Fort Weyr - Shenanigan's Lounge

The natural walls of this cavern haven been completely covered and replaced by straight and sometimes curving walls of brickwork. There's method to the madness of covering stone with stone. It's as simple as the electric buzz in the room. New grade electric lights dot the fancy brick worked walls, with wires cleverly hidden behind, allowing more focus to be centered on the rest of the room rather than the numerous strings of wire needed to operate the lighting. Each bulb roosts in a bronzed metal flowering fixture, giving the room a rich atmosphere. Still, the walls are not the only place which has stone on stone appeal. The floor has been run smooth, the surface now slate rock, creating an imperial cast.
Beyond the actual foundations of the lounge, the luxury continues. High backed wooden chairs with padded white seats have been stationed all around the room. Between the individual chairs are benches fashioned out of the same rich wood with pillows made to flatter the cushions. There are low lying coffee tables or end tables near the individual chairs, while there's larger dinning room sized tables with chairs to match scattered as well, giving much variety to those who find themselves in the room. Decorative hangings and framed artwork has been neatly hung around the room, but to offset the meticulous method of the room, there's some pieces that give a sporty feeling to the room - such as a fishing rod or a snow shoe.
Of course, the final appeal of the room comes in the form of it's purpose; athletic competition. There are several games of darts lining the walls, various decks of dragon poker cards available, a large velvet lined pool table centered to one side of the lounge, a mat area surrounded by ropes, and an area that keeps track of all the runner races around the world via radio signal, giving constant updates on the status of the runners. Lastly, there's a bar here, small and built with brick as well. There's usually a bartender on duty willing to mix drinks during the evening hours.

It is mid-week and fairly late in the evening. What this means is that the place is relatively deserted. A few disinterested people line a few tables; one or two looking like they are already fairly well into their cups. Currently there is no special entertainment on display and the place for once is actually relatively quiet. But the small brick bar is open and a line of stools is before it and a slightly built man of perhaps 5'10 or so is manning it. He is currently polishing a glass with a clean cloth for something to do in the standard posture of bored bartenders everywhere.

With the rest of the Weyr gearing up for the summer festival to happen within a day or so, it's no surprise that Th'ero is looking for some quiet respite from it all. The Weyrleader strides into Shenanigan's without hesitation, brown eyes quickly scanning the lounge and only then does he relax when he observes how deserted it is. Suits his tastes just perfectly. Dressed in his usual somber ensemble of a neutral hued tunic, black riding pants and black boots, Th'ero looks neatly groomed save for the wild curly mess that is his black hair. And he's young, to boot, though he does try to keep a close trimmed beard to mask that. Choosing one of the stools near the end of the bar, he settles himself comfortably and then gives the bored looking bartender a curious look and a faint, but crooked smile. "Slow evening?" he drawls.

The slow evening is about to get a little bit…strange. A Harper, a very old, well, ancient, white haired myopic bony limbed harper, comes into the bar, being helped to walk by a very very beautiful young man, who gives a long suffering look towards the oldtimer. Stooped over and using his old gitern for a walking stick the old Harper shakes his head back and forth. "Nary a person in sight. Well youngin' I s'pose any audience will do. Git out yer little tweet stick and we'll see if'n anyone likes it…" For the most part the apprentice obeys, pulling out his flute and carefully making a few test notes with it before starting to play. The ols Harper himself doesn't start his gitern right away, instead spends an inordinate amount of time in the tuning, his ear so close to the strings he gets his hair, which is only on the sides of his head, caught in the string tighteners. "Here, sir, let me…" says Bedor, breaking from the song long enough to help the man get himself…er…untangled.

Behind the bar, Catallian looks up as not one, but three people enter within a short time of each other. The most interesting of the lot is Th'ero. He hasn't been at Fort for that long, but he can recognize the Weyrleader at a even a glance by now. Inclining his head politely, Catallian leans his elbow against the bar while Th'ero gets himself situated; placing the clean glass that he was polishing in front of the Fortian. "Slow enough." He says, his voice pleasant and even. What a Bartender ought to be. "But that's not a bad thing, to be expected for mid-week. Gives me some time to talk to my customers a bit. Plus, gives Weyrleaders as I understand it a break from the hustle and bustle and planning and all that and being official." He gives Th'ero a knowing wink. "What can I get you, good sir?" He is about to add something else when two others come in. "Just give me a second, if you would, Weyrleader." He approaches the other two. "Anything I can get you to to wet your whistles.." His eyes sparkle with a bit of humor at his own in joke. "Before you get started proper?"

Th'ero returns the polite nod with one of his own, inclining his head and then letting his smile shift to something a little more relaxed and at ease. While he may be a Weyrleader, he doesn't seem too strict or formal. As the glass is set in front of him, his eyes settle on it and then dart back to the bartender and the bronzerider leans forwards slightly to rest his elbows on the edge of the bar and his arms crossed over its surface. "Indeed. I suppose some slow time would be good to catch up." He quirks a brow then for Catallian's remark, his expression blank until he chuckles softly. "Too true, too true. Can't deny that even I need to escape." At the mention of a drink, Th'ero barely hesitates in selecting his choice, in a roundabout sort of way. "The usual stout. As dark, strong and wickedly powerful as you have." He would have added more then, but the Weyrleader is distracted by the sudden sound of music being played. Turning just enough on his stool to glance over his shoulder, it doesn't take him long to spot both Harpers, though his gaze seems to linger the longest on the oldest of the pair. There's the barest wince given when the older Harper becomes tangled, but he's voicing his greeting too, to add to the bartender's. "Welcome to Fort." Th'ero chimes in with his usual low voice and a friendly enough look even if it seems a little awkward. "And what's the pleasure of your visit here? Come for the festival?"

"Nothing for me thanks," says Bedor politely. Then the Master says. "I'll have whatever the man there is having!" He says it very loudly, as if he can't hear his own voice and has to speak loudly to hear himself. Perhaps he's hard of hearing? It would explain why he bent so close to the strings. Bedor winces a little and frowns. "I don't know if you should be drinking sir…" "Nonsense boy! We've come fer the festival to celebrate didn't we? Git back to yer playing if you aren't going to get anything, you need practice, you play so quietly sometimes I can barely hear you." The youth winces pointedly and obviously at that and starts to play on his flute…a very lively, beautiful and artful tune that seems to change slowly as he plays from one them to another, going from one voice into another and weaving it all into the whole. "See what I tell you?" says the oldtimer to Catallian and Th'ero. "He needs to put a bit more ooomf into it! Don't know why they're so keen to make him a Journeyman soon, no voice at all…"
Dtirae has arrived.

It is mid-week and fairly late in the evening. What this means is that the place is relatively deserted. A few disinterested people line a few tables; one or two looking like they are already fairly well into their cups. A slightly built manis behind the bar and Th'ero sits at a stool away down at the end. Bedor is currently setting up to play music and seeming to be having some difficulty with an ancient harper, though he is at least playing. A lively and spritely tune! Bedor is playing it that is, not the old timer. The old timer is talking to Catallian. "Rightly then, Sir. Come on over to the bar."

Catallian looks relaxed, like he's settled into this role quite well. In fact, he begins talking to Th'ero as he profers a second glass and pours. Don't look so suprised, Weyrleader, that I called you on being too busy." He taps his chest, lightly and he is grinning in a conspiritorial manner like he is about to reveal the lost secrets of the ancients. " . . I'm a bartender. Means I know everything. It's a qualification for the job." One glass is filled with just the right amount of head and he passes that at Th'ero while the second is done so for the old timer. "I'll have to hold my breath on that one, Harper." He says to him as he goes so far as to pour a glass of the stout for himself. "See, I can't carry a tune in a wheelbarrow if my life depended on it. But I'll trust your opinion." Then he leans towards Th'ero. "From what I can tell, from the time I've spent in Weyrs, the purpose of the Weyrleader is to work himself to death until some other poor sap comes along. You ought to come down here and hide periodically and break the cycle."

If Th'ero is surprised by the older Harper's loud reply, the Weyrleader is masking it well behind his still reserved, but friendly smile he keeps for newcomers and visitors. "Good tastes, Harper Master." He calls back and hopefully is overheard by the older man. There's a sympathetic look then given to Bedor when he's badgered into performing, but the bronzerider seems impressed enough with his skill. "Oh, come now. It's not that bad. Lad has talent and probably far more then he and I combined." And he gestures idly towards the bartender, since has no name to go by. Seated at the bar, Th'ero seems relaxed enough though it's hard to tell really. His attention drawn back to Catallian, he smirks a little and it's his turn to give the man a long and knowing look. "Oh, I wasn't that surprised. I've dealt with bartenders before." And it's likely the truth. When his glass is poured, the bronzerider reaches for it and once grasped, tilts it ever so slightly in thanks before taking a sip. There's a low appreciative noise and whatever the bartender had selected must meet his tastes. "So the rumors seem to go," Th'ero almost grunts in reply over his drink. "But I'll heed your advice all the same. I come down here when I can. Or I hunt." There's a ghost of a grin then. "Either way. Perhaps I'll break the cycle."

Bedor gets up quickly in order to prevent the old harper from rising from his sturdy seat. "I'll bring your drink Ragan…" "Good lad," says the Harper Ragan. "I'll finish up my tuning and you can sing fer these folks, yer voice needs workin' too." Bedor's caramel face is turning several shades of red as he approaches the bar, and says in a very quiet whisper to the bartender. "Please please please, limit his drinks. He gets a little…amorous when he's…had too many," the boy says, looking quite embarassed to be saying this. "BEDOR!" says the oldster suddenly. "You'd better not be telling him to water my drinks again!" "No sir," Bedor says, loud enough for the man to hear, and as soon as the drink is prepared he takes it over to the man and sets it on the table next to him. "What shall I sing?" The Harper thinks for a moment, and grins cheekily, "The Redhead Of Bitra." Bedor makes a face towards the bartender in silent entreaty. This is a very popular, and rather bawdy song. And he's only sixteen! Help!

It's been some time since the goldrider has spent long hours in Shenanigans, as late nights have turned to sleeping and mornings have turned to work. Though she does visit when time permits, it certainly is a difference from her previous days as a hunter. In comes the woman, no longer whooping as she once would, lingering in silence as grey eyes scan the area before her and those present. A brief gaze settles upon the Weyrleader, eyes squinting just so before dismissing him as any other and settling on a few others. Her head turns, considering all the others before she's approaching the bar and taking her once usual seat before turning, disregarding all others. "Th'ero. We should plan a feline hunt or somethin'. I'm itchin' ta do something more interestin'. Maybe Kimm'd like ta come." She flashes a grin in his direction before she turns and faces the bartender. "Somethin' strong, please. Then after that, I'll take juice."

Catallian, as his role politely quiets down while he listens to the interactions of the people around him. If one is watching him, his posture with one elbow on the bar and his own drink sipped, the distinct impression that he is taking in far more than he lets on is likely to be had. But it is fleeting, for he returns Dtirae's smile. "Did you want something fruity, or hop on the bandwagon here? A strong stout beer from Xanadu." Come to think of it, his glass, Th'ero's glass, and the old harper's are all the same. He awaits, as it may be, Dtirae's poison. The Weyrleader is the next to get the eye of the young bartender. "Good. Come celebrate your successful hunts. I'm more or less here constantly now." A little smile, and then he can't hide his amusement at what Bedor says. His eyes are practically twinking, corner of his mouth twitching. "Well, my friend." He says to him in a lowered voice. "You have to understand if you can't provide entertainment one way, I'll make sure it happens the other. So you'd best be good." His right eye winks to him loike he is starting a conspiracy. "Anyway, I can't deny an old man his drink if he really wants it. You're not his son or superior, so. Bad business! And I have a feeling it'd be right entertaining. But long as the music keeps going, I might be able to help some." Then he's returning to Dtirae; pausing in front of her to see what her choice is.

Distracted, Th'ero politely focuses elsewhere while Bedor pleads with the bartender and happens to find his gaze returning to Harper Radan. Despite the old man's quirky behavior and roughness, the bronzerider doesn't seem to find him too much of a threat. In fact, the Weyrleader is looking far too amused over the exchange between Master and Apprentice - which he promptly tried to hide behind his drink. The choice of song has him fixing the Harper with a long look though. Maybe he's heard it before? But no voiced complaint comes. Maybe if they were in the living caverns, Th'ero would have spoken. But Shenanigan's? Bawdy suits. Then Dtirae is speaking to him and the Weyrleader turns slightly to face the young goldrider, "Dtirae." He murmurs back and then smirks, "Perhaps. Felines are tricky, but it can be arranged." There's a pause and a frown settles to his features, as well as a brief flicker of some other emotion - upset? concern? It's hard to tell. "Kimmila would likely love to come. When she's mended and cleared for Between. Think you can survive the tediousness of day to day work for awhile longer?" he muses before turning his head back to the bartender and his attention focuses to Catallian once more. There's a nod again to his offer and reply, before he grins faintly and adds in an almost drawling tone. "Don't bartenders get some time to escape too? Or are you chained night and day to this bar?" And he raps his knuckles gently against the bar's surface for emphasis.

"Come come now boy, they're all awaitin' yer ditty!" Ragan complains, and takes quickly his first swallow of the drink in front of him. "Whew! Sure is strong! Now thats more like it! None of that fruit stuff for me thanks!" Before, red faced, but compliant, decides to sing the song, despite his obvious discomfort to sing something so…avant guard. He does his best, however, and somehow with just the way his voice takes the words on he manages to turn the song of a merry red head and her many lovers into something resembling a song ballad, a tale more of her disatisfaction at being unable to find herself a suitable suitor, and the amusement of her suitors who are oblivious to what she really needs. Its quite a turn on what is normally a rowdy bar song. To this, the old Harper shakes his head. "Ye young ninny, ye could have at least made it a happy song if you had to change the tune."

Dtirae wrinkles her nose at Catallian, "you insult me, offerin' me somethin' fruity." Though her smile plays at anything but insulted, lingering in amusement more than anything else. Will go with the stout. She adds after a moment, turning to rest her gaze on the others, coming to prop her elbow upon the bar, using her hand to prop up her chin. Grey eyes settle upon the Weyrleader once more, fleeting and idle before her gaze drifts off elsewhere. "Mm. The challenge makes it worth it." She responds, though her eyes linger elsewhere. "Whenever she's ready. Ain't in a rush, and ain't wantin' ta make her worse.' Her head tilts, briefly in his direction, grey eyes focusing before again flickering to Ragan as he insists the apprentice begin to sing. A single brow lifts, and silence remains as she listens to the lyrics, snorting softly. "Sounds familiar." A soft chuckle comes forth before the hand propping up her chin drops to the bar, causing finger nails to click against the material there. "Yer song was fine."

Catallian is studying Dtirae calmly while he awaits her choice. "Makes it easy enough for me, Lady." Catallian says to her and fairly expertly pours her a glass as well. The bottle is replaced beneath the counter and he passes it to her with a flourish. "There you go!" He says cheerfully; propping his chin up to listen to the embarassed harper; leaning sidelong over to the old man. "Think you need to get him a friendly lady to lighten him up before you make him do too many more of those. Look at 'em blush!" Finally, the Weyrleader. He is mildly apologetic for being distracted and it shows in his face and in what he says. "Apologies, I was captivated by the description of the wanton lady's charms in that song. "I love my job, and I'm most happy here. So, I don't mind. Too new for a lot of hobbies anyway!"

Th'ero cocks his head to the side as Bedor begins to sing the bawdy song but with his own twist to it. The Weyrleader is familiar more with the rowdy version, but the apprentices take on it settles just as well - or perhaps he's thankful the younger man took it down a couple of notches. "It's not a song for all tastes, but he did it well enough." He points out to the Harper Master to poor Bedor's defense, alongside Dtirae's comment. The bronzerider isn't blind to the younger Harper's discomfort, when his attention drifts his way that is. His focus is back to the goldrider though and he gives Dtirae a long, thoughtful look for the reply she gives him. "Mhm. No rush then, but I'll let you know. And the challenge is only worth it so long as none of us are mauled." From his tone, he's sick enough of having to deal with wounds and recovery and one with keen eyes or attention may notice the way his right hand clenches and flexes, before taking a firm grip of his now half empty glass. "Know many bawdy songs?" Th'ero murmurs with a crooked smirk to Dtirae, teasing now to edge out of his sudden broodiness. Really, the bronzerider shouldn't be that surprised. To Catallian, the Weyrleader waves his free hand in an idle gesture to the bartender's apologies. "No offence taken. It's a lively song, if one's got the ear and the blood for it and don't get too ruffled by the words." He snorts a little in amusement then, taking a sip of his drink and then fixing the man with a curious sort of glance. "Mhm, well. Suppose it doesn't matter if one is happy. And too new in what sense?" Questions, questions!

"More likely he'd be better suited to another lad," the old Harper says to Catallian with a wry grin. Bedor is now red from neck to scalp, and rather than having to speak, or sing another bawdy song, quickly picks up his flute to play. It seems Ragan's lively teasing of the boy is ended now, for the Harper gets a little twinkle in his eyes and decides to pick up the tune with his own instrument. The soft strings of the gitern and the lively flute fill the room with jaunty music, suitable for both a bar and a nice respectable dining hall, and both Harpers really get into the song for awhile, until…*SNAP* "Aw shell!" says Ragan lifting his gitern up to inspect. "Knew I'd wound it too tightly!" Bedor bends over to help the old Harper removed the broken string, and then more swearing from the oldster follows when it is discovered that he has no replacement in his pocket. "Go back to my room and fetch me a new one, lad," says the oldster. "I'll just have another drink in the meantime. And if'n you'd rather be with those other feather headed youngin's all getting ready fer festival then you can send Jaglan back with it! He's a lot more versed in the tavern songs and he'd enjoy playing with me I'm sure." Bedor looks both chagrined by the appraisal of him, and relieved that the oldtimer isn't offended by his lack of interest in this particular…setting. "Run along and hurry, these people are waiting for music!" Bedor gives the Weyrleader, bartender and other patrons a little smiling salute and a bow and fleeeeees from the bar. Flee flee flee! "Kids these days. No respect fer their elders. Hey bartender? How about another one of these…and I'll just check and see if anymore of these strings are near breaking…" and the old Harper dutifully bends over his instrument to examine each string closely with his eyes.

And the rest of the evening passes on much of the same, with Catallian remaining at the bar and striking up conversations on various topics between Th'ero and Dtirae and they in turn as well. Even Harper Master Ragan's eccentric behavior seems a welcome fit and the songs he plays later when the repairs are made help make for one laid back and relaxed night of drinks and entertainment. It won't be until the late hours until the Weyrleader finally retires, murmuring something about having to return to his 'Wingmate', whatever that means. By then the bronzerider is quite contentedly buzzed as he shuffles off and out into the open night's air, leaving Dtirae and Catallian to their own conversations.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.