Creatures of the Night

Xanadu Weyr – Forest


In sharp contrast to the treeless, carefully manicured look of the main clearing, the forest is full of trees, and maintains most of its natural look. Wild flowers grow in their seasons, bordering the road leading from the main clearing as weaves its way between the stands of trees - wide enough for traffic of all types, even draconic. Leading off are several smaller, less worn trails, which branch outwards, making their way to private residences and other attractions - the theater for example. The road, though, continues on eastward, to the feeding grounds and the mine, and beyond that, to the coastal road out of Xanadu's territory.

Amongst the normal weyrs scattered amongst the trees, there is one that is undergoing construction. A large, four-sided structure is protruding, supported by thick wood beams, bearing a ledge, and four large clock faces. It towers over the trees, creating quite a sight for arriving riders.

Xanadu's forest is beautiful at any time of the day, but unfortunately is is night and the forest is a shadowy and dark place. Tonight it raining, the forest is alive with little ticks and plips of dripping rain and curls of fog. Beautiful? Maybe, to some. Most normal folks would be inside keeping warm and dry - and sleeping. Normal folks, Thea is not, apparently, for she is out in this and with her, Seryth, who keeps one wing extended in an umbrella for her to shelter under. The two just seem to be walking in the rain having a quiet conversation.

At the edge of the clearing stands a hollowed out tree with a dragon weyring in it. The gian't brown looks more than a little let down, as does his young rider. Faraeth's wings out before him like a tent, M'nol rests in his arms, watching the rain fall around his unpleasantly empty home. M'nol is mostly asleep, but Faraeth emits a bugle of welcome to Seryth when he spots her.

It's a night of many sounds and yet none. Voices and sounds carry only a short distance before the lilting alto of the rainstorm drowns them out. Thus, when the sound of a recorder reaches this area of the forest, it may come as a surprise. Soft notes move up and down between drops of rain on leaves, occasionally accompanied by the somewhat sullen grumblings of what sounds like a fire lizard. Yes, somewhere out there is a fool in the rain with a flute and a surly travelling companion. That's normal, right?

Seryth turns her head, her blue-hued eyes whirl slowly, shining in the dark. She croons quietly towards the brown, her manner almost like a mother shushing a child patiently, gently. People are sleeping. Thea's head turns that way also, barely glimpsing the brown's Rider. There is a headtilt in the queen's direction and the two of them step towards that tree. "M'nol?" Not often one finds a Rider asleep outside in the rain. The liquid notes of the recorder weave a harmony to raindrops, the melody first heard by Seryth, who lifts her head towards the source, then Thea, who searches the blackness, but doesn't find the player. "That's… sweet." Indeed, better than the noise of the clocktower any day. Or night.

M'nol shifts softly in his sleep as Faraeth gives a much quieter assenting croon. Oooops… The gently whirling eyes of M'nol's fair open one by one, his newest tiny blue cradled against his neck. They, too, turn to watch the direction of the lilting refrain. M'nol's eyes open slowly, "Music?"

The notes continue for several more moments, at times growing closer, and at others, further away. Finally, when they sound no more than 100 or so feet away, they stop and a male voice coughs. "Flop-" then another cough. "Flop, you can't-" another cough. "No more eggs! Balls and breakers, Flop, you know better!" An irritated trill answers the admonishment. "I'm playing my -flute-, Flop. I take deep breaths, and getting a mouthful of whatever you're passing out of your backside makes that hard." A disdainful sneeze is the answer. "Just…lay off the eggs before we go walking, Flop. That's all I…" Then a heavy sigh. "Forget it. Just walk behind me would you?" Then the notes start again, drifting past the general right of your position.

All those little eyes popping open cause Thea to give a small 'eep' of dismay. Quiet night and firelizard fairs do not always make for good bedfellows. But she steps nearer anyway, perhaps their greeting will be softer if she is closer? "Heya M'nol. Why're you sleeping out in the rain?" Seryth still has her head turned towards the notes. The voice from the dark carries between a sudden lull in the rain and Thea hears them clearly. For a moment after the speaker finishes she is in open-mouthed amazement before a short bark of laughter passes her lips. She claps a hand over her mouth, gaining control of her merriment before calling out to the unknown player, "Journeyman Sigam would have something at the annex to help with that."

M'nol rubs his eyes gently, his brain trying to catch up with the world around him. He glances in the direction of the unknown voice, then back at Thea, "I like sleepin' with Farry… 'specially when I'm lonely… who's playin' th' pipes? They're pretty… I didn't know layin' eggs made flits smell bad…" Yeah, he's still half-asleep. His flits stay silent, much the blessing for poor Thea, still listening to teh fading music

When Thea raises her voice, the music stops. Something of an uncomfortable silence gusts through the copse of trees like a sighing breath on the wind and then, very quietly, that male voice is heard again. "First that girl and the bloody nose, and then the rash from the Skeekroot…" There's a heavy inhale and then an even heavier exhale, accented by a cough. "No more people food, Flop. Ever!" There's another pregnant pause, and then shadows among the trees become visible. "Ho, the camp. May I approach?"

Uncomfortable silences can mean many things for a weyrwoman at Xanadu, and this one is almost palpable. The mutter does little to dispel it, so in her own way of hopefully putting a weary night wanderer at ease, Thea calls with mock-seriousness, "Only if you are unarmed and mean peace." There's a soft laugh added to that and a cheerful invitation, "Come out from the rain, or… at least under some shelter." As if to help guide the approach, Seryth swings her head down under her wing, bathing her Rider in a blue glow. There's a quiet, "Still missing Phy are you, M'nol?" directed at the sleepy brownrider before she's once again peering out into the night.

M'nol's eyes glance up towards the voice, then he quirks an eyebrow, "Camp? What camp?" Then he turns back to Thea and nods sadly, "Yeah… always missing her, really… Still don't know why they wouldn't let me in, but she and R'zel put a stop to that, at least… All the thing said was damaging hall goods. I've never done anything to hurt the healer hall…"

The shadows grow closer, one a tall-ish human and the other, a petite fire lizard. As they both grow closer, the soft glow from Seryth's eyes illuminate the pair. The lizard is a muted green, and the male is largely wrapped in a long, sturdy coat made of some kind of hide. It has a deeply yolked hood that he's drawn down, keeping the rain from his face and eyes. When everyone is fully in view, the two newcomers stop and the man's head slowly moves from one set of people to another. His hooded gaze finally settles on Thea and his head tilts. And then jerks straight upright. "Oh…" The fire lizard, presumably Flop, chitters a bit nervously.

Thea blinks at M'nol, "Uhm, damaging Hall goods?" Thea is in the dark, both literally and figuratively. "Wha??" But she chooses to focus on the rest of his words, "But you got to see her, yes? Good!" She peers back out into the darkness, finally spotting the figure in the long coat, "Camp, a literal term meaning uh, group?" This in aside to M'nol as she calls an easy, "Heya, couldn't sleep?" to the- She peers again, man? The rain picks up. "Welcome to come stand under here with me, I don't bite. Hard." Someone's in a good mood tonight.

M'nol smiles a bit and nods, "Yeah… I did… and it was…" he sighs wistfully instead of finishing the statement. Bloodstone croons softly at Flop, hi there! M'nol nods slowly, "Guess that makes sense…" He looks up, squinting at the shadows, "Evenin'? We're a generally safe lot."

The hooded man looks between the two groups, and for a moment, his gaze rests upon Seryth's eyes. A calloused hand reaches up, peeling the wet hood away from his face. Low flickers of light in the clouds reveal a strangely blank face, blue-gray eyes unfocused in the night. Then he blinks, and those eyes lower to Thea's face. "I didn't…" Those eyes flicker over to M'nol and his curious perch, and then widen a bit. "Oh…" He takes a shuffling step backwards. "I'm always out here, ma'am, I just…"

The green firelizard snorts once, offering a long-suffering little croak before flopping down on the ground with an audible 'whuff' of air.

Thea blinks between M'nol and the young man. Why does this suddenly feel surreal? "Well, so ya are," Thea answers him easily, her voice holds nothing but gentle welcome for the man. Whether she really knows this or not, she doesn't let on. "But it isn't always raining." A glance is spared for M'nol, "She'll be back before you know it. Buck up, man. I lived two turns not knowing where my sweetie went and may never know what happened to him. If I could survive, so can you." Seryth croons softly, a comforting sound meant to soothe the brownrider and set at ease the other man.

M'nol nods slowly, "I know… some days my weyr seems so empty, though." He passes a sad smile for the loss of Enkavier. Hopefully he would return… or maybe hopefully not… It changed with his moods… and Thea's. Bloodstone croons another soft welcome to Flop, his bronze throat flexing with the tone. M'nol passes a decent smile at the stranger, "Hello… you're… always out here? I haven't seen you around…"
One of Flop's beady eyes opens a little at the croon, and a soft hooting trill is offered in reply, far more relaxed than her company appears to be.

"I…" he shifts a little on his feet, hands wringing eachother slightly. "Not…here. But…here." He looks around. "And there." He nods in the general direction of the mountains to the west. "Running errands," he finishes softly. Then he blinks a bit owlishly and looks up. "Oh. It's raining." His eyes lower to the Green at his feet. "Why didn't you tell me it was raining, Flop?"

Thea nods at M'nol, with a murmur of sympathy, "Empty weyr, empty bed. Tell me about it." She knows, yes. "You like your new Weyr, then? Bet it beats the barracks." Keeping it light, perhaps. A glance towards the man and she's maintaining that same, even tone, "So you're in and out of the Weyr then. Important work, running errands." She slides a warning look at M'nol before adding to the man, "Perhaps she was enjoying the rain. Seryth does. She only tells me it's raining so she can get me to come out and play in it with her."

M'nol nods, "It's nice. Trying to make it more homey, but… well, I've shared rooms with 3 or 4 others at minimum my whole life. It'd seem empty even if I'd never met Phy. Not used to having a room to myself, let alone a small house." He smiles at Ten, "Ah, so not so much here as around. It's nice to meet you. I'm M'nol."

Tenebrous looks between the two of you again, absorbing the conversation and saying nothing. When it dies down, he nods to M'nol once and then shuffles his feet again. "It's…nice to meet you. I didn't mean to…" He swallows. "You were…talking." One of his hands moves to his chest, coming to rest over a lump from something beneath it. "I didn't mean to …bother. Interrupt, that is…" Those eyes flicker over to Thea's face again, and he swallows hard. "Sorry…" When the thunder rumbles above again, he looks up and mumbles, "It's…raining, Flop." A practiced motion brings his hands back to the hood on his long coat, and he sweeps it forward and over his head once more. An audible splash sounds a moment before a large amount of water pours over his head from where it had collected in the hood. "I deserved that," he mutters a second later.

Thea nods at M'nol, ignoring his lackluster response over his very own weyr for the time being. "She'll be back sooner than you'll know." Maybe she knows something he doesn't about Healer Hall? Tenebrous speaks and she's listening carefully before stepping slowly near to him, "Please don't apologize. You're as welcome as anyone else." A gentle plea, that. "I liked your music, perhaps you could play for me sometime?" Seryth rumbles, a muted echo of the thunder overhead, prompting Thea to glance the queen's way. "Ah, she says I need my sleep. And she is right." She steps back under that wing, before turning back to the pair, "She's really wanting to get back to keep an eye on that incubator. She's convinced they cannot maintain it without her supervision." So saying she turns and head off in the direction of the Dragonhealer's Annex.

Tenebrous watches the departing Weyrwoman and her Queen, eyes distant and face slack once more. Only when the shadows have finished consuming them does he turn back to face you. "The rain…" He shakes his head, prompting a little more drainage from the hood. "You're…it's a kind offer, but at this point…" He shrugs, eyes moving back to the spot where Thea once was.

M'nol smiles, "Okay, keep you from getting wett-*er*." He follows the man's gaze and smiles again, "She's somethin' special, but yeah, she does that a lot." He fishes out a meatroll, "You hungry?"

Flop's eyes snap open as soom as the scent of the meatroll hits her nose and she rolls to her feet with unaccustomed alacrity. Tenebrous looks down immediately, his words coming more freely towards the Green. "No," he rumbles. "Absolutely not." With clearly palatable annoyance, Flop's head snakes around to face the man beside her. "It's past your bedtime, Flop, and it's bad for *my* health." All this gets him in reply is a forceful sneeze from the green. "It's in my *hair*, Flop. I can smell it in my hair."

M'nol chuckles, "Meatrolls are fine for flits. I keep a few around in case mine get the nibbles when I'm not near a kitchen." He passes a small chunk to the tiny blue on his shoulders, as if making the point, "Shouldn't let 'em eat eggs, though."

Tenebrous mutters, "Not this one, anyway." He sighs and waves the green towards M'nol. "Go on, meathook. But don't be a pig. And say thank you." He glances up. "A belly full of flammable gas, and I get followed around by the only one who can't keep it all inside of her." He waves a hand off at your offer of food.

Flop sniffs the air disdainfully. As if she needed his permission. But she slowly waddles towards M'nol anyway, chittering happily.

M'nol holds out a chunk of roll towards the little green and chuckles, "They can be right smelly sometimes. I don't even let these ones get into the mine for fear they'll come back reeking of firestone."

Flop's bite is dainty when she takes the chunk of food from M'nol's fingers, but what happens next isn't. With a practiced flick of her neck, she sends the little bit of food up into the air and then snakes her maw up to claim it whole, making happy little noises of gluttony the entire time.

"That one's usually alright with just about anything. It's just the eggs. As much as I beg my mentor, she won't stop feeding him eggs in the mornings when they're taking breakfast…"

M'nol smiles, watching the little green eat, "Your mentor? Who's that?" He grins, "I'm still gettin' to know people down here. I was born up in Crom."

Tenebrous grows still as you speak, his eyes watching the green at her work. "I've lived here all my life. Flop's the only person I really know, and she's not even mine." A nightbird cries out somewhere, and Tenebrous' eyes unfocus, his senses extending.

M'nol smiles, not really understanding what was going on at this point, "She's not… she seems to listen well enough."

Tenebrous shrugs a little. "When it suits her. She talks too much to listen most of the time. But that's alright." He kneels down next to the firelizard, stroking one of the bony ridges of her head with his knuckles. "I have to take you home now," he murmurs to her. "The Master will be waiting."

M'nol quirks an eyebrow, "So long as she listens, I guess…" He smiles, "You have to go?"

Tenebrous murmurs, "The Master sent me out here on an errand earlier. She…asks me for things, and I fetch them. It's what I do." He places one hand on his chest, as if that explains it all. "Fetch. That's me." He stands slowly, crooking a finger at the green. "She sends Flop out with me, to keep me company." His eyes unfocus a little, and his voice lowers. "To keep the cats away…the big ones." He shakes his head a little, his hood flapping with the motion, and then looks back at you. "Thank you for sharing your food, sir. It was most kind."

M'nol smiles, "Not a problem… what's your name, anyway? I didn't catch it. Oh, Fetch?" He nods, "Make sense."

Tenebrous slouches a little into that easy posture that he uses to walk, a bit lower, a bit more limber. "My name is…" then he shakes his head a little. "Well, they call me that…Fetch. It's what I do." Then he turns towards the east, and back to the Weyr proper. "Come, Flop. It's raining…" With easy steps, steps accustomed to the forest floor, he moves into the trees, the little green firelizard following behind.

M'nol raises his hand in farewell, "Stay well, Fetch… hope things go well for you."

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