Stonehaven Reopens

Fort Weyr - Stonehaven Cothold
This cothold is nesteled high up in one of the valleys of Fort's mountain ranges. It has seen much heartbreak in its history, but it is currently going through a rebirth. Construction abounds as the cothold is cleared and readied for inhabitation once more. The main courtyard has been freshly cleaned and the stone walls repaired, new brick paths laid and gardens dug. The tree in the corner still stands but it has been pruned and now sports fresh, new growth, a small, round stone table beneath it being a memorial to those who lost their lives here on that fateful winter's night. Inside things are being cleaned and repaired, new furniture brought in and some of the older pieces being repaired. It is a place of renewal.


It is finally time. Nine turns to the day of that fateful attack, Stonehaven is reopening. It's hardly a Gather. It wouldn't even really qualify as a party, even. It's an occasion, but a small one. Only a few guests have been invited, as well as the Harper Journeyman from Fort Hold who will oversee the official signing of the paperwork, opening Stonehaven and making Ezra a Cotholder instead of just an Heir. Right now though, the sun is just beginning to set and the skies are mercifully clear. Snow is piled high in drifts, but the courtyard has been well cleared, fresh flowers placed on the memorial bench in the corner by the tree, and the gate is propped open. There is /life/ here now, with animals in the barn and folks moving around on last minute errands. There are guards as well, standing at the walls and moving along the newly added walkways so they can look over the tops of the 8 foot stone walls that surround the courtyard. The hold's door is unlocked, its windows glowing with fire and glowlight, and welcoming.

One of these Guests wouldn't miss this event for the world and neither would the second. Rayathess and Laurali had prepared for this evening for sometime, having arranged for their presence here to be approved by their respected Halls. Next is was just a matter of securing transport up to Stonehaven, which wasn't too much trouble. Laurali has traveled by dragon back before, though her shyness and uncertainty may have to do more with the rank of the riders she has to chose from. Rayathess, likely, will go with Dremkoth, not seeming to mind the slight irony in that. Once they arrive and dismount, the young Harper will take a moment to gaze about the hold. This would have been his one day, but he still feels that he made the right decision in passing heir to his younger brother and the evidence is telling and shows. His eyes turn to where the gate rests propped open and the windows that glow with welcoming light, waiting on the others.

Anrila has been here; she's been helping prepare more than anything, tearing herself away from fussing over runners and herdbeasts to fuss over garden decor instead. If she didn't have her heart set on working with animals — it turns out she's not bad with plants. She's got a new necklace for the occasion, and is otherwise dressed for running about in fields in cold weather.

Kouzevelth touches down beside Dremkoth, having by now gotten quite used to Stonehaven's courtyards. They're much more manageable now, snow-wise, than the time she had to pluck Ezra out of a snowdrift. (Does she remember that, or is it just Inri? It's unclear.) The goldrider's swept her hair into an elegant updo that has almost not been destroyed by flight, and is carrying a bag over her shoulder that could easily be presumed to be full of presents.

D'ani wouldn't miss it either - and thankfully he and Dremkoth transport Rayathess to an occasion that marks life and the going on of such rather than an avalanche and possible death. The bronze pops out of Between from the Harper Hall and drops to a lower elevation, tilting to allow his wingspan clearance between the two peaks that mark the pass that guards the Stonehaven area. He sweeps up the valley, still beautiful even if the trees are denuded with winter, snow peachy in the last rays of sunlight and a ghostly blue in the growing shadows. They land in the field outside the gate and D'ani dismounts after Rayathess. He's wearing a formal, dark suit, crisp white shirt and dress shoes for the occasion, his weyrsecond's knot on the right shoulder. His hair, well, the helmet has wreaked havoc on the neat combing he'd given it; he just rakes a hand through that as he steps alongside of Inri and offers his arm. "You look great," he murmurs, then adds with a playful grin, "Even if your hair is trapped in that pretty 'do." Oh and he's got a package under his other arm, but it's not heavy and he isn't about to leave Inri to the ice.

The door is opened and Ezra stands there in the doorway, the light at his back, dressed in his most formal winter clothing. His long strides carry him to the entrance to the courtyard along the stone path, and he smiles. "You made it!" he calls with a warm smile to the guests that are approaching, stepping out further and opening his arms to offer hugs all around. He looks…grown up, but to those who know him best there's a definite flicker of nerves. "Anrila!" he calls, "come in out of the cold, the plants are hibernating." Or something. "Please. Come in. It's…she's ready." There is pride there, soft yet fierce.

Both Rayathess and Laurali will thank D'ani and Inri for bringing them here, once they've dismounted as well and before the Healer can sneak away, Rayathess will offer his arm to her. He's dressed in his best formal winter clothing, which is nothing too flashy but fits him nicely all the same. A jacket in black, a tunic in rich blue and black vest overtop to match the black pants an knee high boots. Maybe he took a page out of Th'ero's wardrobe? His hair has been trimmed and he's clean shaven and hopefully no one will notice the faint bruising along one cheek and under an eye. Compliments of Hazelon! Laurali has dressed up too (probably after much flustered half-protests and uncertain flailing), wearing a thick fabric dress dyed in autumnal tones and bearing some lace accents. Her hair is done up too in twisted braids and it takes some effort on her part not to poke at them and fidget, unaccustomed as she is to being fancy. "Of course we made it! Wouldn't miss it, brother." Rayathess greets Ezra with a wide smile, while Laurali murmurs a quieter greeting which is almost lost when Rayathess calls out to his sister. "Anrila! Come on, don't miss out!" Where you hiding, girl?

Is he wearing swords, too? That would definitely be Th'ero fashion. Anrila somewhat regretfully lets up on fussing over a tree — regrets which are abandoned fully as she actually falls into the group. "I'm here," she says, bowing her head a little and moving to stand next to Ezra. "Garden had to look nice — I mean, as much as it can, it's kind of cold — it will look nicer." Later. When it's not got winter all over it. That said, the place does look nice for winter! Which Inri goes as far as to say: "It looks lovely, even if walking can be a little lethal." Hence her enthusiastic acceptance of D'ani's arm to latch onto, lest she slip and fall on ice for the three thousandth time. "The cothold, I mean, not my hair. My hair looks good too, obviously."

A patient smile tugs at D'ani's mouth for Inri's reply. "It does," he agrees of Stonehaven and then follows Rayathess towards that gate. There he'll pause, pin the package he's carrying with his hip against the cold steel so he has a hand free. The spot Ezra had long-ago showed him is touched, reverently and then his package re-claimed and he leads Inri into the courtyard and over to Ezra. There, he'll step back - ladies first after all - and allow her to greet the to-be Lordling. His greeting is a formal bow before his serious falls away, one brown eye winks and he gently punches his best friend in the… er… the good shoulder while asking, "Where's the wife?" Kidding, obviously.

Ezra smiles warmly at his siblings, his gaze darting briefly to the tree before he looks back. "Everyone looks wonderful," he says quietly, smiling warmly at Laurali as he puts his hand on Anrila's shoulder and gives it a squeeze. "Thank you." He sees D'ani make that gesture to the gate and his smile warms for his friend. Punched in the good shoulder he grins and laughs, returning the favor until /that/ question is asked. He coughs, blushes…and…no, he didn't look at Laurali. NO. "Come on in." COUGH. With a gesture, he turns and leads the way into the cothold. The main room is not terribly large, extending a short distance from the cliff while the rest of the rooms are in the mountains themselves, tunnels stretching for hundreds of yards into the heart of the Fortian range. The hearth fire is crackling merrily away, the clock above ticking reassuringly. A sturdy wooden table is laden with food, leaving no room to really /sit/ at it, but there are plenty of other places to either sit and stand. Chairs and couches and comfortable things, but all rugged looking, hand crafted and quality. This is a workman's cothold, and the decor shows it. Inside the room there are a few more people. Stonehaven's workers, a family that has moved in, and the like, as well as Gerald, who has made most of the items in here. There is also a Harper from Fort Hold, dressed in his blues with his Journeyman knot, enjoying some hot cider.

Rayathess isn't wearing swords, no. Just a belt knife and not even a fancy one at that! He chuckles to his sister's comments on the gardens, reaching out to also greet her with a gentle squeeze to her shoulder, with Laurali loosely on his other arm. "I'm sure it will," he muses. Laurali returns Ezra's warm smile and then promptly looks towards the tree as if it's the most fascinating thing. Anywhere but directly to him! Cough. At least she remembers to curtsey as well? Awkwardly. Rayathess will touch his fingers to the stone as well, lingering for a breath or two before collecting himself and following Ezra inside. Greetings are shared to Gerald and the Journeyman Harper, to which Rayathess dips his head respectfully.

Hey, it's totally a fascinating tree, Anrila probably worked hard on it. Everyone gets shy smiles from her, and not any further commentary; she'll talk happily one-on-one at this point, but groups. Inri gives Ezra a hug if he's willing to take it, and then once she, too, has paid her respects to the stone, offers him the bag: "Here! Presents. Open them after, but they're mostly all for you. One for each sibling, couple things for the cothold in general." No one should expect less from Inri, who likes giving gifts even more than she likes buying pretty things for herself. The Harper gets a nod from her as well; a handshake, even, if she gets the moment. No comments on Ezra and Laurali from Inri, just a thin and maybe slightly conspiratory smile.

Tsk! These mountains breed germs that get everyone sick. D'ani may well be coughing himself before the night is over. Ezra he expects to squirm at the tease and that's where his attention is. Does he see to whom that look goes? Probably not. His gift is placed somewhere - wherever other presents are being piled with a casual, "For Stonehaven." Then he'll wander over to where the harper is, introduce himself and hang out near Rayathess, looking like he'd rather shed the jacket and roll up his sleeves for a tour of the stables. Formal occasions, so not D'ani's thing.

Ezra returns the hugs and takes the gifts with a look of surprise. "Oh, you didn't have to," he mutters, but he smiles warmly and it's clear he appreciates them just the same, as he carefully sets them aside. With the gifts stashed he'll eagerly gesture to the food and drink. "Please, help yourselves, and…just…" Relax? Have fun? It's awkward but he's working through it, eyes moving around the room until they find his brother. He gives him a small, nervous smile, and begins making a plate for Anrila. It's habit, really. She's old enough to make her own but he does it anyway, unless she scolds him. "Laurali? Can I get you anything?" Over in the corner, the Harper smiles and returns Rayathess' nod. "Good to see you again." No doubt they've crossed paths before. "Weyrsecond," he adds with another nod for D'ani. "I think we'll get the signing underway soon."

Rayathess's smile is more encouraging towards Ezra and he'll toss in a reassuring look along with it. You're doing fine! At least he doesn't give a thumbs up sign? "Good to see you too, sir." he says formally to the Journeyman and then casts a semi-curious look towards the food. He can relax (somewhat) this night, unless they all ask (force) him into playing. Or singing. They may have to get an ale (or three) down him first before he'll do it, mind you or maybe he'll play nice given the occasion. No pun intended. He'll return Inri's handshake if they get a chance, at the very least he will return her nod. "Care for a drink?" Rayathess drawls to D'ani, when the Weyrsecond stands by him and after giving him a curious once over. Meanwhile, Laurali had gone silent as she glanced about the room, her hands clasped in front of her both out of habit and to keep herself from plucking and fidgeting at the dress she wears. Formal occasions are not her thing either, but she's trying! Ezra's offer catches her off guard and she blinks, only to sheepishly duck her head. "Some cider would be nice, if you don't mind?" she asks softly, mouth quirking into a faint smile, inwardly amused. Should she be serving him?

Old habits die hard, and this one isn't a habit Anrila protests. She does like to let people do what they prefer, and she certainly isn't going to object to food from either brother. "Thank you," she says, instead of scolding; she might be fifteen but she can still be appreciative. No rebellious phase for this one. Inri is following directions, as much as possible — she's helping herself. To a little bit of food, a little bit of drink, and a lot of relaxing. "It really, really has come together," she says, in quiet awe. "Everything looks perfect."

There's a nod to the harper about the signing. D'ani's not in a rush, just… out of place. "Maybe later," D'ani replies to Rayathess with a half-grin as he returns that look sidelong. One finger is hooked in his collar, then run around with a slight tug. He'll be unbuttoning that top one before the evening's out, most likely. For the moment though, he's content to watch Ezra attend his guests, a fond smile for his young friend. All grown up. Sniff!

Ezra smiles back at Raya, grateful for the silent encouragement. Handing Anrila her plate with a wink, he moves to pour Laurali some cider. "It's good," he reassures her (as if she were worried). "Thank you for being here," he adds, before he's looking to Inri and straightening his posture a bit. "Thank you. Lots of hard work from lots of people…" And his. He bites his lip and looks around, gesturing to Rayathess. "Can I talk to you for a second?" he murmurs softly, approaching his brother and reaching out to offer D'ani's arm a clasp - man to man. "Excuse us," he says quietly to his friend, before he's nudging Rayathess down the hall and into one of the other rooms.

Rayathess nods his head to D'ani, smiling crookedly. Fair enough! He's not in any rush to get into the drinks either, quite yet and then frowns faintly when Ezra gestures to him. "Sure," he replies, but his tone says it all. What's up? He'll give his brother a look too for the nudging. He's going, he's going! Sheesh. Of course, he may spare a few looks to the others and a shrug of his shoulders to Anrila. She know about anything? Then he's gone but not for very long. Maybe it was just a few quick words? Before the two brothers step out, Laurali will take the cider from Ezra, smiling faintly and crookedly. "I'm sure it is," she muses, taking a small little sip. Another smile for Inri's praise of Stonehaven and then the Healer is quietly edging a little closer to Anrila. "How're the gardens?" she asks softly. Seems the two share a common interest?
Silently, Anrila raises an eyebrow at the departure of the boys; it's an eyebrow raise that at least passes quickly as she gains some pleasant, less-secretive company. Hi, Laurali. "They're doing very well for winter, actually," she replies, a little less shy than the last time they spoke. She's gaining confidence, it just takes time — and at least she trusts the Healer. "I don't have the training you do, you'll have to show me what some of the things are for. I might study beasthealing," she confesses, as if this is some great secret. It probably is, in that she hasn't mentioned that interest to anyone else yet. "I'm not totally sure." Inri, meanwhile, will stick close to D'ani while he's being abandoned. "Not drinking? It's good," she proclaims, profering hers forth.

D'ani returns Ezra's arm clasp and resists the impulse to quip about their departure. He simply inclines his head as they slip away and drifts casually towards the table. Inri's there; that might be more his motivation rather than food or drink. "Is it?" he says with a smile, leaning to peer down into her mug before rocking back on his heels. "Well then. I should imbibe. Excuse me for a moment." He heads to those mugs, fills one and makes his way back to her side. Only then does he taste of it, then nod approval. "Crisp, not too sweet, nice finish." Has he been hanging around Borodin or what?

The brothers aren't gone long, and when they return Ezra glances at the clock and nods to the Harper, who begins to move to a small table set up with one chair, and a leather folio. "Alright," Ezra says, glancing at the clock again, and then around at his family and friends, "it's time for me to, uh. To sign these papers…" He clears his throat. "If you want to watch. If not, keep drinking." He grins crookedly and sits down, waiting as the Healer opens the folio and begins to pull out paper after paper after paper. It's like buying a house, only worse. Sign here, initial there. Ezra picks up a pen, tips it to his siblings (it's one they'll recognize), dips it in the ink and begins to carefully make his mark on each of the pages the Harper indicates.

Hey, Anrila. "Good!" Laurali murmurs, a little less shy around her too. Trust, it can do marvellous things! "I'm no master gardener," she chuckles dryly. "But I think I can show a trick or two once spring comes around. Lots of planning to do." Though it'll remain to be seen how much input she'll have. Her brows lift at the "secret" the young girl shares and her smile is small but warm. "You're good with the runners and the other beasts. If it's something you love… why not?" See? She's supportive! In a quiet and shy way. Laurali will take another sip of her ale and her dark eyes dart to the doorway when Rayathess and Ezra return. She'll watch (from a distance) and so will Rayathess. Actually, he'll try to sneak closer while Ezra's signing all those papers, only to feign innocence when the Journeyman Harper gives him a look. What? Rayathess is studying law! That's… why he's trying to peer over his brother's shoulder. Honest! He'll back down though and circle around to stand between Anrila, Laurali and D'ani and Inri.

Anrila would probably be peeking too if she weren't a little bit cowed by the fact that there's a group of people — to her this is a crowd — and so she stays put. It's easier to talk about things softly with Laurali and then fall silent and observe. She did manage to get out a, "Thanks," before being quiet became socially appropriate, at least. Inri is raising her glass, now that she's done giggling at little at how D'ani sounds exactly like Borodin.

Ezra has one runner that he didn't have to sign hundreds of times for. D'ani will need to wander to the stables later to see how the offspring of Kuleana fares. His eyes crinkle in the corners as he sips his cider and grins around the rim at Inri. Oh, but then there's the harper, calling them to order - or at least, watch if they'd like. And D'ani does! "C'mon," he whispers to Inri and then edges through the crowd to be at least where they can witness the signing. He… doesn't recognize the pen that Ezra holds. However, he's so proud of his friend and it shows in his face as the young man begins to sign the documents. And sign. And sign. Now and then his attention wanders as his eyes drift around the room - it's changed so since that first time he'd brought Ezra back to the empty cothold. And he's glad. He'll be nearby when the signing is finished, remain to mingle and congratulate Ezra before giving a lift home to whomever needs it.

Ezra glances up when Rayathess comes around, grinning at him. "I'm going to have a copy of them for you to study," he teases, resuming the signing when his brother moves back. He keeps writing, until the last page, where he stops and looks up at those who are here tonight. "Thank you for being here," he says quietly, before he signs the last line with a bit of a flourish. It's very understated, but for Ezra…it's a flourish. Then he stands and looks at the clock, reaching out for a mug of ale and lifting it. "In a few minutes," he says, his voice quiet, "it will be nine turns exactly since the attack." How does he know? The clock was broken. It's been mended, like so many things in this cothold. "So…a toast. To Stonehaven. To her people, those that were lost and those who will rebuild her." He lifts his mug, pauses, and then drinks.

Rayathess clears his throat, looking a bit guilty for Ezra's teasing and pretends not to see the look he receives again from the Journeyman Harper. He's quiet then as Ezra finishes with the signing, nodding his head and looking at his younger brother with unmasked pride. He knew Ezra had it in him to see Stonehaven rebuilt and reopened. There's no questioning on the time, he simply reaches to take Anrila's hand in his, if she allows it. That night is forever burned in his memories, never to be forgotten. How he had her safely in his arms but somehow lost Ezra along the way. His mind threatens to go to dark places, but he wrestles it back and to focus on the present and a MUCH brighter future. "To Stonehaven!" he calls out, joined by Laurali who lifts her cider in toast, glancing sidelong to Rayathess when he goes on to add: "And may she see many a prosperous Turns under her new holder and her people grow strong and many." And he'll end with a little half bow to Ezra, followed by a broad half-grin.

Inri stays by D'ani, grinning stupidly around her own drink — she, too, is practically radiating pride. And she can't resist but joining in with an enthusiastic, "What he said!" that comes with a salute-with-beer. Maybe Inri's point actually is 'start making babies,' because how dead of joy would she be getting to help with Ezra's wedding? Anrila, on the other hand, looks a little shaken at first; she has forced her eyes shut and is clinging to Rayathess' hand until the toasting is done and she relaxes, letting herself smile proudly, instead. Except for the part where she is also crying around the smile, but maybe everyone will be nice and not mention it? They're at least half happy tears.

Ezra steps closer to his siblings, his hand reaching out to gently clasp Raya's shoulder before it drops to rest against Anrila's back. Easy. She's got a brother on either side, she's safe. He blushes a bit at the toasts, dipping his head down modestly and lifting his ale to drink again. His eyes glance to the clock once more and then his head lowers, edging closer to his brother and sister. A moment of silence as the clock ticks on, until Ezra ends it with a slow breath, smiling around. "Please, enjoy the food and the drink, and stay as long as you wish. I've guest rooms prepared as well." If they get too tipsy to fly home.


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