offers, to get the conversation rolling.

Borodin's mutter to the crowd doesn't do much. He shrugs, and starts to move on after another sip of his cider. Maybe he'll find someone else to talk to. Like, say… oh. Wait. That's Abigail there, isn't it? Ulp. It is. Borodin's gaze rests there a moment, then he starts to turn the other way - but with the crowd moving, he's now getting swept toward that tunnel. Guess he's going to find out what's happening?

Kera extends her hands towards the fire, making slow loose fists to loosen her digits as they warm. Since she only recognizes a few apprentices in the area, a response is hardly expected. Thus her attention is already peering off when a flash of color draws her gaze towards one of the numerous chilly sculptures. Wait, someone's talking to her? Looking back towards those gathered around the fire, she gives a polite dip of her head. "G'evening sir. Ma'am." Blinking when she pays closer attention and her eyes widen marginally "I mean. G'evening Weyrleader sir, Weyrwoman." She nods again to each and smiles "I am visiting briefly from Xanadu, Sir."

"Borodin!" a warm voice calls out from behind. Coming around the man - a mug of hot, spiced cider firmly in hand - is Solan, dressed for cold weather and smiling ebulliently. He, too, is moving towards the tunnel but now that he's spotted a fellow Candidate, the young woodcrafter slows his pace. "How are you doing?" The question is asked with a twinge of guilt, perhaps. "After the rescue, I mean. I wish I'd been there," he says softly. "I was sent elsewhere that day." Guilt indeed. Guilt for not being there, guilt for not sharing in the bonding such an experience no doubt promotedguilt for being spared the hardship while his friends suffered.

Abigail hadn't actually noticed Borodin yet, though perhaps she was looking to see if her brother was around. Since the talk she had with him, she hasn't done much of anything with the Candidates, or even actually spoke to Borodin. She glances up catching the voice that calls out her brother's name, it takes her a few moments before she catches sight of both Borodin and Solan and she watches the pair a few moments. For a few moments there are a thought or two of going to say hi and then well not going to say anything. Though in the end the brownrider is moving on towards where the two can be found. A soft smile and nod is seen. "Hello Borodin, Solan." Her gaze does linger a bit longer on her brother out of the pair. "Ye two having fun?"

Th'ero blinks for a moment. Weyrwoman? Where? His head turns and cranes, but he does not spy Dtirae anywhere and it only dawns on him then that… Oh. Now the Weyrleader has to bite his tongue to keep from laughing out loud, unless he hurts Kera's feelings or that of his weyrmate at his side. Instead he keeps his tone level and welcoming, his smile gentle. Don't scare off the guests! "From Xanadu? That is a good distance to travel! Welcome then, to Fort Weyr. Is this your first visit?" Then as the call goes out, or at least someone shouts that 'it' is about to start, the Weyrleader pulls Kimmila closer to his side and then flashes Kera a smile that is a little more genuine. "You should come along. They're about to light the tunnel." Light… it? "It's not an event to miss!" Apparently not, as Th'ero begins to move forwards, pausing only to see if Kimmila and Kera follow before he's moving down the path. Midway down, the Weyrleader slips his arm from Kimmila's, murmuring to her. "I'll be right back. Speech." Oh joy? Not really, as Th'ero always struggles with these things and even as he climbs up to stand near the edge of the tunnel's entrance and raise his hands to gain everyone's attention, he has to clear his throat and take a deep steadying breath before he can speak. "Welcome, all of you, to Fort's first Winter Festival! We are pleased to see so many come out so far to enjoy a night and many days to come of celebration as we slowly draw closer to this Turn's end and also to the nearing Hatching of the eggs on the sands…" He goes on to say how none of this would have been possible without the work of all those carvers, crafters and workers and that most of the thanks and appreciation should be given to them. Add in a few more well wishes and the usual quick-speech fluff and Th'ero ends it in a toast. "For the Weyrs, Holds and Halls of Pern!" Done and stepping down, he rejoins Kimmila and the others, nodding polite greetings to all before turning to face the tunnel.

It starts slowly at first. One lantern flares to life, then the next and the next and suddenly they're coming to life in rapid succession. Once it's done, the tunnel is glowing with orange, yellow and red light, as if wreathed in fire yet perfectly safe to walk through. Some folk begin to advance, hesitant at first and then eagerly when they step inside the rather ethereal effect. That marks the official opening and the music from before picks up once again but in a livelier tune. Folk are murmuring that the dancing must be starting next and some choose to venture back to take prime spots by the dance floors, while others investigate the tunnel first.

Kimmila laughs, grinning at Kera and shaking her head. "I'm a bluerider," she informs the girl, amused. "Good luck," she says to Th'ero with an arm squeeze, and she lets him go, nodding and applauding the toast, only to slip her arm through the Weyrleader's again as the lanterns begin to light. She gasps, and then cheers with the beauty and joy of it all as they flare to life. "Let's walk through," she says to Th'ero and to Kera, inviting the girl along.

Polana has been here the whole time, just quiet. Very, very, very quiet. Lurking really. At first she doesn't want to go and talk to anyone and it is as simple as that. All she wants is to walk around and think. Or maybe just look at the snow. All she really knows is that she doesn't want to interact. However, that changes as soon as the lanterns light and the tunnel begins to glow with a warm, orange light. And that intrigues her to say the least. A small smile crosses her face as she takes a step forward, then another, then another. And soon enough Polana is standing by the entrance to the tunnel, but not quite going in.

So much for slipping away in the crowd. Borodin stops at the sound of his name, turning around to look. "Oh. Uhm. Hi Solan," he says with a bobble of his head. "I'm-" He frowns. "Fine. You really shouldn't. It sucked." He shrugs, and glances up to discover that Abigail is not just in the area but actually here. "…hey Abbey," he mutters, looking away from her back to his mug. If your sister finds you, take a drink. Sadly, he's a candidate and not a vintner anymore, so there's no booze in that mug… but Borodin definitely takes a drink.

Kera nods agreeably to the man. "Yes sir. I had an exam at the HealerHall and they brought some of us over here afterwards. M'name's Kera by the way." She gives a little wince that she just now remembered to introduce herself. Canting her head curiously at the commotion, she undoes the first toggle on her jacket and her brown lizard stretches his neck out further to chitter excitedly at the sights. Soon her scrambles out of her jacket and settles on the girl's shoulder. Following the group along, she eyes the fire briefly before leaving it behind in the flow of people. "Stay with me Minimur." This to her firelizard of coarse. She flashes a nervous grin to Kimmila. "Excuse me, but what's about to happen?" She grows quiet through the Weyrleader's speech, then her eyes widen when her question is soon answered.

"So I heard," Solan nods in grim response to the suckage. Mention of Abigail turns the Candidate's head and a warm, effusive smile washes over the woman. "It's good to see you," Solan says, his tone indicating clear genuineness in that sentiment. Before he can say more, though, the tunnel begins to light and the crowd's reactions have the young man turning to look. To say the scene was 'pretty' would be to grossly undervalue it. "Astonishing," Solan says instead, his excitement returning as the crowds begin to move through. Polana is spotted and the woodcrafter wastes no time in waving warmly to her.

Abigail watches Borodin for a few moments, she was hoping to not get that reaction it seems. Though she keeps that smile all the while. A slight nod seen as she glances to Solan. "Tis good ta see ye as well Solan." It's been a while since she last spoke with him. She sends a slight glance back to Borodin, thinking on asking something though it is quickly held back. A soft breath escapes her before she lets her attention turn towards the tunnel. Once everything it lit she smiles. "How about that, that's beautiful,." With that said she goes about following the others on through it. "Come on Solan, Borodin." Yep she tagged in her brother's name there; even if /he/ doesn't want to talk to her she'll just keep at it.

Th'ero looks relieved to be done with that portion of the night and stepping close to Kimmila's side again as more folk attempt to drift past to get around them and towards the tunnel. The Weyrleader will spot Polana among those approaching and he will give her a long look, but his attention is soon drawn back to conversation. "Healer Hall? You're an apprentice then?" he asks Kera, if not a touch belatedly. "Seems like a very kind gesture on their part to treat you all to the festival. Well met, Kera." Seems no harm done on the belated greetings. "I'm Weyrleader Th'ero, rider of bronze Velokraeth and this is my weyrmate, Wingrider Kimmila and rider of blue Varmiroth." he says, offering both their names in return. Glancing towards the tunnel again, Th'ero grins faintly for Kimmila's cheer and to the overall reaction before he begins to move forwards. "Let's go then. Are you joining us, Kera?" he asks, before joining the flow of people heading forwards.

Kimmila moves forward with Th'ero, her eyes sweeping the tunnel and letting the rosy glow bathe her. She looks at how the light plays with features, with the dresses and outfits people wear, and even how the shadows flicker across the ground. "This is magical," she whispers, gripping Th'ero's arm in a spasm of feminine /glee/. If she hears any other voices she recognizes, she ignores them for now because the tunnel is breathtaking.

Having long finished her hot then warm then lukewarm and finally cooled apple cider, Angelique is simply content to mingle and linger around the various things there are to be seen here as the festival gets underway. Sadly she hadn't heard Borodin's greeting to here so long ago. The lanterns flaring to life brings her back around to the main area as she is ooh and ahing with the rest of them. Her steps take her to inside the tunnel, eyes a light as she takes it all in.

Polana doesn't go in right away, but she doesn't just stand there either. She notices the Weyrleader's long look at her and gives him a respectful nod of greeting. Then Solan is giving her a warm wave, which causes her to smile. She then waves back before gesturing for him and Borodin to come over. After all, three people entering the tunnel of who knows what is better than one.
Next time Borodin won't greet Abigail? He glances over to Solan, shrugging. "Nobody's dead, anyhow." Then he goes quiet, watching the lighting of the tunnel of lanterns with a slow and appreciative nod before glancing back to Solan. Then to Abbey. Then back to Solan again. "Yeah. You'll probably like it," he says to Abigail, and then he glances over to Polana. "Seems fun," Borodin says, making a little gesture to encourage them on. He himself… hangs back. Three's still three, right? Let Abigail have what she wants! She can have a voyage of adventure and discovery. Or whatever. Borodin can drift away and go get some roasted nuts to go with his cider.

Kera watches as the lights blink into existance one by one. Grinning, she chuckles over the effect before peering back to Kimmila and Th'ero. "Yes sir, It's nice to meet you both." And dip of her head given to the woman. "Sorry for my confusion earlier Wingrider Kimmila." She gives a small grin as her feet move on their own, joining the moving trail of people. "This is all soo.." She's gone a bit speechless, unsure of the words to describe the decorations she's seen thus far. Nodding to the Weyrleader "For a few candlemarks at least. Then I should be looking for my ride home." Kera gives a nervous chuckle, but, where /did/ her ride go anyway?

The woodcrafter nods to Polana as he's gestured over but suddenly a voice yells, "Solan! Get yer tail over here, boy!" Turning to spot the source of the sound, Solan finds himself staring at a very /spirited/ — and likely drunk, given the hour and the shout - woodcraft Journeyman. His teacher, in fact. "Getelle!" he smirks back, waving before saying, "Please excuse me. If I don't see you later on, we should grab some meat rolls or something tomorrow? I've missed you," he admits to Polana before smiling to Abigail, "And you, too. Seems like there's much to catch up on?" Another shout of his name pulls him away quickly and with a laugh, the woodcrafter is moving off into the crowd toward Getelle, tossing a happy wave to Kimmila, Th'ero, and Kera as he goes.

Abigail did get a greeting yes, but it was the actions along with the greeting that stuck out in her mind. She casts a slight glance back to Borodin watching as he doesn't follow. Hearing Solan a soft smile is seen and she nods. "Sure, I'll catch up with ye later. Have a good evening Solan." A slight wave sent after him before she turns to continue on through the tunnel, her hand settling in her jacket pockets as she goes. She'll linger and talk to a few people now and then, though she really doesn't plan on sticking around that much longer. Once she's able to leave she'll be off to find Niumdreoth and head on back to the Weyr.

Th'ero has to duck his head down a bit to hide the broad grin that threatens to spread across his features at Kimmila's reaction to the tunnel. What, can he not laugh at the festival? "It is, isn't it?" he agrees and lifts his head again to observe it, caught for a moment by the surreal nature of it all. "It's like being in the heart of a flame." he murmurs in a voice easily heard by all as he continues to walk forwards at a sedate pace. He fidgets again with the cloak settled about his shoulders, twitching it closed before someone catches it on their way past. At Solan's wave, Th'ero starts a little. He hadn't seen that particular Candidate sneak in and hastily he returns the gesture, only to then spy Polana again and Angelique and offer them a greeting as well. "Evening, you two. Enjoying the night so far?" Then it's back to Kera, to whom he smiles again. "Do you know the name of the rider who brought you here? We could always have them called if you are looking to return home. Or I'm sure a Fortian rider would not mind returning you to Xanadu." he tells her. They're approaching the end of the tunnel now and Th'ero smirks, "Now what is next, I wonder? The Harpers should be done setting up by the dance floors." he muses.

Kimmila grins, "I think probably music, dancing, food…everything else the festival has to offer," she says as they step out of the tunnel. "Faranth, this is beautiful," she adds, glancing around again and smiling. "Shall we get something to eat and drink? Join us?" she offers to those that are nearby.

Dtirae has been around, most certainly! She's just been busy, really. She'll never tell the exact truth of where she was hiding, as she's suddenly making herself a little more visible to the public. There's a slight limp in her step, but determination seems to keep her upright without any sort of assistance. The Weyrwoman is dressed for the occasion, even in a dress that was made for the colder winter weather. It's a dark gold, a harsh contrast to her lifemate's coloring but certainly standing out against her hair color. And she'll limp on by Th'ero, Kimmila, and Kera but not without a grin and a wave. Somebody's cheeky, handing off the speeches to the poor Weyrleader.

Angelique's head turns and her attention shifts towards Th'ero's greeting. "Good evening Weyrleader Th'ero. Kimmilia." she greets the pair with a warm smile. "You two could take the first dance." is suggested. "They have the best mulled cider here." is said on the heels of Kimmila's offer. A cheerful wave is cast to the Weyrwoman as she limps past.

Jastre doesn't know why he waited until NOW to join the winter festival, now that it's gotten dark and even colder than the iceberg. Bundled up, he nevertheless shivers as he steps out into the crowd, looking about. Ok, so everything DOES look really nice out here. He starts making his way about, hands shoved deep in his pockets.

Kera 's steps pause periodically as she gets caught up in admiring the tunnel. When she's nudged or jostled from someone going around her, she murmurs an appology and quickens her steps to catch up to the couple she's trailing behind. Doin her best to not intrude on their space, the apprentice keeps a polite distance, yet /there/ she is when she needs to speak up. Glancing around to scan faces at the Weyrleader's question, she nod "Yes'ir, it was Rider Kiena. I'll recognize her when I see her." She stops again, and stretches up on her toes to peer into the crowd behind her in the tunnel.

"Most likely will be occurring in that order," Th'ero muses in agreement to Kimmila's statement as they step out of the tunnel and the Weyrleader turns to face those exiting as well. The bluerider's invitation to all has the Weyrleader nodding his head, his expression open and welcoming. "Please do. It promises to be quite a night of entertainment!" And the Candidates don't have a curfew? Apparently not! Then Dtirae is making a brief appearance as she walks - limps? - by and Th'ero's brows knit in a frown. "Evening, Weyrwoman. Evening as well, Angelique. As for the first dance…" There's a look to Dtirae first and then to Kimmila and Th'ero looks a touch sheepish. He forgot about the traditional first dance? "We'll see. For certain I will be present." Just not dancing? Say it isn't so! Greeting Jastre with a respectful nod, Th'ero goes on to muse, "Looks like far more Candidates made it out than I thought. You bunch are good at blending in…" Glancing back to Kera, his expression takes on a surprised look when the apprentice Healer mentions that name. "Kiena? She's here?" And now he too is scanning the crowds, but soon gives up. Too many people, too big a place. Exhaling, he shakes his head and then motions with his free hand. "Shall we head over then to the food, drink and dancing? Don't worry Kera… We know who Kiena is. You'll have your ride back to Xanadu secured."

Kimmila links arms with Th'ero again and grins at Angelique, then up at her weyrmate. "We could do the first dance." What with Dei limping and all. Then she focuses on Kera again, and grins widely. "Kiena? No, she won't leave you stranded." There's a snicker, but it must be an inside joke because the bluerider doesn't elaborate, she just tugs on Th'ero's arm towards the food.

"Food! Drink! Dancing!" Onward! Onward! With little else to say that would beat Food! Drink! or Dancing! Angelique moves forward with one eye above her through the tunnel.

Dtirae will definitely not be agreeing to a dance. "Evening, Th'ero." Comes her light greeting before Angelique's wave is returned and she continues on her path. She's here for the food, and drinks, clearly. And so is everyone else, it appears. She's gathering a plate once she reaches the table and fills it with small finger foods. A glass of wine is offered, which she gladly accepts. However, she doesn't linger at the table, opting to find a seat and observe. She's watching you all.

Jastre happens upon a familiar group, and nods greetings all around, varying from a more formal one to the Weyrwoman and Weyrleader, to merely a polite one to the ones he doesn't know, like Kera. He shivers again however, and sighs. "Wish winter wasn't so……. cold."

Kera gives a little hop, trying to catch a quick glimpse over the taller members of the crowd. Giving it up for he moment, she reaches up to sooth her little brown clinging and chittering angrily over the hopping. "Sorry Minimur." She mumbles to the young brown as she rubs his side with her still gloved fingers. Attention goes back to Th'ero and Kimmila. Her gaze flicks between them a couple of times, head canting slightly. They seem to know something she doesn't, so simply shrugs and smiles. "She was here. I quickly lost sight of her with all the excitement however." At the mention of food and drink, she rubs her hands together briskly and chuckles. "Could use a hot mug to wrap my fingers around." She waves and gives a quiet nod to people approaching to greet the Weyrleader. Since they seem to know her ride home, she keeps Kimmila and Th'ero in her sight.

"First dance it is then," Th'ero confirms as his arm is linked with Kimmila and if he's nervous about having to dance in front of everyone well… he's hiding it well? Or does the Weyrleader hide another secret? There's a sharp and long look given to the bluerider for that little comment but he chuckles by the end of it. "Certainly not!" he drawls and then shaking his head, begins to lead the way on to the dance floor. "Cold?" he asks of Jastre as they move on. "Mulled cider or some klah should set that right. We'll be closer to the fires too." Warmth! Doesn't that sound nice? "Mhm, I've no doubt of that. Kiena tends to go… about things her own way." Alone, if his tone implies anything. "Velokraeth's confirmed for me though that Ujinath is still lurking about so she is here." he tells Kera. Indeed, there is a good crowd that has gathered around the dance floor and the food and drink tables arranged there. Benches and other tables have been arranged close by for those who wish simply to watch and it's not to there that Th'ero heads. Instead he's stopping briefly to address everyone, "The dancing should commence shortly. Please, enjoy yourselves!" Time for the real fun to begin? Then the Weyrleader dips his head and glancing to Kimmila, begins to lead them towards the uncovered dance floor. The Harper's, seeing them approach and at a signal from Th'ero, play a certain group of cords to alert folk that the first dance is about to begin and then when it is completed, it's a free for all and all may join in.

Kimmila grins at Th'ero as those chords strum, and with a 'be right back' to the others, she's pulling the Wingleader out onto the floor for the first dance, gown and cape swirling along with his, darkness against light as they dance. They're not /amazing/, but they're passable. Neither of them trip, so that's good, right? And after, they're quickly giving up the floor to other couples to breeze on and take center stage, while Kimmila tugs Th'ero off towards the refreshments.

Food is forgotten as Angelique is claimed by a young man for a dance. From then on it's from partner to partner she revolves, generally not sticking with just one person for longer than one or two dances. While there is plenty of festival to see still she's caught up in the dancing for now! And she's not too bad at it either!

Kera grins to the Weyrleader when he explains the series of events that leads him to know that Kiena is still lurking about. With a thankful nod. "That's good. Then I'll stop worrying about missing my ride." She chuckles and watches the couple begin to dance. And then there are more people moving onto the designated floor. Oh look! No one's guarding the food! She weaves her way through the people and eyes the tables briefly before targeting the hot cider and getting herself a mug. Minimur gives an inquisitive chirp from the apprentice's shoulder "So what shall it be Minimur? Soup or something more solid?" The young brown gives a series of chitters, causing Kera to chuckle and smirk as if she understood. "I agree, something more solid."

Jastre lifts his eyebrows at the suggestion. "Oh…. thanks, Weyrleader, I'll take your suggestion." and then he goes off to do just that. Dancing, well, maybe he'll do that later, physical activity warms you up, right?

Th'ero willingly allows himself to be tugged off the dance floor, all too happy to allow the other couples to step in and take over. Maybe later in the night he will try another round (or if he gets into the wine) but for now the Weyrleader will follow Kimmila and mingle. Unless, of course, he's pulled away and that will no doubt happen as well as someone or another will wish to speak with him. No rest for a host or a Weyrleader! Is Dtirae getting the same treatment too? Or is she cleverly deflecting them all to him? Regardless, he will be scarce, though he will always return to join them again for as long or as little time that he has.

The Harpers will play a variety of songs, ranging from the faster paced dances to the slow ones and likely go on until the late hours, well past midnight. With so much rich food and the wine and other drinks flowing freely, the atmosphere remains light and festive. Conversation is a near constant hum, mixed with laughter and calls as folks drift from one group to the next. Some disappear to wander the still lit tunnel or sculptures, others brave to do some nighttime skating and a few are even venturing off towards the cottage for some warmth before returning. And so the night goes on!

Kimmila is left on her own for the time being when Th'ero is called away, and the bluerider drifts through the crowds to gaze up at the ice sculptures with a soft whistle of admiration. "Shards and shells, but these people are talented," she says to whoever happens to be near her.

Dtirae is definitely deflecting everyone towards the Weyrleader, sorry Kimmila! But, after a moment it seems she can no longer hide or send them away. So what is a Weyrwoman to do? She goes to help, of course! And thus, Dtirae becomes just as scarce as she was towards the beginning of the festival.

Kera sets her mug down only long enough to tug a glove off and shove it in her pocket before grabbing her steaming mug back up. And now and she can grab a hot meatroll which she shares with her firelizard. She mingles around, admiring the colorful and luminous sights. Finding herself next to Kimmila once more, she nods agreeably "Yea, I've never seen such as these before."

Kimmila looks over at Kera with a wide grin, hunching her shoulders into her warm cloak as a cold breeze drifts through. "They're beautiful," she agrees with a nod. "We have some amazing crafters here in Fort, and it looks like they all wanted to strut their stuff."

Kera sips from her mug, being cautious of the steaming cider as she holds her meatroll up for Minimur to tug a bit of meat out. Leaning forward and scrutinizing one of the works closer, she blinks back to the Wingleader. "You mean there is a Hall for learning how to carve ice?" Sandsculpting, woodsculpting, even metalsculpting. These things she has heard of, but ice crafters? Will the new wonders never cease!

Kimmila laughs, shaking her head. "No, no, but they are still craftsman, no? Even without the full Hall."

Kera considers the woman's words and chuckles with an embarrassed nod. "Oh most definately, it's just for a moment, I was considering a new craft." Her grins shows she's joking of coarse. "Everyone's definately gone all out to make things festive for the new Turn."

Kimmila laughs. "It would be a fun craft, wouldn't it? But no. I can't even imagine where that Hall would /be/." Glancing over at the girl, she gestures for them to continue to wander and admire the ice carvings. "You said you came with Kiena?"

Kera chuckles and nods agreeably. "It would wouldn't it." Taking another couple of sips from her cooling mug as she matches steps with the woman, to other frozen works. "Yes'm. I don't know her very well, but she's always been nice and friendly when our paths cross." Canting her head towards the Fortian, "Did I miss something earlier? You both seemed amused when I told you who my ride was."

Kimmila chuckles. "Kiena is Th'ero's sister," she elaborates. "And when she was…a Candidate, maybe before she was even searched, I took her on a hunting trip through the jungles. Her attitude was…atrocious. So I left her in the jungle for a few candlemarks. Trust me, she won't leave you behind."

Kera ahs softly and nods, and gives that a bit of thought. Taking a sip from her mug as Kimmila recalls a hunting excursion, Kera enhales at the wrong time and starts coughing as her cider goes down the wrong way. The jarring of her shoulders sends Minimur winging up to perch nearby. He croons gently to his little healer while she works on that breathing thing. When she succeeds, Kera blinks watery eyes to the woman and looks at her worriedly. "That was you?!"

Kimmila reaches out to smack Kera on the back if the girl needs it, her grin a little crooked. "You okay?" Then she laughs. "Oh, you've heard that story, hmm?"

Kera swipes at her eyes and coughs a couple more times before she's breathing easy again. Nodding to Kimmila. "Thanks." With a very amused chuckle, she nods and whictles for Minimur to come back, which he does with a soft churl and knobby headrub to her cheek. "Yes'm. I did actually. A bunch of us were doing some night fishing and grilling. That was one of the tales told while waiting for the little buggers to steal our bait."

Kimmila laughs. "So I'm a story told while fishing now, huh? That is…amusing and flattering."

Kera pauses her steps and peers to the woman, thinking she may have offended her by speaking of the incedent. Realizing Kimmila took it goodnaturedly, as it was intended, she nods and continues on. "Everyone was recalling their memories of being candidates and weyrlings." She, shrugs "Myself, I was just feeding the fish fat little worms."

Kimmila chuckles, smiling as she circles another statue, this one of a bouquet of massive flowers. "Well, in my defense, Kiena's attitude improved a lot after that little incident."

Kera smiles to the Fortian and gives an uncertain shrug "I really wouldn't know about that ma'am. I'll take your word for it." Eyeing the intricate glaze flowers, she finds herself leaning closer and closer to it. "The petals are incredible. Each individual one, like you could pluck one right off." Shaking her head in admiration "Hall or no, these people should get some sorta of recognition for their skills."

Kimmila grins, "This is their recognition. Seeing everyone admire. And maybe they'll get called to do more winter parties."

Kera nods after a moment. "I suppose you are right. Just too bad they will melt away, leaving nothing but a memory of what it was." Well, that's a depressing thought. Stop that! Sipping her cider and offering her lizard a couple of small bites from her roll, she steps back from the flowery exhibit and looks over the next one.

Kimmila smiles, "Or maybe that makes us appreciate it more," she suggests with a small smile and a shrug as they continue to the next.

Kera grins as Minimur makes a couple of halfhearted grabs towards one of the frigid formations. "Nono Mini." Distracting the young brown with a smelly nibble of food, she grins and admires several more works smiling to her guide through the cool arts. "I must say, you weyrfolk always go all out when it comes to being festive. I've really enjoyed myself. Definately a distraction from second guessing my exam responses earlier." Chuckling nervously over that. "It was a pleasure meeting you and your weyrmate ma'am. I should go find Rider Kiena and see if she is ready to go back."

Kimmila grins. "Tell her I said hi," she adds, waving and then drifting off to try and find Th'ero in the crowd.

Kera nods, "I will ma'am. Enjoy your evening." Depositing her empty mug in a bin, she starts tugging on her glove as she searches for her Xanadu bound transport.

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