Who F'inn, Th'ero
What Th'ero has questions for F'inn.
When Autumn - Month 9 of Turn 2720
Where Drum Heights - Harper Hall

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HarperCraft Hall - Drum Heights
Accessed only by a long, long flight of stairs broken by a few landings that start at the base of the courtyard right outside of the Great Hall, the Drum Heights are still in use today, despite the advances in communication technology. The Drum Heights themselves are a small building, partially carved into the cliffs high above Harper Hall for maximum transmission and reception of drum messages.

Sectioned into four rooms, the largest of them is the main living and work area, with the drum room being located directly off of it and facing out over the Hall below. The other three rooms are the quarters for the Master in charge of the Drum Heights, a few Journeymen and Apprentices looking to excel in this particular study.

A more recent modern addition to the Drum Heights is the radio equipment, which is set up along the wall closest to the Master's personal quarters and office and the powerful radio antenna can be seen on the Drum Height structure outside, protected by a lightening rod that runs to the ground for safety purposes.

Autumn has snuck in quietly through the Fort region, though the damage from weather related woes earlier in the Turn are still having a rippling effect. Yet that too is working like a dangerous undercurrent, unseen but there or sensed but not so easily pinpointed. The Holds keep to their own and any struggles suffered by those without the political strength to voice their pleas likely go unheard. It's not Fort Weyr's business to interfere and the Weyrleader knows that well (and knows the various consequences for overstepping). Th'ero has been through this before in the decades that he's held his position and is well accustomed to the frustrations that follow. Rumours have been trickling in, some easily dismissed and others more worrisome. Yet the Weyr's hands are tied and they can only wait and watch to see just how far the ripples spread this time. There are a few tricks up Th'ero's sleeve, however, and after many meetings with Fort's Wingleaders, he devised a plan. It's a risky one and it's not beyond the bronzerider to set a trial-by-fire trap but he has some faith. He'd have to, for sending in one of the "newest" bronzeriders from Kayeth's last clutch. Does he hold some regret for throwing them to Gold Hill and into a proverbial tunnel snake nest? Probably not (or a small sliver buried deep). He called F'inn some time ago, gave him the brief rundown and his orders: visit Gold Hill, speak to their Steward, report back to him. Sounds simple? No, it's not. The Hold is notorious for their cold reception of any dragon rider and while they're not brazen enough to turn one away, they'll undoubtedly be difficult parting with any information. Now that the hour slips past late afternoon, Th'ero waits outside of the main entryway to the drum heights. There's a small ledge there for a few people to stand comfortably and it's the most remote place he could think of. His meeting had been with the Harpers, of course and over what remains a mystery.

Fortunately, F'inn is a charming fellow and while he is a dragonrider to his core, he knows how to talk to people. He has to, he has a massive family of very opinionated crafters after all. Course, having been out to Gold Hill previously, and experienced their less then warm reactions, he at least knows what to expect. Fortunately, Nymionth has the distinction of being shockingly empathic, a card that F'inn is happy to keep up his sleeve and use as often as possible. With Nymionth's uncommon ability, talking to people, and gaining their trust, is made considerably easier. The fact that he's a crafter at his core? Also serves to make things considerably easier. There is nothing quite like offering up well crafted porcelian dolls to loosen a father's tongue, or a daughters, for that matter. F'inn, however, is packed and ready to go, everything he might need, from clothing to unexpected bribes, tucked neatly away and strapped to Nymionth. There is no mistaking their arrival as the bronze pair circles to a landing, or F'inn's enhtusiasm as he slides down off Nymionth, pulls off his gloves and tosses a respectful salute to Th'ero before approaching. "Evening, Weyrleader," he calls as he steps closer on the ledge.

Returning the salute, Th'ero's expression remains as stoic as ever, Where F'inn is certainly far more enthusiastic, it's difficult to read if the Weyrleader's in a good mood or a troubled one; the neutrality makes it almost nigh impossible to gauge. "Evening," he greets in turn, voice low spoken but lacking the usual cold edge that hints at trouble. He gives the younger bronzerider a searching look before his gaze slides past and out to the view of the sprawling courtyard below. Fort's forests and the main road are also visible from the heights. Truly beautiful, if they were here for sightseeing! "You've returned in one piece, I see. So what is it that you have to report?" he asks, without so much as glancing sidelong to him.

Th'ero has always been one of those unknowable figures to F'inn, the weryleader's stoic and ever present serious a completely and utterly foreign way of living. Still, he greets the searching look with an easy, but serious smile, his hands shoving into the pockets of his heavy jacket as he follows the line of Th'ero's gaze out to the horizon. With Th'ero getting right to the point, he clears his throat, his head giving a mild shake. "Beyond a couple of females who were intent on tearing off pieces of me? I think I was relatively safe from any actual threat," he notes in tones that are just bordering on teasing. Realizing, though, that is probably not the best possible approach, he clears his throat and aims for something more serious. "Their tense," he admits. "From the Lady Holder on down to the stable boys, but most of that has more to do with the weather then anything else. There is a lot of concern regarding the potential presence of renegades, but oddly… Nym tells me that that is far less then the worries over fires encroaching on their territory." Falling silent a beat, pale brows rise and fall in a mild twitch as he nods in the general direction of Gold Hill. "They do not like the idea of taking help from the weyr, at all," he admits. "They are under the firm belief that you are going to demand something unreasonable in return." Which, F'inn is pretty sure is not the case. "However, I have made some headway with the Lady Holder in that regard and offered to bring up some riders from Search and Rescue to shore up their fire breaks. She didn't like it," he admits. "But I've convinced her that the dragons will allow us to construct them in areas that will give her people considerably more time to respond potential threat in that regard." Of course, it will also allow dragonriders to patrol the area under the pretense of checking the firebreaks. "I'm making some headway," he admits. "Slowly."

Silence follows F'inn's report, with Th'ero making no immediate signs of interrupting him. His posture remains straight, almost rigid, with shoulders squared and proud stance. He even clasps his gloved hands behind him, the only sign that he's moderately "relaxed" in this little meeting away from 'home'. Brows furrow in thought and finally, he fixes F'inn with an unreadable look. "Our relations with Gold Hilll have always been tenebrous at best. They hold grudges and they have not forgiven us for past injuries." Never mind that the Weyr had no choice when the Hold almost fell to Laris' control and then later to their Lord Holder's corruption and the heir's betrayal. Oh, but it's Fort's fault, of course! "That you were able to gain that much ground with Lady Lleynn is remarkable. I'd caution you in pressing too far." he remarks dryly. "So you heard or saw nothing else?"

"I have a way with women," F'inn notes with a lopesided smile. Course, it probably helps that he's far more prone to smiling then frowning, as well. "And Nymionth makes it.. Well, it's not really fair," he admits. "And I cannot claim any kind of credit for making headway… Not when I have Nymionth there to let me know when I need to back off or crack a joke." It's an unfair advantage, but one he makes ample use of. "Lady Lleynn is… wary still, but she's warming up to me." At the last, he shakes his head, his lips pressing in a thinline as he considers what he's seen. "There have been a few questionable visitors in the wee early hours of the morning," he admits. "I'm not sure what is going on there, but when they arrive tensions go way up. Fortunately, they do not seem to be aware that I've noticed and I've not mentioned it at all." Not yet. "It was my thought that if we could actually get some of Thunderbird up there to work on fire breaks, we'd have more eyes to see where they are coming from and where they are going to. That seemed like the wisest priority to focus on. To me," he ammends.

Th'ero quirks a brow when F'inn mentions having Nymionth as backup and perhaps can relate, in some level, to that. He's gone to Velokraeth for council before, though the bronze is far different than his younger progeny. Mention of those visitors draw sharp attention, his eyes narrowing briefly before he nods. It's been noted and tucked away mentally to pick over later. Instead, he turns to face F'inn more directly, with the view below now at his back. "Clever, to use the firebreaks as cover." he murmurs in faint praise, though his features barely shift. Just a hint of a smile that's more a smirk and then he's off on another tangent. "So you find this sort of thing to your liking?" he asks and oh-so seemingly innocent in nature. "Dealing with politics, I mean. The visits and negotiations." Among everything else too, of course.

F'inn tilts his head at the quirked brow, his expression momentarily wry. "I'd assumed you knew," he admits. "Nymionth is extremely empathic and very… determined to make sure I know exactly what is going on in Fort, from births to deaths, to domestic squables." You have not lived until you've woken up in the middle of the night sobbing hysterically cause someone you love died— only they didn't and it's actually happened to a crafter in the caverns. It's been… Challenging, at best, but F'inn's shields? Strong as stone, now. "It helps a lot in dealing with people," he admits. It's the mention of his idea, though that has that easy, lopesided smile returning to his face. "Serves two purposes. Gives us more eyes on the ground and in the air, and earns us a bit of slack with Gold Hill. It is important though, that we… ah.. you choose people who can be both friendly and observant without appearing to be observant." It's the last, though, and the hint of an actual smile from the weyrleader that has his own growing. "Are you kidding? I love talking to people. This has been… I've enjoyed it." If he is rather hoping that Gold Hill will do the honorable thing and work with them.

"Hmm." Th'ero voices only a thoughtful sound that is half dismissive to F'inn's query on whether or not he knew (and possibly forgot). There are too many riders in Fort for him to track every little quirk; some he'll learn over time but the young bronzerider before him is still 'new' despite having a few Turns under his belt as a rider. "I cannot argue with that. It's a tactic I often use when dealing with… troublesome scenarios. Some would call it deceitful but that is how the game is often played on all sides. Kimmila would know of some riders who're trustworthy and experienced enough to handle that line of work." Now there is more of a genuine smirk to his lips but the expression fades soon after. "Then perhaps Thunderbird isn't the Wing for you." Blunt and straight to the point, he fixes F'inn with a pointed look. Leaving that to hang ominously, he'll add just a touch more tension. "Have you considered Phoenix?" Another pause, as the trap is set. "As Weyrsecond?"

"I wouldn't call it deceitful," F'inn argues. "Well, it is, in a sense, but they really would be working on firebreaks." Semantics, always troublesome things in his mind. "At the end of the day it's necessary to engage in small deceptions to prevent…" Trailing off, he lightly clears his throat, one hand tugging free of his pocket to brush over the back of his neck. "You know all that," he murmurs in wry tones. It's the rest, though that has him pausing, his brows furrowing at the mention of Thunderbird potentially not being the spot for him. "But I-" It's the rest, that has him immediately looking confused, pale brows twitching mildly before his hand jerks up to scrub through spikey white blond hair. "Are you serious?" It is the first thing out of his mouth and it immediately inspires a wry laugh and another lopesided smile. Of course Th'ero is serious, F'inn's pretty sure he's not big on the joking factor. "I never even considered it," he admits honestly. How could that have even been a thought at this point in his career. Course, he's just as quick to drop his arm and add in more serious tones. "I could do it." Cause age aside, he damned well knows he'd be good at it.

Oh, Th'ero does have a sense of humour! It's just buried deep, deep down somewhere and takes awhile to manifest. Spend enough time around him and one learns to read through his masks! He's not nearly as emotionless as he lets on. Of course he's serious and the look he flashes F'inn says as much. Do you think he'd joke about something like this? He's probably been sneakily testing several candidates among riders of all the Wings for ages before he zeroed in on F'inn! Th'ero IS that deviously sneaky! "Most don't and I wouldn't have considered you had you been more upfront about it," Meaning anyone who has dared to approach him asking for it will never be Weyrsecond under him. "I've already spoken with your Wingleader, so they will not be caught off guard. I take it then that you agree and accept?" Age has nothing to do with it; some might question his decision but he has weathered worse from Fort's riders than a few whispers and gossiping.

Nymionth is in F'inn's head even as Th'ero speaks, offering a wealth of reassurances and firmly insisting that F'inn say yes. The bronze? Completely and utterly ready for this. He was born for this and even F'inn knows that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Still, it is a huge step and a huge change and, while he is listening to everything Th'ero has to say? He's also thinking very hard about the offer made. In fairness, everything he has been doing at Gold Hill has been far more interesting and far more in line with his personality then anything he has ever engaged in before. So much so that there is only a momentary pause before he dips his chin in a firm nod. "I absolutely agree and accept, weyrleader." There is no way he could turn that down. "You will not be disappointed." A sentiment that is firmly echoed by Nymionth as the bronze swings his head around to chuff at spikey blond hair. "By either of us," F'inn adds.

"I would hope not." Th'ero is blunt once again with his comment, though offers another faint half-smile to take some of the edge off. Unclasping his gloved hands from behind his back, he'll extend one out to F'inn to grasp. It's a rather archaic way of sealing things but the gesture is genuine. "Weyrsecond F'inn," he speaks formally, letting his hand fall back no long after and dips his head respectfully. "I'm keen to see just how far you'll go in this new role. I'll be making the announcement public in the morning and I expect you to join me in the council rooms prior to that." It'll be a crash course of learning the new routines and protocols but again, the Weyrleader is fond of just throwing people into the thick of it. Best way to see who sinks and who swims! Casting a glance skywards, he exhales heavily. "For now, I need to conclude my business with some of the Harpers here in the Archives. You're dismissed for now." Stepping away, he'll already have taken the first step of many back down to ground level before he pauses and glances over his shoulder. "Clear skies."

F'inn clasps Th'ero's wrist firmly, the gesture accompanied by that familiar lopesided smile. "Of course, Weyrleader," he notes as his own arm falls back to his side. Drawing back as he's dismissed, he exhales a breath, flashes another, far more bemused smile, and moves toward Nymionth. "Clear skies," he calls after Th'ero before pulling himself up onto Nymionth and launching into the air. Right now? He's gotta get home and let his weyrmate know before the announcement is made. Blindsiding K'zre? Not the best idea and not one he intends to risk.

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