Xanadu Weyr - Coastal Road
This coastal road runs parallel with the edge of beach that stretches endlessly beside the Caspian Lake. From coast to inland the dunes of the beach grow smaller and smaller until they eventually peter out into nothing but small moguls in the sand. The path is eventually seen to be blocked by a river that reaches the lake just south of the point where the road turns west and crosses a grassy meadow towards a sturdy wooden bridge that can be seen in the distance.
After settling his runner into the stables and dropping off a few items that could not wait with riders and weyrfolk, Rogawani is on the move again. The young messenger is bundled up in his winter clothes including a scarf which is looped multiple times around his neck. The boy comes running down the costal path, hoping he's not too late to catch the sweep-rider. Behind him, a bronze firelizard chitters as it tries to keep up. "Go back to the stables, Masa." He pants, and then comes around a corner into view.
The blue along the side of the path isn't exactly hard to miss. Impatient and ready to go he's waiting for his rider to finish synching straps into place. "Just hang on, sky's not going anywhere," D'had remarks with a chuckle, "Just making sure these new buckles are looped right." he adds, giving one last pat to the blue's side as he tucks the straptail into place.
As he comes around the corner and spots the blue, Rogawani quickens his pace just a touch, the firelizard chittering and disappearing *between* and leaving his owner alone for the moment. When he finally arrives, the boy skitters to a hault, his feet catching a bit of traildust as he leans over, arms on knees, trying to catch his breath. "I'm. Rogawani. Supposed. To go. With you." He takes a breath between each set of words, looking as if he ran all the way from weyr.
D'had was just about to grab the straps and swing up when the out of breath boy comes to a stop beside him. Blink. "You?" he starts, dark eyes giving Rogawani a quick once over. Apparently he missed that message about a passenger for the day's sweeps. "Well met Rogawani, I'm D'had. This here is Siebith." he says by way of introduction, a thumb jerked towards the blue as his name is mentioned, "Supposed to go you say?" he half questions, prodding for the answer without actually asking.
It takes a moment for the boy to catch his breath enough to make a full sentence. Standing back up at his full, short height, Ro' nods his head once and then takes a deep breath, a hand to his chest. "Well met rider D'had." Polite, just as his messenger skills have taught him, the boy inclines his head. "G'day Siebith." Then, the boy pulls out a crumpled map from his pocket, folding it over to show the rider. "I overheard a farmer complaining about Hannista holders settling on his farmlands outside Rubicon River Hold. Thea wants me to go along and check it out, since I know the area we should be looking for." He points a finger around a general area of the map, but it's a pretty wide expanse of area for someone on horseback. However, it's not quite so much distance for someone on a dragon.
D'had hmms. The boy is given time for catching breath. Its not Donn who's in as much a hurry to get airborn as Siebith after all. Rider nods, peering over at the map as it's produced and the situation is explained. The blue on the other hand noses towards the boy, snorting as he sniffs at him before looking back to his rider with a look that rather clearly states 'Are you ready now?!' D'had nods one last time as the general area is pointed out on the map. "Right then," he replies, reaching up to grab straps and swing up onto the neckridges of the blue with the ease of turns of practice only to reach a hand back down for Rogawani. "You ever been up before boy?"
Surprise shows on Rogawani's face as a dragon nose comes pushing through the map he's holding. Blinking a little, the boy offers a timid smile at the dragon, not even sure if dragons pay attention to such things. "Um, hello there." Pulling the map back closer to him, Ro' begins to fold it back up, tucking it into one jacket pocket for safe-keeping. As h reaches up his own hand to take the rider's, the boy admits, "Never been up on a dragon. This is my first time." There is excitement in his eyes, which he just -barely- keeps from sneaking into his voice.
D'had chuckles, grasping hand around the boy's wrist to give him a hand up. "Well then ya picked the right blue for your first time," he grins setting about to secure first Ro's harness and then his own. "I'll try ta keep him rightside up," a comment which is followed shortly by a snort from the blue. A challenge even. "I ain't making any promises in that area, but don't worry," he continues giving the boy a pat on the shoulder, "Ya ain't falling off." Beat. "Ready?" At the question Siebith ready's himself and once D'had has registered the reply from Ro, however slight or short it might end up being the blue launches to the skies with little warning.
With the help of the rider's hand, Rogawani jumps and clambers up onto the dragon's back, fumbling a little before he finds his place behind D'had. "People don't fall off often, do they?" He asks nervously, watching as the straps are buckled into place. His face pales a little at the idea of being flipped upside down, but his eyes also widen a little with the growing excitement that being astride the blue brings. With re-assurances from D'had, Ro' nods his head that he's ready, and a moment later his head nearly snaps back due to the motion of the blue launching upward. With a small, childish 'eep' the boy attempts to latch on to D'had's midsection.
"Nah," D'had assures, "Ain't had one fall off yet." His own reaction to the takeoff is minimal though the reaction of his passenger earns a chuckle as the blue settles into an easy glide. This lasts for minute or two, giving Rogawani a chance to settle into the feel of being in the air. "Doing alright?" Donn, inquires, glancing back, before giving the warning that they're about to go between.
Once the initial shock of take-off has passed, Rogawani's grip eases and he leans back just a little, looking out at the sky beyond and then… mistakenly down at the ground. With a gulp, the boy turns his eyes quickly to the back of the rider again, nodding his head. "Doing fine." His pale face tells another story, but luckily he doesn't seem to have that green tinge that might suggest nausia. "You get used to being high up, right?" His voice squeeks on the last word, giving another sideways glance at the tops of trees and the lands flying by beneath them. However, with the warning of going between, the boy takes a deep breath and clamps a hand over his nose, a childish reaction to having heard the harper songs about between.
If they're looking for something in particular, might as well get to the general area that much faster. Donn nods, "Sure do," he assures, "Grew up on a ship and now I'm just as at home up here as on the water." And so the warning given the blue slips into the dark, cold nothingness of between only to appear seconds later somewhere near the Rubicon-Hannista border. "Don't forget to breath," the rider notes as they slip out of the blackness. "You get used to that too." So maybe not 100% used to it, but used to it all the same.
For a moment, Rogawani nearly does forget to breathe, but when he finally does, he comes in a deep breath, his nose slightly red from how tightly he was holding his hand over it. "Grew up in the weyr, myself." He manages to mutter out over the sound of the winds. "But riding a runner is -nothing- like this." He admits, looking down at the blue hide. In the process, his eyes look to the ground below, trying to make out shapes that match what he has seen during his travels on land. "I think, I think we're too far West."
"Grew up in the weyr and never been dragonback?" D'had comments, somewhere between being a question and simply a comment. Something about that seems to both amuse and surprise him. "Ain't ever been much of a runner person myself," he notes, the blue dipping a wing in a quick movement, not to mention far deeper than would be required, to make the turn to veer back towards the east.
"No dragonrider relatives." Rogawani replies, although he knows that it's really a half-truth. His mother has a dragon-rider weyrmate, but that certainly doesn't make the old blue-rider 'family'. "Mostly grew up out in the sta-AAAA-bles." The boy's voice takes a quick hike upward as the dragon turns, gripping on the riding straps as his knuckles turn a little bit white. Hair slicking back along his face, the boy looks down again, and then points, being careful not to lean too far outwards. "There. Do you see it? There's a little building ahead."
D'had nods a bit at Rogawani's reply on family. He chuckles with the rise in pick of the boy's voice, "Settle down Sie, first timer here, remember." Which is replied to with an over exaggerated snort fro the blue. The rider nods, "Yeah," he agrees, dark eyes following Ro's pointing to catch sight of the building. Once he's seen it Siebith is already ready to dive for a closer look, thankfully for their passenger however Donn is quick to catch his lifemate's action, "Easy," an order the blue isn't exactly pleased with but he's not complaining either as he lazily circles down for a closer look.
Rogawani seems quite greatful for the rider keeping his dragon in check. While the wonder of being up on a dragon certainly is thrilling to him, the last thing the boy needs is to lose his lunch. Still clinging to the straps, Ro' leans out as they circle downward, trying to get a better look at the building and what surrounds it. "It certainly does look like a settlement. There shouldn't be any out here." He comments, although they wouldn't really be out here looking if such a thing were expected. "Seems like the rumor is right, settlers from Hannista -are- moving North into Rubicon River."
D'had hrms, nodding as her peers closer. "Yeah, haven't been out here much myself." Once or twice maybe. "But don't remember hearing about anything suppose ta be out here either." Siebith drops only so far in height, allowing for a good look at what's below by the pair on his back. Lazy circles spread far enough however to hopefully keep their presence from looking to suspicious to those below. "Should probably be getting that message back to Thea then."
"This is the far edge of my route usually. I only get out here once every few seven-days or so." Rogawani explains, looking down at the landscape below, marred by the encroaching settlement. Letting out a small sigh, having hoped what he heard wasn't true, Ro' nods his head. "Yeah, let's get back. The sooner the Weyrleaders know, the better."
D'had nods, warning the boy before the jump between and soon enough they're back over Xanadu Weyr with Siebeth being held back signature plummet to lazy circular glide. Finally landing back along coastal road somewhere near where they began. "I best be finishing sweeps," D'had remarks, turning to unbuckle the straps that have held the boy in place during the flight, "I trust you can handle informing the weyrleaders?" He'll check in later.
This time, Rogawani only holds his breath, closing his eyes for the split second hop between. When his gray eyes open again, he lets out the breath and hangs on, seeming to calm enough to enjoy the ride back down to the ground. Making no move to get in the way of the rider unbuckling him from the straps, Rogawani nods his head. "I'll let them know right away." How? He's not sure yet, but he'll figure out something. Once free from the straps, the boy clambers, gracelessly, down the dragon's side to land in a puff of dust. "Thanks for taking me, D'had. And thanks for not giving me a heart attack Siebeth." A smile returning to his face, Ro' raises a hand to wave to the pair before running off at a sprint towards the weyr.