~~*~~ Fort Weyr - Living Caverns ~~*~~
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.

Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.

Breakfast time! Early morning sees the living caverns full of folks getting their feed on before tackling the day full-on. There's a rush on as empty chairs are filled in minutes, and people come and go in a constant stream. The candidates have a table to themselves, and there's plenty of spaces left as those who have to report to earlier chores are already on their way there. Sitting at one end of the table is Amethyst, picking her way through a breakfast plate that's mostly filled with fruit, while chugging down klah and flicking through the pages of a book.

Breakfast indeed. Sairon usually never misses it and today is no exception but unlike every other morning he has company. Two companions actually, one chattering noisily in each ear. On his left shoulder is a dark, stormy blue firelizard who's lengthy body and stubby legs make him look like a serpent more than anything. On the right is a rangy, angular brown the color of damp desert earth. They're quite tiny, clearly newly hatched. The candidate looks flat out exhausted. "…yes yes… I get it. Food food food. Clearly that is all I'm good for here."

Ravyal has his own companion for breakfast as he jogs his way into the living cavern. A blue that seems ever curious about what's going on, and is practically a hat with how he rides on the candidate. Standing on the back of his shoulders, and front claws pinching hair as he peers out over the boy's head. It's not a great view, given Rav's height, but he's working with it. He peeks at Sairon though as he moves toward the food, eyes a little wide. "You look like crap."

It's a gathering of firelizards! At the sound of the others, Shards pops his brown head up from Amethyst's lap, where he's tucked in quite comfortably. "You do look exhausted, Sairon," Amethyst echoes Ravyal, who she winks at by way of greeting. Then she scoops Shards out from under the table and plops him down beside her plate. "However will you cope with hatchling firelizards and a dragon?"

Sairon raises up his hands to jerk his thumbs towards the two on his shoulders as he glances at Ravyal. "Got a surprise. Two of them. Now I know why my parents never let me have one as a kid. I was lucky I could keep myself alive, let alone other creatures." The blue reaches out, clutching the thumb in his talons and sniffing at it, earning a faint snort from Sairon. "No, that is not food, Striker." He heads over to the food table, juggling to keep his plate away from the firelizards while getting a bowl of meat for them. "Eh? Well, I dunno. Least a dragon you can mostly reason wi— hey! Seriously, Sirocco," He says to the brown. "Pretty sure you are not going to like toast. Come on, I have yours." He sits himself down at the candidate table, putting the bowl of fine-diced meat down onto which the two surge with a gusto.

Ravyal giggles a little while filling up a plate. With a lot. He's not one to skimp on the bacon and other goodies. He seems happy to follow along, staying out of Sairon's way as he moves to settle himself down next to Amethyst at the table. He winces as his own firelizard shifts to crawl down his arm a ways..and then just cling there. This is where he will stay. Arm..trinket. "Hehe, what'd you do, fall into a clutch?"

Mmm,meat. Shards sees the bowl Sairon puts down and is halfway too it before Amethyst whistles sharply. The young brown stops, creels, and lies down on the spot, watching the bowl with whirling eyes. "He's already had his," she explains, as Shards makes a pitiful little whimper-creel. "Hiya, Ravy. How's your little one doing? We're all pretty well up for firelizards, aren't we?"

The breakfast of Sairon looks mostly like one a lumberjack'd eat, but then he and food have a good relationship. "Sure looks like it." He mumbles in response to Ravyal around a mouthful of tuber and herdbeast hash. "Nah, Therynn left 'em on my cot for me. Guess her green had 'em." He glances towards Amythest at the mournful sound of her firelizard and chuckles, shaking his head. "Bottomless pits, these."

"Yaro? He's fine.. he's pretty well behaved, though he likes to climb../everywhere/." Ravyal sounds just..a tiny bit exasperated. He even reaches over to peel the firelizard from his arm to set on the table. ..Only to have the blue immediately attach himself to the front of his tunic. Cling. The boy just sighs..and ignores him after that, stuffing a bit of bacon into his mouth. Still, he smiles after a moment, shrugging. "Guess she thought it'd be nice? ..Or she wanted to torture you. I guess…that could be it..um. Nevermind."

"Faranth, so there's a whole clutch of them just been hatching?" Amethyst chuckles, and rolls her eyes. "We'll be eaten out of the Weyr at this rate!" She leans across the table, slipping a hand under Shards' belly to lift him up, ending with him cradled against her chest. He calms, wings going limp as he curls his neck around the back of hers. "Torture, I think, Rav. Two little mouths just before Hatching day? I feel sorry for you, Sairon, if you Impress… you'll never sleep."

"Eh, I'll manage." Sairon says as he looks to the two, still stuffing their faces. "Either I'm not sleeping with them or not sleeping with a dragon. What's another mouth at that point? I'll be awake anyway." He says with a brief laugh before crunching on a piece of toast, washing it down with a generous swig of klah. "At least these guys grow out of that phase faster so, hopefully if I do end up a weyrling, these two wouln't need quite the attention. I'll be glad to see the eggs hatched, though. Interested to see what'll come of it."

Ravyal nods slowly. "It's..nerve-wracking at this point.." It wasn't /before/? Still, so close..and with the eggs so hard, things could happen at any moment. Tension! The former weaver makes a face though, before grabbing at a bit of toast. "I like sleep." Most days he's pretty slow to crawl himself out of bed, even! "I can't even imagine../this/..in a larger size." He waves his free hand a bit at the blue clinging to his tunic, and just shakes his head, a tiny smile quirking at his lips.

Amethyst picks up a piece of redfruit between her scarred finger and thumb, and holds it contemplatively close to her lips as the boys talk. "Actually, I was with Th'ero last night and he said it could be less than a sevenday. Kayeth looked quite agitated, so… maybe sooner than we think?" She bites into the fruit, hardly chewing before swallowing it down. "Though you know, I think you've got a point there, Rav - firelizards and dragons are the same, just different sizes, right? So they'll be able to eat the food that's already prepared for your dragon, and they'll use the same oil… it probably won't be that hard, come to think of it…"

Sairon raises up his brows at mention of the hatching. "Oh yah? Well, guess that's a relief in a lot of ways. This way we can all get back to business - old or new. Not that this candidate thing hasn't been bad but I'm kinda missing the freedom to just… go. Nevermind if I Impress that's not going to be happening again for awhile, but I consider that a fair tradeoff. On that note, uh… what was the stance on candidates and gambling for who impresses what?"

Ravyal tilts his head at Amethyst, still crunching on his food. There's..a lot of it. "Well the same stuff, sure. Just in..lots bigger amounts." Bottle of oil? Try a bucket. Or two buckets. …So much oil. The blue finally starts to move, and climb on up to the boy's shoulder once again as he glances at Sairon, brows raising. "I don't have anything to um…gamble..with. I don't know.."

"There was gambling going on in the galleries last night… Lazorus was taking bets. I've got a little something in with him." Amethyst winks at Sairon. "There's other bookies around, but I know Kimmila went and put something on with him, and I mentioned having a bet or two on things as well. The Weyrleader said nothing, so I'm guessing that means it's alright to do." To Ravyal, Amethyst frowns thoughtfully. "You know, we didn't pay you for the work you did at the exhibition night… would you like something to place a bet with? Or I can hold onto it until later, if you'd like?"

"Oh good." Sairon says, sounding relieved to do so. "Because I already did, awhile ago actually. Long, long force of habit. It's how I got most of my money to travel around Pern." He glances over towards his two new-hatched firelizards, seeing the pair having filled themselves right on and curled in a small pile of stuffed bellies. "Ah, good. This'll give me a few minutes of peace."

Ravyal turns his head a bit to peer at Amethyst again, startled. "What? Oh, no. No! I don't..well.. It just seems a better use of marks to not..possibly waste it.." The boy shrinks himself down in his seat just a little. Can't be like all those other money wasters, /betting/ and gambling! "B..besides! I was just trying to help out.." Food gets another bit of shoveling into his mouth then, before taking a peek at the sleeping firelizards. At least his has settled for the time being.

Amethyst blinks curiously at Sairon. "Are you that lucky? Want to give me some hints on who you think might make me some marks?" She grins, wiggling a bit of redfruit at him before chomping down on it. Ravyal's reaction earns a laugh from her, and she reaches over to ruffle his hair. "You are just as cute as those sleeping 'lizards. If you don't want marks now you can come and get them later - or you can call in a favour. Your choice, Ravy. You earned it."

"Cards and dice I'm good at. Folks never know if I'm being serious or not." Sairon says with a cocky, lopsided grin over towards Amythest. "So I can play a bluff real well. But shoot. My bet's already in. What are you thinking?" He leans one elbow on the table as he's turned to better see her even while stuffing the last of his breakfast in his mouth.

Ravyal may in fact turn a bit pink. He ducks a bit at the hair ruffling though, but nods quickly. "A..alright, alright. I get it. Thank you." Hey, he /tried/ to turn down getting paid. He goes back to eating quite happily enough at least, starting to finally get to a point where his plate /might/ get cleaned soon. He listens at least though, to the other two candidates and their gambling talk.

Satisfied that Ravyal will get his payment - even if she has to force it on him! - Amethyst cants her head and shrugs her shoulders at Sairon. "Oh, anything. Want to teach me how to play dice sometime? I've never tried my hand at them, not really. Ravyal could come learn, too - if you don't mind showing us both the ropes, that is?" She fixes him with a warm smile, before reaching out to steal a rasher of bacon from Ravyal's plate.

"Not hard at all." Sairon says around a last mouthful of cooled eggs. "The easiest is one where you roll five dice, numbered 1 to 6. The goal is to have the highest score at the end of the designated amount of turns. Your score is the sum of all the dice - you can reroll as many die as you want but only once a turn. If you manage to roll all the same, you get a free roll. Long as you can count, you can play - no tricky or bluffing needed. Some get real complicated, though. Like rolling your die under a cup, then calling out your opponent as to what they have - like two ones or six sixes. That one is pretty tough."

Ravyal is getting offered up for all sorts of things lately. Gambling lessons, dancing… He pauses mid-chew when Amethyst includes him in her gambling ways, eyes lifting away to gawk at her. "B..but I.." Don't gamble? No matter! Explanations have already begun, giving the teen a moment to simply look bewildered by the explanation. "That's..a lot of dice.."

Amethyst grins at getting away with her bacon theft, and hides her grin behind her mug of klah, which is raised to her lips ready to be sipped from. "That is a lot of dice," she agrees with Rav, nodding along to Sairon's explanation. "Do you have any dice? Perhaps we could give it a go? And don't worry, Rav - it's only gambling if you're betting something. We can just play for fun - right, Sairon?"

"Sure, back in the barracks." Sairon remarks as he glances around the cavern, squinting consideringly. "Wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have any if they keep games around. And nah, no worries, Rav. Gambling's voluntary. Besides, wouldn't do that to new players. There's courtesy, after all. Wouldn't want to steal all your marks." He adds with a chuckle. "It's easy-peasy, though. Kids can pick up this game without trouble." Which begs the question of just when he started picking up less savory habits.

Ravyal was far too panicked to notice any bacon thieving. Although when he looks back down to his plate, and the /lack/ of it..there's some suspicion. Or just blank staring, really. "..Well if it's just for fun.." He finally concedes, propping his chin up in a hand while eating the last of his toast. Bacon…shall be missed. "I've seen a few games set up in the barracks..I didn't look for any dice though.."

"Have you ever played any of those strip games, Sairon?" Amethyst comes out with it quite bluntly, with the hopes of distracting Ravyal enough to sneak in and pinch another piece of bacon from his plate. "I've seen quite a few of them going down… over cards, mostly, but over dice, too." She winks at Ravyal, taking a bite of the stolen bacon where he can plainly see it.

Striker and Sirocco are sleeping. No bacon thieves there. At the question from Amethyst, Sairon ever so slowly looks back over towards her. To his credit, he doesn't blush. Totally would not be manly. "It would be a lie to say that did not come up on drunken occasion." A pause and a faint clear of his throat. "Cards /are/ the, uh, traditional game for those sorts of stakes though. The challenge is making sure everyone starts on an even playing field. Or playing that in the winter, unless you're up for a very long game."

Sairon might not be blushing, but Ravyal is. Oh he most certainly is. There's a complete duck of his head to avoid /looking/ at anyone when the subject of stripping comes up. Though thankfully…that means he's looking down when a certain someone tries to take his bacon. HAH. He quickly grabs the piece away again, finally turning wide eyes onto Amethyst. Thief! Scoundrel! …And then he abruptly looks away again. After all, there are still stripping thoughts bouncing around the place. He just..eats the bacon instead, while subtly trying to melt into the floor.

Kimmila walks in from the outside, dressed in riding leathers and fresh from morning sweeps. Hanging her coat and helmet by the door, the bluerider gets a plate of breakfast food, a mug of klah, and looks around. Ah. With a smile, she walks to the Candidate table and pauses behind an empty chair. "Mind?" She snickers. "Talking about strip dragonpoker? The trick is layers…" Like Sairon said. "Or just deciding up front that you're going to lose."

"Oh boo," Amethyst laughs when she's caught and the bacon's stolen from her. "Could've swapped you for a piece of melon, Ravy - sure you don't want to trade?" Bacon for melon - fair swap, right? There's a hint of colour in her cheeks when Sairon says he has played strip-whatevergameitwas, though she's nowhere near as blushing as Ravyal is… though that changes when Kimmila joins them. She looks away as if there might be trouble for their overheard conversation… until the bluerider joins in. "You play too ma— Kimmila. I remembered." No ma'am for this lady.

Sairon glances up towards Kimmila as she walks over, the topic at hand clearly not lost on her. So, he just succinctly jabs a thumb towards her. "What she said. Hence my comment of 'level playing field'. Women are notoriously difficult to defeat because of that." He mumbles, sounding like he's been in that very pickle. "You can look up, Rav. I ain't gonna do that to you, buddy. Nope. Nice, publicly appropriate dice."

"I don't want your melons." Abrupt, huffily spouted words! Ravyal looks up again, although something about that seems to make him nearly cross-eyed with embarrassment. "I mean…I don't want.. I like what I got and you don't have to.." And the poor candidate just slide's what's left of his plate..over to Amethyst. That's really the only safe plan. But then Kimmila is /there/ and the former weaver just splutters a bit. He'll find words eventually. "It's not cold enough for too many..layers.." Comfort is important when game playing! ..Obviously. But it's Sairon that gets the grateful look, and seems the safest person to focus on currently, with the teen nodding at him quickly. "G..good."

Kimmila grins crookedly as she sits down. "I have played, yes. But only with certain…partners." She snickers. "You just have to start wearing a bra, Sairon. And stockings." Looking around the table, she smiles warmly at Ravyal. "Ravyal…if you need to talk about things…let me know okay?" It's softly offered, and then she's tucking into her breakfast.

And Amethyst wins a breakfast plate! She gives Rav's hand an apologetic squeeze, steals another piece of bacon and then slides the plate back to him… with two slices of melon on the side. "They're good for you, Rav. Fruit melons, anyway." As for the other kind? Who knows how good they are for him? Kimmila's suggestion to Sairon makes her laugh. "Dear Faranth. A bra would ruin those abs he's got! Have you seen them, Kimmila? It's quite the view…"

"Oooooh no." Sairon says with a Look at Kimmila. "I have my dignity. I'd rather be sitting here in my Turnday best than going to that level to win. But yes. That's a game for familiar company who you can, generally, trust not to spread tales of your loss. And if they do, make sure you have a better story to share. Preferably good looking company. Namely women, but that's just me. To each their own." He does grin most charmingly towards Amythest at her kind compliment, because Faranth knows his ego needed to get anymore inflated. "Anyway, I'm going to stop making poor Rav here blush." There'a a pause then, as if he wasn't quite sure how to exactly change the conversation. "…so I have lessons today. Uh. Actually, think we both do, Rav."

Ravyal clears his throat just a little bit, still looking terribly embarrassed by everything. The table is embarrassing! The chair is, too. "I think..I've had all the lessons I need today already." He shakes his head just a little then, managing at least not to look quite so..mortified by it all. Except for when Kimmila offers him /talks/. "I..I'm fine. Really." Alas, there's /melon/ on his plate when it's returned to him, prompting a slow look toward Amethyst. Stare.

Kimmila laughs. "No, I can't say I've had the pleasure of seeing Sairon's abs…" She chuckles and pokes at her food again, sipping her klah. "Oh? Which lessons are you up to now? Dragon care, I'd imagine by now? Or still talking about mindlink theory?" She lets Ravyal's 'I'm fine' pass. The offer has been made, and she's not one to chase folks down.

"Poor little Ravyal, you are blushing an awful lot." Amethyst gently touches the back of her hand to his cheek, then ruffles his hair affectionately. "Sairon and I will warn you if we have a planned game of strip-anything any time in the future." She winks across at Sairon, trying to encourage him to get in on the joke. As for the lessons? "Dragon care now, ma'am - Kimmila. Sorry. That's what was scheduled for us to start today… I'm guessing because of what Th'ero said last night? About how close the Hatching is now?"

Sairon gives a nod of his head at Amythest's answer, the wink answered with a chuckle though he saves Ravyal from further commentary. "Which works out good, since I got these two to deal with." He scoots aside a half-eaten bowl of diced meat to show two newly hatched firelizards, dark blue and earthy brown, curled up in a food coma pile. "At least I'll get some practice on something smaller in the event I do impress, so, bonus points there I guess."

Ravyal shakes his head a little. "So long as you don't play on my cot…" Or in his general vicinity. Or tell him about it. The teen folds his arms on the table, leaning against them on the table while looking around. "It's real interesting, at least. The stuff we're learning. ..I mean about dragons, and all." Not about the naked card games. Certainly not. There's all sorts of leaning away from the touching and ruffling though, mouth finally forming into a frown as he waves it all away. "Alright, alright. I'm not a puppy.."

Kimmila looks thoughtfully at Amethyst and Sairon, and then at Ravyal. Leaning over, she mutters something to the other female at the table. She nods. "Yup. Few more days at the most, likely, to judge from those shells and how irate Kayeth is getting." She rolls her eyes a little bit. Looking at the firelizards then, she chuckles. "Going to be hard, if you impress, to handle them /and/ your dragon…Just make sure you train them. Otherwise they can be a downright nuisance." Looking back at Ravyal, the bluerider grins and turns to give Amethyst a pointed look. See?

Kimmila mutters to Amethyst, "You know you… like… fellow… not six…"

When Kimmila leans over to whisper to her, Amethyst looks surprised, then she frowns and looks at the rider, brows knit above her dark eyes. "Really?" She looks at Ravyal, then rests her hands in front of her on the tabletop, fingers knotted together. "I'm so glad Shards is mostly out of his baby phase now, Sairon, for exactly the reason Kimmila said… but if your two sleep like that often enough, you'll do fine, I'm sure." She smiles at him, then nods in agreement with Ravyal, before leaning back in to Kimmila to whisper to her in reply.

Amethyst mutters to Kimmila, "… think… do?… adorable…. and… Apart… now,… is… though… you… So…"

Sairon slants a look over towards Ravyal as Kimmila and Amythest whisper, giving a faint shrug that seems to say 'womenfolk, I don't get it'. "Oh, I'm trying to train them but they're a bit preoccupied at the moment. I'm sure we'll come to an agreement when they're not so busy stuffing their faces so often. Convincing them not to sleep on my face is the hardest part so far. Or in the crook of your knee… that's a wicked cramp to wake up to."

So much muttering. Ravyal is suspicious. He eyes Kimmila and Amethyst a bit for it, but then shakes his head. Maybe he's in agreement about that 'womenfolk' thing, considering the way he looks at Sairon. Though maybe it's really the baffled look about the subject of the sleeping habits of firelizards. "Mine at least doesn't do../that/." Despite all the odd ways the blue likes to cling to him. The teen does sigh, however, eyeing his empty plate. Empty..but for melon. "Lessons aren't going to wait forever though.."

Kimmila nods at Amethyst, leaning over to mutter to her. Then she laughs at Sairon. "Wait until you have a baby dragon who wants to sleep with you. Or a weyrmate. Or children. Sleeping is all downhill from here my friend." Leaning back in her chair, she smiles at the Candidates. "Enjoy them." The lessons. And sleeping.

Kimmila mutters to Amethyst, "… do…. more… a… little kid…. kind… talk… to…"

Amethyst mutters to Kimmila, "I… anyway…."

Amethyst's plate is empty now, and there's a group of candidates just further down the table who are getting ready to head out. "Ah, boys, Kimmila, if you'll excuse me, please - that's my chore group heading off to work." She stands up, leaving her sleeping firelizard on the table as she picks up her plate and mug. "Would someone please give Shards a poke when you're leaving the table? He'll find his own way home. Sairon, Ravy, see you both later… Kimmila, ma'am? I'll work on it." A polite, if curt nod is given to the bluerider, and Amethyst trots away from the table then to fall in with her choregroup. Looks like they're headed for the kitchens!

"Right right, lessons." Sairon says with a sigh as he reaches out to poke the sleeping firelizards with a finger. "Come on you two, back to the barracks - you can nap there." Grudgingly, the blue and brown are gathered, draped in a drowsy sort of stupor across one arm. To Kimmila he can only grin faintly, "Awesome. Well, I'll sleep when I'm dead, right?" He shifts the sleeping pair enough so he can grab his mug to slug down the last of his cold klah before nodding to the other candidate. "I'll catcha there, Ravyal?"

Ravyal is already standing up, although thankfully his firelizard is old enough to take off and start fluttering about before disappearing. Likely to end up clutching the back of the poor teen's pantleg later on, or something. "Yeah, I'll see you." He waves a little when Amethyst also takes off, and brushes his hands off just a little once he's stepped away from the table. There's crumbs, after all. There's a glance then at Kimmila, and a faint smile as he nods. "It's hard enough sleeping right now with things..close.. Guess we really should do as much of that as we can." An excuse to sleep in late? Why not? He takes a few more steps back then, before joining the other candidates in the rush to leave the caverns. The day has begun!