Fort Weyr - Library Archives
Surviving the ages is something that books are known to do, especially if they are left untouched for just as long. In this room, that's exactly what has happened. Put aside as trivial information or simply determined old enough to not impact present day life, these numerous articles stored in ceiling high shelves are the forgotten histories belonging to Fort.
Miraculously, the design of the room itself has prevented any of the books from damage. The rock base of which the room's foundation is actually one of the toughest rock known to man and cannot be surpassed by any creature living, while a layer of tiles of the smoothest stone gives this room a vibrant and mysterious appeal. The door itself on the room was sealed tight and allowed for a minimum amount of circulation, thereby preventing natural decay, although most articles may be brittle despite this. White marble has been used to create an insulating layer wall against the natural rock, giving the room an unnatural brightness and a enchanted atmosphere - while also giving it four distinct walls. The ceiling as well has been made smooth with an arching apex.
As for the books and mounds of information stored in this vault of information, the organization is clear. Books bound with hard covers are kept alphabetical in the towering skybroom wood shelves, where step ladders and scrolling ladders actually attached to the shelves move to assist a person in selecting a volume. The shelves are ornately carved, many crafted with a mastery none have ever seen. Meanwhile, scrolls have a sectional shelf where each scroll based on how they were itemized has a cubical square into which they are kept in. This shelf alone has over a hundred squares in which the scrolls stick out of. As well, any loose bits of information have been assembled in files that are stored in boxes along the back wall. Apparently, recording history takes up vast amounts of space and every where one looks in this room one would find a wealth of information. The ancestors of Fort live here.

While many are out enjoying this warmer day, a halmark of spring's arrival, not so the recently arrived Idralia. The Techcrafter is instead here in the library, carefully examining one of the aged hides from Polsie's find. The hide has been laid out over a sheet of clean paper on a desk, a basket of glows providing gentle, non-bleaching light for Idra's inspection. Writing implements and more paper are stacked beside her, and a brief glance would suggest she is transcribing whatever document she has borrowed.

P'rius has been in the books for a while now, only emerging after the techcrafter has been there a while with a somewhat venerable-smelling tome of salves an ointments, moving towards the box himself. He pauses mid-step, "Oh, hi. Idralia, right? Don't mind me, I'm just looking at some of the more healer related stuff in there."

Idralia's head snaps up in surprise when P'rius speaks, jolting her out of her intense review. She stares at him for a moment before shaking her head, a wry smile touching her face. "Sorry, you startled me a bit. No, you're fine, I have all I was looking for, at least for now. I'm helping Polsie, the Smithcraft apprentice, with checking the computer database to try and date some of this material." She taps next to the hide she's been studying, carefully not touching it any more than strictly necessary. "Have you found anything interesting?"

P'rius sets his book down carefully, "Sorry. I didn't mean to. I've been looking at the healercraft related items myself. Nothing too spectacular, really. Mostly stuff I remember from my apprentice classes, but a few of the herb names and such I'm having trouble identifying. Just based on the workmanship on the metal it's probably 2nd pass at the latest. Certainly quite a find for her."

Idralia raises a brow at P'rius's reply, offering, "If you write them down, I can check the names and see if it is in the database. Might be a change in common name, or spelling. We've certainly seen a lot of that." She pauses a moment, regarding him with almost disbelief, before adding, "That box, at least, couldn't possibly be that old - the metal corrosion means it couldn't have lasted that long. Anything that corrodes will wear away in hundreds of years at the most, and couldn't last near thousands. That's the problem with using iron and steel. Copper and brass last longer, but aren't nearly as strong."

P'rius peers at the box, then chuckles, "That's why I'm a healer." He wiggles the book a little, "At least when wingsecond duties allow anymore. And this book is from around 5th pass, so it's definitely worth a look. If I don't find them all, though, I'll gladly leave it in your capable hands." He winces a little, likely at a comment from his dragon since he mutters, "I am /not/ flirting Zhi."

"Glad to see the libabry works so well to preserve these materials," Idralia replies with a smile. "Let me know if there is anything that needs researching. I have a lot of time where working on the machines isn't possible, so having something to do is a pleasure." The mutter elicits another raised brow but no comment - is she trying to be polite, or just indifferent? "I've mostly looked at the musical scores, transcribing them since those are so much easier to compare to the records than anything else."

P'rius nods, opening the volume carefully, "It's one of the glittering jewels of Fort. We had a rider librarian for a while… A'di, but he moved on. It's always had a top-notch caretaker, though." He nods lightly as his eyes scan the pages before him, turning them gently from one to the next, "I'm looking forward to hearing the music if it's new. I've always appreciated music."

"I'll let you know - after the Harpers, that is. I'll probably have one of them doing the actual comparisons," Idralia replies. "I would be liable to miss some small detail that they would find highly important. I'm just the hands that do the work," she adds cheerfully, shifting her materials out of her way and turning properly to face him. "So, what duties do a wingsecond have which so restrict your opportunities in the craft? I know very little about the Weyr's functional structure."

P'rius nods lightly, "If you find any machine diagrams, though, you'll be right in your element, eh?" He skims a few listings, then turns the page again, "Being a wingsecond is a full-time job in and of itself. There's paperwork and organization that needs doing, plus sometimes disciplining a particularly troublesome rider. We don't have as much to plan in Simurgh since we don't do regular drills and such, but we add having to handle receipts and expense paperwork for all the craftriders to make sure all the goods and items get where they need to go."

"What, in this stuff? Probably not - no-one was designing machines much until toward the Ninth Pass. But if I did, yes, I would be in my element," Idralia agrees with a smile. She listens curiously to his outline of his duties. "Sounds rather like the work stewards and masters do. What exactly does the Simurgh wing do, then, that you don't need to do drills? Is it all craftriders only?"

P'rius shrugs, "You never know. Fandarel had waterwheels driving his forges, after all." He nods again, "Yeah. Simurgh's the craft wing. Most of us have some search and rescue training just in case, but outside of Ely and I doing the paperwork, craftriders mostly work in their crafts, but they pay a bit back to the Weyr for any normal commissions since the Weyr's covering their upkeep now instead of their craftmaster." He pauses a beat, "Ely's wingleader."

Idralia's lips twitch slightly. "As I said, Ninth Pass. Either way, it would be an interesting read." She tilts her head slightly, asking, "So the structure works much like crafters at a Hold or a foreign Hall, with the dragonriding aspect not having a significant impact on functionality, then?"

P'rius smirks, "Well, we do know there was tech here when our ancestors arrived that lasted for a while, at least." He shrugs, "But yeah, probably not worth holding your breath over." He shrugs lightly, "It's a little different because there's an expectation that craftriders hold loyalty to the Weyr abover loyalty to their crafts. They can't be reposted by their Hall unless it's at their own request because a dragon belongs in a Weyr."

Idralia nods, thinking about what he has said. "I can understand that. It wouldn't make sense to send a craftrider somewhere that their dragon could not be housed healthily. Well, thank you for answering my questions. I suppose I should let you get back to work, and I've things to get around to myself," she says, turning back toward her transcription.

P'rius cocks his head slightly to one side, "Actually… sounds like I'm needed at home. It was nice chatting, though. Sometimes I get so caught up in work I forget to just relax and enjoy life a little. Don't work yourself to death, alright?"

Idralia raises a hand in a wave toward P'rius, nodding again. "Again, thank you, and it was a pleasure. I'll be sure to not overdo it," she says over her shoulder absently, already engrossed in her work again.

P'rius makes his way out, the tome now carefully tucked under one arm. Apparently there's a check out policy.
'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.