What: An influx of Telgari rogues has a request
Where: Living cavern, Fort Weyr
When: Day 27, month 3, turn 443
Huge, still mostly the natural shape of the bubble cavern that formed it though embellished with intricate columns, the living cavern is large enough to seat over two thousand people at any given time. But it has fallen into a state of disuse, for the most part. There are long gaps in the room where tables must have been at one time: Now, there are only twenty tables - each with space for twenty-five people - left in the room, where once there must have been closer to eighty tables. They are all gathered near the northeastern wall where the largest of the room's four hearths are. The rest of the space seems bare. There are a few smaller tables to seat five or six people scattered randomly throughout. Though there is easily room for twice as many, and still many bare swathes of wall that should boast tapestries, there are only three hangings in the living cavern, and all of them are small given the grand scale of the cavern: Two are Fortian brown with the black "Fort" symbol on them, and the third is a light brown field with a brownish-bronzish wing breaking out of the shell of a single white egg. Up a set of handsomely carved stone steps is the Weyr's large kitchen, wrapping around balcony-style with a view into the cavern.
Dinner is over now and the food has been put away. Those seeking food have adjourned to the kitchen or the nighthearth, leaving the cavern mostly empty. It's late in the evening in the spring. The fire is kept low in the hearth to keep out any lingering chill.
N'lon..........6', medium build, black hair, ice blue eyes, pale skin
Bowl..........................[W] Inner Caverns.................[S]
X'drian comes in from the bowl.
X'drian has arrived.
With the same affinity for ground formations as aerial ones, a group of eight riders all bearing Telgar knots trickle into the cavern. At their head is an attractive man who keeps the pace slow, but deliberate. A young child, old enough to keep steady on his feet, remains close to the well-dressed Wingleader's leg. None make any effort to sit nor look comfortable, but they sure do know how to quiet a room in a hurry.
X'drian is seated at his usual table, a mug of klah at his elbow, going over reports. Stacks and stacks of them, to be more precise. As the cavern quiets around him, he eventually looks up, brow furrowed, trying to track the sourse of the disturbance - or lack thereof.
The leader of the hodgepodge of dragonmen (and they all are men) speaks loud enough to be heard, which isn't all that loud when the background noise has dropped to knives scuffles against plates and chairs shifting. "We're looking for your Weyrleader." The request rolls over heads, patient.
Heads turn towards X'drian's table, and one young lad is bold enough to point, lifting his chin insolently at the Telgari riders. X'drian rises from his seat, but doesn't come forward to greet the others. His voice rolls out over the absurdly quiet cavern. "I am X'drian. Who's looking for me?"
N'lon slaps his riding gloves softly against the palm of one hand and lowers them down for his son to hold on to. "Hm." Coursing past the seated populace, the black-haired man assesses their condition and attributing factors as he strides languidly to X'drian's position. "I'm Wingleader N'lon of Telgar Weyr and these men behind me would be my compatriots." His shoulder slides neatly backwards to designate the men ranging from their late teens to late sixties. "We spurned Telgar and want to train, here, for Threadfall." The mission is almost instantly smothered with gasps, snorts and instant conversation.
X'drian's eyebrows arch. He's silent for a long few moments. Finally he says, "You must need a warming cup after the cold of between." A drudge is waved forward, and there is a clatter as some of the kitchen staff scurries to get refreshments from the night heart. "Please have a seat, Wingleader." He settles back down himself.
N'lon seems to acquire all the sustanence he needs by the tumult now birthed during suppertime, smirking. "How hospitable of you. Sit where you will." Instructions are filtered through the group of seven behind him. The dark-haired boy, believing him to be one of the 'guys,' scoots onto the edge of a bench next to one of the Telgar riders. "Didn't mean to barge in per se," he lies smoothly.
X'drian accepts the lie with a polite, "Of course not. So," a pause and he says, "Your entire wing wishes to transfer here to Fort. To train for thread?"
N'lon places each elbow onto the table already making himself at home. "Well there are some from my original Wing and the rest were defectors from other the other Wings. Most of them don't have family," anymore, "so this is really what you see. My son is there." The youngster is trying to reach the goggles of one of the Telgari riders with stubborn giggles. "You got extra room in this cave of yours?" He says this knowing full well the ramshackle state of the Weyrs.
When warm beverages and a single tray of light food is bequeathed the table, N'lon doesn't seem to notice, but the others certainly do. "Who knows? I didn't ask them. Rhyolith says that blasted queen has been bugging him almost non-stop." The klah, aged bread and hard cheese might as well be a dinner of royalty for the rag-tag group as they eat with gusto. "Eat this." N'lon palms a thin slice of cheese for Liton.
X'drian ahs. "Well, that's the first hurdle. Telgar should give their permission. Or, at the least, their non-opposition. While I appreciate that you all believe thread is returning, if we don't proceed correctly, any benefit will be lost in the transfer."
N'lon swings back into the stiff back of the chair. "Less mouths to feed, both human and dragon, and all if not most of the 'Threadists.' I'm sure they'll figure the wisdom of this out sooner or later." AKA he isn't worried in the slightest. "I'm trained in hunting as well as S'rast. A'brin knows tanning, and Th'set was a journeyman Healer." More treats to sweeten the pot?
X'drian nods slightly, "What formal wing training have you had? - and you said that most don't have families?" He gives the boy an arch look, before his eyes flick back to N'lon.
N'lon knits his fingers precisely together. "We know and can perform the rudimentary formations and have been conditioning our dragons for stamina and swiftness. Most recently we've begun firestone trials and trained with targets. Shells, I think we even pretended like we were running firestone supply." The roll of his sharp eyes mean it must have been the previous Wingleader's brain child. "Oh they do, but they were too embarrassed or shamed into coming. Some may arrive in days to come as they pack and say goodbyes. I didn't wait around long."
X'drian's eyes sharpen at this last. "What targets?"
N'lon brings his hands up to his face so his pale eyes fasten on the Weyrleader. "Not /those/ targets."
X'drian says sharply, "And you can voouch for your men? All of them? and account for their whereabouts? - I don't know any of you. And it'd be an easy way for Telgar and Reaches to sow dissent and blame."
N'lon shepherds a glance to his boy whom he's not always the best guardian of. "They're simple enough types. I'm not a nanny, but if they allow themselves too much free rein then they will answer to me." Even under his hands the words carry weight, like the curl of a whip conditioned to strike. "I don't expect anything I can't handle."
X'drian says simply, "You didn't answer the question. Regardless of Telgar's answer to your transfer, I can't agree to it unless you and your men allow Fedayth to question your beasts about their flaming practices."
N'lon immediately swings a bladed hand over the food tray when one of his men poises for a third helping. "Enough." Caught off his guard, the bluerider mumbles an apology and retreats back to his residence. "Sure, tell her to knock herself out." N'lon reclines anew and brandishes a few fingers lazily in the air.
X'drian nods, satisfied. "So, speak to B'mol and Latryse and get back to me. Oncce you have, I'll draft a letter to them. if we don't hear back anything in a sevenday..." he shrugs.
N'lon cuts his eyes back to X'drian with a diamond-like hardness. He's got to beseech the Weyrleaders? "Yeah, yeah." Accord is met, if carelessly. "Are there empty weyrs we can fill for the time being or do we pitch tents?" It's hard to say if it's sarcasm or fact.
X'drian shakes his head. "Empty weyrs. Mostly on the southeastern bowl wall, over the lake. You're welcome to find quarters there until things become official."
The Telgari, who seemed to have been intergrating marginally well, are called to their feet. "Will do, Weyrleader." An intentionally poor salute is performed after the brownrider slides to his feet. "To your dragons!" N'lon challenges the growing din and initiates the exit once tugging Liton's shirt.
X'drian doesn't return the salute. Instead he watches as the Telgari wingmates file out, his expression unreadable.