Rubicon Refugees

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.

Gray clouds loom over the Xanadu Weyr, leaving everything in a hazy half-light even though the day has stretched on into early afternoon. A light drizzle patters the ground, blown about at times by a wind rushing off of the lake. Many have retreated inside leaving the outer areas quiet. That is, until a bugle of warning from the watch rider announces that someone is approaching. Along the less used pathways leading north along the river, a small caravan is moving down towards the weyr, sloshing into puddles and moving at a snail's pace. At the front, holding the reigns to his runner is the Xanadu messenger, Rogawani. At his side is a grizzled looking man, tugging along two burden beasts with a cart behind them. In the cart, two men are laying under blankets while another is sitting up, his leg bound by two large sticks and what looks like the scraps of a few shirts. Behind the first cart is one more, this one headed up by a single runner. Walking with it are two women, two young boys, and a girl that can't be more than five turns old.

X'hil was in the area, on his way to the gardens, when he heard the watch dragon's bugle. He hesitates in the meadow, scowling briefly, before altering course, coming out to see what the fuss is about. He spots the caravan, and frowns, walking right up to the shore line and calling, "Hello there! Need a hand?" wincing briefly at the sound of his own loud voice, and then muttering an inventive string of curses under his breath.

Enkavir is walking along the beach with a clearly aimless stride, just sort of ambling with hands shoved into his pockets. His head is bowed, and now and again he lifts it just enough to scan the nearby beach with uplifted eyes. The bugling of the watchdragon is a hard thing to miss, and it brings his gaze more fully up, a frown creasing his brow.The caravan is almost as hard to miss as the bugle, and so he too begins to cross the distance toward it, lifting a hand to X'hil as he heads that way as well.

The older man's mouth moves, perhaps talking to the messenger, but the distance drowns out whatever words happen to go between. When X'hil's voice carries over the sound of the light rain, Rogawani's head turns and he raises his hand into the air. "X'hil! We need a healer." He cups his hand beside his mouth to try and get the sound to carry further. The voice that follows booms from the older man. "Sharding Hannistans! I don't need help. I need a crossbow and some strong men. I'll kill em' all if I have to. Those were my father's lands!" His protests die out a bit, but the stern expression on the man's face remains. Pulling his runner along, Ro' runs ahead a bit, wiping rain-dampened hair from his eyes. "The Hannistans attacked them and drove them out of their farm." He reports to the Weyrsecond, because he should have some idea of what's been going on, right? "There's some people hurt." The messenger's voice is nearly drown out by another loud curse from the older man, tugging at his burdenbeast as if he were angry at them as well.

Its not all that far from the water where D'had was … well he was heading somewhere that's forgotten at the watch dragon's bugle as the blue rider looks to see just who it is that's coming down the road. He's still grumbling about something or other as he comes up beside X'hil, "What's all the racket about now?"

X'hil glances sideways to Enkavir briefly, but he's really not much more sure of what's going on, yet. He nods as the call for a healer drifts across the distance, wincing as he also catches the word crossbow. As Rogawani runs ahead, the man moves closer, closing the gap. His expression changes as Rogawani gives him the report, concerned, annoyed, even briefly angry. "Shards." he mutters, with a scowl, turning to Enkavir, "Fetch the healers, /quickly/." he orders, hand moving to his throbbing temple idly. The rain helps, even if it's only a light drizzle, working to wake up the man a bit. The bronzerider turns to D'had, and pretty much just repeats what Rogawani's just told him, before striding towards the caravan, indicating that D'had should do the same. "Got to bring them in, get them out of the /rain/." he mutters.

Enkavir swipes a hand across his face, clearing drizzle from it as he arrives at X'hil's side. He opens his mouth to comment on Rogawani's words, but then X'hil is sending him off to fetch healers. There's a beat where his brow furrows and the line of his mouth firms, but then he just dips a short nod. "Yes, sir," he pauses before dashing off though. "Wait, bring them in where? Where should I be bringing these Healers /to/? I'm not about to go running off through the rain and then dragging them back here only to find the place completely deserted." He tips his chin up towards Rogawani's runner. "And is your runner totally done? Because I can get Healers faster if I'm not on foot."

The concerned, and nearly exhausted look on Rogawani's face seems to echo the consternation of the bronze rider. "I ran into them while doing my deliveries. They had to come across the river to avoid Hannistan territory." Trying to explain, the boy blinks rain from his eyes as they focus on Enkavir. "He should still be good to go." Offering out the reigns to the record keeper. "Had to walk most of the way, the burden beasts couldn't go any faster." While this is going on, the gruff older man steps forward to meet X'hil and possibly D'had as well. "I thought you riders were supposed to protect us. Huh? Where were you when those Hannistans came barging into my farm huh?" A vein pulses in the man's head as he shakes the ropes attached to the burden beast. Frightened, the young girl hides behind her two brothers who appear roughly the same age. The two women just watch, seeming as if they were lost so far from home. "Cracked my farm boy's leg, knocked my son upside the head, and my brother's got a bolt in his shoulder. Why? Because no one has lifted a finger to keep those SHARDING Hannistan bastards out of Rubicon land."

D'had mutters a few choice words under his breath for the information relayed him even as he follows X'hil to meet up with the caravan. "I'm right here," he notes to the weyrsecond as if to say its closer than the weyr proper. Somewhere out of the rain and take care of injuries before moving further. Of course as soon as the older man of the Rubicon group lays into them he's wanting to take anything he might have offered back, but it comes out as nothing more than a glare and a scowl. "Can't be everywhere at once old man."

X'hil looks a little lost, and is grimacing as he tries to focus on one thing at a time. "Right… Well…" He doesn't know what to tell Enkavir, instead glancing sideways to D'had. The bronzerider was only ever a search and rescue rider, surely a search and rescue /wingleader/ would know better? He scowls a bit at the caravan leader's list of injuries, and glances to the caravans. "How bad is it? Can they make it to the clearing?" He asks, attempting to muster an authoritative tone through his hangover. Yes, it's afternoon, but he was up late drinking. "How's your son?" That's the one he's most concerned about. The head is surprisingly fragile. D'had's offer is nodded at, and the man turns to Enkavir, "Bring healers back /here/, I'll keep watch for your return." He's not really giving D'had a chance to refuse now. The wounded are more important. "Tell them we've got a broken leg, a head injury, and a shot shoulder. They'll know who to send."

Enkavir grabs the reins from Rogawani, and a faint smile breaks through the clouded expression on his face. "Thanks." He listens to the cranky man with a deepening scowl then, shaking his head and casting a look on X'hil and D'had that speaks volumes about whose side he's on in this sort of situation. "Well you're here now, and we'll get you taken care of. Hopefully you /and/ your farm." That's a bit pointed, as is the dart of pale green eyes to the dragonrider and the shake of his head as he swings a leg up and over the runner's saddle. Without further ado he urges the beast forward and soon dwindles into the distance.

The old man's grip on the rope in his hand tightens until his knuckles turn nearly white, eyes staring with hot anger at D'had. "My boys have seen sweep riders over our cothold. You can't tell me that you riders didn't know they were in our lands. If that's your excuse, you're either blind or stupid." Luckily, D'had isn't the ranking person here and the man's eyes soften a little as he looks towards X'hil. "They jumped us two days ago, told us it was their land now. My son's been out cold since. Miloni's a whiner, he'll tell you his leg's about to fall off but he's fine. My brother's shoulder stopped bleeding but it looks funny." Obviously, the old farmer isn't trained in the ways of healing arts. The rest of the group seem to stay back a bit, with the exception of one of the two younger boys, who has moved forward to peek around the cart at the two riders.

With his runner handed off to Enkavir, Rogawani turns to look towards the caravan and the two dragonriders. Putting his hands into the pockets of his soaked jacket, the boy steps a bit closer. "Don't be too hard on them, rider. I don't think anyone would like much to be tossed out of their home." However, his voice is meek, perhaps downtrodden a bit after having traveled with the angry farmer for so long. "The kids and the women seem okay, a bit shaken. Just the three in the cart were hurt. I never thought things would go this far."

D'had has only been wingleader for what, a seven? If that. And he hasn't exactly been at Xanadu for all that long either. But his annoyance will wait, mostly. He keeps that harsh glare on the man, "Like I said, can't be everywhere at once, but 'stead of arguing lets get them out of this rain." He's trying to be tackful as a nod indicates the injured. Mutter, mutter. "…trees… …people. Bah."

X'hil is doing everything he can, really. So why does he still feel so helpless? Helpless and /guilty/, like it's somehow /his/ fault, personally. It's a conflict that's been going on longer than he's been back in Xanadu, really. He nods briefly as Enkavir heads off, then turns back to more pressing concerns. "I see. Well, the healers will be here shortly." He looks a little doubtful at mention of the man's son not having woken yet, but doesn't voice his concerns, trying to be as reassuring as he can. "I'll see if we can't find more riders to assign to sweeps." he promises. He'll /see/, and no doubt find that they're already doing all they can, but it's kind of a comfort? Almost? Clever words, for a half-hungover man. He's carefully avoiding committing to anything specifically. He hasn't been weyrsecond much longer than D'had's been wingleader, really. Unless you count the first time, but he wasn't even /trying/ then. He seconds D'had's suggestion to get out of the rain, though the caravan can't really move all that quickly.

A gruff mutter comes from the old man as he nods his head a bit. Apparently the long walk has driven at least some of the argumentativeness out of him. "I'm Setaro. My farm is on the borderland of Rubicon River Hold." He reports this much, hoping that perhaps the riders aren't just full of hot air when it comes to helping. A squeeky voice joins in, chirping, "I'm Setari!" The boy hops from behind the cart and salutes the riders in a silly, childish way. "My brother's Setalyn and my sister is Salana and…" The boy rattles off the names of everyone else in the small group before his father gives a stern look and he ducks back behind the cart. "Kids." The farmer mumbles.

Rogawani, on the other hand, steps up next to the two riders, looking up at them. "I could lead the second cart up to the weyr if you want? Or should we wait for the healers to get here and then move everyone together?" Emergency situations aren't really something that Ro' has a lot of experience with. A letter or two that has to get somewhere fast, but actual real life-threatening situations? Not really. Looking over at the talkative child, the messenger suggests, "Why don't you go protect your mom and sister, okay? We'll get you guys some dry clothes and food at the weyr, promise." Sure, it's not his promise to make, but it does make the boy smile as he runs back to report this much to the small huddle made up of women and children.

D'had glances towards X'hil, since he's here the weyrsecond can make the call on who goes where. A smile does quirk his lips for the boy, but perhaps only because the older man as resigned from argument.

X'hil nods slowly at Setaro's introduction, eyes flickering briefly at the hold name. "I'll have riders sent out to check it out, I assure you." he vows. His /aunt/ lives in that hold. Which Rogawani would know, at least, having delivered the man's letter. He's fairly protective of the family he does know, and like. Because there are so /few/ of them. "Yes, blankets, and warm clothes, and hot food." he seconds Rogawani's promise, catching sight of a candidate walking along the drizzly road, and shouting at them to go get those things. He likes shouting! Only, not really, not right /now/, at least. His head is still throbbing, and he winces at loud noises, even his own voice. "Look, over there, that barn just beyond? Rider just moved out, it's good, safe, dry." he nods. Because he really doesn't know what else to do, where else to lead them. At least it's close?

It's not long before a cluster of runners appears as a smudge near the Weyr, quckly resolving into a pair of healers riding behind Enkavir. They quickly close in on the caravan and the Xanadu trio who stand with them. Enkavir raises a hand as he draws up, a frown touching his brow. "Why is everyone still standing out in the drizzle? If it's been days since the were attacked these people need to be warm and dry at the very least." The Journeyman at his side nods his agreement, and when X'hil suggests the barn the healer pair turn their runners to head that way. Not much they can do in the rain after all. Enkavir dismounts and offers the reins to the group at large, willing to let someone else decide the most efficient method of getting everyone where they are going. He looks X'hil and D'had over and just shakes his head. "It just occured to me. That all would have been a lot faster if one of you had just asked your dragon to tell some other dragon to *between* them out here. I can't remember all your instant communication and travel tricks but-" he trails off, continuing to shake his head, mumbling something that just might be 'useless' but certainly that isn't the case.

"Probably the best idea." Rogawani chimes in a nod to X'hil, pulling the collar of his jacket up a little bit, accepting the reigns of his runner back from Enkavir. Giving a shake of his head, he manages to send little droplets of water this way and that. One of the boys seems to laugh at this, but then he's quickly shushed as his mother grabs onto his hand. Taking a bit of initiative, Ro' walks his runner back towards the second cart, nodding to them. "Come on, it's just up that way. At least we'll get you all out of the rain." Hesitant, the two women look at each other, and then seem to realize there isn't much other option. So, with the two boys dragging their sister along behind them, the cart begins to rumble along it's way.

The burdenbeasts heading the first cart bray a bit when the healers arrive. Setaro eyes both of their knots suspiciously for a moment, and then gives another gruff snort. His lips purse together as he listens to Enkavir's explination of how the healers could have gotten there faster. Oh, he certainly shoots a glare at the riders, but help is here and he's not about to look a gift-runner in the mouth. "If it's dry, then let's go there. Enough prattle." He yanks at the two beasts, kicking them into motion, not seeming to bother to wait for the riders to give him the okay.

D'had snorts, shooting Enkavir a look. He just had to go and say didn't he. "Probably not that much faster," he notes. Someone would have still had to find the healers and they'd have still had to collect their things. But what's done is done so no use going on about it. "If you've got things here," he starts towards X'hil, having seen Ro move on to get the refugees indoors, "I'll see if I can't grab a few and fly over. See if we can't see what's going on." this all in a more hushed tone least their visitors hear, a wary eye kept on the group all the same.

X'hil snorts at Enkavir. "Dragons aren't just for the convenience. We've got /wounded/, generally it's not such a good idea to take wounded between." Might infect the wound, for example. "And it'd take longer to get the dragons saddled up and flying than it did to just bring the sharding healers out." See, logic, yes. Also, dragons don't /work/ that way. And then he's falling in to line with the caravan, helping to lead it however he can. He's not bad at it, actually. If things had turned out differently, he might have apprenticed to the beastcraft, like his aunt. X'hil nods at D'had, gratefully. "Just, yeah. Get them out there, take a look. Borrow riders from other wings, if you have to." He's not sure if he has the authority to do that exactly, being new to the knot, but it's only /borrowing/, right?

Enkavir just arches a brow at X'hil. "You don't think it took time to saddle runners? Or that there wasn't probably a single dragon of any color already strapped up and ready to go? I meant to bring the healers here, not the wounded there - I know wounded shouldn't go-" he breaks off quickly, shaking his head and pressing his lips together in a firm line. Taking a deep breath and holding up a hand, palm out he stops the argument at least on his end and turns to help move the people toward the barn. He catches the exchange between D'han and X'hil and doesn't comment, going over to scoop up the little girl instead, giving her mother a warm smile and the girl a little tickle. "Let's go get warm, hmm?"

Cold and a little frightened, the girl only wiggles a little as she's scooped up, but Enkavir's smile puts her at ease. Shyly, she ducks her head into her shirt, peeking out at him now and again. Setari, the more talkative of the two boys tags along at Rogawani's side, while the shy, slightly taller Setalyn is a step behind the record keeper. Setaro, for the time being, remains grudgingly silent, although it seems quite likely that as soon as the injured are looked after, he'll make his feelings on things quite known to any who might listen.

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