Unfortunate Midnight Rendezvous

Fort Weyr - Western Forests
The forests here grow all the more pressing, soon choking out the gravel- and sand-formed path that splits from the fork. While it continues to wind further into the darkness and coolness that only such thickly grown foliage can create, other smells hint at places yet to be fully explored. Blueberries and the calls of birds, lush blackberry thickets just out of sight, and deep undergrowth that holds promise of mysterious fungi and other such plants.
Traveling through the woods alone is always a dangerous affair … and all the moreso with whisperings of renegades and feral beasts running rampant throughout. The whoop and call of avians and firelizards penetrate the strange not-quite-silence of the forest, while deeper rumblings of creatures yet unseen might be heard in other places. Great beasts crash through the forest from time to time and set the avians into unexpected flight.


The time: Midnight. The weather: Slightly overcast, with the bright rays of the moons filtering through the trees. The setting: Candidate Camp site. The Players: Well, at least Hazelon is there. Almost everyone else is deep into sleep, the lumps sitting in tents or out in the open as they so choose. The evening campfire has been banked, waiting for the next morning. As the night dances on the riders ringing the camp draw together and are talking quietly, not really paying much attention to their sleeping charges. "F*ck it." Hazelon, not asleep, finally rises from his blanket, shoving them aside silently.

Middle of the night and what is Ravyal doing? Well he /was/ sleeping. Until he felt something /crawling/ around inside of his clothing. The rolly-squirm-dance that he does out of his tent is probably hint enough to the problem, as well as the flapping of his tunic until he's /quite/ sure whatever it was..is gone. He sits there on his knees though, still groggy, and now with good dose of embarrassment as he looks around the fairly dark camp. Maybe no one saw.

The moons are out, which makes it, if not ideal to be riding through the forests a'runnerback, at least possible. His mother would have had a fit and cautioned against smacking his head on a tree branch, but D'ani's mother doesn't know and he's sticking to the trail from Stonehaven, headed to the Weyr via the candidate's camp. He's quite a ways out yet and moving slowly, the occasional thump of hoof striking a root as his mare walks along cautiously.

Sairon is asleep in his repaired tent, the ends tied tightly shut to ward off anymore intruding critters so he doesn't do similar to what Ravyal is doing - or what the young man did yesterday. How can one tell he's asleep? Oh. He snores. Pretty pointedly too.

Hazelon, alert even in this dark forest hears Ravyal and freezes. But the kids isn't calling out, so maybe he doesn't see the other candidate. Bending Hazelon scoops up his bow and quiver, slides his knife into his belt, and begines to move quietly among all the campers. Why is his pad right in the middle? He'll move it FIRST THING in the morning.

Ravyal scrubs his hands through his hair after a moment and shifts to simply sit properly. The call of his tent is…quite strong, after all, and he looks back at it a moment. Should he sleep? But now he's /awake/…and there's movement. …And snoring. The teen tilts his head just a little, watching Hazelon move among the others curiously. Curiously enough that he actually gets up to pad after him. ..Quietly. Or as quietly as he can really manage. Tip-toeing doesn't necessarily mean silent steps. "What're you doing?"

D'ani probably shouldn't be out here alone with what's gone on in the forests recently, but here he is. The Weyrsecond can only take so much of crowds and stone walls. Kuleana is well-trained, never puts a dainty foot wrong. So they travel the shadowy forests while D'ani enjoys his solitude. He's also keeping an eye out for ambush or anything awry, in his right hand, not a sword or knife but a bullwhip. Still quite a ways from camp and in no hurry.

Hazelon freezes abruptly when Ravyal starts moving. A scowl prints itself on his face and he turns to glare at the kid. Really? "Just goin' t' be gettin' some fresh air. Why don't you just be gettin' back to your blankets?" His voice is low, and he sends a glance at the backs of the nearby riders. He is the PICTURE of rule breaking at the moment.

"We're /in/ the fresh air." Logic! Though Ravyal does look a little worried, and at least /stops/ when Hazelon glares at him. "We're not…it's the middle of the night. You can't just../wander/ off. Alone. In the dark." There's a small frown after a moment though, before he shakes his head, voice just a bit stronger. "So why don't /you/ go back to your..um..blankets?"

Somewhere along the line Sairon stopped snoring. Briefly in that half-awake-to-reposition-himself state, the candidate hears the low muttering of voices. Curiosity gets the better of sleep momentarily and the young man undoes the ties on the tent flaps to peek his head out with a bleary expression. "…wh't's goin on?" He mumbles mostly coherently as he rubs the back of his hand across one half-shut eye.

Hazelon stops, then finally turns. He's avoided talking very much to the candidates, and has never lost his temper with them, prefering to put on the passive cloak which he wore before the whole Rayathess episode. But his patience is worn thin from always being WATCHED. "Shut up kid. I'm goin' out, and if you be tryin' to stop me I'll be makin' sure you ain't standin' for that clutch." He reigns in his temper, and casts an exasperated look when Sairon speaks up. "Fien. If you want to be comin' along, just be comin, 'n be quick 'bout it."

Ravyal quite possibly..shrinks. Trying to grow a bit more spine in there? It might be broken before he's even started. But with the movement from Sairon's tent, the teen turns his head that way to give the other candidate a wide-eyed look, and mouthing 'do something' at him. /He/ can do something about this, right? /Right/? There's a split second decision to be made, however, and before he really thinks about it, he scurries along. "I..I'm coming.."

Sairon blinks sleepily and just stares at Hazelon. Processing… processing… Ding! "You're goin' somewhere?" He looks between Hazelon and Ravyal as he pulls himself out of his tent, giving his head a shake like one might see a dog trying to wake themselves up. "Well.. hm." He mumbles as he gives half a shrug and leans down to tug boots on. "Wouldn't be right to letcha go alone. Likewise, can't kick us all out for getting a bit of a walk, right?" He slants a grin on his face as he walks over. Clearly he is not the hope Ravyal was looking for. "Besides, way I see it, jus' making sure nothing bad happens to a fellow candidate."

Hazelon eyes Sairon "And you think you're gonna be protectin' us from what could be bein' out there." Sarcasm on high seems to be the face Hazelon is wearing for today. A quick roll of his eyes and Hazelon turns to head out of camp, careful to not make any nose as he goes. What the riders don't know can't hurt them right? "If either've you get me caught…" A few other candidates, waking up as the trio pass decide a midnight walk is a good idea too, and stuff on boots to sneak out too.

Betrayed! Ravyal gives Sairon a rather helpless look when he just agrees to go along, and sighs. Well now he's already said /he'd/ go too. He hurries along though, rubbing at his arm just a bit against the chill of the middle of the night as he makes his way behind Hazelon. He's trying to not make any walking noise, after all. Though he does huff at the other candidate's back. "We know, we know." Violence will occur!


Fort's Forests - Fort Weyr - Forest Fork Road
This trail leads north into the depths of the traveller's forest and it forks here to lead also west, just as deep a forest lying ahead. The trees have been cut back from the trail to remove hiding spots for anyone that might take a fancy to the thought that easy pickings might be found along this trail. The surface of the trail has been packed down and consists mainly of crushed gravel and sand to provide a solid foundation and good drainage during rain storms and spring melt waters. A sign post indicates the distances to each area that the path leads to as well as a plaque indicating that the path had been completed under Senior Weyrwoman Elara's supervision and guidance.


Midnight isn't the easiest time of day to wander therough the forest without making any sounds, and not all of the candidates are as cautious as Hazelon. Slowly their voices rise from whispers to mutters as they move through dim forest. More than once Hazelon shoots looks that are quite akin to daggers. This was not the quiet retreat he had been looking for. He's just about ready to give the group the slip and head off on his own when Abigail's reminder to NOT disobey the rules pops into his head. Grumble. At least in a group this big Sairon was right, the blame would be spread around. They come out to the trail leading back to the weyr rather suddenly, and Hazelon pauses, looking both ways, and then upwards to see if there are any shadows of dragon wings to catch them in their little side adventure.

Ravyal is fairly quiet, darting looks into the darkness between trees as they walk. Reaching the trail has him just a little startled though, hurrying out to look down along the path, standing on his toes to try and see a little farther. "The walk in..felt longer." There's a quick look back at the other candidates then, before taking a peek at Hazelon, brows furrowing. "What did you even want to /do/ out here..?"

Sairon is actually mostly adept at going unnoticed, or at least minding where he drops his big feet. He's no hunter, but he's apparently not as green as one might have expected him to be. He doesn't say anything, though he keeps a close eye on the other candidates and seems to be mindful of any stragglers. He remains near the back of the pack, like some sheep dog subtly keeping the flock on one group.

"I was wantin' quiet. And not to be followed by people what ain't got no clue what they be doin'." It's like a totally different Hazelon. His shoulders aren't slightly curved in like he's trying to protect himself, and when his gaze turns it meets Ravyal's firmly. "Go and be talkin' to some one else, or better yet, be bein' quiet." Hazelon turns away from Ravyall, regretting this outing now.

"The /camp/ was quiet with everyone asleep." Ravyal huffs softly, staring at Hazelon's back when the other candidate turns from him. "You're the one that said to come." The teen gives a rub to his arms again before taking a few steps away from Hazelon again. Put some /space/ there. "I like you half the time, but the other half you're a real jerk.." But there are other candidates there at least that he can sidle up to. "None of us should be out here.."

Therynn could be considered a bit of a night owl, though rabble-rouser isn't necessarily her norm. She is definitely of the more pensive and stealthy approach, solely here for 'reinforced protection purposes'. Not that anything is going to happen when rule breaking and sneaking away from camp in the middle of the night. Right? Either way, the stir of fellow Candidates sneaking away piqued Rynn's interest and she's decided she too must partake in the snea.. err protecting. The huntress had very much the same question, raising brow towards Hazelon's response as she presses forward from previously trailing position with Sairon. She whispers "What is the plan anyway?" a smirk for Ravyal who does have a point.

Midnight is a good time for many other things and for those who wander the back roads and deep, old forests and the mountain ranges most honest folk avoid, it is a good hour. Only they're not meant to be here so far into the main land but they had no choice. They'd been forced down from the patrols and trying to skirt around the remnants of the Games. There are cotholds and Holds scattered about too to avoid (perhaps with some light plundering if opportunity arises). Candidates prowling the forests is hardly any threat. What, or better yet who they're about to run into, is. The first men, dressed in rough clothing and scrap leather, step through the underbrush warily, eyeing the trail and the sky. They do not spot the Candidates yet. Not until one man steps forwards. A brute of a man, his greying hair is a long, tangled mess and his beard too. His features are fierce and broad, his eyes sharp and keen, and cold. He will be the first to spy those Candidates and his laughter is deep and low and dangerously amused. "Well, well, well… Isn't this a sight to see?" he announces to his men. Clearly, he does not consider the Candidates a threat.

Sairon gives a shrug of his shoulders towards Therynn. "Plans usually get foiled, so I stopped following them most of the time." He gestures with a jerk of his chin towards Hazelon up ahead, muttering low to the huntress. "He got bored. Rest of us decided bored was more fun than slee—…" And then he trails off as laughter fills the woods. "Well shards." He says with a long sigh and narrows his eyes towards the men. "What, never seen a bunch of folks walking in the woods at night? Seems like you had a similar idea." He says, sounding casual as can be. Does anything phase this guy?

The moons are bright enough that Hazelon has no problem seeing who has just stepped out of the forest. His face goes sheet white. He's caught for a long second of indecision before that bow of his is swinging upwards to point at the heart of that man that just walked though. But his hands are shaking with real fear. Maybe they won't recognize him. Maybe. "Shut up Sairon. Don't f*ck with these guys." His voice is a low hiss as he backs up, maybe he can disappear into the forest.

Laughter in the dark woods? Now there's something Ravyal isn't expecting. It's not candidate laughter, either. The boy freezes before looking further down the path, and it's quite possible that he forgets to even breathe..for at least a moment. There's even a step backward taken, and an uneasy glance given 'round…made all the moreso by Hazelon's sudden…and rather obvious fear. "We need..to go.."

Therynn hears a faint crinkling of spring's bounty crunching beneath feet in the distance. The shrug from Sairon is returned with one of her own "That's one way t'put it.. but here we are." The young huntress feels alerted to something approaching, left hand clutching the handle of a Full Tang knife on right hip. She tried to chalk it up to other Candidates, maybe some small game, but, clearly distracted, what steps forward comes as a shocking surprise. Hazel eyes flicker as they settle on the gruff figure illuminated by moon's light. Things just got real, and clutch on knife releases to covertly unstrap small but lethal crossbow from side holster. "Don't make any sudden moves.." is said side-lipped to Ravyal, waiting to see what Hazelon and the menacing grey haired man will do next.

Naturally, the sound of other Candidates sneaking off to who knows what in the midst of the woods in the middle of the night catches Brennan's attention. That it's Hazelon doesn't really surprise him. That the other follow after him does - except, perhaps, for Therynn. Whether it's out of some sense of protectiveness or a desire to actually not have the lot of them get into trouble, the hunter is up and after them as well - at a short distance, and likely going unnoticed. That is, until they happen upon the men…and out here, Brennan is certain he knows what they are. So it is that he slips from his hiding spot, coming out near Ravyal and Therynn and discreetly fingering the knife at his belt. His bow is with him…but unstrung across his back, and therefore not of any use if it's needed quickly. Knife it is, then. Silent for the moment, he watches Hazelon in the others in silence for the moment, waiting to see what will happen…and quietly taking in their surroundings to be used however needed.

That spring bounty might just as well include runner droppings are vegetation, since D'ani and Kuleana passed this way just two days ago. Now, uptrail ways, it's the prick of his mares ears that first alerts the Weyrsecond of the presence of others ahead on the trail. He doesn't pick up the murmur of voices until they wend there way around a couple of bends and when the young man does catch a phrase or two, he draws the runner to a very slow walk. No sense rushing into something he knows nothing about. He keeps his whip in hand, however.

Ustrr turns his attention almost lazily to Sairon and though the man smiles it hardly reaches those eyes of his. "Such a sharp tongue!" he says in a gravely voice, more guttural and grunted than spoken clearly. "Best hold it, boy, less you get yourself into trouble with it." A warning if there ever was one. Thick brows raise when suddenly weapons are drawn on him and his men, which brings a few more snickered laughter and the echoing sound of weapons on their side also drawn or lifted. Ustrr lifts his hands up in a mockery of a warding gesture, his eyes drifting from one Candidate to the other. "Now, now. Be smart here. Y'think you stand a chance? Best be wise and keep mum on this and we'll be on our way…" he drawls. The word of a renegade? Probably not to be trusted. Especially when his eyes linger on Hazelon and his brows knit in a darkening scowl. "You. I know you…"

Somewhere in the chatting, a long and curved knife appeared in Sairon's hand - a weapon alluded to here and there to be in the back of his pants but never removed. It has the patina of something old but the edge looks sharp. His posture shifts, easing weight to the front of his feet. "Great. You know him. Say hi, play nice, and be on your way." And then there's not any joking in his voice, the normally light-hearted young man suddenly sounding far older with a low, rough edge to his voice that sounds decidedly dangerous and unlike his casual tone. It's like a lazy feline who just saw an approaching hunter.

Behind Ustrr, two of his men shift, keen eyes peering through the darkness at the Candidates. We'll call them Cul and Zak. Gazes sweep the Candidates, Cul focusing on Sairon and his brash tongue and wicked blade, and Zak looking at Brennan. He sees that knife too. Both men silently draw their own blades.

Hazelon is frozen in place, his fingers tightening on the bow in his hands. But fear doesn't stop him from backsliding. There'a particular cant to his voice that he hasn't used since coming back to the weyr, mildly sardonic and rough. "They're," right Haze, common, remember you're one of them too, "candidates from Fort. Do anything Ustrr and the weyr's going to f*king smash you. You go your way, we go ours, no one has to know you were here." Another step is taken backwards towards those trees, maybe he can make a break for it.

As Ustrr talks more men, looking similarly dangerous skirt through the forest on each side of those candidates. The crossbow is taken very very seriously, and so a pair emerge from the dark trees to point their own arrows right at Therynn's back. "Even twitch that finger once girlie…" The thick drawl warns darkly, "You ain't going to like what happens." Another man, not quite as big, makes steps towards Ravyal, knife glinting in the moonlight.

Is Ravyal the only candidate around not packing weapons? There's always a chance he might have a needle in his pocket somewhere, but that's not likely to help much. Unarmed, the normally timid candidate can't really help words that just start coming out. On their own! "You..you probably don't. Know him, I mean.. We're from the Weyr and all, and I don't think that..that.." Well Hazelon used the man's name! A bug-eyed stare is given to the other candidate. /Really/? No sudden moves? The candidate can barely move at all, although he does turn his gaze immediately toward the man that inches toward /him/ now. "N..nobody needs to do anything..violent. Just..um…just…we can all calm down?"

Therynn is further surprised, yet relieved by Brennan's presence, his unnoticed trailing only further reinforcing just how distracted b the adrenaline rush of rule breaking she really was. At the moment, the alert but tiny huntress feels her knife will be of little use, especially regarding the comparably sized company with the baleful man. All senses are of a chary nature, feeling foolish for them being in this situation to begin with and like she should've known better. That lashing for Sairon is paired with a gently jutted elbow in to his side. A waft of runner dung passes olfactory senses, the sound of hooves slowed to a clomping walk. "I think there's more coming.." she says to Hazelon, taking a few paces back slowly, weapon on Ustrr since not much focus is directed at the seemingly harmless lass. She's got a clear shot, but doesn't make any brash decisions while they attempt to talk it out. The moment focus and arrows are pointed her direction, chills run up the spine, words rasping in ear drums. Free hand is held up and trigger finger retracts.

Brennan scowls, baring his teeth as more men appear from the shadows and weapons are brandished. If he were alone, or if it were him and perhaps a select few of the others, they might be able to put up a rather impressive fight. As it stands, there are more than those who are used to being out wandering the world to consider, and while the hunter's hand doesn't leave the handle of his knife, he takes a step into the midst of his fellow Candidates, coming up behind Hazelon as he looks around. Seeing Therynn's stand-down, he nods, eying the other Candidates. "Easy," he says, giving Ravyal a nod for his words - even if they prove ineffective. The hunter glares at Ustrr. "Move on, then. Leave us be, and we'll do likewise. No matter what, dragons won't be far behind, so let's just try to avoid that, eh?"

D'ani's close enough to glimpse figures through the trees but he's still a ways off. Wonderful! Kids with pointy things aimed at men with pointy things aimed at the kids. In the dark. Someone's going to lose an eye, aren't they? And he's keeping Kulaena's forward movement to a creeping inching - quiet thankyouverymuch. Undetected until, gee, thanks Theyrnn. He mutters an oath, swings off of the mare and swats her - hard - on the hindquarters. "Go home!" she's told and home she goes, bolting right through the group and clattering on down the trail to the Weyr. There's grain there, y'see. D'ani? Drops and rolls, crouching in the shadows, hopeful that he'll be able to gain an advantageous spot…

Ustrr doesn't even acknowledge the movement of his own men, aware that they are there and know what to do. His focus is on the Candidates addressing him and he laughs again, a gruff and mirthless laugh. "Oh, aye. We'll move along right 'n good. Got no quarrel with you lot." His hands lower. So that is that? Some Big Bad Renegade Leader he is! His jaw works, tongue running along his teeth and with a scoff, he jabs a finger right at… Hazelon. "We'll be taking him though with us. He and I — we've some "words" to speak." Probably with the pointy end of one of the wicked blades he has strapped to his hips. "And he owes me much. Be a good lad now and come along. Wouldn't want your Candidates to suffer for your stubbornness, eh?" His lips draw back then in a grin that shows just a bit too much teeth to be considered "friendly". His focused gaze breaks when a runner comes bolting on through the group and he swears out loud, drawing one of his larger knives while barking orders to his men to investigate. The standoff is broken. Is this their chance?

Cul smirks at Sairon, shifting his blade in his hand and eying the kid. You wanna' go? Bring it, punk. Meanwhile, Zak just watches Brennan, sensing a hunter's prowess in the teen, and being less brash than Cul. He shifts into a bit of a crouch, ready and waiting….and then there's a damn runner running through and the men jump back. They're not renegades for nothing though, swiftly regrouping again. They are trained. Scary-trained. Told to investigate, these two men move forward towards Sairon and Brennan, watching /them/ while others are looking around for the source of the runner.

Standoff BROKEN. One of the men pointin an arrow at Therynn drops it, and turns to go looking up the road for the source of that runner. He runs quickly, pulling a knife and looking deely into shadows. Maybe he'll trip over D'ani. The other man, call him Mal steps towardss Therynn till that arrow point is inches from her neck. "Toss it and put your hands where I can see them girlie." The last pair of the trio steps right to Ravyal, reaching out to grab him roughly by the arm.

"We ain't got n…" Hazelon's brave words are abruptly broken when that runner streaks through their standoff. Seeing his chance, Hazelon will just take this chance to save his skin okay? He drops abruptly from that ready stance and allows his bow to go limp. Rather then try to go //back through the group and the way they came though, Hazelon is going to run right towards Ustrr, hoping to catch him off balance and brush past himm to the forest behind. Maybe then he can do something about everyone else.

Sairon slants an equally foul look over to Cul. He's given no indication he's actually a threat up until now, but the way the candidate's posture is, the grip on the knife, and the way he shifts his head here and there ever faintly like he was listening - someone's had some experience. "Well you can't have him. He's /ours/." He says in a low and measured voice, though the runner blurting through his line of vision does /not/ help him look intimidating. Sigh. He scowls briefly and then Hazelon is running. "…awesome." He mumbles dryly and looks back to Cul, giving one shoulder half a shrug. "So, we ganna dance or what? I got a nice warm tent waiting for me otherwise."

The runner bolting down the path startles even Ravyal into staring at it, keeping him still long enough to have his arm latched onto. The teen gasps a little at the tight hold, but the immediate reaction to it is to start jerking away from him again. Getting caught is /definitely/ not where he wants to be right now. Still, that grey man is very obviously after Hazelon, and there's a frantic search for the other candidate a moment only to find him..bolting. In a..bad direction. Not /toward/ the enemy! "Wh..what..?" He starts trying to pry his way free, however, pulling back again. "Let me /go!/"

Cul's grin grows and when chaos ensues he lunges at Sairon, blade up, stance low, and ready to dance, as it was said. No circling, no fancy footwork…he just lunges at him and tries to get beneath his guard to hit his abdomen with that blade.

Well, there goes talking. Brennan didn't really expect it to work, in all honesty. Then there's a sudden RUNNER, and chaos ensues - more or less. He watches the men heading for himself and Sairon, finally slipping his knife from its sheath and backpedaling. The arrow aimed at Therynn has him growling as he considers what to do about it, but anything would risk loosing it on her. Then Ravyal is getting grabbed, and that's the last straw. There's no avoiding the fight. The hunter snaps a kick out at the leg of the man grabbing the younger Candidate, hoping to pop his knee sideways. "Leave off him!" Brennan bellows, and the knife comes up as he falls into a crouch, eyes sharp for whatever comes next.

Zak comes next, running up on Brennan from the side while he's occupied with trying to protect Ravyal. Blade out and other burly arm ready, he attempts to grasp Brennan around the middle and just tackle him to the ground.

Therynn didn't necessarily 'out' whomever was approaching on runner back (skills both a blessing and a curse) and honestly chalked it up to more of these ruffians approaching, which they indeed did, quickly surrounding the Candidates. The situation is getting heated quickly, and before Rynn can protest about taking Hazelon, a lone runner tears through the group. Must not be theirs is concluded, and now she wonders who else is lurking out there. A glance shot Brennan's direction, clearly no trust for the Renegade's word. Despite more or less standing-down, she's ready to use the distraction to their advantage. The moment is fleeting, Mal's approach is quick and carotid artery pulsates with the closeness of arrow. She will listen, tossing the crossbow which will likely draw some attention from Mal off of her. Now is indeed their chance, Haze makes a break for it, Ravyal protests and Sairon taunts. A swift ducked spin on heels has both hands swinging to rip arrow from its mark, flinging it towards the ground while reaching for dagger and climbing up on to his back like some type of ape going for a piggy back ride. She may be small but she's feisty. Blade held up against Mal's neck, legs wrapped tightly around waist while gruffly whispering in his ear "One move.."

D'ani is no longer on the road, so the ones running up it will find naught but runner tracks thereon. The Weyrsecond has rolled into the shadows, bumped into a log and crawled over it. From there he's easing his head up to take his bearings. Dremkoth passes on a word from Weyrsecond to Weyrleader D'ani belly-crawl closers. It's lacking in details because dark and shadowy and yeah. Less than ideal but the young man is hoping to get just close enough to… He raises himself to his knees, he takes aim at the man who's grabbed Rayval's arm - and his whip whistle-snaps in the attempt to coil it 'round the man's wrist and then yank him off-balance.

The man going after Rayval has his arms firmly wrapped around Ravyal's arm and is twisting it when Brennan's kick hits his knee out from under him. Rather then cause him to lose his grip though, it tightens, and as he hits the ground he's going to drag Ravyal down with him, and land on top of the kid. Curses flood from his mouth as he goes down. The tumble is only compounded when that whip snaps into him and yanks him over the head of the candidate, his hands still firmly wraped around Ravyal's arm. It… probably hurts. A lot.

Sairon moves faster than a lazy guy would appear to be capable of and pushes off the front of his feet to move to the left side of the oncoming blade and he can feel it split the air just inches from his sucked-in abdomen. With his knife in his right hand, his left cocks back in a fist right for the side of Cul's head. His teeth are bared in a feral snarl, but there's no sound or taunts now. He fights like someone who's been in fights before. Not just the down and out bar brawl but knives too.

The problem with coming up on the someone's side, as Zak just did to Brennan, is that the other person's head is in elbow range. Or punching range, if the other arm is free. Brennan goes down alright, a few rocks digging painfully into his side - but it's probably nowhere near as painful as the elbow that comes crashing down against the renegade's temple. Whether or not his aim is true is yet to be seen, but the hunter does it one more time for good measure, kicking and kneeing with the leg that isn't against the ground in an attempt to get the man off.

Cul grunts, taking the blow to the head and trying to grab the back of Sairon's tunic despite the sudden ringing in his ears. His blade slices forward again, aiming to hit…something. The darkness compounds this issue, but he slices forward with considerable force behind it.
The renegade with that knife around his neck isn't about to back down to a teenager. Not even if she does have a knife to his throat. No, he's just going to RISK it. The bow and arrow are dropped. He's moving the second that candidate is on his back, reaching upwards to gather up a handful of her hair. Firmly he yanks it, even has he reaches his other hand up to grab the knife hand to keep it from cutting his throat.

Zak has now learned this lesson! When the elbow slammed into his temple, oh, he learned it GOOD. He passes out. But sprawled over the top of Brennan with all 240+ pounds of muscle and fat and…did he have sausage for dinner?

Ustrr isn't so easily fooled. Maybe for half a second he's caught off guard, but he's an old hand at skirmishes and despite his size he moves swift enough. A large hand will strike, hoping to catch the Candidate by the back of his neck, fingers digging in cruelly. "Not so fast!" he snarls and if his grip remains true, he will haul Hazelon back, up and down hard to the ground. A heavy boot will lash out next, seeking to bring him to his knees if he isn't already and a sharp, hard kick if he is or afterwards for good measure. "Y'think I'm going to let you run off again? I warned you, boy…" he spits, circling close to Hazelon and moonlight flickering off the blade of the knife he holds. Ustrr has only half his attention on the chaos around him, confident (perhaps too confident) in his men's abilities to subdue a few Candidates. His patience is wearing thin though. He's no fool, he knows the Weyr will be alerted. Time to finish this up right quick and fade back to the forests.

If the man had just let go, that would've been fine. Instead, Ravyal is suddenly being dragged down to the ground, arm wrenched quite uncomfortably. Enough to make the former weaver yelp on the way down. The teen twists to try and relieve some of the pressure, feet coming up to kick as hard as he can at the man's stomach, legs…/groin/ if he can get to it. His free hand grabs at the arm still thoroughly latched onto him though, before he drags himself in closer. Why? To /bite/ that arm that seems so intent on keeping his own captive.

Sairon is mostly focused on keeping his front towards Cul to keep as much of his guard focused, but close quarters don't leave a whole lot of room. The pull to his tunic with one of the Renegade's hands keeps Sairon from moving, leaving the other hand with the knife to paint a line of red across the upper front of the candidate's abdomen. Spitting out an oath, Sairon's open hand moves to lock around the other man's armed wrist and limit it. His own knife rips upwards with the blade pointed back right for Cul's face.

Hazelon is caught by Ustrr. Down he falls to the ground, his bow snapping under the weight of the fall. When that foot catches him in thte side he curls tightly against the rolling pain spreading through him. "I didn't tell them anythin," the words come out as gasps, though loud enough for the leader to hear him. His vision is blurry a bit as he tightens up his knot of a body, hoping to fend of any more blows that come his way.

D'ani shakes his whip free and rather than remain where he is, ducks low and moves swiftly though the shadows to a better spot, hopefully avoiding the individual fights going on, to get another angle when his arm draws back and he lets his whip sing out towards the man holding Ravyal down. He's being careful not to strike the teen but not so careful about where - face, ear, nose - it hits the renegade. If it does. The tip can just as easily split flesh or wrap around a neck.

Cul shifts swiftly, ducking his head to the side, the blade just catching his cheek. He grunts and then thrusts his head forward, trying to head-butt Sairon.

"F*cking KID!" The renegade holding Ravyal yells out, now a just whole PILE of pain. The scratching and kicking he can take (big burly renegade after all) but there is more than just the kid going after him. What whip opens up a long slice along the side of his face. He releases Ravyal and rolls away, looking for his knife to toss at whatever is sending pain from the shadows.

Therynn wishes something could be done to help her fellow Candidates, but for now, she's got herself to worry about perched atop a renegade who at least doubles her in size and mass. As Mal reaches for her hair, Rynn is silently cursing herself for letting it grow longer. "Yeooww.." she'll screech, head tearing away and likely leaving tufts of hair in his hands. Legs thrash and dig in to his abdomen, hands fighting to keep knife where it lays, potentially skimming the surface of his neck in the struggle that ensues.

Crack! And it's proven to poor Cul that Sairon's head is indeed as thick as some might have gambled on. It still rattles the candidate temporarily and quite possibly breaks his nose. He keeps a death grip on the hand with a knife though. He tenses his body and moves to try and get a leg behind Cul's own and then, with a wordless roar, pushes off the ground to throw the force of all his solid weight into Cul and try and drive the man to the ground.

Suddenly, there are more bodies in the trees. More people added to the chaotic scene in the midnight, moonlit darkness. A bow is lifted, an arrow drawn, and then a renegade is falling, an arrow to his throat, breathing the rattling exhale of death.

Cul grunts and goes down, backwards, falling onto the ground with a dazed thud. Dazed for the moment…

Screw this. The knife cuts into his neck before Mal can stop it, but that's about as far as he's going to let it go. Walking backwards he's going to do his best to stun the girl on his back by smashing her into a tree. Repeatedly.

Freedom! Ravyal scrambles to try and get to his feet once he's finally let go, his arm practically numb from the way it had been wrenched. Panting, frantic, he at least manages to spot the fallen knife on the ground, hurrying to grab it up before the man can get hold of it again. Anger has a way of melting through a lot of other things, however. Fingers grip at the handle of it then before he turns back around again, only to deliver the knife back to the renegade. Of course, his delivery involves ramming the blade into the man's arm as much as he can, pulling away to flail backward, a bit off balance from the force of it.

D'ani moves after the whip makes it's mark - and a good thing. The problem is, he hasn't moves fast - or far enough - as the knife thrown by Rayval's attacker snicks through the darkness and imbeds itself in his thigh. At least… it didn't hit the formerly arrow-shot shoulder? This is going to hamper the Weyrsecond's movements and not only that, he needs a moment to fight off a wave of dizziness and nausea, back braced against a tree trunk. Oh hey there's a dude with a girl on his back heading right for his tree. D'ani stick out his good leg hoping to trip the guy.

Ustrr doesn't care one bit for what Hazelon has to say. It just earns the Candidate another good, hard kick wherever his boot can connect. He circles him, both to be intimidating and half to keep an eye on anyone who may try to be brave and sneak up on him while he's distracted. "I'd not care if you sung a pretty tale to the whole world! Don't change the fact of what you did 'n what you are. Remember what I said I do to yer kind?" he growls, low and savage in his throat, his eyes blazing. He shifts the knife in his hand, the blade flickering as he shifts his stance. Preparing to stomp down on Hazelon to pin him, his arm readying to draw back… "DRAGONS!" A man's voice bellows and Ustrr's head jerks up and he swears, scowling as he stumbles back a half step with eyes on the skies. Sure enough, there are dragons, with riders and riderless. Looks like Dremkoth's message got through to Velokraeth! Moments later, the Weyrleader comes tearing through the underbrush, weapon drawn. Barely does he survey the scene. He knows who his target is and he has faith that his riders know their orders. Subdue, don't kill unless necessary and above all get the Candidates out.

Kimmila draws another arrow and lets it fly, and then she drops her bow and draws her dagger. Close quarters are useless with the bow, she's going in with her blade. She bolts into the fray after Th'ero, keeping an eye on his back and turning to engage a renegade who sees the Weyrleader as a high profile target. He's got to get through Kimm first though.

Abigail doesn't take long to check the scene over, it is getting out of control rather quickly. Arrows are good for certain things, but this is a bit close combat which could mean good guys have the possibility of getting hit, so she is quick to check for any renegade's that are at the outskirts of this mess and thus could possibly be taken out easier. Though at the moment that isn't working in her favor. Her canine is sent off to the side to wait for a command before she is moving off heading to the side, only to pause as she catches sight of Hazelon grabbed by some man. Her gaze narrows slightly and her bow is lifted as she watches the man before letting the arrow fly so it will slam into a tree just a few inches behind the man. With the arrow shot she is on the move, another arrow pulled from her quiver as she goes.

Sairon isn't risking he. He's got tunnel vision on Cul and he's not letting this one get up or risk getting away. His first concern is yanking the man's knife away before he's sending a fist right for the center of the Renegade's face with all his might. Light's out! Nevermind Sairon looks a mess, blood from his nose and mixing with that on his abdomen. It looks scary, a lot of red.

Ravyal's renegade screams bloddy murder when that knife goes into his arm. He slashes at Ravyal, looking for a shallow cut before he's up and limping off into the forest, staying as low as possible to avoid all those arrows.

Hazelon groans when that booted foot connects with his chest. Breaths are taken shallowsly as the bain spreads from where the foot has hit him. Ustrr's distraction is taken full advantage off and he goes to crawl (who the hell would stand up with arrows flying? seriously guys) towards the woods and perhaps some protection.

Therynn can't change the momentum and is bashed against the tree again and again letting out a few grunts and ooofs as it happens, a gash to the back of her head and the cracking of a couple ribs. Nothing like being caught between a rennie and tree trunk! The dagger currently held in right hand is lost in the pummeling, falling somewhere nearby, though not within perched reach. For better or for worse, the two go tumbling to the floor, dazed and confused as to exactly how they ended up there. There's no time to contemplate, Rynn's left side pinned below the much larger man and it's all instinct now. Two blades remain, one trapped, the other strapped to right thigh. In one adept movement, bowie knife with jagged serrations on the spine and trailing swage point is unsheathed, lifted and thrust in to Mal puncturing straight downwards where neck and shoulders meet, aiming straight for the lungs.

Brennan may have dead weight worth almost twice his own on top of him, but he's definitely not weak. Still, heaving the unconscious form off him takes far longer than he'd like, and by the time he dislodges the renegade from him with an enraged roar and scrambles back to his feet, he really doesn't know where to go next. His first instinct is to go ram a fist into the stomach of the one Therynn is clambering all over…but that guy is about to get a very unpleasant surprise, so the hunter turns in time to see Ravyal at work with a knife, and Sairon knocking out his assailant. So Brennan bolts in the direction he saw Hazelon and the leader go, just in time for dragons to arrive. Still, forward he goes. They were after Hazelon…whom he spots crawling. The hunter goes to the ground, placing himself between the other Candidate and the fray, knife out to cover against any who would follow.
Apparently D'ani's foot-aim sucks and so he gets the hell out of the way!

Mal is now dead. The blood pools under as his body falls and misses D'ani's escape by inches.

Ravyal would stand up while there's arrows flying! Being slashed at has him lurching backward again with a cry, and a line of red appearing across his cheek. The blood comes after, starting to drip down while the man makes a break for the trees. A retreat still means a win for the candidate, right? Ravyal can level up. There's a frantic look around for the others. And the arrival of backup is certainly enough to lift spirits, and even cause a smile that…in turn..causes him to wince. They're slowly identified among the chaos, before he himself finally bolts after the crawling Hazelon, practically sliding across the ground once he gets to him to try and help get him a bit further away. "C'mon…"

It's dark okay? And Hazelon is crawling away from Bad!Guys! So when two shadowy forms, never mind that they're not as big as the others, boil out of the darkness and are COMING TOWARDS HIM, yeah.. he's going to react badly. A knife is flung at one shadow (the bigger one) (and it probably misses too), while he kicks out at the smaller one and finally pushes himself to his feet to stumble in another direction where there aren't so many shadows to come after him. Hum. Too bad Ustrr's in that direction.

D'ani sorta just rolled around that trunk, keeping his shoulder blades firmly against the bark while he fights off the dizziness threatening to turn into full-on passing out. "I'll be fine Dremkoth. Stay out of the forest," he mutters between clenched teeth while the bashing goes on beside his ear. He half-turns back, reaching a hand to grab the dude smashing Theyrnn but nope. The girl-candidate's knife is yanked out, Mal topples and besides the Weyrsecond's attempt is weak and late to boot. His fingers close upon thin air, even as he stares at the renegade bleeding in a puddle at his feet. Yay? His head just thunks back against the tree, eyes close. Stay…awake…

Therynn can't change the momentum and is bashed against the tree again and again letting out a few grunts and ooofs as it happens. Nothing like being caught between a rennie and tree trunk! That's definitely gonna hurt later. The dagger currently held in right hand is lost in the pummeling, falling somewhere nearby, though not within perched reach. For better or for worse, the two go tumbling to the floor thanks to D'ani feets, leaving the pair dazed and confused as to exactly how they ended up there. There's no time to contemplate, Rynn's left side pinned below the much larger man and it's all instinct now. Two blades remain, one trapped, the other strapped to right thigh. In one adept movement, bowie knife with jagged serrations on the spine and trailing swage point is unsheathed, lifted and thrust in to Mal puncturing straight downwards where neck and shoulders meet, aiming straight for the lungs. As the renegade bleeds out, Rynn wiggles to free herself from beneath him.

Ravyal's renegade sees how this tide is turning. He's heading towards the forest as fast as he can with that bum knee and cuts all over himself. Too bad that when he hits the forest there is already someone there. Abigail to be exact. "Get out of my way!" And he'll send that knife slashing towards her- not to do real harm, but just to get her out of his way so he can run.

"Shaffit!" That would be Brennan growling at the blade that whistles past from behind. The knife may miss, but it's got Brennan rolling further off its trajectory anyway. He glances behind in time to see Hazelon breaking away and rolls his eyes. "Hazelon!" is shouted. "Sharding idiot," is muttered, and the hunter comes to a crouch again, eyes landing on Ravyal. "Get over to Rynn and the rider," he says - not being able to see that it's D'ani, only that it is, in fact, a rider - and then he heading off after a fleeing Hazelon. Not that way!

Ustrr flinches and grunts when Abigail's shot misses its mark and the arrow imbeds into a tree instead. Eyes blazing, he snarls at the Wingleader but before he can retaliate, he has to go on the defensive. Hazelon is on his feet again and staggering towards him, which the renegade just evades with a mocking sneer. Th'ero, however, is another matter. Ustrr has only his large daggers and the Weyrleader a short sword, but that won't mean he'll go down without a fight and blades will clash, with Ustrr on the defensive. He's no Laris, he wishes to keep his hide just a little longer and not add to the bounty to his head by killing a dragonrider… unless he's given no choice.

Ravyal yelps as he's kicked for his efforts. That's rude, man. Real rude. He lands on his back, however, wind knocked out of him again, but he's at least able to look up at Brennan again, giving a shaky nod. Sure, go over /where/ again? Once he finally sits up again the candidate keeps to the trees as much as he can, hurrying around toward everyone else.

Kimmila goes blade to blade with another renegade, pushing back and using her dagger as best she can. She really should carry a sword…hindsight, right? Also, don't take Candidates into the woods when there's freakin' RENEGADES at lose. Yeah. Hindsight. Daggers clash, Kimmila fights tooth and nail.

D'ani's eyes crack open and he peers down. Ew? Not that he hasn't seen blood working with cattle but girl covered in blood whilst it gurgles out all over her? Uh, not… often. He's not moving or he'll fall. He just grunts while the knife that was thrown remains sticking out of the front of his thigh. "Don't…" This is said to Therynn before he's got to shut up or throw up.

Abigail is aiming to fire off another arrow at the fleeing Ustrr, the arrow is pulled back and she glares right back at Ustrr, talk about some rage? Well this rider has plenty of dish out if given the chance. As for the arrow is sent flying though not towards anyone as it hits into another tree thanks to the man that slams in behind her as she was looking anyplace but behind her. The knife slashes across her shoulder a good amount thanks to that lovely flight jacket of hers not being on. She turns and sends her bow swinging out towards the man's leg in some attempt to stop him. There is a sudden roar in the skies as Niumdreoth is above the trees and unable to do a thing to help his rider while she and the others are in the middle of a fight.

Therynn pulls the dagger from where it's stuck in rennie-lung (no sense is losing a good knife over a lil blood!) and crawls over to D'ani to give thanks, asking "You ok?" She's probably not looking to hot right now judging by the look in the rider's eyes. Ripping off the lower border of shirt, she balls it up despite him telling her otherwise says "We should leave the dagger in and apply pressure to try to stop the bleeding." She wants to chase after Brennan and Hazelon, but as eyes scan the trees she notices a few familiar faces have arrived just in the nick of time, and decides staying put is probably best.. and probably would've been a good idea to begin with, the reprimands they'll face start sinking in. She'll wave Ravyal over to 'base' and ask "Y'alright?"

Not all the renegades are involved in the main fight. More than a few remain in the woods and are fleeing. Except for one shaggy haired beard fellow who decides to take revenge for the death of his brother. And there's only one person to take revenge on- the kid who had gotten away from them once before. Standing up swiftly an arrow is knocked to the bow, and aimed right at Hazelon. It doesn't take but a second before that shaft is speeding towards the teen.

Ravyal drops onto his knees next to Therynn and D'ani. It's probably just as well that he avoids looking at the knife sticking out of the rider's leg. He's already had about as much as he can take this evening. Any more horrific things to see and the teen might just pass out. Or throw up. He looks at Therynn though, blood running down his face and blood in his mouth..but at least he manages a nod. "Think…think so.."

The bow crashes across the man's face and he grows with anger. Didn't get the little kid. Didn't get the guy with the whip, he's losing focus on running away and decides that at least ONE person is going to have to die tonight for all those cuts on his body. Abigail just nominated herself for that position, so he presses in, aiming that knife this time towards her chest.

The…blood-soaked shirt? With who knows who's blood theron? Therynn is free to ball it up, but not apply it to his wound. D'ani stops her with a feeble wave of his hand. "I know." He needs to breathe in, out, then, "…was gonna say," another breath, "…don't…pull it," he exhales, swallows, "…out." That's all he can manage before he extends the whip to her and says with the last bit of energy he's got, "Tie it around my leg and use the handle to twist it tight. Then get a healer."

"Hazelon, stop!" Brennan shouts after the other Candidate he's pursuing…and then there's the familiar whistle of an arrow going past. Never mind! It has less chance of finding its mark if Hazelon keeps moving…but that doesn't mean it won't. The hunter grits his teeth and braces for what may happen next. And if it does, and he turns around…the source of that arrow had better be gone or risk a flying blade.

Shit, where are they finding these candidates these days? When the eggs crack the dragonbabies ought to be terrified of this tough lot and run the other way.

Ustrr and Th'ero clash and part, circling each other in a deadly dance, neither willing to back down quite yet. Another arrow fired by Abigail comes close enough to have both of them flinching and in the moment of distraction the Weyrleader takes advantage of the renegade leader's lack of focus and charges the man. They grapple briefly, until Ustrr's knife grazes too close for comfort and with a grunt, Th'ero darts back and away again. The leather of his jacket his badly gouged but he is not bleeding. Ustrr however has received a shallow cut, much to his disgust, but the chaos of the situation works on distracting them further from their own battles. Ustrr sees his men dead and dying and noticing now how out numbered he is. Th'ero? Spots Hazelon and the man aiming an arrow right for the Candidate. The Weyrleader's choice is simple: he swivels and dives for Hazelon, aiming to knock him aside. That arrow will miss it's mark but take Th'ero in his shoulder and he goes down to his knees. Ustrr by then is slipping away. His men can suffer their fate, he will abandon them to it, especially now that one has bloodied his hands with that of the Weyrleaders. Using the ensuring chaos as a cloak, the renegade seeks his escape…

Kimmila grapples toe to toe with the renegade, hissing when he manages a good gash across her shoulder. She pushes him back with her good hand and brings her knife up to slash him across the throat. He staggers back, dying, and that's when Kimmila sees the arrow flying towards Hazelon. She cries out, and then screams when Th'ero moves in front of the Candidate. "NO!" Her heart stops and she can't watch, her eyes shifting to follow the arrow's trajectory…into the forest…where it came from. She doesn't have her bow. All she has is her blue handled blade. Flipping it over in her hand she doesn't think, she just reacts, and throws it into the woods with all her fear and fury behind it. She doesn't watch if it hits. She's bolting for Th'ero.

Abigail takes a slight step back while eyeing the Renegade that is now before her. She is alright with being nominated for that roll, but she doesn't plan on meeting her end just yet. As the man attacks she shifts to the side and sends her fist flying towards the side of the man's face to try and send him backwards. As for that knife, it catches her arm instead of the chest. "Have to try harder than that." She hisses out. There is the whistle of an arrow firing once more and her gaze is pulled of the man before her to try and catch where it may have been going. Never take one's eyes off an attacker that is what she knows, that is what she preaches and what is she doing? Breaking her rule of course.

Hazelon's gaze jerks up at Brennan's call, and knows that arrow is the end. There isn't time for him to do anything other then brace for impact though… except it doesn't come. Th'ero's taking the arrow for him. The utter BEWILDERMENT of that act is going to have to be puzzled through another day though, because right now Hazelon is flattening himself downwards again, just in case someone else decides to send an arrow his drection again. And he's STAYING there till someone tells him differently.

That moment of distraction is all the renegade needs. Especially when he sees Ustrr take himself off the field after hurting the weyrleader. He shoves away from the woman and limps off into the forest, hopefully fast enough that no arrows find his back.

Therynn may very well end up battered, bruised and only partially clothed by the end of this. One look at Ravyal's blood streaked face and another strip of shirt is ripped off and offered up. It's not /that/ bloody! She won't force it on D'ani but says to fellow Candidate "Y'should try and stop the bleeding Ravy." Thank goodness everyone is busy otherwise the relatively reserved huntress would be rather embarrassed by exposed midriff. "Ok.. just breathe now.." she says to D'ani who already seems to know its importance, taking the whip from him and following instructions to use it as a tourniquet. "Ok take a deep one.." breath that is. When the rider does, the lassoed whip is cinched tightly by the handle. Turning, heart skips a beat watching the altercation between Th'ero and Ustrr, also letting out a "No!" in unison with Kimmila, hand extended as if trying to telekinetically stop the arrow from hitting Th'ero. Looking back towards D'ani she asks "How m'I t'get a healer? Shall I run? Firelizards in the barracks will be of no help with my mind in a haze like this."

Ravyal takes the cloth being offered to him. Does he notice Therynn's bare skin? Nope. There's a whole lot of other things occupying his mind right now! But he does push the cloth against his face with a wince. Healer? Yeah, the probably all could use one. But with screams elsewhere, the candidate is going to sit /right/ where he is until he's told to move. His legs…are unlikely to work very well anyway at this point.

Th'ero dives, and Brennan tries to veer out of his path, tumbling into the underbrush with a grunt and rolling back to his feet, hissing as he feels the sting of a long scrape robbing the length of his forearm of some skin. He looks up to find Th'ero on his knees and immediately scrabbles over to the Weyrleader, peripherally aware the Kimmila is on her way over as well. "Th'ero," he grates, kneeling and eying the arrow protruding from the man's shoulder. "Easy…" That's all he says for the moment as he considers what's best to do here, one hand on the uninjured shoulder for steadying, if it's needed. He's dealt with injuries in the field before, but never an arrow to another person…

Au contraire. Lungs tend to bleed profusely and there was a puddle at D'ani's feet where the two fell a moment ago. It might be mud? But it's dark and hard to tell and the Weyrsecond isn't taking any chances. He nods to Therynn, "Thanks." He inhales and grits his teeth waiting, dark eyes screwing shut while she tightens it, fingers turning white where they grip the bark. The cries draw his eyes open and his gaze darts after theirs to see… is that Th'ero? going down. He mutters a curse and takes a few staggering steps that way before he topples over. At least he missed the pool of blood - yay? He rolls onto his back and hears the rest of Therynn's question, eyes her in some disbelief. "Get…What's his name… Cerus… Serys…" Wincing, he gathers his elbows underneath him before giving it up as he passes out, "…just…flag down…a rider…" One of them has a dragon and some common sense…

Th'ero's dazed where he rests on his knees, one arm shot out to brace himself. Gritting his teeth, he still holds his short sword with the other hand but is using it more as a prop now as pain lances through him. Velokraeth's roars can be heard from the sky above, but like Niumdreoth and Dremkoth, the stunted bronze cannot land or fit his bulk between the trees. Shaking his head, the Weyrleader snaps himself out of the shock, adrenaline kicking in. Dimly he is aware of Kimmila shouting and racing for him and of Brennan suddenly there beside him and offering support. "'M fine…" he says through clenched teeth and carefully, sluggishly, he struggles to his feet and though he doesn't specifically ask for Brennan's help, it will be needed when Th'ero wobbles unsteadily. "Where's Hazelon? Keep him…" There's a pause as he sucks air through his teeth to exhale it shakily and pained. "…safe." Candidates safe is still a priority. His riders up there too. He will not be a happy Weyrleader when the tally comes in of injuries.

When Th'ero is on his feet Kimmila straightens up, nodding her thanks to Brennan as she clasps a hand over her shoulder. She scans the area and then points. "Candidates! MOVE!" That way. Where she's pointing. "Greens will land in the wide bit of road and take you back to the weyr. NOW." Already guards are approaching, running in formation, and Kimmila is quick to stride forward to meet Breshir. Healers arrive on the back of a green a short ways away and run forwards, one warily approaching Th'ero and the other calling, "Where is D'ani?" As for Hazelon…she's looking for him.

Dremkoth is, of course, circling overhead with the other dragons, knows D'ani's been hurt but when his rider passes out his roar echoes across the night skies. Healer-riders surely have heard of the altercation and a fast-moving unit will be arriving soon. but the bronze cannot tell them where in that dark canopy his rider lies.

Abigail sends a glance after the man she was fighting, well at least she didn't get a knife to her back from her looking away. Two canines will try to track after the fleeing men after the Wingleader is able to get them moving. As for herself she knows she is hurt but isn't worrying about it at the moment as she is moving towards where Th'ero and the others are. Her bow is gripped tightly within her hand, right shoulder and left arm bloody, and there is a rather pissed off Niumdreoth that is making tight circles within the air over the trees, deep angry rumbles escaping him even as Abbey attempts to calm her dragon, which is /not/ working in the least. She hears Th'ero and there is a moment for her to look for Hazelon, which with Th'ero getting tended to she turns to work on finding him. "Hazelon!" Is called out, voice just loud enough to carry in the area where she can do nothing but assume where he was mere moments ago.

Therynn tries to reach for D'ani as he takes off after the wounded Weyrleader "Wait!" she says, but he's already toppling over and that look he gives her makes her feel completely daft, as if implying this might be a bit beyond the mind healer's scope of practice is idiotic or something. "Cyrus.. and a rider.. got it.." Hey! She's got common sense, for the most part, despite following Hazelon out here. Maybe she shouldn't have assumed one of the riders present would've sent word back to the healers either, but as Kimmila calls out orders, she is quick to follow. "He's here!" she calls out to the blue rider, reaching for Ravyal so the two of them can limp towards the road together, scanning to see if Brennan is ok before heading that way.

Btw, that guy that shot Hazelon is totally dead. Just, back there in the bushes.

Welp, she did seem a touch helpless about how to find a healer? But D'ani will likely forget all about it if he doesn't bleed to death in the bushes like Hazelon's guy.

Brennan nods in return, and won't be arguing Kimmila's instructions - not after all that. However, if it hadn't been for one of their number in particular… Brennan looks over to where Hazelon is on the ground, scowling mildly. Never mind that they didn't have to follow him - but then Hazelon might be dead if they hadn't, now mightn't he? Brennan strides over, reaches down to grab Hazelon's arm, and hauls the younger Candidate to his feet, belatedly remembering the beating he took and letting go. He's not in the mood to be anywhere near gentle right now and simply levels a warning look on Hazelon. Move it or else. Brennan lingers for a moment, picking out Ravyal and Therynn in the darkness nearby and nodding to them, making certain they're all heading in the same direction before following Kimmila's orders himself.

The Healer races to D'ani's side, crouching down beside him, taking in his injury at a glance, nodding at the whip placement. Calling for a stretcher, the Healer and a rider soon have D'ani lifted and are transporting him back to the weyr.

Therynn takes a deep breath as a healer arrives to tend to D'ani, nerves calming only but slightly with no need or means of explaining her inability to sensibly summon a healer. She has been a bit of a hermit most of her life after all! Catching sight of Brennan's form in the darkness she nods back and slowly staggers to be airlifted to the Weyr, great concern flushing over her regarding the ramifications that will follow.

Hazelon has been half tempted to crawl into the forest and disappear. Because he hasn't yet forgotten that he was the first one to leave the camp. So every scratch, every bruise and every mark on every person here is his fault. He gets that right now. But he's not about to go quietly into the night. When Brennan jerks his his arm he rises to his feet and stumbles a few seconds. That heated look isn't lost on the smaller teen and he'll match it with a cool icy look of his own. Maybe the pair of them will have words later. He jerks away but doesn't move towards where Kimm has directed. No, he hears another voice calling out- Abigail's, and so he's going to stumble towards her. "Abbey?"

Th'ero's eyes narrow immediately when the Healer-rider approaches. "I said I'm fine!" he growls, brushing aside the concern. The Weyrleader wobbles again, unsteady but gritting his teeth as he fights against his swimming head and the effects of pain and adrenaline. "Tend to the others first. Not that serious…" He's kind of got a point? "Just… my shoulder…" he mutters next, glancing to Kimmila and grimly nodding his head in agreement to the orders she gives. Seeing Brennan find Hazelon, he exhales heavily but his focus wavers. Now the Guards are arriving and being the stubborn idiot he is, he tries to resume his duties as Weyrleader. It's just a flesh wound! He'll be fine.

Kimmila pauses long enough to tromp into the bushes to yank her knife out of the dead man's body. She stares down at him for a moment, and then turns, leaving him to be gathered up by the guards later. Her blade is hastily wiped off on the grass and sheathed, with a promise of a good clean and sharpening and oiling later. Precious dagger. Then she's returning to Th'ero's side, looping his good arm around her shoulder. He'll see her gash then, still oozing blood. "Back to the weyr, wingmate," she murmurs. "Let the guards mop up here…"

Abigail frowns as her gaze drifts over the area, this is not a good turn of events, an attack, and riders hurt, AND one of the candidates is missing? The throbbing ache is starting to be felt in her shoulder and arm, her left arm covered in blood while she pulls out a bit of cloth and struggles to wrap it around her arm with a hissing mutter escaping her in the process. She hears he name and pauses looking for Hazelon, and once he is stumbling to her she moves to try and take hold of his arm. "Are ye alright?" Last thing she needs is one of them hurt, not now of all times. The voices are caught all around her but she doesn't comment on things just yet, first make sure the other is alright then she'll worry about getting him dragged back to the Weyr. At least Niumdreoth hasn't tried to claw his way down into the forest.

Hazelon winces slightly when Abigail's hand closes over one of the places where Ustrr's boot had met him. A cool and calculated part of his mind is greatful that there was no broken bones- this could have gone so much worse. "Yeah." His voice is scratchy, and he looks up at her. "You're hurt." Yes genuis. "I am so sorry…"

"You're hurt," Th'ero doesn't move a single step as Kimmila steps beside him and loops his good arm around her shoulders. Apparently he's fond of pointing out the obvious just like Hazelon. Grimacing, his concern returns threefold. Concern for her, for the Candidates, for… everything. Everyone! The Weyrleader casts his glance around the clearing, noting the bodies and having to hastily advert his eyes. Damn it! "Back to the Weyr," he growls low to Kimmila and he begins to move. Part of him fights and protests, not wanting to slink away and lick his wounds while he may be needed here or elsewhere. Ustrr too, has escaped and later that will just grate against him something fierce. Unfortunately, he has the nagging issue of an arrow protruding from his shoulder and that will have to be tended to first. No stubbornly talking his way out of this one. Before they go though, Th'ero puts certain riders in "charge", takes a few swift words with the Guard Captain and then he is allowing Kimmila to lead him away to be transported back to the Weyr.

Abigail is quiet for a moment as she watches Hazelon, a slight frown seen at the wince from him and she sighs softly. "I'm fine." Well she's not, but honestly she is not one to complain over such matters like this. She's dealt with injuries before, and will seek a healer later. "Right now we need to get ye back to the Weyr. Niumdreoth is waiting for us at the camp site." She won't take no for an answer at the moment either. Her gaze turns to Th'ero and there is a slight nod seen before she looks to Hazelon as she gets put in charge of him it seems, well makes sense seeing how they are talking. "Come." Is said while turning to head back towards the camp area and towards a certain worried brown dragon, that after a few long moments of whining over his rider will take her and Hazelon back to the Weyr.


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