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.


It's drizzling outside on this late winter afternoon, continuing the miserable weather that has plagued the Weyr during the long, wet season. Idralia has taken up residence in the caverns today, keeping an eye on the weather as she patiently awaits a break in the rain. "Every time I think I can get something done around here, it rains," she can be heard to say, toying with a meatroll as she stares gloomily at damp passage to the bowl.

It's hard to miss Tamsyn coming and going over the past two weeks. Likely, it's been heard that the Harper had a mishap on her way back from the Harper Hall, resulting in a broken ankle. And indeed, the woman's right ankle, foot and shin is in a cast. So the woman walks with crutches, a warm fuzzy scarf wrapped around her throat. Still, she manages to pass by at the right time to hear Idralia's comment. "Nothing to be done indoors, then?" A look is given to the tables with food, her stomach giving an audible gurgle. "I… don't suppose I could get you to help me for a moment?"

Idralia seems relieved when Tamsyn arrives, dropping the meatroll back onto her plate with a disgusted snort. "Oh, there are things to do indoors, but some of them are rather dependent upon work out there," she replies. The Harper's bungled ankle and request for help elicit a sympathic sound from the Techie as she rises. "Always happy to help a fellow crafter, especially when I'm bored out of my mind. What would you like?"

Tamsyn eases herself onto one of the chairs, propping her crutches against the table. There's just a little fidgiting before she's comfortably settled. "Food would be preferable." She says with a bit of a smirk, before answering seriously. "Meatrolls or a sandwich would be wonderful." There's a pause. "And tea, please." Then she's back to the other topic. "What are you working on, at the moment?" One would hope this wet weather subsides sooner rather than later.

Idralia waits to be sure Tamsyn is settled comfortably before she nods. "Meatrolls, sandwich, tea," she repeats before heading over to the table and aquiring the requested foodstuffs. It doesn't take long before Idra returns, carrying a tray with not only Tamsyn's food but a bowl of fruit and a second mug of tea. "I've been trying to install flow regulators in some of the branching heating vents so I can control room temperatures a bit better. Unfortunately I can't work in them when it is raining, because then I track water into the vents and it grows mold. I have been firmly forbidden from encouraging mold growth."

"But I think the smell of mold would be so refreshing to wake up into in the morning." Tamsyn comments with a completely straight face, smiling in thanks as Id comes bearing the gifts of food and drink. The tea is the first thing she goes for, carefully sipping at the hot drink. "Ahhh. Wonderful. Thank you!"

Idralia's lips twitch at Tamsyn's deadpan comment, carefully settling the tray on the table near the Harper and taking a seat again. "Of course. We could all use a good case of… whatever mold gives you. I'm a little fuzzy on the specifics, but I'm sure we would all enjoy it wonderfully," the Techie agrees, though she hasn't nearly the voice control the Harper does and so she sounds rather amused by the exchange. "You're welcome. So, I haven't gotten the whole story. What, exactly, did you do to yourself?" she inquires, nodding toward the crutches.

Tamsyn pauses a moment to scratch at the the back of her head. "I know Harpers are supposed to be all-knowing, but I haven't the faintest clue, either." As Idra asks about the ankles, Syn grimaces. "Well, if you have to know… I was out hiking the mountain ranges and… got caught by an avalanche!" … Cricket chirp. … Syn's tone was so obviously over-blown there isn't the slightest chance that could be truth. After a minute Syn sighs, turning serious. "I was coming back from Harper Hall, taking the mountain pass. I had /thought/ the weather was done downpouring for the day, but the evening turned into icy rain, which froze the path." Her shoulders lift in a small, half-defeated shrug. "One wrong step and down I go. M'lo, P'rius and Miki came to get me. P'rius said it'd be about a month for it to heal, being a minor and clean break." A clearly distainful look is given to the crutches. "But I feel like a lumbering beast, and my voice has been scratchy from being drenched to the bone in ice-rain." The tea is
given a look, and another sip taken. Must save the voice!

Idralia chuckles softly at Tamsyn's admission of her lack of knowledge and the following proclamation of events. "It would be a more dramatic story that way," she agrees. "I'm sorry to hear about that. Don't they give you good, studded boots when its this wet and cold? They should. Hopefully it heals cleanly and soon, and your voice stays sound," she offers. "What have you been doing while waiting to recover?"

"I've been teaching still. But without the singing on my part." Tamsyn supplies. "It doesn't stop me from teaching them the basics of instruments or how to read and write." Tamsyn starts then applying herself to the sandwich first. The mention of boots brings a small flush to Syn's cheeks. "I forgot them. The weather honestly didn't look that bad, so I didn't turn around."

"Ah," is Idralia's response, and she quietly eats fruit and sips tea for several minutes. Eventually, though, she does resume the conversation. "Do the children give you any more trouble now, while you're injured, than they usually do?" she asks curiously. "The way Miki talks about them, children will take advantage of any opportunity they perceive for more mischief."

Tamsyn grins, a little lopsidedly. "Some of them turn into little beasts, but others rise to the challenge and help me keep the others relatively under control." She finishes off the sandwich, then starts sipping at the tea again. "Some days turn into game days just to help spend the energy."

Idralia nods as she listens, working her way through the fruit slowly. "With how bad the weather has been I imagine they don't get to play outside much, so they would be rather, ah, energetic, wouldn't they?" She gives a slight shake of her head, leaning back into the cushions of her chair. "I'm so glad my work doesn't involve children. I can't imagine how you or Miki handle their antics."

Tamsyn leans back in her chair, hands wrapped around the mug of tea. "I'm definitely not looking for my own children, yet." She admits to the Techcrafter. "Dealing with other peoples' children is enough for me at the moment." But the harper is nodding. "The bad weather really does have the kids restless. But I try to incorporate the teaching into the games somehow." Which has been a lesson on creativity for her.

"It's good to know that you have a sound head on your shoulders," Idralia says with a wink. "I despair of some of the young people here who are all too eager to start a family before they themselves have finished growing up. Though the dragonriders don't often have a choice on that front," she adds more seriously. "What kinds of games do you use in your lessons to keep them engaged?"

Tamsyn just shakes her head. "I'd really like to reach Master status before I consider starting a family. If I find someone to start it with." The note about the dragonriders brings about a small nod from the harper. "Though one would think if the woman really didn't want the child, if she wasn't a rider herself, the father would be kind enough to make a special trip between for her." Not that circumstances are always the best, but one would hope. And then the question of teaching games pops up. "Oh, anything that has them zooming around the classroom, really. It also depends on the age group. In one of the older classes, a child acts out a word, and the rest have to guess what it is they're acting out." Drama and vocabulary lesson!

Idralia nods, sipping at her tea. "Those are good plans to have. And I agree, one would think that. I've never seen a truly unwanted child at the Weyr in the two Turns I've been here, so I suspect it's a true thought." Tamsyn's description of the games elicits an amused snort. "You have them play charades? I hope they are more, uhm, appropriate, than the charades played at the Turnover celebration. Can you believe that Ely and Miki gave M'lo 'goat udder' to act out?"

Tamsyn blinks. "No. Somehow I managed to miss this fact of inappropriate charades." The harper actually manages to show some disappointment. "That might've actually been some fun. If inappropriate." But the inappropriate fact has been covered. That doesn't seem too much a deterrent to the harper. "But yes, much more appropriate. Sometimes musical terms, sometimes everyday things. But all age-appropriate matters." Yeah. The last thing she'd need is partents complaining to the Masterharper.

Idralia chuckles, nodding slightly. "It was rather amusing. I managed to figure it out at the last minute, and we stumped them with 'flamethrower'. Ely was quite creative in representing it, at least. I had to leave after that, but I understand A'dmar stepped in and he and M'lo won the competition," she offers. "I might have to stop by and watch that at some point. Charades is always amusing to observe."

Tamsyn is just stuck shaking her head. "This is what happens when you get stuck on the performing platform. You miss /every/thing else!" Syn almost sounds distressed over it, but the harper can't be fretted over such a thing. And at the mention of stopping by to observe, the harper just grins. "Beware of poking your nose into the classroom, I might use you for something." Like an impromtu techcraft lesson. Absolute basics.

Idralia makes a sympathetic sound at Tamsyn's complaint, offering, "I could take your place next time? I'm not a great performer, but I couldn't help picking a few things up at home. My family are all Harpers." The warning elicits a snort of amusement. "If any of them find my work the least bit interesting, I'll be happy to was eloquent, but I suspect they will all think it is horribly boring and not want to hear about how power converters work or why the heater has to be cleaned regularly."

"You never know where you'll find new apprentices for your craft. The eldest ones should be just the right age to start thinking about what they want to do." Tamsyn interjects on behalf of the children. The mention of parents as harper gets a smile. "And here, my parents are still at Plateau Hold, off in a mountain valley."

"True enough, I suppose," Idralia concedes. "Still, my craft isn't one of the more populous ones, and there is only one training center. Not many people want to go all the way to Landing for an apprenticeship, since you aren't allowed to visit home. Most Techies are from Landing." She matches Tamsyn's smile, noting, "My parents are at Southern Boll, but my sisters are at the Hall and my brother at Ista Hold. He's just made Master, and I think he plans to stay there for a while and enjoy the warmer weather.

"I should add on, that mom is usually a nanny for the place now, while dad helps keep it in good repair." There's a faint pause. "I hope there's not a rash of younger siblings I don't know about." Her parents wouldn't hear the end of it then. "I'm sure I've probably seen them about. What's your brother's specialty? And your sisters'?"

Idralia tugs at a lock of hair rather sheepishly when Tamsyn asks about the specialties. "Do you know, I'm really not sure? I left home before my brother, who is the oldest, has picked a specialty, and I haven't been back often. We have a sort of standing rule of not talking about work when I am there, so everyone can just have a good time. I think he may have said something about instruments, but I don't remember much more than that. Both of my sisters prefer singing to playing."

Tamsyn finishes draining the mug of tea and snatches up a meatroll as she goes about collecting her crutches to her. "I'm sure I've seen your sisters around then, if I haven't sung with them myself." And then Tamsyn does the awkward, struggling dance of getting to her feet, and the crutches situated under her armpits. "After all. Singing and acting are my main specialty. I play instruments well enough to appease some of the other masters." And to be able to play by herself. There's a wave from the elbow for Idra as she slowly starts to hobble back the way she came from. "I have to get back to the classrooms. The last class should be starting soon."

Idralia deftly moves the tray out of the danger zone as Tamsyn struggles with the crutches. "Probably. I'll mention you to them the next time I get a message and see if they recognize you," she replies. "Have a good afternoon. I hope the class is an enjoyable one." As the Harper departs Idra gathers up the dirty dishes and takes them off for cleaning, tidying up before she settles back to waiting for the weather to clear.

'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.