Mountain Pass - Fort Weyr - Rustic Cabin
Once inside, the cabin follows the basic theme of the exterior: There are some pieces of furniture also in several stages of disrepair. There is a chair that had fallen over that is missing a leg, and there is an accumulation of detritus on the table, causing it to sag in the middle. A bed, perhaps more solidly made, is shoved in the corner, but the mattress and whatever linens were there have long since rotted away, leaving only scraps where they once were. There are cracks in the walls where the wind blows through, and several animals have made their nests in various nooks and crannies here and there. The floor, also made of stone, contains cracks as well, the biggest formed by the small sapling that has somehow shoved its way through the stones, stretching branches towards the section of the roof that had fallen in. A rafter or two has caved in at the back end of the cabin, the pieces having fallen on the floor. The remaining rafters look someone sturdy.


It's one of the darkest nights that Fort Weyr has had in Turns. Not simply because of the lack of moonlight, but also the heavy cloud cover. Outside the cabin thunder and lightning play their constant game of chase. Crack, boom, crack, boom. A sheet of driving rain pours from the heavens. Though the Fort region will appreciate the moisture, it still makes the night more sinister. Foreboding.

It is in this thunderstruck evening that a shadowy figure stokes the fire in the unused cabin. He occasionly glances out the windows when lightning strikes as if waiting for someone. The man adjusts a pot of klah, moving it a bit away from the fire so as not to burn. He laddles out a small portion of stew cooking on the hearth and gently blows the hot food before eating. Charts and papers lie on a dusty table tucked into the far corner of the cabin, clearly of some meaning to the man.

Foreboding night or not, it will not keep one man away or safely tucked within the stone walls of the Weyr. So it is with careful steps that another figure approaches the cabin under the cloak of night and storm, unheeding of the rain and unflinching from the thunder and lightening. Luckily the weather will provide some cover, for the rustic cabin is hardly the choicest of places to rendezvous. In fact, it seems rather suspicious, if the right folk catch wind and gossip about it. Regardless, the mysterious figure approaches quietly, pausing only once at the door itself. There is no knock, as this is far from a casual meeting and the occupants only warning that their peace is about to be disrupted is the sound of the door latch being turned before the door itself is swung open… And there stands the Weyrleader, of all people to be lurking out in the storm drenched forests. He stands there at the threshhold of the door, eyes narrowed as they scan the room, lingering longest on the shadowy figure by the fire. His posture is tensed, rightly suspicious and alert though he at least steps within and closes the door when he can see no immediate evidence of foul play. "I see you've made yourself comfortable," Th'ero murmurs in a low, but firm tone, his voice carrying enough of an accent still to mark him as a man not native to the Fortian regions but rather the Emerald Isles westward of the mainlands.

The man stares to the doorway, trying to see the stranger who is now outlined by a sudden strike of lightning. Once the flash fades the man grins to see the Weyrleader standing there. He rises and quickly offers to take Th'ero's rainsoaked gear, though there is no rack on which to hang them. Instead he roughly lays them out by the fire. Eyes dancing around the 'luxury' of the cabin, he chuckles at Th'ero's comment. "Aye, that I have, sir." His accent is that of a thick brogue and suits the dark atmosphere of the cabin. Gesturing for the Weyrleader to sit on the only chair in the room, he wipes a bit of grime from his face, instantly making himself less shadowy. Offering a mug of klah and bit of the stew he sits himself with his back to the fire. "I trust no one…unwanted, saw you, sir?"

Th'ero is far less warm in his reception to the other man, still very much a stranger to the Weyrleader. His features remain neutral and reserved and when he approaches, the bronzerider takes a small step back as if by impulse and instinct. Once he realizes his error however, he does unfasten his jacket at least to hand over to the man, though he keeps the dagger and short sword belted to his side. No, the cabin is far from luxurious but it's enough to make a decent (if not drafty) hideout. Th'ero simply shakes his head at the offer to take a seat, lips pressing into a bit of a thin line, "I prefer to stand," he says simply and while the stew is also dismissed, he does accept the klah when he steps further into the room. But his gaze continues to roam the inside of the cabin, only to note the stacked charts and papers before darting back to the man again. "Unlikely," Th'ero informs him with a hint of a smirk. "The forest is well patrolled. And I am no fool to go through the night without some… backup." Sounding almost amused with that cryptic remark, he takes a sip of his klah then, coming to stand more or less directly across from the stranger but with the door clearly within his view. His eyes for now, however, are focused on the other man. "And who are you to speak of unwanted folk knowing of our discussions?" That would be, more or less, the Weyrleader's way of asking 'who are you and what business do you have here with me?'

Gershel grins at the Weyrleader's obvious suspicion. He heads over to the table and picks up a rolled piece of parchement bearing the Harper seal. "I see you're fool enough to drink something offered by a stranger…" With that he hands Th'ero the rolled paper and introduces himself, his accent taking on the proper crisp tones of a trained harper, "Gershel, Journeyman harper. I specialize in the…shall we say clandestine." He takes a mighty drink of his own klah and heads to the windows. Peaking out, he glances side to side looking to see Th'ero's 'backup'.

Grinning does not seem to help with the Weyrleader's suspicions, though at least it doesn't become any deeper or alarming. Otherwise, there'd be a rather hasty end to this meeting and it nearly does come to a grinding half when Gershel chooses to point out Th'ero's lack of foresight for taking the offered klah. Glancing at the mug, he then sets it aside though if this were any different a situation (and a much more shady, darker one) then it would already be too late. The knowledge of his blunder being so apparent has the bronzerider frowning at a near scowl as he gives the other man a much more cautious look. Touche. Reaching forwards, he takes the rolled papers, examining the seal but never taking his eyes off of Gershel for long. "Clandestine," Th'ero echoes with a faint snort, "Is one way of putting it, I take it?" Breaking the seal, he unrolls the papers, holding them away so that he can read but not accidentally drip water on them from his still soaked hair. "Seems all is in order. So you're the one Harper Hall informed us about?" he asks in a low murmur, looking up again as he rolls the papers and sets them safely aside. Catching Gershel looking out the window then, the Weyrleader smirks. "You will not spot them. They are good at remaining hidden, as is the one leading them. She won't be seen unless she wishes to be or I give the order." And somehow he makes that seem rather… unpleasant.

Gershel cocks an eyebrow at the threat that isn't quite a threat. "Dragonmen? Or guard?" He turns abruptly from the window and shrugs, as if it is of no consequence. Which it is not. Seeing Th'ero re-roll the papers he smiles and heads to refill his mug. He'd offer the Weyrleader another…though he seems to not have finished his first. A light chuckle from the harper. "Aye, I'm not sure how much they've told you, but I am the one currently at Gold Hill." Nodding to the papers and motioning Th'ero closer to fire, so as to dry off, he asks, "I trust everything is order? You're not to kill me suddenly?" A bold laugh erupts from the man, his appearance now totally unthreatening.

No, it is of no consequence as Gershel so far has proven himself to be harmless and very much on their side of things. Suspicion still lingers however and likely will for some time. "That is not of your concern, I'm afraid," Th'ero replies in a slightly brisker tone. Seems the Weyrleader does not want to go into detail as to is currently patrolling those forests — IF there is anyone there. He could be bluffing, after all. "Mhm, they told us that much, but not of your name or anything else of note to be able to identify you. I take it then if you are here you were successful in integrating yourself into Gold Hill without raising suspicions or alarm?" he murmurs, finally seeming to relax enough at least to take a seat by the fire though notably he keeps his back to the wall and faced in a way to keep the Harper /and/ the door in plain view again. Brows lift up and his features take on an incredulous look for the bold laugh and statement. "Certainly not. Unless you give me reason to." Not so funny now? Taking some edge off of his second threat that is not quite a threat, the Weyrleader simply crosses his arms over his chest, leaning back into his seat until the chair creaks a little in protest. "So," Th'ero begins as his expression sobers back to neutrality. "You are here then to report?"

Gershel is afterall a Harper, so he notices Th'ero's brisk tones and the caution he moves with. Wise. One can never be certain these days. "No Holder has much say in Harper Hall business. If Master Moryel wises to replace a hold's harper, he does." A sly grin crosses the man's face as he continues. "And if the previous harper were to be suddenly ill and have to be rushed to the Healer Hall, none would be the wiser." Eyeing the chair as it creaks under Th'ero's weight, it does not appear to be the stablest of furniture, he takes another quick drink and shovles a bite of stew into his mouth. Then he nods and says, "And aye, sir, there is much to report. Much of the same I should say. Though Unvar is Holder in title, it's that lad of his that truly 'holds' Gold Hill." He pauses to the let the 'news' sink in before going on. "As for the guards. Even the ones they posted at Fort's Hold and Weyr urging, have….Shall we say, abandoned post. They are merely for show. I'm not even sure if their swords are steel or wood." He chuckles a bit but his manner is still grave.

"Wisely said and logical," Th'ero admits when Gershel points out the standings between Hold and Hall, not unlike Weyr and Hold in some regards. At the other man's sly grin, the Weyrleader only seems to narrow his eyes a little as he watches him cautiously, though his lips do twitch up into the barest of smile. "None would be the wiser, no." he replies. The chair upon which he sits seems sturdy enough for now to hold his weight, though the bronzerider is likely not thinking on such trivial matters. Instead he only waits patiently while Gershel helps himself to the food and drink, silent (and perhaps a touch awkwardly) even after the first beginnings of the report are shared. At least his gaze finally drops away for a brief spell, brows furrowed together in deep thought as he mulls over the information shared. If he's concerned, he hides it well for now. "Which surprises me, as I was told that Unvar was or could be cutthroat or vicious. The heir to me comes off more of a spineless braggart… Though I suppose that could be a front. Do you suspect he's manipulated his father then, somehow?" Th'ero does not seem to find that concept entirely unlikely, to judge by his tone. There is a creak again of wood as the Weyrleader abruptly shifts forwards in his seat, dark eyes locking on to Gershel with an intensity that could be unsettling. "Are you implying then that he has hired false guards? Abandoned their post how? Do you have proof of this?"

Gershel leans it even as Th'ero does. "Aye, that lad has more ice in his veins than the High Reaches. True his father has the potential of violence, it would seem that Unevyer is emboldened by his postion in the Hold. Don't get me wrong, Weyrleader, the father's more likely to act, but that lad is building something. He knows he will hold some day…" His voices trails off as the implication of his report sends a shudder through him. Bracing himself with more klah he continues, "As for the guards…They are surely false. More brutes than anything. I'm sure they'd hold their own in a fight, but they're not to be trusted. As for their posts, they spend more time in the alehouse than on patrols. If you catch my meaning." He leans back from the Weyrleader and stretches his arms, working out some tension. "I fear that these men work for an old 'friend' of yours, Weyrleader." A fearful gleem is in the harper's eye.

"I had my suspicions on the heir, but I did not think matters were so grim. Or that Lord Unvar would be so blind to his son's ambitions and wrong doings," Th'ero murmurs as his frown deepened and his mood seems to grow darker as the night sky outside. The implication is enough to have the Weyrleader looking up at Gershel with surprise, "You wouldn't think he'd go so far?" But even as he asks, the bronzerider's mouth twists into a grimace. For the few encounters he's had with the heir, Unevyr, it would seem he /could/ picture the man capable of such a devious and foul plot. Th'ero lifts a hand up then to scrub his fingers along the edge of his jaw before it drops again to tuck under his crossed arms. He snorts then, "No, I catch your meaning all too well." He was a former guard — not a corrupt one, thank you — but he knows of those things and it does little to improve his mood and the thoughts already running through his head. At the gleam in Gershel's eye and the dangerous implication the Harper drops, Th'ero tenses — visibly — and when he speaks his tone is too calm and flat to be of any good. "Dangerous claims," he warns the other man. "If this 'old friend' you speak of is the one I imagine it to be. Again, what proof do you have to link these… brutes to him or his followers? They could be nothing more than trash recruited from their own gutters." Harsh, but somewhat true? The Weyrleader's eyes take on a distracted look then, brief but noticeable all the same. When they focus again, he is looking up at Gershel once more. "The one I spoke of earlier is joining us shortly. She has had just as much involvement in all of this."

Varmiroth senses that Velokraeth will reach across the distance to form the bond needed to be heard, taking on the necessary strength needed on his end so that the blue won't have to struggle. « Mine needs yours to come from the forests now and to the cabin. Order the rest of the guard to disperse, they are no longer needed. But the shadow-Harper has mine alarmed and he wishes for you to hear this from the Harper's mouth rather than through his. He will warn the shadow-Harper of your coming.» There is a pause, as the bronze now adds his own comments. « Which is about time. Leaving you to skulk about in the rains and at night! While he is warm by a fire with food and klah. Tsk. »

Gershel nods gravely to Th'ero. "I don't believe Lord Unvar to be unaware…more unperturbed. He seems comfortable in his own abilities, it would seem. Most perplexing, I admit." He sighs deeply in response to Th'ero's question of the guards. "Alas, I have no 'proof' so to speak. However, a harper hear's what a harper hears. Be it whispers from drudges, traders or alike." He pauses briefly at his own comment. "And as to traders…There has been an influx…and much to do in those 'unusable' sections Unvar had closed down to his workers." Giving another long draught to his mug, finishing it off, he eyes the Weyrleader. "She? She'll be more than welcome, and perhaps…." He drops off there, not even finishing his sentence in thought.

Kimmila pushes open the door and steps inside, closing it behind her. The woman is damp from the rain, and she quickly sheds her coat, shaking it off before hanging it by the door. Braided hair falls to below her shoulders, and she wears no knot on the warm sweater she has on. Eyes flick around the cabin and then focus on Gershel, curious, before she makes her way forward to stand beside where Th'ero is. "Evening," she says with a slow nod, studying the Harper more closely. Her only visible weapon is a silver and blue handled dagger sheathed at her hip.

"Unperturbed?" Th'ero does not seem to pleased by that part of the report either. "Perhaps I have under estimated Lord Unvar as well." he admits hesitantly and in a low voice. There is another grimace and the Weyrleader exhales heavily, though hard to say if it's disappointment or simply growing frustration at all that this report is implying at. Even if half of what the Harper has shared is true, it opens up so much unsettling possibilities. Very worrisome ones. "Word can only go so far… But even with proof, we would not be able to move forwards as the Weyr. This is still a Hold…" Though obviously one that has a growing pile of suspicions against it. Th'ero's eyes narrow again, lingering on Gershel as he gives the other man a long, hard look. "Where these trader's ever recorded? And this is the first I've heard of unusable sections… do you have a map?" he asks, though he does not seem too hopeful. "She." Th'ero confirms and his mouth twists into the barest of smiles. "And perhaps?" he begins to press, only to also lapse off when the door opens. Seated as he is with his back to the wall, he straightens as Kimmila enters and gestures for her to step inside even though the bluerider does so regardless. "Gershel, this would be Wingrider Kimmila. Kimmila, this is Harper Journeyman Gershel. Our eyes and ears, apparently, for Gold Hill." Without waiting to even see if the Harper is willing for his ID and credentials to be shared, Th'ero motions for the bluerider to pick up the rolled papers still bearing the broken Harper Hall seal.

Gershel ignores the Weyrleader's prompting to finish his last sentence. Instead he eyes Kimmila and his papers. "Please keep what you see there to yourself, Wingrider Kimmila…Well met, though." He nods to the woman and quickly stands to retrieve another document from the far table. He shuffles the papers around, sending a puff of dust into the air, before finding the one he's searching for. "Aha, here you are Weyrleader. I've taken the liberity of drawing these up. You'll find them more than accurate." Perhaps an odd comment, what could be more than accurate, but it does seem to be the harper's way of confirming his mapping skill. He hands the map to Th'ero and leans over to point things out. "You'll see here, on the right hand side, I've tracked what traders I could. My predecessor kept some notes…Mostly small troops, none of the well known groups." He quickly points to the far end of the Hold and says, "These areas here. They were deemed 'unsafe' by the hold's smith…Since then, crates and crates of supplies have been seen moving in and out." Gershel lets the serverity of his words float through the room. He glances to Th'ero's face and then to Kimmila's, searching for any forknowledge of his report. "I've managed to peak in a few..Mostly textiles…On the top. Underneath, well the Hold's namesake. Jewelry, fixtures, the like. This does not bode well with Hall, nor should it with Fort Weyr, Weyrleader." He points to a small column on the bottom of the map, holding numbers of crates seen going in and out over the last sevenday.

Kimmila arches a brow at Gershel as she reaches out to lift the papers. "I wouldn't be here if I couldn't keep my mouth shut," she says grimly, glancing briefly at Th'ero before her eyes skim the papers that she now holds, as well as finding a place near the fire in which to read them.

"She can be trusted," Th'ero says not long after Kimmila has gone ahead to defend herself and collect the papers containing Gershel's personal information. "Not only is she one of my most skilled riders, she has experience already in dealing with Gold Hill. What is spoken here in this cabin will not be shared, save between us and the rest of the Weyrleadership." he points out to put any misunderstandings, if any, aside. Taking the map, he does his best to spread it out, leaning back in his seat as Gershel comes closer to point out the details. The Weyrleader's frown grows heavy again, eyes focusing on the skillful map work. "All of this is beginning to look rather suspicious and incriminating…" Th'ero murmurs, his tone tense now and his expression grim. "Kimmila, when you visited either time, did you ever notice or hear of 'unsafe' areas?" he asks her, turning his head to give her a curious look and motioning for her to also join them to see the notes and map that Gershel has drawn. "Jewelry… fixtures… none of this makes much sense. 'Less Unevyr is planning to create an…" He pauses here, fumbling for a term. "An illegal market of sorts. Shady dealings. But I do not see how that fits into Unevyr's behavior either. If the man is looking to overthrow his father, why all this? A setup?" The Weyrleader grimaces again and fixes Gershel with another long, hard look. "I assure you, none of this bodes well for Fort Weyr either. This is all rather… alarming, truth be told."

Gershel gives another grave nod. He steps back to allow Kimmila a full view of the map and some of the better light. Almost as an afterthought he adds another large log to the fire, sending sparks into the air, but paying them little heed. "Indeed, Weyrleader. I've already passed this information on to Harper Hall. If they've any thoughts on this, they have seen fit to leave me out of it." He nods to himself at the wisdom of the Hall. Should any word of Gold Hill be intercepted…He can't even imagine what would happen to him…Living in the feline's den, as he does. "I'm not entirely convinced that both Lord and son aren't hording together. Yet, like you, I cannot seem to wonder why…If Kimmila has been there before she's seen they're not ones to hide their wealth…Perhaps, funding? Bribes?" His hand rubs his rough chin and he ponders his findings and Th'ero's own thoughts. Absently filling his mug again, he offers Th'ero and Kimmila 'poison free' mugs. "That's why I bring word of the possible employer of the guards…Wouldn't he need new wealth to build up his…Army, for lack of a better word?"

Kimmila is struggling a bit to catch up, so at the moment she just continues to scan through the hides, and glances at the map from time to time, her brow furrowing. She waves off the offer of a drink, though, going back to reading.

Th'ero pays those sparks some heed, instinctively shifting away from them and also moving the map away as well. No sense in having any of this damaged or lost completely. "It could be they are still discussing it. All of this… It can spell much political downfall. And if it is leaked or Unevyr or his father catch wind, it will give them the advantage to undo the evidence." he murmurs, expression grim once more. He likely has no idea how dangerous it's been for Gershel to be there, doing the work he's done and risking being uncovered every hour he's there. "No, Unevyr made it very clear that he was quite proud of Gold Hill's prosperous nature. Isn't that so, Kimmila?" he asks, giving the bluerider another sidelong look. "I do not think he bribed her… Did he?" he asks her, only to glance back to the Harper to add. "From what I was told, he went for the Weyrlings. Separated them from Kimmila first and then weeded out the one he felt he could influence the most. It failed." Obviously and there is a note of anger in the Weyrleader's voice. Lingering, it seems, from that day. He too waves off the klah, even if free of any "poisons". Clearly the news has ruined his appetite for anything. "Laris," Th'ero's features twist at the name, as if the Weyrleader hates even speaking it out loud. "Could very well be using the jewelry as funds. But that would be unwise. Pieces like that can be traced or look suspicious in certain hands as mere "baubles" to sell. And I would not call what he has an army. More like a devoted and misled band of followers. His previous camp was split in two, with only the smaller half being armed and most having no fighting skills. But he's had Turns now…" And he lets that drift off rather ominously.

Gershel turns from Th'ero to Kimmila, not sure of what to think. When Th'ero actually says Laris' name the harper winces. Though he wasn't near for the previous encounters with Laris, he does remember the build up and repricussions. "I'm sorry to bring such foul news, Weyrleader, but this is what my evidence points to. Of course further investigations are in order."

Kimmila blinks at the Weyrleader. "Bribe whom? Me? No. Yes, the weyrlings he did, after he got me in another room. But yes, they flaunted it quite a bit. The heir more than the Lord."

"No apology needed. Foul news or not, it's information we MUST have." Th'ero admits grudgingly, though clearly the Weyrleader is wishing none of this were true. Exhaling heavily, he rolls the map carefully back up, only to pause and give Gershel a questioning look. Is this copy theirs? "Ahh, right. My apologies, Kimmila. I thought he had attempted to bribe you as well. But Gershel seems to think that it's Unevyr behind it all. Unvar seems either willing to allow it to happen or has been twisted by his son's influence." There's a sidelong glance given to the Harper then too. Correct? With his free hand, he gestures for Kimmila to come closer and while he waits for her to comply, he asks Gershel, "Further investigation? So you will be returning to Gold Hill then?" Once the bluerider is close enough, he will turn his head then to whisper something to her. Perhaps not the politest of gestures with the Harper so close but Th'ero does it without apology.

"Does a dragon fly between? I am the Hold's harper, am I not?" He laughs grimly as the thought of return does not please him. Gershel does nod in response to Th'ero's glance and says, "That or Unvar is hoping his heir is caught and removed…" The harper shrugs and gives Th'ero and Kimmila a look that clearly says he doesn't believe his own words. If Gershel is offended by Th'ero's whisper he does not show it.

Kimmila finally sits with a low sigh, and shakes her head. "No, he did not. So…" And she glances between the men. Hoping for a summary, perhaps? "Is there corruption?"

Th'ero snorts, but his amusement is minimal and likely just as grim as Gershel's laughter. "A rather pointless question, wasn't it?" he drawls, his accent for a moment a little more pronounced before he catches himself and corrects it. "A rather risky way to go about it. Unvar has the power to disown his son," The Weyrleader remarks and his tone takes on a rather steely edge there, lips twisting into another grimace. "And simply make it known that Unevyr holds no claim. Done and done. No… I think there is much more to this." As Kimmila speaks up, Th'ero turns his head and gives her a brisk nod, tension and stress clearly beginning to tell in his posture and expression. "I would say we have enough evidence… or the beginning… to support claims of corruption. If the "unsafe" areas and suspicious trade goods aren't enough, it's the possibility they have false Guards. Brutes," Pausing, he glances to Gershel to be sure he has his facts straight. "As they're described and with no care in actually staying at their posts."

Gershel returns Th'ero's gaze and says, "Aye. That about summarizes it. What is the Weyr to do? I would not suggest entering the Hold without…your 'backup'." He gives both riders a look that is not only a warning but a clear concern for their safety. The harper gulps down the last of his klah and stand, briskly shaking himself. He seem to have taken a sudden chill. "If you should need, I can arrange you to get past the guards, with little more than wine and ale…"

Kimmila glances at Th'ero at the talk of disownment, her brows furrowing. And then her eyes flick rapidly back to Gershel, brows lifting in surprise. "I do not think we have any intention of going to Gold Hill…at this time." Then she lapses into thought. "But to what end? Bribe who? To do what?"

Th'ero gives Kimmila a pointed look when she glances at him and the subtlest shake of his head. Later. Her surprise however to Gershel is echoed in turn by the Weyrleader and he gives the Harper a long look. "We do not resort to bribes. And neither can the Weyr move against the Hold. You know of those laws. This will fall to Fort Hold, as Gold Hill answers to them in the chain of things. Unless Fort Hold calls for our aid… then the Weyr can only watch and wait." Which does not sit well at all with the bronzerider. It shows in his features, in his posture. Just the thought of having all this damning evidence and being able to do /nothing/ grates against his nerves. If he had the power, he'd already be working on a confrontational meeting. "No, as Kimmila says we have no intentions of going to Gold Hill. So I'm afraid it falls to your shoulders now to resume your duties… and continue to keep us all informed. Is there a way you can send an alarm though if things progress?" Progress to what? Th'ero doesn't elaborate but his tone should imply enough.

Gershel eyes both of the dragonriders for a long moment. He has a sly smile which he makes quick to hide. "Of course, I meant nothing of direct action, merely should you happen to 'visit'. Indeed Fort Hold has perogative." Clearly the Weyrleader has forgotten how far reaching the Harper Hall's fingers can be. A request for dragonrider help is an easy enough task to achieve. However, Harper ways are not dragonmen ways, so for now Gershel holds his tongue. "I am in contact with the harper at Peyton Hold, and it is through her that I shall pass further word." He stands and paces the room briefly before turning back to Th'ero and says, "Take this as you will, Weyrleader, but I've noticed that the Hold's less than statused children are being denied their education…To what end I've not a clue."
Kimmila shakes her head, "We're well enough known there…" she murmurs, with a small grimace.

The Weyrleader has a habit of forgetting many things when he's given much to mull over and especially when those details can have such far reaching effects. Th'ero's mood is turning as broody and dark and unpredictable as the stormy night skies outside. Too bad the Harper did not bring any wine. "Indeed, we are. We could not get anywhere close to Gold Hill without being recognized. And as I had many of my Wingriders visit before relations dissolved… someone is bound to know who they are." He shakes his head and when Gershel goes into some detail over his connections, the Weyrleader nods and appears satisfied. "Good." Slowly, he begins to stand, map still in his hand unless the Harper protests him keeping it and when the news is brought forth concerning the children's education, Th'ero's mood seems to darken all the further. "Neither do I, but that matter is serious indeed and one the Hall should mention to Fort Hold. If Unevyr has gone as a far as to undermine his people's basic rights…" he exhales again, sounding frustrated now as he turns to gesture for Kimmila to join him. "Is there anything more we must know? I need to report this myself before the hour grows later. Are you returning to the Hold this very night…?" There's a glance given around the rather sad looking cabin again. It'll hold… but clearly Th'ero is considering offering the Harper different lodgings — if the implied offer is accepted.

Gershel nods to the map in Th'ero's hand and the other papers on the table. "Those are all for your use, Weyrleader. I can't afford to keep copies in my quarters. The risk is…great." He starts packing up the other gear he brought, the klah pot, and such in a small bag. He nods slightly to Kimmila and Th'ero, "As you would be well known, send word through journeywoman Randra at Peyton Hold. I will respond as quick as I can…And for tonight..Could you spare a dragon to take me to Peyton? I shall walk from there." Though he bows low in gratitude for the Weyrleader's unspoken offer, he shakes his head to prevent any protest, "I must be back by first light. I'm to play for Unvar…" His face shows the dilike he holds for the Lord of Gold Hill. Another sigh is let out as he finishes his packing.

Kimmila stands as well, clearing her throat gently. "I can take you?" she offers, glancing at Th'ero to see how he feels about that plan.

"Of course," Th'ero murmurs and moves to gather the papers and roll them all tightly together before storing them safely on his person. Safe from sight and the damages of rain. He should have known that the Harper would not want to return to Gold Hill with them. "I can have that arranged for you," The Weyrleader offers, looking relieved for now that the meeting is adjourned and he can return to his weyr to brood and mull over everything shared, gather his thoughts and then tackle the issue again in the morning with the rest of his staff. "Kimmila will take you then," he says, glancing to her and giving her a nod of her head. It's agreed and settled. When the Harper explains why he must be back for first light, Th'ero cannot hide his grimace of sympathy. "I see." he says and perhaps only now begins to get an inkling of just all the work (and risk) this Harper is shouldering. "Clear skies then and the best of luck. Would that fate be on our side and this matter be settled swiftly." Oh, if the Weyrleader only knew what was to come… he might have not said such words. "Our thanks too, Gershel. For your service." Gathering his jacket and slipping it on, he pauses by Kimmila once more to whisper a few last words to her before inclinging his head in a respectful gesture of farewell to the Harper. Then he simply turns and heads for the door, opening it and slipping out into the night.

"Thank you Weyrleader. I'll be in touch." Gershel watches as the man leaves the cabin. He turns the Kimmila and smiles. "Shall we? I shan't wish to keep you any longer from…" He drifts off, not saying, but still saying. He's picked up on the rider's relationship, he is a spy afterall. Grabbing his bag he heads for the door.


'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.