Fort Weyr - Scenic Overlook * Sheltered Ledge
An irregular opening in the outside western wall of Fort Weyr provides a sheltered scenic view of the mountains and valley's beyond. A sturdy but decorative metal railing has been installed along the length of the opening to keep the unwary from inadvertently falling. The low ceiling of the sheltered cavern juts out just enough to protect any observes from the worst of the elements as well as prying sky bound eyes. It offers a perfect spot to settle and watch the spectacular sunsets, stargaze, or just relax in a peaceful atmosphere and watch time go by. Towards the outer edges of the covered ledge's railing one finds a couple of woven reed chairs and small wooden tables where one or two folks can sit in relative comfort.

It's one of those morning when most people would want to go back to bed. Cloudy and oppressively overcast, the humidity and lack of a breeze make things a bit uncomfortable outside. Even the dragons languish about, not wanting to be moved off their ledges or go to their duties. Still, riders will make them do what they need to do, and so the weyr sluggishly stirs itself into wakefulness. Up here on the scenic overlook, Kimmila has found a quiet spot to enjoy her breakfast. Down below, Varmiroth splashes about in the lake, and there's no sign of the Weyrleader. It's a quiet breakfast up high at the end of the staircase, sipping klah and nibbling on a pastry.

Perhaps the conversation with the young bronze Weyrling from last night got her thinking that indeed she should be out exploring the Weyr. This is her home now after all and Angelique spent the last couple nights tossing and turning in thought over this. So breezing through her morning duties easily enough she informs Talica of her intentions to go off exploring. So it's with a satchel slung over one shoulder off she goes through the tunnel, up a narrow staircase through a cavern…well you get the point. She's wound up…here! The sounds of splashing in the lake below drift up here but before Angelique can take a closer look to that sound it's Kimmila that's seen first. "Good morning, Bluerider." she greets pleasantly. "I do hope I'm not intruding upon your space here?"

Solan slowly makes his way up, a pack slung across his broad shoulders as he steps onto the overlooking ledge. It's a day off and that means exploration of the weyr is firmly in order. Having only been at Fort for a few days now, the young woodcrafter hasn't yet taken the opportunity to fully check out his new home. That is, of course, until now. Having entered just after Angelique, Solan can't help but smile as he adds, "Nor I? Good morning to you both," he nods, his eyes drifting out to soak in the beauty of the scene beyond. Overcast or not, he realizes this overlook is soon to be his new favorite place in Fort.

Kimmila turns her head to look over her shoulder at the arrival of the others, brows lifting in surprise. "You two come here to make out?" she asks, putting her feet on the ground instead of on the railing where they had been resting. "I can go if you need this spot." Her grin, though, is teasing and crooked as she waves her hand holding the pastry. "Not a private room, come on in. Or out, rather." Chuckling, she leans back in her chair again and gazes across the weyr. "One of the best views you can walk to."

Angelique's attention shifts with surprise as certainly she had no idea there was anyone behind her. The blue fire lizard perched on her shoulder adds a chirped greeting. Looking back to Kimmila she offers an impish smile. "I wouldn't want to scare away the newest resident." comes her own tease in turn. From the satchel at her side a warm aroma of baked pastries wafts out.

Solan chuckles quietly at the notion of coming up to make out. "Not as such," he remarks with good humor, "though that isn't a bad way to spend the morning, certainly." A wink is given Angelique and Kimmila as the young man moves to claim one of the chairs nearby. From his own pack, meatrolls, crackers, a pastry, and a small jug of cider are withdrawn, the woodcrafter carefully laying out the items on the table in very specific order. "Just here to admire the viewand have some breakfast. Would anyone like some?" he offers, gesturing to the morsels laid out in front of him.

Kimmila laughs, grinning crookedly at Angelique, and then letting her gaze shift to study Solan for a moment. "Please," she says, tilting her chair to steal a few crackers. "So, Angelique. Any news on those missing items from the store? Was it just a clerical error after all?" Her tone is hopeful, but her eyes are doubtful just the same.

Angelique debates a moment then simply claims a chair at the same table that Solan's laying out a small feast. Unable to resist also snatching a bit, a meat roll, she replaces it though with her own offering of a plate of fresh pastries. There's really no better food for up here, yes? Settling into her seat she tucks one leg up under her and rests her chin in her upturned hand. Pale blue eyes slip to Kimmila a moment. "Not just a clerical error I'm afraid." she finally says in a quiet murmur. "There are certainly items missing that I can't account for. I've gone over the lists several times."

Solan munches a meatroll, his eyes drifting back and forth between the two women as discussion unfolds. "I'd heard rumors that things were going missing but thought they were just that: rumors. Why would someone be pilfering such things?" Meatroll finished, he reaches back into his pack and withdraws both a foldable belt knife and a small hunk of wood. "It's not as if people are starving or freezing with no access to food or blankets, is it?"

Kimmila glances over at their feast and chuckles. "You guys make my breakfast look pathetic," she teases, sipping her klah and resting her pastry on her knee so she can enjoy her pilfered crackers. Watching Angelique, the bluerider then sighs. "So they were stolen. Shi - shards," she corrects, glancing at the pair. Shrugging, she shakes her head at Solan. "Not sure. But from the things that were taken, it seems like…camping stuff. Survival stuff. Yeah, traveling food and blankets and things. I don't understand it. But hopefully," she says, casting her gaze across the weyr once more, "they took that stuff and left, so it won't be an ongoing problem." Looking back at Solan, she studies the knife he holds. "Nice blade," she says, reaching down to pat the blue and silver handled dagger she always carries.

A trace of a frown touches Angelique's expression at the frustration of being unable to explain this. "It's smaller things being taken with no reason that is clear to me at least." lazily she stretches out her other leg, the tip of her own knife seen within the boot. "Survival…" she muses out loud. An admiring look is cast to Solan's blade as well then flickers to the blue and silver dagger Kimmila pats. "I really should find myself someone to make me a new blade."

Solan smiles as the women share his morning meal, appreciative of both the company and the conversation. 'Meals should never be eaten alone,' his father was fond of saying. And yet, as a newcomer to Fort Weyr, the laborious lumber hauler had spent quite a few meals snacking in silence already. As such, his appreciation for this unexpected breakfast was high. "Well I'll tell you right now, just to put your minds at ease," his smile widens, "it's not me. But you can bet I'll be keeping an eye out." As his knife is referenced, Solan nods to Kimmila. "Thank you. It was a gift from my father. He gave it to me before I took on my apprenticeship." Noticing the woman's own knife, he said, "I would say yours is a fair deal more admirable, though." To Angelique, he offers, "Could a trap of sorts be set? With the supplies, I mean?"

Kimmila shakes her head, and then glances to Solan with a little laugh. "Well that's one suspect I can cross off my list," she drawls. "Yeah, we're all keeping an eye out. A trap? Leaving things out and just waiting to see if someone takes them? That's possible…a little hunting excursion." Hunting humans. "There are lots of great Smiths out there. I'd recommend just going around and seeing who has what, until you find the blade that's right for you." Hesitating a second, she draws her dagger and leans forward to rest it on the table. It's fairly long, with a blue leather wrapped handle around the silver colored metal. Not actual silver of course, it's sturdier than that. The blade itself is polished but worn, obviously a work blade rather than a decoration. "Blades make great gifts," she says with a nod. "Th'ero gave me this one…"

Angelique admires the blade a moment as it's laid to rest on the table. Lightly she reaches to trace the blue leather around the handle. "Very nice." she compliments. Leaning back she considers a moment before remarking. "A trap could work but I'd be careful about who exactly knows about it. Since it's unknown /who/ is taking the supplies then I would say it is safe to say that this person or persons would have eyes and ears everywhere."

Solan whistles lowly as the blade is fully exposed, admiring its craftsmanship slowly as his eyes trace its contours. "A fine gift," he smiles. "He must really like you," Solan smirks, the obvious stated deliberately for laughs. As for the notion of the trap, he thinks on this for several long seconds before replying, "True, the more who know means the less effective it will be. But if you could restrict it to a very few and task those people with keeping a secretive lookout, maybe they could be of great help." Leaning back in his chair with hunger now sated, Solan begins to whittle the wood chunk as his thoughts continue to swirl around the problem.

Kimmila laughs at Solan, grin crooked as she takes her blade back and wipes it on her pants before sheathing it. "He does," she says, amused. "But when he gave me this blade - and others - he didn't know it yet." She winks, looking across the bowl once more, turning thoughtful. "I'm not sure we're dealing with a sophisticated thief or network of thieves," she finally says. "Because they wouldn't have the need for such supplies. Food, blankets…those things can be taken by anyone, you just have to sign them out. So this is someone who wants to hide."

Angelique taps her fingers thoughtfully against the table she leans against. "So perhaps then setting up supplies as bait is over thinking it?" she asks curiously.

Solan grins back as Kimmila winks at him, glad to share in a laugh before conversation turns more serious again. "Could be. Or maybe we're just giving the one responsible more credit than is deserved. Maybe he or she," for it could be either, "is planning a long term absence and is stockpiling supplies for the trip? A trip they wouldn't want anyone to know about?" A shrug of his broad shoulders later and Solan is looking down at his carving work, slowly peeling away at the hardened outer layer as he begins to shape it. "Anyone here terrified of responsibility and looking to run away?" he laughs softly.

Kimmila shrugs at Angelique. "I don't think it's over thinking it. I think if something else goes missing it might be a next logical step." Looking at Solan, the bluerider nods. "Exactly. I think that's exactly what's happening. And either they're long gone with their supplies, or they'll steal more to stock up, like you said. And there are plenty of people here that might want to run away. Kids, teens not happy, don't want to go into a craft…who knows. There are lots of reasons why someone would run," she says, trailing off and frowning across the bowl.

Angelique gives a bit of a laugh at Solan's question. "I am not quite yet to the point of wishing to run away." she says lightly. "Perhaps in the next turn though…." clearly teasing she turns her blue eyes towards Kimmila. "Perhaps it'll simply be an isolated couple of incidents and it'll be done with soon." she ventures a guess. "Any ideas what the Weyrleaders think of this?"

Solan hehs at Angelique's response. "Good to know. From what I can see, we'd be pretty bad off if you ran away now." His appreciative smile is warm and genuine, the woman's efforts around the weyr obviously lauded. Nodding to Kimmila, he says, "Right. The mantle of responsibility is heavy; on young, emotional shoulders, it could certainly drive a flight from the weyr with pilfered supplies." As discussion turns towards the Weyrleaders and their thoughts, Solan grows quiet and focuses on his whittling for a few moments. Such matters are beyond his own experience though he's certainly keen to hear Kimmila's response.

Kimmila looks a bit surprised at Angelique's question, and she laughs. "Of course I know what they think," the bluerider says, amused. "They're not pleased, of course. I think if it happens again, we'll take stricter measures. But if it's a one time thing…with those supplies the person is probably long gone. And, besides, it's not like the weyr can't afford some food and blankets. We would've given them to this person had they asked I'm sure. It's more the…idea that there is a theft going on that's more troublesome than the actual items." Glancing at Solan again, she nods. "Exactly. There are thousands of little dramas going on around us all the time. The flight response…it's hard to ignore sometimes."

Angelique shifts in her seat a bit so she can stretch both long legs out before her. Thrumming her fingers along her leg she casts a grin towards Kimmila's surprise showing at her question. Naturally Angelique most likely knew that Kimmi knew what they think but she simply wasn't sure if Kimmila would share knowing she knows what the leaders of the weyr think. If one can follow that logic. "The idea that they are sneaking items that can be taken freely is what bothers me the most about it, I think." is said after a moment of thoughtful silence. "I will certainly be vigilant within the storerooms from now on. Just in case perhaps this won't be an isolated incident."

Solan hmms, "The rumor machine here is truly amazing. Maybe you could use that to our advantage?" Rocking back slightly in his chair, he says, "You could plant the notion that someone is not-so-secretly unhappy. Maybe a disgruntled drudge? Someone who might endear sympathy from our thief. If word got around that she was thinking of leaving in the night, maybe she'd be approached. Who wants to travel alone?" Putting down the blade and wood, Solan reaches forward to sip from his cider. It's apparently good given the sigh that escapes his lips.

Kimmila nods, "Me too, Angelique. And I agree, not that this theft is indication of people not doing their jobs. But we can only move forward from here." Glancing at Solan, she lifts her brows. "Hmm. Well, that is a thought…though I have zero faith in the rumor machine, as you call it. Once that's out there we lose total control over it. Though perhaps that's not a bad thing?" Sipping her klah, she tips back onto two chair legs and stares down towards the lake where Varmiroth is now dozing in the shallows.

Letting Kimmila's words trail into silence, Angelique also shifts her attention towards the lake as well, watching the dozing blue in the shallow. Her own smaller version of a blue has long since launched off her shoulders and is perched on the railing watching the trio on the ledge. Digging through the pouch at her waist Angelique gives a whistle for Skyler and tosses up a bit of meat scraps into the air. With a hungry cry the blue fire lizard launches up and swoops for the food to snatch it midair before returning to his chosen perch. This draws a smile from the Assistant Headwoman. "So.." she grins. "What's everyone's plans for the day?"

Solan smiles thinly at Kimmila, following her eyes to the dragon below. "A beautiful blue," he remarks, taking another sip of the cider before answering Angelique's question. "It's my first day off since arriving here. I'm taking the opportunity to explore a bit. Definitely a lot more to see than at Lemos," he chuckled. "I'd been to Fort Weyr several times with my father but I never realized how truly expansive this place really is. And how pretty," he nodded, looking out again over the lake. Though it might be cloudy now, he could see the possibilities of blazing sunsets and inky black skies darted with stars behind those clouds. "And yourself?"

Kimmila chuckles softly, exhaling a long, drawn out breath. "Oh, I've got a bunch of cotholds to visit, but I'm delaying…" she says with a little grin. "Don't feel like going, but. I've got to." Shrug. "The Westvision's need a restock of cattle feed, and I'm pretty sure they'll ask me - again - to help mend some of their fences. And Varmiroth gets to pull logs at the Gerian's farm. I think I've got a medicine delivery later too, far up north, but I have to check the roster…" She stretches with a little grunt, and smiles. "Thank you, he is," she agrees with Solan. "Plenty to explore for sure."

Angelique offers an easy smile. "Nothing wrong with stretching out the morning just a bit until the duties pull you away." she says. Towards Solan she nods. "That's pretty much what I intend to do. I've free time until nearly supper time and I realized that I've simply not explored enough of my new home!" "I do envy you just a bit though, Kimmila. You're duties are ever changing /and/ you can head off to anywhere you want so much easier." her words are lightly spoken though as she regards the blue rider. "My duties are ever the same!" which really isn't true as 'crises' can pop up at any moment!

Solan 's eyes widen as the dragonrider discusses all that's on her plate for the day. 'Mantle of responsibility, indeed,' he thinks to himself. As Angelique mentions how easy it is for Kimmila to up, up, and away to other parts, the young woodcrafter smiles at the thought. How incredible it must be, riding dragonback and meeting so many different people! But heavy, too, with all the demands on your time and the politics that no doubt come with the job. "I hope the day goes well, Kimmila," he uses the woman's name, which he learned the day before. "And Angelique, we'll have to compare notes on interesting places we find, eh?"

Kimmila chuckles, "Oh, I know I shouldn't be complaining. But sometimes even the /best/ jobs can feel tedious." Glancing at Solan, and then back to Angelique, the bluerider gets a little gleam in her eyes. "You guys want to come?" Day off working? But they'll get to fly, that's incentive, right?

Ooh, an offer that's hard to refuse? Indubiably. Angelique spares a glance towards Solan to see if he's willing to take the offer but she herself… "I'm game to go with!" even if it does mean repairing some fences. Hold-bred, Angelique is comfortable enough within the weyr and around the dragons but it's still not often she gets offered for a ride on one.

Solan had been looking forward to a day of traipsing about the weyr but, given the blue rider's offer, there was no way he could decline. "I'm more than happy to help," he nods, a smile blooming widely on his face. "I'm afraid I'm not dressed for between, though. Should I go change or?" Some nervousness creeps into his voice as the young man suddenly finds himself with unexpected plans that involve dragons, riders, and mending fences. Looking excitedly to Angelique, he can see she's interested too and that makes it all the better. Adventure! Weee!

Kimmila just looks relieved. Company for the trip, and help that will hopefully make things go faster? That's a win for sure! "Great," she says, her lethargic energy shifting into eagerness as she stands and drains her klah. "You go get dressed for between, and I'll meet you in the bowl." Peering down from their lofty height, she must reach to the blue because an instant later he's lifting his head and beginning to rouse.

Angelique stands and stretches out her arms over her head, muffled pops going along her spine as she does so. "Sounds like a plan." she gathers up her satchel and whistles for Skyler to wing over to land on her shoulder. The young blue fire lizard is excited for the possible trip too it seems!

Solan rises, nodding to Kimmila with a big ol' country boy grin. "See you shortly then," he says, winking at Angelique and moving towards the exit. Only, you see, he's forgotten things like his backpack, provisions, wood carving, and his folding knife. Shaking his head at himself, he turns back with an embarrassed smile and returns, bending down to repack his things. "I'll just take these with me, then," he chuckles, slinging the bag over his shoulder and nodding once more. With a wave, he's descending from the ledge on the way back to the residential caverns.

A short time later finds Kimmila and Varmiroth standing in the center bowl. The blue has his straps on, including additional straps for two more passengers, his bags bulging with supplies and deliveries that need to be made. Kimm is dressed in her riding leathers, goggles up on her forehead as she waits for her two companions to join her. Varmiroth looks pleased and excited, the blue's wings rustling and a low rumble coming from his chest.

Once she's away from the ledge, Angelique simply retraces her steps back towards her nondescript room with the rest of the residents in the resident's cavern. There she rummages through her small chest to come up with something to pass for riding gear, including a emerald green leather jacket which she's slipping into as she strides towards Kimmila and Varmiroth. Skyler sweeps in swooping circles above her head, chattering a hello towards his larger blue cousin which Angelique echoes in a similar fashion. "Greetings Varmiroth."

Solan strides into the bowl with purpose, the wayward explorer having given way to the professional crafter. Though he's only an apprentice, he's been such for almost nine years and stands at the verge of moving beyond that rank. As such, his backpack is laden with hammers looped and tied on the outside while a small hand saw and various other tools are stored inside. Despite the summer heat, the large crafter is wearing a thick wher-hide jacket that is already causing him to sweat as he approaches dragon, rider, and Angelique. To the first, he bows slightly with deference, a soft "Hello there," escaping his lips. To the others, he stands and grins. "Adventure beckons!"

Varmiroth's eyes spin with bright hues as he extends his muzzle to first greet Angelique, and then Solan. "He's very friendly," Kimmila reassures them, "and he doesn't mind touch so if he gets too much in your space, just push him back." Thumping him on the neck, she reaches for their things. "Here, let me put those on him and we'll be off to our first destination."

Angelique didn't think to grab tools so she looks gratefully towards Solan's insightfulness. She herself only has a blue fire lizard and her normal satchel slung over a shoulder. So that gets passed to Kimmi but not before she offers a quick scritch to the extended blue muzzle. Skyler wings down to land on the padded shoulder of Angelique and she's ready to go!

Solan reaches out to gently pat the blue's muzzle, unable to help the affectionate chuckle that escapes him. "Friendly indeed." Staring into the dragon's spinning eyes, he smiles widely at him before turning to Kimmila and removing his backpack. It's heavier than it looks and obviously he's planned to repair an entire hold rather than just a few fences. "I tend to over pack," he laughs, an apologetic but mirthful gleam in his eyes. Unburdened with his pack, he'll allow Angelique to board and situate first once they're given license to do so.

Kimmila laughs as she takes Solan's pack, exaggerating the effort it takes to lift it and put it onto the blue's straps. And the dragon must be in on the act too, because when she lets go he wobbles to one side. Laughing, Kimm gives the dragon a thump and then nods towards the straps. "Either of you flown before?"

Angelique covers her mouth in amusement at the dragon's 'act'. "I've not flown before no." she admits.

"Once," Solan nods, laughing at the little act put on by dragon and rider. He decides he definitely likes these two; he can tell already their dynamic is a special one. "But it was very long ago. I was a lot smaller then," he smiles, thinking back. "I would welcome a demonstration on how not to fall off and perish?"

Kimmila nods, "Alright then," she says, swinging nimbly up into the straps. "Hand holds, foot holds, and there you go. You will be sitting behind me," she says, nodding to the two spots behind her before she's offering a hand down to the person who wants to be the meat of their dragonriding sandwich. "Not falling off and perishing is all about buckling in," she says, grin crooked. "I'll share that secret in a moment."

Angelique glances to Solan then reaches up for the offered hand to climb the best she can up the side to settle behind Kimmila.

Solan nods to Angelique with encouragement before moving up to take a position himself. It's more comfortable than he'd imagined it would be and with a gentle pat, he's thanking the dragon in advance for his patience with them. "Ah yes, buckleshandy, those," he grins, unafraid of the coming journey despite his commentary on perishing by fall.

Kimmila twists in the straps once they've mounted, and she grins. "And now you buckle in," she says, holding up the appropriate pieces and making sure they're in securely. Then, once they're all ready, she grins. And if it's a touch wicked, well…ignore it. "Let's go," she says, aloud for their benefit, because a moment later Varmiroth spreads his wings. He's small for a blue, but still, he's a dragon and he's ready to fly. Crouching, the muscles beneath their legs ripple and tense, and then he springs upwards with a mighty downsweep of his wings, soaring higher and higher, and within three seconds they're at the rim of the bowl.

Ooh, a wicked grin. A lovely way to start a trip! Angelique swallows once to reassure herself that no…that wasn't an evil look. Honest. She's all buckled in and honestly quite unsure what to hold onto. So she simply grabs the straps the best she can and holds on. Her head snaps back a bit with a look of surprise as the blue launches upwards.

Solans stomach swoops as the beast launches and the young crafter finds himself grateful for both the instruction /and/ the straps. Having buckled himself in tightly, he feels secure in his perch atop the dragon. Like Angelique, hes holding on where he can but also looking around with tremendous enthusiasm. This is fantastic! he bellows, his excitement bubbling over. You do this every day? With a laugh, hes looking down over the bowl and feeling incredibly exhilarated.

Kimmila looks over her shoulder and grins widely at them before she shouts over the wind, "We're going between in a moment! Just count!" Turning forward, she rubs Varmiroth's neck as the blue soars over the rim of the bowl, giving them the feeling of a drop as the world falls out from beneath them. Then they vanish into nothingness. Three coughs later, they've emerged over a more southern cothold, the warmth here pronounced as the sun beats down strongly on a sprawling ranch. Circling for the moment, Varmiroth searches for a place to land while tiny creatures below scurry away from their natural predator.

Angelique's breath lets out in a whoosh before she even realizes that she was holding it the whole time they were in the darkness of as Between. The whole trip upwards she barely had a chance to even admire the view of Fort Weyr from such a height before they plunged into darkness. Once here though and all intact…they are all intact yes? No one dropped any hammers while in *between*? One hopes not. Now she looks around down below her and whistles in appreciation at the sight of the cot hold down below them. "Thanks, Varmiroth." she pats the blue hide she sit son.

Phenomenal. That's the only word Solan can think of to describe the experience. Similar to his experience as a child, the cold of /between/ stole his breath away. Perhaps if he'd been holding it more consciously? He would try that on the next leg of their trip. But for now, he gasped a lungful of air and surveyed the area around them. It was astonishing how quickly they'd traveled to a different clime; the sun was shining here, after all, though the heat remained pervasive. Thankfully Solan was still recovering from the cold of /between/ and didn't notice. As they settled down, he too patted Varmiroth and gave his thanks. "So," he asks Kimmila, "what's first on the list?"

Varmiroth circles a few more moments before he adjusts his wings and begins his descent, landing just outside a sprawling stone cothold building. Unbuckling, Kimmila glances at her passengers. "This is Westvision. A bit rowdy, but they're a good family and provide much of their cattle to the weyr to feed us." Human edibles come from this sprawling ranch. Dismounting, Kimmila smiles and helps them down if they'll need it, turning as the ranch canines bound forward, ears back and tails wagging. "Hoy!" a man hollers, climbing through the slats of a wooden corral, where behind him a runner is eying Varmiroth warily. "That Kimmila I see?"

Angelique grins easily enough as Kimmila tells them a bit about where they've landed. Hey she's all for a nice steak dinner so there's no problems here with her helping out! "Nothing wrong with a bit rowdy." meaning she's able to hold her own against rowdy. She's unbuckled next and dismounting with a bit of help from the rider. Hey she could get used to this. Once on the ground she turns pale blue eyes towards the approaching man.

Ah, this way of life is one Solan understands. Sure, dragons come to visit but living out here, raising cattle in the greenery, wellit's a simpler way of life that he can related to. Unbuckling himself, he, too, slides down, waiting for the rider and the one who greets her to exchange pleasantries before offering his hand and name. "Solan," he greets, nodding to the man with a smile and then looking around in an attempt to spot where they're needed.

The man tips his hat back on his head and grins, looking at the passengers. "Candidates already?" he asks, and Kimm laughs, shaking her head as she shakes his head. "No, just kids with a day off who wanted to explore the region. So I put them to work." He laughs. "That's harsh," while shaking both Angelique's and Solan's hands. "Well met you two. Kimm, got a bit of a problem I'm afraid," he says, wiping his brow with a handkerchief. "Oh?" the bluerider asks. "Yeah," the man says. "Few of our cattle got caught up on the east bank of the river during that storm we had a few days past, and we can't get them across. Tried everything from planking the river to putting them in a boat, but, well. The planks fell apart and they kicked clean out of the boat. Current's too swift to swim 'em across, any ideas?"

Angelique starts to deny the candidate remark but Kimmila beats her to it. Offering a warm smile towards the man in greeting as they shake hands she murmurs. "Well met." her attention remains focused on the man as he describes his problem. "Maybe herd 'em further downstream a bit where it might be an easier stretch to cross?" she ventures a solution.

A candidate? Solan? He scoffs at the thought. Not that he wouldn't accept such a role, of course. What boy /didn't/ dream of one day being a Dragonrider of Pern? But the reality was that Solan was a woodworker and a good one at that, if his father and superiors were any gauge of such skill. Riding dragons was exhilarating but no, he was a crafter and a good thing, too, because it seemed as if these people needed one today. "A raft," the young man commented. "Boats are too narrow but a raft could be as wide as we need it to be. You've planks? How many?" he asks, his mind working on the problem.

Kimmila puts her hands in her pockets and watches with interest as her passengers speak up with their ideas. "Good idea miss but that won't work," the man says. "They're in a spot on the bank that's boxed in by rocks, sort of like a box canyon that empties out into the river. It's an odd spot they got stuck." Looking next at Sloan, he lifts a bushy brow and glances at Kimmila. The bluerider shrugs. "Sounds like a good plan to me," she says. Looking back at the young man, the older rancher grunts softly, "As many as you need, really. got a bunch of planks cut and ready to mend some fences…" Ah, so Kimm was right about that one, and the bluerider smirks a bit.

Angelique can't help but grin as it become apparent that help with boards, nails and that hammer that didn't fall between is indeed to be used by them today. And this is just the first stop! "I bow to your expertise with wood then, Solan."

Solan nods, the notion of plentiful planks exciting him. "How about some empty barrels? I've brought plenty of rope," he says, looking towards where his bag is stored on the dragon. "We can lash the barrels together and hammer together a frame for the planks." To Angelique, he offers a very bright smile and says, "Less bowing, more enthusiasm! This is going to be fun," his eyes gleam with mirth. Clearly, the young woodcrafter is quite literally in his element right now. "Kimmila, do you think Varmiroth would mind carrying us to the other side? So we can pull the raft in when it's ready?"

Kimmila chuckles quietly, amused and yet impressed by Solan's excitement. Leaning towards Angelique, she murmurs, "Next cothold I'll find a Headwoman-y problem for you to solve," she teases. The man, whose name is Lester, BTW, just grunts. "You got a knot to back up this knowledge of yours?" he asks, looking at Kimmila. The bluerider just laughs. "I only met him a few days ago, but he seems to know what he's doing? And sure, I think he'd be happy to do that."

The murmur from the blue rider draws a chuckle from Angelique. "You're too kind. Really." is her quick reply. Ah, Lester. What a good, solid name. The name of someone who…herds cattle. Into rock outcroppings near the river. Hrm. "Seems ya can't loose too much putting your confidence in him." she informs Lester with a twinkle of amusement in her eyes.

"I'm just an apprentice," Solan replies, opening his jacket to reveal the appropriate knot. "But I've been doing this sort of thing since I was very young. My father's a very accomplished wood worker at Tanglewood Downs." Even so, Solan knows that apprentices are not often the most trusted when it comes to complicated projects like this. Perhaps letting his enthusiasm get ahead of him, he quiets, sort of withdrawing a little as Kimmila and Angelique speak up on his behalf. That brings a smile again but he'll wait until Lester is sure he wants an apprentice's assistance. For now, he takes off his unbearably hot jacket, finally noticing the heat.

Kimmila winks at Angelique and steps up, clapping Lester on the shoulder. "She's right, you don't have much to loose here. You can't leave them there so we've got to try something." Lifting his hat and rubbing his balding head, he eyes the bluerider for a moment and then chuckles. "True enough. I like your enthusiasm, son," he says, extending a hand to shake on their plan. "Let me show you where the planks are. Got barrels too, though they'd need to be emptied. Been laying in the apple harvest." Turning, he strides with a slightly bow-legged gait towards the barn, snapping his fingers to call the canines to him.

Angelique casts an amused look to the other two Fortians and moves to follow behind Lester. Skyler warbles something in which she replies with a shake of her head and a murmured. "You can eat more later." is assured. "Back home in the feeding grounds." his favorite place to haunt and get leftover scraps from his dragon friends.

"Now we're carving!" Solan grins, shaking Lester's hand and following in the man's wake. Turning to walk backwards, he smiles at Kimmila and Angelique and mouths, 'Thank you!' Though he's known the two women for last than a full day, he's already found himself hoping they'll become new friends. Turning back around, he says, "We just need to clean them out and seal them. I have some sealant in my bag that" Ah, right. His bag. "May I?" he asks Kimmila, gesturing back to Varmiroth. He'd seen where she secured it but didn't want to presume permission.

Kimmila glances at the firelizard and then at Angelique with a smile. "Is he hungry?" she asks quietly. "I've got some food in my bag." Glancing forward at Solan, she laughs and grins, amused by his excitement and how dang friendly he is. "Go right ahead," she says, though she does appreciate that he asked. Varmiroth hunkers down with a rumble, holding mostly still for the sake of the animals nearby.

"Thanks!" Solan grins, running over to the handsome blue and patting him on the side. "And thank /you/," he says to Varmiroth. Unbuckling the straps, his bag is soon free and slung across his shoulders again. Quickly he catches up to Lester as they near the barn, ready for the work that's about to begin. He'll definitely need help with the ropes and some of the framing so he's glad Kimmila and Angelique are along.

"He is always hungry." remarks Angelique in amusement. "However I think he can wait until we get back home." assures the woman. Following along she's willing to follow any instructions to get the raft built.

Kimmila chuckles, glancing at the firelizard and then nodding. "Alright, but let me know." She follows after the others, ready to get her hands dirty and build a raft. And she's not half bad, either. She's no craftsman but she's certainly handy.

And lo let there be a raft! There's really no hesitation on Angelique's part as she works as directed. There's nothing more to say on it!

With Angelique and Kimmila's help, it took just under two hours to complete the raft. With four barrels anchoring the corners and two providing stability and lift in the center, Solan had nailed together a frame that held the barrels in place and provided ample walking and standing space atop the planks. It was by no means the finest raft ever created but it would hold cattle and men, though depending on the numbers involved perhaps not all in one go. Finally finished, Solan wipes his brow and admires the team's handiwork. "Well done," he nods approvingly to both women before looking to Lester. "Shall we give it a go, then?"

Lester helped too, though the man with the big, calloused hands was better at holding things in place rather than handling hammer and nails. When it's done he steps back, wiping his brow. "Looks good, son," he drawls. "Now to get it across the fields and to the river…"

Kimmila stretches out her shoulders and snorts, wiping her forehead on her arm. "If we rigged up a quick harness for it, Varmiroth could fly it down there for us," she offers, deferring to Solan on that decision.

Angelique steps back with an impressed look. "Huh, guess I can add this to my list of skills now." in case they are ever caught in a flood within the Weyr and a raft must be crafted to escape with their lives! Hey it could happen! She too defers to Solan for the opinion on the harness while the player watches the weather. Talk about ADD!

Solan nods, clapping Lester on the shoulder. "Couldn't have done it without you," he smiles before lowering his hand and turning to Kimmila. "Pretty easily done, assuming I've got enough rope left." Lowering to his haunches, he opens his pack and extracts another coil of the stuff. This one is quite a bit smaller than the first coil he'd used for the raft's construction. "Yeah, we should be fine with this. Angelique, would you mind giving me a quick hand?" He left the rider and rancher to their own devices and got to work quickly tying a makeshift harness, anchored to the raft's four corners and coming together to form a handle in the middle. Again, it wasn't pretty but it would get the job done.

Kimmila laughs, eying his pack. "How much crap do you /have/ in there?" she says, only half joking. Because…damn. While they work on the harness, Kimmila gets Varmiroth nearby so they can carry the raft out to him. "So what we'll do," she says, taking over a bit now that her dragon is coming into play, "is you guys can duck inside the barn. I'll stand on the raft, he'll hover, and I'll hand him the handle before hopping clear. He'll carry it and set it down. Near the river, yes?" she asks Lester, pointing in the direction she remembers it being. "Aye, just a bit north of here," he answers, ducking inside.

Angelique seems to be in agreement somewhat with Kimmila with wondering just how much stuff /is/ in that bag of his. Her aid is given as he asks for it and it gets completed. After ducking inside she watches as Varmiroth plays his part in all of this. "All right then…time to herd then I suppose?" she asks cheerfully.

"A /lot/," Solan replies, his expression infused with humor. "I'm really good at packing it in," he chuckles, reaching for the various hammers and the saw they'd been using earlier. It takes him several long moments but eventually the pack is back to bulging as it's slung across his shoulders again. "I got a few weird looks when I asked to check out all these tools but when I told them where and with whom I was going, they gave me extra," he beamed. "Varmiroth shouldn't have much trouble with the raft given his size. We'll just need to make sure it's set down gently to avoid damaging the barrels." He was sure the dragon would take tender care but a gentle reminder couldn't hurt, right? Following Angelique, he steps into the bar so that Kimmila and Varmiroth can do their thing.

Kimmila laughs, grinning crookedly at Solan. "Really? You said you were going with me and they gave you more rope? Shards, what's my reputation come to?" Walking outside, she closes the doors to keep them from flying dirt and sand before she steps up onto the raft. "Right then," she says, as the blue kicks into the air. It's tricky flying getting so close without knocking into anything, but the blue is a pro and easily takes the rope his rider hands to him. Jumping down from the raft she stands clear as he carefully lifts it and soars into the distance. "Right then, let's get over there," she says, pushing open the doors once again. "You guys ride?" Lester asks, nodding to the saddled runners in the corral. "Be quicker."

Huh..Kimmila is known for needing rope when taking out random weyr residents on her riding duties? Certainly something to make a mental note about. Angelique simply nods to Lester at his question. "Oh aye, I ride indeed." confirms the former holder girl.

"Like a gale force storm," comes Solan's response to Lester. "Well, depending on the runner, of course," he smiles sheepishly. Stepping out of the barn, he chuckles at Kimmila, "Why on Pern would they give me extra rope for dealing with you?" There's a certain snark in his tone as he walks towards the runner corral, his smile reaching his eyes.

Kimmila grins at Solan, the grin a touch crooked. "Maybe they wanted you to bring it in case /I/ needed it to deal with /you/," she replies, waiting for Lester to open the gate. Clearly he knows that she can ride already, and once the gate is opened he hands out the mounts, choosing a bay gelding for himself. Kimmila gets an appaloosa mare, Angelique a chestnut gelding and Solan a grey mare. "On we go then," Lester says, leading them out and breaking into a trot when they're clear of the main hold buildings. Kimmila rides well, easy in the saddle with the reins relaxed.

Angelique mounts up with enough ease to confirm that she does indeed know how to ride. Comfortable enough in the saddle she nudges her gelding into a trot to keep pace just behind Lester.

"I suppose that's possible," the young woodcrafter remarks dryly, "but if that were the case, you'd think they'd have sent stronger rope." He full on grins at Kamilla as he deftly mounts his mare, turning it around with the reins and guiding it out of the corral. "You ride well," he smiles to Angelique, moving his mare to a comfortable distance beside her. "Where did you learn?" he asks, sensing she might be hold-bred but unsure.

"Been riding since I could walk I think." Angelique replies, shifting part of her attention to Solan upon his mare. Her reins are held easy in her grip. "Grew up in Southern Boll Hold. Used to go out riding whenever I got the chance."

Kimmila laughs, flashing Solan a crooked grin in reply. "I think I could take you," she drawls. While the two of them talk she moves ahead to chat with Lester, so he doesn't get lonely or anything.

Solan smiles softly, "I had a sense you weren't Weyr-bred. You seem too 'at home' for it," he nods to the runner. "Hold-bred here, too. Lots of riding over the years. I'd race you but these aren't our runners," he winks, good-natured challenge infusing his tone. With a gentle nudge, Solan compels his mount forward at a quicker pace, catching up to Lester and Kamilla. "With the raft in place, we'll just have to convince the cattle to get on board. Let's hope they don't decide to jump off mid-ride, hmm?"

Angelique laughs. "And here I thought I fit in perfectly fine at the Weyr to make it hard to tell." which she does fairly well indeed but then she's older. Were she younger and coming to the weyr for the first time? Who knows right? Nudging the beast to match speeds she catches up and simply keeps pace, letting Solan and Lester discuss the finer details of cattle-driving to the raft.

Kimmila tilts her head back a bit. "I'm weyr-bred and perfectly comfortable on a runner," she calls back with a grin. Lester just grimaces. "I hope this works," he says, looking a bit grumpy until Kimmila murmurs something to him that has him chuckling. On they ride down to the river, where Varmiroth has set the raft down very gently, and then made himself scarce. Don't want to spook the cattle into the river with a dragon's presence after all. Dismounting, Kimm ties her runner to a tree branch and inspects the lay of the land. "So, Solan, you were thinking we'd go to the other side to haul the raft across? Use more of that rope of yours?"

"I've got myself in trouble, haven't I?" Solan smirks at both Angelique and Kimmila before turning his thoughts to the question at hand. "Well, that was my thought, yes. We'll tie the harness handle with one end, cross the river, and then pull it across to the other side. At that point, I stand ready to help however I can," he nods to Lester, clearly the expert when it comes to herding cattle.

Angelique simply casts an impish smile towards Solan which neither confirms nor denies if he's gotten himself into any trouble. As the discussion turns to planning she's content to let them handle the details. She'll just be here to tug or pull or poke any ropes or anything else that may need to be done!

Kimmila nods, and in a moment Varmiroth is there. Across the wide (about 50 feet) river, the young cattle skitter back in fear, despite the blue hunkering down as much as he can. Lester eyes the situation with a thoughtful frown, but then he just shrugs. "Right then. Here," he says, handing the rope tied to the raft to Solan. "You hold that while Varmiroth flies you all across. I'll keep this rope here," he says, tying another one to the other end of the raft, "so I can pull you back over. Maybe Varmiroth can help me pull, too, against the current." "Sure," Kimm says, as she mounts up and offers to help the other two up as well.

Solan smiles back at Angelique, enjoying the back and forth, before nodding to Lester. "Good idea," he nods, taking the offered rope and gently climbing atop the dragon. He begins buckling himself in even though it's only a very short ride. Falling into the ford might be cooling given the heat but he had no desire to drown today. "Ready," he says to Kimmila.

Always buckle up for safety. Kimmila buckles in too, though after Solan so maybe she wasn't planning on it at first. "Buckle up," she tells Angelique, and once she is, the blue makes the short hop/glide across the river. The cattle scatter into the brush and back to the end of the canyon, and the blue is quick to let his passengers dismount before flying back to allow Lester to tie the rope to his straps. "Let's get the raft over here then," she says, reaching out to take part of the rope Solan holds, so she can help.

"Absolutely," Solan replies, moving towards the bank and offering Angelique some of the rope as well. Together and with a modest amount of pulling, the raft eventually bumps against their side of the shoreline. "That was the easy part," the woodcrafter smirks. "Now I wonderhow do you herd them onboard?"

Angelique is told to buckle up so she does! Once buckled she holds on while the blue does the short hop/glide across. Once there she undoes the buckle and it's down she slides. Along side Solan she takes the rope and pulls and tugs. "Maybe a loud noise to herd them away from it?" she really had no idea. Hold bred she may be but riding horses is really the extent of her knowledge of animals.

Kimmila helps them tie the raft securely to the bank, and turns to look at the box canyon they're in. "Well, I think we go to the back and just move them forward," she says with a little shrug. "We'll wing it and hopefully they'll figure it out." Yeah, this might be a disaster. Kimmila, Solan and Angelique are in Creepwater Hold, south of the weyr, on one of the bluerider's cothold sweeps. Currently they're helping Lester, on the other bank with Varmiroth, get some cattle onto a raft and over the river that trapped them in a box canyon. Fun times?

"Ah ha," Solan hrms. "Wing it, it is," he smirks, moving up to join Kimmila and Angelique. Peering around the bank, he spots several large clumps of grass growing here and there amongst the sand. Bending down, he pulls a few handfuls out and says, "Perhaps we can tempt them with a little food?" They are, after all, simple cattle. And cattle like to graze on greens, right?

Running a hand through her hair to pull it back momentarily from her face, Angelique gives a thoughtful stare towards the cattle. "Food seems like a good idea."

Kimmila follows Solan's movements with her eyes, and at his suggestion she grins. "Sure, why not? Wouldn't hurt, I'm sure…" she says, moving to pull up a few clumps of her own and tossing them onto the raft. "Just enough to entice them and maybe keep them a little occupied?" she asks, glancing at the others. Bluerider or not, she's clueless in this area of life. "Should've brought D'ani," she mutters.

"We work with what we've got," Solan chuckles, not exactly in his element either. Spending a few more moments collecting clumps of grass, he saves some for leading the cattle directly while spreading the rest on the raft itself. Satisfied that he's ready to begin this crazy adventure in beast-herding, he steps forward to join Angelique, offering the woman a wide smile. "This is going to be easier than managing the weyr staff, I'll wager," he chuckles, glancing over to Kimmila. "Ready?"

Angelique hmms softly and seems game to work with what they got. One boot clad foot scuffs it's way through the grass before her before she looks up to match Solan's wide smile. "Perhaps." is all she says. "Ready." she too grabs two fistfuls of grass and tosses them with Kimmi's clumps on the raft.

Kimmila laughs. "Managing weyr staff is like herding felines." Getting some grass of her own to hold, she nods at the canyon. "You two want to go along that wall and I'll go along this wall? Just…gently ease them forward, we don't want them to panic and make a run for it, end up in the river…" That'd be bad.

"Herding cats? Why would anyone ever need to do that?" Solan laughs, nodding to Kimmila and doing as suggested. He moves along the wall in as non-threating a manner as he can, hoping his movements don't spook any of the beasts. It isn't long before he's at the rear of the grouping, facing the beasts ahead of him and wondering how to get them moving forward without scaring them. 'Maybe Lester should have come to this side,' Solan thinks to himself. The rancher would certainly know better than they do.

Angelique can't resist an eye roll at the idea of someone trying to herd felines. "I think I'd rather herd newborn dragon weyrlings." a pause. "From a safe distance." ya know to avoid the mauling thing from hungry creatures with claws. As a plan is decided upon she moves along with Solan and echoes his own cautious movements in the way she steps to keep from spooking the animals any more than she has to. Lucky for her she wears no braclets or anything that will jangle. With the beasts now before her she pauses in thought, no doubt her own thoughts echoing Solan's as she casts an eye towards wherever Lester may be. With uncertainty in her steps she simple shrugs and steps closer to the cattle and says. "Shoo..Shoo. Go on now!" this'll work…right?

Kimmila grins at the woodcrafter. "Exactly," she drawls, amused. Moving swiftly along her side of the narrow canyon, she then meets the others at the back. Giving them a 'here goes nothing' look, she mimics Angelique's movements. "Go on now," she mutters, pressing forward. The beasts eye them warily, and then turn, starting to plod placidly towards the river. "Hey, this is easy." Famous last words?

Easy for the others, perhaps. Not so much for Solan. "C'mon then," the woodcrafter attempts to usher the beast in front of him. "Let's go," he says calmly, stepping up to the animal and attempting to 'crowd' it just enough to get it moving. No joy, however. "I realize you're content here but you really have to /move/," Solan grunts, attempting to push the beast from behind with his back. Unfortunately, the only response he gets is a huffing noise rather than any kind of movement. Coming around the animal again, he sighs as it looks at him with placidly unintelligent eyes.

"Huh. Kinda easy." murmurs Angelique as a pair of the beasts before her start doing their slow walk. Sparing a glance though sideways at Solan she can't help but chuckle a bit at the huffing response. "Promise them sweet treats?" suggests the young women.

Kimmila turns her head to watch the beast Solan is having trouble with. "Do you have a firelizard?" she offers. "Maybe that would get it moving…" Then she laughs at Angelique. "Or a salt lick."

"Me? A firelizard?" Solan chuckles despite his lack of forward progress with the beast. "I've not yet had the pleasure, I'm afraid. Too focused on studying," he grunts, again trying the pushing approach, "and hard to work to fancy Impressing one. Though I'm not against it now," he clarifies, giving up on this particular tactic as the beast keeps looking at him stupidly. At Angelique's reminder of sweet treats, Solan "ohs!" and withdraws some of the grass from his pocket. How like him to have the idea and then forget it in the moment. "Good thinking," he smirks at the woman before wafting the grass in front of the beast's nose. It takes a step forward and continues to do so as Solan keeps walking, waving the grass around as incentive to move. Another adjacent beast starts moving too, spurred on by its neighbor no doubt. "Maybe this isn't so bad after all?"

Speaking of Firelizards the thought of her own blue brings him overhead with a cold *pop*. No doubt he was off sunning himself somewhere. Angelique peeks upwards towards him. "C'mon Skyler." she cajoles a bit. "You can help." A small cheer of encouragement is given as Solan gets another beast and then another one moving. She continues her own slow pace and 'shoo ing' actions for the animals before herself.

Kimmila laughs, as she too had forgotten the grass. The beasts plod up towards the river, but when they spot the raft they balk, drawing back and eying it with suspicion. One of them moves a bit further forward, but then shuffles back to be with his fellows, leaving the little herd milling about on the bank, on the verge of bolting back the way they came.

Get one and maybe the rest will come? Solan offers, spotting the herds hesitancy in boarding the raft. Stepping onto it, he continues holding the grass just out of his beasts reach as he backs across. One hoof is placed on wooden decking as the animal debates stepping up but it soon moves no farther; the slight rocking of the craft acting as a deterrent. Cmon now, Solan coos, again wafting the tasty treats in front of the beasts nose. Its pink and white mottled tongue licks out in anticipation but the beast itself doesnt move any further. Ideas? the young woodcrafter asks.

The blue blur indicates that Skyler is zipping quickly overhead and goes straight over the heads of the cattle from behind. Will that spur them a bit further onto the raft? Angelique isn't sure so she stands steady, ready to try to stop them if they head backwards.

Kimmila moves forward with the rest, urging the beasts on. When Skyler zips ahead the beasts balk, moving back a few steps before milling around on the shore again. "That didn't seem to work," Kimmila murmurs. "I think the food is our best chance. Where's the littlest one? That maybe would be the most trusting?" Selecting it from the herd, she squeezes through to push it forward, closer to the food Solan is offering. "Go on, you beast."

"That's a good thought," Solan nods, giving up trying to lure the larger beast onboard. Instead he crouches, reaching forward to offer the grass to the youngest of the herd. Spurred by hunger more than anything else, the animal steps up onto the raft and follows Solan as he moves towards the middle. With a restrained woop of triumph, the woodcarver allows the little one to take the grass from him and munch on it contentedly. "One down," he smiled at Angelique and Kimmila. As for Skyler, he smirks at the little blue streak and appreciates him trying to help.

Angelique lets Solan take more of the lead. She'll hang back here and act all discouraging to any of them that try to retreat in her direction. Skyler offers a chirp as he backings to a landing on Angelique's shoulder. A small tidbit gets taken from the belt pouch to give to him.

Kimmila glances to Angelique with a grin. "Why don't you try and nudge that one up?" she asks, pointing to one that's still hesitant, but showing interest in the food on the raft at least, stretching her muzzle as far as she can reach towards the good stuff.

Solan picks up more of the grass from the raft and disembarks, heading for another (and perhaps less stubborn) beast. "Easy," he says, the animal's eyes widening at his approach. Outstretching his hand, he attempts to gain its following with the promise of food. "It's too bad firelizards can't /talk/ to these creatures. It'd be much simpler if we could just tell them we're trying to help," Solan says, stepping back and hoping his target will follow.

Angelique gives a thumbs up and a nod, moving to see if she can encourage the hesitant but slightly interested one. Grabbing a handful of the sweet grass she moves slowly before the animal with encouraging sounds. "C'mon…c'mere." she backs up slowly, one foot back on the raft…..

Kimmila nods, "Yeah, life would be so much easier if all animals were telepathic…" On that she fully agrees. While they're coaxing the beasts onto the raft, she presses against the back of the herd, urging them gently forward and preventing any from turning away. "They're probably thirsty too, if they're this skittish of the river water…"

Thirsty? Solan follows that thought trail and nods, "Makes sense. I'm sure the storm put them off rushing water for awhile. Maybe we can use that" Having gotten his beast to make a good start, he is hesitant to stop now. Kimmila, for her part, seems like she might have a little more freedom at the moment, though. "I've a few water skins in my pack," he says, motioning towards the large, heavy backpack nestled on the ground near the raft. "We could fill them in the river and try getting them to drink. Would you mind, Kimmila?" he asks, gesturing to the pack.

It seems that the grass was just enough incentive for the one Angelique is working with. Stepping backwards smartly the creature finally enters the raft. That makes how many? Two three? Ang looks around to see how many milling beasts are left.

Kimmila looks thoughtfully at the pack of amazing awesomeness. "Maybe," she says, "though I don't think they'd drink out of skins…and we don't have anything big enough to hold water for them. Keep doing what you're doing, they're all starting to get more interested." Two down, five to go? Kimmila nudges another one forward, though it looks like they're almost all ready to go.

Scratch that idea. "Can do," Solan nods, finally getting his animal to the threshold of the raft. Stepping backwards, he's on the craft and leading the beast fully onto it. It begins munching the given grass as Solan again steps off, looking around the area for more of the apparently tasty greens. They'd only pulled so much to start with four of the beasts still left to coax, they were going to need more of the stuff. "Good work you two," he smiled at his cohorts before moving off. "Just going to grab a bit more lunch for them," he reports.

Angelique bobs her head a bit. Seems that the best tactic is one at time so she goes for another female beastie with a handful of grass and more encouraging sounds. She's getting the hang of this it seems! Maybe. A glance is spared towards Lester so see what /he/ is doing so that perhaps she can copy him.

Kimmila chuckles. "Is this what you guys had in mind? This is the glamorous life of a rider," she teases. Lester is on the other bank, holding the rope attached to the raft steady, while Varmiroth is behind him, rope tied securely to his straps. "On we go," Kimmila murmurs, and as if they are of one mind, the beasts suddenly all move onto the raft. Hope no one gets bumped off.

"Well then," Solan chuckles, coming back with the hem of his shirt lifted and a bunch of the greens bowled in the fold, "I suppose we won't be needing these. Maybe they just needed the female touch and I was getting in the way," he smirks, happy to see the entire herd onboard but cognizant that he wasn't exactly a huge help when it came to the actual herding itself. "Honestly, this is /better/ than fixing a few fences. Thank you for bringing us along," he smiles, coming back to the raft.

Angelique gives a bit of a laugh at that. "Can't say I imagined a rider's day spent doing this!" she admits with a chuckle. Watching Lester the moment that she does gives no sudden inspirations but it does distract her enough that the beastie she was coaxing starts to snort impatiently. Oops! Starled she looks forward as the beasts as one move. "Whew…" she breaths a sigh of relieve. "Still better than paperwork." agrees the assistant head women.

Kimmila laughs as she steps up onto the raft, eying the herd and then the water. "Glad you're enjoying yourselves. Try and get somewhere in the middle, so if something goes off the edge it's a beast and not one of you." That'd be bad news, if someone drowned today. "Few people do," she says, chuckling, to Angelique. Her eyes unfocus briefly, and once she sees Solan and Angelique are ready, Varmiroth begins to slowly back up. At the first lurch of the raft the beasts bellow in protest, but none is bold enough to go over the edge. Yet. They do shift though, nervously, and Kimmila eyes the expanse of water with trepedation. "Try and hold on to something," she mutters.

It isn't the smoothest ride, of course, but it could be a lot worse. Moving into the middle as directed, Solan lowers to pick up the harness they'd made for Varmiroth to carry the raft. Offering it to Angelique and Kimmila, he goes quiet, hoping that his skills were indeed up to the task today. Despite the raft's already proven stability, he still worries that it will survive with so much weight onboard. "Maybe we should have stayed on the far side," he says, worry coloring his tone; worry that signifies his status as an apprentice and, for the first time, shows a lack of confidence in his own skills.

One can't say the idea of drowning today sounds good so Angelique is indeed somewhere in the middle of the raft. Mooooving she eyes the beasts around her as they move across the water from one side to the other. "It's fine." she murmurs reassurance to Solan.

"Who would have gotten the beasts onto the raft?" Kimmila mutters, taking a hold on the rope Solan offers. Then, as they hit the main current, the raft gives a jerk and a jolt, boards and ropes creaking in protest. The beasts sway and shift, threatening to stampeede…but to where? There's nowhere to go, so they just /move/, shoving and pushing in their approaching panic.

"You've a gift for logic," Solan smiles back at Kimmila. That smile swiftly fades as the raft suddenly groans in protest, the beasts moving around quite a lot for being confined to such a limited space. His grip on the rope is broken as Solan's pushed violently from the side, scrambling to find stable footing only to slip on remnants of the grass they'd piled onboard for the herd. With a distressing splash the woodcrafter is in the water, swept up in the current and wishing he'd spent more time learning to swim over studying how to build things out of wood. Wearing his rather heavy pack, he struggles hard to remain afloat as the water pulls him away from the raft and down.

Angelique has been fairly steady where she was at but sadly as Solan starts to scramble she's not able to actually get to him in time. Thwarted by two large bulls she can only watch helplessly a moment as time seems to stand still as the woodcraft splashes into the water and goes under. "Solan!" she hollers, finally getting to the edge where she kneels down quickly with an arm out for him to grab on to. It's a precarious position indeed….

Kimmila swears. And swears again as she kicks off her boots and reaches out to haul Angelique back to the middle of the raft. "/Stay/," she says firmly, her tone no-nonsense and almost harsh. Then the bluerider dives into the fast rushing water after the woodcrafter, trying to locate him in the murky, swirling river.

He'd wanted so much to impress the blue-rider and assistant headwoman. To show them that, even as a newcomer, he could be useful to the Weyr. To prove also to his father and former teachers at the Woodcraft Hall that he, Solan of Tanglewood Downs, could strike out on his own and do something beneficial for the greater community. But now, drowning under his own hubris and over-prepared, overstuffed pack, the young man felt incredibly foolish and stupid. The current was pulling him along, under the raft now and down, what little air remained in his lungs burning like back-drafted dragonfire. Solan lamented his idiocy even as the fish around him laughed in his face.

Angelique stifles a yelp as suddenly Kimmila is /there/ and tugging her back. Falling back from the edge she's not exactly in the middle of the raft either so she stands unsteadily on her feet and cast a worried look towards the water. Bitting a nail nervously she shifts from foot to foot as she watches the events unfold.

It was supposed to be a nice little trip to the cotholds. But…well. It's Kimmila. It's never that easy. So it's not that much of a surprise when Varmiroth reaches to Velokraeth, straining over the distance, his voice urgent. « Mine needs yours. Now. » Hi, how are you? Panic time? In the river, Kimmila squints through the muck and spots a shadow, flowing with the current to grab for it. And her hand curls around Solan's pack strap. With a yank, she tries to signal to him that he needs to let it go as the water rushes them downstream, swirling dangerously. On the shore, Varmiroth roars and scrambles backwards, trying to pull the raft to the bank so he can be freed of it and fly to try and assist his rider.

He'd been trying. Solan had earnestly been attempting to free himself from the pack but the further down he went, the harder it became to move or even think. Somehow, though, feeling the tug on the straps renewed hope that he wasn't going to perish and in that moment, lucidity kicked back in. His right arm had been tangled in the strap but now it was free; free and pulling the bulky bag of tools off his shoulder and letting it drift to the bottom. Packed tightly, it literally sank like a small boulder. For the woodcrafter's part, he began kicking his legs again, attempting to swim towards the surface until his arms brushed against someone. Was it Kimmila? Angelique? Lester? Solan didn't know but if help is given, the young man is gladly accepting of it.

It's becoming a rocky trip on the raft now as the blue is pulling the raft towards the bank with what will certainly be not so smooth tugs and yanks. In fact it's quite surprising that none of the cattle fall in. The closer they get the louder they make noises. It seems it's not a fun ride for them after all! Speaking of fun, Angelique, who never did quite make it to the center of this floating vessel, isn't fairing so well with all these animals shifting and moving. Her footing is lost once and she goes down to her rump. EEek…a hoove is headed her way so she rolls quickly sideways and….

Splash she rolls right into the water with hardly a peep of sound.

Varmiroth's call will reach it's target and moments later Velokraeth emerges from *Between* and immediately banks sharply in order to survey the scene below. The pale, stunted and malformed hurried as fast as his rider could prepare and his mind reaches out for Varmiroth's down below. « What is going on! Of all places and time to swim, must this be it? » he drawls in a mixture of heightened concern and sharp sarcasm. « Now how can we help? » In the straps, Th'ero is already scowling, brows knit in equal alarm and calculating thought. The Weyrleader has begun to shift, moving and getting into position as he loosens the safety straps (but does not unclip them) and begins to reach for the packs located below his legs. All the while, Velokraeth begins to circle around, preparing to dive in once he knows where he must go. The raft or down stream?

Varmiroth rumbles in relief when the bronze arrives, as he hauls the raft onto the bank. The herdbeasts bolt for the trees, and Lester has to dive clear as well. Lifting a talon, Varmiroth slices through the rope holding the raft to his straps and springs into the air. « They fell in, » he says. « One fell, mine went after, and the other just fell in. » Soaring, he zooms over the wide, fast moving river, trying to keep pace with his rider, sensing her location with his mind. « I don't know how you can help, » he says, honest and a bit anguished as he feels the pressure of his rider's lungs. Down below the tumbling waters, Kimmila grabs on to Solan's arm with a vice grip, and between the two of them kicking, they soon break the surface and gasp for air. Tumbling and spinning, Kimmila tries to get her bearings of where the bank might be and how they could get to it. She does not yet know that Angelique is also in the river.

Air! Blessed air! Taking in huge, aching, gasp-ridden breaths, Solan focuses on doing what he can to get them both to shore. Only the shore is so far away and the fast-moving current keeps carrying them farther downstream. Grateful for Kimmila's help, he attempts to sync his motions in concert with hers. Kicking his legs as powerfully as he can, he strokes with his free right hand, the left held in the woman's strong grip. Working together, they're moving in the right direction at least. Even so, the woodcrafter is growing tired and sputtering out swallowed water as he keeps trying to breathe in. Non-Impressed and blind to dragon telepathy, he has no idea what's taking place overhead of even that Th'ero and his dragon have joined them. He's also completely unaware of Angelique's plight, though he certainly couldn't help even if he knew about it.

Growing in Southern Boll certainly must have it's advantages. While falling was a bit of a surprise to Angelique she recovers her wits quick enough to emerge spluttering from the waters. Blindly she reaches for the raft that's no longer right there, her over reaching causing her to go under briefly. Kicking quickly to the surface she has chance to curse as a belt knife is ripped by the current from her belt and it zooms quickly in the water, no doubt lost for good. "Shards and shells!" An able enough swimmer the current though is a bit faster than the beaches at Boll so she's floating along in the current downstream and not so close to either bank. Luckily for her she didn't have her satchel slung over her shoulder as she went in.

Velokraeth rumbles low in his throat as he dips his wing and curves sharply, angling back over the fast moving river. « Well I am certainly not just going to soar merrily along and watch! » He remarks dryly to Varmiroth, before sending an encouraging and reassuring wave of warmth and spice towards the blue. « We've an idea! Have you spotted them? » This is all asked as Velokraeth tries to catch up to the blue, which is difficult for one his size even if he's dwarfed for a bronze. « Fly ahead down river! Ahead of them as much as possible. Warn yours and then land in the waters. The river will not be too deep for us. I will go ahead of you, since mine can help them. But IF they slip by me, then you will be there to catch! » Is it their best option? Perhaps. Is it going to be the most comfortable? Nope. It is the only one the Weyrleader can figure, minus literally scooping them out but that would be even trickier and far more dangerous. And those who are not privy to dragon telepathy won't need it once Velokraeth's shadow swoops by overhead as the pale bronze does his best to pour as much speed and strength into his wingstrokes once he's spotted their targets. If no protest comes to the plan, he will backwing to slow his progress, twist and drop to the water with a grunt as the current immediately pushes against him. Th'ero meanwhile has unbuckled himself save for one safety strap, allowing him to scale down the straps until he is all but hovering over the frothing waters, tensed and ready.

Kimmila clings to Solan, her grip likely bruising his arm. Shaking her head, she's briefly yanked beneath the water and then sent upwards again on a tumbling current. "Dragon!" is all she can shout between sputters and breath. And, well. Thankfully this is a plan that needs no true explanation, because…/dragon/. Velokraeth is there, with Varmiroth pushing on past him and landing in a narrower spot, though the small blue struggles to not get swept away himself. They have scant seconds to prepare before they hit Velokraeth's side, but the water seeks to send them around his bulk as fast as possible, seeking the quickest way around. Sloshing up onto the banks, the water finds outlets along the rocky shoreline. With a kick and a shove, Kimmila pushes Solan towards Th'ero with all her strength, trying to get /him/ to the Weyrleader's hands before she's being swept alongside the pale bronze's shoulder and beneath his neck, towards the rocks the water is now flowing over, jagged and…not good.

Dragon indeed! The bronze's presence isn't noted, though, until Solan is pushed against him by the current. Looking about, his eyes quickly follow graceful curves until they find Velokraeth's wedge-shaped head and whirling eyes. Reaching out of instinct, he tries to catch himself on the dragon's hide as the current continues to push them around his stunted (yet still great and appreciated) bulk. Suddenly he's pushed from behind not once but twice, Solan finding himself gliding through the water right towards the waiting Th'ero. With outstretched arms, he reaches both towards the broze's rider as well as the blue's. He means to be a human link in the chain if his reach is great enough.

It's hard to tell how far or close Angelique may be from the bronze in the water. Certainly she's gotten dunked quite a few times as she tries to fight the current to get to the shore. Unable to she's banged a bit across the rocks along the way. Someone's going to have some nice bruises. Quickly though as the water rescue is happening at the bronze she grabs desperately at a large tangle of vines and holds on to it, slowly making her way to the shore several yards before the bronze. Desperately she tries to keep holding on, her grip slipping slowly.

Hey! It actually (sort of) worked! Velokraeth braces and digs in, so to speak, as the current continues to press against him. As first Solan and then Kimmila bump into him, he gives a low warble of encouragement. Which also sounds oddly like a welcoming greeting. « There they are! The current is too strong though! Varmiroth, be ready. I cannot keep them from sliding around if mine cannot grab them or if they do not hold on! » Fair warning! Th'ero lunges down and forwards as much as he dares from the straps when they come crashing into the makeshift bronze-dragon barrier. Trained instinct as both a former Guard and Search and Rescue rider has him immediately grabbing firm of Solan's arm, though his distraught eyes follow after Kimmila as the bluerider begins to slip beyond. "Kimm! Swim, damn it! Hold on!" He tries to shout over the din of the rushing waters as he struggles to pull Solan up and out of danger enough that the young man can grab hold of the straps and allow the Weyrleader to free a hand to toss one of the loosened safety straps to the bluerider. Poor Angelique isn't noticed, with Th'ero's focus on the two now struggling against Velokraeth. It is the pale bronze who spies her, whuffling sharply. « There's a third in the water! » he exclaims to Varmiroth.

Kimmila /is/ swimming, thankyouverymuch. Thanks for the advice, Th'ero, as she pushes to just try and stay above water. Onto the rocks she goes, and Angelique isn't the only one that's going to have some bruises and cuts, as Varmiroth's creel is indication of his rider's injury. But the stones are a mixed blessing as Kimmila is pushed up against one and is, briefly, able to stay still long enough to scramble for - and grab - that safety strap. Holding it tightly in her right hand, she loops it around her wrist and forearm, struggling to stay in place. Though the current has other ideas and is soon sweeping her further downstream, yanking the strap tight. Ow. Varmiroth creels again, but at his rider's urging he struggles into the air again. He wasn't able to hold in place against the current anyway, so he has to abandon his position. In the sky once more, he flicks his wings and arrows over Velokraeth, landing on the bank with his muzzle extending out to push against Angelique. Here, grab on to my face. Forelegs sinking into the soft bank as the water tears at the earth beneath them, the little blue lashes his tail around a tree to help hold on.

And grab hold of those straps he does! Clinging to the bronze like a spider on a web, Solan is holding on for all he's worth now that Th'ero has let him go. Coming more to his senses now as rich oxygen comes easier, he looks towards Kimmila and curses himself for falling into the water in the first place. True, a raft-stampede had caused the accident but even so, he felt terrible; a feeling that was lessened only slightly as Th'ero's weyrmate found purchase with the safety strap and arrested her motion downstream. 'She'll be ok,' he thought, looking back for the first time for the raft. He expected to see both it and Angelique on the shore but such was not the case. Panic rose in his chest until he saw the blue land, reaching out his head to the woman to hold onto. At least no one would die todaybut what a great impression to make on one's Weyrleader. 'Hello, I'm your new woodcrafter. Save me from drowning? Thank you so much,' Solan mocked himself in his head.

Oh these cattle better so be worth this! Angelique is certainly going to feel this in the morning. Barely able to keep above water now as the pounding of the current wears on her, she is vaguely aware of the rescue happening downstream at Velokraeth. Her blue fire lizard, gone up to this point suddenly returns with a creel of worry as he appears above the waters. Only the sight of the larger blue cousin keeps him from diving into the waters to pull Angelique out all by himself! Cause he totally could you know. As suddenly there's a woosh of air going over her and a blue muzzle right /there/, Angelique transfers her strangle grip on the vines and grabs at the blue face, her feet kicking weakly to keep her above water. Up jeeves! Up!

Oh these cattle better so be worth this! Angelique is certainly going to feel this in the morning. Barely able to keep above water now as the pounding of the current wears on her, she is vaguely aware of the rescue happening downstream at Velokraeth. Her blue fire lizard, gone up to this point suddenly returns with a creel of worry as he appears above the waters. Only the sight of the larger blue cousin keeps him from diving into the waters to pull Angelique out all by himself! Cause he totally could you know. As suddenly there's a woosh of air going over her and a blue muzzle right /there/, Angelique transfers her strangle grip on the vines and grabs at the blue face, her feet kicking weakly to keep her above water. Up jeeves! Up!

Oh the cattle better so be worth this! Angelique is certainly going to feel this in the morning. Barely able to keep above water now as the pounding of the current wears on her, she is vaguely aware of the rescue happening downstream at Velokraeth. Her blue fire lizard, gone up to this point suddenly returns with a creel of worry as he appears above the waters. Only the sight of the larger blue cousin keeps him from diving into the waters to pull Angelique out all by himself! Cause he totally could you know. As suddenly there's a woosh of air going over her and a blue muzzle right /there/, Angelique transfers her strangle grip on the vines and grabs at the blue face, her feet kicking weakly to keep her above water. Up jeeves! Up!

It may not have been advice but just hasty and poorly spoken encouragement! Th'ero can only watch as Kimmila is pulled towards those rocks, wincing as Varmiroth's creels confirm his worries but there is little that the Weyrleader can do now and he knows he has no time to waste. He has Solan to worry about and as the man takes hold of the straps, he looks instantly relieved. The woodcrafter has nothing to fear of Th'ero's impression of him — that will come later and hopefully under better circumstances. Right now he's too focused on simply getting everyone out safely and alive. "Think you can climb?" Th'ero shouts to asks him over the sound of the rushing water. "Here!" Using one of the other safety straps, he'll fasten it around Solan as additional security. "Climb up or wait here!" He'll be back, apparently! With Kimmila being yanked around to Velokraeth's other side, the pale bronze grunts and instinctively draws back from the strap bitting into his hide as it is pulled tight against him. Ow is right! Then he holds his position, rumbling with a note of urgency to his voice. Hurry up! Th'ero scrambles along the straps, trying to find the end of the one Kimmila is clinging to in an effort to haul her in, ignoring the protest his muscles make against it.

Varmiroth shifts his face to give more room for Angelique to sprawl across, before he's pulling himself backward to deposit her gently on the bank. Then the blue springs aloft once more, to hover over his lifemate and be worried, fretting like he does. Kimmila, dangling at the end of that strap, is having lots of water pushed against her face, and no matter how she tries, she's inhaling and swallowing quite a bit. Hauled in, she's struggling to get a good breath by the time she's close enough for Th'ero to grab. Bruises and cuts, and her arm is red where the strap has (thankfully!) held against her skin.

Solan nods quickly at Th'ero's directive, grateful for the extra safety strap and pulling himself upward until he can rest on the dragon's back. Hands reaching down on either side, the young woodcrafter practically hugs the bronze and says, "Thank you so much. Thank you," repeats, his tone full of genuine appreciation, thanks, and exhaustion. Eyes flicking to Th'ero's attempted rescue of Kimmila, he sighs with relief as the woman is pulled in. Across the shore, he can see that Angelique, too, has been saved from the horrible waters of horribleness. As for his tools, well…there goes /several/ weeks of pay. But at least he's alive, which is much more important than any tool ever could be. And even more importantly, his two companions on this little adventure are just as alright, too. "I'm so glad you're alright," he says down to Kimmila. He feels the same about Angelique though she is too far to speak to at the moment.

Coughing and spluttering once the ride across Varmiroth's face is complete and she's been transferred to the ground, Angelique simply sprawls and lays there. Eventually she's get her breath back enough to sit up and take assessment of everyone else. It'll be fun in the morning when she wakens and discovers she's one long bruise from head to toe most likely.

Th'ero tries to the best of his strength and ability to pull Kimmila in as fast as possible, but the water is constantly working against him (and her!). At last she is close enough and he leans down as far as he dares, risking to topple in himself as he stretches out to reach her. Later will he see to her injuries (which he tries so hard not to look at now and fret over) and that of the others, too caught up in just wanting to get them out of the river. The Weyrleader will want answers then too, once all have recuperated enough to withstand his interrogating questions. Gripping Kimmila's arm firmly, he will pull her from the water with a grunt and half groaned oath as he struggles to settle her against him. "Hold on, Wingmate! I've got you." he tells her, trying to loop her one arm over his neck and shoulders while he works on getting her fastened to another safety strap. She'll be able to focus on getting her breath back that way. Then comes the task of climbing up, which Th'ero will attempt but with Kimmila pulled and guided alongside him, though he will do most of the work. Velokraeth rumbles deep for Solan's repeated thanks, which has the Weyrleader looking up at the woodcrafter. "He sends his regards and says you're most welcome." Somehow that doesn't seem to be the whole message, but the bronzerider does not elaborate further. Once he has Kimmila secured and checks to be sure Solan won't go tumbling off, Th'ero grips tight and informs Velokraeth. Struggling, the bronze will eventually reach the bank and after a few attempts to find purchase in the soft soil he will get the leverage he needs to haul his boxy mass out of the raging rivers with a heavy sigh of relief before lumbering (very carefully) closer to Varmiroth and where Angelique has sprawled herself out to recover.

Varmiroth croons softly over Angelique, concerned for her health and well being. In the river, Kimmila is hauled out and loops her arm around the Weyrleader's neck, coughing and sputtering. Settled and buckled into the straps she dips over the side of the bronze to retch up silty water, and Varmiroth's low croon is definitely apologetic. « I am sorry…she is sorry… » but she can't help it, really, trying to clear her throat and lungs. Once the bronze is on the shore, Varmiroth moves to his side to nuzzle and nudge his bedraggled rider.

Nodding to Th'ero - grateful for the dragon translation and so much more - Solan ensures he's tightly secured to the bronze and settles in for the trip back to shore. Once reached, he waits for Kimmila to be set down before undoing his own buckles and moving to join her. "Weyrleader Th'ero," his tone is formal, nervous even, "I appreciate the rescue and take full responsibility for what happened here. If I'd been holding on tighter to the raft's harness, I wouldn't have fallen in, Kimmila wouldn't have gone in after me, and Angelique…" he pauses there, still unsure of how the woman even ended up in the water. "Well, I'm sure she would have stayed on board if we'd been there." Looking over to the two women, he feels incredible relief but also heavy guilt.

There's a weak smile and a 'Thank you Varmiroth' given towards the blue on the heels of his croon towards her. Quite alive, soaked and now…cursing as she realizes she's lost not one but two knives as the one in her boot got loose as wwell. "Well shardles." she grumbles. The rest of the group is looked over quickly as she seems content to simply sit there dripping into the grass below her forever. A weak smile is cast towards Velokraeth as he lumbers over and she lifts a hand in greeting to the bronze. Oh hai! How're you? So nice of you to join them here today. Belatedly she looks around to see where the cattle are! So far she's not even thought of offering an explanation towards the Weyrleadeer but then she's still glad to be on dry ground! When Solan starts offering explanation she starts to clammer to her feet to look sort of like the assistant head women position she's supposed to be filling. If a bit bedraggled. Still though she doesn't offer up explanation on how /she/ ended up in the waters yet.

« She doesn't need to apologize. Mine understands and knows it will help. » Velokraeth reassures Varmiroth as he settles in the nearest convenient spot, lowering to his belly so that his passengers don't have as far a climb to go to dismount. Th'ero does know, personally, how it feels to be half-drowned (more like completely drowned) in water and he only looks on in concern as Kimmila tries to clear her lungs and throat. The Weyrleader will make sure that Solan dismounts safely after he's helped Kimmila down from the straps once she is ready and Varmiroth has reassured himself enough that his rider is, indeed, safe. "Accidents happen!" Th'ero quips a touch sharply to Solan, his eyes fixing to linger on the woodcrafter, his expression an unreadable mask. It leaves it quite difficult to tell if he's angry (or infuriated) or upset or anything beyond stoic and scowling. "It is hard to predict what could have happened if you had remained on board. That is not the concern… The concern is that you are all whole and safe." he goes on to say in a firm, but level tone as his eyes shift from poor Solan to the bedraggled Angelique and then back to Kimmila. "All of you should rest! Now." Right there, apparently. Velokraeth is already shifting a bit in preparation to be used as a backrest if needed or the pale bronze is just stretching out his tired limbs.

Kimmila hacks a few more times and then sits up, groaning softly as she surveys the cuts and bruises already blooming on her arms, her tunic torn in multiple places by the sharp stones. "Solan," she says with a rusty chuckle, "relax. It's fine. We're all okay, it was just an accident." Looking around, she meets Th'ero's gaze and sighs. "Thank you, wingmate," she murmurs, reaching down to also rub Velokraeth's hide in silent thanks before Varmiroth demands her attention. "Okay down there, Angelique?" When she's ready, and her limbs are functioning again, she carefully unbuckles and climbs down to settle against Varmiroth's shoulder as the blue finds a spot right next to Velokraeth. "We're fine, wingmate," Kimmila says quietly, watching the Weyrleader closely and frowning at his expression, reaching up a hand towards him.

Hard to read, indeed. Solan isn't sure what emotions he's reading in that face of Th'ero's; anger, perhaps? Relief muddied with irritation, thus canceling out to stoicism? He doesn't know and that's perhaps more concerning than if the man had simply raged at him. But as Kimmila encourages him to calm down, her tone humorous — despite having nearly downed — he attempts to do as he's told. Taking a few deep breaths, he moves farther ashore and looks around, his eyes shifting quickly in search of the herd. "Where's Lester?" he asks, concern infusing his voice. Hopefully the man wasn't trampled…

Lifting a hand up tiredly is Angelique towards Kimmilia. All fine here. Mostly. She's worn out and drenched though so the suggestion ( order) to rest sounds good to her. She listens to Th'ero, trying to read (failing) his expression she trudges over towards the pair of dragons, reaching to pat the blue hide with affection. "Got any special treats I can spoil you with?" she asks laughingly. "Don't suppose anyone's got a towel eh?" is said hopefully.

The Weyrleader can be quite disconcerting when it comes to openly showing most emotions and worse still in times like these. But a good sign is that he spoke at all. A raging Th'ero is usually quite silent and many have come to know that his colder, flat toned voice usually means Very Bad. One that he almost uses on Kimmila, though it's edged with concern as he reaches down to carefully grasp for her arm. The signs of her injuries, along with the torn tunic has him scowling all the more. "No, you're not." he mutters back with a grimace, stepping back. "Are either of you injured as well?" Th'ero asks, his attention focusing back on poor Solan and Angelique with a rather keen intensity as he tries to spy out anything amiss on either of them. "And who is this Lester?" Now the questioning begins! Turning back to Velokraeth, the Weyrleader begins to rummage through the packs and at one point he pauses to toss a few large (clean) rags at Angelique, though he keeps a few "It's all I have at the moment to spare." he tells her, as if to briskly warn her to be sparing with them. Give him a few minutes, he'll cease to be so prickly and growly once the adrenaline is out of his system and his mind is no longer in overdrive.

Kimmila just sighs and slouches, but tries to offer Solan and Angelique reassuring looks. "Lester? Who knows." The man certainly isn't around. Either he was trampled by the cattle or he bolted in fear of almost killing three Fortians. Squinting a bit, Kimmila studies first Solan and then Angelique. "How did /you/ fall in?" she asks the assistant headwoman with a little frown of confusion, before she's looking up at Th'ero. "Well I'm not dead," she replies, a bit sharply when he steps back. "Lester is the cotholder we were assisting. From now on D'ani handles all animal related cotholder requests," she says dryly. "Th'ero, calm down, we're fine." Might /not/ be a good idea to push him right now, but…she does anyway.

"A little bruised, I think," Solan replies, rubbing his left wrist tenderly, "but they're bruises I'll gladly take given the alternative." As the request for a towel is heard, his eyes drift back to the river. He'd almost said, 'I have one in my pack' but quickly realized those items were probably lost to them now. Unless he could rig something together to drag the bottom, perhaps using parts from the raft? With a smirk, he realizes he would need the very tools that had been lost to do that. Sighing, he moves farther ashore, not one to leave the matter of someone's life unanswered. He's looking around for a slumped body, hoping fervently that Lester didn't fall victim to his own herd.

Angelique shakes her head to send her hair flying with drops of water escaping the wet locks. The rags are taken with a look of gratitude in which she does use them sparingly to at least get her arms and legs and face dry before tossing them over towards Solan next. "Hey, s'all good Solan. Just a bit of adventure eh?" she offers a fleeting smile his way. At Kimmila's question she turns to face the blue rider. "I think it was the movement of the raft as it was being tugged quickly to shore. The cattle bumped me around a bit. I ended up tripping and had to roll quickly to avoid a hoof to the head. Evidently I rolled right off the edge!" it's a chagrined look she casts as she explains how she ended up in the water herself.

Th'ero's rummaging yields him a water skin and some small vials of medicinal supplies, most likely containing numbweed and something antiseptic in nature, along with a small reel of gauze. Once a Guard and part of Search and Rescue, it seems old habits die hard and he keeps these things packed regardless. Then again, given the Weyrleader's track record for finding trouble, he's probably learned by now that it is just good sense to have it on hand. "Doesn't D'ani usually? Or one of the other Beastcrafter-trained Wingriders in Simurgh?" Th'ero points out to Kimmila with a smirk as he he begins to arrange the supplies nearby to her side. He'll look up sharply as the bluerider does push at him, his lips pressing into a thin line. "I am calm." he says flatly, which is totally a lie and he knows she knows it. "Bruises. Well, there is numbweed here if— Where are you going?" Th'ero asks, beginning to straighten up from his crouch when Solan begins to move off down the shoreline. He almost pursues him, but Angelique's comment has him focusing on her instead. "You're very fortunate that you were not seriously injured before falling in by those hooves." he remarks, gaze lingering as if it be certain she isn't hiding some injury from him before he turns to focus on Kimmila. "Hold out your arm." he asks of her, holding his hands up at the ready.

Kimmila watches Solan's progress and then looks at Angelique, before she looks back at the Woodcrafter. "You lost your awesome pack, didn't you," she says with a frown, glancing towards the water. "That almost drowned you." Then back to Angelique again, focusing on them instead of the injuries that are starting to hurt a bit more now that she's no longer facing death by drowning. "I think it was stupid we were all on the raft. I should have had Varmiroth fly us across and then pull the raft over. We could have rigged some sort of rope gate behind the cattle, somehow…I'm sorry, guys." Looking back at Th'ero, her eyes gleam for a moment, amused at his reaction. And then she does as requested, holding out her arm. "I was just dropping off some feed. Lester asked for help with the cattle and since I had a Woodcrafter who could build a raft…seemed fairly straightforward." Varmiroth rumbles softly, tilting his head to speak privately to Velokraeth, « She wishes he'd relax. She is bruised but she is fine. » There's a brief pause. « She says it's not like when he was underwater. » Though the blue doesn't really remember that reference.

The woodcrafter doesn't go far; just enough to peer around a bit. He doesn't see Lester at all, which is probably a very favorable sign. If he was to be trampled, it probably would have happened when the beasts stampeded off the raft. Drifting back towards the group, he catches the rags and smiles at Angelique with appreciation. They're already wet but still useful; he wipes down his hair and his arms, then focuses on squeezing extra water out of his shirt. It's soaked through and through, as is the rest of him. "Sorry," he says to Th'ero, realizing the Weyrleader probably didn't take kindly to his wandering away while trying to assess potential injuries. Moving closer to Angelique, he nods and says, "Adventure? That's how this all started, isn't it?" With a slight chuckle, he slides to the ground, leaning back to finally rest and dry in the heat. As Kimmila apologizes to them (!!!!), Solan tries to offer her an encouraging look. "None of us were beast herders. How could we know? I'm just glad we're all safe and unhooved," he smirks at Angelique. "Weyrleader, can I help somehow?" He gestures to the items Th'ero has been setting aside, offering to assist if possible.

There doesn't appear to be any bones sticking out at odd angles or blood dripping from Angelique anywhere so surely all she sports is bruises and the loss of two knives. Sadness. "I can move quickly when need too." is remarked lightly with an amused tone towards the Weyrleader. Luckily she keeps in shape as she can often be seen running laps across the bowl back home in the mornings. To Kimmilia she shrugs and simply says. "When one looks back on what should have been done it's nearly always different from what happened. Sheer bad luck dumped me into the water myself." she moves over to stand along side the blue rider as Kimmi's wounds are tended too, assuming Solan will follow as well.

"Nothing is ever quite straightforwards with a river like this, let alone transporting herdbeasts across." Th'ero remarks dryly to Kimmila, his scowl still very much in place as he takes her arm in his hands and inspects her wounds with far greater attention that his brief inspection earlier. Using some of the water from the skin he carried down, he dampens one of the rags he kept and begins to meticulously clean any of the cuts or abrasions. As Solan returns, the Weyrleader only nods his head to the woodcrafter's apology and keeps most of his focus on tending to Kimmila's (minor) injuries. "No sign of Lester, then?" he asks, only to look up briefly to peer sidelong to the other man as if considering his offer. "You're welcome to the supplies to tend any injuries you or Angelique may have. I'd rather we've covered that no one is seriously hurt and reasonably patched up before we even consider returning to the Weyr." Th'ero blinks for a moment for Angelique's remarks on sheer bad luck and simply snorts, shaking his head. "You're all fortunate that it did not end worse." he mutters. Velokraeth rumbles back to Varmiroth, sounding both amused and yet frustrated. « You don't think I'm not trying to get him to ease up? Of course it is not like that. » The bronze has a vague recollection, but with direct access to Th'ero's memories he can piece together enough. « He is just concerned. For yours and for everyone else involved. »

Kimmila smirks a bit, shaking her head at Solan and Angelique. But then she's turning her attention back to Th'ero, gritting her teeth when he begins to tend to her scrapes and bruises. Tilting her head slightly, she reaches up to rest her hand over his for a moment, murmuring something quietly to him before she leans back and nods. "Very fortunate," she agrees. Varmiroth rumbles softly back to the bronze. « I am so glad you came. I could not have done what you did, I'm far too small. »

In regards to the lost pack, Solan nods to Kimmila. "It's gone." There's a hardness that creeps into his face that neither of the woman will have seen before. Not that they've spent a great deal of time together but the woodcrafter has, to this point, seemed so warm and open. Now, it's as if something has closed down. "But better to spend several weeks working off lost tools than to forever sleep at the bottom of a river, right?" As Th'ero instructs him to help with any injuries he or Angelique has, he looks up at the woman and says, "Numbweed? Antiseptic?" To Th'ero, he says, "I don't see Lester at all. I do see some footprints, though. I think he may have run off with the herd to try and rein them in."

Angelique doesn't seem too worried about Lester and the cattle for she's certain they simply kept on going to ensure the cattle themselves didn't go into the water. "Numbweed please!" she says towards Solan. That'll help make the bruises better. "I imagine too we should be dry before heading home?" she ventures a guess to the pair of riders. "Or if not dry then the long way home?" No between for them!

Th'ero pauses for a moment when Kimmila rests her hand over his, his eyes lifting to meet hers and whatever is quietly murmured has him exhaling heavily. The Weyrleader no longer looks as tense, but he is far from relaxed or in a cheerier mood. Letting the bluerider's arm go, he will briskly murmur something low and quiet in return before straightening out of his crouch to turn towards Solan and Angelique once more. "Grim words, but it's the truth." he drawls to the woodcrafter for the man's assessment over the loss of his tools. "What is it that was lost?" The Weyrleader asks and for a moment his tone seems to take on a genuine sympathetic edge to it. Maybe he DOES care! "Could be that that is where the man has run off to. Or he's gone to get help." Belatedly, but regardless Th'ero does not seem to spare much more thought for Lester's fate or that of the herdbeasts. Angelique brings up a very good point then and the Weyrleader exhales heavily, eyeing both dragons and then the state of everyone else. "Our options are limited. We're about a candlemark out or more. Varmiroth may be able to do it, but Velokraeth cannot without stopping." That earns a sharp snort from the pale bronze, followed by what sounds like a scandalized rumble. Have some faith!

Kimmila studies Solan's face for a moment and then frowns. "Was something special in there?" she asks, almost gently. "Shards, if that's all you're worried about the weyr will replace your tools." Quiet for a moment, she shifts a little when her arms are tended to, and then slowly pushes to her feet, chuckling softly and reaching out to offer Velokraeth a gentle pat. "Why don't we spend the night in Boll? We're not that far from there," she suggests. "My treat. Then we can fly home in the morning. Varmiroth is too tired to fly that far." He is? The blue wuffles, tilting his head a bit. Oh. Yeah. He is. Yaaaaaawn. Kimmila just rolls her eyes. Don't over play it, silly dragon.

Nodding to Angelique, Solan opens a canister of numbweed and allows her to take some first. Once she does, he scoops some out as well and slathers it over his bruised wrist. 'Ah, that's better,' a smile parts his lips at the thought. The pain recedes and he's soon looking to Kimmila, "My father's knife. But he'd rather me lose that than my life." The carving he'd started of Varmiroth goes unmentioned, however. "Boll?" he asks, sort of smiling again. "More adventure?" With a chuckle a few degrees warmer than only minutes ago, he says, "If you wish, that sounds nice. Otherwise, we'll be dry in a few hours, I'm sure." Looking to Th'ero, he says, "Thank you for the numbweed." The canister is replaced and Solan is back to relaxing as the final ministrations are given to Kimmila.

Angelique's hand brushes against her belt where her knife should be. "I lost two knives but I suspect those will be easier to replace than your tools." she says towards Solan absently. Once the container of numb weed is opened she takes some to lather on her bruises. Ahhh. Relieve. Tilting her head a bit she looks between Th'ero to Kimmi then to the overdramatic blue. "Sounds like a good plan." she agrees with it.

"We can replace your tools, Solan, if you let us know exactly what it is you need. Unfortunately," Th'ero's expression DOES soften a bit here, understanding perhaps what it may be like to lose something of such importance. Subtly, his own hand lifts as if to reach for where his sword usually hands at his hip before idly going about tugging at his jacket. No one saw that, right? "We cannot replace the value of that one knife. Angelique, the same applies to you as well. You may request to have your lost knives replaced. At least we'll have some very pleased and busy Smithcrafters over the next few days…" he drawls in what is an apparent attempt at some dry humor. Turning to Kimmila then, he gives the bluerider a long look, one brow quirked up as if questioning… "Southern Boll sounds like a good alternative. I can have Velokraeth alert the watchdragon there of our arrival." Th'ero agrees and at Varmiroth's yawn, he flashes a suspicious look between blue and rider. Uh huh. Velokraeth only rumbles low and amused, whuffling when Kimmila reaches out of pat him gently. "Are we wanting to leave now or are you all wishing to recuperate a little more before this… adventure," Not a term he'd use, but he's rolling with it! "Continues?"

Kimmila frowns, her own hand reaching down to touch her blade, which thankfully was secure in its sheath before she dove in. Her boots though, are gone. Or still on the raft. "I'm sorry, Solan. That's…I understand how hard that must be. Perhaps he'll give you another one?" He's not dead, is he? She hopes he isn't, otherwise she's made a major error. "Boll," she says with a nod, thumping Varmiroth's muzzle gently. "Let me find my boots. I'd like to be there as soon as possible, so we can really relax." And she shoots Th'ero a glance at that, almost stern. He is /going/ to relax.

"I appreciate the tools," Solan smiles. "I can provide a list. As for the knife," he takes a breath and squares his shoulders, "it's just a knife. The memories are still in here," he pats his heart. "But I thank you, too, for the concern there." Warmth has bled back into his facial features and voice, even if his feet are still cold from the water. His own boots are still laced on but they make a squishing noise as he moves his feet in them. Reaching down to unlace them, he removes each one in turn and pours an inch or two of water out. "Yes, Boll sounds like a great idea," he beams at Th'ero, Kimmila, and Angelique.

Angelique is game for relaxing. She waves a hand absently at Th'ero's offer for her to request. "I've some marks saved up and I was thinking of getting a couple new ones regardless." so really it's just an incentive to really get this done faster. She misses her knives already! "Great then. Boll it is! I can visit with my parents before we return." yay for impromptu family visits!

Th'ero dips his head towards Solan in acknowledgement, though a grimace tugs at the corners of his lips when the woodcrafter pats his heart and makes mention of 'memories'. There's a sharp look given to Kimmila and the Weyrleader clears his throat slightly. "It's the least we can do." he murmurs and then eyes the bluerider as she shoots him that near-to stern look. His answer? Is to narrow his eyes right back and dig in stubbornly. He'll see and perhaps consider it. To Angelique, he blinks as it takes him a moment to absorb what she has said and then smirks, but his eyes flash with a hint of amusement. "Fair enough, if that is your choice." Crouching down, the Weyrleader begins to gather up all the medicinal supplies, rags and the water skin and as he stands to begin stowing them in the packs on Velokraeth's straps he turns his head enough to address the group once more. "Southern Boll it is then! Kimmila, did you wish to have someone sent here to check on Lester?" he asks, only to then look between Solan and Angelique. "Either of you ridden on a dragon before?"

Kimmila grimaces as well at Solan's words, fidgeting and eying the river. "Boll it is then," she says, before she's chuckling and eying the Weyrleader. "How do you think we got here, wingmate?" she teases gently. "Angelique, like to ride with me?" she offers, nodding to Varmiroth.

The young woodcraft smirks as the question of previous riding comes up. Kimmila beats him to the response though and Solan instead just smiles and nods. Looking around one last time, he "Oh!"s and gets up, running over to the raft. While it's beached just fine, there's no sense in taking a chance that it might get swept back into the river and float away. It's built of valuable materials and Solan would prefer Lester not lose them. Picking up one of the ropes, he ties it around a nearby tree before returning to Th'ero and the others. Looking up at the handsome bronze, he finds himself excited at the thought of another flight…even if it will be cold in the wind up there.

Angelique opens her mouth to reply to the querie but decides that Kimmila's answer just about covers. Certainly she's not the most veteran of riding dragons but she did fairly well the first time aboard the blue so she nods quickly at the offer to ride Varmiroth once more. "Sure!"

"There are many ways one can travel!" Th'ero fires right back at Kimmila and though his words sound sharp, there is a slight curve to his mouth that is hinting towards a grin and some subtle humor. "And I do not know the whole story behind this," And he spreads his hands out to indicate the river and the land around it. Solan rushing off again as the Weyrleader's gaze following him in curious alarm, but this time he does not call out to the woodcrafter and only waits until he returns. "Ready?" he asks, extending his hand to Solan as he does, offering his help if needed for this stage. Once the woodcrafter is settled in the saddle above, Th'ero will soon join him and take his seat in front of him. At least now he'll have some wind cover? Before he buckles either of them in, however, some thought seems to cross the Weyrleader's mind and he's abruptly slipping out of his jacket and offering it to Solan. "Here. So you don't catch your death of cold." Aww, look! He has FEELINGS. Of concern. Can one refuse an offer from the Weyrleader? Velokraeth will slowly push to his feet, fanning his wings in preparation for take off, rumbling to Varmiroth once more. « We're ready whenever you are, little brother! »

Kimmila just smirks at Th'ero, but she decides not to argue with him (gasp) and let him keep the last word. This time. Motioning to Angelique, she mounts up first and then pulls the girl up behind her, buckling them both in. « Ready! » Varmiroth says cheerily. « I'm not really tired you know. » Just in case the bronze was worried or something. Shifting, the nimble, small blue springs aloft and sets a steady course for Boll. It's an uneventful and fairly quick flight, and when the dragons land in the courtyard both Angelique and Solan get to see what traveling with the Weyrleader is like. Greeted in the courtyard by the Steward, they're soon escorted to their rooms. Both Angelique and Solan are given private rooms with small windows overlooking the ocean, and promise of whatever supplies they might need. Food, clothing, the baths are this way, can I help with anything else sir, miss, and that sort of thing. Kimmila and Th'ero tend to their lifemates and then they too are shown to a room. And while Solan and Angelique are free to dine together or separately, they won't be joined by the Weyrleader or his mate until the next morning when they all meet for breakfast and the trip home.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.