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.

Afternoon. And a pleasant spring one at that! But while others are off doing all manner of things outdoors — enjoying all that the upturn in weather brings — a certain bronzerider is making an appearance in the Living Caverns after months of being away. He'd sent word to Th'ero, Nyalle, Abigail and some others that he'd just returned from Xanadu (thank you, firelizards) but after stopping in to see Wingleader Nishka and being given the afternoon off, the former woodworker made a direct line for this — one of the more social areas of the weyr. Perhaps he craves familiar company? With a bounce in his step, So'l enters the caverns and looks around, hoping to spy a friendly face or two to enjoy a midday meal with.

While not known for being a 'friendly' face, the Weyrleader is quick to make an appearance once he receives the message via firelizard. Even Velokraeth, who has been with Kayeth on the Sands here in Fort of late, comes out to perch on the Star Stone ledge and welcome Sharuth and his rider home with a deep, resonating bugle. Th'ero already has his thick riding jacket half unfastened by the time he steps briskly into the caverns, squinting a bit as his eyes adjust to the dimmer lighting. It won't take long for him to spy So'l and before the Wingrider can snag a seat, the Weyrleader will try to snare him instead. "So'l! So you're back at last to Fortian soil! How are you?" he says with a crooked but broad smile, offering a hasty salute for formality sake but is soon clasping his hand to So'l's shoulder should the other bronzerider permit it.
Nyalle slips in shortly after Th'ero, the young Senior needing a few moments to reassure Kayeth that she's not going far, that yes, she'll be back soon, that yes, Velokraeth is going to be back in a moment, and that no, she won't be gone too long. Didn't she already say that? Proddy golds, sigh. Smoothing her skirts as she steps in, Nyalle pushes dark, shining hair behind her shoulder and spots Th'ero and So'l, and makes her way over with a small but warm smile. "Welcome home," is her simple and soft-spoken greeting.

Sharuth had bugled back, his excitement to be home shining in the notes as the bronze circled once over head. Clearly laden down with strapped on crates and bags, Sharuth trumpeted that he looked forward to catching up later on before slipping into he and So'l's shared weyr. And after unloading, the bronze had set out again, this time to /hunt/. Rather than picking a juicy beast from a pen…that's no fun. And So'l? So'l is very, /very/ happy to see Th'ero and returns the salute quickly, his grin exploding up to reach his eyes. "Th'ero!" So'l reaches out, clasping the man's shoulder in a reflecting of the gesture offered him. "It's good to see you. Yes," he chuckles, "we're back. For good. Unless we're not?" He's a little behind the times information-wise, you see. "Is help still needed in Southern? We can be ready to go as soon as Sharuth comes back from hunting." And as Nyalle enters, the bronzerider has a wide smile for her, too. "Hello there! It's great to see you as well," So'l offers a wave. "How're Kayeth and Velokraeth? Must say, I have a /new/ appreciation for this whole mating-clutching-hatching business now," he smirks.

Velokraeth will return to the Hatching grounds once his welcome to Sharuth has been received. In high spirits, the pale and ugly bronze will join Kayeth again on the sands and likely slide and cozen up as close as the fiery queen will allow as he apologizes for his brief absence. Th'ero's smile broadens to a light grin when So'l returns the gesture and he'll grip firm before letting go and easing back to a respectful posture and distance. "It's good to see you too! And yes, you and Sharuth are here to stay!" Why ever would there be doubt? Th'ero would be flayed seven different ways if he dared to even think of casting So'l out or sending him off again for months and months! "Ahh, yes! Suppose we do need to catch you up on things. Come, lets sit by the high table. Ah, Nyalle!" Th'ero turns to dip his head politely to the Senior Weyrwoman, a warm but reserved smile following. "Just in time. Care to join us? So'l here is looking to catch up on the news of late here in Fort." The Weyrleader then chuckles heartily. "Is that so? Should I be worried when Kayeth rises next or will the junior golds have a reliable suitor in Sharuth?" he muses to So'l as he leads the way through the caverns to the high table, where once they're seated, some serving staff will be by to offer them drinks and food.

Kayeth welcomes the bronze home with a puff of a warm summer's breeze across the shores of her mind, before she's back to tending her clutch and watching Velokraeth carefully as he moves among their eggs. Nyalle's smile is gentle and warm as she steps closer to the men, her hand lifting towards her brow in a gentle and silent reminder. "It's good to have you back. Kayeth is doing well, and the clutch should hatch fairly soon." Laughing softly, she returns Th'ero's smile and offers her arm to him. If he's a gentleman, he'll take it as they walk up to the high table. And if he is, well…Th'ero and refuses, Nyalle will try to take So'l's arm for the short walk.

"That's very /good/ news!" So'l exclaims back, though he quickly adds, "Not that we wouldn't be happy to do whatever Fort needed of us. Even if it meant heading back out." Nodding to the promise of news, the bronzerider smiles back and follows Th'ero, sidling up alongside Nyalle as they walk and the weyrleader jokes about needing to be worried. "I've a feeling that Sharuth will be happy to give chase whenever the mood strikes. Though I must say," he smirks, "I'm sure Sharuth would greatly enjoy keeping the juniors company if they'll have him." But that doesn't mean he isn't still fond Kayeth. And it certainly doesn't mean the bronze /won't/ rise after her someday. But in the meantime? "Maybe we'll go on a long scouting excursion when a certain hides gets too shiny…" Wink. Wink. He'll offer his arm to Nyalle if Th'ero doesn't, walking up the stairs to take a seat and nodding along as Nyalle speaks of the eggs hatching soon. "Candidates scared out of their minds yet?" he asks the woman, chuckling as he turns to ask one of the servers for various meats, cheeses, bread and some stout stout.

"Shouldn't be much longer now for those eggs, hmm?" Th'ero agrees along with Nyalle and for once he is the gentleman and takes her offered arm. It wouldn't do at all for folks to see the Weyrleader spurn such an innocent and polite (and proper!) gesture from the Weyrwoman, after all! He laughs softly to So'l, "He is a bronze!" So of course he'll chase! "And I doubt he'd find any disapproval among the junior golds." Or any of the golds, for that matter. "Speaking of, I was there for the Hatching in Xanadu. Congratulations are in order for such a fine clutch! And a golden daughter for Sharuth." Bragging rights on it's own, but it's certainly going to boost Fort's ties with Xanadu now. Ahh, politics! Th'ero leads on to the table and will see to it that Nyalle is seated first as is proper and waiting until So'l has taken a seat before sitting. He'll allow the Weyrwoman to order her preference of food and drink before adding in his own preferences. "Oh, I believe they're starting to get antsy now. They know it's time soon, since we've limited their excursions beyond the Weyr."

Nyalle settles herself and orders some stew and tea, and smiles at the men that have joined her at the high table. "Kayeth would be offended if Sharuth didn't chase," she says honestly. "They are getting anxious, yes, but I'm not sure I'd say they were scared. I'm sorry I wasn't able to attend the hatching, but yes, congratulations on a fine clutch. Very fine indeed. Good to know that Fort and Xanadu's ties continue to grow ever stronger." The same can't be said for her home, but…what can you do?

Laughing, So'l nods, "Yes, yes he is. And having caught Luraoth, I think his confidence has shored up rather nicely," the bronzerider chuckles. Surely Th'ero remembers a time — even if Velokraeth does not — when Sharuth feared he would not catch even a green. But now? Such fears are long gone. And perhaps — like Sharuth — So'l has found some of that confidence as well? There's a difference in his bearing now; more relaxed but expansive with his presence. As if he isn't quite the same man he was when Sharuth rose to catch a falling star over Xanadu… As Th'ero mentions being at the hatching, So'l is nodding again and says, "I'll pass them along to him, thank you. He loves all of the hatchlings, but I /do/ think he's rather proud to have sired a queen on his first go." It seems So'l is a bit proud of this, too, if his beaming grin is of any indication. When the mentioning of strengthening ties is made, the bronzerider nods to this, as well. "I hope that means it's alright for Sharuth and I to pop over now and then to visit the weyrling pairs? As duties permit, of course," he smiles. Turning to Nyalle, the bronzerider smirks, "He would never want to upset her like that. Though we /are/ keen to see another hatching." Surprisingly. "I'm sure it'll be a fine batch of hatchlings. No doubt M'icha will have things under control but if we can help somehow?" Food and drink arrives and So'l takes a bit, washing it down after several hearty chews. "So what have I missed? Wingleader Nishka and Abigail have filled me in to some degree, but…" Yeah. Probably not to the extent that's desirable.

Th'ero chuckles heartily as he leans comfortably in his chair. The Weyrleader is currently sitting at the high table with Weyrwoman Nyalle at his one side and Wingrider So'l also seated at the table. All three are currently in conversation and the caverns are not too overly crowded at this afternoon hour. "Kayeth is a worthy queen to have so many bronzes vying for her favour," he murmurs to the young Weyrwoman, only to turn his amusement then to So'l. "I'm sure his confidence has soared! Best keep an eye on it, or Sharuth will become as deft as Velokraeth in snaring females." Which may not be all as bad as Th'ero makes it seem. He does give the young bronzerider a lingering look, as if quietly noting the change in the man. His smile broadens, "Of course you may visit Xanadu as time permits and I doubt they would spurn you of that either. And you can ask M'icha if he's needing any extra help. Fourteen weyrlings will be a good sized group!" Now it's his turn to sound a little proud at that. Velokraeth and Kayeth's clutch is certainly larger than most these Turns. His mood sobers and he will turn thoughtful as they wait on their food and drink to arrive. "Where to begin? You were here for the avalanche, though Fort Hold has recovered now. Our stores are gradually levelling out. Right, Nyalle?" And he leaves it for the Weyrwoman to elaborate. How… nice of him?

Nyalle chuckles softly as she pushes hair over her shoulders and sits, back straight and hands folded in her lap. "I can only imagine how a bronze's confidence might rise at catching a queen and siring one as well," she says politely, before dipping her head with a modest blush at Th'ero's compliment. Though her, "She is," is unabashed and unapologetic. Nyalle knows the beauty her young gold wields. "Certainly! I'm sure you can have plenty of time to visit Xanadu and visit, when your duties allow. And yes," she adds, nodding at Th'ero's words, "the stores are leveling out now that Breakwater has ceased to block their tithes to us. The other holds are following suit, plus our expeditions to the South have been prosperous. So we are faring well, if not yet as well as we would hope."

"He's had a good teacher," So'l smiles back to Th'ero. "He aspires to be /as/ good or better, someday," the bronzerider smirks. Nodding as the weyrleader and Nyalle both give him permission to return to Xanadu on occasion, So'l says, "Thank you. Sharuth will be very pleased about this. And so am I," the younger man smiles. Then Th'ero's mentioning how /many/ eggs there are and So'l's eyes go wide. "Fourteen? That's an /impressive/ clutch! And many weyrlings to contend with," he chuckles before talk turns to Fort's current status. "I'm glad Fort Hold has recovered. I'd been keeping an eye on things there and coming back on transport dragons to help with the digging out when I could," he exclaims. There's a hint of guilt in his tone; perhaps because he and Sharuth were not there as much as they /wanted/ to be. "I'm glad the tithes have resumed though and certainly, Southern is a boon. I won't like…I'm very much hungry for some of those apples," his eyes flick to Nyalle for a moment before returning to Th'ero. "Aside from our normal duties," So'l asks, "which we'll resume tomorrow I'm told, what else can Sharuth and I be doing to help?"

Th'ero laughs on the outside, though on the inside he may be making note to keep a careful watch of So'l in the future. Now he has two bronzeriders to consider worthy adversaries come the time for the next Flight! "Why did you think that you could not return to Xanadu, So'l?" he asks the bronzerider curiously, though goes silent as Nyalle speaks and there is a small smile fixed to his features then. The Weyrleader always enjoys hearing a bit of good news, even if it shows that the Weyr is still not quite to strength yet. He'll nod his head in thanks to Nyalle all the same. "And we've you and weyrwoman Inri to thank for Breakwater finally thawing to us. Fort will recover and mores now that we are finally seeing the end of winter." he murmurs and there is confidence in the Weyrleader's tone. "Mhm, it was a very surprising number but very welcomed. I hear the betting has been rather fierce over the colour spreads…" Th'ero muses to So'l, though his gaze slides to Nyalle as well. "Hmm, well… I'm sure you've heard of the Wing changes? You'll be resuming duty…" And likely noticing the subtle upheaval Th'ero has done. "… and I would say that would be the greatest help at the moment."

Nyalle beams at that, nodding her head. "Yes, fourteen." Pride is clear as day on her features, before she laughs. "I'll be sure to have some apples sent to your ledge," she says. Is she..teasing? Surely not. "Yes, just resuming normal duties would be the best you could do right now," she says with a polite smile. Though no doubt if So'l were to ask others, he might receive different answers.

Not too large yet she can't go flying on Typriaeth yet Anique and her brightly colored green have been away from the weyr since yesterday morning on a straight flight to take an injured patient to the healer hall who couldn't go Between. Landing in the center bowl Typriaeth lets Anique dismount before she wings up goes to sprawl out on her ledge to watch the lake shore as that's a favorite past time of hers! Perhaps she'll even join in the waters if there are any cute males down there but for now she watches. Anique is shedding her jacket as she strides into the living caverns and her first stop is to find some juice. Her gaze sweeps the lightly populated caverns and spies the small group at the high table. A wave towards them turns into a quick salute the moment her pale blue eyes light upon the Weyrwoman.

Watch out for So'l? More like watch out for Sharuth, who'd pull So'l into something he might not be ready for. "Well, I know the political situation is sometimes difficult to navigate. M'icha lectured us extensively on the need to act diplomatically and such. Just making sure I don't misstep, that's all," So'l smiles back and then nods to the bit about Nyalle and Inri making those inroads. "We all owe you a lot for that," he says, making a note to track down Inri now that he's back. To thank her, too, of course. "Yes," the former woodworker begins, "I did hear of the changes and can only imagine what an undertaking that was. Though it sounds to me like it will help things a lot," he nods. So'l cracks another smile as Nyalle seems so proud of the number of eggs, understanding — thanks to recent developments — what she must be feeling, at least from a certain perspective. As to sending apples to his ledge? "I'd like that," So'l replies, chuckling. "Assuming we've some onhand, of course," he smirks. "Then resume normal duties I shall but if there's something else I can do, I'm happy to." Looking down at his plate, he snags another bite and then washes it down with some of that ale he asked for. That's when he spies Anique, whom he offers a wave and a smile. "I /have/ been gone awhile…" he says very quietly, still smiling at the woman.

Abigail has spent most of the day off doing sweeps, and at the moment is making her way on into the caverns. Gloves and goggles are pulled off and tucked into her flight jacket. Her gaze drifts over area and she is moving onwards to get something warm to drink in order to warm herself up after flying around through that cold lovely air outside. With warm drink in hand she is off to find a place to sit, catching sight of So'l, Th'ero, Nyalle, and Anique she turns and moves on towards where they happen to be. A salute is offered while she smiles. "Hello Weyrleader, Weyrwoman, So'l, Anique." There is a faint pause. "Hope everyone is staying warm."

"Visiting a Weyr is hardly a misstep, so long as you're aware of which Weyrs we're in good terms with," Th'ero points out to So'l with a slight smirk but does not go into further elaboration. Nyalle is, after all, sitting right there with them! He's not about to go into a ramble about how Xanadu may be welcoming, but High Reaches would likely cast any non-ranking Fortian out. "That is what we're hoping the change in the Wings will lead to. So far everything has progressed smoothly but we'll see in time if it was all for the better." he murmurs and at last when the food and drink arrives the Weyrleader seems to relax completely before he helps himself to his share of it. "If something comes up, So'l I'll be sure to send word. Though if you're looking to add in some extra volunteered work… You could always speak with Kimmila? She has her duties with the cothold now and her own 'wing' within Phoenix. You could see if she needs another rider." Th'ero looks up as both Anique and Abigail arrive, offering both riders a warm and welcoming smile, followed by an easy going salute and greeting. "Afternoon to you both. And I am, thank you. How're you?"

As she approaches the Living Caverns Lana looks like her normal self, pulled together, dignified, and with a bit of an annoyed expression on her face. There is a far-off look to her eyes as she walks, most likely she's having a conversation with her dragon. How she's muttering under her breath only moves to support this theory. The brownrider wouldn't have been seen much today, having been doing sweeps for a good part of the day like her wingsecond. Only she had to unfortunate luck to have been pulled into helping a child of one of the holds she had been flying sweeps over. "Honestly," she grumbles, "somebody needs to tell that kid that their pet getting stuck in a tree is not an emergency." There's a pause before she adds, "yes, Raus, I did say that the Weyrs are bound to help the holds, but cat retrieval is not something dragonriders should have to help with." She looks like she is about to dive into a bit of an argument with her dragon was she notices that she is not alone in the room she entered a few seconds ago. Surprise crosses her face momentarily at the sight of her bronzeriding friend having returned before she smirks and remarks, "well then, So'l, nice of you to remember us little people here at Fort." Her tone is teasing and far from serious, although a more serious expression crosses her face at the sight of Nyalle, Th'ero, and Abigail, who she proceeds to salute and greet formally. She does //not want a repeat of her last meeting with the new Weyrwoman.

Nyalle chuckles softly and then her eyes unfocus, before she pushes to her feet. "Excuse me," she says. "Kayeth." And that's all the explination she needs to give, right? Before she's darting off, and also shooting Th'ero a look as she goes.

Content with just some juice then Anique's steps head towards the table that the leaders are seated at. "G'afternoon Abigail." is greeted towards the brown rider. Lana's next to be seen and she gets an easy enough nod of greeting. "Hiya Lana." then suddenly Nyalle is rushing off and Anique casts a worried look after her. "Is she alright?" she looks to Th'ero as she asks this since she noticed the look that was shot between the leaders.

So'l listens closely as Th'ero clarifies, nodding with understanding even though the weyrleader stopped a little short in his explanation. "Makes sense to me," he says before nodding yet /again/ to the explanation of the wing restructuring potentially being a help. And to the bit about volunteering. And to Th'ero sending word. Nod, nod, nod. And then there's Abigail appearing and though he salutes her formally, he's also smiling /very/ widely at the wingsecond. "Abigail, hello," So'l nods, "definitely keeping warm! Especially now that Fort isn't buried in eight meters of snow any more," he chuckles. As Lana approaches, he offers her, too, a smile and then shakes his head, "Little people? Hardly. It's good to be back with friends and my family," a warm look is briefly cast Abigail's way. "Good to see you, Lana, Anique," So'l grins, eyes flicking away from the pregnant woman as Nyalle rises and must go. "Take care, Nyalle!" he offers as the woman departs, eyeing Th'ero. Hatching? Maybe?

Abigail smiles and nods to the others. "So far so good at the moment." She lifts her mug of some warm drink up. "Working on the warming up part as well." She glances back to So'l and smiles warmly to him, even leaning close to give him a hug. "I'm glad yer back." She offers happly as she keeps close to the bronzer while sending a curious glance towards Lana, well there is someone she hasn't seen in a while. A nod is sent towards her. "Hello Lana.

Th'ero frowns when Nyalle so abruptly leaves and gives him that look. "I'm not entirely certain," he admits to Anique, glancing to So'l and Abigail, then greeting Lana with a welcoming nod. Ahh, how he would have enjoyed catching up with all of them! But such is not his fate this afternoon, as the Weyrleader's frown deepens and then he too is standing, grabbing his drink and draining it in a few long sips. "If you will all excuse me? It would seem as though I am needed on the Sands." Ooh, is it a Hatching? No, it'll prove just to be a confirmation that it's very close but not upon them yet. Th'ero however needs to go all the same and dipping his head in farewell, he will make as hasty an exit as the Weyrwoman.