Main Hall and
The ballroom's vast space is simply and tastefully decorated, combining images and materials from many parts of Pern. Opposite the main entrance, a broad balcony is supported by pillars of the finest northern marble; polished to glassy smoothness, they contrast the toning blues of the walls. A staircase of the same stone rises in sturdy flights to the upper level. The high vaulted ceiling with its round wrought-iron window is white, brightening the room, while the varnished floor is the deep red-brown of a Lemos hardwood. High on the west wall, a large 'mural' shows a map of Pern, framed by images of harper life and symbols of the Craft, while the bright tapestry' opposite offers an... [look closer]
Jueann, Darman, Caeran, Lilya, and Rhyssa are here.
Lilya arrives early for once and without her apron, however, the baker is ready to go as there is still much to do back at Keroon and she's hoping no one's burning the hold down while she is gone. She notes a few people here and there already arrived and nods a greeting to them.
Jueann smiles at Caeran, "Around the tables please. Also, I'll need an apprentice to run to the Dining Hall for snacks and water. maybe we can get some klah too?"
Selvien- a rather short Healer Master fellow of sorts with frizzly curly red hair- enters in all his formality to the harper hall. He's got something of a Napoleon complex- while he may be only five feet, four inches, he's loud and feisty as anything. "Ex/cuse/ me, sir, I'll need to be getting to my seat," the Master insists, nearly pushing past a Vintner.
Rhyssa, having just recently received a letter that she's to be a representative of the Traders, silently slips into the Hall. She appears to be a bit early for the conclave, so watching the setting up of the room might be fun. Who knows, maybe she can help.
Niara steps overhears Jueann's request and quickly steps up behind her, empty hands held out before her. "I'll go and get those things, Master," she offers. Hey, any reason to hang about, right?
Caeran nods and begins dragging chairs over to the nearest table. They make a shrill scraping sound against the floor as he moves. Though a ferw people stop to stare at him, he pays no heed. He's getting fairly tired of carrying them. They've been preparing for this all day!
Lilya wanders about and watches the set up and then finds some of the other masters "Excuse me.. what are we supposed to be doing? Any idea yet?" she questions in her search. For once this baker is not in control of what is happening and it feels odd. Out of her kitchen environment.
Jueann turns around, looking at everyone. "I'm CraftMaster Jueann. If you want, find a seat around the tables?"
The tall form of another healer appears in the doorway, pausing to glance around the room. Selvien is spotted, but pointedly ignored, and Tandren (for that's who he is) practices his talent of blending into the background as he takes the long way around the room.
"'Scuse me," Selvien huffs, making his way around a few folks before settling into the appointed seat. The Fort healer did not come here to simply talk shop. "Healer Master Selvien, at your service." He crosses his legs and arms and surveys the people around him with pointed disdain, except for a few female masters. Cute, aren't they?
Xinea walks in.
Liesana steps silently down the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.
Lilya raises her eyebrow at Selvien and searches for her seat amongst the ones already set up. But realizing she doesn't have to be in her seat yet, she wanders a little aimlessly, a little restless, but watching the other Masters with an amused expression.
Adar blinks in from ::between::!
Niara takes Jueann's silence as assent and scuttles around tables and chairs to disappear into the hall, reappearing a few minutes later with arms balancing a snack and drink laden tray and leading a line of servers similarly burdened. She neatly sidesteps the milling masters to deposit the food on a table set up for the purpose.
Harper journeymen and apprentices start directing people to the appropiate tables. "Masters up front, Journeymen inthe back. Apprentices standing, waiting for orders.
Caeran is finding it harder and harder to maneuver as the crowd grows around him, but he presses on in his mission. There are two tables that still need seats, and it's not good when masters have to go without seats. The lowly apprentices deserve to stand.
Lilya winds her way throughout the crowd and begins to make her way towards the front as directed. She nods to other Masters and journymen she knows as she passes. Some people she hasn't seen in ages and it's funny how it takes a situation such as this for her to see them all again.
Xinea brushes the last bit of dirt off her blue shirt as she walks into the ballroom. "Now Rhys, I brought you along for this experience. You will probably need it later." She comments to the tall man beside her with the new herder master knot. As to what she meant by her comment remains uncertain. She mutters something about how Craftmaster Dalaynia sent her instead of coming herself. The sleeves are pulled after being rolled up and blond-white french braid with bun checked once more for decency, before the crafthead moves into the room to..um..socialize. Right....
Tandren lifts a brow in bemusement as a struggling apprentice tries to slip by him with chairs tucked under his arms. "Excuse me..." he murmurs softly and pulls his robes out of the path before the sounds of seating arrangements capture his attention and he begins to move forward, his sparse frame having no difficulty slipping through the crowd.
Liesana makes her appearance just then, not quite fashionably late, but far enough along that enough of the Conclave-goers have arrived for her to people-watch properly. Unaccustomedly starched and ironed in her formal For Trial clothing, the young Master Legist has her arms full of records and report hides, nearly toppling forwards as she steps on the hem of her skirt and the weight overbalances her. A few surprising contortions later, she recovers, and slides over to take a seat at the Master's row of seating, ears slightly pink.
Caeran finishes with the chairs and goes to help the others direct people to their seats. "Awfully busy, isn't it?" he muttters to Niara as he slips past. At least they should be starting soon. Liesana's finally made it into the room. He stands expectantly, ready to do something if called on.
Selvien pulls out Tandren's chair next to him. "Tandren! Have a seat, old boy, things are just coming together," the rather Napoleonic fellow laughs, before turning to casual-flirt with a nearby weaver, who simply ignores him. Liesana is given a short nod of sorts. He's not /completely/ ineloquent.
Rhys, the herder master with short black hair and green eyes, seems to be following Xinea around like a canine too scared to make any move for fear it be a wrong move. "Smile!" Xinea hisses to him and he manages a smile but just barely. So many masters, journeymen, and apprentices make him nervous. He does manage a bigger smile and a small wave to a harper journeywoman he befriended a while back. Unfortunately, she doesn't see him and turns her back.
Niara slips behind the food table, offering a conspiratorial wink to Caeran. See? She knows where the best spots are. In the room with the action, and near the food. She clasps her hands in front of her and waits for something to get low, occasionally helping the levels diminish faster.
Kiara walks in.
Tandren allows only a small wince to escape as he hears his name bellowed across the room. "Such luck..." he mutters quietly, plastering a smile on his face as he turns on his heel to alter his course to the indicated seat. "Selvien..." he acknowledges as he draws close enough to be heard at a decent decibel. "It's been awhile."
Liesana is unusually silent compared to the stereotypically Chatty Harper facade she usuall wears at events of this nature, simply sitting in her chair and cradling a glass of unsipped white wine that seems to have materialized in her hand within minutes of her taking a seat. Not unfriendly, for the nod she returns to Selvian is certainly a cordial one, accompanied by a smile. Simply... watching, glancing from face to face as if recording whatever happens to be displayed there, and occasionally making notes in a small leatherbound book pulled from her vest. This might seem slightly sinister, in the light of the fact that Liesana's been one of the more noticeable Harpers during this crisis, flitting about investigating like a half-mad vtol.
Xinea shoos Rhys down into a seat and asks him to save the seat to his left for her. Now she makes her way over the harper of law and tapes the woman on the shoulder. "Master Liesana? I just wanted to let you know that we have a saddle and bridle you might like." The wink from the master though may signal that something more is afoot from this herder.
Lilya goes home.
Sarah comes from the courtyard, a faint outline of green dragon and rider as she looks around. Spotting Lilya, she hustles over towards the woman and takes a seat. "Sarah, representitive of the Farmers," she introduces to those around her. Looking back towards the Baker Master, she offers a nod before turning her eyes towards Jueann.
Shadis walks in.
Damaric walks in.
"Oh, really?" Liesana perks immediately at the tap on the shoulder and the murmured message. "Well, I'll be sure to bring Hadrian by to see how it fits very soon..." A few more pleasantries are offered, and Liesana remembers to ask "So, how is the baby?" but the main subtext going on is a nod and a wink in return from Harper to Herder that may or may not signal that she recieved the message that there may or may not be something else up.
Caeran ushers a journeyman to his seat, and then scuttles over to the food table to get a master some klah. "Excuse me...Yes, the food is right over that way. Watch your step." He waves to a few of the people he knows, and some of the people he thinks he knows. None of them seem to notice.
Scene setting: In the middle of the Harper Ballroom is set of tables forming a U with chairs. At the opening of the U is a podium. Behind those tables are another set of tables and chair all facing the podium. Masters are to take the inner tables, journeymen the back set. Apprentices will have to find seats eleswhere or stand.
Sein walks in.
Saela walks in.
Selvien scans the room, his wide little green eyes taking in every detail. He glances down, then, and looks at a list of things he's going to need to discuss in the conclave.
Niara nods sedately as even more masters wander into the hall, indicating with a graceful sweep of her hand that they should move on to the front of the room. At least the movement was graceful until she sweeps it back into a pitcher of water, knocking it over with a clatter. She squeaks and scrambles to set it upright and mop up the liquid spreading out across the table.
Mailli walks with slow and deliberate steps in through an arch from the great hall.
Saela goes home.
Xinea nods and her smile grows but this time because she likes talking about her son. "He's doing very well. He's sleeping through the night and starting to crawl. My fosterlings Aithne and Xayna are having fun playing with him but he seems to be driving Galan crazy. He is getting into things and just about crawled out into the stables yesterday." She chuckles softly and then brushes a bit of dirt from her tan riding pants that do show some wear. "In any case, bring Hadrian by and we'll get him fitted. We just finished doing an inventory so I'll have a bit of time in the afternoon after lunging Nin-Du for her jumping training." As nervous as she knows Rhys is without her there, he can wait.
Jueann sighs as she heads for the podium with a folder of things she needs to cover for the Conclave. Looking out at all the masters, she adjusts her glass and sighs. This isn't going to be easy for the soft spoken master. But Let's get on with it. "Will all the masters take their seats? Up front and we'll get started?" She calls out to all. "PLEASE! Take your seats?"
Shadis hasn't even returned to the dolphincrafthall yet from the Ista candidacy, but Sarin requested that he come. After all she's done for him, the least he could do was come and watch. Quietly, the Sr. Apprentice makes his way into the ballroom, simply looking around and listening for the moment. His eyes flick over the people in attendance, searching for known faces.
Rhyssa quietly finds a nice spot at an inner table and sits. No use talking to anyone really since she doesn't think she's met anyone here before.
Kiara chuckles softly and briskly makes her way over to the appropriate place, flicking her fingers in greeting to Jueann and other familar faces as she enters their line of sight.
Darman has connected.
Sarah takes her seat in the Journeyperson section and smiles towards Lilya. "S'alright dear." And back she goes.
Tandren slides into his seat, folding his spindly legs up under the table uncomfortably and drumming the fingers of his left hand on the table top. A passing apprentice is caught by the sleeve and he puts in a request for a glass of water before shifting in his seat regain his view of the room, shaded eyes watching the proceedings being called to order.
Xinea gives a respectful nod to Liesana before nodding curtly to Jueann and making her way through the crowd and chairs to her own on Rhys' left. "Relax. A conclave isn't like a trial." She whispers to him and reaches into her bag for her notes that she made and the ones Craftmaster Dalaynia gave her.
Caeran breathes a sigh of relief. At last they're getting underway. The apprentice mutely backs away from the center of the action to find a nice wall to lean upon during the proceedings. If needed he'll still be in view, but he'll also be comfortable and out of the way.
"Actually, I might bring him up a little earlier, then." Liesana replies, still conversationally quiet. "I still remember him spooking and managing to clear a four foot arena fence cleanly at Beka's rodeo... I might have to pick up some pointers on proper jump training myself..." Although it's not like Liesana has the time for it any more... She nods to Xinea as the Herder takes her leave, and then busies herself with assembling the hides and records she's brough into good order.
Jueann looks out as the masters take their seats. Journeymen behind them. She waits until there is silence before she starts to speak. "Masters of Pern. Thank you all for coming. I would not have asked you to leave your Halls, dropping everything you are doing if this wasn't the gravest of situations. Yes The Gravest! The most vile ... the most..." she blinks, adjusts her glasses, "I'm getting ahead of myself. First, I want you all to report the situations of your crafts. As you each do, start comparing notes. You will see what I am getting at."
Darman walks over to Liesana and states impishly "Mind if I join you?" He then sits, not even caring to wait for a reply
"It seems," Liesana notes sidelong to her friendly and long-time nemesis "That you already have. But hssst... Jueann's speaking." Nodding once to Darman, the Harper settles herself, cradling her wineglass and looking thoughtful.
With quick movements, Neilan makes his way over to the masters area, his brown eyes straying to the various dolphincrafters about the room, nodding to the apprentices he knows as he takes a seat. Rounding the chair, he pulls it out and seats himself, turning his attention to Jueann. A nod is directed at Mailli, catching sight of her as she joins one of the Sr. Apprentices of the craft.
Slightly late, Mailli makes her way slowly towards Shadis, settling herself into the seat closest to the Sr. Apprentice rather than standing beside him. The cold weather has drawn her limp into a more obvious state, making the seat a better option, since it's available.
Sein finds a wall to lean against along with her wine glass, quick to keep quiet and pay close attention to the discussion at hand. Surprisingly, she's not showing an inch of skin where she oughtn't. Must be laundry day, or someone has gone and found her an identical twin. Right. The business at hand. Strict. Important. Pay close attention. Grey-green eyes look expectantly from one Craftmember to the next for the first words.
Damaric drops himself into a chair, somewhat sulkily. He didn't want to be here. There's too many people for his tastes... Tastes that tend to prefer a solitary existance. With a glower in the general masters' direction, he finds a wall and roughly shoves his back up against it to watch the proceedings in silence. Spotting the Minecraft master that made him come, Damaric glares steadily at his back in annoyance at having his peace and quiet disturbed.
Darman has disconnected.
Jueann looks around at the different faces, "We will hear from the Healers first, then the Herders, then the weavers, dolphinscraft, the traders, the smiths, farmers, seacrafters, Miners, Starcrafters, bakers and lastly the vintners. After we hear all the reports. Then we Harpers will summarize." Smiling to the Master with the healer's knot, "Please stand, Master Healer.... uh.... oh dear. Make sure youall give your names. You know how absent-minded I can be."
Thadir walks in through an arch from the great hall.
Thadir slowly threads his way through the crowd of people. Looking for one of the Journeymen he hasn't been introduced to.
Rhyssa listens carefully to Jueann and smiles, making sure to remember who she goes after.
"Selvien, thank you," the short little man says, standing up and drawing himself to his full five feet, five inches. Not too imposing, is he? Well, you haven't heard him yet. "There is not much to report except for a few supply shortages; we're running a bit short on feline gut for stitching, and bandages are running just a bit thin down at Ista or so I've heard. There have been a few emergency shipments we've sent out in response, but apparently, they've never been received." He's quite the loud talker, really. "We also have a missing journeyman, and I haven't received any news pertaining to his current circumstances just yet," Selvien continues, his emerald gaze glancing around the room.
Shadis grins at Mailli, sliding his back further down on the wall to make himself more comfortable as he watches the proceedings. As far as he knows, nothing has happened in their hall, but he may have missed it while at Ista Weyr. Being the good little boy he is, he simply stands and listens quietly.
Jueann nods to the Healer, noting that the recording harper making notes. She surveys all the masters as they listen. "Anything else, Master Selvien?"
Tandren's lips compress into a thin line as Selvien jumps to his feet to take full advantage of the opportunity to be in the limelight. Typical... "Bottles," he hisses under his breath to the self-appointed craft spokesperson. "Smith hasn't been keeping up with bottles."
Liesana is all quiet attention in her little corner of the table, leaning on her elbow and with wine abandoned in favour of scratching notes into her infamous little leatherbound book, one eyebrow quirked thoughtfully as she listens to the Healers make their report. The eyebrow flickers a little as it appears that she knows a little more on some points than the speakers do... but her turn will come.
Mailli chuckles at Shadis as she rifles through her ever present notes, "Hmm, I wonder.. Did anyone talk to the 'phins about what might have been happening out to sea?" she hasn't spoken in a loud voice, but one or two people sitting near by might hear her words.
Jueann frowns, "You will all have your turn. Be patient! If Master Selvien is finished? Then on with the Herders......"
"And the Smithcraft has not been keeping up with sending their shipments of bottles... we're running low on storage for our herbs and supplies," Selvien continues, as if the idea of mentioning it was his own and not Tandren's. He's a little stubborn about doing things his own way. "That is all."
Neilan jots a note about the order and speakers on the pad before him so that he can report back to Southern with the information later. He has the craft's occurances under control, though he'd have no way of hearing Mailli's comment. A short comment about what the healers have seen and noticed is written down as he waits for his own turn.
Sein hungrily devours every whispered word about the room, particularly coming from the current speaker, Master Selvien of the HealerCraft. Her brows knit together. Disappearing journeyman and emergency shipments gone missing as well? The greenrider folds her arms. "I don't believe /we/ had much of those problems..." she murmurs to herself from behind her wine glass, a gentle hand lulling the liquid contemplatively.
Thadir quietly, and with a bit of nervousness, eyes a short list of strange goings ons. He really doesn't want to be here. After all, what does a simple deckhand know about such things?
Selvien sits. Because he's done.
Jueann moves to the Herders, "uhhh Master....." she falters again. She dearly wished she had a list of all who came today. But it can't be helped as she looks to the herdermaster.
Damaric rolls his eyes at the healer's declaration of negligence on the smiths' side. Lazy bums. At least the miths took in most of the lazier people of Pern, rather than the minecraft. As it is, there are way too many apprentices and even journeyman who shirk their duties in the shafts for things like classes or homework. Really. Like that's more important than good honest digging, cleaning and hauling? Never!
Xinea nods slowly and watches as her face is a mask of concentration. True, she knew about the feline gut. Afterall, she was the one that sent all the extra bottles and gut they could spare at her hall the one time back to the healerhall here in the hold. At the mention of herders, the crafthead stands. "I'm Xinea, CraftHead of the Istan hall. Please forgive me if I seem to talk forever as our craft has been hit pretty hard." She ruffles through her hides and pulls out her summary. "In total, we have had over 300 herdbeast, 20 ovines, and 10 caprines stolen from tithes to various weyrs. We also have 3 journeymen, 4 senior apprentices, 2 apprentices and 2 families of tithe handlers missing. At the Ista hall, we had about 4 saddles, 5 bridles, 3 full sets of grooming supplies, and half of our beasthealing supplies taken from storage from within the hall itself." She smiles only weakly as she speaks with glances down to Rhys who stares at the table and begins to look more and more uncomfortable. "I do have some good news though. Our craft can definately say that none of our supplies have stayed on the island and are probably located on the northern continent up near Lemos area or at least around there. Our journeyman who was kidnapped and made it back was able to tell us for sure where he managed to escape." She then nods to Jueann and takes her seat again, not even seeming to notice Rhys desperately wanting to leave.
Jueann waits to all the reaction of the sheer number of missing animals not to mention the many missin people. She sighs quietly. She has that report tucked in her office so it isn't anything new to her. "The next to speak is the weavers." Trying to give a smile to the wonderful Lady Weaver.
Caeran listens in confusion. What could be happening here? Something tells him Liesana knows much more that the mysterious Master Liesana knows much more than she is telling.
Liesana's quill makes the only sound from her, scratching out notes and dipping into an inkwell that she's scootched in between her plate and her wineglass. And where did she get the inkwell from? Liesana's minor specialty is archiving. Enough said. A little half-smile touches her lips at Xinea's report, not exactly happy, but more of an almost peregrine expression, as if some bit of evidence has been confirmed. Rhys' fidgeting gets a note to itself, on a separate page. Ah, Caeran, Liesana /always/ knows more than she's telling.
A bronze 'lizard pops in from ::between:: and drops a tube into Mailli's hand and quickly disappears again. Mailli slowly opens then tube and removes the contents. She scans the words, and puts it back into the tube. Leaning over to Shadis she whispers softly.
You overhear Mailli mutter, "I've ... ... a note ... ... He'd ... ... but ... ... ... are ... down something ... looks ... ... ... ... that doesn't ... to be seen." to Shadis.
Rhyssa is very surprised at the amount of missing things in general. She's lucky her caravan hasn't had that many problems.
Shadis gasps softly, his green eyes going wide at the amazing loss of stock, supplies and soldiers. "How could that many people not reappear? Where could they be hidden?" He whispers toward Mailli in amazement. Shaking his head slowly, he tsks at the people behind this giant-sized problem. Blinking, he steps away from the wall, crouching to catch Mailli's words. Shadis frowns, his lips tightening at the news. Softly he questions, "Should I tell him?" A chin thrust is directed towards Neilan, unsure if he should be entering the masters' area, though the news does seem important.
Niara blinks rapidly as the crafts begin their rounds of reporting, gaping in disbelief as she herders rattle off their figures. "No wonder we've been on restrictions," she comments to no one in particular as a hand snags an orange fruit segment from the table she's /supposed/ to be attending.
Mailli nods, "That might be wise. Since Geraint has been out patroling on Southern's request."
A flicker of bronze draws Neilan's attention from the current speaker, though he continues marking down his notes. The slightest frown touches his lips as he realizes that it is a dolphincrafter's firelizard that is causing the ever-so-slight commotion. The frown deepens before he shakes his head in disapproval and returns his attention to the weaver representative. A short scribble is marked to the edge of his page, and if you're close enough, you'd be able to see a very shorthanded description of Shadis and Mailli with what he thinks the journeywoman's name to be.
Caeran eagerly gazes at Niara, hoping she'll think to toss a snack to him. When he is ignored he whispers, "Can I have one?" Unfortuneately, his whisper resounds throughout the room. The harper masters will have his head before they're through. He knows it.
Kiara rises with the ease and slightly hunched back one might expect of someone who spends much of her days dealing with children, apprentices, and dyevats. Even shorter than the Healer master, she never the less takes a deep breath and projects firmly, "Kiara, Craftheadsecond here on Ista - and no, I do not know how Bronwyn talked me into coming back." She can't help tossing some gossip in. "We've lost a number of bolts of cloth in transit - one of the reasons, I fear, bandages have been running low - noticed a decline in basic clothing stores of the most nondescript sort, and some of the prepared dyes, indigo in particular but anything we store in cakes, really, have been lower than they should be. One of our favorite gathering spots for one of the rarer dyestuffs common to Ista was found trampled when we went to collect." Her lips compress into a disapproving line, and righteous anger shows in the trembling of her hands. That such a thing could happen in her own specialty... She closes her eyes briefly, then re-opens them, says, "That is all," in a controlled tone, and sits again, slowly.
Pizidden rushes in looking rather disorganize, "Oh, I do apologize. Am I late?" he whispers urgently to the first crafter he sees as he comes to a stand still along one wall, which happens to be Shadis. The Journeyman SeaCrafter looks very disorganized, or at least untidy.
Jueann nods to Kiara, to thank her. "now we'll hear from the Dolphincraft?"
Jueann smiles at Pizidden, "Have a seat, we are about a third of the way through."
Pizidden nods and seats himself next to Thadir.
Shadis smiles in Pizidden's direction, though he gives Mailli a quick nod before haltingly making his way towards the main table with his news. A large many chairs are dodged and avoided, with Shadis nearly stumbling over people, both standing and sitting. He reaches the table as Neilan stands, reaching out a hand to carefully catch the master from Southern's attention. The moment he has it, he quickly repeats what his journeyman friend says before nodding and making his way back the way he came.
Liesana pauses in her scribing (certainly not -scribbling-) to take a sip from her wineglass and make a silent summoning gesture to Caeran after his voice brings him to her attention, writing a note on a bit of parchement which she then folds into a sealed packet for transport to some other member of the Conclave.
Caeran has disconnected.
Niara blinks and turns a disapproving look on Caeran, grey eyes skewering Caeran with the skill of any master there. She pops another segment of orange fruit into her mouth, her other hand surreptitiously dropping a few cheese cubes and fruit slices onto a plate which she then scoots to the edge of the table closest him. Do-de-do-de-do.
Neilan nods in
Jueann's direction, acknowledging her gratefully as he stands. Shadis' commotion
is given a brief glance from the corner of his eye as he introduces himself.
"I'm Master Neilan from the
Master Neilan gives a slight sigh before returning to his seat, saddened by the actions of the unknown perpertrators.
Skritch. Skritchskritch. Scratch. Liesana's taking notes again. It seems that Caeran didn't catch her silent request for a page. and so she tries the family connection instead, eyeing Niara and clearing her throat as she brandishes the folded missive once her note-taking is done again.
Tandren squirms uncomfortably in his seat until finally he can stand it no longer and pushes away from the table and into a standing position. Legs and arms unfold in a series of snaps and pops muffled by his layers of robes and furs as he moves to the outside wall. He leans against the wall, arms cross his chest, and he peers out from underneath his wide-brimmed hat lowered dramatically on his brow. ooo! Siesta time?
Jueann nods to the dolphinmaster, turning to her list of who's next, "Can you all see a beginning pattern, here? My fellow masters. But there is so much more going on. Next is the Traders."
Damaric gives a snort from his wall of the room, rolling his eyes and shaking his head in obvious denial of what the previous masters have said about missing supplies and strange ship sightings. Damaric may not like people but who would do this type of thing? And on such a large scale. With a loud cough, he mutters, none-too-quietly, "Yeah. Sure they aren't. And I'll bet the things are any smarter than a herdbeast. Heavy ships. That's no sign of anything. He's just looking for a way out of work." Not that he does any true work in Dama's opinion. Swimming around with an animal to drag them isn't anything at all.
Rhyssa looks rather worried now after hearing all the reports. She stands and announces herself, "I'm Master Trader Rhyssa. I'm happy to report that we haven't had too many problems...however, I have noticed a few strange wagons in the distance on our travels. They seem to be heavily loaded. But that's only what I can see from far off." She shrugs, having never really been to a conclave before, and seats herself once again.
Xinea watches Neilan as he reports about what they have seen and raises an eyebrow. Rhys starts to speak up and she quickly shushes him. "Never talk when others are talking." She hisses towards him and gives him an angry stare before returning her cold teal eyes to the preceedings. That only makes him more uncomfortable and he runs his fingers across the table. Too bad he can't carve the table with his dinner blade that he is used to when he is nervous.
Niara , the ever attentive and observant apprentice, /does/ catch Liesana's note-brandishing, although she acknowledge it with a lifted brow and amused smirk. Gee, she looks silly flailing about like that. But understanding dawns faintly as the waving about continues and finally she leaves the comfort of the snack table to weave her way to Liesana's side.
Jueann hmms softly as she looks at her list, "Next is the farmers. "Looking over the master table, looking more and more grim.
Liesana isn't flailing! She's waving one hand in a subtly graceful and elegantly commanding fashion! Hmph. Passing Niara the note, she murmurs instructions to take it one of her Fort Harper Hall counterparts in matters of Law, gives her a smile, and slips her a cookie from her plate. The return to note-taking goes without saying.
Sadira slowly threads her way through to where Damaric leans agains the wall, "Haven't changed have you, big brother?" she whispers softly and for his ears alone. Of course, Dama didn't much like being in the Weyr either. So with a shrug she allows herself to sink to the floor and pretty much remains quiet.
Niara grins impudently and skips off with all the grace and elegance her fostermum had failed to instill in either of them. But the note is delivered safely, if a bit cookied, and she returns to her post near the snack table.
Mailli has disconnected.
Thadir has disconnected.
Shadis blushes just a touch as he returns to where Mailli and the others are, embarrassed at having had to interrupt a conclave. That it was important to the meeting matters little. The frown on Shad's lips fairly mirrors Neilan's, this all having been new information to Shadis. This must have either occured after he was Searched or it was kept /very/ quiet.
Xinea has connected.
Mailli has connected.
Gentilly walks down the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.
Sein has disconnected.
Hrolf snorts suddenly, lifting his head as a nearby master jabs him sharply. Glancing about lazily, he realizes more than a few eyes are on him and jumps to his feet, eyes wide. With a cough, he looks about the room. "Hrolf," he states with a deep, grating voice. "Farmer master." Simple and sweet. Or not. "We've gotten in reports of missing equipment, small and large. Also, there have been missing crops, taken straight from the fields. A bit surprising, since there would have had to be a large group of people out that were never seen, to judge from the amount missing. Either that or it wasn't picked up on until after several nights." He coughs again, rubbing a hand down his face to wake himself up the final bit. "Most farming areas have set up guards of some sort, watchdogs, wherrys in different places each night, or human guards. After that, there have been less and less reported. That's it." With a shrug, the older man drops right back into his seat again, eyes closing the moment the next craft begins their speech.
Liesana and the other Legist exchange an eloquent series of remarks via eye contact and the patterns and hand gestures of high-level drum code translated into something silent, late analysis in the face of news that other Crafts had seemingly been playing close to their chests flashing between the two Harpers across their respective tables and the open expanse in between.
Neilan scribbles down notes about his own performance before the masses, then information from the ensuing reports. He glances back at Mailli and Shadis, then around to the variously scattered other dolphincrafters. Their craft, luckily, wasn't hit as hard. While he might not really know most of the dolphincrafters here, he does at least know most of these Istans by sight, and a loss like the herders would be devistating to their small craft.
Jueann sighs, "Are you seeing the pattern? Now we'll hear from the ..." checking her notes, "The Seacraft."
Damaric shakes his head, listening for the discussion, little as he believes it. Reaching down, Damaric gives a very soft chuckle as he rubs his hand about on the top of Sadira's head, tousling her hair as only a brother can. Even while annoyed at the world and clearly in contempt of these "lazy" masters who aren't bothering to stop these events, if indeed they are happening!, he can still be affectionate with his sister.
Gentilly walks down the staircase and quietly finds someplace to sit. She looks around, taking note of who is here and settles into her chair. She does this with a minimum of fuss and a nod to Jueann if she's looking.
Jueann sighs as the seacrafter gives his report and sits down. Miners are next."
Xinea pokes Rhys sharply in the ribs as he starts to fall asleep, probably from forcing himself to so he wouldn't get up and leave, before settling back into her seat and taking notes on a piece of hide. Blond braid and bun is again touched to make sure they are alright before she returns her gaze to the various speakers, now the seacraft master. Rhys on the other hand shifts nervously in his seat and seems to be entranced by the signals the two harpers are sending. He was never trained in anything but basic drum code or sign language but this intrigues, worries, and confuses him. So what does he do, start to stare at Liesana's hands. Really, her hands not her chest.
Shadis sulks slightly at this most recent news. Missing ships are far worse than the off-course ones that the dolphincraft reported. Sick of standing and with a slightly deflated spirit due to all the bad news, Shadis sinks to the floor beside Mailli's chair, sitting tall in an attempt to keep track of what's going on dispite a lack of chair.
Neilan turns the page, scribbling nearly half a page about the Seacraft's losses, since they relate closely to the dolphincraft and his superiors will most definately want to know this information to decide whether or not to send dolphin-human pairs to follow ships gone astray.
Liesana, finished with her notes for the moment, settles back into her seat to people-watch anew, hands settled on the table in front of her. And not on her chest. Which is a rather unremarkable chest as chests go, but it's hers. Amber eyes take in the contents of the room, the masters and journeymen in their seats, a few mental notes being appended here and there. Rhys' fascination with her hands doesn't go unnoticed, nor does his disquiet, and she turns a slightly fishy look on the newly-minted Master Herder.
Pizidden stand and rubs gently at his wrists, "Pizidden, Journeyman SeaCraft. I've only just managed to escape from.." here his voice trails off as he seeks the appropriate word, "Pirates?" Pizidden shakes his head, "Good Harper Master, I can not give you descriptions of my captors. I never saw them. My ship was taken late at night. Those that weren't kept fellised were put to shore on a remote island. More than that I am afraid I can not tell you as I was kept mostly in my cabin," with that he seats himself still rubbing at his wrists.
Rhys catches the fishy look from Liesana and immediately turns his eyes and moves in his seat. Ok, that was the wrong place to look. Now he just fiddles with the tabletop again and stares at the markings, that is after he nervously runs a hand through his black hair.
Quietly, a master of the minecraft stands, but before he can even open his mouth, Damaric takes a step away from the wall, shouting out, "The minecraft has not been affected at all. There's no way something to the scale you're suggesting could go on and not affect the miners. /Obviously/," he pauses, taking several more steps forward, a half-scowl, half-smirk on his lips as he directs himself closer to the masters table with his impudent words. "Obviously the miners have honest people in their craft, ones who won't make up stories about missing supplies to cover how lazy their students and teachers are." With a glare, he snorts loudly, adding to his statement. "Can't you masters be bothered to do the work instead of making up lies like those? This is ridiculous." One hand reaches up to push back at his hair as his voice turns fully mocking and poorly-imitated, but girly. "We don't have enough bottles. Maybe the smiths were all caught by bandits! And we lost three herdbeasts yesterday alone! They /must/ have been stolen!" With a disgusted shake of his head, his eyes fix on Jueann, since she's running this show. "I'd think you'd be intelligent enough not to listen to these deadglows..." He says, disappointment, though easily feigned, in his voice before he gives a conceited half-bow and returns to his wall.
Jueann blinks as miner sits down, "Liesana, do you have that report from Lady Holder Camilla?" Shaking her head as if to clear it. She's not about to argue her point, not just yet.
"I do indeed, Master Jueann," The reply from Liesana is cool and calm, the words simple and speaking for themselves instead of relying on Damaric's tactic of bluster. The voice of a trained and praciced debater. The young Master rises smoothly to her feet and calls in a tone of conviction that's slightly bored with those choosing to be willfully blind that "If you choose to claim that the miners have been unaffected, Miner Damaric, then I believe you have been misinformed. Lady Camilla of South Boll reports, and I have the aforementioned reports here to prove it," A sheaf of neatly written hides is brandished. "That not only did a shipment of gemstones fail to arrive to her, the courier sent to fetch them has vanished as well. Do you care to change your statement?"
Rhys starts to stand up and say something before he is forcifully brought back down into his seat by Xinea. "But Master Xinea, he..." "That's for the miners to take care of. Their apprentices are their problem. He should just be glad he isn't at my hall. Now just sit there and listen." Xinea mutters to him and then gives a cold stare to first Damaric and then to the miner master. It is also as if she is trying to tell that master that their apprentice made them look like a bad craft in training their apprentices.
Liesana hovers between standing and sitting, waiting to see if she'll get a reply from the Minecraft.
Shadis's mouth falls open in disbelief as he turns to stare at the obviously insane miner. He growls his disgust in his throat, nearly ready to jump the man and beat him to a pulp just for his ignorance. Only a glance at Mailli prevents him from disgracing himself and the craft.
Pizedden stands and looks at Damaric, "With all due respect, these are not feigned," he once more holds up his wrists that clearly show signs of healing rope burns.
Pizdden reseats himself and looks down towards the table.
The master miner attempts to stand to clarify what Damaric said...Not the lying part, but the lack of occurances at the Tillikian hall. "Even the minecraft has their slackers. That delivery boy should have had proper accompaniment if he has that much of a tendency to shirk his duties," the Sr. Apprentice calls, shaking his head as he leans against the wall. Dama doesn't even bother to move forward this time, simply glaring in disrespect for those opposing him. "Maybe not, but /pirates/, man? Maybe you were a little too drunk to be working the ropes." He refrains from a very rude comment about Pizzeden's choice in lovers and any possible connection that way to the rope. "Lady Camilla must not have looked very hard for her courrier." He blows air out through his mouth, making a gesture similar to blowing a raspberry without actually sticking his tongue out. "Shards, she probably never even bothered to look herself. Sent one of the drudges to look, I'll bet. And who trusts a /drudge/? They're notorious for being lazy!" He exclaims. A hand is cut sideways through the air with a sharp gesture, an indication of his unwillingness to listen to others spout lies.
Jueann sighs as Liesana sits down, she calls for the reports of the last four crafts, starcraft, smiths, vintner and Baker. All the reports are the same, missing shipments, shortages and a couple people missing. The smiths are the worse hit as valuable gemstones and ores are also missing. Looking over to Liesana, "For the last report and the summary of everything that's reported, I'm turning the podium over to Master Liesana. Lies." she moves away from the podium to take a seat at the head of one of the nearby tables.
A series of sharp scratches sound, from Neilan's fiercely annoyed description of the miner's behaviour, appearance and words. The dolphineer looks about ready to pull out a belt-knife, and Neilan is a laid back man. Finishing his thought, he sets down his writingstick and takes a slow, careful breath, calming himself as he listens to the last few reports and begins taking notes again.
Xinea ends up whispering to Rhys through the rest of the reports from the others crafts and has to forcibly keep the master in his seat twice to keep him from standing up and causing an argument between him and the miner apprentice. "Rhys, either sit there or I will have you get up and give the final report." At that he finally shuts up and just stares at the table, continuing to mutter under his breath about the incompetent and irresponsible miner apprentice.
"Apprentice," Liesana says simply to Damaric, tiring of the argument. "You may be under Minecraft jurisdiction, but you're on Harper Hall's ground. Obey the rules of Conclave and silence yourself, or be removed." That said, she settles back down for the speeches from the remaining four crafts, quill flying across her pages, before nodding to Jueann, collecing her report hides, and making her way to the front with a rustling of her skirts. "I do thank you all for your patience this evening, and I'm sure that anyone who pauses to consider can see the pattern being traced here. Harper Hall has come in approximately in the lower-middle range with regards to losses, perhaps owing to our dealing more in esoteric than tangible goods, but we are currently missing half of our supply of paper and instrument woods from Lemos Hold, and our shipments of inks to the Herders and other locales have also been hijacked. We have been entirely fortunate in that we report no disappearances or attacks on our members. Now, if you'll give me half a moment to get my notes in order, I'll present a summary of my findings and my professional opinion as to their cause."
Damaric's nostrils flare minutely as he shakes his head at Liesana's obvious lack of brains. None-the-less, he lounges against the wall silently, lips twisted in an unusual scowl-smirk.
Jueann looks over at Damaric, giving him her best, "not in my class will you cut up" harper look. She stands to look at him, "Apprentice! And I do use the term loosely, You will behave yourself or I'll have some of my journeyman remove you. You got me!? You *will* respect my Hall."
Liesana barely needs thirty seconds to organize her papers, already in perfect order, but it's a useful tactic to let the audiance process what's been said before she moves on. And so, in short order, once Jue's bawled out Damaric, she does exactly that, speaking in a much more confident tone than her famously shy Crafthead. "There are several common threads binding these disappearances and thefts together, I would use the analogy of a spinner's web to explain their use to a legist such as myself. By following them where they lead, they eventually lead us to the crawler sitting in the web's center. The first of these strings is the people hired for these raids. I say 'hired' because the degree of coordination required speaks to far more than just a single, simple band of Holdless. The reports of Keroon Hold, that their continual plague of bandits in the high hills vanished mysteriously shortly before the thievery began bears this out, as do reports from Harper spies with the main Holdless groups that they've been approached for hire by a group of men interceding for someone higher up the chain." She pauses again, before moving onto her second point.
Shadis watches quietly, albeit annoyed by Damaric's actions. He glares in the man's direction, whispering a terse comment about how the man should be banished from any populated areas for his outrageous speech and ignorance.
Rhys glances up to Liesana and moves nervously in his seat, one hand idly going to the marks bag at his hip. It could possibly be a bit heavy for a newly-made master...
Thadir blinks in delayed reaction to all that has been said. Eyes his notes, and then give Pizzden a belated glance.
Mailli quickly and silently jots notes down from the reports. She looks at Shadis and sighs. Such actions are not excusable and she can find no logic in them. Blinking, she turns tired eyes towards Damaric and says nothing. She has never known a dolphin to lie. Be a bit slow in the reporting of needed information perhaps, but lie? Unheard of, and she too looks about ready to draw knife. Standing, the Journeywoman makes for the door. Shadis will no doubt fill her in on the rest of what happens here, she is tired and it is after all, a long walk to the hall, "I do beg your pardon, Leisana, but I need to go now. I've lessons to prepare for the next day," she bows to the assembled Masters and slowly limps her way out of the hall.
Mailli walks with slow and deliberate steps to the Great Hall.
Damaric snorts softly, shaking his head ever so slightly as he rolls his eyes. He hadn't said anything more, but he shrugs his shoulders as he scowls, continuing to lounge quietly as he waits for the "answer" to their ineptitude.
Liesana nods once
to Mailli, and then continues, abandoning the podium to pace slowly up and down
the central space between the tables, a habit learned in the Court of the Law
and apparently a permanent addition to her public speaking.
She has her notes in one hand, but doesn't bother to read from them.
"The second string to follow is the path of the stolen goods.
While one crate looks very much like another, the kidnapping of Healer
Hall's journeyman has given us an excellent path to follow.
Reports place him first in the Igen Hold Caverns, and then moving, in the
same company and with the same goods, up the east coast of the
Jueann sighs. She's seen the reports, she's listened to the testimonies but she stillc an't beleive the scale of all this. To bring Pern down low all for the sake of greedy. Isn't having to deal with Threadfall bad enough?
Rhys watches as Liesana paces and listens intently about the path of the stolen goods. At the end, he stands up and yells before Xinea can stop him. "BITRA! You are telling me all the supplies are going to Bitra? Shells, I bargained for an eighth of a mark for each herdbeast taken from a tithe to let them go there? Faranth, I got almost 50 marks just to find out..." His voice trails off as he realizes everyone is looking at him and he actually said that outloud.
Sadira looks up at
her brother, a soft scowl is quickly replaced by a small smile. He must still be
sore over being left standing on the sands that last time before he left
"Oh yes...?" Intones Liesana of Rhys with a highly unpleasant smile as she nods to a pair of Sergeant Dashvard's men leaning in a faltering parade rest by the door, noting for them not to let anyone make a bolt for it. "Our third string is one of money." She begins again after a much longer pause, drawing a steadying breath to keep herself from rushing her ending. Rhys' bulging marks pouch gets a long and significant look. "Questioning of a few captured midlevel conspiritors has yielded the methods used to obtain the stolen goods from the Crafts: Bribery." The word is delivered low and harsh, with hard overtones of disgust. "Simple bribery, of susceptible journeymen, and even the odd Master in every Craft of Pern. To alter records, leak times and dates and strengths of shipments, or to conceal knowledge of illegal activity on the seas or on the trails. Treachery against the Crafts, and a clear violation of the Charter: Holds are not to suborn the Crafts. And who is the center of this spinner's web? I claims it to be none other than Lord Suhos of Bitra. His Hold is innocent, but /he/ is not! I have evidence that, with the blessing of the Conclave of Masters, I would like to put to the Conclave of Lords."
Jueann stands to take her place at the podium, her face very grave, "I call for a vote of Masters." Pinning a look at Damaric, "And Masters only. We not only take it to the Lord Holders but also recall all crafters from Bitra for the term of Lord HOlder's Suho's tenure. What say you."
Kiara takes a swift, shaky breath, and pales, gripping the table, mouth working but no sound coming out. Such a thing to have happen in her time...
Rhys collapses into his seat and puts his head on the table, not caring that everyone is staring at him. Xinea watches Rhys for a moment and the look on her face shows that she knew. She probably brought him to the conclave to get him to come out and admit it. With practiced hands, she reaches over and takes the knot from his shoulder and whispers that his fate now lies in the hands of Craftmaster Dalaynia and Craftsecond Chaemelle. She takes notes on Liesana's final findings and looks up as Jueann speaks. "The herderhall will recall all of our people from Bitra and any animals that are marked ours. We say take it to the Lord Holders." Rhys only slightly nods in response, obviously humiliated and in front of all of the masters of Pern.
Tandren unwraps himself and leans forward from the wall, beetle brows mating on his face as he is forced to call out, despite his deep disgust for what has been unravels. "But what evidence is there against the Lord Holder? You realize that such an accusation must be fully supported..."
Damaric snorts loudly, shaking his head in disgust. "You're obviously wrong, there's no reason for me bother with the voting." With a negligent shrug, Dam turns, strolling towards the exit, all the while muttering his contempt for the lazy crafters who are blaming a holder and using the excuse to make more people do less work. "Lazy, no good, deadglow craft masters."
Jueann glares after the apprentice, "Who let that apprentice loose? he's dangerous." She mutters to herself. "Yes, I know it's a harsh step and yes we have the evidence and the testimonies of several key people. We have enough to go on."
Sadira looks up and watches as Damaric starts to leave. Oh my, this won't be very pretty, and she isn't sure she wants to stick around to watch. However, she is here now, and she will stay. Sadira glances from Harper Master to her brother and back again before nodding. Jumping to her feet, Sadira launches herself at Damaric, "Dama, don't leave. It doesn't look good for you to go like this. At least be smart enough to recognize that if nothing else," she hisses at him as she wraps her arms around his midsection and hangs on for a ride. Yeah, like her short self could make Damaric stop anyways. What choice does she have really, now that she's tackled him like that?
Liesana, despite proudly bearing the epithet of the Harper Heretic, is meticulous when it comes to her evidence collecting. Probably one of the few reasons she's got her rank in the face of her normal disdain for acting respectable. Ready for Tandren's call or something like it, she takes an almost theatrical delight in scooping up a stack of record hides and parchement nearly a foot thick, crossing the floor once more, and dropping them all to the top of the table nearest the Healer (?) with a satisfying thump. "There's your evidence. Go through it at your leisure." is intoned, before she meekly takes her seat again, and shuts up to let Jueann take the floor and keep it, hand raised in an affirmative gesture for the actions suggested.
Neilan has no say, since his own crafters have no reason to be at that particular hold, due to its location. "I believe that'd be a wise move." He says softly, though his voice still projects. The miner apprentice is given a look for the pathetic, misguided souls of the world.
Gentilly leans forward in her chair, fingers steepled in front of her. "Fort's Harper Hall knows what's going on and my instructions from Oriana were that Jueann has her complete support in this."
Tandren stares at the loathsome stack of hides and slowly shakes his head, face and body gone even more angular as he rubs a hand wearily over his face. "As a representative for the Healers, I cannot in good conscience condone the denial of our service to /any/ hold, no matter how fouled. It will, I'm sure, be discussed amongst our council, but do not look for the removal of our people. You do, however, have our full support in whatever direction the evidence leads. I support taking it to the Holders."
Slider blinks in from ::between::!
Kiara rubs her nose thoughtfully, coming out at last with: "People will need clothes and fabric just the same. You tell us the holders aren't responsible. So I have a hard time seeing the Craftmaster suggesting we remove everyone. I'm sure you'll hear from her later, however. By all means, send it to the Holders, though."
Hrolf jumps again, his eyes blinking awake as he recieves another jab. He coughs, looking around the room for a cue to go on as to what is taking place. "What's that 'bout the Holders?" He asks, a little too loudly in his rough voice. Not even waiting for an answer, he nods, stating, "Yes, yes, that's great," before returning to his sleep-state. Whether or not that can be taken as agreement from the farmer master is unknown, since he doesn't even know what's going on.
Jueann nods, "All I ask is that you think about it. I need your answers soon." She's starting to tire. The shy confused harper just isn't cut out to command a council of masters. "I will need some sort of support to back me in the Conclave or Suhos will get away with everything."
"I would think," Liesana theorizes from her seat, voice pitched to carry and drawled slightly. "That the best statements to make would be those of an economical or political nature, as those would affect Suhos more than his people. Withdrawl of humanitarian services such as medical care is... unacceptable. Simple support from Healer Hall for the rest of the Crafts will be enough, I should think."
Pizziden looks around a blinks a few times. "Given Bitra's location, I don't see where SeaCraft is overly affected. Do what seems needful," and with that the Journeyman closes his eyes, yes, well.. The Masters can't show up someone needs to put in a mark or two.
Damaric's lips tighten at the interruption of his exit, though he gives in and hugs his younger sister gently. With another ruffling of her hair, he squeezes her then pries her fingers away, offering his hand to her before walking to and out the door, uncaring of how they punish the man they blame for their incompetance.
Sadira sighs and walks with her brother out the door. Well she did try.
Jueann counts the votes and sighs, it's almost a toss up. It wasn't a vote she was taking lightly and she could understand their hesitations. But still..... Looking tiredly over at Liesana. "Well?"
Thadir stands and looks to the two Master Harpers, "With your leave, I think it would be best to take Journeyman Pizidden to the Healers?" he respectfully awaits an answer or even a nod, as he drops a hand to the journeyman's shoulder. Ready to help the man to his feet if need be.
Liesana nods once to Jueann, catching her weariness and taking the reins with a smooth shift. "The matter is too fresh, too open to safely ask anyone to give a reasoned decision, and reason, not emotion is what is needed here. I will be sending copies of my reports to all the Craftmasters and Craftheads of Ista, and seeking replies as to final decisions, but for tonight, I and Harper Hall thank you all for coming. And I do declare this Conclave adjourned."
Jueann smiles and nods. "Thanks Liesana for your report and for your help."
Jueann calls out, "Wine and refreshments in my room!"
Thadir helps the journeyman to his feet and slowly helps him to the Healer Hall. Pizidden, of course, leans heavily on Thadir as they leave.
Kiara rises, a little shockily, and says: "I need to go talk with some of the other Weavers..." She misses walking into the doorway by a fraction on her way out.
Shadis is still peeved about the miner apprentice. He scowls himself as he waits for Neilan, so that he might talk to the master about the unknown sightings on the way out. As the man draws near, Shadis stands, introducing himself and walking through the door in discussion with the man.
© Design Copyright S. Minkus & L. Ledger, 2003
© Content Copyright the Members of the Harper's Tale Harpercraft, 1999-present
© Pern and the concept of the Harpercraft is the property of Ms. Anne McCaffrey, who kindly allows us to play in her world. Thank you!