Fort Weyr - Training Complex

The remnants of a historic collapse are apparent here, as the slope face of the bowl has a predominant downward curvature. It's likely long ago, that a cavern larger than any Fort currently has was where the training complex currently is. A probable cave in triggered a fissure on the bowl wall which lead to a great chunk of it dislodging, thus creating the rounded slope. Yet, many centuries later, all that remains to give evidence is the pocket made into the bowl wall. It seems that the inhabitants of Fort Weyr have made best of the created space. Rock on the ground proper has long since cleared, but pebbles and loose shale are constantly underfoot. Still, the sprig of some green leafed vegetation isn't too out of the ordinary in these parts, as long as it doesn't get trampled by the comings and goings. It's clear that this area has been designated for the training of young minds, whether human or dragon. Surrounded by rock on all side, it's like a personal weyr bowl for the youngsters to minimize distraction and danger. The candidate barracks have been built across from the Weyrling barracks, so that one group can educate the next. Finally, placed in the center of the two entrances of the opposing barracks, near the rock face, is a statue with a memorial plaque.

The Fortian morning is chilly and damp, though last night's storm that gave everything a good soaking with rain and snow has moved on, leaving behind mud, lingering drifts, patches of ice, and feeble winter sunlight. Welcome to Fort? Out in the training grounds, Weyrlings mill about on their day's tasks and lessons, dragons stretching their wings, young riders checking straps and strains, oiling rough patches as everyone prepares for the day and whatever it might bring. Off to one side though, as if waiting for something, stands Kimmila and a few Weyrlings chosen for this initial meeting. Kimmila's blue is up on a ledge, perched there to watch, and as the bluerider waits she shifts her weight to her heels and briefly rests a hand on her rounded stomach. "Wonder when they'll get here," she mutters to the Weyrling standing beside her.

G'tor's brown bursts from between, setting a quick, sharp angle to the ground of the training complex and landing with a great bursting and settling of dirt. He's not a small brown and he doesn't feel like pretending, it seems. G'tor turns to examine his passengers, "Everyone still alive?" He reaches to release the buckles, "Off with you, and remember you represent Eastern as well as yourselves." See that look? It is the look of a WLM with detention slips ready.

The cold of between is followed by- "Oh, it's freezing," exclaims Najara. Fortunately the wind carries away her words, and they're unlikely to be heard by any except perhaps the others on the bronze with her. She wraps her arms around her, and nearly misses the view as they're landing, too busy rubbing her hands together and being oh-so-glad for that borrowed jacket of hers.

Cereth is next to burst out of between, and Cereth leisurely angles towards the bowl and lands with the ease of one who's practiced a lot. Cereth lets a quiet croon to his riders, turning to investigate every one of them to make sure that they are still okay. A'tien turns his gaze simarly to check on his charges before nodding his head, "Alright everyone, remember, you represent Eastern so mind your manners and behave." He unstraps them from the bronze, whom is more than happy to offer a forearm to help them dismount. A'tien slides off of the dragon and offers a salute to Kimmila and a nod to the weyrling beside her. "Eastern's duties to Fort and her queens. Good morning ma'am."

Astride Nyth's massive neck, Kayla is rocked sharply back and forth at the somewhat flamboyant landing, muttering a silent thanks for well-tended riding straps holding her fast. She waits her turn, however, to dismount, until she can help the Eastern Candidates who are aboard with her dismount with some semblance of grace. While she is still astride, though, she does offer a smile and a salute to the bluerider and Weyrlings present. "Eastern's duties to Fort and her queens."

Maeve slides awkwardly from Cereth's neck, managing to barely land on her feet, pulling her jacket closed and zipping it up. She offers a quick salute to the Fortian riders, then looks around.

Abigail has spent a morning doing chores, checking straps and oiling down her dragon like many other Weyrlings around here. Though she was one of the ones picked it seemed to be there with Kimmila to wait for the Eastern group to get to Fort. Her brown is settled near her, straps on and wings twitching now and then while his gaze is settled on the sky, Niumdreoth seeming just at interested in the ones that are coming as his rider. "Suppose they didn't give a time or anything of the sort?" This is questioned with a glance offered to Kimmila while Abbey pulls her jacket around her a bit more at a slight cold breeze zips through. Her gaze turns back to the sky, a soft oh escaping her at the appearance of dragons there. "I think they are here." She offers friendly smile to the ones that are getting off of the dragons along with a polite nod in greeting, though she lets Kimmila speak first.

D'ani is one of those weyrlings, having been in the right place at the right time, apparently. He's just finished oiling Dremkoth, the dark antiqued bronze hide gleaming dully in the weak sunshine. It's so weak, that he doesn't bother shading his eyes to scan the skies and thus he spots the Eastern contingent arriving from *Between*. "Here they are now," the young man says with a grin that slides into something more paternal. "And don't you go scaring them." That's said to his dragon, not Kimmila, with a poke to Dremkoth's muzzle. If a dragon could pout, his would be probably. All of his fun, ruined before it begins!

Etzlix is burrowed down deep inside of her overlarge flight jacket even as the bronze she rides on emerges from between. She looks like a turtle, sliding her neck out slowly as the chill of between is traded for the chill of Fort Weyr and she grins excitedly. This may be a learning trip, but she's gonna try her darndest to make it a bit of a social visit as well. She slides easily from Cereth's back, that grin curling at her lips. "Eastern's duties t'Fort an' her lov'ly queens." The girl greets, tossing off a salute as hazel eyes scan around the weyrlings present, giving a wink to those she remembers from her last stay here. She recognizes one for sure and that grin threatens to split her face. Shooting a glance back at the Eastern riders, she's waving rather happily and calling an excited. "Abbey!"

Jaireme sucks in a breath as they come in from between.. And there are a string of curses that flow quietly from the trader's mouth. Between… Between is SKEERY Shardin' shells. The Trader looks still a bit shocked even as they land, and the boy looking thing's dismount is.. well less than graceful. But 'he' manages it. The look is caught and then glances around.

Kimmila stands up a hair straighter when the visitors arrive, her gaze darting around and no doubt wondering where the heck her Weyrmate is. D'ani's comment has her snorting, turning to tell him that she never /tries/ to scare people…before realizing that he's not talking to her. Nose wrinkling at A'tien's salute and 'ma'am', she smirks a bit. "My mother is ma'am, Kimmila will do just fine for me, thank you." Extending a hand, she offers it to the riders first and then the Candidates. "Varmiroth's. Welcome to Fort. Our duties to Eastern and her queens as well, and her Candidates," she adds, looking them over and them smiling when she spots Etzlix, a familiar face. "So…" Now what? Where /is/ Th'ero? She sucks at this.

With the others safely dismounted, Kayla finally unbuckles her straps and makes her descent, with a light pat upon Nyth's foreleg and a simple, "Thanks". Despite the cold of /between/, the Fortian chill sinks into her slowly, a much more insidious thing creeping past the defenses of her riding jacket and outerwear, leaving her to rub her forearms up and down. She stands with the rest of the Candidates, somewhere in the middle to the back of the lot of them, keeping silent and observing more than anything else. Watch and learn….

G'tor slides down, moving to ease off Nyth's harper-blue straps, draping the apparatus easily over one shoulder and giving the great brown a thump on the shoulder, "Go on, you, make friends as you always do. I'll call when it's time to leave." There's a moment where Nyth examines his charges, then he gives a small snort, his warm breath curling as mist from his nostrils before he steps back and sends snow kicking up as he launches to find a spot on the fireheights.

Abigail blinks and glances over to D'ani, seems she also though he was talking to Kimmila there for a moment. Amusement is clearly seen across her face and she can't help but grin and shakes her head a moment. Her attention is back towards the riders and candidates as they all fall in so to speak. "Hello and welcome, duties to Eastern and her queens." Her pale gaze drifts over the group of candidates, especially as she hears her name? She grins once she catches sight of Etzlix and offers a wave towards her friend. "Hello Etzlix, pleasure ta see ye again." Niumdreoth warbles out, his head lowering a bit to peer at the person his lifemate is speaking with before his attention is back towards the Eastern dragons, a greeting quickly sent to them. « Hello, and welcome! » Nium, is the friendly greeter for new dragons that he comes across.

Better late than never? Whatever kept Th'ero delayed hasn't kept him too late, thankfully, and just as the Eastern group make their arrival and approach on the training ground, the Weyrleader is striding in (quite literally) behind them. Dressed in his more formal gear, it's dyed just about as dreary as the weather: black, browns and other neutral hues. Clearly even when having guests he won't touch color. Velokraeth, the social bronze he is, has joined Varmiroth above somewhere, the pale misshapen bronze always eager to observe visitors or interactions alike. "Sorry," Th'ero mutters hastily to Kimmila as he slips in next to her side. Truthfully, she's done quite well! His gaze darts to the Weyrlings present and nods his head, pleased with the turnout and their current state. But his attention soon turns to the arriving Candidates and Eastern riders, both of which he greets with a firm, low voice. "Fort Weyr's duties to Eastern and their Queens. Welcome and please, make yourselves comfortable. When you've had enough of the outdoors, we do have a hot meal and some refreshments in the living caverns for any who wish to partake and warm up." he says easily, only a touch awkward as he scrambles to gather his thoughts and /not/ look a little flustered. Really, his features are rather neutral and hard to read most of the time. He does not introduce the Weyrlings, leaving that to occur naturally as it were between the two groups.

A'tien blushes slightly at Kimmila's correction and rubs a hand at the back of his head, "Err…yes…of course, ma'am." The bronzerider's gaze hardens as he watches the candidates, wrapping his arms tightly over his chest. See this, candidates? No funny business, he's watching you. Cereth rumbles once quietly and then leaps into the sky to find some other dragon to chat to, leaving the bronzerider by himself. As Th'ero comes to greet them, A'tien offers a salute to the man. "Eastern's duties to Fort and her queens. We greatly appreciate Fort allowing us to have our candidates meet your weyrlings."

Garawan's with the rest of Eastern's candidates. His slim frame is wrapped in a decently thick coat. And as always, his hands are gloved. It's with a different pair of gloves, though, for those who know him. Instead of his usual thin black gloves, these are thicker, made for warmth. Not too terribly thick, but thicker than his usual. He too has… pretty much no idea what's going on. And so he's standing with the other Eastern candidates, waiting for some clues.

Kimmila eyes A'tien for a moment, and in the end she just sighs inwardly and lets it go. But ma'am it will be, it seems. She'll just have to deal with it. "So…" she says again, glancing around at the awkward groups. It's like a middle school dance, only without the music and punch. "Now that the duties have been taken care of, and formalities observed…I vote snowball fight." What? "Best way to loosen things up, and then we can all chat in the living caverns about Weyrlinghood and dragons and all that good stuff, right? But you can't come to Fort without getting hit with a snowball." And apparently it's starting now, because she crouches down and starts to pack the snow into a ball. "Ten…nine…eight," she counts happily. Giving them time to get to cover? How nice of her.

When Th'ero arrives, G'tor straightens, is wizened face taking on a more formal smile and a crisp salute, "Eastern's duties, Weyrleader Th'ero. Thank you for agreeing to this visit and we-" He cuts off at Kimmila's words and chuckles, "I'm immune or I'll set my fair on you."

Those glances from Kimmila and Abigail catch D'ani unaware and he blinks back at them, a little bemused. What? But the Candidates from Eastern are walking up and saluting, so he salutes them back, remaining silent but smiling a welcome while Kimmila and Th'ero make their greetings. Dremkoth doesn't bespeak any of them but extends his necks to whuffle curiously at the new folk, adding a friendly rumble as he opens his jaws slightly, a move which shows all of his teeth. Bright blue-green are the eyes that whirl briefly at his rider. See? He's behaving. He's even smiling. Or trying to, given that dragons do not, in fact, smile.

Duck and cover, nothing. Kayla just gets a positively wicked grin on her face, following Kimmila's lead and reaching down to loosely pack a handful or so of snow into a neat little ball. "…seven, six, five…." She takes up the countdown, calling out, "Shimmering Shipfish, ho!"

Garawan notes the countdown beginning. And, neither being immune to snowballs nor wishing to get his hands in snow (it would /hurt/ his hands), Garawan conveniently finds a little area off to the side to avoid flying snowballs. And debris, if it's thrown. He's just going to be over here, uh, keeping score. Yeah.

Etzlix lets a wicked grin cross her face and, overlarge flightjacket and all, is soon finding something to duck behind, she knows snowball fights, maybe it will give her an advantage over the other candidates. She quickly grabs a handful of snow, patting it into a ball before tossing it at Kimmila, trying to catch first strike as she giggles.

Kimmila glances up at G'tor, arching a brow. "Immune? To a little fun and flying snow? Come on," she says, her voice light and just a little teasing. This is why she's not in the diplomacy wing. "Fine then, if you want to stand on the sidelines, there's the sideline," point, "and the rest of us fun people will be over here. FourThreeTwoOne!" And she throws her snowball, aiming at Etzlix. She knows her, and knows she won't get in trouble. At the same time, Etzlix's snowball catches her in the chest and she laughs, jumping to the side and gathering up another ball of snow. This one she flings at D'ani with a shouted, "That's for telling me to REST!" Old joke? She does, at least, try to lure the participants further away from those that don't want to play, so there's no accidental hits for someone that does not want to be hit.

Maeve grins evily, and pretty much dives into cover, then rolling a snowball, and aiming, As Kayla's countdown ends, she tosses hers…at A'tien.

Abigail hum softly at the talk of a snowball fight? She blinks and looks amused before shaking her head slightly, not that she is about to say no to it mind you. She is quick to gather up a bunch of snow in her hands, making it into a ball and sends it flying towards Kayla before the count is finished it seems. "One!" She offers with a soft laugh. Niumdreoth is quick to back up a few steps, the brown doesn't want to get used as a place to hide after all.

Giving time for cover? Or time for the Weyrleader to stop staring at her like she's lost her mind as his mind comes to a full and abrupt stop at the idea. Snowball fight? In the midst of a (somewhat political?) meetup between two Weyrs? As Kimmila crouches down, Th'ero frowns and turns his body a bit to the side, facing her mostly and his back partially to the Weyrlings and Candidates alike as he mutters and whispers low and harsh, "What are you doing?" he asks, trying to keep it for her ears only. "The risks…" Most folk know that Th'ero is notorious for this sort of reaction. Uptight, reserved and a total downer at parties. Fun is not in his vocabulary. As A'tien greets him, the Weyrleader turns back to face the Eastern bronzerider and straightens his shoulders a little, "Of course. We are pleased to participate in the meeting. It's good that Candidates are exposed to as much as possible." This coming from the man who foisted the last Fortian bunch on the Crafthalls. At G'tor's response, Th'ero only blinks and frowns slightly as the brownrider seems to accept the offer of a snowball fight with little hesitation. Clearing his throat, the Weyrleader takes a step back. He's uh… out? Immunity!

A'tien arches a brow slightly in amusement, a small little smile pulling at his lips. "Ah, snowball fights. Those used to be fun." And a snowball promptly slams into the back of his head. A'tien winces sligtly and he rubs the spot and sends little flakes of snow falling to the ground. He turns his head in the direction where it'd been tossed but not finding the perpetraitor, he turns his attention back to Th'ero. Someone must talk business after all, and it might as well fall to A'tien. He steps off to the side and lowers his voice slightly, "And I agree as well, that it's best to allow them to see what they're up against. Better to hand them as much as they possibly can to get them better prepaired for the road ahead." A'tien's gaze casts to the candidates sadely, "Perhaps then we're not likely to lose one in the process."

G'tor wiggles the fingers at the end of his poorly-healed right arm at Kimmila, "I may have full use of my arm, but I can't throw worth a wherry's gas attack." He glances at Th'ero as the bronzer also steps back and smirks, "Let the youth work off their exuberance, then there can be lessons and serious talk. This is the first real outing the candidates have had since their search."

Etzlix gets a wicked glimmer in her eye as her snowball finds purchase at Kimmila's chest, the bluerider's catching her in her side as she turns to scooop up more snow, forming it and.. gasp.. throwing it straight towards Th'ero. "Aww, c'mon Sir, 'ave some fun." And, well, as if it'd help her not get caught as the one to toss at Fort's Weyrleader, she moves quickly towards Abbey, ducking behind her friend.

SPLAT! Abigail's snowball finds its mark, scattering in a messy spray of snow scattered across Kayla's left shoulder. She looks down at the patch, then up at Abigail, down at the patch, and shakes her head. "Oh, that's done it now…" But there is a merry twinkle in her eyes, even as she crouches down to gather up another salvo of snow, packing her ammunition tightly in her hands. She draws back, takes aim, and lets fly at… Abigail! "Haha, take that!" she cries, laughing, watching to see if her snowball finds its mark or no.

Kimmila is 'the youth', apparently, despite being in her 30's and pregnant. She just grins crookedly at Th'ero and G'tor both, and then tries to fling a snowball at another Eastern Candidate, hastening over to stand by D'ani. "Hi. Hold this." And she thrusts a snowball into his hands before making another one to fling at Kayla.

"Perhaps it won't hurt then," Th'ero agrees hesitantly towards G'tor, still not entirely convinced as his dark eyes follow the paths and successful strikes of some of the first snowballs lobbed between Candidates and Weyrlings. He grimaces a little, hands clenching at his sides but otherwise the Fortian Weyrleader makes no move. Not to join in but neither is he retreating. Somewhere above, Velokraeth is likely seething in frustration at his rider's blundering, but that little spat will wait for another time. A'tien's reply has Th'ero's attention next and he turns his head slightly to give the bronzerider his focus. "Lose one?" he murmurs lowly, dropping his voice to keep it as privately between them as possible. "How do you mean?" Color the Weyrleader curious? Or he would be, if Etzlix's snowball doesn't strike him hard in the upper arm then, spraying cold snow up into his face and hair and causing Th'ero to instinctively duck backwards, arms raised slightly in a defensive warding gesture. Assured no more are flying his way, he sighs and begins to brush off the snow with a gloved hand. "Another time, perhaps." he drawls to the Eastern Candidate. No, she's not in trouble. But there's no retaliation at Th'ero's hand — yet.

Abigail is in the process of making another snowball when Etzlix is suddenly running behind her? "Wait, what did ye do Etzlix?" She peers at her friend and then looks around trying to figure out whom she might have hit that she needs to hide from. Abbey catches sight of the snow upon Th'ero and her eyes widen a moment, on dear. While this happens the snowball from Kayla hits her across the shoulder and she laughs out. "Hey!" The snowball she was working on is sent flying towards Etzlix, even though the other girl is trying to hide behind her it just won't work this time.

G'tor nods stoically at A'tien's words, then glances at Th'ero, "We lost two from my class when I impressed. It is truly one of the most tragic things I've encountered." At least his dragon doesn't disapprove of his stoic detachment, poor Th'ero. "After turns as rider, wingleader, weyrlingmaster, and harper I can say a little fun never hurt them, weyrling or candidate, and it builds their bonds tighter." He smirks as a stray snowball strikes his chest and merely dusts it off, "And this lot shan't have much fun after those eggs crack, so they should get it in now."

D'ani looks at Kimmila like she's just grown a second head. Snowball…fight? An awkwardly formal meeting, more awkward questions he was prepared for. He's also dressed to represent Fort, not in his gather best, but his boots and jacket are spotless and shining. "Hey that's-" WHOMP! Kimmila's snowball smacks him in the chest. Good thing his jacket was closed, eh? He just watches it slide down his front, peers up as the woman hands him… a snowball. He takes it automatically and stands there like he's been frozen to the spot. Dremkoth is right in the middle of things, right where he loves to be. Snowballs arc over him, splatter on his side, head, wherever. He trumpets. And then starts pattering forward, snakelike through the Candidates, nudging Etzlix, then Maeve. Hi! I'm here! You may pet me now!

A'tien tilts his head as he considers the younger bronzerider before him. A'tien purses his lips slightly as he wraps his arms about his chest to fend off the chill of the morning. "It happens every so often, you lose one because they don't listen, or other such matters." A glance at the candidates and he lets out a quiet sigh as he runs a hand through his curly hair, dislodging what little bit of snow there may be. "Let them have their fun, it may be the last time they are free to enjoy themselves for a while." Cereth settles not far away from the ruckus, remaining within eyesight of his rider though he doesn't get too close to intrude on the snow-throwing.

Kimmila throws one more snowball before something G'tor says catches her attention, and she wanders over in that direction. "Why won't they have fun after Impression, sir?" she asks, offering the respectful term even though she doesn't like being called ma'am. Standing beside Th'ero, she brushes off her jacket and slips her hands into her pockets, apparently done with the fight she herself started, and wanting in on the conversation. Glancing over at D'ani, she gives the bronzeling a wink. Keeping him on his toes? Or something. Green eyes flick to listen to A'tien's addition, and her frown grows a bit. "I guess I don't understand why enjoyment stops at Impression?" Her tone is respectful, but quite curious!

Jaireme has been ducking here and there from the snowballs. Holy crap. Long enough to get that heavy cloak on at least crouching down to gather up a rather sizable snowball. There's a glance around, to see who's in the fight and.. eyes settle on one.. who.. Seems to be.. not quite. a little smirk appears behind the hood and the questionable candidate.. Launches a rather large, but loosely packed snowball.. Right at A'tien. Ahem… and then the candidate is stooping down for another.

Th'ero looks, well… shocked. Briefly, the expression flickering past on his features almost a swiftly as one can blink before he's schooled himself under a neutrally curious mask. "I see. I am sorry to hear that." But oh, is he ever curious to know the hows and whys. But perhaps another time, as the Weyrleader knows better than to tread into such sad news and past now. "Weyrlinghood provides it's own enjoyment and… entertainment, I would think?" he adds, this time to A'tien though he seems to include G'tor in it and similarly echo Kimmila in the process. A very formal and cryptic echo. As his weyrmate approaches, he gives her a quick sidelong look and seems to shift a little closer to her side. No sudden embrace, no protective hovering. Just a slight subtle step that brings him conveniently by her side. He's so not shielding. Nope.

Does Kimmila take the one in D'ani's hands? Because… he's still holding it. Like an idiot. And he's watching the snowballs fly without trying to join in. He follows the bluerider's progress over towards the sidelines, catches the wink she sends his way and rolls his eyes, tossing the snowball back over his shoulder. He likes his fun, just like most 25 turn olds do, and snowball fights just don't cut it. But. He's a Weyrling and right now girls are off the To Do List. LeSIGH. He's unprepared for the mayhem, a little off kilter and a LOT confused. He'll just go stand by the sane one. That's you Th'ero. And wait for the time of awkward questions. He studied for this one!

Etzlix acks as she gets hit in the chest at close range by Abigail's snowball, and she grins, a wicked sort of grin, as she scoops up another handfull of snow. This handfull, however, isn't patted into a snowball. Instead, the Easterner lunges forward with an impish giggle and attempts to shove the full handfull of snow down the front of poor poor Abbey's jacket. "Hi, missed ya!" She giggles before she's shooting off away from the brownling with a laugh. On the way she scoops up another handfull into a snowball, letting it loose towards Kayla.

G'tor chuckles softly, "It doesn't, but such wildness as this scares young dragons. Once they're older, of course, but their early months are usually more disciplined." He glances at D'ani as the young rider comes to join them, "And how are you, lad? I fear I haven't yet memorized the newest rider's names. A shortcoming on my part, I fear." He looks back out at the wild snowball fight and gives a slight shake of his head, "Ah, remember when we had such energy, A'tien?"

Maeve smirks, as she gathers up another snowball, thinking who to aim it at. Then, noticing a snowball heading towards Kayla, she tracks it back to the source, and immediately lobs hers at Etz, the smirk turning into a wicked grin.

Kimmila inclines her head slightly, looking out towards the mayhem that she started. "Certainly," she agrees to G'tor, "but," and then she cuts herself off, distracted by Etzlix's attack on Abigail. "Perhaps it's time to move inside and get warm?" she suggests, wrapping her arms around herself. "And then the questions can begin? I know the Weyrlings have been preparing."

Abigail glances upwards slightly, she catches some of the conversation between the others. As for not having fun, she has been having plenty since everything. She grins at Etzlix. "Got'cha!" Is offered while she is busy going to get more snow only to get attacked by Etzlix so evilly! A sharp ack escapes her as the snow works its way down her jacket and she jumps backwards undoing her jacket to try and get some of the snow off. "Etzlix!" She lets out with a half laugh. Niumdreoth tilts his head, the young brown shifting just enough to flick some snow after the feeling Etzlix with his tail. The dragon seems rather happy with himself at the moment after that little move. At the talk of going inside Abbey thinks it is a great idea and nods. "I'm all for that idea."

A'tien just shakes his head, "Perhaps we have a stricter training regimene than you here at Fort have?" A'tien offers up as he considers the meyham that Kimmila caused up with something that is very unlike amusement crossing his features. His lips crack into a smile at G'tor's comment, "Ah, that was long and far ago for me, I don't remember the last time I had such energy, not even for surfing." And he's about to comment more, but apparently he has made himself a target of the candidates. And a snowball hits him in the center of his chest. A brow slowly arches on the Assistant Weyrlingmaster's face as he bends down and cups his hands into the snow to form a ball. It gets lobbed in reply to Jair's snowball. Take /that/. A'tien dusts his hands off and returns to business, like he hadn't thrown the snowball at all.

Garawan is also totally down for getting out of the line of fire. Besides, he's a little guy, and he gets cold easily. He's careful as he inches out of his hiding spot; he doesn't want to get accidentally nailed with a snowball by anyone who might be reluctant to end the fun. However, he's heading for where those that are talking about going inside are standing.

Etzlix is such a bad bad candidate, really she is. She turns to smile sweetly at Abigail, only to come smack dab into maeve's range, the snowball smacking her in her chest almost the same place as Abbey's caught her, except Maeve's seems a bit higher and thanks to the bagginess of her borrowed flight jacket, the snow finds its way in between jacket and blouse. Lixxy squeals, quickly trying to unfasten her jacket so she can brush the snow off of hr thin-blouse covered chest.

KER-SPLAT! Yet another snowball (or two) finds its mark, leaving Kayla to brush off the offending snow, laughing. "Good aim. My compliments." Snapping a salute to Kimmila and Abigail, she flings one last snowball in their general direction—whether or not it will hit is anybody's guess! Giggling softly, she moves to join Garawan and the rest to head on inside, hopefully before a return volley might be fired!

Kimmila arches a brow at A'tien once more, but in the end she says nothing, not letting her hackles get raised by his comment about Fort's training. But it takes considerable effort on the touchy bluerider's part. "Mm. Perhaps," is all she ends up saying, before motioning in the direction of the Living Caverns. "This way." And off she's walking, long strides despite the snow, eager to get inside to the warmth.

Jaireme takes the return snowball like a champ. The boy looking thing just grins at A'tien… Not trying to hide who it was that threw the snowball at him. Then there's a twirl.. and The candidate is sending a snowball in.. well /someone's/ direction.. Abigail perhaps? Seems right. Heads up!

Th'ero nods his head in a polite way as D'ani comes to join the 'saner' side. He doesn't correct the Weyrling in not joining in, instead welcoming his decision to join them. The Weyrleader doesn't smile either, which likely doesn't make things any more relaxing. But he is observing in his own way and though his attention drifts, he'll be focused somewhat on the bronze Weyrling's response to G'tor. Hackles raised or no, Th'ero does try to subtly (and hidden) rest a gloved hand against Kimmila's back before the bluerider can move out of his reach. He says nothing on A'tien's comment on the training, leaving that discussion also for another time. Instead, he chimes in on Kimmila's hint to the living caverns. "Good idea," he murmurs and then in a louder voice as he pitches his tone to carry. "We should all move inside, once you've finished here. The weather is mild now, but the cold can set in fast. Plus, the food will stay hot only for so long." And he, right now, can do with a good drink and some warmth. He'll let Kimmila stride off and lead the way, but Th'ero will linger, likely making sure no one is left behind who doesn't wish to be.

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.

D'ani doesn't seem ill at ease around Th'ero, even if he doesn't smile. He merely nods solemnly to back to the Weyrleader as he strolls over, hands shoved in his pockets to keep them warm. G'tor's greeting is returned with a, "D'ani, Sir." He has a socially polite smile and offers a hand to the man, if he takes it, the shake is proper, grip firm and contact brief. He's not being unfriendly, but this is just his way with people he doesn't know, especially those that rank him. And right now, that's pretty much everyone. As the group makes their way off the training grounds, he falls into step, leaving Dremkoth to visit with the Eastern dragons.

Kimmila leads the way into the caverns, and over to the reserved table that's set aside for this meeting. For convenience sake, it's already piled high with drinks and food, all everyone needs to do is just sit. Which Kimmila does, to the right of one of the head positions - presumably leaving that one for Th'ero. Settling down, she begins to fill her plate with what's within reach - namely a bowl of steaming stew and some rolls, and a mug of cider. "So, D'ani, Abigail," she starts, "what's it like Impressing?" Might as well start at the beginning, right?

Etzlix is one of the last ones in the living cavern, but she's managed to get most of the snow off of herself. Of course, the open jacket reveals a rather wet splotch on her aqua blue blouse. The girl stamps her feet, trying to dislodge the majority of snow and mud from her boots. Ah, warmth, she's rather thankful for that as she follows over towards the reserved table, sliding into an available seat and taking up a mug of klah.

"Well met, D'ani," A'tien says as he follows behind the Weyrleaders. A'tien decides not to comment further on the training that Fort has, sensing the vibes coming from the Fort representation. He does offer an appologetic glance to all those gathered. It wasn't meant as any harm. "I'm A'tien, Assistant Weyrlingmaster at Eastern Weyr." He holds out his own hand to the young bronzerider, "Your dragons look very healthy."

Kayla taps off her boots just outside the entrance, doing her level best to not track any of the muck and snow from outside into the warmth of the living cavern. She joins the other Candidates and Weyrlings at the reserved table, taking a seat somewhere in the middle of it all. Once Kimmila's taken the liberty of partaking of some of the offered treats, she gets a plate of her own, nosing about through what's there for more vegetarian offerings. There are a few things, mostly sweetrolls, bits of fruit, and mashed tubers, but most seems to have meat in one form or another. She settles down with her repast to listen and learn.

Indeed, Th'ero does take a seat at the front and head positions at the tables and does not seem to even question Kimmila being at his right-hand side. He will linger though again by the doorway first, allowing everyone from visiting Candidates and Eastern Riders to the Fortian Weyrlings to serve themselves from the ample amount of food on the serving tables. "Make yourselves comfortable," he calls out, gesturing with a sweeping hand to indicate they do not have to withhold. The food is there to be consumed, as is the drink though the Candidates and Weyrlings will be monitored closely to be sure no one is sneaking something they should not be. Only once it seems that everyone has had their share does the Weyrleader step forwards and fill his own plate and pour a generous glass of red wine. Settled in, Th'ero goes for his drink first, taking a small sip while his eyes scan the group and giving a small and subtle nod of approval to Kimmila's opening of the question session. Nothing helps ease the awkwardness like good food and drink between conversation, right?

Abigail follows along after the others into the warm caverns, it is a lot better inside after a snowball fight. Her gaze drifts over the area and she is soon sitting at one of the reserved tables, next to Etzlix as it were. A mug of hot klah is poured for herself and she takes a long sip from it. At the question brought up from Kimmila, a soft oh escapes her and her pale gaze drifts over the candidates that are now looking at her. Oh dear. Another sip is taken from her mug while she ponders how to answer. "Well, it was rather interesting. It is a bit hard to explain to some degree. One moment it was quiet and I was wondering what I would do if I wasn't chosen and then everything changed, rather quickly. It was the greatest day of my life." She is eyeing her mug quietly once this is all said. "It is different for everyone of course."

Najara managed to not freeze, mostly by hiding from the snowball fight. She's still quite grateful to end up inside where it's actually warm! She takes a mug of klah and wraps her hands around it, listening to some of the others talk.

Maeve sheds her jacket, having been in the middle of the snowball fight herself, and settles down next to Najara, sipping on her own mug of Klah.

If D'ani is surprised when A'tien speaks to him, he doesn't show it. Polite again, he smiles slightly but he doesn't offer his hand because he's pulling out a chair for one of the candidates so she can sit. "Yes Sir," he says to the eastern Rider noncommittally. Likewise he keeps a bland face regarding the AWLM's training comment and when he's done with the chair, hastily extends his hand to shake his. "Thank you, Sir. We are taught to be attentive to their needs. Excuse me," this as he steps away to help their visitors should they need it, by pouring a mug of klah here, carrying a plate there, settling someone in a chair at the table… and then Kimmila asks the first question. What was it like to impress Dremkoth? It's not unexpected, but he's never really put it into words, so he takes a moment to gather his thoughts. "It's like… nothing I've ever been prepared for, even touching the eggs," he says at last. "My mind felt endless, my heart contained, captured, found." Color tints his cheeks faintly, "I'm not usually this poetic but that's the best I can do. It's like my best friend found me for the first time and while it threw my world upside down and broke it into pieces, it put it back together again." He coughs, "It really is wonderful." He darts a little look at Kimmila. How was that?

Kimmila glances up from her food (she's apparently ravenous) and smiles at both Abigail and then D'ani as they give their impressions of impression. (Har har har). Glancing at the Candidates now, the self appointed conversation mover-alonger smiles. "What questions do you guys have for our Weyrlings?" Your turn!

Garawan remains with the other candidates, listening quietly. He does not ask questions yet, as someone else may ask whatever question he has. Besides that, the answers to his questions might just prompt more questions!

G'tor nods slightly as the young Weyrlings echo his own memories of the day when Nyth made him his, no buts, no cuts, no coconuts. His focus is on his charges more than his food, waiting to hear what questions they might ask those who have so recently gone through what they themselves will soon go through.

Etzlix shifts, maybe just a little, at the explanations of what it was like for the weyrlings to impress their dragons, she was there, she remembers watching them, and she even manages a smile to both D'ani and Abbey as they answer. As the time for her group to asks questions arrives, she considers quietly. "Was it hard t'get used t'havin' 'nother mind in yers?" She might as well start it off since no one else seems willing to start at the moment.

Jaireme is quietly listening and eating. The cloak hanging off the back of the chair. The candidate eats and listens.

Maeve thinks for a moment. "What's it like for you, having a dragon that is constantly with you? I'm a dolphincrafter, and have my partner, but I know it's not the same thing.

Abigail glances over to D'ani, a smile seen and she nods showing that she agrees with what he says. She sips at her mug while her gaze drifts over the Candidates pondering who will ask the first question it seems. Her attention goes to Etzlix, good question she thinks. "It took a while to get use to. Though it wasn't that hard really, one just has ta get use to the idea of 'someone' else being there able to 'hear' ones thoughts, and knowing pretty much everything about ye without haven't to go through actually explaining it."

Najara tilts her head, considering on the things said and the questions asked. "How did it change your plans? Like… I mean, what do you think about your future now?"

D'ani, meanwhile manages to slip a few steps away and snag a mug of klah for himself, settling into a chair and taking a sip while the Candidates eat and think hard to come up with something to ask them. "Yes," he says simply and starkly to Etzlix when she asks if it was hard having another mind in his. "It's pretty insane at first." Maeve's question has him elaborating, "It's like feeling two opposite ways about a lot of things until you learn to find a little space between your own mind and your dragon's. And guess what? You not only have your dragon inside your head at first. You have ALL of them in your head until they learn to stop communicating on such a wide band. So be careful what you're thinking because young minds will repeat things and ask awkward questions." He leans back and grins. Let them think about that.

Etzlix wrinkles her nose, shifting briefly at the answers. "Ev'rything?" For some reason the Lixxy seems uncomfortable by the thought, "Like ev'rything e'en b'fore?" She then smirks as her question seems rather silly. "Acourse ev'rything, I guess, cause they ots unlimited access t'yer mem'ries an' thoughts." She waits for her fellow candidates to ask some questions, looking to each one as they speak. "Bet pr'vacy's out, huh?" She smirks lightly.

"My life has been uneventful enough, I have nothing to hide," Garawan replies quietly. He's not going to speak too long or too loudly, just so his fellow candidates can hear him. A pause. Then he finally speaks up. "Is this why they always tell the candidates not to do, ah, certain things?" Yes, he's talking about that, too. And that. And those other things too. "This would have ill effects upon any possible lifemates?"

Jaireme listening to that. "Well I suppose that's one reason there's a rule against certain… activities as a weyrling." Jai says breaking 'his' silence.

Maeve thinks about the consequences of that, and certain….needs…of hers, face going bright pink. "Um… That sounds like it could be, er, embarrassing."

Abigail peers at D'ani, well she was trying to forget some things of those few days when the young dragons couldn't hold back anything. "Like mutton." She offers with an amused tone. A slight shake of her head seen while she peers over to Etzlix, a chuckle escapes her. "Pretty much. There is no privacy at all." Her gaze turns over to Najara at her question and she ahs softly. "Well, I was a guard before. Still hope o work with them ta some degree if I get lucky enough. As for me future just have ta wait and see. Rather not worry about trying to figure that out just yet." She continues to answer questions now and then, but other than that she is mostly quiet. A curious glance is sent towards Jaireme and she chuckles. "Pretty much." She says softly.

Najara hmmms, frowning a little as she considers on those answers, and nods slightly. "I suppose they're getting all of a person. Not just a fture, but a whole past too." She hmms, and takes a sip of her klah, then looks to Abigail and nods. "I suppose it does take up a lot of… everything, doesn't it?" She laughs a little, and takes another sip.

"Pretty much," D'ani agrees with Etzlix about the lack of privacy, returning her smirk with a lopsided smile tugging at his mouth. "Probably," he says shortly to Garawan and Jaireme. And he'll leave it at, "If you think about things, if they're awake and not distracted by something else, they're listening in, so be aware." He shrugs about ill effects; he doesn't know? But back to Maeve's question, he lifts a hand to run the back of his neck. "Well, Dremkoth comes first and his needs before mine. Which means my future is here at the Weyr so he can be with his own kind. I was to be Maiona's master, but no longer."

Etzlix considers D'ani's words, frowning briefly and hmm'ing. "Well, I s'ppose y'just gotta learn t'keep stuff, erm, tame or somethin'." Even if tame is absolutely no fun, but she doesn't voice that part cause, well, weyrlingmasters are present.

Maeve nods, pretty much coming to the same conclusion as Etzlix, and pretty much over the same issues. "Well, thank you for hosting us. It was nice to meet you, and I wish you and your lifemate the best."

"At least until they grow up," D'ani clarifies for Etzlix, perhaps knowing a bit about the young woman since she was part of the same candidate class he was in. He glances towards Kimmila as the session seems to be winding down, adds his 'you're welcome' to hers and rises as chairs around the table screet and scrape on the stone floor. "I'll be around the training area if any of you want to come by and meet Dremkoth," he says to the group in general, salutes G'tor and Kimmila and nods to the rest of them by way of excusing himself. His dragon calls! If nothing else, they should have fun exploring Pern's first and oldest 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.