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


WARNING: Violence, blood and death and possibly sensitive subjects be mentioned below!

Ustrr throws back his head and laughs, a hoarse and barking laugh. Smoke won't allow much else and then he's fixing his eyes on Ha'ze, features twisted in a grim and determined line. "You'd risk your precious dragon for this? Going to die a hero are you?" he snarls and spits at Ha'ze's feet. "You riders are all the same! Glorified bastards. Your time here died Turns ago! But if it's death you want, boy, I'll be glad to give it to you!" With a bellow, he charges Ha'ze, blades flashing and seeking to off balance the bronzerider before twisting away, drawing them back as the tree falls and cuts off their exit. Cursing, Ustrr begins to circle.

"Kainaesyth has settled his death already, as have I." In the moment now, even curled about with anger, calm has settled over Ha'ze. His core is far away, in a cave by a pool, while an old man waits to record the story being written. No malice or chaos is allowed there and it helps Ha'ze to focus here. When Ustrr drives forward Ha'ze ducks, his months of training giving him what he didn't have last time he faced the renegade leader. Pivoting he follows Ustrr with is dark back eyes and pushes forward, looking for one of two goals. Either his knife in Ustrr's heart or Ustrr in the flames. Either works!

That answer wasn't what Ustrr was expecting and he definitely wasn't expecting Ha'ze to have skill in fighting now. "Since when do you riders go for the kill?" he snarls again. He's no interest in being roasted alive and while he keeps the fire at his back, he'll keep Ha'ze in front of him and pinned under his eyes. "Come on then, boy! Fight me if you think you've got it in you to kill me!"

Strangely, Ustrr's words bring up a smile onto Ha'ze's face. Faced with his nightmare Ha'ze is strangely very very calm. "I'm yours Ustrr. Yours and Laris. Kainaesyth may have chosen me, but I'm no different from you. Death is a fittin' end to the story isn't it?" He advances on the man, his knife held lightly in his hand, ready to duck. He doesn't need to live past this, just make sure that Ustrr dies.

Ustrr only frowns, confused and then he scoffs, "Ours? You were NEVER ours, boy! And never will be!" The last few words he snarls as he lurches forwards and goes on the attack. He's far bigger than Ha'ze and can hit hard but he's slow. If the bronzerider can just keep out of his range, he'll avoid being grievously hurt or killed right out. Blades flash again and as they start to fight in earnest, Ustrr is sparing no time in making it some fancy duel. He's aiming to kill and kill FAST.

Ha'ze has the upside of having the best training regimen on Pern, good meals, and the foresight to have most of the people he spars against be bigger than him. He's quick under those blades managing to hold his own though slowly, slowly, Ustrr does drive him backwards towards the flames behind. He chances a glance backwards and ends up slipping and falling over a tree root onto the smoking ground.

Ustrr's not the type of man to fight honourably and when Ha'ze slips and falls over the tree root, the Renegade Leader doesn't hesitate. Something the bronzerider should expect, having lived long enough in Laris' camps and for the brief stint in Ustrr's. This is no dragon rider's duel or even a holder's duel governed by "laws" or rules. This is life and death, a primal and gritty fight and Ustrr bears down on Ha'ze before he has the chance to get up. Some would call it cowardly and unfair but to Ustrr it's the way of things. Blade raised above his head, he roars in triumph as he falls upon Ha'ze, looking to deliver the killing blow or at least one to maim and injure but in his haste he's left himself open and unprotected. If Ha'ze can just move fast enough…

Ustrr's not the type of man to fight honourably and when Ha'ze slips and falls over the tree root, the Renegade Leader doesn't hesitate. Something the bronzerider should expect, having lived long enough in Laris' camps and for the brief stint in Ustrr's. This is no dragon rider's duel or even a holder's duel governed by "laws" or rules. This is life and death, a primal and gritty fight and Ustrr bears down on Ha'ze before he has the chance to get up. Some would call it cowardly and unfair but to Ustrr it's the way of things. Blade raised above his head, he roars in triumph as he falls upon Ha'ze, looking to deliver the killing blow or at least one to maim and injure but in his haste he's left himself open and unprotected. If Ha'ze can just move fast enough…

Ha'ze knew the moment that he began to fall that Ustrr would lunge. He manages to shift just enough that Ustrr's blade misses it's aim and instead punctures deeply into his shoulder. It's a serious cut, but nothing that will kill him. From deep within the cave the water rippes as Ha'ze looks not at Ustrr, but at Kainaesyth's inner storyteller. A nod is given, understanding shared. Kainaesyth does not understand this bloodlust, the desire to end another life. But Ha'ze is the author of his own story and so the bronze mind steps aside to leave Ha'ze to instead shift his knife so it's laying upwards where Ha'ze can jam it up towards Ustrr's stomach with all the strength he has in his uninjured arm.

SWOOSH goes the blade, firelight glinting off it in a flash of orange and yellow as Ustrr drives it down, his face twisted in a fierce, blood lust fuelled look that makes him almost crazed. Killing is nothing to him and he does not even hesitate in the thought of ending a dragonrider. It was defence, after all! Ustrr's towering over Ha'ze now and what was once grin of triumph now turns into a perplexed look as he grunts, grin slipping. That blade's progress stops, the pointed edge just inches away from driving into Ha'ze's neck and then falls, flat side down, against the bronzerider's chest as Ustrr staggers back, clutching at his stomach. Blood is pouring from between his fingers and the man can only stare at it dumbfounded before his anger flares. "Bastard!" he snarls then coughs, voice gargled as he collapses to a knee. He's dying but fighting it all the way. "Upstart little runt! Should've slaughtered you when I first saw you…" he wheezes.

The blood pours from Ha'ze's shoulder but the pain… is manageable. He lurches to his feet, and stumbles back a step his eyes latched onto Ustrr. "Probably. I wanted to be killin' you then but didn't have the tools. More on a year now I wanted to be seein' you bleed." His eyes are dark, partially with pain and partially with the heat of victory. Bloodloss makes Ha'ze light headed as a smile spreads across his face. "It's not a fittin' end." Turning Ha'ze stumbles towards the fire around them and picks up a branch in his hand. Back towards Ustrr he goes, and throws the burning branch towards the man. "I'll not be takin' any chances you'll live." No get close enough to get his knife back and try it that way…

"How's revenge taste then, boy?" Ustrr growls, mouth dripping with blood as it starts to foam from the corners and his face contorts with pain, hands still pressed in a futile attempt to stem the blood gushing from the wound to his stomach. Eyes glazed with pain, he isn't capable of registering what Ha'ze is doing with that branch and goes on muttering in broken sentences, "… should've never let you live but I believed that bitch-girl… knew you were the wrong type… turn cloak… never a renegade…" He coughs and chuckles feebly, his eyes lifting up just in time to see Ha'ze now with the branch. "What're you going to do?" Ustrr wheezes and gets his answer as the branch is tossed and it strikes him. Flame licks at his clothes and the Renegade does his best to fend them off but he's too weak. The result is as expected and Ustrr will die. Slowly and probably in great agony but he will die and Ha'ze will not have to fear turning his back now.

Somewhere, some mind healer is going to have his work cut OUT for him because Ha'ze isn't moving. As the flames lick upwards to consume Ustrr Ha'ze stands there. There is no filter he allows this moment. The mile has faded but the satisfaction of seeing his nightmare burn hasn't. Only once Ustrr is no longer moving nor making a sound does Ha'ze look upwards. Kainaesyth is there, as he has been the whole time, the silent witness. The loops are blurring together as Ha'ze slowly,slowly,slowly is losing himself to his own blood loss. Which is why, finally, the bronze breaks the order Ha'ze has given for him to stay aloft and dies. There's not enough space here, in the circle of flames for the bronze dragon, but that is a small factor. A story without pain is nothing. The flames lick his hide on all sides as he leans for Ha'ze to get up on his neck to leave this place. There is a deepness to his voice, a command from the bronze as he mentally pulls at Ha'ze. « Come. It is done. We have another story to tell. » Forward Ha'ze stumbles, following that voice that tugs at his heart and refuses to allow him to die here in the flames. One armed makes it harder to pull up onto Kai's back but Ha'ze does it and even though flames sear Kai's side the bronze lifts upwards and into the sky, his wings only helping to fan the flames higher.