Feline Meat? Eeew!

Western Weyr - Recreation Cavern
This large cavern is painted a pleasant shade of pale blue-green, with purple highlights along borders. Western Weyr's badge is featured in a twin tapestries hanging on either side of the entry. Directly inside the doors and to the right is an area with bookshelves and a long computer desk for the public computer. Several chairs line the desk so that people waiting for the computer may pursue other studies. To the left of the entrance is a sitting area with a chess set built into a table.
Along the wall to the left is a bar, set up against the storage closet. Tall metal chairs with bright purple and blue-green cushions line the bar; beside the bar is a pair of gambling machines. Prior to recent renovations, the bar was set up on the other side of the room in front of a huge mirror inset into the wall. Now that mirror is behind a slightly elevated stage featuring a piano recently built by the Harper Hall and transported to the islands. Several music stands and musician's chairs are stacked against the wall, for use when Harpers or weyrfolk desire to perform.
Along the wall opposite the entrance are dart boards, each with a set of couches and chairs nearby for relaxation between turns. And all throughout the room are sitting areas with similarly constructed couches and chairs, all featuring blue-green or purple fabric. Short, darkly stained wooden tables are centered inside each sitting area, for games, food, drinks, and whatever else weyrfolk need. Near the center of the room is a large, long table useable both for crafty pursuits or table tennis, and interspersed throughout the room are card tables with wooden, cushioned chairs.

It's early evening at Western Weyr, after a brisk (by Western's standards) spring day has begun to cool further with the lowering of the sun. Weyrfolk are clustered throughout the rec cavern. Kayse is among those gathered around the dart board, lounging casually on a couch with one arm draped across its back. The young woman is observing and chatting with the players, not participating herself. (rough re-pose - original pose lost)

While the same age as the young folks engaged in their game of darts, Gorrin looks decidedly out of place and a little ill at ease among such company. With a mug of some hot beverage to ward off the day's chill, he makes his way in from the living caverns, seeming a touch surprised to find the place so crowded. His clothes are a mishmash of dark colors, suited for blending in when one is in the wilderness, but having the exact opposite effect here. Looking for a place to sit and sip his drink, he edges towards the couch, only to find it largely occupied by the lounging young woman.

Kayse isn't the first of her gathering to notice Gorrin's approach. That is the purview of one of the dart throwers, a young man, who comments to the group in a not-so-quiet voice, jerking his chin toward Gorrin, "Is he using the mug to get a drink, or is a shield to keep people away?" Kayse glances where the player indicated and shrugs. "Maybe both?" she replies to the player as she straightens herself out on the couch, leaving plenty of room for Gorrin to sit. "Which is it? Shield or drink?" she asks of Gorrin with a smile.

Gorrin arches his eyebrow at the young man shooting questions his way. "Do you always greet people with questions like that? Your way of seeming clever, maybe?" He remarks dryly. Of course he's failed to answer the question, and probably just engaged in the same kind of verbal gamesmanship he just accused the other young man of. In any case, he takes a sip before smiling thinly, then accepting the seat where Kayse just made room for him. Only then does he answer. "Really, just been out in the cold all day. Needed something to ward off the chill. No great mystery."

The dart-throwing young man turns a quick grin on Gorrin, saying, "It wasn't a question to you, so no, I certainly don't!" before he completes his turn at the board and retires to another couch to talk with one of the other players. Kayse shakes her head slightly at the exchange, still smiling, then nods when Gorrin responds to her. "Fair enough. You did look a bit overwhelemed, though. I take it from your clothes that you tend to not be in large gatherings often, spending most of your time in, hmmm, wooded areas?" Her own clothes, while lacking the mottled patterns of a hunter's garb, are marked here and there with faintly visible stains from plant juices and work in the dirt.

Gorrin just rolls his eyes slightly at the dart player, seeing no more need to engage with him further at present. Not that he seems particularly bothered. He just has a little sip of his mystery drink before glancing over at Kayse. He doesn't seem to relax very much, still sitting rather rigidly upright. "You are correct." He answers, simply. "Quite observant. I am… not used to gatherings like this at all. I take it from your own clothes that you are somewhat acquainted with the outdoors?"

Kayse's smile widens into a grin at Gorrin's rolled eyes, offering, "He's a cheeky brat, don't mind him." Which earns her a stuck-out tounge from the young man in question, but no contradiction. "I'm a woodcrafter specializing in forestry and botany. I spend at least three-quarters of my time in the woods these days. What do you do, if you don't mind me asking? And what's brought you into the Weyr?"

"I wasn't planning on it." Gorrin replies to the comment about not minding the dart-player, a little smile on his face again between sips of his drink. "Ah. That would explain it." He replies to the explanation about the girl's occupation. "I'm a hunter." He explains. "There've been reports of dangerous felines encroaching near the weyr lately. Tracks and other markings. I've come to thin the population a bit before there are any incidents. Best be careful in the woods."

Kayse's eyes darken at the mention of felines and she pulls her arms in against her body, a shiver of dislike running up her spine. "Well, that's good to know. That a hunter's taking the situation in hand, I mean. I've heard a little bit about feline sign being noticed more often, but I hadn't realized they were getting closer to the Weyr." Kayse's expression is a mix of concern and calculation as she considers this information. "I think I'll work on some book research for my botany training for the next few weeks. Or audit a logging camp. I don't think wandering about in the woods alone would be the best idea."

"No actual sightings yet. But plenty of tracks. The Headwoman's doing the smart thing and hiring me to address the matter before anything worse happens." Gorrin says before taking another long, slow sip. He finally relaxes somewhat, enough to at least lean back against the couch. "That may be wise. Unless you have any experience with them, felines can be very dangerous creatures."

"I'm certainly glad to hear someone is looking in to it," Kayse says with obvious relief. "I have absolutely no experience with felines, and while my firelizard is always willing to defend me, I think she would be rather outmatched." She takes a deep breath and slowly releases it, willing away the tension caused by Gorrin's statements. "Well, it's good to know about that. Thank you. While there's no certainty that I would have come to grief without knowing, having the information will make sure I don't take unnecessary risks. Good hunting."

Gorrin can't help but chuckle a little. "Your firelizard is quite mighty, I am certain. But yes, probably best we do not test it. In any case… you would almost certainly have been fine. It's just some extra tracks thus far. But a little caution rarely hurts. I am glad to help, though I hope I will be offering more concrete help soon." He takes another sip. "In any case… it is inadvisable to hunt felines after sunset, and I am at something of a loss for how to occupy myself during these hours. What is there to do here? Beyond… this." He says with a dismissive wave in the direction of the dart players.

Kayse makes a face at the reference to her firelizard. "She is quite the hunter herself, and loves to show off her prowress by bringing home her prey. Unfortunately, she has a bad habit of not always killing it before she brings it to me. I've had many a spiderclaw and tunnelsnake deposited in my lap that's still squirming," she laments. "I'm just glad she's smart enough to stay away from larger prey." Gorrin's question has her 'hmm'ing thoughtfully, fingers tapping against her leg, before she begins listing off options for entertainment. "Well, there's quite a bit you can do here in the rec cavern, such as play chess, any number of card games, table tennis, or slots. There is a pleasure garden of sorts to walk in, and the lagoon is good for swimming. There are plenty of books to read and you can use the computers to study as well. You can get drinks at the bar here or head over to the Tiki Lounge by the lagoon. They have really good beer. That's about it for recreation. Oh, I suppose you could also see if someone is willing to loan you a runner and ride along the island road toward the marketplace. It's a bit far for a walk at this time of day."

Gorrin listens to the listed activities, his eyebrow arching a little at a few of the suggestions given. "Westerners still go swimming when it's this brisk?" He asks, evidently a little surprised by that. "Hmmm. The drinks do seem to be quite good… though I thought apprentices were generally prohibited from indulging in such things?" He asks with a little bit of an amused smirk and another quirk of his eyebrow. "Well. In any case, that is quite a thorough list. No doubt I will be sufficiently occupied during my time here. Thank you."

Kayse explains readily, "It's not that cold in the water. It holds heat better than air does, so it doesn't cool off much as the evening comes on. Give it another month, and it won't be below seventy degrees even at night. Of course, it'll also be rather muggy in the bowl during the day, so night will be the best time to swim anyway as summer comes on." For the comment about drinks she shrugs. "None of the masters I've served under have objected to drinking in moderation. I'm not one to indulge to excess, so I've been fine. Anyhow, yes, there's quite a few options, so staving off boredom should be possible." The last is said with a smile as she adjusts her seat on the couch, settling back deeper into the cushions. "So will you be starting your search for the felines tomorrow?"

Gorrin considers that for a moment. "Hrm. I suppose with a bonfire ready to ward off the chill of returning to shore, that might actually be a rather pleasant way to spend an evening such as this one." He grins a little. "It sounds as if you have some very level headed masters. Lucky you." He chuckles a bit, having another sip of his own beverage before answering her last question. "Mmmm. I started today, actually. No luck as of yet, but I have an idea of where to look. I shall resume tomorrow."

Kayse observes, "It's rarely really /cold/ here, even in winter. I don't think it's ever been below fifty degrees or so since I was posted to the Weyr. Though there are certainly cooler days, especially like now at the very start of spring. I'm fond of temperatures in the seventies, myself, so when it gets down into the low sixties as the day winds down I'm all for being inside instead of in the bowl, regardless of whether there is a nice fire going outside." There's a shrug at the mention of her masters and she passes on comment, instead continuing the discussion of the felines. "Good luck finding them quickly and safely ridding us of them. Or, well, I guess they have a purpose in the forests, so we have to leave /some/ around, but I'd really rather they not be anywhere near me."

"I came here from Eastern, dealing with a similar problem they have been having." Gorrin says. "I suppose it threw me off a bit. It is truly sweltering out there. Although the weyrfolk told me the heat was unusual even by their standards." He turns to face Kayse more fully, regarding her curiously for a moment. "What of yourself? Is this how you spend a typical evening?" He asks, gesturing to the rec cavern as a whole again. Then he answers her well wishes. "Thank you. Indeed, some must be left alive, or the populations of the creatures they prey upon would grow out of control. But their numbers must be tightly controlled."

Kayse asks curiously, "Is this what you do most of the time? Travel from place to place controlling the population of predators, I mean. I've known a few hunters, but most of them focused on hunting purely for food and not for protection," she adds. The question to her has her blinking for a moment, not expecting the query. "Oh, uhm, it depends on where I am. I'm not always at the Weyr. I spend time over on the main section of the continent, too. If I'm here, well, I'll visit with friends, or study, or go swimming. Whatever feels right for the day, and fits the time I have free."

"More marks in it this way." Gorrin answers simply enough. "Headwomen will usually pay for someone who will hunt the most dangerous threats to their communities. Sometimes I can get free lodging as well, if it is too cold to camp outdoors. Feline fur is also quite valuable this turn. I understand it has come into fashion with Lady Holders in the north." He shrugs his shoulders at that. "Which isn't to say it isn't also for food as well. I've developed something of a taste for feline meat. Weyrfolk rarely eat it, from what I understand." He raises an eyebrow at her again. "I see. And was this your entire plan for tonight?" He asks, another sweeping gesture at the cavern. "… I do not mean to pry. You just seem among the more tolerable people I have met here." How flattering.

"Oh, I hadn't even thought of that," Kayse says, blushing at the mention of payment. "That's the result of being an apprentice who doesn't have much in the way of money needs, I suppose." There's a shrug then, dismissing fashion in general, and a brief wrinkling of her nose. "You actually eat their meat?" A hesitation, then, "What does it taste like?" As for her… "Uhm, pretty much, yes. I hadn't really planned on anything more than relaxing for a bit, and watching the dart games can be fun." She doesn't touch his statement about her tolerability, though the blush is still coloring her cheeks.

Gorrin chuckles a little at the inquiry into the taste of the felines. "Of course. It would be wasteful not to. The taste is… rather difficult to describe. Rather gamey. I do have some jerky, but if you're truly curious, it's best enjoyed as a roast. You're welcome to some when I make my first catch here, there's always far too much to be eaten by myself alone." He says with a touch of amusement. He looks out at the dart game for a moment. "You watch, but you do not play yourself?" This seems puzzling to him.

Kayse once again looks embarassed at overlooking the obvious. "Right. And leaving the meat lying around would probably attract more predators, wouldn't it? Ah, no, thank you, I don't think I'd like to try that. I'm happy with fish, foul, and herd for my meat sources." She shudders at the idea of actually eating feline flesh herself. "I'm sure you could find someone to sell it to, however. We /do/ have a substantial marketplace nearby. As for the dart game, well, I'm not very good at it. I have more fun watching other than playing. I /can/ play when I want to but I prefer to be a spectator." There is a pause before she asks, "Do you play darts?"

"Not to mention it would spoil fairly quickly." Gorrin adds with a little bit of a smile. "Best that can be done to preserve it is dry it and make jerky. In any case, suit yourself. More for me." He says with what might be the slightest hint of a jesting tone. He looks out to eye the dart throwers for a moment before shaking his head. "No, not really. I know the basic rules, but I've never really taken the time to learn the game properly. I'm… not usually one for games involving a large group. Though I have been known to play cards from time to time."

Kayse nods with the air of one who really isn't concerned with the idea of the meat spoiling. She lets the subject of felines as food drop, happily latching on to his admission regarding darts. "It's pretty straightforward, so far as playing goes. You have a set point goal decided between the players, and the first person to score that many points wins. Each section of the board has a different point value, and you each take turns throwing, so skill is a big part of the game." She tilts her head then. "What card games do you prefer? I know the basics of poker and blackjack, but that's about it."

"Oh, sure, the rules are simple enough. But it takes time to learn precision. The weight of a dart is very different from an arrow or a spear. And darts, not being practical for hunting, aren't something I have a great deal of experience with." There's that amusement again. Another swig is taken from his drink. "Poker." He replies, simply enough. "In Xanadu, there were a few others who lived off the wilds. We'd meet every so often for a game around the campfire. It was a pleasant diversion."

"And the darts are different from board to board, so you are always having to learn their nuances at each new place," Kayse adds with equal amusement. "But it's a good way to let off some steam. Imagine the person who is most irritating you at the time as the board, and it becomes a very satisfying way to spend an evening," she comments with a grin. "Are there really? You must be pretty comfortable being alone, to live like that. I'm much too fond of company to work in such solitude as hunting must require," she observes. "Do you often meet up with others who live such lives, or was Xanadu an unusual situation?"

"Oh? I thought you said your own work frequently brought you to the solitidue of the forest. Is that difficult for you?" Gorrin asks with a slight raising of his eyebrow again. "Well, I do find myself seeking company from time to time. I wouldn't be here otherwise, after all." He chuckles a little, leaning back into the couch. "Mmmm. I've met a few others, yes. There was a couple in Eastern that joined me on a hunt, once. Three people hardly makes a good game of poker, though."

"I spend time in the forests, but I'm usually not alone for more than a day, if at all," Kayse clarifies. "For one, I'm not authorized for much solo work while an apprentice. And right now most of the studies I am working on are centered around logging camps. So there are usually others nearby, if not immediately present. I don't really have a chance to get lonely." She pauses a moment as she shifts to move her legs out of the way of someone passing through their corner of the cavern. "Well, you could have had to come in to get information for your job," Kayse points out cheerfully, smiling as she continues, "After all, you did say you found people here to be tolerable, which isn't a resounding endorsement of your interest in our company! Anyhow, why would three people not be enough for poker?"

"Ah, I see. I suppose that makes sense. Are you worried about the work becoming more lonely when you walk the tables? I imagine that can't be too far off, can it?" Gorrin asks, eyeing Kayse curiously for a moment, probably trying to make a guess at her age. Her comment earns a little laugh from him. "I said I found you to be tolerable." He remarks, grinning slightly. "At any rate, I got used to playing poker with a larger group. The odds and the dynamics of it all shift with smaller numbers. But I suppose one only really needs two players."

Kayse shrugs uncertainly, replying, "It could be, but I don't know. My master spent a lot of time by himself when travelling between logging camps before I was posted here, but I don't know where I would be working and if I would be working alone or with someone." Her expression is pensive as she speaks but it lightens when he laughs. "And am I still tolerable, or have I progressed to decent company?" she inquires with a sly smile. "Really? Clearly I haven't played enough. Then again, I don't have much of a, what do they call it, mmm, poker face? I'm terribly bad at not giving away my hand."

Gorrin makes a show of pondering the question for a moment, though he is unable to hide a hint of amusement from his eyes. "I suppose you warrant decent at this stage." He says, followed by a little chuckle. He certainly does seem to have relaxed a bit from his stiff bearing when he entered the cavern. Perhaps it's the company. Or perhaps it's whatever was in that drink of his. Or, most likely, a mix of both. The comment on her poker face earns more of a grin. "Really? In that case, perhaps we should have a game."

Kayse mimes throwing a pillow, snatched up from the floor, at Gorrin for his teasing, then tucks the pillow beside her. Stockpiling weaponry? "Darn right I'm decent company! Why would you keep talking to me if I wasn't?" From teasing to logic is an easy step as she toys with the fringe on the pillow. "What, and let you take advantage of my weakness?" She makes a face at him for a moment. "No, thank you. Besides, that would require moving from here, and I find this couch quite comfortable. The chairs at the card tables are not nearly so cushioned."

Gorrin chuckles, pretending to flinch when threatened with the awesome and mighty power of the pillow. Truly fearsome. "That has a certain undeniable logic to it." He responds. "On both counts. While it is more crowded in here than I am accustomed to, the couch is fairly comfortable. And they seem to have managed to distract themselves." He says with a nod in the direction of the dart players. "So it is fine for now. Though I suspect I shall never be quite at ease in these sorts of places as the weyrfolk are."

Kayse grins at his admission. "Exactly." She glances toward the largely forgotten dart players, who have continued their play without any care for whomever has take to observing. "Well, there isn't much reason for them to pay attention to us, is there? We're not interrupting them or making a nuisance of ourselves, after all." She shrugs easily, shifting the pillow to be more in her lap than tucked against her side. "Not all of the weyrfolk are comfortable in crowds, either. Especially those who didn't start their lives as weyrfolk. I at least grew up in a very crowded and busy hold, so I wasn't out of my element when it came to interacting with a lot of people. The candidates who come from cotholds, though, are often quite out of their depth. They tend to stick around even if they don't Impress, though, so they must like the change."

"I didn't just mean the crowds." Gorrin replies, settling back to drink the last of his rapidly cooling beverage. "I mean, they do everything in these tightly packed spaces underground. It's a little… stifling. Perhaps I just feel that way after spending so much time outdoors, but I get antsy when I haven't seen the sky in too long. I suppose that's all just sort of a consequence of where weyrs are built, but… it takes adjustment. When the weather allows, I generally prefer to camp outdoors. Though up north it gets far too cold for that."

Kayse looks startled by Gorrin's admission, saying, "Only because the dragons need hatching sands. I've been told the systems used to heat the sands require a Weyr be built in specific places, and then why waste the rest of the caverns? It's not like Western is particularly crowded compared to the northern Weyrs and Holds. I've been to Fort Hold. Now /that/ is cramped. Western is downright spacious in comparison. And I much prefer the amenities of a Hold or Weyr to camping. I want access to a good bath, ready laundry facilities, and well-cooked food, personally."

"Well, I can't argue with that. Those are solid priorities." Gorrin agrees with a little smile. "Of course, when one camps by a lake or stream and knows how to hunt, you have well-cooked food, laundry, and bathing all available. That is, assuming you remembered to bring along soap." He says with a chuckle to follow. "And there's another thing. Weyr baths. Don't get me wrong, they're perfect in a climate like this… but when I visited Eastern, it was sweltering. Hottest I've ever seen it. So after a day in the jungle, I find myself naturally wanting a bath. I go to take one, and I find they've got all their bathwater flowing from the hot springs. It was like the idea of a cool bath on a hot day had never even occurred to them." He laughs at the memory.

Kayse observes, "I've bathed in a few streams and lakes, and quite frankly, I'd rather not have fish and snakes sharing my bath with me! Still, to each their own." She can't help but laugh a little at his tale of woe with Eastern's baths. "That must have been miserable. Well, if the baths here aren't cool enough, the lagoon is usually pretty comfortable, as I said earlier. And a saltwater soak can do wonders for any skin irritation you might develop from encountering just the wrong plant in the forests." Ah, the voice of experience, that.

"Well, there are downsides. No question about that." Gorrin says, chuckling once again. "I suppose there's something to be said for limiting one's bath companions to other humans. And in this weather, a hot spring is just fine. Perhaps I'll have to indulge before heading back out, now that you've put the thought in my head. Hot water can be nice for the muscles."

Kayse nods her agreement, commenting, "I'm willing to share my bath with my firelizard, but those are the only critters that I want anywhere near me when I'm washing up." There's a moment of thought before she observes, "The benefit to living in a cave system is that it tends to be cooler indoors than out. You don't get that in the free-standing holds. Though it isn't as much of a blessing in the winter. I'm glad the heating systems are well maintained."

Gorrin grins. "I'm told some of them can be convinced to behave. If one is willing to define 'behaving' in a very generous manner." He chuckles again, leaning over to set his now-emptied mug aside. "Then perhaps I'll have to take advantage of the opportunity for a rare-critter free bath. As long as the nannies don't come in with a mess of weyrbrats. Those can be more dangerous than any regular critter."

"Nala is actually quite well behaved," Kayse says. "She doesn't play tricks, she is quiet when needed, and aside from her determination to show me her 'kills', she doesn't make any messes. Then again, poorly behaved firelizards don't last long at the Weyrs. I was told quite clearly when she hatched that if I didn't keep her under control the dragons would, and that's likely to frighten one off for good." She chuckles then. "She is certainly much better behaved than a number of the weyrbrats, and some of the more adventerous candidates that I've seen since I was posted here. I'll admit, I avoid the baths if I know the children will be in for their scrubbing."

"Nala, eh? Is she one of the bigger ones? Someone I knew once told me that the bigger ones are more intelligent, easier to train. Someone else told me that was rubbish. I've got no personal experience with the matter myself." Gorrin says with a smile and another little shrug of his shoulders. Then, a laugh. "Do they keep the children to a schedule? That'd be a useful thing to know. Nothing ruins a tranquil soak more quickly."

"She's a smaller gold, but I wouldn't be sure that her size or color has as much to do with it as the determination of the person doing the training," Kayse replies. "I was very firm with her, as I couldn't afford to have her making a nuisance of herself. We sleep in a common dorm, and the last thing you want to have in that situation is a fussy firelizard. It makes for quite the motivation to get the training done quickly and well!" She shakes her head ruefully at the memories. "Ah, so you don't have a firelizard? I find that surprising. I thought anyone who spends as much time alone as you must would need one, at the least to carry messages and let someone know if you get hurt or stuck somewhere." In regards to the children, "Not on a scheduled, exactly, but it's usually pretty easy to find out if they are in there, or are working on getting the children together to take them in."

"Ah, but aren't even the smaller golds larger than the majority of lizards as a whole? Or does it not work the same way it does with dragons?" Clearly, not an area in which Gorrin has any great expertise. "I would like one, the opportunity has simply never come up. I don't spend that much time indoors around people with firelizards, remember." He says with a little grin. "Well, hopefully it's too late tonight for them to be herding the children in. I shall have to wander by when I am done relaxing here."

Kayse shrugs. "She is bigger than a lot of firelizards, but I've met people with less well-mannered golds and bronzes. They have their own personalities, and that makes a difference to how they train up. I understand that runnerbeasts are similar. Some are genial and get along with everyone. Others are finicky and have to be treated just so. And some are just plain surly and are hard to get along with." She regards him with a measure of surprise. "And you haven't ever come across a wild clutch? Well, you could always buy one at a merchant. There are plenty who hunt up and transport clutches just to sell the eggs." She shrugs again, then glances toward the game of darts, which is starting to break up. "It should be, but you might hit a rush of adults heading in for their wash up before bed. If you don't care to share a pool with strangers you might want to make a run for it."

"Well, I know there's a sort of connection that makes things a little different than with an ordinary pet… but even so, I imagine the old adage about pets and masters reflecting one another has to hold true there as well. If a firelizard links up with someone undisciplined and reckless, it would follow naturally that some part of that would influence the firelizard's own behavior, yes?" Gorrin asks, shrugging. "And no, never have found a wild clutch. Keep in mind I tend to hunt in feline territory. Any halfway intelligent critter would regard that as a very, very poor spot indeed to lay a clutch of eggs." He follows the glance to the dart players, then looks back to Kayse. "I don't suppose you'd care to join me? With the both of us, we might manage to take up enough of a pool to dissuade others."

"That makes as much sense to me as any of the other theories about firelizards, so I'd say it probably has some truth to it," Kayse agrees readily enough. "Ah, right, you did say you spend most of your time in forests, and firelizards clutch on hot sandy beaches. That would make a difference." At the invitation to bathe she shakes her head, a blush touching her cheeks, but her response firm. "I've a bit of work to do in the gardens later with some night-blooming flowers, so washing up now would be a waste."

"Well, I'm not really one to be doing much theorizing. As I said, not something I've had a great deal of experience with." Gorrin says with a little shrug of his shoulders. The girl's blushing reaction earns a touch of amusement, though it fades quickly. "Of course, that would be rather silly. Forget I asked." He says with a little wave of his hand, perhaps hoping to make any awkwardness pass quickly.

With the ending of the discussion of firelizards, and Gorrin's waving away of the bathing subject, Kayse is left at a loss for things to talk about. The dart players have packed up and moved on, though there are still plenty of people in the cavern as a whole. "Uhm, right…" Kayse says, searching for something to move past the awkward moment. "So, where are you from? Not a Weyr, from the sounds of things. I'm from Half Moon Bay Hold, myself." That should be a safe enough subject.

Gorrin looks just a touch embarassed himself. Evidently the suggestion itself wasn't enough to embarass the man, but now he seems to feel he has made an awkward social misstep. He's quite happy to shift topics of conversation. "Well, my mother was a hunter, same as me. I was born at a camp out in the wilderness. Not too far from Xanadu, actually. So I head back there fairly often. I've never been to Half Moon Bay. What's it like?"

Kayse looks relieved that Gorrin is willing to take up the new topic, speaking with enthusiasm. "Really? Is your father a hunter, too, or does he do something else?" she asks curiously. "Xanadu seems like a good place to have as a home base for a feline hunter. Don't they have a lot of felines in the forests around there? I'm sure I've heard a couple tales about the felines being particularly active in that area. Ah, would you know, I didn't pay much attention to the Hold when I lived there? I managed to grow up completely oblivious to the fact that they produce premiere runnerbeasts who excel at racing. I was far more interested in my parents' work and my garden than in what was happening in the stables and at the track."

Gorrin nods his head at the first question. "More or less. He was a trapper. Brought in smaller game, mostly. I learned my mother's methods of hunting instead, with the bow." The question about felines earns a little nod. "Yes. It can be a serious problem. Fortunately, this turn hasn't been so bad down there. Hence why I've been traveling to areas where the populations have been more of a concern." The mention of her garden earns a little smile. "Ah. It sounds as if you are well suited for your chosen craft."

Kayse hesitantly asks, "You said was. Have they died, then? Or did they retire from those jobs? Well, I'm glad that Xanadu having a good year hasn't put you out of work, and that it means you were free to come here to take care of our felines." In response to his comment on her craft choice she shrugs. "I always planned to enter the Woodcraft. My mother is a Woodcraft master and my father a master in the Seacraft, so it was always expected that I would pick one or the other. I find forestry an interesting outgrowth of my childhood garden, and partnering with the Healer Craft for training on how to harvest and preserve herbs for medicinal uses has been very engaging."

Gorrin's cheer drains from his face for a moment of sober reflection when he answers that first question. "My mother passed away last turn. She'd taken ill. I always thought a beast would end up getting us, one day. But I suppose she was too good to go that way. My father… well, I haven't been in contact with him for a few turns. Probably still up to what he's always done." He reaches for his mug, only to remember that it was already empty. Kayse's talk of her craft brings a smile back to his face. "Makes perfect sense. I am glad you have found fulfilling work."

Kayse offers softly, "I'm sorry to hear that. I can't say that it sounds like dying of illness is better than dying of animal attack. Neither seems like a good way to die. If there is such a thing…." She nods her understanding of the lack of communication and smiles at his words regarding her craft. "Thank you, I am as well. It's a very satisfying thing to be part of, making sure that there will always be wood for construction and plants for medicines. Even if the loggers don't always care to be told that they need to wrap up and move on to another location because they've cut all that it is safe to in an area."

"I suspect there is no such thing as a good way to die. But that is, I think, a conversation that doesn't really suit such pleasant company." Which is Gorrin's less than subtle way to suggest he doesn't want to dwell on the topic any further. It seems unpleasant for him, for reasons which are likely obvious. "It is good someone out there is working to protect the woods. My livelihood would be quite ruined without them, after all."

Kayse nods quietly, taking a few moments to gather her thoughts before speaking again. "I think a lot of people would be without work if we ran out of woods. We wouldn't have wood to make ships, houses, or furniture out of, which would basically eliminate the Woodcraft, and leave the Seacraft in quite a bit of trouble. It would be quite a mess," she observes. "But it would takea long time to get to that point. And there are a lot of people, not just me, who work to make sure it doesn't ever happen."

"And yet, there will always be those who put short term gains over the importance of long term preservation… this is why I try to travel, make sure I hunt only where the populations are in need of culling. It's important to keep everything balanced." He pauses, then chuckles a little. "I apologize, I am rambling."

Kayse smiles at his apology, offering, "No more thna I was, so there's nothing to apologize for." She glances at the clock in the room and sighs. "Well, nothing for you to apologize for. I'm afraid it's time for me to get up to the gardens, so I'm going to have to abandon you to the masses. Please say you'll forgive me?" she entreats, eyes wide and expression woeful, though she's fighting to not smile at her own silliness.

Gorrin can't help but chuckle at the girl's woeful expression, despite her effort at feigning seriousness. He remains on the couch. "Mmm. Somehow, I think I will find it in my heart to forgive you." There is a pause, a hesitation, before he speaks again. "I… hope I will have the chance to see you again. I would be disappointed to lose my only decent company in the weyr."

"So kind of you!" Kayse says, woe turned to amusement. "I imagine we'll cross paths again, especially once I make Journeyman. Which should be fairly soon. I'm always near some set of woods, and since you are as well, it seems we should have a chance to meet up again. For now, have a good evening, and good luck on with your hunting." With that she rises, tosses the fringed pillow into the vacated seat, and with a cheerful wave heads off to work.

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