About the Craft

 

A Harper's Life

 

Events in the Harperhall

 

Meet the Harpers

 

In the Vaults

Craft Dinner

June 2003

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Main Hall and Ballroom

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 informal... [look closer]

 

Quayna walks down the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.

 

Ylisa walks down the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.

 

Caeran nonchalantly strolls in through an arch from the great hall.

 

Kierna walks in.

 

Quayna trots downstairs, hastily fastening her runnertail with the usual scarf. She pauses at the bottom of the stairs, looking around nervously.

 

Once more, the tables and linens have been set out, and once again, the ballroom resounds with the murmurs of all of Ista's Harpers under one roof and in one room.  At the raised table for the Masters, Liesana breaks with tradition by being early for once, starched and formal in her best formal wear, and sneezing vigorously into a handkerchief. 

 

Ylisa comes down the stairs with a spring in her step and a cheerful smile on her face.  Pausing a few steps from the bottom, she scans the ballroom and the people assembling, then heads on down, all set to be sociable.

 

Caeran sprints in. "Sorry I'm late!" he calls to everyone in the room, though that would only cause all the more disturbance, before coming to a dead stop. He looks around in relief. "I'm /not/ late, am I?" He straightens his clothing and his hair and walks the rest of the way in a dignified manner.

 

Niara storms through the doors of the hall, riding gloves gripped tightly in one hand, the other holding a rip in her skirt closed. Her eyes widen at the site of the gathering harpers and her mouth drops into an embarrassed grimace. She weaves her way to the Master's table and stands silently, hoping that /someone/ would notice her disheveled state and give her their attention.

 

Quayna shakes her head at Caeran. "You weren't late - though you could've fooled us," she teases the younger apprentice, brushing down the front of her tunic self-consciously.

 

Sioned walks in.

 

/Someone/ does indeed notice, Liesana finishing her sneezing fit in time to wipe a reddened nose with the handkerchief, sniffle once, and then turn to eye her disheveled foster daughter, lifting an eyebrow to ask "Take Hadrian out without asking again?"  as her free hand reaches for a mug of steaming herb tea a drudge is pressing on her.

 

Jueann walks down the curving staircase from the balcony hallway.

 

Caeran smiles at Quayna. "Looks like Niara thought she was late too," he says as he nears the bedraggled woman. At least he's mostly in order. He's scraped several body parts from tripping, but other than that you would never know the difference. The formality-hating apprentice is rarely found in formal attire, and tonight isn't one of those occasions.

 

"I h-a-t-e runners. They have got to be the stupidest creatures ever. And no... not Hadrian. Tried one of the newer ones, and the dimglow threw me and ran off. I had to walk all the way back. Permission to be late so I can change?" Niara rattles off her explication and request in a barely intelligible growl, shifting so Liesana can see the ragged edges of the hole in her skirt.

 

Jueann comes out of the Harper Office, looking less harried then normal.  There's an ink smudge on her left cheek where she had accidently, wiped her face with the knuckle of her finger.  Taking her place at the head of the Master's Table, she nods to a couple people.

 

Quayna moves to a free space at the apprentices' table, folding her skirts neatly beneath her as she sits down to wait for the Masters to start whatever it is they need to start. She glances over at Niara, following Caeran's words, and shrugs. "She'd better hurry if she needs to change."

 

Kierna slips in from the way of the great hall, a small overnight pack slung over her shoulder. Setting it off to the side she glances about to see if she recognizes any of the hall apprentices. Shrugging after a moment she slips into a seat.

 

Ylisa circulates, greeting this person and that, before coming to a halt near some of the apprentices.  "I've hardly seen you since you got back, Quayna.  How's it going?"

 

Liesana chuckles and shakes her head. "There are no stupid runners, only overconfident people.  Permission granted, Nia."  she waves off, nursing the mug of tea and rubbing at her sinuses.  "And next time, ask Synte before taking out a strange beast."

 

Sioned makes her way back in and quickly finds a seat. She glances around to see who is here and waves to a few. Soon as she has made herself known to be there she then props her head up on the table with her hand.

 

Quayna gives Ylisa a warm smile. "I missed your promotion! But otherwise, things are fine. I'm settling back in just... well, fine." The apprentice gives a shrug for her lack of originality in words.

 

Jueann standing at her place, nods to all.  "let's be seated. Please.  We have alot to do tonight."

 

Caeran plops down across from Quayna, as the empty spots are filling up very quickly. He can't believe he was actually early, after running all that way. He tries to remember if he saw Niara as he ran. "Hi, Ylisa," he says with a grin. "How have you been doing?" He hushes when he realizes Jueann has spoken.

 

Niara is about the respond when Jueann's announcement catches her attention. With a roll of her eyes as her only allowable response, she nods and dashes across the hall to the stairs, taking them two at a time until she hits the second step. "ooww..." she whines under her breath and heads up to the dorms.

 

Ylisa gives a quick chuckle and says, "It happened so quickly I almost missed it, too! Anyway, better sit down.  Hello, Caeran, I'm doing well, thanks.  See you later."  With that, she steps across to the Journeyman's table and drops into a seat.

 

"Aaaaahh-CHOO!!" follows directly on the heels of Jueann's directions, followed by a sheepish sniffle from Liesana, who waves the handkerchief in one hand slightly, as if by way of explanation.  Still, the craftsecond tries to look her attentive self, propping her chin on one hand and turning to focus on Jue.

 

Jueann takes her seat, brushing her hair back out of her eyes, smearing the ink smudge a bit more.  Nodding to the drudges to bring in the food.

 

Quayna goes quiet in response to Jueann, shuffling in her seat - and then looking excited and interested as the food's brought in. "Wonder if the cooks have done anything interesting for us tonight?" she says to Caeran, opposite.

 

Caeran loves food, and beams when the drudges emerge from the kitchen. "They always do something a little interesting, it seems. For variety, I guess." He ponders what to eat first. Tubers would be nice. Then again, he can have tubers any time. Maybe he's up for something a little  more substantial. He digs his knife into some steak.

 

Sioned sighs happily as food is passed out. "I am so hungry." sh says in a low tone. She trys to fill her plate as full as she can with out taking it all for herself. She then passes on the trays with a smile and hopes for seconds.

 

Ylisa finds herself between an empty seat and a couple of journeymen who are deep in conversation and ignoring everyone else.  Not very promising.  She concentrates on the food, helping herself to quite large portions and then eyeing her plate as if regretting it.

 

Liesana would normally be tucking into her food with a right good appetite, but, feeling slightly better than a large pile of firestone ash, she contents herself with chasing a sauteed mushroom around her plate with her fork, the dastardly fungus managing to evade her repeatedly.  Still, amber eyes settle on the ink smudge on Jueann's cheek, and with a soft "Hssst... Jue." and some rubbing motions of her own cheek, she tries to get the Crafthead's attention.

 

Jueann looks over at Lies, rubbing her cheek.  Seeing the ink on her fingers, chuckles softly.  Picking up a napkin, dipping it water, well one can gues the rest.  Looking over at Lies as if to ask if she got it all. 

 

Quayna tucks in to tubers and meat with the rest of them, pouring extra gravy on her dinner. "Well, it tastes pretty good," she answers Caeran after munching her first forkful.

 

Kierna serves a few of the dishes onto her plate, dumping a pile of vegetables on her neighbor's plate, a fellow Tilleken apprentice with a notorious dislike for vegetables. Talking between bites she points out a few of the notiable harpers to her companion.

 

Niara descends the stairway and renters the scene. Although not in her formal wear like a few others, she at least has a new skirt, has brushed her hair and washed her face, and has attempted to cover the reddening scrape on her cheek with her hair. She scampers around the outside of the room and slides into a seat at her appropriate table. She offers a puzzled look to Liesana's motions, but quickly covers a smirk when she notices Jueann's cheek.

 

Caeran tries to eat slowly. He doesn't want to be full before the business part of the dinner starts. Eating is typically the only thing that keeps him awake and functioning. He notes Niara's return,  thinking that perhaps he should have changed himself. He immediately dismisses that idea and takes another bite.

 

Liesana gives Jueann a grin and points at one final spot, before returning to ignoring her dinner, and the clucking of an elderly drudge who seems to have taken the care and feeding of the too-slender Craftsecond to be a personal quest.  Glances are given at various members of the audiance, and she leans in on her elbow to murmur a few comments to her master about various possible promotees.

 

Sioned notices Niara seat herself at the table. "Where were you?" she asks with a smile. She didn't see her earlier. She takes a quick drink and waits for a reply from her. "I came over from my Aunts at Ista Hold, so I got cleaned up over there."

 

Niara rolls her eyes and leans over, about to speak until a drudge passes behind her. Nia gets her attention and quickly whispers her request for the trays to be recirculate her way. "Runner..." she picks up with Sioned. "Threw me and I had to walk back. Tore my skirt too. I was getting changed. Ooo..." the tray of meat diverts her attention once again.

 

Jueann chuckles as she cleans her face very quickly, as she turns her attention to her meal and the conversation around her.  She too isn't much interest in eating tonight for some reason as he begins to study the fresh young faces around her.

 

Quayna concentrates on her food - though she spares a moment or two (or three or four) to glance towards the journeymen's and masters' tables. Ylisa gets a rueful smile, even if she doesn't see it; the masters get curious looks,  though hopefully not so obvious that Quayna's noticed.

 

Sioned smiles. "Never had much luck with runners. Not sure why." and she watches Nia pile her plate and she laughs a little and tends to her own stomach with a smiles of course. She looks up and wonders. "Are you gonna be able to fix the skirt?" continuing to eat as she waits again.

 

For someone who normally doesn't eat a lot, Ylisa is making surprisingly healthy inroads into that rather good herdbeast-steak. Still, the pair next to her have dropped from normal conversation into low murmurs and staring into each others' eyes, so there's not much else to do except eat and keep an eye on the Masters' table to see what's happening next.

 

Jueann standing up, looking around before she cleans her throat and taps her knife on the table like a gavel.  "Alright now.  First off, I would like to announce that Journeyman Torlan and Journeyman Aife are requesting sr apprentices to help them at the Ista and High Reaches Weyr.  If you are interested, see me or Liesana.  Secondly, if youare interested in a posting with a posted journeyman outside the Hall you must come to me or Lies."  Looking over at Liesana for a second, and nods.  Looking about at the apprentices, "We have some promotions to give out tonight."

 

"Oooh, a posting to Ista Weyr!" Quayna can't help but murmur excitedly. "That's where I was brought up, you know," she tells the apprentice next to her, who just shrugs and reapplies himself to his food.

 

Kierna pauses in her eating, letting her fork make a small clatter onto her plate as she stops to listen to Jueann. Shushing her companion she glares at him "Hush, I want to hear." Loe mutters "Sorry" before sticking another bite in his mouth.

 

Caeran would groan, but his mouth is full. Knowing he is very unlikely to recieve a promotion, and not exactly caring at the moment who is going to be, he decides to tune this next part out. "I hope to get back there one day. Maybe when I'm a senior appy," he whispers to Quayna. "High Reaches wouldn't be bad either."

 

Niara lifts lidded eyes to the Master's table, though she does nod and mouth "Hope so," to Sioned's question.

 

Jueann looking at the junior apprentice tables, she smile, "Well Shawi and Delatia are old enough now to be taken on as full apprentices.  Stand up you two and walk to the Apprentice Table."

 

The two young ladies stood up and walked over to sit with the apprentices, grinning happily at this new development in their lives.

 

Liesana is doing her level best to follow the proceedings, even if the young master (30 is still young for a master, so hush!) is thinking longing thoughts of hot baths and comfortable pillows.  The two junior apprentices get applause from her, and a little smile for both of them, but her attention is mostly focused on the table of current apprentices, eyes settling on a few in particular.

 

Kierna watches the two girls for a moment, before sneaking a quick bite off her plate.

 

Caeran applauds automatically, not really focused on what is going on. When everyone else seems to be clapping, he copies them. 'Attention. Apprentice Caeran will now be devoured by wild felines.' He'd probably be clapping then as well. He keeps his eyes on his plate.

 

Turning her attention now to the apprentice table, The Craftmasters level her gaze at each apprentice there.  "First off.  Apprentices Jocan, Murin and Pipin are on water rations for three days and they have to help Smith Sean cleaning the forge for their prank with the soot bucket in the girl's dorm after they finish cleaning up the mess.  I hope you girls are giving them what for as they are cleaning."

 

Ylisa neglects her meal to watch and clap softly as the two girls move to their new places.  Not so the two lovebirds, who simply continue their intense conversation until someone on the other side of them nudges the young man; then they fall into embarrassed silence.

 

Quayna smirks at the three apprentices who are getting punished. "Serves 'em right," she tells the fellow female apprentice on her left, who nods vehemently in agreement.

 

Niara gives one of those sappy, 'I remember when,' smiles and joins in the clapping for a moment before picking the napkin out of her lap and fishing around in her glass of water for a few ice cubes. She promptly folds them into the napkin and holds it up to her cheek, elbows planting on the table gloomily.

 

Kierna coughs on her bite of food, well that will be some interesting gossip to bring back to Tillek, she's just glad she wasn't here for it. Nudging her companion "Loe, did you hear that?" she motions towards the boys just in case he wasn't. "I bet you would have been right there with em if you could have been." Her companion forms into a bright blush muttering under his breath a moment.

 

Caeran flashes a smile to the three boys who got caught. One of them glares back at him. He shrugs. He knew it was them, but it wasn't him who told. He'd never betray a fellow prankster in such a manner. Innocently he goes back to eating.

 

Stilling pinning her gaze at the apprentice table, Jueann says in a stern voice. "Quayna.  Caeran.  Stand up.  I've been given reports about your conduct in class."

 

Sioned shrugs and looks around a slight wave goes to Kierna as she didn't see her untill just now. She looks at her plate as she finishes the last bite quietly. A quick glance is given to the boys and then a shrug. Her head is promptly placed on her hand.

 

Ylisa tries to look suitably disapproving when Jueann pronounces the punishment on the offending appies, but can't quite manage it and resorts to staring at her plate instead until Caeran's name is called.  Then she looks up, all concentrated attention.

 

Quayna flashes a panicky glance at Caeran. Uh-oh. Getting to her feet, she smoothes down her tunic, and grimaces at the sauce stain that's blossoming on one lapel. "Master Jueann," she manages to say in a level tone.

 

Kierna winces slightly, hmm this doesn't sound good. Spotting Sioned's wave she returns the greeting discretely.

 

Liesana looks properly grave and solemn at the apprentices being called up, forcing her lips into a thinly disapproving line that only twitches a -little- bit.  Honest.  She thinks better of that tactic, and raises a hand to screen the lower half of her face, watching with interest and occasionally rubbing her nose.

 

Caeran's mind doesn't register until Quayna stands, and then he recalls hearing his name and something about his conduct. That's not good. He pulls himself to his feet after a redicuulously long time and stands there silently, staring at the master grimly and hoping his punishment isn't too severe.

 

Jueann turns to look at the masters and at Liesana, "What punishment should I give these two?  What do you think?"

 

"I think you should follow that first option we discussed, Jue,"  Liesana opines, sounding stuffed-up rather than her usual polished diction as she quite happily keeps them wondering just that little bit more.  "Clearly these two are an interesting case."

 

Quayna is trying to be mature and sensible in the face of adversity - but she fidgets with the fork in front of her anyway, drawing lines in the gravy on her plate.

 

Jueann nods, turning about to the two, "Well there's nothing left to do but promote you two to sr apprentices for your good reports from all your teachers."

 

Caeran sorts through his memories, wondering which past incident did him in. Was it the tuber sculpting? Or maybe the whole thing with the ink...But he was convinced at the time Journeyman Oekaf believed it was an accident. And what could Quayna possibly have done that he hadn't heard about? Then he hears Jueann's words. "Why...thank you," he manages to say.

 

Kierna coughs at the sudden apparent turn in events. Her cough quickly turns into a slight chuckle before she makes a quiet commentary to her companion "Well that is one way to do it."

 

Sioned ears perk up as Senior Appies are mentioned. She looks at the two and smiles and begins to clap with the table. A quick glance and a nod is sent Kierna's way also.

 

Quayna blinks. "So this isn't about...." she starts to say, then abruptly shuts up, clenching her fists at her sides. "Senior.... thank you!" she answers, pleased as well as surprised, and takes a couple of steps towards Jueann.

 

Ylisa smiles broadly and applauds, annoying neighbours forgotten.  "Well done, Quayna!"

 

Caeran smiles at Quayna. "Congratulations," he whispers to her. Now that she's taken care of, he can finally do nothing but stare into space for the rest of the night. And eat. There's always eaating. Too bad he's running low on meatrolls.

 

Niara lifts the makeshift icepack away from her cheek and gingerly feels out the spot on her cheek, nodding and trying not to smile too broadly at Quayna moves away from the apprentice table.

 

Jueann looks over at the journeyman table, "The miners and the herders are looking for a harper to post with them."  Then her eyes fall on Ylisa.  "Aren't you sitting at the wrong table Ylisa?  Shouldn't you be siting with the Sr journeymen?"

 

Ylisa has just looked away from the proceedings to help herself to some fruit when Jueann speaks to her.  She looks up, smiling, and calmly replies, "We could do with a few more seats on that one, Master Jueann; there wasn't room tonight with everyone here."

 

Jueann chuckles, "Ylisa.  Our newest sr. journeyman. Everyone."

 

Quayna, in the middle of moving herself (plate and all) to sit with the other senior apprentices, glances up towards Ylisa. Another promotion already? With a bright grin for the others who share her new status, she settles down in an empty seat, and pokes once more with her fork at the food.

 

Sioned looks at her plate in need of seconds but decides to wait till after the dinner finishes before she raids the food left over. She glances at the Masters table then at Ylisa. Hrmm. She claps a little and smiles. Zone'n out.

 

Kierna watches the promotions come quickly now, grinning her fool head off "We'll be doing that someday too." she nudges her companion's attention back towards the front.

 

Jueann nods, "That's all I have for tonight. I'm very proud of you all." Untill her eyes fall on the three pranksters, "Well most of you, anyways." Raising her glass, "The the Harpers of Ista Hall!"

 

Caeran follows Quayna over to the new table, still a bit dazed. How could he possibly have gained this new rank so quickly? It seems like he hans't had nearly enough classes yet. But he is too excited to worry about that for long. "I just can't believe it," he tells her.

 

Jueann Hits the OOC Button.  "Ok, guys. some ooc announcements

 

Kierna raises her glass as well, and as the ranking visitor from Tillek she can't help but add "And Tillek" not too loud, but certainly not whispered either.

 

Quayna stabs at the leftovers of her meal with her fork, before joining Jueann in the toast. "I'm a bit surprised myself - well, about me too, but about you as well. I didn't think you'd be here long enough," she tells Caeran, her heavy brows almost joining as she frowns.

 

Caeran puts on his OOC hat and pulls out some oreos.

 

Under the glare of the OOC Light, Jueann begins, "Some ooc stuff.  We really do need people at the weyrs, active and wanting to bring activity to the weyrs. But when we do send people out, they are good for a bit, then they too go idle with discouragement.  Also...."

 

Jueann munches on popcorn, "Also, the herders are working up a tp that looks promising.  Those of you with herder alts, knows. We'll be posting details when we get them."

 

Jueann says, "Lastly, my activity is going to go down hill as the summer heats up.  If you need help with anything the harper staff are wonderful people.  We need active rp'ing and tp's.  If you have pranks, tp ideas, please please let us know.  We may want to participate too."

 

Kierna mutters and needs to get more active and finish her project one of these days.

 

Jueann says, "Ohh I almost forgot.  Niara, our handy dandy webperson has a new look to our webpage.  Get with her for the url."

 

Jueann says, "Any quesitons? comments?"

 

Caeran wonders if Pern has flugelhorns.

 

Jueann depends on the metal

 

Caeran hmms. Well, they're really just enlarged trumpets...

 

Though I don't plan on RPing about flugelhorns any time soon.

 

Ylisa notes that she's very willing to be grabbed for classes when she's on, but finds it difficult to plan them in advance for various reasons.

 

Sioned nods and needs classes. Huggles Ylisa!

 

Kierna wonders "Sr. Appies teaching, how does that work again?

 

Jueann says, "They can teach with a j'man sitting in or staffer watching via spy"

 

Sioned wonders if I teach a class...with a J'man or higher sitting in...can it count as one of my two specialty classes... if i already have the first one

 

Niara   There is a teaching credit needed to be fulfilled as well, Sioned.

 

Sioned knows that, but i was just wondering if it could happend *huggles Nia*

 

Jueann says, "We think it's a separate category on the progress board"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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