Fort Weyr - Weyrleaders Offices
Aged by time, this office has lived through the ages of Fort just as its counterparts have. But unlike the Weyrsecond and Junior Weyrwomen offices, this cavern is spacious and formed in a rough semicircle of three conjoined caves that were carved and modified Turns ago. The middle portion acts as a waiting room of sorts, holding only a few modest chairs and a simple tapestry to otherwise brighten up the plain stone walls. There are no windows here and the only light comes from well placed glow baskets.
To the right, the smaller of the two adjoining caverns has been set aside for the Weyrwoman, a large desk situated in the middle and a bookshelf pressed against the wall. A small hearth allows for some warmth in the colder months and another cabinet rests across the room to hold various supplies, as well as several books, reports and records. More tapestries have been hung there, lending some color to room.
On the left, the larger cavern belongs to the Weyrleader's office and the walls here are littered with a vast array of maps, as well as a tapestry hung behind where he would sit. The desk is large and the wood aged, looking old and a bit worn, but well tended too. Shelves and a bookshelf line one wall, crammed with rolled hides, other maps, books, reports and records and all arranged in an organized chaos. A small hearth has been built in here as well and various well placed glow baskets are hung to offer just the right amount of light in this windowless office.
Both offices have stout wooden doors that have been carefully worked into the stone. They can be closed and locked if privacy is needed but are often left open.

Velokraeth senses that Kayeth's thoughts reach back to the pale bronze's - her mate's - with an almost playful, flirty brush of hot air over dry sands. The water is mere inches away but there is dryness to her mind. A thirst.

Kayeth senses that Velokraeth's thoughts will quench that thirst with a cool, crisp and refreshing wash of crystal white wine that is sweet and fruity rather than tart and followed with the bubbly mirth of golden champagne. « My dear Kayeth! How are you this day, m'lady? Is yours about and available? Mine is seeking audience with her but will not intrude if she is preoccupied! »

Velokraeth senses that Kayeth drinks in that elixer and shifts, her thoughts drifting playfully, prowling along the sands, invisible but still there, leaving impressions as she goes. « I am well, Velokraeth. And you? I have been stretching my wings. » The queen comes into view over the rim, coasting on currents and playing in the skies over her weyr, her hide gleaming and fiery in the daylight. « Mine is in the office. Working. » Is there a subtle pout there? A gentle rebuke? Perhaps, but it does not go very deep.

Kayeth senses that Velokraeth is intoxicated by her drifting playfulness and intrigued, his wings already flaring out as he comes to settle on the edge of his ledge. His head is lifted to the skies and while she drinks in the elixir of his thoughts he drinks in the visual of her fiery hide. « Perfect. I will inform mine. And while they do business, would you like a partner in the skies, m'lady? » Back down in the Weyr, Th'ero is climbing the steps to the council chambers and he will knock on the door of the Weyrwoman's office, waiting on Nyalle's call before stepping inside. "Good day, Weyrwoman. I hope I am not catching you at a bad time?" he greets her with the proper respectful tone.

Above, Kayeth circles above the Star Stones, dipping her golden drenched muzzle to peer down and find Velokraeth on the Weyrleader's ledge. « Always, » she responds with a playful flick of her tail. « If you think you can catch me again, » she teases, turning and vanishing behind the wall of the bowl, dropping down towards the forest. In the office, Nyalle visibly jumps when Th'ero's knock comes at almost the exact moment of Kayeth's plummet. "What?" she asks, blinking her eyes rapidly to try and clear them, hands briefly gripping the edges of her chair.

Velokraeth pushes from the ledge even before Kayeth has finished with voicing her challenge and soars up and over the wall after her. « Lead on and you shall see, my dear! » he calls back, mind awash with bubbly champagne again as it ripples with his laughter. Th'ero has to pause for a fraction of a moment to assure himself that the pale bronze is in play with Kayeth and that the gold is not, in fact, glowing. Once certain, some tension drops from his posture and features though he looks on in concern to Nyalle when the Weyrwoman is blinking and gripping the edge of her chair. "Are you alright, Weyrwoman?" he asks, giving her a lingering look. "I came to speak to you of some tidbit of news I overheard on patrol this morning. However, if you are busy or unwell, I could come by another time?" Th'ero stands across from her desk now at a proper distance, his hands folded behind him.

Kayeth soars out over the forests - her forests - her wings gleaming as they beat the air, pushing her onward in a direct path away from the weyr's bulk. Testing her limits, it seems, with her rider. Inside, Nyalle gives her head a swift and firm shake. "No, I'm well," she reassures him. "Please, have a seat. What news is this?"

Velokraeth's limits to his separation to his rider go far. Much farther than the forests and so his concerns do not lie on the land below or such trivial things. He will match Kayeth's path and pace, though he will never overfly her. His idea of "catching" her is to be able to pull up along side her and match her wingbeats to his so that they become one in a different sense. Inside the office, Th'ero frowns as he gives Nyalle a long look but does not question her any further. Taking a seat, he will unfasten the first few buckles of his jacket before settling comfortably. "It would seem there is rumour among the Holds this time. Good talk, nothing dark or unsettling. Fort Sea Hold is apparently considering to host a Gather again. Only with a focus on runners and racing. It has apparently garnered much interest… surpassing Fort's boundaries even." he explains in a low and even tone. "The Weyr will no doubt be invited to attend, but I spoke to one of our posted Journeymen Beastcrafters and with Kimmila. To see if we could not help… sponsor some of the runners in the less profitable holds."

Kayeth rumbles her pleasure, stretching her wings and just /flying/, side by side with her partner and mate, content now just to fly. In the office, Nyalle offers Th'ero a smile. She's fine, honest! "Oh?" she asks, worried at first before she settles. "Oh, something good. That's nice." For a change! "Sponsor? As in pay for them?"

Th'ero echoes Kayeth's rumble, receiving just as much pleasure in stretching his wings and having her as his partner and mate in the skies. So they will fly and he will be, oddly enough, a complete gentleman to her. Back inside the office, Th'ero appears relaxed on the outside, but inside he is wary and cautious. For that reason he is slow with his answers to her questions, obviously careful in how he picks his words before speaking them. "In a way, yes? We cannot afford to stable and train racers here in the Weyr itself and it is just as costly, and a waste, for us to import. If we were to "sponsor" an already existing hold or runner, we'd be offering them a broader chance at succeeding at the competitions. A way for the Weyr to be involved but not directly, yet we'd be helping while not straining our finances too heavily." Or so he hopes? He gives her a look then, as if seeking confirmation. Nyalle would know the Weyr's financial status far more intimately than he does.

Nyalle frowns slightly, pushing hair behind her ears. "How much would it cost to sponsor a runner? And who chooses which hold gets the weyr's favor? It seems…unwise to me, Th'ero, I'll be honest with you," she says with a deeper frown.

Th'ero grimaces and silently curses. Just as he predicted! "We would have to look into the costs, though I suspect it won't be much or however much we are willing to give. That is the whole point of sponsoring, is it not?" She has him though on the matter of choosing which hold and he has to lower his head a bit to mull through his thoughts. "Again, we'd have to talk to those who know which holds have race runner stock and go from there. Obviously major holds, such as Ruatha, would not need Weyr sponsorship and would probably be insulted if we dared offer. I'm thinking we'd be best to go among the cotholds, a few of them and evenly. Perhaps with the blessings of the minor or major Holds they look to. Perhaps we will extend another offer to Breakwater to further mend things with them! Seeing as they enjoyed our gift of a colt from my personal stock." he drawls and matches her frown. "Unwise in what ways, Nyalle?"

Nyalle considers his words, her thoughts distant - no doubt with her flying, frolicking lifemate. "Hmm. So you have no true information about this? No cost, nor which cotholds might be interested, or even which ones /have/ racing stock? I don't know, Th'ero," she says, tapping a stylus as her eyes unfocus and then return.

"Of course I don't, because I have not gone personally or sent riders to investigate. I'm not certain of how much we could afford to put into this venture. I did not want to raise false hopes," Th'ero says without hesitation now and giving her a lingering look. He's preparing to dig in his heels and battle it out with her if he has too. "I could always have Weyrsecond D'ani give us his opinion. However, I wanted to speak with you first on the matter."

Nyalle dips her head and is quick to reply. "And I appreciate that, Th'ero, though it's hard for me to make a decision without knowing the cost we're speaking of. Is it a one time cost of five marks for an entry fee? Transportation? Or is it room and board, upkeep and training of these runners, for turns to come, in the form of a recurring cost?"

Th'ero exhales heavily and reigns in his temper and frustration. Why must it always lead to more unanswerable questions? "I'm not looking into a long term sponsoring, though that may be something we could consider at a later date. We've Drake's Lake, after all. But that is getting well ahead of ourselves. Truthfully, I think our interest should only be for the current events. A one time cost. We support a few entrants for this circuit and show our support and leave it at that. It will be good too, if rumours of other areas interests are true. Gossip says Ista has caught wind and Xanadu may follow, along with Keroon." Obviously. "Think about it, Nyalle. It is a risk, yes but what if Fort does well? We stand a chance of doubling our investments." Or loosing it all!

"Or losing it all." Of course Nyalle is going to say that, her eyes unfocusing again before they snap back to Th'ero and she frowns. "I don't think it's wise of the weyr to go flitting about with our marks, spending them on racing runners when we just had a very hard winter.

Outside in the skies above the forests, Velokraeth is flying with Kayeth but he keeps part of his thoughts in tuned with his rider's. He only has to sense Th'ero's growing frustration and stubbornness to know that things go unfavourably and the pale bronze exhales his own breath. Oh, that rider of his! When will he ever gain as honeyed a tongue as his? « Dear heart, » he all but purrs to Kayeth, edging a little closer to the fiery gold. « Care to 'dance' with me? » By 'dance' he means flying but with a bit more daring and risk, since it would involve them circling and rising and falling together and almost brushing hides. Truly testing their skills and yet still playful and light. And should they 'dance', it will be during the slow parts that Velokraeth speaks again. « Is there nothing mine can say to convince yours to accept the proposed plan? » Inside, Th'ero's posture is tense now in his seat and his mouth sets into a grim line. "We wouldn't be "flitting our marks about". We'd make informed and cautious investments, hence my desire to have knowledgeable people look into it before we make a decisive choice."

Above the trees, Kayeth croons eagerly to Velokraeth, drifting closer and then pulling away, angling upwards to gain altitude - altitude that they'll need as they begin their dance. It's a clear 'yes' response, though her answer to his next question takes some time. « She does not think it wise. ». Inside the office, Nyalle continues to frown, eyes unfocusing and returning multiple times. "I still don't see the point of it."

Velokraeth angles upwards with Kayeth, drifting closer when she does and curving away as she does and moving in time with her. Sometimes he will have to throw in his own little dip or twist when the thermals don't quite play to his favour but it will not dissuade him from joining her again. « Mine does not wholly understand it either. Yet he is setting aside his opinion in favour of that of the Weyr. This could bring joy to many after the winter they have faced and not just here in the Weyr but outside of it. That is what he is trying to explain to yours. » Back inside, Th'ero shakes his head and has to close his eyes for a moment too. Velokraeth, what are you up to? "I'll admit, Nyalle, I don't see the draw either in the races but a lot of people here DO. One of the most famost Weyrwoman of Fort was known to enjoy the races. I know we're recovering from a difficult winter and so may some of the lesser holds. Why can we not impart a little support?"

Kayeth twirls with Velokraeth, as nimble as she can be with her size, circling around him. « She is frustrated, » she says, and there is a mental tug, a tightening of a leash calling her back to the weyr. She ignores it. In the offices, Nyalle pushes herself to her feet abruptly, shaking her head. "Do whatever you want, Th'ero," she snaps with a frown. "I think it's a bad idea but the finances be on your head if it fails. /Kayeth/," she snaps, hissing to herself as she turns towards the door.

« Frustrated? » Velokraeth intones in concern, though his next comment is laced with mischievous humour. « Is she in need of the company of Zhirazoth's? Is that the source of her ah… frustrations? » Devious and scandalous! He saturates the mental link between himself and Kayeth with honeyed meads and sweet, fruity wines that lie smooth but also carry a hint of apology. No, he is genuinely worried. « Has mine offended her? Come, m'lady. Perhaps we should return and I have grown hungry from our delightful dance. Come with me to the pens and if you are wishing to hunt, I will defer first choice to you, m'lady. » As is proper! Th'ero is instantly on his feet as well when Nyalle moves so abruptly and then snaps at him. His frown deepens to a near scowl and his voice is tense and words clipped. "Nyalle…" he begins and when she turns towards the door he barks in a gruffer tone. "Weyrwoman!" Get back here! If there is one thing Th'ero hates, is feeling threatened with unfair consequences. "We're not finished discussing things! Please, Nyalle…" his tone has gentled now though his expression is no less grim. "At least hear me out for a little longer?"

Kayeth snorts, trying to thwack Velokraeth with her tail. « If she is, I'll never tell, » she purrs, light and proper, almost teasing her rider with her tones. Shifting, she turns back towards the weyr and surges on ahead. « Winner has first pick, » she says, rather than simply letting him give her the first choice. Inside, Nyalle stops and stiffens, her hand on the knob as she turns to frown at Th'ero. "What is left to discuss?" she demands. "You and your bluerider will do as you wish, as you always do. Thank you for informing me of your plans.

Velokraeth will weather a thump from her tail with nothing more then a grunt, knowing full well he deserved that and possibly more for his choice of humour. « Ahh, but you see I will know when Zhirazoth comes calling! » he teases back, a half-truth at best. The pale bronze of course is territorial and would know when the younger, flashier bronze comes into Fort but he cannot devine what his rider is doing less he asks Zhirazoth and that is no fun since the young bronze is likely to tattle. Velokraeth will chuff when Kayeth surges ahead but his mind ripples with strong laughter and admiration for Kayeth. « Oh, how I never tire of your spirit and feistiness, m'dear! Let the hunt begin! » And off they go! Inside, Th'ero bristles and his cheeks flush with colour as his eyes darken and anger is clearly written in his expression. That was low, even for Nyalle's standards. "There is plenty to discuss if you are willing to be reasonable!" he growls back at her. Stop acting like a child! "Kimmila and I will not just do as we wish, as that is insulting to both yourself, as well as D'ani, Inri and Jajen. What we WILL do is investigate, perhaps with D'ani's expertise and knowledge and Inri's understanding of the holds and formulate a proper report with estimates on costs to present to you for your final approval." As it should be! Proper procedure. Isn't that what Nyalle has always wanted? "I came out of respect to inform you of some news I felt important to enlighten you with. Take care not to throw that gesture in my face again, Weyrwoman or I may be inclined to keep my tongue held the next time." Th'ero certainly has his back up now and he half-bows stiffly. "Now if you'll excuse me? I must return to my duties." Which is a lie. He wants to go back to his weyr, where he knows his weyrmate is waiting for him. Hopefully Kimmila has dressed comfortably…

Kayeth is much amused despite her rider's growing irritation as she pushes back towards the weyr. Of Zhirazoth she says nothing, the bronze dim in her mind despite her fondness for him - ahh, dragon memory makes even the best things hazy with time. Inside, Nyalle scowls at Th'ero, hurt, stung, offended, and downright irritated. "Yes you did. And I told you to do as you wish, Th'ero. Clearly you don't need my help to run this weyr." And she storms out. She left /first/. That's her only victory here.