Fort Weyr - Stables
While the stables aren't elaborate or very big, the Fort Weyr runnerbeast stable is well-cared for. With five stalls down each side of the aisle, a small office makes up one end, with a tack room beside it. On the other end is a storage room, a feed room on the other side. The stalls are box variety, with the walls between stalls thick wood built two-thirds up from the ground. Stalls along the near side are a bit wider than on the far side, to accomadate Fort's ride runners, as well as hold guests' runners overnight when needed. Feeders and waterers are set into each stall, with also a hay net set against the far side of each stall, near the mesh framed doors. Lighting is dim, but there is enough light to see by. The air is nearly always the crisp scent of runners, even just outside and nearby the stable.

A storm came through overnight and throughout much of the early morning, drenching the Weyr in heavy rains. Now the skies are clearing as the morning hour wears on towards lunch and most weyrfolk and riders are well underway on the tasks for the day. The same goes for the Weyr's stables, with the stablehands working away under the careful eye of the stablemaster, while the few posted Beastcrafters are out and about among the pastures and fields. The Weyrleader is currently in discussion with one of those Journeymen, the older man leaning against an empty stall's door. "Most of the runner's Weyr has always had are of the ride and working types. Never held racers here — that's left usually to the cotholds and all. More room for pasture and focus for their training. Takes a lot to keep a good stock of racers…" The Journeyman can be heard rambling on to Th'ero, who looks more or less interested in the information the Crafter is sharing with him.

Kimmila ducks into the stables, knocking mud off her boots and rubbing them against the stiff bristles left for that purpose. Stepping up beside Th'ero, she dips her head in a greeting to the Beastcrafter, resting a hand briefly on Th'ero's back before she tucks her hands into her pocket.

Th'ero straightens when he feels Kimmila's hand against his back and turning just enough to glance down at her, he then slips his arm around her in a gentle but firm hold. "Ah, afternoon Wingrider!" The Journeyman Beastcrafter greets with an amiable smile to Kimmila as he ducks his head in a hasty but respectful nod. "Was just discussing with the Weyrleader here about the history of runner stock here — in the Weyr at least. Rather dull, to be honest since we breed here more for working purposes." Right off, it's obvious this man is a rambler and while he prattles on and looks away down the aisle, Th'ero lifts his brows up in a silent look to Kimmila. Blah, blah, blah? The Weyrleader suddenly struggles to conceal both a laugh and a smile. Ahem. "Seems there's rumour around Fort Sea Hold and the coast there about runner races. A start of a large circuit that could span other areas." Th'ero explains, interjecting neatly into the Journeyman's ongoing ramble.

Kimmila leans easily against her weyrmate with a smile, dipping her head back to the Journeyman as she listens. When Th'ero interjects, she's swift to jump in to try and head off another rambling monologue from the Journeyman. "Ah! And does the weyr have any runners to put forth into the contest, if there is one?"

Th'ero's hold suddenly twitches, tightening for a fraction of a second but his warning comes too late! No don't ask him that! But the Journeyman brightens, his pale eyes fixating on Kimmila with avid interest while the Weyrleader inwardly groans. "Well, no ma'am. Not to racing I'm afraid! Y'see, the Weyr has focused mostly on the working and riding types. Good sturdy stock for endurance and stamina, not speed. Though we had some racers once, they were few 'n far between and the last of the line here perished in the plagues…" he rambles, going on to explain how the stock they have now are for leisure rides or for short commutes. Others are for the hunters and the chargers are for the Guards. He goes on and on, until a pointed look from Th'ero has the Journeyman stammering back to focus. "So, ah… right. We've not the time to start our own lineage here though you could import 'n place 'em in a nearby cothold or Hold with space and folk willin' to train as proxy for the Weyr. Or you put your biddin' in with Holder blood 'n stock. Sponsor, if you want to get fancy…" And so on and so forth. Jays, does the man ever shut up?

Whoops? Kimmila gives Th'ero an apologetic smile when she doesn't recognize the damage her question will - and does - cause. She nods and listens, trying to speak up a few times only to…not be able to. "Ah," she finally says with a small nod. "Well. There's those options. Thank you for your time." Trying to dismiss him before he goes on another rant? You betcha!

And this is why Th'ero loves her so, so much! While not the most tactful way to handle it, it startles the Journeyman enough that there is a blissful heartbeat of silence. Just what the Weyrleader needs to edge in with the smooth talking. "We greatly appreciate your opinion and expertise on the matter. We won't keep you any longer from your tasks, as I'm sure you've a busy day." To that, the Journeyman does smile crookedly and nod. Yes, he does! "We'll be sure to find you if we have any further inquiry. Good day to you, Journeyman." he murmurs, pulling Kimmila a little closer as he prepares to walk away. The Beastcrafter inclines his head. "Of course, sir. Ma'am. Anytime!" he says in farewell to both before stepping away and disappearing out the stable doors. Once the man is truly well and gone, Th'ero exhales in relief. "Shards and shells…" he curses under his breath.

Kimmila laughs as Th'ero exhales, giving him a squeeze. "He can really talk, huh?" she asks, shifting closer to her weyrmate with a smile up at him. "So, Fort Sea Hold is starting the races? Interesting…how did you come to hear about this rumor?"

Th'ero squeezes back and leans against her. Not too much to be cumbersome, but certainly close enough as he walks them at a very slow pace down among the stalls. Most are empty, with many of the runners either out with riders or out to pasture. A few remain, content to doze or munch on some hay in their stalls. "Ugh. Figures the one Journeyman I corner is the talker." Th'ero grumbles but his smile is good humoured. "Patrols. Met up with some Guards and they brought the rumoured news with them. I've mind to send a letter of inquiry to Fort Sea Hold's Lord Holder and Lady. It'd be nice if we could hold a Gather with such a traditional event. I'm surprised, to be honest, that Ruatha has not!"
Kimmila nods as they walk, easy and relaxed. "I think it's a wonderful idea. And you should! The weyr should be involved, invited at least. Do you think we should try and find us some runners?" she asks, her grin crooked and amused at the idea. They've got enough projects, what's one more?

"I'd imagine we would be invited regardless," Th'ero muses with a sidelong look to Kimmila. "Not to invite us would… almost be a slight and insult." Would it ever! Not to mention bring about so much scandal. "Hmm. That I am not certain on, Wingmate. Where would we house these racers? The Journeyman had a point. They are a very specific breed and have very high standards of care and training to meet. Most of our stable room is kept for working runners." Why not another project? The Weyrleader mulls this over as they wander down the aisle, only to pause when a large, muscular runner with a thick neck and proud carriage snorts aggressively in their direction. Th'ero glances to it curiously, only to grimace when the stallion pins its ears back at the eye contact and paws at the ground. "Brute." he mutters under his breath. He's not far off, as the name plate has 'Brutus' written on it.

Kimmila nods, "I'm sure we'll be invited. But you're probably right. Just wouldn't be…our place, really, to spend weyr resources for something as frivolous as racing runners. But perhaps we could sponsor a few. Get them the training they need, find a stable with a few good runners and a few good trainers…" She glances at the stallion and doesn't look away until he steps back. There you go.

Th'ero grimaces, "It's an unfortunate truth. We're just not setup to focus on such a thing. Perhaps if we hadn't lost the bloodlines already in place to the plagues…" He shrugs his shoulders and hugs her close to his side. There isn't much they can do on that now. Frowning, he mulls over the possibilities until he's distracted by the stallion backing down to Kimmila's stare. Th'ero snorts, "Wonder why they don't geld him," he mutters, still eyeing the runner as if half expecting the beast to break through his stall at any moment. The stallion doesn't, though it lowers it's head to gaze at some remaining bits of hay. "So where do you think we should focus our attentions then if we're to sponsor? One hold or many to avoid cries of favouritism?" he asks her curiously.

"Maybe he throws good foals?" Kimmila suggests. "He's a fine looking beast. And why not spread things around? If we're going to invest, let's find a few different runners from a few different stables…makes sense not to put all our focus on one, right?"

Th'ero casts one last look over his shoulder before they're wandering down another aisle at the stallion and when he speaks, his tone is doubtful. "Wouldn't they risk giving his temperament to his foals?" he drawls though he makes a sound of agreement. Yes, the stallion IS a good looking beast. "Don't put all our marks in one basket, hmm?" Is… that how the saying goes? "So, with your intimate knowledge of our cotholds and the history of the area, which do you think we'd be best to look into? Beyond the obvious, of course."

"Eggs," Kimmila corrects with a little smile. "Well, I can't say any of the small cotholds I work with deal with high strung, high value racing runners. So honestly I don't know. Inri might have a better idea about all that than I do. And what's the obvious?" she asks, grinning

Th'ero looks confused for a moment, quirking a brow up when Kimmila mentions eggs until it clicks and he looks sheepish. Another saying flubbed! Oops? They reach a dead end but it's quiet here and he will lead her to some stacked square bales of hay so that they can sit in each others company. "None at all?" he asks, sounding mildly surprised and yet not in the same breath. "Perhaps I should ask Inri if she knows of if anyone in Breakwater Hold has knowledge of where we could look. The obvious?" He chuckles. "Well, Ruatha is always known for it's races and runners. Though I doubt they'd need our sponsoring and we probably couldn't afford to."

Kimmila sits down, stands up, wiggles, and sits again, shifting until no hay is poking her uncomfortably. "I think that's a good idea. And no I doubt Ruatha would need our help. We're best to find some smaller stables, some underdog runners to sponsor and get into the races."

Th'ero's pants are thick enough to ward off the worst of the prickly hay and he is already leaning back when she stands up. Alone as they are, the Weyrleader won't be against a bit of leering when Kimmila wiggles before sitting again and is promptly distracted by other thoughts. Sorry, what? He blinks and then grins wryly. "See, I like that idea. It may stir some competitiveness and actually give Ruatha a home challenger."

Kimmila nods, "Absolutely. And who knows, we might find some really, really good runners that just couldn't afford to travel to compete."

Th'ero chuckles low in his throat and gives her a playful nudge. "Now that seems just a little too good to be true," he muses, though he still sounds thoughtful. Maybe, just maybe they'll luck out that way? He exhales softly. "I'll have to run all of this by Nyalle. In the end, it'll be her who decides how much we can or should spend. If anything at all."

Kimmila shrugs. "It probably is but you never know. Racing is a fickle sport." Then her nose wrinkles. "Really? I doubt she'll want to spend any of the weyr's marks on this venture…She doesn't seem like a risk taker."

"How fickle?" Th'ero asks, clearly interested and so very ignorant. Runners to him have always been work animals: a method of transport. Racing for sport and competition just flies right over his head. Whoosh! "What? It's not like we're betting on the runners." They are but in a roundabout way! "It's… uh," Give him a moment! The WEyrleader goes silent as he mulls it over quickly in his head and then grins faintly. "I'll pitch it as an investment. Since it technically is — in a small way. It will support some of the needier holds too." Right?

Kimmila shrugs, leaning against his side. "One step wrong, a bad break out of the gate, hitting a slick patch of track…all of those things could contribute to a runner losing. A flag waved at the wrong time, a wherry overhead…very fickle. Lots of luck involved." Then she chuckles. "Good luck getting her to see it that way."

Th'ero slips an arm around her shoulders when she leans against him, resting his head by hers comfortably. No one here to see them for now, not that the Weyrleader cares. "Lots of luck," he agrees and then wrinkles his nose. "And a lot of risk. What is the point of spending so much time and resource into it if you run such a high stake of loosing your prized animal or the race?" He needs to know all this if he's to face Nyalle! He snorts, "Thanks for your vote of confidence," he drawls with light sarcasm.

Kimmila shrugs, "The thrill? And the winnings can be very high. It's a sport. It has risks just like any other game. Some folks think it's worth the risk." Then she grins at him. "I have every confidence in you. It's her allowing us to do it that I doubt."

Th'ero absorbs all of this with a thoughtful frown. Most of it is still eluding him, but it's not all about him. "So we could stand to bring in some profit?" he asks, grinning back at her and hugging her close. "If I can't get her to see reason, I'll have others work on her. And doesn't she come from a small cothold?" Can they play on that? It'd be a rather underhanded tactic, but that's also right up Th'ero's alley.

Kimmila nods, "We could. Or we could lose it all. It is a risky business. And…I think she does? Don't think it was a racing cothold though. Maybe D'ani could persuade her."

Th'ero frowns again and is silent for a few heartbeats before speaking up again. "I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with it being such a risk… but I'd be willing to overlook it if it brought entertainment to the weyrfolk and riders. Perhaps D'ani could persuade Nyalle if I am unsuccessful. That is a good backup plan…" he admits.

Kimmila shrugs with a little smile. "Runner racing is always risky. But…it's life for a lot of folks. If nothing else, it's good will for the holds we do sponsor? Buying a share of their runner will help them a lot, and will get us even closer to them. Those that want us, that is."

Th'ero considers all that Kimmila says and in the end he nods his head slowly but in agreement. Logically, it's sound! "So the benefits outweigh the risk. That's all I need to know and be assured of." he murmurs with a crooked smirk and hugs her close to his side. Kissing the top of her head, he is preparing to nuzzle her fondly when noise at the other end of the aisle has him lifting his head up. The stablehands are returning, along with some runners and Th'ero gives Kimmila a little nudge. "Come on, Wingmate. We best move on."

Kimmila closes her eyes, leaning happily against his shoulder and soaking in his warmth and his affection. The noise has her opening her eyes, but she's slow to detangle from him. A far cry from the old days when they'd keep that respectful, professional distance between them whenever they were in public. Some might argue it made the times they were in private all the more passionate. Rising, she slips her hand into his and gives it a squeeze. "Let's. You going to seek out Nyalle?"

Th'ero still restrains himself with Kimmila in public. He was only starting to get a little close and physical because they're in the semi-dark and alone at the dead end of a stable aisle. Once there's noise, he's back to being respectful and proper though still keeps his arm around her until she seeks his hand. Gripping it, he squeezes back and smiles to her. "Perhaps I will now, while this is all fresh in my head. Will you be at our weyr? I can meet you there for a late lunch or early dinner?" He'll no doubt need some peace and quiet and her after dealing with the Weyrwoman.

Kimmila nods, "Of course. I'll have food ready if you want. I've got some more paperwork and scheduling to do," she says, smiling warmly at him and giving his hand another squeeze. "Walk with me back to the weyr? Then we'll part ways."

"That would be lovely," Th'ero murmurs and sounds rather eager at the idea of coming home to food and his weyrmate. Enough that he would have drawn her up against him and kissed her if the stablehands weren't eyeing them curiously. Cough. So he settles for squeezing her hand back again and giving her a significant look. "Of course, Wingmate. I'll walk with you to the weyr and then I will part from you for just a brief moment." he murmurs, nodding briskly to the stablehands as they walk by. As you were! Walking back out ion the Weyr, he'll set a good pace until they reach the stairs. "I'll see you soon?" he whispers to Kimmila, hesitating while Velokraeth bespeaks Kayeth to figure out where the Weyrwoman currently is. Offices? The Weyrleader is hoping so.

Kimmila will give him another kiss before she leaves him, heading up the stairs to their weyr.