Fort Weyr - Trader and Crafter Square
The massive rock face that makes up the outer walls of Fort Weyr looms, ever present even here where a large space has been cleared among the trees. A well tended and worn path threads its way from the Entrance Square, broad and wide enough for even the largest and most cumbersome of Trader's wagons. It continues on some distance, running parallel to the outer walls of the Weyr until veering subtly towards the forests again where it will expand again into a circular clearing. The ground is hard packed and scarcely any grass grows, save for along the edges a few patches here and there where folk are known to sit and relax rather than tread. In the center of this clearing is a stone well, ringed by a swath of wild grasses but accessible to all.
Branching in multiple directions are more paths, another large and broad one leading to a secondary clearing that is clearly designed for the Traders benefit, offering several choice locations, most of them sheltered by trees, for their wagons to be set up and ample room for their beasts to be properly penned. Firepits, large and small, are arranged and set at safe distances.
Another path, still wide but meant more for small wagon or foot travel, leads to a third clearing which holds several wooden stalls, all simple of build but well cared for. They are set up in a horseshoe loop, allowing most visitors to glimpse each of the Craft-related signs that mark each one. During the warmer months, this half is meant to be a Crafter's market and the stalls are often manned by posted Journeymen and any Apprentices under their wings.
Other paths lead away from all these clearings and both the Trader square and Crafter square. Some wind their way towards Fort's Forests, while others disappear up towards the Mountain Pass or loop back around to return either to the Entrance Square or towards the tunnels leading back into the Weyr itself.

Spring is here and the snows are receding. Enough now that the ground is more or less free of it save in the more shadowed covered areas beneath trees or structures. The paths are dry for once, the last few days of warming sun absorbing enough of the moisture to keep the mud minimal. It's a calm afternoon, with the Weyr a busy hive as always and people coming and going, including one young boy on runnerback. Kyzen has stayed true to his promise and doesn't go beyond the limits his parents set. Of course, the Beasthold was added to that as it's one of the few places one can learn to ride and not worry about dragons spooking your mount (or eating it). He's on the back of a sturdy looking pony gelding, the runner looking almost half asleep as he plods obediently along. Kyzen has learned quickly and has been permitted to ride the runner outside of the pens and paddocks as there's not that much room for a boy to recklessly canter or gallop about (not that the pony looks terribly spirited). No matter, Kyzen's got other plans! Like going to see if his friend is "home" in the Trader square.

Sharaza's family is camped still in their place, the wagons sparkling and clean due to a recent wash and not having to trundle about through the mud since they've been here since mid-winter. Sharaza herself is out among their little goat herd, feeding the creatures as they frolic around, cavorting in the mud, happy as can be.

"Skydancer!" Kyzen calls cheerily when he finally finds Sharaza with the goat herd, carefully nudging his runner forwards but mindful not to get too much in her way. Really, the pony is just happy to have an excuse to stop and lower his head, nibbling at a few shoots of spring grass. "How're you?" Wanna play?

Sharaza looks up and she grins, wide and easy. "Kyzen!" Blink. "You're riding!" She looks confused, and then hurt, and then she's giggling. "A pony." Haha. "I'm good! Just feeding the goats, watch this." She waves some hay above one of their heads and makes the little guy jump for it. Spring!

Kyzen isn't so tuned in as to notice Sharaza's hurt and is more aware of that giggling. He pouts, "I gotta start somehow and this is the only way they'd let me. 'Sides, you taught me how to ride a proper runner and I'll get there!" Someday. Does that help take some of the sting away? The pony perks his ears up when Sharaza goes waving some hay and Kyzen has only a few moments to enjoy the trick, laughing all the while before he's having to try and yank his runner's head away as the gelding wants a piece of that hay!

Sharaza eyes the pony again and giggles once more, pulling a sprig of hay from the bundle to hold out towards the gelding. "So can we go riding then?"

"Yeah! Do you wanna?" Kyzen is enthusiastic. So enthusiastic, in fact, that he fails to think of what 'riding' may mean to Sharaza and that he's only supposed to go so far from the Weyr. The gelding will gladly nibble on that hay offered and promptly go snuffling around her for more.
Sharaza beams. "Yes!" Of course she wants to! "Just let me finish my chores and then I'll get a runner and we'll go!" Go where? She doesn't specify but surely they can go anywhere they want, right?

Kyzen doesn't elaborate either since he figures riding within the Weyr is just as cool as riding anywhere. It's cool to him! "Want some help? I can help and then we can go riding all the more sooner!" he is already preparing to dismount and will do so unless she tells him otherwise.

Sharaza shakes her head. "No, I can do them quicker by myself. You just stay there okay?" She flashes him a grin and darts off around one of the wagons, hopping out of the goat pen as she goes. The critters mill around a few moments more, looking for hay, and then go back to whatever it is goats do when left to their own devices.

Mischievousness no doubt! "Okay!" Kyzen doesn't argue though and promptly settles back in the saddle, keeping a gentle hold on the reins even as he nudges the gelding back out of the pens and waits by the railing.

Sharaza isn't gone long, and when she returns she's riding..probably the tallest runner her caravan has. Just because she thought it'd be funny. The mare /is/ pretty tall, though she's older and not at all flashy or lively. Tall. That's what Sharaza was going for. "Ready?"

Kyzen blinks as she comes back riding a super tall mare (to a boy his age, she's very tall!) and suddenly he feels a little silly being on a small pony. "Yeah, I'm ready! You sure you can ride that runner?" Old or not, he figures there's enough strength in that mare. Maybe he's just trying to be nice and show some concern? Not jealousy at all. Nope!

Sharaza laughs, light and easy, and strokes the mare's neck. "Of course I can!" she teases him, moving the mare past him and his little pony towards one of the trails leading…towards the forest. "Let's go!"

Not even nine and he's already so easily blinded, swayed by a girl. Kyzen is so eager to ride and show Sharaza how much he's improved that he's not even aware that they're heading towards the forest until they get to the very threshold. Then he'll rein his runner to a stop and frown, "I can't go that way." he tells her hesitantly. "Can't we ride somewhere else?"

Sharaza pauses, pulling the mare up and twisting around in the saddle. "What do you mean you can't go this way? This is where the riding is." Duh?

Rayathess fidgets in the saddle, not wanting to seem so lame and boring in front of his friend. He made a promise to his parents though! Chewing at his lower lip, he frowns and eventually steels himself. "Is it? I guess… just up the trail and back again, okay? You know how they are if I disappear for long…" Yeah, he's totally making it seem like THEY are uncool.

Kyzen fidgets in the saddle, not wanting to seem so lame and boring in front of his friend. He made a promise to his parents though! Chewing at his lower lip, he frowns and eventually steels himself. "Is it? I guess… just up the trail and back again, okay? You know how they are if I disappear for long…" Yeah, he's totally making it seem like THEY are uncool.

Sharaza grins and turns around. "Sure!" she says. "Race you!" as she urges the long legged runner into a trot and then a canter. Hardly a headlong gallop, because the aged mare simply will not go that fast, but it's still quicker than a walk. Concern for Kyzen's boundaries? She has none. What are boundaries?

Kyzen is currently well aware that he's breaking one of those boundaries but he really just can't help it. She might not push her mare to a full out gallop but the poor pony has to lengthen his stride to keep up. Kyzen's whoop is one of joy right now and once they're into the forest trail he'll forget all about boundaries and focus on RACING! Because he is a boy and competitive and isn't about to have his butt whooped by a girl without giving it his best shot!

Alas, poor Kyzen can't win this race on a pony, and Sharaza reaches the imaginary finish line first, pulling the mare up and grinning behind her and down at her friend. "See how much fun riding is?" she asks, cheeks flushed and eyes bright. "C'mon!" Off…the trail?

"That was so much fun! I've never galloped before," Kyzen admits in a voice a touch breathless and his cheeks flushed as well. "Where are we going? Is this a way back?" he asks, maybe foolishly but he's trusting her to remember what he said before they raced off.

Sharaza giggles. "You still haven't galloped. That was a canter. Slower than a gallop, but still fun! We're going this way." Obviously. And no, she doesn't remember because she doesn't care.

Kyzen frowns, "That felt so fast though! How is that not a gallop?" They're going that way? Okay! Poor boy. He doesn't question Sharaza because he figures she won't forget (or that she cares). "Do you know where we're going?" he teases after they've travelled a bit.

Sharaza laughs. "Nope, we're just exploring! That's the best part about riding. You can go anywhere, and explore, and you don't get as tired because the runners do all the walking."

Wait, what? "Exploring?" Kyzen is suddenly aware of where they are. Exploring… the forests. Forbidden to him! He squirms a bit in the saddle and his pony responds by trotting a few steps until he reins him back. "I know, that's why I wanted to learn to ride! But…" But? "… just a bit more, okay? Then we can go ride around the Weyr. Or the Beastholds? Maybe Dandrey will let us do small jumps!"

Sharaza turns in the saddle again to look back at him, her brows furrowed. "Why do you want to go back to the weyr? That's boring. Besides, we can find things to jump out here!" Oh look, Kyzen, you gave her ideas!

Because his parents are going to flay him alive? … if he's caught. Kyzen wars with himself. He's with Sharaza, it's not like he's alone! But to linger here is to continue to break that promise he made, not even a month old. … but a little longer couldn't hurt, right? "I told you why. You know how upset they get if I vanish for long! So… let's just find something to jump." Do it and get outta here! If there's one thing Kyzen hates, it's being cowardly and he doesn't want to be the one pleading they go back. He's so determined to seem fun and exciting to his friend!

Sharaza doesn't notice her friend's growing anxiety as she turns and urges the mare forward through the forest again. They reach a small clearing, and with a "There!" the girl points the mare towards a fallen tree to one side of the clearing. Urging the mare into a canter, she rises up in the stirrups, ready to jump. The mare takes steps forward, but then a wherry squawk nearby has the runner balking, putting on the breaks, halting before going over the log and sending Sharaza tumbling over her head to the ground with a dull thud.

Kyzen's pony is luckily too small and equally unmotivated to follow after Sharaza's mare much to the boy's frustration when he can only coax the runner to a fast and disjointed trot. Huff! Then she's preparing to jump and Kyzen watches with awe that soon turns to fear as she tumbles to the ground. "Sharaza!" he calls out as he bring his runner to a skidding stop, thankfully remembering to toss the reins up over a branch before he rushes to his friend's side. "You okay? Skydancer?"

Sharaza is knocked out. Muahahaha.

Kyzen will still try to rouse her, touching her shoulder and even giving her a gentle shake. "Sharaza? Please wake up. Please?" he begs her, his voice wavering a little bit and he wipes the sleeve of his jacket across his nose and face. Don't panic! He's a big boy now. First though he will try to wake her… though he grows increasingly frightened the longer she stays unconscious.

Sharaza shifts slightly and groans, which turns into a soft yelp of pain and a whimper. "My arm…" Is broken. Her breathing is shallow and fast, ragged and pained.

"I am so sorry, Sharaza!" Kyzen exclaims with a look of pure guilt and horror when he realizes just how injured his friend is. Of course this is HIS fault, right? He's not doing much to comfort her either, looking just as pale and terrified as any boy his age would be. At least he reaches out to touch her good shoulder? "Can you stand up? We need to get you help." And he has NO IDEA where they are right now.

Sharaza whimpers, sniffling as tears run down her cheeks. Not so tough now, huh? She looks every inch the young girl that she actually is, without the bravado or charisma she usually carries. "If you help me, maybe?"

Kyzen's about to give into tears too but he's going to be a Big Boy and hold back on that for now. Still, he'll sniffle and nod, already trying to help her to her feet. "I'll help you, I promise! I'm sorry, Sharaza. Fort has really good Healers though. They took care of me after I got caught in a bad, scary fire…" He's babbling but doesn't care. "I think your mare ran away but you can sit on my pony? I'll help you up, he's not terribly tall." Duh. "And I'll lead him. He's comfy and you can just… just relax and not move your arm, okay?"

Sharaza sniffles again. "The mare? She's gone?" she asks, looking wildly around. "Oh no! We can't lose her! We can't! We can't afford another runner, oh no, Kyzen, no no no no!" She's nearly hysterical now. "You have to find her!"

"Me? I can't go, Sharaza! I have to get you some help and I don't even know where we are!" Kyzen explains as he continues to try and coax her towards the pony, who just watches them with bored disinterest. "You won't lose her though! Don't they usually go home on their own? Maybe she ran back to the Weyr and is already at the wagons… and if she isn't, I bet the stablemaster can get folks to track her down. You just gotta get better and you won't if we don't go back now."

Sharaza fidgets, pulling away from him, balking at the sight of the pony. "You have to! She can't have gone far!"

Kyzen will struggle to keep her from pulling away, not wanting to accidentally jar her broken arm. "Sharaza, please! I'll go and get her once you get home, okay? Promise. Just… get on the pony!" he pleads with her again, reaching for the saddle and preparing to help hoist her up into place — or as much as he can. He's eight, she's older and he's only so strong.

Sharaza is weeping now, both from pain and fear and losing the runner. She's easy enough to push up onto the pony where she sits, slumped, and…not helping him find the way back home.

Kyzen looks heartbroken at her weeping, hating the sound and sight of it. "It'll be okay, Sharaza, I promise! I'll make it right." He swears by it! Gathering up the reins, he'll begin to lead the pony forwards and for awhile Kyzen seems to know where to go but soon has to look over his shoulder at his friend. "Where do I go, Sharaza? Just bring me to the path and I can get us home from there."

Sharaza looks up, and around, and sniffles. "I…I don't remember…" she murmurs. Does Kyzen remember what his mother showed him about tracking?

Kyzen swallows nervously. "You don't remember…? Oh… Okay. We'll get back!" He tries to sound confident, even manages a shaky smile for her. Does he remember his mother's teachings? Vaguely. He's close to panic now though and not thinking clearly as he leads them onwards. It'll take longer and he is way off course by the time he gets to that main path. He's a lot further up it but he found it! "Almost there Sharaza! You okay?" He looks over his shoulder at his one and only friend, scared and concerned for her as he urges the pony to follow him and resists the urge to run.

Sharaza's crying has settled to soft hiccups and whimpers as she cradles her broken arm. She's certainly not in any danger of dying or anything, she's just young and hurting and scared. "Uh-huh," she mumbles thickly.

Kyzen takes that as a positive and hurries as fast as he can down that path and not make the pony trot as a result. She doesn't need to be bumped around any more than she already has been. When the wagons that she calls home finally come into view, he doesn't hesitate and instantly begins to call out. "Help! Someone, anyone…!" Why, why why did he agree to go riding with her in the forests?

Why INDEED. "Moooooom!" Sharaza wails, bursting into tears again. Doors bang open and a woman, presumably her mother, races out. "Oh, Sharaza! What /happened/?" Pause. "Where's the mare?"

Kyzen winces when Sharaza wails but there's no stopping that. He'll just dutifully bring the pony over to the rushing woman, trying not to cower or flush and fidget under the distraught mother's questioning. "She fell off the mare and I think her arm is really hurt. Broken," he fumbles, looking as guilty as ever. "And the mare ran off but I promised to go fetch the stablemaster! They'll look for her. I just wanted to bring Sharaza home first…" Priorities, right?

Sharaza is crying again, whimpering as the woman helps her down from the pony and nudges her towards the wagon. "Inside, we'll get Delia…" Then she looks down at the boy, frowning. "Well, go then!" Not the nicest lady - at least not right now - as she hurries after her daughter.

To say that Kyzen is disappointed is an understatement. He looks hurt by the way he's treated by Sharaza's mother but that doesn't stop him from blurting out, "I'll be back! She'll be alright, right? I can come see her?" Because he'll need to be reassured that she hasn't died. He'll wait for an answer or to be chased off by the woman. Heavy of heart and still scared, he'll take the pony, mount up and hurry away to the Beasthold, calling again for help.

The woman doesn't answer. Sorry. Poor Kyzen.

Kyzen's calls will bring out a variety of men and women who all look at him in interest and mild alarm. Somehow he stammers out how Sharaza's mare is lost and that the Trader's really need the runner back, but he babbles and his concern has his story wandering all over the place. He probably starts crying at one point too, not even aware that his pony has been led away to be cared for or that the stablemaster is already organizing a group to go track down the errant runner. "There, there boy… don't fret yourself sick. Come and sit, we'll get you a warm drink to calm you, okay? We'll find that runner." It'll take a candlemark or so, but the mare eventually is led back and seems whole.

Meanwhile, in the trader wagon, Sharaza is having a stern talking to about jumping the runners, and having her arm set by their own healer. So when Kyzen returns with the runner, he'll be thanked briskly and then let into Sharaza's family's cluttered wagon, where the girl is curled up on her bed, looking miserable and small.

Kyzen of course will insist that he deliver the mare back to the Trader camp and though he's stung by the brisk thanks, he'll be happy enough to be allowed to see his friend and not barred from that visit. "Sharaza?" he calls in a voice as equally as small. He wipes at his eyes and nose again as he comes to sit on the edge of her bed. "You okay?"

Sharaza sniffles softly. "No," she whimpers, more tears coming when he sits down and asks his question. "My arm's broken and I'm not allowed out of the camps until it's better…"

Kyzen is crestfallen by her news and yet he can understand how she feels. He who's life is constantly worked around boundaries. "Oh. I'm sorry, Sharaza…" he mumbles awkwardly, unsure of how to comfort her. He fidgets on the edge of her bed, looking over at her. "… I can come visit you? Every day if you want. We can play here in the camp."

Sharaza sniffles again. "Would you?" she asks, her eyes showing the first glimmers of hope and happiness since the accident. "Really?"
"Yeah! Why wouldn't I? We're friends, right?" Kyzen gives her a slightly funny look and then smiles almost shyly. "I dunno if I can come at the same time everyday but I'll be here when I can. Okay?" Deal?

Assuming his parents let him leave the weyr after they find out what's happened tonight. "We're friends," Sharaza says with a wide smile, reaching her good hand towards him.

IF they find out what happened! Kyzen's got to get away once in his life, right? He'll hold out his hand and take hers within it, shaking it firmly as though he's just agreed on a deal between them. He grins, "Good!" And then quickly sobers when he glimpses her arm and the cast now wrapped around it. "… was it bad?" he asks hesitantly.

Sharaza kind of wanted to hold his hand, but the shake is nice too. "It hurts," she says quietly, looking down at it. "Did you get the mare back?"

Kyzen won't drop her hand immediately so if she keeps her hold there, he'll hold her hand. Awkwardly because, well… he's never really held someone's hand that way! Not that he has long to focus on it. "Can they give you something for the hurting?" he wonders, only to nod his head. "Yeah! That's why I'm here. I brought her back myself after they found her and brought her to the Beasthold. Promised you they'd find her."

Sharaza keeps hold of his hand. "Not really," she sniffs. "It's better now that it's wrapped but it still hurts." Then there's relief. "Oh, good, I'm so glad you found her, thank you, Kyzen. We can't afford to lose her, it'd be awful."

"I hope you get better soon, Sharaza." Kyzen tells her while he still awkwardly holding her hand though growing less aware that he's doing it. Hopefully her mother doesn't come waltzing in? He's got a feeling the woman doesn't like him very much. "I thought you had more runners than just the mare…?"

Sharaza nods. "We do, but none to spare. They all have jobs pulling the wagons and if we lost one…well. We can't afford another one right now." The hard, knife-edge life of a trader.

"Oh," Kyzen murmurs and yet doesn't fully understand. How could he, given he comes from a life where everything seemingly is easy to get or is given to him. "Well… I'm glad we found her then. Next time we ride though, we can take one of the Weyr's runners?"

Sharaza nods. "It's probably…yeah, if they'll let me borrow one that's probably for the best…" She trails off, looking away and letting his hand go, curling up in the corner of her bed once more. "I should…you know. Rest now."

Kyzen smiles, "They'll let you. If they give me a runner, I'm sure you'd get one too." Just not the best there is and probably a pony. He looks a little disappointed when she curls up in the corner of her bed again and awkwardly slides down and brushes off his pants. "Okay… I'll come by tomorrow?"

Sharaza brightens a bit, but she's clearly not feeling her best right now. "Tomorrow, yeah. I'll be here." Siiiigh. Here. Stuck here. Miserable and injured and still having to do her chores because life is hard.

Now she'll get a taste of how Kyzen sometimes feels! Not that he tells her that or even makes the connection. He'll only give her a shy wave goodbye. "See you tomorrow!" he promises and then quietly lets himself out of her room and the wagon. While he wants to linger, he doesn't. Sharaza's mother has him on edge as it is.

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