You leave R'shi and Neds to their pool construction and follow Heather down the same passageway you went up. You're quite thankful for it being so narrow as gravity takes hold of you more than once on your trek down and it's only a reflexive grab of a nearby rock that saves you.
Eventually you reach level ground again, and Heather turns an abrupt right and heads towards the end of the passageway. You can barely make out the outline of a curtain before she pulls it aside and steps in.
"Hey Setor!" she yells. "Stop hiding and come say hello! He's not overly fond of having company," she tells you in a confidential stage whisper.
"I heard that," Setor says drily as he steps into the light. He's fairly short, about nineteen with bright green eyes and longish blond hair tied behind him in a ponytail. "C'mon in," he says to you, slightly grudgingly.
You follow him into the nest proper. Contrary to its inhabitant, it's actually quite a cheery place, unique in that unlike all the other nests you've seen, where the dragon and rider had separate rooms, this is one large one filled with sand. (Don't dragons sleep in anything else? you wonder briefly, then return your attention to the room.) A narrow walkway runs all the way round, widening at the far end enough to hold a bed, a table and a chair.
"Wait there-I'll go get you something to drink," Setor says abruptly, then heads off up the path.
"Is he always..." you say. Heather nods.
"He never used to be. When Setor came here, he was a lot like T'nir-fairly quiet but with a sense of humor as well. As far as I can make out, he was born in some small village nobody's ever heard of and that I can't remember the name of, and he wanted to be a sculptor."
"Kind of like M'lani?" you say, remembering the bronze gargoyle.
"Yeah, kind of, but nothing like as good," Heather says dismissively. "Anyway, Setor started practising, carving odd bits of wood, etcetera, until he got Chosen to apply for a spot at Draconia Nest. To be honest, I'm not sure why he was Chosen, but then, I couldn't tell you why T'nir or Shaula were either. So he came here. About two weeks ago, though, he received a letter telling him his father had been killed. He wouldn't tell me how or where, but I know he's really upset about it. His mother died giving him birth, so his dad was the only family he had." Heather lowers her voice. "I think everyone here is hoping he's going to find some kind of solace if he's successful as a candidate and go back to being the quiet joker again." She sighs. "If he isn't successful, I don't know what he'll be like! C'mon, I think he's forgotten about that drink, so we'd better go and leave him in peace."
You follow Heather out quietly, closing the curtain behind you.
"I think I need some cheering up after Setor-although that's nothing new," Heather says, not bothering to keep her voice down. "Let's go see Jarel!"