Who Nyalle, Rulayn, Th'ero
What Th'ero and Nyalle are talking and a very muddy Rulayn makes a brief appearance; Nyalle leaves, but won't tell the Weyrleader where she's going.
When Winter, Turn 2711
Where Northeast Bowl, Fort Weyr

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Fort Weyr - Northeast Bowl
The northern end of the bowl can be an intimidating area, being that Fort is the largest weyr. The far north wall contains the gigantic opening to the hatching caverns, and to the west of that can be seen the sprawling ledges and carved stair cases that mark the way to the administration complex and the training grounds were candidates and weyrlings can often be found. The west cliff wall towers up, dotted here and there by darker openings that mark individual weyrs before it tapers to a point at Tooth Crag.

With Turnover the night before, Fort is quiet this snowy morning, with most folks sleeping in and fighting off hangovers from the festivities. Not, however, Nyalle. The proper Senior Weyrwoman is standing in the bowl, her winter skirts dusted with powder and her long red cloak buttoned and the hood over her hair while gloved fingers work on Kayeth's buckles and straps. The autumnal gold's hide has dimmed slightly with the approach of winter, but there's a gleam to her eyes as she surveys the bowl.

If Kayeth is out, then Velokraeth is, without a doubt, nearby; in fact, one only has to look up and see him lounging on one of the ledges. The pale, ugly bronze is "dozing" but most know it's just a ruse. Th'ero will make his appearance at some point, walking from the council chambers that serve as a temporary meeting area for the Wingleaders. He's dressed in his usual sombre winter gear, all black and brown leathers that stand out against the fallen snow. Approaching, he will dip his head respectfully. "Morning, Weyrwoman."

With early mornings seeming to befit the two older individuals, they certainly are not a favourite of the poor stable girl. Rulayn is, in fact, still half-asleep for that matter. With the cold air being the only thing keeping the young woman awake at this hour she's wrapped up in the usual hide clothing to shield herself from the elements. What's visible of her face is already muddy and her clothes seem to be suffering from the same fate; clearly the work of a disrespectful runnerbeast. As Rulayn makes her way across the bowl with feet dragging she finds herself pausing at the sight of the nearby Gold. It's always a rare sighting for one such as herself so she takes the liberty to pause and admire Kayeth and Nyalle from afar.

Kayeth rumbles quietly to the Weyrleader, and then lifts her head to observe her mate high above. With a low chuffing, she seeks to call him down to the bowl. Nyalle finishes the buckle before turning, dipping into a slight curtsey. "Weyrleader. Faring well this morning I hope?" she asks, eying him briefly for signs of a hangover. Then her gaze shifts to the stablegirl, the same moment Kayeth's head swings around to observe her as well. With a low rumble, the queen acknowledges the girl, but no more than that. Nyalle simply nods.

Velokraeth never spurns Kayeth's call and takes only a moment to stretch, shaking the stiffness from his crooked, twisted front-limbs before he makes the short jump-glide down to the bowl below. He rumbles low, making his approach with his head respectfully dipped; not entirely unlike how his rider greeted the Weyrwoman moments ago. "Only a minor headache and it's not caused by alcohol," Th'ero smirks and his reply holds nothing but honesty. He'd been present for most of the festivities, the celebrations higher than the norm, given the clear for most of Fort's residents to return. "Yourself? Kayeth is looking well this morning." Rulayn won't escape being unnoticed, Th'ero's gaze shifts and he gives a familiar nod to the girl. Don't be shy? No one bites!

Being acknowledged by a Queen is more honour than deserving of a stablegirl (or so Rulayn thinks) and so she's quick to show her respect. Managing a stiff bow to both Dragon and Rider, the girl utters a brief "My lady." in response and is almost ready to hurry off to her duties when the sight of Th'ero comes into view. How fortuitous! Quickly Rulayn gives a curt smile and nod to the Weyrleader before turning her back on the pair and dropping to a knee, turning her attention to one of her boots and pretending to fix the laces. The oldest trick in the book for eavesdropping!

Kayeth chuffs in amusement at Rulayn's obvious lingering, before she's tilting her muzzle towards Velokraeth. Right here. It itches. Nyalle turns back to the straps after a brief smile for the stablegirl. "No?" she queries her Weyrleader. "By what, then? Are we beginning the new turn with another disaster?" Was that an attempt at humor? If so, it falls flat. She glances at the stablehand again, and then says softly to Th'ero. "Is she new? Or…" Has the Senior just been avoiding the stables since the death of her favorite runner?

Velokraeth obliges and begins to preen and fuss over Kayeth; whatever her demands, he will see to them… within reason, of course. Th'ero grimaces as he shakes his head, brows furrowed in thought, "No disaster but it IS just the start of a new Turn. Give it time…" he mutters. "It's the organizing of shuffling everyone back here and NOT having ourselves flooded by anxious people coming home. Organizing Haast has been a nightmare." When is it not? Quirking a brow, he'll realize that Rulayn is still lingering. Well… not for long. "I believe she can answer that herself." he drawls, gesturing for her to approach and introduce herself.

Rulayn clearly seems to be operating under the assumption that if you can't see her, she can't see you - which doesn't seem to be working right now. Oblivious to the attention she's drawing to herself, Rulayn strains her ears to listen for any juicy morsel or tidbit until Th'ero's words hit her. Oh dear. Pretending furthermore to straighten out the creases in her tunic as she rises back up, she turns to the pair with a strained, almost forced smile. "Not new, m'lady. Just kept busy and out of sight, usually!" She again bows, managing a more fluid motion this time. "My name is Rulayn, ma'am." Then glancing to Th'ero, she gives him the same treatment. "Sir."

Nyalle sighs a bit. With Kayeth leaning into Velokraeth's attentions, the Senior knows they'll be no flying until the gold is satisfied she's received enough attention. Might as well be social, then. Tucking gloved hands into the pockets of her cloak, Nyalle offers Rulayn a small smile. "Ah. My apologies," she says a touch awkwardly. As if she should know every single person in the weyr. (She should) "Can you not delegate to Abigail?" That, of course, is said to Th'ero.

Always blame the dragons for ruining plans! Especially if one of them happens to be Velokraeth. Th'ero casts a brief glance to his bronze and his behaviour towards Kayeth and maybe, JUST maybe he's beginning to suspect something… but promptly pushes that thought aside. "Well met, Rulayn. You must be happy to have your quarters back? The bathing caverns are cleared to enter too," he points out, noticing the muddied state of the stablehand. Turning to Nyalle, he smirks. "She's got her hands full too. I can only delegate so much on my Weyrsecond."

"Very happy, thankyou." Rulayn offers a more sincere smile towards the Weyrleader and proceeds to let herself drift out of the conversation. While stories of Haast may be interesting to the 'refined' ear, Rulayn had been hoping on something a little more interesting. Still, there was other times to be nosy and those times were not when Rulayn was covered head-to-toe in mud. With the mention of the bathing caverns perking the girl right up, she gives a record-breaking fourth bow as a farewell and proceeds to turn, hurrying off towards the Living Caverns to clean up.

Nyalle lifts her shoulder in a small shrug. "It was a thought." And probably one he'd already had, but still. She's helping. She dips her head back to the stablehand, about to say more before the girl darts off. "She seems…nice?"

"I'd spoken with her briefly when I'd gone to the Trader square and was getting the general idea of the concerns of those living in the camps," Th'ero explains to Nyalle after nodding in farewell to Rulayn. "She'd apparently met my son, K'vir, on his last visit here. I'd wondered why he was so adamant I hold council among my weyrfolk as soon as possible. I'll have to talk to him about that…"

Nyalle lifts her brows. "Your son was…mingling?" Is that the kindest way to put it? She /wants/ to say 'meddling'. But she won't.

Mingling. Meddling. Bedding? Th'ero's run the gamut of those words. "He probably meant well. He's young, probably tried to impress her but I won't have my rank used for his conquests. If he's going to insist on finding…" He clears his throat a bit. "…company here, he needs to do that on his own power." Not play the 'my father is the Weyrleader' card. Not that K'vir MEANT to in the case of Rulayn. It just happened.

Nyalle blinks a few times. "Company? You mean…?" She trails off and looks in the direction Rulayn went, frowning. Weyrwoman /disapproval/. For whatever /that/ is worth.

Th'ero exhales softly when he catches that disapproval from her; it takes every bit of his self-control not to just outrightly laugh. Even if it bothers him too that his son has reached THAT AGE. Where has time gone? "He's young, Nyalle." He almost adds 'and a bronzerider' there but bites his tongue in time. "He won't do anything to disgrace Igen or Fort but he's a boy. You can't fault him for finding interest in girls."

Nyalle shakes her head a little bit, but she holds her tongue. Kayeth, satisfied with Velokraeth's attentions, rumbles to her rider and Nyalle quickly turns back. "Well, we're off. We'll be back by lunch," she tells him, climbing up onto Kayeth's foreleg.

"Where are you going?" Th'ero, of course, asks that important question only AS Nyalle is wanting to leave; not that he stops her from approaching Kayeth and mounting up. He'll respectfully step back, while Velokraeth gives his warmest regards and compliments for the gold to go enjoy herself before returning to that ledge he'd left earlier.

Nyalle pauses, looking down at him with an odd expression. "Out."

Th'ero's brows knit again and he's about to ask again but decides against it, his mouth drawing down to a thin, grim line. "Be safe, then, Weyrwoman. We will see you at lunch." Should he really begrudge her wanting to go 'out'? Without another word, he turns on his heel and marches back up the stairs to the admin complex and back inside to his public office.

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