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.

It's mid-morning, somewhere between the morning breakfast rush and the upcoming lunch madness. The living caverns are relatively quiet, save for the staff buzzing back and forth, and the weyrfolk making their way through. Settled onto a table near the brunch snacks is Thys, little brown Shards settled in a happy ball in front of her, idly being stroked as she pens something down on a hide. She's interrupted by one of the caverns staff bringing her a fresh mug of klah, which she smiles thankfully for before setting down her pen and raising the mug to her lips as she leans back, taking a moment to relax.

Nyalle enters from the caverns, her hair braided, dressed in a dusty, work-relegated dress. Requesting a cup of tea from the drudges, she considers the area before making her way towards. "Might I join you?" the Senior asks politely, smiling down at Fort's newest Junior.

Ralik has clearly just come up from taking a bath, the hair he has bound back in a short tail dripping slightly against the shoulders of his tunic. He checks a chronograph on his wrist as he heads for the serving tables, intent on a decent breakfast before he has to disappear into the bowels of craftdom. He's distracted momentarily by the voice of Nyalle, seeing as he passes by, and looks from her to Thys, who gets a light grin by way of greeting. He won't interrupt, though, continuing on his journey so he can pour himself a mug of klah and pick something out to eat.

"Absolutely," Thys replies to Nyalle with a bright grin, patting the tabletop as an invitation. "Would you like anything? Shall I call Kinna back with the klah?" Shards wakes up from his snoozy little ball, stretching out slowly before getting up and waddling off down the table, to somewhere with fewer people to bother his sleeping. It's in watching him that Thys spots Ralik, her cheeks instantly blushed as she grins back at him, raising her fingers to wave - which turns into a beckon. C'mon over if you dare, glasscrafter!

Nyalle pulls out a chair and gracefully slides into it across from the young goldrider. "Thank you, but no, I've already sent for some tea." Her gaze watches the firelizard for a moment, smiling, and then it returns to Thys. "How are you settling in to your new duties?" Following her gaze to Ralik, the Senior lifts a hand in a still wave to him, with a warm smile.

Ralik loads his plate up quite healthily, seeing as once he's at work, he may not come up for air for a while. He accepts the beckon, apparently daring pretty easily to settle in with two goldriders, offering them both a half-smile as he says, "Thys. Ma'am." This last is for Nyalle, who also gets a respectful little head-bob. He'll slide into the seat beside Thys, if it's not problematic, and will set his things down, taking up a fat piece of bacon and plopping it on top of the sleepy firelizard's head. There you go.

Shards seems to like that bacon, as he snaps at it and starts happily chowing down. Thys grins at Ralik, giving him a quick wink. "So far so good, ma'am. I've just got this to finish and then I'll be headed into the archives. Though, actually, I did want to ask you something that didn't really fit into the morning meeting…" She sets her klah mug down, dropping her hand to her thigh to drum her fingers against it briefly. "Is there perhaps a spare weyr I could have temporary use of? Ralik can probably tell you how much Butter and Scotch are stinking up poor Rhen's ledge, but with the sickness… well, I don't want to risk putting them back in the pens, you know?"

Nyalle dips her head in return to Ralik, pausing as a drudge returns with a small wooden serving tray, upon which is a little tea pot and tea cup, as well as some sweetner, cream, loose tea and an infuser. Nyalle begins to prepare her tea with practiced ease, the process simple but soothing. "Good morning to you, Ralik." She looks at Thys and listens, but her brows furrow slightly. "Sorry, Butter and Scotch?"

"You could always give them a bath," Ralik says in a drawling, slightly teasing tone, taking a swallow of his klah before he helpfully comments, "Her caprines. Is the sickness still going?" This last seems directed towards Thys again, the man's expression a curious frown. He doesn't own or work with animals, so he honestly doesn't know. Not wanting to be too intrusive on their conversation, he'll follow up his inquiry by popping some food in his own mouth and sneaking Shards another bit of bacon. He's fattening him up for firelizard stew, muaha.

Thys seems surprised for a moment when Nyalle asks about her caprines, then nods when Ralik explains. "Yes, my caprines. Normally they're cared for by the Beastcrafters, but I isolated them when it seemed they might get sick, so they're in a sort of makeshift pen on Rhenesath's ledge." The young goldrider gives a gentle shrug of her shoulders, almost apologetic. To Ralik, she nods. "So far as we know, yes, though when I was doing the rounds in the region with Th'ero it didn't seem like any more holds had caught it - in man or beast." Something to be thankful for, her soft smile says.

Nyalle also seems surprised. "You have caprines?" Puzzled by this for a moment, she quickly moves on to the original question. "The sickness is still going, yes, but it seems to be isolated now. As for a spare weyr, I suppose. There are certainly plenty to choose from, though it'd be up high, you'd have to fence it off…" Otherwise…splat.

Ralik props his jaw on his fist, elbow on the table, as he considers the idea of the sickness still being around somewhere. Not a very comforting thought. He exhales roughly and shakes his head after a moment, going back to eating in an absent-minded sort of way, "That's good, at least… and if you need help with that, let me know." 'That' seems to refer to Thys's possible need to fence off a weyr for her caprines. Considering how Ralik is usually fairly talkative, if not acerbic and foul-mouthed to a degree, he's behaving himself quite well right now. Maybe he's scared of Nyalle… or Thys. Or both. Ahem. He looks between them both for a moment only to grin slightly, "Doing the rounds with Th'ero? So you're a full-fledged junior now, yeah?"

"Just the two of them, ma'am. I've had them since that fair, a few months into weyrlinghood… I think it was Rhenesath who planted the idea in my head." When in doubt, blame your dragon. Thys smiles warmly, drawing her klah mug back to take another sip from it. "I've got them for milk, really. And we'll," she looks at Ralik, nodding to take him up on his offer, "definitely get onto that. Sure-footed though they may be, some things are just too much…" Like the thought of a caprine hopping through the upper reaches of the Weyr's bowl. She nods to Ralik, unable to quash her grin. "Yep, myself and the Weyrleader were out visiting the holds just the other day… and I came home to a new knot." The one she taps on her shoulder, sitting right next to a Phoenix wingbadge.

Nyalle smiles at Ralik, taking a sip of her tea before her smile widens and warms at Thys. "That traveling, the visiting of the holds and cotholds, that's a Fortian tradition." If Th'ero didn't tell her. Which he probably did. "How did you find it, Thys? Did you enjoy meeting the people in our charge?"

Ralik takes a moment to be dramatically impressed by the knot, though he will relax a second later and tap it with the curve of a knuckle, "Congratulations, then. I guess I owe you a bottle of wine." He picks up his klah again and takes a deep swallow, amber eyes bright and vaguely amused for some reason. When he's done, he lowers it to the table and nods mildly, stating in an idle fashion, "That's a good idea, really, traveling around. Ah, as far as I see, anyway. I'm guessing that's why Crafts send their journeymen out, then reel them back in to become masters." Genius detective work there, Ral.

Thys grins when Ralik mentions wine. "You could owe me one, if you want; how about you come over and cook this time? After we've fenced the caprines off." Sorry, boyo, you're hooked into that. "I think it's a wonderful tradition, ma'am. It was very interesting, to say the least - so many very diverse opinions. I'm invited back for tea to some, and yet others… well, you'd think they'd rather spit on us than talk." Undoubtedly, Nyalle will have some clue of where she's talking about. "But I think the Weyrleader was pleased with how I kept my head when there were attempts to get a rise from me…"

Nyalle looks between Ralik and Thys, her smile gentle. Looking back to Thys, her smile warms. "Yes, there are many, many different people in Fort's territories. The trick is knowing how to handle them all. You will take them up on the offer for tea, yes? It means the world to them to have - or at least think they have - the ear of one of the goldriders of Fort." She chuckles. "I'm sure he was very pleased with how you handled yourself." Otherwise he wouldn't have handed over that knot. Nodding to Ralik, she agrees over another sip of tea. "One must be connected to the area, to the people you serve."

Ralik shrugs with little concern, chewing on a piece of bacon for himself as he agrees, "Sounds like a plan. I've got a little weyr-warming gift for you, too. Not what you asked for, just something small." He quiets down to listen as she describes the different places, wincing at the idea of anyone wanting to spit on people from Fort. The furrowed brow and look he gives to Thys suggests he might be asking her about that later. He will nod a bit in appreciation for Nyalle's agreement, of course, and twitches a slight smile as he murmurs, "Aye, I imagine it went fine. Thys is a pleasant, polite young lady." His expression is entirely angelic afterwards, because even if it's true, it never hurts to poke a bit of fun - unless someone pops you for it, in which case it can really hurt.

Thys prods Ralik under the table for his teasing. "Actually," she says brightly to Nyalle, grinning at the Weyrwoman, "I had planned on going to visit them this evening. They were so lovely, and it really was a shame to have to pull away from them so soon. I figured since they're so farming-focused, it would make sense to go later in the day when most of the outdoorsy chores are done with… even if it's not the best time for tea." She looks side-on at Ralik, grinning at him. "Perhaps you could come by when I'm back? If, of course, I'm a welcome guest Keystone…"

Nyalle smiles at Ralik, pleased at his compliment to her newest Junior. "Indeed she is!" No question here. "I think that is a lovely idea, Thys. It's always nice to take something along as well." She considers for a moment. "Perhaps a nice basket of fruit. We just had some brought up from the southern continent that would be nice to share."

Ralik blinks and perks slightly at the mention of something farming-focused, looking at Thys and then at Nyalle before he looks back again, "Ah, sure. Wait, where are you going that they're farming-focused?" He uses a napkin to clean off his hands, taking a drink from klah before setting it aside again so he can fold his arms loosely on the edge of the table.

"Fruit? That sounds like a great idea - and I might see if I can't find a little bit of time to pop out to gather a little bouquet of wildflowers… I have a feeling the lady of the hold might appreciate them." Thys grins, very keen on the idea now that the seed's been planted. She frowns a little at Ralik, not disapproving but surprised. "Keystone, Ralik, as I just said. They keep herdbeasts, which is one reason why we were checking in on them the other day, to see if there's been any signs of the sickness there. Have you heard of it?" Then she drums her fingers off the table, looking at Nyalle with an 'aha!' expression as a thought hits her. "Weyrwoman… have you thought about us perhaps selling the rabbit pelts that are left over? There's bound to be enough to satisfy the Weavers, if no-one else."

Nyalle is about to respond, but her eyes unfocus and her brows furrow. "Ah," she says, the sound soft but not very pleased. "Excuse me," she murmurs, pushing to her feet. "Kayeth is…" Unhappy. Rhenesath can probably feel it, the waves of irritation and discontent rolling off the Senior. With that, Nyalle abandons her tea and makes a hasty exit.

Ralik taps his temple in an apologetic fashion, giving his head a quick shake, "Ah, right, sorry. It didn't stick. I was just surprised to hear about you going somewhere farm-oriented. They might fancy some leather, too, if it's around." He nods his head a bit at the idea of the rabbit pelts, only to blink again as he watches Nyalle stand and flee. He tilts his head a bit, then shakes it again and smiles at Thys, "Any idea what that was about?" He's slowly getting used to people standing up in the middle of things and running out.

"Rhenesath's saying Kayeth is… upset, is all." Thys doesn't know much more than that, so she shakes her head, leaning towards Ralik so her shoulder bumps up against his. "Do you think you might have time to work on those teardrops for me sometime soon? I know I can free up an afternoon shortly where I can be down in the crafter's area to work on that necklace."

Ralik nods his head, returning the bump as he affirms, "Yeah. I already got some of them started, they just need to be, well, stretched. Anyway, I meant to ask if you wanted them to be pierced, like beads, or if you were planning to set them on the chain?" Sort of important, right. He glances over his shoulder to see who is left in the living caverns, then turns his head and kisses her shoulder once, lightly, before taking another drink of klah.

"Pierced, please, at the thinner end so I can thread a jump ring onto them." Thys blushes deeply when he kisses her, looking away to scan the living caverns in case someone might have seen. She looks just as thrilled about it as she does embarrassed, though, and gives Ralik's hand a little squeeze. "Will you come by tonight? If I let you know when I'm back from Keystone?"

"Of course," Ralik says, his voice sounding amused and incredulous at the idea that he wouldn't. He returns that squeeze, fingers lacing momentarily with hers, "I'll probably be awake pretty late getting stuff done, so just send Shards to me when you get in. I'll see if I can't have something set up to make you dinner, if you're hungry." He runs his thumb along the curve of her hand gently, just an idle gesture of affection, "I'll probably be able to finish the drops tonight, too, since they're already started. The rest of my day gets to be the lovely fun of making a number of glass beads for the Hall. Busy work more than anything else." He looks THRILLED at the prospect of churning out a bunch of beads. They're complicated internally, so he can't half-ass it, if you ever can with fire and molten glass, but that doesn't make them fun to put together.

"Tell you what," Thys says softly, watching his thumb on her hand, "you come over whenever you're ready. Whenever that may be. Finish your work and then come see me, ok? I'll get Shards to stick around if I'm not there, so you can send him off to me to say you've come. Ok?" It's her turn now to lean in for a cheeky little peck to Ralik's cheek, pulling back quickly with a grin. Then all contact is broken as she rolls up the hide she was working on, tucking away her pen. "I've got to get over to the archives or I'll never get done in time to get to Keystone. See you later?" She reaches over to brush her fingers lightly over his shoulder, then, with a little wink, she turns to leave. Shards sticks around. Ralik puts bacon on his head. Ralik is therefore awesome.