Drake's Lake Area - High Plains
The high plains here rise to the Southern Barrier Range from the shores of Drake's Lake, which can be seen shimmering in the distance to the north. Wild and rough, somewhat arid, the rocks, scrub brush and waist-high grasses whispering dryly in the prevailing winds do little to obscure the untamed beauty of the shining snow-clad mountains rising to the south. Numerous beasts, those native to Pern an well as those brought by the colonists, flourish here. Bovine, both wild and feral graze the plentiful grasses along with feral runners, shaggy-haired porcine root the hard ground with deadly tusks, turning over the soil for new growth, which is inturn picked over by flocks of wherries. Overhead solitary raptors ride the wind while in hidden ravines, rocky streams, winding around boulders provide water and shelter for other creatures.


Winter it may be in Fort but here in the south around Drake's Lake it's well into the summer months. Not that it really gets cold in the winter either. The sun definitely holds warmth even though afternoon has barely crept over the plains and jungles. In the few scattered settlements, people work the fields and tend to the wide variety of herd animals kept here. One lone cottage stands farthest removed however and there is a thin trail of smoke coming from the chimney, remnants of a morning cooking fire no doubt — and sign that Jajen is home. Iaverulth's pale hide isn't in her makeshift wallow or field but can be seen in the shimmering waters as the gold bathes in the shallows, attended to by a huge fair of wild firelizards. Happy gold is happy! Maybe her rider is too (ha!).

There's something of winter that clings to Kainaesyth, even in the warmth of the South. It's his thoughts first, the way they move sluggishly, and seem to be lanced with chill, rather than the warmth of living things. Reaching outwards they twine about Iaverulth's, the tale of why they are here kept brief, simple. He settles himself, and the queen can see the slight grayness of his hide, and note the faint exhaustion that clings from this particular journey. Kainaesyth would like to take a nap now please. :(

Iaverulth lifts her head the moment she feels that laced chill touch from Kainaesyth. Rousing herself and sending the firelizards off, the gold will step from the waters and politely shake off most of the water when she's still some distance from the bronze. « We knew you'd come. » They were warned. Strangely, Iaverulth seems pleased to see Kainaesyth and that much is shared though her mind remains nothing but a black void with a few scattered pinpoint stars. Her voice though is whisper soft, silvery bells and close to a gentle caress. « You look exhausted! Have you fed? Plenty to eat here… or perhaps a warm place to rest? » Pardon her while she fawns over company. Lonely gold is lonely!

Kainaesyth sweeps soothing thoughts at Iaverulth that chill mixing calmly within the void. « I will eat soon. But… sleep would be good. Is there a place I might curl? » Even his words are slower, slipping across a dry landscape. Ha'ze jumps from Kainaesyth's back and begins to rip off the straps. Where Kainaesyth is peaceful calm, Ha'ze is still boiling rage, the icy trip though between having not calmed him one bit.

« Follow me, I will let you rest in my field. The sun lasts longest there and it's peaceful. » Iaverulth will step beside Kainaesyth, partially flaring her wings. « Can you fly? It is not far and the winds are favourable for gliding. » Regardless, she will show him the way and just where, exactly, to settle. Unless he protests, she'll settle with him. Poor thing, starved for companionship. Before Kainaesyth can drift off asleep again, Iaverulth will quietly inform him of her rider's whereabouts. « She is within her cottage if yours is wanting to talk with her. » She knows it's not going to be an ideal meeting but a necessary one.

Only once Ha'ze has striped off the straps does Kainaesyth spread his wings, following the gold to her field. « The sunlight feels right. » No objection to her nearness, in fact, Kainaesyth will twine a tails with her lovingly. Some may dislike the gold, but Kainaesyth's love knows no bounds, and he accepts her for all that she is. If she continues to talk he'll stay just on the edge of sleep, murrmering words born on slow moving winds, and bespeaking great thought before they are issued. Oh, and he'll give that though to Ha'ze. Scowling still Ha'ze pulls the heavy strap of his bag over a shoulder and resolutly turns towards the cottage. Unless the door is locked he'll just walk right in. "I won't be living here." Just starting the conversation right there."

Iaverulth won't speak much as she's a gold who values silence as much as she values chatter. Where her dam, Zuvaleyuth, was one for long winded speech, she is the opposite and though her mind is often blackness it is filled with a peaceful sort of song and subtle life. So she will keep Kainaesyth company, tail twined and dozing in the sunlight, content. Inside the cottage, Ha'ze is met with… another young man. No, definitely not Jajen. From his clothing, knot or no knot, he's holder. One very startled, tussled looking holder who hastily excuses himself and squeaks by Ha'ze to escape out the door. Jajen is lounging, arms crossed over her chest, against the doorframe that leads to her bedroom and there has been an obvious change to her… and her living arrangements. For one, she's finally cleaned the place up and added to it. It's safe for Jaze but it has Jajen's touch to it. Rustic. Comfortable. Jajen herself has lost some of that plain-look, be it that she's built some tone to her form (though she's still on the curvier, stockier side) or that her hair has lightened from the sun and… that she's hacked it all off save for a few wavy strands on top of her head. Classic old-school rider style! She also carries herself with a confidence that isn't all bravado and hot air though the smirk she gives Ha'ze is familiar. "Where you going to go then, tough guy? Rough it out in the jungles?" And never mind that there was a STRANGE MAN in her cottage either. Nope, she's not even going to bring that up and let Ha'ze assume what he wants.

Ha'ze stares down the young man until he leaves, flicking one last glance at him then dismissing him completely. Jajen can sleep with whomever she wants… so long as Jaze is okay. "I don't care. You have two rooms." A glance at Jaze's room, Ha'ze isn't going to take that. Then at Jajen's. "And no room for me. I'll stay out of your hair. Th'ero may kick me here, but he can't keep me here." Unless, of course, Iaverulth puts her foot down on that. Sad Kai if that has to happen.

Jajen pushes off the doorframe, smirk still firmly in place. She's dressed in loose and flowing clothing, suitable for the humid summers here. The top is sleeveless and low cut in the neckline. Risque and certainly not standard goldrider garb. A woven belt is tied around her waist, leaving the top to fall down to her knees in a sort of makeshift skirt and under it she wears thin but form fitting leggings and is completely barefoot. Oddly, she's wearing jewelry too — nothing flashy, just a few bracelets but still. Where… is Jajen getting all of this? "So long as you stay IN Drake's Lake, I could care less where you go." she sniffs as she eyes him while walking past to the open kitchen. "Go and dig your own hole for all the good it'll do you. Or," Jajen holds up a finger while her back is turned to him. "You can take the empty place a few miles from here. It's a bit rundown but I guess in your sad case it's better than nothing. You can leave Kainaesyth here though. Iaverulth is practically over the moons for company."

That smirk is actually pissing Ha'ze off right now, though usually he's cocky enough that it slides right off him. His center is gone. Somehow, faith that the weyr would always be there had slipped into his mind and settled there among all of his cynicism. And now it's shaken. And he's angry about it - more that he allowed himself to begin to believe he belonged somewhere. And more so? That he's standing here facing Jajen who he'd even had this conversation with. And she was right. Through gritted teeth, "I'm not going to move Kainaesyth again for a few days. It's winter." There's a hint of 'idiot' under his words, some of his ire slipping through. "Is Jaze asleep?" Abrupt the change in conversation.

Jajen has no idea just how angry Ha'ze is or exactly why. Very little was shared with her, beyond the warning that she was to expect his arrival and keep both him and Kainaesyth in Drake's Lake. If he'd ask, he'd learn that she protested it but they both know just how much her opinion matters in things. Truthfully, she should be more sympathetic as she was in his place once. She knows how it feels to lose "home" and realize too late what was lost. At least he can go back… eventually. "Uh, maybe in Fort it is? It's summer here." Idiot. Turning to face him, she has two glasses in hand and one is offered to him silently. It's alcohol, probably something strong like rum or whiskey. "It's not poisoned. Promise." In case he hesitates. Abrupt change is right but Jajen doesn't yank his chain here. She shakes her head, "She's not here, she's with the other little ones for the day. I can't always watch her and it isn't fair to keep her isolated." Never mind she had a potential lover here moments ago too. Not good for a toddler to be about. "I'll be going to fetch her in, oh… a candlemark or so?" That ALMOST sounds like an invitation. Almost. Jajen is watching him closely, as if expecting him to just storm off now that he has what he wants.

Angry enough to shake. And to take that alcohol she offers with… maybe an intent of getting drunk enough to not have to think about it tonight. "Good." To the parenting question. But he doesn't stop standing, nor move out of the doorway, or even set down the heavy bag that contains… basically everything he owns except Kainaesyth's plants. "It doesn't matter how far away we get from fort. Winter in Fort is when Kainaesyth is tired." It's not natural, but it is Kainaesyth.

Jajen tilts her head as she finally picks up on the anger built up in Ha'ze. The smirk returns and she'll take a quick sip of her drink before setting the glass down on a side table by one of the plush looking chairs. "Iaverulth said he looked exhausted," she quips but there is no judgement there. She just shrugs and then dares to poke (or lightly shove) her fingers at that heavy bag. "Just going to stand there or you gonna drop this? Both the bag and this ruse. You're pissed off." Duh! She steps back, hand flicking as if to idly welcome him to the living area. "Drink. Get drunk. Rant or storm off. Don't care what you do." Just do SOMETHING! Maybe his standing there is unsettling her? "Just so long as you're gone by nightfall… or morning."

"Whatever." Hopefully that alchohol kicks in quick, because Ha'ze would like to stop thinking about the fact that today spelled a lot of endings for him. He shifts his bag away from her, and again doesn't shift. Maybe he's too mad to sit, and too annoyed to step further into the cottage without some encouragement. From that bottle. "I'll work on the getting drunk." There, a statement of intent.

"Have at it," Jajen drawls lazily as if it's no skin off her back. She just points back towards the kitchen. "More in there when you're done with that glass. Just do me one favour?" There's no sneering tone either or subtle barbs. She actually means it. "Don't get too drunk? At least until Jaze has gone to bed. Girl doesn't need to see the wreck you'll become." Okay, scratch that on barbs. Fomph! Down she flops onto the one plush chair, reclining across it lengthwise with her legs dangling over the one armrest and her back propped by the other and her glass easily within reach on that little side table. For all the anger and tenseness Ha'ze is showing, Jajen looks as cool as a cucumber right now.

It's like the two of them are opposites in everything they do. When Ha'ze is cool, Jajen is blowing her top. Now that Ha'ze is on the edge of his rope, it's Jajen who is calm. Finally he stries forward and slumps himself down into the table, the bottle making a clink in front of him as his bag hits the ground. "Fuck Th'ero." Abruptly. Throwing that out there, before the bottle makes its way to his lips. "I'll leave when you go to get Jaze." Or pass out on her table.

Jajen just tips her glass as if to toast Ha'ze's abrupt announcement. Hear, hear? "Welcome to Drake's Lake," she mutters, watching him as he slumps onto her table and tries not to roll her eyes when he ignores the other perfectly good chair and tiny couch lounging about. Brows lift though, "Huh. Don't even want to see your daughter? Figured you'd be all over that chance." Not that it bothers her in the least. Whether he sees her tonight or another day, what's it to her? Silence follows until Jajen just can't resist in asking, "So what'd you do anyways to piss off 'ol high and mighty?" The Weyrleader, she means. "Figured I was enough of an example to turn off any rider wanting to risk exile… even if temporary."

"I'll see Jaze when I'm cooler." Not so rage-mad. Ha'ze had enough of angry people beating him when he was younger than want to chance that kind of thing happening… even on accident. Not that it'll stop him from trying to drink himself into a stupor now. "There is something dirty going on at the Sea Holds." Ha'ze stops drinking long enough to spit that out. Reacing up he wipes his lips along his lips then… back to drinking.

Jajen would murder him on the spot if Ha'ze dared to raise a hand agains Jaze, promise be damned to behave around the bronzerider. Sipping her drink, she snorts. "When isn't there something dirty going on in any Hold? So that's what got you landed here? You went and meddled or something? Knock up some holders daughter?" she lists off and then spreads her hands out. What? She's curious and perhaps a touch suspicious.
This is where Ha'ze gifts Jajen with an upraised finger, the middle one to be exact. He's not down for playing nice tonight - maybe a fight with Jajen is exactly what the bronzerider needs right now, after getting shut down so completely by Th'ero. It would be more helpful if she would yell back. But no. Of course not. "It's wrong. I've seen false knots getting used. And the leadership refuses to do anything but throw sharding tea parties." Ha'ze might just get sick before he gets dunk if he doesn't slow down.

Give it time. Jajen can only play "nice" for so long and Ha'ze is chipping away at that bit by bit. Her eyes narrow at the gesture and she promptly flips him off in return. "Jerk." she mutters under her breath. "Don't think I'm happy about having your sorry ass here!" She's technically his babysitter! Insult to injury there to BOTH of them. Now she does roll her eyes. "Well, duh, of course they do nothing because they can't. Jays! You sleep through your history and politic lessons in Weyrlinghood? Even a total screw up like me knows that a Weyr can't just charge in and start digging up dirt. The Holds would riot and don't even get me started on Conclaves." She scoffs and then with one of her infamous smirks she polishes off the last of her drink and sets the glass aside.

"And if this turns into another shithole and bodies start piling up?" Ha'ze shifts his dark gaze from the tabletop to settle on Jajen with a LOOK full of MEANING. "Then they'll start asking why the weyr didn't figure out shit was going on." Of course, Ha'ze is just rumor mongering and making mountains out of molehills. He tips back the bottle and frowns. It's empty. "Where is the rest?" he'd like another one. Please.

"That's how it's been and always will be. Trying to fight it is a stupid move. As I see it? Let the Holders fry if they're too stuck up to reach for help at the first smell of rot," Jajen mutters with a grim sort of twist to her lips. No love shared, apparently. "Folks here are a bit more sensible but then the jungles are NOT kind to idiots. So, you gonna tell me what got your ass beaten and shipped this way? I thought you were a favourite." Ouch. More alcohol? Jajen lifts a foot to lazily point towards the kitchen and vaguely to one of the cupboards. "Top cabinet."

"Fuck." The word rolls abruptly off of Ha'ze's tongue and he shoves himself to his feet. He hasn't had enough yet to be unsteady, but from the determined set of his shoulders he and the way he's going for that top shelf, he will be as soon as possible. "They're wrong. And I decided to give a shit about something other then myself for once." Have zero details here Jajen.

Jajen just stays put on her plush chair though she scoffs again. "Or you're still being self absorbed? Cause if you were right you wouldn't be here," she oh-so helpfully points out. Nothing like rubbing salt in the wound and she's GOOD at that. "And no way no one is going to know if you were wronged since you're so sharding good at explaining!"

"None of them got hurt. Fuck, that Lucy came back with a new dress." Ha'ze opens the cabinet with more force than is necessary, and reaches blindly upwards into the cabinet, his fingers closing around a bottle. "It was the candidates. No one knew them, so I asked them to go listen." Told them. "Alister and Daralyn were guards. Gabriela and Lucy have their shit in order. Beryl's so… WEIRD, no one would suspect him of anything." So Ha'ze is claiming it was… safe?

Most of the alcohol in that cabinet are hard spirits. Rum, whiskey… spiced and regular. He may be in for a surprise? Jajen is listening but her laugh, while brief, is slightly mocking. "And if they had been sniffed out? Candidate or no, don't matter. All it takes is a good flick of a knife and you're down one Candidate. Did being with Laris' camps teach you nothing about playing with fire?" she mutters, picking at her nails in a seemingly bored and idle way.

"I don't care. I was doing something." Something. Anything. Apparently, somewhere over the course of the last two turns, Ha'ze has changed from a passive observer to a DOer. It was probably latent in him somewhere, but repressed. The bottle open he leans against the counter and upends it into his mouth. It burns - he doesn't actually care right now.

"Bullshit you don't care!" Jajen almost sing-songs back at him as she nimbly swings her legs down and sits up to smirk and mock-glare at him from over the back of the chair. "If you didn't give a damn, you'd not be drinking yourself stupid right now! You screwed up." Not so much judgement there as she knows full well she shouldn't talk.

That sing-song voice fianlly does what Th'ero's anger and his abrupt banishment wasn't able to do. It breaks the calm Kainaesyth had begun to keep in place, and releases Ha'ze's rage. That half drunk bottle gains the power of flight as Ha'ze flings it against the far wall of the cottage. "Fuck you too." Why did he stay and talk? He knew that Jajen wasn't the right person to talk to. Why did he even bother to talk?

Jajen flinches and ducks even though the bottle goes wide. "What is wrong with you?" she exclaims in protest, glaring at him fully now. That was some damn good alcohol! Not to mention she now has to be sure ALL that glass is picked up unless Jaze gets a hold of some of it. Who else is Ha'ze going to talk to? He's half way across the world from those who may have cared. She doesn't fly off the handle at him (yet), but she does part a rather scathing remark. "Such a tough man you are! Gonna throw a tantrum now that things didn't go your way?" She's on her feet now but not to get into Ha'ze's face. No, she approaches and then turns to reach into a small closet to pull out a broom, then stalk past him to grab a cloth. "So typical." she mutters.

"Shut up Jajen." Reaching out he grabs her arm, hard, and yanks her back from her move towards the shattered bottle. "What's typical? Being mad? That I fucking did something when warning signs started showing themselves then getting tossed out like trash afterwards. Is that wrong? Not that you'd give a shit. You grabbed for power because you were fucking self-absorbed."

Jajen is about to whirl on him but Ha'ze is faster and she is snared in his grip. She hisses a few curses his way and he may end up with the broom handle poking in his ribs or somewhere more uncomfortable and below the belt if he's not careful. That or she'll use it to smack him painfully in the side when she isn't busy getting right up in his face. "No, that you're being a stubborn ass! They didn't just toss you here!" Her eyes narrow and darken. "Screw you, Ha'ze!" she growls at him and there's obvious mistrust there. He's just another one of them who continue to hold her past above her — as if she isn't painfully aware of the stupidity of her past actions.

Ha'ze makes a grab with his other hand for that broom. If she doesn't keep it out of his grabbing hands he'll try to throw it across the room. "Stay out of my way Jajen - or make Iaverulth push Kainaesyth away from here. We'll leave." Not forever. Because, Jaze. "I won't put up with your shit, you won't put up with mine. You can get back to fucking the little man toy you lured here."

Jajen will do her best to keep it out of his grasp, likely trying to smack him with it one last time before he finally gets a hold of it and sends it flying too. "I can't! You damn well know I've my orders…" And she's not about to screw it up. Despite what everyone might think of her, the goldrider IS trying to change. It's — a slow going process. "My shit? If you hadn't noticed, I was trying to be nice earlier! I'm not the one who started throwing things and seeking to drink myself into oblivion." That last bit seems to sting and she'll try to yank her wrist free of Ha'ze's grip. "Lure? He's no toy of mine! I don't use people like you do!" Ass. "What's it matter to you, anyways? That what you think I am?" The last is sneered and there's an implied word there but left unsaid but before he can even respond she snorts, masking that hurt with more gruffness and anger and will start to turn away if she managed to get free of his grip to go storm after the broom he so helpfully tossed for her.

"I don't care. I don't want anything from you. Or from anyone." All of the progress that has been made over the last few turns? Changing Ha'ze from a reclusive kid into someone who stands on his own two feet and makes decisions that the thinks are for the best of more than just him…. Yeah, that's all gone. He's just angry and right now Jajen's the only person close enough to feel the backlash of that anger. Outside Kainaesyth finally rouses from his half slumber next to Iaverulth, « Ha'ze… »

For once in her life, Jajen doesn't snap back. She just levels Ha'ze with another furious glare and turns away, not about to be his personal verbal punching bag (if she can help it). Now, where'd that broom go? She can't stay silent forever though and eventually she'll mutter from her side of the room. "Fine. Seclude yourself then. That rundown shack is yours and if you want to be on your own then so be it. Good luck finding your damned supplies on your own too— damn it!" That last bit is more of a yelped hiss, half surprise and a good part pain. Barefoot and broken glass don't mix and to add insult to injury, Jajen's foot has found an unseen piece in which to embed itself. Swearing under her breath, she awkwardly crouches down and gritting her teeth she'll struggle to pull the offending shard out. Then there's blood and glass and the offending piece? Is sent skittering across the floor towards Ha'ze as she stands and limps her way towards her bedroom and a droplet trail following her. Outside, Iaverulth stirs as well and makes a soft, unhappy sound but not directed at all towards Kainaesyth. « I am sorry. » the gold apologizes enough for them both though it's likely more heartfelt from her than her rider.

« If they would simply sleep with one another again… » Because sex, uh, fixes everything? At least Kainaesyth is going to say it does. (He's forgotten the last time these two did that - and the explosions. All he remembers is that there was a BABY.) Ha'ze swears again, the shard skittering till it resets right at his boot toe. A deep breath - he hadn't meant for her to get hurt. Reaching upwards, this time, he makes sure he grabs a clear alcohol, and follows Jajen into the bedroom. "Where are the bandages." A question.

Iaverulth's curiosity is so strong it almost rolls off of her in waves. « I am not sure if that would mend things. Mine sleeps with another man that makes her happy. Yours… would not make her happy like that, I don't think? » There's more apology there. « Not that it is his flaw. If he needs a mate, there are others who may soothe him? » Shameless! Suggesting Ha'ze go scope out the local holder girls… when in reality Iaverulth is just practical and honest. Kainaesyth mentioned sex and so she's rolling right along with it! Inside, Jajen would've burst out laughing if Ha'ze admitted out loud that he hadn't meant to hurt her. Ha ha! Could've fooled her. His question is met with a cold dismissal. "Go away." What else did he expect? He just, moments earlier, told her he wanted nothing to do with her or anyone. So his sudden "caring" is viewed as completely suspicious. Is answer though is in front of him. She's seated herself on the end of her bed and there's a little kit beside her and she's already unravelling a few bandages.

« No… not a mate. » Kainaesyth does not know what Ha'ze needs now. Ha'ze knows he just burned this bridge. Badly. So when she tells him to shove off this time? He's actually going to do it. Mutely he puts the bottle on the bed next to her and turns away and walks back into the living room of the cottage. There he'll kneel beside the shattered bottle, and begin to pick up the pieces. He's as careful as he can be seeing as some of that alchohol is starting to settle in. If he's not quick he's going to wind up passed out in shards of glass and blood. Now THAT would be a sight for Jaze to come home to.

Iaverulth won't be so easily defeated. « Oh. A companion then? » she asks in that same quiet whispered voice of hers. Back inside, Jajen pretends not to notice Ha'ze set the bottle aside but she does see him. When he leaves and actually doesn't shove back for once, it leaves her frowning… and then swearing under her breath again. Stupid, sharding, twice damned bronzerider! Once she has her foot cleaned (with redwort, thank you!) and securely bandaged, she'll quietly walk out of her bedroom, cleaning up the trail of blood she's left as she goes. Eventually (and hopefully before Ha'ze is passed out) she will join him, holding out a container in which to dump the collected glass. "Here." she states in as neutral a tone as she can muster. It's not easy. She'll work on getting the rest of the mess mopped up, keeping her weight to one side and off her injured foot. Awkward though the silence may be, Jajen breaks it by muttering: "I've got to go get Jaze … You can go or stay or follow, I don't honestly care anymore. Just don't get yourself killed — for once I'd like not to screw up a simple order." Just in case that sounded like Jajen actually gave a damn what happened to Ha'ze.

Kainaesyth's breeze moves slowly, and he lays down again, ill at ease, but not able to pin point exactly why. « I am not sure. » His eyes remain open, whirling in the dark, looking towards the cottage. The two will work in silence until it is done and Jajen breaks the silence. Ha'ze stays kneeling on the ground for a moment then pushes himself up. "Don't tell Jaze I'm here." It's the last thing he says as he heads back to the door and sweeps up his bag. Time to stumble out as horribly as he stumbled in. Cold again. Cold.

Iaverulth is equally as troubled but for two reasons. Largest being her own rider's well being and then that of Kainaesyth. If he allows it, the gold will gently nuzzle his neck. It's not often she has company and despite the reason for him being here, she is trying to make it comfortable. « If he, or you, need anything, we will help. » It may be more her than Jajen. Inside, Jajen is perplexed by Ha'ze's final word. "What? Why…" Too late, the bronzerider is stumbling out and the goldrider is following him after hastily setting aside the container and cloths. Last thing she grabs is a thin jacket and a satchel hanging by the door. "Ha'ze!" she calls out. Does he stop to listen?


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