Fort's Hunting Goes South

Fort Weyr - Drake's Lake Area - High Plains

The high plains here rise to the Southern Barrier Range from the shores of Drake's Lake, which can be seen shimmering in the distance to the north. Wild and rough, somewhat arid, the rocks, scrub brush and waist-high grasses whispering dryly in the prevailing winds do little to obscure the untamed beauty of the shining snow-clad mountains rising to the south. Numerous beasts, those native to Pern an well as those brought by the colonists, flourish here. Bovine, both wild and feral graze the plentiful grasses along with feral runners, shaggy-haired porcine root the hard ground with deadly tusks, turning over the soil for new growth, which is inturn picked over by flocks of wherries. Overhead solitary raptors ride the wind while in hidden ravines, rocky streams, winding around boulders provide water and shelter for other creatures.


With the Fort Weyr herds being watched for spreading illness - an illness with so many uncertainties, including whether it can cross species, Fort's feeding pens are currently closed, leaving dragons to hunt in the southern continent in the plains near Fort Weyr's holding, Drake's Lake. As meat-heavy dragons shouldn't Between immediately after, hunting parties remain overnight either in the Drake's Lake settlement or out on the plains in a makeshift camp that's been set up for that purpose. Dragonriders must, therefore rotate so as not to short any wing overmuch and as such, there'll be a few dozen coming and going daily, mingling in the camp or settlement for overlap. It's a controlled chaos! The wild herds have, by now become alerted to the new dangers and many are in hiding down in those little draws, harder to find. The hunters have choices to make now: either hunt singly or work together to flush the wary quarry out.

As a Senior Journeyman beasthealer with a specialty in healing them, D'ani's been helping with herd inspections, the quarantining of the beasts and the testing. Dremkoth, however, must eat and today it is his turn. The Weyrsecond and bronze arrive in the pale blue skies, circle the skies over Drake's Lake, bugling to Zuvaleyuth and the watchdragon, then stretches his wings in ground-eating sweeps to head for those plains. It's a matter of several minutes before he touches down on the outskirts and his rider then dismounts to see who's here to hunt.

Another bronze and his rider appear from Between with the same need and purpose: hunting! Zhirazoth bugles loudly to announce his arrival before gliding off in the direction of the plains. The young bronze is taking it slow, as if expecting company to follow him and when they arrive, he happily leads onwards until he reaches those very outskirts. Zhirazoth lands swiftly, rumbling amicably to Dremkoth as he folds his wings and puffs himself up, already full of himself in regards to the 'task' to be put to them. He'll do his BEST, as always! Mr'az dismounts as well, already stowing away his helmet and goggles for now and unbuttoning the first few clasps of his jacket. Southern weather is not at all like Fort's right now! "'lo, Weyrsecond!" Mr'az greets, along with a salute and a small smile. "See anyone else about or we the first for this rotation?"

Kayeth is not far behind Zhirazoth, the Senior queen gleaming in the sunlight, her hide flush with health even though she is /hungry/. Following Zhirazoth, she lands neatly with a happy warble to Dremkoth. Nyalle dismounts carefully, adjusting her skirts as she unfastens her jacket and then sets to removing Kayeth's straps so the queen is unencumbered for her hunting. "Weyrsecond," she greets D'ani fondly. "This was a fine idea."

A large brown makes his way from between, Niumdreoth soars downwards with a bulge escaping him as he goes towards the dragons that are to be found and of course the watchdragon as well. He moves to settle down upon a free spot that give him plenty of room. Abigail pulls her gloves off and tucks them into her jacket along with her goggles as she takes in the area rather curious like. She soon catches sight of D'ani and smiles a moment before nodding towards him, her gaze drifts towards the few others that are to be found. "Afternoon." Is offered once she has jumped down to the ground. Niumdreoth letting out greeting bugles to the few dragons near him now.

A few breaths after Niumdreoth comes Tovihasuth, who bugles a deep tenor greeting of his own as he circles around where the other dragons have landed once before landing. He has to have a good look at the new place, after all! Br'enn is quick to dismount and remove goggles and gloves, clouting his bronze affectionately on the leg before striding over to join the others. "Afternoon, fearless leaders," he says, good mood evident as he gives a salute to encompass them all before glancing around at the arid terrain and giving a nod. "Little like Telgar," he notes. Telgar with different air.

Dremkoth is - barely - containing his exuberance at this venture. Hunting's fun, eating's oh-so-satisfying, but a wild hunt. Now THIS is adventure! He stands still for his rider to undo those heavy traces but his head, raised high, turns this way and that, nostrils flared to scent the currents off the plains. He follows Zhirazoth's landing, his cheerful chirrup of a reply shares at the other bronze's eagerness. Kayeth is spotted - but only by Dremkoth, who passes the word along to his rider with something akin to a gleeful swoon for the fiery-hued gold. The weyrsecond, about to simply wave casually back to M'raz, hearing this, instead salutes properly, first the bronzerider, then the Senior while the corners of his mouth curl with some secret amusement. "So far just us," he answers Mraz, only to chuckle at Nyalle, "Couldn't have dragons dining off potentially sick beasts, could we Weyrwoman?" Then he quite improperly winks. Dremkoth greets Niumdreoth and Tovihasuth as D'ani hauls the last of the heavy straps from his back, coiling them while turning to the newcomers. "Afternoon, Abbey, Br'enn" he says casually to both and tilts his head to beckon them over before scanning the area with a new eye. "Telgar, eh?" His eyes are dancing with some of Dremkoth's joy. Can't help it. And probably a little of that is escaping from the confines of office and paperwork.

"Weyrwoman," Mr'az greets Nyalle with a proper salute and a dip of his head as well, though his mouth curves into a faint amused smile as well which may also echo D'ani's reply to the Weyrwoman. Shaking his head, he goes to unfasten Zhirazoth's straps — a task in its own as the bronze keeps moving. "Settle down, will you?" he grumbles but there's affection there as he cuffs his bronze against his foreleg. He's just pulled the straps free and ducked out of the way as Zhirazoth rears up to fan his wings and welcome Tovihasuth and Niumdreoth with exuberant warmth. Kayeth is fondly crooned too and to Dremkoth an impatient rumble. Can they GO now? He wants to go show off. "Afternoon, Wingleader." Mr'az salutes to Abigail, being a Wingrider of Thunderbird, it's no surprise he gives her due respect as well. "Weyrling… Br'enn, right?" Ahh, how time passes! Grinning crookedly, there's a curious look for the reference to Telgar's climate.

Nyalle has relaxed considerably around D'ani, the Weyrsecond always seeming able to put her at ease. She even giggles for his wink, glancing away briefly to her lifemate. "No, we couldn't," she agrees, trying to sound serious but instead…she is pleased. Pleased to be out, pleased to have a plan, even though this is not the ideal. She smiles warmly to Mr'az, smiling fondly as he struggles with Zhirazoth's straps. "He's eager," she murmurs. "Wingleader. Weyrling." Kayeth unfurls her wings again and fans them, stretching her body out once Nyalle is done removing her heavy straps. There is /freedom/ in her thoughts, a hungry breeze licking at the grasses of her beach-front mind. « Today, we feast. »

Abigail smiles to the others, a salute sent to Nyalle along with a nod to Mr'az. "Glad ta see ye made it Mr'az." As for what is to come she has an idea knowing very well how it is to hunt in the wild. Niumdreoth rumbles out with a clear eagerness caught, hunting is indeed fun, though getting to hunt out in the wild that makes it even better. More fun, more danger at times even.

"That's me, sir," Br'enn answers Mr'az with a nod and a small smile. It has indeed been some time since he's seen the bronzerider who helped Kimmila find him in the woods. ""n' yeah, Telgar. Plains like this. Rock, scrub, hidden places y'don't expect." It's been some time since he wandered Telgar, but he certainly learned it wall. The parallel puts him a bit more at ease. He works to relieve Tovihasuth of his straps as well, untying his crossbow and bolts from them once they're removed and slinging them over his back. Tovihasuth bounds around to join the other dragons - yes, he still bounds, and may never stop - flaring his wings as he rumbles agreement with Kayeth. « I'm ready! Where are we going first? » Ever eager!

D'ani's terrible when it comes to formality - though he can do it when strictly necessary. But this is a hunt not a formal meeting. He's also a terrible tease to poor Nyalle. She's so patient to put up with him! There is, however, no denying that there is a queen here. As such Dremkoth will tend want to follow her, flanking her off to one side and a wingbeat behind. Knowing this, the weyrsecond defers to Nyalle with a courteous gesture. "Would you like to lead this hunt? Zuvaleyuth tells Dremkoth the beasts have been scattered into hiding and we may have to go afoot to help flush them out. There's also big fish in the lake…" He steps closer to the others. "Abbey, Mr'az, good to see you. How've you been?" And to Br'enn a smiled, "I think your bouncing lifemate is ready for action!" Dremkoth sidles away from his rider, pointing his nose towards those distant mountains in the south. He's sneaking further away eyeing the others with a whirling eye. His encouragement is shared with all in a darkness that steals across the landscape of his mind, the sort that cloaks and makes stealth easier and prey more vulnerable, « We feast, but first we play the game of 'find'. While they talk, we should act.» He looks to Kayeth in an 'after you 'mlady' fashion.

Mr'az smirks to Nyalle but his eyes flash with amusement, "When is he not eager?" he drawls back with as fond a smile following. Setting his straps to right and well out of the way, he'll offer a quick smile to Abigail again, "Glad to see you too! Didn't think we'd be sharing the same rotation down here. So'l's overseeing S&R then?" Ahh, but there is more conversation to be had! Listening to Br'enn elaborate on the similarities to Telgar, Mr'az chuckles dryly and reaches out to clasp the bronze weyrling on the shoulder if he doesn't dodge the gesture. "Just be sure not to fall into any of those hidden places, eh?" he teases him in a lowered voice before stepping back. Oh yes, he remembers how he met him well before he became a Candidate! "Good to see you too, D'ani! Been well. Busy Turn already," Mr'az replies with a faint grimace. No need for details there! He'll nod to the shared information from Zuvaleyuth and he barely holds back the sigh as Zhirazoth warbles in eagerness. « A challenge! » he voices to all the dragons around him, the storms beginning to build in his mind as a subtle pressure. « I agree with Dremkoth! I will play this game of 'find'! » He would have launched ahead and almost does, poised to do so until Dremkoth is offering for Kayeth to take lead. Oh. Right. Ahem. He flicks his wings back to his side and proceeds to mimic the other bronze.

Nyalle returns the salutes offered, removing her riding jacket and draping it over her arm. She looks around to the other riders with a smile. "Shall we settle in while the dragons hunt?" she asks, gesturing to a spot where some logs have been arranged into makeshift seating underneath a temporary shelter. "I should not lead it, no, but perhaps Kayeth will," she says, looking adoringly at her fiery queen. The gold swings her head around to regard her rider for a moment and then she turns away, surging aloft with a powerful downstroke of her wings. « To the mountains, » the Senior says, dipping a wing in that direction. « And if they are not willing to die, then we will fish. » What a glorious day indeed! Hunting accompanied by three bronzes and a brown, all strong, solid Fortian dragons. Smug gold is smug!

Br'enn actually lets out a bark of laughter at Mr'az's warning, shaking his head a bit as he moves toward the logs beneath the shelter in the wake of the other riders. Unslinging his crossbow once again, he settles down on a broad stump once the others have and sets the weapon down, leaning it against the wood at his left and silently wondering when he'll actually get to use it, a slightly wistful look on his face. Tovihasuth dips his head in deference to Kayeth, but he springs aloft almost immediately after her in his determination, the breezes of his mind whipping boisterously across the single, stalwart tower with fire-hued eaves dominating his mindscape at the moment. He may even get a bit of a jump on the others in following the fiery queen. Bloody upstart.

TO THE MOUNTAINS! YES!!! Dremkoth is ready!! He was born ready! He launches with a scrabble-leap that sends his talons digging into the earth, and a mighty downsweep of wings that sends sand and small stones scattering, he's airborne. It's really quite a good thing he'd sidled away, isn't it? The bronze's intent to follow the gold unquestioningly and to where exactly, reaches the Weyrsecond's mind and those bronzen wings falter. Dremkoth, still following Kayeth, but slower now, whistles questioningly at the fiery gold. The Weyrsecond, looking uneasy, murmurs, "Ahhh, Weyrwoman Nyalle…" he coughs, rubbing the back of his neck. He did after all, just suggest she and her lifemate lead, "Perhaps with the younger, inexperienced dragons, we should have her keep them to the plains? The mountains are a good distance and the currents tricky." He gestures politely to the circle where camp chairs are, indicating she may relax. "I think I'm going to scout along one of the ravines and see if I can flush something out. We'll need to eat tonight as well." Though what he's going to hunt with is questionable. All he's got is his sword and a hunting knife, both sheathed on his belt.

« They should be happy to die by our claws! » Zhirazoth crows with what could be laughter as Kayeth takes wing and he surges up after her with Dremkoth and Tovihasuth — even if the youngest is a bit of a bloody upstart. That'll only serve to encourage Zhirazoth to even more exuberance and if there's any jostling on his part it's all done in FUN! Brotherly, even. Dremkoth did say PLAY, right? BRING ON the mountains! Only… maybe they're not going? Dremkoth's whistling has Zhirazoth rumbling his own questions but also curious to see how Kayeth responds. Back on the ground, Mr'az shields his eyes with his hand to watch as his lifemate takes off and shakes his head, careful to always keep some of his mind aware to his bronze's antics. Br'enn's laughter has the bronzerider grinning and he'll follow after the weyrling once he's picked up his supplies from his folded straps. Hunting knives mostly but he's S&R trained too and… likely come prepared. One never knows! "Can't remember the last time I've ever just gone somewhere and relaxed quite like this…" Mr'az admits with a smile to Nyalle and Br'enn, but to D'ani he looks curious. "If nothing's found along the ravines, there's always fish? Wonder if there are any other edibles about." Of the plant variety!

Nyalle settles into a chair and flushes slightly at D'ani's words, dipping her head down. In the air, Kayeth's wingbeats slow, considering. And considering. Finally though, she shifts. « The plains, then. » She's not pleased about the change in plans, but she will do it. « Let us fan out wide and see what we can find. » She settles back, less a leader now and more just another dragon searching for prey. On the ground, Nyalle looks up and looks almost relieved that Kayeth obeyed her suggestion of leaving the mountains for another time. "Will you go with D'ani, Br'enn?" she asks. "And you, Mr'az?" She's staying here, thanks.

Jaicoureth is also ready to to get the wind beneath his wings and fly off with the other dragons to go wherever Kayeth leads. «Hunting trip! Hunting trip!» he calls happily to the other dragons in the merry band following after Kayeth. If there are tricky currents all the better. The blue loves to fly and as far as he is concerned this is his chance to show off a bit to the 'bigger' dragons, even if he is very nearly grown now. And then there is a change of plans and the plains are the new destination. Ahh well..another time perhaps. Jaicoureth changes course with the others and keeps on flapping. C'rus remains with the other people in the camp. He is no hunter. The only tool he brought with him was a relatively small knife and thats about all. There will be no hunting for him. An outdoorsman he is not. He does glance from Br'enn to Mr'az, D'ani and Nyalle. Just what should he be doing with himself?

High above the little hunting group, Rhenesath appears from between with as little fanfare as a suddenly-there gold can manage. She circles slowly down, landing a little way off and giving Thys just enough time to drop down to the ground before she springs back up, reaching out to her fellow dragons - wingmates and wingmates-to-be - with a keenness that's crisp as a summer breeze on the craggy mountainside of her mind as she wings her way after them. « The prey will be hot in our bellies, whether it's from the mountains or the plains. » Thys meanders her way across to the human contingent, dropping her bag down from her shoulder when the reaches them. "Weyrwoman, Weyrsecond," she greets Nyalle and D'ani first, then winks and finger-wiggle waves at her fellow weyrlings - and nods politely to Mr'az. "Are you gearing up for something?" Because it looks like something is about to happen!

Br'enn nods to Nyalle, resting his forearm on the butt of his crossbow. "Sure," he answers readily, looking to D'ani for the cue to head out. He gives C'rus a nod and a bit of a wave to Thys, but otherwise waits for orders. Tovihasuth doesn't complain too loudly about not being able to go to the mountains now; Kayeth is here, after all, and he does want to look too disappointed in front of the queen. « I'll go this way, » he says, pointing himself in a southwesterly direction and bugling a greeting to Rhenesath before winging off.

This is why Dani'd sidled closer and murmured to her a moment ago, so he wouldn't distress Nyalle by having others overhear him speaking to her. "Do you like to hike? There are bound to be some trous in one of the tents you could borrow if you'd like to walk with us?" he offers gently. "It's okay if you'd rather just relax too." Seeing Nyalle's flushed cheeks, "Hey now," D'ani murmurs, "Don't…" He sighs, leaving off. There is much he doesn't know about the woman from High Reaches Weyr and he sends a baffled look to Mr'az and then shrugs helplessly. Gravity lingers in his brown as he greets Thys, but he smiles at the weyrling as he turns to the plains, thoughtfully scanning the dips and undulations of thereon. Lifting his gaze to squint at the gliding dragons, who've yet to find anything, he answers Thys with, "I imagine just walking in there will scare things out of their hidey-holes and where the dragons can find them if Abbey doesn't shoot them first. If anyone would like to join me, come along. Those who'd prefer to relax may remain." He begins towards the nearest dip, but not so quickly those who wish can't catch up.

It's probably a very good thing Kayeth chose to veer away from the mountains and that D'ani had Dremkoth bring it up. Zhirazoth would have taken those tricky thermals and winds as a challenge within a challenge and young weyrling dragons or not he'd try to flaunt his abilities regardless of the risks and dangers it'd pose to the inexperienced who may try to mimic his recklessness. « I will fly higher then. » He informs the group, his mind extending to welcome Rhenesath and Jaicoureth now, along with an eager and warm warbling of greeting. Mr'az shakes his head to D'ani's baffled look and vaguely shrugs his shoulders. Not much they can do? "It's alright if the Weyrwoman wishes to stay here. May be best, in case others come and do not have interest in tromping through the wilds. Though you're always welcomed to join us later, if you chose too, Nyalle…" he murmurs, dipping his head to her and then coughing slightly. "Well… I suppose I could go too though I am no skilled huntsmen. Only got my knives and dagger," So he can help with prep work on any kills! The actual hunting will have to be left to others! "Afternoon, Thys and C'rus. You've arrived just in time!" With another quick grin and a chuckle, he begins to follow D'ani but not without a parting smile to Nyalle. "I'll keep an eye out for any edibles too to go with our dinner. Unless someone was smart enough to bring some?" Otherwise it's going to be a rather plain dinner!

Nyalle looks up to D'ani after speaking to Kayeth, a bit surprised at his response, and that just makes her blush more. "What? No, it's fine! I just had to convince her to change her plans…" She smiles warmly at the Weyrsecond. "I think I'll just stay here though, if it's okay with you all." She knows she'd be more hinderance than help, and honestly just being able to sit and chat sounds delightful. "Have a good hike though." She tries to give D'ani another reassuring smile, which is then extended to Mr'az. Thys and C'rus are waved to, and then Nyalle settles in happily for some quiet time, and maybe some chatting, at their home base while Kayeth flies with the rest.

C'rus is sure to be of very little utility on the hunting trip, but it seems that most of the group is going and rather than have to wait at the camp by himself he decides to head off with D'ani and Br'enn. Jaicoureth continues to follow off to the plains with the others to see what he can stir up and catch for himself and eventually for others as well. Feeding others is good and necessary and he couldn't be more pleased. He offers a wave to Nyalle as she decides to stay at camp and moves closer to Br'enn, "So what exactly are we doing?" he asks. Br'enn surely knows.

"Hunting?" That much is obvious to Thys now, even if she doesn't look entirely ready to spring into action to join. She's got no weaponry on her that'll help with such things, though she can help with the question of other food. "I brought some cheeses, crackers, bread… fruit, too, and I can help to gather more on the way?" Because despite not being prepared to take down beasts, she'll forage the heck out of the foliage around them. With her bag slung back over her shoulder, she wanders along to fall in by the male riders, ending up by D'ani and Mr'az. "How much do you two know about what's good of the none-legged variety to eat down here?"

"We're walkin' a few ravines," Br'enn answers C'rus as he occupies himself with setting his bolt quiver properly at the back of his belt. "Seein' if we can flush anything out for the dragons." A glance around shows him exactly where everyone else is for reference's sake, and then his eyes land on C'rus. "Y'ever hunted before?" Judging by what C'rus carries, or doesn't carry, Br'enn is guessing not.

D'ani smiles back to Nyalle in a 'you're sure?' sorta way, flicking Mr'az a look that's somewhat sheepish in the wake of the other bronzer's shrug. Aaaand this'd be why D'ani can't keep a girlfriend, apparently, because he speaks up when he should probably should offer a flower and brace for whatever life dishes out. He falls into step with Thys and Mr'az easily, glancing back to see who else is coming, and noting C'rus and Brenn (surely Abbey is with them too, knowing the brownrider), he slows his steps so they may catch up. He leads them down into the declivity, winding around boulders until he's in the shallow, nearly-dry creekbed. To answer Thys, he says, "There's greens, I think. And wild fruit… freshwater shellfish." He's clearly not a hunter. Nothing's going to stand still to be hacked to death by his sword, which is merely precautionary. Out over the plains Dremkoth skims low, searching, his skies are inky, blood-red stars faintly scattered across it pulse impatience, « I see nothing. »

Nah, Mr'az just learned very quickly not to ask certain questions. D'ani will learn too (maybe?)! "Ah, perfect!" he tells Thys with an approving grin. "Good thinking. We'll see what other plants we can find. You ever been south before?" he asks, which is then extended to Br'enn and C'rus as well. There's a nod of agreement to the edibles the Weyrsecond brings up, "They say the south is fairly bountiful — so long as you're aware of its dangers." That's… not reassuring at all, is it? Speaking of said dangers, Mr'az pauses for a moment and mutters under his breath. "You guys go on ahead! Forgot something back at the camp. I'll catch up!" Without another word, he turns and sprints back the way they came. If he ever does catch up to them, it will be some time later and who knows if he didn't stop to chat a little more with Nyalle before he realized how long he tarried. Out over the plains, Zhirazoth soars high above the group, keeping an eye on the ground but on them as well too. « Is this the challenge then? The play we must do? Our quarry is hiding. Perhaps we fly lower? Or… » He hesitates and his mind ripples with stubbornness before he grumbles. « Mine says we cannot use flame to scare them. Not even a little! » Humph. The young bronze will defer to whatever plans the others come up with and when they DO flush out some prey, he'll be right in there and won't be satisfied until he's made a few kills suitable enough to settle his pride.

While Nyalle stays back in camp, Kayeth flies closer to the ground, rumbling in amusement at Zhirazoth's desire to flame. « A good idea, but alas, we do not wish to burn all of Southern down to ruin. » She dips even lower, her wingbeats leaving the grasses flattened in her wake. Suddenly a wherry springs up, but the heavy gold is too big and too low to turn after it. « Get it! » Someone else!

Abigail has no problem helping with the flushing of prey, it's even better when she has her canines with her, which she's allowed a few other riders to bring them on down to help with such things. The brownrider is catching up with the others, along with her pair of canines that are following at her sides. One of the canines is a large fuzzy silver male, the other is a ebony female with bright golden eyes. Abbey lifts her gaze looking out over the area while she follows along listening to the others a bit to the conversation at hand. "Plenty of things to hunt, but also plenty of things to be wary of." She offers before glancing up at the sky as the dragons drift by. Niumdreoth follows after the others, the large brown letting his gaze drift slowly across the ground. « Flame would be fun, but if used here would cause us more trouble. Mine's canines are trained to flush the beasts out if we wish. They are good at such things. » The canines are able to get through things easier then the dragons and riders after all. As for that wherry? Niumdreoth turns, sharply to the side and turns moving downwards and is lashing out at the beast with a heavy taloned paw. His big but not as big as some of the others, quick movements he can still handle rather effortless at times.

If Kayeth is too big to snag the deft wherry, then Rhenesath has no chance either. She bellows in excitement though, echoing her dam's mental call while she angles herself to try and flush out more where that one might have come from. « Where there's one there's more! » To Niumdreoth, she shares a flickering flame - echoing the fun that fire would be. « Flame and canines would make it faster; mine has caprines that would not be as useful. » Thys, keeping pace with the Weyrsecond, nods when he shares what there is to fill her foraging back with. "Greens and fruit I know how to gather, but shellfish? I don't have a clue! Do you know?" The intention of that question is, of course, to get him to show her if he does. To Mr'az, she shakes her head. "Only very briefly to learn a spot for jumping to. I'll agree on its beauty, though; it's very green, isn't it?"

"Takin' a hike along the ravines," Br'enn answers C'rus, occupying himself with making sure his bolts are settled well in their quiver near his back before looking around to mark where everyone is. "Seein' what we can flush out for the dragons to snag." His gaze lands on C'rus. "Y'ever been huntin' before?" A sudden flurry of activity in the sky draws his attention, crossbow coming to set in his hand - the dragons after a wherry. Tovihasuth is too far away to go after it but bellows happily at Niumdreoth and rumbles agreement with Rhenesath. « I'll go lower! » he offers, skimming some likely spots where more of the six-legged avians might be hiding.

Dremkoth is still following Kayeth, on a level with her and close to the ground as if in formation. He's a wingbeat behind and to her right. He's left barely enough clearance for the downsweep of his wings not to hit the ground and he's loving this now that his rider isn't all restricting him from going where Kayeth does. He'd be picking through the tall grasses with his paws to search for prey if it were possible, but he's going too fast for that. Flame, says Zhirazoth and Dremkoth perks, « YES! I LIKE fire let's- » Kayeth and Niumdreoth speak up and the bronze coughs mentally, « Let's not. » Lalala. You heard nothing from him. He and Zhirazoth together unsupervised are trouble, aren't they? Get it, says Kayeth! He hears and obeys! The wherry has been flushed right into Dremkoth's path, how convenient! SM-ACK! Without missing a beat, his paw swats it flat like a mosquito. It's still edible though! Like…a…a meat cracker or something. He doesn't pause, but keeps flying, shakes it off with a flick of his paw and leaves it behind for one of the smaller dragons. To Thys, D'ani says, "Under the rocks. Here." He steps into the shallows, reaches with both hands, flips a flat rock over and grabs with the other hand simultaneously and comes up with a palm-sized, squirming, many-legged, flat-tailed creature. "I don't know what they're called, but they're good boiled."

Oh no. Noooo, Zhirazoth HEARD that, Dremkoth and his mind flickers with lightening and a surge of cool wind and storm-like strength and power. YES! Wait, no? « We would not let it rend Southern to ruin! » he scoffs to the others. « We're better than that! Together I think we could tame fire and make it obey us. Plus, we'd COOK some of the beasts. Don't ours like their meat cooked? » From his tone, he seems to find such a notion silly but hey, if he can kill two birds (beasts?) with one stone, why not? Too wrapped up in his convincing the others he's slow on hearing Kayeth's call to catch the first wherry to pop up and then Niumdreoth and Dremkoth are on it! Literally. « Surely there is more than just that one! » Zhirazoth is beginning to bristle with impatience now and suddenly veers in another direction unless called back to task. The ground below him zips by as he sweeps his wings in powerful strokes, bringing him further and further away from the main group. Its as he soars low over one dip that his bugles of triumph echo back to the others. « FOUND THEM! » And look, he's bringing them out to PLAY! Zhirazoth drives them out of hiding but is not paying attention as to where he sends the panicked herd scattering as they flee from him. Meanwhile, Mr'az is lingering back in the camp as he gathers a few of the extra supplies he brought along. "Thys said she brought some extra food stuffs, so if we find some other edibles, we'll be eating well tonight…" he murmurs to Nyalle. He's just begun to slip his backpack on when he pauses, glancing from the Weyrwoman to the direction the dragons soared off not so long ago. "Ah… they've found wherry! And… Jays, what's he doing now?" Zhirazoth, he means.
Kayeth is amused by the bronzes' exuberance. And yes, Zhirazoth and Dremkoth should totally be in a buddy-cop movie together. It'd be awesome. « Well done! » Kayeth praises, altering her course to head after Zhirazoth when he flushes the herd from hiding. Back in the camp, Nyalle looks up from where she's seated and smiles. "That sounds lovely, Mr'az. A fine feast we'll all enjoy…"

Niumdreoth seems amused at the thought of caprines trying to hunt. « I do not think caprines would do well with such things. » The brown offers with a soft rumble, his mindscene is that of a forest near the trees, it seems cold but no snow is found just the 'feel' of something chill in the air. One wherry is down and he is off following along after the others to see what else is to be found. The new group of wherry is spotted and he bugles out before he shifts more to the side giving plenty of space between large wings as the dragons go about taking out the wherry and the like. He takes one down with a heavy slam of talons, and another feels the weight of his tail which most certainly breaks the beasts neck from the hit. Abigail looks amused as she sends a look after the dragons and is back to see what D'ani has went about finding and she lifts a brow at the sight of the squirming animals. "I'll take yer word for it." Seems the brownrider isn't too sure on such wiggling things.

"They look so… gruesome," Thys eyes D'ani's catch with a displeased look, echoing Abbey's sentiment. "And they'll be fine to drop into my bag like that, with whatever greens I gather too? It's not going to pinch me, is it?" Not that she's scared of it, but those legs look a like they could do some damage. Then she's struck with a thought as she reaches down into the water, mimicking D'ani's actions in an attempt to scoop up her own spindly little catch; "Did someone bring a pot with them for boiling?" On the dragon side of things, Dremkoth's wherry-flattening interests Rhenesath; she lands heavily beside the squished thing, dropping her muzzle to whuffle over it before stepping aside to allow one of the greens with them to help herself. Then there are more coming, flushed out by Zhirazoth - and the gold on the ground is deterrent enough to stop them from running too far her way. Not that she intends to be there for long. Coiling her wings to her side and bunching up her hindquarters, Rhenesath leaps skywards, snapping out her wings to give chase to the closest fleeing beast. « You found so many! There will be plenty to eat for all! » She swoops down to swat the wherry off it's feet, a clean kill that she leaves be as she seeks out a second.

Tovihasuth has found his own little bunch of wherries and rustles them out of their roosts with a raucous bugle, darting first one way and then another with movements more usually seen from a smaller brown than a bronze of his size. « Got some! » he declares triumphantly, a few wayward plumes leftover from his first mouthful sticking out from his teeth as he sends another wherry to the ground wounded with a talon gouge and chases the rest toward the other dragons. Br'enn, in the meantime, chuckles a bit at his lifemate's exuberance, as he passes to the other side of D'ani and Thys, crossbow trained on one of the wherries Tovihasuth scared out bit inadvertently drove in the other direction. Three, two, one, WHAP goes the string against the bolt, and the wherry above suddenly squawks, bobbles in the air, and drops. Now to go find where it's landed.

Will there be donuts? If so, Dremkoth is in for that movie! « We set ships aflame in the lake over there and watched renegades jump overboard, » he tells Zhirazoth brightly. « That was fun! » He enjoyed it a little too much, apparently. He snorts at cooked food. Belch! But the thunder of of hooves and Zhirazoth's cry distracts him. He's hungry, but it's too tempting to chase and herd fleeing creatures, so he beats a little higher and changes course to intercept a few strays in hopes of turning them back towards where the others are hunting. "Betcha Nyalle will love them!" Or not. D'ani grins impishly to both Abigail and Thys as he says it, simply shaking his head at her question. "Probably shouldn't go with anything you'll want to eat raw." He watches for a moment as she fishes around and, "Nice catch! They do pinch. Be careful." He removes his outer shirt to form a makeshift sling, drops his critter into it and holds it out to her while brown eyes flick to Br'enn, watching as he fells a wherry. "Nice shot!" They have 2 rock-crawlie-things and a wherry. First camping merit badge down! And they won't starve! It's a win-win.

Of course there will be donuts! « Really? Where!? » Zhirazoth too is eager by this memory shared by Dremkoth and maybe just a hint of jealousy. Why'd he get to have all the fun with fire? « Oops! They've split up! Plenty for all! » Sure enough, the bronze's inattentiveness has allowed the herd beasts to split into little pockets, a few stragglers set out between them. Free for all! With each kill, Zhirazoth's encouragement follows. « Nice work, Niumdreoth! And of course I found many, Rhenesath! Help yourself! » Tovihasuth's find of more wherry has the young bronze warbling in delight. « Even more to choose from! Why do we not hunt here more often? This is FAR better than the pens! » Only now there are wild animals scattering all over the place and not all will be caught and killed by the dragons. Even when Zhirazoth quits preening and boasting and takes down a good sized wild bovine, there are more who continue to flee for their lives — and rather blindly at that. Back at the camp, Mr'az chuckles as his attention is drawn back to Nyalle and not so fully on Zhirazoth. "Do we have a suitable fire pit dug and the like? Or should I volunteer someone to the task?" He's about to add more and then frowns, looking distracted as he glances back over the plains. "Looks like they found a lot now. Wherry and wild herds… I should go. Zhirazoth…" Is going to unleash mayhem. Again.

Kayeth turns, chasing down a wild herdbeast to claim on the wing, hauling it with her into the sky in her talons and tearing at it voraciously. She feeds with appetite and energy, her thoughts a blanket of sated pleasure. When her first is finished, the fiery queen lands on another, heavily, crushing it. Wings spread and mantled she dips her blood stained muzzle to feed. Back in the camps Nyalle laughs. "Probably need a few volunteers to make sure we've got a good pit." Then her smile grows and she waves a hand. "Go on, keep him from…" Being himself too much.

Rynn and Mazzolyth have got this whole hunting thing figured out pretty well at this point. It definitely helps that Rynn has turns of experience and refined instinct, but she'll chalk it all up to Mazz being a natural. While the nimble huntress scours the ravine with bow in hand and arrow held to its mark, the studly brown circling above stays connected to her every move with a watchful eye for any fleeing beasts. Rynn isn't far behind Br'enn as he snags a catch "Well done love…" she says with a pat on the back before turning right and heading towards the faint sound of hooves on the move. Mazzolyth takes the cue and turns in unison, swooping down, but much further ahead to spook a good sized herdbeast that's not too far off and send the creature back towards his lifemate. The hunt is large projects the brown, meaning Rynn will have to be ready with a second arrow, and maybe a third, when their paths cross. Hoofbeats near, Rynn scurries up to perch on a large rock. 1… 2… *peeuuuuuu* one arrow hurdles through the air tagging the heardbeast on the back. Another is quickly drawn and *peeuuuuu* right in the neck with this one. The large brown swoops down to gracefully pluck the flailing animal from the ground (it took a lot of unsuccessful smooshed practice tries to get to this point.) "Got it!" Rynn whoops!

Abigail isn't one to pick up creepy crawly things that swim and pinch, nope she and her canines move off to see what they can hunt up it seems. Her bow in hand, arrows over at her shoulder she'll find something that is most certain. Niumdreoth will go about gathering up some of the wherries and taking them back to camp, no point in leaving them here and he has the time to do the moving.

Thys watches Br'enn fell the wherry with a look of awe, eyes wide and lips drawn into an approving smile. "Wow," she says praisingly, while dropping her aquatic catch into D'ani's makeshift sling. "That's quite impressive, Br'enn. Far more impressive than scooping little spindly things out from under rocks…" Which she bends down to do again, though it takes a little more rock-lifting before she's able to locate another. "Weyrsecond! There's a cluster of them here! Can you bring the sling, please?" Despite her reservations over their appearance, Thys is happy enough to pluck them from the water. Rhenesath is enjoying the chase and the catch, having taken down a couple of wherries. She stops there though, not wanting to fell too many; what would they do with an abundance of the beasts? Instead, with some delicate maneuvering, she goes back to find her kills and carefully picks them up in one forepaw, intent on bringing them back. « We have enough to share with ours; shall we take more to share at home? »

Br'enn, being a bit caught up in Tovihasuth's exuberance still, as well as ebbing out of the focus of shooting a skyborne moving target, doesn't notice Rynn coming up behind him right away and starts a little at the pat on the back, grinning down at her as she comes into view. "Thanks," he says to D'ani and Thys with a small bow, turning back in time to hear the approaching hoofbeats and to see Rynn move ahead. He watches with no small amount of admiration as she takes her shots and watches Mazzolyth swoop in. Yes, that one belongs to him, thank you very much! Tovihasuth bugles gladly at his brown brother for a job well done and veers off again, agreeing with what he hears from the other dragons. « I think I saw I few more in the clearing down here, if we want to take those back to ours, » he suggests, winging upward a way so that he can see.

Dremkoth answers Zhirazoth while honing in on one beast as others take theirs, « Over there on that lake. I'll show you later, » Maybe they can dive for the wreckage! His talons wrap around a pair of horns- bicycle style - and his wings sweep down as he lifts it slightly. Wheelie! Then the neck is twisted with a sharp movement, the beast is felled. He settles to feed, heedless of stampeding beast and flying arrows both. NOM! D'ani's attention switches from watching Br'enn to blanching at Rynn as she fires arrows out into those plains with hunting dragons. "Watch out for the dragons!" he warns, only to be recalled by Thys. Splashing to her side, he offers the sling for her to dump her catch in. It's then that the Weyrsecond notices that the faint thunder of hooves is growing louder. And it's moments later that the ravine they're in is chaos with several tumble-running down the sides, scattering to crash through the underbrush and right towards them.

Looking up at the sound of approaching hooves roughly the same time as D'ani does, Thys can see what's happening and her eyes go wide. "Oh dear Faranth," she says in a voice barely above a whisper as she secures her rock-crawlie catch. "I'm going to head that way," she says for the Weyrsecond's benefit, pointing to the shore before legging it in that direction, away - hopefully! - from stampeding creatures. She'll no doubt be found later with a bundle of greens to cook with whatever feast they've managed to catch.

Zhirazoth would have crowed with delight if his mouth wasn't full and everyone knows it's not polite to "talk" with your mouth full! Even so, the young and brash bronze almost trembles with the excitement of visiting such a place. « Later, then! I think our younger kin have the right of it! Plenty to go about now, we may as well bring some back. Won't they be so pleased? » By 'they', he means their riders! One kill clamped firmly in his jaws (that'll be his!), he scoops up two more carcasses before awkwardly hop-skipping and lurching into the skies to soar back towards the camp. « Did we miss any? Hate to leave an injured one about. » No half-job done will sit well with this bronze! Back on the ground, Mr'az nods to Nyalle and he's just started to head towards where the others are out foraging when Zhirazoth's alarmed comments have him breaking into a run. « Wait, no! They're not supposed to go that way! » Uh. Oops?

Nyalle is left to tend to the camp once more, the Senior helping to get the fire pit ready and, assuming no one gets trampled, it'll be ready when food arrives. Kayeth feasts on the plains, enjoying the fresh food.

Rynn is all about the collaboration with Mazzolyth and the rest of the group. The dragon follows order with ease and takes initiative where suiting. Rynn is amazed by the clock work nature of how cohesively they all seem to be working. Mazzolyth will help any others with their catch, holding on loosely to his but definitely not letting go. As some go down to feed and many have caught the brown takes his chance to grub. Rynn is a straight and sharp shooter, though she'll nod at D'ani's warning with understanding of the concern. For the rest of the current venture Mazz and Rynn will team up to bring in as much meat as possible during the impending stampede.

When the sound of hoofbeats starts to move closer rather than further away, Br'enn halts for a moment, glancing around until he sees the first of the stampeding herdbeasts coming down the sides of the ravine. He looks up to Rynn quickly; she's safe on her perch with Mazzolyth nearby, while D'ani and Thys…may not be in the best position. The bronze weyrling rock-hops over to the Weyrsecond while Thys makes her escape, crossbow up and firing off a bolt into the first creature to come into range. But he's definitely not happy where he's at! And Tovihasuth knows it, immediately abandoning his snatching of herdbeasts elsewhere to swoop in above their particular ravine and loosing a deafening roar at the oncoming herd in a bid to scare them back the other way. No trampling dragonriders today!

Curiosity killed the feline, and all that. Especially when a certain someone keeps something from said feline, insisting that 'answers will come in time. soon. maybe a bit later but they'll come'. Of course, it isn't put so simply and the feline simply does not take that for an answer. Only, Dtirae isn't a feline and quiet demands and even softer arguments lead to a victory on her part. And, reluctantly, there's a gold up in the air. The area is no Weyr, but it is hers. Sort of. And the sight of stampeding beasts towards the riders has the gold dropping from the sky in a risky maneuver, spreading her wings after a moment to stop her descent and joining the roar of another's with her own. « She would not show patience, I'm afraid. » Is a gentle note to Dremkoth, alone.

Out on the plains there's a bellow of alarm as Dremkoth catches what D'ani's seeing. He leaves his kill to launch into the sky, wings reaching for air as he reaches heavily for altitude. He doesn't bother to gain too much height but aims for that ravine, growling frustration at his slowness. He'll never be there in time! D'ani shifts to prevent Thys from darting into the path of the beasts but truth be told they're both in the wrong place. "Get behind a tree!" he shouts after her, planning on doing the same but then there's Br'enn joining him in a bad spot. Oooh the bolt Br'enn fires gets the beast right in the shcnoze, turning the animal at the last moment, blinded with pain as it stumbles across the rocky creekbed and crashes up the other side bawling in pain. There's a wounded one for you Zhirazoth! Some straggle after it, some are turned back onto the plains by Tovihasuth while Dremkoth rips futilely at the dry branches of the scrubby trees preventing him into the ravine until the appearance of Zuvaleyuth. Ut oh? He…doesn't tell his rider who's just dropped by. D'ani's somehow gotten his sword into his hand, but what good that would've done who knows? The Weyrsecond's head turns slowly to regard Br'enn in a semi-dazed fashion before he simply stats laughing. "You're crazy, you know that? Also? Thanks, man." He owes you his liiiiiife bruthah!

Zhirazoth sees it! Only what's a bronze to do when he's got his claws full of already dead beasts? Why… drop them! … on the wounded beast. Probably not the best way to go but the bronze will land and make sure the job is done. Wings flare and he lends his voice too to spook the remaining stampede away and back to open ground. Snorting, he swells with pride in what he considers a job well done! Never mind a few riders were almost trampled. His rider is late arriving! Not that his attention is focused on Mr'az but on Zuvaleyuth now, his head tilting as he whuffles curiously to the unfamiliar gold. He was High Reachian before being transferred to Fort, so the pale gold is new to him. « Come to hunt as well? » he asks. Mr'az has finally caught up to D'ani, Br'enn and the others, his concern turning to puzzlement to find the Weyrsecond laughing. There may be a bit of relief there too! "Everything alright? No one is hurt?" Please say no!

Br'enn waits until it's certain the dragons have turned the herd back on itself before lowering his crossbow and turning a faintly wry look on D'ani. "Mayhap," he returns, smirking. "Been called worse things! Y're welcome." It only seems fair; the memory of the Weyrsecond taking a knife in the woods while trying to defend them as Candidates is still a strong one. Such a surge of endless gratitude is conveyed to Tovihasuth that the bronze hovering above croons down at them before warbling a welcome to the queen that joined him in the air. "We're fine! All fine," Br'enn answers Mr'az, slinging his crossbow to his back again and clambering the rocks a bit, offering D'ani a hand up so that they can start out of this infernally difficult fold in the land.

Zuvaleyuth waffles back towards the unfamiliar Zhirazoth, « no, it is not the hunt that I seek. This area is… Home, I suppose. » It is with a gentle tone that she speaks, pleasant despite the situation. With the herd that seems to be dispersing, the queen settles in for a landing and warbles a far more formal greeting once she's landed. Her rider, now that there's land beneath them, is sliding from the straps and onto the ground. Her helmet is removed and grey eyes are searching. For what? Who knows. No greetings are called from the woman, unlike her lifemate.

D'ani's standing, but with his feet wedged amongst boulders, his balance is precarious at best. He reaches for Br'enn's forearm, clasps it and grins at the other as he steadies himself. Whyyy does he have a feeling he's going to end up in a melee with Br'enn at his back in the future? He shakes off the premonition and starts out of the declivity. If Mr'az is asking, it's likely that by now Nyalle requires head counts to see if anyone's been run over. So he's going to head for the camp. Strangely, Dremkoth, like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, has stopped tearing at those trees with the appearance of Zuvaleyuth. His rider is safe and besides she is here… If he could, he'd stuff his paws in his proverbial pockets and scuff the dirt with a nonchalant toe. « Oh hai. S'up? » there's an infinitesimal pause and then « Are you hungry? » No names mentioned! Because surprising his rider is… an adventure! Speaking of… here comes a disheveled D'ani, emerging from the ravine, sans shirt, which is clenched in one hand and dripping with the load of freshwater shellfish. The sight of the pale queen and her rider halts him. A look is shot to Dremkoth. Thanks for nothing buddy!

Mr'az's shoulders drop and now he does look visibly relieved as Br'enn reassures him and he'll nod towards the Weyrsecond, following D'ani's cues that they're to head back to camp. "Sorry about the… mess Zhirazoth made." He means the flushing out of the herds and causing mayhem. Not so much the, uh… dropped beasts. "Glad no one was hurt and the hunting turned out successful." They've plenty of meat now! Most of which will have to be sent back to Fort Weyr. There's no way they'll eat these many kills, even between themselves and the dragons. Following the others, Mr'az will pause for a moment as he too spots Zuvaleyuth and Dtirae now and glancing sharply to D'ani and then Br'enn, the bronzerider will dip his head politely to her. "Afternoon. If you'll excuse me…" He needs to hurry off again! Excuses, excuses… mainly he's going to get back to camp now, before Zhirazoth does anything else as the bronze has now taken wing again, kills once more gathered in his claws and heading back to where Nyalle waits by the fire pit.

Continues in Reservations


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