Fort Weyr - Ledge of Autumn's Flame
The second ledge reached along the long and narrow flight of stairs is now Kayeth's. Hundreds of turns of Senior Queens have rested their heads along this rocky outcrop, and Kayeth lays where Holth, Wiyaneth and countless others once did. The second couch of the weyr is often empty, unless Kayeth is entertaining visitors. This vast cavern looks out across the bowl towards the lake and the rockslide, and the setting sun often bathes this ledge in amber and rose hues. Annexed to this large cavern is both the Council Room and the Records Room, the latter reached by a flight of descending circular stairs.
A curved couch has been set up inside the cavern, forming a small quiet reading nook with a view of both dragon couches and the weyr. A bookcase behind it holds the records she uses most often, so Nyalle doesn't have to work her way down the narrow stairs. Beside the hearth is an old wood china cabinet filled with a few pieces of precious china, each tea cup and saucer different from the others.
A short hallway and a door separates the weyr from Nyalle's sleeping room, and beyond that is her bath. The portion of the chiseled stone which sits directly beneath Tooth Crag has been curtained off, and forms a little lounge/office, where Nyalle and work or entertain visitors.


Things aren't going too well of late. After his disastrous meeting with both Kimmila and Abigail outside the Weyr walls, Mr'az has been busy going about the rest of his duties before nightfall. By the time he climbs the stairs to Nyalle's ledge and weyr, the bronzerider is exhausted and all the more conflicted. He'd never envisioned being Weyrleader would amount to this. Part of him, deep down, knows he's doing wrong but he can't seem to stop himself. Can't allow himself a moment of weakness and admit he just… sucks at the role given to him by age-old tradition. As he steps inside, closing the door behind him to keep the chill late autumn air out, he breathes a low sigh. "Nyalle?" Is she within?

Nyalle is, curled up as best she can on the couch and scanning reports, dressed in a warm nightgown and robe. Looking up, she smiles. "Hello, Mr'az. Come in, get warm."

"That'd be nice," Mr'az answers as he steps away from the door, removing his boots first and then his jacket. Rubbing his hands together to get some of the feeling back into his fingers, he walks towards the couch where Nyalle is so comfortably curled up. "Mind if I join you?" he asks softly.

Nyalle shkes her head, smiling warmly up at him. "Of course not. Here, have a seat, would you like some tea?" she offers, leaning forward around her rounded belly to reach for the pot which is almost certainly at least half full.

Mr'az knows better than to try and counter her offer by saying he'll get it himself. As she's already picked up the pot, he'll smile faintly and nod. "Of course." He'll at least grab a mug and let her do the rest as he settles himself beside her on the couch. The reports are barely given a glance. His interest, for now, is in her. "How are you feeling?"

Nyalle gives him his tea and settles back with a soft groan, resting her hand over her belly. "Tired, but I'm doing okay. She's moving, want to see if you can feel this time?"

Mr'az won't pass up a chance like that. His hand reaches over to rest gently against the curve of her belly. "She? You're hoping our child is a daughter?" he murmurs as he gently moves his hand in hopes of feeling this movement she speaks so much of. He's silent and thoughtful and troubled inside but he keeps that at bay for now, distracted by Nyalle and their unborn child.

Nyalle blushes lightly. "Sort of," she murmurs. Which means that, yes, she is hoping for a sweet little girl. "Tell me about your day?" she asks, settling deeper into the couch and holding as still as she can, in the hopes he can feel the baby move.

Mr'az can't help but smile at her blushing as she admits her desire. "Hopefully it will be a daughter then," Though truthfully he'll be pleased with either a daughter or a son. It will be his first born (that he's aware of). He'll let her get comfortable while he keeps his hand on her belly. How was her day? His disgusted, disgruntled snort should say it all. "Not good." Is all he answers with. "I'm trying but it seems for every step I take, some are going about undoing it or countering me in some way. They say it's for the better, but they just don't get it."

Nyalle looks up at him, her brows furrowed slightly. "Countering you? But…" He's the Weyrleader! "What happened?" She is slowly starting to realize that her blind faith in him might have been misplaced.

Mr'az shrugs his shoulders, pretending that he's no clue as to why the riders don't seem to be listening to him. Not all of them, anyways. His hand lifts from her belly, joining his other hand already wrapped around his mug. "It's nothing, really. Just… old differences. Neither Abigail or Kimmila seem overly fond of me. Abigail I'm surprised about," Not really. "but Kimmila? Not in the slightest there. I've half a mind to pull her from her coveted role. Her and Th'ero be damned." Grumbling, he'll lift his mug to his lips and quietly drink. "Kimmila thought it was her right to offer that delegation of holders some of our herdbeasts, after I had said to them otherwise. The trade of our herds are you duties and your juniors. So now we'll have cotholders thinking they've a direct source to our supplies."

Nyalle shifts a bit, hiding her unease behind her lifted mug. "Who would take over her position? She is…" She pauses, tries another tact. "I know you two don't get along but she is good at what she does…" There's another pause, and then slowly asked, "Why did you say otherwise?"

"That's just it. I don't know…" And that galls Mr'az to no end, that he knows Nyalle is right and even he believes it. Kimmila is a good rider at what she does but he hates having someone so abrasive in that position. Only he doesn't realize that she's only abrasive to HIM, not to everyone. "Because we need to concern ourselves with our own people first. We've no idea what this winter will bring… I worry that if we offer too much, they'll expect it all from us and then what?"

Nyalle shakes her head a little bit. "We have enough, we can share a few beasts…and I have never heard of a cothold in this region just…begging without doing their fair share. Fortians are a stubborn lot. Hate to even ask for handouts."

Mr'az frowns as he absorbs this. Nyalle may be the only one who can eventually get through to him. "I suppose. You'd know best, as you work with our stores and supplies and herds…" Now he seems conflicted, but he mulls over his thoughts in silence as he nurses his drink. Eventually he'll speak again but it won't be the answer she expects. "I'm recalling Jajen from Drake's Lake." he says quietly.

Nyalle stiffens at that, her eyes widening and then darting to the wallow where Kayeth sleeps. Deeply, thankfully. Even then, Nyalle whispers. "Why?"

Mr'az immediately reaches for Nyalle's hand, holding it gently if she doesn't recoil from him. He meets her gaze, his voice firm and steady. He's got his reasoning behind this! "Because I believe it's overdue. I've heard that she's… changed. But I've also found reports that are… troubling. Hints that some of this corruption being unearthed has ties to the South. Not of Jajen's doing, but she could be used without her knowledge. She's too inexperienced. Which is why I want to recall her and send Dtirae in her stead for now. If she causes trouble, Nyalle, we'll send her back…"

Nyalle shakes her head, hand gripping his. "It's a bad idea, Mr'az. A bad, bad idea…"

"Why? How will we know unless we try? Is she truly that terrible she deserves to be permanently banished from her home?" Mr'az doesn't seem to think so and he'll continue to hold her hand, squeezing it reassuringly. "I don't even think Th'ero meant it to be long term. Not even with that bronzerider he exiled."

Nyalle frowns. "Were you not here the last time? Kayeth loathes her queen…it nearly split the weyr…"

Mr'az grimaces, "I was here the last time. Can Kayeth not forgive or at the very least… tolerate her? At least for awhile."

Nyalle looks nervously at her sleeping queen. "I don't know," she finally says softly. Honestly.

"We should try. There's something wrong in the South too and I fear Jajen may be wrapped up in it whether or not she's fully aware. I wish I had all the reports but…" Mr'az just grimaces and he's too proud (yet) to go confronting Th'ero about it. Of course, he COULD corner D'ani just as well.

Nyalle sighs. "And we're grounded…" For various reasons. "I wish I was helping you out more with this, Mr'az. I know it's been hard on you…" Because you suck at it.

"Don't worry yourself needlessly, Nyalle. I'll be alright. We'll be alright." Mr'az is quite confident in that. He gathers her gently in his arms, embracing her as he rests his head against hers. "I'd not risk bring Jajen back if I didn't think you and Kayeth could handle it. If Iaverulth is… pleasant enough, do you think it may help? They say there is a very low, to no risk of her going proddy. She hasn't shown a sign of glowing since her last flight."

Nyalle shakes her head, still looking strained. Nervous. "I don't know. It was so horrible last time…" It's very likely that Nyalle's fears will transmit to Kayeth upon the other queen's return.

"I know. But that was Turns ago…" Mr'az tries again to assure her, to comfort her. "We'll be wiser this time and more cautious."

Nyalle still doesn't think it's a good idea. But what is she going to do, tell him no? She never has done that. Probably never will. "Okay…"

And that is why they do not make a good Weyrleading pair. Sad, but true. Mr'az exhales heavily and leans in to gently kiss her. "Thank you for trusting me." Not that it has anything to do with trust.

Nyalle returns the kiss and smiles gently. "You're welcome…" Warning, warning, warning! She'll look back at this and kick herself for not standing up for what she knows is right.

Mr'az is sadly clueless. "Is there anything I can do for you? It's getting late, but I can always see if there's anything in the kitchens. Or I can send a drudge to fetch us some food."

Nyalle shakes her head, stifling a yawn. "No…thank you. I just need to finish reading these reports and then I can get to bed…"

Mr'az nods and does not argue, though he does attempt to wryly convince her to at least move from the couch. "How about you finish reading in bed? I promise to behave myself and not interrupt your work." Just a small, teasing joke and he'll even lift his hands as if to show her he's serious about that "promise".

Nyalle smirks. "You'd better behave, I'm too tired for anything else tonight…"

"You've my word," Mr'az murmurs as he finishes his drink and sets the mug aside. "Let me clean up here. You go on to the bed, I'll join you shortly." And he really does mean it. He won't harass her tonight or try to distract her from her work once he does join her. He may ask a few curious questions, but aside from that he keeps to himself and to his thoughts.

Good, because the pregnant lady needs sleep!


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