Fort Weyr - Gemstone Tavern

The dim lighting by the flicker of candles lining the walls is enough to offer a view of a room decorated in such a way as to be tastefully appealing. Each piece of furniture and decoration is chosen to accent another piece, and so on and so forth, matching and tying the whole room together in a theme that's separate, and yet at the same time unified. Tables line one wall, dimly lit by candles hanging in sconces all along. The bar along the far right wall is made of richly toned mahogany, tooled by a master and polished to shine with the soft glow of wood at its finest.
Candles strategically placed add to the atmosphere, accenting, punctuating. Towards the back is an open fireplace, constantly burning with a bright light, warming the tavern on cold nights and serving as a gathering place for patrons' story-tellings. Across the room, lush pillows and soft-covered floors promote relaxation at ease. Just before the pillows is a long stage, so full of its own vigor and memory - nicks here, marks there, scuffs from footware and other things - that it's possible to imagine the shows put on for the patrons without necessarily seeing the performances.

During the night, more heavy snow had fallen despite the seasons being in cusp as winter slowly rolls into spring. Morning comes, the rising sun casting it's feeble light over the new drifts cast up everywhere and thickly on ledges and well… everywhere. But as the day rolled on, the air grew warmer and now with the afternoon hours ticking by to evening, most of the snow has begun to melt, making most pathways a slurried mess of slush and mud. The Weyr is bustling with activity all the same, most Fortian's not dissuaded by the weather or winter's lingering hold. And in what has become a rare thing, Th'ero has settled himself in the Gemstone Tavern rather then remain within the Weyr or be off Faranth knew where on Pern. The Weyrleader has holed himself up in one of the farthest tables, oblivious to the other tavern customers or visitors for once and they seemingly ignoring him despite his rank. He isn't alone either, another sits close to his side and they seem to be engaged in low discussion with each other. Th'ero's hands rest on either side of his mug of ale and his brows are furrowed into a frown, but beyond that the bronzerider looks to be in an agreeable mood. It's hard to say why he is there though, as the Gemstone is not known for a place to seek out some peace and quiet. The tavern itself seems reasonably crowded, certainly not to it's fullest yet though that may very well change as more drift in from duties and work and seek refreshment before heading out again back towards home or weyr.

Kimmila is the one seated beside the Fortian Weyrleader, her hands cupped around a steaming mug of spiked cider. Murmuring quietly to him, she shoots him an odd look and then shrugs, straightening and leaning back in her chair, casting her gaze around the room. Bundled up in a sweater that looks warm enough, the woman wears no knot as is her custom, though many recognize and know her as a bluerider from Western.

Slush mud. How… fun. The pathways are fairly similar to the beastpens and Edani is wearing the evidence of this on his boots. Boots which are carefully scraped and then wiped on the rug outside before stepping into the Tavern. Still. It doesn't help except for his soles. His boot tops and legs are splattered with gooey, muddy droplets. At least he's not tracking mud inside and that's what counts, right? And he's here becaaaaause? Well the man needs something to soothe his shot nerves apparently. He stands beside Cesran briefly while ordering an ale, nods to the silent crafter but says nothing until the 'tender slides his ale over and coins are returned. Then it's just a muttered indecipherable comment, probably a hello as he steps away from the bar to find a spot to sit. Which happens to the the table next to where Th'ero and Kimmila are, not that he's noticed. He flumps into a chair without any grace and takes a long draught of the ale.

Th'ero is dressed in a long sleeve and heavy fabric tunic and his usual dark riding gear, black on black and rather dreary. His jacket has been slung over the back of his chair, his knot hidden beneath the folds not that he could go undercover even here. Most know him on sight, after all. At Kimmila's odd look, he only frowns right back and snorts, leaning back in his chair as well until it creaks and his shoulders shrug, "I'm just saying," he mutters under his breath, but nothing more is elaborated on, as by then his gaze has swept the tavern again and as more filter in, the Weyrleader lulls into a bit of a silent pause to size up the arrivals. Cesran is given a curious, but brief look before Edani's arrival catches his attention and more so because the Beastcrafter seats himself nearby. "Afternoon," Th'ero murmurs in a low and level tone, friendly enough though no smile follows and very little warmth behind his words.

Kimmila shrugs again at Th'ero, but apparently she has no more to say on the subject as she takes another sip of her cider. Green eyes flick around the tavern, noticing Cesran at the bar and then following Edani's progress to the nearby table. "It's pretty sh - crappy outside, isn't it?" she asks with a wry grin pulling at her lips.

Cesran gets his ale and he gives a nod back to Edani. He pays the bartender, "Thanks." The apprentice goes to find a seat as well that just happens to be near the others. He nurses the drink that he has, "Yah hopefully the weather will get better."

Edani is getting into his ale. Or striving to empty his mind of… His dark brown eyes open warily at the greeting from Th'ero and his response is a heartfelt, "And thank Faranth that it is!" Kimmila's comment draws a nod and he lifts his mug to his lips to take another gulp when he notices the knot on Th'ero's shoulder. Splutter-coughing, he swallows hastily and amends, "I mean yes sir, good afternoon." They haven't met, but he recognizes the knot. He'd sit up straighter but lacks the energy and the motivation, though he elaborates, mostly for the woman, "It's worse when someone leaves the gate unlocked and I have to chase the breeders all over the place to get them back where they're supposed to go." Yeah, slip-sliding through slush mud while being splattered with kicked up goop is not his idea of a good time. He nods agreement with Cesran. Short, sweet and to the point. And without pesky words to complicate the sentiment: Better weather, yes please!

Th'ero turns his head subtly, just enough to glance sidelong towards Kimmila as the bluerider hastily corrects herself. While he shows no sign of amusement by his features, such as a quirk of the mouth, his eyes do flash with mirth. Hidden by the table, he rests his hand lightly on her thigh and remains there. The other hand stays firmly stuck to his ale mug and it's lifted up as the Weyrleader takes a slow sip of it, lowering it as Cesran settles nearby and Edani replies to his greeting, "A long day then?" he asks, tone drawled and accented, though not as thickly as some and notably not Northern or Fortian. Brows quirk upwards when the Beastcrafter splutters and ammends himself, Th'ero grimacing at the formality. "No need for the sir. I appreciate the formality, but it seems redundant when we are in a tavern and all enjoying a casual ale." A cryptic way of saying he's not "on duty" (can a Weyrleader be off duty?) or simply waving aside the nitty gritty of things. No, they haven't met but Th'ero will fix that soon enough. "Beastcrafter, then? Newly posted?" There's a frown given when Edani goes on to explain the day's woes to Kimmila, but he leaves that for the bluerider to chime in on. Cesran now earns another curious darting glance. "Once we're firmly into spring, things should liven up." Th'ero murmurs with a faint smirk. By liven, he means the spring rains, more mud and mild and still cool weather. Oh joy!

Kimmila blinks a bit in surprise, glancing down at Th'ero's hand on her leg. Smiling a little, she rests her hand on his. Hidden, yes, but still. "Oh, it'll improve into rain. And then glorious summer and beautiful fall…and then back into winter." She winces at Edani's tale, shaking her head. "Who left that open?" she asks with a frown. "Shards, that's a sh- sucky day. You need another drink." And so does she, apparently, as she drains her ale and scoots out of her seat, leaving poor Th'ero's hand thigh-less. The bluerider goes to the bar to order another round, and lingers there, chatting idly to a greenrider who is drinking her woes away.

Cesran winces a little bit, "That stinks that you had to go chasing after them in this weather, did you manage to catch them all?" He asks and he nods, "I hope so otherwise those candidates will be slogging around to do their chores in the muck. Won't that be fun."

Edani doesn't have the energy to leap to his feet and salute - even if it was his style, which it isn't. Overly casual with ranking folk isn't either but he does appreciate the Weyrleader's lack of formality in this instance. "Aye, they all are. Just didn't need extra today." Kimmila's question draws a headshake, "No idea who left it so, but it had to be deliberate." As she moves to slip away, he agrees, "Do I ever! But I'm only allowed one, alas." He relaxes back against his chair, lifting his mug to his lips and drains half of it, quirking a brow at Cesran over the rim. Lowering the glass, his smile is lopsided, "Them and everyone else. If it's outside that the work needs doing." He wipes the froth with the napkin rather than his sleeve (his ma would be proud) and offers his hand across the aisle to the Weyrleader. "Beastcrafter, yes. I'm Edani. I've been posted about two months now. Field study for my Journeyman knot." It's said with a quiet pride and determination.

Cesran smiles, "Nice to meet you Edani, I'm Cesran, Apprentice Techcrafter, born and raised here." He takes a sip of his ale and he gives a polite wave to the Weyrleader as he's not close enough to shake hands.

Th'ero doesn't look too surprised when Kimmila leaves to wander towards the bar, though he gives the bluerider and his weyrmate a long and lingering look that borders on questioning. But he doesn't voice any remark on the matter, his attentions soon drawn back to Edani and the conversation at hand. "Prank?" The Weyrleader asks bluntly, not skirting around any bushes or subtle talk, though he seems simply curious rather then dead serious or alarmed even. The Beastcrafter will get a long look though from the bronzerider, especially as things move on into the area of greetings and names. "Ahh, excellent to hear that, Edani. Aside from the rough start today, your studies go well? I'm afraid I haven't had much…. time, lately, to check in on Beastcraft business within the Weyr." Th'ero murmurs, standing a bit in his seat so he can reach forwards to take the offered hand. His grip is firm and sure, lingering only long enough for the gesture to be completed well within polite reasons. Cesran's greeting earns him another lingering look from Th'ero as he settles himself comfortably again, mug raised as he drains a little more of the ale. "Techcraft?" And he sounds a little surprised, given so little technology is housed within the Weyr, but even what little there is needs to be maintained at some point.

Edani's grip is likewise firm from a hand that's well used to work and he's soon pulling his hand back to drain his mug. "Probably," he says with a grimace in reply to the question of pranks though he does add, "It's been happening of late often enough that I'm starting to wonder. The bull's pen was left unlatched a few days ago but he didn't notice, thankfully. That could have been dangerous. We rounded all of the strays up today, but we could use some locks." Belatedly answering Cesran's question there. With a nod in response to Cesran's introduction, Edani stands to take the step needed to offer his hand to the techcrafter since he's sitting too far away to simply lean and shake his hand. "Well-met Cesran." Then to the both of them, "Aye, my studies are going well, Weyrleader. But…" He rubs the back of his neck, "I'll need to go feed and finish my rounds. Will you two excuse me?" Well-mannered perhaps, for a simple beastcrafter, but this is Edani.

Cesran hmms, "New locks that's something you should ask the smith craft about although I wonder, would that fall under techcraft. I'll have to look in to that." He says mostly to himself, "Maybe if you wanted electronic locks." He smiles, "Nice to meet you too Edani. Please go ahead." He looks over towards the Weyrleader, "Yep techcraft. Every weyr needs techcraft."

"I'll see to it that the request is put forwards immediately to the Headwoman then. We ought to have locks in storage and if not, the Smithcrafters should be equipped enough to fashion a few suited for the purpose." Th'ero murmurs and while he waved off formality before, his response is every bit of it as he takes Edani's simple comment as serious as though the Beastcrafter had formally lodged a request. "I agree. I'd rather not have bulls running amok in the bowls. There is enough going on right now to occupy us." he reflects grimly, but elaborates no further as he sips again at his ale. The thought has crossed his mind too that it may not just be pranks, but he keeps those worries quietly to himself. "Of course. Perhaps we will cross paths again," he tells him, giving a slight nod of his head as a farewell to Edani before turning back to Cesran and giving the TechCrafter a long look, "I do not see the need in electronic locks, as metal suits the purpose just fine. But thank you for the offer," Th'ero has never been one to really understand technology, having never been raised around it and thus a little naive on it. At the apprentice's remark, the Weyrleader snorts and smirks, "Perhaps. But Fort Weyr prides itself in staying to traditional routes as well. We have benefited from some tech, yes but we're by far not the most advanced. Western Weyr had more, though it's an unfair comparison, being so much newer and younger."

Not to be rude or anything, but - "Well, yeah," the beastcrafter agrees with Cesran with a 'duh' sort of note faintly lacing the words. "But I need to requisition them and get the order signed by whoever handles those things. Someone has to pay for them, you know." As with lunches, there are no free locks to be had. Th'ero gets a questioning glance. Maybe he does that? Or not… Point him to the right person? "But no, please, Cesran. Electric locks would just… complicate things." And there's the Weyrleader saving the day. For which Edani is grateful. "Thanks, sir." And so off Edani goes, back to the slush-mud and the bovine checking and the feeding rounds and the cow-chasing if they're loose again. Too bad he's had his one allowable ale for the day. Because it's not over yet.

K'drozen slips slowly into the bar glancing slowly about as he enters, making his way slowly over to the bartop to take a seat.
Cesran nods, "Very true, but the little tech that you do have does need to be maintained, from the heating and cooling system to the heating systems of the sands and the solar panels. Lots of stuff for a techcrafter to do."

Th'ero blinks for a moment, lowering his mug of ale again as he gives Cesran a long, pointed look as if truly inspecting the apprentice. "Heating system of the sands?" he drawls, almost suspiciously. "Fort's has always been natural and remains as such, as far as I am aware. This Weyr was built by the Ancients and has remained relatively self sustaining over the Turns via natural means." he explains, frowning. He hadn't read that wrong, had he? Granted, the Weyrleader did have to brush up on a lot of Fortian history in his first Turn in the position. No sense trying to lead an Weyr and not know it's past. No matter how many thousands of Turns it goes back. "But it is true, you do have a point. We have the archive and lab computers…" Which he avoids using, since Th'ero's use of the things has resulted in disaster most of the times.

K'drozen glances in Th'ero and Cesrans dirrection as he hears the Weyrleader speaking. He frowns softly and waves the tender over to order a drink, not approaching them at this time.

Cesran nods, "Right and they have existed for a long time, but as we see at Xanadu things like that can go wrong and do need to be fixed. I'm glad that nothing like that had gone wrong at Fort Weyr." He hmms, "Well as you said it was built by the ancients so they used much more advanced technology to hollow out the Weyr more than it was naturally, we are just lucky we can now keep up with what the Ancients had planned for us."

Th'ero chuckles dryly and shakes his head, lifting his mug again and this time draining the contents before lowering it with an audible 'thump' to the tabletop. The look he gives Cesran then is bordering on incredulous, if not surprised. "Xanadu and Fort are as different as fish and redfruit," The Weyrleader points out, "Given that Xanadu is not a naturally made Weyr and was crafted by men to suit dragonrider's needs." he murmurs. "They are not even situated as we are in the crater of an extinct volcano, to put it bluntly. They have no weyrs and with no natural way to heat sands, of course theirs is moderated by a technological system. Fort was found, natural and yes, perhaps carved and hollowed out a little more for practicality, but aside from that any… "systems" are purely natural and self sustaining." He pauses for a moment and then nods his head, "Yes. Barring any disasters and none have plagued Fort to my knowledge. A cave in or landslide, but nothing major." The Weyrleader seems to dismiss those as trifles almost as he continues to regard the apprentice with a glance that's edging between curious but all the more suspicious. Enough that he asks, rather bluntly and harsh of the poor apprentice. "And you said you were born to Techcrafters here and raised within Fort?"

Cesran nods a little bit, "Yes I was born here, although my parents are just Weyr folk. I mean no disrespect to my home Weyr. I know Xanadu is quiet different from Fort Weyr. Trust me I don't want Fort to change, I just want take care of the technology that is here and help to improve it while not losing the naturalness of Fort Weyr."

Th'ero takes a slow, deep breath and nods his head respectfully towards Cesran, "And no disrespect was taken. I was merely curious," The Weyrleader intones gently, his gaze now not as severe as before and any suspicion in his eyes gone, though he seems a little confused by the apprentice's response. "An admiral goal. Fort prides itself on it's natural state, as I've come to discover." he admits with a vague and faint smile. "But even we haven't escaped /all/ of technology. There are the computers and the lighting… so we do need TechCraft skills for those for certain. Every Craft has it's purpose." With that, Th'ero is slowly rising to his feet, reaching back to snare his jacket and slip it on. "I apologize," he begins, giving Cesran an apologetic glance while he fastens his jacket closed. "But I am needed back at the Weyr. Clear skies!" And then he gives the apprentice a respectful nod of farewell before stepping briskly around the table and off towards the bar. K'drozen is given a passing greeting, though it's to Kimmila that he ventures too, murmuring something to the bluerider and drawing her away from the greenrider that is now well into her cups, an arm slipping almost possessively around her as they walk out of the tavern together.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.