Not What It Seems!

Fort Weyr - Weyrleaders' Offices
Aged by time, this office has lived through the ages of Fort just as its counterparts have. But unlike the Weyrsecond and Junior Weyrwomen offices, this cavern is spacious and formed in a rough semicircle of three conjoined caves that were carved and modified Turns ago. The middle portion acts as a waiting room of sorts, holding only a few modest chairs and a simple tapestry to otherwise brighten up the plain stone walls. There are no windows here and the only light comes from well placed glow baskets.
To the right, the smaller of the two adjoining caverns has been set aside for the Weyrwoman, a large desk situated in the middle and a bookshelf pressed against the wall. A small hearth allows for some warmth in the colder months and another cabinet rests across the room to hold various supplies, as well as several books, reports and records. More tapestries have been hung there, lending some color to room.
On the left, the larger cavern belongs to the Weyrleader's office and the walls here are littered with a vast array of maps, as well as a tapestry hung behind where he would sit. The desk is large and the wood aged, looking old and a bit worn, but well tended too. Shelves and a bookshelf line one wall, crammed with rolled hides, other maps, books, reports and records and all arranged in an organized chaos. A small hearth has been built in here as well and various well placed glow baskets are hung to offer just the right amount of light in this windowless office.
Both offices have stout wooden doors that have been carefully worked into the stone. They can be closed and locked if privacy is needed but are often left open.


NOTE: There are two versions of this log. The first is one created through mutters, but the full log is below it! Happy reading. ;)

Crouching outside the Weyrleader's office, ear pressed to the door or lingering close enough to the door, this is what you'd hear.

Nyalle is angry, her voice rising in an uncharacteristic tone, "No… Weyrleader… stand. So what… I… out… the… trip and… with them injured… almost died… yourself,…"

Th'ero's voice is low and cool, "… Candidates… there… of the Candidates was restless… to… and… others… riders… such… for… Ustrr? Unfortunate…"

Nyalle begins to shout, "… the… are… of this… everyone… can… to… don't… the breakdown… was never a… attack… Reaches…."

Th'ero replies heatedly, "… do not need to… reminded… rank… my… everyone… We've… so… and… places… once!… Do… and… to the… that… been doing… would… corrupt and… walls. Surely you… where… attentions were?"

There is a moment of stunned silence, then Nyalle's angry retort, "… if… less time with… you'd… bad… have let…"

Th'ero's reply is equally heated. "I've hardly… of… my… should stop distracting Mr'az… much? It's… bring… on… had…"

Another moment of stunned silence. Then another heated, angry reply, "I've… no such… clearly… enough,… what… if… Candidates… have died… know… would… Dragons… died on… sands…."

Th'ero's reply was rising in volume, "… and… You're… irrational!"

Then there is a muffled crash, the sound of something breaking.

Then gasping sobs and the thud of a body crumpling to the ground.

After that, the voices are too low to be heard.


Dawn has come and the Weyr slowly wakes from its slumber. Slower than usual thanks to the previous nights events. Already the skies are being closed in by clouds and the air hangs humid and oppressive. How fitting? Th'ero has been awake since pre-dawn. Old habit, but his shoulder is bothering him too. He refuses to take fellis however and a brief trip to the Infirmary has the bandaged changed and fresh numbweed applied. The Weyrleader then quietly slips into his office and waits. He knows what — or whom, rather, will be arriving shortly. At least he had a drudge bring some tea? Peace tea, maybe?

Peace tea might be a moot point, because when Nyalle sweeps into the Weyrleader's office she already has a cup in hand. "Weyrleader," she says stiffly, turning to close the door. It shuts with a firm *click* She turns back to look at him. She, of course, is immaculate. Hair braided and up in a bun, brown dress with black trim, nothing out of place. "How is your shoulder?" It's blandly asked. A formality, nothing more.

Th'ero had good intentions at least? That wins him some points, right? He's just settled himself into his chair when Nyalle comes sweeping into his office and his dark eyes watch her warily. "Weyrwoman," he says in a lowered voice. He's dressed in clean clothes, but his hair is a mess and he looks rough. No time to shave and he's exhausted. "I'll live." It's the answer he'll give to anyone. "Have a seat?" he offers.
Nyalle shakes her head. "No thank you, Weyrleader, I'll stand." She frowns at him. "So what happened? I give you approval to take my Candidates out of the weyr for a trip and you come home with them injured, they almost died, riders hurt, renegades in the brig… Explain yourself, Weyrleader." Angry Nyalle is…angry, eyes narrowed, posture stiff, and pacing.

Th'ero frowns a little when she refuses to sit and feels odd to be sitting. He fidgets a bit but settles soon enough as he levels her with a look. Straight out with it, isn't she? "Our Candidates," he corrects her with a smirk. "And what is there to explain? One of the Candidates was restless and went to wander off and some of the others followed. I've already reprimanded the riders responsible for such lax watch. As for how they came upon Ustrr? Unfortunate luck." A lot of it. His features tense and darken, his own temper piqued now. "So am I to blame, then?"

Nyalle turns to stare at him, eyes narrow, frowning. "You are the Weyrleader. You are tasked with the safety of this weyr and everyone in it." So…yeah? He's to blame. "I can not comprehend how this sort of thing continues to happen at Fort. I don't know where the breakdown is. There was /never/ a renegade attack at High Reaches. Never!" Oh, snap. She pulled the High Reaches card.

"I do not need to me reminded of my rank, Weyrwoman." Th'ero's control on his temper is already waning. His shoulder is aching despite the numbweed and he's running on so little sleep. Add Nyalle's needling into the guilt already plaguing him and it's only a matter of time before he snaps. "And I do my best to keep everyone safe! We've only so many riders and I cannot be in more places than once! What? Do you think we could've foreseen Ustrr and his men being so close to the Weyr? You know as well as I do that Thunderbird has been doing regular sweeps!" They can only do so much! Th'ero has gone through such lengths to be certain they were doing all they could to keep the surrounding areas safe. For a moment, Th'ero can only blink when Nyalle pulls that card before his expression darkens further and he scowls, eyes narrowing. "That would be because High Reaches Leadership is corrupt and do not look often beyond the Weyr walls. Surely you remember where R'lor's attentions were?" Ouch.

Nyalle flinches when he throws /that/ back at her. "Perhaps if you spent less time with that bluerider of yours then you'd have a better handle on things," she snaps, lashing back at him. Good thing the door is closed, right? "I knew the camping trip was a bad idea. I shouldn't have let you take them." Her candidates!

They've degraded to hurling insults, have they? Th'ero can play this game! "I've hardly had time of late with my weyrmate, if you must bring that subject up! But if you wish, perhaps you should stop distracting Mr'az so much?" he snaps back, pushing his hands against his desk as he abruptly stands. A movement he regrets as midway through his left shoulder seizes with just enough of a lance of pain to discomfort him and make him grimace. When it passes, he glares at Nyalle. "It's tradition to bring them on those excursions. We had every precaution in place, Nyalle!"

Nyalle rocks back onto her heels a bit. "I've done no such thing!" she snaps. "And clearly it wasn't enough, /Weyrleader/. Tell me what would have happened if those Candidates would have /died/ out there. You know what would have happened. /Dragons/ would have died on those sands. Kayeth's dragons, and I will not have that!" And…she throws her tea cup. Not at him, but at the floor. Or maybe it just slips from her hand when she gestures.

Th'ero snorts, disbelieving that the bronzerider hasn't been by to be in Nyalle's company! Not that he honestly cares who she takes into her weyr. His eyes narrow further and flicker. Is that shame? Guilt? Fear? Hard to say and his voice is too flat and cold to discern one from the other. "They didn't die and wouldn't have! You're being irrational—-" And then she's throwing tea cups! Or dropping them. Swearing under his breath, he steps back from his desk though he's never been in any danger of the cup reaching him. It does snap him out o this temper though. "…Nyalle." Yes, he is holding his hands up in a warding gesture.

Nyalle stares at the cup, shattered at her feet, at the tea soaking into the rug…and she sinks to her knees beside it and starts to sob.

Th'ero sighs when she sinks down to her knees and begins to sob. He's not a heartless man, despite coming off as such. Stepping quietly to her side, he will crouch down and gently rest a hand against her arm. "Nyalle," he says again and this time his voice remains lowered but it's gentled. It's just tea? "It's alright. I'm… sorry for losing my temper with you. That was unfair of me. After all you've been through last night." She had to be stuck in the Weyr, after all!

Nyalle shakes her head, sniffling and sobbing. "It was terrifying," she whispers thickly. "I could have lost you, and D'ani, and Kimmila, and Abigail, and the Candidates…" If they'd all died? "I would have been alone. I can't handle this, Th'ero. I can't! This is too much! Everyone needs to be SAFE."

Th'ero feels like quite lowly now when Nyalle actually opens up to him. If he hadn't been such a jerk and actually listened and tried to pinpoint the true source of her anger… Well. Too late now? She's already sobbing. "You didn't lose any of us. Not us or the Candidates. They're a tough, hardy bunch, you know? You should have seen them…" He sounds almost proud? Maybe he is. "They handled their own, as terrible as the situation was. I do wish to speak to them later, when I am a little more rested." He's rambling and he silences himself for a moment to listen. Then, in a moment of true rarity, Th'ero attempts to slip his arm around her shoulders. Loosely, so she can evade him if she choses too, but the gesture is the same: comfort. "They ARE safe! They will be safe. Fort has weathered this before and we will survive and come out stronger than before because of it!"

Nyalle shakes her head, sniffling and sobbing. "It was terrifying," she whispers thickly. "I could have lost you, and D'ani, and Kimmila, and Abigail, and the Candidates…" If they'd all died? "I would have been alone. I can't handle this, Th'ero. I can't! This is too much! Everyone needs to be SAFE."

Th'ero feels like quite lowly now when Nyalle actually opens up to him. If he hadn't been such a jerk and actually listened and tried to pinpoint the true source of her anger… Well. Too late now? She's already sobbing. "You didn't lose any of us. Not us or the Candidates. They're a tough, hardy bunch, you know? You should have seen them…" He sounds almost proud? Maybe he is. "They handled their own, as terrible as the situation was. I do wish to speak to them later, when I am a little more rested." He's rambling and he silences himself for a moment to listen. Then, in a moment of true rarity, Th'ero attempts to slip his arm around her shoulders. Loosely, so she can evade him if she choses too, but the gesture is the same: comfort. "They ARE safe! They will be safe. Fort has weathered this before and we will survive and come out stronger than before because of it!"

Nyalle sniffles and she doesn't pull away from his touch, but she doesn't lean into it either. "I'm glad I didn't see them. See any of it," she whispers with a shudder running through her petite frame. "I don't /want/ Fort to weather this again! Why does this keep happening?"

Th'ero doesn't expect her to lean into it but he will keep his arm looped around her all the same. "There wasn't anything to see, Nyalle. It's alright." he murmurs quietly. Her next question brings only silence from the Weyrleader for a long time before he shakes his head. "I wish I knew and had answers for you. I try to do all I can in my power to keep this Weyr safe but it is still not enough." Can she feel the guilt and shame in him yet? The blow he's taken to his pride and confidence, knowing he's allowed yet another renegade leader to fool them all?

Nyalle exhales shakily. "I'm afraid, Th'ero," she whispers, sniffling as she stares at the broken cup and the tea stain on his rug. "I can not lead this weyr on my own."

Th'ero sighs softly and lets his arm slip away from her shoulders, only so he can gently take one of her hands within his. If she allows it, he will just gently hold her hand, not squeeze or grip it. She can evade him, he always makes sure that his gestures or touch are gentled around her. He's not aiming to scare her anymore than she already is. "And there is no shame in that, Nyalle. I am too," he admits, which is a great deal of trust shown for him to do so. Th'ero so rarely admits to any emotion, let alone that he is afraid. "You won't have to lead alone. I am your Weylreader and I intend to remain as such until Kayeth and the Weyr say otherwise," he murmurs quietly. In an attempt at some grim humour, he adds dryly. "…besides. I am Irondell born. We're too stubborn to die." He snorts and then softens again. "I wouldn't want to lead the Weyr on my own either. I had a taste, when Dtirae left so suddenly and that was only for half a day. I'd rather not experience it again."

Nyalle lets him take her hand, giving his a very gentle, trembling squeeze. She turns to finally look at him, startled, at that admission. "You are too?" Silent for a moment, the young Senior breathes in and out slowly. "I am grateful you are my Weyrleader," she whispers. "Kayeth and the weyr know it too." She smiles faintly at his attempt at humor, shaking her head slowly.

Th'ero squeezes her hand back in the same gentle manner. "Of course I am frightened. Any leader worth his salt is afraid, Nyalle." he murmurs with a faint smile. "Some may say it's a weakness and there was once I believe it but I've found that it can be a strength… if you do not let it control you." At her admission, he looks surprised as well. "You are?" he asks, before he can bite back the words. And here he thought that Nyalle couldn't stand him most days! At least he seems pleased that he managed to get her to smile a bit.

The two are not exclusive to each other. He confuses her. She still recognizes his skills as a leader. Nyalle exhales softly and uses his hand to get back onto her feet, looking at him without looking away. "I am," she says quietly. "Even when things like this happen."

Th'ero is equally as confused by Nyalle but he too recognizes her skills as a leader. Offering her his hand, he will slowly stand from his crouch, grimacing as he places his right hand to his left shoulder. It's bothering him something awful now. Maybe the numbweed didn't go as deep this time? "You are a good Weyrwoman for Fort." he tells her, before looking down at the shattered remains of her tea cup. "I'm sorry about your tea. I had some brought in here… if you would like me to pour you a fresh cup? I'll have a drudge… come by later." A drudge that won't ask questions or go muttering about it later.

Nyalle brushes off her skirts with a small frown. "Do you truly believe that?" she asks softly, her tone suggesting she thinks he's just being polite. Looking at him, her brows furrow more deeply. "Your shoulder is bothering you? Shall I call for the Healers?" She looks down again, and then to his desk. With a nod, she moves forward to make herself a cup with slightly trembling hands.

Th'ero wasn't just being polite and for once isn't being cryptic (or as Velokraeth would put it: stretching the truth). "I do believe it," he tells her and he's being honest too this time. She'll be able to tell, for what little he shows in his expression. For his shoulder, he only snorts. "No. No Healers. Numbweed can only do so much and I am not going to muddle my head with fellis. I'll be fine." He will, however, step back to his chair and sink back down into it while she helps herself to some of the tea. "What is our next step, Nyalle?" he asks, even as his eyes drift closed. He's just taking a moment to gather himself, that's all.

Nyalle smiles very slightly, her cheeks coloring faintly. With her tea made, she carefully sits in a chair on the other side of his desk. "Keeping the Candidates safe," she says softly. "No more excursions. Inside the weyr."

Th'ero nods his head, his eyes still closed. He's silent for a moment and then he sighs heavily, shifting in his seat as his eyes drift open again. He frowns, a touch distracted, still lost somewhat to the thoughts drifting through his head. "No more excursions." he agrees. "But they will be restless. I am thinking that now would be a time to have them shadow riders. All Wings, including us."

Nyalle frowns at that suggestion. "But going outside of the weyr," she protests. She sips at her tea and sighs, fighting with her instinct to keep the Candidates here, inside, safe. Maybe camping in the galleries. Not allowed to /leave/ until the dragons hatch. Alas. She sighs. "Will they be safe?"

"We can keep them occupied with activities within the Weyr here. Maybe… some light, fun activities. Nothing to festive given what they just went through but…" Th'ero is struggling to explain it. A party that isn't a party? "They'd have their chores, of course and what few lectures can be had… But something leisurely too." Seeing her sigh, he grimaces faintly. "Of course they'd be safe with the riders. Haast can take them beyond Fort for messages. No need for them to dismount for that and same goes for deliveries. No wilderness. Thunderbird they can do sweeps. Aerial only, no landing. Even if something amiss is spotted. That rider returns… And for Phoenix, well…" What COULD be done in their Wing to be "interesting"? Babysit Jajen?

Nyalle looks thoughtful. "How can it be fun but not festive?" That doesn't make sense to her. Her lips press together as she takes another sip of the tea, letting it calm and soothe her rattled nerves. "I suppose that's fine," she says quietly. "As long as they don't dismount." As for Phoenix? "Our wing is not very interesting to Candidates," she says with a tiny smile. "Perhaps they can skip us."

Th'ero can only shrug his one shoulder. He's at much of a loss as she is. "I'm not sure? We have the dance hall within the Weyr. Could let them have something there or… maybe that cavern full of pillows?" Slumber party? Nah, the Weyrleader couldn't be suggesting that. "I don't know, Nyalle. They can't be taking this well. I'd rather not send mind healers among them. I'd talk to them but…" His duties won't allow it. They both know that. He snorts, "What is there not to like about Phoenix?" he drawls with a faint smile of his own. "But I suppose you're right."

Nyalle purses her lips a bit. "Well. Someone should plan something for them." But who? Not either one of them, that's for sure. They're busy running the weyr. She sighs. "Hopefully if they need help they can ask for it..seek someone out to talk to. Be it mindhealer or a friend." She just smiles a bit. "Flying sweeps is more exciting than paperwork."

Th'ero's jaw works silently as he mulls over that detail too. "We could leave it to them to decide? Just lay out a few rules and guidelines and… let them choose. May be for the best that way, as then they can pick what will help them… forget." he murmurs but his tone sounds doubtful. The Weyrleader knows how such experiences leave a mark on a person. He is haunted by enough ghosts and darkness from his Turns with the whole Laris fiasco. Nightmares that still plague him when he is awake or asleep. "We can hope." he murmurs and then chuckles quietly and dryly. "True. If they're looking for excitement… they could meet with Jajen?"

Nyalle nods slightly. "Just let them know they can reach out…if they chose?" Then she giggles. It's soft, but it's there, her head tilting forward. "Can't we send her to Western?" she whispers.

"I will, if they haven't already been told by the Weyrlingmaster and his assistants." Th'ero murmurs and then quickly masked his surprise when she giggles. Soft or not, it's a giggle and he will take that over her sobbing any day. "Now, Nyalle…" he chides, his voice soft and clearly teasing. "We wouldn't want to insult Western by such a trade? Besides, they'd likely send us Lidora and I'd much prefer to have Jajen."

Nyalle nods slightly and then she giggles again. "What are we going to do with her? Is she ever going to improve?"

Two giggles! Th'ero is on a roll now and he continues to push his luck and tread lightly. He's making the Weyrwoman giggle and she's not proddy this time. Nor is she crying or fleeing from him. "Suffer through her? And she has improved. A little…" Not really. "… she behaves more now that you're Senior? She and Dtirae were too often butting heads but she was so young then. And there may be our problem. Did you know she Impressed at thirteen?"

Nyalle nods slightly. "Yes. I can't image…gold. At 13." Talk about ego. "I'm glad she's improving. Perhaps she's just matured since I've been Senior." She won't speak badly about Dtirae. She never really knew her. The Senior sets her tea down and gives Th'ero a small smile. "I'll leave you alone. I know you're in pain. I will find things for the Candidates to do, and maybe we can dip into the stores and bring out some treats for them.."

Log Incomplete … rest coming soon!


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