Fort Weyr - Gold Hill Hold
Located south of Fort Hold and north of Peyton Hold, this minor hold is aptly named for the resources it exports: precious minerals, mostly some of the finer metals.
On the grander scale as far as minor holds go, Gold Hill could have once been a prosperous holding but the latest Turns have seen a gradual state of disrepair. A lot of the stone has been overtaken by greenery on the outer walls, though the inner courtyard seems to be faring a little better. It's not until one is actually inside the hold that they really notice the oddities — how /richly/ it seems to be decorated with unnecessary opulence. Fancy fixtures, fancy furnitures, elaborate tapestries and rugs… it all seems too much and awfully gaudy. And it does little to hide the imperfections the hold has. The dusts, the minor damages… and neither does it mask the fact that the whole atmosphere of the Hold is wrong. Tense, anxious and for such a well off hold, one would expect to see more holder folk about.
In brief, on the outside Gold Hill looks like any other minor hold. Orderly, perhaps a little worn from the harsh winter months but still functional. It's the inside that gives the first inklings of something worse and far more rotten than mere disorder. Courtyard, stables, great hall, kitchens or the annex wings… it makes no difference. Even the outposts and ramparts, if they can even be called that, look sad and in disrepair — if they were ever used. There appear to be no guards ever at those posts, despite claims that the minor Hold has complied with the orders given to them.
The forests have all been cleared away for some distance all around the hold, leaving ample open space between it's edge and the outer walls. Only the roadways leading to the mines have a small band of trees left on either side as if to offer meagre protection.

Unusually dry for a Fortian summer, the day seems to drag on in an endless haze of heat as the sun shines down from above. The only aid is the few clouds that drift across the sky, but the relief is brief. No relief is in sight either, no sign of rain clouds or storm clouds gathering and the breeze is minimal at best. The worst of the heat will ebb the later it drifts into the afternoon hours, with most folk now finding it comfortable enough to venture out of the Weyr and enjoy some of the summer weather without fear of baking under the sun.

With the sun just lowering towards the horizon, the watchdragon up on the heights abruptly sits up, tensed and alert, eyes whirling in a mix of yellow and red as it's wings flare open, head turned towards the south… And peace is gone the moment the watchdragon cries the alarm, it's brassy voice cutting through the hot stillness over the Weyr like a knife and then redoubled as it's echoed by many other draconic voices. Alarm, alarm, alarm! Fort Hold and Peyton Hold call on Fort Weyr! Gold Hill is under attack! And just like that, the Weyr is thrown into chaos as there is a mad rush.

But what is not undeniable is that the Wingleader's dragons are already touching down in the bowls, followed not long after by Velokraeth with the Weyrleader hurrying down the administration complex stairs, expression twisted into a grim look as he finishes in buckling on his dagger and short sword. Orders are then given, voices being raised to be heard over the din. Thunderbird is to form up, the Guard Captain no doubt already ordering his troops out and splitting them up among the Wingriders. Volunteers from Roc and Simurgh are also present, used primarily for their additional skills. Supplies are hastily gathered and even M'icha, the Weyrlingmaster, is barking in his usual grating way at the Weyrlings to get ready.

Kimmila is one of the riders hurrying out, meeting Varmiroth in the bowl as the blue stands crouched, wings flared. The bluerider has on her belt knives and her bow in her hand, quiver slung over her back. Hastening to Th'ero's side, she meets with him briefly before hurrying to her blue's side and mounting up, the pair taking to wing before any of the others so they can be clear of the other wings lifting into the sky. She waits, though, for the order to go between.

Indeed Captain Breshir has his guard ready to go in short order. Seperating into tight groups the guards head to meet dragons, prepared for whatever may come. In this chaos Privates Yurolt and Iarohana swiftly fall in by a young corporal. Still buttoning his jacket with one hand, Yurolt checks his sword with the other. The guard is ready.

Among the formation of the Thunderbird wing, K'drozen sits on the skeletal form of his brown Rhyrith, the rider expression dark and serious as he adjust several heavey bladed knives on his person. His gaze travels between his fellow riders to give on in particular a nod. Glancing down he offers a hand up to one of the gaurds, making sure the lad is well straped in before driving Rhyrith into the air.

Thunderbird Wing, that would include the large shadow brown known as Maehwazeyeth and his rider Jaye. The brownpair's arrival is quick and graceful, the shadowbeast brown landing easily in the bowl with his wingmates, wings held half-spread in preparation for whatever's to happen. A glance at the scarred rider has her covered in her usual shadows as well, thick flight leathers in the dark brown colour of her beast's hide, short swords and throwing knives strapped neatly into place at her sides, pockets and pouches filled with Faranth knows what else. Jaye and Maehwazeyeth wait for their orders, alert and ready to be called to action.

Kouzevelth was already in the bowl, and almost immediately shifted from relaxed sunning into irritable restlessness; wings fanning, tail thrashing, stormclouds and thunderclaps interfering in the mental spaces of any other dragon that got close enough. If the young queen realizes that her emotions can influence the others, it doesn't occur to her — not until Inri makes her appearance, moving as fast as she can to get straps on and tightened. "Zel," she says, "you are /scaring/ people. Everyone else is agitated if you're agitated. Get it together." It's rare that such a commanding tone comes from her rider, and so the immediate compliance from the gold may just be that she's been shocked into settling.

The sound of alarm from the watchdragon is enough to get everyone attention, including the Weyrlings like Abigail. She pauses only a moment as she caches sight of all the moving people and dragons, her own there waiting out in the training yard, his straps still on as here was plans for a flight it seems. The barking orders from M'icha is enough to get Abbey moving, bow and quiver full of arrows is grabbed, along with a few of her daggers and is out moving towards her dragon quickly while pulling on her flight gear in the process. Niumdreoth rumbles out towards Kouzevelth, his eyes a swirl while his attention turns towards his golden sibling. « It is alright, just wait and listen. We will help. » His mindvoice that pleasant wintery night, clear sky with sparkling stars, his attempt to help with the calming it would seem.

Th'ero turns as Kimmila hastens to his side, his expression difficult to read but the Weyrleader does reach out to clasp her shoulder tightly. The gesture is brief though and he's turning away again even before she's reached Varmiroth's side. Velokraeth rumbles with frustration and impatience, the pale bronze shifting on his odd stunted limbs even as the bronzerider does a last few necessary checks before mounting up. Wings flaring fully open, Velokraeth then awkwardly lurches into the air to take a rather precarious perch by the Star Stones, suddenly bellowing in what almost sounds like a rousing cry. To arms, to arms! Not that they'll be doing the fighting, but motivation is motivation, right?

Wingleader Nishka of Thunderbird, rider of brown Azath and Wingsecond L'da, rider of blue Enoth are still on the ground and as Captain Breshir leads the guards out, they immediately begin to assign those tight groups to riders, orders which are then echoed by Breshir to be sure they are heard and followed. "Private Yurolt and Iarohana, to Wingrider Jaye and brown Maehwazeyeth! Oannis and Aendar, to Wingrider K'drozen and brown Rhyrith!" And so on, until all are settled in. What dragon's don't carry passengers, carry leftover supplies that the Weyrlings cannot transport.

Among all the din, M'icha can still be heard barking and cursing at the poor Weyrlings, who seem to handle his abrasive attitude in stride. Abigail however won't escape the Weyrlingmaster's notice though and the bluerider hastily limps over to her. "You were a Guard once, weren't you? Ah, no matter!" So much for time to answer? "Get in rank with Thunderbird! Go on. And take Inri with you." He gestures towards Kouzevelth and the gold weyrling, ending with a sharp, jabbing point at the young girl. "You'll be the eyes and ears for the other goldriders and the Weyrwoman for where they make camp. Stay out of the thick of it though! No heroics!" And on and on he'll go while simultaneously dismissing them.

Hearing his name and Iarohana's, Yurolt quickly surveys the dragons assembled. Spotting Jaye first, Iarohana slaps him on the back, shouting, "This way, hurry!" Finally getting his jacket fully buttoned, Yurolt takes the bow Iarohana hands him and sprints behind her to the brown dragon.

Kimmila stays aloft, her blue circling the gathering groups as she watches, already itching to be off. Soaring ever higher, she still waits, but she's already visualizing the Hold, passing it on to dragons that have not been there recently.

K'drozen glances back to the gaurd that is his passanger and calls out, "Just relax, it will be over shortly." as Rhyrith circles aloft awaiting the rest of the wing, K'drozen tightening his grip and looking down at the preperations below.
Kazulen has arrived.

Maehwazeyeth shifts, folding his wings to his side as guards are assigned to he and his leather-clad lady. His eyes whorl quickly, though more with excitement rather than anxiety. Jaye reaches to slap her dragon's neck fondly before positioning herself so that she can assist the guards up onto her shadowbeast's back to be strapped in. Once Yurolt and Iarohana approach the large dark beast, the rider will offer each an arm up. "Welcome 'board." She calls, turning to make sure the pair get strapped in. The brown beast arches his neck, watching the blue above, wings half-spread again before powerful legs take push him off the ground and the creature is quickly aloft, taking up position in the formation alongside Rhyrith to await orders between.

Th'ero looks up to where Kimmila and Varmiroth continue to circle, Velokraeth rumbling deep to the blue and likewise thanking him for passing on the visualizations. The pale bronze is anxious as well, shifting as much as his narrow perch will alow, wings rattling against his sides as he flares and then folds them again. The Weyrleader is glancing down now, tense and waiting and ever grim. But the time comes and he gets the reports in from the Wingleaders and Weyrlingmaster, then the Weyrwomen… And he lifts his arm in the all-ready signal, holding it until he's certain all are focused before changing and signalling for all to take Wing as ordered. With another deep throated call, Velokraeth launches himself off the Star Stone rim and joins Varmiroth above, with the rest of Pheonix angling up. Thunderbird will go next and in segments, with Nishka taking first and L'da in second. M'icha and the Weyrlings follow last, though it's obvious from their path that they will be tailing Pheonix to start. Like clockwork, they'll vanish Between and what was once a sky filled with wingbeats is abruptly silent again.

"Right, sir —" Inri actually does take the time to salute rather than immediately mount up, which is likely Kouzevelth's pressure. Look normal. Look put together. Pretend everything's okay and it will be — much as the pair isn't all /that/ fond of 'no heroics,' the contrasting point to that is that Inri is not carrying weapons of any kind. Inri does not /own/ weapons of any kind. At least her betweening has much improved from where she started off.

Abigail is busy checking her dragon's straps as M'icha is moving towards her. She turns about, a quick salute is given and she blinks at the question before nodding, about to say something before he goes on to where about she is to be going. "Yes sir!" This said quickly before she looks over to Inri and Kouzevelth. "Ready?" She questions, waiting a mere moment to make sure the other is before she is climbing up to strap herself in upon her dragon. Niumdreoth rumbles once more, his wings flutter and tuck close before they are off to join up with the Thunderbird Wing ranks, reporting in to Wingleader and Windsecond alike and waiting to be given orders to where about Irni and she are to go and she will follow to the letter. Abbey makes sure that Niumdreoth understands no heroics, and the brown seems to make sure she understands this as well.

Yurolt braces himself behind Jaye and shouts, "I hate this part!" He closes his and takes deep breathes preparing for between. Private Iarohana just laughs and clouts the younger guard on the back. She preforms a quick check of the lad's gear, making sure none will be lost in flight, before checking her own.

Kazulen may have come running in relatively late to the party, but he is here, and he's on a dragon, and they're flying fast, and sooner or later he'll be heading Between… which mostly just means that he's totally calm, hanging out, casual, because there's no point freaking out about what they'll find when they get there. Whatever it is, it's already there. Freaking out won't change that. And besides, he'd already checked all his weapons and armor before he got on the dragon in the first place.

"Ready?" Jaye calls backwards to her passengers, the words being ripped from her lips as Maehwazeyeth arcs upwards, then without much more warning(the pair's not often got passengers afterall) the cold of between suddenly creeps around them. Only an instant of cold blackness before they're re-emerging in the location they were instructed to head to. It's only when they're safely in the sky once more that Jaye will turn around to make sure her two passengers are okay. Bulky shadowed muscles ripple under the dark hide as he hovers, his rider turning once again to take in the scene, whatever that scene may be.

If Fort Weyr was chaos, Gold Hill is hell — if Pern had the concept of a hell. Even at a distance, one can see the Hold under siege and at a call from Zuvaleyuth, most of Phoenix Wing and the Weyrlings break off to veer sharply towards a nearby open space well enough away to begin a hasty camp. Velokraeth however remains on course with Thunderbird's Wingleader as Azath surges on ahead and the rest of the Wing follows in formation. More commands are shouted, but via the dragons. « Break up! To the east, to west! Swoop down but not so low to be in range! » Surely no one would fire a bow on a dragonrider, right? Perhaps not intentionally, but no one seems willing to take the risk. « Wingriders, find the safest spot to land by the trees and get those Guards /down/ and then hightail it out! Riders are not to engage unless necessary! We will hold the perimetre!»

As they approach, hot winds whistling by it becomes clearer and clearer that the ground below is filled with fighting, inside and outside of the Hold. It's hard to tell who is who, if it's holder against holder or Hold Guards (Fort's? Peyton's?) against holders as it's a right mess of chaos. It does not take long though for someone to look up and there comes the cries (and possible screams) of "Dragonriders!" and not exactly all rejoicing. But the tactic works, as some of the fighting comes to an abrupt stop as both sides seem uncertain as so many dragon wings go swooping and soaring overhead in all directions. Some folk resume once the shock wears off, others break and run, but it's a slim window… very slim.

K'drozen calls out to his rider, "Do a count it will be over in a moment." not giving his passanger any more time that that to prepair, K'drozen take Rhyrith between. Emergin into the scene of chaos above Golden hills K'drozen curses and banks his brown hard folling in beat with his wing mate, trying to to come in to low, his eyes scanning the scene below.

Kimmila and Varmiroth fly right on Velokraeth's wingtip, soaring down and landing before the bronze does. Kimmila has dismounted in a flash, notching an arrow and drawing back the string of her bow, hastening over to Velokraeth's side once the bronze lands, while Varmiroth kicks off into the sky.

Private Iarohana scans the chaos below and catches Sergeant Oannis' wave from Rhyrith's back and shouts to her pilot. "Wingrider Jaye, see where the Sergeant is pointing?" Oannis points his own dragonrider toward the fire heights. It would appear a tactical insertion is called for. Yurolt gulps only now realizing he's back from between. Iarohana says, "No need to land, just get us close. Buck up Yurolt, this is what you wanted."

You know what's a bad idea? Dismounting from a dragon who hasn't finished landing. Apparently, though, Kazulen is on good enough terms with his dragon-ride that the dragon is willing to help, or at least willing not to be completely startled by the way he's gone and thrown his leg over the blue's neck, slithering down shoulder, foreleg and paw and hitting the ground running, weapons drawn as he goes. Forget Candidacy; Kazulen is good at this, and it shows. Shock and amazement at the dismount alone have frozen enough of the previous fighters in place that he's already knocked two of them unconscious.

Kouzevelth banks out alongside Niumdreoth, heading up the back of Thunderbird. She touches down as gracefully as possible — it's a bit abrupt, but it's not messy and no one is at risk for being hit by orange-golden wings or tail — and hovers, indignant. Watching, taking stock of where everyone else is and what's going on; her entire role here is to relax and keep everyone focused, really, and that is what she is doing. With some level of expertise at it, anyway. She's learning. Inri, on the other hand — okay, Inri looks terrified. This is nothing like anything she's seen before. Fighting? Shooting at people? "Abbey —" she starts, as if she's got a question that can put it all in focus for the former guard, but one never comes out.

Jaye's grip tightens against her straps at the scene below, "Shards." She hisses, shaking her head briefly. She glances to be sure her wingmate(and weyrmate) make it out of between alright before she's directing her shadowbeast down towards the fireheights. The brown doesn't land, he's quite a large target and would like to avoid having attention pulled towards him and his passengers. "Go! Go! Go!" Jaye urges as Maehwazeyeth hovers as close as he can to the insertion point, urging his passengers to dismount.

A man comes running towards where the dragons appear to be landing. His face has a spattering of blood running down from a gash on his right brow. He waves urgently, calling out, "Th'ero, Th'ero!" Seeing a guard dismount so fierce and quickly, with sword drawn, the man draws up to stop. He throws his hands up in surrender. "Don't shoot. I am a Harper. Where is the Weyrleader?"

K'drozen grips his straps tightly as he dirrect Rhyrith to land rapidly the brown going in for a rapid dive, the search and rescue rider pivoting rapidly in his seat to get his passanger unstrapped, "Go we will cover you.." his eyes flashing this way and that as he speak.

Kazulen's instinctive blow is checked before he even rushes at the — Harper. Oh dear. Good thing he stopped himself, eh? His hand drops to his pocket — the one holding the bow, which can be tucked very quickly under his arm — and he pulls out a handkerchief, holding it out to the Harper apologetically while he tilts his head back and scans the sky, looking for Velokraeth, and by extension, Th'ero. "Over there," he directs. "Sorry about that." (His sword, however, never once left his other hand.)

The guards scramble off of Maehwazeyeth's back, Iarohana landing rather awkwardly on her left ankle. "Shells!" she shouts, even as Yurolt lands hard next to here. Yurolt rolls slightly out of the way and grabs Iarohana with him. He shouts, "Keep your head down! Make room for the Sarn't!" Oannis quickly and deftly lands next to his two young guards. His sword drawn he motions to Yurolt to string an arrow and takes the lead.

Niumdreoth follows at the back of Thunderbird Wing, near Kouzevelth, his head turning towards the mess at the hold taking it all in and a faint bugle escapes him. Abigail is quick though to put out any worries that may be running through her dragon's mind. The once guard has her bow out and down, ready but she has not yet pulled an arrow. Abbey is a but surprised at the scene but as she hears Inri she clears her throat. "Just stay close Inri. Be ready to move quickly." This said with a firm tone while her jaw tenses, fingers gripping at her bow. As long as she is near Inri she will make sure the other is kept guarded. She's been in fights, plenty of them as a guard and some on her own but this, this is more that she is expecting. The voice is caught and her gaze snaps towards the Harper, a hand nearly going for a arrow until she hears whom it is. We that was close!

Velokraeth soars right over the heart of Gold Hill, swooping down low enough that his veering course takes him right by one of the higher towers, but smartly staying out of range all the same. But the Weyrleader needs to see, as much as the bronzerider does not want to. « There is fighting within as well! Courtyard and the inner holdings are breached. There could be innocents trapped within! » Now there's a disturbing thought, relayed to all by Velokraeth with a healthy dose of urgency. Pitching his wings to a sharp angle, he dives down then behind the hold, scattering the few men there as he swoops in fast to land by the treeline some distance away and joining Varmiroth and a few other Thunderbird riders. Th'ero dismounts now as well, feet barely touching the ground before he has his sword unsheathed. "There has to be an exit we can secure!" he says to Kimmila, grimacing as Velokraeth takes wing again and soars up high. He's just about to order a few riders aloft when the sound of his name is being called. Turning sharply, he keeps his weapon drawn and up defensively, even as his eyes recognize the man. "Hold it! Leave him, let him pass!" The Weyrleader calls out in a loud, firm voice as he glances sidelong to Kimmila — a silent 'come with' before hastening to the Harper's side and reaching to grip the man firmly by the arm. "Shards man! What's happened here?" And his tone seems to say 'be quick about it!'

Kimmila looks around hastily and then hollers out, "There's a back entrance there, around the corner and between those two arches!" She's yelling to Oannis apparently, and the two guards with him. Then she's hastening after Th'ero, but not before she's hollering at Kazulen, "LOOK before you bludgeon someone, alright?"

The Harper all but faints once he reaches the Weyrleader. "Th'ero, thank Faranth you're here. Peyton's men need reinforcements…" He coughes a bit of blood even as he wipes his brow with the kerchief offered by the guard down the way. With the blood cleared away the large bruise is seen on the harper's head. "I only just got word out…I don't know, Weyrleader." He falls to his knees and closes his eyes. Suddenly opening his eyes again he shouts, "What are we to do?"

Kouzevelth is no more a fan of the mental image than Velokraeth, and it's probably worse that she can't see it and is coming up with her own ideas based on the words she's echoing, making sure the rest of the Weyr's golds are just as in the loop as she is — not that they couldn't hear him just fine. "I am just," Inri says softly, "going to stay behind my gigantic gold dragon and as close to you as possible and hope that no one shoots, bludgeons or stabs me."

K'drozen looks out toward that hall and shift his his seat, "We need to get them out of there." he mutter to himself as he looks over to his wingleader and await orders.

Oannis throws up a hand in acknowledgement to Kimmila. Silently he moves to secure the exit alluded to. His hand goes up again as he directs Iarohana and Yurolt a little bit further down into the Hold. They're all brave enough, but not so stupid as to take the battle inside with only three. Instead the move quietly and cautiously, listening for any incoming troops to contend with.

Good thing that Th'ero had his hand on the Harper then and he keeps him from falling — barely. "So it is Peyton's Guards then?" he asks again, only to scowl as it becomes clearer to him just how bad the situation is. Concern filters in though when Gershel coughs and his wounds are too obvious to miss. The Weyrleader grunts in surprise as the Harper goes down though, half ready to call for aid when the man comes too and shouts. Gripping his shoulder hard, Th'ero shouts though his voice is just loud enough for Gershel to hear above the chaos. "Get a grip of yourself, man! We'll take it from here. Go have your wounds tended." And he will give Gershel a help up to his feet if the Harper allows it, before gesturing with his sword towards where Kouzevelth is. Hard to miss a gold, right? Sorry Inri. No hiding for you. "Go to them. She can arrange transport if you think you cannot manage here." Ouch.

Kimmila keeps a watch around them, arrow drawn, as Th'ero and Gershel speak. She hears the man's words, sees his injuries, but her focus is on the hunt - the defensive at the moment - though there's no doubt that desire for revenge burns in her eyes. And maybe just a bit of 'HA. I told you so.'

Suddenly, five Gold Hill men rush out of the back entrance, and if their guilt is in doubt, surely the fistfulls of jewelry they're all carrying will give them away? And also conveniently make it so they don't have time to grab for their swords. Not unless they're willing to drop those jewels.

Gershel accepts Th'ero's hand up and gives him a look of apology for his outburst. "There is another entrance into the Hold over right of those rocks." He gestures vaguely toward the hidden entrance and backs swiftly away at the sudden unexpected appear of the five men. Nodding to Th'ero, who has the situation under control…right?, he heads over to Inri and shouts for nubweed. He also starts designating an area for the wounded that are sure to start arriving. "Th'ero, have you any healers ready?" Gershel shouts to the Weyrleader.

Numbweed? Is something Inri actually /does/ have; she's no Healer, but there's a small tub of it in her jacket pocket, along with an equally small towel, nonetheless. She hears the request at least clearly enough to pull it out and smear some onto the piece of cloth without numbing her own hands. "Here, let me help with — who hit you?" she is unable to resist asking, despite the reasonable expectation that it wasn't someone friendly. Or maybe the weyrling thinks Kazulen did it. Kouzevelth offers up a soft little humming sound, and Inri adds, surprised, "She says thank you, by the way, Harper."

Oannis, and his men, quickly close in on the Gold Hill men. "Hands! Now, let me see them!" is the sergeant's shout. Yurolt holds his bow ready to loose an arrow at whomever chooses to draw a weapon. Iarohana and Oannis grab the men's arms and tie them behind their backs. Oannis knocks the knees out from behind the men and Iarohana bounds them together. They'll not be going anywhere. The sergeant gives a quick signal to one of the other guards down below, "Get these men when you can, we're moving in, try and seal this hole." He thumbs toward the exit as his leads his guards inside.

"Nothing wrong with that Inri." Abigail offers to her friend while she watches, a slight shake of her head seen while she shifts and eyes the other weyrling a moment, leaning over to give her arm a faint pat. With the Harper coming over to get aid Abbey stay near Inri's side still, her gaze going towards the movement he is leaving from and an arrow is pulled and knocked ready for use if needs be. Niumdreoth the ever watchful brown, lets a deep rumbling roar come bellowing out. Maybe he can scare off anyone that gets too close?

Wingleader Nishka continues to order her riders to circle above or remain landed well in the distance and away from the fighting. Word comes from the golds back at "camp" that things are progressing in preparations there. As the first wounded (and dead) are dragged or brought in to where Gershel has designated the area, the Weyrleader shouts back to the Harper, "Back where the Weyrwoman and the other goldriders and Weyrlings have made camp. Those who can will be transported out by dragon!" Velokraeth soars above, high above, while he can and keeps an eye on the inner holding. What he sees, he relays to Kouzevelth as well as his rider, complete with wine soaked images. « Most of the fighting seems to be condensed to one part of the Hold. I cannot get close enough to see though where they are coming from. » Which means the ground troops are, more or less, going in on their own.

Th'ero has no time for thoughts of revenge, as Oannis and his men are now engaged by five of Gold Hill's, the Weyrleader gathers his bearings and finds the location of that secondary hidden entrance. Whose to say if the situation is under control? Right now it's all chaos and mayhem as one side fights another for dominance. "Kimmila, follow me." He calls to the bluerider, not waiting to see if she follows before he's heading off for that second entrance. No fool, he tries to flag a few other Guards as well, perhaps with the intention to brief them and send them in.

Jewel-dropping would probably have been wiser; Kazulen makes it up to that back entrance — after muttering something about how he was only bludgeoning people who were armed — just in time to skid to a halt, catching an eyeful of this furtive escape attempt. "Are you kidding me?" he mutters, and since the five escapees have been dealt with all of a sudden, he tags along with the Weyrleader, instead. Now's his chance to demonstrate his bludgeoning-the-right-people skills all over again.

K'drozen remains dragoin back goin airborn again and falling in with the other member of his wing scanning for victims they the perhap get to and extract from harms way…

Kimmila swears under her breath at Th'ero's beckoning, muttering things about arrows and swords and trees. Stashing her arrows, she draws her dagger and follows, a little out of her element but she'll be damned if she's going to let Th'ero go in on his own. As Kazulen joins them, the bluerider gives him a nod of greeting and crooked, grim smile. "Glad you're on our side."

Gershel nods to Th'ero and turns to Inri, "Thanks for the nubweed…And I don't know, they hit me when I was coming out of my quarters." A brief pause at the girl's mention of dragon thanks. "You're welcome.." Moving a bit to quickly for a head wound he goes to where the causilties are being pulled out. Though a harper, he is stuck doing triage until a healer is closer.

Oannis is just about to shout to Kazulen, but it appears the guard is already going where the sergeant wanted him. Good lad. As for the sergeant and his small troop, they form up outside the exit before he gives the signal for entry. Boldy the young guards and their sergeant rush into the Hold. Unfortunately they are now out of sight of the dragons and other guards. On their own now, it would seem.

"So," Kazulen mutters to Kimmila, as he slithers halfway inside his bow to keep it out of the way, bandolier-style, "you seriously think you're going to go fight with /that/ little thing?" At least /someone/ knows how to be the Laughing Warrior; a moment later he's holding out a spare 'dagger' that's a long enough knife to count as a short sword, instead. He raises his eyebrows, offering. If nothing else, she could have one in each hand!

Even over the din of clashing steel and the shouts of men and other terrified voices, word can spread. Which means someone is in charge in there, which is a frightening prospect, really. Heavy footfalls can be heard and just as Oannis and his men have secured the first five, they'll find themselves about to be swarmed and these men are partially (and poorly, really) armored and not of Gold Hill. They're weapons are crude too, but they have no reluctance in wielding them. So it's fight or flight for those Guards. But they must get into that courtyard!

The other entrance seems eeriely quiet as Th'ero presses on, only giving Kazulen a cursory glance and paying Kimmila's mutterings no heed. The Weyrleader signals them to be ready, before delving deeper into the shadowy archway and to a door. Pausing, he signals them to be ready before kicking it open and feinting to the side but his defense and their weapons will be uncessary. Peering back at them with wide and frightened eyes are unarmed holders — innocents and all trapped until then in this cramped end of the Hold. "Oh for the love of…" Th'ero curses as the crowd of frightened folk begin to mutter, flighty and obviously petrified. "Move!" The Weyrleader barks at them, stepping out and gesturing with his sword. "You'll be safe. Just move and fast! To the Gold dragon and the trees." They will all just stand there, blinking and uncertain until a sudden roar from a dragon has the first one breaking and the rest follow like sheep. Hope the Harper and Weyrlings are ready for influx! Not to mention the Wingriders will need to cover from above to be sure they're not intersected by enemies.

"Take it easy a little," Inri says softly, looking between Harper and fellow weyrling with gentle smiles trying to hide her uneasiness. At this point, Kouzevelth's mental zen meant for the dragons is starting to take hold on her rider as well; Niumdreoth's collectedness is certainly making a difference, and Kouzevelth is drizzling her rain into the brown's mind, appreciative. « You are grounding, » she tells him. Velokraeth's message is as well received, with a few distasteful little electrical zaps tossed off into the ether rather than at the bronze. « Thank you, » she says, and then, « Be safe. » He can have some of that calm, too; everyone can. Just as soon as Inri's started to settle trying to help people get situated, her dragon is letting her know there's more of them. "How many —" is another aborted comment from the goldrider. Kouzevelth doesn't know and isn't making further demands of Varmiroth or Velokraeth.

Kimmila sheaths her dagger and grabs for Kazulen's offered sword with a nod of thanks. She's an archer, not a swordsman. Ducking into the room just after Th'ero, she blinks at the holders and then breathes a sigh of…relief? Shooing them out, she glances at Th'ero once the room is empty and she's made a quick sweep, nodding for him to head out once more. "At least it's not Stonehaven," she mutters.

The harper stares at the sudden influx of…refugees. He blinks rapidly to make sure it's not his head wound. No there's really that many. Though most appear merely frightened, uninjured the harper shouts orders for the weyrlings to check each one. The columns of wounded…or worse…are already quite large. Healers now pacing in between the lines checking dressings and wounds. A quick thought has the harper shout, "Also check for weapons. Even a belt knife. Safety first!"

Niumdreoth tilts his head to look back to Kouzevelth. «I am?» Nice simple question with a backing of that night sky and snowy forest clearly coming through to the gold. His eyes swirl while he shifts and continues to stand all protective like near his rider and the ones near her. Take it easy huh? Abigail is taking it easy just very wary with everything going on now, still her arrow is put back into the quiver, still that bow is gripped tightly within her hand. "How many what?" This question is sent to Inri before her gaze flicks towards where she knows the hold to be, getting a general idea. Her answer is coming with the incoming people. Luckly he knows a bit about bounding wounds at least. With her bow shouldered she goes about checking on a pair, speaking softly to try and get them to calm down. "It's alright; we're going ta help ye."

Muffled shouts and steel on steel can be heard out of the exit Oannis and his men entered. Shouting, more shouting, moving deeper into the Hold. An arrow flies out the exit, lucky for the guards, someone missed. This time.

"It came very well close to it." Th'ero replies in a dark mutter to Kimmila, his tone bitter and harsh. Noticing she has a sword now in hand, he glances sharply to Kazulen, pinning the Guard under his stare. Not exactly the warmest of 'thanks' but take it or leave it. Kouzevelth's calm is likely much needed in a situation like this, not just for Velokraeth but any of the dragons currently on the front lines and in the thick of things. The Weyrleader lingers long enough to examine the room and suddenly he's backing out again, a different sort of glint to his eyes as he gestures Kimmila and Kazulen to his side. "See there? This looks like it leads inside and it's deserted. Where is Oannis and the others?" he asks then, while simultaneously Velokraeth passes on to Azath, Niumdreoth, Kouzevelth and any dragon who will hear him. « Pass word to any Guards who can to fall back to where the Weyrleader is. Cause diversions if you must, but they have found a way in! » There's a pause, as the bronze fades to be replaced by another. « Understood. We need those wounded and refugees moved out now! This is no place for them! »

"You know what," Kazulen is saying, in the ex-refugee room, "I'm not even going to ask about Stonehaven." Th'ero's hawk-stare is observed, accepted/dismissed all at once, because it's no big deal — there's no sense in having Kimmila get herself killed, after all! Yep. Now Kaz is busy being miffed at himself for not thinking to bring along one of those miniature glowbaskets, just in case. "What are we waiting for?" he asks, bouncing up on his toes a little, twice, before settling back into the same mindful calmness. Well?

"People," Inri manages to get out, before she's ducking in to the wounded and doing what she can to help with the absolute basics of doing things like putting pressure on things that are bleeding and doling out her increasingly smaller supply of numbweed. (Good thing she is paranoid enough to carry it, though.) "There are just. A lot." Kouzevelth holds her head high, making sure those who need to use her as a landmark are able to, and so she can survey all of the casualties before her. She is relaying her opinion of the state of things to Zuvaleyuth before Velokraeth's order comes. And then she stretches out a mental push to those transport dragons available, wordless but clear: come get those who can be moved and move them. She will not go.

Not only wounded are being brought in. Some distance away from where Gershel had designated a safe zone by Abigail and Inri, the Wingleader of Thunderbird has created another spot… for prisoners. There's some wounded there too, but they'll be tended there. Under watch, none seem to struggle against their fate, simply sitting with their hands and feet bound, heads down.

Kimmila grimaces, shaking her head and briefly touching fingertips to her temple. The moment passes, and she follows after Th'ero. Sword at the ready, she is tense and alert to any sound, trusting Kazulen to watch their backs.

Gershel calls out to Inri, "Do you have any more nubweed?" He gestures to a line of more severly wounded people and says, "None for them, if they're screaming, they're still alive. Just bandages." Pointing to the walking wounded he looks at Abigail, "Can you see about getting these ones out of here?" To another weyrling he shouts, "Grab a pad and keep the names and condition of each person. We'll need it later. Go!"

Time is ticking and Th'ero is growing ever impatient as no backup seems to come. His reluctance to charge forward is obvious — orders were not to charge in. But he cannot in conscious simply throw Kazulen in and call it a day… even if the youth's enthusiasm is grating on his nerves. Smirking, he ignores the young Guard's comment, only to give Kimmila a sharp look when she grimaces and shakes her head. But as she says nothing, Th'ero only exhales heavily and renews his grip on his sword, body stance shifting. "Kazulen, to my left and behind me." Upstarts to the back! "Kimmila, stay to my right. Both of you… prepare yourselves. I don't know what has become of Oannis or the others at the other entrance. And Faranth knows what's at the end of this…" But they must go and so they go, sticking to the shadows as much as he can as the room begins to curve out into a hallway and the sounds of fighting grows ever louder.

Kimmila is really glad she's not pregnant anymore, and can actually do things. Gripping her sword, she shifts to Th'ero's right side, and since she's right handed, it makes sense. "Right," she says quietly.

Velokraeth senses that Varmiroth's mind reaches out, a greyscale nightscape of harsh chromatics and shades of grey. He says no words. He just grips on to the other's mind, perhaps as his rider wishes to grip on to Th'ero's arm, but can't. So the mental connection will have to do.

Further down the path the Weyrleader has started down is small stairway, going steeply up on the right. It is down this stair that Sergeant Oannis, wedged tightly against a Gold Hill man, falls. Into the middle of the hall they roll, grunting and each trying to dislodge the other. If only Oannis could reach his belt knife, but unfortunatly both hands are occupied.

Kazulen, however, is really really not left-handed. He's also busy staring horrified daggers at the back of the Weyrleader's head, because, well … he's the Weyrleader. "Sir," he interrupted, keeping his voice quiet to keep them out of trouble, "I really think you shouldn't have point on this. For safety's sake. Sir."

"Not that much," Inri admits, because she did only have the one pot, which she holds out guiltily. "I'll give it to whomever I can, but — hang on, let me get some more." In certain areas, dragon communication just makes life that much easier; it only takes a few seconds before Kouzevelth is asking the other dragons, « Could someone bring more numbweed, if you have it? Otherwise, just Healers. Not here. Where they are going. »

Outside the Hold there are a few remaining skirmishes and a few of the men escape the Guards there. Sensing that the noose is tightening, they make a mad and rather blind dash in all directions. Close to a dozen of them, but they are going to the last few options left — the forests. Dragonriders or no, fear can make many very foolish and these cowards are thinking of nothing but their hides as they bear down on both makeshift 'camps'.

Abigail doesn't answer Inri on the 'people' bit. She is busy now quickly wrapping some bandage around a man's arm. Seems Inri is not the only one that carries items like numbweed and bandages it seems. With one done with banding another is checked over and the same is done until she is out of the bandage that she has. At the question to getting the wounded ones out she nods. "Come on this way." Is said quickly, transport dragon found and she goes about helping them get all strapped up and thus out of the area as quickly as possible it seems.

Gershel sees the fleeing Hold men and stands up strait. "Any of you have weapons? It would be wise to stand ready!" Though the Harper is not certain the men will try and run close to the wounded area, it's better to have the weyrlings ready. "Take any prisoners you can…" With that said he looks around him and finds a rather large stick..It will have to do.

"It will be fine," Th'ero reassures Kazulen briskly, his tone signalling that he will not argue the issue further. Truth be told he doesn't want to be point. The Weyrleader doesn't want to be here at all. Perhaps he does not trust the young Guard so much as to let him lead or perhaps does not want to see him killed for the sake of protecting him because of his rank. "Stay focused!" At the stairs, the bronzerider has just begun to consider them when Oannis and the man he's struggling with fall into their paths. It takes but a heartbeat for Th'ero to realize it's the sergeant Guard before he's barking out a rough, "Move, Oannis!" He lifts his sword, but with the two rolling and the hallway not that wide… he cannot make a clear strike.

Varmiroth senses that Velokraeth's mind seeks and grasps Varmiroth's reaching mind firm and tight. No words are necessary. Over the bond, he sends reassurance and some of the calm Kouzevelth is conveying. Harsh nightscape is met with the dark wine reds of his mind. They are there together. All will be as well as it can be.

Kimmila looks briefly relieved at Kazulen's protest, and then irritated at Th'ero's reply. She's about to make her own comment when Oannis falls, and her attention isn't on the two rolling on the floor. The known quantities are ignored, as she peers up the stairs, perhaps thinking where there's one, surely there must be more? "Yurolt!" she hollers. "If you're dead I'm going to kick your ass."

Oannis is much too entangled with his opponent to simply 'move'. He does, however, roll away from Th'ero, so the Hold man's back is facing the Weyrleader. Once the deed is done, the sergeant stands and brushes himself off. Bending down he retrieves a sword…His? Who knows, who cares. A salute to the Weyrleader and Kimmila, is followed by a quick look around and the up the stairs. He sees Kazulen, and motions him to hold the stair while he reports. "Sir, there's many dead and dying up there. Mostly this lot, but some unarmed…Women and children too." He kicks the dead man at his feet. Another quick glance up the stairs and he continues, "Did Iarohana and Yurolt get down yet?"

On those escaped men run, some actually making it to the trees though won't be free for long. Most wisely stay clear of the designated areas, either by chance or some lingering sense in their heads. Two however find themselves caught, the running gradually slowing as they approach. One looks pretty battered and unarmed, the other has a makeshift blade. Both stare at the Harper and his choice of… stick for weapon. The battered one though does something surprising and probably very, very smart considering there are two riders (weyrlings, yes, but he does not know that) right there and more likely bearing down. "I yield! I yield." the man says, his voice young sounding as he lifts his hands up and proceeds to kneel. The other just laughs, a shaky, nervous and flighty laugh of a man pushed a bit too far. "Screw this. I ain't afraid of no Harper with a stick!" And so he makes to move past them, brandishing his makeshift knife threateningly but making no forward attack. He just wants to get away.

The Harper is no fool, while he's relieved the first man surrendered, he will not openly fight the other. Lucky for him won't have to, he hopes. He remembers one of those weyrlings had a bow at least. Gershel does draw up his 'sword'stick defensively and holds his ground, hoping against hope that girl can shoot.

Weapons what? Abigail is just getting a last person strapped in upon a dragon as she hears Gershel. "Go!" Is sent to the rider of the dragon that is indeed gone with the wounded they are carrying to zip them off to safety. While turning around her bow is pulled from her shoulder, arrow yanked from the quiver and knocked as she turns to see the oncoming fleeing men. Niumdreoth turns his form about to see the approaching group a well, his head lowers, wings unfurl and his tail lashes while he stands his ground. A deep rumble close to a roar escapes him which is a clear warning that the group of approaching men should perhaps think twice before getting closer to the group of injured and weyrling mix. While the one man goes for the Harper, Abbey does not wait her bow is lifted and the arrow flies hopefully to hit or nick the man with the makeshift knife in the leg to perhaps stop him. Someone talked about getting prisoners right?

Th'ero does not hesitate in doing the necessary deed, though his grimace is disgusted and he pauses to wipe his sword clean as best he can. The Weyrleader's mood has darkened considerably now and gives the Sergeant a brisk nod, while crouching down to drag the hold man's body aside. "More refugees are trapped up there," he asks, his voice cold and tense. "No, we have not seen them. We need to be getting to the courtyard! Once it's secure, this fight is done." Voices, faint, can be heard from the entrance outside. Reinforcements — Peyton Guards and some more Fortian too. Th'ero does not turn his head, though his eyes shift towards the sound before focusing back on the Guard, then to Kimmila.

Kimmila steps forward to tightly grip Th'ero's elbow, leaning in to hiss something into his ear. Then she steps back, standing…hovering almost, waiting for something to happen. To be told what to do. She knows very well this is not the time for her to take charge.
Kimmila whispers "We should fall back. At least a little. Let Oannis lead."

The sergeant nods grimely in both answer to Th'ero and acknowledgement of impending victory. "Kazulen, take point! Ma'am, the rear if you don't mind. Sir, behind me." Though he's technically not of sufficent rank to order the Weyrleader, he is the ranking guard here. He motions Kazulen towards the far end of the hallway and prepares to move out. They'll have to search for their missing guards later.

The man who yielded flinches and shies away slightly from Niumdreoth when the brown roars, though for his credit he does not run. He simply remains kneeling, hands up and clearly no threat. His features are hard to see, both from the shaggy mess his hair is and the fact that one eye is already swelling. From his rough clothes and their worn and dirty state… he's clearly not been living a comfortable life for some time. The second man, the knife wielder does not get far either. At the roar he falters and it's enough for Abigail's arrow to find it's mark in his calf and with a cursed scream of pain, he goes down and stays down.

Down the now wounded man does go, but not before the slightly panicked harper lets him have a stout blow from his sword/stick. He blushes as he realizes the man was already handled, but quickly holds his stick to the surrendered man. Until he can be bound and searched. Glancing quickly toward the weyrlings he says, "Fantastic shot, whichever one of you did that."

Niumdreoth doesn't move towards the men, the brown seems happy that he got his point across! A faint rumble escapes him while he watches the scene just to make sure no one tries to do any stupid. Abigail pulls another arrow from her quiver while she makes her way quickly towards the man she already shot. "Drop the weapon." This is stated with a thin tone while the next arrow is aimed for somewhere more vital. From the looks of it she will finish the job if he even flinches to take a swing at anyone else. If the knife is dropped more orders are snapped out. "Roll onto your belly, hand behind yer back." She hears the Harper and a nod is seen. "Welcome Sir. Do ye have any rope? If not I have plenty for the lot."

"Well, it definitely wasn't me," says the shaken Inri — whose dragon is looming a lot closer than she was before. Even though Niumdreoth is clearly still her grounding focus, and therefore she's able to continue her zen enforcement without errant bits of lightning escaping, Kouzevelth has followed the brown right up close and is haughtily looking down her nose at — well, everyone, due to relative size, but it's meant for the Enemy.

Th'ero starts a little when Kimmila grips his elbow, bending his head to her hissed whispering. The Weyrleader's features twist to a stubborn scowl and he turns his head just enough to mutter something to her in return. No, Oannis is not of rank to order him but now is not the time. "Understood." he replies and begins to step back, falling back though he seems to motion for Kimmila to stand a little more to his side rather than take up the back. With Peyton and Fortian Guards now securing the entrance, they can likely focus elsewhere.
Th'ero whispers "Do you think I want to be here? We ordered the others not to engage and yet here we are in the thick of it. Oannis can lead. But we cannot simply fall back and leave them two against a hoard of men." to Kimmila.

Kimmila nods to Th'ero. Apparently she agrees with whatever he whispered, and she steps to his side, ready to follow as they continue towards the courtyard.

Such as, maybe, behind Kazulen, who has been watching the stairs and the interplay between the Weyrleader and the sergeant and Kimmila slightly more than he should? At any rate, he hasn't been doing a very good job of watching /behind/ himself. That's maybe a problem, isn't it.

Oannis follows his man Kazulen to the end of the hallway, where it empties out into the courtyard. Motioning Kazulen to proceed out, and quickly, the sergeant is only a step behind him. Hopefully Th'ero and Kimmila can keep up so the guards aren't overwhelmed. Into the bright courtyard they go, and Oannis has to squint to see around him. For a moment, the guards are at a disadvantage.

The wounded man curses as Gershel deals him a blow with that stick and in lifting his arms up to defend himself, the knife is dropped. "I give in!" the man stammers, "I yield! For Faranth's sake, you've shot me! Ain't that enough?" The whining brings a rather scathing look from the younger man, who's still yielding with hands raised and kneeling. "You're lucky she didn't shoot you through the heart," he grunts, which has the wounded man trying to spit at him from his general direction. "At least I ain't no bleeding turncloak!" Silence falls over both men though as Kouzevelth seems closer and the yielding man lowers his head again and stares straight forwards. Maybe… if he doesn't move, he won't draw her attention? Or Niumdreoth's.

Shadowing a rider has taken D'ani in a different direction today but Dremkoth's clutchmates have been vocal about what's been going on and there's no way either bronze or weyrling are going to leave them to face whatever befalls without him at their back. With alarm the pair whisk smartly Between. They've been to Gold Hill, know the coordinates so the arrival is over the Hold proper where the rider peels off to head for the hold itself while motioning to D'ani to veer towards where the weyrlings tending the wounded. Sweeping in low over the fray on his way, great bronze wings scatter attackers and defenders alike, bowling people over, as if there weren't chaos enough. Does anyone have rope? There's a singing sound as a loop settles over the prone man, jerks and tightens, lifting him off the ground just a bit. "At your service Ma'am," says a voice from above Abigail.

The harper is one of the ones bowled over by the unexpected arival of this young bronze. Stumbling to his feet he watches with noticable ammusement as one of the captives now dangles slightly about him. "Thanks to you bronzerider!" He shakes his head to Abigail and says, "I have no rope for that other man there. I'll hold him if you could perhaps tie?" He's a harper not a fishman, knots aren't his forte.

Both Weyrleader and Wingrider are more than capable at keeping up to the pace that Oannis sets and Th'ero does not falter from his position. Even as they begin to approach the courtyard and the chaos within it. Certainly there is a disadvantage, as the cobblestones are strewn with obstacles. Supplies are strewn all over, as well as debris from broken windows and other items either thrown, tossed or knocked aside. There are bodies as well, some still moving and alive though badly wounded and from both sides. Hopefully Oannis' eyes recover fast and that Kazulen is sharply alert, because though the fighting seems to be down to one end, it only takes one pair of eyes to spot them and a call of, "Guards!" and the implied command of 'Kill them'. to change the tables again. Clearly the one in 'charge' is the voice, as the group of men suddenly come charging down.

If they don't move maybe they won't be seen, this is true, but unlike a t-rex these two dragons haven't eaten yet. Abigail just smirks while eyeing the fallen man. "Keep talking and I'll shoot ye in the arse. It'll hurt a lot more then the leg when it gets yanked out too." Would she do it? Oh yes she would and she would be amused over it ever so much. Niumdreoth is now an ever present shadow, looming some feet off and a slight rumble and warble escaping him now and then. Then there is the voice of D'ani and she tilts her head to glance to him, a grin is seen. "Thank ye D'ani." She just managed to not get bowled over by the large bronze wing as well. For tying knots she knows how to do that well. "Sure thing." This said while her new arrow is put away and bow shouldered. Rope is picked up and given a slight tug before she is quick to tie up the man once the Harper has hold of him.

Kimmila only has time to swear before she's lifting her sword and, with a yell (a feminine one, that might throw some folks off their stride?) she steps to the side, well clear of Th'ero, and starts swinging. Block, block, block, and a hit that sends one of the enemy men falling to the stones. Then on to the next.

D'ani's sudden appearance does do one thing that's beneficial; immediately after it startles Inri, it also calms her down again, and she laughs. "Great entrance," the other weyrling says, leaning up against Kouzevelth's irritable looming side and trying not to get in the way as the guarding-types (okay, and the Harper) do their thing with the arrested assailants. "You should be nominated for some sort of award." Clinging to humor, her? Never.

The sergeant is rather impressed with how quickly Kimmila adjusts to the change of light and charges into battle. Drawing himself up to full height he bellows a call of doom to the enemy about him. He follows the bluerider's example and calls for Kazulen to do the same. Thrust, parry, thrust, swing. DUCK! The sergeant almost got the closest shave he could have. A quick roll out of the way and it's back to into the fray.

The wounded man has lost his voice, it seems, as now there is a bronze involved. So the Harper will have no problem holding him down and Abigail won't have resistance in tying him. The battered looking man, still kneeling, is now just straightening himself a bit after being buffeted by the winds of Dremkoth's wings. Lifting his head up just enough, he begins to cast a tentative glance towards where his "comrade" is now being trussed up. But his focus is not on the man, but rather the Weyrlings and Harper. Is he next? Still he says nothing, though he does begin to fidget.

Dremkoth beats his wings, rising higher partly to avoid getting hit with anything and partly to keep their prize from going anywhere. One great foreclaw grasps the rope to steady it and keep it from swinging, but it doesn't stop it from spinning. Oh well? D'ani leans over the side and peers down at both Abigail and Inri, giving his weyrlingmates a flippant two-fingered salute and a cocky grin, "I might could think of something, I'm sure." Dremokth snakes his neck around to eye the captured one he's got, snorting a blast of hot, irate air in his face. "What's your name? And be quick about it. You don't want me to use this." In his hand is a branding iron, which is shaken menacingly. What? It works with heifers! This is D'ani's contribution: interrogation while dangling.

Kazulen can't, apparently, be bothered with fancy showmanship any longer; he saved that for the dismount. Neither is he worried about casting fear into the hearts of his enemy through shouts of doom and rage. He's doing it through sheer methodical precision, instead — the closest anyone has gotten is a small slice on his cheek, which is only bleeding a /little/, and a growing circle of wounded-to-the-point-of-surrender would-be attackers surrounds him. Enter the circle, fall out of it bleeding: that's what happens when you mess with Kazulen.

The harper scoffs at the bronzerider's threat. "Put that away you, we'll get no answers that way." A quick aside to the weyrling with the pad and writing tool, "Get over here and record their names…and conditions. I want to know how they were taken in…" He gives a warning eye to all the weyrlings, as if to say, none of these prisoners is to be tortured. A quick glance at the dangling man has the harper quickly turn to the healers muling about. "Bind that leg. I think that archer hit the artery." He's not angry, actually more impressed, however it means the prisoner could die.

Niumdreoth moves over to his rider, there is a roll of rope clearly seen hooked into a bit of his straps. Once Abigail is done with the one man, and D'ani is now joining in the fun of interrogation she goes and gets the other length of rope for the battered up man. With rope in hand she turns moving towards the one that is left. "Keep put hands behind yer back or the brown is going to knock ye senseless." As on cue Niumdreoth rumbles out, his tail twitching a few time as to prove this point. With the warning given Abbey goes about binding the man's arms up if able, and rather tightly at that.

"Really?" Inri is watching the healers, the man's leg, and then turning to look back at Abigail again. "I am impressed," she says before she gets a chance to consider it — Inri is not exactly a violent person or the sort who likes pain inflicted, but some of the bleedover of Kouzevelth's mental state over the siege is getting to her. She falls silent again, after that, just continuing to grin at the other two. Drinks for D'ani and Abigail, invented on the spot just for them, as soon as she can. (After she's managed to pass out for a while.)

D'ani feigns reluctance and finally stows the branding iron in one of the loops to Dremkoth's saddle. As the man they're dangling is tied up and attended to by the healers, he reels in his rope, tying it also to the bronze's harness. Meanwhile they've landed a ways off, the weyrling swinging down to stride over to where Inri and Abigail are in time to… loom while they neutralize him. Though he certainly can't loom as menacingly as Niumdreoth does, or talk as tough as Abigail does, that's for sure. They seem alright, but he's got to check anyway. "You girls okay? Wow, Abbey, remind me never to get you mad." It's then that he takes a close up look at the second man and just… stares.

Th'ero can spare only a moment of concern for Kimmila as she steps to the side and voices that yell. He knows the bluerider is not strong with the sword, but there is no time… The Weyrleader has to focus on the man now bearing down on him, crude weapon raised. Too easy to deflect, the bronzerider disarms the man and then deals him a jarring blow that renders him unconscious. Seems he wants to avoid killing, if he can. All the more prisoners to interrogate, right? With Oannis and Kazulen going one way, Th'ero can only follow so far but he's not about to have Kimmila left unguarded.

The attackers in the courtyard will thin fast enough. Most are not seasoned fighters and soon there are only two left, including the man in charge to face the guards. The Weyrleader is not about to leave them without support though and with a clear path now, he turns just enough to check on Kimmila and then signal her to follow him. He is just a few steps into his forwards charge though when he suffers a similar fate as a certain captive out there. Th'ero only utters a half strangled curse before his left leg gives out and he goes sprawling, sword clattering away across the stones. It's Velokraeth who does the yelling, the bronze's enraged roar echoing overhead as he falters in flight.

Dun dun DUN. Kimmila's yell mingles with Velokraeth's as she lunges forward, her eyes on Th'ero and for a moment woefully vulnerable to attack.

Mopping up what enemy remain, Oannis hears the sound of flesh being pierced and a sword clatter on the stones. He turns in time to see Kimmila throw herself wholeheartedly towards the now wounded Weyrleader. "Kazulen! Left flank, now!" Even as he yells, he covers the right side, moving with a purpose, but still cautiously towards the dragonriders.

Perhaps the wounded man by Abigail's hand is thankful he did not incur the wrath of D'ani instead. Branding irons are quite the threatening thing! But his fate is sealed now and done. It's the younger man, the roughed up one but the one who has remained so patiently yielding and silent through this whole ordeal. That is, until D'ani is staring at him and the man only stares right back, eyes narrowing. "Am I to be trussed up too?" he finally speaks and his voice is that of a man who is younger than he looks. Boldly, he takes a steadying breath, only to wince slightly as bruised ribs complain. "Because I've a request to make." No please? His eyes dart then, from D'ani, to Abigail and Gershel and then Inri, tense and waiting.

Something in the way the man moves, or speaks, or — something appeals to Inri's good sense. It could be how cooly and boldly straightforward he is about it, or the uncertainty of his age, but before anyone else gets a chance to speak, Inri takes one of her first actions that one could really call weyrwomanlike, and nods. "Go on and make it," she tells him, emotionless. "We'll hear you out."
The harper quickly looks D'ani over and sees the weyrling knot. He's about to take charge when the girl Inri beats him too it. Looking at the man he nods to the weyrling with the pad to make not of what the man says.

Abigail wasn't even paying attention to what was said about the man hit with the arrow. A glance is sent towards Inri and she chuckles softly. "Lots of time practicing." She chuckles softly as she hears D'ani. "Aye, good thing ta remember." At the request from the one she was about to tie up as she hears him speak. "Tis the idea." She states with a firm tone. At the request a faint glance is sent towards the others before she waits in the trussing up bit, though when Inri speaks she does wait, curious to hear what this man has to say as well. At the roar up in the sky Niumdreoth lifts his head, eyes a swirl with worry as a faint warble escapes him.

Varmiroth senses that Velokraeth doesn't mean to, but the bond is so strong, reinforced all those minutes ago for support and reassurance and now it serves as the perfect conduit for the bronze's distraught state to surge through. « Cowards! » he exclaims, voice and mind seething with anger and pain that is not wholly his own. But it's raw and pure emotion, colored only by the roiling of wine reds. « Damn them! Damn them ALL and this accursed Hold! » Poor, poor blue.

D'ani will defer to Abigail on the second man's question, making no move to tie him up since the man isn't making any attempt to escape. But if the man were to make a run for it, he's still got a coil of rope in the hand hanging at his side, which will sing out faster than he can run off anyway. The weyrling remains relaxed, but alert, not disconcerted in the least about being stared down. He leaves it to Inri to question the man for now, silently walking around him intently watching his mannerisms and how he speaks, a perplexed expression on his face. No… couldn't be. Could it? Nah!

Left flank, huh? Done and done, and don't you see, now, why Kazulen didn't think you should just go CHARGING OFF, Th'ero? The young Guardsman is scowling, which really just adds to the terrifying image he presents, knocking heads as he hustles off to make sure the Weyrleader will be more-or-less okay. He might, possibly, be muttering "Stupid, stupid, stupid" under his breath. Possibly.

The young man does not relax, even when Inri addresses him with her flat and emotionless tone. Nodding his head, his gaze flicks to Gershel then, eyeing the pad apprehensively. It only seems to dawn on him now that there is a Harper present. D'ani's perplexed expression is is ignored for the most part, though he gives the bronze weyrling a long look as he begins to walk around. Exhaling then and grimacing, his eyes drift back to Inri. "What I have to say, I need to say it to the Weyrleader. Alone." Uh, what and what now? High demands for a man who looks like he's been roughing it for months and was just caught fleeing a raid on a minor hold! But his jaw firms and he seems to hold himself with no fear. He meant what he said!

Velokraeth senses that Varmiroth responds with sharp bursts of color, angry as well, though more concern leaks through. « Yes. » is his full agreement.

Inri holds her guard, even if she's doing her best to control her expression so as not to look completely shocked. She holds up a finger, and doesn't let her gaze wander from the man, even as her dragon is doubling her focus on Velokraeth and Dremkoth; their anger is acceptable to her, at that level, so she's not attempting to push it away, but she does speak up to the Weyrleader's bronze: « There is one who insists on speaking to yours, Velokraeth, » she relays, as if now is of course the perfect time. « Inri seems to think he should be heard out. It may be important. » Meanwhile, she's stuck making a decision, and so Inri comes up with, "I'll get in touch with him as quickly as possible, but we /are/ going to have to restrain you. You play nice and we will."

Gershel laughs at the man's request. Not a heartless cold laugh, but rather one that is truly amused. He says, "That might be a wee bit difficult, seeing as there is a raid going on." Turning to a healer he asides, "Get that man some numbweed and what bandages he requires, each breath looks painful." Quickly, he motions D'ani to guard the man closely while the healers work, and to follow Inri's comment of restraint. The harper nods in agreement with Inri's words and adds, "Could you at least give us a name? It will only help in the long run." He taps the pad with his long fingers and gives the captive a smile.

Th'ero won't remain down for long and just as Kimmila comes to his side, and Kazulen and Oannis fall back, he's already got his elbow under him and is attempting to pull himself upright. First instinct is to reach for his sword, even before assessing his injuries but it remains frustratingly out of his reach. Wrong choice too, as his bad leg is jared against the stones and he swears much more loudly this time. Gritting his teeth, he catches his breath enough to hiss, "Leave off and just /finish/ this already. I'll be fine. Get /them/ before the bastards escape." he tells the Guards. Because truthfully there are not many left and they are, indeed, beating a hasty retreat. Kazulen's muttering is either ignored or unheard as Th'ero tries again to stubbornly get to his feet… well, the good leg anyways. Kimmila may find herself being hastily grabbed at, when he begins to lose his balance and threaten to land again on his injured leg. Cause that'll do it good.

D'ani's attention is jerked away from the young man to his lifemate in the skies, his eyes glazing over for a moment before dropping back to the demanding prisoner and then flicking to the harper rebelliously. They should have let him threaten with the branding iron a wee bit longer! He remains there to guard the one the healers are working on, but it doesn't stop him from continuing to eye the other man too. In an aside to Inri, he says tersely, "Th'ero's been hurt, so it may have to wait a bit."

Kimmila helps, truly she does, but getting a grip on her weyrmate's elbow and simply hauling him to his feet. Maybe not the wisest move, but her Healer mother isn't here to reprimand her. "Up. Where." More statement - order - as she tries to assess his injury. She spares a glance for the battle, but since there were only two guys left, and two more than capable guards (though she's still worried about Yurolt!), she can focus on Th'ero.

"Oh really now?" Abigail questions with a faint tone, her eyes narrowing while she eyes the young man a few moments. "Ye think that gives ye plenty of reason to not be tied up do ye?" Seems she isn't buying this. "Yer was found fleeing a raid on a hold. I an't bout ta let ye just go wandering around with nothing binding ye. Her attention turns to D'ani though. "Do ye know 'em D'ani?" Well he is sure acting like it. As the talk goes on she at least doesn't try to tie the fella up just yet. "Hurt?" Abbey questions while glancing towards where the hold is. Niumdreoth rumbles out with some worry, he wants to follow after Dremkoth but knows he needs to stay put here as well to act as back up of sorts.

Lucky for the guards and dragonriders, a troop mixed of Peyton, Fort Hold and Weyr guards stream in. Not strong in numbers, they are enough to allow Kazulen and Oannis the change to follow the Weyrleader's orders. The sergeant nods solemly to Th'ero and motions Kazulen to come with him. "You heard him, lad, let's finish this." They close in on the remaining Gold Hill men.

High above, Velokraeth continues to circle and occasionally dive, but he won't go far before he veers up again. Though he does not vocalize as much as some dragons would, the pale bronze's behavior is enough to show his continued anger and distress. « Tell them they can go shove their requests in whatever most unpleasant crevice they can find on their person. » Velokraeth lashes out at Kouzevelth, some of it likely seeping to Dremkoth and Niumdreoth as he doesn't quite focus. That would be a no, by the way.

The young man shows the faintest bit of relief at first at Inri's reply, only to have it dashed by Gershel's laughter. Eyes narrow, regarding the Harper coldly from under his furrowed brows. Probably not the smartest of moves, but even he has patience and it's waning. "So then I will wait," he replies curtly. "And you can bind my hands if you wish." No claims that he is not a threat, but he is not resisting. D'ani's report leaves the young man stunned, mouth working silently for a moment though no reply comes. Well this complicates things. When he's pressed for his name, now he shows some stubbornness and resistance and his lips press together tightly. He shakes his head, "What I have to say is for the Weyrleader only. You will just have to be satisfied with that."

"You may be waiting a while," Inri admits, starting to sound a little peevish — she hates dealing with it all, really, the hurt and the mess of the entire situation. But she stepped up, and so she's stuck. "Did you expect people not to be hurt, really?" Kouzevelth falls mostly silent, though she's returned to positive vibes and comfort more than anything; this man's demand to speak to Th'ero can get dealt with back at the Weyr. In a cell somewhere. "You're voluntarily coming with us, by the way. You can wait at Fort Weyr's holding until the Weyrleader is available."

D'ani continues to send glances skyward alternating with searching glances towards the second man in between keeping his eye on the other one. The 'permisson' to bind his hands draws a snort from the weyrling, "If he dies, you'll hang a murderer!" he bites out with barely-controlled anger to the proud young captive. Upset more than he cares to admit that the Weyrleader has been hurt, he silently chafes and works to calm Dremkoth. Abigail's question prompts a slow shake of his head though it's a mighty unconvinced sort of denial from the weyrling. "He looks… familiar but I can't place him," he says finally.

Gershel understands the man's reluctance to state his name, though he does not like it. He's at Gold Hill long enough to know faces, yet he can seem to place this one. Therefore, he smiles again and says, "That's your choice…man…However, should you change your mind…" The harper gestures over to the trees standing a few lengths away. With that he gives D'ani and the other weyrlings a look that clearly says, nothing to kill the man…but all else goes. He's not a violent man, but can't promise the weyr guards won't be. "I leave him to you riders. I'd make haste to get him behind bars."

Yes, where is Yurolt? Th'ero is suddenly hauled up by Kimmila, more or less and she'll soon have to brace herself against most of his weight too as he leans heavily on her. Not on purpose, but his sense of balance is shot (ha). Grimacing, he tries to mask the pain even now. "Back," he says gruffly, breath slightly hitched . "Back the way we came. Now, while they have the advantage." And the Guards truly will and it will remain so, if they're smart about it. The fleeing men eventually turn to face them, but they look less confident than before. Some look as though they still have some fight in them, the others… not so much. The leader especially looks ready to go down fighting.

Kimmila glowers at the Weyrleader. "Where are you hit. I know where we're going." The 'idiot' is implied, but she shoulders his weight strongly and turns, starting to lead them back the way they came, towards the hallway and out of the courtyard and this dratted hold.

The sergeant glances quickly to Kazulen, "Are you ready?" Not really waiting for a response he presses the attack. He has no intention of failing now. Hopefully, Kazulen is up for this, though he does seem to be doing extremely well.

"Best believe I will." Abigail states with a thin tone. "Arms behind yer back." It won't just be his hands that she ties up. If and when the young man does put his hands behind his back she will tie up his wrists rather tightly. "I'm with D'ani in that. I'm sure our dragons would love to help with the hanging bit to." She catches the look from Gershel and nods before looking to D'ani. "Ye want to take him back to Fort? I know there is a lovely cell just waiting for his arse to sit within." Abbey will be more than happy to let the brand carrying bronzerider take him back and perhaps issue some ore threats? Sure why not!

"On three," Kazulen answers, and counts down to a charge — without bothering to actually yell anything at them. Waste of breath. Soon: a gaggle of unconscious, slightly-maimed, possibly dead Gold Hill men, and two or three who finally, finally saw the light and surrendered.

D'ani doesn't much care whether the second captive talks right now or not. "The cell is waiting; Th'ero - if he survives (his cheek twitches as he clenches his jaw saying that) - can see him when he gets around to it." He doesn't seem to much care if the young man enjoys prison food, cold, clammy nights, sweltering days and stench for several sevendays while the Weyrleader recovers. "Aye!" he responds to Abigail's question firmly. "Tie him good and I'll transport him to Fort Weyr myself dangling and swinging from Dremkoth's claws and *Betweening* as such." Hey - the man had his chance to be more cooperative.

Inri is still emotionless, forced collected by Kouzevelth's will and her own focus. She can't let herself worry about Th'ero right then; she can't worry about anything. Some of this is about image. About looking like she's in control. And even if she isn't, she has to be — her dragon is. "Just don't drop him," she says, light and distant. "He might have information we do actually want. It's ever happened before."
Yurolt pages: Yurolt is going show up now. In the refugee room, since you're going back that way.

The young man has no answer for Inri, only to hold her gaze and then lower it in guilt. Of course he knew of the consequences. But he seems to be sickened by the results. Not at all what one would expect. "So long as I'm in a solitary cell. Leave me with men like him," And he jutts his head towards the trussed up man with a grim smirk, "And there won't be anything left of me by morning." Abigail's requests are met, though if he has any protests to her methods, he wisely bites his tongue. D'ani's threat though earns him a glare, "It was not by my hand that he was injured!" he replies hotly and immediately seems to regret his words. Inhaling deeply, he flinches as his ribs give a twinge but Abigail's chiming in with the bronze weyrling on him being hanged seems to be the final straw. That or it's the further orders given by D'ani. Gershel's advice is taken, though not purposely. "You want to know who I am then?" he says, voice taking on a strange sort of strength behind it. Pride? Why is there pride in his voice and sadness too? "My name," he stresses, gaze now leveling cold on each Weyrling and Harper alike as he takes another slow, shallow breath. "Is Rayathess Stonehaven." Uh. Maybe they shouldn't go forwards with the hanging or the trussing up and dangling from dragons…

End of Part I — Part 2 Continues in Jerry Springer Family Drama

'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.