Fort Region - Stonehaven Cothold
Ezra's private office.

Note: This takes place in the middle of The Trap...


/… “Go to Ezra, Cervena. Stay with him.” Spreading her wings, she will soar off and vanish as well and Rayathess is alone again. Which suits him just fine. Glancing back to the spot where Hazelon had disappeared, he begins to pick his path forwards and parallel to where he suspects the young teen may have gone. His steps are slow, cautious and wary and his eyes scan the area constantly. It can’t be much farther now and he strains his ears to any sound that may hint at the presence of others. Last thing he wants to do is blunder right into the heart of a camp, Lyreh present or no.

Meanwhile, Ezra is in his office. He has an office now, like a proper holder, the simple stone cavern small and understated, but large enough for his desk and a multitude of shelves. Nothing is on the walls except for maps of Stonehaven - her lands and her mines - and other charts and tables and various other Things. There is also a newly commissioned tapestry hanging right behind where his chair sits, so when he’s in his seat it hangs neatly above his head. It’s small, only a few feet square, but well woven. It’s Stonehaven’s crest - her new one - with the legendary Roc in the upper right corner. This is Ezra’s study/office, neat but well used. He’s there now, going over some paperwork and trying to stay focused. Work is hard. But he’s stubborn and determined to do it - and do it /right/.

Ezra’s work may be interrupted by the arrival of a little green who pops into his office and with a satisfied and smug little chirp, proceeds to land on the corner of his desk and peer up at him. YOU. She was sent to find and she did. Now she stays and she thrums. See? Rayathess kept his promise! Cervena is calm, so that’s a good sign, right?

In his office, Ezra looks up at the arrival of Cervena, smiling and offering her a treat. “So he’s on his way, is he?” Reaching out a finger to gently stroke the small green, he looks at his own queen, thoughtful. But he doesn’t do anything yet, bending to his work again.

Cervena chirps to Ezra and happily accepts his touch, only to filter an image of forests through to Cala and to his mind. Nope! Not on his way, he’s already there! The green firelizard begins to preen, though her tail begins to twitch from side to side. Rayathess may be blindly stupid, but his other two firelizards are not and when they begin to feel suspicious (who are those shapes moving?), she will feel suspicious and wary and alarmed and one can only hope that that is also bleeding over to her bonded (and not just to Ezra).

Cala chirps to Cervena, head tilting as she takes the firelizard’s images. Distorted through two firelizards, Ezra shakes his head and frowns at the shift in emotion. “Cala, go with her back to Raya,” he orders softly, nudging the queen. With a soft chirp she spreads her wings and looks to the green. Lead her back to Rayathess?

Cervena will do just that, launching up into the air and vanishing Between just in time to join Rayathess' two browns as they rouse the alarm… but too late. Chaos erupts below and loosed arrows find their mark…

The first thing to happen is Cala appears, soaring high above so she has a clear view of what is transpiring below. And, so does Ezra. The sight of his brother being shot by an arrow, of Lyreh stepping back, of the things that trasnpire have him lurching to his feet with a scream. “NO!” he yells, hands gripping the desk as he stares sightlessly across the room. Then, in a rush, he stumbles around his desk and bolts into the hallway. “Dragonrider!” he hollers, racing for the courtyard. “I need a dragonrider!” And the scene continues to unfold. Another arrow, another, and he is here and watching. Where is Hazelon??!

Cala shrieks and Ezra stumbles, blindly falling into a wall as his vision doubles. Not used to such a sensation, he ducks and grasps and flails, banging his nose and causing it to bleed as he stumbles outside. His brother’s pain is agony to him, increased at least tenfold by the terror that he’s seeing his brother be murdered and he is not there to help. Hazelon…Hazelon? Hazelon is…is…firing? Ezra lets out a snarl of furious anger and rage as he races through the courtyard. Hazelon. Hazelon and Lyreh. They will pay for this. If his brother dies…

“Dragonrider!” he cries, his yell loud and forceful enough for the departing green to land again. “Sir?” the young rider calls. “Take me to…to…shit!” What was the hold called? Where was he going? Laurali was going there…where…did she tell him? Cala can’t give between directions to a green dragon, can she? Ezra doesn’t want to risk that, between scares him enough as it is. Garan was going with them, right? He’d know, someone at the Hall must know where they went. “Harper Hall,” he manages. “Please. Please,” he’s begging now. “It’s urgent, please, now.” Eyes widening, the young rider helps Ezra up, sees him buckled, and they rise to vanish between.

Cala, in the clearing, soars after Rayathess, the gold creeling in her master’s fear. She will stay with Rayathess while the remaining two men halt their firing.

Ezra is whisked to Harper Hall, the young heir grabbing a towel off a laundry pile to hold against his nose, which smarted /painfully/ in between. He doesn’t care. It’s nothing compared to what he’s getting from Cala. Dying. His brother is dying. “Where is Journeyman Garan today?” he demands of the first Master he sees.

“What?”

“Garan, Garan!” Ezra yells at the poor middle aged Harper. “Where was he going? I need to get there!”

Another nearby overhears, an apprentice who recognizes Ezra and supplies the name.

Ezra’s gaze snaps around to focus on the apprentice, and briefly he has a flash of the room, of playing an instrument… “Thank you.” Turning, he bolts outside once more to the rider.

After giving the name of the cothold, Ezra adds, "Hurry, please!” His brother is dying, did he mention that? No. He can’t say it aloud. Shot by Hazelon. By Lyreh. This thrice cursed project of his. Anger sears through the young heir, hot and almost comforting. It’s an unusual emotion for him but he clings to it. It will give him strength.

Lifting off, they circle for a few moments while the green gets the between image from another dragon, and then they vanish, to reappear. Landing, Ezra dismounts. “Stay here.” Yes, that was an order, and the greenrider is young and startled enough to heed it as Ezra bolts for the hold doors. “Laurali!” He /should/ be calling for Sarah, but…no. He calls for Laurali.

In that coastal hold, the last person expected to drop in was Ezra. A panicked holder Ezra Stonehaven. The doors are opened for him but before a baffled and startled Steward can even ask what the emergency is, Laurali is hurrying down the hallway, with Journeyman Sarah hot on her trail. “What is it?” she asks, wide eyed and yet her heart is already sinking. What else would bring him here and have him so upset? Rayathess. Something has happened. Something bad. “Where is he?” Laurali says next and at a questioning sound from her Journeyman, the girl winces. Oh, right. She’ll… let Ezra explain why she (they) have to go?

Ezra reaches out towards Laurali, looking past her to Sarah, and he sags in relief. “Please. My brother. He’s, he’s out there, on the road, in the woods somewhere, he’s been shot. Arrows…” He visibly flinches as he remembers - he /feels/ - the arrows piercing flesh, shuddering. “He’s hurt, please, come with me, I’ve a dragon…she’s waiting…” And he /tugs/, stumbling back towards the exit.

Laurali is tugged forwards, past the sputtering Steward as he’s trying to piece together everything Ezra just explained. Injured man on the road? Out here? “Ezra, how do you know that?” she asks, stumbling with him and frowning in concerned but also frightened. Frightened that it’s true and if it is… all that it could mean! Only she thinks of Lyreh, not of Hazelon’s, hand in this. “Wait,” she tries to protest, though she won’t struggle against him. “I can’t go without Journeyman Sarah!” Who is trailing them, still, with many an unspoken question in her eyes as she glances between her Sr. Apprentice and the holder. Before they reach the waiting greenrider though, there’s a sudden cry of alarm from the fields and shouts following, along with the sounds of hooves thundering up the main road and towards the modest courtyard. Now the Steward is out on the steps, shouting above the din to demand what is going on and sending another holder off to go and notify the cotholders, or the head of the family at least. Lead into the courtyard by the reins, Rayathess’ stallion keeps pace with the other runners surrounding him, while the injured young man is kept to his saddle by the other riders. He’s unconscious now and his firelizards circle above his head anxiously, chittering in agitation. “Shells!” That… wasn’t Laurali swearing, it was the Journeyman Healer she’s with and Sarah gives her a pointed look as she rushes forwards as the runners come to a stop and the men begin to surround Rayathess to keep him from falling out of the saddle. “Support him! Don’t let those arrows shift too much!” The Healer can be heard calling and Laurali can only cast Ezra a pained look as she too moves forwards, pushing through some of the men to get to Rayathess. More orders are being shouted, this time for a clean bed, a room, linens, hot water…

“She’s coming too!” So says Ezra, who has no authority (yet) to be ordering a Journeyman around. But then things are moving, the cries of alarm, and Ezra recognizes that runner. His heart leaps into his chest and he bolts forward, /racing/ to meet Rayathess and the other riders. The sight of those arrows protuding from his brother’s flesh, the feel of them crawling as Cala circles above, still linked with his green… Ezra isn’t proud of it but he turns away to vomit. At least there’s nothing left in him as he straightens, wipes his mouth on his arm and makes himself look. “Raya…brother…” he gasps, moving quickly forward to grasp the stallion’s reins and hold him steady with a hand on his muzzle. “Shhh, hey. Hold still, hold still,” he says, his voice thick with tears and because of his bloodied nose which has now crusted itself shut. For the moment he can only watch in shock and fear as the Healers move to Rayathess’ side. “He’s alive,” he says, more statement than question, glancing at the firelizards and then back to his brother. “He’s alive!” And then another thought strikes him. One strong enough to have him whirling to fix the greenrider in his sights. “Hazelon did this!” he yells at her as she runs forward. “Hazelon. Drudge. Fort Weyr, do you hear me?” he demands until she nods, his voice /hard/. Furious. Seething. “Go back to Fort Weyr and tell them. He’s still out there. Him and others.” Others. Lyreh. He doesn’t look at Laurali. “The weyr needs to search. To find the ones who shot Rayathess. Tell them that, do you hear me?” The poor young greenrider nods and turns, racing back to her dragon and lifting off in a flurry of wings.

No one faults Ezra for his moment of weakness (or weak stomach in the case) and he may not be the only one who is a little queasy at the sight of Rayathess and his wounds or the blood. So much blood. The arrow that grazed him must have grazed deep and his leg fares no better. He does not answer his brother either and there is only a faint groan from him when hands reach to grip him firmly and move him down from his saddle and to the ground. Sarah and Laurali are beside him immediately, with the Journeywoman working fast and Laurali trying to keep pace in aiding her. “We have to get him inside and fast,” the woman can be heard muttering and then she is nudging Laurali to stand. “Go! Hurry girl and make sure they get the room prepared.” Startled, Laurali will stand and she’ll not notice the blood already on her hands and arms as she seeks Ezra’s gaze, eyes widening as she overhears what he shouts to the greenrider. Hazelon did this? Others? Lyreh. Her expression darkens and then closes off. No. She can’t afford to focus on that now and after another prompt from the Journeywoman, she’s darting off and up into the hold, shouting her own commands now and swearing at their slowness and thrice-much for those who just gawk.

Ezra turns back to his brother in time to watch them pull him off the runner, and his heart lurches again. “Raya,” he whispers, gritting his teeth firmly as he moves forward to assist. “I’ll help carry him,” he says firmly, but looks to Sarah before even attempting to touch Rayathess, less he cause him pain or further injury. The groan, odd though it may be, raises his spirits a bit. “Hang in there, brother,” he whispers, not caring who hears or who sees. “Hang in there, we’ve got you, you’re safe now.” It’s probably good that Hazelon isn’t with him right now… He watches Laurali go, just nodding. Go, please, prepare the room… His eyes drift to the fields again, searching…but of course no one is there. Then he looks back at his brother. His big brother. He /promised/. He promised he’d be safe, that he wouldn’t be hurt. Ezra /warned/ him. Anger rises again, swift and furious and he’s lost to it for a moment before a word spoken has him snapping back to the present. Priorities. He can hunt Hazelon down later.