Snowball Fights and Flights

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.


Winter has come to Fort, and nothing cements this into the minds of rider and resident alike other than the blanket of white that has settled like a chilly blanket over night. This wonderland of snow has encouraged most to remain indoors, or at least spend as little time outside as possible. This means more people huddling around the hearth and despite the lateness of the morning, the living cavern is much busier than normal. Auntie are knitting and gossiping, some conducting their business, and others still just enjoying a cup of klah and conversation. Kairhys is one of those just sort of hanging out, sitting at a table with several chairs available, his ever present sketch tome opened before him. He's currently hunched over it with a pencil and eraser as well as a box of colored pencils and some other artistic tool tucked away in a zippered leather pouch. His tweed jacket and scarf hangs off the back of his chair, wearing his usual heather and slate colored long sleeved shirt and leather trousers. A look of concentration is fixed upon his features, every once in a while chewing on his bottom lip.

For once, Idralia isn't bringing her work, or her study, with her into the cavern. Today the techie is carrying an embroidery circle and a small basket full of supplies. Noticing some empty seats near Kairhys, Idralia heads over there, pulling one out and settling down. "Morning," she greets softly, as she lays out hanks of colored threads, sorting them into neat strands. She doesn't speak further, respecting his obvious concentration as she prepares her work.

Miki is one of the riders taking refuge in the living caverns, and by the looks of it, she hasn't been out at all today. The woman is dressed in an oversized, long-sleeved, baby blue shirt that is belted at the waist and a pair of well fitting white pants, she looks rather…springy. Eyes scan the caverns lazily before she moves over to pour herself a mug of klah. Sustenance acquired, Miki wanders over to the table where Kairhys and Idralia are at, stopping behind the boy and peering over his shoulder quietly.

Morning during a day off means that Deitra's off doing something or another, as long as the task is interesting. But, eventually one gets hungry again and this is what leads the hunter to return to the living caverns from the snow covered outside. It is obvious that she's been out there for quite some time as her jacket is covered, along with the fact that her nose and cheeks are a rosy shade of pink. Rather than scanning for others, she makes a straight line towards the serving table and pours herself a mug of klah and snags something to snack upon as well. Once that is done, the snowy hunter — who is now beginning to melt — turns to consider those gathered and follows Miki over to the table. Rather than peering over Kairhys shoulder, however, she places her things down and sheds the winter clothing to rest on one of the chairs beside her own before seating herself. "What're you two doin'? Work or somethin' fun?" Then, she takes a closer look at Idralia's stuff and wrinkles her nose. "Yer doin' lady work, never mind."

Curled up in a seat only two or so off from Kairhys and now Idralia, Hanild is dressed in a long, knit white dress that is serving both as elegant clothing and as, essentially, a giant sweater/blanket combination. The recent Weyrwomanly edict cutting reports down to nothing has left the weyr scribe with the nominally enviable position of not really having a job. In her case, though, all it's bringing is boredom — which is why she is taking advantage of the time off to lurk and draw. Her hair has fallen down on top of her sketchpad, and so she's not identifiable at first; when she hears voices, however, she looks up. "Morning, journeyman," she says idly to Idralia; she knows a knot even when she doesn't know a name, "Miki, Deitra." The weaver was already there. She may have already greeted him.

From more or less alone to influx of female company, Kairhys first greets Idralia, lifting his head just enough to peek up at her as she sits and speaks. "Good morning." he replies, offering her a friendly smile before he returns to his work. Apparently it's craft stuff today, what with the notes and things paperclipped to the opposite page which he glances over at every once in a while. On the other, a pencil sketch of a woman's dress. With fancy folds and beadwork, even some decorative roses centered on the corset style bodice. It was the typical style of a concept drawing, at least as far as the figure was concerned, but the dress itself was dramatically more realistic. "Hello, Miki." he murmurs, not bothering to look up as the woman steps behind him to look over his shoulder, making a few more lines towards the bottom of the dress before the pencil is put back into the pouch. "Dress commission. Not a real one. Just practice." he tells Deitra, brown eyes darting over her direction as she sits down before picking up an inking pen and starting to outline his pencil marks. At mention of lady work, a glance is spared to whatever Idralia was doing for a second and then he's back to making very careful lines. Hanild on the other hand, was further down the table, and perhaps had missed her greeting if she had given one, peeking down the line there and twisting a hand down in an arch at the wrist, fingers spread. "Hey, I'm Kairhys. Nice to meet you." Another smile, all toothily. And hey, the kid had a nice smile. That done, and he's back to work. Again.

Idralia glances up at Miki as the greenrider approaches, offering a brief smile to her and the hunter following after, then a nod toward the scribe, before she answers Deitra's question. "It's a gift for my mother," Idralia explains, tilting the fabric so the faint outline on it can be seen. "It's supposed to be a mountain flower, though I'm not sure if it really is," she admits. "At least it's something homemade with love, and that's what Mother cares about." She listens as Kairhys describes his work but keeps her eyes on the embroidery circle as she fits the pattern in and secures it for stitching.

Miki grins over at Deitra as she sits down, shaking her head. "Nah, just getting something to tide me over before I have to go sit in on some meetings and write a few of those official letter things. Might go play in the now later though." There's a nod in Hanild's direction before Miki takes a sip of her klah and slips into a seat. "It's pretty. Someone order it for a banquet or something?" The rider is still curious about the work, after all, it's far more interesting than what she gets to do. Idralia earns a brief smile in return, and she looks over at the embroidery for a bit.

Hanild draws Deitra's attention over towards her with the greeting provided and she inclines her head towards the woman. "Yer lookin' bored as ever. Why don't you try ta find a new job while you wait. It ain't like yer only good at one thing, right?" The hunter lifts her brows in question at the woman before shrugging. "And you can always learn new things." Then, she leans over to peer at what Kairhys is working on, brief and fleeting however as she's not close enough to take in the full details of the work. "Seems rather frilly and stuff. You practice makin' designs but nothin' happens with them?" Lips press into a thin line of consideration before she's shifting to sit upright once more, resting an elbow upon the table as she leans into it. A sip of klah then nibbling on her snacks before her gaze travels towards Idralia. "I see." Grey eyes flicker downwards to consider the embroidery and brows are drawn into a frown. "Looks nice 'nough. I ain't the best judge of these sort've things, but as long as yer mother likes it." A shrug of her shoulder, the one that isn't tilted towards the table for support. "I'll come with you. Been wantin' ta have a good snowball fight. I'll recruit some of the other brats and we can make four teams and do an all out war." Her lips curl into a grin of amusement, "it'll be great.."

"Hanild," the now less-bored scribe offers up in response to toothy-grinning Kairhys, her own sociable smile admittedly resting more in the eyes. "Nice to meet you as well." She is now making her own attempt to look over at what the others are doing, from Kairhys' dress drawing to Idralia's embroidery, though the first thing she says is actually to Miki: "If you want someone else to do the actual writing, I wouldn't mind helping, though I doubt I'd be allowed actually into the meeting." That's part of the beauty of scribing, though: she tends to always know everything that is going on. Rarely if ever with the dragonriders, though. "I think I'd be pretty wretched at a snowball fight, though, I haven't done that since I was little — also, I don't know. I might only be good at one thing!" Not that it really seems to bother her.

Idralia picks out a woody green color to start with, threading her needle and beginning to make small, tidy stitches along what appears to be the core of the flower's stem. "I hope it turns out looking nice. It was pricey enough to get the template and threads that I would be a bit miffed if it comes out looking like a child's drawing," she tells Deitra ruefully. She then seconds the hunter, saying to Miki, "I wouldn't mind playing in the snow a bit myself." The conversation between hunter and scribe draws her attention briefly and she offers, "You never know until you try," toward the latter. "You might also be pleasantly surprised."

Kairhys shakes his head at Miki as she sits and inquires as to what he's up to. "No, it's just the assignment we got this sevenday, due at the end. We all got made up customers with pretend orders and we gutta has a finished concept for class." After he says this, he looks up at Idralia, or rather at the pattern she was setting into her embroidery wheel there. He loses interest in, as Deitra put it, the woman's work and returns to inking his design. "I'm an apprentice, we don't really get commissions like this one until we're a Journeyman at least and anything this fancy…probably not till we're Masters." he explains to the best of his ability and then blows softly on the page to set some of the ink quicker. He shrugs his shoulders at Deitra, offering her a helpless sort of look. "It's a dress." After pointing out the obvious there, he twitches some, pausing in his work to idly rub at the back of his neck and tilting his head a bit, as if changing angles to view it. There's no input on his part on the topic of snow and throwing balls of the stuff at people, perhaps shutting out that part of the conversation going on around him as he leans in closer to start working on the finer details.

Miki can't really hide her excitement at the potential of having a fullblown snowball war. "Deal! You grab the brats and I'll free the few being imprisoned by the nannies. Gotta warn you though, just cause I'm small doesn't mean I can't kick butt." Hanild's offer earns a raised eyebrow and a definitve shake of the rider's head. "No. I've got two working hands and we deal with our own paperwork, thanks though." Of course, the topic is soon back to snowball fights which occupy most of Miki's attention. "Yeah, never know if you don't try. And if you've got some time you should come out and play too Idralia." She does take her snow-driven mind away from the subject long enouch to listen to Kairhys' explanation and nods. "Ahhh, gotcha. Now that I think about it, Aniki didn't do commissions during his apprenticeship either. Though if you really do want to work on clothes, Aniki's working on a makeover or some such for Carlyn, maybe you could help out."

"It ain't hard ta throw snowballs at other people. Yer not bad unless yer puttin' rocks in on purpose then throwin' 'em. Ain't no one just good at one thing, either. Yer only goin' ta get better if yer practicin'. No one in the Weyr is goin' ta appreciate anyone slackin' off just cause the Weyrwoman made an edict. You go and learn somethin' else until she retracts it, or she doesn't then you stay with yer new job. Right now, yer just freeloadin'." Deitra frowns and reaches for more of her snacks, taking a small handful and shoving it into her mouth. This renders the hunter silent as she listens — for the most part — to the journeyman's explanation, nodding idly. "If you paid for somethin', it better come out well. 'm sure it will if yer followin' a pattern or instructions." Attention shifts again, settling on the weaver apprentice with her nose wrinkling. "Still frilly, guess if they want it like that, ain't nothin' you can do 'bout it." Whatever makes the pretend client happy. At least she understands that much about the weaver's work. "Wonderful. I wish you were 'round when /I/ was bein' imprisoned by nannies. Size never matters in a snowball war. Tiny is better, anyway, you can hide more." The mention of a makeover and Carlyn has the hunter making a face. "Poor Lyn."

"I was going to say," Hanild picks up where Deitra leaves off, as far as the snowball fight and Miki's size goes, "being small makes you more likely to be the victor, doesn't it? Since nobody's going to see you coming, /and/ you're easier to miss. As much as you can really win — there aren't really rules, so much, are there? I don't remember any besides 'try not to hit your littlest brother right in the face,' which was a parental rule more than anything." And is accompanied by a mild frown, because it was a lot more fun to fling things at his head. The talk of makeovers has her eyebrow rising again. "Oh dear. Poor Carlyn. What's he think she needs made over? Always seemed sensible to me."

Idralia continues steadily making stitches as she talks, though she has to pause any time she looks up from her fingers. "I'd be happy to join you, Miki, once I get at least part of this done. Mother's Turnday is coming up, and I want to have it done in time to send her before then." Mention of Aniki has the techie shaking her head but she does not comment on that part of the discussion, focusing on finishing the stitches that use the woody green color. To Deitra she nods, saying, "I am following the pattern, so it /should/ come out right. I'm just nervous about it, I guess, since it's for my mother instead of something just for myself."

Kairhys looks to Miki, his mouth opening and then closing again. A flush of sorts colors his lightly tanned cheeks, eyes darting off to one side. "Not really my thing. I just do the designs, I know nothing about sewing or fabric or anything. Thanks though for thinking of me." he tells Miki, and then nods to Deitra. "It's just a practice assignment. But yeah, you don't really get a choice when doing a commission. You can offer suggestions, so that's why I have to have some idea of style and the way fabrics work, but in the end it's all about what the customer wants." Another helpless look, complete with shoulders lifting and dropping back down before he goes back to inking, maybe listening, maybe not.

Miki giggles, "I like to think of myself as having been a good nanny. And you're right about size. It's easy to get around too. And I can hide myself with the rest of the brats if I need to sneak out somewhere." As if the rider's ever had any reason to sneak around. But if she wanted too, she could! But then Miki peers over at Hanild, a slight twitch of irritation in her features as the scribe ignores all of Deitra's points. "She's right you know. You can't just lounge around doing nothing. I don't know where you came from or how your situation was where you grow up, but the Weyr doesn't have tons of marks laying around to feed people that aren't working for it…..and do you even /know/ my brother?" With a sigh, Miki turns back to Idralia, nodding. "Yeah, yeah of course, gotta finish that first, but when you have time, come join the fun! Gives your hands and eyes a break." Kairhys' fish-like movements and flushed cheeks earn an amused chuckle from the rider. "Not really your thing, huh? Well you could help design her clothes if you want? Then again, if you've got assignments like these every week you might not have the time."

Deitra narrows her eyes on Hanild, lips pressing into a thin line. "Right. Ignore that." Grey eyes roll upward and then she shifts into another position, focusing elsewhere other than the scribe. More snacks are gathered and popped into her mouth and she grumbles softly under her breath about Aniki and his notions of what should be considered for a makeover. She continues to chew as her gaze resettles upon Idralia, swallowing before responding. "Then don't be nervous if yer followin' what yer supposed ta. Bein' nervous just means yer goin' ta mess up cause yer expectin' ta." The hunter shrugs after offering her opinion before peeking back at the weaver. "I see. Must be hard on all of you. I refer just pants, ain't like they're hard ta make." Not that she knows anything about making pants.

Tensing a bit, Hanild squints her eyes at approximately nothing at all, a distant point in the living caverns, and says rather curtly, "I am not actually doing /nothing/, I have been drawing and I /do/ draw /for/ people, it's not as if I am just sitting here doodling because I have nothing better to do — it's also not my /fault/ that I've been turned at least temporarily obsolete, so if you're going to gripe at me, please do also gripe at the people who are taking away jobs. /I/ didn't do any of it. I didn't /decide/ not to have work, and if someone handed me something I could do I would most certainly be doing it." She is rather stone cold in entirety, now; cold and calm, not showing much of a sign of any emotion other than mild irritation. "So being ganged up upon by people in the living cavern when it's not as if there is a collection point for finding things to do when your job has been removed, I think. My reason for not responding was because I would rather have /not/ debated the issue. I'm not exactly sitting around enjoying myself and I don't really cost much in the way of resources, either. Do you see me eating?" Exhale. "I also didn't know I had to have met someone to be able to comment abstractly on the fact that being forcibly made over sounds unpleasant."

"I will," Idralia promises Miki. "I'd love to get outside for a bit and stretch, and I'm sure the children will provide plenty of entertainment." She then regards the hunter with some surprise. Slowly, she starts to smile and nod, looking from Deitra to the embroidery thoughtfully. "You may have something there. Thanks, I'll keep that in mind." Carefully she ties off the darker green and returns the unused thread to its pile, picking up a lighter shade to continue with. This is when Hanild snaps at the others, and the techie gives her a flat look. "Girl, I don't care whether you think they are acting inappropriately or not, but plain and simple, Miki ranks you, and you have no business speaking to her like that. If she wants to tell you something, you /will/ be respectful in your response to her," the journeywoman says, voice sharp with disapproval. "In case you haven't noticed, the Weyrleader is especially rank oriented, and if he ever hears you speak like that to one of his wing he will have you out of the Weyr faster than a dragon could travel between."

Kairhys bobs his head at Miki, "I could lend a hand in the design. This assignment was given to me today, I should have it done tonight or tomorrow." Of course after he says this, the implications of volunteering himself hits him like a ton of bricks. "Oh. I guess that means I'll be working with Aniki." Twitch. yeah, he doesn't look to sure about that, and he gives Miki puppy dog eyes all of a sudden for some reason. "You're going to be there right? Riiiight?" He'll even stick out his bottom lip and beg if he has to from the looks of it, putting the lid back on his ink and tapping out the pen before those too are put away. The outline of the dress is completely lined in black now, really making the design pop off the page, but it seems that for now the apprentice was finished as a thin sheet paper is put between the pages and then closed, the leather on the outside closed and tied up, and he sets starts putting away the colored pencils. However as Hanild starts defending herself he gets distracted, the action that should of taken moments stretched out to much longer as his movements slow. His eyes round some as she really gets going and he blinks several times before he murmurs something quietly under his breath and just totally leaves that alone. Yep. Totally. Pencil in bag, repeat. Pencil in bag, repeat. And it gets worse when Idralia steps in to give her two marks worth, though he does look at Miki and then to Deitra, and probably decides to focus on her for now. "I prefer pants myself." A pause, and then he pipes up with, "Pants are good, right ladies?" he looks to them all in turn. Idralia, Hanilid, Miki and then Deitra again, grinning as his brows lift. "Hmmm?" He was smooooooth, yo.

Miki stares over at Hanild, the irritation on her face neither increasing nor decreasing as she listens to the girl speak. "No one's ganging up on you. I'm saying to do something else. Like maybe you could help out the harpers and such. If you go around acting like you're bored and saying that you're bored of course I'm going to suggest that you do something." With a sigh then, Miki turns away from the conversation, literally going so far as to turn in her chair towards Kairhys and safer topics. "That….well yes, yes I will be there." She giggles at the puppy eyes and reaches out to give him a bit of a pat if he doesn't move. "You'll be in for a treat. Never seen the tame Aniki, have you? It's a sight to behold." Cause the poor boy is whipped when it comes to his sister. "Mhmmm, pants are good. Really good. See? I'm even wearing pants. Aren't they nice pants?" And to show off her nice white pants, Miki kicks a leg up.

"There's probably /somethin'/ more productive you can do in the Weyr, is all. Sayin' that yer not able ta do anythin' because you have nothin' means yer not lookin'. That's all." Deitra insists again, nose scrunching up slightly. "Ain't gangin' up on you, just pointin' out that there's somethin' you could be doin' that's productive ta the Weyr yer currently living in." There's a nod of agreement and welcome towards the journeyman tech crafter before attention settles upon her mug, poking at it idly before attention resettles upon the weaver. "I'd hope you'd prefer pants. Would have ta worry if I saw you in a skirt." A snicker of amusement and she winks teasingly at him. "Pants are great." It's late in the morning and it is again snowing outside, there is a gathering of people at a singular table while there are a few scattered elsewhere most of the noise appears to be from that one area.

"Oh, I don't know," Hanild tries, with a hesitant smile — not actually the type to enjoy arguments, least of all if she has to be in them (because really, the bar fight /was/ amusing). "He might look good in a skirt. He is, apparently, quite talented at designing dresses — I'd wear that. Maybe. On a very fancy occasion." Despite her tendency to wear nice clothing, Hanild is not a genius about them, and so she runs her fingertips along the edge of her skirt and says, head slightly tilted, "I think these are pants, anyway. What's it called when they're more like tights with no feet? Leggings? Do those count?"

Idralia is wearing pants, too, as it happens, and the apprentice weaver does get a brief, "Yes, they are," for his attempt at lightening the mood. "And Deitra's right, you might look a bit odd in a skirt." Being ignored by Hanild clearly doesn't please the journeywoman, as her expression remains full of disapproval, but as long as the scribe doesn't continue to disrespect Miki she'll let it go. Determined to get some progress made she turns her attention to her embroidery again, threading the lighter green shade and getting back into the rythym of stitching. "When were you planning to head outside?" she asks Miki without looking up.

When Miki does indeed assure Kairhys that she'll be there, the rest of what she says frosting on the cake for all the relief that eradicates any suggestion of tension that might of been building at mention of Aniki. So thrilled that the woman would be there to keep her brother reined in, the teenaged weaver cups the side of her face with one slender fingered hand and leans in, dropping a quick kiss to her other. "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." he murmurs against her ear before he draws back and retracts his hand, blinking once and then flushing darkly. "Um…yeah." Eye shift and he clears his throat, "Sorry about that." He looks appropriately sheepish and rubs at the back of his neck, finding distraction by zipping up his supply pouch and then dropping it ontop of the sketching tome, then perhaps fiddles with the leather encasing it. As for the awesomeness of pants and Miki's legging up the boy can't help but laugh, leaning back in his chair and drawing a knee up to his chest, foot set on the seat of his chair, drapping an arm over it. When Hanild pipes up, Kai looks to her and his eyes widen a touch, glancing down at himself and unable to resist laughing at the idea of him in a dress. "Well, I do have nice legs. I could probably pull off a skirt. Not sure about a dress." He plants his hands over his pecs and shakes his head. "I don't have anything to fill the bodice out with." He does offer his fellow artist over there another of his nice smiles and a bob of his head. "Thank you. It's nice to be appreciated." A pause and he nods, "Leggings…hmmm…" And he takes the chance to look her over, with emphasis on her legs of course. "Would you wear them with a shirt over it?" he asks, and for a moment looks to Idralia. "You think so?" he asks, peeking down at his own legs again, hmmming, as if considering his options.

Out of the cold and into the warmth comes Carlyn, bundled up from the bottom of her booted feet to the top of her hat-and-scarf wrapped head. She's got a thick cloak over her normal attire, and the only bit of her skin that might be seen is the tip of her nose and her eyes, peaking out between the warm, fluffy layers. Though hat and gloves are removed immediately and stuffed into her pockets, she leaves the rest to remove later. Once a mug of cocoa is secured, Lyn finds familiar faces in a sea of people, and heads that-a-way. "Hi!" says she, her greeting muffled behind her scarf. The snow clinging to her clothes is rapidly melting and, as soon as her cocoa is safely on the table, the stablehand gets to work removing layers.

Miki dissolves into a fit of giggles for a little bit, no doubt attempting to imagine Kairhys in a dress. "Hmmm, after the meeting, so probably mid-afternoonish." This said in response to Idralia's question about timing. Of course, everything else suddenly becomes unimportant because she's getting a peck on the cheek from a very hot younger man. When he draws back, there's a wide smile on her face and the rider chuckles a bit. "No problem. And no need to apolgize, I enjoyed it. It isn't everyday that I get thank you kisses from someone older than 5 turns." The commentary is accompanied by a quick wink in the weaver's direction before she turns to greet the newly arrived stablehand. "Hey there Carlyn.

"Hnn. I don't think it'd be lookin' good, amusin' or funny, yeah? Good? Nah." Deitra insists a little more firmly before she shifts into an actual seated position rather than just leaning on the table. Her mug is taken and sipped at idly while grey eyes settle upon Hanild, "don't think they do, but, I ain't a clothes expert." Fingers tap along the mug as she grins widely at Idralia. "Exactly." The mug is again lifted, held to her lips but no drink is taken quite yet. "I hope soon. I want ta get a huge war started in the bowl." Attention drifts towards Kairhys and her brows lift at his actions of kissing the greenrider on the cheek, snickering softly into her mug before taking a sip and resettling it upon the table. "I think yer crazy for considerin' it, but, whatever makes you happy." Miki's announcement of the timing of the snowball fight is met with a soft sigh of disappointment that only lasts for a short period of time as attention is turning towards the stablehand. "Lyn." The hunter grins widely with the greeting, "come join our snowball fight later?"

Hanild has managed so far to resist the urge to clap as Kairhys emphatically thanks Miki, and as the moment passes, she does at least retain that control. As Carlyn arrives, she looks up at the stablehand with a soft smile and says, "You look freezing! Did you want an extra blanket?" She doesn't really need hers, with her blanket-dress and the fact it isn't anywhere near as cold as she had been expecting in this room. "Since I'm betting a wet coat makes a pretty poor one, or at least it has in my experience —" She falls silent, then, wary of the discussion of snowball wars: now uncertain as to whether she's welcome.

Having not been looking up, Idralia misses the cheek-peck completely. She does hear the weaver's question, replying, "I do," gravely before giving him a quick smile. "Someone might mistake you for a girl, and that could turn all kinds of awkward." Carlyn's greeting draws Idra's attention and her fingers still as she turns to spot the stablehand. "Good morning, Carlyn," she responds before turning back to her embroidery, resuming her careful stitching along the stem of the flower. When Miki gives the timing she nods without looking up. "I should be far enough along to be wanting a break by then, so I'll be sure to come play."

Kairhys grins at Idralia, giving the quick smiling female a wink. "I don't know. Sounds like the start to a fun evening to me." he says, grinning right back at her. He mutters something else under his breath before flushing at Miki and rubbing the tip of one finger against his own cheek, clearing his throat some. "That seems like a shame to me. You and me should go out sometime." Did he just ask Miki out on a date? Sure seemed like it. "Pretty girls should be kissed, and often. Thank you or no thank you." He glances to Carlyn when everyone starts greeting her, offering her a smile and wave. "Hello, I'm Kairhys. Nice to meet you." So maybe he checks out what is under all those layers before his attention wanders off. So many ladies, so little time. A glance towards the time and the boy's eyes widen considerably. "Great Faranth's toenail. Is that time?" he exclaims, and he starts collecting his stuff quickly, including his coat and scarf on the back of his chair, putting them on with most haste. "I gutta go." He looks to Miki. "You. Me. Dinner. Let me know." That said, he drops another kiss to her cheek and makes for the exit, nearly tripping on someone along the way, book and supplies in one hand and his coat half on and half off. "Oopse. Sorry. My bad."

"Snowball fight?" asks the stablehand warily. Carlyn finishes shedding, and throws her coat and scarf over the bench nearby to dry a bit. "Oh, no thanks," is her polite declination of Hanild's offer. "With the heater, and the cocoa, I'll warm up quick enough. Actually, it was a bit stuffy under all that cloth." She rubs her hands together briskly as she swings a leg over the bench and takes a seat. Cocoa is quickly grabbed, fingers slipping around the mug with a delighted sigh. "Good morning Idralia! Miki!" A quick sip of cocoa and then, "Nice to meet you, Kairhys," she offers. And now everyone has been spoken to! Of course, then Kairhys starts asking out Miki and, really, that's too much for Lyn. Really? /Really/? She hides her comments behind a sip of cocoa. Hide! Sip. Swallow. And then "Huh," is all she can say when the weaver-kid runs off.

Miki is lucky today. Not just one peck, but two, and an offer for a date? One very lucky greenie indeed. "Dinner sounds good, I'll let you know!" There's a smile as she waves after the weaver, chuckling softly when he nearly trips. His sudden departure does have her looking to the clock curiously, and now Miki's is the one panicking. "SHELLS!" The rider gets hastily to her feet, though she does spare a bit more time to confirm the snowball fight. "Mhm, this afternoon. So you guys be ready. I'm not going easy on anyone. For now though…I've got a bunch of meetings to get to." There are waves and smiles all around before Miki picks up her mug and hurries over to drop it off, looking quite happy all the while. Not that anyone could really blame her she got cheek-pecks, a potential date, and promise of a snowball war. Maybe it would all be enough to keep her sane throughout the meeting. Maybe.

Deitra peeks at Hanild as she falls silent, "yer free ta join us, y'know. We ain't goin' ta keep you from takin' part in the war." She winks playfully at the scribe and then shifts to peek over the table in attempts to see Idralia's work before dropping back down into her seat. "'m really lookin' forward ta this. The biggest battle the Weyr has ever seen." Her gaze again resettles on Kairhys and Miki as the dinner date is made, chuckling softly before she's finishing off her klah. "He's a rather smooth talker, ain't he?" Carlyn's rejection of the snowball fight earns a shrug and a slight pout before she's grinning all over again. "Ah well. You can probably watch from the doorway." When Miki departs, the hunter is rising and gathering her coat and other such things from the chair beside her. "'m out to 'round up the troupes. See all of you later." And off she goes, to gather said troupes from their nanny imprisoners.

Eyes widened in bystander's delight as Kairhys asks Miki out and then runs off, Hanild only mildly surpresses a giggle. Which means she is smiling rather like an idiot as the whole thing unfolds, and both departing weaver and rushed greenrider get waves as quickly as she remembers to stop gawking. "See you guys!" she calls, and then as Deitra leaves too, she adds, "I can grab my brothers, too, they'll be a fantastic addition — thirteen and nine and with mean swings." She will clearly therefore have to move to get them soon, but for now she's got a drink and a drawing of someone's pet feline to finish. "How's the cocoa?" she finally remembers to actually ask Carlyn.

Idralia blinks at the young weaver when he asks out her friend, shaking her head slowly in bemusement. "Kids these days," she murmurs, looking back to her embroidery quickly and trying to not prick herself. "Yeah, Miki's starting a snowball fight this afternoon, whenever she gets out of the meetings she's headed to. She said she would bring along a number of children, so there will be a proper conflict. Maybe even some fortifications, if there's enough snow to make a good fort." When Deitra peeks at her work the techie tilts it to let her see, then nods to her as she departs, all without taking her eyes off the small stitches. "So, think you'll come along, Carlyn?"

"Everyone's leaving already?" grumps Carlyn. "I forget that the rest of the Weyr may not start as early as I do." A shrug. "Are you hunting? Good luck! And be careful!" she cautions Deitra. "Very slick outside." Cocoa is held close, but the warmth is savored rather than sipped. "Maybe. I guess I could," join the snowball fight, she means. "And children make pretty good targets," she decides with a cheerful grin, teasing of course. "And it's delicious. The perfect thing for a cold, snowy day!" She peeks at whatever Idralia is working on, more out of curiosity than real interest.

Neyuni steps in from outside, bundled thickly against the winter's cold. Her cheeks are yet reddened by the temperature. She stomps her feet a bit harder than she needs to at the entrance, not to draw attention to herself, but just that's the kind of mood she's in. The warmth of the caverns farther in draw her, though the crowds she shy's from, muttering greetings only as she is herself noted.

Ur'con seems to have incidentally followed Fort's Weyrwoman in; he's not nearly so deeply bundled but then his *between* worthy flight jacket and pants are probably enough to stop the worst of the cold. He slips his helmet and goggles off before the latter begin to fog up, and then unfastens his jacket a bit to loosen the scarf from around his neck. Thankfully, his hair is cropped very short, so he needn't worry about a massive attack of helmet hair!

"Most of them were just passing through, or passing time from one thing to another," Idralia tells Carlyn without turning her head. "If you, really, either of you, do decide to take part in the snowball fight make sure you wear extra socks to keep your feet dry. I don't remember why, but wet, cold feet are bad for you. I know I'll be adding extra layers." She finishes the light green part of her embroidery project and ties that off, snipping the excess thread away carefully. "Now, what color was that mark supposed to be," she mutters to herself, examining the pattern carefully and checking her reference card.

"I'm not going just yet — have to finish this first," Hanild replies softly, half of her focus now on the drawing. And then up at the ceiling, and then back on the drawing. "Can't do a very good picture of a feline without the feline present, and yet he wasn't really inclined toward modeling. You're right, though, my brothers make /fantastic/ targets." Carlyn gets a grin, and Hanild raises her pencil to her, in absence of a drink. Then, processing what Idralia says, she nods thoughtfully. "Extra socks. Right. I'd rather not die of cold foot disease, thank you for the warning — it's very pretty, by the way." Now that enough people have moved that Hanild can actually /see/ Idralia's work.

Though she says nothing, there's a certain look on Carlyn's face that just might say 'I didn't mean /you/' after Hanild's mentions that she is not yet leaving. But it's a fleeting look, and as Carlyn hides behind her mug, it just might be missed. "My feet are always cold," says the stablehand with a grin. "But that's life in the stable." Shrug. Neyuni's stomping, and Ur'con's entrance, are missed amongst the rest of the crowd. The stablehand slumps, her elbows on the table as she props her chin in her hand, mug moved safely away with a quick push of her finger. "You two are making me feel very unproductive," she notes idly.

Neyuni finds an empty table, slightly from the main crowd, watching as all the children go off to fight outside. Thank goodness, all that energy! She slumps a bit and then strips, suddenly hot. Hat, jacket and gloves are removed, so much the better then get tossed over the back of a nearby chair. She starts tugging at her sweater, as if even that is too much, until one of the kitchen ladies clears her throat. Riiight, not quiet the place. "No, I'm fine." Really, that angry-ish bugle from the bowl, just ignore that.

Ur'con finishes getting himself more or less comfortable, but it seems the bronzer from Eastern's here on pleasure, not business. He offers a jaunty-ish salute towards Zhuth's rider, and the heads right for Shennanigan's. Why else would he be here? Not that he wasn't a near fixture a couple of Turns ago…but that was on business.

Th'ero pauses for a moment by the entrance to shake the worst of the snow off of his riding boots and flight jacket, grimacing a little before his gaze turns to scan the caverns. For a moment, the Westerner hesitates once he sees how crowded it is, but with the outdoors so /cold/, he figures a crowd of strangers is the better option. Even so, the bronzerider takes his time in wandering over to the serving tables, slipping off his gloves and stuffing them away into a pocket as he mulls over the choices, eventually just settling on some klah. Th'ero then turns to the task of finding a seat and the one group of girls are given a curious glance, but its Neyuni who snags his attention and mostly because of the angry-ish bugle from outside. A nod is sent her way, along with the polite salute, but the bronzerider is keeping his distance - for now.

Idralia glances at Hanild in surprise when the scribe comments on her work. "Oh. Thanks," she says, looking back down to examine the card and find the color she needs. Once that is taken care of she looks up again, this time looking toward Carlyn. "I'm just making a gift for my mother," she assures the stablehand. Because she's actually looking up, Idra catches sight of Neyuni as the Weyrwoman claims a chair nearby and starts shedding clothes. "Good morning, Weyrwoman," she greets, then stills as the gold's call rings through the bowl. "Oh. I think you're going to have work to do soon, Hanild," she says quietly, glancing toward the scribe then toward Neyuni.

Feeding Grounds: Zuhth has been dozing up on the rim since late morning. Soaking in the sun the afternoon has passes her hide has taken on quiet a healthy glow, in fact more of a glow than usual. As evening approaches she begins to stir, a few drawn out clouds casting shadows on the ground below. Who dares breaks her sun? She wakes with a hiss, angry eyes taking in the Weyr, her Weyr below she bugles. The call is loud, brash and rings clearly throughout the weyr grounds. A summons? A challenge? Who might dare respond as her wings unfurl, the feeding grounds conveniently below and the herd suddenly restless as if sensing the imminent flight.

K'ael heads into the caverns at Fort. He's here on delivery, or was here on delivery. Now he's just… here. All the wintery riding clothes make the bronzer even broader than usual, and he bumps Th'ero a bit on his way in. "Sorry, rider. Excuse me. Tight in here with this many people." K'ael heads over to grab himself a cup of klah. There's a wave given to the weyrwoman once he's fetched one and is looking for a seat, then the bronzer is suddenly blinking. "Uh-oh." K'ael looks to be straining for a moment, but it comes much too late.

Feeding Grounds: Darlth is a quick study in a bronze replying…the interloping Eastern bronze was just oh-so-casually lurking about, as if there were nothing to see here! His pale hide looks even more pallid against the snow of the winter at Fort, but it doesn't seem to have taken any hastiness off him. He spreads his wings from where he was resting on a relatively narrow, weyrless ledge, and then bugles again, his throaty, basso call echoing the shrill challenge of the provoked gold. /DARLTH/ is here, even if no one else has the manners to answer back!

Feeding Grounds: Time had slipped away and seasons had changed since the last occasion that the taciturn Ierne bronze rider A'dmar had visited Fort. Then the warmth of summer days still held, now as the ebon bronze appears from over the horizon from linear flight, the crisp air of winter wafts around them in plumes as the dragon exhales with each downward sweep of sharp wings. The dragon is not without his rider, whom is camouflaged against the bronze's neck ridges in attempts to reduce the wind chill. No bright streamers or bells today, for either dragon or rider. Their appearance is done in a manner of subtly, where as *betweening* over Fort might garner the ire of the Weyrleader immediately since the watch dragon could call them out. In the way they arrive now, with the dark copper-bronze slipping just above the tree line, they're systematically flying under the radar. Up until the point that they need to bolt over the rim of the bowl walls themselves, descending rapidly with Yarovith's wings pressed to his side as soon as they are over the rim. In the last moments before touch down, large sweeping wings cut down the speed to make the landing possible. Rider dismounts with a sure foot, bundled in one large coat of grey fur and hide, hood rimmed with fur, with evidence of snow crystallized throughout the parka. A letter is all that he seems to grab from his dragon's satchel bag today. The letter doesn't get carried too far, as there is the abrupt distraction of a gleaming gold off in the direction of the feeding grounds. A'dmar stuffs the letter on the inside of his jacket, turning an eye back toward Yarovith, thoughts passing between the pair. Sinister near-black wings are held out to the sides in challenge and his neck lowered so that straps could be taken off, and not without a little urgent shuffling of feet side to side. A'dmar had to be quick before the beast ran off with all his packages yet again. No sooner was the straps off than was Yarovith hurrying toward the feeding grounds.

Hanild's lips turn up in the softest, most innocent and subtlest of smiles at Idralia's comment and accompanied glance, which she follows. "Time to start taking notes," she whispers where only techcrafter and stablehand can hear, turning the page in her sketchpad to note the date and time. She isn't a gossip in the slightest, but that doesn't mean she doesn't always keep track of everything she can, and knowing when a proddy gold starts making loud noises and crowds assemble in the living caverns — well, it's worth taking note of. The feline can wait.

Feeding Grounds: Velokraeth had been idly observing the falling snow and anything, really, that tickled his fancy this morning. But Zhuth's loud and brash bugle is like a summons to the pale, oddly formed bronze and he's soon joining others on the feeding grounds as quick as his stunted form will allow. He'll dare to respond, it seems and as he backwings to land, his oversized head swivels to give an almost nod-like gesture to the glowing gold, even in her current mood. Whirling eyes soon focus on other targets though, namely those herdbeasts. Any competition is ignored for now, though he's aware of them. Study will come later.

Feeding Grounds: Azaeth hears the bugle from across the bowl. That sort of sound probably carries for miles and miles. His fellow dragons in Xanadu could probably hear it. The bronze isn't terribly fond of snow, and has been hiding as best he can in an overhanging bit of the bowl. But such a battle cry is enough to bring the gargantuan bronze out of hiding. His own sails unfurl as he marches off towards the sound of the trumpet, letting loose his own booming cry across the bowl. The bronze turns into a loose circle around the pens, idling and warming himself up a bit.

Neyuni rests her head in a hand, fingers massaging temples her eyes closing. Rest is not in her future as she stiffens, catching the sudden current of her lifemates thoughts. Oops! Realization of the sudden crowd of certain riders and she groans. "Go away, all of you!"

"Oh?" asks Carlyn curiously, but she doesn't get to say much more before there's a tell-tale bugle from the Bowl. "Ooh," says the stablehand, looking a touch concerned. "Maybe I ought to…" but her thought is finished silently. She purses her lips, deep in thought for a moment. She shifts on her bench, and reaches for her mug, gulping the contents quickly. At least it's cooled down.

Th'ero grunts a little as he's bumped into, managing not to spill his drink as he turns his gaze towards the rider responsible. Whatever annoyance there may be doesn't show and instead he simply offers a faint smile. "No harm done. Can't be helped." he replies politely enough, before nodding his head as his previous grimace returns. "It is a little crowded." Th'ero agrees, before following K'ael though not too closely. Visiting bronzeriders unite? At Neyuni's sudden dismissal, he smirks and chuckles, though with little humor. "Uh oh is right." he mutters.

Feeding Grounds: Zuhth unfurls her wings completely and drops from the rim. The plunge is fatal to her select target. As amusing a target as the flash of her suitors hides might be, her talons slice deeply into the thick flesh of a herdbeast. It has no chance to appeal the sentence she imposes, jaws going for the belly only to be restrained. Her next call a harsh vocalization. She does not like being restrained and the timeless struggle ensures with her riders will asserting itself and for the blood she goes. A second, a third, she turns to ignoring the gathered bronzes in favor of the suddenly delicious bloody vintage that her claws unleash.

It's somewhat amusing, to watch the lanky rider from Eastern suddenly reverse course, but in his case, he's got a dismayed expression…shardit! There's a tone under his breath as no doubt, he chides his bronze. Darlth, dagnabbit…she's a senior! "What are you thinking!"

"I have odds on an out-Weyr catch," Idralia replies to Hanild just as quietly, gathering her embroidery materials and tucking them into their basket quickly. "Good luck with your note taking," she says to Hanild, before glancing between the two younger women. "If this is your first gold flight, you'll want to get to a private place before it gets too far along," she offers quietly in gentle warning. "Things will get a bit intense." And she suits action to words, giving each a nod and heading deeper into the caverns, well away from the Weyrwoman and the bronzeriders who have gathered around her.

Feeding Grounds: When its all said and done, the Ierne bronze has made quick work of finding a beast in the feeding grounds to disembowel and blood. A'dmar is left for some time in the bowl sorting out where he can put his straps, aided to the living caverns for the meantime. Thus, the rider doesn't get to see the mess that Yarovith leaves behind, not once, but twice. Two herd beasts struck down and left in a mangle, liver and hearts of each taken along with the drink of blood. It is done without ceremony. He's accomplished it as swiftly as he could, so that he could wing aloft toward a ledge of rock and take the advantage of higher ground. This is where he would consider his challengers and most importantly, the target of all desires - Zuhth.

Feeding Grounds: Darlth stoops down from his high perch into the feeding grounds, but sends the other beasts stampeding, with just the one held tight in his foreclaw. The more the other bronzes have to work to get ahold of a beast, the better for HIM! He's already thrown the husk of his chosen victim aside by the time the gold is on her third, but he's crouched against the muddy, frozen ground, wings expanded just a bit so that he can again hurl his massive frame up into the sky after her; might as well cut to the chase! He's given pursuit to other golds in Fort's airspace before this!

Feeding Grounds: Velokraeth doesn't bugle or call out his own challenge, but rather makes a series of odd chuffing noises deep in his throat. Laughter? Possibly the best alternative to it. But the feast has begun and he shall not be late to this gathering! Gathering himself up, he joins the melee in the grounds, promptly and neatly killing the first plump herdbeast that his talons can snag. Blunted muzzle dips down to drain away the much needed liquid, gaze fixated on Zhuth but keeping a respectful distance from the gold. He tries his best to avoid his competition as well, a low growl issuing from his throat should any approach too close. When the first beast yields no more, Velokraeth tosses it aside and leaps for a second, possibly even a third if the smaller bronze has time before the real challenge begins.

Feeding Grounds: Azaeth lets the lady pick first. He learned long ago that jumping the gun wasn't very polite. Especially if the lady was a bit on the angry side. The bronze suddenly leans and drops from the sky. Massive weight comes down onto an unlucky herdbeast, crushing its legs beneath the bronze. Jaws snap its neck quickly, putting it out of its misery and allowing for the beast's life juice to be soaked up quickly. Once that one is sucked dry, a massive swipe of tail sends another beast to the ground easily, allowing Azaeth to saunter over and attach himself to its neck. The way he's stretching his wings only means one, thing, he's showing off. Or maybe he's flaunting his colors.

Neyuni scowls as not one of the bronzeriders is deterred. The few smiles, smirks even further stirs her ire. Though to respond would distract from a sudden struggle internally with ehr dragon. And so a few moments of silence from the rider, more angry bellows from the bowl can be heard as the crowd of all knowing weyrfolk thin out, even the teetering old aunties leave this one be. A stray comment brings Yuni back, an out-weyr catch "No one's catching! You can all just go home, it's pointless… fruitless, you're all to inferior." and with that she crosses her arms and looks away rather like a pouty child.

K'ael grins a bit, though it looks a little animalistic. He moves over to take a seat at Neyuni's table. Or to pull up a chair, or a bench, or even sit on the table if he has to. "Sorry, weyrwoman. Looks like we might be here a little while." He sips at his klah and undoes his overcoat. He really ought to know not to patronize the senior during a flight. He pouts right back at her. "Now that just hurt my feelings…" Then he laughs.

Feeding Grounds: Zuhth seems to relish the blood, now that she does not struggle against it. The surging hormones setting her hide ablaze as the sun dips lower on the horizon. She looks up to find herself surrounded by the males, and there is only one escape. One direction she surges without warning. The sky her savannah and into it she leaps, powerful wings pushing the air and propelling her bulk forward without a backward glance.

Ur'con smirks a little, his eyes abruptly bright. He actually laughs…and if it gets him slapped? Oh well. "Golds are always caught…" Pft. Inferior. It's an inevibility! "Golds fly, bronzes catch!" It's drilled into every Weyrling!

Feeding Grounds: Darlth pounds his massive, pale wings against the frosty Fortean air and with a shove of his mighty hindlimbs, he goes airborne after her, less than a length behind. They're all the same. They always rise, they always fly, they always flee, they always falter….he has no doubt of his own ability, not with a clutch of weyrlings he sired still growing stronger and healthy at Xanadu!

Feeding Grounds: Yarovith was crawling up the side face of the bowl wall like a lizard when Zuhth decidedly had enough herself, springing upward. It was the trigger moment that the dark bronze of Ierne had been waiting for. Scaling the bowl wall with a rapid slithering motion up the ascent, running up it fast enough to send loose shale tumbling downward, Yarovith leaps and bounds until the steepest ascent. There, near the pinnacle of the bowl, wings are held tight against his frame as muscles explode him off the wall and into the thick of competitors rising. Lost in the flurry of ascending dragons, Yarovith beats his wings furiously to gather height for the ascent, raking claws against any other male that gets close enough - to be used like a stepping stone if necessary. Oop, was that someones head he just used?!

Th'ero has a similar expression to a certain Eastern bronzerider by this point. Shard it all, does he ever have terrible timing to visit Fort. But there's no backing out now, the game has begun and all he can do is… sip his klah and try to look calm. Neyuni's next remark has him blinking, but he's glancing to K'ael as the bronzerider takes a seat near to the Weyrwoman, gaze slipping to Ur'con as well before he too joins them despite it all. There's only a dry chuckle from the Westerner though. "Can't fight it." he chimes in with another one of his smirks.

Is it to anyone's surprise at all that the next thing Hanild is scribbling down is Idralia's bet? Shouldn't be! As she's noting it she gives the journeywoman a salute, and then once faced with the warning, bites the edge of her lip. "Oh — right. Of course, I'd forgotten." So that would be a yes, it's her first! And at some point, once she's managed to get the names of every participant she can find down on her piece of paper, she, too, leaves — hopefully for somewhere a little less crowded and a little less chaotic.

Neyuni sniffs, unwilling or perhaps unable to respond as her mate leaps skywards. Blissful moments shared before she separates enough to consider, a little calmer now. "Well, we'll see though I doubt you'll all endure to the end." It soudns like this will be a test of endurance to teh extreme, if other challenges await, only time will tell. "Don't get too comfortable now."

Feeding Grounds: Azaeth literally tears himself away from the beast he's currently working on when he sees the form of the golden goddess ascend towards the heavens. Bits of flesh still hang from his maw as ironclad sails unfurl and he pushes against the air under them to lift off. Soon enough he's hurtling upwards towards the golden form, though his size leaves him at a bit of a disadvantage from the starting line. There's a growling boom that turns into a bugle from Azaeth. He just wants to make sure Zuhth still knows he's back here, with the rest of the pack.

Feeding Grounds: Velokraeth had just begun to drain his third catch when Zhuth surges into the air with little warning. With a warble that borders between surprise and an amused complaint, the pale bronze unfurls his wings and with a powerful leap of his own, springs up with the rest of the pack to start the chase. Being the least experienced of most, the young bronze lingers behind, jests and laid back nature left behind as the more cunning aspects of his personality take hold. Keeping most of his attention on the glowing hide ahead of him, now is when Velokraeth begins to take stock in his competition, quickly studying and making his subtle moves as they all rise up into the sky.

Feeding Grounds: Zuhth ignores the pack of suitors as she continues to climb. It's a grueling steady beat of wings broken only as she can catch favorable currents to propel herself higher and higher. She pulls away at first, a dwindling body that tempts those who follow into not actually giving up. Though she doesn't turn to look her body entices her suitors. The swish of her tail back and forth like a taunt, yes, catch me if you can… if you dare! She will only have the best and to win her you will have to keep up, to endure her challenge in height, speed and most of all endurance. Only the best will do.

Feeding Grounds: During the progression of the flight, the steep angles and taunts from Zuhth, Yarovith is been a constant annoyance in the middle of the pack. Nips and teeth gnashing, tail flipping in others faces, claws lashing. He was an aggressor, finding his way through the hoard in efforts of getting closer. He had stayed with the pack and only once fowled wingtips with another, briefly set back, a larger gap to make up.

Feeding Grounds: Darlth might have been fast on the draw, but he's more of a tank than a sprinter: he stays near as he can to the front of the pack, but doesn't strain himself…eventually, the pack will begin to catch up to him, overtake him a bit…and then he spots Yarovith. The feral SHRIEK of dislike at the dark bronze is audible to ears and minds alike…and then he's briefly tangled, hampering him further; unlike Yarovith he retains SOME sense of decorum and doesn't lash back….that's just rude, the domain of young golds and senseless proddy greens!

Feeding Grounds: Velokraeth has moved up a little in the pack of pursuing bronzes, though not by far. He may be young, but he seems to have enough sense to hold back and reserve his strength for a more pivotal time. Though the taunt that Zhuth gives them is almost enough to have him simply dive ahead recklessly and careful planning be forgotten. But then Yarovith's tactics have him veering away, hissing a warning to the darker bronze. Velokraeth is not one to fight and he drops away from the aggressor, seething and leaving it to the rest of the pack to deal with Yarovith. If a bronze could look smug, no doubt he would have that expression now when the dark bronze runs a fowl with another, not turning to see who it is but the shriek is enough. Focus returns to Zhuth now and he works on regaining his position.

Feeding Grounds: Azaeth pushes himself upwards more easily now, heading into the pack itself. Like the lucky lady in front of them, he is ignorant of the other suitors, preferring to plow through the smaller dragons, including the annoying Yarovith. The other bronze might get a gash in at Azaeth, but an ironclad wing or a muscled tail will simply try to knock him out of the way if he gets that close again. There is a growl of warning for the bronze though, but it's just a flesh would! The battle rages on, and Azaeth can't let himself get distracted with the other soldiers. Not with the prize so close.

Feeding Grounds: The sun slips below the horizon as Zuhth ranges far. It's clear she is holding little back and the grueling pace she has set has not been without its victims. One older and two younger bronzes dropping out, exhausted. Unlike some others, the queen does not crow her superiority. Perhaps she might think she could truely outfly them all? Only it is becoming clear her energy is beginning to flag, even though her hide seems to glow all the bright. The gap between her and the remaining suitors shortens, the enticing flash of her hindlegs and tail becoming all the more clear and tangible. Wings spread wide, the sails rippling in the winter currents as she takes a brief rest, then gathering surges again but upwards. Not perhaps the smartest course in the thinning air, but then again perhaps there is an odd wisdom… the higher she gets the longer and more fun the fall! If only the bronzes can get close enough, or might she indeed outfly them all?

Feeding Grounds: While it may have been a long, hard flight, all such things /must/ come to an end…and luckily for Darlth, his massive structure and hearty build have left him more than able to keep up with the fleeing Zhuth: long ago he abandoned flying with the pack and has taken to being higher above, trailing with the gold in sight, and yet just far enough away he doesn't feel a threat to her. Let lesser, or less experienced, bronzes waste themselves by trying to force her into an embrace. He knows, she'll eventually falter, and then he'll begin to make HIS move…his favorite move…intent on sweeping her out of the sky and into his embracing claws and wings.

Feeding Grounds: Wings beat heavily, as if the cooler weather had caused the effort to catch wind to double. His crisp dark sails snapping through the winter sky in pursuit of a promise of warming light, or perhaps like a wraith to snuff out the remaining light and conceal the world in his ethereal night. Yarovith surged ahead with all the energy he had, ducking and diving through the wings of others, hissing a few times in his determination to close the gap and to bathe in the glory of the glow of Zuhth. Opposites attract - sometimes.

Neyuni shifts in her seat groaning. The passing of time and "I think my butt fell asleep!" what odd things the flight addled rider is apt to. She has taken note, even if her dragon has not, of the thinned ranks of those who remain with a small bit of satisfaction.

Feeding Grounds: Velokraeth was careful, thankfully, when his previous plans went to waste when having to veer away and into another course to conserve his energy. Perhaps he being young does work into his favour, as does being on the smaller side for a bronze. Even so, the first fingers of exhaustion begin to grip at him, but for now they can be ignored. Zhuth remains within his sights, the pale bronze having stuck just a little behind and below the main pack of remaining bronzes. Each that drops back only seems to fuel the bronze to push on, while the enticing flash of a hindleg and tail from the glowing gold certainly helps as well. As the gap shortens, Velokraeth bides his time, hoarding the last of his strength for the very end, should he be lucky to last with the rest of them.

Feeding Grounds: Azaeth is still here! The battle has been an arduous one for certain, but the massive bronze is built for such tasks honestly. Nearly the size of a gold and plenty of muscle make for pretty good endurance. Not to mention his obsession with flying and exercise, of course. And there was no way this bronze was giving up so easily! Not with such a golden prize at stake. Azaeth revels in the bits of golden flesh he can make out from between the wings of the other suitors. He's tired of being in the middle of the pack! And so his wings push into overdrive in order to propel himself closer to the queen. He can see her straining against the thin air with tired wings, perhaps the battle is drowning to a close?

Th'ero doesn't look too comfortable at all, sitting rather upright in his seat and his klah all but forgotten in hand. His mouth is drawn into a thin line, most of his own thoughts somewhere out there with his own bronze. Even as time passes and the flight drags out, the Westerner never touches his drink though at one point it's placed on the table and out of the way. Neyuni's random comment stirs him back to reality for a moment and Th'ero promptly winces a little as his body complains from having to sit so long in one position. "Can't be much longer." He mutters, almost sounding hopeful, though he tries to keep his tone neutral.

Ur'con actually smacks his lips a bit, as if in satisfaction, or anticipation…but he agrees, "There are bits, aye, that are starting to dislike the strain of this." But that's all he says, having been leaning on a chair for who knows how long…

K'ael's muscles seem to tighten and untighten. Thankfully he's not gripped onto anything, so he's not likely to crush a cup or a table or something. he shakes himself again as Neyuni speaks. "Maybe you should let me rub it for you, then…" It almost comes out instinctively, the bronzer sounds too distracted to really be thinking about what he might be suggesting. "My muscles are hurtin' all over."

Feeding Grounds: Zuhth has pushed her limits, and hopefully those too of who remain. It is the winds turning against her which changes the tide of the flight. As if the very element of the dragons domain says its time and she falters. What gap had been can now be breached should those bronzes remaining be able to endure but a few moments more. A sure promise that while they have all passed the test of endurance, this final critical moment will test their wit and will. Zuhth's golden sails pull in a bit as she falters, seeking stability she loses momentum and begins to lose height as well. She doesn't look back knowing any left are worthy, but only one will be able to outmaneuver the others and win her. Whichever it be will deserve the mating glory that awaits…

Feeding Grounds: Darlth folds his huge, pallid wings and dives, like a bird of prey upon some tasty morsel, but it will take him time to make up the distance…perhaps, this time, he underestimated the gold…or perhaps some other bronze will sweep her away BEFORE he can solidify his hold on the prize…perhaps, it will just be dumb luck, or Faranth forbid, Yarovith!

Neyuni stands abruptly, sensing the end to come… adn soon. Very soon! She swallows and might just throw something at K'ael… if it were handy. Not that she is likely to be very accurate, or mayhap she'll just pounce. Mmm, pouncing sounds good and she looks hugrily at the remaining, a flicker of surprise that so few of Fort's own are there, the prediction of hours ago echoing in her thoughts. An out-weyr bronze? Is it possible? Still her dragon may be leaving it mostly to fate, chance and the vigors of the hormone driven males. She'll be a little more coordinated in her own to pounce her succulant prize into a private nook and get the blood flowing again!

Feeding Grounds: Everything has come down to one moment, one instant that the dragon could see a hole and fly towards it. One second that would be all that it took to seal the fate of the Weyr and capture the essence of light in his own claws instead of the claws belonging to those next to him. Clustered in the pack, his decision was made. When to dip, when to pull up, and when to cut in front of another male. It all had to be done in seconds for the conclusion to count. Thus, with Zuhth near enough, the instant to try had come. Maw open with a roar to cut through the winter chill, the bronze twisted himself in between two other great hulks, wings clutched to his side, letting speed and gravity drop him in range to snag Zuhth for himself. Would it work?

Feeding Grounds: Velokraeth rumbles low in his throat as the time finally comes and not a moment too soon! The winds turning work against him a little as well, creating more work for the smaller and younger bronze as he surges ahead, pouring all he has left in him to power the strokes of his wings. Determined, he weaves his way around any who cross too close to his path, cutting it as close as he dares, not wanting to lose a second or inch in his forward rush. Fate will only tell if his careful hoarding and patience will win off in this test of endurance as Zhuth falters and begins to drop, Velokraeth coming silently from below, reaching out in the slim hope that he'll get to her first before the others or before all their strength fades and perhaps for once no victor remains.

Feeding Grounds: Azaeth has no time to falter now! Surely this is one of the longest flights Azaeth has ever been in during his fourteen turns on Pern. The sore muscles can be nursed later though, it was time to ensure victory! As the queen can go no further, Azaeth pushes himself to get to the front of the pack. Maneuverability was never his strong suit, he'll leave the weaving to the smaller bronzes and instead just try to use his size to push through and twine his neck with hers.

K'ael is saved! Saved by the fact Neyuni has nothing nearby to throw at him. So his face gets to stay pretty. Though… she'll be pouncing soon. But the bronzer will probably welcome such things at this point in time.

Th'ero has no idea how close K'ael just came to having something thrown at him, but the bronzerider does sense the end. He doesn't stand abruptly though, his movements much slower and cautious. His gaze, even though mostly unfocused, is watching Neyuni warily, but it also flicks to the other bronzeriders as well. Pouncing or not, the Westerner is making it so whatever happens, he can actually move.

Goldflights are always odd…somehow, Ur'con finds himself standing a little too close to the Senior of Fort, his eyes exceptionally bright…but he is remarkably self possessed…holding his hands tightly fisted into his jacket's pockets. Of course, by now, that flight jacket is WAY too hot…and he's sweating profusely.

Feeding Grounds: Zuhth slips back. Eyes mock those that overshoot, though none by very much. Some seem to nearly kiss her wings as they pass, others diving in are just that fraction to late. For it is the weaving efforts of one rising up from below that ensnare and claim the gold above all others. Velokraeth's reach ensnaring the glowing Zuhth and pulling her out of the reach of any other as they fall and she turns into him, a softer rumble almsot like a purr welcoming as tail and talons slide in firmly to his grasp. The rest of the world fading from thought in the passions that follow, timeless.

Feeding Grounds: Azaeth can't quite get there soon enough, and the gold remains out of reach as one of the other younger bronzes scoops her up. Instead the mammoth bronze heads down to the bowl on his own. His rider's thoughts finally overwhelming his instincts. They are going home. Now!

Feeding Grounds: Darlth passes by like a hurtling bronze comet, barely missing his mark before he SNAPS his wings open to halt his fall…but by then, he's far, far below…and can only give a shrill objection to the coupled pair. Moments later, he blinks *between* without his rider…but only to FIND his rider, going back to the last place he saw him. That'd be Fort…though by now, Ur'con's no doubt stumbled off with someone willing —-

Ur'con gives a hiss of his own, and jerks away from the goldrider…not so much staggering away as making a trundle-line for Shenannigan's…there'll be some way to escape the obvious in there!

K'ael stands up rather calmly, but then he's rushing out the door as fast as his legs will carry him. Hopefully there's no one in his path, otherwise he will be a very rude bronzer and push them out of the way. He's got a weyrmate back at home for this!

As tempting as all the hot sweaty men are that surround her, there is but one who matches the partner who has ensnared her own and pity Th'ero as the Weyrwoman pounces. The table, chair as if they didn't exist as she move near inhumanly in the space between them, taking ahold of her prize and hauling him off into the depths of the weyr for the rest of the flights conclusion.

Feeding Grounds: Evidently it did not work! With too many variables to contend with, the bronze was staggered by another's wing beats, set off course and losing the contest by a matter of inches. Lingering only to watch Zuhth ensnared by another, the Ierne bronze descends as energy flags in a defeated silence.

Feeding Grounds: Velokraeth gives a delighted croon when his path crosses that of Zhuth, the young pale bronze promptly snaring her tighter as he uses the last of his strength to carry her off, letting the rest of the world melt and fade away into a timeless blurr.

Th'ero had thankfully untangled himself from his chair before the flight ended, but as Neyuni pounces on him with inhuman speed, he doesn't flee. Instead, he simply allows her to snare him and drag him off willingly somewhere into the depths of an unfamiliar Weyr.


'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.

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