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.

Dinner has just wrapped up and the usual rush and crush of folk in the caverns has tapered off, with most seeking other indoor haunts to avoid having to venture out into the snowy weather outside. Servers and drudges are bustling about on clean up, maybe even a few Candidates for those who drew that as their chore for the day. Over by one of the quieter and out of the way corners, the Weyrleader is sitting with his back against the wall and head lowered as he waits patiently with his arms folded loosely over his chest. His riding jacket hangs on a nearby peg and the other seats and the few tables have been arranged to form a rough semi-circle. Stacks of folded cloth rest on some of the tables, along with small kits and it will not take much guess work to puzzle out what they will contain. Th'ero lifts his head up at one point to murmur something to the one seated next to him, voice hushed so as not to have it carried across the near to empty caverns. "Is this really necessary, do you think? And do you mind passing me…" He'll gesture for something. Wine, maybe? Will he need wine for this?

Kimmila sits beside Th'ero and she glances up to nod. "It's a good skill for them to have, no matter what happens. Everyone should be at least this self-sufficient." She reaches out for the item he requested, passing it over as she looks around and waits for the Candidates to arrive.

Xavier reached the semi-circle and took a seat, he still had a plate with a sandwich on it. "Sorry, I'm extra hungry today so thought I should take some extra." He takes a bite out of the sandwich and has a broad smile on his face as he enjoys the sandwich.

Oh, great. Another 'candidate activity', fun. And by fun Polana means completely not fun. After all, the last time all the candidates were gathered up they ended up stranded on an iceberg for the night. She got a cold from that, for two days she was shivering and sniffling! So needless to say, Polana is not overly eager for this little pow-wow. But she goes none the less. Her clothes are casual for the most part, although she does have a jacket flung over her shoulder, just in case. The purple in her hair is rather light by now, thanks to both time and vigorous cleaning. As soon as she has taken a seat next to Xavier she asks in a nervous voice, "we won't be going anywhere, right?"

Borodin comes over with some of the other candiates, hands tucked in his pockets. Cloth and sewing kits. Yeah, he can deal with that… unless they're making sails for their next adventure, but somehow he doubts it. He bobs his head to Th'ero and Kimmila, then plops himself down in a seat before glancing at the other candidates and giving them a small nod.

Jastre joins the group, though eyes the setup askance. Well, it's not likely that sitting down at tables is going to end up in a disaster, but then again….. the night's still young. He looks to Polana when she speaks and nods in agreement. "I don't think I want to go on another excursion either….. well except for the one I missed." SIGH. He really really really wanted to go up to the Yokohama.

Th'ero takes the item from Kimmila and at first glance it looks like nothing but a wide strip of leather, but he expertly begins to unroll it and position it in a way in his lap. Whatever it's for will have to wait though, as he's distracted first by responding to his weyrmate and then the arrival of the Candidates. "I suppose you do have a point," he murmurs to Kimmila with a crooked smirk. "And these do need to be inspected, hmm?" Maybe he's just thankful that it's not his task to ever do! Xavier is given a polite nod as he takes a seat, though the Weyrleader flicks his gaze from the sandwich to the piles of white cloth. "Mind you don't get anything spilled on the fabric, less you wish to be doing some laundry or replacing what is damaged." he warns. Though really, what'd he expect, putting the robes on the tables to begin with? "Not tonight, Polana. Weather is too poor and the eggs are hardening now to a point we don't want you venturing too far…" Or stranded on icebergs. As more gather, Th'ero gestures for all of them to sit and he will nod to Borodin and Jastre. "Nothing major tonight. Just… some mending. Help yourselves to a kit and grab a robe. You're to inspect them and fix anything you see. If you don't know how to mend then you're going to learn." And like it! "Any questions?" Quick and straight to the point he is!

Kimmila nods, watching the Candidates pick up the robes. They are nicely crafted of sturdy fabric, as Fort will not send their Candidates onto the sands in anything that isn't quality. And while none of them have huge gouges or blood stains, they are worn and many need simple repairs along seams and hems. Basic things.

Polana grins and can't help but let out a relieved sigh when the Weyrleader reveals that they will not, in fact, he going anywhere. Then comes the news of what they will do, mend robes. It causes her smile to falter slightly, but not enough to make her look entirely glum. So with a small nod she gets up, grabs a kit and robe, then proceeds to sit down and get to work. About five seconds after she starts she ends up asking, "we're allowed to take while doing this, right?"

There might be bloodstains by the time the candidates are done with these? It depends how good they are with those needles. Borodin reaches to one of those robes, taking a look at them. Hmmmmm… but his frown is a considering one. "It, uh… yeah. I mean, no. No questions." And there's the first hole in his, a spot where the seam has pulled apart, so he starts turning the thing inside out to see the seam itself and how it'll go back together.

Jastre is pretty prompt in picking up one and looking it over. Ok, he can fix that. "Finally, something I'm good at." he comments to his fellows, then raises an eyebrow at Polana. "What, the girl among us doesn't like the idea of sewing clothing but the guys are ok with it? Heh what a switch." he teases her.

"Of course you may talk while you work, if you can focus on both things," Th'ero drawls, shifting a bit in his chair to get comfortable and adjusting that strip of leather. Glancing to Kimmila, he flashes her a look and then he seems to steady himself for what is about to be offered. Oh, will they open a can of grubs with this? "In fact… you may as Kimmila and I any questions you wish. About what is to come and what may happen before or after. Even if you've stood before." Poor Borodin is given a look for that. Hello singled out? And if they stain it with their blood from pricked fingers they've… bought it? Or it'll be theirs, at least unless it can be cleaned! Jastre's teasing comment to Polana has the Weyrleader chuckling dryly. "So you're a master of sewing, then?" he asks him, giving him a shrewd look. "If any of your fellow Candidates are struggling, I'll leave you to help them? You as well, Borodin." Since it looks like he knows what he's doing!

The relief is clear on Polana's face when the Weyrleader says that they are indeed allowed to speak. She is not very good at sewing to begin with, and doing so while remaining silent sounds like absolute torture to her. Ooh, and they can ask questions! But before she asks anything she chooses to address Jastre. A laugh leaves her before she teases, "if you're so good at sewing if we all impress you guys can help with the Weyr's domestic duties, I'll do all the hard stuff." Interesting talk from the girl that used to be obsessed with impressing gold. She then looks at Th'ero and Kimmila before asking, "what does impression feel like?" As she speaks she manages to find a small hole and begins to try and close it with her needle and thread, although the stitching is very sloppy, and that's being nice.

Borodin glances back up at Th'ero. Who him what? "Uh. Yeah." At least he's persistent? Which is the same thing he's intending to use for fixing this robe. He's no weaver, but if he just puts thread on needle and pokes it through a bunch, eventually the hole won't be there… and if he does it from the back, nobody will see the fifty times he went over it to get the stitching right. He glances at Jastre. "Uhm," Borodin begins, then looks over to Th'ero again. Wait, he knows what he's doing? Appearances can definitely be deceiving, but Borodin bobs his head before hunching in over his work. Needle through fabric. Yep.

"Well I wouldn't say master, but when you're several turns on your own you learn fast or go naked." Jastre replies with a chuckle. And he's able to back that up too, showing he knows how to at least fix holes and frayed hems.

Laundry duty has kept her busy most of the day so finally Angelique takes a quick dip in the bathing caverns and then emerges into the Living Caveron once she heard of the summons into here. A quick look around shows her where everyone is so quietly she slips into the group. A folded robe is taken along with a sewing kit as she seeks with her eyes on where to sit.

Th'ero starts a bit and side glances to Kimmila. Anything? Is she really wanting to set them up to fail or flounder right into awkwardness? Leave it to Polana to start with a doozy too and he can only level the poor girl with a lingering look before he answers. Just ignore his slight fidgeting and the smirk curving his mouth. Why do they start with the tough, personal ones? "It's… hard to explain how it felt to Impress. Aside from that I had no idea it happened until it did and it still seemed surreal into the next day." he says, only to shake his head. Not much of an answer, is it? Stitches are stitches and if they're doing the job, then Borodin appears to know what he's doing in Th'ero's eyes. He never said it had to be perfect, right? "Good point!" he drawls to Jastre and chuckles dryly. "So you're the wanderer Candidate, huh?" Wait, aren't they supposed to be answering the questions? Spotting Angelique as she arrives, he gestures to her to take a nearby seat.

Kimmila snorts, "Polana, you've got to stop insulting people. Seriously," she says, eying the Candidate. "Both Jastre and Borodin are very hard workers, and they don't give the attitude. So I think they're ahead of you in that department." All spoken mildly, with a little smirk. Glancing up, she smiles a welcome at Angelique and then looks at the others, before she's adding to Th'ero's answer. "It's strange," she admits. "For me…I honestly doubted if I had impressed until a few days later. And Varmiroth didn't even /speak/ to me - after that first impression, which I started to think I'd dreamt - until…Faranth. I can't even remember. Sevendays. So for he and I, it was touch and go at first. It felt…fragile." Not the typical 'I was complete!' story.

Borodin looks up to Kimmila, then glances at Polana for a moment.. but he doesn't say anything to her, just looking back over to Kimmila. "Well, uh, it doesn't matter, does it?" he asks, and shrugs. "I mean, there's not an ahead to get. We're just candidates, until hatching, and then some of us are riders. Because of dragons." He frowns, and shrugs again as he looks down again to his stitching. His awkward, awkward stitching. If this is ahead, he'd hate to see behind.

Jastre blinks and looks at Kimmila. "Didn't talk to you? For that long? How did…. er, nevermind. I guess dragons come in all kinds just like we do, huh… And oh, yes sir, I am. All along the coast of Pern, that's me." he nods, then bends over the robe. He's got a reputation huh….

Angelique slides into the empty seat, attention quickly being caught as she clues in to the topic of conversation. Her expression is one of curiosity. She listens to Kimmila's story of impressing her blue so she asks the first thing that she thinks of when it comes to Impressions. "Did you touch his egg on the sands?"

Everyone has a reputation to some degree, but Th'ero only knows of Jastre because… "M'icha told me you had mentioned that, prior to him dumping you in the jungles. Shame we're not doing a survival trip like the other weyrs. And intentional one." Cough. Right, the iceberg! The Weyrleader gives Borodin a long look then, frowning as he tries to gather what he meant by those comments. "It is the dragons who choose, but even if they do not, it is not an end. There is an ahead to that as well." he murmurs, grimacing when he isn't so certain that made any coherent sense. As Kimmila goes on to elaborate about her Impression to Varmiroth, his mouth quirks into a faint smile and he speaks up when time permits. "At least you didn't feel as though you had gone on a sevenday long bender? I swear I felt intoxicated through the first bit of weyrlinghood and I'd almost take Varmiroth's silence over Velokraeth's… lack of it." he muses, shaking his head and then observes the Candidates briefly at their work. Satisfied all is well, he then pulls the leather strip he has taut and… unsheathes one of his knives. Thankfully not the dagger he has, just a knife and begins to strop it. Don't mind him?

Kimmila smiles at Jastre. "We figured it out. Really, I guess you could say it made our nonverbal communication skills stronger?" Glancing at Angelique, the bluerider has to think back. "You know…I can't remember. Probably? But you'll find that sometimes the dragon that hatches is quite a bit different from the egg you touched. They're still learning and growing. Plus, I'm of the opinion that they take a bit of their rider's personality when they impress. We're the other half of /them/, too. So they change and grow, just like everyone else." Glancing at Th'ero, the bluerider laughs. "I can't imagine him as a hatchling…I wish I'd seen it."

Borodin's head stays bent over his work, though he nods to what Th'ero says. Still, he's frowning at that seam something fierce, even though it actually seems to be coming together pretty well at this point. "People do change," he offers. Well, mumbles to the robe, more like.

"I…. hate to think what would happen on an actual survival trip, given our luck so far." Jastre comments carefully, finishing patching a hole and then moving to the frayed hem. "It might end up more than we bargained for."

Angelique's hands starts moving on their own, ripping out seams here and there in order to mend the robe to ensure it is new looking for whomever needs to wear it. Her eyes flicker constantly between Th'ero and Kimmila as she listens, absorbing their answers into her memory as much as she can. "With 8 eggs on the sands I imagine it would be hard for someone to remember exactly what they felt when they touched the egg compared to the bond that forms when Impression happens." she ventures a guess.

"He's much like he is now, Kimmila, only now he's aware of the opposite sex. Before he was just more concerned with how others reacted to him and the daily life of any weyrling pair." Th'ero remarks as he continues to strop that knife of his in smooth, well practiced strokes. "I'd have to agree too, that it's as though they take part of you or certain characteristics. Known or unknown." At Borodin's mumbling, the Weyrleader focus on him and his fierce frowning at that seam. What'd the seam do? Sensing something is amiss but not wanting to actually drag the poor Candidate out on it in front of the others, he simply agrees. "Of course people change. We all do, either subtly or majorly." Th'ero would be a classic case! He won't go on to ramble that story though. Snorting softly, he pauses to lift his knife and inspect the edge before resuming. "Well, you all handled a sinking ship and being stranded on an iceberg well enough. Being dropped off in the wilderness would be nothing!" he drawls and by that tone it's obvious he's teasing. No, he does not want this group testing their luck like that! There is a nod to Angelique then and Th'ero adds softly, "I don't think Velokraeth hatched from an egg I recall much from touching it. I had had my eyes on another particular egg, it hatched bronze too but it was a bronze for another."

Kimmila chuckles at Th'ero, shaking her head and stretching a bit. "Mmm," she says with a laugh to Jastre. "Yeah, I'm not quite sure why the trips have all been…a bit strange." Maybe that's why they're in the living cavern, mending things.

Poor seam. It's just doing what a seam does, sitting there and being stitched. It hardly deserves to have glares directed at it… but, well, Borodin's not really sending the frowns where they deserve. He nods to Th'ero's agreement. Changes. Changes are… difficult, sometimes. As for how they handled the sinking ship… "Survival's not a craft, though." Borodin pauses. "Is it?" He's certainly never heard of a Survival Hall. And who's the Survivor CraftMaster?

"Well there's no real proof that touching an egg and getting to 'know' it before said egg hatches changes anything, right?" Jastre asks, pausing his needle. Of course, he's never even attended a hatching, much less stood on the sands, so who knows. "And survival, huh…. I can think of a few who'd have a very difficult time." he doesn't glance towards Polana because she's not there anymore, oh.

Surely there is safety in numbers as well as indoors. No ice here to rain upon their heads or cause them to sink into the chilly waters below. If there were chilly waters below. No flooding, no fire. All should be safe, yes? Angelique is quite comfortable in her sewing abilities so now frowns or dirty looks will be cast to the white robe in her hands. "Survival leads to being able to be in a craft." she points out with some logic to Borodin. "And it shows a strong will to leave." totally.

Don't jinx the living caverns now too! Th'ero shoots Kimmila a sidelong look and then down to check his knife blade again, only to be satisfied and slide it back into it's scabbard. Then he's motioning in a small signal to the bluerider: does she want something sharpened? "Neither do I. The excursions usually go so well," he drawls. Surely not all of them have been cursed? The one to the Weavercraft was normal… ish. "No, survival is a skill." The Weyrleader corrects Borodin, but smiles faintly. So much for Survival Hall? "Usually instinctual. But even instinct can only go so far. You can learn a few tricks though." What those are are anyone's guess, really! The Weyrleader's attention is drifting back to Jastre now and he nods his head slowly. "Right. It's all… It's like a game of chance, really. In the end, does it matter which egg hatched what?" he points out.

Kimmila pulls her blue and silver handled dagger, passing it hilt first to the bronzerider. "No," she agrees with Th'ero, "in the end it really doesn't matter which egg hatched what. If you impress, that's all that matters."

Borodin frowns to Angelique. "I guess. I mean, if you're dead, you can't do much." He looks to Th'ero, and nods. A skill, huh? "Well, uhm, we aren't dead yet." So they must be doing okay with that! Borodin smiles slightly, then goes back to his sewing. He's less of a frown now, listening to the others and the talk of eggs. "…and then it's all about the dragon."

Jastre laughs, resuming his stitching. "Well if something other than a dragon hatched out of those eggs we'd be in for a real surprise, wouldn't we! I don't know about you, but I'd certainly be surprised if, oh, five canines came out instead." now that's just silly.

Angelique pffts a bit. "Canines! Hah…" she finds him quiet amusing indeed. "Impression…bonding and learning time. What about after?" she asks, lifting her gaze to level it upon the two riders. "Once the dust settles, so to speak, and the time needed to build the bond is done then what type of training do riders go through?"

Th'ero carefully takes that blue and silver dagger by the hilt and begins to sharpen it. "Yes, it is all about the dragon." he agrees, giving Borodin another quick sideways look before he adds, "But it is also about those who may not go down that path. Part of the reason behind those excursions is not only to expose you to new skills — again, the iceberg was a fluke of an accident." He looks to Kimmila then. Help? Jastre's comment has the Weyrleader scoffing at first, but grinning faintly. Silly, right. Haha and all that? Th'ero's sense of humor is… often non existent. "Let us hope there are no major surprises come Hatching day. It's chaos enough!" he drawls, only to nod again towards Angelique as he continues to work, glancing down again at the dagger as he speaks. "Weyrlinghood is a very time consuming and intense training period. A lot of strength training, physical and mental, a lot of lessons to learn and not just as a pair but as a rider. There's strap making, dragon care, self defence training, wing exercises, flight exercises, learning politics and diplomacy, etiquette, learning to visualize and memorize landmarks… there is plenty and probably quite a bit I've overlooked in that alone."

Kimmila nods to Borodin, stretching her legs beneath the table. "Exactly. Then it's all about the dragon. And the excursions are meant to broaden the Candidate's understanding of how Pern works. If you impress, you'll be a representative of Fort. You'll need to know the basics." Then a laugh for Jastre. "I think Inri would have some explaining to do!" She glances at Th'ero, nodding while he speaks, and then she adds, "And dancing."

Borodin frowns as he nods to Th'ero, then pauses in his stitching to listen. The frown takes on a more considering look as he listens to Weyrleader and Kimmila, and then he nods again as he looks back down to his stitching. "…when Abigail impressed," he says, not looking up, "I hardly saw her for months. There's a lot to learn." As the two experienced riders have explained, but apparently Borodin felt the need to contribute..

"Well there's a lot to learn, so months sounds about right. That, and the dragons are like babies and need to grow up first. I imagine they're not very smart, at first, and need to learn just like anyone else." Jastre shrugs again. "Though fortunately they're not as dumb as human babies, who need a couple Turns to even be able to talk!" Thus speaketh one with younger siblings.

"Inri would have explaining to do?" Th'ero drawls to Kimmila as he finishes the last of the sharpening before turning the hilt back to her. Good as new! "I'd say Kouzevelth would have to do the explaining if her eggs yielded pups rather than hatchlings! Though I suppose… no, I guess it would be Inri." Way to ruin a not-so funny joke? Borodin's contribution has the Weyrleader nodding his head and when he speaks again, his tone almost sounds sympathetic, but mostly understanding. "There is and it is often… difficult when it comes to family and visiting. When I Impressed, none of my close friends were lucky enough to join with me. I was with those I knew but not as well as them and I was effectively cut off from all my family as they lived a good distance away from Western Weyr." Well, that's not entirely the truth but Th'ero isn't going to get that far into his personal history. "Oh no, they're smart." Th'ero goes on to correct Jastre. "Too smart, if you ask me. They're just… shells, how to put it. Innocent and naive? Inexperienced. I don't think I've ever come across a dragon that is, ah… slow. In that sense. You DO have to be careful with the bond though. They have no filter and well… there's a reason why there are restrictions in Weyrlinghood. A baby dragon will broadcast if panicked…" No more secrets for you!

Kimmila nods at Borodin. "It's a very intense time. It's almost like the weyrlings vanish for a while, and re-emerge…slightly different people." Glancing at Th'ero, she nods, and then laughs. "Well /someone/ would." Then a nod. "It's a difficult time for everyone. You have to make time for the important people in your life, and /they/ have to be okay with your limited time and shifting priorities. It's difficult, but relationships can endure."

Different people. Borodin frowns at that comment from Kimmila, but he slowly nods. The talk of the young dragon makes him smile somewhat. "They, uh… mostly don't seem to be slow physically, either." More like rampaging around, some of them. But… his thoughts catch up with him again, and he sighs. "I guess… you've got to figure out those new people. Whoever they are. Because… dragons."
Polana has actually been quiet since Kimmila scolded her. Just listening and sewing, acting rather unlike herself. It would probably be all too clear that she is thinking about something. And, with Polana being herself, that thing probably won't be a secret for long. Once she feels she has made significant progress with her mending, even if that progress isn't very good, she quietly says, "I have another question, one that… isn't very fun. Or nice." She then pauses before asking, "I've heard that maulings happen, how often is that? Have you ever seen any?"

Jastre nods as he's corrected, because really, what does he know about dragons? He was about to comment on that, but then Polana speaks up and his question dies on his tongue. He looks to the riders, waiting for an answer. Death by dragon is still possible!

Angelique finishes with her robe, holding it up to the light for inspection. Polana's question causes her to blink a few times as if the thought bnever actually crossed her mind to she looks to the riders for the answer.

Th'ero nods his head as he begins to roll up the leather he uses to strop his knives with and leans over in his chair to tuck it away in one of the larger pockets of his riding jacket. Settling himself comfortably again, the Weyrleader murmurs, "Kimmila has some very good points. Relationships can endure, it is not an end-all, be-all." As for people being different though? Well, there is no changing that. Th'ero studies Borodin for awhile again and there is another vague smile sent his way. "Not everyone changes so completely. Dragon or no dragon. Or the change is gradual over many Turns." Which would be his case, as the Weyrleader still sticks to his old habits and ways despite many trying to shake him out of such rigid behaviors. Polana's question has him blinking, eyes darting from her back to Borodin, then Jastre and Angelique as the other Candidates go silent to await the answer. What is it with that girl and her questions? Th'ero clears his throat, looking over to Kimmila again. Back him up in this? "Maulings are infrequent and rare. They used to be a larger problem, until the tradition of allowing Candidates onto the sands prior to the Hatching was done." The birth of the egg touching tradition! "Before… you'd be thrust out just when the eggs would rock. It caused… problems." Panic. "And the hatchlings would react to that and it would result in maulings. So long as you do not intervene with a hatchling's path or make undue noise or distraction you should be fine." Cue a very pointed look at Polana, which he then extends to the others. That understood? "I've never personally witnessed a mauling. A few minor injuries, but mostly from clumsy and awkward hatchlings and nothing more then a bruise or shallow scrape."

Kimmila nods her head a bit. "I've seen a mauling." She's helping! Maybe. "But it was his own fault. He ran up to a dragon and got in the way…" She shrugs a bit, sadness in her eyes, before she's shaking her head. "So don't do that." That's her advice.

Borodin keeps his head down during Th'ero's look at him, though he nods slightly. Polana's question makes him glance sideways at her, then return his gaze to his robe as he finishes up the seam he's working on. There. And from the outside, you can barely tell the tangled mess of thread is there. Good enough. The admonitions make him nod again, and he checks over the rest of the robe he was working on… oh. Another busted seam.

"Hmm. So basically, don't be stupid and get out of the way, yeah?" Jastre points out philosophically, though the current conversation is making him a little nervous. He glances down at the robe he's working on and his eyebrows go up. Wow he, er, hemmed the entire edge of the bottom without even realizing it, and without it…. actually needing it beyond one point. Whoops.

Polana asks her question and silence descends upon the group. Clearly she has asked a question that is enough to grab the attention of the others. Shards, even Th'ero is quiet for a moment, and he's the one that's supposed to be one of the people that is answering the question! She listens carefully to what he says, nodding at the end of it. Getting in a hatchlings way, that is something that she will make a point of not doing. Kimmilla gets a wide-eyes glance when she says that she's seen one. That is why Polana's next question is asked directly to her. "What did they do? I mean, what do you do in case of any emergency on the sands? In case someone does do something stupid, not that I think anyone here is planning to, but there will be lots of other people here. Just, I mean, if something goes wrong what do you do? I just think it would be good to know, I don't want to end up in a bad situation unprepared again if I can stop it."

Angelique stands to put the finished robe in with the others but she doesn't take another one to mend. Seems she's done with that for now as she returns to her seat, listening to the conversation. Worry flickers in her gaze briefly but she's soon just nodding her head. "As long as you don't have a reason to panic there's nothing to fear." or so she surmises. She winces as Kimmila says she's seen a mauling. As Polana presses the questions though Angelique looks uncomfortable until she finally stands, murmurs something about needing to check on certain flying stomachs that look to her and she hurries off with barely a nod to those incoming!

Th'ero grimaces and almost flinches when Kimmila speaks up about having witnessed a mauling and perhaps unseen by most, he will gently rest a hand against her leg. Not an easy thing to witness, at all. "Exactly. Keep your wits about you and don't be stupid." he agrees to Jastre's remark, only to look to Polana and hold up a hand in a warding gesture. Woah, one question at a time! "The Weyrlingmaster and his assistants are on the Sands with you. They help lead the new bonded pairs off and keep a close eye from the sidelines on the Candidates and hatchlings at all times. If anything requires their help… they'll be there." So all is well? They're not entirely alone on those sands! As Angelique takes off with her hasty murmured reason, the Weyrleader frowns with a touch of concern but he does not order her back.

Kimmila covers Th'ero's hand with hers, giving it a little squeeze before she stands. "I need to be off on my sweeps. I'll see you all later." She rests her hand on Th'ero's shoulder briefly - how romantic - and then she's off with a wave.

Snow! Snow is fun! When you're not limping. And most certainly when you're not forced by the healers to use a cane in order to make sure you don't fall. Which, in the end, makes for a grumpy Weyrwoman. Dtirae enters from the bowl, cane most certainly supporting her as one leg is favored versus the other. And then the departing Kimmila is given a brief look before the woman continues on her path, frustration clearly bubbling into her features for a moment. Candidates, and Th'ero, are considered before she's making her way over to a seat and plopping down. "Weyrleader," she greets easily before a smile settles on her lips and then she addresses the candidates. "Candidates, how are you doing?" She'll just pretend she did not interrupt the conversation. A kitchen worker is flagged and a mug of klah is requested before attention turns to those gathered.

Bundled up in layers of sweaters, Zaala appears from one direction or another. There's likely a good excuse why she wasn't mending from the start, needed elsewhere or on break. Now she's appearing, her eyes searching the caverns and spotting the group of candidates at the tables. She quietly pads over and joins them, with a tilted head in greeting for any of those who notice her approach. A blue firelizard emerges from *between* to settle on her lap as she takes a seat, curling up almost immediately there, earning pets from Zaala just as quickly. There's no doubt about it, her blue is a little suck for attention, though he earns it by at least being around and available for scritches. Zaala doesn't interrupt the flow of conversation, in fact, keeps a rather introverted approach to the evening gathering.

"There's, uhm… a lot of people there, actually," Borodin says of the hatching. "I mean, the weyrlingmasters, and everyone watching, and… there'll be people. Who know what they're doing." He looks down again, investigating the robe he's repairing, and only glances up again at Dtirae's approach, giving her a nod. "Uhm, evening," he murmurs to her, then glances to Zaala and… forgets to answer the question of how he's doing, on account of he's looking at her.

Jastre grimaces, setting the robe on the table next to him. "Everyone….. watching. Watching to see if you succeed…. or fail. That's a lot of pressure…. hello ma'am." he nods to Dtirae. "And nowhere to hide either, huh….."

As Th'ero finishes and Kimmila leaves Polana gives a dip of her head before saying, "thank you, Weyrleader, bluerider." Just as the bluerider leaves another person arrives though, but not just any person. No, this is a Weyrwoman person. At her greeting the candidate dips her head before responding, "Weyrwoman. I'm doing well, happy to be far away from icebergs." Ooh, and look, it's Zaala! Polana gives a quick wave to her but nothing more than that. Borodin also gets a nod at what he says, although when Jastre speaks she can't help but speak. "If it's any help you can just picture everyone naked. Or picture all the other candidates naked but you in clothes, whatever makes it seem like they aren't looking at you."

Th'ero will look up as Kimmila stands and rests her hand to his shoulder and in a little more of a romantic gesture he will lift his hand to cover hers before she's stepping away. "Clear skies, Kimmila." he murmurs and for a moment he will be following her out with his gaze, frowning in slight concern. Nigh sweeps are never fun! It's how he'll spot the Weyrwoman's approach however and he greets her with a half-smirk, half-smile and a low spoken, "Evening, Weyrwoman. All is well?" Oh, he's noted the cane and there is a pointed look given to it and then her. Zaala is also greeted with a polite nod, though when he speaks again it's to agree with Borodin. "Exactly. You are all never quite alone while on the sands." Jastre's dawning realization has Th'ero almost smirking in amusement and slowly does he shake his head. Good thing they're having this talk! "Yes, it is pressure. Folk are watching, the sands are hot," As they already know. "And there will be a lot going on and it happens fast." Probably not helping calming the nerves but why sugar coat it? Th'ero's not about to or coddle them. This is the truth! "No where to hide and we really do not suggest running for it, either." Polana is given a look and the Weyrleader clears his throat before quietly murmuring. "Wingrider is a bit more polite to address her by." Details! At her helpful suggestion though, the Weyrleader only chuckles. "I'm not sure if that'd be any better, to be honest. Really, you all don't have that much to worry about. It'll be happening so fast you'll have little time to think about those in the galleries."

Dtirae nods to Borodin and again to Jastre for their greetings. Polana, however, earns herself a little longer look before she chuckles. "Polana. Glad to hear that you're doing well." A smile is given to the young woman before attention is briefly drawn away to murmur her thanks to the kitchen worker that arrives with her klah. She sips quietly while directing grey eyes to meet Th'ero's gaze. The mug is drawn away and she returns that pointed look before smiling. "All is well." She pretends that the cane is nowhere near by, even. "It's unlikely that you'll notice anyone watching you. Unless you look specifically at the galleries to find someone, which would be hard. Your attention, most likely, will be on the dragons and paying attention to their movements. And, really: you've been touching the eggs enough to prevent any injuries." She's trying to snuff out the fear before it becomes too big of a problem, it seems. "Maulings are rare, and probably only happen if you hide behind another candidate and your dragon is looking for you. So, don't do that."

Zaala senses someone looking at her, though she's pretty well leaving her eyes set down at her firelizard for the timing being. She's a touch pale still and there's a hint that she's been sniffling alot, that or crying - her eyes are a little red and her nose looks like she's been rubbing it frequently. Borodin will have to wait a few heartbeats before she actually lifts her eyes up, though when she does, it's for a few instances, as her gaze flicks back down toward her firelizard, cheeks warming ever so slightly under a blush. The motion from Polana catches her eye and she only smiles back, but it's a weak and forced smile. In any case, she regards the mending and decides to get in with that task, wordlessly picking up one that seems to be in the worst condition, murmuring to those beside her to pass a spare needle and thread. She's yet to involve herself in the conversation, though what more could be said to the advice already being given around the table. Stitching it is then!

Borodin shrugs a little to Jastre. "Yeah, but. Most of them don't care about you." So it's a huge and impersonal crowd. Much better, right? "Unless you've got family or… something." He shrugs, though Polana's suggestion makes him look up at her and blink a few times. "Uh. I… guess?" Whatever helps? But he's not going to be doing that. He'll just imagine them in these robes, like the one he's repairing. He smiles slightly when Zaala actually looks up at him, then as she looks down, he frowns and looks away. More sewing. This robe will rue the day it ever had holes in it. … oh wait. It appears to actually be fully repaired. Well… he'd better start another one, then.

Jastre blushes at Polana's words. "I don't think picturing anyone naked would be the right thing to do in that situation. Just consider what the dragons would think if they saw that." He finished the robe and so was just sitting here talking, but then it seems at the appearance of another's firelizard, his own decided to show up and make her presence known with creeling. Blushing again, for a different reason now, he pretends that the floor just swallowed him whole as he goes to feed her with a hurried excuse me to the others. Oh great, now he looks like an idiot. Hopefully she'll stop this soon.

Polana nods when Th'ero tells her to correct way to address Kimmila. Dtirae gets a grin and Jastre a chuckle, and then there is a sudden look of alarm on her face. Then she begins muttering, "no, no, no, no, don't you dare!" In a rush she stands up and exclaims, "I'm sorry, I have to go! I think I finished the robe and, well, Opal has found her way into someone's drawers in the candidate barracks and is making a nest. I think it would be best if I put an end to that." She will wait until they say she is allowed to go, and as soon as they do she will run off after he misbehaving little flit.

Th'ero doesn't appear to quite believe the Weyrwoman when she claims all is well, but he's not about to drag her into an argument or a battle of wills now. Plus, he hasn't had anything to drink! Oh, and there are Candidates around. So he'll only nod and respectfully murmur, "I'm glad to hear this. Zuvaleyuth is well too?" Polite and neutral talk, so typical of the Weyrleader! Watching as Jastre takes off, he will turn his gaze to Borodin and nod. "Exactly. Don't focus on the galleries. Focus on the eggs and the hatchlings as best you can and get out of the way if needed." So simple, right? Riiiight. Polana's outburst has Th'ero alarmed, already preparing to push out of his seat in haste if need be, only to sink back with a smirk. "See to it that she makes her nests in more favorable locations?" he calls to the retreating Candidate, only to sigh. "I should be off as well. Velokraeth is demanding my attention and there are some reports I should review. Good evening to you Candidates, Weyrwoman. I trust I will see you all at the festival in a few days?" Th'ero will smile then, rising to his feet and grabbing his jacket from the peg, slipping it on and then offering all a polite dip of his head in farewell before he's pulling the collar up close under his chin. As he turns to head out, he will pause to murmur something to Dtirae before walking away and out into the bowl.