Ista Weyr - Living Caverns
Large enough to house the entirity of the weyr's population at one time, the cavern set aside to house the very heart of the weyr's life is a grandoise, somewhat circular affair, filled with rows of long tables. Bustling and busy, it is a rare moment indeed when there is not someone at work or leisure in here; the long trestle table by the kitchens is perpetually filled with plates and trays of food, a pot of something always bubbling upon the mahogany hearth, ready to fill the belly of any hungry resident or rider. Although a high table is set aside for seating respected dignitaries on formal occasions, most of the tables here are not designated to any particular group— rather, all levels of Ista's population eat together, intermingled across the broad cavern.
Great tapestries have been flung down the walls, orange and black borders remarking upon Ista's heritage, the age-faded hangings depicting scenes of importance to the Weyr— the erruption of the volcano; the first clutch; the view from the star stones, over forest, dark beach, and glistening waves of blue. Propellor-like fans have been affixed to the ceiling in more modern times, cooling the cavern on the hottest of days. Passageways lead up the stairs to the kitchens, down a second flight of stairs to the lower caverns, and out into the expanse of the broad weyr bowl.

Though mid-afternoon finds the Living Caverns relatively devoid of people there is the random small group or individual who wanders through. On their way to somewhere deeper within the caverns of the weyr, or making their way from within towards the bowl. Some simply slip in and out to grab a snack or a drink from the most convenient local. On the other hand, there is one who stands out as actually being there, not simply passing through. That one, Zorya, is found near one wall looking up at one of the tapestries that hangs there. Blue eyes slowly scanning across it's woven surface taking in the detail.

Dryssa always keeps a relatively odd schedule now, thanks to the unusual duties that come with her wing assignment. Hence her occassional appearance in the caverns when there aren't many crowds. She makes her way in from the bowl with a smile on her face, sneaking over to grab herself a nice big mug of fruit juice. As she sips and enjoys relief from the heat, she idly scans the cavern and spots the familiar teenager examining the tapestry. She approaches and waves. "Hi there! Zorya, right?"

It takes a moment for the voice to sink in fully, though when it does the blonde haired girl turns to look over her shoulder towards it. "Hi!" Zorya chirps in return, a smile lighting on her lips as she spots one of the newest green riders of the weyr. "Right, and you're… D-" No don't tell her, she may not have heard it more than once, but she'll get it. "Dryssa!?" the name is recovered from memory, but a hint of question lingers with it.

Dryssa grins brighter and lifts her mug when the girl manages to recall her name. "That's it! Dryssa, rider of green Vyanath. How are you doing, Zorya? I think I saw you chatting with my friend D'son the other day, didn't I? Are you enjoying the weyr?"

Zorya nods, leaving the tapestry behind for intelligent company and conversation. It will be there later. "I think so, yeah." she replies, thinking for a moment as she crosses the cavern to join the girl. "Yeah, when he was introducing me to dragons.." Inimeth, and that meeting having been the first for her. "So far it's been wonderful," she continues on to answer the second of the green rider's questions, "I think I'm finally starting to find my way around that I'm not getting lost all the time." she laughs.

Dryssa takes a seat for herself now that she's managed to get Zorya's attention, giving the girl a friendly smile. "D'son's a nice guy. A little awkward sometimes, especially for a bronzerider, but definitely a nice guy. Very… holdbred, if you know what I mean." She takes a long sip of her fruit juice, then smiles again. "Well, don't be afraid to ask if you need some help! It's what we're here for."

"He seems nice," Zorya agrees, "Mind?" she asks, nodding to indicate a nearby chair, taking a see once Dryssa has confirmed that she doesn't. No, she doesn't quite know what the other girl means, but then she's not going to say it. "Thanks, but it was kinda fun." Not always, not when she had to ask three different people how to get to the springs to meet Zip one day, but still. "Trying to find my way around, it was kinda like a game." she laughs.

Dryssa quickly shakes her head and smiles at Zorya's first question. "Oh, no, please! Take a seat. Company is always welcome. Besides, it's practically my job to be friendly to visitors." She leans back in her seat, smiling brightly. "So what sort of fun things have you done here at Ista so far? How long are you going to be staying?"

L'ton is meandering into the cavern with a child. Now, given that this is L'ton, really the presence of a child should be nothing out of the ordinary. However, the fact that this child is not with the nannies, nor is the toddler familiar looking other than that he is a miniature L'ton, should raise a few red flags. They both, however, are in lightweight clothes as they enter the cavern, Zalyu distracted by the stuffed firelizard in his hands, while L'ton seems to decide that his neice and her companion are the ones to bother.

Niah walks into the living caverns, glancing around anxiously and walking quickly, almost jogging, to the food. Getting herself a little bit of this, but grabbing a glass of juice and putting just a very little bit of wine in the glass. It could easily be missed, her spiking her juice. She is wearing her riding jacket, hair braided from the root and left in two braided pig tails on her back. They make her look much to young to appear nearly six months pregnant. Spotting L'ton with the child she waves, sipping on her spiked juice and saying. "Who is this?"

"So far its been alot of wandering, and getting lost." Zorya replies, with a smile. The majority of her first couple days in fact were spend more or less lost. But that's beside the point. "Met some people, caught up Zipalla." she adds. "At this point it looks like indefinitely." L'ton, being out of sight hadn't yet caught the girl's attention, until Niah's questioning of the child in his arms. "And how have you been doing? Since graduation and all…" she trails off, the blue rider having drawn her gaze to her uncle.

Dryssa grins as she continues her chat with Zorya. "Well, that's great to hear! There are certainly worse places to have an extended stay at Ista. Just let me know if there's anything we can do to help. We try to be a friendly bunch, and all. I've been great! Star Ruby is just a fantastic wing to work with…" She trails off when she spots the arriving riders, waving to both of them. "Hi!"

"Zorya, Dryssa.." L'ton offers in greeting to both of them, having apparently taken note of Dryssa's name at some point during her time as a weyrling, for he's offering her a wide smile. And then he's catching Niah's words. "This, Niah, is Zalyu." And then he's waving her into a seat with them. "Ah went to Xanadu ta take him a present, and Ah came back with him as a present of my own." L'ton is still somewhat confused by the whole thing, honestly, and the 18 month old is left to stare at the three women around him with a bubbly giggle.

Niah is caught off guard, smiling her biggest brightest smile at the little boy, "Oh L'ton, he is perfect. Can I keep him?" She asks breathlessly, like love at first sight. Reaching out her arms for the child she says to L'ton, "Can I hold him?" It seems she is getting a jump on her mothering, sitting down she then looks concerned quietly saying with big eyes, "That is awful, what kind of person would just hand off their baby?" Shaking her head and sipping on her juice, she runs a finger down Zalyu's cheek. Absently she waves to the other two at the table, very distracted around the baby.

"I.. yeah." Zorya replies to Dryssa, having mostly stopped listen and simply watching L'ton until he's taken a seat with them and is introducing the toddler. She understands that completely. "They do that, pawn off the kidlets when you least expect it be they cousins, nieces and nephews or otherwise. He's precious though Ton." she smiles brightly. She's ended up playing babysitter -alot-. "Reminds me of Eykyan when he was that little."

Dryssa is sitting at a table with Zorya, enjoying a mug of juice. It's mid-afternoon on what seems to be an exceptionally hot day at Ista. L'ton and Niah are nearby, along with an adorable eighteen month old child holding L'ton's hand. Dryssa smiles warmly at the kid. "Oh! He's adorable. A relative of yours, right? There's a definite familial resemblance."

L'ton is more than willing to deposit Zalyu in Niah's lap, grinning at her. "Yer welcome to him fer now. Ah mean, eventually Senkyou may come ta get him, but she said she wants his daddy ta get to know him, fer a while." Or, at least that was her excuse, L'ton just went with it. Zalyu continues to giggle and chuckle, leaning to try and grab at Niah's ponytails, as L'ton shakes his head at Zorya, before nodding at Dryssa. "Mah son." He offers with a smile.

Niah takes him readily, cradling him around her stomach and giving his head a soft kiss. "Hello little one." She bounces him slightly, nodding to L'ton and sipping her juice. The food is left alone, and she says to L'ton "Well, he should get to know what a wonderful person you are." She whispers, before lapsing into silence. Looking at Dryssa and Zorya, her shyness coming out and she fidgets slightly and plays with the baby. At the pulling she readily accepts it, allowing him to do what he pleases with her hair and saying. "You are so very cute." To the little one.

Audria slips into the cavern, almost unnoticed, running her fingers through her hair, then idly pushing up her glasses. Making her way to the serving table, she quickly pours herself a mug of klah, then looks around for somewhere to sit. When she notices the small cluster of riders, plus Zorya, she starts to move past them, until she recognizes Dryssa there, and goes over to the young greenrider, whispering something into her ear.

"What?" Zorya asks, "They do…." She's been there! And half expecting her uncle to do the same sooner or later now that he's show up with one of the many children she's heard he has.

Dryssa is a little surprised by the sudden appearance of Audria by her ear, jumping a bit and then giving the nanny a smile. "Well, hi! How're you, Audria? Lovely weather we're having, isn't it?" When the surprise wears off, she smiles back at the others and the kid taking up so much attention. "That would certainly explain it. He's adorable!"

L'ton watches the appearance of the nanny for a moment, tilting his head at the unheard whisper before, shaking his head at Zorya. "Dun worry, Ah ain't gonna stick ya with him." Not that she should have to worry, considering how Niah already seems quite attached. "Ah do have to say he's real cute. Ah mean, look at them curls. And those big ol' eyes." He makes a face at the boy as his nose is grabbed at, before Zalyu wiggles around to look at Dryssa with a smile. "Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiii." Perhaps not quite the right sound to start off the word, but, that /is/ why babies are cute.

Niah giggles at the baby, not relaxing much but bouncing the baby. At Zorya she seems to catch onto the conversation, shaking her head at L'ton. "I insist he comes home with me tonight." she whispers, to him. Giving the baby another small kiss. "Unless, of course Mai wants him." She hugs the baby, and says to Zorya. "I-I'm taking him home." Her tone firm, looking at him and then at Audria. No waving, just awkward amount of staring.

Audria giggles, blushing at the sudden attention from L'ton. She knows his reputation, but hasn't yet managed to connect said reputation to the baby-toting bronzer that's right there in the conversation. "Oh, I'm not going to stop you, Dear. It's up to his daddy there. Believe me, I don't like taking work home with me." She turns to Dryssa, and smiles at her. "It is, and I'm doing wonderfully. How about you?"

Zorya laughs, "Ah don't mind." Though it is nice to know he wasn't planning on it. "Ah'm used to it anyhow." A smile towards the toddler, "I have to agree though, he is cute." And she's not just saying that because he's family. "Will be good practice, huh?" she adds with a bit of a chuckles, turning a smile towards Niah.

Dryssa can't help but grin at the cute greeting she receives from the smiling baby, giving him a little wave of her fingers in return. "Well, hi yourself! You really do looke just like your dad, you know that?" She giggles and looks back at Audria. "I'm doing great! Been a little busy. Vyanath's in a very energetic mood today for some reason."

L'ton arches an eyebrow at Dryssa's words, shaking his head. "Just.. keep an eye on her. And, it might be best fer ya ta not go ta far from the Weyr, just in case." L'ton interjects from where he's still making faces at Zalyu, even as they are now to the boy's back. "Nah, not just like meh. Ah think he's way cuter, Ah mean.." L'ton shrugs a bit, giving Audria a wink across the table before he's resting his hand lightly on Niah's shoulder. "Fine, fine, ya can take him home." One less thing for him to worry about!

Niah raises and eyebrow at Dryssa's comment and shakes her head, paying more attention to the child. She jumps a bit at the hand, relaxing and getting another long drink of her juice, then looking at the food and saying. "You hungry little guy?" Looking over at L'ton she says, "has he been fed?" She strokes his hair, "He could be you when you were small." She comments, thoroughly enjoying the baby in her lap. When he gives her permission she says, "You're going to have to help me get him up to my weyr."

Audria smiles as she watches Niah with the baby, the blushes bright red at the wink from the younger man, and looks down, then turns to Dryssa. "You should keep an eye on her dear. How old is she now?

Dryssa tilts her head and peers at L'ton quizzically, oblivious to what he might be implying. "Huh? Keep her close to the weyr? She's just feeling a little antsy, she isn't sick or anything. I'dve made sure she saw the dragonhealers if I thought she might be ill!" She gives Audria a little smile. "Vyanath? She'll be two in another four months or so. Just graduated, you know."

"Just in case she decides ta go up. Cause, well, we're use ta it, but them holders, not so much." And he's bobbing his head in Zorya's direction, before leaning a bit across the table to Dryssa. "But, Ah know that C'nor told ya, but dun worry when it does happen. Cause, it's gonna be 'kay." And then he shakes his head a bit at Niah, with a grin. "If'n ya say so. And, Ah dun think he has. And, Ah will." Her slew of questions are answered all in one breath, even as he's watching Dryssa for another moment, grinning to himself at Audria's reaction.

Audria nods. "She's about the right age, dear. Has she risen before?" She glances at L'ton, and blushes again.

Dryssa blinks, processing what L'ton said for a moment. "Go up? Already? But… Tejath's the same age, and she hasn't gone up yet. How'm I supposed to know if that's what she's up to?" Dryssa seems almost suspicious for a bit, pondering everything. "Well, uhm, no, she hasn't. I didn't think she was getting old enough!"

"Ah've been wondering when yer group would start. Usually there's at least one that decides to take off before they even graduate." L'ton explains for Dryssa's benefit, shaking his head and keeping an eye on Niah and the toddler in her lap, before looking back to Dryssa. "Most of ya'll seem ta want ta get outside, right before it happens, like, ya dun wanna be crowded but ya do. But, Ah ain't sure, cause well, Dhon ain't no green." He winks at the young, uncertain rider, while Audria is the recipient of a toothy grin as he leans back in his chair, running his hand through his hair.

A hurried Tellus strides in to the cavern and heads towards the serving table, "Right, yes…okay..Look, I…I'll be there." She just rolls her eyes as she continues to chat it up in to that annoying little communications device she's always got on hand. "Okay, alright. Good bye. S…Goodbye." Click, she closes the device and puts it away.

Audria goes an even brighter pink when she notices L'ton's latest look, and tries to find something else to busy herself with. She looks around, and spots a new arrival, smiling shyly at the minecrafter

Dryssa starts to look a little worried as she mulls over the possibilities. "Well… I guess I knew it'd happen sooner or later. Huh. Anything that I should… you know… do to prepare? Or something?" That whole lecture apparently went in one ear and out the other. After catching Audria's look, she looks over and spots Tellus. She grins brightly and waves. "Tellus! Hi!"

"Ah guess Ah'd try and like, make sure that ya ain't stuck anywhere with someone ya dun like. And try and keep an eye on her.. if'n she seems real antsy, it could be a sign, and ya may want ta make sure ya ain't with all the Holders, ya know?" He shrugs a bit, letting his gaze wander from Audria when she gets distracted, simply nodding his head to Tellus.

Zorya just sits and looks between the four of them. Confused? Very much so. She turns a questioning gaze on her uncle. Explain? Someone, please. There really is alot more to know than she ever thought possible.

Tellus's glance sweeps past Audria, to whom she smiles back, then to the reason she's even distracted, "Hey there Dryssa." Well she feels that eyes are upon her, "What? If you're talking mating flights, don't look at me, Tesk isn't about to go chasing no dragon." Of course the imagery would be like a chuaua mating with a great dane.

Audria blushes, then remembers something, as she checks her watch. "Oh my! I need to go, get the kids ready for dinner." She leans over and whispers to Dryssa.

Dryssa offers Audria a slightly embarassed little smile. "Yeah, see you later." She then looks to those remaining, sighing and leaning on the table, propping her chin up in her hand. "L'ton thinks that maybe Vyanath is going to go up soon." She says by way of explanation to both Tellus and L'ton.

L'ton nods, letting that be his echo of Dryssa's words. But then, his eyes are widening slightly, and he's shaking his head, excusing himself. "Ah.. Ah gotta run. Dryssa, g'luck, and Niah, ya take good care of him. If'n ya check with the nannies, Ah'm sure they have a pouch to help ya get him up there. And Zorya, stay out of trouble." His instructions are tossed over his shoulder at them before he's headed at a sprint for the bowl.

Zorya ohs. Not that she understands the explanation given too well, but she'll ask Zip about it later or some such. And just what makes him think she's going to get into trouble? "Can let me know too, Niah." she offers, sending a soft smile in her direction. For as much of a fuss as she'd probably put up if L'ton tried to leave on of them with her, she will lend a hand if asked. "Looked after plenty back home."

Tellus puts a single hand on her hip, "There's one in every crowd Dryssa. You'll be the last to know what's going on, from what I recall." She looks around sheepishly, "Well if you all would excuse me, I've got a mess to take care of back at the crafthall."

Dryssa gives Tellus a little nervous smile and a wave. "Alright… come see me later though, alright Tellus? It feels like we haven't spent any time together in a really long while! And… I could use a friend, with this going on." She admits with a touch of embarassment, glancing to Zorya again. "… That's right. You're holdbred, aren't you?"

Zorya nods, hesitating in the action. "Yeah…" Good, bad or indifferent she's not sure, but yes, she was holdbred. A quick waves goes to Tellus as she departs even though she has yet to officially meet her.

Tellus quickly grabs the most convenient thing to eat; a porcine shishkabob. She then wends her way to Dryssa, "Certainly Dryssa, most certainly. Have your Vyanath contact Tesk should you need me right. Shan't be long then." And with that, before actually departing, leans close to Dryssa and kisses her smartly on the lips. After that, she pulls away, "Hopefully then?" And with that she skips out giggling giddily. A Kiss-And-Run!

Dryssa is a little surprised by the display of affection from Tellus, but overcomes her surprise to manage a smile and wave goodbye. "Sounds good. Good luck with your work!" She watches the minecrafter skip out before she looks back over at Zorya, smiling with a touch of embarassment. "So you must be quite confused then, huh?"

Zorya watches the display half way between shock and confusion with a shot of disgust before the miner is gone and green rider asks the question. A blink and slight shake of her head to clear her thoughts and the girl replies with a bit of a nod. "You have no idea."

Dryssa continues to look rather embarassed, a slight red flush appearing on her cheeks. "Huh. Well, I've never had to actually… explain how things work like this to somebody, but I suppose if you're going to stay here for any length of time… uhm… how to put this…" She glances over at the serving tables. "Well, basically, what everyone's worried about is that it might be time for Vyanath to mate."

Zorya ohs. Well that just makes everything perfectly clear. Well, more so at least. That is something she knows about, maybe not in the context of dragons, but come on… the family raises ovines. She knows about that stuff. "I guess that makes sense then." Kinda, sorta maybe?

Dryssa smiles just a bit, glad to be making some sort of progress here. It's still an awkward topic. "Great. And, well… y'know how dragons and their riders have a mental bond? Well, it kinda… has effects on people when that happens. Do you understand?"

Zorya nods slowly as Dryssa continues her explanation. "Yeah… But what does that..? Oh." She starts to ask, but then the green rider has answered it already. "Oh." What exactly it all means, that's another story. But the concept makes sense. That's progress!

"Yeah. Exactly." Dryssa says sheepishly, not exactly wanting to get into any dirty details at the moment. She resumes her slightly worried look from earlier. "So you can see why I might be a little anxious right now."

Right about that point a small herd of children stampede through the caverns, most of them making their way directly to the low tables set aside for them. They're accompanied by a group of four nannies, one of whom happens to be a fairly harried looking Audria. Once the kids are settled in, she checks with one of the other nannies, and, satisfied that the kids are under control, makes her way back over to Dryssa.

"I guess I can see where it would be." Zorya agrees, not that she knows any more about it that what Dryssa just told he, but from what she does she can draw some of her own conclusions. "I'm sure it'll be alright." she says, offering the girl a bit of a smile.

"Thanks." Dryssa says, smiling back at Zorya when she offers reassurance. "I mean, I knew this was coming… I just don't normally sleep with just anyone at random though, know what I mean? It's a little unsettling." When the kids flood the cavern again, Dryssa spots Audria and gives her a smile and wave. "Welcome back."

Audria smiles at Dryssa as she returns. "Thanks, dear." She leans over, and whispers something in the younger woman's ear, then grins to Zorya. "I don't believe we've met.

Zorya nods. "Yeah, well…" she lets a bit of a sigh escape as she replies to the green rider, "Sometimes we don't get a choice what we do." But then she's turning a smile back on Audria and she shakes her head. "No, Ah don't believe we have. Ah'm Zorya, Pallaton's niece." she offers up the introduction.

Audria smiles, blushing slightly. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Audria, a friend of Dryssa's.

Dryssa smiles and says something back to Audria in a hushed voice before she looks back at Zorya, her nervousness returning. "I suppose you've got a point there… it's part of weyr life and all. I just have to toughen up and deal with it."

"Nice to meet you as well." the teen replies, smile continuing to play across her lips. "Well that's not," Zorya starts at the green rider's comment. Not exactly what she meant, is what she was going to say, but as it seems to work for Dryssa she'll just leave it at that

Audria whispers something in Dryssa's ear, giggling, then settles down in a spare chair, next to the greenrider. She sips at the mug of water that she was carrying, not saying anything, just listening.

Dryssa looks over at Zorya and arches an eyebrow at that last bit, now uncertain yet again. "Huh? Sorry… maybe I'm not thinking clearly about this whole thing." She pauses for a moment. "Maybe I should just get some rum until this passes." Yes, there's a constructive solution.

Zorya shakes her head. "Never mind. I'm sorry Dryssa, I'm just trying to help, but really…" Really she's just very far out of her element here.

Audria puts her hand on Dryssa's shoulder. "You'll be fine dear. Trust me." She whispers something into the greenrider's ear again, smiling as she does.

Dryssa gives another slightly embarrassed smile to both Zorya and Audria, sinking into her chair a little. "Well, thank you both for the kind words… this is all probably very premature! I don't even know if Vyanath is actually going up yet. All I said was she's feeling a little energetic."

Zorya nods. "Everything usually finds a way to work out for the best." she offers, moving to her feet. "It was nice seeing you again Dryssa," she gives the girl a slight nod, a second going to Audria, "Meeting you. I should probably be going though. Was supposed to meet Zip later and I'm probably late."

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