Fort Weyr - Fort's Forests
Somewhere in the forests just outside the Weyr walls…


It's summer! SUMMER. YAY. And Kimmila is standing near the tunnel to exit the weyr, waiting. She holds her bow and a quiver of arrows, as well as a pack on the ground by her feet. She's dressed for a hike, and her blue is nowhere to be seen. Roughing it. Old school.

It's summer! And BIG THINGS are happening! One, Kyzen finally turned eight and that's Very Important (to him). Second? He's going on an /adventure/! He hasn't forgotten this time and he'll come rushing out to the tunnel exit where Kimmila waits, dressed in his sturdiest clothing and boots for tromping through the woods. "I'm here!" he calls out, grinning excitedly as he rushes up to embrace his mother. "Are we going now? Where's Varmiroth? Ooh, do I get a bow?"

Kimmila grins, offering his hair a ruffle. "We're going now. Varmiroth isn't coming. And you might get a bow after today if you do well. We're going hunting." With a wink, she hefts the pack, hands it to him, and walks off down the tunnel with long strides.

Kyzen is practically vibrating with excitement and it's a wonder he doesn't start skipping and zipping around Kimmila in his delight. "Really? You mean it?" he exclaims, clutching briefly at the sleeve of her tunic before his hands are occupied with grabbing that pack. He fumbles with it and eventually gets it shrugged onto his shoulders. He frowns, "This is heavy… What's in it?" Why does he have to carry it? He'll hurry to follow her, but her long strides have him jogging as best he can to keep up.

"Supplies," is her brief answer, as she keeps her strides measured and just quick enough that it's not real easy for him to keep up with her. Through the tunnel they go and along down the road, so far sticking to the main paths. "What do you know about hunting?"

"What kind?" Kyzen asks as he putters along behind her, determined to keep up and not let her down or make her disappointed. He's stoked about this trip now! "That it's a necessary thing and not to be taken lightly. It can be dangerous too!" And he sounds just a wee bit too awed about that. Danger. Adventure! Every eight Turn old Pernese boy's dream, right? "Are we gonna hunt BIG things? 'Cause if I get something, can I bring it to father? Maybe we'll get two and I can give him one and Ha'ze another." Nothing says 'I love you' like a dead carcass?

Kimmila chuckles. "Supplies for us to use on our trip. There aren't store caverns in the woods, you know," she teases. Nodding at his response, she gives him a little smile, pleased at his answers. "Have to start with smaller things and work your way up. Each creature is different. Requires a different type of hunting. Today we'll be hunting for birds. Small ones. Not too dangerous but /very/ hard to catch. Takes more skill and finesse than wherry or feline. And yes, if we get anything you can choose what we do with it."

Kyzen pulls a face, "I know that!" he fires back at her teasing with a crooked grin. He does look a little put out when she says they're hunting little things and he frowns, quiet for a moment as he walks along behind her. "So we're going to get the avians with the bow? That seems real tricky. Why not a net or a… trap? Can't we trap them in the trees like you do with fish in water and tunnel snakes and other things on the ground?"

Kimmila smiles. "Good observation skills, Kyzen. Yes, I have my bow, but not for hunting the avians. For protection, just in case we come upon something larger. Nets and traps are much better ideas than hunting with a bow. How do you think we should do it?"

See that? That's Kyzen coming close to exploding with joy when Kimmila praises him. He got it right! If it weren't for the pack he's carrying, he'd have zoomed off ahead. Instead he just plods along, happy as a clam so far as he's distracted and not worn down by the added weight. His brows knit at her question and he chews at his bottom lip. How to do it…? "Climb a tree and wait with a net? Or for the traps… set one by a nest?"

Kimmila nods. "We'll try all of your ideas, and see which one works best." She's less into 'here's how you do it' and more 'figure it out yourself while I watch and guide'. She smiles at him again, reaching out to briefly clasp his shoulder before holding a finger to her lips and moving off the path onto a barely recognizable game trail.

Kyzen brightens at the idea that they're going to go ahead and try things. He's not a boy who can sit too long through lectures (as the Harpers dealing with lessons will likely grumble about). He nods his head when Kimmila makes that signal and follows after her — noisily! Poor kid, he looks perplexed when he can't seem to step light footed through the denser brush and the look he gives his mother says as much. Why does he suck at this?

Kimmila turns to look at him with a crooked grin, and reaches out to take the pack from him. "Watch where you place your feet. Choose soft things to step on."

Kyzen's brows knit, "I have to watch my feet and the trail?" he asks, keeping his voice lowered. He looks grateful to have the pack taken from him and hands it over without hesitation.

Kimmila nods. "You have to watch everything," she clarifies, gesturing with a hand. "The area around you, and above you, especially while hunting in deeper forests. You need to be aware of everything. It takes practice."

"Oh," Kyzen sounds a little disappointed with how complicated things have become but a moment later and he's resolved to continue on. He squares his shoulders and gives Kimmila a curt little nod. Proceed! "Practice… got it!" So she can lead on and he'll follow as before. Slowly. Painfully slow.

Kimmila is patient, while out here on the trail. Slow is fine. Slow is preferred, as she leads him to their hunting spot for the day - a small stream with a little cutout where the water is still enough for drinking and bathing, and the slopes steep enough that it's only practical for birds to use. A few flutter up and away as they approach.

Kyzen will lag a little behind Kimmila the further they go, distracted in his attempts to focus on more that one thing at once. He's slowly getting the hang of it though and learns to mimic more of his mother's steps and behaviours. When they reach the stream, he gives a quiet gasp and exhale of wonder. "Wow…" he breathes and then points enthusiastically. There, there!

Kimmila grins. "Exactly. Now, do you think they'll come back quickly now that we've scared them off?" she asks, setting their pack down at the base of a tree and crouching to sit on a root.

Kyzen scurries to join his mother, climbing up most of the root to find his own perch. He peers about, eyes wide with wonder and curiosity. Her question has his brows knitting again and he shakes his head. "Probably not? They saw us and will stay away. So do we hide? Or set the traps first and then hide?" he asks as he slowly slips off the root (quietly!) and peers at the pack he'd been carrying. Are the supplies in there?

Kimmila smiles, gesturing to the pack. "What do you think we should do?" In the pack he'll find a few things, materials for setting snares and a few small nets, along with rope and some pullies and other random things that Kimmila just brought, just in case he had an idea of house to use them.

"What I think?" Kyzen sounds surprised when Kimmila doesn't automatically go into some long winded lesson. So surprised that he can only stare at the pack for a few seconds before he realizes HE is supposed to be doing something! Crouching down, he'll pull out all the items, studying a few a little longer than others and setting some aside while others are either put back or set in a clear 'discard' pile. "These can go places," He holds up a snare for her approval. Right? Only, where are these places? "And we need the nets for us. Dunno about this…" Poking at the rope and pullies with his boot, he seems a little confused by those items.

Kimmila nods. Yes, what he thinks. She watches as he pulls things out and sets them in piles, nodding a bit at his choices. "Alright," she says. "Where do you think we should put the snares? And you want us to hold the nets to throw?"

Kyzen frowns heavily as he peers at both the snares and the net in his hands. "Maybe…" he begins to ponder, peering around the area again. "… place the traps by the water edge? Then we go and hide with nets somewhere else in case we can catch some that way too?" he decides and begins to take a step forwards, only to hesitate and look back over his shoulder. Good?

Kimmila smiles. "Sounds like a plan. Let's try it and see how it works, okay?"

"Are you going to help me?" Kyzen asks as he takes another hesitate half step forwards with snares in hand, pausing to offer one out to her.

Kimmila grins at him, reaching out for the snare. "Do you want me to?" This is totally his trip, she's just there for support. She's not sure how much he /wants/ her help, either.

Kyzen nods his head and beams up at her happily when she reaches for the snare. "Yeah! Could you show me? I think I know how but I really want to catch something… So just show me one and I can do the next one." Half and half! He's feeling a little overwhelmed with all this freedom.

Kimmila grins even wider, nodding as she expertly takes the snare, shaking out the coils and setting it to rights. "Alright. I'll put one right here," she says, moving to the edge of the embankment wher elots of little bird footprints say that they walk around here. She lays it down and sets it out, carefully uncoiling the pull string back to where they'll be hiding. "Got it?"

Kyzen follows like a second shadow, sticking close to her side and watching intently as she works out the first snare. "Yeah!" he says confidently, though he'll soon learn that seeing how it's done doesn't mean he can automatically do it. He'll scurry off to his own spot similar to the one his mother picked out but his hands are awkward and fumbling with the coiled snare. He makes an awful mess of it, though from his determined scowl he's not about to give up even with his muttered frustrations.

Kimmila stands near and watches, but she won't offer him any assistance unless he asks for it. If he doesn't, she'll just wait. If he does, she'll patiently help and explain what she's doing as she does it.

Eventually Kyzen gives up and with a frustrated exhale, he'll look up at Kimmila. "How come it's not working like yours?" he asks and sounds as disappointed as he looks.

Kimmila smiles. "Becaus eyou don't know how to do it yet. Remember? Patience? It all takes time." But she'll show him, handing it to him often to work at untangling it until it's finally ready to lay on the ground.

Kyzen really hates the word 'patience' and he'll visibly pout when that's the answer. Dang it! Why can't he just race through everything? "Alright," he sighs and will settle long enough for her to show him. It'll take him many times before he's confident in untangling it and doing it slowly but without as much hesitation. When it's ready, he'll lay it on the ground under her guidance which he asks for with a few covert glances. Like this? No? Then like this? Yes? Okay good.

Yes, like that. Then, she gestures for him to quietly follow her to their hiding spot, where she'll pick up the end of the trigger line on her snare. "Now we wait." Oh joy, more patience?

Kyzen follows but this time there's excitement building in him. Patience? Okay, fine. He's more focused on the fact they might catch something soon! Crouching down beside Kimmila, he'll whisper quietly. "How long does it take?"

Kimmila shrugs, "It depends," she replies in a very quiet voice. "Sometimes candlemarks. Other times…not so long."

Candlemarks? Kyzen quietly groans and sighs but he really wants to go through with this hunting so he'll suck it up. "Maybe we'll be lucky and it won't be long," he whispers and settles in to wait… and wait some more. It seems like an eternity to him and it proves how determined he is on this adventure that he hardly moves. But he can't stay that way forever and eventually he begins to fidget, then squirm and quietly but in a flat tone announce. "I have to pee." Of course he does.

Kimmila barely manages not to laugh. "Go on then," she whispers, "quiet as you can. The quieter you are, the less we'll have to wait again…"

"I'll be quiet!" Kyzen promises as he half shuffles, half crawls his way out from their hiding spot. As quietly as he can he'll duck behind a few bushes and a small incline in the ground. He may be young but he likes his privacy, thank you! He'll be quick about his business and is about to return to his mother's side when he hears something snuffling about in the underbrush. Curious, he begins to slink forwards and then grins as he spots a wild piglet. He's probably seen domesticated pigs before but not the wild variety. Nor does he know of the notorious reputation of a sow or boar. All he's thinking about is that he has a spare snare in his pocket and how impressed folks will be if he catches it! Poor piglet doesn't even see the boy creeping up on it with that snare but Kyzen is inexperienced and his movements too jerky. The snare hits its mark (more of a lasso now) but before he can tighten it, it slips around the piglet like a harness — and allows the creature to rent the silence with terrified squeals as Kyzen tries to reel it in in a sort of dazed panic. "No, shh! Don't do that!" he begs of it, unsure of what to do now.

Kimmila can't miss /that/. On her feet, she is quick to move through the brush towards the squealing sound, bow and arrow at the ready. "Kyzen?" she calls, giving up on silence because…he started it.

The piglet continues to squeal in terror as Kyzen tries to pin it down, growing increasingly flustered and panicked when it puts up such a good fight. "I'm sorry! I'm trying to set you free!" he exclaims, no longer wanting to catch it. He doesn't hear Kimmila calling him or hear the crash of the underbrush as momma sow comes to investigate why one of her babies is squealing! What Kyzen cannot see or hear though, Kimmila can and from the stance the sow takes in a readying charge the bluerider won't have too long a window to hesitate.

Kimmila doesn't hesitate. Perhaps afterwards she might feel bad that she had to kill a creature who was only looking after her child, but the bluerider is in the same position. She raises her bow and fires, right for the sow's eye and skull, aiming for a quick, killing shot. She doesn't even have breath to warn Kyzen, holding it to keep her aim steady.

Kyzen caused this mess and now he'll have a harsh lesson in dealing with it as the sow will pay for it with her life. He's just managed to get a hold on the piglet when Kimmila's arrow finds it's mark and the sow drops dead feet away from him. With a little cry of surprise, he scoots backwards, the now silent piglet clutched against his chest.

Kimmila steps out of the bushes, another arrow notched and ready, scanning the area and listening for the sound of the male. "Back to the water," she orders, her voice soft rather than sharp.

"What about that?" Kyzen asks with a jerk of his head towards the dead sow. The piglet squirms again, grunting and protesting and he looks down at it when a mix of guilt and shame. "And the piglet?" Which he never should have touched. He understands that now and far too late.

"We'll take her back to the weyr for dinner tonight. The piglet is your concern now," Kimmila says, eying the forest again. "Go back to the water, Kyzen," she says again, taking a rope dropped by a firelizard and beginning to tie the sow so Varmiroth can come haul her back to the weyr for them.

Kyzen frowns as he looks down at the piglet and a little pale. His concern? "Okay," he says quietly and with the piglet firmly in his grip, he'll slink back to their original hiding spot by the water. He seems preoccupied and is silent for once.

Kimmila sends a firelizard up with the end of the rope to Varmiroth, the blue hovering and then lifting the pig skyward. Then Kimmila makes her way back to Kyzen, crouching down to be eye to eye with him. "So," she says quietly, gently, "what did you learn."

Kyzen looks up when Kimmila crouches down to be eye to eye with him and to his credit, he's not crying or tearful. He's sad and regretful for certain. It shows bright and clear in his eyes and tone of voice but he's past the age where he cries so easily over things (unless he's tired). "I dunno," he mumbles sullenly. "I thought I could kill it first but then I wanted more to catch it and let it grow… like they do with the herds back at the Weyr. Didn't mean for the momma to die… Guess I shouldn't have touched the baby?" Which is currently silent mostly out of being terrified in the boy's grip.

Kimmila nods. "I agree," she says quietly. "We were here to hunt avians. You should have left it alone. Now what are you going to do with it?"

"I just wanted to try…" Kyzen mumbles again and hangs his head a little in shame. Now he's orphaned a little piglet! What to do? "Can't leave it here or it'll die… right? Could still kill it but… I don't like that choice." He frowns and is quiet a moment as he stares down at his lap where the piglet rests and then up at his mother. "Could the Beastcrafters take it and raise it until it's old enough?"

Kimmila nods. "They could, yes, raise it and then later kill it and feed the weyr."

Kyzen nods his head but is still thoughtful and troubled. While he thinks, his hand gently strokes the piglet's back as if to sooth the very thing he tried to snare and kill moments ago. Conflicted much? "What would you do, mother?" he asks, sounding genuinely curious.

Kimmila smiles at that, pleased, perhaps, that he's asking for her opinion. She wants him to learn to think for himself but she'll never not answer his questions. "I would take the piglet with us back to the weyr. Give it to beastcrafters. He'll have a good life, grow up, get fat, have food and shelter, and then he will feed the weyr."

Kyzen looks relieved when Kimmila offers her advice and it runs along the same thoughts he had concerning his unexpected blunder. "I like that idea a lot. Even if it means it'll die eventually… at least it can live first." And not suffer. That's the key for the boy. "Where do we put it? Can we still hunt for avians?" he asks hopefully. Or did he ruin everything?

Kimmila purses her lips a little bit, considering. "We should probably get him back to the weyr. Especially if his father is out looking for him."

Kyzen looks a little put out. "But I don't have anything to show Ha'ze or father…" he protests softly and then looks out towards the brush warily. "The father boar? Is that a bad thing? What if he shows up and maybe he can raise the piglet?" In a perfect world, maybe?

Kimmila shakes her head. "If the father comes it'll be to attack us, Kyzen." And that means another dead beast. "He won't raise the piglet. You have a story to show Ha'ze and father. And a piglet that will grow and feed the weyr."

"Why would he just attack us?" Kyzen asks, sounding clearly puzzled and offended at the idea of the wild boar just coming to attack both of them. He scoffs, "He'd be stupid to try. You'd get him before he could do anything, right? Or Varmiroth could scare him off…" So much confidence! He sighs, "I was hoping for a better story than this and something to show. I don't think father's going to be very happy with me."

Kimmila points to the piglet. "Because you are carrying his baby. And I probably would, but nothing is guaranteed." Surely he's seen the scars both she and Th'ero carry. "I think your father will be happy we're both okay, and that you learned a lesson from it."

Kyzen looks puzzled, "But you said the boar won't raise it… So why does he care?" he questions, forgetting for a moment that he's disappointed about not being able to hunt avians. He pouts a little but after a moment he'll nod his head. "I guess so." he mumbles and takes another look around the stream and forest clearing. "Could we go fishing maybe instead after we give the piglet to the Beastcrafters? We just have to go to the Beasthold… not even into the Weyr!"

Kimmila shrugs, "He just will. I don't know why." She doesn't know everything. Looking at her son for a long moment, she nods. "We can, though I'm a terrible fisherman. But we could try. Let's start hiking back. You got him okay?" she asks, hefting the pack onto her shoulder but keeping bow ready.

"He sounds like an awful bully!" Kyzen mutters as he pushes to his feet, still carrying that piglet which begins to squirm and squeal again. The boy tries to shush it and is somewhat successful with his attempt. He smirks, "And I was told you stand up to bullies and don't let them push you around." Yeah, that's right kid. Go stand your ground to an irate wild boar… Kyzen will begin to walk once Kimmila has the gear and has gathered their previous set snares and traps. Kyzen's got his hands full! "Yeah, I got him fine now. Don't worry about the fishing. That I can do well. Even just with a net!" he boasts.

Kimmila doesn't respond to Kyzen's bully talk, because…yeah. There's no point. She's not going to argue with him about it, but neither is she going to encourage him.

Wise decisions, as Kyzen would likely just keep asking questions and she'd end up with a headache. As it stands, he's keeping up a constant dialogue the whole way back to the beast hold outside the Weyr. Most of it is to the piglet. "… and they're going to make sure you're comfortable and warm and well fed. You'll get eaten someday but until then you'll have the best life ever. Maybe if I'm allowed," he'll peer over his shoulder to Kimmila. Hmm? "I can visit sometimes and see how you're doing… Are we almost there?"

Kimmila is very good at just listening, and she does that as Kyzen goes on. It takes her a moment to realize he asked her a question, even. "Hmm? Maybe, Kyzen, but he's cute now but they tend to grow up and get mean. So we'll see. And yes, we're almost there. Don't you recognize where we are?"

"Mean? How come? Won't he be nice because we raise him?" If the piglet is even a 'he'. Beastcrafters might just cull the piglet if it's a boar! Kyzen glances around and then gives Kimmila a slight huff, "Of course I know where I am! I was just distracted…" Uh huh. So off he goes, picking up the pace and almost jogging (poor piglet) once the Beastholds come into view.

Kimmila shakes her head, about to tell him that the animal won't be raised as a pet, so he won't have much contact with people…but then Kyzen is moving off and she follows at a more leisurly pace, while Varmiroth delivers the sow to some surprised kitchen workers in the bowl.

So long as the sow isn't dropped on those kitchen workers! At least dinner will prove to be different for some? One sow won't go far. Kyzen however is focused on explaining his situation to the first Beastcrafter he corners, holding up the squirming piglet to the stunned Journeyman who is looking to Kimmila for help. What?

Kimmila just smirks. "It's what it looks like. Had to kill the mother, so…here's a baby to raise with the others. Don't worry, this one isn't going to be a pet." Thank goodness. Kyzen has enough of those.

The Beastcrafter still looks perplexed but he'll take the piglet from Kyzen and nod his head to Kimmila, "I see. We'll set up a pen for it then and monitor it for awhile. Thank you for bringing it here…" That last is said to the boy, who cheerfully gives a return 'you're welcome!' before trotting back to his mother. One task done! Second? "Can we go fishing now? Please?"

Kimmila waits patiently for Kyzen to turn over the piglet, and then she chuckles. "Lead on, Kyzen. You can probably teach me a thing or two about fishing.."

Kyzen returns to his usual self now that the situation with the piglet has been resolved. He laughs, "Do you not know how to fish, mother?" he teases and then takes her hand. "Because I can show you! I'm good at it." Didn't he already brag about that? No matter! Off he drags her, first to find some gear and bait which means having to stop by Tlazio's and likely explain the change of plans if Kimmila's brother happens to be home. Once they have what they need, Kyzen will trot off and expect Kimmila to keep pace. "Best spots are away from the Weyr!" he explains. Hopefully she's up for another hike?

Kimmila chuckles, taking his hand with a bit of surprise that he offered. "I /can/, I'm just not very good at it." She dutifully follows him around, and while she leaves some of the items from her satchel behind, she still takes her bow. You konw. Angry fish.