Telgar - Minecraft Hall

The weather at Fort Weyr is about the same for this time of year, snow snow and more snow, perhaps some ice thrown in there for good mix. Luckily for all that could have outside chores there was a tour of the Mining craft and a few have been shuttled out there to see the place via dragon. The dragon doing this helpful task is Niumdreoth, whom is at the moment off to the side merely looking on as the few he has carried are getting off. Abigail hangs back making sure the ones with her are all unbuckled from straps and then get down easy, with that done she follows jumping down a few feet and brushing her jacket off. "Everyone knows to behave I hope.. If not there is a chance Niumdreoth will just leave ye here." Well not really, but she can threaten it at least.

Zaala is amongst the lucky few collected for this once in a lifetime opportunity to crawl through caves and face tunnel snakes, at least, that's what she envisions as they were taken via dragonback for a tour. Mining didn't even venture into Zaala's thoughts, not like she has the body for the stamina necessary to work the mines. And mining, that's all one thinks there is associated with it. When in fact, there are office type jobs, at least, indoor jobs that one can get with the craft - like rock inspections on the gems or whatever else they pull out of the earth. Zaala's all bundled up too, everything fur, except her trousers, but she seems to be wearing two score of those - and they wonder why she brought along all those suitcases! Rubbing her hands together after dismounting, she looks at Abigail, "If I don't freeze first, you can bet I won't push anyone's buttons today." Shiver! She would've much rather enjoyed a trip to the Harper Hall, where it was -all- indoors. Burr.

Jastre has had several trips on dragonback, one all the way to the southern continent, but this is completely different from EVERYWHERE he's been. For one thing, there's no ocean to be seen anywhere. At least rocks are the same anywhere he goes, although he scuffs his foot against one, not too pleased. Adventures, eh. He's cold. If they're unlucky he'll start whining soon.

Abigail sends an amused look to Zaala, a soft chuckle escaping her and she nods. "No freezing allowed.. I'm not going to come up with reasons why there would be some frozen Candidates." That would not be a good thing to come up with indeed. A glance is offered to Jastre, soft smile seen. "Ye alright there?" His.. Been quiet after all. With a nod seen the brownrider turns and starts to move off to see if they can find the tour guide for this journey.

Zaala gives a hint of a smirk toward Abigail for the return comments, answering back, "No frozen candies then?" The thought of that makes her fast twist up with some amusement, "or ice-candidates. I could imagine the dragons licking themselves into a tizzy." She somewhat smirks buts knows it wasn't really a good joke or nothing, so tucks her chin down into her jacket, looking back once at Jastre to see how the other candidate was doing. Not well, by his expression either. Yay! She's not the only one whose made grumpy by cold weather. She saunters on behind Abigail, hands tucked into pockets, waddling more like it.

"Yeah, I'm fine… usually I go south when it gets cold, not north." oh look, the whining has begun. He's bundled up too, so it could be a lot worse. He follows behind the two, and despite his complaints, he is looking around avidly. The interior of Pern has eluded him thus far, and this is about as interior as it gets. The ocean is very far away!

A tall lanky young woman in her late twenties hurries up toward where the dragon landed, with a satchel bundled in her arms. She glances at the trio, disappointment showing in her sharp hawkish features as she tilts her head, wide brown eyes settling on Abigail. "This it?" the tone in her voice suggests that she was expecting quite a few more eager candidates to trudge through the tour with her, not just… two. Maybe someone didn't inform her of all the mini-trips going on. That or she was eager to find a few hopeful apprentices should no one impress and as her calculating eyes land on the duo, she knows just by their jiggling about because of the cold they wouldn't last a day. Sigh. Putting her bundle down, she opens it and hands each a head light and some coveralls, "Best wear these then, prevent those fancy clothes from getting too dirty." Abigail can have some too, since there's extra alotted for this trip!

Abigail chuckles as she hears Zaala, a curious glance sent towards her and she grins. "Well of course.. Niumdreoth just love to nibble on frozen candidates. Prize treat after all.." Well no not really, and Zaala knows that well enough. As for the weather she doesn't actually mind it, she's kept nice and warm in her flight gear so that might be why. Her pale gaze drifts to Jastre and she nods. "It's alright. Yer get use ta the weather soon enough.." There is a pause at the voice and she looks to the one coming out to meet her and she blinks. A soft ah is seen and she soon smiles. "Well.. At the moment? Aye.. I'll try ta bring more by on the next trip." As for the items getting handed out and eyes the coveralls and looks amused before nodding. "Alrighty.. Gear up all." This said while offering Zaala one of the head lights.

Zaala shares an empathic look toward Jastre, "I know what that feels like. I did about the same, until I decided to move to Fort for good and… I'm still not used to the cold!" She will never be! Then she falls silent as she spots the hawkish looking woman, watching her observe them as if she were on a raised dias and had a crown on her brow. Zaala has to avert her eyes before she glares at the miner. Be. On. Best. Behaviour. Yes, she really wants to snoop around in some freezing cold mine! Then, there's this fancy head light thing. She stares at the odd device, a strap that wraps around one's head with a lamp worked in the front. Where's the hard hat? Maybe pern forgot about those, until those too are passed out, with the miner muttering to Abigail, "These too." But those coveralls, they earn a respective pinched nose look from Zaala, really?! She holds them out with disdain, reluctantly trying to figure out which side is the front and back - both are pretty baggy after all.

Jastre isn't very enthusiastic about going in the cold underground either, but this is where they were going today, so this is where he'll go. He's not going to NOT do it, after all. The coveralls are looked over, and he nods. It makes sense to him, to wear protective gear for such things. The headlight is given a more intense scrutiny however, and by the look on his face he'd like to take one apart later to see how it works.

The miner woman finally introduces herself, "I'm Myrtle, journeywoman. I'll be taking you around and down to the mines and the quarry today. The pit, is dangerous only because there is so much going on and at times, explosives. You should do well and best to stay by me at all times. The mines I'll take you into are old, which means, they are secure and have less risk than the newer shafts." She tilts her head, "We have a large deposit of coal here, which helps to heat furnances and acts as an alternative to wood fuels. We often dig out several tonnes of diamonds everyday as well. At the end of the trip, you're

welcome to take a piece of each." Something to bribe them with maybe? Myrtle has short bobbed hair and is already dressed in covies and the typical mining get up. "Questions before we go?"

Abigail chuckles softly at the looks from the two with her, an amused look seen while she leans over to take hold of the coveralls and turns them about for Zaala. "Them be the right way." She offers with an amused tone before glancing to Jastre to make sure he figures it out on his own. With the rest of the items passed out she looks back to Myrtle once having her own gear on. There is an amused bugle from Niumdreoth at the sight of the three, which makes Abbey send a pointed look back towards the brown.. "So funny.." Is grumbled out softly. Once the talking starts from the journeywoman there is a slight nod or two. "Thank ye Myrtle for taking the lot out on a tour. Abigail, Wingsecond.. Niumdreoth back there." Then she looks to Zaala and Jastre. "This is Zaala and Jastre, yer first lot of willing students." Well they are /mostly/ willing. As for the bit on questions she glances to the pair to see if any is brought up.

Zaala at least shows her appreciation for the help with the covies, turning them about in the way Abigail rights them, stepping into them and yanking them up over her. She frowns with evidence of misery on her features, if only because the coveralls pull and push and bundle things in all the wrong places. It takes some frantic jumping and squirming about, with arms flapping over one shoulder then the next and down her butt and alongside the hem of her jacket where everything just seems to bunch. Only after going through those motions does she button up, scowling for how uncomfortable it was. The helmet and the head lamp go on next, minue the bit that her helmet it set asckewed (almost a fashion statement!). She seems at least somewhat adjusted before shaking her head, nope, no questions - not yet. Maybe whining, later.

Jastre belatedly struggles into the coverall, setting the headlight on his head. Right, he can look at that thing later, he's gotta put the other thing on too. He looks up when he hears his name and nods politely to the journeywoman. He doesn't have any issues with it not fitting right, but then, he has a different configuration than Zaala. "No, no questions yet."

Myrtle glances at the group with a speculative glance, as if somehow doubting the adventure will do much to heighten their curiosity of the craft. The lecture must've done it! That old fart of a master must've bored 'em to tears back at the Weyr, all white hair and 'in my days' stories. She does give a light shrug and leads them toawrd the southern field.

Abigail smiles and nods a she sees that the pair finsh getting the gear on and, well no questions yet? Good, right? Sure.. She follows along at the back of the group letting the two follow in the middle so they care hear everything along with possible see everything there may be around. Niumdreoth stay put and watches from his 'perch' as it were.

Zaala looks back and then asks, "We'll be safe right?" That question wasn't asked loud enough to reach their hostess, more so pointed at Jastre in any case. The girl still looks awkward shuffling about in those oversized coveralls.

Zaala leaves the southern field.

Mine Craft - Southern Field

This field is filled with larger rocks that have found their way from the quarry. Masons often use these rocks to practice their art. It's not surprising to find some of these rocks to have carvings or sculptures carved into them. To the east a small flagstone covered walkway leads to the 'On the rocks' Tavern; hangout of the minecraft and passerbys. To the west is the deep gully that is the quarry. To the north you can see the high cliff in which the minercraft crafthall has been built. To the south the road leads away, eventually turning east and then north towards Crom.

"Yeah, we'll be fine, they wouldn't take us here if it was dangerous, right?" Jastre tries to sound confident about that, though like her, he has a niggling doubt as to whether this is a good idea or not. After all, they're going /underground/. What's to stop the dirt above them from getting too heavy to hold up?

Mine Craft - Quarry

The quarry you see before you is massive, the chasm of the quarry is easily large enough to hold several hatching caverns from end to end, and leave room for part of a Weyr bowl as well, softly sloping roads line the sides of the quarrry, with wide switchbacks and broad ledges to allow for carts, drawn by horses to come and go down the paths without ever having to move over, and still provide room for people to walk in safety. The upper rims of the gray and white stone walls are lined with trees here and there, and grass helps soften the sight without interfering with the view. The walls of the quarry are not smooth, far from it, here and there rocky outcroppings appear and stone has a tendency to fall with no warning, making it advisable to keep to the paths. The floor of the quarry is broad, and littered with chunks of fallen stone and stone that is still being freed from the surrounding area before being carted off.

"Of course everything will be fine." Abigail offers with an amused tone, a curious glance is sent towards the areas they pass along. Pausing to glance down at the path that cuts down into the quarry itself. Hopefully it'll all be fine.. She would really hate to make a report on some mishap here after all.

Myrtle does not stop on her way to the quarry. She has only a few purposes in mind for the candidates today and that mostly includes getting in and out as soon as possible. They pass by a tavern and what looks like a path toward a lake by the signs, frozen over now most likely. Yet, she speaks of neither as she turns to finally regard the trio, extending her hands outwards toward the vast quarry, "Two ore three hatching caverns can fit in the size of this quarry. It is the oldest and the largest known in the North for how successful it has been, generation after generation. The world supply of Cromcoal is dug here, as well as all sorts of gems used for other purposes, such as telescopes for the starcraft." She pauses, looking at the sloping roads and the switch backs, "We'll go down into the quarry using what we call switchbacks, where we can enter one of the open mine shafts," she points towards the distance where carts and men are streaming out of, even in this weather. Her eyes twist back toward the trio, expecting questions of some sort!

Zaala wanders toward the edge of the quarry, well, not too close to the edge, looking across the space that was once land and is now a vast pit in which people continue to extract rocks out of. She blinks, "Wow.. how are you going to fill this once it's … I mean, if all the rocks are mined?" Cause, it's so big! And as for being okay, she just shares a hopeful look toward the older pair, relying on their confidence to prove right!

Jastre blinks as he looks around the quarry, furrowing his brow at Zaala's question. "Fill it? What do you mean, fill it? Why would you need to when it's all done?" personally he thinks it'd take an entire mountain to fill this, which would be too much effort to make it worth it. Not even dragons could move mountains even if they wanted to.

Once the talk is on about the area Abigail eyes the two with her. Pay attention, possible test stuffs here.. She wouldn't really do that.. Would she? Well perhaps! As for the switchbacks she offers them a curious look before a nod is seen. "Well.. One would need to do something with it I imagen?.." Sort of like a /huge/ hole.. Right?

"I don't know…" Zaala honestly retorts to Jastre, "It just seems like a big old hole. Nothing can live in there but snakes… and can you imagine how many people could walk right into it and fall?" She shuffles a few steps forward, peering her nose over the edge, jumping back a little ways.

Myrtle reassures, "I doubt we could come up with all the soil to fill it again, as over the Turns it's been excuvated. It won't matter though. This quarry will last for hundreds of Turns. There's more down there than we can possibly mine." She hitches up her overalls and heads on down one of those sloping switchbacks, "We're only going to go to the upper mine entrance, only a slight ways down, not all the way to the bottom." And as they start to use the switch backs, they can see the top of the mine shaft as people mill about it, disappear into it, and bring things out of it.

Jastre nods at their conversation, going closer to a wall and digging his fingers into it once he's within range. Most of it is solid rock, and he hastily wipes his hands on the coveralls before going back to the other three. He's not trying to get separated and lost, honest.

Abigail smirks as she hears Zaala talk about people falling on into it. "Well hopfully the folks around here wouldn't be wandering on towards these parts without some clue what be around." At least she hopes not. She follows along, hand settled into her pockets as they wander on down the sloping path towards the switchback. A glance is sent towards Jastre as he was hanging back there for a bit.. Don't mind her have to hunt you down..

The mine tunnel entrance isn't too far off, only a few switchbacks down. Zaala has actually stayed up rather close to the journeywoman, not asking questions or anything, just taking one of those prior warnings in stride. Off from the far distance, on the otherside of the quarry, a rumbling BOOM sounds, as if thunder from within the ground proper. Zaala jumps and springs to the side, slipping a little and taking a little tumble into the back of Myrtle. Thankfully the lanky woman supports the younger's weight, turning around with a frown, "That was just a planned explosion. They do it all the time under ground to expand the tunnels further in." There's even a chimney of smoke rising from one of the mine entrances, but no bells of alarm or screams for help. Planned. Zaala gulps and nods, deciding to stick right close behind Myrtle as she wanders in, telling the trio over her shoulder, "Time to put on your head lamps." She'll demonstrate how to wind up the electric motor on the head gear to get the small light to shine.

Jastre also jumps when the boom sounds, looking nervous. They SURE? But as there aren't any panicked screams, or really, anyone bothered by it at all aside from them, he relaxes. Just a little. "Well hopefully they know we're coming and don't decide to explode where we're going next." he states, a weak attempt at a joke. The demonstration of the headlamp captures his attention though, and he energetically winds up his own. Wow, that's so awesome.

Abigail waits a few moments to make sure that Jastre does indeed catch up before she is following along once more her pale gaze flicking over the area until that boom sounds off. There is a moment where she flinches, gaze snapping around as some small bits of rock comes crumbling off here and there, smacking into a few in the group before hitting the ground. She has to hold back to urge to make sure everyone is alright, and goes about letting Niumdreoth know that everything is fine as it was planned. A soft breath escapes her and she sends a glances to Myrtle, how did she get picked to come on /this/ outing? With everyone good, no one screaming she nods while going about winding up the motor for the light which offers a slight shine across the darkness found before them. "So.. How often does things go wrong..?" There is a pause as she wonders why she just asked such a thing? She was curious more than anything, hopefully she just didn't jinx everyone here from her question.

Myrtle the turtle they call her and there's good reason why. That lankiness seems to shrink in on itself as she scrunches down a little as she steps inside, deciding to answer questions on the go, otherwise they'd be too terrified to go inside and then how good were her chances of securing an apprentice? She waves a hand at those who follow her, "We often use the electric lighting now, when we can," she points up to the dull hum of the said lights, "They're expensive but they reduce the risk of a spark up or a flare out." She won't go into explain what that means, keeping right to ruts created by carts long ago, drawn up by smaller burden beasts and the like. "We don't do much mining down this way anymore, but the tunnels run for miles in all directions. The lights only go to the first branch offs, since we generally get to the lower levels by the first intersection of crossings." If they've stuck close, she's moved them deep enough in that it's hard to see the outside sky anymore, if only because the tunnel is on a constant sloping turn. "We experience the most accidents in newer shafts, because they are unexplored and pockets of air trapped between rock can contain bad gases when exposed. Whers help locate such pockets or better ways of digging if there's danger ahead." Comforting, right?

Zaala is trying not to show her fear but failing miserably. She hangs back from Myrtle the further they go in, to the point that she reaches out to cling to someone! Either Abigail or Jastre, she doesn't care, one of them or both! The closer they are to her the better the shield? She whispers, "How much further do you think we have to go down? I don't like this at all…." her eyes travel up, toward the wooden beams shoring up the rock walls, ensuring they won't buckle in! But it's still wood vs. rock and her eyes only widen further at the thought of those beams splintering!

"Uhh." That is Jastre's brilliant reply to Zaala even as she latches on to his arm. He's less confident the further they go in. Aren't there supposed to be shiny things down here, like rubies, emeralds, diamonds? No, dimglow, this is a coal mine, not one of those.

Abigail lowers slightly as they move further on into the tunnel, which really if she doesn't think about where they are she won't have to worry about the thoughts of things falling in and well killing them all in a very painful way.. "Well I'm not going to complain on the bit of ye all not working down here no more." She's rather not have to deal with thought of that rolling around in her mind as well. The wooden beams are eyed as they pass by them, almost as if checking herself to make sure they are indeed strong. As if she would know, where is Solan when she needs a woodcrafter. "How many whers do ye have working here?" So she is perhaps a bit curious on the whers, not like she gets too deal with them often. "I imagine they are rather useful during stuff down this far.. Or well further." Her gaze flicks to Zaala and Jastre, making sure they are doing alright during the trip down To The Center of Pern.

Myrtle doesn't really seem worried at all, as if she can hear from the sound of the rocks what's going on around her. She does seem to come to a stop by the first crossings, looking back at the group with a heavy expression on her face, "Just look around but don't go too far. They are working in the lower mines, so you may hear some sounds that wouldn't seem normal to you, but they are all perfectly fine in this environment." Her light shines down the pathway and then back toward the group, answering Abigail, "As many as we need. At times we may have just over fifty handlers during the busy seasons, such as during the summer. During winter, we can probably see about half that number if not less, as their handlers look for work Turn 'round, and there isn't enough at that time here. The winter causes the tunnels to get slippery, amongst other things." Like colder! Much colder! In fact, in the light, they can seen their breath misting up in front of them.

Zaala doesn't even seem the least bit sheepish that she's clinging tight to Jastre. He's the guy, he'll protect her or something, right? The girl just seems a little petrified of the place, tighter, more cramped, all those booms and rattles around them that shake a little rock loose here or there! Seeing that they're stopping, she politely unclamps her hand from Jastre, murmuring, "Sorry…"

Sounds that won't seem normal? What IS normal in a place like this? When Zaala unlatches her grip from his arm, he smiles at her reassuringly. "It's ok. Wasn't using it then anyway." when they're encouraged to explore the area, he shrugs and goes about, looking at the walls. Rocks, rocks, and oh look! ….another rock.

Rocks here, rocks there.. An yes more rocks.. Abigail would so agree with Jastre on this idea at the moment while she listens to Myrtle. A slight nod is seen while she takes in a soft breath. "So.. Look around.." This offered to Jastre and Zaala, she is SO excited about being here it seems. A search and rescue rider a little uncomfortable with being under ground? There is a pause as her gaze drifts towards the walls, more crackling, and crumbling and a soft ah escapes her as she wonder. "I think we've seen enough.." There is a small amount of unsureness..fear.. creeping into her at the moment and she really thinks they should be moving back up to higher ground so to speak. There is a growing crack along the wall, it is slowly splintering and causing smaller pieces of rock to fall with each new rumble in the depths. There is even a bugle above ground from Niumdreoth whom is rather near the entrance of where the four went. Seems his picking up on his riders thoughts and is calling them out as well. "Oh would ye looky there.. I think it's time we get going gang.. Next tour to come through after all.." With that said she waves her hands towards both Jastre and Zaala to get them to move back towards the light. Instead of trying to avoid it she wants nothing better than to go into the light at the moment. Not to mention she looks a tad bit pale, perhaps a mixture of worry, fear and an urge to lose ones stomach contents all in one thought.

Yeah. Zaala doesn't have to be told twice, especially when she hears the natural grinding of the rock as the movement and activity all around them cause the stones to slowly move or collide. She doesn't see the crack, but she can hear the small bits of rock matter falling from the ceiling. Panic sets in as she starts to hyperventilate. Under her breath she's chanting out a mantra and her hand has crept up toward her hair, pulling the braid forward over her shoulder and tugging on it as she lets the fear of the darkness all around them creep in - even if it's not completely pitch black. There's a sound from behind them, in the pitch of darkness, like rocks clamouring down in a great gust (but really it's only one or two firelizard sized pieces tumbling to the floor but the echos make it seem ten times as big! Her mantra breaks as she suddenly squeals out her fear, "It's coming down!" And yeah, she becomes a blurr as she streaks back the way they came, hands out, repeating "Oh faranth!" several times over!

Myrtle has no time to explain that it's all normal, because the sound of her voice is cut off by a rather large rumble. Somewhere in the back of those long winding mazes of tunnels, one collapsed - the lights on the wall even flicker and there's a hint of dusty wind hissing throug the tunnels. It happens all the time! Miners often just leave the tunnels as is until the wood beams rot and finally give way, clearly marking such passages though! It's nothing that will touch the tour, yet it only adds to the surge of adrenaline as Myrtle starts walking a little faster!

Jastre was about to kick up a little fuss of his own, but halts before he could say anything. He's the only guy here, after all, he's gotta save face at least a little. So grimly he suppresses the impulse to scream like a little girl and run out, instead restraining himself to simply hurrying out. Brisk trot. The dragon bugling doesn't make him feel any better either, dragons can sense danger, right? He's only a /little/ slower than Zaala by the end of it though.

Abigail doesn't care if it does happen all the time.. This is not something she wants to think about right this moment. The brownrider takes in a faint breath and is left coughing thanks to the added dust in the air, not that it stops her from moving forward, ever forward.. Closer and closer they get to the start of this crazy tour. "Zaala, calm down." This said with a firm, yet relaxed tone. She doesn't need one of the two to start freaking out.. IF Jastre had screamed like a little girl Abbey may have just laughed. There is a "thunk" as a large clump of stone hits into the ground near her and she errs softly, so much for calming down! Then there it is.. Light.. Right /there/! Once outside, and everyone else is outside she can and does breathe a sigh of relief. Niumdreoth is there sweeping down slightly to make sure all is well or does he need to call in help? No in the end everyone makes it out in one piece.. Gear is given back to Myrtle, and with quick thanks the three are heading back to Fort, which could possibly be a quitter ride back thanks to everything that just happened.