Sinkhole 'Splosion

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.

Xanadu sleeps - at least most of it does, for it is deep night, well past midnight. The late evening sweeps have reported in, morning sweeps have yet to report as dawn is still a few hours off. Thick darkness cloaks the Weyr while the ever-present drizzle falls, the stars obscured by low-hanging clouds. Inside the Caverns fires are banked low in the hearth, lights on a barely-on setting casting the room in dimness so those taking refuge from the areas of the meadow that are still a-wash can sleep in the bedrolls they've brought.

The uneasy peace is disturbed by something. It's indiscernible what's going on at first. Firelizards stir, chittering nervously, perhaps awakening their owners.

Then it begins: a soundless tremor from below. The vibration is accompanied by the roar of dragons, their tones both questioning and confused. The tempo of the shaking ground increases, which is really more brief than it seems before subsiding and then - a muted thudding roar, the delayed sound having traveled some distance.

Silence returns but most of Xanadu Weyr is now wide awake.

Ers'lan was on the late shift. He's sitting by the hearth in one of the comfy chairs pulled close to the heat, still in his flight suit with goggles strapped against his forehead and helmet on its bucket on the floor beside his his feet. His legs are jutting out in front of him, fully stretched, his shoulders slumped forward with his head hung low, his eyes closed. His hands are on the arms of the chair and there's an obvious easy breathing coming from him that suggests he was sleeping, mud caked on top of it. For the moment, the vibrations don't seem to interfer with that…

Well the vibrations certainly got a bluerider out of bed and hastily into her flight suit…well mostly into. As Laera arrives in the caverns her boots are still unlaced and she is working her flight jacket over a pajama top. Her curly hair in rampant bedhead mode. No doubt joining a group of similarly dressed and disordly riders as they head for a meeting point to find out what has happened. Her dragon giving calls out along with the flitters, adding to the cacophany.

Derin is always up at this hour, being a wherhandler and all, you know night owl type work. He was enjoying a relaxing mug of klah, or maybe he was just hoping the klah would keep him awake the rest of the shift. He's alerted to the disturbance first by his green firelizard who was sound asleep on his shoulder which is now being gripped by nervous firelizard talons as the green does her little nervous chitter dance. "Ouch, shardit Ammolite!" The miner busies himself for the moment with trying to dislodge green flying stomach from shoulder that he kinda needs for work. He manages to temporarily loosen the firelizard grip to a tolerable level, "What in Faranth's name was that? Earthshake?"

Awakened by Shep, the Weyrwoman, although groggy had been conscious to feel the ground quivering, and of course the dragons aren't exactly quiet in their queries. Its a few moments before Seryth's voice is heard as a gentle rain among the others, her broadcast to the Weyr's entire population of winged ones an attempt at soothing their fear, « Be calm, be calm. Easy now, Little Ones. Our lifemates will find out what has happened. We must be quiet so we can hear them. » It isn't long before Thea enters the caverns, still sleepy-eyed yet, but dressed in riding gear nonetheless and carrying one of her pajama-clad twins while the Weyrsecond carries the other, both of which are handed off to nannies.

Ers'lan jumps in his chair, not because of the vibrations, but because of his lifemate outside who was likely to have given him a kick in the butt, dragonic like. The man looks as if he just awoke from a nightmare, wide eyes and with a bead of sweat rolling down his brow, definitely confused as well. Hands clamp down on the arms of the chair, and leather creaks as he twists to regard the gathering mass of riders. "Reckon me sleep be over…" he mutters to himself as he sweeps a hand to snatch the helmet from the floor proper to jam it onto his hair, moving the goggles out of the way just in time, snapping the goggles back in place but this time on the brow of the helmet. "Ahoy thar, Laera…" he notices her almost as if someone painted her bright yellow, rolling himself out of the chair with a fumble and a grope of his hand to his leg, "Shardin sleepin leg…arrrg…" a kick and thrust of limb, and he's staggering over toward Laera.

Laera is making her way to her weyrmate much as a moth is drawn to a flame. Her kids already either in the weyrbat caverns or off with their relative fathers with all the rain. "Well I have told you I don't mind you waking me up when you come in late.." She teases, but their is a half hearted note to it as she finishes buttoning up her flight jacket. Her emerald gaze strikes upon the wherhandler, "I don't know, just about got knocked out of bed by it though.." She says before looking up to the arrival of the weyrwoman, giving a quick salute. "Rescue wing here…what do we know?"

Well, guess this means his shift may go into overtime. Derin abandons his klah mug now as the caverns begin filling up even more. He gives a salute to the riders gathered, and turns towards the weyrwoman, perhaps he's waiting to see if the dragons might know anything about the ruckus. The powder blue form of his wher can be seen just outside the cavern entrance, almost as confused as everyone else, Derin moves towards him. "Dersk, bad air?" Cause that's what the lad has been trained to ask, maybe the vibrations are from an explosion in the mines or something. But the wher gives the handler a negative answer.

Ers'lan gives a comical goof of a half smile to Laera, "Reckon I be wantin some klah… waitin fer a new brew… guess I still be…" He grumbles a little at the look of the hanging pot which had dropped into the cooking hearth by the vibrations. A huff of disappointment has his hands up on his hips, though his eyes are on Laera with a subtle wink for her - approval at the way the jacket fits most likely. Thea has his attention as Laera asks about the information known, adding in a comment: "Aye, be reckon it narh be good, whar ever it be."

Gathering from the sleeping caverns deeper inside the Weyr, mingling with the disoriented refugees, the main cavern is slowly becoming more crowded. Several groups form, one around the Weyrsecond, one around the Weyrwoman, one around the Headwoman. Confusion reigns for several long moments until Thea catches D'had's eye and nods at his hand signal. He slips from the Cavern with several riders in tow. It's left to Thea to address the crowd, but before she does this, she works her way towards Ocelara. She passes Derin as he asks his question about earthshakes, "I have no idea. I've never been in one. But stay for a moment, Miner. I'll want the mines checked." She's about to move on when Laera speaks, so pauses and thus her way towards the Headwoman is immediately clogged with riders. "Nothing yet," she tells her - and the group within earshot while noting that Ocelara is calming residents quite skillfully and so leave her to do that while she briefs the Riders around her. "Xe'ter and D'had are taking a group aloft to check the perimeter since their dragons can see in the dark. I need a wing to join them. You, you, you…" She points out several, "To the clearing. You, you, you…" she points to a few more, "Go make sure the meadow cottages are completely evacuated. Bring them here."

Laera gives a nod as she is indicated to go aloft and turns to give Ers'lan a quick kiss before pulling on her cap and heading out quick smart. Well Kereth is one of the best flyers in the weyr.

Derin nods to the weyrwoman, "Dersk and I are at your disposal, Ma'am." He watches the riders depart, most likely his parents amongst them though with so many bodies, he doesn't really see them. He keeps an ear out and waits for any news that he can use. Well at least Dersk stays outside and out of the way of all the hustle and bustle.
Ers'lan hesitates, if only because he had been on shift for the duration of the night. There is a soft muttering for Laera to fly safe and then another ride comes by and grabs him by the arm. It would seem that he's roped into the team going to sweep the mountain and forest ranges.

Thea meanwhile, threads her way though the crowds forestalling further questions until she can speak to the Headwoman. The two have a quiet conference, both nod and separate to their various tasks - Ocelara to organize the kitchen crew so there will be plenty of steaming klah and hot cereal for the returning riders and folk our checking things. Winter and rain both and the sun is hours from rising, so people will be cold. Thea circulates in the cavern, speaking with folk here and there, Derin is one of them. "Can please you take other wherhandlers and check the mines for damage? Report back here and oh- be careful!" Refugees are then put to work at the tables peeling vegetables for a stew or arranged into parties to check the lower caverns for damage, those little ones too young to help are rounded up and taken by the nannies elsewhere. An uneasy sort of semi-silence falls as they await word back.

"Yes Ma'am!" Derin nods to the weyrwoman and waves over some of the other wherhandlers that had also been relaxing before shift's end, "C'mon, let's see what we kin do to help." After gathering the small group, they head off to the mines, hopefully to not find anything seriously wrong there.

Briana arrives in the cavern, holding a cloth to her forehead. She has managed to get her leathers on as well, though she is holding her her cap in her hand. "Almighty rumble out in the forest…" She declares before moving toward the Weyrwoman to take her post behind her.

Thea is just entering the caverns again from having checked something in the office when Briana enters and joins her. "We felt it too, here closer in. But…" Her hand lifts and fingers brush the cloth her junior is holding to her head. "…what is this?" Peer.

"Bumped my head falling out of bed…" Briana admits with a bit of chagrin to her voice, "Nothing major…do we know what is happening yet? Never felt anything quite like it." She says as she takes a seat by Thea. Sahazyth out flying over the forest as well to see what she can see and do her part to help keep the flitters and dragons calm.

Thea's eyes follow her junior as she sits, the Weyrwoman herself remains standing. "You're sure you're alright? Not dizzy or anything?" Obviously concerned for the younger woman, she waits before answering, "We have groups evacuating the meadow in case the dams at the reservoir upriver were affected - the smiths will check it when the sun rises. I've no idea where that earthshake originated from." She ticks off the rest of where they are on her fingers, "There's a group checking the inner and lower caverns and miners checking the mines for rockfalls, Xe'ter and D'had have wings out doing sweeps. Nothing reported in so far."

"Not dizzy, just a little cut ma'am. I have had worse." Briana says with assurance to Thea as she pulls the cloth away. Indeed a little cut in the middle of a small bump. Her eyes are focused and she is speaking clearly. "Anything I can do? Sahazyth is out flying over the forest at the moment, checking on the other dragons and riders housed there."

Thea mms to herself, pale eyes scanning that bump and cut, checking for herself with a sharp scrutiny into Briana's. Her expression is a touch skeptical, but she doesn't push the girl to go to the infirmary. Instead, she asks, "Can you monitor the radio? We need to check with Landing whether they're been affected. And some of the ships may radio in…" Her hand lifts, forestalling the junior's departure and her eyes unfocus. "Seryth says they've found some holes out beyond the mines." She refocuses on Briana, "Ocelara's got the folk settled here, for the most part. I'm going to go see what they've found - if there's anything to be seen. I'll be right back." She grabs her jacket off the back of the couch and over her shoulder while she's striding out, calls, "I'll keep in touch through Seryth!"

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