Who Aignes, Th'ero
What It starts out as idle conversation and ends up with a well laid trap that nets Fort yet another Candidate!
When Month 1, Turn 2718
Where Galleries, Fort Weyr

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Galleries
The galleries are carved right out of the rock face, the rows and rows of benches rising high up into the air on a slight slant. Stone and wood benches that used to be known for offering little in the way of comfort, are now padded with cushions in Fort Weyr's colors. Placed along the railing at regular intervals are antique looking baskets filled with cheery fabric flowers. The curving walls sport tapestries in warm vibrant colors that seem to add a dash of color to the otherwise dreary stone. Where the galleries curve slightly at the ends, affording those attending hatchings or clutchings a decent view of the sands, shaded laterns offer warm lighting along the rows of benches.


As winter drags on, eventually some folks are going to begin to brave the cold weather eventually. Aignes is one of those brave souls this morning. The weaver is currently bundled up so barely even her nose is visible between jackets and scarves and hat. The walking pile of cloth has claimed a seat near the sands and has her eyes on the eggs on the sands this morning while her begloved hands are still slowly managing to crochet a square more by reflex than anything else.

No stranger to the winters here now or the familiar grounds of the Hatching caverns, Th’ero wasn’t intending to venture this way and yet… here he is. Velokraeth is on the Sands, attending to a few of the eggs under Kayeth’s quiet orders. Just how the stunted, ugly as sin bronze has managed to keep his position for so damned long is anyone’s guess! But the pair do get along well and there is a quiet peace about the place. As for the Weyrleader, he’s dressed in his winter gear, all sombre dark greys, browns and blacks, but is already peeling off his gloves. Was it idleness that brought him here? Or that living bundle of cloth that is Aignes. “That doesn’t look comfortable in the slightest.” he dryly remarks, while glancing sidelong to her.

"Ooomfluhhooohfuhhluuufh," come the muffled protest from Aignes before she reaches up to unwind the scarf so her mouth is actually free to do things like form words. "It's not so bad." Take two is at least better. Maybe it's the cold getting to her brain, but only belatedly does she realize put dragon and rider together and tack on a polite, "sir." to that. "Are the eggs always so colorful?" Inquiring non-weyrbred minds would really like to know.

“Are you from one of the more southern climates?” Th’ero briskly counters Aignes’ own question with his own, his voice level and low spoken. Stoic is his demeanour, his expression neutral but there’s a hint of warmth about him — if one digs down deep enough. He’s not being mean spirited, but he’s just not very expressive. Blinking, his brows furrow slightly as his attention turns back to the eggs. “Sometimes. Of all the clutches Velokraeth has sired, the colors have always varied.”

Aignes shakes her head quickly for the question. "I'm from a minehold up in Crom, but…" and there's always a but, "I did spend about ten turns in Boll. Guess I kind of forgot what a proper winter looks like." Luckily, she has means to adapt! And she'll continue to slowly make that square larger. One stitch at a time, even as she turned her eyes towards the eggs again. "I guess I always thought they'd be like avian eggs… or a really big wherry egg? Just white and cream and beige and sometimes brown."

Th’ero’s attention drifts back again to the bundled Weaver, but he says nothing save for a smirk that might be curiosity for her place of birth. “Reaches is still colder than Fort,” he bluntly points out the obvious. A quiet scoff follows her observations, while his gaze returns to the Sands below. Velokraeth has moved closer now, as he carefully buries one egg deeper on one side. “They can be that way too. One clutch in the past was primarily those colors and some variations of pale blue. One can never be certain… and it goes similar for firelizards too. Not sure why.”

"And Boll is warmer than Fort," Aignes will evenly respond although leaving off the part about it also being more recent. The movement of the bronze is watched carefully enough that her fingers even pause momentarily until the egg is safely tucked away. "Strange. One would think they'd either be consistent or the colors would have something to reflect the hatchlings growing inside. Hatchlings?" She turns towards the weyrleader. "Is that the right word for unhatched dragons?" Clearly he's the expert here!

“Never rely on the colouring to be a fool proof indicator of what’s within. You’ll lose quite a few bets that way,” Th’ero points out, now moving to unfasten the first few clasps of his riding jacket. He won’t sit, preferring to stand where he is, regardless of how awkward it may seem. Again, his dark gaze shifts to Aignes but this time it lingers there. For a moment, he doesn’t answer her but his brows furrow deeper in thought. “Yes,” he begins, gruffly. “Hatchlings is correct. You’re not weyrbred, are you? You mentioned the mines… Crafter, then?”

"Never count your colors before they hatch," Aignes can sound like an ancient auntie as she parrots back that time old proverb although even the scarf and hat and granny-square-in-progress can't really hide her baby face as she nods agreement. "Plus, betting always seems like a waste of marks. The bookie will always come out on top no matter how many bets are placed. Unless he's an idiot." And again, there's a nod as she confirms the guess. "Yes. Journeyman weaver. Posted here from Weaver hall recently." Recent enough that eggs are still endlessly fascinating.

From the scoffed like sound from Th’ero, he’s amused by the would-be proverb. “Wise council,” he tosses back and now one really has to wonder if he’s teasing her; but his delivery is deadpan and his expression yields little else. There’s a reason most of the gossip and talk about the Weyrleader is that he’s still tough to read! Even after all these Turns. “And I’ll agree with you on the betting. There are other ways to wager outcomes and not end up poorer for it.” Is he… giving her gambling tips? Maybe. Brows lift as she informs him of her background and there’s a quiet thoughtful sound from him. “Ahh, I see. That would explain things.” A slight nod to the piece she’s working on. Velokraeth moves on from that one egg, but rather than go to the next, he lifts his largely out of proportion head with mismatched sized eyes towards the Galleries. It’s on the heels of what sounds like rumbled ‘laughter’ from the pale bronze that Th’ero acts partially as a mouth piece. “He wants to know if you’ve ever thought of seeing the eggs up close.” It’s phrased so innocently, isn’t it?

Aignes isn't even really trying to read into what is being said aside from face value as her own face is completely serious as she steadily tugs at the yarn and turns it into… more yarn, but in a useful shape! "My brothers would wager chores. But that's mostly because any marks they would have already spent." Teenage brothers, never the paragon of responsiblity. The rumbling from the dragon, even as merry as it might sound, has her cautiously eyeing the bronze but since Th'ero is translating, she relaxes back into her 'comfortable' pose that's still rigidly stiff posture. "Up close? I thought this was up close?" First row seats, what more could a girl wish for?

And there goes the snapping of the trap! Velokraeth looks so utterly smug from where he is and Th’ero just looks caught between sighing heavily and smirking. “He means literally up close,” he states again in cryptic fashion while one hand reaches into an inner pocket of his jacket. When it draws back, there’s the tell-tale white knot being held out to her without further ceremony (or tricks). “Candidates get that special privilege. Normally I don’t poach Journeymen from the Crafts, but he insists that there is something about you… and rarely has Velokraeth been proven wrong.” Not to inflate hope in the poor woman but he’s being bluntly honest. A brow quirks, inquisitive. Well?

And to think, Velokraeth offered this up before seeing one of Aignes' true talents, which she'll display right now: the ability to perfectly impersonate a statue! It is only a moment before the weaver does take a breath (even if it might have felt like an eternity), but words… words are harder and more spluttered than said. "Me… you… really?" She just blinks up at the weyrleader as a hand tentatively in the general direction of the knot if not fully reaching for it. "Yes?" Even if she doesn't quite believe it.

It may not be the usual response or all that verbose, but Th'ero takes Aignes for that 'yes'. The knot is promptly handed over (and he'll make sure she has a grasp on it before letting go) and even that exchange seems to be enough for him. "Yes, really." he assures her and now he does openly smirk in bemusement for her shell shock. "You'll have to report in, but as the day is still young, you have time. Settle affairs with your Craft and then see the Headwoman or one of her assistants. They'll see you are given all you need." She can always say 'no' later too but he oh-so sneakily skips that. Velokraeth is turning away to find a safe spot in which to launch himself upwards in a shallow leap to reach one of the lower ledges over the Sands. Th'ero is taking that as his cue, as well. "… I need to be going. Do you have any immediate concerns?" He never did get her name but… that doesn't seem to bother him.

Grasp the knot she will, and as familiar as Aignes may be with all things threadlike, she still turns it slowly in her hand like an alien substance. "My Craft and then the Headwoman," she gives a nod as she repeats to insure those instructions were correct and as for the last, she shakes her head. "No… but uh, thank you, Weyrleader? and him as well?" Thanks are always appropriate, right? And eventually Aignes will probably dig herself out of her daze and actually go about making those arrangements. But there will definitely be some more knot staring and egg watching before she does that.

Th’ero lowers his head in a respectful nod and begins to turn to leave. “You are welcome. Best of luck… Candidate.” Another vague smirk and then he’s turning on his heel and striding purposely out of the galleries. His task for the morning done and now on to the next, whatever that may be!


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