Log 5: Negotiations With Fort

Fort Weyr - Living Caverns(#10592RJ$)
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.
Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.

Sianne once again offers the warmth of a heart felt smile as she looks over the rim of her now lifted klah mug "You were very much able to capture the eye of just about anyone who saw you." Though what she's not saying is that she heard more then she saw but well Si isn't about to admit that or anything else close to it. "I'm just glad that there was someone like you about when I needed it the most, actually I'm more glad twas you then anyone else." is said with an almost unreadable expression on her face.

X'an walks into the caverns with a clipboard over one arm, walking slow and sharing a conversational tone with a visitor. "I think these stock reports are more or less up to date, barring the most recent take on them. Our headwoman's efficient, Niva." his companion is turned to, the clipboard held out toward her. "I swear, looking over stock makes you go cross-eyed, but it's amazing what you find sitting in the back. Stockpiling garlic oil, I swear… just look at that. It's ridiculous."

Niva glances around her as they enter the caverns, gaze resting momentarily on the others there before taking the proffered clipboard, turning it to her to look at it, paging through it as she glances over it. "Sometimes I don't understand why they do those things." And she's a fair deal of experience with the stores, and it still boggles her mind. "Though, garlic oil isn't truly a necessity.."

O'lief's face lights up with more blushing as he studies on his mug. He lifts his eyes up upon X'an's entrance, taking in the visitor as well with a small wave and a hushed "Hallo." He didn't want to bother them if they were in the middle of talking business, and then he's turning his attention back on to Sianne. He offers her a meek grin and then pokes idly at a piece of his meat. "Why's that? That you were glad it was me, I mean. I'm sure everybody can offer the same condolences—ah, speaking of which. I don't think I got my coat back from you yesterday. Do you have it?"

Sianne watches the arrival of the pair of riders before glancing away from them to place her attention back upon O'lief "Aye, right here with me." Reaching into her lap to draw the jacket it out of it and hand it over "Thank you, kept me warm going back to the barracks." The plate before her is looked over, the food carefully examined before she carefully spears a piece of meat with her fork "You are by far more understanding then alot of others is all."

"Well, no, not really a necessity, more of an observation. I can only assume that came about to preserve an overabundant crop, then got forgotten about. You could probably have built a hatching sands out of the dust ontop of those bottles…" X'an flicks eyes over toward O'lief and Sianne, nods to them with a smile, and steers his steps toward the hearth. "Can I get you a klah or anything, whilst you look over that, Niva?" - Asked whilst he gets himself one, he is -not- eavesdropping at all. Nope.

Niva nods slowly, "Though, there have got to be better ways to preserve the stuff." And she shakes her head a bit, continuing to page through it, looking at some parts more carefully then others. Glancing up at X'an, she blinks a bit, before shaking her head. "No, no thank you.." Probably better to not give her anything she's able to throw, anyway.

O'lief takes the coat with a smile, which he turns up to X'an in return for the weyrleader's action, and then folds the coat up sloppily into his lap. "Thank you, Sianne, and I think all of my understanding and logic comes from the green out there," he says, jutting a thumb in the direction of the Cavern's entrance. "she's a girl, so I think she understands women a whole lot more 'en I do." He reaches over then, patting Sianne lightly on the shoulder before returning to his food. "But how are you? Are you feeling better today?"

Sianne offers a smile to X'an, then Niva but it's far from as warm as the one that keeps being placed on the greenrider "She does at that, I can't believe some of the things that she has you doing." The forked up meat is finally placed in her mouth and dragged from the fork with her teeth, chewing and swallowing follow before she speaks again "More refreshed and less tired. Generally I'm feeling much better, I think between our talk, the hot bath, and getting to bed early did wonders for me all over."

Elara walks into the Living Cavern tightly wrapped in her coat, which she shrugs off and hangs off by the door to dry. Glancing around the cavern she moves to get herself a mug of hot water for tea.

X'an nods his head to Niva, getting himself a drink and liberally adding sweetener to black, he settles into a seat by the warmth of the hearth, favouring Sianne and O'lief with one final, inscrutable look. No, he's really not eavesdropping at all, just cataloguing things in the back of his mind. Mmmhmm. "Well, anyway.. Elara should be here shortly," he offers to the Xanadu senior, resting his mug after a sip, to the tabletop. "As you can see, some things we have in abundance, other things much fewer of, which is the way of things. I don't much want to tax your resources, and I'm sure likewise… is there anything you feel you can trade for?"

Niva spares a glance at the candidate and the greenrider, before shaking her head and moving to settle down near X'an, glancing through the list once more before looking back up at X'an. "As I mentioned, we've herdbeasts to spare, particularly given the shortage of grains, and if you are willing to accept those in trade…" She trails off a bit, before glancing back up, catching Elara's arrival out of the corner of her eye, and politely pausing so that the Fort Senior can be on the same page.

O'lief nods, leaning back and focusing all of his attention onto X'an so that his look is unseen and so is Elara's entrance into the caverns. "Always works wonders for me too. I think I should have had a long night last night though, but when Hil tried to wake me up, I just couldn't keep my eyes open." Pause. And no, he's not talking about like that! "He was tryin' to tell me that one of us is going to be a father, but I couldn't muster up enough brain cells to do anything except for fall right back to sleep." He chuckles a little, shaking his head before leaning against the table and dragging his klah towards him, only then acknowleging Elara with a smile and a wave. "Maybe you should try it again tonight, Sianne. Might make you feel even better tomorrow morning."

[DTU/Project] Kilaueth senses that Wiyaneth's mind reaches out to yours surrounded in the warmth of the hatching grounds, « Please make yourself comfortable, and you are welcome to our feeding grounds if you wish. »

Sianne catches the look but does nothing more then turn one of innocence back upon him, there's nothing worth scrutinizing going on here "You could have sacked out here in the Living Caverns, you'd have gotten the best of the best this morning when breakfast was being set out." See there are good things that can come from a night of discomfort. While focusing on the pair of men, Elaras entrance is the thing that is missed by the candidate "I might just try it again tonight." her voice drops to a husky whisper "What do you think is going on?" is querried while her eyes are used to point towards the trio not far away.

Elara hears her name and, mug in hand, smiles and moves towards X'an and Niva, curtseying to the fellow Senior, "Weyrwoman Niva," she greets warmly. "Fort's duties of course, can I get you anything? Tea? And shall we retreat to the Council Chambers, perhaps?" She glances at X'an, curious if he selected the Living Caverns for the meeting for a reason.

X'an smiles warmly at Elara, eyes glinting somewhat in his face. "Already covered the tea aspect, love." he murmurs toward her jovially. "Niva's just looking over our stock.. for trade possibilities. Cattle apparantly a good choice." - Why in here? Why indeed. Hmm. "A little less officious, a little more warm and food to hand." - and the unspoken, a little more public and a little less likely to have… explosions. Sometimes gossip is such a bad herald. The kind of messenger you have to shoot.

Niva shakes her head slightly, waving off the offer of tea with a bit of a smile. "This is fine, really.." After all, a slightly more public place means that others are less likely to become overbearing and unreasonable. Generally that's saved for private meetings, though another Weyrleader seems to believe otherwise. "Vegetables, too, mostly tubers. An plenty of fish, and fish products. Given Ista and Igen's refusals to trade for those things, there's more then enough around." And she makes a bit of a face to accompany that statement.

O'lief shrugs, chancing a glance at the three before bringing his Klah to his lips and taking a long drink. "Maybe they're having an annual meeting?" he offers, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand as the mug is set back down on the table and he sneaks a hand over to steal some of Sianne's food. He gives her a look of purely feigned innocence as the item is slipped into his own mouth and he scoots his own plate away to prevent any possible happenings of retaliation. "Maybe they're comparing numbers, or something. 'Unno." There's a mocking little smile tweaking his lips when he leans back to eye Sianne for a moment before going back to chowing down. He couldn't pay attention for more than short intervals when food was involved.. And no, he's really not paying attention to anything the trio is saying, if they can even be heard, hence wonderful obliviousness.

Sianne can understand all that and gets easily distracted from the other goings on by the food snatching greenie "Hey! I can't be wasting away to nothin' you know, and if you keep doing that I surely will." cue up the Scarlet O'hara type music as Si places a hand, palm up, across her forehead "I fear I shall wither up without enough substance to keep me going." so much of a todo over such a little bit of food "And it's not fair that you moved your plate out of my reach too." adding that last little bit with a pout on her lower lip.

Elara smiles in sympathy and nods, "We don't tend to get too much fish up here," she says, "It might be a nice change." She settles into her chair and shifts a bit, letting X'an handle most of this. If it were left to Elara, she'd just give everything away and then where would Fort be? "What do you need?" She asks Niva, "Ultimately, what would ease some of the burden?"

"Yes, fish would be a good addition. Although perhaps not too much of it? Or rather, staggered trade arrangement for fish products. I have -no- idea how long fish preserves in a salt-barrel. Do either of you know? I can just .. I can picture that.." X'an wrinkles his nose and chuckles. "We deal for a double stack of salted packtail and yellowfin, and wonder why three months later, everything smells around here." Shaking his head a little, he glances at O'lief and Sianne once again, then back to the two goldriders at the table. "Having a little leaway with our technology would be good. I'd really, really like for you to perhaps help us upgrade our generators, in the wake of our electricity tax, Niva. You've that craft center and .. if I recall.. a wing devoted to technocrats?" - Fear. Fear. Fear.

Niva waves her hand a bit, with even a touch of a grin. "Too much salted fish, period, and you'll never want it ever again. A staggered agreement is easy, with perhaps some fresh types included?" And she looks questioningly from one to the other. "Really, any sort of cereal grain - particularly wheat and oats - We do have some, but not nearly enough, with the shortages right now." And she arches her eyebrow at X'an, before slowly nodding. "We do - and they can provide the assessment and installation, with ease." Pause. "Though, if you listen to some of our farmers.. You might not want anything to do with more elaborate technology."

O'lief gives an evil-worthy cackle as he watches Sianne's performance with a subtle clap of his hands. "As much as your woes are troubling, dearest Sianne, I fear it is your duty, as a candidate, to first make sure that I, your superior, do not waste away to nothing." And he's reaching for another item of food and her plate again with a devious little smile on his lips. That is until one blue firelizard comes knocking right into his shoulders and lands on his plate, stealing a piece of meat. Blink, blink. "Feo, you traitor!" And the blue squawks, dragging the meat over to Sianne as opposed to eating it for himself. "Sianne, you've turned my own children against me," he says accusationally as he scoots away from her. "I'm afraid that this means war. You know that, right?"

Sianne closes her eyes as she falls back into her chair in a clearly false swoon before popping upright "What! I have to feed you first then accept what scraps are left over? Outrage of Outrages!" Come her mock anguished words. Feo is greeted with open hands as well as her own cackle "Me turn then against you? How would I do that. THat would be like me trying to turn Kheyuth against you by talking some nonesense into her head." THough the thought has merit as she makes kissy faces at the firelizard "You are a darling aren't you Feo, replacing what was taken. You deserve a reward." and reward the firelizard is given in the form of the stolen meat "Here you go, you poor poor malnourished blue you."

Elara nods and smiles, "Well that sounds perfect, then. We provide wheat and oats in exchange for some fish and technology knowledge?" She glances at X'an and grins. Clearly not the barterer of the pair. "We really do need to get our generators upgraded."

Sianne abruptly rise from her seat as if she's been shot by something "Excuse me…Something…I have to go." with a pleaded look she scurries out into the bowl.

"I'm extremely grateful for you both being understanding." And Niv actually smiles, glancing from one to the other. "Provided that you're willing to be a bit generous on the time schedule, for the generators.. We've a few final repairs to finish on the Hatching Sands, before Aelith clutches." The other two, being O'lief and Sianne, are eyed for a long moment, but as neither Elara nor X'an seem to be paying them much attention, neither does she.

X'an inclines his head to Niva. "Think nothing of it. I'm sorry that we do have to make a certain stipulation on what we receive, but it's not like there's not plenty of other things. I honestly… augh." he shakes his head frowning. "S'va really, really brushes me up the wrong way entirely. He thinks his political prowess and accumen is top notch, when he couldn't politic his way out of a torn sack." and that's all he'll say about that, but the look in his eyes speaks a whole volume more about .just. how much he dislikes the other bronzerider. "Timing isn't so much an issue. Our generators.. well, it's just that they don't cope well with an overload tax. They're old. Fort's not really had much use to upgrade them, but I'm thinking.." and he slants Elara a look at this. "Of seeing a future installation of water turbines and windmills in the mountains. So future aid is fine and dandy infact, as we're nowhere /near/ ready for that kind of upgrade."

Elara smiles and nods, "Of course, the Sands should be your top priority." She reaches out to gently lay a hand on X'an's arm. "So does that work, Niva? All you need are grains? No woven goods or the like?"

Niva nods slowly. "As long as you're still willing at accept other goods, and realize that we have no desire to let potentially contaminated goods /out/ of Xanadu. Though, S'va is old enough to have some sense; if I didn't know better, I'd think that teenager is rubbing off on him." And she quiets, then, glancing back and forth, with a bit of a smile. "I'll speak with the wing, and we can come up with a schedule for updating your generators." And she glances back at Elara, "The TannerCraft has offered their own help, and we've a fair amount of woven goods in stores, currently."

X'an nods slowly, lips firming into a thin line. "I thought better of .." but he cuts it off with a sigh, resting his hand atop the one Elara placed on his arm. "We can offer oats, I believe. Grain… well, I can /arrange/ more quantities of wheat and barley." - looking to Elara with this. "I had hoped that Br'yn would trade to Bitra to help provide the grain. I was going to put in a good word for Igen, so they'd have something they could actually offer…" admitted with his voice canted low. "The thing that boggled me the most, is that they assumed you'd be as foolish as to not quarantine /yourselves/ Niva." looking back, he's got a very frank look shadowed by disappointment. "I'm not all that old… not far out of teenage myself, but.. I mean.. give some credit, for crying out loud!" headshake, headshake. "It made you look entirely stupid, which I know fullwell you're not!" - Regarding public pomposity at Conclave.

Elara nods, biting her lip. "We can do the grain," she assures. "How about comfort items? Keep up morale?" She clearly wants to help more. Of course, when Western asked for help Elara had drudges and riders clearing out the storecaverns, heaping stuff around the poor Weyrleader's dragon. She doesn't like this trade stuff. She wants to be generous and give! Her eyes beg Niva to take more. "Tea? Sweets? Are other plants affected by the blight? We have a lovely gardens and strong forests for which we have many seed packets we could give."

Rheffayl strolls out of the kitchen, humming loudly, a large tray hoisted up and supported at her shoulder. On the tray? Fresh pitchers of several different content, destined to be abandoned at the serving tables. Despite her rather weighty burden, she sashays a bit, pausing to full on shake her money-maker midway to her destination. And as randomly as it begin, it's back on track. Items delivered with surprisingly minimal spillage.

"We only look to trade for what you can spare - We have other areas to turn to, as well. Unfortunately, we lack the same support system you all here in the north enjoy." Niva leans forward in her chair a bit, voice dropping, "If Br'yn hadn't assumed that we were unable to carry out our own negotiations, and that he had to use Igen's favor to gain supplies, I do not believe I would have been as frustrated. But, it was just the icing on the cake, with their other assumptions.." And she leans back shaking her head, "You at least exhibit some common sense, and realize that Pern isn't simply what is in front of your face on a daily basis." And then, her attention shifts to Elara, a bit of pink even touching her cheeks. "I'm sure the kids would love some sweets, though if we've grain, perhaps they'll have more. They had to be the first go to." Bread over sugar.

X'an's eyebrow lifts a little bit, hearing Niva speak. His fingers lace 'tween Elara's just at the moment where he notices a sashay and an overabundance of womanhood swishing and humming her way in her own inimitable style. It's distracting, ok? There IS a lot of it on Rheffayl. She's not a stick of a girl. Staring for a second, it's almost comical how he drags attention back to the goldrider's he's speaking with, voice a little tighter than it might otherwise have been. "Support networks arn't quite as great as they might have been. Tradition and duties aside, weyrs still look to their own, north or south, some with measures of suspicion that put my blood to shame. Ech. North or south, if Xanadu calls, Fort will answer." - looking to Elara, he looks back, believing himself firm on that. "To any weyr." But Ista. Currently. "Hmmn…" thinking, he looks down at interlaced hands. "Elara, Niva.. how's about we toss in some of Weavercraft's tributes and payments along with our actual trade as a bonus? The apprentice made toys for our nannies.. well, there's a lot of them." Yay! Charity plushies! "Gesture of good will?"

Elara nods firmly in agreement with X'an. "Yes, Fort will always answer." She smiles, "Oh yes, the plushies. There are a lot of them. Runners and canines and felines and dragons…very, very cute." And yes, there will be lots of sweets and candies. And a small wooden box with specially selected teas for Niva herself. Selected varieties to calm and soothe. Elara just can't help herself.

Niva looks rather embarrassed by it all, shaking her head a bit as her face turns slightly pink. "I, I can't offer enough thanks. After the past sevendays, I was starting to doubt whether any solution would be found…" Distracted momentarily by Rheffayl, though not in the same way as X'an, she looks back to the Weyrleaders. "If there's anything Xanadu can ever do for Fort, please, do not hesitate."

Rheffayl is oblivious to.. reality usually, but in this particular case she busies herself stirring any dishes that seem to want to form a layer when the top is cooling before sauntering around the cavern, abducting dishes not in use from various tables and carting them back into the kitchen on her tray. Still quite content to entertain herself when she emerges again, she attacks dirty tables with a washcloth. Humming continues.

Diz prowls in from the bowl, cheeks and nose nipped with cold or recent activity. Her breath is only somewhat short, so it would be safe to assume the former though there is a suspicious amount of mud caking the high polished side of her boots. She pauses near the exit to shake that gunk off, tapping each heel against the wall, before carrying on into the depths of the cavern. Drink is in order, and should her path direct her by the matched weyrleader set on her way to the hearth, well… coincidence is a wonderful thing and she's in a fine (dangerous) mood. "Good afternoon. Duties. Pleasure. Pardon… Rheffayl, is there any of the virgin cider from the other night to be had? I've a thirst."

X'an looks down at Elara's hand on his arm briefly, nodding the once. "You can toss in some tropical fruit and call it even?" he offers it with a smile, settling back into his seat. "Accept our hospitality, Niva. You and your riders are welcome here." As is so frequently the case, actually. It's strange! "Chance is a fine mistress.. one day we may need what you can give without tax… perhaps when future plans come to fruit." smiling, it seems this has gone better than expected. "I recommend you have one of our hot, spiced apple teas. They're splendid for warming against the cold, or our mulled cider. Please, it's the least we can do, seeing as you came to brave the cold for this discussion." - Pause. "Will we be seeing you and yours at Fort's hatching?" nodding at the candidates… he eyes both ones in current eyesight carefully. Hint!

Elara smiles warmly and nods, "Of course." Then she grins, "Actually," she drops her voice and mutters something to X'an and Niva.

Elara mutters to Niva, "… hoping… and… a… after… me… I think… would agree, particularly difficult search… Are… spots near… that… recommend?"

Elara whispers "I was hoping to find a nice, quiet spot for Wiyaneth and I to take a vacation after this, pardon me but I think X'an would agree, particularly difficult search cycle. Are there any vacation spots near Xanadu that you might recommend?"

Niva arches an eyebrow. "All the fruit you can want, and gladly. That's one thing that's flourishing, without any trouble." A slow nod, "I'll get something, before I leave, for the trip home.. And perhaps more again at the Hatching? I'm certainly going to try my best, to be here." Leaning back, she thinks for a long moment, before slowly shaking her head. "I'm sure we can find somewhere, and I'll let you know come hatching?"

Rheffayl flicks her eyes up from the tabletop currently being victimized by enthusiastic scrubbing. "Hmm? Oh, well yes. I just freshened the pitchers not five minutes ago." She continues to swipe at the surface, though in her somewhat distracted state of talking to Diz, she's really not accomplishing much. "And everything's been prodded up to steaming again, so why don't you fill a plate too? Warm food in a cold belly isn't going to harm you any." She says with a cheery sort of distracted smile.

Diz casts a look over her shoulder, lips pursed in a faint smile. As one of those being eyed, she seems aware of the scrutiny and amused by it. The arching of her brows might be translated to "What? We're being good." Rather than say that and risk diplomatic crisis, however, she redirects her attention to Rheffayl. "That sounds lovely. I do enjoy when you've drawn kitchen duty… care for a mug yourself? It's time for a break, near as I can figure," she goes on, sliding towards the indicated pitchers to take up a mug— or two, should the answer be a positive one.

T'ai comes walking into the living cavern whistling a bit as he's unwrapping a box with a cheeky grin on his face. Clearly the bronzerider has either been shopping or he's gotten a gift and he's quite excited about it.

"I'll take a cider, if you're being helpful." X'an cheerfully states, finishing his black klah with a toss back of his head. All in all, everything went much better than he thought it might, oh yes! He listens to what Elara murmured to her table companions with a slight nod, flicking eyes to Niva as she replies, quieting for the time being, though he resettles his hand atop Elara's where it sits on his arm.

Elara smiles gratefully and relaxes back in her chair, "That would be lovely, thank you. It'd be nice to go someplace warm, and I do hope you can make the Hatching." She bites her lip and appears flustered for a moment, eyes darting to the two candidates before she smiles, "Oh yes, the spiced apple is particularly good this winter."

Rheffayl nods thoughtfully to Diz, "I think I can manage a sit down for a few. Anything you feel like carting back over here is fine with me. I'm sure I've swallowed worse." Immune to any looks she may receive, she flicks her not-so-clean washcloth on to her shoulder and sits down. This is not a woman who minds a little grime. And still.. she hums to herself.

T'ai grins as he settles down by X'an, slapping the man lightly on the back, "How's the day treating everyone?" he asks, more relaxed looking now than in the first sevenday or two he was in the Weyr.

"I'll be a moment." This spoken with a sort of thin amusement, as Diz fills not one or two but three mugs with the fresh cider and arranges them artfully on a tray. That tray is slid into hand and lifted before she sweeps towards the table occupied by two weyrwoman and a 'leader. "Pardon, rider," she says to T'ai, stepping around him to arrive, the tray set in the table's center for the riders to enjoy. "Compliments of the tavern wench," she wishes them with her signature crooked smile before heading back to get herself and Rheffayl the last couple of mugs. Those and a couple of meat-and-cheese-stuffed pastries are fetched up for the candidates, distributed as she takes a seat. "You seem happy."

Niva nods slowly, before glancing around her, and then wrinkling up her nose as T'ai appears, glancing from one to the other. "I should.. I should probably get back to Xanadu." Pause. "I'll get out our records, and send you a list of quantities, and some fruit to seal the deal? And, perhaps, Asiree, as you requested, sir." A bit of a wink goes to X'an, as she glances back and forth. "I thank both of you.."

X'an grins, lurching a tiny amount at T'ai's slap to his back, unsurprisingly as the former sailor's a large fellow. Even a light slap should be rockin'.. ahaha, if only jokingly so. "The day's treating us well, I think… thankyou." nodding to everyone infact, at taking his cider, and looking to Niva. "Clear skies, and thankyou for taking the time to come personally Niva, I /do/ hope to see you again." flashed grin. "Thankyou, from both of us." - nodding at Elara beside him.

Elara gets to her feet with a smile, "Always a pleasure, Niva. Do let us know if there is anything more we can do." She glances after Diz when the mugs are set down and blinks, not having time to say 'thank you' before the candidate retreats. She also blinks at T'ai, startled by his bursting into the meeting with the Weyrwoman of Xanadu.

Niva gets her feet as well, inclining her head to each in turn with a final farewell before making her way out.

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