Winter has brought many storms to the Fort region. The more northern counterparts are buried under snow, while those more to the south have seen rain — and lots of it. While the larger Holds are maintaining well, a lot of the more secluded cotholds are struggling through the harsher winter. Which is no news to Fort Weyr. They've been working since autumn to help those in need as best they can. There has been, however, no word on just WHO is behind this mess in the first place. Word has it that it's a corrupt Trader family but surely that can't be the case? Regardless, there have been so few leads that one has to wonder if it'll ever be solved. Wasn't it a surprise then, when a certain Thunderbird Ringleader got a note. A note that promised many things: namely, answers. With conditions, of course. She's to come alone, preferably on foot and in some Faranth forsaken region outside of Plateau Hold to the north-west. The instructions are obscure, but they will lead to an old outpost, long since abandoned but still intact enough to provide shelter — or a seedy meeting place.

Abigail wasn't to sure what to think when she got that letter, though if answers could be found she couldn't say no and just ignore the letter now could she? Niumdreoth didn't like the idea of not being able to come, not that he isn't really there, just no where near the area at the moment. Abigail is making her way towards the meeting place, once the outpost is in sight she can't help but frown at the sight of the place. Her bow rests upon her shoulder, quiver at her back with arrows easily seen, at her hip rests a hunting knife and she most likly has a few others hidden. Time slowly ticks by while she watches the place, with obscure instructins, and out in the middle of no-where she isn't /that/ eager to just go moving in. With is staying quiet, and for the moment nothing seems /that/ out of norm that she can tell she moves forward heading towards the outpost while a hand rests upon that knife hilt.

Ideally, it would have been wise to inform Th'ero of the note or even D'ani, but the Weyrsecond has his hands full running the Weyr, more or less, in the Weyrleader's continued absence. Rumour there is that he keeps splitting his time between Fort Weyr and Torrance Hold to the west in Half Moon Bay territory, where Kimmila is supposedly holed up and recovering from injuries. However sometimes things just need to get DONE. No fault in Abigail's part for wanting to investigate post-haste… but she may come to regret that decision. Her caution is rewarded with nothing. Nothing stirs, there is no sudden ambush or explosions. Just the natural sounds of the wilds which at this time of year are mostly silenced. An unsettling hush in all this ice and snow. Approaching the outpost yields no sudden surprises either. Dare she open that door?

Abigail may indeed regret her thoughts later on, though any that know her also know she wants to see things done the right way. Her gold firelizard is holding onto the orginal letter that came to her and told her to come to this place, an is merely waiting to drop it upon D'ani's desk it seems at the first sign of any problems here. There is another letter along with that, showing what and where Abbey has went and why she went forth without backup so to speak. She continues up the way towards the outpost, keeping a clear head as she pays attention to the area still. Once at the door she leans near it slightly and listens before af aint breath escapes her and she moves a gloved hand to see if the door will open.

The door will open. If Abigail makes another quick scan of the area she'll notice a distinct lack of prints. Has her mystery informant been here for a few days then and recent snows covered their tracks? Or is she too late and they've moved on? Who knows! Well… she'll know soon enough. The door won't need much coaxing to open and she won't have to go far to realize that this deal has gone quite south. At least for the informant — who is quite dead and has been for some time. It was an older man, dressed in rough looking clothes. A woodsman, perhaps? Or someone who just blended in wherever he went. He has no knot, no badge, nothing to identify him to anyone. Whatever information he had on him died with him… or did it? Does Abigail dare search the body?

Abigail is quiet as that door opens, she peeks in slightly and is quick to look around the place, tough it won't take long for her to catch sight of the man that is well not moving. No tracks outside was indeed noted which means this fella has been here through the storm at least. "Shells…" Escapes her as she takes in a breath and is son pushing forward into the room, that knife is pulled and she holds onto it a bit tightly as she is looking around and soon enough near the rather dead man. She crouches down looking over him, checking for what she can while she can. The thught of searching the body does run through her head and hey she has gloves on. With that knife still in hand she shifts to lightly move the shirt checking for a knot, or anything that may give this fella some ID.

No knot, nothing on him. His death was very much by knife. One so happens to be nearby — as in still stuck in him. Sadly it yields no further clues either as it is just a standard knife. Or is it? Dare Abigail remove it to check it? Could have a Craft mark or something on it that pinpoints where his would-be killer(s) could have originated from.

Abigail catches sight of that knife sticking out from the man, well this just keeps getting better and better. With nothing else but that knife left in the man to give some sort of clue she is getting a bad feeling about this. Her own knife is tucked back into the sheath while she goes about pushing the man slightly, and goes far enough to use a bit of his shirt to pull the knife out a bit so she can get somewhat of a better look at it. She isn't going to just yank it fee mind you. While during this there is a conversation going on between herself and Niumdreoth while he is sweeping in closer to the outpost to take the area in. The brown is also trying to get a hold of Dremkoth and Rauskazeth and pass along the information to others that his rider is finding.

Even if she doesn't yank the knife free, moving and tampering with a body is probably not the best of ideas. It certainly LOOKS bad, especially if you happen upon the situation from the doorway. "What in Faranth's name is going on here!?" A voice exclaims in shock from the very doorway Abigail stepped through. Won't take long to recognize a Guard, only it's not a Fort Weyr Guard. It's one of Plateau Hold's men and judging from the scowl he's giving Abigail, he's already jumping to the (very, very wrong) conclusions.

Abigail knows better, honestly she does but right now she needs clues and there are none, she at least didn't touch the knife fully. She grumbles a bit while standing up brushing her hands off and is caught by full surprize at that voice from the Guard and she looks back to him blinking a moment. Thanks for the heads up Niumdreoth. As for that lok she already knows what he is thinking. "His been dead for sometime now. Jump to whatever concolusion ye wish, but that is plan to see to anyone. I was asked to come here and found this." She has no reason to lie, and while the man may not have a knot on, she clearly has her Fort Wingleader knot upon her shoulder. Not like she planned on running into Plateau Hold's men after all.

The Guard's eyes narrow in further suspicion. Abigail's Wingleader knot doesn't even have the man hesitating as he steps inside. He saw what he saw! "So it may be, but you were tampering with the body. What's the Weyr got to hide? What's this about information?" And why weren't they notified, given she's on Plateau Hold's boundaries? She speaks the truth, but the Guard is only seeing this in black and white.

Niumreoth lands with a heavy thud outside the outpost, a low rumble escaping the large brown once that guard does step inside. Protective dragon is protective. "Tampering only enough to try and see the hilt of the knife, which I didn't remove nor moved the body." Abigail states with a firm tone. "We got nothing to hide, I was told to come alone and at this time, he had information for the Weyr." Though this is a guard she is speaking with and there is a slight moment as she seems to ponder how far to go it seems. "We are working to find out who is behind going after the holds." A slight wave of her hand is seen. "He had information it seemed." Either way she knows that getting out of this mess is not going to be easy. That note? Is droped on D'ani's desk from her gold firelizard, alarm bells are ringing throughout the Wing thanks to Niumdreoth, who is also alerting Velokraeth and Dremkoth if able.

Other Guards are stationed outside and they'll react in surprise when Niumdreoth lands, their voices muffled through their winter face masks. Even the Guard inside, whose devices mark him as a Sergeant, pauses to look over his shoulder. Despite all she says, he still does not quite believe Abigail's story. "Then why wasn't this brought to our attention?" he counters, only to hold up a gloved hand. "No, don't answer that. Save it for those you'll need to answer to. Now if you'll come with me?" Peacefully, right? The Guard Sergeant isn't looking for trouble but if Abigail puts up a fight…

Abigail frowns slightly at this, she knew it wasn't going to end well the moment she saw that body. A slight is sent towards the door as Niumdreoth informs her how many guards are there. She doesn't have a choice in the matter on going it seem. "It seems I have little choice in that matter." Niumdreoth lets a low hiss escape him, eyes swirl with color as he glowers down at the guards in question. The brown is not happy in the least over this turn of events.

Those Guards outside shift uneasily when Niumdreoth hisses at them but they don't do anything to provoke him (or stupidly run in terror). They are watching him warily though, unaware of what was going on inside. The Guard Sergeant just grimaces. "I'm afraid not." he states and gestures for Abigail to step forwards. At least he doesn't tie her hands behind her back? Give him some credit. Opening the door, he'll briskly inform his men of the situation, leaving most of them behind to handle the scene, while personally escorting Abigail himself with another of his men as backup. He will eye Niumdreoth as well, then turn to Abigail. "I'm afraid we can't have you fly back to the Hold. You'll have to walk with us… There should be room for him on the heights where the watch dragon and her rider reside." At least he's not telling Abigail to send Niumdreoth off somewhere in the wilderness or home?

Abigail isn't putting up a fight, that would only make things worse at the moment, she knows how things look for her right now and none of it is good after all. She follows outside, a slight glance is sent towards the guads there and she eyes them all slightly before she looks up to Niumdreoth. The brown shifts and is moving closer, the guards should move if they are in the way, once near his ider his head lowers to bump into Abbey. "It's alright." She says while giving him a good rub aross the nose. "I expected as much." This said to the Sergeant. As for where Niumdreoth goes he will be following his rider until getting to the hold.

Those Guards do move out of the way, almost glad to be ordered to work inside — dead body or no. Niumdreoth has done a better job at unnerving them then the sight of a dead man! Silly hold bred Guards. The Sergeant nods his head, "Come along, then. We best move out now if we hope to return by nightfall." He gestures for Abigail to step forwards and he'll follow closely beside her, while the other Guard falls back. They'll be slow going to start and the paths they take eventually lead into the forests. Niumdreoth will have to fly above when there is little clearance for him to move or follow. Light will begin to fade and it will be dusk by the time they reach Plateau Hold's boundaries. It is a minor hold, but a prosperous one. The Sergeant leads her though the gates and once into the courtyard, he seems to pause. Where to take her now? Bringing her to the cells would be an insult and yet it's protocol. In the end, he decides to lead her to one of the smaller guest rooms above the kitchens. It'll be warm, at least? "If you'll wait here…" He has some reports to make. By now Niumdreoth has probably reached Velokraeth and the pale bronze is (politely) demanding to know every little detail possible while his rider prepares to make a visit.

Abigail will not be talking on the way to the hold, instead going over everything that has happened in her mind during that long walk. Niumdreoth will follow in the sky, keeping a eye on the ones below when able and always connected to his rider of course. Once at the hold she fully expected to be taken to a cell, insult or not it would be protocol anywhere right? The trip up to that guest room gives her time to check the place over, and how they go to that room and the like. "Of course." Abbey says to the guard, well she won't start causing a problem now after all. Though while there she will do anything but relax and is left pacing the room. Niumdreoth is settled out on the ledge he was told to stay, and has been given the information freely to Velokraeth on everything that happened up to this point, the letter that was sent to his rider, and then of course the ody that was found at the outpost, along with the fact of where abouts he and his rider are right now.

She won't have to wait for long. Niumdreoth will know when help has arrived as Velokraeth appears above the Hold, circling to land in the courtyard below before soaring up to join the brown on the heights. He rumbles uneasily, clearly not pleased either with the turn of events. In a few minutes time, there is a knock at the door and then Th'ero is opening it to step inside. "I'd have thought they'd put you in the cells." he drawls by way of greeting. Why stick to formalities? There is nothing routine about this. He closes the door, eyes focused on her. "Velokraeth has filled me in on what Niumdreoth has shared with him but I want to hear it from you. What happened?"

Niumdreoth doesn't persay relax once Velokraeth and Th'ero arrive, the brown is on edge, but he does offre a greeting still. Abigail is quietly wating, arms crossed while she leans back aginst a wall of the room, refusing to sit still it seems as her gaze settles on the door waiting forwhat is to come next. "I figured they would have as well." Is offered once Th'ero is in the room after that knock. A greeting is a greeting, given what is going on right now she is't going to go crazy wth it. "I recieved a letter to meet someone at the outpost that had information dealing with what has been going on with the holds." There is a pause before said letter is pulled out from her jacket, the one with her firelizard was a copy as she figured that was the best bet. It is not like they searched her before sticking her in ths room either. "I was told to come alone, and so I did." They needed answers, right? She was trying to get them. "Once there, nothing seemed that out of place, no tracks near the outpost showing someone had come or gone. When I opened the door the man was long dead, knifed."

Th'ero will reach for that letter and open it, scanning the contents quickly. Hopefully she wasn't planning to have it returned, because he promptly slips it into an inner pocket of his jacket. He listens as Abigail tells her story, then frowns. "That's all? Why did the Guard Sergeant drag you here then? He's… He doesn't think you've anything to do with this man's death, does he?"

Abigail letshim take the letter, and keep it for that matter. "He came in when I was checking the body. I used a bit of the man's shirt tomove the knife a bit to try and check for any craft marks or the like though." There is a slight pause while she takes in a faint breath. "Wrong thing to do of course… I just was hoeping for some damn answer after all this." A slight shake of her head is seem. "I can't say that I blame him for dragging me here, has to look into it after that." She diduse to be a guard, knows the ropes with that.

"Were there any marks on the knife?" Th'ero asks, a touch abruptly but perhaps he's hopeful that she DID end up seeing something and that this wasn't all for naught. He shakes his head, grimacing as he too paces around the small room. "He should know that no Wingleader would murder — let alone most dragon riders. I guess he does not find you to blame or you would be in the cells right now and I'd be having a rather unpleasant meeting with the Lord Holder. As it is, I've no idea why they even so much as implied you're to blame. In any way."

Abigail shakes her head slightly at the question on the knife. "Whomever used it made sure to sand off the marks, if there even was one." She isn't fully sure if there was one on the knife honestly. "I don't know, following protocal is what I'm going with. Seeing how it is a Hold, perhaps they have had other issues that have not been reported." There is a slight pause. "I am sorry Th'ero… I was hoping to find something to help and may have caused more of a problem." What else can she think? Seeing how she is here after all. "I would have not alerted ye yet if this did not happen."

"It's not your fault, Abigail." Th'ero sighs but it's a genuine response. None of this is her fault. She was responding to a lead and just so happened to be too late. "There was no way to identify this man either, I'm guessing? Whoever did this… has thought to cover their tracks well." he mutters, only to frown again in deep thought. "I've not heard of anything ill in Plateau Hold but — perhaps that will be something I will ask when we speak to the Lord Holder. Which may not be until morning at this rate."

Abigail doesn't like the fact that she walked into a 'trap' so to speak so easily. Did someone plan it, or was it just her own dumb luck, those are other things she is thinking on for certain. "I wish there was. No knot, badge, nothing that gave me any clue. His clothing was a mess, been in them for some time. Very rough around the edges." As for the rest she does frown a toch and nods slightly. "If that is the case, ye don't have ta wait here with me."

Th'ero wouldn't be thrilled knowing he'd been led to a trap either. He's about as frustrated as she is over this situation. "Let me guess… The Guards are tending to the body now?" And all the evidence. For some reason, that doesn't sit well with the Weyrleader. "Are you're certain you don't need anything? You're not their prisoner. We can arrange for some food and drink to be brought…" he offers, only to grimace again. "Sorry I do not bring better news. Until we have audience with the Lord Holder, I can't have you leave. It'd look… suspicious." She understands, right?

"Aye… The guards are there now." Abigail offers with a faint sigh escaping her, her hand moving to rub at her eyes a few times. She wonders if they were on a normal patrol, or something else. "No one had been there at the outpost in some time, the guards were all on foot. Makes one wonder a bit." A slight nod is seen. "I'm fine. Perhaps something later." She isn't really in the mood to eat anything, especially with so many 'what if's' right now. "Aye sir, I won't leave." She understands very well that it would make her look more guilty then she already is at the moment.

Th'ero is thinking similar thoughts. "Just how they happened to be at that outpost at the right time? Perhaps I'll speak to the Sergeant as well. You didn't do anything wrong, Abigail… though I wonder what we'll be accused of next." he grumbles and then nods. "If you need anything, you send someone for the Steward. Velokraeth will stay in touch with Niumdreoth. I'm going to go see if I cannot find that Guard Sergeant before returning to Fort Weyr. We'll speak again come morning." Though he hates to leave her here. Something doesn't smell right in all of this but he keeps from seeding any further doubts. She's got enough on her mind for now!

Abigail nods slightly, though as best she tries to not look worried, she is very worried at the moment. Something is wrong with all of this. "I shall. Thank ye Th'ero. I appricate ye coming when ye did." He believes her and that is what counts to her at the moment. "I will see ye in the morning then. Safe flight home." Home, some place she very much like to be right now. At least Niumdreoth made sure a message would be taken to the nannies dealing with the twins.

"Of course." Th'ero wouldn't just leave her here to rot! What kind of Weyrleader would he be? "Thank you. If anything changes… let us know immediately." Nodding his head again, he will walk back towards the door. "Clear skies, Abigail. We'll figure this out." With that he steps through the door and takes his leave. Hopefully she can get some sleep or it's going to be one long, long night.

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