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 the morning after Zhuth's flight and the Weyr is quiet, many people still sleeping off the effects of the flight or the celebration for a new Weyrleader. Or both. The kitchen staff have laid out a variety of warming foods to help the weyrfolk wake up and start their day, whenever they get around to it, and it is toward these tables that Idralia heads as the crafter enters the caverns. Covering a yawn, Idra collects a warm breakfast cereal and toast, sprinkling the former full of fruit bits and liberally slathering the latter with butter. Carrying the bowl awkwardly against her chest with one arm, she sweetens a mug of klah and takes her breakfast to the nearest table. She all but collapses there, dropping gracelessly into the chair and just avoiding spilling klah and cereal alike.

Eizra slowly shuffles into the caverns, his eyes dark and heavy with fatigue. He didn't have to worry too much about last nights events being locked in his wagon but it's still makes for a sleepless night to say the least. He mutters under his breath, raising a hand to the back of his head to straighten out the discheveled strands fluttering whereever they please. The trader prepares his own mug and claims a slice of bread with butter before returning to the tables, nodding his head to Idralia as he slowly places his things down. "Glad to see some other signs of life than children running about rampant outside."

Idralia groans when Eizra mentions the children, covering her face with her hands for a moment. "How they can find the energy to continue playing I have no clue. They were out having a snowball fight /during/ the flight, of all things. I hope their tenders are at least aware of where the kids are, or we might have a rash of frantic parents when they realize the brats are missing." After rubbing her eyes Idralia reaches for her mug, taking a hefty swallow and grimacing at the taste. "And there is supposed to be a substantial snowball fight this afternoon, if there is any snow left that is usable. I was looking forward to it yesterday, but now I'm almost dreading it."

Eizra takes a little sip from his mug before licking his lips and places it back upon the table. "Well, the tenders could look forward to one thing. While they're dragging themselves from their beds to get the day going, the kids will be worn out a little bit. Maybe enough to drive them to chores for a little bit to keep them from underfoot. Right now, at this hour, the kids would help with the knitting and the hunting back home." Home being whereever the caravan decided to settle for the sevenday. He takes a bite of his bread and looks over to Idralia thoughtfully. "Snowball fight, huh? Hrm…." Never give a trader ideas.

Idralia shrugs wearily as she listen, taking a few bites of her cereal and another drink. "Hopefully that is all they have to look forward to, and not any frozen toes or developing fevers. But at least it keeps them largely out of trouble." She thinks for a moment before continuing. "I think they would be in lessons this time of day, with chores in the afternoon, but I might have that backwards. So, where's 'home'?" she asks, looking over at Eizra curiously as she takes a bite of toast.

"Home is whereever the caravan decides to park for more than a sevenday. My family gets around this region and every season brings a different scenery just outside the wagon doors. Right now, the wagons will be decorated with bright colors and the smell of stew in the breeze. If I were home right now, I'd likely be making stuffies for the littles." Eizra manages a little smile, an expression foreign to the normally grumpy trader but since the morning is quiet and peaceful, he can manage a teeny bit of humanity at the very least.

"Oh," Idralia replies softly, stirring her cereal. "So the caravan is home, more than any given place? Sounds like you end up seeing a lot of places. Have you been to Southern Boll recently?" she asks, the question having a hopeful slant. "I'm from there, and I haven't been back in a while." There's a pause as she actual eats some of the food she's playing with, then another question slips out. "Do you make a lot of what you sell, or does that pass the time while travelling and trading?"

"I haven't but the caravan is on their way back from Boll, from what I've been told. My flit Keagan goes back and forth with messages. When there's races, I send them word and they send me marks depending on the outcome." Eizra rolls his little piece of bread up and dips it lightly into the klah he has in his mug. He takes a bite and holds a napkin to his mouth for a moment. "I mainly make shoes and boots, it's what my family specializes in. The stuffies I make to pass the time and to keep the aunties from trying to set me up with someone. If I'm 'mated, less likely to make stock." The trader chuckles a bit before taking a sip from his mug and he sighs, leaning back in his chair. More people are beginning to wake, shuffling into the living caverns. "We have… thirteen families in our train and each one has a trade of their own. It's easier to take care of one another on the road. Resk has always been independant of sorts."

"Oh… Well, it sounds like a good setup, anyhow. The caravan, I mean," Idralia says after taking a drink to clear her mouth and looking a bit disappointed that the trader hasn't been near her home hold himself. "Almost like a mobile Hold, isn't it? How do you decide where you are going next? And who is in charge, with so many families involved?" Curiosity has bitten the crafter, and she waits for Eizra's answers as she continues to eat her breakfast, though the cereal is fast cooling into an unappetizing glop.

"We have a cousin that currently heads the caravan, he usually decides the route. Our cousin, Veredis. Sometimes some of us will stay in certain regions for a while and hop back in during the caravan's next circuit. It frees up room in the wagons for a bit and allows for hitchhikers. If they don't mind helping out with some of the chores en route, they don't usually charge marks." Eizra grins and nods his head a little bit while chewing on his lower lip. "Each family has a head and they answer to him in the main wagon. They should be here any day now and if you like, you can meet them. They're good folk. Veredis? Well, he's uh… He's an interesting one."

Idralia hmms softly, saying, "Veredis? That's familiar…" She shrugs, not placing the name, and continues to listen and ask questions. "So you've been left here and will be picked up when they come through again?" she asks, seeking clarification. "Oh, they'll be there that soon? I wouldn't have expected them to be travelling during the winter snows - most everyone holes up somewhere instead of risking the ice and possible blizzards." She shudders at the thought. "I'd be happy to meet them when they arrive, if it doesn't cause any trouble. I wouldn't want to interfere with your trading."

Eizra nods, "Aye, that's what I do usually. I love the caravan and all, but it's easier to gain new contacts with other traders and contracts with the folk. Most of the time we just move stock from one place to another but some of it is tradermade and will only come from us." The last of his bread is popped into his mouth and the trader eyes the incoming folk, warily. "They're a stubborn lot, alot of them will find a way to get through the snow and if it's too bad, they camp out. From turns of traveling, there's decent high road between here and Boll. It's a scenic route, takes a little longer but is safer than going through the passes during winter. They really don't mind meeting new people. They figure a familiar face is more likely to bring others when they come about than someone afraid of them, only to watch the lanterns and listen to the music from a distance."

Idralia nods as she listens and eats, finishing off the cereal and toast and settling back with her mug of klah. "That makes sense. If they know what kinds of goods you bring and that you are there to do business and not cause problems, they'd be more willing to accept your presence and trade. Do you get a lot of poor receptions, or is it usually pretty welcoming?" Idralia glances over to where Eizra is looking but only sees weyrfolk doing thier usual morning routines so she turns back toward him. "I hope they get here safely, anyway. It's been snowing often enough that I would think it would be hard to drive a wagon through on any roads that aren't being maintained."

"Most of the time we do have a decent turn out. Often, we'll trade wares and services for work. If someone needed medicinal herbs, they'd spend a day with the Morrigans preparing herbs for drying or gardening and the debt be considered paid. Because of that, most people just come out to see what they can do for us and in return we both make out well in the end." Eizra takes another sip from his cooling mug, ignoring the taste for now. It's better than nothing. "They should be fine. The beasts are bred sturdy and the people sturdier." The trader grins, noticably relaxing. "Is there anything in particular you are looking for? Goods, wise?"

"That's good to hear," Idralia comments, finishing off her klah and rising. "I won't be looking for anything, really, I'm just curious to see what they have to offer and how the caravan is set up. For now, I need to get to work. Thank you for the company, and I hope you have a good day." Nodding politely to the trader Idralia moves off, taking her dishes to the cleaning bins before heading deeper into the 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.