Mountain Pass - Fort Weyr - Glacier Lake

Wind and water washed stones of harsh gray and black scatter the area surrounding a large bright greenish-blue body of water. As if carved out with a spoon the land abruptly dips down into a deep and pure crystal lake, where the bottom is visible because of how clear the lake actually is. The water is a strikingly contrast with the cold harsh landscape that surrounds it. The shore is rugged with large boulders and chunks of rock prevent easy access to the shore line, making it less than ideal for swimming. Of course, the water is also freezing to the touch as its source is the glacier nestled between the higher peaks of the mountainsides surrounding it. Marks exist higher along the walls of the gully, a washed out white water mark showing the variability of the water level, scarring the stone as a permanent reminder of what once was.
To the west of the lake, hidden in the grove of rock, is a foundation built up with matching stones. Its very indistinguishable against the background, often hidden from view as it so easily blends in. The only feature that gives it noticeable is the thatched roof. Partially collapsed, old wooden rafters still hold up the remainder of the slats thatching the roof. Surprisingly, around the building are rugged plants which grow little red berries, edible too.
Still, to the north, the mountain peak towers into the clouds, often covered with snow and ice. This is where the glacier roosts, some hundreds of feet further up. Scaling it requires a skilful climber with ice and rock climbing gear. Its also treacherous and known for unforeseen fissures and the odd avalanche. Caution is aired when heading up that route.

After lunch, Th'ero and Kimmila rounded up a group of three Weyrlings to take out on a sweeps ride to the north of the weyr. The day was cold but clear, sun shining down on the fields of snow with a blinding glare as they soared over trees and valleys, frozen lakes and rivers, heading ever north in a broad sweep pattern that was more about stretching the dragon's wings and showing them all more of Fort's lands than a focused sweep. But as the afternoon wore on, and a few small stops were made, a storm began to gather very quickly and was upon them before they could make it to the safety of home. The snow fell thick and heavy, and Varmiroth and Velokraeth ordered a quick descent to a nearby clearing, surrounding a glacier lake. As the snow continues to fall, muffling all sound, the small group of dragons lands on the lake shore. Dismounting, Kimmila pulls off Varmiroth's straps. "Straps off!" she calls through the snow, and the wind that is beginning to rise. "We'll shelter in the cabin. The dragons can hug the tree line, wherever they're comfortable." Struggling a bit with the straps, the now obviously pregnant bluerider (just a bump, but it's there!) starts to tromp through the thick drifts towards the cabin.

Such is the risk and gamble one takes with Fortian winters. One moment it's clear, the next you have a squall riding your tail. Th'ero is likely cursing fate seven different ways Between right now, the Weyrleader having Velokraeth relay their current position and the situation back to the Weyr and no doubt the Weyrlingmaster and Weyrwoman. So most of the organization to land is left in Kimmila's hand, as both bronze and bronzerider are occupied as they take position among their "wing" to oversee that everyone is landed safely as the winds begin to rise. "Grab any essential gear or supplies you have from your straps as well. Store them well! As best you can." Th'ero calls out as well once Velokraeth finally lands, the misshapen pale bronze already shuffling back towards the tree line and rumbling encouragingly to the others, almost casually laid back. Nothing but a minor setback! Dismounting, the Weyrleader pulls his jacket closer around his neck and grimace firmly in place, begins to trudge through the drifts of snow to pull the straps from his bronze, arranging and storing them as an example before pointing with a gloved hand at Kimmila as she tromps her way towards the cabin. "Follow her. I'll take up position behind you."

The last few months have been a constant battle for Eirwyn and her green, but the rider is starting to win more of the battles than the green has of late. With her green cooperating more and more it is clear that the green wasn't dumb, just…well she just had her own view of things. The constant focus Eirwyn has had to place on Xucieth meant she didn't always hang out with the other weyrlings like she would have liked, but as they are gaining more freedoms even that is finally to ease up. This sweep was definately a chance to stretch her wings with her fellow weyrlings for both rider and dragon. As the winds pick up the pair steer closer to the sweep group, but a certain level of pride keeps Xucieth up into the air until even her pride can't keep flying straight and she finally circles down to the landing. As Xucieth lands, Eirwyn grabs up the supplies from her straps before she slides off down the green's side for a heavy landing in the snow. Eirwyn quickly removes the green's straps and starts to head to the cabin, Xucieth following. "No, you won't fit, we will be safe in there, you go with the other dragons." Xucieth seems to wish to stand her ground and the pair lock into a mental argument before the green finally slinks over to the other dragons.

Abigail was rather happy to get out for a sweep, Niumdreoth was just as eager, a faint warble escaping him once straps was on and they was actually in the air. The scenery is something she is taken in so she can perhaps remember for another time. Always good to know where someone is after all. The weather which was so nice and lovely is quickly turning well icky. Niumdreoth lands along with the others, a faint rumble escaping him while he yes the falling snow. With her dragon grumbling about the short 'trip' Abbey is busy undoing straps, and folding them up so there neat. The few things she had are tucked into jacket pockets along with shouldering a pack with other items within. "Don't do anything crazy." This is murmured softly to the brown as she turns to follow after the others towards the cabin, her gaze turning towards her dragon to make sure he does as told. Nium follows along at Xucieth's side towards the cover of forests, wings tucked close to his sides and tail slowly twitching with his movement.

It was a beautiful sight, the flash of iced peak, the glitter of snowed forest, the deep blue of winter skies arching overhead. Dremkoth has reveled in stretching his wings, having to glide every few beats to keep from surging ahead of the smaller dragons and maintain his position in formation. The smudge of grey off on the horizon hasn't been missed by D'ani, who has been looking about with interest, noting the lay of the land, but he hadn't known the swiftness with which winter storms sweep the mountains nor had he the ability to judge how heavily the snow would fall. The bronze enjoys the first flakes, snorting them from his nostils, but within seconds his ample wings are struggling under the weight of the clinging snow, wet and heavy, and the swirling wind current that wants to toss him around. His landing is short, swift and less than graceful. D'ani responds as his training kicks in, stripping the bronze of his straps, hauling them and his pack from the dragon's back and sending him after Varmiroth to where the blue is finding shelter under thick evergreens. There he'll hunker down and burrow under insulating snow should it get deep enough while his rider wades through the snow for that cabin. "Oh suuuuure, call it adventure," he mutters under his breath to the VERY pleased bronze. Himself? He's trying not to inhale snow with each breath and wondering how he's going to study for tomorrow's exam without his books!

Mountain Pass - Fort Weyr - Rustic Cabin

Once inside, the cabin follows the basic theme of the exterior: There are some pieces of furniture also in several stages of disrepair. There is a chair that had fallen over that is missing a leg, and there is an accumulation of detritus on the table, causing it to sag in the middle. A bed, perhaps more solidly made, is shoved in the corner, but the mattress and whatever linens were there have long since rotted away, leaving only scraps where they once were. There are cracks in the walls where the wind blows through, and several animals have made their nests in various nooks and crannies here and there. The floor, also made of stone, contains cracks as well, the biggest formed by the small sapling that has somehow shoved its way through the stones, stretching branches towards the section of the roof that had fallen in. A rafter or two has caved in at the back end of the cabin, the pieces having fallen on the floor. The remaining rafters look someone sturdy.

Kimmila shoves open the door of the little cabin and tromps in, tossing Varmiroth's straps down in a corner before she turns to hold the door for the others, counting as they each enter. Once they're all in she puts her shoulder to the door and shoves it closed against the wind with a solid thunk. Inside the cabin it's dreary and cold, as would be expected, with some drafty places along the walls and the seams. But there's a fireplace at least, and wood, and well…the only actual place to sit is the bed which (despite the description!) has a fairly new mattress and blankets piled onto it. Warm things. Perhaps there have been visitors? "Well," Kimmila says, pushing back her hood and shaking snow from her jacket, "that was fun." Grin crooked, she glances towards the one window to watch the darkening sky and snow battering against things outside. "Looks like we'll be here for a while." Awesome? Outside, Varmiroth wiggles between the trees to the smallest place he can fit, leaving the larger spaces for the larger dragons, encouraging them all to come closer.

Th'ero is the last through the door, also counting as Kimmila does once inside. The Weyrleader also lingers outside to watch the dragons settle themselves, making sure that none are lingering out in the open before he slips inside and once the door is closed, checks to be sure it is secure. "Strange definition of fun. We're lucky the storm was spotted and did not take us by surprise," he mutters outloud, more half-spoken thought than actual comment as he shakes and brushes off most of the snow from his jacket and boots. He doesn't instruct the Weyrlings to make themselves comfortable, figuring they'll be capable of that themselves. Instead, he seems to focus on gathering some of that wood and checking the hearth in preparation for a fire. It /does/ seem as though the cabin has had some recent visitors, small little details here and there but none that seem to concern Th'ero at all. "Anyone have their flint on them and ready?" he asks, turning his head to glance over his shoulder as he crouches in front of the fireplace, already beginning to put some of the kindling and wood in place. Outside, Velokraeth weaves himself as deep into the trees as he possibly can go, which is quite the feat given his size (even for a stunted bronze), but he manages. Scraping some of the snow aside, he settles himself down, shifting and wriggling to make as much of a wallow as possible before settling down, short limbs tucking up tight against his body and tail wrapped around and wings drooped slightly as a makeshift shield against some of the wind. He keeps his oversized head up though, whirling eyes observing the younger dragons and with a chuffing snort, urges them on to get settled before the worst of the storm blows through.

Eirwyn comes into the cabin stamping her feet. "I thought I have felt cold before but …that is beyond cold out there!" She declares as she finds a place to set Xucieth's straps down in a pile along the wall before rubbing at her arms and looking out a window towards where the dragons are settling. Xucieth still was reluctant to seperate from her lifemate but finally sense got the better of her and she made her way into the forest edge, tucking into a small grove of trees before tucking her head under a wing. Once Xucieth is settled into the trees, Eirwyn seems to relax finally and turns to the group and hears the call from the Weyrleader, "Oh um…its in one of these bags." Bags that were organized on her lifemates straps which are now all bundled together on the floor. She kneels next to bundles and shakily removes her gloves to start exploring bags.

Abigail sets her straps down off to the side and works at a moment to get the snow off her boots so she isn't tracking it all over the place. Her gaze drifts over the room, taking everything in and a soft hum escapes her. "I have one too." This said while she pulls off her gloves before checking her pockets and finds the bit of flint that is within one of them. A glance is offered over to Eirwyn to see if she found hers before offering up the bit of flint and a stone to Th'ero as she moves over to the fireplace. She tends to keep hers close at hand it seems. Niumdreoth moves along, head ducking at times under branches before going about working on digging and pushing some snow around so he has a place to settle down in. Once it's just right the brown settles in, curling up and tucks his head down under a wing, tail flicking across the snow which winds up sending some of it flying towards Xucieth.

D'ani allows Abigail and Eirwyn to precede him into the cabin, then takes a moment to sweep the interior with an assessing look once he steps inside and out of Th'ero's way in. His straps are still in hand and rather than place them on the pile, he steps to the back of the cabin where the worst of the gaps are and begins rolling them and stuffing them into the crack. They're oiled, a few hours of exposure to some cold wind won't hurt them and he'll thaw them by the fire before he needs to use them again. He's still got his gloves on, so any nests he finds are also used, swept off rafters and stuffed into cracks. It's still drafty, still cold but at least the frigid current moving though the place is a little less. They should all have flint in their packs but the girls have it handy, so D'ani eyes the fallen rafters and sagging roof. Hmm. "I have rope in mine," he offers. Dremkoth worms his way into the fir trees by flattening his body to the ground and bracing his claws against tree trunks and PUSHPUSHPUSHing with a snapcracklePOP of splintering underlimbs to get out of the icy blast. He manages to get in there with the other dragons and curl up tight, wings wrapped around his body. « There! I think… ohwait… » There's just one little trunk wedged in his back - he pushes against it and SNAP - the sapling is taken care of but a pile of snow lands with a THUMP on his muzzle. A huge dragonsneeze resounds before silence reigns. « Okay, now I'm good. »

Kimmila looks around again and then walks over to the bed, sitting on the edge of it and leaning forward towards the fire. Glancing around, she nods approvingly to D'ani's contributions, and follows his gaze towards the ceiling. "We might have to clear snow from the roof a few times." And by 'we', surely she means 'we'. "Or I can have Varmiroth do it. He has a very gentle touch." Rocking a bit, the bluerider shivers, eager for Th'ero to get the fire going. Outside, the blue watches the others get situated and wuffles with amusement as Dremkoth finds his place. « Anyone know any scary stories? » That's what humans do, right? Tell ghost stories?

Th'ero glances over to Eirwyn once she speaks up and gives a firm nod of his head. He seems in no rush, though eventually they'll want a fire started. The cabin is cold, but it will get uncomfortable soon enough. Pulling his gloves from his hands, he chafes them together for a moment to warm them. Regardless if Abigail or Eirwyn is first, the Weyrleader will simply accept the flint and sets to work on getting a good sized fire going. At one point, the bronzerider muffles a cough against his shoulder, quiet and restricted. Trying to shake off some awkwardness? Could very well be. Th'ero is not exactly the most personable of individuals and perhaps the idea of being locked inside a small cabin with a group of people is… already weighing in on him. He likes his privacy! This would not be privacy. "Rope?" he echoes, looking over to D'ani once he's finally successful in lighting the fire and satisfied it's caught. The flint is returned to it's owner and the Weyrleader slowly stands, stuffing his gloves into his pocket as he turns to inspect where all the weyrlings have set their straps and eying D'ani's improvisation with a mixture of amusement and slight disapproval. But so long as the leather comes to no harm… Th'ero seems to leave it well enough alone for now. Velokraeth observes Dremkoth silently, even with all the cacophony of destruction following the younger bronze's wake and then voices a series of low, broken chuffs and deep rolling rumbling. « Try /not/ to bring the forest down on our heads, if you don't mind, Dremkoth? We do need SOME of these trees for shelter. » he will broadcast to all in a mellow and richly rolling tone, mind awash with the equally as rich and velvety smooth deep wine red, warmed and spiced. Satisfied that all is well regardless, Velokraeth lowers his head down and though 'resting' is very much alert. Varmiroth's inquiry only receives more amusement from the bronze, but he does not answer. So no?

As Abigail reveals her flint first, Eirwyn grins to the weyrling before looking back into her bags and finally finding the one with food. A mix of various dried meats and fruit and a wineskin with some water in it. Her prizes she lays out on the bed. Probably more than the average person keeps in their packs, but she is still growing! She glances around at the unsteady cabin then to the two 'leaders' of the sweep. "Well then…what now?" She asks as she pulls her gloves back on. Her green is not making life easier for the ones outside with constant grumbles over her lack of comfort. Branches poking there and all the snow! How can she be put through this!

Abigail takes back the flint and tucks it back into her pocket before going back to where she set her straps and pack which is out of the way and her straps folded neatly. Gloves are pulled back on as she waits for the cabin to start and heat up now that the fire is going. At the bit of the roof needing to be cleared she sends a faint glance towards it hoping it doesn't snow /that/ much too possible cause problems with the cabin. "Sure." This offered to the bit on perhaps needing to get the snow off the roof. She watches while D'ani pus his straps against the wall, and ponders the bit on rope herself, though as the question is brought up she waits to hear the answer. "Suppose wait until the storm passes." Niumdreoth tilts his head peering towards Dremkoth and a soft rumble escapes him. « Nice and cozy now? » The dragon is clearly amused at all the moving and the pushing and bring down of trees. Though he does like the bit of coverage they are given. He shifts up onto his paws after a moment more of Xucieth's grumbling. « You can settle down here, I got all the branches and the pushed out of the way. » His mind voice a lovely picture of a winter forest (much like the one they are in!) with plenty of brightly light stars over head. As for the spot the dragon leaves it is a perfect place for the greenie to curl up in now! There he goes being nice, and he is soon working as a new spot for him to lie down, which is closer to Dremkoth as a result. « Ghost stories? » He doesn't know any it seems.

« Too… late? » This is Dremkoth's observation as he looks back at the toothpicks he's made of the forest on his way in (not really - only the lower branches are splintered). « We could… make one up? Take turns or something. » His voice is all sparkling stars aglitter with dancing snowflakes that SING with a vibrancy of delight. This. Is. Adventure! As for that harness of Dremkoth's, if anything it will freeze in a series of coiled shapes - D'ani's been careful to situate them so the stitching and leather is not stressed. Perhaps seeing the touch of disapproval, he says drolly, "If hide has to freeze, I'd much rather it be these than mine. Oh here-" he sweeps the last of the nests from the fallen roof beams and offers the double handful over to Abigail. Some birds are going to be perturbed come springtime but for now it will make excellent kindling. The rope? He answers the question with a tilt of his chin to the timbers which should be holding up the fallen portion of the roof. "To lash those in place with." It won't be a spa villa but there will be less snow blowing in, maybe. "You and I could lift them and the girls can wedge the shingles back in. Kimmila can tie tight knots, right?" That last bit is asked with a straight face. Totally. Really.

Kimmila glances at the others and then focuses on D'ani, and the bronzeling's idea. Eyes flick towards the ceiling and then back to D'ani, and with a shrug the bluerider pushes herself to her feet. "The best," she replies, straight faced as well. Maybe she just didn't pick up on the innuendo. Pulling rope from her pack she returns to D'ani and holds it out, glancing upwards once more to study things. And then she's looking at Eirwyn and Abigail, and finally to Th'ero. "What do you think?"

Th'ero only fixes D'ani with another long and lingering look, brows knitting together as he tries to decide whether or not to call the bronze weyrling out on that comment. In the end, he only snorts and lets it slide. After all… it was only the (humorous) truth. But don't expect any sympathy from the Weyrleader if the straps are useless come time to leave. "Best we can do now is rest and wait out the storm," he murmurs in a low tone, calm and neutral. Eirwyn's food stash is eyed, noted and given the barest of nods. Th'ero hasn't mentioned food — not yet. Again, D'ani's suggestion have the Weyrleader's attention and he's glancing up now too at the roof. Grimacing, he weighs the options and then with a heavy exhale, shakes his head. "Doesn't seem as we have much choice in the matter. We best get to any repairs now, while the storm is still… mild." So on go the gloves again and Th'ero seems to leave most of the organization to Kimmila and the others. After all, they seem the most on board? The Weyrleader will go where he is needed, helping likely with the heaviest of the work or the most "risky". If he says little, it's not to be considered abnormal for him. In fact, he'll be a touch withdrawn the whole time they're cooped up there, speaking up only when directly spoken too or when he feels he needs to add in his own comment. Not the most relaxing of situations, but the Weyrleader isn't too overly awkward. Just reserved — so typical of Th'ero. But perhaps the Weyrlings are lucky in a way too! It could have been so much worse.

As the plan is laid out by D'ani, Eirwyn looks to him for a moment then the others and finally outside, "Um, how long do you reckon we are gonna be stuck here?" She finally asks even as she is reaching for the rope in her own pack and adding it to the pile. Without waiting for an answer though she goes to help the other with the roof repairs. Anything to bring more warmth to the place. She may have lived at Fort for a turn or so, but she is Southern bred and she is freezing to the bone! Outside Xucieth has curled in as small a ball as she can get into with her head tucked under a wing. «Quiet little bronze before the trees wake up and strangle us for our noise!» She says irritably.

Abigail takes hold of the bird nests and peers at them before setting them down to the side so they can be used in the fire when needed. Her own roll of rope is offered so there should be plenty of rope to make this work it seems. Her gaze lingers on the roof as she watches and helps along with the repairs. "Just sort of depends. Sometimes they come up and stay like this for a while, or sometimes they just blow through." Living in Fort Hold at least helped her deal with the cold weather and snow that seems to always be around. A smirk is seen while Abbey helps with a few knots in the rope, a faint glance sent towards D'ani and she is then back to looking at the roof. Niumdreoth rumbles out softly. « No no, the trees will be alright, they are sleeping. See? » A flick of his tail sends some snow flying towards Xucieth now that the brown is settled down once more, his head tucking under his wing once more. « We could do that, take turns and such. »

D'ani helps lift the beam that has cracked and bent, the dry wood squeaks a protest as it is pressed back to the ceiling. Six feet tall, his arms locked straight over his head - this has to put the beam to be lashed at a height of eight feet. This ought to be challenging for the girls. He can't let go to help them either. "While… it's…mild?" His eyes slide towards the window where the whiteout hides the glacial lake, listens to the wind howl. If this is mild, what will it be like when it gets going? "We might want to find something to melt drinking water in," he observes. Out under the trees, Dremkoth snorts at Xucieth. He doesn't object to being called little bronze. He IS little. He doesn't want to be quiet. Instead he perkily starts the story, « There was once a forest of sleeping trees, under a magical quilt of snow that never melted. For turns they stood, waiting and hungry until one day… » He leaves off there, his star trail of thought passing it off to Varmiroth.

Kimmila watches Th'ero with furrowed brows when he retreats into silence, eying him. But without the privacy to ask him if he's okay, she instead says nothing. Oh, how awkward their private moments must be. And she also helps with the roof, her understanding of the plan coming together as they do it (rather than knowing from the onset exactly what she's supposed to be doing), and once it's situated she's sitting on the bed once more, curling a bit to keep warm as the fire raises the temperature in the little cabin. "Sorry the sweep was so short. But this is a nice place to hole up if you ever need to." And she doesn't glance at Th'ero. Nope. Trick of the light, there. "I'll show you some others when you learn to between. And there's one we'll use when we fly to Gold Hill." Whoops? Foreshadowing, anyone? Was she supposed to say that?

Eirwyn helps with the shoring up of the beams, the youngest of the group but she has been getting stronger with her training and she was never really short. Once that is settled she looks over to Kimmila and her stomach, "If you don't mind me saying, perhaps you should rest a bit while we get things sorted around here. Have something to eat?" She says motioning to the supplies before she moves over to a window again, "How long do the storms last up here?" She can't help but ask as she looks out in the direction of the dragons in the tree. Her eyes unfocus as she speaks with her lifemate, their thoughts closed to the others right now.

Abigail looks up at the ceiling, it is a bit tall to reach what needs to be done to tie the beam into place. It takes a few moments as she wants to make sure it is indeed in place as much as it possible can be for the moment. She brushes her hands off once it is done. "I got a little pot in my pack so that can be used for the water." Even if it was suppose to be a normal sweep there are certain items that she just brings along, never know when something could be needed, or in this case a snowstorm comes from nowhere. Hearing Kimmila a smile is seen. "No problem, snowstorms are unhelpful like that." The talk of Gold Hill causes a soft oh to escape her. "When is that suppose to happen?" She is only curious. As for the storm itself a glance is sent towards the window. "Just depends. Have to just wait and see I'm afraid." Niumdreoth tilts his head as Dremkoth starts the 'story', the brown curiously waiting to see what else will be added.

At least with the sagging roof braced, those loose shingles re-wedged the room will warm significantly more than it would otherwise and so D'ani is satisfied. Brushing his hands together he can finally remove his gloves, tuck them into his pockets and hunker down by the fire, squatting on the hearth, bracing his back against the wall for balance. Awkwardness between Kimmila and Th'ero is left unremarked upon - it's increasingly seen by this Weyrling as par for the course, it seems. The mention of gold Hill gets a look of keen interest but no questions. "You can tell us later," he says gently but firmly. "You ought to rest." He could mention that pregnant heifers need their rest but no, that would be bad. Wouldn't it?

Kimmila looks over at Eirwyn, the gesture and her expression a little sharp. "I'm fine," she says, her voice low but firm. Seems someone has touched upon a nerve? Seems like it. Glancing to Abigail, the bluerider shakes her head and her answer - whatever it was /going/ to be - is shortened to a single word: "Soon." And then she's staring at D'ani, mouth set into a thin line. "I am FINE," she says, tone more heated now. Ooh, talk about awkward, as the bluerider turns and stands, going over to wherever Th'ero is and sitting beside him. But no worries, this pair isn't one for PDA, so they won't be cuddling or making out in the corner (gag). More likely they'll just sit side by side, with space between them, sullen and broody. Such a romantic couple. And outside, Varmiroth eagerly chips in with the story when he can think of something fun to add.

'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.