Burn, Baby, Burn!

Ista Weyr - Flaming Fields
A large section of the gather grounds has been completely cleared of greenery, the dark sandy floor stretching all the way to where it meets the curve of the bowl wall, providing nothing but singed stone and dirt surfaces when not in use. With only rock and the occasional wooden targets, this bare area is perfect for flaming practices, devoid of banners or anything else flammable. Even the seating, placed far back near the path to the meadow, is made of flattened stones piled stair-like, with an orange-painted pebble border between it and the main event. There's space enough here that several golds could comfortably stretch their wings, though likely it's the smaller colors which will make use of this arena.

It's early afternoon in Ista, the sky a cloudless blue that might seem to stretch on forever. If it weren't for the amount of dragon traffic arriving at the weyr today - almost double what it has been the previous sevendays. Even with the ongoing gather and games events, it seems this one has drawn the most riders so far - and with good reason! There's a cool breeze coming off the ocean, easing the earlier humidity. But in the flaming field, there's a scorching kind of heat that's altogether unavoidable. With Istan dragons having been practicing daily, and firestone now piled and ready. A line of wooden targets has been setup against the bowl wall, at the far end, and already dragons and their riders are arriving to compete. Spectators are being directed to the stone seating well out of the way, while drudges with water and healers stand to one side, just in case. Nziekilth, while unable to take part, is perched high on the bowl rim overwlooking the event, rumbling greetings and luck alike, along with several others.

Mur'dah appears above the weyr on his dark brown lifemate, the two hovering for a moment until a blue joins them. Then, together, they wing down to land on the edges of the flaming field. Dismounting, Mur'dah is quick to shed his leathers, down to more comfortable and casual clothes, though he does keep on his Xanadu AWLM knot. Glancing over, he waits for his companion to join him. "Wonder where we sign up."

Indeed there has been plenty of practicing going on, and Raphaith shifts about on his feet with unrestrained enthusiasm over the coming competition. Tyr simply chuckles a little, lightly thumping his fist against the brown's foreleg. "Calm down already. You look like you're about to spit fire out the wrong end." Raphaith turns his head a bit, snorting out a breath against his rider indignantly…but he does fall still again, talons digging into the ground.

One dragon riding pair have been by a few times to watch the Istan dragons practice when time allowed for such things. Now it's the big day and as Zhirazoth approaches, the young bronze seems to swell with pride and confidence… or it could be his ego. It's likely larger the latter and a good dose of the former. In he walks, after sending a rumbled greeting to Nziekilth and others he recognizes, including a few Fortian dragons. Shaking out his wings, he then turns his head to fix his whirling eyes on those stacks of firestone and whuffles towards his rider. Mr'az only sighs, "Not yet, Zhirazoth. Be patient. Yes, yes… we'll get the best firestone. I'm sure it's all good firestone…" he can be heard muttering under his breath as he scratches at the back of his head. He's scanning the grounds too, curious to see who else is competing.

Ujinath follows Kalsuoth once they emerge from Between and once on the field, he will look about warily. So. Many. People. He makes a disgruntled sound, but Kiena just dismounts and pats the blue's foreleg. Easy, easy. She's shedding her leathers too and down to comfortable clothing. Gotta love this Ista heat! "Not sure," she murmurs to Mur'dah, shading her eyes as she peers about. "See anyone with a clipboard?"

Alyane has no dragon. She is just here to spectate. Well, spectate and possibly make some marks. She's set up a little stand on the outskirts of the field, constructed from the least-flammable materials she can find. She seems to have set up a sort of combination concession stand and gambling booth, taking bets and selling snacks to other spectators.

Sinasapelth approaches, bugling greetings to the other dragons. She takes a place on the field, folding her wings as her rider dismounts.
Kyldar unbuckles herself from the riding straps.

Kalsuoth rumbles happily, moving closer to Ujinath as Mur'dah scans the crowd. "Maybe…that way?" he guesses with a grin, boldly and confidently striding off in THAT direction. Whether it's the /right/ direction or not…well. Time will tell? "Oh. I see food." Very, very easily distracted, Mur'dah shifts course to head to Alyane's stall. "Something to eat? And…I'll put a quarter mark on myself to place." Ego. He's got a bit of it, but his crooked grin suggests otherwise.

B'ky and Avideth are here, of course, the wingleader clad in pale blues and greys, light clothing perfect for the weather, though tailored well enough that it won't wear with all the firestone hauling he's been doing. Hair tied back in a loose runnertail, the crimson and indigo braid that curves from his temple to back behind his left ear might make him stand out a little, though today he is without his usual clipboard. Indeed, the man is entirely at ease, it seems, even smiling somewhat as he enters the flaming field with his lifemate, the two gliding down from a nearby ledge and landing smoothly. Avideth's pale hide has been well-oiled and the blue is looking fit to sky race, though the restlessness soon calms somewhat as he whuffles greetings to the gathered dragons and their riders. Swinging down from the straps, he and his dragon head for where the others are gathering, when one of the headwoman's assistants comes by to note their place in the lineup.

Ujinath will stick close to Kalsuoth, despite his usual nature of being so aloof. The blue rumbles again, tense and wary. "Which way? … hey, Mur'dah, wait!" Kiena exclaims with a slight laugh when the brownrider just strides off and she'll follow suit. Food? That has her interest too and when the course shifts, she'll give the little stall Alyane has setup a curious look and a flashed smile of a greeting, only to roll her eyes and nudge Mur'dah firmly in the ribs. "Feeding yourself and your ego, are we?" she drawls with a crooked grin, only to look past him again. "Jays, there's a good number coming in. This is going to be tough." But that's what makes it FUN! Spotting B'ky and Avideth, Kiena will notice the assistant walking up to him and she turns to tug at Mur'dah's sleeve in case he's distracted. "Think they're taking names, now."

Kyldar hugs Sinasapelth around the snoot. "Are you ready now, girly? Let's show them what Western can do." She gives the green a quick pat before backing away, and, looking around about herself, spots Cenlia. "Greetings and Western's duties," she greets. "I hope I'm not too late to enroll in the contest?"

Tyr does finally leave his dragon's side, leaving the brown to fidget once again in all his anticipation. Instead the rider heads for B'ky, planting a very usual /smack/ to the older rider's back with a friendly grin. Poor man. "Hey! You roped me into this business, did you put me and Raph down for it already?" And if not, well. He's making happy grabby hands at the poor assistant taking down names to get attention. "Hey! We're on the list, yeah?"

Alyane gives Mur'dah a lopsided grin as she marks his bet down on a ledger full of bets. "Confidence. I like that. Best of luck to you. Now, what can I getcha to help that appetite before the contest? I've got fried spiderclaws, meatrolls, bubblies, and just about any kind of meat on a stick you might like. Plus juice, beer, and rum. Though you may want to wait on that until after you compete." When Kiena wansers by, she returns the flashed smile. "Get you anything before the games?" She asks, brandishing a kabob of spiced herdbeast meat.

Zhirazoth will try to stay still, but the bronze is rapidly beginning to fidget with impatience, especially when more dragons arrive and of every colour. Again, he eyes the firestone and again he's kept in line by his rider. DON'T do it! Mr'az grimaces, likely already gaining a small headache from the constant battle of wills between himself and his dragon. Noticing that other riders are beginning to gather, he exhales softly and begins to wander over that way. Time to get his name signed in and the sooner the better!

Mur'dah winks at Kiena and then flashes Alyane a grin. "Thanks. Ooh. Spiderclaws for me, no question. Get what you want, Kyara. My treat." Then he notices the riders gathering, and fumbles for his marks pouch, wanting to pay and still get signed up in time.

There are more rumbled greetings from Nziekilth, for Kalsuoth and Ujinath, as well as Sinasapelth and Zhirazoth, the bronze in particular given a longer look, though whether he's caught her eye or just happens to be where she's watching, might be debatable. Cen herself is seated off to one side, her trusty flamethrower settled on the stone seat beside her. She's grinning lopsidedly at the crowd, raising a hand to wave to Kyldar and anyone else, calling over an, "Ista's duties," and waving all the arriving riders toward that one poor headwoman's assistant, who does indeed get Tyr's name down, as well as anyone else who approaches.

"Oh, don't encourage him!" Kiena drawls in an amused tone to Alyane and then smirks crookedly when Mur'dah winks at her, only to give him another look when he gets spiderclaws but that expression soon passes. "Hmm, you know, I think I will grab something. A little snack can't hurt," she murmurs to Alyane. And paid for? Bonus. Kiena grins and points to the very kabob the woman is brandishing. "I'll take one of those? Looks delicious." Gesturing to Mur'dah, she will again try to get his attention to murmur a quick thanks, but also lean up to whisper something to him that has her stepping back with a mischievous look and smirk to her expression. "Come on, we better hurry and get in line. Thank you, miss, for the snack! You've drinks too? Might be back for the rum after!"

Alyane seems to sense Mur'dah's eagerness to get moving, and is quick to dispense the requested food. "One kabob, one spiderclaw, and a quarter mark bet on Mur'dah to place. That'll be half a mark total." She holds out her hand to accept payment, then smiles to both Kiena and Mur'dah. "Good luck to the both of you. Don't forget to come back for those drinks."

Mur'dah tilts his head to listen to Kiena's mutter, and he coughs, shooting her a /look/. "Ah. Thank you. Yes, drinks after…yeah. That'll…yeah. Good. Thanks." With a grin, he takes his food and eyes Kiena again before hurrying off towards that assistant to sign up

There's an undignified 'OOPH' as he's smacked on the back, B'ky immediately giving Tyr a sidelong look, which is really as much of a glare as he can manage on such a bright and sunny day, his greeting civil enough, "Tyr. Ah, I've only just gotten my name down, myself." Pale eyes flicker to Raphaith and that fidgeting, a quieter, "He.. seems as eager as Avideth. I suppose this is what dragons were born to do." Though likely, incinerating wooden targets wasn't quite what the Ancients had in mind. Spotting Kiena and Mur'dah through the crowd by Alyane's booth, B'ky inclines his head toward them - and is hopefully seen, the man pausing as if considering geting a drink himself - but seems to decide against it, with Avideth already whuffling at Tyr and any other nearby riders. "Avi.." B'ky mumbles, letting out a breath and giving his dragon a bit of a stern look. No making friends with the competition! Bad dragon.

Tyr chuckles, nodding somewhat. "They don't get enough of it, that's for sure. We should make this a regular thing, you know?" Or at least..something for them to do involving flaming. The brownrider just looks amused, really, letting his gaze scan the crowd a bit, lifting his arm in a wave when he spots someone that he knows. "Ah, let him be sociable, B'ky. There's plenty of crowd here to be sociable /with/ after all. You should, too."

Mr'az returns Cenlia's greeting, dipping his head politely and respectfully and his eyes briefly settle on that flamethrower before drifting away. "Fort Weyr's duties to Ista and her queens," he murmurs and then joins the crowd to wait his turn to have his name jotted down by the assistant head woman.

Kiena laughs at Mur'dah's reaction, taking her kabob from Alyane and swiftly grinning to the woman. "THank you! And we won't forget, you can be sure of that!" she promises, offering a half salute before she's trotting off after Mur'dah and nibbling at her snack. If she's grinning a touch wolfishly at the poor brownrider, well… he'll just have to deal with it. What? Luckily she'll be done by the time it's their turn to sign their names down. Done and done!

Kyldar turns back toward the crowd, with a wave here and there to those whom she knows, and looking a bit impatient to get started.
Mur'dah signs up and then steps back with Kiena, looking at the targets as he also looks around at the others. B'ky's nod is noted and returned with a grin, Mur'dah fidgeting a bit. "Hope this goes well…"

"I'll hold you to that!" Alyane calls after Kiena, grinning. "Best of luck to both of you!" She goes back to trying to wave more customers over.

With the assistant headwoman taking names and jotting down places in the line-up, it's not long before there are volunteers checking over the targets and directing dragons to their places. The call goes out, after everyone's had a chance to sign up and the target area is cleared. The headwoman's assistant gestures for everyone's attention, calling out a, "Riders! Grab a bag of firestone, if you will. Be sure to not rush them chewing - when eveyone's ready, we'll begin." Cenlia herself is soon heading for the sidelines to stand beside the assistant - with her flamethrower. Settling the thing against one hip, Cen calls over the crowd, "Alright, ya lot, everybody ready to burn down the weyr?" There's a lopsided grin for her fellow Istans, offering the poor headwoman's assistant a wink as she has Nziekilth convey more detailed directions to the dragon halves of all the participants. "Ye'll be going all at once, so make sure ya flame good an' hot inna single breath - it's the only chance ye'll get. First one to burn their target to ashes'll be the winner." Her grin widening, she gives the signal and drudges start passing out the firestone. "Will tell ya when to go - be sure yer facing in the right direction. Else me an' Zeek'll have soem words fer ya."

Zhirazoth is all but pacing by the time the call goes out for everyone to pay attention and the directions and rules are given to both dragon and riders. He absorbs it all like a sponge and then as the drudges appear, is warbling for his rider to get over here already. Mr'az, who had likely lingered among the gathering riders in hope of some socializing among the compeition is hastily dragged away. Muttering an apology to those he was in conversation with, he heads off and begins to go through the routine of feeding his bronze the firestone he'll need to breath flame. "No, you're not going to burn down the Weyr and I don't care how good you'd be at it. Burn the target and as fast as you can, alright? That's it." Please, please don't over do it!

Kiena belatedly nods to B'ky as well and turning to Mur'dah, she smiles crookedly and clasps him on the shoulder. "It'll be fine. Think it's pretty straight forwards? Ah… looks like we're starting." And as the rules and instructions are laid out, she'll lower her hand to Mur'dah's in an attempt to hold it and briefly squeeze. There's a snicker for mentioning burning down the weyr and facing the right directions and then she's eying the firestone. "Ready? Come on, let's line up. Ujinath!" She will wink and give Mur'dah another reassuring look and a signal of 'good luck' before she's stepping to join her blue and get him to chewing that firestone!

Kyldar jumps a little at Cenlia's abrupt announcement and points toward the target for Sinasapelth, who rumbles an acknowledgment as the rider picks up some firestone. "Okay, I know it's been a while but get ready. You'll kick 'em inna dirt, girly."

Tyr just shakes his head a little bit, but grins when the announcement to get ready is finally made. He gives B'ky another clap on the back though. It's encouragement! Really! "Come on!" He moves along though, heading back to Raphaith again, nudging the brown away from whuffling a familiar green. "Time to light the place up!"

B'ky hmms at Tyr's suggestion, nodding to the brownrider rather more thoughtfully, "We should. Perhaps.. I'll speak with Zin later," though he's then once again giving the other man a sidelong look, "There's a time and place for socializing. At the moment, we're here to.." trailing off as the firestone begins to be handed out. Avideth does, at least somewhat, reign in his enthusiasm, the blue settling a little more and tucking in his wings, although eyes are whirling with contained excitement. "Good luck," is instead offered to the other Istan rider, with similar offered to the other riders as he moves back to Avideth's side to offer the blue some firestone.

Mur'dah grins widely at Kiena and scampers off to join Kalsuoth in front of their designated target. Taking the bag of firestone from the drudge who brings it, he begins feeding it to his coal brown lifemate.

Cenlia will wait until the dragons are ready, relaying instructions through Nziekilth, since it's probably easier than yelling at them all. Though she does make sure to wait till everyone's done chewing before she and the headwoman's assistant move back. Significantly back. "Right! Everybody ready?" lifting an arm and grinning positively deviously."Right then, fire away! One blast, so make it a good one!"

With business petering off now that the games are about to start, Alyane leans on the counter of her stall, resting as she watches the start of the contest.

Tyr promptly grins, giving Raphaith another good thumping with his fist before he moves back to give the dragon room. Pale sandy sales open up a bit in his enthusiasm, but the brown's maw opens as well, letting out a jet of flame at his target. Nearby, that same green he'd whuffled prances about in her own excitement…and quite promptly trips over her own feet, landing with a thud on her belly. She still lifts her head though, fire spewing out low toward her target, scorching plenty of ground in it's wake. Oops?

Mur'dah takes a few steps back, tucking himself behind Kalsuoth's bulk as the brown shifts his weight. He gathers himself, arches his neck and then sends forth a gout of long, hot, sustained flame towards his target. Burn, baby, burn.

Mr'az has just finished with the firestone, dusting off his sooty hands as best he can and confirming with his bronze that he's ready. And not a moment too soon, as Cenlia is calling out. Zhirazoth rumbles and then chuffs. He's GOT this! Shifting, he plants his feet squarely on the ground and swells his chest up and then with his jaw dropping wide, he will take aim and then let loose with fire! He almost loses his focus when that green trips and falls and proceeds to continue anyway, scorched ground or no. Thankfully he doesn't turn his head?

Sinasapelth accepts some firestone and turns to face toward her target, rearing back a little and extending her neck forward as she ejects a hot gout of flame and her rider steps back, fanning away the stench of phosphine.

Ujinath nudges Kiena's shoulder gently (and carefully) to signal he's finished and grinning up at him, the bluerider will step back. Well back and likely shielded by her dragon as well. "You can do this!" she encourages, while also flashing the thumbs up to Mur'dah! Go Xanadu! Rumbling deep in his chest, Ujinath will spot his target and then with a deep breath, he arches his neck and on the mark, breathes a steady and strong stream of flame forwards and holds to it. Burn, burn, burn!

B'ky also steps back, giving his lifemate room enough to move. Though Avideth's attention is perhaps only partially on the chewing of firestone. For he's /also/ spotted a familiar green, and like Raphaith, is totally whuffling greetings to her. Said greeting becoming rather more concerned as the poor thing bellyflops over there - Avi almost moving out of line toward her! "Avideth!" B'ky looks somewhat aghast as his lifemate nearly walks into the firing line of the dragon beside them, though luckily A'phale's brown is observant enough to keep his mouth shut. With a belated, and somewhat embarrassed whuff, Avideth gets back in line, and both Istan dragons flame at their respective targets, but a little too late to seriously compete, alas. B'ky, however, has gone entirely pale, the man looking from his to the rider of that clumsy green - it might be difficult to tell whether he looks more mortified or worried.

Targets are set ablaze by the following dragons: Kalsuoth Nawyth Raphaith Zhirazoth Sinasapelth Ujinath
The fastest target incinerated is: Zhirazoth's!

Mur'dah lost. He lost? Did he place at least? The brownrider runs fingers through his hair as he thumps Kalsuoth's side and looks at the Fortian bronze who won. Impressed. Very impressed. "That's some hot running flame," he calls. "Congratulations!"

Tyr doesn't seem too perturbed about Raphaith not winning that contest. Nor does the brown, who is still chuffing in a very satisfied manner at the smoking target. Burned to dust, or charred, it's /still/ dead. Even if it wasn't alive in the first place. And that green? She's not bothered at all about not winning. Or her clumsy fumble. She simply gets to her feet again with a brilliant trill, her rider…definitely the mortified one.

Ujinath looks a little put out too when he doesn't burn his target quite as fast and lets his flame fade away. A few seconds later, a quiet burp follows and he instantly dons an innocent look. Uh. That wasn't him. It was, uh… that blue over there. Yeah. Snort. Kiena just grins and thumps her life mate's foreleg again. "You did your best and that's all that matters. Half of this is just for the fun of it," she murmurs, which just has Ujinath exhaling heavily. Sure. Shaking her head, Kiena turns to go find Mur'dah and likewise dip her head to Mr'az. "Congratulations!" she calls, only to quirk a brow up when she notes the Fortian coloured knot. "Huh…"

Kyldar gives Sinasapelth a consoling pat as the disappointed dragon regurgitates firestone ash. "Hey, you gave it your best. You're still the number one dragon to me, y'know." Then a wave is given to the winner. "Hey congratulations."

Zhirazoth won? He won! Of course he did. The bronze's ego just grows with that realization and he lifts his head up proudly and very much pleased with himself and would have strutted about a bit if his rider wasn't holding him back. Mr'az can't help but grin at his life mate's actions, though after a moment he smacks the bronze one in the side (lovingly of course). "Alright, alright. Stop gloating. You did great, but so did everyone else!" Including that green. Yes, even her! The bronzerider looks a bit sheepish from the attention, but he'll nod his head politely to the other riders and returning a few of the waves. "Thank you. It was a close competition!"

Alyane smiles and joins other members of the crowd in a round of applause after the dispaly. She looks very pleased. Likely, she stands to make quite a bit on her little gambling operation from the results.

"Hah, congrats!" Cenlia calls out to the winning dragon, though it's with a bit of a browquirk as she, too, notices the man's knot. "Shells, hope we're not gonna let 'em get a winning streak," is asided to some of the nearby Istan riders, including Tyr, A'phale, and B'ky, the latter of which gets a curious look before the weyrwoman is heading into the crowd with a grin. "Calls fer a proper celebration anyways, this does! To the gather grounds - drinks're still cold, an' there's more to watch." It might be awhile till the next event, but Cen's already toward the meadow.

B'ky is still looking somewhere between mortified and worried, although he'll have some stern words for Avideth in the meanwhile. Nearly walking out of line in a flaming contest! And a wingleader's dragon! The bluerider certainly appears ready to make a hasty exit, though it's his dragon who stubbornly remains. For once the all-clear is given, Avi will totally nudge his rider toward that clumsy green and /her/ rider. And if B'ky won't move, there will likely be more than a little shoving going on. Even if he has to snag his rider by the shirtsleeve. Meanwhile, the headwoman's assistant is once again walking through the crowd, heading for Mr'az with a /very/ shiny ribbon!

Mur'dah sends Kalsuoth off to belch up his ash wherever Istan dragons do that, and he walks back to Kiena, muttering something to her. "Fort will be proud I'm sure," he says to Mr'az, with a grin. "Oh, drinks sound great. Where's that lady, maybe she'll come with us…"

Tyr just laughs a little, shaking his head a bit as he begins to lead Raphaith away from the targets. The brown is still watching his smoulder, really. Burrrrn. "Come on, you. Let's take a rest and get you something to drink. That crap isn't going to be all that pretty once it comes up." Oh yes, the wonders of firestone and the vomiting it induces later! He heads off with his dragon though, leaving B'ky to deal with that green and her rider, who's looking less mortified, and more embarrassed, really. But hey, at least the dragon seems happy to see Avideth, crooning quite friendly-like at him.

Assuming she is 'that lady', Alyane isn't hard to find at all. She's already distributing rum and beer to anyone with marks, as well as handing out payouts to those lucky with their bets. But now, time to move on to the next event! She enlists the help of a few fellow traders to relocate to the gather meadow.

Mr'az grins, trying not to fidget or look too sheepish and when the assistant head woman approaches with the very shiny ribbon he will accept it gratefully. Another round of thanks and then he excuses himself, likely to go find a few Fortian Wingriders while Zhirazoth takes off to tend to that issue of riding himself of the firestone ash. Then he'll go find a ledge to lay out on and bake in the sun and just bask in his ego and happiness and way too much smugness for his own good. He won!

Kiena snickers to Mur'dah, "Thanks. You and Kalsuoth did well too," And when Cenlia is calling out again and mentioning a proper celebration, she grins. "I did promise that lady we'd get some rum from her at the end, but we should go to the meadow too. See what's going down there." She'll give him another playful nudge and then likely try to take his hand again as she heads back to Alyane's stall. "Hey!" she calls out, waving and collecting on that rum! She may not have won this challenge, but a drink is always a plus?

Scene Continues in A Roll in the Mud

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