Breakfast Club

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.

This morning dawned bright, with clear skies and a definite chill in the air. The kitchens were already hard at work preparing a hearty breakfast and early-goers are reaping the benefits of the freshest meats, pastries, omelets and klah. Amelia is one such breakfaster, blearily making her way into the caverns and unbutton her heavy coat as she meanders towards the food tables.

e-on has already settled at a food table with his breakfast set out; a harty breakfast, definitely, as teen males are prone to having. He watches as people come in and out, well situated to see those that come in for breakfast. He tosses a smile to the bleary Amelia as she arrives, easily recognizing the other candidate, though he says nothing; mouth is full of bread and fruit jam.

Following Amelia into the caverns is a similarly bleary - but likely much less pleasant - Rylavi. The girl has nothing on her bones to keep her body warm, and so she's rugged up in as many layers as she can possibly find. Her plate is mostly empty; a few slices of fruit and a cut of toast sre the only things covering the ceramic. A mug of klah is taken and then the younger girl looks to Amelia for where she'll sit. Equals they may technically be right now, but Rylavi'd gotten fairly accustomed to following the Journeyman about before this mess, so it's a trend that continues even now.

Despite the early hour, Quila is surprisingly together. This would be because she has been here a considerable amount of time, in the kitchens - and it's from there that she emerges, a fresh platter of sweet rolls balanced on one forearm, and a bowl of fruit salad held in the other and balanced against her hip. She twists and calls something back towards the kitchens as she catches sight of so many of her fellow candidates, and then briskly navigates the room to deposit the food on the table with a flash of smile for those lined up to serve themselves breakfast.

It might be difficult to tell if Natali is a morning person. On one hand, the former trader lass looks freshly groomed, her hair damp from a morning bath, and she's dressed smartly for the day. But then again, the look on her face as she slouches in, past the other candidates and aiming right for the buffet table is anything but sunshiney-bright. Must be the weather to account for that rather bleak little scowl on her face, or the lack of breakfast. The former, she can do nothing about, but the latter is easily rectified. Bread, and fruit preserve spread, are claimed, plopped onto a plate before the brunette adds a piece of fruit — topping it all off with a poured mug of klah before she retreats back to the tables, gaze roving over the seats available. She's solemn, and quiet for the moment — likely still trying to wake up.

Amelia meanders around the tables with some sort of aimlessness, filling a plate with all the basic breakfast necessities. She lingers at the klah, collecting sweeteners, when she catches sight of Quila and the fresh platter of sweet rolls- not necessarily in that order. Her plate needs a sweetroll! With just an ounce more purpose than she had when she walked in, she makes a beeline for the sweetrolls and collects one just after they've been deposited. "'Lo," she manages to greet Quila with a smile, then catches Rylavi standing out of the corner of her eye and wanders back thataway, nodding at the younger crafter-candidate to pick a spot.

Relion would perhaps be one of the ones more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as if the crisp cold of the morning had kicked him to wake up. Evidently he's finally adjusted to the different times of Xanadu, compared to where he had been. Well-groomed but not damp, haired tied back fully for now without many escaping strands yet, Relion's working through his meal calmly, left hand cupping a mug of klah. He quietly observes the various candidates in particular. Conveniently, his table has a generous selection of open seats, and his mild expression certainly isn't one to drive away someone searching for a spot to relax.

Realizing that the people most likely to be familiar with her sour temper and her lack of conversational skills would be the most likely to leave her in peace this morning - or maybe she just hopes they will - Rylavi nods to Amelia and turns towards the table where Relion is seated, taking a chair across from him and saving the one beside her for her Journeyman, when she's done stealing sweet things. The older boy gets a single nod, but then it seems Rylavi is content to stare listlessly into her klah.

Quila lays everything out as it needs to be, the fruit bowl supplied with serving spoons, the sweet rolls with tongs. She shoots a wink at a young man waiting eagerly to get past her, and steps away from the table just as Amelia steps up and greets. She returns it pleasantly, smile present, "'Morning, Amelia." And then a turn to eye the rest of the caverns, to see where the candidates seem to be settling. Break time. She'll get herself a mug of klah and then follow shortly after Rylavi, claiming a chair at the same table and dropping into an instant lounge, slouched against the back of the chair and legs stretched in front of her. A quick wave of her fingers serves as a greeting, in conjunction with her smile.

Natali spies an empty seat near Relion, the girl trooping towards it with a rather determined little stomp. Her chair. Her seat. And plopping down onto it, she sets her breakfast on the table before her. She doesn't dig in right away, nodding a brief greeting to the other Candidates around her, and a crisp "Morning." is her only speech for the moment, the girl seemingly content to sip frequently at the mug of klah cradled between her palms — eyes downcast for the moment as she gathers her thoughts and clears the fuzziness of sleep from her brain. It's only then, after her mug is half empty that she reaches for her toast and jam. "What's everyone's chore today?" she queries around, glancing up at last.

Amelia follows after Rylavi, setting her plate and mug down gingerly before starting the somewhat arduous process of pulling her sleep-stiff limbs out of her thick winter coat. About the time she has it off and hanging over the back of the chair, she looks up to see the other faces. "'Morning, all," she offers a not quite perky greeting as she takes her seat. The first sip of her klah is followed by a sigh and a more earnest smile. "Ah, that's the good stuff." Another sip and she's ready to tackle her food and some chatter, her words rolling off her tongue a little lazily as she's still bleary. "Runners, than' goo'ness. I fin'ly getta spen' t'whole day at the stable steada jus' the af'ernoon."

"Hello," is Relion's simple welcome to Rylavi, but nothing more, certainly no pressure to be talkative. He relaxes in his chair some, both hands curving over his drink, a quiet, at-ease style of people-watching to his blue eyes as he scans both candidates as well as other general weyrfolk that move about for food. Eyes fall on Quila, amused briefly at recognizing which duty she obviously has for that morning. "Busy morning?" he asks of Quila. He moves a bit of escapee fruit out of Natali's way so she isn't crowded by his food as she plops down next to him. "….mending /laundry/," Relion says morosely, evidently not particularly his favorite. "Figure I'll do it sittin' by the warm sands," he adds, which improves the mood just a tiny smidgeon.

Rylavi doesn't know what she has this morning. She forgot to look on her way out. Oh well. "That mare foal yet?" she asks of Amelia is a sleep-grumbly voice. The crust is nibbled off the edges of one piece of toast and then the other. Then it's on to the fruit. She eats slowly and more as if she is forcing herself to take in sustenance than fulfilling the desire to eat. "She was pretty agitated yesterday."

Quila tilts her head back, rubbing a hand first over her eyes and then smoothing it back over her hair. "Busy an' early," she murmurs in reponse to Relion's question, shooting him a look from the corner of her eye. "Not my time o' day, I admit it." At Natali's question she gives a low sigh, though she doesn't seem terribly dismayed as she gestures towards the kitchens. "Servin' food. Been carting platters back an' forth all morning. Tedious as…" Whatever word, very possibly impolite, was intended to go there just trails off as she shoots Relion an amused look. Poor man. Stuck with needlework by the sands.

"Oh," Natali munches on her toast and jam, washing down a mouthful with a swig of klah before she continues, "that's what I have too. Laundry mending, it's sure a sight better than /washing/ laundry cause you never know what you're washing whereas laundry that needs mending is at least clean." The girl tilts her head a bit, regarding the table in front of her for a second, and then leans back in her chair. "At least it sounds like a good idea," she remarks to Relion, "mending the laundry up where it's nice and warm." Quila gets a sympathetic look. "Oh, that does sound like you've been terribly busy. Do you at least get to sample the food when you carry it from the kitchens?"

"Not yet. Hope today," Amelia answers Rylavi before digging into warm biscuits and gravy. She listens to the others while chewing, and after a couple mouthfuls she swallows and adds in, her voice now a bit clearer, "I'm terrible at kitchen duty; I'm always giving in to the temptation to filch a taste." She grins a little and starts to continue in a joking tone, thinks better of it, and just forks up another mouthful and starts chewing again.

"That's true," Relion agrees with a wince of disgust at Natali's comment. "I'm pretty sure it's random, but sometimes I wonder; it's not that I'm /bad/ at it… Just takes me for-ev-er; tiny little stitches, big fingers: fooorever," Relion says, with a gesture of a pastry that extends the forever to eons of fabric mending. He glances aside to Natali, nodding, "I thought of it after seein' Pora mending out there, when I was bringing food out to the Weyrwoman. At least it's a chore you can pick where you sit to do it," Relion relents. He chuckles briefly at Amelia, "When I had kitchen duty I ended up washing. Can't imagine how that happened," he says, in an amused tone with a deep low cough.

Rylavi looks up, slightly startled and then suspicious. "They made me wash too, but only after I got run over by some big lout bluerider and dropped the serving plate." There's a sour, sulking tone to her voice at that - no one likes being punished for things that weren't their fault. "I hate washing."

Natali's look is something close to sympathy as she regards Relion for a moment. "Oh, I know what you mean," she remarks to the older (and male) candidate, "it seems like the last time I was a candidate, I kept getting stuck with the yucky chores I didn't much like." she wrinkles her nose a bit. "Although mending isn't so bad. And I'll tell you what," here, she gives a wiggle of her much slimmer fingers, "we could share the work, if you wouldn't mind company. I could help with those really little stitches. And it's a good chore to do while sitting down." she grins a bit, and then nods at Amelia. "I'd probably want to taste-test if I ever ended up with server duty. Wouldn't seem fair, having those scents under my nose otherwise."

After finishing a mouthful, Amelia grins at Natali's response. "Course its not fair," she lets go of a short chuckle. Then she, too, is making scowly faces, "Can't say I'm a fan of doing laundry in any form except folding the newly clean and dry. It's weird, I'll hang out in the stables, get stained and dirty and gross and I don't care… but handling other /people's/ dirty laundry? That just, well, I just don't like doing it."

"Seems like if we share the work you'd end up with most of it, I've warned you that I'm slow at mending," Relion teases Natali a little bit. "And I haven't much to offer." A pause. "Apple?" he asks, with a teasing grin, well aware he probably can't coax help with just an apple, but he's playing, anyway. "Well. Excepting, of course, my unrivaled good company," Relion adds, smile mild and a bit shy, suggesting he probably doesn't actually feel that way about the caliber of his entertainment value. "I liked chores in the stables as well," Relion agrees, "..But then, I was in beastcraft for a few turns; sometimes I miss it a bit, so," Relion admits, eyes dropping to his food, taking another large bite, idly itching a bit of a sunburn on his left forearm.

This admission startles and confuses Rylavi. In between small bites of food and sips of bitter klah, she keeps an eye on Relion, studying him, scrutinizing him. She pauses only long enough to look at Amelia funny for her dislike of laundry, and then gives up. "If you miss it so much, why aren't you doing it?" The question comes out rude, but only because Rylavi has to little practice at phrasing /nice/ questions.

"Seems like I'm the odd one out," Natali quips as she finishes off the last of her klah, setting to consuming toast and fruit with a will before she lazily leans back, her chair half pushed away from the table. "I don't much like working in the stables. Just a little too smelly for me," she wrinkles her nose to prove this point before laughing slightly and nodding at Amelia. "Ex-act-ly," she drawls the word out some, "I just thinks it's gross to have to wash the laundry that people messed up. Ugh. I need more klah." The last is something of a statement of fact, the trader lass popping up out of her chair, and meandering back to the serving table for another full mug of the piping hot beverage, and then she returns, blinking at Relion thoughtfully. "You can sort," she answers him. "And I'll sew." Fair trade? "Good company would be nice anyway, someone to talk to, that keeps the work going."

Amelia perks up when Relion mentions the Beastcraft, gaze fixing on the young man and sizing up his age. "When were you in the craft? Did you go to the Hall?" She smiles a little before digging back into her meal- it's practically demolished by now, and as Natali gets up to refresh her mug, Amie is reminded of her own and pauses in the eating to take a swig of klah. Now just over lukewarm, it is the perfect temperature and earns another content sigh. "Is there anything as delicious as good klah in the morning?"

Relion hadn't noticed Rylavi's difficulty with him saying he missed beastcraft a little bit. He slants curious blue eyes back to her, but doesn't take offense at her question, apparently, the response is even, smooth, relaxed. "Hmmm? Well, I like the beastcraft fine…" Relion smiles briefly. "It just… ended up being that I like working with the forest, and wood, more," he shrugs simply, as if that's just… the way it is. "But I can still enjoy that chore," he adds. He glances to Amelia as she asks, "Yes, I did. So I left about… mm. Five turns ago… or so…" He pauses, and teases to Natali, "Well, next time you get stable work, come find me, and we'll trade," he offers to her with a broad wink, smile lighting his blue eyes briefly, glad that she's willing to help with his awful mending chore. "Sounds good. Sure."

Rylavi wrinkles her nose with the disdain of an ignorant child. "Wood is … well it's /wood/. How could that be better than runners and living things?" It's painfully obvious that she doesn't understand, and habit wins out, with Rylavi turning to Amelia to - once again - explain something she doesn't understand. "Are we allowed to do that?" This to the table at large. "Trade chores and such, I mean. I thought they were assigned to us on purpose."

Natali's hands wrap around the mug of klah, absorbing warms from the crockery into her skin as she closes her eyes with a sigh of pleasure. "If only we had hot mugs of klah to carry around all the time." she remarks, eyes opening to regard Amelia with a grin. "A good cup of klah just gets the day starting right," she remarks wryly. "Can't beat that." Relion's teasing makes her laugh, glancing at him for a moment. "Well, if we can do that," she remarks, "I'd probably take you up on it. I'm not really a stable-cleaning person. Guess that makes me a little spoiled." And she's not afraid to flaunt if she's got to. "I'm not wildly thrilled about it the way some people are." Rylavi earns a brief shrug from the trader girl. "I'm … not sure if we are able to trade. Help maybe?"

"Five turns ago?" Amelia's brows furrow as she tests her recall. "No, I guess I was already at Black Rock by the time you came. I was only at the Hall a couple turns before I farmed out to a hold." She shrugs, then laughs at Rylavi's question, throwing up her hands in defeat. "Don't ask me, I prefer critters to plants too," The Beastcrafter grins and shrugs. "As for trading chores, it's been done, so I'm pretty sure it's allowed sometimes. Except I'm not sure all the time, since a wide variety 'builds character', don't ya know?" Shrugging again, Amelia returns her hands to her mug of klah and takes another swig before finishing her breakfast is resumed.

Relion chuckles a little at Rylavi, not taking offense to her disgust of his craft. "Well. For example, wood doesn't need it's pen cleaned of it's droppings," Relion says mildly, with a brief grin to Amelia as well. They can keep their messy, stinky craft, evidently. "Each to his or her own, really," Relion says, looking pointedly down at the tables and chairs they are using. Wood has it's place, for sure, but he doesn't seem insulted by their plant-disgust. "I actually don't know about the tradin'. I think to a degree it's allowed," He nods to Amelia's commentary on the subject. "So long as you don't avoid somethin' constantly. Besides, my character /does/ need building," Relion sighs heavily, but a smile keeps an amused motion to his gaze.

"Well, if you know it needs building, why didn't you do all that before coming here? Then they wouldn't have made you work at all." Rylavi's logic is … not always sensible. She notices his pointed glance at the table and chairs, and concedes the point. "Wood's useful, for sure. We need stalls and such, after all. I just don't see how sawing at a log for days on end could be better than racing a fast runner down a beach or teaching a new foal that people aren't so bad and that having something around your belly ain't scary."

"Indeed," Amelia echoes Relion. "To each their own." She smiles a little after finishing a last swallow and turns that smile towards Rylavi. "My own is definitely bareback riding right down a beach or up a hill on my favorite mare." With one more mouthful and swallow, her breakfast plate is empty and she finishes the last of her klah. "Speaking of, today I'm going to get that ride in, looks like. Sun's shining and chores lined up juuust right." She stands, pushing her chair back and pulling the heavy coat from the back of it. After twisting herself into the coat, she picks up her plate and mug and offers smiles in farewell, much more spritely than she was upon her arrival. "Have a good day, folks!"

"And that's why I'm sculpting wood, and you're racing around on a beach," Relion agrees graciously, diverting more attention towards Amelia as she readies to get going. "Have a good ride," Relion bids to Amelia, with a wave of hand. He looks to Natali and her progress on her meal, as his own has pretty much wrapped up. He stands, to clean off his area, gathering what he can to give less work on the kitchen staff…. now that he's worked the kitchens, it's much easier to appreciate that.

Rylavi shrugs, accepting the fact that this is just one of those things she'll most likely never understand. When first Amelia and then Relion stand to take their leave, she offers a nod to each and then turns back to stare at the remaining food on her plate. A single piece of melon is taken and chewed on thoughtfully, but she doesn't seem inclined to persuade anyone to stay longer than their meal demands.

"I'd like to ride a runner," Natali puts in, then, her mug still clasped between entwined fingers as she sips slowly at her klah, her empty plate pushed back to allow her to prop her elbows on the table as she leans forward for support. "But only just riding, see." It's that spoiled trader girl attitude surfacing. "I think that it's nice being around them, but I'm not going to spend hours and hours fussing over them." she shrugs. "Never really saw the point in wood either," Relion gets a bit of a wry grin. "I never got into any craft. It's a bit hard when you're on the road with your family, unless there's someone with the training in your caravan and all." Amelia's departure is met with a bit of a nod and a wave before Natali turns her head to glance between Relion and Rylavi.

Relion doesn't leave; he was just cleaning up his spot… and, as it turns out, getting a klah refill, before returning back to ease into his chair next to Natali again. Patient, no real interest in running off just get, as fascinating as the thought of laundry mending MUST surely be. He grins aside to Natali, glad, perhaps, that someone else isn't completely hung up on the wonders of runner care, but masks it well with his drink. "I can imagine, it'd be different for a trader," Relion agrees. "But I can imagine you've seen lots of places," he says, with interest. "Were you searched while trading in a weyr?" he wonders.

Natali rests her elbows against the wood of the table in front of her, the rim of her klah mug hiding her lips for a moment before she lowers it, and nods faintly. "Well, I can't say we really went out across Pern and saw lots of new sites, but Father's caravan moved around between Fort and Southern Boll, and anywhere in between." she explains such with faint humor, at ease and relaxful in her chair since she's not making any effort to depart particularly soon anyway. "No, actually I wasn't. Not the first time anyway. As for the second," she looks thoughtful, frowning. "I can't say we were really trading, but Father sent my uncle down here, and asked me to come along since I'd just gotten home from Fort. He's gone home now. But here I am."

Relion nods slowly, listening, leaning his elbow on the table, tapping broad, rough fingers slowly on the side of his own klah mug, now steaming from the refill he fetched. "Do you miss traveling, then? As opposed to bein' here for the Candidacy?" He asks, thoughtfully, following it up with, "I was talking to the Weyrwoman yesterday, about the current clutch," Relion begins. "She mentioned within a few days, that we'd be able to touch them. You've done it before… what's it like?" Relion asks, more quietly, eyes focused with obvious interest.

"I do," Natali remarks then, glancing away for a moment. "There's nothing like travelling along in a wagon and then arriving somewhere that people have been expecting you and the goods. Father especially loves the first night of arrival, he says we trade more items then because everyone wants the latest and most fashionable things. My parents usually trade in fabrics too. People have to have things to wear after all." she pauses, glancing back. "But I don't mind staying here. It was harder at Fort since I didn't really make friends, but here, I've got people I know." she grins a bit. "And a dragon that likes me." There's a look of studied thought on her face. "It's really different," she comments about egg touchings. "They make you feel and see and hear and stuff. Different things."

Finally finishing her meal, Rylavi clears her place, refills her mug of klah and turns to leave with only a wave of farewell to the remaining Candidates. Chores call and motion means heat.

Relion gives Natali his full attention once Rylavi suddenly takes her leave, nodding a little bit. "My family would go to the larger Hold for the large trade caravans… always lots of things to see or buy," Relion says, an appreciation for the traders clear. "I myself like to travel, though perhaps not constantly, the way a trader does," Relion admits, with a soft laugh. "I guess I'm a bit of a lot of things… which makes choosing more… difficult," he shrugs, but his smile is a good one. "They make you feel and see? Like in a dream?" Relion asks, squinting, trying to imagine what she means.

Natali grins at that, finally dropping her hands towards the table to set her mug atop it. "That's basically what happens," she says, "whenever we arrive somewhere at bigger holds. Lots of people would come by." she pauses, finishing off her klah and then leaning back in her chair. "Something like that," she explains, "when you touch the shells … I guess it's something like a dream. Because it's in your mind, but you're awake." she frowns thoughtfully. "It's hard to explain."

Relion considers that, tapping his hands on the mug, looking down into it. One side of his long reddish hair has worked free of the band, and falls forwards against his cheek. He shaved that morning; free of stubble. "Is it thoughts? Like a conversation? Or more of images of how they feel about where they are?" Relion asks. "I mean… do they seem like they know they're thre? …that has to have been rough. To talk or connect with them, but not impress…" Relion asks, eyes drawing up to search her face.

Natali meets Relion's gaze steadily enough, only a brief flicker of her eyes away for a moment or two. "It's feelings, I think," she says, frowning in recollection. "It's not so much you talking with them as getting feelings and images from them. They tend to take, rather than give." she shakes her head then, pushing her chair away, and standing. "It's not really that bad," she admits hesitantly. "I just … didn't have a dragon there, that's all. At least that's what I got told." she shrugs, looking squarely at the other candidate for a moment. "Anyway, I'd better go get the laundry. Meet you near the hatching arena?"

"I'll go with you, I have my load to fetch as well," Relion chuckles, standing up, and taking care of his (now empty) klah cup, offering to hand hers off to the kitchens as well, before gesturing for her to lead on. "I didn't mean to pry about it. I'm sure I'll find out first hand, soon enough," Relion says, but if he's referencing the egg touching, or knowing what it feels like to not have a dragon on the sands, it's hard to tell.

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