Discussion in the Caverns

//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.

The busy caverns have been extra crowded lately at noon, with the colder weather bringing the weyrfolk inside to warm up by the hearths or with a hot mug of klah. Ysa is no different, though she comes down from the stairs that lead up to the office. First stop was the klah, savoring the warm drink with a few sips as she stands by the pitcher. "Faranth, I should've been down here earlier… this is what I really needed to get me through the rest of the day," she says wearily to a nearby drudge, making her way towards the food table to get herself a plate of something since she was there.

Bendil stands at the food table, empty plate in hand. He muses over the selections for a moment before helping himself to some of the entrees. The stench of the stables hang over him like a wet blanket, although he doesn't seem to notice. Some of the folks around him, however, do and give him somewhat of a wide berth as they weave their way through.

Ysa nears the table with her nose still stuck in her drink, which was why when she finally lowered it to look at the food she freezes. "Faranth," she breaths out after a moment of standing there, blinking. "What do they have ya doin in the stables, rolling in the muck?" She wrinkles up her nose, but remains nearby. It's a surprise that she pulls a plate to herself and starts stacking up some rolls instead of moving away.

Bendil carefully fixes his plate, not seeming to notice what was being said in his direction. After a moment, he pauses and does a quick double-take as his eyes fall on the woman standing near him. "Hmmm….? What do you me- Oh!" he says, smiling sheepishly, stepping back from the food table and shakes his head, "Lunch break…. yeah, didn't have time to go take a dip."

Ysa keeps her nose wrinkled up but smirks over at the young man. "Ya, I meant ya." She moves on for some greens and tubers, for variety and then chuckles at his reaction. "Ya don't need to go 'way. Faranth knows it's been turns since /I/ worked in the stables, but 'm used to the stink. At least ya cleared the line to the food really fast, so I didn't have to wait." The goldrider, of course, always looks at the bright side of things… if it helps herself.

Delynni has a little while over lunch to herself, so the weyrling gets her noon meal, and pulls her macrame frame from her bag. The beginnings of a belt are attached to the far end. The weyrling slides her foot into the crossbar, flexes her leg, and begins to knot. The design is a nice rain blue with bits of gold thread through it. She sets a small package of bells, the kind used on clothing, and it looks like one is already attached to the would be belt.

Bendil smiles and nods, looking down a bit. He has seen her before, yes. He fidgets with his plate a bit and says, "Yeah, I guess you could say that it helped clear out the line a bit…." He makes a faint gesture towards the table and looks back to her, "Worked in the stables too, you say? Well, I'm glad to find someone else who knows what it's like!"

"Don' take it the wrong way. They can face the cold an' go to the tavern if they got a problem with someone that's just looking for food. Ya worked hard for it." Ysa chuckles as she plucks out some of the remaining cookies, adding it to her plate, before turning back to Bendil. "It was 'bout ten turns 'go. An' on and off thing for marks, ya know." She nods her head towards the tables now. "Ya can join me if ya want. I could use the company 'stead of getting back to all that sharding paperwork." She starts making her way over without waiting for a reply, though, bobbing her head in greeting towards the weyrling.

Delynni looks up at the word stables. "Huh what about the stables?" She looks from one, to the other. Her beastcraft knot right next to ther weyrling one. Delynni pauses, seperating the strand she was working with, she also places the middle three fingers of her toher hand on the table.

Bendil watches Ysa as she begins to head towards the tables and shrugs to himself, following her. He looks over at Delynni as she asks her question and he slows noticeably, smiling as he watches her, "Oh…. uh…. I work in the stables and well…." he tilts his head and sniffs the air with a smile, "I can get lunch quicker." Although he slowed his pace, he hasn't stopped and he bumps into another occupied table and he glances down at them, "Oh! Sorry…."

Ysa takes a seat near the weyrling at a relatively empty table, grinning as she glances back towards the approaching Bendil and his answer. "And I've also hired him to help clear the area a bit for me. It's too sharding crowded in here. Stablehands are always useful for the Weyr or Hold." She takes a big gulp of klah and then sets that aside. "By the way, not sure if I've seen ya round 'fore," she says this to the young man, smirking at his clumsiness. "Careful, there."

Delynni adds. "I don't think so either. I'm Delynni. Weyrling to blue Ryukith." The beastcrafter extends a hand in greeting. "Transferred from eastern. Finishing training here. I was a jockey in training before I impressed." Delynni replies. "I haven't been down to the stables in ages though."

Bendil smiles warmly at Delynni and takes her hand, shaking it firmly but with care, "I am Bendil. I'm a stablehand here at Xanadu Weyr…. obviously since…. we were just…. yeah." He shakes his head and chuckles nervously, "Discussing that, yes." A bit of red creeps into his cheeks as he releases her hand and moves to take a seat at Ysa's table, careful not to bother anyone else as he sets his plate down.

Ysa shoves her food around a bit, reluctant to start eating if only to waste more time in the caverns. "Well met," she tells the both of them, unsure if she had met the weyrling before either. "The name's Ysa if ya haven't heard it before, Ellamariseth's." She sighs as she mentions her lifemate and then turns her attention back to Delynni, arching her brows curiously this time. "Jockey? Now that sounds like a dangerous occupation. What'd happen if ya went and fell halfway through a race?" The goldrider shudders at the mental image, comforting herself by taking in a mouthful of food.

Delynni snickers. "Well obviously I can't with Ryukith. He's endlessly curious but he gets upset that runners are scared of dragons. Something about I shouldn't be riding such stupid creatures if they scare from something as simple as a dragon. I'm just glad he doesn't like runner meat. Prefers wherry actually, or ovine." And anybody watching him pick apart his food at the feeding grounds will remember that preference with a slightly green face. "I'm lucky, some dragons get jealous if their rider uses a runnerbeast. He just doubts their intelligence."

Bendil leans against the table, carefully picking at his food and eating. He glances up and looks between the two as they talk, clearly lost a bit in the conversation. Bendil looks down again and shovels some food into his mouth and remains quiet as the two "talk shop."

Ysa arches a brow as the blueling goes on before giving her head a bit of a shake. "Not like ya need a runner anymore." She glances back towards the young man, curiosity obviously not fading even as he remains quiet. "Have ya been long at the Weyr? I know Keziah works as a stablehand now, too, though I haven't heard from her in awhile." It brings a frown to her face as she leans forward as well, focusing on her meal for a moment.

Bendil glances up and nods, "Yeah, been here my whole life." He smiles sheepishly and adds, "I kind of keep a low profile." For a moment, he muses, thinking to himself as he tries to remember if he ever met a Keziah. After a few seconds Bendil shakes his head, "Doesn't ring any bells at the moment. I keep to myself mostly so it's no surprise that I don't know who most people are."

Delynni nods. "Yeah, you're right. I'm going to leave my two behind at Eastern to be bred. They've got some very good lines in them. There's no need to let them waste away in their paddocks." Delynni grins. "They can enjoy a little action in their retirement and Ryukith and i live happily ever after."

Bendil listens carefully to the talk. He's heard it all his life. Bendil looks down again and continues to eat more of his meal, his mind wandering as their conversation continues.

Ysa nods her head towards the ex-beastcrafter. "Best choice for 'em." To Bendil, though, she frowns. "Really?" There's a short pause and then she shrugs. "Well, I've only been here a few short turns. Can't be more than two turns now, I imagine, and it ain't like I've been down to the stables myself. Or out much, since 'm generally stuck in the office or with the kids. Keziah better not have gotten into anymore trouble…" the last was grumbled as she glares into her plate. "Nice gal, but sometimes I imagine she does things without thinking."

Delynni laughs. "i'm guilty there. Ryukith is the thinker. You know before he learned to fly he watched the other dragons in the air for hours? I could hear the gears turning in his head as twer and he was actually trying to figure out how they did it before they even let him in the air." Delynni giggles. "Oh shards and I think he made the other weyrlings sick when he entered the feeding grounds for the first time. Sat there picking his food apart, organ by organ, muscle by muscle. STUDYING each one before he ate it." Delynni laughs.

Bendil glances over to Ysa and nods, "Well, if she's been into any trouble, she does a good job of hiding it because I haven't heard of anything." He considers for a moment before adding, "And we don't gossip much down in the stables so…. yeah. Sorry I couldn't help you any more." Bendil's gaze shoots over to Delynni and he quirks an eyebrow as she describes the…. feeding habits.

It's lunch time in the busy caverns, people milling about to keep out from the colder weather. Ysa is seated with Bendil at a table, turning a scowl over towards the weyrling not too far from them. "Shells, gal, we're eating here. Though it ain't like that's unusual. Dragons and feeding is never pretty." She moves the food about on her plate again, bobbing her head towards Bendil. "Oh, she does. Though it's that sharding Kefai, the man that's missing that has me worried. He had her as a target awhile back, too. Nothing good can come of that." The goldrider looks worried for a moment.

Little Girl screams and covers her ears.

Delynni shudders. "I was in one of the Search parties. Ryukith is near obsessed with the evidence we got from the trip. Is it true, Ysa, that he had his people drink poison?" Delynni shivers. "Grusome."

Bendil listens curiously to the conversation, his plate all but cleaned. He leans back and lets out a low groan as he stretches, "Mm…. hit the spot." Bendil leans forward again, placing his elbows on the table and clasping his hands before him.

Thea enters the cavern, the assistent headwoman pauses to let her eyes adjust to the altered lighting. She scans the area, possibly looking for someone. In her arms she carries a large basket with assorted items of cloth folded neatly. Most appear pristine white. She heads into the room in time to overhear the young girl's scream. Delynni's comment giver her pause and she tsks to herself, but she doesn't comment yet. She steps nearer to the child, kneeling beside her. "Are you all right?"

Ysa nods her head after Delynni. "Not quite poison, but something to help confuse the people. Knew there was a reason he had so many followers… It's what we figured when we found the second girl in the cave." Not that she remembers the brats' names. Speak of the little demons, too, she glances over to look towards the girl with a frown on her face, leaning closer to her food as she shovels some stuff down. As if that'll prevent her from saying anything else in the girl's presence.

Delynni winces at the scream. "Psychotic. That's the term I think. Psychotic. Clinically Delusional?" She parses around the terms with a frown. "Oh shards Ryukith please no more theories about it." She shakes her head at Ysa. "He keeps coming up with screwball theories about how /HE/…" and she doesn't use Kefai's name out of respect for the little girl. "… was able to pull the wool over the eyes of his followers. He can't understand it, he knows he can't understand it, but he tries. Everything from 'he can impress like a dragon can, and he's using that to make them follow him' to 'He can control their minds, he's like a controller or something.'" Delynni grimaces.

Bendil jumps a bit as the little girl screams and he looks around, frowning a bit, "Yeah, on that note…." He looks to those gathered and offers a nod as he gets to his feet, "I need to get back, but it was a pleasure to meet both of you." Bendil waves and heads out, turning back before leaving the caverns, "See you all again soon, yeah?"

Thea winces at the ear-level scream, but doesn't act other than to murmur something inaudible to the girl in a soothing voice. Clearly no one is concerned, which appears to vex her, if her facial expression is read correctly. She rises, passing Bendil with a nod and heads for the nearest table, which happens to be the one where Ysa and Delynni are seated. "Have any of you seen Hisolda?"

Delynni shakes her head. "I thought I saw her in stores this morning, but I've been practicing with Ryukith all morning." The weyrling has abandoned her macrame. Then she blinks, realizing she'd forgotten. The Weyrling turns a bit, carefully resettles her macrame frame, and continues knotting the belt she'd been working on prior.

Ysa waves after Bendil as he gets up, her head nodding. "We'll run into each other soon, 'm sure." To Delynni she just shakes her head slowly. "Ya can let that dragon of yours know that we've got Search team and people trying to figure out the clues. And that's one that's already been solved. They've been killed off, anyway, and all we have to worry 'bout is that he's on the loose still. Who knows what he's planning now." She frowns deeply towards the young girl with Thea, bobbing her head up towards the offices. "She should be in, last I checked. I have to go speak to her later 'bout something myself, so I hope she's still there."

Delynni rolls her eyes. "Oh I tell him. He doesn't care. Though he says he didn't know about the drug bit and says thank you for the information." Delynni sighs, then blinks. "Oops. L'alie is calling. Gotta go!" Delynni disentangles herself from her macrame frame, stuffs it into her pack and bolts for the door. "Tell her I'm coming Ryukith!"

Thea takes in this information, but turns her head to observe the young girl as she bolts from the room. Displeasure show in her face, but may or may not be directed towards the girl. She refrains from commenting other than to idly observe, "Girl needs an attendant. Ought not to be left to upset the Weyr." A glance is given towards Delynni. "Heya." Short, brief and sweet. A grateful nod is given to Ysa as she heads in the direction of the offices.

Ysa's eyes trail after the girl with a frown. She nods in agreement towards Thea, running a free hand through her messy hair. "Faranth, I agree with that. The other one isn't much older to help, either, and the Weyr's been uneasy since the littler ones arrived." And the screaming and strange words too, of course. She lifts her nose away from the mug of klah she holds, smirking after Thea. "If ya see her, tell her to stay there cause Ysa'll be by after I finish my lunch!" Hopefully she got the message, though the goldrider sure was taking her time eating.

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