A Forest Meeting

Fort Weyr - Fort's Forests ~~ Traveler's Forest North
Deep in the Fortian woods the air takes on a pure, unspoiled scent. Majestic, evergreen pines tower above you, nearly cutting off the view of the skies, and from the high canopy, a constant gentle rain of petals, leaves and pine needles falls no matter the time of day or season. The silence is broken only by an occasional rustling of foliage, an indefinable call or the distant flutter of wings. The ruins of an ancient building remain in the twisted growth of the forest that has long since taken it over, so passers by could only catch rare glimpses of rock sticking out of the growth that has consumed it. It's so easy to get lost here. To lose track of time, lose yourself or even lose your way.


The deeper into the the woods, the more likely one is to find wildlife. The animals avoiding the more heavily traveled paths, and so this deep green area is home to many of these creatures. Dtirae is no stranger to the forests of her home, but she is not out to hunt, not today. She is, instead, perched up in a tree and observing the movements of the creatures that come into her sight. Her hands are busy, however, sharpening a branch into a makeshift spear with the use of her knife. It is after noon, with the sun still high in the sky.

The fateful woods where Br'enn came into the world of Fort Weyr as Brennan well over a Turn ago are so very different when not encased in the harsh shell of frozen winter. Green, vibrant, alive, teeming with an abundance of game. It's something the bronzerider has been purposing to take advantage of for some time, but he's been rather busy since being tapped into Phoenix, to say the least. Today, however, break has come, and with bow in hand and Tovihasuth enjoying the warmer air high above, the hunter-rider has ventured into the North Woods, very near the spot where he was rescued. No wild porcines this time! However, there is a very promising whersport in the area; he's been following the tracks. Stalking along some clearer ground, he moves slowly to muffle his steps, pauses to examine more tracks…and sensitive ears prick to the dull scrape of a knife against wood. Coming from…above. There he glances, and there he finds a woman perched in a tree. Rising, he regards her curiously, his head a bit tilted from his vantage below her. "Afternoon," he rasps, noting something familiar…ah, yes. One of the weyrwomen! He damn well had better know that. "Weyrwoman," he tacks on quickly, though his expression is no less bemused.

A good hunter keeps their ears out for prey, making themselves aware of the tiniest movements. A better hunter goes unheard by that which they stalk. And while Br'enn might not be hunting weyrwomen, his approach is, at first, unnoticed until he is in her view from below her. Her head tilts, gaze shifting downward and considering the man. When he looks up and regards her, her movement stops entirely and a grin teases the corners of her lips, just so. The knife is carefully sheathed and she inclines her head in a sort of greeting. "Afternoon." The grin blooms into life fully, now and grey eyes dart away to consider their surroundings. "I wouldn't have known you were there, had I been on the ground. Are you stalking anything in particular, wingrider?"

Br'enn slips the arrow he had nocked over his shoulder, back into its quiver, before slinging his bow over as well, string taut over the broad expanse of his chest. "Must mean I still know what I'm doin'," he notes with a crooked bit of his own grin. Blue eyes flick over the verdant landscape, then skyward, catching a brief glimpse of his lifemate passing overhead through a gap in the foliage. "Whersport," he answers simply. "Good size, at that. Figured it'd be a little more excitin' than chasin' rabbits." Not that they're bad eating, but there's just something a little tiresome about hunting the bloody things down all over the Weyr. "Have we actually met yet, weyrwoman?" the young bronzerider asks, folding his arms over his chest. "'m still gettin' familiar with Phoenix. Know I've seen ya in passin', but…"

"It's hard to forget, when you used to do it so often." Dtirae continues to grin before she's shifting positions and gracefully jumping from the limb of the tree, landing and then straightening up to get a better look at the man. "I saw a few pass by." How long has she been out here? "Rabbits aren't fun to hunt, but, when there isn't much else." Her head tilts, just slightly while she shrugs. The spear she was working on is, briefly, considered before the tip is pressed into the ground with a soft hum from the woman. "In passing. You were with the Weyr, hunting in the South." She leans, just a fraction and pushes the spear further into the ground. "Dtirae, Zuvaleyuth's rider. One of Fort's hunters, before being Searched."

Br'enn keeps his eyes fixed on the weyrwoman as she slips down from the tree, ready to offer a steadying hand if needed…but the need doesn't come. She moves like he might. Like Rynn can. So it's not a huge surprise when Dtirae reveals her background, and his smirk deepens. "I was," he affirms of being down south. "Br'enn, Tovihasuth's rider. Also a hunter before bein' Searched. Not Fort's specifically," he qualifies, holding out his hand to shake hers. "Just rescued by the Weyr. Out here, in fact." He gestures at the woods around them. "Not far west of where we stand. Stayed to pay off the debt. Then ended up with a white knot." He shrugs, glancing upward again with a small shake of his head. "Guess it was time for life to bat me around a bit."

"Well met, Br'enn. I'm pleased to see more hunters as riders." Dtirae frees a hand to take his, her grip firm in the shake before she carefully withdraws. "Really? Got yourself into some trouble?" A chuckle, not for his predicament, at least. "A lot of people seem to get into some trouble in these woods. In some form or another." She does not elaborate much further on that. Grey eyes examine the woods, as if trying to picture what trouble the bronzerider had gotten into. "Search and Impression does shake things up. I'm glad that your lifemate was on the Sands, especially when you had decided to stay."

Br'enn nods, his chuckle a bit self-deprecating. "It was winter. Got up a dead tree on the edge of a scarp with a wild porcine after me. Knocked me off. Busted my shoulder and a few ribs. But I guess y'could say it was good accident, considerin' what happened afterward." A good number of things, really. He nods over the matter of trouble in the woods. "Haven't caught the renegades prowlin' around out here yet. Hopefully they've slunk back to their holes, but I'm not holdin' my breath," he notes with a brief scowl. But the mention of Tovihasuth quickly wipes that away. "Glad 'e was, too. Hard to think how ignorant I was of dragons and the like, before him." He eyes Dtirae's spear, then gestures to it. "What brings y'out here, eh? Plannin' on a little primitive-style huntin'?" he ventures, his smirk deepening.

"Shells," Dtirae breathes out, nose wrinkling at the thought of that. "Definitely not pleasant. But, for the best, in the end." She agrees, allowing her grin to return before her head tilts. "Doubt they'll be prowling this part of the forest for some time yet. They, may, eventually venture back…" Not much they can do until then, except lay out animal traps with the residents of the Weyr aware to stay on the paths. Renegades? Won't likely follow any set path. "Hard to really get dragons until you Impress. I grew up in the Weyr, got the theories. Figured I'd be on brown." At the gesture to her spear, grey eyes flick downwards, briefly before meeting his gaze again. The grin is very feline-like, "it's the only hunting I've been doing until I returned to the Weyr. Was getting to know the patterns and favored paths of the more frequent residents of the forest. It's been so long since I've been here, they've changed their habits. In a way, I miss the South… Knowing the habits, knowing their paths… The quiet of living away from groups of people, the not needing to worry about my hair looking nice." There are still some visible knots in those raven locks, "or what clothes to wear to meetings…"

Br'enn's eyebrows rise as he listens to Dtirae's answer to his last question, and he chuckles. "Y'oughta meet Rynn," he says with a lopsided grin. "Brownrider, Mazzolyth's. Sounds a lot like things she's told me. Betcha could trade some good stories." His brow furrows lightly as he searches his memory, trying to recall lessons in which the weyrwoman has come up before. "So y'left because things weren't workin' here, 'n' y'upended a couple of those things, right?" he asks, hoping he's recalling correctly. "Needed to wait for things to settle before comin' back?" He glances around again. "Least y'knew the wilds. They're an easy home to go back to."

"I'll have to remember her name, should I happen to run into her." Dtirae chuckles softly, "I'm sure we could. I used to lead one of the hunting parties for Fort, too. They're still about. Don't recall who is leading them now." But, the goldrider waves a hand in dismissal of that. "Ah… No. Not really. There were a lot of factors. Mostly… I couldn't handle what I expected of myself. I came back because I felt ready. Because the settlement in the South no longer needed my help or direction. I'd help out, settle things and disputes. Make sure things were organized, and completed on time. Various things. And they simply didn't need that direction anymore." Grey eyes drift, yet again, as the woman hums softly. "They are. I missed them… It's familiar. Yet… Everything has changed. I'm trying not to feel out of place."

"So…unrealistic expectations for yourself, then? Or too many?" Perhaps both? Br'enn folds his arms again, listening curiously. The concept of a rider living outside the Weyr is still an interesting one to him. "How long's it been?" he asks, jutting his chin at the surrounding woods. "What's changed? I mean, I've been wanderin' around Fort's woods for a few Turns; I've seen things change, but maybe more gradually, I guess."

"Too many. And, I suppose unrealistic. Trying to bear it all, taking it all on myself, never sharing my burdens with others. I became isolated. My clutchmates had all gone off elsewhere, or… Simply didn't associate with me any longer." Dtirae considers his question, humming softly. "Probably… A few Turns? I stopped keeping track of time after a point." As for the change of the woods, she considers. "The patterns of the beasts. The beasts themselves, the numbers have shifted. The growth is a little more vibrant, it seems. Some paths are a little more worn, while some of the older paths are starting to regrow."

Br'enn squats down, idly examining a track he spots near his foot as he considers Dtirae's answer to his first question. "Well," he notes at length, "seems to me the lot of Phoenix is plenty willin' to help bear the burdens that need spreadin' out. Dunno your history with any of them, but I know what I know of 'em so far. Just what I see. Hope you're not still bent on bearin' things by yourself so much now." He crooks a smirk up at her with that last, then runs a finger along the edge of the track, nodding. "I think I've noticed what y'mean," he murmurs. "'s Pern for ya, though. Always keepin' us on our toes. Especially those of us who like to wander 'round 'er most." Another glance is given the sky, and Br'enn rises again. "You plannin' on hangin' 'round out her a little longer, weyrwoman, or can I see ya back to the Weyr." A pause, and his smirk deepens. "Or y'feel like helpin' me track down another whersport?"

Dtirae's gaze drops to consider where he examines, but does not lean in to look as closely. "They are. Were. I was stubborn." A smirk settles on her lips, "nah. I'm not. That's why I went out there. I'm being far more open about how I feel on things. Expressing, and whatnot." Then, she's lowering herself, one hand supporting her staff while the other comes to rest on her knee as she looks at the track. "Pern's always changing. I like it that way. Though, the felines should stop being so tricky and changing their paths, too." Grey eyes lift to the other rider, and she follows him in rising. "I'll help you track one. Maybe even help bring it down." Her lips spread into a grin. "It'll be fun, hunting with the newest Phoenix rider."

Br'enn gives a single nod of approval over the change in herself that Dtirae voices. Then he gives a snort of mild exasperation over what she mentions concerning felines. "Y're tellin' me," he mutters. They're worse than the porcines. At her last, he grins in kind. "That's the spirit, weyrwoman. Not that I think I need to encourage ya much." And with that, he unslings his bow along with another arrow, setting off with the returned goldrider deeper into the woods in search of their prey.


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