Fort Weyr - Gemstone Tavern
The dim lighting by the flicker of candles lining the walls is enough to offer a view of a room decorated in such a way as to be tastefully appealing. Each piece of furniture and decoration is chosen to accent another piece, and so on and so forth, matching and tying the whole room together in a theme that's separate, and yet at the same time unified. Tables line one wall, dimly lit by candles hanging in sconces all along. The bar along the far right wall is made of richly toned mahogany, tooled by a master and polished to shine with the soft glow of wood at its finest.
Candles strategically placed add to the atmosphere, accenting, punctuating. Towards the back is an open fireplace, constantly burning with a bright light, warming the tavern on cold nights and serving as a gathering place for patrons' story-tellings. Across the room, lush pillows and soft-covered floors promote relaxation at ease. Just before the pillows is a long stage, so full of its own vigor and memory - nicks here, marks there, scuffs from footware and other things - that it's possible to imagine the shows put on for the patrons without necessarily seeing the performances.

Senira stands behind the mahogany bar, very carefully pouring wine into a skin while simultaneously conversing with a similarly-built tall and slender young man who is seated at the bar. "Yes, yes, I'm sure it's the best blend that has ever been blended." She wastes too much attention on adding an exaggerated eyeroll to make her point and ends up overpouring. A pale pink-colored wine spills across the bar in a puddle, and the young man laughs. "Shells and shards!" Senira curses under her breath and quickly grabs a rag to begin mopping up her spill. "I wouldn't think you'd be SO amused by the waste of your best blend, Teryn" the barmaid admonishes.

The gemstone is a familiar haunt for many residents even if the tavern is located outside of the Weyr. It's usually filled with weyrfolk, with the riders preferring Shenanigan's but on occasion they drift this way too. On this particular day, the Weyrleader makes his way down and arrives just in time to catch the tail end of Senira's incident with Teryn. Though he wears his knot, there is a subtle air of casualness about the man. He's not here on business and yet… why IS he here? "Best blend?" he inquires curiously enough, dark eyes glancing to the pale pink-colored wine.

Senira startles visibly at the Weyrleader's entrance, and waves her rag vigorously in Teryn's face, "Shh, stop laughing!" Eyebrows furrow in an impatient frown at the young man seated at the bar. That young man, for his part, does eventually stop laughing and smiles brightly at Th'ero. "Good evening, sir. What my sister here has just spilled all over the bar is my most recent blended wine. The grapes came from both Benden and Tillek!" The young man idly rolls his shoulder, no doubt attempting to call attention to his brand new journeyman vintner's knot. The barmaid gives another eyeroll, though the gesture is not without affection for Teryn. "We're newly of the weyr, sir. This is Teryn," the vintner gives a slight, facetious bow, "and I am Senira. Good to finally meet you, sir." She nods in greeting.

Th'ero glances between Senira and Teryn both as the story is unravelled and there is a hint of a smile for the newly made Journeyman. "Interesting blend. Never would have thought the two could be used together. Given what they say…" He doesn't take a seat at the bar but will stand with his weight balanced to one side. Casual. So very unusual for him on any normal day and triply so given the recent events. "Well met, Teryn and Senira. Welcome to Fort Weyr. Are you from the region?" Meaning, are they Fortian born. It's a curious question and spoken as such and not meant to give offence. "You may call me Th'ero. Most do, unless we're in an official situation or the time calls for it."

Senira flashes a relieved smile at the weyrleader—she's not particularly comfortable with rank. "Well met, Th'ero." Teryn echoes this, his blue eyes widening in mock dismay. "Never thought the two could be used together? Th'ero, Tillek and Benden combined can create wonderful things like my sister and I!" He leans across the bar to throw an arm around Senira's shoulders. Such camaraderie! Senira, for her part, gives another one of her patented eyerolls, though she is also flushing with embarrassment. "Stop being so ridiculous for two seconds. Just two. /Please/!" The last is hissed under her breath, though she doesn't seem anxious, just vaguely embarrassed. "Pay no attention to this vintner, sir. No matter how much you hear him praise Tillek grapes, in point of fact we were both born and bred in Benden." Teryn nods in agreement and gestures vaguely at his empty cup. Senira, ever the professional drink-server, is quick to fill it. She raises the wineskin in Th'ero's direction, and raises her eyebrows in an unspoken question. Want a cup?

Th'ero has learned over the Turns of being Weyrleader that rank does set some people on edge and while his younger self would've been appalled at the idea of "relaxing" from his role… now he is capable of it. It just took almost half a decade for him to get it! He chuckles dryly, "Guess my ignorance in wine shows well, doesn't it? I'm more familiar with ales. Though I can see you two are close." Family ties and bonds are something he can appreciate and values. So he'll weather the banter between Senira and her brother with a bemused smile quirking the corners of his lips. "I'm sure there are some… good value to Tillek grapes? Ahh, Benden. You're both a long way from home." At the offer of a glass, he will dip his head in polite agreement. Yes, he'll indulge!

Senira brightens considerably. "Ales! Now that is something I know more about. Much more palatable than wine." Teryn shoots a pointed look at her. "No offense." Shoulders shrug before she pours another cup of wine and slides in gently across the bar. The vintner's gaze travels back and forth between the cup and the weyrleader. He seems anxious to learn Th'ero's opinion. Senira gives another one of her patented eyerolls, then plods across the back of the bar ungracefullystomp stomp stompto pour herself a glass of ale a deep amber in color. "I'll have one of these ready for you to wash out the taste of that wine, Th'ero." Teryn pouts at the barmaid but doesn't seem too hurt by her criticisms. He must be used to them.

"Are you a vintner as well too then, Senira?" Th'ero will take the glass and likely try to slide payment over for it too in a subtle way. A swift exchange! Lifting the glass, he'll examine the color of the wine. "Don't think I've ever tried a wine like this before. Does it have a name?" What is he in for? The question is asked openly, but he figures Teryn will be the one to answer. "To each their own for tastes. Even if I prefer an ale, it doesn't mean I won't try wine." As Senira pours an ale as well, Th'ero can't help but chuckle again. "At this rate, between the two of you? I'll be too drunk to walk home." Lies. The Weyrleader can hold his drink just fine but a bit of humour never hurt, right?

Laughs errupt from both siblings in response to the weyrleader's question. "Oh no, certainly not. My thumb's so black I can absolutely destroy a grape or a grain even after it's been reaped." Senira's mouth twitches with an amused smile and she nods at Teryn, adding, "The rest of our family are mad about wine but I can't stand the stuff." She scrunches her mouth and sticks out her tongue a bit, the universal symbol for 'ick!' Teryn ignores Senira's jibe about wine and gives his full attention to Th'ero. "My parents call this type of blend a 'blush,' but I find 'Tilenden' or 'Billek' quite catchy!" The vintner's smille is so bright, it's difficult to tell whether he is joking or is genuinely excited about his names. Senira chokes a bit on a sip of ale and shoots her brother the most incredulous look possible.

Th'ero's mouth quirks again, "So given this 'black thumb', you just serve the drinks… which I hear is not so bad an occupation. One of our goldriders, Inri, used to." He's also found that bartenders can be very useful for information and far more willing to give it than, say, a Harper. "Have to do what you enjoy to do or else you face being miserable with your daily routines…" he admits and then it's his turn to pull a slight face at Teryn's answer. "Tilenden sounds a bit easier on the tongue." Which is how he hopes this wine will settle! Sniffing delicately at the contents of his glass, he will then take a slow sip and takes his time in tasting it. He makes an appreciative sound and a surprised one too. "Not what I expected… but it's good." For a wine. "Do you plan to serve it here in the Weyr?"

Senira's smile becomes simultaneously softer and more genuine as she nods at Th'ero's words. "Oh, tending a bar is just about the best occupation there is!" Not that she's ever done anything else in her entire life. "People always like to talk to the people giving them alcohol. I hear the most terrific stories!" She's definitely heard plenty of useful information in her day, particularly if your intended use is blackmail! Though Senira would certainly never gossip. While sober. Teryn rocks back on his heels, nodding his agreement to the weyrleader's account of the wine. "It is pretty surprising, isn't it!" He is certainly pleased with himself. "The Benden grapes balance out the sweet and tang of the Tillek grapes. So instead of a too-sweet white or a too-dry red, we have a smooth and slightly sweet Billek!" Teryn beams. Senira facepalms. "Stick with 'Blush,' Teryn." Instead of the vintner, the barmaid answers Th'ero's question: "That's the aim. There's a cask's worth in here now, though he's already making some more." Teryn emphatically nods his agreement.

"I don't doubt that you do and Fort's… often rife with stories." Th'ero would know and sadly is probably tied in to a decent amount of them. The Weyr is never 'quiet' even when it appears to be! Again, he will hold the wine glass up as if inspecting it again and he nods his head to Senira's answer about the cask. "It'll be popular, I think, Teryn." Yet his answer seems distracted and his eyes suddenly distant. With a shake of his head, his brows knit as if confused or puzzled but the rest of the wine is consumed and the glass set aside with an exhaled breath that may (or may not!) carry the words 'are you sure?'. Just, uh… how fast did that wine hit the Weyrleader's head? "Don't mean to change the direction of our conversations but… Velokraeth seems insistent that I interject." Th'ero is censoring a lot of what his bronze likely said and does not explain how the dragon knows what is going on in that tavern! At least she's not being dragged outside? Though that might come soon enough. Digging into his pocket, it's not marks he produces but a white knot! Which is gently set on the bar top and well within Senira's reach. "Would you accept the opportunity to Stand for Kouzevelth and Kainaesyth's clutch as a Candidate? The choice is yours, of course." She can decline and he does not seem in any hurry for her answer.

Senira's expression is wiped from her face so quickly that it's almost comical. Teryn just stares, open-mouthed, at the weyrleader. "Wh-what? Stand?" Senira tries to give a casual chuckle but it comes out as a high-pitched, tittery laugh. "You're having me on, weyrleader. Did you put him up to this?" The last is directed at the still-gaping vintner. Teryn shakes his head, but all amusement leaves Senira's expression as she insists in a quiet hiss at her brother "This isn't very funny, Teryn!"

Th'ero's expression remains carefully neutral though he can't help but smile faintly when Senira insists that it's her brother pulling a joke on her. That'd be one cruel prank! "He's not behind it. I could bring you to the one who IS, however, if that will settle your doubt? He's just outside the tavern." There's an apologetic look for Teryn, given he's stuck between all of this now.

Teryn, now silent, shakes his head vigorously at his sister. Even /he/ could never be behind a prank that mean! Senira's gaze drops from her brother's face to the white knot on the bar. "Stand? For the clutch?" She just keeps gaping at that knot. At Th'ero's words she looks up quickly, her eyes heading immediately to the door. "Outside the tavern? Truly?" She walks around the bar, deftly snatching that white knot. She heads toward the door then stops, glancing shyly at Th'ero. It seems she finally believes this isn't a prank, but hey, she's not going to turn down the chance to meet a dragon up close!

"It was nice to meet you, Teryn. Good luck with your 'blush' wine and any further projects. You won't be short of willing volunteers for tasting here." Th'ero will linger just long enough to politely excuse himself and not leave Senira's brother entirely in the lurch and when she waits for him at the door, he won't take long to catch up. "Just outside and to the right, towards the forests. He's harmless." She may regret wanting to meet Velokraeth! He's definitely bronze. A pale one! He's short too. That's… about as far as the 'nice' comments can get. Because, no matter HOW people try to edge around it, he's just downright ugly. Stunted and twisted forelimbs, a too boxy rear end and then there's his head. Oversized and mishaped, with the brows arranged in a way that makes his eyes seem different sizes. Blunted muzzle and knobs. He is by far not a beautiful creature but he welcomes their arrival with a low throated rumble and what could be perceived as a nod in greeting and while it doesn't appear that he's grinning it feels like it.

Senira's jaw manages to drop even lower as she stares at the bronze dragon outside of the tavern. "He's… he's…" She is trying to find the right words. She glances at Th'ero from the corners of her eyes and finishes lamely: "…really something!" She smiles though, at Velokraeth's greeting, and gives the dragon a quick curtsy. She may not be comfortable with rank in general but she seems to believe that all dragons certainly outrank her.

Th'ero smirks but there's an odd chuffing sound (could it be laughter?) coming from Velokraeth when the bronze cocks his head to the side, one of his whirling eyes focusing on Senira. "You can tell the truth. He says he's not offended by it, that he knows he's, heh…different. But he appreciates the effort to find something flattering to say." Again, the Weyrleader seems patient and he will fold his hands together behind his back while watching the young bartender closely. It's only by the rumbled prompt from the bronze that the Weyrleader speaks up. "… so, have you made your decision?" No pressure!

Senira raises an eyebrow at Th'ero. "Decision?" Then she actually /drops/ the white knot as she brings her hands to her face in horror. "Oh! Of Course! Yes, I will stand! Gladly!" She's not about to argue with such an…..interesting-looking bronze dragon. She quickly snatches the white knot back up, a faint flush coloring her fair cheeks pink. "Thank you!"

Th'ero almost crouches down to pick up the knot when she drops it but luckily doesn't have to. Velokraeth makes that "laughter" like sound again but also chuffs in a pleased and amused manner. "We're glad to hear it. Congratulations, Senira. Now… you'll have to eventually settle in the barracks but it doesn't have to be this very moment. You can go back inside and settle things with the owner and your brother as well. When you're ready, ask for Headwoman Talica or Steward Zhirayr. Either of them will see that you have what you need, if you're in need of anything. We'll expect you to be in the barracks come morning." So much to absorb! He gives a slightly apologetic look for all he's dropping on her shoulders so soon. "Anything you'd like to ask, before I return to my duties?"

Senira shakes her head, "No, sir! I mean… Th'ero." She corrects, shyly. She stands a bit straighter, though, and carefully attaches her new candidate's knot to her shoulder.

Th'ero nods his head. "Good. Congratulations again, Senira." Talk about a welcome to Fort! He'll leave her then to settle things back inside the tavern as he turns and walks back towards the Weyr. Velokraeth will follow a few moments later, looking rather smug with himself.

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