Living Cavern
The smooth, rounded walls cavern sweep upward from an oval base, two dragonlengths long and one wide, large enough to seat every member of the Weyr at mealtimes. The soft blackness of the lava which forms these caverns swallows glowlight, so shelves for glowbaskets abound, dotting the walls every three or four paces and casting gentle greenish light toward the sparkles of gold volcanic glass embedded in the ceiling. Ancient, lustrous tables run along the axis of the cavern, and at the far end rests the raised dais and high table, where Weyrleaders and honored guests eat during formal occasions. Behind the high table, the Weyr's symbol is embedded into stone: a smoking mountain in black on an orange shield, trimmed in gold.

Turns of practice have finally mostly tamed the rampant auburn curls upon Ilae's head. To keep them from becoming a hassle, the greenrider almost always keeps her hair no longer than her shoulders, and sometimes even shorter than that. Green eyes that once danced still show flashes of that youthfulness from time to time, but seriousness more oft than not is present within them. A jagged scar that has faded slightly over the turns is still visible on her left cheek, and the scars of threadscoring are still visible upon her neck. Narrow eyebrows and a gentle nose combine with a stubborn jaw and almost equally stubborn lips complete the woman, while calloused hands and tannish skin suggest she is no stranger to work or sun. Ilae stands at only five feet four inches tall.
A finely crafted pair of riding leathers adorn Ilae's frame. Neither sophisticated or simple, they are simply designed for comfort and warmth while riding. A pair of matching boots are upon Ilae's feet. Two firelizards are perched on her shoulders.
In as mint condition as a knot can be, the knot of a wingleader rests on Ilae's shoulder, in Ista Weyr black and orange. The badge below indicates her as the Wingleader of the Riptide wing. A thread of green through it denotes her as Suumanuth's rider.
She is an adult of about 30. She is awake and looks alert.
Ilae has no apparent threadscoring.

The first thing of note with this young man is, well, he's not small. Tall, usually about a handwith taller than most people in a room, his build is barrel-chested and muscular from many Turns in Smithy apprenticeship. His hair is a tangled curled reddish mess, the brilliant red splattered about like a bowl of sauce atop his head. His eyes are the kind of hazel that shifts color in the light and at times appear to do so with his mood. Prominent cheekbones, a nose that perhaps a bit to wide and flat dusted with a couple hundred little freckles of various shades of brown, and a workable set of lips finalize the man.
A thick lightly green colored tunic hangs on him in a manner of one that grows to often to worry about a tailored fit. Below, faded black pants with just a few utility pockets and more than a few patches, fastened at the top by a wide black belt, stretch down to a pair of old black boots that look like their cobbled together from two older pairs.
He is a teenager of about 19. He is awake and looks alert.

Ilae is a woman on a mission, it would seem. Though quiet as is usual, she makes her way into the middle of the living caverns from the kitchen and stops near a table. "Excuse me." She remarks to whomever may be at the table, before pouring herself a drink of some sort. "Now, let's see.." The surrounding area is examined. For what? The bugs infesting the barracks, right now? Something else? But then white knots are spotted, and Ilae approaches. Not quite as loomingly as she'd probably hope.

Even sitting down as he is presently Lucian is not the easiest of people to loom over. Having just about taken over a table it has spread across it a number of the tools of his trade. His attention was initially focused on some thin bit of wood in front of him. He would scrape lightly at it with one blade, then pull out another before going back to work on some other detail. Lucky for him we was in the middle of swapping out tools, which means he was inspecting the new tool for lovely tiny little yellow things when he caught Ilae out of the corner of his eye. Dropping the blade to the table with a clatter he gets to his feet, which makes the whole looming over thing likely more or less impossible. "Hello ma'am," He offers looking to Ilae, "Is there something you needed?"

And Ilae's own size is…well. She's not anywhere near the tallest people of the weyr. Someone better hope her children inherit their father's heights! The greenrider smiles wryly when the woodcrafter clambers to his feet, and she dismisses the salute with a wave. "Nice salute." He's eyed, and the other candidates in the area are eyed. "Yes, I suppose you could say that." She replies thoughtfully. "You two," she points at a couple of candidates, "and yourself, Lu… Remind me of your name, Candidate? The three of you will be coming with me." Anyone who feels like fleeing should probably do so now!

"Yes Ma'am, Lucian Ma'am, if you will allow me a moment I will be right with you Ma'am." Lucian states in the manner of an apprentice more than a little used to having to jump when his teacher said jump. He turns slightly away from her, leaving his fellow candidates to reply, or flee, or add yellow moisture to the floor while he returns all his tools to their proper place as quickly and efficiently as possible then rolls his kit closed. He does not remove it from the table at the moment however in case whatever she wants is not well suited for toting a collection of carving tools along. That done he steps away from the table and turns his attention back to Ilae. "Ready when you are Ma'am."

Hatching Grounds
The heat here is stifling, encompassing, swallowing mind and hazing sight into waved oblivion. Sparkling, coarse black sand simmers with volcanic urgency underfoot, its hillocks and dunes arranged to queen's liking; reflected light filters in, offered not even perceived respite. When empty, the vault of this cavern is hushed, still that echoes and rebounds; when occupied, it is intensified.

Ilae waits patiently for the much larger person to be ready, and when it's clear that he and his fellow Candidates are, starts marching off. Quietly. How does she walk quietly in boots? It is, however, clear she expects to be followed…right on out of the weyr proper. Right to the Hatching Caverns. Right to the Sands. Just before the black sands the eggs rest upon, she turns to the following candidates. "Remember: bow to the clutch parents, /WALK/, and if you need to leave, say so. Do /not/ run. One egg at a time, and don't stay at an egg for too long." With that said, they are free!

Lucian, and his things that pass for boots, is not quite so quiet as he follows behind. But at least the clomp of his footfalls has a good steady rhythm, or it did until it finally dawned on him where exactly they were headed. When his eyes take note of the black sand he stumbles half a step. His expression takes on a certain hint of worry and perhaps his face loses a bit of color. Oddly enough though the worried glance is not directed at the clutch parents, but instead it is offered to the eggs themselves. Which for some reason he seems very reluctant to turn his back on even as he bows respectfully to Jeyth and Ruenalth. Wandering over to this Open to Interpretation Egg, he reluctantly touches his hand to its leathery surface.

Swish. Slap. Your heart is racing, your arms moving faster than you knew they could. There is no fear - no, that is not true, there is a little fear. Fear of failure? Fear of slipping? But where fear perhaps should have taken hold, there is a steady confidence instead. You can do this. You know this dance, you could do the steps in your sleep. Swish. Slap. Your breathing accelerates, and you concentrate harder. So close, /so/ /close/… And then it's gone, and you're back on the scorching hot black sands, your hand never having left the egg's surface.

Ilae lurks nearby. Not close enough to be intimidating, but close enough to be keeping a close eye on Candidates, eggs, and clutchparents alike. No one's disobeying the Rules, so Ilae doesn't feel the need to speak. Every few minutes, as a Candidate switches eggs, however, she moves. All in sight? Roger!

A blink, two, Lucian gives a shake of his head as hazel eyes shift between focused and unfocused a few times before settling down. He eyes the egg a moment, a thoughtful look curling his lip, before offering it a gentle pat and stepping away. There is something slightly different about his movements for the next few steps, they are a bit more rhythmic and graceful, which looks just a tad absurd with his large frame. Making his way around the long way to avoid turning his back on any of the eggs he closes the distance between him and the White Elephant of Athletics Egg. Which he touches with a hint less hesitation.

It's beautiful, the scene in front of you. Indescribably, irrevocably, beautiful. Anything you want, anything you see…it is yours. All you need to do is ask of it. All you need to do…is make a deal. All that glitters is not gold, in this vision of irresistible belongings, possessions, items you could never afford. But the deal you must make weighs heavily upon your mind. Is it worth it? Is all of that, worth what you must give up? Is it? It's so irresistible…and all so nearby…but dare you give everything you have up for what surely must be a fleeting dream? Is it worth it? Dare you?

If glanced at, Ilae nods reassuringly. She's still keeping an eye on candidates and clutch parents alike, and it's safe to say she'll let her victims of choice know when it's time to disengage. But the finish line hasn't yet appear, and all are in the clear. At least, until one of the other two candidates start looking queasy. Ilae escorts that one off the Sands.

Lucian's mouth moves, offering words that carry no sound to ears that cannot hear them. He is hesitant to pull his hand away, and reaches ouch as if to touch the egg again once he does. Pausing just a breath away from contact, his hand hangs there trembling slightly before he closes it into a fist and pulls away. He watches the egg as he walks away, so distracted is he by it that he is not paying as much attention to where his feet are headed as he should. He stumbles over some uneven sand and starts to teeter on his feet briefly, managing to catch his balance without landing on or bumping into anything. However, in his attempt to rebalance himself, his arms stretch out in such and awkward way that his hand brushes against the Perfect Poise egg.

Careful, steady now! Do you have your center of balance? Are you poised perfectly? Do you feel the lungs racing for air between your legs, exhilarated by mere excitement? Can you control yourself? The runner you're upon? Or are you heading straight for disaster? You'd better be careful, lest you find yourself in over your head. You left everything in perfect order, didn't you? Are you sure? No time for second guessing, ready, steady….go!

Ilae spots Lucian's attempt to rebalance himself, and enters the grouping of eggs carefully while he's distracted. If his elbow isn't too high out of her reach, she'll grab it to rebalance him. Hopefully. "Careful, Candidate." She admonishes, eyes narrowed. "You good? I think we're good for one more, unless you're done." A quick glance is cast the the dragons on the sands, to confirm the thinking.

"Sorry, sorry…" Lucian replies in a low distracted voice that oddly enough doesn't seem to be directed so much towards the one that offered him assistance to something unseen, though he does seem genuinely sorry never the less. His movements are particularly careful as he dismounts thin air and finally looks to Ilae as if just now noticing she was there, "Yes Ma'am, I'm good Ma'am, one more Ma'am." He chooses his steps carefully, one after another until he reaches his final goal, Cheering, Roaring, Crowded egg.

As soon as your hand touches the egg, your head fills with cheers. Various dialects, slurred words, and in maybe a few cases, insults are shouted from all around you. But even if you're claustrophobic, the voices shouldn't be too overwhelming. Glance around, and you'll see…you're the star of this show. All of those cheers, the good and the bad, they're for you, kid. Don't forget to breathe, and do what you've been training to do. You've got this. You can DO this. This show's all yours, and you, Lucian, determine the outcome. Just as you start to move to prove the happy cheers true, contact with the egg breaks, and you find yourself on the smoltering sands once again.

Ilae releases the candidate once sure he's steady, and disengages from the eggs herself. Lucian and the remaining candidate are watched, and once she's certain they'll be listening, she says loud enough to be heard, but not loud enough to startle, "not too bad. Come on out, carefully, and you may return to what you were doing before." Relief from the sands from all involved!

Lucian takes a sudden step forward, assuming a stance, ready to do… Something. He blinks a few times, looking down to his hands as if they might have some clue as to what he was about to do. His head cocks a bit to one side, eyebrows knit as he frowns thoughtfully. He's certain it was important if only he could. He lifts his gaze from the sands, nodding and offering a soft, "Yes Ma'am," as he and his fellow candidates are told to leave. He's very careful of the eggs, tip toeing around them so slowly that he is the last to leave them behind. A final bow is offered to Jeyth and Ruenalth along with a simple "Thanks" before he leaves the sands.

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