Ista Weyr - Gather Meadow
Rough and amorphous, this clearing has been constructed to give optimum space while still keeping it relatively sheltered from the plateau and weyr beyond. The treeline has been trimmed back to give a clear view of the skies above, but daintily-cared-for saplings have been planted here and there throughout, one day promising plenty of shade. Pebble pathways wind amongst them from the forest's edge and have been formed betwixt skeletal stalls that are almost completely occupied on market and gather days.
Each path eventually leads to a huge, circular patch of gravel. Tables and food carts ring its edge, wine and alcohol predictably given a few of the choice spots. A large, recently-erected stage has replaced the gazebo at the far end, for the duration of the Summer Games. Tables are situated nearby, and a large wooden platform seems perfect for dancing. Otherwise, grassy meadowland prevails.
The area has been recently renovated, with wood and weaver crafts working together to setup arches and pillars along the entire perimeter of the clearing - they are flying the colors of Ista Weyr, as well as those of all its beholden areas. One of the most prominent is the device of Ista Hold, set proudly beside the smoking mountain insignia of its weyr. An inner ring of poles bear the standards of all the attending weyrs, and their holds, amongst them most notably are the colors of Fort, Telgar, and High Reaches.

The call for the Summer Games has gone out, and been answered in force. Countless holders and crafters, weyrfolk and riders of all sorts are gathering on the Istan plateau to witness the opening ceremonies. And patrolling among them are the Istan guards, as well as numerous drudges offering food and drink, and of course Headwoman Serri's assistants, seeking out dignitaries and important visitors, as well as runners carrying massages through the ever-growing press of people. Banners hung across the main platform bear the colors of Ista Weyr and its beholden areas, while around the meadow, pillars fly the devices many of those attending. Dragons are constantly landing and taking off from the bowl with new arrivals, the watchdragon sending a respectful greeting to each, although notably, most of those dragons coming and going are not Istan. Indeed, the vast majority of the dragons currently arranged along the bowl rim aren't Istan either, entire wings' worth seeming to be out of the weyr at the moment. But that hasn't stopped the crowd from growing, excited talk and speculation (and bets!) being made on which hold or weyr will win all the planned competitions.

Nyalle is here, of course, having arrived a bit early. With her fiery queen perched on the rim, Nyalle is dressed in Gather finery, her light blue gown trimmed with gold, and complimenting the Fortian Senior knot on her shoulder. With her hair braided and wrapped around her head in an elegant but simple style, she pauses to accept a glass of wine and continues to wander. For the moment, the young Senior is by herself, and she doesn't seem to mind.

Gerazal is here with the weavers craft and he's looking around eagerly for the opening ceremonies. He has a politely smile on his face to those that are near him as he tries to keep with others from his craft.

Among those present is Moyrel, who serves as Weyrsinger of Ista and as Masterharper of Pern, dressed in her finest harper blue. She makes her way through the crowd with grace and dignity, even carrying her old but faithful lap harp, a guitar, and her pipes. She pauses near the main platform, leaning on her cane as she surveys the crowd.

Gage adds to the non-Istan contingent, by being distinctly a redfin out of water -or a Smith out of the forge. "Over where… where? I don't…" Blue eyes go briefly wide before sliding wry as a flurry of curse words from the Master before him makes any further attempts at communication rather pointless. With a drop of his chin with the dismissal, young Gage turns about upon booted heel to face the gathering menagerie. "Anyone know where I can find the water?" On an isle surrounded by it, still at a loss.

Fort's Weyrleader wanders among the crowds as well and likely already in the company of another. Th'ero is dressed in his Gather best as well, wearing an off-white linen tunic that is trimmed along the edges of the mid-sleeves and the laced v-neck in bronze, green, black and copper. The vest he wears overtop is a deep, dark green that is almost black under some light and fitted with brass clasps. His knot is pinned to his shoulder and on one hip is a sheathed dagger, something always present on his person. Despite being a bit overwhelmed by the large crowds and the excited atmosphere of the Gather grounds, Th'ero's pace is slow and calm and his gaze, when not scanning the many, many faces present, go to admire the decorations and the surrounding grounds. Velokraeth is up on the heights, along with Kayeth and likely just beside himself in pleasure for all the social chattering among the dragons.

As the music begins to cease, there is a stir amongst the crowd, the Istan Weyrwoman heading to the stage clad all in white cotton, loose blouse hanging off tanned shoulders, the sleeves slitted to reveal strong arms, fluttering somewhat as she heads up the wooden steps to the platform, her skirt billowing slightly as she tries, with moderate success, to not trip over the multiple layers while still not taking forever to get there. Her attire is trimmed in black embroidery, the vine-like design accented here and there with orange flowershapes. Around her hips is a black sash, fringed in that same deep orange. Hair already beginning to fall free from the bun it's been contained in, Cen tugs back an errant strand and then inclines her head to Moyrel as she passes, a grin for the Masterharper as she asides, "Shells, yer people are puttin' on quite a show," with a nod of her head toward the harpers. Clearly, she's pleased by the performance, though a breath is taken as she eventually heads across the stage. Brown eyes take in the various visitors and her own weyrfolk, grin widening a little before she clears her throat - that isn't nervousness, is it? - and waits for the crowd to quiet a little before she continues, "Welcome, all of you, to Ista Weyr," the greeting genuine and hardly rehearsed at all. Even with a certain bronzerider hovering behind her like a shadow.

Alyane is another non-Istan in attendance, one of the opportunistic traders here to profit off the combination of the games, the coming clutch, and the ongoing gold rush. She makes her entrance wearing a fashionable, somewhat revealing red dress from the Weavercraft and an assortment of gold jewelry from the smiths. Just a small sample of the things she has for sale at low, low prices! But she's not selling right now, she's just here to schmooze and maybe have a little fun. She lingers by the refreshments, adjusting her glasses as she studies the crowd.

Kimmila is FREE. The twins are born, she's healed up, and she is OUT. Out and about and FREEEEEE. Dressed in a simple red skirt with a cream top with a matching sash, she walks arm in arm with Th'ero. If she is wearing any knives, they aren't visible, since her outfit doesn't have the customary blue handled dagger at her hip. Around her neck is a string of malachite beads and her hair is held back in a half runnertail. She tugs gently on Th'ero's arm when Cenlia begins to speak, gently steering her weyrmate closer so they can hear better.

It's the cursing that gets Nyalle's attention, the young woman straightening and lifting a hand to her mouth, briefly, as she searches for its source. Frowning a little bit at the Master from which the words came forth, she then hears Gage's question. "To drink?" Then Cenlia is speaking and the young Senior looks towards Ista's Senior to listen.

Moyrel nods to Cenlia, acknowledging. "Inspiration is part and parcel of our business, Weyrwoman," she says, and dips a curtsey. She brushes a hand through her salt n pepper hair as she listens then as Cenlia addresses the crowd.

Gerazal quiets down as the Senior Weyrwoman from Ista speaks. He spots some refreshment and he goes to get some. He notices Alyane and he smiles, "Hello Alyane good to see you again you are looking lovely." He says as he turns his attention to getting a drink and then back towards Cenlia.

Gage finds himself spun about by a passing pair of young women, whether by a shoulder-clip or a sway to their step. Distraction draws his eyes, a pair of steps backwards with a lingering look to them has him near to backing into another. He fetches up with a burgeoning grin, that same distraction lowering the timbre of his words, "Better things to drink around these parts, I imagine." A blink, a turn of his head, and a flicker of a grin to Nyalle, "Pardon, ma'am. More to throw at -I mean to wash with." But maybe he should be looking elsewhere, stagewards perhaps?

"And to the.." brief pause, as if trying to remember the word, "revival of an old tradition. We've gone too long without a party this size," almost cheeky grin for some of her riders there, "So I hope you all are ready for one of best celebrations on Pern." Some of those Istans already into the rum might give a cheer there, Cen's grin widening with a nod toward them. "And for one of the toughest competitions," she adds, eyes seeking out the various weyrleaders and lord holders in the crowd, pausing on Nyalle and Th'ero, the Telgarans and the High Reaches visitors especially. "Because by Faranth, we won't make winning easy! So welcome again, we're glad to see you all here, and hope every one of you had a chance to show what yer really made of in the days ahead." And as she says this last bit, there is some silent command to clear the skies, from an unseen Nziekilth.

Th'ero laughs softly when Kimmila tugs at his arm. "What's the rush?" he teases her quietly and following along beside her as she steers them closer to where Cenlia is giving her speech. He'll have his usual calm, slightly reserved smile as his eyes drift to where the Istan Weyrwoman stands, dipping his head in a silent (and probably unseen) greeting. Habits are habits! It seems the Gather mood can even get through the Fortian Weyrleader's many masks and he begins to fidget a bit beside Kimmila, eyes roaming again. "See anyone we know?" he murmurs. No doubt there are plenty of Fortians in the mix: rider, Holder and Crafter. He knows Nyalle is out there too and he hopes she is not overwhelmed as she has been at the previous racing Gathers. Ducking his head, he will whisper again to Kimmila's ear. "Have an idea of what you'd like to do, Wingmate? Your choice." In everything? How sweet! He'll hush then, as the speech continues, grinning a touch mischievously and will add a (modest) cheer of his own. Bring on the competitions!

Alyane joins in the cheering to ring in the games, in a mildly reserved sort of way. Her gaze then flicks to Gerazal, greeting him with a little nod of her head. "Very kind of you." She replies. "I hope you've been well?" She finds herself a wine glass, and gets started with the drinking. Hey, it's a party, right?

Kimmila whoops loudly at Cenlia's challenge, shouting back, "Fort, Fort, Fort!" Then she's quiet, but still grinning as she leans on Th'ero's arm. "Lots of people we know, and lots that we don't. What a great mixer. It's so good to be OUT," she says, grinning up at him. "Me? Food. And then let's take a look at the competition sign ups. I want to see if there's anything Varmiroth and I could do passably well…but we're far out of shape."

Nyalle steps smoothly back, her skirts swishing about her ankles. "To throw? I do not know where throwing water is," she says quietly. "But to wash with? I would check over there," and she points to one of the cleaning stations, set up off to the side for those visitors who are hygiene conscious. It's as she's looking around that she catches a glimpse of the High Reaches Weyrleaders - Pandara and R'lor, and Nyalle's face goes suddenly pale. Why didn't she think they'd be here? Why didn't she assume they would be? "Excuse me," she murmurs to Gage, before she's hurrying off through the crowd, away from the Reaches leadership.

Gerazal listens to Cenlia's speech and he nods to Alyane as he turns back to her, "Oh yes I've been well. I can't wait to see how these games turn out. It should be very exciting." He says as he takes a drink, "It should be a great time."

"Fer now, though," Cenlia turns her gaze skyward briefly, "Enjoy the food and the drink, an' most of all, enjoy the show." A renewal of the music accompanies a rush of cold air from above, signalling a massive number of dragons emerging from between, as the majority of Ista's wings appear in the cleared skies high above the bowl, flying in near-perfect formation. Nziekilth and the largest dragons at the lead, the senior gold gives a rumbling bugle which sets some of the glassware to shaking, and drowns out anything Cenlia might have said afterward. As one, the entire airborne mass plummets groundsward, dragonwings flaring above the clearing with obviously-practiced precision, each dragon veering off in a different direction to land along the bowl rim and the ledges, the beasts' paths criss-crossing each other with, from the ground, what might look like reckless disregard - but despite the speed and close-flying, there are no collisions. It's clear the dragons, at least, know what they're doing. It remains to be seen how well the riders who volunteered for this aerial display actually feel once they get their feet on the ground and rejoin the celebrations. Cenlia, in the meanwhile, has escaped the stage, to finally enjoy the gather herself.

Moyrel, clancing aside, notices Nyalle and gives a wave to the Fortian. "Hey there," she greets. "Greetings and salutations." Then, noticing that Cenlia has left the stage, she mounts it herself, and picks up a bugle, sounding an opening fanfare the resounds with clarity across the meadow.

Gage flashes a quick and dimpled grin to Nyalle, managing somewhat of a bow as the young woman continues on. The teen's eyes are drawn away; pails, water, and what is to be done with such losing its luster when to be compared with the novelty of an Istan gathering. And when things go aloft, so does Gage's gaze. Gawping like some sort of country bumpkin, the young smith drops his head back, mouth opening. "Huh."

Th'ero starts a bit at Kimmila's loud whoop but doesn't correct her. He has to keep from bursting out into laughter though, still trying to hold on to some of his "stoic" trait. He's the Weyrleader of Fort! The man who use to rarely smile, let alone laugh. Not today! He's in a fine mood right now and he's not even made it into the wine. Maybe he'll try the infamous rum? That could be dangerous. Grinning to Kimmila, he will just start to shift his weight in preparation to lead her away when he stops and gazes upwards at that whoosh of cold air. Familiar, all too familiar and yet the sight of so many Istan dragons flying in formation still holds him captivated. Or is he watching intently for another reason entirely? There's a slight wince for the glassware rattling bugle and another when Velokraeth tries to add his voice into it and Th'ero will perhaps be one of the many who clap or cheer to acknowledge such skillful flying. "Or you and Varmiroth will sweep the competition away?" Th'ero drawls to kimmila, once the conversations around them have dimmed enough that he doesn't have to shout to be heard.

Kimmila looks upwards as well, whistling softly at the sight. Standing on her tiptoes, she murmurs something softly to Th'ero. Then she laughs, shaking her head. "You flatter us, wingmate, but no. We are out of shape. Are you going to compete? Where are the sign ups?"

Nyalle returns Moyrel's smile, and hurries on. Though for a moment she's not looking where she's going, and very nearly runs into Gerazal and Alyane. "Oh, goodness, I'm terribly sorry," she says hastily, lifting a hand to her throat and looking quite embarrassed.

Alyane takes a long, slow sip from her glass of wine as she listens to Gerazal. "It will be an interesting thing to see. Are you supporting any particular competitor?" She's just asked that when Nyalle nearly runs into her. A forgiving smile is quickly sent in her direction. "Oh, no apologies necessary. It is very crowded here." She offers her hand. "I am Alyane, with the trader caravans."

From the path leading up to the gather grounds N'talya strides slowly towards the revelery smiling brightly as she goes. The young green rider clad sitll in her riding leathers, not dressed up it gather gear. She peers about at those around as she tucks her helmet under her arm and give a wave to the few around that she knows. Spotting Alyane and Gerazal she turns and heads in there dirrection.

Gerazal smiles brightly as he watches the dragons cone in and do a brilliant display of speed and close flying. "Wow that was amazing." He says to no one in particular as he watches the dragons fly about. "That was great this is going to be a great games." He says as he takes another drink. He shakes his head, "Not really, anyone from either Eastern." He looks to Nyalle and nods politely, "Good evening ma'am."

Moyrel puts the bugle aside and takes a seat on the stage as she picks up her guitar. She strums a few chords, testing the tuning. She twists a peg, strums again, and nods in satisfaction, and so gets ready to begin to play.

Nyalle looks at Alyane's hand for a moment, considering, before she slowly reaches out to take it in a gentle and swift grasp. "Well met, Alyanne. I'm Nyalle, of Fort." Looking over at Gerazal, who is nearly her own age, she offers a polite, "Sir, good evening."

Moyrel picks a strident melody on the guitar and raises her clear alto voice to the crowd, a voice perhaps mellowing with age, but one that still commands attention as she sings out:

The challenge is called, let the games begin
On the grounds of the gather we meet
All comers are welcome to join and compete
Who will rise to the challenge and win?

Th'ero tilts his head when Kimmila murmurs to him and blinking, he gives her a look and then he DOES laugh. "We'll see." he can be heard saying to her as he pulls her close to his side. "There is time for you to practice," he murmurs, lifting his head to glance around the crowds again. "You know? I never thought to check or confirm that. No doubt somewhere easily accessible…" Logical reasoning. Will he be right? "That depends on the events, Wingmate. I probably will, when and if time allows. Come, Wingmate. Let's get some food and drink and then we'll see about the competitions! I for one am curious about this rum…" Famous last words?

Kimmila snorts. "Rum, wingmate? Fine, but if we have to rent a room for the night then you're paying for it. Let's see if we can find Cenlia. I'll bet she has the /good/ rum."

Gage is nudged from behind, causing the teen to consider more earthly presences. He breaks out into an slight grin, shaking his head slowly from side to side in bemusement; the action causing his long braid to slither over his shoulder. A glace to either side, most particulary back to where he left his Master, then the teen moves along to find a well, cistern, pump, trough, or whathaveyou available for the much-desired pail of water.

Cenlia, of course, is headed for the drinks table, to snag herself a glass of something chilled and amber-hued. She'll turn with a grin to watch the Masterharper Moyrel, settling back to admire the show and the music. And admittedly, she does look somewhat impressed with the maneuvers the Istan riders have managed to pull off, though there might be a bigger grin as she notes the reactions of Gage and some others, to the skyward display. Nziekilth, however, will park herself in a prime sunning spot, as if this sort of thing were an everyday occurrence. Though at some point, she may suggest a dragon-bugling competition to Velokraeth. Because she totally heard him join in. Or maybe she just likes the Fortian bronze's spirit there. Moving into the crowd, she'll cant her head to this or that visitor, lopsided grin for Kimmila and Th'ero when she sees them, likely having heard the cheer of Fort back there. "Lookin' to be a good turnout, think Fort's got some competition from our wingleaders," is called over to them, heading their way with a laughed, "Am told, last time, Fort took all the wins in the summer games." The competition is totally on, though she'll tack on cheerfully, "Definitely try the rum!" Brown eyes are cast across the crowd toward Nyalle, where she is with Alayne and Gerazal, as if debating heading that way, though it's probably best she seems to decide not to. The longer she manages not to scare off the poor Fort senior, the less V'lad will lecture her about it!

N'talya smile as she approaches Alyane, Gerazal and Nayalle and salutes the last and smiles, "Welcome to Ista Ma'am." noting the gold riders presence before looking between her friends.

Alyane smiles warmly, shaking Nyalle' hand firmly and raising her glass to her. "Very well met, Nyalle. I hope you are enjoying the festivities." She is distracted by the approach of another familiar rider. N'talya receives a warm smile. "Hello, N'talya."

Gerazal looks around at Nyalle says sir and he chuckles, "Please call me Gerazal I'm just an apprentice of the Weaver Craft from Esatern Weyr." He smiles at N'talya, "Hey N'talya how are you doing. Were you up there flying for the demonstration?"

Moyrel sings:

With the peal of the clarion and the call of the drum
The call to the challenge rings clear
From every corner and place have they come
For the honor that they must revere

Fashionably late, R'en meanders in after having taken a while to figure out where exactly he was going. Despite having somewhat being 'from' Ista, he has been away since he got searched out at Eastern. Wherever his dragon is, and his flight jacket is tossed over a shoulder which obscures his knot from being easily in view. Looking around for familiar faces, he purses his lips and sighs a little. Nobody he knows directly, anyways. Gaze lift for a moment to look at the dragons in the air while Moyrel sings, he then decides that some alcohol would be in order and starts looking for where to get some of that - Ista always has some kind of alcohol, surely.

Nyalle smiles, nodding her head briefly. "I am, thank you very much. And you both? That was a very impressive display of flying, don't you think?" As another rider approaches, the young goldrider steps back to make room, dipping her head in a polite nod.

N'talya smiles and says, "Just on the out side of the, Not really any of the really impressive flying." she glances upwards, "Ala is pretty ninble but not that good." she steps over next to Alyane and returns her smile, "I hope the three of you are enjoying yourselves."

Velokraeth would totally take Nziekilth on in a bugling match, if not just for his own amusement and to see how far he can push the Istan Senior before he lands himself in hot water (with her or Kayeth). He may be small and runt-sized and ugly as sin, but he's got a lot of heart(s?) and perhaps some of his rider's pride and competitiveness is rubbing off. "Good start to the Games, Cenlia! Compliments to your riders. That was some stunning flying!" He totally took notes. Grinning to Cenlia, he will chuckle as he adds, "We'll see if Fort can make a repeat sweep?" he drawls. Was that a challenge? Maybe. "I will! Any recommendations on which rum?" he asks with a smirk. There's different kinds, right? Looks like the vintners will have good business on this night! Eyeing Kimmila, he'll snort. "Wingmate! Are you saying I cannot hold my drink? One glass of rum cannot hurt." More famous last words.

Moyrel plays a few bridging riffs on the guitar and raises her voice to sing the final verse:

Steeped in tradition, honored by law
Come the finest exemplars of might
We'll seen them in contest, as they rise to new height
and see them with reverence and awe.

Kimmila laughs, shaking her head. "/One/ can not hurt, but…" She doubts he'll stick to just one. Waving happily to Cenlia, she calls, "Join us for a drink? And where do we sign up? I am eager to see the events."

Cenlia will totally be offering drink suggestions. There is, quite possibly, an entire /table/ of rum. Though Kimmila is probably correct, Cen knows where the good stuff is kept, as she angles her steps toward the various bottles and glasses with an expertise that comes from turns of spotting the gems of the vine and orchard, waving for Kimmila and Th'ero to join her. And likely running into R'en if he's headed that way, the goldrider's attention half on the sky, half on the music, and half on the Fortian visitors who, hopefully, are not getting too lost in the crowd as the Istan weyrwoman heads through it. "Thanks," is called over her shoulder to Th'ero, "The way B'ky tells it, we had to do better, since Fort's last games pretty much couldn't be outdone," her tone slightly teasing. Possibly, she's had an earful and then some of her former-Fortian wingleader regaling her with stories about past games. "Shells, should've seen the way B'ky an' Zin were going at it - you'd think Thread were back, with how serious they are 'bout the games," shaking her head a little, "But even I gotta admit, was sharding impressive." Notably, /she/ was not up on her dragon for this. "Will get ya some signup sheets," is nodded to Kimmila, though when she says that, what she really means is she'll get a drudge to go fetch the schedules and forms for them.

Gerazal moves to the side to let N'talya join their circle as he takes another drink, "Can I get anyone anything to drink or eat?" He asks as he hears the music, "Sounds like the harpers sent their best." He says says and nods, "So far yes it looks to be some great games are you signed up for any of them?"

Moyrel takes the guitar and the bugle and dismounts, yielding the stage to anyone else scheduled or wishing to perform. She gives Cenny a pat on the shoulder as she passes by. "Hey, Weyrwoman. This is off to a fine start. Anyway, I'll be out and about. If you need harperly service, just give a shout. Someone will come by if I don't."

At some point, V'lad gave up shadowing his weyrwoman, though it's possible he's keeping a reluctant eye on her from a distance. T'eo's orders were very clear, after all. He is currently making his way through the crowd, with an ear for the music, head tilted slightly to the side as he listens. "Your green manouvered quite well," is said in passing to N'talya, as he overhears some of the conversation. He is also in leathers, ash-grey and red, but light enough for the weather. "Weyrwoman Nyalle," also recognizing the Fortian, he'll nod respectfully to her as he goes, though doesn't pause too long, likely not wanting to interrupt their conversation circle with Alayne and Gerazal. Instead, the bronzerider is heading toward the stage, just as Moyrel descends the stairs, as if intending to play. Or.. sing? He certainly is carrying no instrument with him, and the only thing of note on him are his wingrider knot and the dagger sheathed on his belt.

Th'ero is skilled in navigating crowds, having attended and hosted enough Gathers and festivals by now to know how to move among them. With Kimmila's arm still linked through his, he will chuckle while they walk along. "I can tell you're eager!" he teases her, "And I'm sure everyone else can see that too." As they catch up to Cenlia, Th'ero will dip his head politely to R'en should his path cross with the Eastern bronzerider. "Well, you've certainly set the bar high, Cenlia!" Th'ero goes on to add to the Istan Weyrwoman and then smiles crookedly, glancing sidelong to Kimmila. "It's good to see so many excited about the Games! The competitiveness and seriousness both! How often do the Weyrs, Holds and Halls come together quite like this?" Rarely! And speaking of competitions… "Any events that you'll be signing up for, Cenlia?" Th'ero asks curiously and yet there is a hint to expression that he may already suspect or assume the answer. Can a Weyrwoman compete in her own hosted Games?

Gage finally becomes the attentative apprentice despite the showcase of the gather He fetches that pail of water, avoiding falling down to break his crown. Water sloshes, splattering, soaking the ground, and slopping over the edges of his bucket as Gage returns back to the whole point of his errand. "Success, sir! Did you see that…" His excited voice is lost in the sounds of the gathering.

"Excuse me," Nyalle murmurs to the group she is with, before she vanishes into the crowd. She's mingling, promise! She hasn't run away, she's just…mingling.

Kimmila takes a glass of rum for herself, because why not? She's FREE. "So, Cenlia. Did Ista /really/ trade Fort for barrels of mud? Or was that a joke?" Then she snickers. "I'm sure Cenlia has plenty of practice holding up bars." Oh, snap. Cenlia will find that funny, right? Somewhere Nyalle is cringing.

N'talya glances over to V'lad as he mentions her green and smiles, "Thank you sir, we try." before looking back to Gerazal and says, 'Some of the rum would be good to start I think I am off for the day finally.."

Alyane glances into her rapidly emptying glass of wine. "… Perhaps I should switch to rum. Then again, I would like to remember the evening." She looks up at the unfamiliar bronzerider, giving V'lad a little smile as he passes by their group.

R'en has a hand with a cup in it already by the time that Cenlia comes over, and he offers a quick smile. "Eastern's duties." He offers quickly, and then glances off to look across the gathered folks to see if anyone else has shown up that he might recognize. He used to work in the Istan infirmary, so while a lot are brief acquaintances, he didn't get to know too many people closely. He peers to see where Nyalle disappeared to, but doesn't seem inclined to go running after her - just curious how she vanished.

Nyalle isn't all the way vanished, just partly vanished, as in she's standing by the Harpers, watching the dancers swirling round and round.

"Is good to hear," Cenlia grinning to Th'ero, at his comment about setting the bar high, then barking out a laugh at Kimmila's addition there. "Shells, an' don't everybody here know it!" is said with a huge grin. Clearly these two are on the same wavelength. "An' Ista's duties to ya as well," coming up to the drinks table, there's a cheerful nod for R'en, the goldrider scanning the selections, "Hah, found the good stuff already?" A grin is for the man, and for the Fortians too, "Since I'm not allowed to challenge any of you lot to a drinkin' contest, how 'bout a toast instead." Her grin widens, nodded agreement for what the Fort weyrleader said, "Is true, haven't seen the holds and halls and weyrs come together like this in too long. Is good to see folks like this," smiling now with honest appreciation for the current gathering. She pauses though, replying to Kimmila somewhat wryly, "Weren't no joke - Nyalle sent us barrels of mud." And with an entirely straight face, she tells the gathered riders, "Am gonna toss all the bronzers innit. Have 'em fight it out fer who's got the manliest weyrleader," is she.. /joking/? She has to be joking. R'en gets a grin there too, "All are welcome to join though - who knows, could get a right proper mud-slingin' party going on." The pat on the back from the Masterharper has Cen nodding a, "Will do!" to Moyrel, and reminds the goldrider that she was about to make a toast or something. Raising her glass high, voice rising so anyone nearby might catch the toast, "To all the Holds, Halls, an' Weyrs of Pern - good luck in the coming games, and may be the best ones win! An' here's to turns more of gathers like this."

"Of course I found the good stuff, I know what I'm looking for." R'en says with a wink to Cenlia, once he sees Nyalle dancing around. He scrunches his nose at the thought of being tossed in a /barrel/?, and then shakes his head a couple times. "I've got nothing to prove, and would probably just end up hurting myself. That's for another breed altogether." He decides, since he doesn't particularly think of himself as the 'typical' bronzerider. With those non-calloused hands? Yeah, he's not the most manly of them all, and he knows it. He ponders what to do, but ends up just taking a drink and looking around.

V'lad returns Alyane's smile politely as he heads past, making his way to the stage, but it seems he's not there to perform, but to confer with one of the harpers, having just missed Moyrel disappearing into the crowd. He does note the Istan weyrwoman's toast, eyebrows rising for the rare moment of proper dimplomacy from the goldrider. But it's the guy with the bucket that has the man pausing to stare. A brow is lifted higher, as he watches Gage sloshing water over there. "Uh," he might have been about to offer a hand, but no terrible mishaps occur. Still, he'll wander closer, perhaps idly attempting to figure out what the smiths could possibly be up to.

Th'ero eyes Kimmila when she takes a glass of rum. Oh, so SHE can have some and not get teased about getting drunk off her feet? Smirking, he'll also have a glass poured of the finer rum, swirling it a bit in the glass and lifting it to his nose to delicately sniff. Hmm. Doesn't seem half bad! "Kimm!" he chides, but not seriously to judge by his snickering. Seems that Cenlia got the joke though and the Fortian Weyrleader will simply tip his glass to her before knocking back some of the content of it. To his credit, he doesn't grimace but his brows do lift in mild surprise. Hello, kick? "So this is the infamous rum, then?" he drawls, glancing back to Cenlia. His smile seems small and reserved but his eyes gleam with a different light. Mischievousness? You bet. "No, no. Of course not. No drinking contests! But a toast? I'd gladly join you in one, if you'd like to lead, Weyrwoman?" he muses and isn't quite done yet with his cryptic games. Cenlia doesn't disappoint and Th'ero will go silent while the Istan Weyrwoman raises her glass and he does the same in turn. "To all and to Turns of prosperity and good fortune!" Th'ero adds just before downing the last of the rum in his glass, swallowing thickly and picking up right where he left off. "Sadly we cannot contest in drinking, but surely you'd join us in taste sampling, hmm?" Hmm. Loophole? Perhaps! He leaves the bait out for the taking, while he dips his head again to R'en. "Fort's duties to Eastern." he murmurs, only to stare at Cenlia as she confirms Kimmila's inquiry on the mud. "Us… Weyrleaders? You're…" Oh Faranth. She's serious, isn't she? "More the merrier usually with that event," Th'ero drawls, only to give R'en a curious, if not puzzled look. "Suppose one could get injured in mud wrestling. But you'd be surprised how… fun it can be. It's become quite popular in Gathers and festivals back in Fort, especially among the riders and weyrfolk. Everyone is equal in the ring."

Kimmila lifts her glass in the toast, and then /laughs/, and nudges Th'ero's side. "There, see? That's your first event. Mud wrestling for Fort's honor." Snicker, snicker, snicker. "I /approve/ of this idea, Cenlia. When do they begin? Tonight?" Please say tonight. She, too, looks at R'en, offering a little nod and a smile before she samples the rum and sighs. "Delicious stuff, Cenlia. Mmmmm." BOOZE. Someone's getting drunk tonight. Oh, yes.

Don't know who R'en saw, but Nyalle is still standing on the edges of the dance floor, sipping her wine. That is, until a bold bluerider from Western asks her to dance, and she sets her glass aside to graciously accept his offer and be led out onto the floor.

"Is the mud wrestling sanctioned?" Alyane breaks into the conversation with an amused grin on her face. She swirls her wine. "It's a shame it wasn't announced, or I might've signed up." A little laugh escapes her. The wine is working wonders.

Kimmila flashes Alyane a wide grin. "You can volunteer to play winner?"

Gerazal smiles, "Right three rums coming right up." He says as he heads over to the refreshment table to get some rum and he comes back to offer N'talya her's and offers one to to Alyane as well., "Here you go. Best way to start any day off right?" He asks with a simple. He looks around and sighs softly, "So many beautiful gather outfits." He looks over at Alyane and laughs a little bit, "Mud wrestling huh? I'd love to see that.

"Good man," Cen clearly approving of R'en's ability to spot good drink, her own glass downed in short order, after Th'ero adds his addition to the toast. "Infamous across all the northern continent," Cenlia chuckles, the drink having put color in her cheeks, just a bit, and an equally mischievous glint in her eyes. "Can't visit Ista without sampling 'least /some/ of our brews," Cenlia encourages cheerfully, finding herself another half-glass of something to sip. As for the mud wrestling, the nearby bronzers only get a lopsided grin from her, though she'll assure Alayne and Kimmila, "Nah, sign-ups fer the games ain't started yet - will have runners sent out after today's gather, with schedules for everybody. Plenty of time to get the biggest mud pit on Pern," taking another sip to keep herself from snickering. A nod to Gerazal, Cen calls over, "You an' me both!" about watching the mud wrestling.

N'talya giggles a bit at Alyane and says, "I am sure something could be arranged if you really want to mud wrestle.

"I don't doubt that at all." Alyane says with a slightly smug smirk at Gerazal as she accepts the rum, eyeing the drink for a moment. "… Is this meant to get me into a state where I will actually participate in such an event?" She laughs quietly. "Alas, I lack both an opponent and appropriate attire. This dress is far too nice to subject to such things. So you shall simply have to imagine." When she hears the call out in agreement with Gerazal she looks out to find the source, somewhat surprised when she sees Cenlia. She then looks back to N'talya, smirking again. "You too?" She laughs again, then takes a sip of her rum.

Th'ero grunts when Kimmila nudges him and then rolls his eyes. "Right. For Fort's honour! Though you could as easily do the same, Wingmate!" he drawls with a teasing grin to her. Chuckling, he then holds up his free hand which… happens to have a refilled glass of rum in it. Hey, how'd that get there? "Woah! Hey. Slow down now… it's the opening night of the Games! No need to rush." he mutters with a smirk, eyes darting to Cenlia. No mud wrestling tonight, right? When the Weyrwoman catches on to 'sampling', the Weyrleader chuckles low and deep in his throat. "Excellent! Then we'll certainly need to expertise of some locals so that we sample the right ones." ALL of them! He looks mildly relieved when he overhears that signup for the events and competitions haven't quite begun yet as the Fortian Weyrleader is hoping to enjoy the opening night a little longer before having to decide whether or not he'll be signing his name to a few competitions! "However, before we get further into discussions of sampling and schedules… best to hunt down some food. If you'll excuse us a moment, Weyrwoman?" Th'ero will dip his head in a respectful nod and then smiling to Kimmila, will lead the bluerider with him as they go to browse the selection of food and mingle among the crowds there. Later… oh yes, later when the night progresses the Fortian pair will likely hunt the Istan Weyrwoman down again when time allows. Hopefully Nyalle and V'lad won't have too much to cover up by the time morning comes…

Gerazal takes a sip of his rum and he smiles at the Weyrwoman from Ista. "Sounds like a great plan for me. I wonder if I can sign up for some games. I'd probably do pretty well in some of the sprints." He smiles at Alyane, "That's true that is a very beautiful dress and I'd hate to see mud on something like that. I'm sure we can make a big mud pit, we just need some dirt and water. I bet we could get lots of people to help."

"Always fun to watch folks slippin' and sliding 'round in the mud," Cenlia grins the gathered folk, nodding to Fort weyrleader after, with a promised, "Will show ya the very best Ista has to offer," as he and Kimmila head off to find some food. Oh yes, there will definitely be more booze this night. But for now, Cenlia has to stay sober enough to not cause any diplomatic incidents. "Can sign up fer any ya want," is said to Gerazal with a grin, think Serri's assistants have signup sheets somewheres, 'an if not, a drudge can get ya the forms. Will definitely be plenty of chances to compete." The glass in ehr hand is eyes consideringly, though she does laugh, adding, "Already got the mud an' the pit," oh dear, she really /wasn't/ joking about acquiring Fortian mud. "Gonna be quite the show, but all that starts tomorrow. Fer today, is one big party," raising her glass again, briefly, before heading around the table with a nod to N'talya, Gerazal and Alyane, "Have fun, yeah? Gonna see if I can find T'eo, talk him into.." trailing off with a decidedly mischievous look. Oh dear, indeed. Looks like Th'ero won't be the only bronzer dared to go mud wrestling today.

Alyane returns the nod from Cenlia, then downs the remainder of her drink. She recoils a bit at the kick, then smirks at Gerazal. "Indeed it is. Alas, I cannot risk further damage, so I shall have to call it an evening and leave your dreams unfulfilled for the time being. Tatath." And she's off!