Decisions Made

Stonehaven - 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.


With winter still upon Fort, it makes travel difficult but if one can find (and pay) a rider it opens up a few possibilities. Warning will be sent to Stonehaven of course, given it is only mid-morning, but Rayathess wastes little time in dismounting from the blue who carried him here, hastily thanking the rider as he trudges towards the courtyard. What could it be now, that brings the eldest brother home yet again?

Ezra is hoping it's good news as he opens the door (a dragon's arrival calls his attention immediately) and lifts a hand towards his brother. "What news?"

Rayathess rarely has good news of late. Just one look at him and Ezra will have his answer. He doesn't look as rough or dishevelled but he has a certain air of… wildness about him. There is frustration in his posture and a lingering darkness in his eyes, much like he once had when first recovered from Gold Hill Hold. "I got a note from her. Doesn't say much but she's alive, Ezra." he mutters as he walks through the door, fingers touching that familiar stone.

Ezra holds the door open, eying that darkness and wildness. He recognizes it, and something in him tenses even though he knows he has nothing to fear from his brother. "Thank faranth she's alive," he murmurs, passing him to go to the kitchen for a mug of ale. "What did her note say?"

"She said she was alive and to take care of her runner and canine like I did before." Rayathess growls as he strides right into the main living area. He figures they're safe enough to talk here despite the lack of complete privacy. "It's her father. I know it is!"

Ezra frowns a bit. "Like you did before? Like…the last time her father kept her against her will?" there's a pause. "Did she even have her runner then?" Not important. "What are you going to do about it?" he asks, offering him a mug of ale and setting the pitcher on the table.

Rayathess' grimace is once again Ezra's answer. "She did. I had to buy LadyFire from her father otherwise the man was going to sell the mare and Tyani had had enough to deal with already." What will he do? Even as he grabs for that ale, it's obvious in the darkness of his eyes what he's going to do. "I'm going to find proof and I am going to confront him." Why does that sound like 'kill'? "I WILL have my wife back."

Ezra winces slightly. Fiance. But now's not the time to correct him. "How will you get proof? Isn't he on the Southern Continent? With…lots of power?"

It's wife in Rayathess' mind. She'd BE his wife if she hadn't been taken from him. "Doesn't matter. There are ways and power means nothing." he growls before knocking back more of that ale.

Ezra clears his throat softly. "Raya…" he says slowly. "Don't…do anything rash, okay? She…she wouldn't want you getting hurt."

Rayathess' eyes flash and there is anger there and desperation too. He's hurting and being driven slowly mad by his anxiety and the need to find Tyani. All the red tape with the Hall and Weyr and even the Holds doesn't help and he'd know — he's studied the law. He knows just how tied everyone's hands are in this. His hands grip the mug of ale so tight his knuckles turn white. "I have to do something, Ezra. I'm sick of just sitting around!"

Ezra takes a slow breath. "Have…you considered Ha'ze? He's got a bronze, and he's not afraid to get his hands dirty…."

"He's been exiled. What good is an exiled rider to me?" Rayathess grumbles but his brows knit. Has a seed of thought been planted? Could be but he'll need more ale in order to mull THAT one over. "And he'd probably just laugh in my face. No. No, I have to do this alone…"

"How? You have no dragon…and what reputable weyr person will take you on this…mission?"

Rayathess makes a frustrated sound. "I don't need a dragon rider to be with me the whole way! They just need to drop me off in Southern or I'll just skip involving a rider all together and go by ship and by runner." Through dangerous jungle and territory? Yeah, that sounds brilliant!

Ezra sighs. "That takes time, Rayathess. What do you think her father stole her back /now/ for?"

"Don't remind me." Rayathess growls and his mood seems to be plummeting further in a downward spiral. "Shards if I know but it's not anything good. It won't be for Tyani's best interests. For all I know, I am already too late and she's been married off to some other holder for whatever political gain. Lost to me." In a way that is worse than death.

Ezra nods slightly, as if Rayathess has confirmed his own thoughts. "I'll bet that's his goal…marrying her off to expand his own power." He glances at his brother. "You think she'd do it?"

Gee, thanks brother for making him feel better? Rayathess was already feeling low but just hearing Ezra confirm it starts to fray his already thin hold on control. "She'd have no choice." he grits out.

Ezra watches his brother for a long moment. "I'm sorry, brother," he finally says. "I wish there was something I could do."

Rayathess waves away the apology. "There's nothing no one can do but I can't wait any more. I have to act." From the sounds of it, his plan to do so starts right NOW. "Can you house her runner? I don't trust them to keep holding her at the stables in the Hall if I leave. She's a good mare, fine breeding, flashy color and completely sound. She has her canine too. I can't take him with me."

Ezra frowns, doing some quick mental math. It's mid-winter. Do they have enough runner feed? "Sure. But you make it sound like I'll be keeping her forever," he says, eying his brother. "Is her canine useful?"

Somewhere in his muddle thoughts Rayathess knows he's asking a lot of his brother. There's only a slight quirk of his mouth which is close to a sad smile. Maybe he is thinking forever. If he can't bring Tyani home, seeing Ladyfire would just be like throwing salt on a wound and he's not about to go against her written request and his silent promise to heed it. "Kilo isn't useful, not like the canines you breed. He's one of the small types. More a companion animal."

Great. A useless mouth to feed. But Ezra just nods. "Alright, I'll see to their care," he promises.

Rayathess will have to make it up to his brother or maybe Kilo will prove useful here in the Hold in some way. Maybe he's good for hunting smaller pests? "Thanks." he sighs and some of that crazed look to him eases off. Just a small fraction and he still looks tense and on edge.

Ezra reaches over to clasp his forearm. He can't promise it'll work out - he won't lie like that - but the gesture is supposed to show his support.

Rayathess starts when Ezra clasps his forearms but the meaning behind the gesture sinks in quick enough. "I'll try to keep in touch." No promises there. No promises either that he'll stay out of danger either.

Ezra nods. "Thanks." He pauses. "Be careful, okay?"

Why does he have to make him promise? Rayathess grits his teeth and it's obvious by his hesitation that he can't commit to it. "I'll try." That's the best he can do.
Ezra sighs but that's the best he can truly hope for. "Do you have a plan?"

"Yes." No he doesn't. Rayathess has only half thought out how he's going to get Tyani back. "I'm going to try to track down how her father did it and who helped him. If they can be bought to traffic a young woman, they can be bought to double cross the one who ordered it." Sounds extremely dangerous!

Ezra winces. "Rayathess…remember the last time…?" He's sure he does. "Isn't there a way you could do this…safer?"

Rayathess rolls his shoulder in grim memory. "Yeah, I remember." he mutters darkly but it doesn't seem to have changed his mind. "No. I can't challenge a powerful Lord Holder the… usual ways." Legal ways. "If he's going to play dirty, so do I."

Ezra frowns a little. "I'd still feel more comfortable if you had a dragon with you…"

Rayathess spreads his hands out in a frustrated and helpless gesture, "And what are they going to do? They can't meddle in Hold affairs, Ezra! At most they can bring me where I have to go but if it comes down to me confronting her father the most they can do is watch."

Ezra shakes his head firmly. "Ha'ze wouldn't just watch." Ha'ze might /help/ Tyani's father to get back at Raya, but…at least he'd be there?

"Ha'ze wouldn't help me even if his life depended on it," Rayathess growls irritably. "And besides, he's been exiled. I don't even know if he's trustworthy. I'd probably have better luck hiring out an Ierne rider." For a hefty cost.

Ezra nods, "That's an option…or maybe D'ani?" Proably not.

Rayathess just levels his brother with a look. "You think I can implicate the Weyrsecond in this?" Try again. He sighs heavily, scrubbing at his face. "There's so little I can do, Ezra and none of it is going to be easy." Or safe.

Ezra echoes his brother's sigh. "Well…I want to help. Can I go with you?"

"Faranth's tits, no!" Rayathess exclaims just a wee bit too loudly. Oops? Hope Ezra's two Turn old son isn't nearby (or more importantly, Laurali). "Are you mad? Stonehaven needs her holder. You'll help by staying here!" And keeping the bloodline intact in case he does get his ass handed to him out there.

Ezra scowls. He has an heir now… But he knows better, and just takes a long pull of his ale. "Fine."

Rayathess is aware of his brother's son too but that doesn't stop him from protesting. So he'll scowl right back and continue scowling. "Don't try to follow me, alright? You've got a responsibility here and a wife and child."

Ezra tightens his jaw a little bit, feeling once again like a petulant little kid about to throw a fit. "Fine."

He's at least the little brother? Rayathess smirks, knowing he's pushed his sibling far enough for one morning. "Good." Glad they "agreed" on that. With that business out of the way, he begins to stand. "I should go."

Ezra gets to his feet, brushing his hands on his trousers. "You'll keep in touch?"

"Of course." Rayathess mutters and for a moment there is a hint, a very small hint, of a smile. "At least we've firelizards now for that." Small positive in this huge mess.
Ezra nods, "Yes, we do. Why doesn't she have a firelizard?"

Rayathess sighs, "Because I hadn't got around to it. I was going to see if I couldn't get her an egg from a gold clutch, rather than Cervena's." Which is his green fire lizard's name. He shakes his head. "Doesn't matter now. I'll keep in touch, Ezra." That, at least, is a promise he can keep.

Ezra nods again. "Okay." That's the best he can do. "Let me know if I can do anything else, okay brother?"

Rayathess starts to bundle up against the cold outside and his return trip home Between. "I will. I'll let you know too with warning when to expect LadyFire and Kilo." he adds as he steps closer to that door.

Ezra nods, reaching out to offer him a firm hug. "Be safe." As safe as he can be.

Rayathess hugs back, not about to deny his brother that much. "I'll try." he tells him again while hugging him all the firmer before letting go and opening that door. He has to be quick about his exit here or he'll never leave.

As long as he touches the stone in the door frame, Ezra will believe it'll all turn out okay.

Of course he touches that stone and then hurries off through the courtyard to meet with that patient bluerider. Mounting up, he'll take one last look and somewhere in Rayathess' mind he makes it a goal of his that this won't be the last time he sees his home. He lost it all once — he won't see it done again.


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