Why is it Always Fish?

Inner Caverns
The larger first chamber is at the height of roughly that of three grown adults, with the ceiling and walls rather smooth cut stone. The walls are dotted at regular intervals with metal sconces that are filled and refreshed with glows, the light providing a constant soft ambience no matter the time of day for not all that much light filters in from the outside. Two wooden doors along the southeastern part of the wall are labeled "In" and "Out" are used frequently by the kitchen workers to keep this cavern well stocked. The first chamber appears to act much like a dining hall, rows of tables spread out and worn benches offering a perch to the residents and riders as they cycle through the daily mealtimes. Several hearths have been constructed along the north and west walls, providing both practical warmth and a place for the night hearth to be kept with its simmering stew and hours old klah. A raised dais is set along the north wall, where the Weyr's leaders eat and important announcements are made. Further in are two more medium sized chambers with naturally arced ceilings that act in a multi-purpose capacity, and beyond them tunnels lead even deeper into the depths of the stone to the Weyr supply stores.
It's very late in the night. The hearth is checked about once an hour to ensure there's always hot klah and a bit of soup ready, but not much else goes on.


Ed'ard wanders in on a cloudy night, muttering about how if this was spring he wasn't sure why the area was bothering and barely offering greetings to those he knows around the area before heading to the soup pot. "Again with the dried fish. Is that all Tillek ever sends? Fish. I think I hate fish."

Mr'az may not have complaints about the weather, but he might about the food. In that way at least, he can sympathsize with Ed'ard. Night is not usually a common time to find the bronzerider about the inner caverns but today it seems sleep elludes him. "Could be fish is all there is to be had. Here and in Tillek and abroad." he drawls, looking up as the bluerider approaches the soup pot. Mr'az had been lingering there, poking at the contents of the soup pot with obvious disinterest. "Ugh. Suddenly I don't think I've much of a stomach for fish either." he mutters, wrinkling his nose and stepping back to allow Ed'ard to approach the soup pot. "There must be bread at least…" Please let there be bread!

Ed'ard starts to look around before he sighs. "I mean, I understand with us getting over the drought and all. But I'm sharding sick of fish." There's a look of continued disdain for the pot before he sighs and at least dips up a bowl. "However, I am hungry, and that is what is being served. Look, they've put out some sort of dried bread. Probably so we don't die of salt overdose." He then carries the bowl to a table, leaving a spot for others. "What's got you up late? I had watches, but I figured the bronzeriders would be sleeping the sleep of the rightous, about now."

Mr'az only snorts softly, amused by Ed'ard's continued complaint over the fish as he moves over to eye the dried bread suspiciously. With a heavy exhale, the bronzerider caves and helping himself to some pieces, he too takes a small amount of soup. Maybe soaked by the bread it'll be better? Highly doubtful. "Surely there's a herdbeast they could spare or even some wherry," he mutters as he turns to join the bluerider at the table, whether invited or not. Settling in comfortably, he's hardly sitting proper and slouches. "Righteous?" Mr'az drawls again, looking up with a frown but curious look all the same. "Hardly righteous," he says, mouth drawing into a crooked smile. "We have watches too, you know. Not this night for me, no but I did earlier, along with other duties. Guess I'm too wound up to sleep."

Ed'ard attempts a spine cracking stretch before he too slumps and shrugs. "Sorry, a bit wound up and been having a few too many watchnights or so it seems on my duty roster." He glances around noting who is within hearing distance. "Apparently, I'm disgruntled and in need of discipline." The bluerider stares at the thin soup. "That or O'mohe's just an ass." He dunks a bit of bread in the soup, maybe it'll soften. "I thought he was just wound up about Sazey, but he's not settled down yet. 'Course that might be the Tillek delegation we had. The Lady's sister wants her niece there, but the dad's being stubborn is what I heard from Ganma."

Mr'az only shrugs but the apology is accepted all the same. He's not so easily offended it seems and only keeps his smile warm but reserved as Ed'ard continues to speak. Gaze lowered, the bronzerider begins to dab at his soup with the dried bread, realizing then at the first bite that he should have just skipped a meal entirely. "Is that so?" he asks, looking up at the bluerider with a smirk that could be amused. "What'd you do to earn that reprimand?" As for the comment on O'mohe, Mr'az only chuckles low in his throat and keeps his tongue well in check. "I don't think you were the only one hoping he'd have settled by now." he mutters between bites of food, only to blink and then peer curiously at Ed'ard. "What's this about a delegation?" Someone's out of the loop!

It's muffled, the answer when it comes around a mouthful of soup. "Well, it's what I heard. That O'mohe and Sazey had a delegation from Tillek. Something about the tithes and Janja's daughter." He swallows to actually answer properly. "You know Lady Jely was Janja's sister, right? Well, they're making noises about how her kid should go back there." Ed'ard then waves a hand toward the soup. "And I think there were some complaints on our side about the fish. Although I'm not certain." He pauses. "But I've not heard officially, like that they're here or what they're doing. All I know is something has O'mohe wound up tighter than Xaeth's coming flight did."

Mr'az takes a few more bites of the dried bread and soup and then can no longer seem to stomach any of it and so pushes his bowl away. His interest remains quite fixed on Ed'ard though, as the bluerider continues to fill him in on news that was clearly not overheard by the bronzerider before. "Huh. Janja's daughter? How old is the child?" he asks quietly, keeping his voice low enough to be heard only by the other rider. He snorts, "Somehow I doubt that," he mutters about the complaints on the fish being the only meat tithed of late. "Great. And here I was hoping we'd have some respite from O'mohe's wound up moods now that Mwoth flew Xaeth." he adds, leaning back in his seat and crossing his arms loosely over his chest, frowning in thought as he stares distractedly at some point on the tabletop.

Ed'ard taps his fingers on the tabletop, before giving a distracted shrug. "Well, it's not official like, but it's what I've been hearing." He face crunches up in thought as he considers, counting back the turns. "She'd be seven or eight turns I think. Not an infant, but not real old, either." Then there's a grin. "Who knows what drives that man, he's always been moody. For all I know its the fact that Xaeth only rises like every three turns or so. That's not going to be helpful if we are heading into thread."

Mr'az likewise shrugs his shoulders, "Official or not, it's something. Though I usually frown upon gossip, it's better than total quiet and well… Usually it's not too hard to pinpoint a shred of truth here and there," he murmurs. Right? The bronzerider frowns again, "No, not old enough. Not at least to decide for herself… Pity. Can't be easy on the child." Snorting again, Mr'az shakes his head and smirks, "Who knows. The man is an enigma to me, not that I wish to linger around long enough to puzzle him out. As for Xaeth's habits…" He spreads his hands helplessly. "Could be she'll change once we loom closer. We've Kayeth at least and who knows if there will be a gold egg to come of the flight either."

Ed'ard nods as he climbs to his feet, finishing dinner. "Well, glad it's not me deciding for the girl. She's had enough trouble in her life. Bad enough for the da, I should think whatever the weyrleaders decide." He tips off a short nod. "Ah, there's Kayeth. But she's getting of the age where she should be showing something too, no? Have they decided if she's full grown yet, or not?"

Mr'az's frown grows heavier, almost troubled. "Nor would I want to decide for the girl, but I still feel some pity. So young and already has had to deal with more than one her age should. Part of me almost hopes they rule in favor of keeping her here. Shame she can't just decide herself." Not likely to happen, given she is a child and Turns yet from adulthood but the bronzerider makes his opinion known all the same. "I'm not certain. You would have to speak to Nyalle on that matter. I had not thought to ask her. Figured it would seem too… forwards." he admits in a low voice. "But I'd imagine she would rise soon? She and Zhirazoth are of the same clutch."

Ed'ard sighs heavily. "For the weyr's sake, I just hope that she does. We need the riders if nothing else. You know we're still down from the sickness and drought. I can count the empty weyrs around the bowl from where Dnocesth and I live. And it's worse than it's ever been, even since I impressed." He shakes his head. At least, perhaps this clutch Xaeth will lay respectably. She hasn't always you know."

Mr'az looks equally as grim for Ed'ard's comments and the bronzerider chews thoughtfully at his lower lip, before turning his head to glance towards the entrance leading out into the bowl. "I know. Even if I was late coming to the Weyr and still "new" as far as being a rider… the low numbers are obvious. Unsettling, really. But what can be done? We just have to make do." And hope for the best, his tone implies. Blinking, he glances back sharply to the bluerider, curious once more. "Just the size of the clutch?" he asks.

Ed'ard hang his head. "I'm not sure there is anything to do. "Just Xaeth, she's got to do to better. Her first clutch was ten eggs you know." He's gone quiet for a long moment before he speaks up again. "I know they blame it on the drought. "But I've heard through family, that the other weyrs, while they're hard hit, their queens do a bit better. The drought hurt all of us, but we're still suffering it seems. And then to lose Feyruth now, when it just seemed we were getting back on track."

"Ten?" Mr'az echoes in disbelief but for his credit his voice does not raise too high. Collecting himself, the bronzerider shrugs his shoulders. "Guess we'll see how she does with this clutch. Even if there is no gold, just having more numbers to fill out the Wings will be good. And perhaps Kayeth will rise too. Two clutches, back to back." Would be too much luck in their favor, wouldn't it? He doesn't press the bluerider once the man has gone quiet, patient until the conversation resumes. "Ahh, yes. The droughts. Easy enough to pin them as blame… It's hard times all around. Is that so about the other Weyrs?" Mr'az sounds intrigued, but not too curious — or is perhaps masking it. His expression does fall to a grim look though at the mention of the loss of Janja. "Nothing new in that regard, is there? It was an ill timed misfortune, that is for certain. Loss of any dragonrider is. But a gold?" Very bad.

"You know, for all that Janja was well." Ed'ard sighs. "I know she wasn't perhaps the best of goldriders. But she didn't deserve to die like that, though of course, not that anyone does." He's attempting to talk himself out of a morose mood. "So you, you're not weyrbred then. I was thinking that I didn't know you all that well, myself. I'm not either. Ended up here from High Reaches hold about seventeen turns ago, then found my Dnocesth. Can't say I'm unhappy about it. Only had work at the Hall to look forward to, I get to see more of the place this way."

Mr'az grimaces, "No one deserves to die like that. Goldrider, dragonrider, holder, resident… Bad enough we lose folk to the sicknesses. Don't need to be losing more like this." If he's relieved by Ed'ard's change of subject, the bronzerider is hiding it well and only offers the bluerider a small smile. "No, I am not weyrbred." he confirms, shifting a bit in his seat and then chuckles dryly. "Funny that we can be working alongside each other and yet not know anything beyond names, hmm?" he muses, listening intently to the other man's brief telling of his past. "So you have been here at the Weyr longer than I, I would think. I was born not far from Fort Hold. Parents were both Beastcrafter Journeymen and I suppose I was to follow them, just as my brother had. But… we relocated to High Reaches territory and I followed my father up here. Decided to stay, which didn't settle too well with him and took the chance to Stand. Can't say I regret it either, as I found Zhirazoth."

Ed'ard laughs slightly. "How are you finding our mountains and our cold, if you're from the slightly lower south? Some of the folks don't like it so much. The few times I've been south, I've found it too hot, although Denny claims he likes it, but then he likes the lake up here too, when it has ice in it." He is relaxing a bit more. "Well, it's not like we often get a chance to just talk is it? So often we're out on drills or watches. And I haven't found a dragonrider yet that regrets their dragon. Makes everything worth it, even the weyrs with ice on them."

"Denny?" Mr'az inquires curiously, only to grin at Ed'ard. "It took some adjusting too but I can't say it's all that bad. Some days, yes, but Fort could get pretty bitter too. I'd not mind a bit of warmth now and again though," he admits, obviously not minding this discussion compared to the grim news they were sharing previously. "Well, I suppose you have a point there." he drawls with a lopsided smile. "We're often too busy to enjoy the simpler things, eh? Suppose we should enjoy what we can get now while we can… We'll have even less time to relax when Thread falls again." He grimaces slightly and then snorts, "Has there ever been a rider in recorded history who has? I don't even think it is possible."

Ed'ard offers up a grin. "Well, there might have been one, but I wouldn't bet on it. Why don't we agree to go somewhere, where it's likely that they're getting spring. Certainly there's mail or something or other that needs delivering to soemplace warm here shortly. But for now, I think I should be getting back and to bed. I've got early duties in the morning."

Mr'az laughs again and grins back to Ed'ard, "Can't say no to that." he muses, "And there is always mail or something to go out. Just have to be quick enough to grab it before someone else does." Stretching, the bronzerider then pushes to his feet as well, nodding his head politely. "I think it's high time I try to sleep as well. Clear skies, Ed'ard. Good luck with your duties and maybe tomorrow there will be something better than fish for dinner." Highly unlikely, but a man can hope, right?

Ed'ard is nodding as he's out the door. "Clear skies to you, as well Mr'az." Then the man is gone and into the slightly damp night.

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