Western Weyr - Maze: Archway
A rough stone archway over your head opens into a pathway in front of you. Chisled in the stone to the right of you as you pass through are these words:

Garden Maze
Lose your worries
and your cares.

Beneath that, some irreverent candidate has tacked on a small sign adding the words,
"and yourself".

Western is a beautiful Weyr, the lagoon and beach areas are stunning, even if not infamous like Ista, there's plenty of places to have fun like the Tiki Lounge and Rec Cavern, plenty of hidey-hole tunnels and an array of places to wander around in Weyr proper. There's also places like this, a little off the beaten path, further towards the outskirts, and roads less traveled. This is where one would be most likely to find Therynn, not that anyone is really looking for her, but she's out here. The day is a bit past high noon, Rukbat lazily floating towards the horizon, and the warmth of the afternoon starting to settle towards early evening breezes. Not a single soul is lost in the maze today, most choosing to fill their cups, make bets about the next clutch, tend to duties etc. That is, not a soul besides Therynn's. Out from the berry bushes she barrel rolls, in to the mouth of the maze, peering from side to side with glaring discernment. In one hand, she drags a skinned tunnelsnake, in the other a dagger. "I'll find you, you slithery creep.." she says to no one in particular, a few steps on to the path, darting around corners as she enters the maze, apparently on the hunt for the second of the two 'snakes she found out past the bushes.

Western is a beautiful Weyr and one that Th'ero knows well, despite not having lived here for some Turns. He came here as a Guard so many Turns ago, Impressed Velokraeth here and would have remained here had the pale bronze not been successful in his first conquest to claiming a queen. A Fortian Queen who happened to be the Senior at the time, thus throwing a newly graduated Th'ero right into the saddle of Weyrleader before he could even really consider himself a 'Wingrider'. The man who was once here is not the man who wanders the halls and grounds now. The Fortian Weyrleader is on a mixed visit of business and pleasure. Having already met with the Leadership or at least made his presence known, he's taken care of that half before (gladly) returning to the 'pleasure' half. And that would be joining his Weyrmate, should he be able to find her. Perhaps meeting at a maze is not the smartest of locations. "Slithering creep…? I'm afraid you've got me mistaken for another." Th'ero drawls in an echo of Therynn's comment, mouth drawing up into a crooked smirk as he steps out onto the path. That skinned 'snake is eyed, brows furrowing slightly.

Kimmila also impressed here, many turns ago, and would have stayed if not for falling in love with Th'ero after he won Fort's Weyrleader. She wanders up after spending some time meandering around, visiting old places and even meeting up with some old friends. "Who called you a slithering creep?" she asks, grin crooked as she approaches her weyrmate and slips her arm through his.

Therynn rounds a corner, albeit with perfect timing to wind up face to… um belly button, with the curly haired gent. While dagger was raised for her conquest, she's experienced enough to withdraw, unfortunately replacing her stance with that of the more defensive, tunnel snake first type. She knows not of the man who stands before her, he likely Impressed and ventured on before she was old enough to remember, plus all those turns of change can really do a number on a person when thrust in to sucha position so quickly. Either way, she "ACKS!" the carcass of the tunnelsnake shaking and dripping his direction as she clamors backwards a few steps. "Oh shards n'shells.. not you!" A brow is raised, noticing knot she adds "Sir.. y'seen a 'snake wander through here?" Cue the entrance of another rider, /great/ she thinks to herself. "S'cuse me ma'am.. justa misunderstanding here." A shy glance is shot between the pair, cheeks turning a bright rosy red, dead tunnelsnake still in hand, dagger re-sheathed as there's clearly no hunt around with so many people in the area.

Th'ero was just about to slip his arm around Kimmila's arm and grin back to her but instead finds himself shifting his posture to put himself on defensive as well and shield his weyrmate (though not entirely block her). A hand is held up, both to ward off the dagger and the dripping carcass which promptly earns a wrinkled nose of mild disgust. "Not me?" he quips dryly, relaxing when it appears that Therynn poses no threat at all. "Seems it was she who said 'slithering creep' but not in regards to myself." Th'ero murmurs to Kimmila as he glances, and grins, to her askance. "I've seen no snake. Of the tunnel snake variety or shady character." That is said in a lighter tone, hoping to dispel the tension of such crossed paths. As for the shy glance, Th'ero keeps his features neutral and welcoming enough, though the Fortian Weyrleader is reserved even then. "And we've no doubt spooked your quarry well out of the maze by now… or deeper." Sorry?

Kimmila stiffens when Therynn comes around the bend, hand dropping to her own dagger before she moves it clear. Chuckling, she eyes the tunnelsnake and shakes her head. "Haven't seen one either, other than that one," she says, tipping her head.

Therynn doesn't recognize the female rider either, though this comes as little surprise to the tiny huntress who has abandoned most socializing over the past few turns. She at least hopes lil tunnelsnake bits don't splatter all over the two, mainly because that knot on the gent's shoulder is hard to miss and she doesn't want it getting back to Western's higher ups that she was being irresponsible, again. Her 'catch' is withdrawn as stance relaxes and outstretched arm con snake falls to side. A shoulder is shrugged with a head wobble of consideration "Well.. I 'unno I guess y'could be a slithering creep, but there were two of these guys out there in the bush n'the other got away while I was.. subduing his friend. That single brow stays raised, though a definite smirk plays with androgynous features as he 1 calls her a she and two comments about shady characters. Kimmila is given the once over, keenly aware of the rider's reflex towards dagger pulling. "Y'hunt too it seems?" is noted before addressing them both. "N'no worries.. there's plenty others out there t'tail. Sorry for the.. messy greeting. M'names Therynn, misbegotten huntress of Western Weyr. I'd offer a shake but.." she looks down then back up.

Th'ero tenses when Kimmila goes for her dagger, readying himself but she doesn't draw it and so he does not deem it necessary to quietly call her off. The Fortian Weyrleader wouldn't be too appalled about bits of this and that being splattered on him, having come from a fishing cothold and done a fair share of hunting himself he's used to grime. It'd just be unexpected and that is something the bronzerider does not handle so well. "I assure you and so can my weyrmate here, that I am no slithering creep." Stealth and sneaking is more his style, anyhow! "Huh, so three total? Bet that'll get the Headwoman and her staff going." he murmurs. He had taken a guess as to Therynn being a she, perhaps her voice had made him think so. "She's one of the best hunters I know," Th'ero answers Therynn before Kimmila likely can get a word in edge wise and his smile, though light is also fond towards the bluerider as he slips his arm around her loosely. "Nothing to worry about. And we can skip that formality." No handshake, but the Weyrleader does tip his fingers in a casual salute. "Well met, Therynn, huntress of Western Weyr. I'm Th'ero, Weyrleader of Fort and bronze Velokraeth's rider." He'll allow Kimmila to craft her own greeting to the young huntress as the greetings continue on.

Kimmila chuckles, shaking her head, before she coughs, blushing a bit. "You're too kind," she murmurs, leaning against his side and slipping her arm around his waist. "It's been a while since I hunted though. Really should get out more. Well met, Therynn. Kimmila, Varmiroth's."

Therynn is quick to quip "Well I guess I'll have to take your words for it then.. complete strangers, wandering around Western's maze whom I've never seen before and easily coulda stolen a knot of such status.." It's clear by the tone that she is joking, but whether or not it will come across that way she hadn't given much forethought to. It's true, /her/ voice does give her away, regardless of tomboyish appearance and affinity for crawling around in the muck and the mire. "That's what I'm here for.." she says in reference to 'animal control tactics' before adding her own two sense about hunting abilities. "I'unno 'bout that. Quorel is one of the best in the land.. taught me everything I know and I have yet to meet someone who's skills are matched.. nonetheless a female." She coughs and looks towards Kimmila "No offense intended that is." The introductions are paired with a slight bow of her head, showing respect despite the shenanigans and tunnelsnakes. "Th'ero, sir, and Kimmila of Varmiroth. Send my regards to your gigantic beasts eh?" There's a tinge of disconcertion at that as she goes on to say "If y'ever wanna get out in the jungles again and away from duties at yer mate's side, feel free t'send for me. Always looking for those of some experience t'go after some larger kills.."

Th'ero quirks a brow at Therynn. Joking tone or not, something the young hunter says has the Weyrleader subtly uneasy and something unspoken passes between him and his weyrmate when he glances back to Kimmila. "I assure you, we are who we are. No foolery, no stolen knots…" His mouth twists into a bit of a grimace there before his features relax again as he chuckles dryly. "I'd even call on Zi'on, if you need proof of our identities." His head tilts then, listening with genuine curiosity. Quorel? Has he heard this name before? "Good to hear you've such a knowledgeable mentor." he murmurs, only to glance over his shoulder towards the Weyr bowl. "Gigantic may be quite the compliment," Th'ero drawls, amused at some inner joke. "But I'll let Velokraeth know." Without stroking the pale, ugly bronze's ego too much. For the offer of hunting, Th'ero does look a touch tempted though he gives Therynn a shrewd look. "And what kind of larger kills are you speakin' of?"

Kimmila laughs, grinning wide and a bit toothily at Therynn. "Quorel? So he finally showed up again, huh? He's an old friend of mine from way back. He taught me too. Shards, that man…just wanders around picking up stray females and teaching them how to hunt, huh?" Still, her voice is fond. She glances at Th'ero, sensing his unease, giving his waist a squeeze.

Therynn may be a little socially inept, but she can at least tell that last one did not come across well. Free hand goes up, palm facing out and a genuine smile is paired with a head shake "Many apologies Th'ero, sir. Was just joking.. apparently rather poorly." Maybe knot stealing was not a good route to go. She's never been the best at telling jokes, or others don't seem to think so at least. Then she turns a pasty shade of pure aghast expression. Nuuu!! Not /Zi'on!/ "That's quite alright.. no need.. really!" He wears shoes on his head and loves the ladies! Totally not Therynn's dish of a rider. There's a shift towards a more easygoing subject, kind of, and she sticks to some vagueness here after gauging Th'ero's response regarding larger kills. More brow raising towards Kimmila "Oh? What a small Pern it is you know him too. He's elusive as ever.. guess that's why we got along so well. Trained me a few turns awhile back, haven't seen him in a fortnight or so, said something about greener pastures and great hunting. Said he'd be back eventually but, uh.. yeah.. guess he's a knack of a prowess when it comes t'female hunters. Mentioned some greenrider from Eastern, n'you must be the bluerider he talked about then?" There's a smile and she confesses "Than you must speak the truth Th'ero, cuz he did confirm you are.. umm were.. one of the best he's ever trained, 'sides me of course.." No problem tooting her own horn here. A bit of a throat clearing and she eases the Weyrleader with "Oh, y'know just something of the pesky nature. I heard Xanadu has some problems with wild felines awhile back.. they seemed t'get it under control alright." There's excitement seared in her words.

Th'ero waves his hand dismissively and leans closer to Kimmila's side. "No offence taken," he tells Therynn and there is truth behind it. No offence given. How was she to know of all the past events that the Fortian Weyrleader and even Kimmila have witnessed? Brows lift again when the hunter reacts so obvious and clear when he dares to mention Western's Weyrleader's name. "Ahh, so you've had the… pleasure already of meeting him?" he asks with another dry chuckle. Oh, he's well aware of Zi'on's reputation. He had been Searched by the bronzerider, was a friend for some Turns and things became even more tangled when Th'ero's sister, Kiena, became Zi'on's weyrmate for a spell. "Ahh, so you know this Quorel too, Wingmate?" he muses to Kimmila and glancing between her and Therynn. Small world, indeed! "Was he always so reclusive?" Now part of him wants to meet this man! If only to put a face to a name. Laughing softly, Th'ero relaxes enough to do so and flash a light grin to Kimmila and include the young huntress in it too. "Is that so? See, Wingmate? I was right." So there! It is with just a few words though that Th'ero sobers and his expression falls a bit. "Felines? … they are no easy prey to trifle with." And his tone and eyes alone speaks of experience. "We've both learned that lesson, haven't we, Kimmila?"

Kimmila smirks, dipping her head and saying, "Are," rather firmly in correction. Not were. She /is/. Reaching up, she toys with the feline talon necklace she wears, her smirk twisting a bit. "Quorel was the one who trained me, down on the Southern Continent." When she ran away from Western. "I guess he was. And no, I'm not sure I'd care to hunt felines any more. Too old for /that/ dangerous of prey…" It's true, they haven't hunted felines in a good long while. "I'd say we've either learned our lesson or sated our desire," she admits with a grin.

Therynn takes a deep breath and confesses "S'been some turns, doubt he'd remember me, but how can anyone forget a Zi'on-counter? I pretty much keep t'myself out here, avoidance is a good policy for me but some's reputations precede them." She chuckles then coughs. Cue another bad joke "Speaking of.. come across any nice ladies underpants lately?" She instantly regrets saying that, funny to think maybe, not funny to share and the boyish-girl is certain the Weyrleader will not be happy. Free hand moves to cover mouth first, eyes wide with an 'I'm in trouble expression' tunnelsnake hand soon to follow, definitely sending chunks a-flying this time. Hands drop and she's all but certain she'll be marched to Zi'ons office by the scruff of her neck after that one, attempting to smooth it over with "Oh umm I mean.. felines ya.." presto-change-o new subject! Please?! "I've heard they're quite feisty.. I think we could take em." Time to smother with compliments?! "With your brute.." is said to Th'ero "..and your superb skills" to Kimmila with a nod about the use of verbiage "…along with my keen tracking senses.. the lessons could be doled instead of learnt!?!" They do not seem persuaded and she flicks a wrist with a *pshhaw* sound "Too old?! What are ya all of 25 turns or something! Y'just need t'get your jungle legs again.." Ahh the young and foolish.

Th'ero smirks, amused, by Kimmila's firm correction and then turns his attention back to Therynn. Chuckling, he nods his head in agreement to some of her statement. "True, it is something… to remember to be sure." he admits, only to stiffen and give the young hunter a rather sharp look. His voice has gone a little flat and edged too. "I'm afraid not and I am not entirely sure what you're getting at." Only ladies underpants he's seen are those of his weyrmate! But he knows what Therynn is alluding to and he is both shocked and annoyed that that knowledge has been shared, vague or not! Th'ero isn't happy, but he's not in a full temper either and eventually just exhales heavily. Past is past! Back to the mention of felines, Th'ero scoffs and glances back to Kimmila. "Fiesty is a vast understatement. Those creatures are dangerous. Difficult to take down one, let alone a pride of them and they are deadly. The damage they can do to you and so swift… And they are not against pitting themselves against dragons." He shakes his head, grimacing as he shifts against Kimmila's side. Brute? Th'ero snorts, "I'll agree with Kimmila in saying I'm past hunting felines. There's plenty of other game just as challenging that won't risk you dying for it." he points out. Ahh, to be young and foolish?

Kimmila blinks, glancing from Therynn to Th'ero, /very/ curious. "What underpatns are you talking about?" she queries, brows arching. Do telllll. Then she snorts, shaking her head again. "Not worth dying for," she says firmly. "Jungle legs or not…not interested in hunting down felines?

Therynn is relieved she didn't make Th'ero blow a gasket with that one. Great job Therynn, way to make a good first impression! The gasp she formerly held is let out with a gulp following a sigh "Oh umm.. nothing.. nothing at all. Me n'my jokes ya know?" An uneasy chuckle accompanies this attempt to brush it off, though by the hue in her cheeks it's clear to see that she's quite embarrassed by her blabber mouth tendencies. Back to the joy of hunting felines with Th'ero, Kimmila and Therynn! The young 'lady' listens intently. She does look surprised by some bits, both brows raising as jaw drops "Even against dragons?!" She asks, definitely ready to delve in to this conversation and pretend like she didn't just make an idiot of herself by joking about undies that she shouldn't even know about. "Well.. what other challenging game would you two recommend? I don't wanna die or nuthin.. but crawlies and tunnelsnakes get to be soooooo boring.." by the disparaging emphasis it seems as though she's had her fair share of smaller hunts and is ready for something more.

Th'ero fixes Therynn with a long, lingering look as she gulps and works out her explanation, sensing her unease. His mouth draws down to a thin line, but after a few more awkward, tense, seconds the Fortian Weyrleader seems to come to the conclusion that the huntress may not know all the details. Which she may end up receiving, when Kimmila prompts him as her curiosity is piqued. Great! Th'ero exhales heavily, "It's an old joke, Wingmate." To put it in a very brisk nutshell! Must he spill it all? "Yes, even dragons. Wingmate, doesn't Varmiroth still have his scars?" he asks her, his tone gentled though his expression holds some grimness to it. Did Therynn truly not know the extent of the dangers of felines? "There's always wild wherry or whersport. Or any other creature set wild."

Kimmila is about to press the issue, when Th'ero asks about Varmiroth's scars and she flinches. "Yes, he does. We were ambushed by felines once while on a camping trip. Varmiroth…bought us some time." Saved their lives. "He will always have his scars from that beast."

Therynn internally /phews/ as Th'ero shuts down futher discomfort with the explanation of it being an old joke, and that is that! Th'ero knows not of how much she does or does not know, but Therynn imagines he will find her one day and that there is definite potential for a private confrontation on the matter. Awkward glances go from Weyrleader to mate, to ground and back, nothing less than jubilant when they move on. "I'unno.. guess Quorel hasn't learned the same lesson but I can see how it'd be risky." A concerned glance is shared with Kimmila "Y'mean.. your Varmiroth was hurt by one? They ambushed you?! What awful beasts.. I'm truly sorry I brought it up.." both that and the undies ".. and am glad everyone made it out alive!" Not messied hand moves to chin, index tapping in thought "I guess summore whild wherries could be fun.. n'I'd never thought about taking out a whersport.. fair game for hunting?"

"Some still chose to hunt felines despite all the truth behind the warnings," Th'ero admits with a grimace, his eyes still on Therynn until Kimmila flinches and he lowers his head to gaze apologetically to her as he steps a little closer to her side. "We owe him our lives," he murmurs quietly, only to shake himself out of that memory and bring himself back to the present. "Yes, they ambushed us. We'd gone and made camp in the jungles, figuring we were well out of any reported grounds for the beasts. Something lured in a small group. A brute of a male and two females. Varmiroth took down the male but was badly wounded and we barely managed to convince the females that we were too much trouble to be worth attacking." he explains in a low tone, only to smirk. "Don't apologize. I only hope it serves as a… gentle warning as to what you'd be up against. Wherries may be common, but they can be tricky in their own rights." Th'ero frowns in thought and then shrugs his shoulders. "Fair game though the creatures are rare and elusive. Not to be confused with whers, mind you. And then you've got your typical once-domesticated wild creatures. Xanadu has a few of those milling about. Wild bovines and the like. I'm sure there are other herds about the southern jungles too."

Therynn can sense the weight of the matter at hand, nodding and agreeing "I guess it is better to be safe than sorry.. or dead.." She's all ears for the story about how the pack of felines prowled, arm hair standing on end as she gets the heebie-jeebies. "Oh my.." there's definitely some fright there as she sits in silence to hear more. "They sound.. ridiculously smart as well. What a story and truly glad you're all here to tell it." Another gulp "N'thanks for dissuading me. I guess even a tiny one would be a bit much.. and I do know where there are cubs, there are mamas not far." She sighs, looking down at her mess of a hand and smattered bits of tunnel snake smeared on her clothing. "I do appreciate the advice, truly.. n'I've gotten a couple wherries in my time.. t'be honest though I've only ever heard of Whersports. Regardless, maybe we can all go out some day, if nothing more than for the fun of an adventure.." There's the youngin' in her, inviting two established riders out to play in the woods! Just then, there's a rustle in berry bushes back at the entrance from which Therynn barrel rolled in from. Eyes dart that direction, just in time to see the pointed tail end of a tunnel snake slip in to the thicket. "Why you! How in Faranth's name?!" She turns back and bows to the pair "If you two will excuse me. T'was very nice to meet you both, but that slithering creep hath returned!" Just like that she's scampering off in the direction of the berry bushes, not a sound as she prowls, dagger quickly drawn as she dives in.

Kimmila leans against Th'ero's side, having gone quiet during the telling of their feline adventure, her eyes distant as she checks in with Varmiroth - a reassurance of sorts. She comes back to it in time to watch Therynn scamper off, chuckling softly. "Drinks, wingmate," she murmurs, "and some food as well. Shall we?"

Th'ero nods his head, amused and yet grim in his agreement to Therynn's reply. "Better to be safe than sorry." he murmurs back and then his mouth twists again. "They are but they are not. It… From what I heard of them, they were tampered with by one of the original colonists. Not natural, hence their danger. I'd say they're more insane than smart. Unpredictable and just… driven by instinct. If they feel threatened they fight, no matter the target." There's a relieved look to the Fortian Weyrleader's eyes when the young hunter seems honestly and truly deterred from tracking down any felines. "Oh yes. You do NOT want to come between a female and her cubs. You may as well go and poke a gold's eggs with a stick to get the same results…" Th'ero pauses for a moment and then holds up a hand in both warning and defines. "Do NOT do that either!" In case anyone gets any ideas! He doesn't want to be responsible for THAT. "To be honest, I am not the best for advice. Kimmila could give you more than I or perhaps this mentor of yours." Th'ero admits, glancing to his weyrmate again. Right? When the tunnel snake returns and Therynn moves on to finish her hunting, the Weyrleader dips his head towards the young huntress. "Well met, Therynn and best of luck!" Nab the bastard! "I think that is a wise idea, Wingmate." Th'ero murmurs to Kimmila, taking her arm in his again as he leads her on back towards the paths leading to the caverns.