Dawn Foray

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing

A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a this and sharp border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the Caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the Infirmary is a human sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

The skies are paling with the first light of a new day, although Rukbat has yet to peep over the edge of the horizon. By the dim light of the clearing two figures can be seen moving, but in a very quiet and stealthy way. The soft jingle of a riding harness can be heard as one of the forms walks from the cavern's entrance with something slung over a shoulder towards the larger one. If one were to be close enough, they would see that the hide is gold and the rider slim, dressed in flying leathers. That's about it.

Stealth is, to put it simply, not one of Rogawani's high priorities at the moment. His riding jacket thrown over one shoulder, the boy seems to be walking with a near zombie-like look on his face, eyes blank. His mouth opens for a yawn, which gets neatly cut off by two firelizards who seem to float down to land on him. A bit of light catches off the metallic hide of the one that settles into his ruffled hair, but the other takes a more usual place on the boy's shoulder. "Yes, I'll feed you." He murmurs to himself, stretching his arms up and causing both lizards to shift to keep balance. His voice carries just a bit, but he's not trying to be quiet. Sleepiness seems enough to keep him from noticing anyone sneaking about this early in the morning, for now at least.

In the early morning half-light Enkavir's progress from the living cavern is unobtrusive to say the least. Klah in hand he slips from shadow to shadow, sticking close by the caldera wall as he sips his morning drink. It's hard to tell in the dim glow but he looks far less asleep than Rogawani, hazel eyes alert beneath sleep-tousled hair. Rogawani's words make his steps falter and he peers that direction, lifting his free hand to wave. It's then that his gaze slides back across the clearing and spots the glint of metallic hide on the large of the two shapes. "Hey, can you tell who that is?" Thea's posture, the way she walks answers his question and he picks up his pace a bit, trotting in her direction.

At the youth's approach, the smaller form merges against the larger one - someone's hoping to hide from passersby. Trotting footsteps may not be heard by Thea's ears, but Seryth is alert. She doesn't make a sound, but apparently has bespoken her rider for suddenly there's a muttered oath from the figure by the dragon and the weyrwoman steps out from the dragon's shadow. "Ro!" It is hissed and an arm might be seen gesturing for him to step closer with an added, "Shhhh!" Her head turns towards Enkavir, in the dim light there is no smile, rather a bit of urgent hand-motions for silence.

"Huh?" The shortened version of his name brings Rogawani's attention around, the small lizard on his head giving a squeek of surprise before disappearing, the light only just hinting on gold hide. Since when did the no-account messenger have a gold firelizard? His weary eyes turn towards the shapes in the shadows, blinking slightly. "Thea?" He asks, keeping his voice lowered as his head tilts in a manner that looks almost comical. Without thought, the boy approaches, "What are you doing sneaking around?" He asks, rubbing at the back of his neck but keeping his voice down.

Enkavir blinks at the urgency of the hand-motions as well as their intent, and a frown draws dark brows down over pale eyes. He flicks a glance over his shoulder and slows his steps, the better not to draw attention, melding with Seryth's shadowy shape as soon as he can. He comes around her far side, drawing up beside Thea and laying a light hand on her arm. "Everything alright?" His words are a silken whisper, and he nods to Rogawani, echoing the lad's question with quizzically perked brows.

Thea's voice is a whisper, "Yes, Thea. Shh. Everything is fine. Really." She answers both at the same time, turning her hand up to give Enkavir's a reassuring squeeze. Seryth is still silent, but her neck curves 'round to whuff a greeting at the two while green-hued eyes whirl slowly. Thea kicks a clump of grass, pondering something, "I have to go see something. Alone." There's a tinge of urgent unease to her tone. She stands tiptoe, kisses Enavir's cheek quickly, then turns swiftly grabbing the leather flight strap in her hands, about to pull herself up. Over her shoulder, "Do not tell anyone-" She pulls and braces a foot against the golden hide, "-not even Niva, that you saw me leave. No one. Promise me!"

The confusion stays rooted onto Rogawani's face as he looks between Thea and Enkavir, eyeing them as if he were missing something important. "See something?" He repeats, trying to wrap his mind around it before just shoving his hands into the pockets of his trousers, shrugging his shoulders. Watching as the Weyrwoman mounts up on her dragon, the messenger just nods his head. "Sure. My lips are sealed." He removes one hand from his pocket and moves it across his mouth in a quick motion. "Just be careful. Last thing we need is -two- missing Weyrwomen." His eyes turn towards Enkavir, then, searching him as if trying to figure out from this closest of people to Thea, what she might be up to.

Almost instinctively Enkavir returns that little squeeze Thea gives to his hand, but then he's blinking and the frown has grown into a scowl. "No way, you are not going to 'see something' alone, especially not if we can't tell anyone." He reaches up to snag her, trying to get a grip on her foot so she can't go clambering up Seryth's hide. "Not when you look like that and sound like that, you're not. Let me-" he breaks off, flicks a sidelong glance at Rogawani. There's the barest beat of consideration and then he nods and amends his words. "Let us come with you." There's enough agitation there that Spark blinks in out of nowhere, fluttering to land on Enkavir's shoulder with an anxious little peep. "Hush," he growls in a whisper and for once Spark does as he's told. Rogawani's mention of missing weyrwomen only makes it worse, and Enkavir is now turning not just concerned but pleading eyes up at Thea. "Please. Let us come with you."

Thea's mouth is still unsmiling, but her tone kind as she addresses Rogawani, "Thanks Ro, I will be-" Her foot is snagged and she looks down at Enkavir for a moment as she mulls something over in her mind. "Might be awhile…" There's a very soft grunt from Seryth, but being dragon-sized it carries, "Hush Love." This to Seryth, then to the others, relief mingled with resignation, "Alright, alright, come on up. She's telling me she isn't leaving without you two anyway." She scrambles up and flaps the line so the others will know it's available. The clink of riding straps being snapped echoes off of the nearby cliff wall.

Once more, confusion knits together Rogawani's features as he struggles between the objections that Enkavir is raising, and Thea's plea about going alone. Chewing on the inside of his lip, the boy wrestles with this for a moment before the decision ends up being made for him. "Us?" He asks, lifting his eyebrows a little. The green lizard on his shoulder gives a pitiful sound as she looks towards the caverns and probably envisions food lying beyond. "Go to Da then you greedy gut. He'll make sure you're fed." He strokes the green affectionately, and she seems to take this as permission, jumping from his shoulder and disappearing *between*. Glancing up at Seryth, the boy offers a wry sort of smile. "Well, thanks for the invitation." Still keeping his voice low, Ro' waits and motions a hand for Enkavir to go up first. He's Thea's boyfriend, or weyrmate, or lover, or something… better to let them get all cuddly before he finds a place himself.

Enkavir waves a dismissive hand at it being a while. "I have nothing more imporatant to do." Somehow where that might be a casual comment in someone else, Enkavir seems to emphasize the importance of this task rather than the lack of other tasks. He flashes a quick little grin up at Seryth and gives her glistening hide a fond pat. "That's my girl," he murmurs, before taking a hold of the line and using it to climb upwards. He's gaining a bit of profficiency if not exactly grace, and settles neatly behind Thea. "You need a hand up, Rogawani?" He peers down as he buckles himself in, smiling since he has no idea about all the boyfriend, weyrmate lover speculation going on in Ro's head.

Thea passes the safety lines back to Enkavir, "Clip them here and here." A finger points to the metal grommets, then she's peering towards Rogawani, "Hurry!" She casts an eye towards the sky with concern evident in her voice, "It's gonna be light soon." Indeed the grey murk is lightening, turning to a pearlescent haze as a bit of early morning fog begins to rise from the dew-damp grass.

"Should be able to manage." Rogawani replies with a small smirk at the record keeper as he begins to climb his way up the straps. Thea's call to hurry is enough to make him look up, "I'm coming, I'm coming." He quickens the pace, missing his footing at one point in the rush, but catching himself quick enough. Then, finally up, he tosses himself behind Enkavir, the smallest of the three taking the tail-end of the dragon crew. "So, where're we going?" His words muddle together a bit as he works to strap himself in, trying to imitate the riggings he's seen other riders do for him on previous expeditions.


You are mounted upon Seryth's shoulders, feeling the powerful muscles across her back rippling beneath your legs. Under your hands her soft, warm hide shimmers - a pale sunrise curtained in golden mist; rain suspended in time and caught by Rukbat's dawnlight. A faint scent of jasmine reaches you from her oiled hide as wide wings lift, enclosing you in cloudy aureate light and trembling in anticipation of that first mighty downsweep that will carry you aloft.

Thea leans to check Rogawani's straps, giving them a sharp tug, before she does the same to Enkavir's. "Hang on!" Underneath them muscles bunch as the queen crouches, her wings lift and with her mighty lunge, they come down, once, twice, then she's gliding but a dragon's claw above the trees' canopies as they whiz by underneath them. They skim the forest, glide out over the lake, dipping down over the cooler air. They are just inches from the water when they are far enough from the Weyr for Seryth to flap without drawing attention and the rise in altitute is slow, but steady. As the first rays of the sun touch the dragon's hide, gilding it for a moment, she goes between.


Seryth banks in a wide circle, then glides down to land.


Xanadu Weyr Region - Foothills

The smooth ground of the plains gives way to the foothills of the Southern Barrier range, slowly working their way up into gentle hills, and then larger ones that break up the horizon. The grass of the plains gives way to low shrubbery, which in turn give way to a mixture of trees, and the an abundancy of evergreens.

Here and there the ground levels out, creating ideal camping spots along the slopes here and there. At one such camping spot, under the boughs of a large tree, a section of earth is freshly disturbed, patted back into place, while an oddly shaped rock sits against the tree trunk. Here and there, groups of bushes and low plants sprout up, though while most have small, waxy leaves, there's one that has palm sized, smooth leaves.

Thea unclips the harness from herself and the other two, grabs a leather carrysack and slings the strap over one shoulder. She does her usual swing-type dismount, but it is perfunctory with no mischief involved this day. Her boots crunch on cinders as she land and tosses the line back towards Seryth so the others can use it. She looks about while removing her gloves, finally pointing to the hole nearby, so they can know at least the direction she intends to go.

Enkavir slowly recovers from the shock that going *between* remains, shaking his head and raking fingers through his hair as he climbs down from Seryth's neck. It takes him an extra minute to scan the area where they have arrived, a thoughtful frown growing across his brow as he takes it in. "Is this where they found those eggs, Thea? Why are we here?" His eyes leave the sight of the collapsed cave to assess her instead. "And why is it a secret?" One brow arches, puzzled before he lets his gaze flick to Rogawani, as if the messenger might have some better clue.

Closing his eyes tight, Rogawani clenches his teeth as the biting cold of between seems to linger. He'd thrown on his riding jacket, but somehow even that didn't seem to keep out all of it. Once landed, though, he quickly wraps the arms of the jacket around his waist, sliding down the straps as the last to have his feet touch the ground. No stumbling this time. His eyes look around slowly, stretching arms above his head before settling them in a relaxed gesture behind his head. "Eggs?" He asks, and his arms drop, a bit of worry showing on his face. The gaze that looks back at Enkavir is just as puzzled, answering the older man's brief look with a small shrug.

"Yes, those eggs." Thea's lips are sad as she answers both Enkavir and Rogawani at the same time. There's a bit of a mournful croon from Seryth. "Suri, shhhh!" This over her shoulder and it's enough to indicate her preoccupation with something else that she even speaks aloud to her dragon. She doesn't answer Enkavir's other question right away as she scans the surrounding area and the plains for several seconds. Nothing moves, the desolate emptiness is accented by the hollow sound of wind over rock. "Seryth will keep watch. We should…be quick." She walks to the edge of the crater, drops the carrysack and hauls out a coiled rope, which she hands to Enkavir and Rogawani with an apologetic look, "Seryth, ah, didn't want to land down there. We'll climb down. Can either of you?" She points to a large boulder at the crater's edge.

Apparently they are still being quiet, and quick to, if Seryth is getting shushed. So Enkavir holds his questions for later, though his lips end up in a firm, flat line as he glances at Rogawani. "Dud eggs, a search team found them, likely Kate's," he explains lowly and succinctly as possible. He takes the rope with a quick nod then, looping it several times around the boulder and securing it with the sort of strong, fast knot a SeaCrafter's son would know. He fashions a sliding loop at the end and steps into it, tugging it fast around his waist. "I'm going first. You guys pull the rope up, secure yourself, and come down one at time." He pats his pockets with regret, shaking his head - totally unprepared. Prepared or no he glances at his fellow explorers for confirmation, nods once, then tightens his grip on the rope, leans back, and climbs down to the floor of the collapsed cavern.

The explanation from Enkavir is no new news to Rogawani, and his normally quite expressive face is trained into a blank mask. "Heard about that." He mumbles, his voice nearly inaudible, although not because of the hushed, half-stealthy actions, more something in his own head. Crouching near the record keeper, he watches the rope get tied off with distracted curiosity, and then stands up again. "You go next." This is addressed to Thea, not wanting to leave her up here alone. Well, perhaps not alone, as Seryth wouldn't let anything happen to her rider, but some part of Ro' still wasn't going to let her be the last to go. "I'll come last." So, the boy waits for her to take her turn, eyeing the wooded areas suspiciously.

In a hushed voice, "Thanks Kav," Thea smiles slightly, her fingers brush his hand gently as he takes the rope, then she's stepping to the edge, crouching down on all fours to peer down inside the hole. "All clear." Still softly it is called back and then she's once again peering into the crater, "Huh. They didn't mention that." She doesn't say what the 'that' is, though as she makes her way to the rope, "Thanks, both of you." She understands at least some of the facial expressions and vocal cues. She shoves her hands back into her gloves, grasps the rope, braces her feet against the side of the pit and backs down to drop the last few feet. "K, Ro, you're clear." She's backing out of the way, but already tuning her head to have a bit of a look 'round, before watching to make sure the lad makes it down n one piece.


Xanadu Weyr Region - Collapsed Cave

A large bubble, similar to those that now house dragons and riders alike in the traditional Weyrs of the Northern Continent has been hidden away beneath the crust of the earth for some time, it seems. However, the large hole in the top has opened this large sanctuary to the outside world, revealing a cavern easily large enough to house a pair of full grown metallic dragons. Sand and silt, surprisingly hot to the touch, fill the cavern to a comfortable depth, while there seem to be no other entrances or exits except for the one from above.

Enkavir stands at the bottom, peering up with one hand shielding his eyes, attempting to turn the shadows up top into something other than silhouettes. He nods agreement to Rogawani's proposal, though neither are looking down to see it. Then Thea is approaching and he offers a hand to help her, sticking close as she looks around. "Didn't mention what?" His voice is pitched low, pale hazel eyes darting from her to the cavern to the rim above where Rogawani is climbing down. "I feel like we should have weapons just in case or something. I don't like this."

It's no small grace that Rogawani usually wears fingerless gloves when doing deliveries or rides, and it certainly helps get rid of the rope-burn that would have otherwise threatened his palms. "Coming." He calls, shimmying down and landing easily with a little puff of air blowing the sand about his feet. His eyes are careful, one hand still holding the rope as he looks around, eyeing Thea first then Enkavir. "I have a belt knife?" He offers, lifting one side of his loose shirt to show the small knife held there. Normally, he might have offered it to someone ranking, but of the three, he's probably got the most knife-experience so… he just pats it with one hand.

Thea blinks at Enkavir, "Oh! Forgot." She un-slings the carrysack she'd grabbed before climbing down, reaches inside, rummages through a few other things and finally pulls out her crossbow. "Can you use one of these? I've arrows in there as well." She hands him the bag absently, as Rogawani lands. "You do, Ro? Keep it handy." She flashes him a smile of approval before she strides forward, answering Enkavir at the same time "This." She kneels beside a rather large brownish stain that changes the sand's color significantly. Her fingers scoop up a handful as she sifts it. "Looks like old blood. Rather a lot of it." She gestures to the bag, "I've bags to take some samples back in there. If you will?"

Enkavir eyes the beltknife, then gives Rogawani an approving nod. Thea's offer of the crossbow brings his brows down but he takes the bag and bow with a nod. "Looks like I'm the odd man out. I suppose I'll be wearing a knife from now on just in case my Thea drags me off to dangerous situations without notice, hmm?" He fits an arrow into the bow, keeping it carefully pointed at the ground as he watches the rim of the cavern above them. "Blood?" It's not quite a squeak but there's definitely a catch of surprise in his voice as he looks to where Thea kneels. "Shells."

A small wince shows on Rogawani's face when Thea pulls out her crossbow. He'd heard the rumors of what happened to a certain bronzerider regarding a bolt in the butt. Even so, he carefully tries to train his expression back to curiousity. "No worries." Flicking the peace-binding off of the knife, he lightly grips the handle. About to give a demonstration of knife-skills, his hand motion ends up distracted by the talk of blood, and the knife ends up landing right in the sand. "Shards." He curses uder his breath and then retrieves the blade, tucking it back ito his belt. "Blood?" He echos the same question as Enkavir a moment afterwards, peekig at the stain on the sands. "Not dragon blood, wrong color, right? So animal…" He pauses, and swollows. "Or human."

Thea misses Rogawani dropping the knife, preoccupied as she is. She reaches for the carrysack, rummages once more and pulls out a sample bag. She scoops a small handful of the brown-ish stained sand and deposits it in the bag then drops that into the carrysack. Standing, she brushes her hands together. "It's old. And decomposing. Could be any of those," Her eyes are troubled as they sweep the sands once more, looking for something and it's apparent she's expecting to find it. A glance at Enkavir to make sure he is near and the crossbow is handy. "I need to…" She doesn't finish the sentence. Her voice trails off as a confused look crosses her face as she blinks at first him, then Rogawani. Her brow wrinkles as though she were trying to remember something, then a blank look settles in her eyes.

Enkavir makes a point of checking that the crossbow is aiming firmly at the ground, giving Rogawani a wan little smile in reply to his wince. It's wiped off by the knife's tumble and Enkavir slowly shakes his head, mouth firming into a flat line. "Let's try not to stab our own feet or shoot any of our own group by accident. We might be the most dangerous things out here." There's only a hint of amusement in his tone, and his eyes grow even more serious as he looks at that dark patch of sand. Thea's trailing off and confusion makes him frown and he steps over to her, lifting a hand from the bow to touch her shoulder. "Hey, you alright?"

"Right." Rogawani replies to Enkavir, although the sheepish, somewhat embarassed look stays etched on his face. Rather than looking back at either of them, he takes a few steps closer to the mound of sand that may have once been home to the now shattered or dead eggs. His face falls as he leans down an plucks up one overcooked shell piece, turning it in his hand before his eyes tilt upwards to spy one of the unhatched eggs. Closing his eyes tighter, the boy seems to be working very hard to keep himself under control. When his eyes open again, they have a glassy sort of sheen to them, "Someone should… bury these, or take them between. Something. This isn't right." He scowls, still holding on to the shell-piece as Enkavir's voice distracts him. Turning his head back towards the two, he looks past the record keeper towards Thea, curious.

Feeling the touch on her shoulder, Thea snaps out of her daze and blinks at Enkavir. "Hmm?" Her voice is just a bit wooden, but this clears with her next words, compassion in her voice, "Ro…" The lad's expression, his tone, the brightness of his eyes - all are noticed. One hand lifts towards the boy although she is several paces away, "We will do that." She says it kindly as she is stepping over that way. She kneels beside him, reaching an arm to curve about his shoulders. "They did not suffer." Her face turns to Enkavir, "We need samples of these as well." In her fleeting confusion she has managed to drop the carrysack.

Enkavir's frown only deepens as Thea blinks but still seems so distant. "I said are you…" but he trails off as she speaks to Rogawani in that tone of voice and moves past him toward the younger man. He twists to look over at the messenger and the sight of him and where he sits makes Enkavir take a deep, sorrowful breath. The crease that mars his brow remains, concern in his eyes as well as he crouches to pick up Thea's bag and bring it over to his companions. "I didn't realize they would still be here," he murmurs. Thea has the comforting thing well in hand, much better than anything Enkavir would offer, so he busies himself rummaging around for the appropriate items for taking samples.

The side of Rogawani's mouth twitches up just slightly, appreciative of the comfort offered to him. Still, the somber mood isn't lifted quite that easily. "Yeah." He says simply, not having many words to offer for this. Standing still for a time, he finally shrugs politely out from under Thea's arm, offering her a small smile. It lasts only as long as it takes for his eyes to sweep over to Enkavir, "Samples, right." He offers out the piece of shell still held in his hand, keeping his eyes averted from the unhatched egg so close by. His other hand reaches up and rubs at one eye as if he had something caught in it, although that's more than clearly not the reason. "How many do you think there were?" He asks, nudging a toe at another piece of unmatching shell at his feet.

Thea drops her arm as the boy shrugs, answering Rogawani and Enkavir as casually as she can, all business now, "They're dessicated, but we need shell bits and any dried tissue we can get. We'll burn the rest up top later." Thea's eyes the pile thoughtfully, "X'hil's report said it looked like three." There's a pause, "It's…hot down here." That's all she says before she's scanning the area thoughtful for a moment. Without a word, she moves off to walk the floor of the cavern, kicking at bits of this and that. "There mest be…" Her words trail off, she sawys for a moment, then sinks to the floor of the cavern, fainted apparently. An anxious warble echoes down into the cavern.

Enkavir lays a hand on Rogawani's arm, hopefully stalling him. "I can do it. You keep an eye up top. I don't want us to be so busy with these that we get ambushed or something." He offers over the crossbow, reaching to take the eggshell and from the younger man in exchange. Of course that's all true but it's also a way for Rogawani to keep from having to touch the remains, leaving him to get himself under control if he wishes. "Do you think the heat is why-" Enkavir turns to address Thea as he speaks, breaking off when she suddenly collapses into the sand. He curses, harsh and vulgar as he drops what is in his hands (crossbow or shell however far the exchange has come) and rushes to her side. He skids to a halt, nearly slipping across the sand as he drops down into a crouch. "Thea?"

Looking up from the hand on his arm, Rogawani blinks a little in surprise, head tilting as he looks towards Enkavir with a puzzled expression. However, he doesn't argue, accepting the crossbow. Biting at his lower lip in concentration, the boy tests the weight of it, pulling bolt back until it clicks into place. His eyes scan up towards the roof of the cavern, taking a step or two towards the rope. The sudden curse from Enkavir is enough to cause him to turn abruptly, bow at the ready. "What the-?" He cuts himself off, pulling his hand away from the crossbow trigger to keep his shock from sending a bolt in a random direction. Slower to react, almost sluggish, Ro' lowers the weapon and follows behind. "What happened?" He asks, worry taking hold in his voice, eyes still sweeping the cave, even more so now, protective. "Thea." He says her name softly, and then looks to Enkavir.

There is no response from Thea as she remains limp, sprawled on the hot sands. There is a pallor to her face, her lashes dark against the pale skin. As her name is called, she moans softly, but that is all.

A dragon breaks out of Between far above, carrying two passengers. Inimeth's responding to Seryth's call and the Weyrleader is on his back along with his secretary. The young man looks downward with concern and there's some gesturing as he says something to his companion, then Inimeth is carefully setting down to one side of the crater. Dels takes in the scene and drops off of Inimeth fast, slides down and strides on over to the edge, maybe even recklessly. "What happened?" are the first words out of his mouth.

Vivian is with D'son, a hastily donned flight jacket worn over her clothes. It's with a bit of grumbling that Viv climbs down of the bronzes back before she has a better look around. "She's not looking so hot." She states the obvious.

Enkavir lays a hand on Thea's neck, feels her pulse and then pats a cheek gently. "Thea, sweetheart, wake up." He pauses long enough to shake his head up at Rogawani with concern etched into his eyes and across his forehead. "I don't know, she just fainted." He manages to take a shaky breath as Inimeth appears out of nowhere, looking up from the sand at the bottom of the hole, shading his eyes with a hand. "Hey is that… D'son?" He points to the rope that dangles down into the cave, secured at the top around a boulder. "We might need a hand getting her up out of here… we were just looking around and she collapsed. It is pretty hot down here."

Rogawani's mouth opens as if he might comment, but then it just hangs there as his eyebrows knit together. The distraction of a shadow passing overhead is enough to snap him out of whatever thoughts had held him. His first reaction is to raise the crossbow again, eyeing the dragon descending suspiciously for a moment before realizing who it is. "Inimeth." Rogawani affirms Enkavir's question, and then un-nocks the crossbow bolt. Stepping back, and raising one arm to keep sand from flying into his eyes, he blinks towards the Weyrleader and the Weyrwoman's daughter. "I'll get her bag." Ro' offers, trying to make some use of himself, reaching out a concerned hand towards Enkavir's shoulder. "Can you carry her? We should get her out of the heat." He suggests, his voice catching and giving a small squeak as a bit of the worried boy shows through his attempts to stay calm.

Thea's eyes flutter, then open. She doesn't move, but her eyes blink as she focuses on the faces above her and then move to take in the crater walls above them in confusion. "Unh." She tries that again, moistening her lips with a small grimace, "What da-" A sharp expression flashes through her eyes, one akin to alarm before it is quickly masked, "Where are we?" Not what happened, oddly enough.

Peering downward, D'son nods agreement with Rogawani. "If that sand is hot, get her off of it, if you know her neck isn't injured," he says with a hint of urgency in is voice. "Okay, that doesn't look like an easy climb back up with a girl over your shoulder," he notes with professional aplomb at least. Hey all that S&R training has to come in useful sometime, right? "Easiest way to get her up would be to put a blanket underneath her, run a pair of ropes under and bring her up that way, or if she comes around—" and there's Thea coming to and there's an audible sigh of relief from the Weyrleader. "All right then, I'm coming down," Dels says decisively and looks over at Vivian. "Coming?" he asks her as he takes hold of the rope, preparatory to swinging down. "Need to make sure she's okay."

"If she's only fainted then she'll be easier to move." Says Vivian ever so calmly. "Get her up onto one of the dragons and we can fly her out to the nearest water source, that's not the ocean. We can use that to cool her down." When Thea opens her eyes again, there's a slightly mutter of something that sounds awfully like, "There's that plan ruined." She shakes her head at the option of climbing down a rope. "You're kidding right, just get the big bronze boy here to fly us down?" She offers up the suggestion given the hole here is big enough to fit a gold, never mind the smaller bronze.

The crossbow would have been a good instinct, but Enkavir's a bit out of sorts at the moment. Noticing Rogawani's motion brings a decidedly approving nod out of him, followed by another nod when the messenger confirms his identification of the bronze. "I imagine Seryth called him, though why /him/…" he trails off with a shrug, his focus immediately back on Thea as her eyes open. "We're at the cave still, hon. You were only out for a minute." He slides a hand beneath her head, trying to at least get that up off the sand. "Do you think you can sit up?" D'son gets a grateful glance, but his focus is definitely on the fallen goldrider.

Slowly setting down the crossbow, Rogawani pulls up Thea's bag, casting a worried look first at the pair beside him, and then up to those above. "I'll take care of the samples, you take care of her." He says, pushing himself up and forcing himself back towards the nearly forgotten remains of the dragon eggs. Closing his eyes for a moment, he wills his stomach to obey him, and then crouches down. By the time they open again, he's steeled himself for the task at hand. "Shells and shards." He curses under his breath, collecting just that, drawing his hand back now and again before forcing himself to continue. "Thea." He speaks quietly, but loud enough to carry within the cavern. "I've got some shells, do you remember what else you wanted?" His voice is soft, as if worried that speaking too loud might somehow make thigs worse.

"No!" Thea's objection to the suggestion of any dragon landing inside the cavern comes out with less force than her normal voice. Enkavir's arm sliding under her and his words draw a bit of a relieved expression to her face and she nods. "Yeah, 'm fine," she mutters. She is able to sit up and she's looking mighty grouchy as she growls, "Help me get up! Before he sends that shardin' bronze down here." She's pulling at Enkavir's arm, trying to regain her feet, "I'm fine! Fine!" This is meant to carry to those above, whether it does nor not, she doesn't notice.

"What, scared of a little rope?" D'son challenges Vivian with a lopsided grin. "I've got another rope and a blanket in Inimeth's pack though, might come in useful." He heads over to get both items, rope looped over his shoulder, then returns to the edge of the open hole and starts to climb down. "Toss the blanket down to me when I get down," he tells Vivian. "And somehow, I think Thea's going to be okay if she's hollering," he tells Niva's daughter with a wink. It doesn't take long for him to get down below and get the lay of the land. Stepping over to Thea, he hunkers down nearby. "Take it easy, Thea, you passed out," he says steadily, "stand up slow like, okay? So you don't keel over again."

Vivian holds her hands out to him. "You seem better suited to the macho hero part." She tells D'son with one her best smiles. "These hands are used for typing, not climbing." She does however take the extra gear from him and dumps it on the ground at her feet before shedding the flight jacket and rolling up her sleeves to give her a better freedom of movement. She watches D'son go down and then tosses the blanket down to him, her aim surprisingly good.

Enkavir goes from trying to get Thea up to trying to slow her down, keeping hands ready to steady her if need be. "He's not bringing the dragon down, it's fine just… try to relax a little. What happened?" Other than she fainted, which is pretty obvious. He gives D'son a sidelong glance, confused and concerned and not really sure what to do. "She wanted to gather samples of the eggs and things, and Rogawani was hoping to give whatever is left a respectful burial. Maybe we could use that sling idea to get the unhatched egg up top? Or by that time maybe Inimeth could come down?" He leans to nod to Rogawani as he does the practical thing, still a bit consumed to greet Vivian properly as she's still out on the cave's rim.

Thea's quietly fuming, but it can't be about the egg remains since Inimeth remains above. The look she shoots D'son is far from welcoming and unfortunately Enkavir's question earns him a share in it as well. "Nothing!" Rather vehemently now, then less so, "Was just the heat. I'm fine!" So she keeps saying. To the Weyrleader, "You can…" Oh, wait she can't dismiss him, can she? "Don't you have important office-stuff to do?" Her hand makes a shooing motion, "I'm fine." There's a woman's voice and Thea leans to see around Enkavir and D'son. And spots Vivian. That's just great. The Weyrwoman's daughter. "Oh shells, I am toast now." Thea says this quietly to herself with a resigned finality. Rogawani's question finally seeps through, "Some bits of the dried up tissue and that whole unhatched egg." Then she winces, "He shouldn't be doing that, it's upset him." She pushes to her feet, it's a wobbly affair, but she is standing. "And yer not hauling me up there in that like a sack of tubers, either!" Glare.

"Easy, Thea." Rogawani says, his voice still soft and somewhat distant, although it does take on a small hint of humor. "It's okay. Don't give yourself a stroke, okay?" Slinging the bag over his shoulder, the messenger glances up, watching as the all-too-recent Weyrleader comes down the rope. Then, his eyes shift back to Thea, shaking his head a little. "It's fine, Thea. I'm okay." Giving a bit of a thump to his chest, he straitens his shoulders and tries to push down some of his own feelings. "I'll take care of it." Idlely, he has to wonder what it is that Thea dislikes about so many bronzeriders. Odd. Keeping his teeth tightly clenched together, the boy shifts some sand with his toe and then crouches down to add a bit of the desiccated tissue to the morbid collection hanging from his shoulder. Then, his eyes turn towards the egg. Gulp. He steps towards it like someone moving to their own execution.

Straightening as Thea stands, D'son just nods once. "All right then, if you see spots or anything though, say so," Dels says calmly. "That's a one-way trip to the healers right away, over my shoulder, got it?" Because no, she can't just dismiss him and this is somewhat, his element where office stuff is not. He looks around the cavern curiously though and eyeballs the egg remains. "Yeah, should be able to haul that up like that, or Inimeth can come down for it, once everything is clear," the Weyrleader says, hands on hips, observing. "This … has to do with that goldrider that went missing, doesn't it?"

Vivian is probably too far away to be doing much, but when she catches sight of Thea and hears what she says about being hauled up in the sack she can't help but offer up a cheery. "The alternative is to truss you up like a porcine and haul you up that way, so best not faint again." She calls down with sugary sweet tones. "In the meantime, anything else that's ready, tie it on and I'll pull it up, just keep it light, that's an awful lot of pulling to get it back up here."

Enkavir scowls momentarily at D'son, then carefully smoothes his face to neutrality. "I think she'll be alright," is all he says, keeping a hand under her arm just in case. "No trussing or slinging over shoulders or stuffing in sacks necessary here." He says it with as much cheer as he can muster, which is not much, and takes the slightest step to the side, placing him a bit between the Weyrleader and the goldrider. "We can wait and have Inimeth bring that up, Ro," he repeats D'son, pale eyes flicking from the messenger to Thea, concern evident for both. Vivian distracts him from this useless ping-pong back and forth and he shoots a glare up at her. "That's real helpful up there, thanks." There's sarcasm to spare, but it /is/ hot and all.

Thea just shoots Vivian a short glare, muttering sarcastically to D'son and Enkavir, "I'll wait until we've collected the samples, thanks." There's a quick swallow and nod in response to D'son's directive and she meekly answers, "Got it." Rogawani is not convincing her that he is fine, but there's nothing she can do about that at the moment. Instead, there's evident relief in her face, "Yes, Kate." Her eyes slide to Enkavir warningly as she starts to tremble barely imperceptibly, "Just need to get over to the wall until the samples-" She tips her head towards said wall. Hint.

"Looking like she will be," D'son says evenly, not getting into the battle of tempers, especially as Thea dials it down a little. "Right. Kate. Read about it," he explains, "though I don't … have all the story," the Weyrleader says candidly. He shoots a look up Vivian's way and gives her a little 'hey, stuff it' look, but then gives her a thumbs up. "Okay, I can scramble back out too and help haul, depending on how it all goes." Thea's claim about needing the wall brings his gaze back to her, eyes narrowing a little. "Yeah, take a rest, Thea," he says in a quieter voice.
Rather than continue trying to convince people that he's fine, Rogawani sets down the bag of already collected samples, and pulls his tunic up over his shoulders. It's warm enough without it, and it comes in handy for at least one purpose. Taking hold of the arms, he creates a sling with the cloth, and nudges the remains of the unhatched egg into it. "Like I said, no problem." Pulling the rest of the cloth up, he wraps it off at the top to keep the contents inside, pulling one lace from the neck of the tunic to tie it off. With this last bit collected, he grabs up the bag and slings it over his bare shoulders, walking forward towards the others. "I'd appreciate it if someone else could take this one." He motions towards the shirt-wrapped egg remains. "I can climb fine with the bag, but not both."

Vivian stays where she is up top, until such time as someone attaches something to the end of the rope there's nothing she can do, so for now she is laid out up top, peering down into the cavern below, smiling sweetly back at the various looks she's getting.

Enkavir lets out a rough sigh and takes firmer hold of Thea, sliding an arm around her waist to keep her steady. "If you need to lean against the wall you are /not/ fine," he growls under his breath. They're all close together enough that everyone can probably hear him but he's making some effort at not disagreeing with her too vocally. He leads her over to the wall, leaving the sample gathering for everyone else to take care of while he takes care of Thea. "Thank you coming down, D'son," he finally has the grace to say.

Thea is meekness itself as D'son addresses her, "Yes Sir. Uh, can I fill you in later, though?" That comes out a little shaky, but her voice is low-pitched and there is a plea in her eyes to just ignore it. For the moment Rogawani is on the back burner as Thea leans into Enkavir, lips pressed together, "I know. Just get me to the wall." It's barely audible, hopefully not overheard by anyone else.

More narrow-eyed looking from Dels after Thea as she and Enkavir move over to the wall. "That'll be fine," he says, trying to do the whole 'mantle of authority' thing only it's probably just kind of funny on him. Still he heads over to the bound up egg. "Vivian, drop the other rope down, would you?" he calls up to the secretary. "We can tie it on and haul it," he says with a look over at Rogawani. "You know a lot easier to climb with two hands rather than just one and safer too. That's a long drop."

Vivian calls back down to D'son. "Do you want it attached at this end." She checks before doing the needed, either just tossing it down to him or tying it off then tossing the end down.

A small, almost wry smirk shows on Rogawani's face, although he tries his very best to be polite in the face of this new Weyrleader. "I can sling this on my back and still have both hands free." He pats the bag still hanging from his shoulder. "No worries." However, there are other things to worry about, and his eyes turn back towards Enkavir and Thea as they head towards the wall of the cavern. "I'll go when they do." He sets the bound-up egg carefully on the ground, before taking the few steps towards the wall it takes to reclaim Thea's crossbow. Wordlessly, he approaches the two, acting as guard as much as a fifteen year old can, as if anyone could possibly sneak by two dragons at this point.

Thea just quietly leans against both Enkavir and the wall, looking calmer now that D'son is off helping Rogawani collect and transport egg samples. There's a bit of a glance up towards the rim and an audible sigh as they've gotten Vivian busy also. Perhaps no one will notice that she rests her head against the man's shoulder as well.

All that crossbow slinging is causing D'son's brows to lift and fall a bit, but hey, he's still not all up and up on the situation here. Instead he crosses to the bound up egg, brings it over to where Vivian tossed the rope down and bind it up securely. Not just through the sleeves of Rogawani's shirt. Looks like the Weyrleader knows a thing or two about a good knot at least and securing things for safe transport. "Okay Viv, tie it off up there too, before you start lifting," he calls up, "just in case you lose your grip." He straightens then though, to do a slow walk of the perimeter of the cavern, curious eyes taking in the space and what's left of the clutch.

Vivian came back to peer down and watch what's going on at D'son's signal she ties everything off and then moving back from the edge starts to haul on the rope. It goes slowly, she's probably not that strong, she's a secretary! Eventually though it does make it to the top with only the one curse emitting from her usually ladylike mouth soon after its arrival and just before the end of the rope goes snaking back down again. Probably broke a nail.

Rogawani's steps falter a little, and finally stop a short distance from his two companions. His eyebrows lift, and the edge of his lips quirks just once before he turns back away, giving Thea and Enkavir some privacy it seems. "Nevermind, I'll head up." The boy pulls the bag with the samples over his head so that it hangs down along his back. The crossbow is tied loosely onto the strap as he walks over to the ropes, gripping it with his hands. With only one cursory look back, he begins to make his way up, the crossbow dangling against his legs.

Enkavir leans his weight against the comparatively cooler stone of the wall as well, keeping an arm around Thea to help her stay upright. He seems distracted, concern etched across his face as he glances down at her dark hair. But there are other things going on as well and he lifts his eyes to watch the egg make it's way up and out of the cave, then returns Rogawani's little grin. "Don't scurry up on our account. I imagine we'll be up there shortly anyhow, soon as Thea decides it's safe for Seryth to come down and fetch her. Because you're not climbing that rope in this condition." The last of course to the goldrider herself, and in a tone that brooks no nonsense. "See anything else of value, sir?" He finally calls to D'son, watching the progress without leaving Thea's side.

D'son smirks upward for that cussing of Vivian's as he continues to look around and to one side, he frowns, hunkers down, fingertips brushing lightly at something buried there. "Shells …" breathes out the Weyrleader and he looks up at the others. "Are you …putting anything you find into anything special? I've found something that ought to come back for Niva and anyone else to see." This as he gently blows sand aside, rather than disturb too much, what's there cradled in the crater. The flash of white cloth might become visible after a moment and those spots can't be anything other than blood, can they? Browned as they are.

Vivian pulls the egg away from the edge of the cave and turns to face Inimeth. "Don't touch." She wags a finger at the bronze in warning before she goes back to the edge lies down again and shuffles forward to be able to see what's happening down there.

Rogawani is halfway up the rope before he even hears Enkavir's comment, pausing with effort shown on his face to flash a gritted half-smile. "Coming up." He calls as he spots Vivian looking down into the crater. With a last bit of strain, he hooks his arms over the edge, and then hauls himself up, being careful not to crush the bag wrapped around his back in the process. Trying to catch his breath, Ro' offers a nod of greeting, pushing to his feet and working to swing the bag down off his shoulders. "They should be up soon." He finally manages to get out, chest still heaving as he sets the bag onto the ground, offering a similar nod of greeting towards the bronze dragon.

Thea has closed her eyes briefly and just nods silently to Enkavir's directive, leaving her head resting where it is for now. At his question to D'son, she opens her eye a crack, trying to see where he's gone, relieved to find that he's sweeping for clues. She answers the Weyrleader, trying to make her voice carry across the cavern, "I've sample bags from the Dragon Healers lab in my carrysack. Kav, do you have it?" She lifts her head, twisting to see if it is nearby. She spots the egg on it's way up and heaves another sigh, this one of relief when Rogawani makes it to the top.

Enkavir does indeed have the aforementioned carrysack, and he slings it down off of his shoulder, rummages around a bit and comes up with one of the sample bags. Trying to remain as still otherwise as possible, he holds it out for the Weyrleader. "Here you are, sir. What is it?" He eyes the cloth albeit at a distance, then just lets out a sigh - his holds no hint of relief. "More blood, don't you think? What /happened/ here?" He looks down at Thea, worry lingering. "Is that good enough, Thea? Can Seryth come down and bring you up top now? I want you out of this heat and I'd like to have a peek around up there as well."

Inimeth, seems disinclined to touch. It's a shirt. With a thing that looks like an egg in it. He just slants a look cross-wise at Vivian and noses at her hair. She's more interesting than the dumpy lumpy bundle thing anyway. D'son looks up at Thea and nods. "All right then, need one or two of those for this. Looks like a bit of a candidate robe and a nasty accident too," the Weyrleader says with a shake of his head and rises, having traced an outline around the evidence and carefully walks over to claim the sample bag. It's a matter of moments to return and carefully slip the bits of hide, hair and white wool into the bag, closing it up when he's through. He circles the cavern again, eyes on the ground, then returns to the other two. "Nothing else that I can see, and I agree, Thea, let's get you up and out of the heat and into the fresher air."

Vivian moves out of the way before Rogawani reaches the top of the rope and offers up a faint smile to him. "Hi, anything more to come up other than people?" She asks him, even as she's swatting at the bronze. "Stop it." She mutters before she eventually just gives up and goes to scratching at the side of his head. "I've broken one nail already, you'd better not manage a second." She admonishes the bronze.

Thea nods to both Enkavir and D'son, "Yeah, I called her, thanks for gathering-" She doesn't finish for an anxious Seryth lands just then and Thea pushes from the wall to move towards her. Except for a bit of shakiness, might not be all that noticeable if Enkavir is beside her, she manages to get over there. The queen has crouched, then rolled onto her side to minimize the need to climb. "Just, help me get on, Kav?" This is muttered as near to his ear as she can possibly be.

Keeping an ear trained on what's going on below, Rogawani looks thoughtful before replying to Vivian, trying to keep his expression light. "Sounds like they found something else, but probably nothing so fragile as the egg." He notes, catching the words 'candidate' and 'nasty accident' and losing most of the rest of it in the echoing sounds below. A wince shows slightly on his face. "Candidates…" He lets the thought trail off, something to bring up when the rest are topside. "They were going to send Seryth down, so I think we should probably get back." He thumbs over his shoulder, getting back even before the queen makes her way down to those below. "What a mess." Running a hand through his hair, Ro' scoops up the other back and just keeps his distance from the hole, looking around the area again, keeping his eyes out for trouble.

Enkavir is quick to do as Thea asks, assisting her over to Seryth and then offering whatever help she might need in getting up. "You want to ride up, D'son? No sense anyone else clambering back up that rope." He makes good on his thought, climbing up behind Thea himself before offering a hand down to D'son though the bronzerider isn't likely to need it. "I wasn't picturing an actual hatching here, though I guess with the remains of only 3 obvious eggs there are probably… weyrlings out there somewhere." It should have been apparent, but the idea is only now really registering - clearly not something Enkavir has thought about too much.

Inimeth just whuffs one more time playfully and leans his head into the scritching. D'son slips that sample bag with its evidence into his pocket, then heads over to Seryth's side, hovering a little while the recordskeeper helps the goldrider up. "Mm. I think there were Impressions or attempted ones anyway if that's what was going on." A shake of his head for the offered hand. "See you up top," the Weyrleader says with something like leaderly firmness, then steps back over to the rope, to shimmy back up it, grinning over his shoulder. "I uh … like to climb." Maybe for fun. Back on the lip of the cave, he coils the rope back up, heads over to unbind the egg's rope from wherever Vivian affixed it though he leaves it bound up for security of transport back to the weyr a-dragonback.

At Rogawani's warning Vivian leans her head against the bronze's so that she has something solid to hold onto in case of any unexpected back wash. "I'm glad your breath doesn't stink too much big boy." She murmurs to Inimeth as she continues to scratch away at his hide. Her gaze flickers back to Rogawani. "Any way of tracking herds of beasts, if there are weyrlings as well now then their food intake is going to increase isn't it?" When D'son appears she flashes him a welcoming smile, though she doesn't stop deny the bronze of her affections, letting the men get on with it.

Seryth awaits her cue and as those on her back are secure, she rolls back onto her belly at the same moment Thea mutters. "Hang on!" The gold waits for a breath, then crouches and launches, flapping a few times as she rises slowly to the craters lip, pausing there so the pair on her back can just slide a short few feet to get off. Thea swings one leg over but allows Enkavir to steady her as they both slide off together. Seryth then flaps up to land beside Inimeth.


Xanadu Weyr Region – Foothills

The smooth ground of the plains gives way to the foothills of the Southern Barrier range, slowly working their way up into gentle hills, and then larger ones that break up the horizon. The grass of the plains gives way to low shrubbery, which in turn give way to a mixture of trees, and the an abundancy of evergreens.

Here and there the ground levels out, creating ideal camping spots along the slopes here and there. At one such camping spot, under the boughs of a large tree, a section of earth is freshly disturbed, patted back into place, while an oddly shaped rock sits against the tree trunk. Here and there, groups of bushes and low plants sprout up, though while most have small, waxy leaves, there's one that has palm sized, smooth leaves.

With one hand kept on his belt knife just incase, Rogawani looks away into the surrounding area, eyeing the ground with wary eyes. "Depends on how long it's been." He replies, looking over his shoulder at Vivian, smiling at the relationship between her and the bronze dragon. Then, his face gets more serious as he crouches near the ground, looking for sign of any beasts having come this way. "We'd probably be better off asking the sweepriders to watch for herds. They would have had to have meat near here… and they couldn't have taken weyrlings too far. Could they?" He asks, knowing that perhaps she might have a better idea then he does. As the gold form of Seryth returns, Ro' pushes back onto his feet, showing a bit of relief now that there are two sets of watchful dragon eyes.

Enkavir keeps close to Thea as they arrive up top, absently brushing a hand through his perpetually tousled hair. "That's a good point, Vivian. I would assume they've been watching for that sort of thing anyhow if there were dragons involved in the situation, but the addition of weyrlings is going to increase their needs, and quickly." He shrugs as to whether or not they could be moved, looking to Vivian and the dragonriders for an answer. "To be honest I haven't seen many records about sweeps in this area or any of the… exploring that's been done looking for these guys so I'm not sure /what/ they have going on. Must be something Niva's keeping to herself, or filed somewhere I don't know about."

That comment from Enkavir sees a frown forming on D'son's face and he runs a hand over his chin, maybe reckless: "I'll see to it," D'son says as the discussion about weyrlings proceeds. "The wings will get instructions to keep an eye out," the Weyrleader says and for a moment, he looks a little weirded out by making such a decision, but hey, there you go. Man of action. Rar. "And touch base with Niva," he continues and straightens his shoulders a little. "Thea you were wanting to examine up here as well? I'd suggest splitting it up in a grid," he goes on, hey look more S&R training being useful. "Each person takes, X amount of ground and that way we won't interfere with each other or step on something by accident."

Vivian bobs her head a little at the question from Rogawani. "In the weyrs they have to be helped to a food source fairly soon after hatching. Same with a source of oil. The gold would likely have been here with the eggs, but would either have had to have food brought to her or leave here long enough to get to it, but she could between so that's not so much of an issue. Unless." And she pauses, "D'son what would happen to a beast if a dragon took it between, would it still be edible?" She asks him.

Thea doesn't really say anything to the conversation, she merely leans against Enkavir. She's trembling slightly. She tips her head up to whisper something to him, then gives D'son an apologetic look, "Uh. I dunno if I can…" She flushes, her brows lowering obviously hating to admit it.

Possibility of weyrlings or not, Rogawani just sighs, putting his hands into the pockets of his trousers. His face shows a mixture of concern and relief. "So maybe they all didn't die." He speaks this in an undertone. "Huh?" Blinking, the boy is roused somewhat from his thoughts by a sound nearby. "What was that?" He looks back to see if any of the others had hear it. Walking forward a few paces, the boy seems to be listening carefully, trying to tune out the rest of the conversation. "Herdbeast." He murmurs. "Guys, I hear a herdbeast." He walks towards a rocky outcropping, trying to find the source of the lowing sound.

There's a look in Enkavir's eyes as they slide over D'son that just might be approval. Hard to say, as that sort of thing doesn't happen too often. He just nods. "If you need help looking for records just say the word. We need a more centralized system anyhow." But that's for another day, obviously. Enkavir leans to catch Thea's whisper, then leads her beneath a tree before helping her to sit against the trunk. "You just rest and try not to worry too much." He brushes testing fingers over her forehead and then just shakes his head. "Do you want me to stay with you?" He glances up at D'son, apparently seeking his advice - it's a day of rarities - before Rogawani's words have him straightening. "Careful, Ro. Just in case it's not the herdbeast you think it is."

"That's all right Thea," D'son says with a sympathetic look her way. "Sit and rest, have a drink of water. I've got a skin on Inimeth's straps if you haven't," the Weyrleader says. "And as for a beast going Between, it'd be fine to /eat/ but it's even odds on whether or not the shock would kill the poor thing," Dels adds with a wry look on his face. Then there's Ro making that statement and D'son, looks around again. "Okay, hold on, walk carefully, Rogawani," the Weyrleader instructs, "might be tracks or something," he points out. And he probably doesn't mean herdbeasts. "Thea stick with Seryth, Enkavir, Vivian, come along with, but stick close and watch where you're stepping."

Vivian stops the affectionate scratching of the bronzes head and pats him lightly as she steps away from him. "But it'd be fine for a young weyrling dragon to eat, makes no difference if it's dead or not?" She checks as she heads for D'son, if there's an animal out there, beast or human she's sticking close to the one she thinks will be quickest to save her own hide.

Thea slides to the ground with a grateful sigh, hands gripping Enkavir's arms to steady herself. She leans back against the tree, peering up at him, "I'll be fine." It's forced, but she adds a pale smile, "Go help them. Seryth is here." She pushes at him. "She'll call you…" Somehow. She nods at D'son, "Yes Sir, thanks. I will." Her eyes follow the progress of Rogawani and her brow wrinkles. "Don't let him go ahead alone."

"Shh." Rogawani seems to listen to the others, but he shushes them none the less, drawing his belt knife as he moves forwar, carefully. Then, with a few last paces, he comes around to the other side of the outcropping, still in view of the others. The tension immediately eases from his shoulders. "Just a herdbeast. I was right." He murmurs, and then tucks the knife back into his belt, giving a clicking sound, trying to draw the animal forward. He doesn't seem all that concerned about the danger, perhaps not seeing much dangerous about a lone herdbeast.

Enkavir seems a bit reluctant to leave Thea but he nods, runs a hand across the top of her head, then turns. Focus. He nods a confirmation to D'son, then heads to where Rogawani is searching, walking quickly over ground already trampled to nothing by people and dragons but watching every step when the area becomes less traveled. His hand reaches to his hip but he doesn't have a knife to finger which is covered by sliding his hand into a pocket instead. He's already quiet when Ro shushes, but when the messenger relaxes he breathes out a sigh of relief. "Just one?" Still watching his step he circles the outcropping to come up at Rogawani's side.

Behind the rocky outcropping there is a lone herdbeast. It does not act wild. There are signs that a small herd has been kept here along with the remnants of a hastily-abandoned campsite. Tents, cooking utensils, old food, clothing left behind - all signs that the people there left in a big hurry. Towards the far side of the campsite, there are some wagon tracks, runner hoof prints trending towards the mountains.

D'son tilts a look over at Vivian as she tails him and he silently holds out a hand to her. Otherwise, he's looking down at the ground. As they near the beast and the outcropping, he slows, waits until Rogawani's called an all-clear. "Doesn't look about to bolt?" he does ask, but then he's carefully stepping around and past the beast and he whistles lowly. "Well there was someone here, that's for sure," he notes, eyeing the remains of the campsite. Walking carefully, he edges along what looks like a set of tracks and keeps following these a little ways. "Mountains," he says after a moment, looking faintly distracted. "Could see how far they go …" he murmurs thougthfully.

Vivian continues walking along, picking her way along absently, moving closer to D'son in the process, safety. To be perfectly honest though she's not so good at this search thing, she'd rather watch D'son apparently, though she does find something the hard way as she walks through the abandoned campsite. "Shells." She squeaks in fright, hopping up onto one foot. "There's something down there." She says pointing down at the end of a half buried box that she's just stubbed her toe on.

"Seems calm enough." Rogawani replies, stepping forward to lay a hand on the beast's head calmly, making soothing sounds in the back of his throat. "Definitely not wild." Looking beyond the outcropping, he eyes the settlement, or what's left of it curiously. Releasing the herdbeast, with no other option at the moment but leaving the creature to go wild. Stepping forward behind D'son and Vivian, he plucks at one of the tent-flaps, and peeks inside, then stops abruptly as Vivian lets out a squeak. "You alright?" He asks, stepping forward to peer at the box. Then, he glances around, eyeing the clothes lying around, eventually plucking out a shirt, checking it for size.

Enkavir eyes the herdbeast with substantially more wariness than Rogawani exhibits, shaking his head at the messenger's skill with the animal. "I've been around animals, I'm not afraid of them, but you've got skills," he offers with a wan grin. A frown takes over as he looks across the campsite, and he slips over to the far side, away from where Rogawani and Vivian are so they're not trampling over each other. "People tracks?" His voice comes from behind the tent, pointed at D'son, and his head pops up abruptly at Vivian's oath. "Shells, woman, don't do that. I guess if there were other people here the dragons would know but… I thought you saw something." Something dangerous as opposed to a box, clearly.

D'son turns his head back Vivian's way and leaves the far end of the tracks, returns to the young woman. "You okay, Vivi?" he asks with mild concern, then hunkers down to see what she tripped on. "Yeah, people, wagons," D'son tells Enkavir about the tracks. "Don't walk over those, over that way," he points. "Might b e worth following," the Weyrleader says.

Vivian hops a few more times while she waits on D'son getting close enough to lay a hand on his shoulder to lean on as he crouches down and she joins him. Peering down she leans in closer and reaches her other hand to the box to open it up. "Medical supplies and oooh." She murmurs as she pulls a journal out of the box, "What do we have here?" It's burnt up a bit but she leans her weight onto D'son to free up both hands to how much she can open it without damaging it any further, she deals with these things all the time and with R'sul as her old boss she knows exactly how to handle damaged books.

Turning the shirt in his hands, Rogawani snaps it through the air a few times, and then puts it on. Having given up his previous shirt in favor of the decaying dragon egg, this serves as a decent replacement. "Well, at least I don't have to fly back shirtless." He comments, pulling his arm through and then letting the slightly oversized tunic lay against his chest. Once his head is free, he gives his shaggy hair a shake before shooting a small smile towards Enkavir. "Not skill at all. Not really anyways. It's tame." He motions towards the herdbeast once more, and then shrugs. "Probably got left behind when they dropped camp."

Enkavir goes up on tiptoe to get a view of people and wagon tracks, and as he settles back to his heels he nods. "Yes sir. Seems like there's plenty to see over here anyhow." He disappears behind a tent once more, bending to rifle through an unusual looking pile of rocks and sand. "I saw a glint of something…" he murmurs mostly to himself. After a moment he comes up with something clutched in his hand, ambles around to where D'son and Vivian stand. "This looks interesting," he says but before he opens his hand to reveal it he perks up at the sight of the journal. "Oh, that looks /more/ interesting. Can you read any of it?" Rogawani's ingenuity gets a little smirk. "No blood on it, is there?"

Eyeballing the journal in Vivian's hands, D'son suggests mildy: "Sit for a second Vivi, until your toe feels better. Mind if I have a look?" about the journal and then he grins up at Enkavir, "Though you might be better suited for that," he tells the records-keeper. "Looks a little messed up to me." He looks over Rogawani's way and chuckles. "Well you don't have to leave your shirt on the egg but …"

Vivian moves enough to allow her to sit, Handing the journal over to D'son. "I can read even R'suls writing, I can't read that without an awful lot of work." She glances around at the others. "Did you say wagon tracks?" She asks them. "We should probably get some backup, we don't know how many there are, but at a guess more than there are of us and we have Thea sitting back there as well, she needs to get back home."

Pulling the shirt out a bit, Rogawani looks down at it, and then turns around, craning his neck to try to get a look at the back. "Nope, no blood." He chuckles, shooting a bit of a wry look towards Enkavir. As his eyes turn back towards Vivian and D'son, the boy's head tilts a little. "It's safer for transport to just leave it wrapped up." He explains with a shrug of his shoulders. "Besides, I don't think Enkavir would like to be riding back with me shirtless." He quips, and then glances towards the wagon tracks worriedly. "I agree with Vivian. Dragons or not, I don't like leaving Thea alone out here." He walks closer to the Weyrleader and the Weyrwoman's daughter, trying to peek over one of the girl's shoulders towards the journal.

Enkavir rolls a shoulder in an easy shrug though there's keen interest sparking in his pale hazel eyes. "Just handle it gently. If it seems to singed we might wait until we get back so the wind doesn't blow any disintegrating pages all to pieces." His eyes flick up toward the direction where the wagon tracks disappear and he nods thoughtfully. "That is also a good point and, no, I don't like leaving Thea alone even if Seryth /is/ with her." He slides his hand into his pocket, depositing whatever it was he found there, then just smirks over at Rogawani. "Too true, my friend. Especially if you're going to snuggle up." He winks, maybe an attempt at lightening the mood after the mention of that poor unhatched egg again. "Your call, Weyrleader, but it might not be a bad idea to have a group bring all of this junk back at a later time, then head out after those tracks before they're gone."

Looking up, D'son shakes his head. "Now's not the time to go running off, need a team, maybe full wing. See about getting D'had's people out," the Weyrleader says. "And we should get back to Thea and if your toe is bugging you Vivian, maybe a trip to the infirmary for you to see if it's broken or not." He straightens up, eyes the sky and then the area around. "Let's head back, bring back the things we can and then go from there."

Despite everything that's been going on and what's been happening, Vivian takes opportunities when they're presented to her. Listening to the various responses given and D'son's answer she closes the box and shifts it into her arm then holds her hand out to him. "Give me a hand back to Inimeth and we'll see how it's feeling by the time we get back to the Weyr." There's perhaps a slight limp when she stands on the injured foot, though if he does give her his arm to lean on for the short walk back to the dragons she's likely to be limping on the wrong foot by the time they get back.

Rogawani shoots a smirk towards Enkavir, and then lifts his eyebrows twice in a comical display. As his eyes move away from the record keeper, and over towards Vivian and D'son, he eyes Vivian with a sympathetic look, apparently fooled by her limping. As everyone seems ready to leave, he plucks up a ladel, turning it in his hand before tossing it back into a pot with some other discarded kitchen ware. "Someone must not have liked the cooking." He murmurs, and then hooks his thumbs into his belt. With only a glance behind him, he starts walking, giving the herdbeast one more pat as he walks towards it. "You better go wander off you know. Otherwise the team that comes back is going to eat you." He comments, as if the dumb creature could actually understand.

Enkavir just shakes his head at Rogawani, letting out something between a snort and a chuckle. "Yeah, keep your shirt on, Ro." Not telling him to be patient but literally to keep the shirt on his body. The look he gives Vivian is far more dubious than sympathetic and if anyone's going to notice her switching feet it's likely to be him. He doesn't comment though, bending to gather up a hodgepodge of cast-off scraps, an apparently empty wineskin and the like before following Rogawani with arms full.

It's possible Dels notices about that foot, but for now, he just lets Vivian lean and helps her back to Inimeth with the things they can carry. Back at the dragons, the Weyrleader ties up some of the things they're carrying back, helps Vivian up onto the bronze dragon's back with all due care. "Thea, I'm going to have Inimeth bespeak Kilaueth, bring her up to date and we'll be bringing back a group to try to follow that track back, take a better look through everything," the Weyrleader tells the goldrider. He eyes the egg in the shirt. "Rogawani, if you don't mind, I'll rig that up so Inimeth can bring it back."

Vivian is just playing on D'sons sympathy that and it's not very day you get to hang on the Weyrleaders arm. The limp does indeed switch around a bit as they walk but she's obviously feeling a lot better by the time they get back. She collects the earlier discarded flight jacket and puts it on before she climbs up onto Inimeth with some of that offered help and settles to wait for things to get attached to straps and the like for the journey home.

Unlike the others, Rogawani doesn't have an arm-full of things to bring back. He gives a crooked smile towards Enkavir, "I will." Plucking at the top of his pilfered shirt before following D'son and Vivian back towards the waiting dragons. When they arrive, he plucks up the carry bag filled with some of the samples and throws it over one shoulder, looking a little surprised as the Weyrleader addresses him. "Keep it. I'm never wearing it again." He pauses, and then rubs at the back of his neck sheepishly. He opens his mouth as if to explain, but then shuts it again all too quickly. "Besides, this fits better anyways." Excuses excuses. The boy looks away from that pair and towards Enkavir and in turn, Thea. "Think we've done enough sneaking around for one morning?" He asks of the Weyrwoman.

Enkavir heads straight for Thea as they return, concern overruling curiosity or any other emotion about what they found. "You alright? Do you think you'll be able to take us back? I guess we could even fly straight." He stops the rush of words to turn to D'son with a nod. "We'll be right behind you. I think there should be space for this stuff I've got with us. Thanks, again, for coming out to help us." It seems to pain him, the admission that he might have needed help, but he offers the Weyrleader a hint of a smile.

Thea remains by the tree where she has been since the group left. As they return, D'son's comment causes a bit of a worried frown, which is hastily smoothed to a careful neutrality and she nods. "Understood, Sir." There is a curious look at all the stuff they're carrying and Rogawani gets a bit of a blink. He's wearing a new? different? shirt. She nods albeit a tad wearily to him although, "We could burn the rest of the remains?" Obviously she can't, but perhaps someone can. Enkavir's there beside her then, "I'm…really tired." And she is pale still, but other than that she appears somewhat better as she pushes to get to her feet.

"Hey, have to earn my keep somehow, right?" D'son says jokingly to Enkavir as he deals with loading up the fragile shirt-wrapped egg. He binds it in place carefully, then turns to survey the area, gives Enkavir a little nod. To Thea he remarks: "Times like this, almost want firestone, huh?" he says with a wry look up at the sky. "Go on back you two, I'll take care of the rest." He goes quiet then, as he likely relays a message to Inimeth to pass to Kilaueth. "And if you want to ride with us instead, Rogawani, you're welcome," he offers to the lad.

"I went fashion shopping, you like?" Rogawani comments to Thea, offering her a kind, somewhat joking smile as he picks up one of the loose sleeves of the shirt with his other hand. "Nah, let the other crew take care of it." His voice drops a little, concern etching on his face as he looks towards Enkavir, as if trying to see if he had any clue just what might be wrong. "Thanks for the offer, but I wouldn't feel right just leaving these two." He thumbs towards the Weyrwoman and Record keeper, offering them a nervous sort of smile. "That's how I earn -my- keep. Bodyguard, you know." He thumps himself on the chest, and then laughs, showing just how silly the idea actually is. "Anyways…" As he takes a deep breath, he looks up at Seryth, then back to 'Kav. "Should probably put her between us. Just incase she passes out again." He suggests.

Enkavir is quick to set down the junk he brought from the campsite so he has hands to help Thea up. "Well I appreciate it anyhow, Weyrleader. I'm sure we could have gotten Thea back up and home but your expertise was extremely helpful." He nods, then gives Thea's hand a little squeeze. "Putting you between us is actually a good idea," he murmurs to the goldrider. "And so is getting you home. I'll fill you in on what we found." Rogawani gets a bit of a grin as they head toward Seryth. "Bodyguard it is. You missed your calling, man."

"Ah, D'son. Firestone. He, uh. Didn't tell you about that?" Thea's not trying to make him look bad. She is really concerned by the look on her face. She frowns, this time in real anger, muttering, "X'hil." It's ground out softly and she presses her lips together on the Weyrsecond's name. Rogawani gets a wry grin, "Stay Ro." Meant as a compliment, really. She sways a bit as Enkavir helps her up.

D'son looks over at Thea, perplexed by that muttering and he shakes his head slowly. "Uh — no. I'll ask you about that later though," the Weyrleader says and waits for the others to finish climbing up. Then he's walking about taking care of the rest of the business that needs taking care of. Eventually he climbs up with Vivian for the trip back to the Weyr, leaving behind a funeral pyre and some markers to make sure things don't get walked on when the team comes back to check things out further.

"Such a shame." Rogawani replies to Enkavir, shaking his head back and forth with a tsk tsk sort of sound. "I'll just have to settle for runners and dung. Lesigh." With an exaggerated show of martyrdom, the boy lifts a hand to his forehead, and then turns back into his normal, somewhat-goofy self. "Come on, let's get Thea up on Seryth before we have to roll her back to the weyr." The messenger grabs on to the riding straps. "I'll go up first and give her a hand-up." And with that, he climbs up the straps, newly-stolen shirt hanging down behind him. Once settled, he scootches back, lacing his legs into the riding straps before reaching his hands down, ready to help Thea up onto her dragon.

Thea reaches for Rogawani's hands, her legs doing what they can to get herself up Seryth's side as Enkavir helps as well, allowing the two of them to get her onto and buckled in. When they are all set, Thea sighs, "Flying straight will take awhile. And I am so tired." Hopefully Enkavir doesn't mind if she uses him for a pillow on the way back.

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