The following is a log of roleplay on Threadfall MUSH, logged by Z'vind.
All references to the world and characters of Pern™ based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are copyrightę 1967 by Anne McCaffrey, all rights reserved. The Dragonriders of Pern« is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey and used here with permission.

Jalani hmms. "I had better be checking on our little dinner." An evil little grin crosses the rider's lips. When she speaks again, her voice comes out in a hoarse little whisper. "I expect you all there, dressed and pressed and eager to learn on time." She blinks, wide-eyed, pointing to her throat. "Shards!"

J'sen blinks and eyes his assistant. "Jalani? You alright?" he asks with a bit of concern.

Jalani clears her throat and smiles ever so charmingly. "Fine." She blinks and winces as her voice cracks again. "Oh shards!"

Z'vind strides in, slowly, just in time to catch the last exchanges. He slips in a knife-edged grin, juxtaposing himself between one weyrling and another, looking towards the weyrlingmasters. Innocently. "Is something wrong?"

Jalani gestures to her throat and looks panicked. "I can't...." She swallows yet again. "Speak more than a whisper."

Vesta looks at the greenrider in the woohoo! dress and hmms, concern marring her features. She slips out of the couch, followed closely by Nimoth, who pauses to croon at Genevrath in greeting.

Kassandra looks at Jalani, and worry coats her expression. "That's bad," she murmurs to herself. "I thought you were teaching the lesson, Assistant Weyrlingmaster," she asks after a second.

One last stroke, and the pot's replaced so that Cymber can wipe off her hands before moving off to rummage around for her just-cleaned and fresh-pressed uniform. The thing's tossed across her cot though, and she steps forward, studying Jalani with her lips pursed. "Does it hurt, Assistant Weyrlingmaster?" Genevrath is not one to ever miss a greeting, especially when it can be taken as admiration of her newly-oiled self, and from such a handsome.. dragon. She croons right back, eyes awhirl at Nimoth.

Jalani nods, thinking quickly, darting her eyes around the room and centering them on Kassandra. She gestures royally in the weyrlings direction. With a pointing finger, she croaks out. "You! You lead it!"

J'nah is sitting on the edge of his cot, shining his old boots, the boots look out of place with the rest of his apparel, which consists of a newly washed and pressed white tunic, and crisp black trousers. The knot on his shoulder is clean and straight, and his hair is even kept. Those old boots are finally starting to show some of their old shine, but the cause seems to be hopeless.

Belena halts her chop-dancing and looks with concern at the AWLM and then follows her pointing finger to Kassandra, "Oh yes, Kass, you could do it, I know you could!"

Jalani clears her throat and with the last of her voice she croaks once again. "You got the training after all."

Kassandra's jaw would hit the floor if it weren't firmly attached to the rest of her head. "M...Me?" she squeaks out, eyes wide. "I'm just a weyrling! Shouldn't the Weyrlingmaster do it?"

Jalani gestures to J'sen and snorts slightly but does manage to keep a semi straight face. Hah!

D'kar is over by Marcath right now, on his knees again and still trying to measure the beast. It's not something he's completely gotten the hang of, even if the young bronze is a model...well..model, not moving overmuch, and angling his body just so.

Z'vind shakes his head. "No, it's not that and you can't help," he chides impatiently, dark head a-tilt on his lifemate's umber one. But Kealath's distracted too, by other happenings-- the brown neck swivels to croon greetings to the dragons present. Genevrath, Nimoth, oh yes. Nothing's one option for Zar.

J'sen smirks. "Not likely. Besides, I've to meet with Ceralise later to go over some new dragonhealing techniques. I don't have the time. And Jalani's right, Kassandra, you /do/ have the requirements."

Cymber's still watching Jalani, but as she doesn't much appear to be in pain, the girl doesn't interpose the question again. Instead, she flashes a quick grin to Kassandra and nods, eyes darting back as her emerald-hued lifemate takes note of even more appreciative attentions, in her estimation at least. The same supple croon is extended to Kealath in greeting.

Vesta blinks at Jalani and purses her lips, and then watches Kassandra get picked as the new Hostess d' Manners Lesson, and chuckles softly to herself. Nimoth, meanwhile, returns the croon with a lower one and then moves off again with his lifemate.

Kassandra manages to shut her jaw, and nods, her expression receding into something more calm. "All right, Weyrlingmaster, Assistant. I'll do it." She looks down at her uniform for a second. "Should I change?"

Marit strides in from the Bowl, humming softly, if rather off key. A swift nod is given to Jalani and the Weyrlingmaster, a slighter smile for the Weyrlings. "Protocol and manners lesson, hmm?"

Jalani shrugs and gestures out to the bowl. She shakes her head at Kassandra and again that painfully squeaky voice, oh the horror! "No time.. no time." Gathering her skirts she heads out to the bowl

You head out beneath the arched exit to arrive in the bowl.

Southern Bowl - Ista Weyr
    Spread out along the larger end of the caldera, this end of the bowl is significantly larger than that which lies just beyond the small inlet of two feet of craggy mountains that creep down to form an incomplete partition. The walls of the ancient volcano, long-since slumbering inactive, spread upward with sheer cliffaces that reach into the sky, their outlines reminiscent of four pointed fingers and a thumb. Activity bustles in this area at nearly all hours of the day with dragons or people coming and going throughout the bowl on various errands.
    Tucked into the southernmost wall are the living caverns, the gaping tunnel that leads within illuminated by the glowbaskets set within; just beside this is a larger entrance that leads to the dragon infirmary. The Hatching grounds are found in this area, with a tunnel a ground level just large enough to allow passage for an egg-heavy Queen and a larger, gaping entrance in the side of the mountain for draconic spectators to enter. Numerous weyrs dot the mountainside and the ground in this area, some darkened and some illuminated from within.

Several long tables have been set up near the entrance to the living cavern. Pristine, crisp white linens that drape the tables flap gently in the breeze. Sparkling glassware and a dizzying array of cutlery are arranged at each place setting. Napkins have been folded into artistic fans. Baskets covered with crisp snowy white napkins nestle freshly baked bread rolls. Fresh flower arrangements add that finishing touch. Glow stands have been set around to provide intimate lighting as the sun begins to set. Harpers provide soft muted dinner music, spelling each other off during the evening. Fresh squeezed redfruit juice, tea, klah, water are the choices of beverages. Wine is available for non weyrlings.

Belena dashes from the weyr, hair wet but uniform clean!

Z'vind does the hurrying act, boots pattering on hard stone. Out, over, and he gets there, near the spot where the others appear to be gathering; he goes on shuffling sparkling boots there, restlessly.

Jalani is busily scratching notes on a hide, pursing her lovely lips into a pose that really doesn't act as an accent to her lovely gown. She sighs, tapping her toes, gesturing weyrlings to not to sit yet .

Jalani passes Kassandra a note.

Vesta comes out of the narrow tunnel from the living caverns.

Serriena stands about admiring the tables set nicely. "Good evening," she greets as each person enters the area with a nod to them.

Cymber slides into view, quicker than usual, but not hurrying, smoothing down the hem of her tunic as she comes to a halt somewhere near Vesta and D'kar, attentive to Jalani after flashing her friends a smile.

Aiareth heads over from the far end of the bowl.

Dragon> Meriath bespoke Ista Weyrling dragons with << You are welcome to come as well >>

Dragon> Meriath bespoke Ista Weyrling dragons with << My lifemate thought that we could watch to see what these crazy humans do. I am always curious why she dresses up that way. >>

Dragon> Myrdith bespoke Ista Weyrling dragons with << Yes, they do look odd. >>

Kassandra comes in, one hand on J'sen's arm, her dignity a little at odds with the twinkle in her eyes. "Thank you, Weyrlingmaster," she says, releasing his arm and curtseying. "Most kind of you." Jalani's note is intercepted and read quickly, and then refolded. "Ladies and gentlemen, please select a seat at the tables, but do not sit until the Weyrwoman appears, as courtesy dictates. I am informed that Weyrwoman Alyssa expects that not one drop of food or drink should end up anywhere other than in your mouth."

Marcath emerges out into the bowl, moving with infinitely more grace than in the past; apparently, the young bronze is getting used to his rapidly-growing frame, and has learned to account for being bigger one day than he was before, quite literally. And if dragons could be said to wear a calm, bemused expression, well then, Marcath does indeed. He zeroes his gaze in on D'kar, sniffs in his direction, before deciding that all is well, and moving to find a comfortable spot to lay himself and observe the humans

J'sen steps back shaking his head, glancing at the pristinely set table with frank amusement. "Good luck," he chuckles, setting himself back to watch.

Vesta grins happily as the dragons make there way over, "Oh wonderful." She nods at Kassandra then and goes to stand behind a seat near the end of the tables. Nimoth does his best to find a quiet spot close behind her chair and curls up, rumblecrooning softly.

Myrdith goes and finds an empty spot and parks his blue hulk down to examine the activities.

Z'vind glances at Kealath's arrival with slight ire in the greying eyes. "Ahh," is all he says for the moment, for there's a place empty and it's his. He claims chair and seat, arms draped over back.

Assuming as much of a formal air as she possesses, Cymber follows Vesta over to the table and takes up the chair to her friend's right, lending a tiny smile before settling in to wait there. A single glance comes, her eyes meeting those of her lifemate as the delicate, Genevrath moves her lovely self into view. Close enough to observe, and yet not close enough to get in the way, she settles down in a position unconsciously designed to best show the arch of her neck and the coiling of her tail.

Aiareth checks to see that her Belena is okay. When she is satisfied, she moves to settle her 'little' frame with the other weyrling dragons.

J'nah picks his way through the crowd and stands in-between a short green rider and a brown rider, then looks nervously at the table settings.

Servers mingle amongst the candidates with sparkling glasses of ruby red redfruit juice and artistically arranged tidbits such as cheese on crackers, smoked fish wrapped with rice in a seaweed roll and fancy cut vegetables with dip.

D'kar seats himself to Cymber's right, glancing over to Marcath, slightly surprised that his lifemate has come out to watch him. Strangely, that makes him if he wants to do the dragon proud, and his posture in the chair even straightens a bit as he looks forward again.,

Vesta snags a glass of juice and a seaweed roll as the servers move past her seat, sipping delicately at the juice and considering it with a grin.

Given leave to sit, Serriena hesitates only a moment glancing at the dragons congregating near their riders. She moves to D'kar's other side and asks, "Is it alright if I sit here?"

Belena takes a deep, calming breath and then heads into the crowd looking for a seat to stand behind until the Weyrwoman's arrival. Ah! There is one, right near Cymber. She moves next to her fellow greenrider, "Is this seat taken?"

"Of course, my friend," says D'kar, his voice a pleasant baritone which has, in recent weeks, begun a gradual descent to the basso which will be his destiny.

Kassandra smiles, as the servers begin to mingle. "When accepting an appetizer, select only one at a time, and eat it neatly," she says, pitching her voice clearly. "Ah, Weyrwoman. You honor us with your presence," she smiles, curtseying deeply. "Will the Weyrleader also be gracing our gathering tonight?"

Jalani croaks a squeaky greeting to Alyssa. "Good evening, Weyrwoman. You look lovely."

So it's probably not entirely appropriate to be tardy for things like this, but Alyssa probably has a reasonably good excuse. Just don't ask her what it is. Returning Kassandra's curtsey in turn, "Would that I had a proper answer for you, Weyrling, but I fear I have not been able to locate the Weyrleader this evening. I bear his duties nonetheless." Read: I'm glad I haven't seen the jerk and hope he doesn't show up. Smile.

Resplendent in soft shades of silver and scarlet, there is an almost ethereal appearance to the dark prettiness of Ista's Weyrwoman. Her dark curls have been caught and swept up from the line of her neck, held into a mingling of softly twined braids so that the ringlets cascade from a filigreed silver clip along, a few smaller locks allowed to brush against shoulders and cheeks where they twine and curl with satiny ribbons that drape from the elaborate dress of her hair. Dark eyes and warm complexion are heightened by the choice of shades employed in her gown, spun from the finest of gossamer sisal and stitched by nothing less than the Master Weaver himself, every line perfectly flattering to the slow curves of her soft form.
Silvery gauze creates the flowing moonlight of this gown, the straps thin to reveal the soft protrusions of collarbones and the roundness of her limbs - for she is no tiny, frail, thin thing but a supple creature with a pleasant plumpness. A sweeping line traced in fiery crimson embroidery dances along the edge of the sleeves and the scoop of the neckline, the same dancing hue that dominates the thin cord of a braided sisal belt that hangs low on her hips. From there, the skirt dances outward in a misty array of thin layers, silver over scarlet over silver over scarlet so that it glimmers with soft folds of moonlight with each bare movement and shimmers into glittering life as small feet, slippered in matching crimson, keep up her measured strides.

Cymber's smile is friendly as she shakes her head, glancing toward the empty seat between she and Vesta. "It isn't now," is her reply as she inches over to give the other young lady some room. That's when Kass speaks, and her attention is glued to another face for all the time it takes Alyssa's presence to be made known. She's torn between salute and curtsy, but eventually follows the instructor's example and does the former, offering a polite, and probably unheard, "Good evening, Weyrwoman," from within a pleasant smile.

Not to be outdone, Kealath situates himself with large-boned poise, streaks of earth dashed through his upturned ridges, swivelling headknobs that move with him; angle for the best position. Z'vind, in contrast, is avidly looking down the rows at the pretty greenrider beside J'nah. And there's Jalani, of course.

Nodding, Serriena stands next to the chair looking as if she is waiting for something. A boy near her age comes by and pulls out the chair for her. She smiles a thanks to him and sits down into the chair. He pushes it forward for her then claims a chair of his own. Craning her neck to see what's going on, Serriena spots Alyssa and says, "Good evening Weyrwoman." in chorus to others.

A nervous server comes up to Jalani and whispers in her ear. They dash back into the kitchen.

Jalani whispers in Alyssa's ear. The poor woman, hearing that voice. She mutters to Alyssa, "... servers say... for us to... They... you..."

Alyssa senses "Jalani whispers in Alyssa's ear. The poor woman, hearing that voice. "The servers say they are ready and wish for us to be seated. They are waiting for you to sit.""

J'nah performs a slight bow and nods at Alyssa, "Good evening Weyrwoman."

Belena nods her head and whispers, "Thank you," to

Kassandra nods pleasantly at Alyssa. "Your presence shall be enough for us tonight, then." She directs the Weyrwoman to one of the seats at the head table before raising her voice to the crowd. "Please, all of you who are observing, this dinner is for everyone, not just the Weyrlings. Feel free to join us and brush up on your etiquette." A gentle smile curves her lips.

"Greetings, Weyrwoman," intones D'kar politely, saluting the woman smoothly, before he returns his attention back to Jalani.

Jalani is starting to get a case of the giggles, realizing the true silliness of this whole venture. Her with laryngitis.

Alyssa, who absently ties up a loose ribbon and returns nods and good evenings and such as she moves to the table, tilts her voice to return words toward the greenrider. She mutters to Jalani, "That kind of... is... voice?" She proceeds to seat herself graciously with another smile to Kassandra and folds her hands tidily before her. "Thank you."

You sense Alyssa, who absently ties up a loose ribbon and returns nods and good evenings and such as she moves to the table, tilts her voice to return words toward the greenrider. "That kind of formal is it? And whatever happened to your voice?" She proceeds to seat herself graciously with another smile to Kassandra and folds her hands tidily before her. "Thank you."

Vesta gives the Weyrwoman her best curtsey and smiles, "Evening, Weyrwoman." She begins nibbling at her seaweed roll then after a smile at Belena. Finishing that neatly, she sips at her juice again, awaiting more instructions from her fellow Weyrling and her croaking assistant weyrlingmaster.

Belena watches Kassandra for the cue to sit down. As a server passes, she delicately selects a single seaweed roll and begins to nibble at it with seeming expertise. Well, she /was/ engaged to a Lord Holder's son, was she not?

Jalani shrugs and croaks as she sits close to the weyrwoman. "Stubborn weyrlings...had to scream."

J'nah nods at a server and takes a nice stuffed bedroll from the platter, and nibbles on the corner, then glances first at the Weyrwoman, then Jalani, then Kassandra.

Enlightenment dawns as Alyssa glances down the line of 'her' long table, nodding satisfactorily at the whole layout. "They have made a very nice spread of things." She looks just a touch sympathetic at Jalani, tilting half of a frown as she attempts to smooth her skirts 'neath the table. "I do hope you're seeing a Healer about it," she says, and then directs her attention toward the 'lessoning'.

Z'vind takes his slice, and what d'you know, it's the unusual patch of greens he selects. Kneading the piece slowly, he sweeps deliberate glances across the bowl: one for Kealath, one for the examples he's supposed to emulate. A smirk, and he turns to check on the blue 'ling by his side: J'nah.

Ah...there they are. The appetizers. Restraining himself without -looking- like he is having to restrain himself, D'kar takes but one, smiling faintly to the man before he turns back to the others, awaiting the next cue.

Jalani nods to Kassandra to announce the first course after smiling charmingly to T'rrent and giving a vague gesture to her throat.

"And a very good evening to you as well, Weyrleader," Kassandra says, dropping another curtsey as T'rrent puts in an appearance. "Would you care to seat yourself next to Weyrwoman Alyssa?" She raises her voice. "You may all be seated. The appetizer course is your choice of either pea soup or spiderclaw salad. Tell the servers which one you would like to have."

Servers come through the crowded rows of the tables, taking orders from the occupants. They all seem to have an amused look on their faces and some can be heard to mutter. "They expect them to keep clean with what's comin?"

J'sen seems to be undecided as to whether to participate or simply watch, but the smell of food seems to decide him. He pulls out chair across from T'rrent at Kassandra's cue, grinning as if this is all quite the game.

Seeing as this is a lesson in etiquette, Alyssa won't vocalize the thoughts that must pass her mind when she crinkles her nose just lightly, glancing after T'rrent's arrival to pay him the requisite dip of her forehead. And she was so looking forward to enjoying herself...

Enter: the Weyrleader, hands shoves in his pockets as per his usual. Granted, he's not dressed as he usually is. Shorts and tunic have been replaced by gather finery the likes of which his player is too likely to describe, presently. Rest assured, though, that it's quite nice looking. He nods to Jalani at her gesture, and then to Hostess Kassandra, before uttering a soft, "Thank you," and seating himself where directed.

Vesta sighs softly and gives the closest server her order and then steps around her chair to be seated. She smiles across the table at another brownrider and sets her juice glass on the table in front of her. Then her gaze returns to Kassandra.

Cymber glances to those about her, widening the faint line of the smile that seems bent on remaining tonight as her eyes touch on Serriena's presence. The chair in front of her's already half pulled out, and she just sways around it and settles down, pausing to murmur her own selection as one of those serving waits at her elbow.

Belena sits down with learned grace and waits patiently for the server to reach her seat, "I would like to try the Spiderclaw, please," she requests. She glances around to see what her fellow weyrlings are ordering and then her eyes drift back to Kass.

J'nah helps the green rider beside him push her chair in, then seats his long frame into his awaiting chair.

D'kar seats himself with a smooth grace that may not be terribly surprising to those who know him, and may be surprising to the same people at the same time. The young man has obviously picked up, through perception or actual instruction, at least a few points of etiquette. He has eaten his appetizer with minimal fuss and no mess, and now sits with his hands laced placidly in his lap.

Shockingly Good Pea Soup A creamy pea soup with tender tidbits of smoked and salted porcine generously peppered with an army of southern spices, yet with an undertone of more delicate flavors. The stew is served piping hot in a tiny bowl made of thick sourdough bread and the initial taste can be shockingly good!
Spiderclaw Salad Fresh whole spiderclaws directly from our very own shores. These tasty shelled critters have been taken directly from the boats and steamed to perfection. Weighing approximately a half of a pound each, when placed over a bed of lettuce and served with a side of thick melted butter, these spiderclaws make a delectable appetizer. Be sure to wear a bib when cracking these sea creatures open...they squirt!

Note that Alyssa scoots her chair very slightly away from the table (and T'rrent) as the Weyrleader settles into his own seat. Whether this is to be helpful and give him plenty of room or to be spiteful and give him plenty of room goes without saying. Anyway and either way, she looks cordial enough though is having some trouble keeping ribbons out of her soup.

Z'vind frowns, then gives some consideration to the server's question. "Can we decline a course?" he wonders, easing deeper into his chair and digging a 'nail into the table. "Though I might have the pea," is told to the man.

Kassandra slips gracefully into a chair at the head table--which is raised a bit, for better viewing--and orders something from a server. Shortly thereafter, the young man reappears with a salad. "It's rather impolite," she informs Z'vind with a faint smile.

Jalani keeps her sharp eyes on the candidates, her gaze looking more at their shirts than anything else. A sweet satisfied smile crosses her lips. Clean so far.

"I shall have the Spiderclaw Salad please," Serriena tells the server who offers to her. "Please?" she asks. Turning to D'kar, Cymber and Vesta who are to her side she says, "I do not care for peas."

Belena waits patiently for everyone to receive their appetizer, hands over napkin and both in lap.

Vesta smiles happily as the spiderclaw salad is placed in front of her and she considers the spiderclaw for several moments, looks down at her tunic. She immediately snaps out her napkin and tucks it into her neckline. She nods solemnly at Serri just then, obviously in agreement. A soft warble from behind Vesta is met with a giggle and, "Not now love. I'll explain peas later."

Z'vind sniffs, lowering his eyes for a split second before he's looking up and nodding briskly to Kassandra. "Knew that--" but the appetizer comes just then, and he sinks into it, with soft scoops of spoon from bowl to mouth. "Delectable. Remind me to compliment the chef." Not that he ever would.

T'rrent offers a smile to Alyssa for her oh-so-polite behavior, then goes about considering his options carefully. After a couple of seconds, he responds to the server with, "I would like the Spiderclaw Salad, please. And a glass of Benden Red. Thank you." And he tilts a grateful smile up at the aforementioned server.

Jalani tsk tsks as she notes one weyrling dig into her soup without waiting for the rest of the table to be served. She scribbles something down on a hide.

Kassandra clears her throat again. "For those of you with the soup--sip from the side of your spoon, and please don't slurp. Finish about two-thirds of the soup before starting to eat the bread bowl. Cut small pieces from the bowl with your bread knife-" she indicates the sharp serrated knife on the bread plate "-and dip them in the remaining soup. For those of you with the salad--tuck your napkin into your shirt, like so." She demonstrates with her own. "Shell crackers are provided. Eat the spiderclaw meat with your fish fork," she taps the outermost fork by the plate.

J'sen just laughs at the first offering, tsking faintly at Jalani. "Mean, mean weyrlingmaster," he chuckles, signaling his choice of the spiderclaw with a smirk.

Cymber's requested the soup, and the same person that took that request now returns with its fulfillment. The young lady eyes the first course thoughtfully, glancing to those around her, who seem to have chosen the salad instead. "I like peas," she leans forward to look around the enigmatic D'kar and tilts the edge of her lips up for Serri.

J'nah examines the choices before him, then nods at the bowl of pea soup and graciously takes it from the server and sets it before him, taking in the rich aroma.

Jalani smiles ever so charmingly at J'sen, then turns to listen to Kassandra. She daintily spoons her soup, you would never know it was the same girl who gulps her klah back in a single gulp.

As the server comes to him, D'kar offers the man a charming smile. "I'll have one of everything," he intones, that smile almost becoming a grin, for nothing about manners says that humor is expressly forbid, "I rather find it difficult to not like anything on the menu for tonight. But seriously.." he looks across the table, and decides to make this an actual lesson by asking a question. He might be understated, but not shy. "And the general rule on ordering appetizers...just one, I would assume?"

Alyssa comments as an aside to Jalani upon noting the scribbling, "You know, I can scarcely recall ever having been to anything so formal as this except as a weyrling when they tried to teach us manners." It's pitched low enough that it's not likely to go much farther than her end of the table, and is punctuated by her fingers idly rearranging her napkin in her lap.

Kassandra looks over to D'kar, and nods politely. "Yes, please select only one. It's polite to wait until everyone has finished their appetizer before going on to the main course, and two would hold up the entire meal." She says it with a smile, though, before deftly cracking a spiderclaw and delicately forking out the meat.

Jalani grins, nodding agreement with Alyssa. She shrugs philosophically but does keep her list of slip ups beside her plate.

T'rrent's lips curl into an amused grin at Kassandra's instructions, but he does do as he's told. The salad is brought to him soon enough and he eyes that fish fork. He waits for everyone else to be served, though, chuckling at Alyssa's remark in the mean time. "Funny you mention that. I seem to recall the same," he returns in the same mumbled voice.

She tucks the napkin into the neckline of her peach dress. "I feel silly," Serriena looks with dismay at the napkin tucked into the dress. Turning and looking at Kassandra she asks, "Is it not possible to place it in your lap when eating the salad if you are super careful?"

Z'vind's manners are skewed at best, as is his spoon. He rests it for a while on the plate's side as the cornflower-eyed 'ling on his other side sends a prodding finger to his waist. "Psst." -- "What is that, sir? ... No, it's not that. Oh, really." Et cetera.

Belena affixes her napkin to her neck and takes the shell cracker in her right hand and, using her fish fork, she steadies the spiderclaw on her plate. Taking a claw, she gently cracks the shell ever so slightly, repositions the crackers and the squeezes again, creating another crack.

Kassandra chuckles at Serriena. "Spiderclaws squirt," she says, a little less formally. "They aren't terribly careful about where they squirt either. You don't want spiderclaw squirtage on your dress."

Vesta smiles and picks up the shell cracker in front of her plate and begins cracking the shell with no little expertise. Helps coming from a sea background in such cases, and amazingly, her napkin escapes mostly unscathed...except for on splatter that resulted from not her spiderclaw, but the one of the brownrider across the table. She closes her eyes and chortles before picking up her fish fork.

Here is where Alyssa would normally say something brisk to the Weyrleader, but refrains in favor of a mild smile. "I suppose it's good for them to learn anyway." She glances down the length of the table toward Z'vind before adding, "Though I do believe some might never learn properly." Smirk.

J'nah takes his soup spoon, a terribly tiny thing as spoons go, an dips it into the soup. He takes a spoonful and hovers over the bowl, letting any excess drain off, then sips lightly from the side of the spoon, luckily not to noisily.

Cymber's lifted her spoon, but pauses with her first taste of the soup left suspended between the bowl and her lips. Her eyes aim themselves in wry amusement to the man at her side, "Just one, D'kar." That's whispered before she goes back to following instructions, and begins to eat with an almost over exaggerated caution and attention to everything she does.

"Oh," Serriena nods considering this. "I shall be extra super careful then." She picks up her outermost fork and lightly taps one of the spiderclaws. Of course such a light tap does nothing against the shell.
"In that case, I'll have the salad, thank you," says D'kar, allowing the fellow to go on to the others.

Belena giggles and comes to Serri's aide, "You have to use the shell crackers, like this," The former kitchen hand demonstrates for her friend by cleanly cracking the second claw and pulling out the meat. "And then you dip it." Into the butter goes the spiderclaw and delicately, Bel places it on her tongue.

J'sen is really tempted to pull out his belt knife and go to, but for the sake of propriety, he manages to remove the meat from the spiderclaw's shell with little fuss. But it would be so fun to watch liquified 'claw guts spurt across the table onto the Weyrleader. Sigh. The things he does for the sake of his weyrlings.

T'rrent nods in agreement with the Weyrwoman - see? Even /they/ can get along sometimes - and goes about cracking the spiderclaws with the supplied tools. Oh, he'd probably prefer to cut the little suckers in two with his beltknife, too, J'sen... But he refrains from doing so, using that tiny little fork instead.

Jalani continues to sip at her soup. The greenrider tests her voice. "Ahem.." She beams. Not to bad. She opens her mouth to make some suitably teasing remark to J'sen but ends up blinking with wide-eyes as -NOTHING- comes out.

"Oh!" This seems to be a popular word with her tonight. Serriena picks up her shell cracker and pulls the handles apart. Nothing happens. "These are broken," she eyes the culinary tool.

Alyssa's eating, albeit slowly so as not to finish the soup before the next course might arrive. "I daresay if we had to eat like this every night, we should all starve before too long," she comments, apparently to the soup itself which likewise merits a quiet laugh.

Z'vind would say that he knows everything, or his 'mate would, but the expression is deferred for one of brow scrunching distaste at the searing soup. The wrong side of the spoon is tilted and reeled into place from tongue to teeth, and he utters one short, polite, "ouch." A glance to stout weyrling, another to J'nah. No, don't look.

Dragon> Meriath bespoke Ista Weyr dragons with << My, They do eat strangely. Why all the fuss? >>

Dragon> Morpheth bespoke Ista Weyr dragons with << It is called 'manners'. It is something they teach the young ones, then never use again. >>

Servers dart through the crowded tables, removing finished plates, snickering behind their hands and sometimes laughing out loud as they gossip amongst themselves.

T'rrent lets out a soft chuckle at Alyssa's remark, nodding again in agreement to her remark. Ah, and then the satisfying snap of the spiderclaw shell issues forth from his plate. He opens the thing up, and starts picking at the meat with his fork.

Dragon> Meriath bespoke no one with << Personally, I think my weyrmate wanted this meal just to show off her new hide. >>

Vesta pulls a succulent tidbit of 'claw from its shell and dips it into the butter at the side of her plate and puts the small fork into her mouth, pulling it away again 'clawless and with a certain relish.

Dragon> Ista Weyr dragons sense that Kealath, perhaps inappropriately, declaims that his Z'vind eats most strangely of all. Dreadfully so. And illogically: << If there was no fuss they would not be here. >>

D'kar has little trouble getting the soft meat from the shell of this particular delicacy, cracking down the length of one leg before setting the utensil to the side to peel back the chitinous outer coating. The flesh of the spiderclaw comes out in one long piece, and the bronzerider looks pleased with himself, before dipping the thing in the butter which is provided, and enjoying a single bite.

Cymber takes a clue from some of the others, and pauses to let her spoonful cool before delicately sampling its contents, attention more focused on managing to finish at least the first course without mishap than on anyone else for a moment or two.

Kassandra smiles, placing fork and shell cracker on empty plate and allowing the server to take it away. Seahold-bred girls can inhale shellfish, apparently. "When you are finished, place your used utensils on your plate and sit back. Don't push the plate away. The main course will consist of either C'lamp's Favorite Bovine Pie or Succulent Spit-Roasted Porcine. Again, tell your servers which one you would like. Those of you with spiderclaw salad may move your napkins from your shirts to your laps." A sideways glance and a faint chuckle greet Alyssa's words, as well as the faintest of nods.

Belena sighs and, again, comes to the rescue of one of the younger weyrlings, as the little girl looks close to tears as she looks down at her soup splattered tunic, "It's okay, don't cry. We're here to learn. Now..." Bel goes on to explain the proper way of eating the soup to the young brownrider.

J'nah glances at Z'vind as he utters his ouch, then grins to himself, glad that he had kept the fact that he had burned himself when he had sipped the soup as well.

A server appears with a stack of fresh napkins.

"OH!" This one is said in exasperation as Serriena finally giving up. She places the shell cracker down on the plate and leaves the plate where it is. She reaches up and pulls her napkin from her neckline and puts it neatly into the lap of her dress. Her appetizer is completely untouched and she looks at it mournfully. "It looked really yummy too," she sighs.

Oh yeah, the whole 'napkin' thing. Well, T'rrent did that, too, I just forgot to tell you all. Yeah... Right... Anyway, when he finished with his shellfish (since T'rrent can inhale just about /anything/), he moves the napkin to his lap, and places his utensils on his plate - as directed. Then he waits.

C'lamps Favorite Bovine Pie This dish is named in honour of C'lamp, the famed brownrider whose pie eating skills have been renowned for many a generation. The tempting aromas that rise from this dish are sure to make any mouth drool. Creamy garlic smashed tubers, delicately browned, cover a succulent array of peas, fingerroots, onions and juicy, ultra-tender strips of bovine all swimming in a bubbling hot, thick and rich gravy.
Succulent Spit Roasted Porcine The mouth watering aroma of plump, young and tender porcines speared and roasted to their succulent best over wood fire pits, wafts across the bowl as the servers arrive. While cooking, these porcines were rotated constantly by diligent kitchen hands so none of the tasty greasy drippings escaped. Stuffed with seasoned bread crumbs, this delicious entree is served with spicy rivergrains pilaf and steamed whole baby fingerroots. The meat is so tender that it literally falls off the bone. In combination with its greasy nature this could provide a challenge to those who wish to remain spotlessly clean. But the taste and aroma is so tempting, can you resist its siren call?

Oh. Well. Alyssa puts away her dinnerware promptly upon finishing her meal, then, and sits with her hands once more folded limply on her lap. "How many courses are there?" she leans over to inquire of either Jalani or J'sen, whichever one might be paying enough attention to respond. "Oh, the porcine, please," she adds an afterthought to one of those server-people.

Jalani holds up two fingers. Now, does that mean two more, or two courses, is up to you to guess. Charades. How fun!

Vesta finishes off her salad and sets her tools on her plate. When the server takes it away and she murmurs her order for the porcine before settling back to await it, glancing back at her lifemate briefly. He is watching the gathered with decided interest.

"I'll take the Porcine, please," says D'kar, rather pleased with the fare that is being offered tonight. Heck..he wishes they had a lesson in table manners -every- night.

Only about half the thick liquid is gone when Cymber settles her spook down and straightens in her place. She looks up the length of the table, smiling at Kassandra from a distance before she lets both slender hands fall to rest about the napkin upon her lap. "Thank you," are her first words in some time, for the same server that took her first order as he returns to reclaim the remnants of the first course. And, in response to a question, the young lady nods and offers an answer to his question. "I'll have the roasted porcine, please.

Z'vind was occupied with his final mouthful. He restrains jaw from gargling, a trait so often practiced by the ol' brothers of his, then puts his thumbs to the plate, about to push-- the warning comes in time for him to hook it back neatly. "Tasty, isn't it?" Zar comments to J'nah in the meantime, choosing that particular twist to the other lad's grin. "I'll have the spit roasted one," and that's to the server.

T'rrent mutters his order to the servers as well - and it's pork for the Weyrleader as well. There's just something about a bovine pie that unsettles the man, apparently. Anyway, his order delivered, he sits back to wait for its arrival.

J'nah quickly finishes off his soup, politely of course, then passes his empty bowl to a server. When approached with a main course choice, he examines both choices and looks hungrily at the porcine. "I'll have the porcine, thanks."

Belena has just a few bites left of her spiderclaw, which she offers to share with those who had unsuccessful attempts to open theirs, to the nearest server, "The porcine, please."

The ever helpful and ever increasing giggling servers wander through, placing plates of choice before the diners.

Kassandra murmurs something to the server next to her seat, and her appetizer plate vanishes, to be replaced by another plate with a modest portion of porcine on it. Not too much--have to save some room for dessert. "Those of you with the pie-" and, as her gaze sweeps the tables, that doesn't seem to be many "-eat carefully. The bread rolls will serve to absorb excess gravy. For those of you with the porcine, slice off small bite-sized pieces with your meat knife" she indicates the proper knife with a gesture "and eat with your fork. No fingers, please."

Watching her plate being taken away and giving a wistful silent goodbye to the delicious looking spider claws, Serriena says, "I'd like to Porcine please," to her server. Mayhaps this time she'll be able to get something!

T'rrent looks over his plate as it arrives, grinning across the table to J'sen, and muttering something about a beltknife, and what a fine job it would do of cleaving the meat in two. At length, though, he picks up the meat knife and a fork, and gets to work cutting the thing up. He would /never/ eat with his fingers... Not in public, anyway.

Z'vind cranes to see the proper utensils, and sets the right ones to task in carving the porcine on his plate. "Been butchering herdbeasts all morning, and now /this/," says he to no one in particular. A digit curls to scratch his cheek briefly. Carve, pause.

Jalani frowns as a stubborn baby fingerroot just will -not- be speared by her fork. She goes cross-eyed with concentration as she chases it across her plate.

Brows draw a little and Alyssa is just about to ask for clarification from Jalani before she relents with a quick shake of her head. "All right," is all she says, and then settles to deciding which is the 'proper knife'. She would *never* eat with her fingers, in public or otherwise. Firm nod.

The plates arrive, and Cymber's eyes alight with their appreciation as she reaches for her fork and the right knife. She's been listening, she has, and cuts the tender meat into smallish pieces just perfect for a lady at feasts such as this one. It's not the meat, however, that she samples first, it's the steaming rivergrains that get her attention. Carefully taking only enough to remain poised on her fork, she samples the delightful combination of herbs that give it flavor.

J'sen would eat with his fingers, but in the face of such intense female scrutiny from all sides, he deigns to use the appointed utensils on his porcine. Definitely porcine.

"I did it!" Serriena exclaims after her plate is put in front of her. She has successfully grabbed her knife, used a fork and sliced the meat. The porcine prize is balanced on the end of her fork and she carefully and slowly draws it forward to her mouth and places the food inside, chews and swallows.

Vesta accepts her main course and begins slicing bits of pork with her meat knife. She forks a bite into her mouth and grins in appreciation. She then forks her rivergrains in her mouth...or attempts to...the grains tend to slip between the tines of her fork.

J'nah takes his semi-dull meat knife and attempts to cut off some of the porcine, then finally getting the hang of it, deftly slices a hunk off and neatly spears it with his fork, then feeds himself.

Belena begins this dish with the fingerroots, spearing one a time. She smiles at Serriena, "And all on your own!"

Kassandra chuckles. "Do be careful with the rivergrain pilaf," she cautions. "Steamed rivergrains are difficult to keep on a fork. Don't try to pile too much on your fork at one time, and eat slowly." She demonstrates, with a bite of the succulent pilaf, not losing a single grain.

Well, eating must be an art T'rrent is skilled at. Rather, eating politely is an art. Eating is the Weyrleader's favorite hobby. He's pretty good at the whole 'polite' thing, too, though piling just enough vegetables and rivergrains on his fork so as not to lose anything. Aren't you all so proud? Or something.

Vesta finally manages to get a good bite to her mouth and hmms. Too much trouble, perhaps. Back to the meat. She also uses the meat knife to spear a baby fingerroot. She finally gets into a rhythm and makes quick work of her course.

Jalani shakes her head and quirks an eyebrow at Vesta as she stabs the fingerroot with a knife. No no no.

"A-HEM," Kassandra clears her throat, giving Vesta a look. "Knives are for cutting things, not for spearing them. Spear the vegetables with your fork." She demonstrates, neatly skewering a fingerroot.

Carefully slicing the pieces of porcine that seem to fall off the bone, Belena takes a deep breath, enjoying the scent of the meat. She looks down to select the proper fork and then pauses, her memory of hold days not quite serving her at the moment...which one is it???

Vesta pauses with a fingerroot halfway to her mouth, catching Jalani's look. She suddenly looks a strange cross between sheepish and disappointed. She uses her fork to remove the fingerroot from her knife and sighs, begins chasing fingerroots with her fork.

If there's one thing D'kar knows, it's knives, mind you. They used to be his specialty when he was a smith, and he handles this one as if he is as used to having a knife in hand as..well..having a -hand- in hand. He cuts the little beastie smoothly, eating slowly and neatly.

T'rrent's never really had a hand in his hand before, but he, too, knows how to use a knife like the back of his... Wait. Uhmm.. Oh, I'll just start over. T'rrent makes quick work of this course, keeping proper manners in mind the whole time. There.

Z'vind relishes each bite as it gets to him, meat grease smearing darkly, spilling over angular chin. He dabs it with a napkin, scattering a few breadcrumbs along the way. But hey, it's amazing that he gets /this/ right the first time. Or the second. Anyway; grey-blue stills intently on his next forkfull.

Belena peers over at Kassandra's plate, which fork is she using? Oh, that one. She picks up the selected item and sinks it into the succulent porcine.

Jalani winces visibly as she watches Z'vind. She scribbles furiously at her hide. Extra lessons.

From pilaf to fingerroots to meat goes Cymber, taking tiny bites and moving more slowly than she usually would. That keeps her clean for this round, though more of her attention's on securing a neat tunic than on enjoyment of the fine meal.

Kassandra shoots a look at Z'vind. "Mop your chin off, Z'vind," she directs at him before polishing off the last bite of rivergrain pilaf and laying meat knife and entree fork diagonally on her plate. "When you're through, place your utensils on your plate again. The dessert course is--" and she looks down to consult the note Jalani just passed her "--either Blueberry Bubblies or Sweet Berry Rapture. Your dessert utensils will be brought out with your selection."

J'nah is still carving away at the very tasty porcine, careful to not take to big of bites. Once, as he was forking a piece mouthward, the errant porcine flew off and headed toward the ground. Deftly, J'nah caught the hunk and placed it back onto the plate, hoping noone saw it.

"This is delicious," Serriena says pausing to talk between a bite. The fingerroots are eaten when the porcine is gone. After that she carefully maneuvers her head closer to the table to prevent the little grains from falling everywhere.

Jalani hands her plate to a server nearby and settles back, sipping her wine. She watches J'nah's slight of hand with marked amusement. Another note is made.

A splatter of porcine grease suddenly flies across the table as a little bronzeriding weyrling stabs into his meat. "Oops," he calls, "sorry!" But apparently not /that/ sorry as the little B'ridn does the exact same thing with the second bite, sending grease in the other direction as well.

Z'vind might even the miserable hunched figure perched over his plate, like that other weyrling down the line is; so he's not him, despite the atypical silence that has descended over him. He has to eat cleanly, and is wiping off the final bit of grease that got in the wrong place, as Kassandra said. Gotta make the dragon proud. That selfsame one is Watching.

Sweet Berry Rapture Tender, delicate and sticky sweet rolls have been twisted into long, thin spirals and then bathed in sweetener, cinnamon and butter and baked until they are golden brown. Sprinkled with ground klah bark, this desert is served with a syrupy berry coulis for dipping.

Jalani heaves another sigh, adding more names to the list.

Belena yelps as her nice white tunic is splattered by the flying porcine! "You little..." she starts but then remembers her manners, takes a heaving breath and sits her little frame back in her chair.

And just in time, Alyssa puts away the cutlery from her dinner and glances over toward at the servers who arrive with the desserts. "Really, Lani. I highly doubt it's good table manners to sit scribbling at hides all night," she comments, letting a glass of wine find its way to one hand while she waits for the desserts to work their way along the table.

Vesta finally gives up on the porcine and gives her plate up to the servers. She waits for the dessert she's ordered to come out and looks about the table.

"I saw that, B'ridn," Kassandra's voice comes from the head table. "Clean yourself up, and let's not have any more of that." The server comes back to Kassandra's side, and she smiles, murmuring her selection. A portion of Sweet Berry Rapture appears before her. "If you are selecting either the bubbly or the Berry Rapture, cut pieces of pastry with your dessert knife," she indicates the smallest of the knives, "and eat it with your fork. For those of you having fruit plate, a fork is sufficient. Again, no fingers."

J'nah watches in sadness as his remaining porcine is taken away, then gladly accepts the blueberry bubbly that is passed by. After all, what else would a bluerider eat but blue berries?

Jalani smiles charmingly at Alyssa, pointing to the knot that she somehow managed to affix to her slinky little dress. Part of the job. She frowns as she overhears Belena. Oh oh another name to the list

Her plate is taken away and before she knows it, Serriena has a cute dish of fresh fruit in front of her. "Oh this is fabulous," she declares. She picks up her last fork. It must be the correct fork because it's the only one left. She spears her fruit and pops it into her mouth.

Z'vind nods grave recognition to J'nah. "Good catch," he approves, as his plate is removed and 'fruit' indicated on his server's menu. But--

Cymber pauses to consider, finishing up the last bite of porcine that she'll take from a half-emptied plate before actually smiling. "Sweet berry rapture.. I don't know what that is, but it does sound delicious." Since she's sitting beside Belena, her sleeve catches some of the splattered porcine juice. She directs a pointed glance across the table before sighing and dabbing at it with her napkin. Doesn't help much as, yet again, the same person acknowledges her comment before moving onward.

T'rrent sets his utensils down like before, and his dishes are removed just in time for dessert. Ah, the best part. Given the choice, he asks for the Sweet Berry Rapture. Why? Because it sounds so good it made his player hungry, that's why. Anyway, he waits for instructions on how to eat the thing.

Vesta ahs softly, "Fruit." She sighs happily as the dish is put in front of her and grins, "Something I can eat without any trouble at all."
Well, perhaps he's being trendy, but D'kar orders the Sweet Berry Rapture as well. And manages to not grab it from the tray, waiting patiently.

Jalani waves off the server at the mention of dessert, sitting back instead, to look pretty and smile charmingly.

Belena regains her composure and watches with some satisfaction as her empty porcine plate is replaced with the Sweet Berry Rapture. She picks up the remaining utensils and, returning to her Hold bread manners, she slices the sticky pastry, taking care not to get any /more/ mess on her tunic.

Kassandra cuts a neat bite from her pastry, dipping it delicately in the raspberry coulis before slipping it into her mouth. After chewing and swallowing, she lets her eyes wander over the gathering, lighting briefly on Belena before traveling onward.

J'nah looks warily at the blue liquid that emerges from the bubbly, suddenly aware of the hazards of his choice. He really doesn't want a huge blue mess on his shiny white tunic, so he is /very/ careful not to drip as he eats his first bites

Ah, so /that's/ how it's done. T'rrent follows suit, then, neatly slicing the pastry, dipping it in the coulis, and bringing the morsel to his mouth to eat it. Cut, dip, eat, repeat. Simple enough process. Every so often he takes a sip of his Benden Red as well.

Klara, a young Greenrider, digs into her bubbly pie with the delight of one so young, not hearing the instruction about the fork, she quickly has sticky blue syrup all over her face.

Jalani sighs, so many comments left unsaid, so many sarcastic tidbits that haven't passed her lips. She idly writes Klara's name on the extra class listing that is growing longer as the meal ends.

Vesta smiles happily as she uses her dessert fork to eat her chilled fruit. She savors each bite and before you can say brown weyrling, the plate is empty.

Kassandra pauses, another bite halfway to her mouth. "Klara," she says politely, "you are no longer a little at a Gather. You are here to learn how to eat neatly, as befits your status. Wipe yourself off and try again." The bite makes its way neatly to her mouth shortly thereafter.

She finishes half of her fruit before laying the fork down diagonally on the plate. Even though they are not dirty, Serriena wipes her fingers on her napkin in her lap. Picking up her napkin she dabs gently at the corners of her mouth before placing it back in her lap.

Jalani quirks an eyebrow at Kassandra. My. A protegee.

D'kar eats his little desert treat in short order, wielding the knife as if it were another appendage of his body. Slice, cut, set it down with but a little clink, and devour. All quietly and making not a bit of mess. Now...if the bronzerider could only adapt to every other part of weyrlinghood with as little trouble as eating with some decorum, he might be a model student.

Klara blushes deeply at the reprimand and gently places the pie back on the table. She moves her hands to wipe them off on...yes, it looks like she is...oh she is going to wipe those blue hands on her tunic!

Cymber's not had anything quite like this dessert before, but she's holdborn herself, even if it isn't noble. One knife.. one fork left, that makes her choices easy. Both are utilized to cut up the pastry, into bites that are just a little too small, but then she's being overly cautious. It's the raspberry that will bring the trouble, and after watching several of her friends haplessly struck by blueberry juice, she is -very- cautious with the stuff as she dips, and then samples.

Belena enjoys each sweet syrupy bite. Ever so often, she pauses to dab her mouth clean and then continues, not wanting to finish this desert too fast.
Jalani eyes Kassandra, passing her one more note.

Kassandra still has one eye on Klara, and she sighs. "Klara, your tunic is not a napkin. You have a napkin. Use it." The last bite of her pastry soon makes it into her mouth, and she wipes her lips and fingers delicately with the napkin in her lap before reading Jalani's note. "When you are done with dessert, the meal is complete. You are welcome to stay and mingle if you like. The servers will be passing klah and tea around, for those who care for it."

Jalani smiles ever so charming at Kassandra, raising her glass to the weyrling in thanks and then to Alyssa and T'rrent. She sighs, becoming more pouty as the evening progresses. So many sharp quips that have gone unsaid!

And Alyssa made it through the entire meal without so much as a spot on her gown. Isn't that special. Catching the last bit of filling from her dessert, she puts her spoon on the edge of her plate and then finishes the last of the dessert wine with one muted sip. "Well." That about sums it up, hm?

J'sen ? Oh yeah, he excused himself for a meeting with the dragonhealer halfway through the first course. He's really not here nor has been for a while. Maybe he'll return soon.

Vesta watches the other Weyrlings eating, some of them messily. She sighs softly and brings her napkin up to touch the corners of her mouth with it. What, over? She puts her napkin on the table and stands, immediately going over to kneel with Nimoth. The brown dragon seems to inspect something in his lifemates hands and after a few moments, he croons happily.

T'rrent makes quick work of the desert. Of course, he makes quick work of every meal. He keeps himself neat and tidy, though, setting his utensils on his plate once more. The napkin is taken off of his lap, folded neatly, and set next to the plate. "Mingle," he muses aloud. "I can do that..." And he turns to Alyssa. "So, Weyrwoman... How are you doing this fine evening?" Grin.

Kassandra places her utensils neatly on her plate, and loosely folds her napkin to lay it to one side of said plate. "How was that?" she murmurs to Jalani, looking faintly nervous.

J'nah smiles in satisfaction as he finishes off the pie, glad that he finished off problem free, and with a clean tunic even. Then he glances down and his eyes cloud with horror. Right where his tunic meats his trousers, is a small blue splotch. He glances around, then calms himself. If he didn't see it, then surely no one else did either. He smiles as the server takes his empty pie plate and gratefully accepts the klah that is handed his way.

Her plate is removed and Serriena takes her napkin off her lap and neatly folds it into a square. She places it on the table and says, "Is your dessert good?" to D'kar and Cymber.

Why did he have to turn to Alyssa? She seemed perfectly happy with the dinner, and T'rrent just had to go and sour it by trying to be conversational. "Ready to excuse myself," is her reply, the smile that accompanies the words rather lack-lustre though it is some sort of a valid attempt to maintain the polite charade.

Jalani smiles her thanks. And points to Kassandra's tunic.

Belena has just a few more bites left when she realizes that this is the end of her double chore duty. Oh joy! But the feeling is quickly overcome with a sudden wave of exhaustion. Even as a server places a mug of klah in front of her, the weyrling's nose is dropping, dropping, dropping right into her desert plate.

" -was-," says D'kar, grinning a bit as he gestures to the empty plate before it is whisked away by the server.

Cymber has only time to nod to Serriena, then turns and reaches out to rest a hand on Belena's shoulder. "Are you all right, Bel?" She leans nearer uncertain whether to smile.. or be concerned.

Pulled out of sleep, Belena's head shoots up and she looks around wide eyed, "What? What? I wasn't asleep, really."

Jalani blinks as she watches Belena.

A little dab of coulis is attached to Belena's nose.

Kassandra ehs? and looks down, her faintly worried expression smoothing back pleasantly as she notices that her tunic is as pristine as when she put it on. Whew. It would be extremely bad form for the lecturer to have gotten something on herself. Belena's raspberried nose earns a raised eyebrow. "Bel?" she says softly, pointing at the greenrider's nose.

The meal is complete? Hence Z'vind hears belatedly, and beats a quiet retreat, nudging his chair back before standing and getting ready to scamper away. Kealath, some distance away, unfurls his wings with a sharp snap. "--Later," a bow for the 'masters, and he cuts a path, by no means straight, to the dragon, whom he accosts with a taut smile.

(Zar's player left hence, and missed the rest, which 'Lani got.)

Vesta returns to her seat, and wipes her hands on her napkin. She sighs and accepts a mug of klah to sip quietly.

T'rrent returns the smile, though his (through a phenomenal use of acting ability) looks much more sincere. He nods to the Weyrwoman, even going so far as to emit a soft little chuckle as he does so. "A pleasure, as always, then, Weyrwoman. Good evening to you." Smile (fake).

Cymber glances up toward the head of the table and offers a napkin to Belena as she straightens. "Of course you weren't. Now that dinner's over, maybe some of us can skip the mingling and go tend.. well, duties and the like in the barracks." Her smile isn't fake, it's friendly.

Dragon> Meriath bespoke Ista Weyr dragons with << So how did you all find the meal. I thought it was boring myself. I would have finished the meal much faster myself and why did they ever cook t the porcine? It is so much better raw. >>

Belena slowly takes the offered napkin, "Where? Here?" She asks, wiping her cheek. "I don't remember getting any desert on my face."

Kassandra chuckles, and shakes her head as she leans back from the table. "No, Bel," she says, tapping her own nose discreetly.

Cymber mirrors Kassandra's earlier gesture, lifting a slim finger to casually lay at the tip of her nose before she turns and lifts a brow. "Well, it's only a little."

Jalani giggles, tapping her own nose, looking at Belena with a fixed stare.
Dragon> Mamonth bespoke Ista Weyr dragons with << I'm sorry I couldn't come. My rider tells me she is too lazy to get out of her cot. >>

Belena's cheeks turn a slight pink, "Oh dear." All of these people tapping their noses at her. She can't help a little giggle and quickly wipes the offending raspberry sauce from her nose.

Dragon> Meriath bespoke Ista Weyr dragons with << Oh you didn't miss much. My lifemate can't talk. >>

T'rrent excuses himself from the table as well, making sure his own clothing is unmarred first, of course. And it is, much to his relief, so he stands from his seat, and wanders down to the head of the table. Still perfectly formal, he bows just a bit to the Hostess, offering down a hand. "In J'sen's place, since he's left, shall I escort you back, m'lady?" Grin. Hostess being Kassandra, of course.. Heh...

Kassandra looks up, and smiles graciously, accepting the proffered hand and employing it as an aide to rising. "Thank you very much, Weyrleader. I accept. Very kind of you."

D'kar excuses himself quietly, thanking all for a lovely meal, before, with a glance over to Marcath, which brings his lifemate's rather large form padding across to accompany him, he disappears from the bowl, heading off to catch some shuteye before seeing to the rest of his chores.

Belena notes the exchange between the Weyrleader and the hostess of the evening, suddenly having an inkling of what spirred the 'hiding things from your dragon' conversation.

Jalani sighs as she looks behind her, seeing a healer standing there. She shrugs and follows him off to the infirmary.

You head in beneath the large, arching entrance to the outer infirmary.

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