Fort Weyr - Lake Shore
This lake shares many features common to mountain lakes — a brilliant blue jewel nestled amongst the rocks. The waters are crystal clear, and the north shore slopes gently before abruptly falling away into the depths. This lake does have one significant differentiating feature, however. The south shore of the lake is a tumbled mass of rubble, rock and earth of an ancient rockslide smoothed only by the elements in the intervening years. This rubble, as well as the rather sheer east and west faces, makes for the north shore to be the only one easily accessible.
For the Weyr Games opening ceremonies, the lake shore has been transformed and cleared of ice and snow. Large tents have been built, their thick coverings made of white fabric, enough to keep warmth in but also let light out so they will glow when the sun sets, lit from within by hundreds of lanterns. Each tent is its own little island, with food, and drink, and a Harper or two. Mingling between tents is welcome, but not necessary. The outside areas have small little fires built for those who prefer to have the sky above them, and more lanterns strung up on poles to light the area and glitter off the ice of the lake.
Guards are present and mingling, dressed in black but without masks, so everyone knows who they are.
The chill of winter has iced over the lake shore. One section of the north shore shallows is kept broken up for weyrfolk and young dragons to use, though the freezing waters are not well tolerated by humans for any length of time. It requires constant maintenance to keep this section unfrozen and sometimes is more like wading through slush than water. The deepest part of the lake remains unfrozen, a vibrant pool of icy blue surrounded by frozen white.

The Harpers are warming up, the food and beverages are steaming and delicious, and people are beginning to arrive dressed in their finest masque costumes. Among them is Nyalle, and it might be a little difficult to identify her. Her gown is dark blue, her hair pulled back and up, hidden beneath a head scarf with a mask of feathers that covers her face down to her lips. Jade earrings wink from her lobes, gleaming in the lantern light as she sips a glass of wine just outside one of the tents.

The Harpers are warming up, the food and beverages are steaming and delicious, and people are beginning to arrive dressed in their finest masque costumes. Among them is Nyalle, and it might be a little difficult to identify her. Her gown is dark blue, her hair pulled back and up, hidden beneath a head scarf with a mask of feathers that covers her face down to her lips. Jet earrings wink from her lobes, gleaming in the lantern light as she sips a glass of wine just outside one of the tents.

Th'ero has been here all along! No, really, he has. The Fortian Weyrleader has been busy… which isn't new but what IS is the latest development that has such a heavy Guard presence at the events. Something that both he and the Guard Captain have tried to "blend" into the surroundings but it's rather /hard/ to miss the black and brown clad Guardsmen (and women!) lurking about. So far though, the atmosphere of the evening hasn't been dampened at all! The tents are bustling with activity, with visitors from all over Pern, from Weyr, Hold and Hall. Th'ero is mingling among some of the crowds, dressed in black winter formal wear trimmed in silver and copper embroidery. On one hip, he wears his dagger. The other? His sword. Classic. As for his mask? He has none, but some may joke that his regular neutral and reserved expression IS his mask. At least he's smiling (sort of) right now, as he speaks with a few holders wearing Fortian colours.

It's winter. Strangely enough, that's a thing that happens. Not strangely at all, of course, Zhirayr's winter clothing is all stark black, even the fur lining on his hood. All-black animal, or dye? He's not telling. Instead, he's tromping outside like an anthropomorphic inkstain, except for how the dye isn't leaking out of his clothing onto the snow. He'd basically look like a guard, for that matter, if not for the fact that he is, in fact, wearing a mask — he just didn't go in for incognito very much, because it's a simple black half-mask, with a few … jet … spots. Oops. Underneath the mask, he seems to be full of an irritable death-glare that gets leveled at whichever guard comes closest at any given time. He comes to a stop next to the Weyrwoman, half-salutes, and goes back to scowling at the guards. "Daring of you, to wear those earrings tonight," he murmurs for Nyalle's ears.

Given his occupation, Brennan is quite good at keeping himself out of sight and inconspicuous. Yet even with the black half mask with a spray of emerald feathers haloing the his right eye that he's managed to end up wearing, he feels anything but. Still, he isn't well-known enough for people to know who he is on sight, necessarily, but known enough to be trusted to help keep watch, especially after proving his tracking skills and in light of a certain jewelry theft just the other night. Guard he is not, but an extra set of eyes nonetheless. Otherwise looking the part of a swordsman in tall black boots, fitted black trousers, and a billowing forest-green shirt with a silk sash of a purple so deep as to be nearly black, he blends in with the other masqueraders well enough and wanders slowly through the crowd, head on a discreet swivel while one hand rests on the silvery pommel of a polished - but very functional! - sword.

Nyalle tilts her head at Zhirayr's approach, dipping her head in return to the salute. "Daring?" she asks, lifting her free hand to touch one of her earrings. "Why would they be daring? I'd thought they were rather understated…"

A'lin heads down to the lake area. He's wearing his finest black and white and even nice shoes. How often does he get to dress up these days? He's got a masquerade mask on, a black one with silver sequins on it that sparkles! Though he's not really managing the incognito thing very well, given his size and the curly mustache that peeks out from under the mask. the brownrider slowly makes his way through the crowd, in search of refreshment.

Kimmila walks towards the glowing lanterns from the bowl, following after a rather chatty pair of older ladies from Keroon, both gossiping about the theft. "Wasn't either of you ladies, was it?" Kimmila asks with a smirk from behind her simple eye mask as she whisks by them, pulling aside her maroon skirts as she does so. Her eyes scan the growing gathering and she makes her way to Th'ero's side, curtseying to the Fortian holders as she does so.

Zhirayr stares at Nyalle, somewhat askance, one hand lifting toward her ears before aborting to drop back down to his side again. "They're jet," he answers, slow and careful, as if maybe she just Hasn't Gotten It Yet. "Like the set that was stolen. Because no matter what the guards think, I didn't steal it."

Inri has been here, but distracted — Inri, who is clothed in all black with heavy silver accents, though it's a dress she's worn before and she might be able to be identified from that. Or from the way she talks. But her updo is different from her usual, and her mask matches the silver-and-black theme. Her earrings, on the other hand, are blue. She makes her way over to Zhirayr and Nyalle, intending to simply stand by the Weyrwoman, but she can't help overhearing: "I honestly thought of you first," she teases.

For Brennan to be eying the ears of the ladies entering the party would normally be very odd to do and would likely make those being eyed uncomfortable. Fortunately, the mask he's wearing helps him be very discreet about it. Maybe there's something to this masque thing after all! Slowly continuing to wend his way through the throng, a glint of sparkling black catches his eye… Is that the Weyrwoman with jet earrings on? Yes, he's rather sure; he's at least learned who's who around here. He's certainly doubtful that Fort's Senior would be responsible for the theft, much less foolish enough to wear the sharding stuff, if she did steal them. Even so, it might bear mentioning, and he stops for a moment, looking around for the guard Captain or, better yet, Th'ero. He can at least voice what he's noticed, knowing full well that if he did, others are bound to - as some already seem to have.

Nyalle startles a bit. "Goodness! You…I didn't…" She hastily removes the earrings and tucks them into a pocket. Because /that/ doesn't look suspicious. "I didn't even think of that." Her blush is visible beneath her mask as she looks around nervously. "Surely they wouldn't think I'd taken it…" And then she frowns. "The guards questioned you? For goodness sake, this isn't a weyr of criminals. Even my Juniors were questioned. Hardly seems necessary, must speak with Th'ero about it…" She startles when Inri approaches, looking swiftly over at the Junior, and frowning. "Zhirayr? Really? He'd never." Joke? She missed it.

"Wingmate," Th'ero greets when Kimmila joins him and the holders will bow respectfully to her curtsey and murmur a few courtesies before excusing themselves. The Weyrleader will then offer his arm to Kimmila, his dark eyes admiring her dress before they drift to scan the mingling crowd. "Have you seen Nyalle about? … hey, isn't that A'lin?" He won't exactly yell the brown riders name from across the tent, but he will try to grab his attention with a wave. Or was it a salute? Could be both. Brennan should be able to snare Th'ero easily enough, as the Weyrleader hasn't begun to move away quite yet. For now, he is contact to stay and take a breath. Faranth only knows how long he's been on his feet on this day alone.

Poor Mirinda. She's only been at Fort a week or so, she's not one to pay attention to gossip, and she's enough of a workaholic to also miss genuine news. Therefore the new Weyrhealer arrives in her emerald-green gown (that is not that impressive, it's a hand-me-down) and white mask and — you guessed it — jet earrings. She's also got not knowing anyone going against her, too, as she's not standing with anyone or talking to anyone, simply sipping from a tall glass of water and people-watching.

Zhirayr sighs. "Of course you thought of me first," he tells Inri, rolling his eyes. To Nyalle, an explanation: "Kimmila decided she has to get me something in bright pink, rather than simple jet. It turned into a whole thing, the night of the jewelry display." And theft. Yep. "And, of course, the guards thought of me, first, too — I lost three hours of my preparation for tonight!" He's indignant, to say the least. This would be a good time for someone to hand him a drink.

Another Healer is hanging back along the crowds, only this one knows of the gossip. Laurali is dressed in her best, which is nothing more than a simple heavy dark purple overskirt over a linen chemise dress. Slightly on the plain side, but it's the best the Sr. Apprentice can cobble up. She could have worn a certain dark red dress, but it's much to cold. Laurali keeps from the heavier clusters of people, smiling and greeting those who approach her politely but not outrightly social. Not unusual for her, given the young girl is often withdrawn and subdued. She is wearing the bracelet she bought, though it holds no jet in it. Maybe part of her 'wallflower' behaviour is partly due to being one of the many who faced an interrogation session by the Guards.

"I was kidding!" Inri insists, looking somewhat demure. "I always think of him when people talk about jet now — because of that, actually, Kimmila definitely won that round — but I didn't really think he would've done it. Too much bad press for Fort." Maybe that is the only reason she thinks he didn't do it, maybe it isn't, she does not actually elaborate. She does snatch a drink off a passing waiter and offer it to the assistant Steward, though. Helpful, see?

Kimmila slips her arm through Th'ero's, shaking her head. "I haven't seen Nyalle yet, no…A'lin?" She squints. "Maybe? It's kind of hard to tell…whose idea was a masque party anyway?"

A'lin does indeed spot the weyrleader. He adjusts his mask and gives a return salute. After helping himself to a drink, he'll work his way back over to the weyrleader and Kimmila. There's an accidental nudge to Miranda as he walks by. "I'm sorry. Excuse me!" Then finally he's close enough to greet the pair. "Hello!" He says. Hopefully they can tell who he is now. Then more quietly. "I hear we're on the lookout for something?" A'lin is good at looking out.

Nyalle shakes her head. "I'm sorry I missed it," she says quietly to Zhirayr and Inri. Then she smiles a little bit. "A bit of color wouldn't /hurt/…" she tells the man in black. "Three hours? They couldn't ask questions faster than that?" Another thing to speak with Th'ero about. But for the moment, she'll sip her wine. "It looks like a good party though."

Tifla shows up in her nicest gather dress. Which is… still rather cheap, honestly. But it's enough for her to pass as 'dressed up', at least. It's a deep, shimmery brown color that matches her hair and eyes. Her mask is a glittery gold color, with a pointy nose. She fiddles with it, frowning uncertainly as she steps towards the lake. She looks nearly panicked upon seeing the size of the crowd. She doesn't do crowds.

Kimmila grins, "It is A'lin!" She's happy to see him, so sayeth her tone and her smile. "How've you been?"

Another person arrives, in black with turquoise and copper trim, his mask hammered copper with black feathers along the edges. Those colors make it pretty easy to figure out who he is. Getting a mug of ale, he begins to wander and nearly bumps into Tifla, managing to avoid a collision at the last possible moment. "Oh, sorry," the teen murmurs. "Mask…" Hard to see.

Along the path down to the gather, K'drozen walks slowly along and towards the masqurade. The large brown rider clad in a simple gather suit, with a black feathered mask concealing his face.

Zhirayr takes the wine off Inri gratefully, and deposits an empty glass on another server's tray before he actually, you know, says anything. "Apparently they could not," he answers the Weyrwoman crisply, before belatedly telling the weyrwoman "And my thanks for the drink." This could get confusing if he doesn't remember to think about their names soon. "I'm glad the pieces you purchased were not also stolen, at least," he adds to Inri — there, see?! — and attempts to telegraph an eyebrow-message about 'what about the ones you bought Nyalle? are they safe? for that matter does she know about them yet?' Good luck with that, Zhirayr.

Brennan isn't too far away from Th'ero when he happens to glance across at Nyalle…and stops, noticing that she's picked up on just what could be implied from her jewelry and is now stashing her jet earrings away. A very slight not and a soft snort follows the observation - he had a feeling she'd figure it out - before his eyes are on the move again…only to fall on a green-gowned woman sipping at water across the gathering. Yet another pair of jet earrings is picked up by keen eyes, and Brennan lifts a brow, turning to resume his progress toward Th'ero. "Weyrleader," he greets when he's close enough, lifting his mask to doubly reveal his identity. Kimmila is recognized as well and given an inclination of his head. "Lady bluerider." The other man nearby also get a nod of greeting before Brennan lowers his mask, catching his hands at his back. "A bit too much black in the ladies' baubles," he observes, just loud enough for Th'ero to hear. "Y'd think they'd know a little better after the other night."

"You're fine," Mirinda tells A'lin as he passes by, giving him a bow of the head and doing her best to step out of the path of any further incoming walkers. Crowd minglers. Something. So many people bumping into one another, she is going to just stay off to the side now, thanks! She's putting forth her due being here. Awkwardly, but — she's trying.

"It's too keep the peace and kick off the Weyr Games in a good note," Th'ero mutters low to Kimmila, though it's hard to tell just how the Weyrleader feels about it. While he is careful to keep his expression set in a neutral smile and behave like he's enjoying himself and that Nothing Is Wrong, the bronzerider is likely anything BUT Sunshine and Rainbows right now. In fact, once the celebrations ebb a bit, might be best to just stay away from him unless it's necessary. "Come, Wingmate. We'll try to make good of some of the night?" And pray something else doesn't happen. Please no murders or more thefts or Faranth knows what else can befall a Weyr. "Ahh, so it is you A'lin! Didn't want to shout your name, less I blow your cover." Th'ero murmurs, only to frown and grimace before he can catch himself. Happy smile! Cough. "A possible stolen set of jewelry. Which is why the Guards are out." And have nothing to do with Ustrr still being at large. Nope. "You haven't heard?" Brennan approaches then and Th'ero dips his head politely. "Brennan. And is that so? Shells," he swears under his breath. "It's a popular stone then. And I agree, you'd think they would but it's not as though they should be faulted for wearing pieces they rightly purchased. Nothing else to note?" Aside from the Guards and any volunteers likely have double (triple?) the work.

Laurali is "chased" out of her spot where she had thought it safe to just hover, but when a group of chattering wing riders get too close, she slips away. Maybe there's comfort in familiars? Or it's just chance that she comes to stand by Mirinda, bobbing her head shyly to the other Healer. Hey. She doesn't remove her mask, either, leaving the simple purple eye mask in place.

Tifla makes a little 'eep' sound, shuffling awkwardly away from the fellow who nearly crashes into her. It's all the more awkward for the fact that her own mask is interfering with her ability to see. She ducks her head, avoiding eye contact with Ezra. "Y… yeah." She answers. "I can't see so well out of this one, either…" She adjusts it again, to little avail.

Inri is picking up what you're putting down, Zhirayr, don't worry — of course she doesn't know about it yet, Kayeth hasn't clutched! "Everything I purchased is safely stored and well-guarded," she says carefully, because a gold dragon is really a fantastic guard. And Kouzevelth is most definitely sleeping outside her weyr right now, so no one's getting in there, even if it is a ground weyr. "At least you're here," she tells Nyalle, because, "I wouldn't entirely blame you if you skipped it, considering your luck with big events … But I'm glad you're here."

Kimmila keeps her hand on Th'ero's arm, as she's not about to let him get away from her tonight. "Brennan," she murmurs, "how are you feeling?" Her eyes flick around and she rolls her eyes and huffs. "Some people…" She's not wearing earrings, so nyah.

Ezra extends his free hand, trying to steady Tifla with another apologetic noise. "I'd take mine off, but…it's supposed to stay on, isn't it? Never been to one of these things before."

Nyalle smiles widely at that, turning to look at Inri. "Oh! What did you find? I'm sure whatever you picked out is lovely, you have the best taste when it comes to clothing and jewelry." Then she pauses, blanching a bit. "Oh. Right." Thanks for reminding her, Inri, that she's big-event-cursed. She shifts the wine a bit further away from her body.

K'drozen makes his way slowly thought the crowd, weaving this way though partiers and slowly over towards the weyr leaders. A nod is scent in the dirrection though he does not speak, keeping his face concealed for now behind his mask.

Zhirayr is, of course, promptly reminded — "That red-wine stain did come out of that cloak, eventually, didn't it?" he asks Nyalle quietly. Inri gets a quick smile, despite the way she has now totally jinxed the whole event — "I'm glad everything's safe, and hope that Kouzevelth's taste proves to be relatively cheap for you to enact." And again: bits of the conversation Nyalle wasn't there for.

A'lin smiles to Kimmila. "Hello Kimmila! I've been good! How are you?" A'lin salutes Brennan as he greets Kimmila and Th'ero. The bronrider chuckles to Th'ero. "It is me! Yes. I am incognito tonight." Amongst a crowd of people who don't know who he is. "Ah. I see. I hadn't no. I will keep an eye out, however." Or he can perhaps help apprehend a suspect. Wouldn't that be fun, A'lin barreling through a crowded area?

"I actually," Inri lowers her head a little bit, embarrassed, "bought the Fort-designed set." Someone had to! Makes sense it was someone in the leadership, doesn't it? She probably haggled reasonably, at least. "And — I'm sorry I mentioned it, don't think about it, everything will be perfectly fine." She might have lost friend points, but she's also pretty good at being optimistic when needed. If anything does catch on fire, it's actually Inri's fault, now. "Kouzevelth doesn't know what she thinks about us having matching jewelry, but I'm sure we will make something work."

Brennan shakes his head, mindful to lessen the motion to keep from thwapping anyone nearby with the sharding feathers protruding from the right half of his face. "Nothin' else," he informs Th'ero, "though I think it might be makin' a few guards twitchy. Hopefully they won't do anythin' t' ruin someone's night." Blue eyes flick to Kimmila again. "Feelin' just about perfect now. Thanks for askin.'" He scans the crowd again. So many faces, yet all of them covered. Not the best of circumstances for keeping and eye on people. "Suppose I'll go keep wanderin'. Anything else y' need me to be about, Weyrleader?"

"Thank you, A'lin." Th'ero murmurs, his mouth quirking into a more genuine smile, even if just briefly. A soft chuckle follows, "I think many of us are hoping to be a bit incognito tonight. We can only hope for a "quiet" ceremony and evening? Have you signed up for any of the competitions?" he asks curiously. Lighter topics! For however long such pleasantries can extend. He snorts, "I'm sure it wasn't intentional." he mutters to Kimmila concerning the amount of jet jewellery being flaunted about. "Hopefully not," The Weyrleader smirks to Brennan. "Or else both I and the Guard Captain will have words with the Guards who get a bit too… twitchy." Or heavy handed? "Not at the moment, Brennan. Just a sharp eye and to report to myself or a ranked Guard Officer if you see anything amiss. And…" Now there is a bit of a smile again. "… try to enjoy some of the festivities?"

Tifla nods a little to Ezra, still trying to figure out how to get this mask to sit comfortably on her face. "I think that's the idea… I don't know. I've never been to one of these." She admits. "But I thought, y'know, I should at least show up. Support the weyr, and all that…"
Familiarity is at least a plus to Mirinda, and maybe at some point Laurali will fill her in as to the error of her ways in her choice of earrings. That, or someone is going to come bother her soon. It's one of them. "That's a lovely purple," is what she says along with a wave — with her free hand, not the one holding the glass, at least. She's happy to be awkward and not know people with the senior apprentice! Even if Laurali actually knows more people than she does.

Nyalle nods in reply to Zhirayr's question, flashing him a warm smile. "It did, thank you so much for rescuing it. It means a lot to me." So much that it hasn't come out of her wardrobe since. Looking back to Inri, Nyalle looks surprised. "There was a Fort set?" Does she sound a bit disappointed? She shakes it off quickly. At least Kouzevelth is Fortian-born. "I'd love to see it."

Kimmila grins back at A'lin, finally pushing her mask up to rest over the top of her hair, done with having a difficult time seeing. She's over it. "Please do. Though why the thief would wear them here is beyond me, but…we've had dumber, that's for sure. Remember the guy who stole something from a trader, then found his runner missing, and came to the guard to ask them to hunt down the guy who stole his runner, while still carrying the stuff he stole from the trader?" She winks at Brennan. "Yes, do try to enjoy yourself."

Ezra chuckles, lifting his mug of ale to take a sip. "Sure, and anything with free food and drink, right? Bound to gather a crowd, regardless. I'm Ezra Stonehaven," he adds, offering her his free hand.

Brennan gives a bit of a grunt, wry for the exhortations to enjoy himself. "I'll, ah…try," he concedes, smirking a little. This is the biggest crowd he's been in since the last Gather he managed to be around for at Ruatha. Crowds aren't his favorite thing, but at least he can navigate them without looking uncomfortable. With another inclination of his head to Th'ero and Kimmila, the tall hunter steps back out into the crowds, ever watchful…and trying to figure out just how to maintain his watch while actually trying to have a little fun.

Laurali smiles sheepishly, "Thank you. Your gown is lovely too," she says by way of awkward and somewhat canned conversation. At least it's a start? Her eyes will spot the choice in earrings though and the Sr. Apprentice blanches a bit. Uh. She clears her throat, "… those earrings jet?" That's asked in a low tone, but perhaps someone wandering by close enough will overhear. At least she doesn't point? Her hands remain clasped together in front of her, as is her usual habit.

A'lin nods to the weyrleader. "Mm. Here's hoping!" The big man ponders for a moment. "I haven't yet, no… I suppose I could take a look at the events. I have been lifting lately!" As always. He nods to Kimmila. "I shall!" Then he gives a big laugh, holding his belly. "I often don't think most thieves have well-formulated plans! Of course stealing from the weyr always seemed silly, since just about everyone is welcome as long as they contribute." He taps his chin. "I suppose some dancing will be in order before the night is through! I should see if one of the ladies about needs a partner…"

Zhirayr is smirking. A little. "I have to say — the Fort coloring suits Inri's far better than Kimmila's insistent pink is going to suit mine." Even if nobody would accuse him of stealing All Jet For Jet-Setters if he was wearing the pink tie-tack tonight, presumably. He pauses briefly to glare at another of the guards, ambling closer, before snatching three more champagne flutes off a passing tray (attached, probably, to a person) and holding two of them out to the two goldriders. "To less-stressful days."

Th'ero snorts again and rolls his eyes a bit. Oh, that thief! "He was as stupid as they come. Exactly, A'lin and yet he chose his path… and made an outright fool of himself in the process. We can only hope that whoever is behind this slips up too…" And makes their lives all that much more easier! "Good! We need to give the other Weyrs ample competition, after all! Can't let them take away all the prizes, right?" he murmurs with a faint and crooked smile. Weyr pride! Go, Fort, Go! At the mention of dancing, Th'ero draws Kimmila a little closer to his side though he gives A'lin a knowing look. "Plenty of ladies here tonight for dancing. Rider, holder, crafter…" How will a man ever choose? "Dancing should start shortly."

Tifla takes Ezra's hand and shakes it. Sadly, letting go of her mask and shaking just serves to get the mask off-center again. It really doesn't fit her well. She frowns and makes another attempt to fix it. "I'm Tifla…" She pauses. "… Wait. Are we supposed to introduce ourselves? I thought it was supposed to be anonymous, with the masks and stuff…"

"Ask Nyalle." The suggestion is out before Kimmila can stop herself, grinning up at the brownrider. "She never turns down dance requests. Wouldn't be proper." Then she looks up at Th'ero. "/We/ are dancing tonight." They will finally get a dance.

Ezra lets her hand go and then freezes. "Oh. Uh. I'm not sure. But how else would you…huh. I don't know," he admits, finally pushing his hammered copper mask up on top of his head. "Ah. That's so much better. It's nice to meet you, Tifla. I'll pretend I don't know you if it'll make things easier?"

Mirinda, to be entirely truthful, has no idea what her jewelry is made of. She puts a fingertip to one ear, then says thoughtfully, "They might be. Probably. They're black," as if that wasn't obvious, but it's said with the sort of laugh that implies that's the most she knows. "They were a gift, ages ago, I can't remember now. Is something wrong with them?"

Abigail has wandered out onto the scene a bit late as it where, though she is here now and casting a slight glance over the area. Seems she didn't miss too much from the looks of it. As it is the opening cemeory there are ones all dressed up, right? Of course and the brownrider is following suit. Abbey has on a right green dress, the bodice has gold stitching that makes up slight swirls across it, black leather string is used to tie the bodice closed across her back, the sleeves are long and lose slightly across her wrists. As for the skirts they are long yet just short enough to not fully drag across the ground as she walks. Her long red curly hair is left lose save for a few strands tucked up within a pair of hair clips, as for a mask it was a rather simple one, black across the outline with a mix of red and brow across the face bit. There is a golden firelizard perched about her shoulder, Annika is eyeing all the people here and there and looking a bit displeased as where she has found herself, little warbles and grumbles escaping the gold as her tail wiggles and lashes against the rider's neck.

"There was, it's lovely — come by sometime, I'll show it to you. Unless I get a chance to wear it when Kayeth clutches first," because of course Inri is going to do that, unless Nyalle specifically asks her not to. What Nyalle doesn't know is that she will have her own lovely set to match. Thanks, Kimmila. You're the best. A toast sounds like a good idea to her, as she raises her glass. "To a good Weyr Games, and no disasters." None.

Nyalle giggles softly. "I think pink would suit you, Zhirayr. A dash of color. Or perhaps brown? Then you'd be Fortian colors." She takes the champagne, surprised to find herself with a drink in each hand now. Uh. What does she do? She hates to waste things. "I'd love to see it. And yes, she should clutch any day now," she says with a wistful sigh. "To no disasters." She'll toast /both/ glasses for that.

A'lin peers around. "Perhaps… they already have." Dun dun dun! Thankfully the brownrider isn't about to go ripping jewelry off people. "I'm also good with a bow! Since I got that one for graduation a long time ago." So many ladies to choose from. His eyebrows lift at Kimmila's suggestion. "The Weyrwoman? Is that proper?" He twists his mustache in thought. "Hm. Perhaps I will! She has to dance with someone. And it sounds like you perhaps will be busy, weyrleader. I shall fetch her a drink!" Hopefully no one has spiked the punch, or the weyrwoman might be on the floor before the dancing starts.

Laurali looks relieved when Mirinda claims the earrings were a gift from ages ago and shifts awkwardly. Oh, crud. How does one explain this? "Um. No, they're fine. Very pretty. Just…" she's mumbling again and clears her throat. "… notice the Guards? There was a… a showing of jewelry the other night. One of the sets is missing… and… has black stones like those you're wearing…" Hint, hint, nudge, nudge? Say no more? Laurali doesn't, only giving a sheepish and strained smile.

Th'ero will give Kimmila a look for her suggestion but his eyes flash with amusement even if he doesn't quite grin. "Why wouldn't it be proper?" he drawls to A'lin, giving the brownrider a curious look. "She may be Weyrwoman, but that does not mean you can't ask her for a dance." And put her in an awkward spot! He chuckles dryly, "We'll dance tonight, Kimmila." Promise! Though at some point, he may have to take one dance at least with Nyalle for the sake of image and duty. "I am always busy, A'lin. Downfall of the knot," Th'ero mutters with a smirk, only to glance towards the serving tables. "A drink sounds like a good start!" And he wants one too.

Tifla blinks and shakes her head quickly at Ezra. "I… I don't think we have to do that!" She looks a little alarmed. "… Or do we? I really have no idea what the rules for these sorts of things are." Clearly. She continues to fidget, nervously wringing her hands.

Ezra shrugs. "Maybe there aren't any rules. It's a party, after all. Would you like something to drink? Or eat?" he offers. Only fair, since he's sipping an ale. He gestures towards a tent.

Kimmila grins, winking at Th'ero. "Go on, A'lin. Sweep her off her feet." She nudges Th'ero, snickering softly. "Let's go get some drinks."
"To no disaster," Zhirayr echoes obediently, because he's not one who's going to challenge two weyrwomen agreeing about what they're toasting! He's willing to be laden down with their empties, if not anybody else's — but he does have another thing to say, first: "And the Fort set did suit Inri very well, so far as I saw."

Oh. Oh. There's a moment of hesitation, but eventually Mirinda gets it and cautiously removes her earrings. "Better to err on the side of caution," she says softly, "than worry about the holes in my hears showing. Thank you. For the tipoff." That would start her tenure at Fort out just fantastically.

A'lin at least is mostly harmless? At least he's keeping his clothes on at such a formal venue. He ponders Th'ero's question. "I'm not sure! I don't want to ask for special treatment, though. If you will excuse me, I'm sure we will chat later!" He seems set on the idea, working his way through to the serving tables so he can agonize over which drink Nyalle might like. "Hm. Hrm. Hm.. Hum…" Finally he settles on some punch, filling two glasses. After some careful searching, he spots the weyrwoman in the crowd, and works his way over to her. Politely waiting for a break in the conversation, he offers her a glass. "Hello, everyone. Hello, Weyrwoman! Can I interest you in some… hum. You seem to have plenty of refreshment already!" As does everyone else. Awkward, big man.

Everyone wants to give Nyalle drinks, but it's Inri who has finished hers — she therefore politely steps in to save A'lin. "If you don't mind one of the lowercase-weyrwomen instead, you can give me a drink, I've just run out," she says, as she hands the empty glass to Zhirayr. No sense unloading it on A'lin, who is being so kind! The Steward, on the other hand … he works for her, he can take her empty glass, right?
Nyalle is frozen for a moment at the drink situation, and then she casts Inri a grateful look when she fixes it. "It's A'lin, isn't it? Are you enjoying yourself?" She finishes one of her drinks and absently hands her empty to Zhirayr as well…poor Steward.

Abigail likes drinks, and thus that is where she has wandered on over towards the drink table. Why not? Drinks are good, and times like this is always good for drinks after all. The brownrider hums a bit to herself before picking up a bit of ale and leans settles back to watch the others while sipping at her drink while taking it all in.

Poor Steward indeed, now laden not only with guardsmen's suspicions but three post-toast empty glasses and a wry expression. Oh well. At least the ladies are enjoying themselves…? A'lin gets a nod, for all that Zhirayr has to take a moment to work on recognizing him. Maybe his mask is extra-effective on other men. That could be it, right? As soon as he spots a tray, the three empties are deposited on it — so it's really a pity that Zhirayr is having so much trouble finding one…

Speaking of always being busy, the Weyrleader went and jinxed himself. "Wine, cider or ale tonight?" Th'ero had just begun to drawl in a more casual tone to Kimmila when his glance to the crowds spy one of the Harpers signalling to him. They're ready to start! Which means the Weyrleader is needed elsewhere. Sighing, he ducks his head to whisper by Kimmila's ear, "That drink will have to wait. Go on, I'll catch up with you. And we will, A'lin! Enjoy your evening." While the brownrider goes off to awkwardly try to serve Nyalle a drink, Th'ero will take his leave of Kimmila and… make the situation even more awkward as he slips in just long enough to greet Inri and Zhirayr with a respectful nod. "Evening. Nyalle? We're ready. If you'll excuse us, a moment?" He's stealing the Weyrwoman! Temporarily, of course and it's not like they go far. Only to a small raised stage and the Harpers play a set of chords to gain everyone's attention. This is the part Th'ero hates the most… the official speeches. The Weyrleader keeps it short and sweet though, at least on his end. Will the Weyrwoman too? "I'd like to welcome everyone here to Fort Weyr tonight and to thank you all for your support as we look ahead to the opening of the Winter Weyr Games! We've always prided ourselves with traditions and it's through the effort and hard work of many to see this tradition brought to light for another Turn…" And so on and so forth. No sense dragging it out!

A'lin smiles to Inri as she saves him from awkwardly standing there with two drinks. "Ah, yes. Of course! Please." She handed one of the drinks. The other is about to be offered to Zhirayr… until the ladies dump their empties on him. And so all A'lin can offer him is an apologetic look. There's a nod and a polite bow to Nyalle, then. "Yes. I'm having a wonderful evening!" And then… Th'ero swoops in and steals the weyrwoman. Instead A'lin smiles to Inri. "So then, Weyrwoman, how is your evening going? You don't have to join them for the opening speech and such?" Once Th'ero is done talking, he applauds. Hopefully along with everyone else.

Nyalle has just figured out her drink situation, and here Th'ero is to complicate matters again. Ugh. Parties. She does not like them. "Excuse me," she murmurs to her companions before she's taking Th'ero's arm and walking with him up onto the stage. She stands while he speaks, nodding politely and smiling, and when it's her turn she steps forward to make her grand speech. She's practiced, you see. "As of this moment, the Games are officially open! Sign ups are with anyone wearing a mask in the shape of a Fort," those lucky, lucky caverns workers forced into /that/ outfit, "and betting is going on in some corner or another I'm sure." She laughs, then blushes and clears her throat. She shouldn't try to make jokes. "So…uh. Enjoy!"

As the speeches progress, Ezra makes his way along the outskirts of the crowd, searching for another he thought would be here.

"Me?" Inri shakes her head, still all smiles. That's her way. "No, I'd just be a silent person taking up space — I generally only stand at Nyalle's side during conflict, not so much during this kind of thing. And there is not going to be any conflict," she insists, because it is most certainly not permitted on Inri's watch. The games are going to go perfectly. Please ignore the stolen jewelry. "So far my evening is absolutely lovely. And thank you for the drink, even if it wasn't quite meant for me."

Laurali's almost closing her eyes in relief again when Mirinda catches on and the young Healer doesn't have to go into some awkward long winded cryptic elaboration. "Welcome. Sorry that you won't get to wear them now but…" Better than her being snatched up by the Guards, right? It's a wonder if there won't be a few cases of 'cried wolf' by the time the night is done. Now that she's helped her fellow Healer, she'll lapse back into silence, her eyes watching as the Weyrleaders step up to make their speech. "Guess we'll be busy, won't we?" she mutters under her breath. Weyr Games are bound to result in injuries. Leave it to Laurali to look at it from THAT angle.

"Which is good," is Mirinda's take on that. Laurali is most assuredly right, but Mirinda likes being busy. She hasn't had the most wonderful time settling in, and so she's glad to have more work to busy herself with. Someone should teach her that that's not how you make friends and adjust to a new place. "It'll be easier than being the awkward wallflower at parties, at least." She means herself, but they do kind of make a pair of them at the moment. Until someone else who knows Laurali comes to steal her; Mirinda will simply keep to the corners.

Ezra finally finds Laurali - at least he hopes it's her - and steps up beside her and Mirinda. "Evening," he says quietly, smiling at the both of them. "Finally found you." That's for Laurali, and he does intend to steal her. Sorry, Mirinda.

Th'ero will linger on the stage beside Nyalle as the Weyrwoman gives her half of the speech and lifts his hand up to wave at the rousing cheers and applauding. Once it begins to ebb and the Harpers begin to play again, the Weyrleader will offer his arm to her and lead her back to where A'lin, Zhirayr and Inri are still mingling. See? He brought Nyalle back! "Enjoy your evening, Weyrwoman. A dance later, perhaps, if we cross paths." he'll murmur to her quickly, before letting his arm slip from hers and offering them all a half bow before he's slipping into the crowds. He's got a bluerider to hunt down! Hopefully Kimmila had some success in grabbing some drinks and maybe some food!

Laurali all but jumps out of her skin when Ezra steps up beside her and Mirinda. She knows it's him too both by his voice and the colours he's chose for his mask. Clever! Or not. "Evening," she replies after she's collected herself. As for 'finding' her, the young Healer smirks. "Didn't mean to hide…" She totally did. Glancing sidelong to Mirinda, she may wait until the Journeywoman is distracted before gently pressing one of her hands to Ezra's arm. Subtle 'let's go' cue? You bet. "Drinks?" she suggests softly.

A'lin is happy that Th'ero thought to bring Nyalle back! Since Inri seems to have wandered off as well. Which leaves the brownrider wondering if maybe he forgot to bathe this morning or something. "Great speech, Weyrwoman! Will you be participating in any of the games?" He ponders then. "Is that allowed, since Fort is hosting them and all?"

Ezra curves his arm to take Laurali's, smiling down at her. "Sure, I could get another ale." This one is done, and gets set on a passing tray. Hopefully someone is doing the dishes somewhere, with all these empites being left behind.

Nyalle blushes a bit at A'lin's compliment. "Ah, thank you," she murmurs softly, nodding to Zhirayr as well when she's 'returned'. "No, I don't think I will be. It is allowed, but. I'm not good at any of the events. Are either of you going to enter? Zhirayr, you should enter the snowball fight."

Zhirayr levels a look at Nyalle. Seriously? "Seriously?" At least he's finally managed to get rid of those three glasses, right? "You just want me to not be fully in black again, don't you." Or maybe it has something to do with his contortionist tendency not to get hit with flying projectiles…? Nah, that can't be it.

A'lin looks surprised. Not that Nyalle is allowed to play, but that she's allowed to but not. "No? I'm sure there must be something you're good at. Or you can just play for fun! I may sign up for something! I will have to look over the list of things." He chuckles. "The snowball fight sounds fun! Though I don't think that sort of thing is for me, either. I'm not as agile as I used to be, alas." Was he ever agile?

When Th'ero moves back into the crowd, Kimmila doesn't take long in finding him and slipping her arm through his again, and pressing a dark ale into his hand. "Nice job," she murmurs.

Nyalle giggles softly, smiling at Zhirayr. "When did you start wearing all black? I can't imagine you as a child doing…" She pauses. "I can't imagine you as a child." She'll end her sentence there, looking back to A'lin. "Oh, no, I'm not one for competitions really. I enjoy watching though, and I'll go to as many events as I can get to, once Kayeth clutches."

Th'ero takes Kimmila's arm on one side and the ale she offers him in hand on the other. Now the Weyrleader can enjoy the night, right? At least for a little bit. "Thank you," he exhales. For everything! He takes a deep drink of the ale and then pulling the bluerider close. "Enjoying your night, Wingmate?" he murmurs quietly, nodding his head politely to a few other guests and taking a sweeping look of the tent to see where the Guards are.

Laurali tentatively slips her arm through Ezra's and she smiles back, though subdued. "Have you been here long?" she asks softly as they walk through the crowds in search of drinks. Not that'll be that hard. She'll skip on the ale though and settle for a crisp and refreshing cider instead.
Ezra shakes his head. "Not too long, no. I was trying to find you when I ran into someone…" Literally. "Are you enjoying yourself? You look nice." He gets another ale for himself, though this one is lighter. He doesn't want to get drunk, just relaxed. Because he /can/.

D'ani's late, far too late to claim he's fashionably so. Oops? The Weyrsecond strides in from the barn area, brushing bits of straw from his jeans. He's been told it's a costume party and thus, he's attired appropriately; his jeans are stuffed into leather boots, he's wearing a midnight blue cotton shirt, open at the neck and sleeves rolled up to his forearms. A black leather mask covers half his face underneath a black Stetson-type hat and a black and white spotted herdbeast skin…cape-thing…around his shoulders (relax, it's been tanned, so it's not like there's a naked calf bereft of its hide because of him). Because no one's going to recognize him in that, right? He thought so too!

Kimmila smiles up at Th'ero, getting a drink for herself as well and leaning against his arm. "I am. It's fun to be out, dressed up, hearing nice music…and nothing bad has happened." Don't jinx it! She scans the crowd and then snickers. "Who's the lone ranger over there?" she asks, tipping her head in D'ani's direction. "That's not the weyrsecond, is it?" It has to be, in that hat.

Abigail has been talking to a few people that have cornered her so to speak near the drink table. Though now and then she almost able to escape before someone else talks to her. Seems no matter the mask and dress she has on she is picked out, she'll blame the red hair.
A'lin chuckles a bit at Nyalle. "It must have been tough on his mother, if he was born that size." The brownrider smiles to Nyalle then. "Ah. I suppose watching will be quite fun! Perhaps I can win a medal for you!" He ponders. "There must be some sort of strength-related event I can try my hand at…" Then he remembers why he's come over in the first place. "Perhaps later you wouldn't mind joining me for a dance, Weyrwoman?"

Th'ero chuckles and gives her a look that suggests the same thing. Don't jinx the evening! The tents are filled with lantern, after all and there are more on poles about the lakeshore. Beautiful decor, really, but just like having a masque dance and even right after a theft, that may not have been a wise idea around large crowds. Thank Faranth though, nothing bad has happened! "Good! I'm glad. Good crowd too, wouldn't you say? Were you serious about the dancing?" he murmurs to Kimmila, only to follow her gesture. Th'ero blinks and then laughs quietly under his breath. "Who else could it be?" he muses and lifts his ale up in hopes of catching the Weyrsecond's attention. "… I think that's Abigail there too, isn't it?" It'll be her red hair that tips him off! With the Weyrleaders done their speeches and the Weyr Games officially open, the lake shore is packed with crowds of people and of all ranks, Weyr, Hold and Hall and from all over Pern. Despite the heavy Guard presence, the atmosphere is still festive and relaxed, though anyone wearing jet jewelry may best remove it or suffer through some questionable looks (or later questioning by Guards).

"Ran into?" Laurali's brows lift in mild interest when Ezra mentions that little tidbit, only to duck her head down a bit when he compliments her. "Thanks. Not the fanciest of dresses but…" she shrugs, toying with the edges of the sleeves. It'll do! "You look good too," she murmurs in hastily reply and clear her throat. Enjoying herself? Laurali nods her head and smiles, but something is a bit off with the young Healer. "There are a lot of people here, aren't there?" Not… quite an answer but it could be. She's always been a nervous, wary thing. Crowds may get under her skin.

Nyalle giggles, shaking her head at A'lin. "I'd be honored if you'd get a win for me. For Fort," she says with a warm smile for the large brownrider. "A dance? Certainly! If Zhirayr wouldn't mind being left alone for a few minutes?"

Kimmila winks at Th'ero. "Yes I was serious about dancing. It's been ages since we've gotten to dance, so..yes. I want a lot of dances."
Hopefully Ravyal isn't stopped for his jewelry-wearing as he shows up on the shore. The woven bracelet was a gift! Truly! A little late in his arrival to the festivities, the weaver's hurried stride slows as he approaches the edges of the crowd. Stumbling his way into the throng would only cause massive attacks of clumsy. It's only with a deep breath that the teenager starts to wander and mingle, gaze skimming about for familiar faces.

It's hard to say whether Inri recognizes D'ani, really — she does manage to extricate herself from the person who forcibly pulled her away from A'lin chattering a mile a minute like they were best friends. Some Holder. Who is definitely not one of Inri's best friends. But whether or not she recognizes D'ani, she is still walking over to talk to him. "I love the hat."

Ezra nods. "Almost. Well. Kind of. It's fine though, she's okay." He smiles down at her, and loks around, leaning a bit closer to her side. "There are, it's a party. You okay? Need some quiet?" he asks quietly, concerned.

A'lin flexes at the weyrwoman's words. "I shall do this, then!" Apparently it does not take much to get the brownrider pumped. "Don't worry, Zhirayr. I will bring her back after a song or two, so that you may have a turn." A'lin offers his arm to the goldrider then, so they can head to the dancing area. Thankfully Nyalle is tall, so she should be at least somewhat comfortable dancing with A'lin.

Nyalle giggles softly, gently taking A'lin's arm and flashing Zhirayr a smile before she's whisked off to the dance floor. And she's an excellent dancer, too. Not flashy or good at improvisation, but she follows really, really well and she knows the steps to all the popular dances.
D'ani wears no jewelry, so the guards will likely pass him by. Spotting Th'ero's ale-salute, he lifts his chin in reply, including Kimmila in the greeting, but oh, that reminds him - this man is parched! He wades his way through the crowds and snags a cool glass of something dark and frothy, takes a few deep swallows of it before starting in the Weyrleader's general direction, only to be stopped by *gulp* Inri. He stares at her, at a loss for words. He might look like a fish, the way his mouth opens and closes before he stammer-gasps out, "You look… really nice, Inri." That sounded nothing like D'ani, right?

Th'ero can't help but laugh a little. Just a little bit won't hurt, right? Some might find it reassuring to see the Weyrleader in an amused mood. "Alright, I think I'm convinced then on your desire for a dance or… five, tonight." he muses to Kimmila and lifts his ale up to tip it in a silent toast and promise. The Harpers are still playing, though the music is more for socializing than dancing. Yet there are obvious preparations underway to clear enough room, now that most have had a chance to enjoy some of the food and drink. Never mind it's winter, it's always a good time for dancing!

Nope, that's not D'ani at all. Inri is clueless as to who she is talking to. "I always look really nice, when I try," she laughs, because while he might not be D'ani she is still Inri. "I wasn't sure if hiding my face with a mask would make me look less nice but as it turns out it goes perfectly with the dress. Okay, it was made for the dress, but — I wasn't sure it was going to work, thanks for the endorsement." Big satisfied grin. "You look pretty incredible yourself." She loves the hat.

Kimmila flashes Th'ero a warm smile and nods. "Good, because I wasn't trying to convince you, though that's a plus." She was ordering him. There will be dancing.

Laurali gives Ezra a look. Obviously it's a party? "I'm… okay. I'm not used to crowds like this." she mutters again and she drains a little more of her cider. "Maybe?" she admits shyly and embarrassed. She'll lift her hand up and pull her mask up to rest it on the top of her head, the bracelet she bought shifting against her wrist. It has no jet in it, but it is made of more earthy coloured stones. Simple and not overly flashy at all! And affordable. "Are you enjoying the night?" she asks curiously as she stays close to Ezra's side and when her eyes dart out to the crowds again, she'll spy a familiar face. "I know that Weaver." Cue a little nod to Ravyal. Look! One familiar face in the crowd!

Laenia is totally there as one of the Harpers present, playing a gitar for a change. There's little singing from her today, enjoying the playful and social music with the rest of them. It's also fun to watch the dancers and folks mingle. She doesn't have to focus too much on plucking the strings and can people-watch easily while she's playing. Perhaps when there's a pause in the music, she might join in the mingling.

Ezra's mask is perched up on his hair already, the hammered copper gleaming in the lantern light. He looks down at her again, about to ask - again - if she wants to go, when she mentions a Weaver. "I am enjoying myself, yes…who is that?" he asks of Rayval. "How do you know him?" He misses the bracelet. Clueless.

A'lin, despite his size, is rather nimble on his feet! Blame it on his holder upbringing. He leads Nyalle easily through the steps. It's a small wonder he was so interested in dancing. "You've been weyrwoman for a while here, now. But this is the first chance I've had to chat with you. You impressed up in High Reaches… correct? What brought you down to Fort, if you don't mind me asking?"

Nyalle is pleased to have such a confident dance partner, easily moving around the cleared 'floor' with him. His question though has her steps faltering briefly. "Oh, Ah…yes, Kayeth was High Reaches born, though her lineage can be traced back to Wiyaneth by a few generations, so we like to think of ourselves as Fortian." As for why she is in Fort… she doesn't answer for a moment, looking downwards. "It's complicated," she finally says, giving him an apologetic smile. "But I am glad to be here. Very, very glad."

Ravyal is /known/! He manages to spot Laurali as well though, perking up a little as he gravitates in the direction of familiarity. It certainly helps him be less..swallowed by the crowd! He moves that way, having to struggle a little to wade his way in between other gatherers, but he does manage to make it there, offering a faint smile for the healer. He even manages one for Ezra. After all, he is standing right /there/. "This is" 'Party' likely sounds more like 'massive crush of people that could suffocate a poor Weaver'. There is a faint tilt of his head though, giving a friendly, if uncertain nod at the unfamiliar man beside Laurali. "H..hello. I'm Ravyal.."

Borodin drifts through the edges of the crowd toward… the drinks. Where else? But - though he spends a few moments talking to one of the people dispensing them - he ends up taking a drink and then leaving again instead of settling in to work. Apparently he's just… attending. He drifts off through the crowd again, taking a sip as he observes who's who and what's where and then hrming consideringly.

Eventually there's a switch in songs and Laenia takes the chance to put down her gitar and escape into the crowd to head towards the drinks. The Harpers won't miss just one gitar. Her feet guide her over to the table with drinks and takes a glass for herself. Drink in hand, she joins the crowds and mingles, nodding towards Nyalle were the weyrwoman to notice her and to other familiar faces in the crowd, could she discern them.

A'lin looks surprised when Nyalle falters, though he seems to adjust easily. "Ah. Well we all think of you as Fortian as well!" There's a frown then. "Ah, sorry, Weyrwoman. I didn't mean to pry. We are glad to have you here! Kayeth is due to clutch soon, yes? New dragons are always exciting!" To make sure there's no remaining awkwardness, A'lin leans forward to dip the weyrwoman slightly, before righting her.

Nyalle is startled by the dip, but she manages it without falling or stumbling, just blushing a bit more. "Thank you, A'lin. And yes, any day now. She's been sleeping a lot, which is usually a good sign…"

Laurali does want to escape but not quite yet. Leaving now would garner attention or perhaps she's feeling paranoid that it would. Given what she's been through since that night of the jewelry gala… it could be understandable. "Good. Dance, later?" Maybe? "I didn't see Rayathess among the Harpers." she says quietly, only to go to answer Ezra about Ravyal when the Weaver approaches and introduces himself! Well, that helps things… kind of? She smiles sheepishly to him, her arm still linked with Ezra's. "… he was at the exhibition for jewelry int he living caverns a night ago. Helped make the backdrops for the pieces… right?" Laurali holds up her wrist, letting the bracelet slide forwards from under her sleeve. "It's where I got this." As for tonight's party? "Lots of people…" she informs Ravyal with another of those small smiles, only to fidget beside Ezra. "… and Guards."

Borodin glances back to the drinks table and notes Laenia near there. First he looks at her, then he looks at her drink. Hmm. It's only after a moment's staring that he looks up again and gives her an actual nod of what could pass for greeting.

D'ani would probably tell Inri she looks great in a feed sack. As for her mask, he - coughs - and lifts his eyes to that, a slow smile tugging at his mouth. "And also when you don't," he says sincerely, classic D'ani-style. That might be a give-away, like the one he just did of her, oops again? As for the hat, his smile turns a touch sheepish. "Thanks, it's what was handy." He lifts his glass, drains it and offers it absently to someone. Who? He hasn't a clue - just shoved it at them before offering his arm to Inri. "Would you like to dance?"

Ezra gives Laurali a look of concern, but then his focus has shifted when the Weaver approaches. "Hey, Ezra Stonehaven," he greets, shifting his ale to the arm linked with Laurali's so he can extend his other one to Rayval. "Jewelry?" He finally notices Laurali's bracelet, and smiles. "It's a nice piece, Laurali, treated yourself?" He looks around. "Guards? Yeah, well. Not surprised. It's Fort…" They seem to ahve a lot of them here.

The young Harper does not chat long with this person or the other. For the most part, Laenia enjoys her drinks, greeting those who greet her in turn. This is another good way to people-watch. It is after a moment that she senses someone staring and she turns to catch Borodin's nod. A small smile forms on her lips as she returns the nod with one of her own before taking a sip of her drink and continuing to move along through the crowd, by chance maybe leading her closer to Borodin.

Now that he's checked out the drink and acknowledged the person, Borodin's attention drifts again. He does the same, but he's not paying that much attention to where he's going - just enough to not spill his drink. He's in no particular rush, though, so when the crowd ahead of him turns dense for a moment, he just stops and has another sip. "…maybe too mellow," he mutters under his breath.

A'lin looks pleased. Both from the dancing and the news of an eminent clutching. "Oh? Is it normal for a gold to sleep a lot before a clutching? Or is that something only she does?" All dragons have their quirks! But A'lin doesn't have too much experience with golds. "Are you weyrmated, Weyrwoman?" A'lin hasn't heard anything, but maybe Nyalle keeps things very private?

Well at least Ravyal seems to know that name when Ezra introduces himself. There's just a bit of floundering as the weaver manages to give his hand for that shake. He at least got it up there! "It's..nice to meet you." The teen clears his throat a bit though, giving a nervous glance toward Laurali..followed by a little nod to confirm his help with the show. "Erm..yes. The backdrops, I did. It wasn't much, like I said.. Just picking good colors to go with the pieces.." Some of which then got /stolen/.

"The things you have handy are kind of strange," Inri laughs, but it's also completely accurate. She's not just teasing. She presumably knows who he is by now, too, even if she genuinely didn't before — not that she's saying anything. "I think I would, yes. I don't think I've had too much to drink to step well, this time."

Nyalle spots Laenia and gives her a little wave as they spin by, and a smile. Nyalle laughs a bit at A'lin's question. "Since I only have one queen, I'm not sure about the habits of the others. You'll have to ask Inri." Then /another/ question from A'lin, and Nyalle flushes crimson. "I am not, but there is a certain someone." Then she waits for him to stop dancing with her, like has happened to her before when people discover she's taken.

Laurali looks guilty again when Ezra smiles at her and comments about treating herself. "Thanks. Yeah… I did." she murmurs and lowers her wrist again, letting the sleeve of her dress all but hide the bracelet. So much for showing it off? "I bought another one too…" So she really did splurge! As Ravyal fumbles a bit, Laurali can't help but chuckle before she catches herself and darts a look up to Ezra. Her brows knit. He doesn't know? Of course not. Why would he? "Again, you make it seem too easy." Laurali murmurs as she looks back to the Weaver. "Master Tashryn spoke highly of you."

The weyrwoman's wave and smile are only /just/ noticed by Laenia and she returns it with a quick grin of her own. The Harper vaguely wonders if she might find a willing partner herself… with that thought in mind, she skirts the thicker areas of the crowd only to nearly fall towards Borodin when someone bumps into her. "Oh! Sorry about that… that was awefully close…" Her eyes scan his clothes to make sure none of the wine in her glass happened to splash onto him during her tumbling.

"So," Zhirayr, whose childhood state remains unfathomable to all, says quietly to Mirinda. "I seem to recall that you, too, had exquisite-but-badly-timed taste, by which I mean earrings." How did he get over here? Nobody knows! (Well, presumably he walked.) He holds out a glass of wine to her, keeping one back for himself, and quirks an eyebrow at her. "Enjoying the party so far?"

A'lin chuckles. "That's true. Perhaps I shall!" Sorry, Nyalle, but A'lin is having fun. Also he's too polite to drop the goldrider off at the drop of hat. Taken or not. A'lin is full of questions! And the weyrwoman is a captive audience. Though.. they could just dance and not talk. Would that be awkward? "Oh? Is he here?" A'lin sounds more curious than anything else, looking around.

Borodin's own glass is safe, but apparently that's not enough. Movement in his personal bubble (or at least, closer than the crowd already is) draws his gaze to Laenia, and he frowns as he lifts his own glass out of the way. There is a winestain on his other sleeve, but it was probably already there - it doesn't look wet. "Uh… yeah," he says to Laenia. "Everything's close. It's crowded." A shrug of his shoulders.

It's better to arrive late than never, right? Looking harried despite being dressed in what could pass as her finest, Amethyst slips into the party crowd, making a beeline for where the wine is being served. She takes a glass of red, then turns to observe the people around her; dark eyes scan faces as she raises her glass to her lips, taking a slow sip while observing. The familiar faces she spies are each watched quietly, in turn, including one of the young guards who she spent half of the night with - for investigation's sake, of course! He's nodded at, even given a smile, before she meanders into the party flock with the intention of finding a knot of conversation she can join.

At Borodin's response, Laenia makes some sort of noncommittal sound. At least he didn't get splashed on. "Well, in any case, I'm glad my wine didn't splash on you. Good evening." There's a nod from her then as she moves away from the crowd and towards the edge, where the dancers are in better view and she's at less risk to be bumped into. The wine is sipped at as she continues to observe, wondering idly if she doesn't get an offer, she'll just return to the stage.

Mirinda the wallflower looks incredibly surprised when someone is suddenly talking to her. But then again that's — what parties are like, aren't they? She was glad to see Laurali go off with her boy, hated to interrupt them, and had just gotten used to permanently being an audience member when suddenly Zhirayr. "Hm? Oh. Yes. I took them off. They're very old, they were a gift a long time ago," she repeats, in case he doesn't believe her. "It's — quite something." Oh, that drink is for her. With a gracious smile, she accepts it.

"Be a waste," Borodin agrees to Laenia about her wine. "Especially if that's the northshore." He shrugs again as she heads off, looking out to the dance floor and then turning to drift on through the crowd and look at more drinks and the people who carry them.

Nyalle is indeed a captive audience. "He's at Fort, yes, but I'm not sure if he's /here/ tonight…" She glances around, but can't really get a good look. "He works a lot," she admits, spinning agian and holding out her skirts as she does so, for the full flair effect.

Ezra smiles. "Good! You should have treated yourself. You deserve it." Doesn't know what? He doesn't know what he doesn't know apparently. "That can be a challenge though," he says to Ravyal, "especially if a piece has different colors in it."

The smile on D'ani's mouth deepens, an impish light dances in his brown eyes. "Not to the cows," says he sagely. Especially not the skin! Though he does acknowledge her sense of fashion with a another sweeping look up-down her figure. "Next time, I shall present myself to you for costuming, how's that?" He outright grins at Inri's self-assessment and then leads her towards the dance floor. "Hey Borodin," he says casually as they pass the vintner on the way there. "Point me at the good stuff later, eh?" Because short cuts rock!

Seeing as how Inri is attached to D'ani, she also has a, "Hi, Borodin," for the journeyman vintner. "I agree on wanting recommendations!" Once that is resolved — not that Inri hasn't already had a few drinks, but she wants the best ones — she's able to respond to the previous commentary. "And I'd be happy to help. Whenever there's some kind of masked ball again; I have no idea when that might be, to be fair. Can I wear that hat sometime?"

Zhirayr clinks his glass lightly against now-Mirinda's, solemnly inclining his head to her — spoiled slightly by the laughter lurking in the depths of his eyes. "I promise that I, at least, believe you that they're an old gift," he tells her. "Seeing as how I myself don't own any jet, and yet lost three hours of setup time today to dealing with inquisitorial guards…" Half his wine is gone, a moment later. He's still miffed. Yep. He tries a smile on again anyway. "I'd love a chance to see them sometime when you aren't likely to get arrested for bringing them out again, though."

How many circles has Brennan made of the crowd so far? The black and green glad hunter/guard hasn't been keeping count, of course, but it's been interesting people-watching, so far. And he hasn't had to get too in the midst, although a few curious ladies decided to get curious about him earlier. Ever short and gruff, even if he hasn't been unpleasant, he didn't linger too long. It's time for a drink, though, and the tall, blue-eyed man makes his way over to the drinks, lifting his feathered mask to inspect what's present before deciding on a glass of good old-fashioned beer - and not half bad, at that. Leaning against a nearby table, he busys himself with watching again, his attentioned mostly trained on the dancers. One of those things he just never learned to do. Not well, anyway.

Ravyal still has that embarrassed look that came with praise at the actual jewelry event. At least he seems to be taking it better this time. He doesn't immediately bolt! He manages a weak smile though, nodding. "Y..yes. I really wasn't expecting it when she did.. I didn't.." Do much? He trails a look to Ezra again at his comment, still looking sheepish, but manages to acquiesce to his opinion on the matter. "I..I suppose.." When his focus strays away from the pair, he does spot Amethyst finally, lifting his hand to wave toward her.

Borodin bobs his head to D'ani and Inri as they pass. The good stuff? "Hah! Not within a dragonlength." He shakes his head. "But," he admits, "there's some that's okay." According to his standards. He lifts the glass he has in hand in a vague sort of salute to them as they head off for the dance floor, then takes a sip of it on the way back down.

Abigail is able to escape whomever had her cornered during the conversation thanks to someone else coming along to speak to said person. Yay freedom! She is off to find another drink as the last one was drank way to quickly as an attempt for an excuse to escape the conversation. She catches sight of Borodin though and casts a smile to her brother. "Hello Borodin." The brownrider has a dress on, yes a dress, green and gold, something that works well with her rather rest hair, and a mask like plenty of others. Speaking of hats, on yes she does catch sight of D'ani's and is peering curious at him and looks amused as she grins a bit. "Hello D'ani, Inri." There near Borodin so she will not leave them out, even if they are heading towards the dace floor, which she will not keep them from. Though she will stay away from if she has a choice in the matter.

A'lin looks surprised. "No? He's missing all the dancing! And with such a skilled partner!" He blinks then. "Ooh. Didn't the weyrleader want a dance with you? Let me know if you need a break!" Otherwise A'lin is going to monopolize. Though he seems to be temporarily out of personal questions to ask.

The night is still young! Dancing is in full swing now, the food still plenty and the drinks running freely (for now… surely there's a cut off!). Music plays, conversations fill the air and are mixed with laughter and so far nothing has gone wrong. The Weyr may get away with one night going smoothly! Then it'll be chaos from there on in. Th'ero will make good on his promise and the Weyrleader can be seen escorting Kimmila out to the dance floor for several of the dances, even some of the livelier ones!

Laurali blushes a bit with Ezra's compliments, clearing her throat and promptly draining the rest of her cider and setting the empty glass on a nearby tray as a server passes by. Sensing Ravyal's discomfort, Laurali doesn't push the Weaver any further, save to murmur quietly. "… did the Guards talk to you too?" to him and well aware that Ezra's likely to pick up on that.

It takes Mirinda a moment to move away from just staring outright at Zhirayr, though at least the expression is clearly related to the three-hours-of-questioning thing and not his general existence. "Three hours? They'd really detain a," quick knot confirmation, "high ranking lower caverns staffer for that long over something he clearly didn't do? I had no idea some of the guards here were idiots." Not that she seems surprised; there are a few idiots in every basket.

There's a gentle clearing of a throat behind, and just to one side of Zhirayr; Amethyst overheard him. "I do apologise for the inconvenience last night caused," she interrupts, with an apologetic smile to Mirinda. "But there is still a selection of jet in our work area that you're more than welcome to come and choose from, sir." She catches Ravyal's wave, and returns it with a finger-wiggling one of her own, and a friendly wink. "Oh, and, ah, my apologies for interrupting." The Smith dips into a shallow courtsey to both Assistant Steward and Mirinda… who she adds an apologetic smile to. "They're searching for a very valuable set, ma'am. It's no small matter." Especially not to her, anyway.

Nyalle chuckles quietly. "I'm sure he'll be along later," she murmurs. "And yes, Th'ero did, but that'll likely come later…he's with Kimmila right now." She doesn't seem to mind being monopolized for the moment. There is plenty of time and the evening is young.

Ezra frowns a little bit. "'Too'?" he asks Laurali. Yes, he caught that, and he glances at Ravyal as well. "Talk to you about what?"

Zhirayr spreads his hands into a shrug, not dropping his half-full wineglass (or splashing it or sloshing it on anyone, for that matter). "I'm afraid I've built up something of a reputation for stark, unrelieved black," he explains — mostly for Mirinda, maybe a little for Amethyst instead, who's already gotten herself a nod of recognition/greeting. "So when some stark, unrelieved black jewelry goes missing, a certain someone got it stuck in his head that even if I wasn't the thief, I simply had to know something. For hours." A certain someone might or might not still have a job; hard to tell if based merely on Zhirayr's expression — thunderous distaste, dialed back.

Another is escaping the stage and the duty of playing for the evening entertainment. Rayathess has been dutifully playing his role as Harper for the night… though his role may be a bit more complex than that. He's probably here to observe and listen in and Faranth knows what else. Now that he's been given the signal from a Journeyman that he can take "break", the Sr. Apprentice makes for the drinks and food — only he never quite makes it. Instead he slides up beside Laenia, hands clasped behind his back. "Harper." he drawls, though from his smirk, he's clearly teasing her a bit. "Enjoying your evening and a brief respite?"

Ravyal nods just a little, a brief look of worry flickering across his face at the mention of /guards/. Even getting questioned. His hand moves to lightly wrap around the bracelet on his own wrist, giving it a self-conscious squeeze. "It took forever to convince them that this was a /gift/ and that I didn't just take it." He gives a somewhat confused look at Ezra though for the man's own..confusion, brows furrowing together. "S..somebody made off with some jewelry. Expensive stuff.."

"Okay will suffice," D'ani tells Borodin with a look that promises they'll find him again. "Hey Abbey, looking good." He'd make it more of a complement, but the ex-guard could still beat him up, likely. To Inri, as he faces her on the floor and offers his hand, "We could practice if you like? Just… no dresses." Is he flirting? Or serious? That's up to her to decide. As for the hat, he takes it off, offers it to her. "They say black goes with everything."

As her eyes are focused on the folks twirling about, little attention is paid when another Harper slips from the group for a break. The glass in her hand is raised to her lips only just before she hears the familiar voice beside her. She glances up at him, a grin forming on her lips at his teasing. "Oh, quite." she replies, before taking a quick sip. "People might think we Harpers are slacking… what with the two of us just standing her." she comments, chuckling softly as she looks out at the crowd again.

"Aw," Inri fake-pouts, but she is stopped mid-pout by the offer of the hat. "Especially with black," she giggles a little, as she's got a dress that's about half black on, and puts the hat on her head. It doesn't really match the gown in theme, but the color combination's just fine! "Now that I look even more fantastic, lead on," she adds, twining her fingers in D'ani's.

Borodin pauses mid-sip, his eyes going from the dancers to Abigail. His glass is lowered, and he nods his head to her. She's wearing a dress. He's not. As it should be.. "Uh, hey." He glances to his drink, then checks to see if Abigail has one. She doesn't. Hmm. "So," he says, and then the word 'dresses' reaches his ears from the dance floor. Did he actually hear that? Borodin glances after D'ani, frowns for a moment, then looks back to Abigail. "…uh. Are you… enjoying yourself?"

A'lin smiles to Nyalle. "Ah. You should convince him not to work so much. You can do that, right? You're the weyrwoman!" He blinks then, and chuckles. "Oh? Well, he is probably occupied for a while in that case! Sorry. I suppose I've been asking you a lot of questions. Feel free to ask me anything you'd like!"

Nyalle smiles to D'ani and Inri when they twirl past, pleased to see the Weyrsecond out and about. She'll probably ask him for a dance later as well, if he's free. She tries to dance with everyone. She looks back at A'lin, blushing a bit. "I'm not in charge of the riders," she reminds him. "Ask…you? Uh…" What's a good question? "What's your favorite color?" LAME. This is why Inri is better.

Laurali's expression is dark and mixed at the mention of the Guards and her eyes will dart sidelong as if the mere mention of them will bring some back again. She is tense now, even though her arm remains linked with Ezra's. "… but I saw Master Tashryn give it to you…" she mutters to Ravyal, only to dip her head down and worry at her lower lip. "… so they questioned you too? Everyone?" She'll look up at Ezra as well and her expression unreadable as Ravyal explains and she adds… "So they questioned us. I guess anyone and everyone who was there…"

Ezra frowns a bit at what Ravyal says. "They suspected you? After you helped set up?" He looks around, finding a passing guard to /eye/. Huh. "What was stolen?" Then he looks at Laurali. "They questioned /you/?" Look at him and his angry face.

Abigail looks a bit amused as she hears D'ani. "Thanks." Is sent after the bronzer. He best remember that, she can beat anyone if she puts her mind to it! Well who doesn't think that way? She glances over to Borodin and smiles a bit before nodding. "Yeah, so far so good. How about yourself?" This questioned with a curious tone. They haven't talked for a little bit, which seems to be the norm for them anymore.

Ravyal's eyes widen just a little, and the weaver does try to force a smile onto his face. See? See the smile? Angry isn't necessary! "W..well I'm sure they needed to talk to everyone.. I mean..someone..anyone could have seen something.. You know, even if they didn't realize it.." Of course, that also meant it could have been anyone present! The teenager just keeps on rubbing at the bracelet on his wrist. "It wasn't..terribly awful."

"Or they may figure we're on break? You've wine in your hand and I've…" Rayathess has nothing so he only shrugs with a sheepish crooked grin. "… well, I suppose I could snare a drink? I believe I can indulge in one ale and not have that frowned upon?" Laenia is, after all, a higher rank than him! Never mind she's younger too. Chuckling dryly, he'll glance towards the crowds and then out towards the dance floor. "Or… we could dance? Then none can say we are idle."

A'lin nods to D'ani and Inri as they pass by. The brownrider chuckles a bit to Nyalle. "True. But I'm sure Th'ero wouldn't mind doing you a favor. Though I am sure you are just as busy as your certain someone is on most days. So perhaps you don't mind?" A'lin grins at the question. "It's blue!" Which might be just as lame. "Does that tell you something about me? Other than what my favorite color is?"

Nyalle coughs. "No, it doesn't really. I'm not much good at conversation I'm afraid," she murmurs. "Inri's far better at it than I am…" Effortless. She envies her junior.

Mirinda smiles back at Amethyst, albeit a bit timidly; she's not the best at being openly social, though she's certainly no misanthrope. Nor is she all that awkward, just a little on the shy and quiet side. "Well, I'm sorry I hadn't heard earlier. Your work? I'll do my best to keep my ear to the ground in the infirmary. It seems like they need all the help they can get," comes with an eyeroll she will be ashamed of later, as far as the guards are concerned. And she doesn't even know they questioned Laurali.

More fantastic? "How is that possible?" wonders D'ani with a frank look of bogglement at Inri before leading them amongst the dancers. He's not flashy but he is skillful, thanks Dad, for making him take the Holder Socialization Etiquette classes!

Laenia can only smirk at him when he shrugs. "I don't think anyone can blame us for a drink or two…" she comments, twirling the wine glass she has in hand before draining it. At his suggestion, she raises an eyebrow at him, "Dance?" A wider smile spreads across her lips. "I'd love to… and then I can indulge in another drink while you get one, too." There's a soft giggle from her as she finds a place to put her empty glass before she takes Rayathess's hand and leads him out to the dance floor. "Can't back out now." she says, grinning up at him.

Laurali flinches a bit at the angry expression from Ezra and she nods her head. "I was there. Of course they questioned me." As for awful? She begs to differ and the look she gives Ravyal says it all, though she says nothing. After a moment though, she nods and smiles faintly. "Do they even have… any leads?" she wonders out loud in her quiet way and promptly spooks when there is some overly loud laughter close by behind them. Laurali chews at her lip and gives Ezra's arm a little tug. "Can we go sit somewhere?" Is she doing enough of an act of 'not feeling well' to be plausible?

Ezra frowns a bit at what Ravyal says. "They suspected you? After you helped set up?" He looks around, finding a passing guard to /eye/. Huh. "What was stolen?" Then he looks down at Laurali again, and then around. "Of course," he says quietly. "Then I need to go have a word with the Weyrleader…" That's…encouraging?

Inri actually flushes a little bit — not that anyone can tell, thank you mask — and lowers her head for a moment. "You're too sweet for words," she tells D'ani earnestly; she has often thought so. But it's a great dance. Thumbs up, D'ani's dad.

Hazelon isn't one for parties for… rather obvious reasons. This one even more so, when you cannot see the faces of those around you. But he's been given a message to deliver, and he cannot really say no or he'd be asked WHY. so, well, he's here. With a folded paper in his hands. Though the crowds he'll drift looking for the person who he is suppose to deliver the message to. Where is that crazy goldrider….

"I'm fairly sure the guards questioned everyone they could get their hands on," Zhirayr says sourly, and then makes a brief cutting gesture to go along with an apologetic look to Amethyst. "— Not that I don't want your work found, mind you! I just think that this isn't, really, the single most effective way they could have conducted their search. By any stretch of the imagination."

A'lin chuckles. "You're just a little quiet. There's nothing wrong with that! Anyways, how about a break? I could go for some refreshment, myself. All this dancing has got me sweating a bit. It's a pretty good turn out for the opening. Hopefully the games are this well attended." The brownrider leads the weyrwoman off the dance floor. From there she's welcome to head with him to the serving tables, or mingle!

Nyalle blushes a bit at A'lin's words, but she has to agree with him. Yes, she's a little quiet. "Thank you," she murmurs softly, curtseying, "for the dances. Enjoy your evening." She'll part ways from him then, pausing on the outskirts to look around for someone she recognizes.

"Apologies again." Amethyst blushes at how upset the whole matter seems to have made the Assistant Steward, her teeth sunk gently into her bottom lip as she looks from him to Mirinda - someone she knows at least by sight, if they haven't actually been introduced as of yet. "Yes, ma'am, my work. Smith Senior Apprentice Amethyst." She offers the woman her work-scarred hand. "I believe you're the Weyrhealer? The piece that was stolen belongs to the sister of Lord Ruatha. Master Tashryn's had to go smooth things over with her, given that the piece was on loan for the evening." She smiles apologetically again at Zhirayr, dipping her head with a soft sigh. "I'm afraid I'm unfamiliar with guard techniques for finding things. Last night was my first experience with them. How would you suggest they go about it, sir?"

Ravyal tilts his head just a little bit at Ezra, looking both concerned and a little guilty. "I can't..really blame them, I mean..anyone could have and I can't afford something so nice.." What's not to suspect? Aside from the fact that the easily flustered teenager would probably have a nervous breakdown if he tried to do something /sneaky/. That takes a level of nerve that he just doesn't seem to have. He shakes his head a little bit though, shoulders lifting. "I'm not sure what it was, exactly." But with Laurali needing to sit, the weaver looks just a bit concerned, nodding and edging his way off again. " should rest and not worry about it.."

Rayathess chuckles, "They can if your rank usually forbids you from drinking… At least in excess?" he points out. He'll have some ale later, as Laenia accepts his offer to dance and grinning, will take her hand. "Sounds like a good plan. May as well enjoy some dancing and not have to play the music for it for once, hmm?" At her last comment, he'll laugh softly. "What kind of man do you take me for?" he drawls and taking the lead, he will find the correct step and rhythm in which to twirl and guide Laenia across the dance floor.

It takes a bit for Hazelon to wind his way through the crowds, folded paper in hand. All the MASKS darn it, make this rather difficult. Maybe he can find someone else to ask? His eyes scan around the group with his spirits falling slightly. He's going to have to ask. There aren't many people he knows… So he'll just have to pick at random. That one over there looks kinda totally like Zhirayr, so he drifts that way. "Ma'am… sir," not totally sure if has him pegged, "I'm lookin' for the weyrwoman. Do… you know where I might be findin' her?" Quiet, eyes downcast.
"Ah… there is that… but yes, as long as it's not in excess." Laenia agrees. She chuckles softly at the comment about them not playing the music for once. "This is definitely a nice change, to be sure." she says, letting him take the lead as he seems to be quite capable. There's a lot of smiles and giggles as she's twirled and guided about. "You are quite the dancer!" she exclaims after one particular twirl that leaves her nearly breathless.

Shaking Amethyst's hand, Mirinda says first, "There's no need," as far as apologies — even though she wasn't actually talking to her, it's obvious this wasn't the smith's fault at all. "I am, yes," she confirms, though she herself is as of yet unused to the title of Weyrhealer. "That sounds quite terrible, I'm sorry you had to go through that —" And then there is Hazelon, who gets a smile from the masked healer. She has no idea who he is or any of the backstory on that, either. "I believe she's over — I just saw —" She's craning her neck to try to spot Nyalle. The veteran people-watcher has misplaced a person.

Laurali can only shake her head helplessly, "Not sure what was stolen either," she murmurs after Ravyal admits something similar. "There was a lot of nice pieces. Lots of people too. I'm surprised anyone could get away with it…" The Weyrleader? She starts a bit, peering up at the young holder. "… why?" she asks bluntly. Why drag Th'ero into this? As for not worrying? Ha! Laurali just smiles, though it's a touch sad. "Thanks… and I'll try." Which means she'll worry A LOT about it. Given her past, being dragged under suspicion, even if it's obvious she's an unlikely suspect, has unsettled her. Another tug to Ezra's arm. "Maybe a dance after I sit?"

Nyalle shakes his head a bit at Ravyal, "Yes, true, but there are things that need to be done first," he murmurs. "Excuse us? Or you're welcome to join us if you'd like. I see some benches over there." Just on the outskirts of the main party. It's there that he'll lead Laurali.

"Dancing," the tall masked man says succinctly, eyebrow wrinkling a little over the edge of his black-and-black-studded mask. Dressed all in black. Yep. That's Zhirayr all right. "Whether you mean Nyalle or Inri — they're both dancing, I believe." This is totally a description of what they're wearing, to make it easier for Hazelon to actually find either of them. "— Oh, and a completely ridiculous hat is involved, somehow. Good luck with figuring out how." A pause. "Hazelon?" (Which is not to say he's ignoring Amethyst's question, exactly, so much as … still trying to figure out his answer.)

Ezra shakes his head a bit at Ravyal, "Yes, true, but there are things that need to be done first," he murmurs. "Excuse us? Or you're welcome to join us if you'd like. I see some benches over there." Just on the outskirts of the main party. It's there that he'll lead Laurali.

Nyalle is standing on the edge of the dance floor, getting a glass of wine from a passing tray. With a soft exhale of breath, she pushes her mask up onto her head and fans her face a bit.

A misplaced Weyrwoman. How tragic. That could be the end of a really sappy rom-com. Hazelon shifts a bit in place, eyes glued to the ground. Really, he should be looking around. "Sir. Just… got a message to be deliverin'." And then he'll ESCAPE.

Ravyal offers a faint upward tilt of his mouth, but waves Ezra and Laurali on. ", no. should see to her. I'm just going to go this way." A way that leads him in a completely different direction! One that thankfully brings him by the refreshments. Once he has one in hand the weaver shuffles on, moving around to lurk at the end of the table and sip.

Rayathess is a capable dancer! Not the best, but he won't be stepping on Laenia's toes or sending both of them stumbling or falling to the dance floor. And if he happens to fumble, he'll improvise, which may explain the twirls and one with a bit of extra flourish. Ahem. "Thank you! And here I thought I was a bit rusty." he muses and leads them both through the last of the dance until the music drifts to an end. Grinning, Rayathess will step back and half bow to Laenia and then offer her his arm as he gestures with the other one back to the sidelines. "Thank you for that," he murmurs.

If her partner so happens to fumble, Laenia does not notice, especially not with all the twirling that leaves her only slightly dizzy and out-of-breath by the end of the dance. But she's not complaining. "Not so. I'm just glad /I/ didn't step on your toes. You're very adept at leading." she tells him curtsying when he bows and then taking his offered arm. "No, thank /you/." she replies, still grinning with flushed cheeks. "I can't remember the last time I enjoyed myself so much at a gathering like this."

Laurali tries not to look too awkward when Ravyal declines Ezra's invitation, her eyes lingering on the Weaver even as the young holder begins to lead her away. "Enjoy your night, Ravyal," she says hastily as way of farewell, offering a quick flashed smile before turning away. She'll allow Ezra to lead her to those benches and sits down on one closest to a small fire pit. Ahh, warmth! "Sorry… I can't mingle in crowds that large for too long. I'll be fine." No more mention of Guards and stolen things? "… are you alright?" Is he still angry?

"I'm just hoping," Amethyst says quietly, blinking at the new entry to their trio - that being Hazelon, "that whatever methods are used, my work is returned. It's strange that they would choose that piece over the others; it's not one of the more expensive sets." The Smith shrugs her shoulders gently, then combs her fingers through her short, dark hair. "Anyway. Nothing to do about it in the meantime but wait, I suppose. And, ah, if you'll excuse me?" There's a young guard over the way trying to catch her attention, and Amethyst smiles and waves at him, before looking from Mirinda to Zhirayr, then to Hazelon, then back to the guard. "I believe I'm being asked to dance. Have a good evening… I do enjoy dancing," she adds to Zhirayr, with a wide grin, "if anyone should care to ask." Then, with a dip of her head and a gentle curtsey-bob as a farewell, the Smith meanders her way towards her soon-to-be dance partner.

Ezra sees her settled and shakes his head. "It's fine, you don't need to apologize. I'm fine." Right. "I'll be right back." And he is /quick/ to vanish, before she can stop him. Going to find Th'ero and have WORDS. Because that'll end well.

Hopefully, the guard asking Amethyst to dance is one of the competent ones! The Weyrhealer nods again, letting her go, and then her attention is back on Hazelon, curious. Or on the interplay between Hazelon and Zhirayr. And then — aha, victory, Mirinda has spotted the Weyrwoman. "There you are, she's just that way," gesture, point. "Haven't lost my touch yet."

Cyrus had heard the sound of what appeared to be some sort of gathering going on and that drew his attention. He is not wearing anything particularly festive given the occasion, his suit is still being made, but being here has to count for something. He makes his way slowly to the edge of the party to get a better look at just what is happening. So many people.

Nyalle is over there, yes, drinking wine and looking around. Staying in one spot, for the moment.

Rayathess walks sedately back to the sidelines and then waves over the nearest serving table laden with drinks. "You danced just fine. Pick your poison, Harper?" Maybe he shouldn't quite joke like that, but he's in a rare good mood. Now his grin is a bit sheepish. "You're welcome! And… really?" Though he seems surprised by that admission, he isn't either. "Such is the downfall of us Harpers, eh? Always part of the entertainment, rarely can we just enjoy it."

"So deliver it," Zhirayr tells Hazelon, a little puzzled — after he's said his goodbye-and-good-luck to Amethyst, anyway, as she heads off to dance with one of the guards who, at least, hadn't been part of his particular three-hour interrogation. (Three. Hours. No he isn't getting over that any time soon.) "She's just over there, holding still — just don't take her a drink. Trust me on that one." No explanations provided. Sorry, Hazelon.

There's a soft chuckle at Rayathess's joke before Laenia is looking at the serving table and deciding to go with the white this time, having enjoyed a glass of red before. She picks up the glass and nods, "Indeed, that does seem to be our fate. But, it is a part of what we do." She's smiling and it's quite obvious that she doesn't mind such a fate in the least. "It sure is nice to be able to dance though, and I had such a great partner to boot!" there's teasing grin as she nudges him slightly.

Laurali frowns, about to protest but Ezra is fast and she's not one to cause a scene by yelling after him. So when her hissed warning of: "…Ezra, what're you doing?" fails to stop him, she just plunks herself back down on the bench and tries not to worry her lower lip or fidget… or slink away and find somewhere to hide. As for the Weyrleader, he can be easily spotted as he's just leading Kimmila out to the dance floor again and with the next dance not quite started, their isn't os much of a crowd to blend in.

Hazelon pushes himself onto tiptoes as the woman points out where the weyrwoman is. "I didn't see her, appologizes for disturbin' you. Ma'am, sir." With a bob of his head the teenager is just going to slip through the crowd like a little ghost. Man, he really can most fast when he wants to. A hesitation off to one side, then "Ma'am?" To Nyalle, "I got a message what I was told to be deliverin' to you." And he'll offer it up.

Ezra approaches Th'ero, barely glancing at Kimmila (who frowns) before he looks up at the Weyrleader. "Sir. I need a word with you." Oh-ho, look who grew up. Sort of.

Nyalle looks a bit surprised when Hazelon approaches her, reaching out to take the note and opening it. "Thank you, Hazelon," she murmurs. She quickly scans the note, blinks, blushes, and coughs. "Ah. Hazelon." If he hasn't tried to escape yet. "This…uh. This is from Mr'az. He…uh." Cough. "Well. He can't make it tonight and says you're to be my date. So. Thanks for volunteering?" Because he volunteered…right?

Hazelon was totally about to disappear. But… no. Wait. WHAT?! Hazelon panics JUST A BIT looking down at himself. He's totally still in the clothes which he does laundry in. And he might smell like teeenage boy just a bit. More than a bit. A lot a bit. "Ma'am, I, ain't, just to be sayin', it… just… I," he stumbles around trying to speak… and fails.

Cyrus takes a seat on one of the nearby benches to do a bit of people watching. He scans the crowd looking from left to right. There is Th'ero and Kimmila, and there are a couple of other faces that he recognizes. He wears an impassive look on his face as he sits there. There seems to be dancing going on as well as multiple side conversations. In short, at typical party. Time for people watching.

Nyalle blushes a bit, tucking the note into her dress pocket. "What is it? I'm sure Mr'az has cleared you for your other duties…"
"Is there a reason," Mirinda really can't help but ask, "why the Weyrwoman shouldn't be brought drinks?"

"It.. just…" And his eyes flicker around till they land on Th'ero. Yep. "I ain't sure if that… proper ma'am." In other words, please no one kill Hazelon.

Zhirayr laughs quietly, now that Hazelon is in a different world of trouble that Zhirayr knows nothing about anyway. "It's just — earlier, she ended up with almost three drinks simultaneously. I suspect she'd rather not have to deal with yet more of them. Would you?" He half-signals waitstaff, not noticing that that one Really Bad Waiter from last night is trying to hide from him.

Nyalle follows his gaze to Th'ero, and she frowns. "Why would he care?" she asks. "He's busy with his bluerider." Is there a hint of…/something/ in her voice? Why yes, yes there is. "Mr'az sent you to me to stand in for him. So. Stand up straight and let's get you a drink." that's an order.

Laurali stays glued to her bench, any hopes of slinking off to hide before Ezra confronted Th'ero dashed when Cyrus sits down on a bench nearby to hers. The young Healer stays put, hands clasped in her lap and though she tries to stare at the ground, she can't help but watch as Ezra tempts fate.

Th'ero has his one arm around Kimmila and is about to say something when… suddenly Stonehaven's holder is there? "Evening, Holder Ezra…" Wait, what? The Weyrleader frowns heavily. Not now, kid? "Can it wait a moment?" Do you mind! Clearly, he doesn't seem too impressed by Ezra's behaviour and his smirk says as much. "Or is this… an urgent matter?" Better be good.

Ezra doesn't lose his nerve, glancing at Kimmila again and back to Th'ero. "It's urgent. Sir. Please, just a moment of your time."

"I." Wordless is Hazelon. Utterly wordless. He doesn't know WHAT that something in Nyalle's voice is. All he knows is that right now he's caught between important!people! and not at all in a position to say no. He straightens up, grasping for straws. "No thank you ma'am." On the drink. "I, uh. I an't sure what to be doin'."

Cyrus can sense that there is a bit of tension in the energy of this gather. And much like a moth to a flame it garners his attention. He gives Laurali a little wave and then fixes his attention on Th'ero and the person unknown who appears to be set to cause a bit of trouble. A small smile crosses his face, and the young firelizard in the sling he is wearing around his neck picks that moment to poke his head around and survey the scene. Aegnor raises his head and looks about before looking up to Cyrus and giving a little trill. Cyrus lowers his head and whispers, "This is a party. Don't worry we won't be attending many." he says with a gentle pat to Aegnor's head.

Nyalle deflates a bit when he turns down the drink. She can't very well /force/ him, but…okay, what's next on the 'things to do with a date' checklist? "Do you dance?" She's not sure if she hopes the answer is yes or no.

"Would I — oh." Mirinda actually has to stop and consider this; nothing disastrous has happened yet, so it's probably okay if she has one, right? Taimri's with the nannies for the next long while, and she is technically not on duty. "I — suppose, yes, if you like." Because it is all about what he wants, apparently.

Rayathess goes with the white wine as well, taking a small sip and making a low appreciative sound when the vintage turns out to be a rather pleasant one. "Good point. But we Harpers deserve some fun too, don't we?" he muses and then lifts his glass in a toast. "To an enjoyable night, even if for a small part! And good dancing partners." At the nudge, he just grins back and likely tries to return it.

"I… ain't ever got a a chance to be learnin." Hazelon shifts on his feet a bit. That rider deserves a knife in his chest.
Or maybe an arrow. You know. Because.

Zhirayr is eager to build up enough of an alcoholic buffer between Now and his memories of the Morning, apparently! And look, here comes a tray with delicious alcohol on it — not so much carried by That One Dude, either. (He's still hiding behind a big rock … thing, off behind Zhirayr.) One sparkly, effervescent drink is held out to Mirinda; the other kept back. "To intelligent guards."

"And so we do." Laenia replies after another sip of the wine before raising it in toast as well. "To enjoyable nights and good dancing partners!" She giggles at his nudging and throws him a wink while she's at it. The wine is slowly sipped as they converse about various things. Eventually, another Harper comes to search for her as she's been gone for /too/ long, apparently. The younger of the pair lets out an exaggerated sigh before finishing off her glass of wine and returns to her gitar playing for the evening. "Don't drink too much, Rayathess. I'll see you back on stage later!" She waves as she's dragged away, laughing at the frustrated expression of the errand boy, throwing one last wink at Rayathess.
Well, Nyalle will just have to FIX that. "Let's go learn." Grabbing his hand, she'll drag him off to some quiet(er) corner and /teach/ him a few things about dancing. Because he must never have a normal interaction with her ever.

Laurali blinks when Cyrus waves at her and sheepishly returns it, but beyond that the young Healer is quiet and focused more on her own thoughts. She's back to worrying her lower lip and trying (and failing) not to watch as Ezra stands his ground.

Th'ero's eyes narrow as Ezra persists and he gestures with a jerk of his head towards the benches. "Then I will speak with you over there. In a moment, if you please?" Shoo! The Weyrleader isn't about to go through with the dance now, but he will at least have a private word or two with Kimmila before seeking audience with Ezra and seeing what is just so important that it couldn't wait.

Cyrus keeps his gaze fixed on Th'ero and the other fellow. This apparently is the most interesting thing going on at the party at the present moment. He can't really make out what they are saying, but keeping a close eye a person can pick up the body language fairly well.

Mirinda is trying not to laugh at this toast, and she succeeds; she does raise her drink in concurrence, though. "Yes," she says, "and a successful Weyr Games with no more thefts, I suppose. And not too many terrible accidents, though I do need to have something to do."

Ezra will have to take that and move off towards the benches to wait. When Th'ero approaches, Ezra straightens up again, chest out, puffed up…and begins to mutter heatedly to him. "… to… the… even… that… was… on? I'm appalled that… even… for… moment… with… though… inform… her interrogation so… have… there… it and speak on her…"

"To no permanent injuries," Zhirayr suggests as an amendment to the toast. "And to the idle dream that someone will actually decide that the likeliest thief was someone who wanted to upset Ruatha, as opposed to the poor apprentice." And he drinks.

Meanwhile, Kimmila stays a short distance away, arms crossed and watching with a smirk. Go get 'em, Th'ero. Woo woo woo.

Th'ero takes a moment to mutter a few words to Kimmila before striding away and to where Ezra has taken a seat. Only… the young holder is then standing, all puffed up and posturing and the Weyrleader's steps slow, brow quirking up. It takes considerable effort for him not to just burst out in a fit of chuckling and just grin at Ezra. Really? Really. "So what is this matter of urgency?" he asks again, tilting his head a bit to hear that heated muttering. Cue a brief look of surprise that is promptly replaced by a cool and reserved expression. His jaw sets, brows knit and anyone who knows Th'ero well enough know this is not a good thing. Neither is the way the Weyrleader draws his shoulders back and stand to full height. Not yet looming over Ezra, he does attempt to intimidate all the same. Yet when he speaks, his voice is calm and collected and low. Almost too much. Might've been better if he was yelling… "So this is your urgent matter? I see why you have issue with what occurred, but now is not the time, Holder Ezra. We're in the middle of a festive night. We will discuss this later." Will. No questions asked.

"And maybe it was," Mirinda agrees, and if that's all she has left to say on the issue of thefts — can you blame her? She's the sort of person who likes things quiet. She does let Zhirayr keep talking to her about other things for a little while, though, before she eventually retreats back to her work. Surely someone's gotten a minor injury by now.

Meanwhile, Laurali just shrinks lower on that bench, being close enough to overhear now. Commence slinking away! Or she'll attempt to. The young Healer will have to bypass Cyrus first and no doubt wind up drifting towards Mirinda and Zhirayr too. First though, she has to even get to her feet. Which… she hasn't managed at all. All she's done is slide to the farther side of the bench.

Ezra remains puffed up, holding his ground against Th'ero and nodding as the Weyrleader speaks. And…he seems satisfied? "Excellent, thank you," he murmurs, dipping his head a bit. "Enjoy the rest of your evening," he adds, before he's waiting to see if Th'ero has more to say. And if not, Ezra will return to try and find the incredible slinking Laurali.

Cyrus gives a little bit of a yawn, stands up and looks around one last time. Wow. He partied super hard this evening. Shame that he won't be around to see what happens with the disruption. Oh well. He wanders back off toward the main weyr. He gives a little wave to Laurali as she passes. He knows a good slink when he sees one.

Th'ero has learned to rein in his temper over the Turns. Had Ezra confronted him like that when he was younger as both a rider and a Weyrleader, things would have gone south very quickly. As it is, he is annoyed at the Stonehaven Holder and when they speak later, in private, there MAY be a bit of an explosion. Just contained and not where hundreds of eyes can see… many of which aren't Fortian. Not good press! "Good. My office then, mid-morning. Tomorrow." Th'ero informs Ezra cooly, levelling him with a look. Good? "And you as well, Holder." With that, he turns and briskly stalks off to find Kimmila and resume where they'd left off, with the dance they had hoped to join only freshly begun!

Ezra will catch Laurali before she's pulled a vanishing trick, though she seems torn between being mortified by the whole thing or annoyed at him for trying to make a scene.

All around the lake shore, the night's festivities continue and likely will until the small hours of the morning or when the wine and lack of sleep finally gets to the Harpers and most of the guests and party goers also have to retire for what remains of the night. The Guards will remain on patrol, but the thief remains undiscovered. At least with so many Guards, the peace is guaranteed to be held? Even with many well into their cups. And despite precautions, the Infirmaries will see a fair number of minor ailments. Hangovers, overindulgence, small cuts and scrapes and in one case… burns. Someone learned the hard way that those lanterns, while pretty, ARE flammable — and so are they.