Harper Hall - Archives
Carved from a large and wide cave, it extends deep into the rock until the back curves into a semi-circle shape and it gives the illusion that the Hall has no ground beneath it. The Archives are their own separate 'bubble' of sorts and the ceiling is supported by well placed stone pillars carved from the natural stone and etched with knotwork designs. Hundreds of floor to ceiling bookshelves fill this cavernous room and while packed full it is obvious that the material here is handled with utmost care and meticulously categorized and kept from decay and damage. Glows and the newer addition of electrical lights allow ample enough lighting and a few tables and chairs are arranged for use for anyone wishing to quietly read over the information they seek. Somewhere amidst the stacks is a plain wooden door leading to the modest and small printing room, a leftover from earlier times when AIVAS requested one to be built but most of the machinery now moved to another Hall.

Winter means storms and so far it has delivered. Fort is buried under snow in the northern regions of the territory but overall it's been a typical season. It may make travelling a bit of a headache but thankfully Harper Hall is not that far from the Weyr at all and triply so if one rides a dragon. Rayathess, however, does not and he has no need to travel on this day. So the Journeyman Harper finds himself quietly working away in the archives and currently sits at one of the few tables in the room.

The fact that the Harper Hall is such a short hop away is certainly a happy thing for Br'enn; he's used to this weather, but flying in it is not fun. Chilled through even from just the small trip, the Phoenix bronzerider is quick to get indoors and, after warming up and asking for directions, attend to his purpose here today. The Archives are his destination, and while he's hoping to be in and out as quickly as he can…well. They're archives. It's a lot to search through. Hopefully someone who might be able to help him navigate the place will be near at hand. Stepping past the threshold, Br'enn automatically quiets his steps as if afraid to spook an animal and stands just looking around for a moment. Then he takes a few steps further inside, noting the man at the table and reflexively heading in his direction. "'scuse me," he says once he's close enough after lightly clearing his throat. "Would y'happen to be able to help me find somethin' in here? Can't say as I'm too familiar with the Archives." Even after being in them a couple of times.

The archives are very intimidating to one who doesn't know how to read or navigate them. Which is why there are usually Apprentice archivists about to help, but a Journeyman in law and history is just as good a guide. Rayathess looks up, brows knit together in a frown that instantly ebbs away when he catches the knot Br'enn wears and the patch that would signify him as a Phoenix Wingrider. "Welcome to the Hall Wingrider and yes, I could help you. What is it you're looking for?" he asks and careful to keep his features neutral, he likely has his suspicions. Slowly (and quietly) he'll push back his chair and stand, keeping a patient but slightly curious eye on the bronzerider.

"'s Br'enn, if y'don't mind," the bronzerider says with a nod and a smile, extending his hand to the Journeyman. "Bronze Tovihasuth's. I'm lookin' for…" How should he word it? He doesn't want to get too specific, or else questions he'd rather not answer might come up. "…Records of minor cotholds established in the Fort region over the past two decades." There. That'll be a good starting point, at least.

Too specific would certainly cause troubles but being to vague will as well. Rayathess' brows lift up at the request and his grimace says it all. "The entire Fort region? Or a certain section of it? There are maps over to the one end of the archives. If you can point out the general area, that'll make your searching easier. If you are wanting ALL of Fort's territory?" He shakes his head. They'd not have the time to cover all of that! "Well met, Br'enn. I'm Rayathess, Journeyman Harper. Law and history are my focused studies but I can certainly try to set you on the right path there…"

Br'enn reaches up and scratches his chin a bit uncomfortably at the sight of the Harper's grimace, the sound seeming oddly loud in the midst of the nearly-silent archives. Then the man names himself, and the bronzerider's brows arch a bit. "Y're Rayathess? Weyrleader Th'ero mentioned you were a good 'un to talk to. Well met. Ah…" Feeling more free to speak, he clears his throat a bit again. "Well, if I need to get more specific, I'm lookin' for the region spannin' a couple leagues to the east of the Weyr and the Hall. Any cotholds established in the last twenty Turns, and also any record of fires happenin' in that same region in the past ten. Have a little issue we're tryin to sort out," he explains, looking hopefully to the Harper.

Rayathess blinks and for a brief moment looks almost wary and suspicious. "Did he now?" Why is the Weyrleader giving his name out? It won't take the Harper long to thread two and two together and his assumptions are further clarified when Br'enn narrows down the field and mentions that key word. Fires? "This wouldn't have anything to do with that arsonist, would it?" he asks and he's careful to keep the pitch of his voice just-so that it doesn't carry. With more of an idea where to start, Rayathess gestures for Br'enn to follow him as he leads him deeper into the archives.

Rayathess mutters something that sounds suspiciously like cursing under his breath. "Most folk are decent and still hold to the old traditions and laws concerning dragon riders. If the Weyr is worried about dissent, you best speak to a Master Harper or the Masterharper and see if they can't put some of the posted Journeymen on alert." Meaning: spying. Listening. That "other" skill Harpers are known to have. "Rogue riders? Do you truly believe that's possible?" he mutters low as he comes across one section deep within the archives. His fingers will trace along one shelf and then jump to another as his eyes scan many of the rolled hides and bound record tomes resting here. They must be in the older Turns as it smells quite musty here. "Any record of newly established cotholds will be found in these… From about twenty and ten Turns ago." Rayathess proceeds to pull out two huge bound tomes and with a grimace, offers them to Br'enn. Happy reading? "As for fires… you'd have more luck with that in your Weyr records or, if you find the cothold, whichever Hold it was beholden too."

Br'enn nods as he listens to Rayathess, watching as the other man scans along through the stacks. "Seems more possible among the riders who aren't attached to Weyrs," he says. "Still. Gives us all a bad name. If the concern gets too great, 'm sure the Weyrleader will come to the Masterharper." Then he's being handed books - big ones - and his eyebrows furl. "Fardlin'… Are y'serious?" Well, at least it's better than the result might have been had he not gotten more specific. Chagrined, he hefts the tomes under one arm, nodding resignedly to the next bit of information. "Since Thunderbird woulda been the ones to respond, eh? Makes sense. I'll have a look. Thanks, Journeyman. Guess I'd best get to studyin'."

"Or it gives the Independent riders a bad name and reputation," Rayathess points out. "And not the one's bound to a Weyr." If there was more time to debate, he could go on all night if the bronzerider kept asking the right questions. For now though, he only smirks crookedly. "Serious. I tried to warn you," he replies dryly and with a low, quiet chuckle to his voice. "And you're welcome. Treat those carefully and best speak to the Master Archivist on your way out. He'll decide whether or not he wants them removed from the Hall even if for a loan." So… Br'enn might be stuck here awhile? GREAT. Why didn't Th'ero mention that? "Good luck," he mutters and then pauses. "… You know, it might go quicker too if more of us are on the task. If you're not against it or the Weyrleader, when I've time I can keep looking for more records? I know of a few Apprentices and Journeymen here who've a good knack for this."

Something in the sheer weight of those books tells Br'enn he might be here awhile, even before he goes up to speak with the Master Archvist. It might have been nice if Th'ero had mentioned it, but oh well. He's just doing what he's gotta do! Rayathess' suggestion has him perking up considerably, however. "I sure as shells 'm not against it," he says somewhat wryly. "If you're willin', it'd be appreciated. I can check with the Weyrleader, but 'm sure he won't mind it either. For now, though, I'm sayin' yes." He cracks a grateful grin at the Harper, resettling his burden. "I'll go check with the Archivist. Thanks again, Journeyman." And with that, the bronzerider strides off to go check in - as much as he can actually stride with such an offset load, that is.