Fort Region - Far North-East Forest
Wilds to the northeast of Fort Weyr and the coast.

The days are growing steadily colder, the ground harder and most mornings see the land covered in frost and thin layers of ice where shallow water has frozen. Morning dawns and the skies are laden with clouds that threaten to gather and either deliver miserable cold rain or light snow. Rain would hinder what some gather to do on this early winter morning. Snow would be beneficial. They can only hope fate favours them and for now, Th'ero is focused more on making the final checks to Velokraeth's straps as the pale bronze stretches his wings in preparation for flying. He's already met with the Wingleaders moments before and they've got their instructions, as does the Weyrsecond D'ani. Now it's time for the Weyrleader to gather his little group for their own turn at the sweeps. "Almost ready?" he calls, likely already knowing the answer and whom it will be answering him.

Kimmila and Varmiroth are ready, the powder blue with his straps on, Kimmila in her winter gear. She's stringing her bow when Th'ero calls out, and she is one of the first to respond. "Yes, sir," she calls, her breath fogging in the cold air. Bow strung, she shoulders it and walks towards him, casting a look around their little group. "Ready to find him this time…" With each day that passes, the bluerider has gotten more irritable.

Th'ero has noticed Kimmila's change in mood and decline to irritableness, no matter what he tries to do, both as Weyrleader and weyrmate to her. It's frustrating him but it's also concerning him, though he's had so little time to mull and brood over it. He's eager to start this sweep, mostly because it will give them both something to focus on but may also lead to them finding their quarry and this can all END once and for all. "We will," he states firmly, though there is an absence of a promise. No mention of today or soon. He can't bring himself to lie, but his determination has not wavered. Before he gestures for her to mount up, Th'ero will step to her side, lowering his head to whisper softly. "Be careful." It's almost a ritual with them now. Confirmation that they'll both be watchful for each other, but for themselves too.

Kimmila turns a bit, leaning briefly into him an dreaching up to touch his chest. The touch is fleeting, a quick press before she's satisfied ad steps back. "You too," she murmurs, before she's turning to mount up, gritting her teeth as she climbs and buckles in, her bow held tightly in a gloved hand. Ready. Varmiroth is ready too, the nimble blue stepping away and spreading his wings, stretching in the last few moments before takeoff.

Th'ero leans into her hand and resists the urge to sweep her up into a tight embrace. Later, he may very well do that but for now the moment passes and they've sweeps to do. Turning away, he will mount up Velokraeth's straps and buckle in, while the pale bronze informs Kayeth, Kouzevelth, the other queens and Dremkoth of their departure. « We start north east, towards the coastline, little brother. » Velokraeth informs Varmiroth, sharing the image of the modest little hold but modifying it so they emerge higher and with the buildings behind them. Springing into the air, he will wait until they have sufficient clearance and Varmiroth understands where they're to go before making the jump and they go from cold air…

… to air that is cold but tastes faintly of the sea. It's windier here too and with a slightly disgruntled rumble, Velokraeth dips and adjusts his position.

Varmiroth surges upwards after his ledgemate, vanishing and reappearing with a silent brush of mind to mind. He wobbles in the winds, affected more than his larger companion, dropping down a bit until he finds some calmer airspace. Peering around, he rumbles softly. « Why are we so high? »

« Not sure. These were the coordinates given to us from the last pair here. Mine says he will have to speak with them later about it. » Velokraeth informs his ledgemate in a rolling wave of mellowed tones, seemingly unruffled though there's a thread of annoyance there. He's not pleased either with being thrown into the winds and he will join Varmiroth at a lower level and then drop down lower still. What good are sweeps if they're so high up? The forests here grow in varying clumps, thickening and then spreading out sparsely when they're not divided by swaths of open land. Not a likely place for renegades to be hunkering down, but they've learned to check everywhere. Leave no stone unturned, no matter how unlikely it seems!

Indeed. Nothing is being left to chance. They just haven't found them yet. Varmiroth dips lower as well, following along, his eyes and Kimmila's already scanning the ground below. Intent and utterly, utterly focused.

And there are nothing but trees and grassland and more trees and rocks to see. Occasionally a few wherries will burst into the air when either Varmiroth or Velokraeth fly too low. Certainly no renegades and there seems to be no sign of camps or tracks or anything that may tip them off of recent travels. « Do you see anything, little brother? » Velokraeth will ask after a time, trying not to sound too bored and frustrated.

Varmiroth flies in the bronze's wake, using his larger frame to help him glide along after him. He searches, Kimmila searches, and there is a huff of frustration shared through their link. « No. »

Velokraeth huffs with his own frustration now and begins to slow his pace, allowing Varmiroth to fly along side him if the blue chooses to do so. « Mine wishes to know if yours believes we should change course or continue to follow the coast for a few more miles. He believes that that is unnecessary. We'll be in the territory of some of the minor holds now and any renegades would be fools to come this way. Too many roads, not enough coverage among the trees. »

Varmiroth adjusts to fly alongside, gliding more often than not. « Mine thinks we need to focus on the more remote areas. Where we think they would go to hide. »

« We agree. Then we turn back northwards, towards the coastal mountains and nearer to the border. Do you need to rest, soon, little brother? » Velokraeth asks, even as his wings dip and he begins to circle back around to change directions. Even though they're back tracking, he'll sweep over the trees again. Couldn't hurt, right?

No, it couldn't hurt, and Varmiroth willingly follows. « I should rest soon, » he admits quietly, his night time mindscape tinged with tiredness. Not enough to send him to the ground immediately, but he is aware that he will need to rest soon. « Mine wants to go to the wildest places to search. » Surprise?

Not surprised at all and Velokraeth's mind ripples with amusement for that tidbit of information. « We will go to the wildest places to search. Before that though, we will rest. Not here but midway. Can you make it? » he asks, keeping the pace steady. Both he and Th'ero continue to scan the ground below but there is nothing. Not a single sign. « This land is rather dull. Beautiful, but dull. »

Varmiroth's thoughts firm at that question, a clear, silent 'yes'. But then he shifts, thoughts drifting downwards. « I don't think it's dull, » he counters quietly. « There is so much to see, so many differences. » They are subtle though, and his artist's eye picks them out fairly easily.

Velokraeth rumbles at Varmiroth's counter. « Oh? Is that so? Do enlighten me, little brother.» he asks of the blue as they soar over the land below. He'll still keep his focus on the ground, but on his conversation with Varmiroth as well. He clearly cannot pick up every subtle nuance in the land but he is curious to know.

Varmiroth is quiet for a moment, gliding along while Kimmila continues to peer into the forests below. Slowly, the blue shares an image. It's the forest beneath them, the exact land which they are flying over, but he highlights the differences, the little nuances that make it beautiful. The way the trees grow in a pattern, even though they appear to be random. That one tree in the middle of the evergreens, standing tall and proud and shedding its leaves among the uniform green. The way the light glistens off the distant mountains. All of those little details which make Fort so beautiful to this tropical born blue.

Velokraeth studies each detail that Varmiroth shares with him, his curiosity growing with each one and slowly he begins to see as the blue sees. « Now I understand! All the more reason we should protect this land. » Bronze will be bronze. This is HIS territory, isn't it? He growls low in his chest, satisfied and pleased. Eventually they will come upon the midway point and Velokraeth begins to circle down. « Shall we land and rest for a moment, little brother? I'm sure our rider's would like to stretch their legs… » And if he could be grinning slyly, he'd be doing that RIGHT now.

« Is that all your rider wants to stretch? » Varmiroth asks dryly as he begins to circle after the bronze. « There are countless reasons why we should protect this land, » he muses.

« Now, now Varmiroth! My rider is a good, decent man. Of course he only wishes to stretch his legs… » Velokraeth replies dryly and then pauses. Wait for it, wait for it… «… chasing yours into the woods where he will stretch his other muscles with her. » Landing, he will settle and then scan the area, snorting and folding his wings to his side. It's a good sized clearing, far enough from the coast that they can still see the waters in the distance but not be as affected by the winds coming in over the flat lands. The trees help block the worst of it and while it's not rugged territory, it's certainly wild and uninhabited. « Indeed there are, little brother. »

Varmiroth lands as well with a soft grunt, drooping a bit as he settles and can finally relax. « I'm not sure mine is in the mood for that, » he admits. A warning, perhaps, should Th'ero want to try anything. Kimmila dismounts and stretches, adjusting her bow and peering around them into the woods.

Velokraeth rumbles. « Mine isn't either, but it was an amusing thought. » Th'ero will dismount once the pale bronze has settled himself by Varmiroth and adjusting his sword at his hip, he will walk to where Kimmila stands, reaching to slip his arm around her. Just for a quick and simple embrace, followed by him turning his head to brush his lips to her forehead or her cheek, wherever he can reach around their riding gear. Then he lifts his head and scans their surroundings, breathing deep of the coastal air. "I've my doubts they've come this way." he exhales, grimacing as he looks towards the trees.

Kimmila slips her arm briefly around his waist, but it is a very brief hold before she's letting him go and taking a small step away, turning to peer around the clearing. Alert. Watchful. And it's dangerous to be too close together. They'd make an easy target and both would have trouble raising their weapons. These thoughts aren't conscious for Kimmila anymore, they are background and she just acts accordingly. "Me too," she murmurs. "I think they're further inland. I think after Raya got away they headed for the mountains. Where they could hide."

Th'ero knows better than to hover too close to her, but he can't help himself. When she moves away, he will step into position at her side, guarding her back even as he scans the area again, alert and wary, ready for anything. Of course, nothing happens, but his mind is already playing through so many scenarios. "Mountains are too predictable. If they went there, it was only temporarily and to skirt them. I only hope they've gone westward then and not further north or they're lost to us."

Kimmila shakes her head a bit. "Mountains are so hard to search though, especially from the sky. That's where I'd go, if I were trying to hide. And what if this band has been in our territory for a while? What if they have established," read: well hidden, "camps already?" She scans the area as well, fingers shifting on her bow string.

Th'ero grimaces, brows knitted together in heavy thought. "You've a good point," he admits after a moment, only to sigh and his jaw work silently. Damn, that could be true too! He makes a frustrated sound and then he's stalking off towards the edge of the trees. He's not gone for long and when he turns back, he has a long stick in his hand and he'll walk up to her, jabbing it into the nearly frozen ground. He'll sketch out a very basic map of the region they're in, marking their current location and then tapping the symbols he's carved for the mountains. "So we start here then? Skirt the base and wind our way up…" He traces the rough pathway lightly in the dirt. "… at least as far as a band of people on foot could easily move. Then we'll turn north." Again, the stick moves and then abruptly angles to the left. Westward. It also symbolizes the invisible "border" between the territories. "And head west until we near the cotholds in that range. If I remember right, there's a trading post and guard station somewhere around there too."

Kimmila shakes her head a bit. "Mountains are so hard to search though, especially from the sky. That's where I'd go, if I were trying to hide. And what if this band has been in our territory for a while? What if they have established," read: well hidden, "camps already?" She scans the area as well, fingers shifting on her bow string.

Th'ero grimaces, brows knitted together in heavy thought. "You've a good point," he admits after a moment, only to sigh and his jaw work silently. Damn, that could be true too! He makes a frustrated sound and then he's stalking off towards the edge of the trees. He's not gone for long and when he turns back, he has a long stick in his hand and he'll walk up to her, jabbing it into the nearly frozen ground. He'll sketch out a very basic map of the region they're in, marking their current location and then tapping the symbols he's carved for the mountains. "So we start here then? Skirt the base and wind our way up…" He traces the rough pathway lightly in the dirt. "… at least as far as a band of people on foot could easily move. Then we'll turn north." Again, the stick moves and then abruptly angles to the left. Westward. It also symbolizes the invisible "border" between the territories. "And head west until we near the cotholds in that range. If I remember right, there's a trading post and guard station somewhere around there too."

Kimmila watches intently as he goes, keeping all senses on alert. Especially because Varmiroth is dozing. When he returns, she watches the map and nods, agreeing with his plan. "I think that's our best bet," she murmurs. "When we get home we'll have to update the map and the search grid, too…see what we haven't looked at yet."

Velokraeth is not dozing but keeping a watchful eye out for all of them, even if he appears laid back and calm. Th'ero nods his head, observing his own map and committing it to memory. "I agree. We'll pass that along to Abigail as well, so she can keep her Wingriders up to speed and any other volunteers." Peering up at the sky, which is now beginning to lighten further as dawn edges into morning, Th'ero exhales. "Does Varmiroth need more time?" he asks her, giving her a lingering look before his eyes slide to where the blue is now dozing.

Kimmila looks at her dragon as well, a flicker of guilt on her face. "Yes." She answers without hesitation, even though she wishes the answer were different.

Th'ero can see that guilt flicker in her expression and he only gives her a small, reassuring smile as he reaches out to grip her shoulder tight and firm. "It's alright, Wingmate. Let him rest, Velokraeth needs it too. We'll keep ourselves busy in the meantime. Just because we're grounded doesn't mean we cannot search. Come," Letting his hand fall, he will then gesture with a tilt of his head towards the trees before he turns to walk towards them. Even before they reach the tree line, his hand has already loosened his sword in its hilt, preparing it to be drawn swiftly if needed. Though he prays it doesn't have to be.

Kimmila glances at her dozing lifemate and then nods, turning to follow after Th'ero, notching an arrow as she goes. Her eyes sweep the trees, the ground, the brush. Everything. She misses nothing as she looks around, shifting her posture and her steps so she moves silently.

Th'ero will adjust his posture and his stance as they enter the trees, his pace altering too. He's silent and focused, his eyes alert for anything and when he does have to catch Kimmila's attention, he does so by whistled calls or hand gestures. No signs of a camp, not even of travel. Th'ero has to clamp down on his frustration over the lack of any evidence. Kimmila will have no luck either, though she may spook some forest creatures from their nest and they go crashing through the underbrush, their indignant chatterings following their fleeing escape.

Kimmila moves through the thick evergreen trees, silent and focused, watchful for /any/ sign while their dragons doze in a clearing not far off, resting before the next leg of the journey. She begins to head towards a small stream running down the mountain slope, tumbling over rocks and stones.

Therynn has impeccable timing while wandering about the Fortian mountains, though luckily enough she's quiet as a mouse in her petite form, traveling the exact opposite direction of the riders. The past few days wandering through the forest may not have done much for a scraggly appearance, but as she glides and creeps through the underbrush of large trees with fallen leaves, she's bound to make at least a sound. Crouching down near where water meets land, she too hears something faint in the distance, she doesn't move a muscle and waits to see what exciting hunt, or not, may be approaching the stream.

Th'ero will follow in Kimmila's wake for a few paces, only to branch off and flank her as they approach the small stream. This may be more promising! Water is always a good source to track and he will slip into the underbrush along the banks, moving stealthily and quietly and unaware that another is with them in this forests. It could be the little sound he hears that has him pausing and lowering his crouch, his hand instinctively drawing back to the hilt of his sword, only to pass it and silently unsheathe his dagger instead. Something has his senses on alert, his body tensing as he slows his steps further, inching along carefully step by step. Hoping too, that Kimmila has sensed the same thing.

Kimmila pauses as well, halting her progress and glancing sharply over at Th'ero. His reaction confirms her own thought - that there is something there. Crouching in the brushes lining the stream, she waits to see what comes forward. Animal? Person? Friend or foe? She has an arrow notched and she is ready.

Therynn squints and leans, hidden by a few bushes as the pace of her heart rate increases slightly, the fight or flight response kicking in. It's a lovely day for a good chase she thinks, and some roast wherry sounds delicious considering she hasn't eaten yet today. Realizing her daydreams of a good hunt and a good meal are distracting from the matter at hand, head shakes gently and eyes blink back to full consciousness. During this time, the arrow wielding riders have moved in unnoticed, and she hasn't so much as readied her bow if some animal were to be nearing. The 'standoff' will go on for what seems like painstaking hours, and then the thirst sinks in. Poking her head out slightly, she checks to see that the coast is clear of creatures. Seeing nothing, she scampers quickly to the stream in half crouch, fills her water skin and tiptoes back, a silly sight for anyone who may be watching.

Th'ero is watching and watching very closely, prepared for flight or fight for whatever walks out of the underbrush. He was expecting wild canine or some herd animal perhaps, even a wherry. But a human? For a moment, he can only stare, his heart freezing mid-beat. A human! Another person! So there ARE people out this far and remote! Yet they'd seen no sign of a camp. Not that it matters now. That someone is skulking around the forests and from the angle the Weyrleader is in, he cannot get a good look at the features. It won't stop him from barking out a warning though, "You there! Halt and state your purpose for being here!" Th'ero's standing from his crouch now, dagger still in hand but moving to a more readied stance for combat, should this mysterious person be of the "fight" persuasion when confronted. He won't reveal himself quite yet, however, hovering in the cover and shade of the trees and providing some protection.

Kimmila's heart leaps into her throat when Therynn darts out, and the bluerider draws her bow. While Th'ero shouts, Kimmila scans the area around them, above and behind, looking for anyone /else/. In case Therynn is a decoy meant to shift their attention so they can be ambushed. It doesn't yet click that she /knows/ Therynn. Not yet.

Therynn leaves not a trail in her wake, hardly a stone unturned or broken branch, and definitely not any sign of the nomadic camp she sets up and breaks down in a jiffy every sunset and sunrise. She's about half way back to her 'hiding spot' when much to her surprise a loud voice barks out. She's startled and freezes, hands up in the air, water skin on the floor. Figuring this type of approach is more likely from that of a Weyr-goer, possibly someone in a leadership position or doing some sort of rounds, she feels less compelled to mentally re-check for hidden weapons should she come face to face with a renegade or something. She doesn't turn towards the voice from across the stream, knowing there's some distance yet and figuring she'd be smart not to move too much. "M'names Therynn sir.." she calls back, fighting the urge to head turn that direction "Wandering huntress of Western weyr, purpose of.." she pauses "tracking and hunting.." this is said almost questioningly.

Th'ero scowl deepens and his mind focuses on the location first over the name. Western? "You're far from home, aren't you? What brings you this far into Fort for your hunting? Or have you left Western Weyr's territory?" he calls, stepping slowly and warily from beneath the trees and underbrush. He keeps his dagger raised, his stance defensive and readied and his eyes scan the area around him too for further dangers. He's trying to catch a glimpse too of Kimmila and it's delayed, his recognition of Therynn, both by her name and her appearance. Narrowing his eyes, he stares at her for a long, cold and silent moment. "You're familiar…" he mutters in a low voice. But familiar in what way? Good or bad?

Kimmila stays hidden for now, but when it finally clicks… "Therynn?" Kimmila is hidden, but her voice is clear. "What…shards. What are you doing out here? Are you alone? Have you seen anyone else?"

Therynn gulps and hadn't preemptively thought about reasonings for being this far from 'home'. Think.. think.. must respond… getting in to the sketchy realm of taking too long to answer Rynn! "Aye.." she manages ".. far from home indeed." She segues with what he says next "I suppose I have left Western's territory.." not as though she's ever really belonged there, despite being born and bred. She assumes, maybe a bit foolishly that arms need not be raised, slowly falling to her sides as she begins to slowly turn around while easing "I mean no harm to Fort or its residents sir.. I am just a wanderer.." Once she's allowed to make the rotation, she catches sight of Th'ero and nods once recognition happens. "Aye sir.. we've crossed paths before with.." speak of the lady "Kimmila…?" Now she's really surprised, rapid heart rate soothed slightly. "I umm..I umm.. sorry?" She squeaks. "After hearing about how great Fortian forests are I decided t'venture this way.." which is one way to put it. A brow raises and she considers the past few seven nights of travel. "Umm.. yes.. a day or two ago.. a small pack of rough and tumble looking people. That direction.." she points northwest "Seemed up to no good. I was high in an evergreen scouting when they passed below.. on some high horse about some infiltration or something.." she shrugs.

Th'ero's scowl doesn't lessen, even as Therynn begins to explain herself. His mind is distracted by trying to place her, when suddenly Kimmila is stepping forwards and… calling out a name? THAT clicks everything into place and his dagger lowers but he notably does not slip it back into it's sheath. "You're brave," Or foolish. "To travel so far just to hunt." Such discussions will have to wait, because she's supplying a line that strikes the Weyrleader and he clings to it. His eyes flash and focus sharply on her. "What is this about rough folk? Where? When?" he asks, his tone almost demanding that she explain further. Now!

Kimmila finally steps free of the brush, but she keeps her arrow notched and her attentions wandering around them. She frowns sharply. "We're hunting a band of renegades who shot and nearly killed a Harper. Answer him. Any details. Everything you remember. When was this? Yesterday? The day before?" That makes a /huge/ difference.

Therynn is a bit frightened by that scowl on Th'ero's face, something about it clearly means business and she hopes he recognizes her sooner than later. Mahogany eyes follow lowered but unsheathed dagger, a certainty that he's not yet convinced she means no harm. His 'compliment' has her humbly smiling with a shrug "I'unno.. thanks?" She guesses. "I've always been a bit of a traveling soul and.. well.. to be honest, Western's wildlife and surrounding areas just ain't what they used t'be." Enough small talk it seems, eyes go wide looking towards Kimmila as she explains what Th'ero's insistence queries. "Almost killed her?!" She worries and draws back to seeing the group pass below. "Well it was three of them.. and yes two days past, a little ways on the outskirts, headed down the mountains towards the cot holds." She thinks and thinks "Three of them, two men and a woman.. arguing about meeting up with someone and some plans that they had.."

"Almost killed him," Th'ero corrects with a grim twist and set to his mouth as he steps over to join Kimmila, his eyes still locked on Therynn and though his brooding and dark temper is obvious, it's not directed to the young hunter. He's still baffled as to how far she's roamed, but as far as he's concerned, she is no threat. No threat at all, but certainly informative and what she shares has him cursing under his breath and giving Kimmila a sharp look. "Could those be the group then? Or some of them?" he asks her, scowling heavily. "And you noticed nothing else about them? They didn't mention anything more? Have you seen any signs of camps? Any sort?" So many questions! Poor Therynn is being roughly interrogated and the WEyrleader may apologize later for it but in the moment his mind is swept up with this news.

Kimmila grimaces, shaking her head firmly. "Him," she says, at the same time as Th'ero. She looks around. "I think we should take her back to the weyr, Th'ero. For her own safety and for ours, while we question her…" Because standing out here while there's renegades afoot, being so loud, isn't the smartest thing to do.

Therynn chokes on her words, clears her throat and apologizes "Sorry.. him.." she frowns in response to the expression on the Weyrleader's face, catching a similar one on Kimmila's too. Her story is an interesting one indeed, to be saved for a later date, or not told at all for all she cares. It would involve being dropped at Tillek before a fortnight or so in the woods, but none of that really matters right now. As for the more pressing topic at hand she tries to rack her brain and come up with a shrug "I unno.. nothing else in particular, besides they definitely looked.. rough, and were heavily armed.." why she stayed ridiculously quiet at that time. "As for camps, yesterday at dusk I saw smoke from a small contained fire that direction.." the opposite of which she saw the group "S'far as I can tell they seem skilled in the art of traveling and covering their tracks.. is it.. just the two of you trailing them?" Not that she doubts their skills in any way "Maybe I can be of some service?" she offers.

Th'ero's eyes remain on Therynn, as the young huntress continues to answer their questions and offer more information, all of which he gathers and tucks away. He's about to put more questions to her, when Kimmila's request sinks in and he turns to look at her, frowning heavily. It's obvious he's about to protest, but something makes him change his mind and the Weyrleader's expression twists. "Fine. We'll return to the Weyr for now. Therynn, if you'd be so kind as to join us?" And not put up a struggle? It'd be far easier if she went with them willingly, after all. At her offer, Th'ero blinks and darts another look to Kimmila. "Perhaps. It is just not us trailing this band. We've Wingriders on sweeps and the Hold, and Weyr, have Guards out on foot. Never thought to use the hunters…" But he's considering it!

Kimmila scans the woods around them again. "Maybe with some of the guards and ground crews," she suggests, glancing at Th'ero, then to Therynn. "You can ride with me, Therynn. The dragons are back this way. Let's get moving though, I've got an odd feeling. Don't like having stayed in one spot for this long. We'll talk more at the weyr." She glances at Th'ero. This good?

Therynn gulps and is worried maybe she's shared too much out int he open, looking to Kimm to see what's prompted next. "I umm.. maybe a good idea.." the thought of a good soak and food from the kitchens sounds rather lovely, honestly she adds "..They cover ground quickly too.. the pace from being spotted to signs of a fire indicate they travel much faster than most on foot. Though I'd gladly return to Fort with you to be of as much service as possible." She's to really one to put up a struggle, especially when the idea of not having to bury her own droppings for awhile is offered. A warm smile and flicker in her sable shaded eyes can be seen. "I've never been one to search for humans, but I suppose can't be much different than an animal.. 'specially these brutes.." A nod of the head and she's ready to follow "Good point.." she says before squeamishly adding that "I umm.. am not as adept on dragon back as I am on m'feet.." looking between the two of them shyly.

"We have lingered here too long," Th'ero agrees with Kimmila, his eyes scanning the trees and still on alert. That Therynn has claimed to have seen 'rough sorts' wandering through has put him ill at ease and he is eager to return to the Weyr to mull and brood over these facts and see how it all fits in the grander scheme of things. If anything, he's painfully aware they've now got a serious problem on their hands. Again. "Good. We'll sort something out, but for now, Kimmila has the right of it. We move." And off he goes, back the way they came, but not without pausing to be certain Therynn is following. He's likely to put the huntress between himself and Kimmila, as they head back to where the dragons wait. "You've nothing to fear of either of them, especially Varmiroth. We can help you with mounting up and all too. It's the only way we can return quickly to Fort Weyr…" So little time.

Kimmila gives Therynn an odd look. "Really? It's easy enough. Just climb up and hang on." She's not concerned, as she makes swift and nearly silent way through the forest, sacrificing a bit of stealth in exchange for speed. Approaching the clearing they hear the sound of dragons, as Varmiroth rouses himself and stretches his wings with a low rumble. "Fly straight or between, wingmate?" Kimmila asks of Th'ero, looking over her shoulder to him.

Therynn nods and falls in to light, despite being a bit of a hermit, she knows how to follow directions at least. She's swift on her feet as she trails Th'ero closely, speaking just loudly enough so hopefully their ears are the only ones to hear it. "Thanks for the reassurance.." she smiles to the Weyrleader as he glances back and gulps when he turns away "It's the quickly thing that gets me.." a smirk and 'way to state the obvious' kind of look is flashed towards Kimmila "You make it sound that way.. take off, landing and *betweening* are the not so easy parts when it's not part of every day life.." oh the life of a reclusive non-rider!

Th'ero dips his head in a polite manner to Therynn, even if it's a bit stiff. His mind is distracted and so are his eyes. There is a lot on his thoughts and his expression is tense and grim and he's shaken from his inward thinking as they approach the dragons. Velokraeth, likely the ugliest bronze to grace Pern's lands, stretches out and yawns mightily. Stunted limbs, oversized head, unbalanced features and pale colouring… he's certainly no looker and yet he never fails to snare the Senior queen. Go figure? "We go Between, Wingmate." Th'ero informs Kimmila and then gives Therynn a sympathetic look. Sorry, girl? "It's quickest. We cannot fly straight, it would take us candlemarks that way. Kimmila will guide you through it." Right?

Kimmila chuckles, but there's not a lot of humor in it as she tests Varmiroth's straps and climbs up, carrying her bow with her. "You'll be fine, Therynn." Does the huntress have a choice? No. Leaning down, Kimmila extends a hand to help her up. "And if you want to help with this hunt, you'll need to be comfortable on a dragon." So there.

Therynn may not understand the gravity of the situation, though she is at least wise enough to know that a threat from rennies of this nature will elicit some serious retaliation. "Is he ok?" she asks in reference to the Harper. As they near the clearing, she'd nearly forgot about the interesting looking bronze, and attempts to clear her thoughts of unsightly surprise instantly, knowing those things are like mind readers when it comes to micro expressions. The grimaces seen before on the rider's faces, is now seen on Therynn's.. between it is.." She sucks it up and pulls her jacket on tighter, shivering at the thought. Watching as Kimm sets Varmiroth's straps, there's a gauntly quality to her face. She swallows both pride and fear, nodding and reaching up towards extended hand, reminding herself it's like 'mounting a huge runner' one leg swinging over as she clamors up, waits for help strapping in, and holds on for dear life.

Th'ero shakes his head. "He's seriously wounded and currently being tended to in a cothold not far from here." he mutters in a low voice and that's all he offers. Not out of secretive nature, it is literally all they know so far and there may be reports from Harper Hall waiting for him too back at the Weyr. Watching as Therynn mounts up on Varmiroth with Kimmila's help, he'll then turn to do the same with Velokraeth, buckling in and signalling to Kimmila to be ready for flight. He'll wait just long enough for her to settle her passenger and then the pale bronze is leaping aloft, wings sweeping powerfully as he soars up and up and up… and vanishes Between.

Kimmila checks Therynn's straps and gives her a brief grin. "Hang on." That's all the warning the bluerider offers before Varmiroth is kicking into the sky, soaring upwards after Velokraeth and then vanishing between after the disfigured bronze.

Therynn's brow furrows at the thought of the encounter that nearly killed the Harper. "How horrible.." she murmurs "Glad he's ok though…" something begins stirring in her, this weird compassionate empathy thing she doesn't quite understand. Hang on she does, tightly and with a nod, eyes snapping shut and staying that way for the rest of the journey.