Stonehaven Cothold - Main Room
With a low ceiling and thick walls, this room stays fairly warm in the winter time, especially with a fire going in the large hearth on the left side of the room. Small windows open up onto the courtyard but there are none that look out over the fields, as the cothold has only placed windows where they have the additional protection of the courtyard walls. Those windows also have iron shutters on the inside wall, which can be quickly closed and locked from inside.
The floor is smooth stone, and the furniture is rustic and hand made, most of it from local trees and made by local crafters. Very few pieces have an official Crafthall stamp, but all are expertly made and sturdy and much of it is new.
On the right side of the room are two doors, each one leading into an office. The one closest to the outside wall is a conference room, while the one further back is Ezra's personal office. Further into the room is a door that is almost always left open, a tunnel gradually rising into the mountain that leads to the other parts of the hold including the mines. In the back left corner, where the hold begins to merge into the mountains, is where the kitchens are. A doorway leads into the kitchens and there is also an opening in the wall that makes a passthrough for food and drink. Near that is a large wooden dining table with simple rustic chairs surrounding it.

It's been a gruelling set of hours and an agonizing day for Rayathess. When he finally gave in and accepted that he could not find Tyani alone, he turned back to the Hall for help. That only ended in near panicked frustration as folks (to him) dawdled by asking questions upon questions until FINALLY someone (a Healer) took charge and organized a search party. By then it was close to nightfall and the temperatures bitterly cold but there was no sign of her and despite his pleas, the search was called off until morning. Rayathess hardly slept and did not eat, spending most of his night restless with anxiety and worry. In the morning, there was no new news. No signs… it's as though the woman simply vanished! Which, of course, raises further concerns and suddenly a barrage of different questions — many of which set Rayathess' teeth on edge and fray his already thinning temper. With a promise that more searches will be conducted, he does what he can to pass the time by doing his own scouring of the forests with no luck of his own.

By the second night, even Rayathess has to concede that there's little more he can do in that venture. Numbed by the cold, he writes a hastily scrawled message to be delivered by firelizard to his brother's cothold. He doesn't care if it'll be going on late at night by now and he's likely to be disturbing them. His second inquiry goes off to see which, if any, dragon rider is available to fly him to Stonehaven. He'd ride his runner there if it wasn't the dead of winter and it grates his nerves to have to ask for a rider but this is an exception! So whether Ezra wants his brother as a visitor or not, Rayathess will be arriving to pay a visit, ferried by a young green riding pair. It'll be up to Ezra to play host too as Laurali is likely sleeping or trying to put Rauzei to bed and Faranth only knows if the woman is pregnant again…

Ezra is happy to play host, though he wishes there were better circumstances for his brother's visit. "Rayathess," he greets at the open door. "What news?"

Rayathess will hastily thank the dragonrider before dismounting and making his way towards the open door where his brother waits. Almost instinctually, his fingers reach for the stones as he mutters, "Inside." Meaning he doesn't want to start talking until they're safely indoors. That and he's cold. Closing the door, he'll glance about the main room, vaguely aware of the hour. "Laurali sleeping?" he ask as he peers sidelong to Ezra. He looks awful… and on edge. Something is wrong even without Rayathess breathing a word of what yet.

Ezra glances down the hallway as he closes the door after his brother. "Hopefully," is his answer, giving Rayathess a concerned look before moving away towards the kitchen. "Have a seat…" He's going to get food and ale.

Rayathess just nods his head to that reply. Not that he doesn't want to see his brother's wife right now but he doesn't feel like suffering Laurali's silent questioning looks — or being reminded what he's lost (not that he's married yet). He settles heavily into one of the chairs, still dressed in his jacket but he's left his boots at least by the door. Now that he's seated, he still looks wired and tense, eyes troubled. He probably hasn't even noticed Ezra leave to get food and ale — or that he's lapsed silent again.

Ezra returns with some bread and simple cheese, and two tankards of ale. "Rayathess? What's going on?" the young holder asks as he sits in a chair - their father's chair - by the fire.

Rayathess predictably goes right for the ale, but ignores the food. Probably a stupid move on his part but he's got no appetite at the moment. Getting drunk? Oh, right up his alley right now. He takes a considerable gulp of the ale, guaranteed to go right to his head, swallowing and taking a moment to steel himself before he answers gruffly. "Tyani's missing. Just… gone." He mimes this with his free hand, of something just vanishing in thin air. Only it's hardly funny and Rayathess looks miserable as he knocks back more of that ale. "Hall sent out searches. Nothing. No signs, no… body." How grim.

Ezra blinks, his heart clenching. His poor, poor brother. "Gone? Just…without a trace at all? No note or anything?"

"We'd gone riding down by the river, just outside the Hall. She stepped away for a moment while I waited with the runners and I heard her scream…" And then there was nothing. Rayathess looks distraught now, likely going through he process of blaming himself for the situation he finds himself in. "We didn't find any trace at all! And there's been no reports of renegades or holdless in the area — most don't dare come this close to the Weyr and definitely not in winter!" His voice is low now, mumbled and almost growled.

Ezra looks surprised and then grim. "Did you check the river? Did she fall in…?"

Rayathess grimaces and drains the last of his ale, setting the mug aside and when his eyes lift it's only to see if there's more. Ezra won't mind if he gets drunk, right? "We checked that. No signs and she wasn't by water…" he grumbles and lapses silent. His brows furrow and he's troubled, not to mention sick at heart and clearly upset. He's being his typical self though and trying to keep everything shut up inside of himself.

Ezra doesn't mind one bit, and when their housekeeper passes by he'll give her a nod to go and prepare Rayathess' room. Fire in the hearth, warming stones between fresh sheets, floor swept… Meanwhile, Ezra goes to the kitchen and comes back with a pitcher. "What's the next step?" he asks as he returns.

Rayathess hasn't even registered that his brother has a housekeeper or that the woman even walked in. He's glowering at the floor and only stirs to pour himself more ale (at least he didn't take the pitcher from Ezra and just drink from it?). He snorts and now he sounds angry and frustrated. "Hall is dragging their feet!" he grumbles and knocks back more ale. "And of course I was questioned. Like I'd do anything to hurt Tyani!" He shakes his head and now his expression darkens. "I've my assumptions of what happened. Hall won't like it… But I'll be damned if it's not the only thing that makes shardin' sense."

Ezra scowls. "Have you contacted the weyr? Missing person…Thunderbird should be on it." That's Ezra…a cotholder now, but he still has his ties to the weyr, and uses them. There's a long pause. "What do you think happened?"

"You know how the Hall is about that! Of course they'll drag their feet in notifying the Weyr. All that 'we don't meddle' bullshit." Pardon Rayathess' swearing. He's not in the mood to be nice. Unlike his brother, he's holder but he's also Crafter and still, despite Turns of denying it, holdless somewhere down there deep. So of course he senses something MORE than just a mystery. "Kidnapped." That's his only answer but it's all but spat before he goes back to draining his ale.

Ezra tilts his head a bit as he takes another long pull of ale. "By whom? Why?" Of course he's going to ask these difficult questions - before his brother drinks himself into a stupor.

Rayathess's well on his way to drinking himself into a drunken stupor and faster still for his lack of food. He's just polished his second mug when he pours his third and it isn't until he's finished a good quarter of it before he answers. "Her father, probably. You know all the grumbling that's been going on about seedy business at the ports and harbours? Wouldn't put it past the man to hire some thugs… No ordinary holdless or renegade would dare do something so brazen so close to a Hall, let alone Fort Weyr."

Ezra frowns slightly. "But isn't her father down South? Not even in this area…surely he wouldn't kidnap his own daughter halfway across Pern…?" But his tone suggests that yes, maybe he would.

"Who cares where her father is?" Rayathess growls. The man is a total jerk (not that that would be the word he'd use — his choice would be far more impolite)! "I wouldn't put it past him to finally snatch her back somehow. Don't know why or why now… He all but disowned her with me as witness along with his Steward." So there are loopholes in his assumption but for now he's clinging to it for lack of other options.

Ezra opens his mouth to point out those loopholes, but then closes it agian. Now isn't the time to argue. "What do you need, brother? How can I help?"

Smart man. Rayathess would likely get so heated in his arguing he'd wake up the whole household and that's just what Ezra needs right now… right? Except he answers the offer with silence, which usually doesn't bode well, but for this night it's because he's uncertain. "Keep an ear open to the gossip around here? Not that you're liable to get much, I know." Stonehaven being remote to start and triply so in the winter. "Other than that — I don't know, Ezra. I just want her back." And they'll both pretend neither of them noticed the waver in his voice before he drowns it out (and hides his expression) behind his third mug of ale.

Ezra nods. "I'll keep an ear and an eye open for any information," he promises. The young man nods at the last, reaching out to briefly clasp his brother's knee. "If there's anything else I can do…"

Rayathess's thanks is subtle at best and noted mostly in the way he quirks one corner of his mouth. Forgive him if he doesn't have the energy or drive to smile. His brows furrow and he shakes his head, "I'll… see what the Weyr can do." There's doubt in his voice and he sounds defeated already. Staring at the bottom of his now empty mug, he doesn't look up as he asks the next question: "Do you think I'll find her?" Never easy with Rayathess, is it? It's loaded too, he doesn't specify if he means they'll find Tyani alive or dead.

Ezra exhales softly. He can't exactly lie. It's not his way to sugercoat things. "I don't know, brother. But I hope so. I really, really do. Don't give up hope."

Rayathess doesn't want to be lied to right now and that could be half the reason why he's going to his brother with the HARD questions. Because he knows he'll get the truth, no matter how much it stings. "I'm not giving up hope until I find her." And from the edge to his voice, he's meaning it in a good and bad way. He will not stop until he either has his beloved back… or her body. Setting his mug aside, it seems to be the end of his drinking until he gropes for the pitcher again.

Ezra nods, shifting a bit towards getting up, only to settle back again when Rayathess reaches again for the pitcher. He says nothing.

"You don't have to stay for this," Rayathess is well aware of his brother just camping out while he steadily drinks himself into oblivion. "Though I guess I should ask if it's okay to stay the night." Even if he knows the answer. With unsteady hands (and it might not be because of his slow decline to drunkeness), he pours his last mug and begins to nurse that one as well as the silence builds and builds until at last… "If it is her father behind this," he says quietly. "How am I to go against him again? The first time was half by trickery."

Ezra shakes his head. "I'll stay," he says, quiet but firm. "Of course. Your room is ready whenever you'd like to go in there." Then, quiet for a moment. "The weyr. He can not keep someone against her will.."

Rayathess narrows his eyes for a moment but shrugs his shoulders. If his brother wants to stay, he won't argue. It's not like he's about to break down into tears (he'll save that for later for when he's alone, of course, as Ezra likely already knows). He scoffs, "The Weyr? What will Fort Weyr do against a southern hold? They can't meddle and I doubt the Weyr that her father is beholden to will step in either. You know how things work…"

Ezra shakes his head again. "It's kidnapping. /Some/ weyr will step in…and it would probably be Fort, working with her father's hold's beholden weyr because she's of Fort."

"And how long did it take them to step in the last time things like this happened?" Rayathess fires back, careful to keep his voice low. Some of his anger is definitely bubbling through though. "You don't know her father. He's not a man who will be reasoned with! And if he's behind it… I wouldn't be surprised if he will lock her away and force her to marry another — shards, I wouldn't put it past the bastard…" That last bit is close to snarled, so low and growled are the words.

Ezra sips at his ale and exhales softly. "Is she…would she not fight back? Would she not try to free herself?" he asks quietly, wondering if Rayathess is giving his fiance enough credit.

Rayathess is silent again for some time as he drains more of that ale. It's a wonder if he'll be able to stand by the time their chat is over. "She might. She could…" He's hopeful and yes, he's trying to give Tyani credit. Yet part of him knows how naive to the world she is. She didn't fight her father the first time. Would she fight now?

If he can't, Ezra will have blankets brought out for him. "She could," he agrees quietly. Inwardly, he's /hoping/ she's fighting. Maybe she's already broken free, maybe she's already trying to make her way back home… He shakes his head. Middle of the night, mid-winter? He knows how difficult that can be. So does Rayathess.

Rayathess wants to believe the same and it could be he's keeping himself drunk for tonight at least to keep the thoughts at bay. Otherwise he'd be out there right now, risking frostbite and Faranth knows what else scouring the vast wilderness that is Fort. Just the thought of Tyani being out there… It's enough to drive a man mad. "I don't know, Ezra. I just don't know. I don't want… if she's hurt…" There will be hell to pay.

Ezra nods. "I know," he says quietly, offering his brother's knee another squeeze, his support and sympathy silent but no less present.

Rayathess is aware of his brother's sympathy but he can't bring himself to acknowledge it. It's all too raw right now and the ale is only beginning to numb his senses. He's saving his break down for behind the privacy of the closed door of his room. No need for it, of course, but it's his choice. "… what would you do if Laurali was taken from you?" Again, the hard questions.

Ezra exhales heavily. "Search," he answers quietly. "Search and never give up hope of finding her. Contact the weyr, call in every favor, offer up all I had…" Even Stonehaven. Maybe. Probably.

Rayathess's jaw works silently as his brother pretty much outlines his entire game plan in a few simple words and sentences. "I'm not going to give up. Don't think the Weyr can do anything to help me but I'll try. What else is there to lose?" Very little, except maybe his position as a Harper but at this point he could care less about his Craft. "I won't… stay for long. Just this night." Duh. Sleep off his drunken state! He exhales heavily and scrubs wearily at his face. "Thanks, Ezra." It's muffled but it's voiced at least as he sluggishly pushes to his feet, only slightly off balance. Might not be too good for him to linger and so he doesn't, giving as curt a nod to him before stumbling towards his room. He knows where to go, buzzed or not on alcohol. The door has barely shut when there's a quiet sound of another opening and the familiar shape of Laurali hovering half-in, half out of the doorway as she peers to catch a glimpse of her husband.

Ezra pushes to his feet and watches his brother go with a soft exhale of breath. Then he turns, back to the hallway, to gather up their dishes and return them to the kitchen, eyes downcast and a frown on his lips.

"Ezra?" Laurali's voice is almost whisper soft but she figures he will hear her all the same. She tucks her arms firmly against her chest and under the thin blanket she has wrapped around her shoulders. Her hair is unbound and it's clear she was dressed for bed and "sleeping" the whole time. "Are you alright?"

Ezra turns, a bit surprised to hear her. Setting the dishes on the passthrough he's quick to return to her, his arms open to slide around her body. "Tyani has gone missing," he whispers softly, trying to guide her back into the bedroom. "Rayathess is a wreck."

Laurali knew there was a late night visitor coming but not who. It wasn't hard for her to limit down the possibilities though. She steps into his open arms willingly, not protesting at all that he guides her back towards the bedroom. She will hesitate though when he mentions Rayathess being a wreck (and Tyani's fate being the cause). "That's terrible. How?" she whispers back and then frowns. "How bad is your brother?" And just what sort of Healing will be required of her?

Ezra shakes his head. "He doesn't really know. They were out for a ride, she went off alone briefly, there was a scream…she just vanished. No sign of her anywhere. And he's drunk himself into oblivion. He'll need food tomorrow morning if he'll take it…" And any hangover remedies she might have, as his arms tighten more firmly around his wife.

Laurali's frown deepens. "Odd. Even for renegades or holdless thugs, it's out of the norm for them to just snatch folks this late into winter and so close to a major Crafthall." Even she would know their habits. She sighs, "Figures. He didn't eat a single bite did he? Just alcohol?" Leaning against her husband's side, she'll step back into their bedroom and gently close the door behind them. "I'll see if I can't slip him something in the morning. Faranth, he'll need it even if just to take the edge off the hangover he'll suffer from. As for him eating… That I leave to you. You'll probably have to tie him down."

Ezra snorts softly. "Time will tell," he murmurs. "Come, let's sleep. We're going to need it…"

Laurali shakes her head again, "I feel bad for your brother, Ezra." she admits quietly as she slips the thin blanket from her shoulders and adds it to the pile already layering their bed. She is definitely all for sleep and even turns back the covers on his side for him before crawling under on her side. "Are you sure you're alright?" No sleeping draught for him?

Ezra nods, "Of course. I do too. I can't even imagine. Everything he's already lost…" He slides into bed after changing into his PJs, reaching for her. "i'll be fine," he murmurs. "If not, I know where the tea is."

Laurali scoots over to his side and curls against his body, tucking her head up against his shoulder as her arm slips over his side. "Hopefully you won't need any tea." she murmurs softly. There's a quiet pride in her that she is a source of comfort (and no, not because she makes the tea!). "I hope it is not renegades behind this." This she admits after a moment of quiet thought.

Ezra sighs. "Me too…me too. I'll have to remind everyone to be especially alert…" He scratches his chin with a free hand. "Lots to do, Laurali. I'm glad it's winter." More down time, so he can help.

Laurali tilts her head up and then leans up enough to gently nuzzle him as she settles closer against his side, trying to lend silent support. "What is on your mind?" she asks softly. Usually there is not much for them to do in the winter months, so for him to say otherwise has her curious. Curious and maybe a little on edge.

Ezra looks down at her, a little surprised. "I'm going to help, of course. As much as I can anyway…"

"Do you think this will come our way?" Laurali tries not to sound or look as worried as she is by those thoughts, though she will meet his gaze steadily. Eventually she will lower it as her mouth quirks into a small, knowing half-smile. Not of amusement but just of understanding. "I know you want to help. You'll find ways."

Ezra looks down at her, a little surprised. "I'm going to help, of course. As much as I can anyway…"

"Do you think this will come our way?" Laurali tries not to sound or look as worried as she is by those thoughts, though she will meet his gaze steadily. Eventually she will lower it as her mouth quirks into a small, knowing half-smile. Not of amusement but just of understanding. "I know you want to help. You'll find ways."

Ezra sighs, shaking his head. "I don't know, Laurali, but I dont' want to take any chances." Not after before. Not during winter. He leans in to kiss her forehead. "Thank you for understanding, my love."

Laurali smiles her usual soft and small way when he kisses her forehead and she'll tilt her head up to kiss his cheek. "Of course I understand. You have to protect your hold and your family. Any wise holder would take precaution." she murmurs. "Or find ways to help."

Ezra nods, tightening his arms around her. "I just…thinking about it being you, and I have to do everything I can for him. He's going to be lost without her."

"You said he was drinking heavily?" Laurali already figures Rayathess is in that "lost" stage and is likely thinking of what else she can quietly slip the Harper without him really catching on. Her expression is grim and then, in an attempt to lighten the mood, quietly jokes: "I'd like to see them try and take me. I may look innocent and vulnerable…" But if she can't stab them, she'll poison them.

Ezra nods. "Nearly a whole pitcher of ale. He's probably unconscious by now." Or so he thinks. Laurali's joking doesn't quite go as planned, as Ezra's body stiffens and he firmly tightens his grip on her. It takes a moment for the irrational panic to pass, and he chuckles, though it's forced. "Tyani isn't nearly as tough as you are…"

Oops? Laurali frowns as she feels him stiffen and tighten his grip o her. "It's alright," she soothes, not liking his forced chuckling either. She nuzzles him again, finding the spots along his neck and wherever she can reach with her hands that she knows he finds pleasurable. "We don't know that, my love."

Ezra is quiet, making himself relax into her touches. "I…well. We don't. But I suspect. She's…naive. Very."

"I know," Laurali continues to caress him with her hands and expertly slips into a gentle, tender massage of her fingers over the familiar contours of his body. She works slow and steady, trying to keep him calm and relaxed despite the topic of conversation. "I remember meeting her. People can do surprising things though when put into situations like that…" Like Rayathess.

Ezra shrugs. "No way to know, really…She should be dead for all we know," he whispers, his body relaxing but his mind whirling. "Laurali…what if she is dead? Rayathess…I don't know if he'd come back from that…"

Laurali can't help but wince a little and then sigh, her caressing continuing. "You don't know that, Ezra. If… if it is that Tyani is dead, Rayathess will need you. We could keep him here." Where he could be watched or, as she figures will be needed, drugged.

Ezra nods with a long exhale. "We'll see," he finally murmurs, leaning over to kiss her. "Let's sleep. We're going to need it."

Laurali returns his kiss and then nestles down against him. "Goodnight, husband." she murmurs, not about to argue wanting to sleep. They'll need it, alright. Rauzei will wake early, as he always does and on top of that there's Rayathess to deal with. As she assumed, he hardly slept and is likely nursing the worst of hangovers and so while she'll leave it to Ezra to try and get his older brother to eat something, Laurali will sneakily dose him with something to help settle his anxieties (and the throbbing headache). Sometime around mid-morning, Rayathess will take his leave, muttering about needing to get back to the Hall but everyone knows better… he's not going back for work.

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