24 Hours

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest

The wooded areas closer to Xanadu Weyr represent a compromise between man and mother nature, but to the west, no such arrangements have been made. The deep woods between the Weyr and the mountains are less traveled, the wider paths fit for man and beast less present. The noises of mankind are barely audible here, brief ghosts on the wind, and the quiet thrum of forest life presses in on all sides. The snapping of a twig, a bird's cry, the low cadence of insects; all of these things seem louder. Closer. The deeper you move into the trees, the more it becomes obvious that you are passing through nature only at her allowance.

The cover of trees is more severe in this area of the wood and only occasional shafts of sunlight lance down through the canopy, the sky visible in brief patches. A rough path has been blazed to the east, back towards the Weyr, and west, towards the mountains. It does not appear to be a heavily frequented path, but the few who have chosen to pass through this area appear to use it more than other avenues available. Only the very foolish or the very experienced would ever wander far from the path.

It's late spring at Xanadu, which means that summer is just around the corner. The sun is just past its peak with nary a cloud in the sky, and the day has warmed up considerably, nearing those summer-type temperatures. Phylicia might look a bit out of place wandering the deep woods having not changed into anything special, but the teenage girl moves with a small amount of ease on the the animal trail she's currently meandering on, looking lazily happy.

The journey into the deep woods is one of darker light. Moving under the more thickly grown trees turns golden light into green werelight. The wind sighs easily through a thousant branches, and it's only then that the flute music reaches the area you're in. Quiet music, it's neither happy nor sad, simply there, lifting up and falling down on spring's last breath.

Phylicia pauses in the middle of a step, blinking as if she might've heard something. But after a moment she continues on before Estevan perks his head up, looking in the same direction she could have sworn she heard music from. "You hear it too?" She asks of her little brown, stroking one of his headknobs before looking at the folliage and towards where the music came from. Curiousity killed the feline, which she's thankfully not. So off the trail the girl goes, very carefully picking her way through the trees, towards the sound of the music, pausing every now and again to make sure she's still - mostly - headed in the correct direction.


Xanadu Weyr - Broken Path

This area of the woods doesn't so much give you the option to go north as much as it denies you the ability to go in any other direction. What would charitably be called a trail is filled with low bushes, downed tree branches and the occasional expertly placed root.
The press of plant life against your skin and clothing is constant, leaves ticking against any exposed patch of flesh with obnoxious tenacity. Given the difficulty of the terrain and the lack of visibility in most directions, wandering from the makeshift path appears hugely inadvisable.

The growing proximity to the flute's music results in a path through a much more dense portion of the woods. It's only when you're very nearly on top of it that the music stops abruptly, leaving only the wind to exhale the last few notes into the aether. A few moments later, a quiet voice murmurs, "A young woman…no satchel, no weapon, wandering the deep woods…"

A young woman, thankfully in light weight long sleeves to protect against the vegetation that's trying to get to whatever skin it can. The voice that comes out of the woods after the music ends - leaving her stuck on the middle of this 'trail' - causes Phylicia to pause still in her tracks like a frightened animal. "No /big/ satchel." She corrects in a normal voice, though it's shakey at best as one hand moves aside part of her blouse to reveal her hip-holster belt pouch, which is bigger than it looks.

"The felines range further north every turn," that voice murmurs, moving through the woods around Phylicia. "You don't ever see them, but that's the way they want it." FInally, the speaker bleeds into view, out from the woods in front of her. His form is slouched somewhat, his stance easy and fluid, though he favors his left leg over his right. "I don't know you," he says at last.

"And I don't know you." Phylicia responds, a bit more curtly than she likely should, given the circumstances, though her knot of a healer senior apprentice is clearly visable. It's not her fault she's twitchy, since Tenebrous seems to enjoy playing the stalking predator with her for the time being. A cold sweat has broken out on the back of the girl's neck, which had been the sweat of a pleasant excursion not too long ago. Okay, maybe she should learn how to use at least a dagger, if she plans on these hikes anymore. She inhales, trying to act braver than she's really feeling. "Anyways, I have a feeling you were the one that drew me off my path." Ah sure. It's completely his fault she investigated the sound of a flute!

The man before Phylicia shakes his head after a moment. "A healer should know better, I think," he offers quietly. "Tell me. Do you often venture this deep into the wood? I do, you see. I rarely find others here." He approaches slowly, stopping a safe distance away.

Phylicia's cheeks flush uncomfortably at this point in time. "I don't normally go /this/ deep." She mumbles, unable to keep eye contact with him any longer. "Normally just stick to game trails, and slightly more traveled paths…" Unless she's looking for new herbs or things. Than the whole forest is fair game, though she's been lucky not to have been attacked. Phy shifts uneasily, raising her eyes back up slightly, to at least keep an eye on where the other is. "And just who are you? Getting so … so… know-it-all-y?" The teenage girl is getting a little flustered as well as frightened. Oh yeah, self defense lessons ahoy.

The hooded man exhales a little bit in laughter. "Certainly not a know-it-all," he adds after a moment. "Just an errand boy." He turns his back to her, starting to bleed back into the forest around you. "Just a fetch." He stops at the edge of the trees, turning back to face her. "Further north lies Arbori Prime, and to the south, a part of the forest that leads back to Xanadu. Wandering from the pather is…unadvisable. Be careful, young ma'am."

Phylicia gets even more edgy as Tenebrous starts to fade back into the tree's. Apparently she's a little more comfortable with another human - even a potentially hostile one - around, than being left alone to the hanging threat of felines lurking. "It's Phylicia." She says rather absently as her brown eyes warily look at her surroundings, before his words sink in and her lips repeat the words 'just a fetch' without any sound. "Wait." And her tone changes from partially scared to disbelief. "/You're/ Fetch?" And just what was the girl expecting? "They sent me on all those wherry-chases for /you/?"

Tenebrous laughs quietly, nodding his head. "Yes. I am most certainly the Fetch." He bobs his head in a curt little bow. "Dissapointing, isn't it." Then he stills. "Who, exactly…sent you looking for me? And why?"

Phylicia lifts her shoulders in a small shrug, so as not to disturb the brown and blue on each too much. The blue grumbles sleepily, the end of his tail twitching, while the brown is alert and paying attention. "Dissapointing? I dunno." And she sighs at his reaction, not that it should surprise her. She'd want to know too. "Frustrating, yeah." And her cheeks start to redden again. For what she wants to ask, this was not the best 'hi, how are you?' "Farrah, for one. Other healers." She brushes a lock of bangs from her eyes. "I… want to learn plants better, but no one here really specializes in 'em…" She lets it trail, her cheeks becoming almost uncomfortably hot.

Tenebrous looks at her for a long, quiet moment. "You don't want me," he says shortly. "Go to the Healers' Hall and seek out Master Fraille." He turns away again. "She is my master, and there is no greater master of herb lore on the south continent." Then he stops, and turns back to face her. "Wait. Your name. What was your name?"

"Phylicia?" The holder of said name responds in half-question, as if why her name should matter. "But I don't /want/ to go back to the Hall." She continues on, looking at Tene's back. "Their idea of learning is stuffed in aroom with pictures." Not to mention M'nol isn't there, but she won't bring that complication into this. She also won't mention what she's heard of Fraille, though she's never met the ancient woman.

When Phylicia mentions her name again, Tenebrous turns to face her fully, and approaches again. "Phylicia," he says again, rolling the name around his mouth. "Phylicia…" He stops mere feet from her this time, tilting his head to the side. "He was…so sad without you," Tenebrous whispers. "So alone. I thought I was the only one who ever had a reason to sleep in the rain." Slowly, he brings a hand up to his hood, peeling it away from his face enough to look upon her more fully. His eyes are wide and curious, but strangely unfocused. "He was kind to me," he offers at last, his voice low.

Phylicia takes a step back this time, as Tenebrous gets a few feet closer than she's currently comfortable with, considering how .. strange .. this guy has been. It takes her a moment to pick up on Tene's whisperings, though her face falls into solemn lines when she makes the obvious jump. "I didn't want to leave him like that." She responds softly, her brown eyes reliving a bit of the hurt they both felt. "I still don't. It's another reason I don't want to return to the Hall." Though at last her lips quirk into a smile and she brightens a bit, her cheeks getting rosey again. Blush alot? "M'nol /is/ very kind." She'd like to think herself kind, when not scared out of her wits, though the blush fades, as she notices his eyes aren't really focused. Little creepy.

Tenebrous mms once. Then, somewhat abruptly, he turns and starts back towards the treeline. "It would be wise if you did not stray from the beaten paths in the deep woods, ma'am," he calls back. "Once the sun begins to go down, they can become dangerous."

Phylicia is - needless to say - very clearly confused by this man, and unsure what to do about it. "Wait!" She calls out, lifting her feet carefully, and nimbly avoiding a huge root as she starts to follow him. "I didn't /mean/ to when I went out today, but I heard a flute. Your flute?" And well, it sounded pretty. Young ladies tend to follow pretty things. "At least help me back towards the Weyr? Please?" That last word is so full of uncertainty and even a touch of fear, a person would have to be emotionally deaf not to hear it.

Only on the weekends. Tenebrous stops at the treeline again and then sighs. "I don't really play the flute," he calls quietly. Then he turns back towards her, and murmurs, "Follow me, ma'am. Please try to stay close, and don't venture from the path. There are dips in elevation here that are hidden by the growth." And without further comment, he moves through the trees to the south, silence where there once was noise, motion where there once was none.


Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest

The wooded areas closer to Xanadu Weyr represent a compromise between man and mother nature, but to the west, no such arrangements have been made. The deep woods between the Weyr and the mountains are less traveled, the wider paths fit for man and beast less present. The noises of mankind are barely audible here, brief ghosts on the wind, and the quiet thrum of forest life presses in on all sides. The snapping of a twig, a bird's cry, the low cadence of insects; all of these things seem louder. Closer. The deeper you move into the trees, the more it becomes obvious that you are passing through nature only at her allowance.
The cover of trees is more severe in this area of the wood and only occasional shafts of sunlight lance down through the canopy, the sky visible in brief patches. A rough path has been blazed to the east, back towards the Weyr, and west, towards the mountains. It does not appear to be a heavily frequented path, but the few who have chosen to pass through this area appear to use it more than other avenues available. Only the very foolish or the very experienced would ever wander far from the path.

Phylicia doesn't move through the forest as easily as Tenebrous does, but she manages to move at a somewhat decent pace and not end up on her face or snagged on anything though her breathing has increased. "You can call me Phylicia if you'd like." She offers, huffing a little bit as she works to catch up. "Or Phy. Everyone seems to call me that." It's obvious she's trying to be social, and not creeped out by how quietly he moves. "And I think I've had enough of straying from paths." She weakly attempts for a chuckle.

"No, you haven't," Tenebrous calls from in front of her, not looking back. He weaves through a series of overgrown roots that reach up frmo the soil like the fingers of long-dead kings, gnarled and misshapen. "No one ever has enough of wandering, of exploring. Not until it's too late." His body whispers through another few twists and turns.

Phylicia squeaks, stumbling over those overgrown roots in her attempt to keep up with him. "Well, for today I have!" She calls back out, taking in a few quick, deep breaths before continuing on, her eyes flicking between the ground and which way he's moved off this time. In other words: Phy is struggling to keep up with him, despite occasional hikes into the forest. "That's… rather grim." She says, deciding to pause for a moment, leaning against a tree trunk as she lost sight of Tene. "But probably true."

Tenebrous reappears in front of her a few moments later. "Do you understand that fear was the motivator, ma'am?" He moves a little closer, reaching beneath his coat. A moment later, he comes up with a bladder of water, holding it out wordlessly.

Phylicia gasps, just managing to hold back a shriek as he appears before her - again and then nods, looking a little shame-faced as she takes the bladder with a small quick smile. Slowly taking a few sips from it at first, instead of guzzling a portion, which she'd almost like to do instead. Having regained her breath for the time being she takes one slightly longer pull, before capping it and holding it back out with another small smile. "Don't have the stamina that you do for this, yet." She says in a way of trying to make an excuse, though a true one. "And trampling has to be worse than following at a pace I can manage… I won't end up on my face as much this way, yeah?" And she pauses, eyeing him carefully. "Don't think that showing me I'm a clutz in the forest will get you out of me asking again…"

Tenebrous accepts the bladder with a nod. "Go nowhere without water if you cannot crawl to it on your own," he quotes softly. "Move with undue haste only when necessary." He points down at the forest floor. "Eyes on the ground when you're in forested areas with dappled light. Until your mind and your eyes learn to work with the extra input, it's best. Otherwise, you'll end up with an opthalmic miagrain." He waits another heartbeat, and his eyes slowly focus on her face. "And you being a clutz in the woods has nothing to do with asking me again. I know your face now…" He offers a lilting half-smile that never reaches his eyes. "I won't have to ask who you are again." So he doesn't have to come out of the woods. And could she come in to find him? "Ready?"

Phylicia pushes herself off of the tree trunk, nodding. Her heart is still thudding in a slightly erratic pattern since she can't seem to predict Tenebrous' actions at /all/, and that smile that never reaches his eyes is definitely on the creepy side to a young lady. "As I'll ever be." She confirms before looking at him quite stubbornly, though she keeps respectfully silent during his quotation which she does seem to reflect upon at least a little bit. "But you didn't agree /or/ decline being my mentor." She points out. Or at least to her he didn't. "So I'm asking very, very nicely for you to /pleeease/ consider being my mentor for plant life?"

Tenebrous sighs. "You are quite correct. I neither agreed or declined. You are observant." He turns and starts into motion again. "To study the plants of Pern is to study where they come from and to understand it. To be blunt, apprentice…you have no idea who you're asking to help you. Though admittedly, I'm flattered."

Phylicia's eyes resume flicking between watching Tene and the ground, spending a little more time on the ground than the person, though she makes sure she keeps tabs on him. "No, I don't know you that way." She admits, he might be able to hear the sigh in her voice. "But lots of mentor-mentee don't." Mostly because the mentor has a gaggle of mentee's, but shh! She's a stubborn one when she puts her mind to it. "I figure if others were pointing me t'you, you can't be bad. Or /that/ bad, at least." Now the girl does sigh, managing to lift her foot just enough in time to keep from snagging on a tangle of vines. "Would Master Fraille /really/ be able to teach me like you could? Out here? With the plants?"

"She taught me," Tenebrous calls back, making his way to the forest proper. "Though she was 16 turns younger when she started," he admits. He stops at the edge of another stand of trees, murmuring, "Most mentor-mentee relationships don't involve toxic substances, the potential to get lost on the way to the office or the very real possibility that you could be mauled by any number of things. Allow me to demonstrate." He turns back to face her as she picks her way to him. "Remove your pants." And yes, he says it with a completely straight face.

Phylicia pulls up to a halt just a few steps behind him. As he turns to face her, he might notice her face is set in a determined half-scowl, the other half of her concentration being focused on the forest floor. Though her look of determination gets wiped away by shock at his request. Holder bred, she hasn't had to drop her pants for anyone really, nor was it appropriate either. "What?" She squeaks, her cheeks once again turning rosey. Nor does it help that she's vaguely modest.

Tenebrous shrugs. "Thank you for proving my point." He gestures at the young woman's hips. "We just walked past a patch of Adonis blooms. Every part of the plant and of the soil immediately surrounding it is toxic and harmful to the touch." He allows those unfocused eyes to trail down from hip to thigh, and then calf and shoe. "Tell me…do you know if you walked through them? Could any of it have touched your flesh? Do you know if your bottomwear is permiable to that kind of plant?" His eyes rise again. "To use an ancient terran axiom, apprentice…we play with live ammo out here."

The look that crosses Phylicia's face is something … interesting. For a moment it's still shock, until it's replaced by anger which is taken over by shame, and then moves to both embarassment and determination as she takes a few extremely careful steps to put her in a small clearing of sorts, where there's only moss, and starts unbuckling the hip-holstered pouch. It takes her a few moments, and her entire face is starting to turn red, but soon her pants are resting about her ankles, belt pouch resting on a slightly mossy rock. She crosses her arms under her chest, the look on her face saying either she isn't going to give up easily, she's going to cry, or she's going to die of embarassment. Or all three. "No. I'm not sure." She says, her voice showing the same conflict of emotions as her red face. "Would you like to check, and tell /me/ how to check, sir?"

Tenebrous watches the proceedings with a remarkable amount of attachment. He paces over to where she stands, his movements non-threatening, and removes his coat withuut flourish or show. Very slowly, he drapes it around her shoulders, allowing the folds of it to completely encompass her, and hide her exposed legs. "Adonis is a plant that normally grows to a height of around a foot, perhaps a foot and a half. It has broad, leathery leaves with yellow tops." He gestures to a rather large patch of it only 40 feet from their location. "Hold my coat closed, please. I don't want you to catch cold."

"I don't think that's too much of a worry today." Phylicia manages to say, her voice sounding slightly strangled as she clutches his coat closed around her, the thing being absolutely /huge/ on her slight, short frame. Her eyes follow his gesture, her red face paling a bit as she realizes how close she came to it, though thankfully, she probably didn't walk through it. "How toxic is it?" She asks slowly. "What would the.. the symptoms look like?" Her voice is still strained and the waiver in it says there's still an overflow of emotions in her, but she's entirely serious. It's been remarked serious healers tend to grow up at a young age.

Tenebrous murmurs, "Adonis is a sedative, but it also serves to regulate irregular cardiac rhythem. Unfortunately, in patients with normal rhythem, it can do the opposite, to say nothing of the skin rash you'll develope." He's still moving slowly, speaking in that low, even voice when he places one hand on each of her shoulders. "I have to kneel down now and check your pantlegs and shoes, healer. You'll be fine. Take a few deep breaths for me. In through the nose, out through the mouth." He raises an eyebrow questioningly at her, silently asking if she's ready, even as he draws a single, black surgical glove from his own satchel.

Phylicia does as requested, taking more than a few deep breaths, her eyes blinking furiously at first, until the breathing does the intended purpose and calms her down slightly, though she's still tense. "Would you like me to step clear of my pants for that?" She asks softly. Hey, she's wrapped up in a huge coat now, she's covered. Literally. "So is it made into an ointment or some sort of a tincture?" Distraction by facts is always a good method to use.

Tenebrous shakes his head. "No, that won't be necessary. Or really advisable. it would necessitate you taking one of your shoes off or possibly losing your balance. Be still, and hold onto my shoulders if you need your balance." He gives her shoulders a little squeeze and then lowers himself, his hands rifling through the folds of her pants. "The seeds of budded Adonis blooms are actually what's harvested for medicinal purposes. They can be pulverized into powder and spun into IV Fluids or powders for oral ingestion. Some prefer to encapsulate the powder in GelCaps, but it's irrelivent." One glove comes away with a very faint yellow powder on it, and he inspects it closely. "A little on the side tread of one of your shoes, but I think your pants are clean." He slowly stands, stripping the glove from his hand and wadding it up before replacing it in his satchel. Then, a completely straight look on his face, he turns his back to her so she can pull her pants up. "You're fine, but I'd like you to stop by Xanadu's infirmary in 24 hours, just in case. Try not to spend the rest of today alone, and avoid …rigorous activity untilw e're sure your heart is ok."

Phylicia's newest blush is a bit more on the natural side as she squirms underneath his large coat to carefully pull her pants back up, having only needed his shoulder once or twice during the inspection. After buttoning her pants back up, she takes the coat off of her shoulders, eyes now wary of the plants around, but she at least doesn't spot any other adonis near by. "Your coat." She says quietly, holding it out to him. "It'll be easier to put my pouch back on without this on." Though scant seconds later a very quiet "Thank you." Is whispered. She nods her head. "M'nol should be done with his duties soon enough for the day. I'll have him keep an eye on me until I stop by the infirmary tomorrow." Which she was scheduled for anyways, for a lesson. Rigorous activies aside as well. She looks down at her feet, to her shoes. "I'll also be sure to grab some gloves and wash those down." No need in being careless.

Tenebrous accepts the coat with another nod and a murmured, "Prudent." A practiced motion slings it back onto long arms, and soon he's bringing that hood up over his face again, obscuring it from view. "Come…the day wears on. The forest is somewhat less … exciting from this point on, but it's still a little ways from the Weyr." He sets out moving again, but slower this time, making sure to stay nearer to Phylicia's side.


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.

Phylicia is /almost/ at a smiling stage by the time they exit from the deeper part of the forest, into familiar territory, which include's M'nol's giant treehouse of a personal weyr. "Less exciting I can deal with for the rest of today." She murmurs, watching him again, though a little less carefully now. "It.. may be none of my businees, but why d'you hide your face like that?" Now curiousity may indeed kill the not-feline.

Tenebrous shrugs softly, coming to a stop in the middle of one of the more heavily trafficked areas of the forests just outside of the Weyr. "Out here? Because of the dappling. The hood keeps it out of my eyes. They're sensitive enough as it is." If there's a reason why he does it away from the woods, he doesn't offer it. "Don't forget. 24 hours, and keep good company." He looks like he's about to head back into the woods, but instead, he continues. "Long days, young ma'am. Long days, and long nights, and fear." He points at her pants. "This won't be the last time that happens. The next time won't be the last one either. You need to understand that. Take that 24 hours. Speak with your loved ones. Think on it. If you still want a guide, find your way back to the Adonis patch tomorrow evening, an hour before sunset. We will speak of it more." He nudges the hood a bit lower on his head, and turns back to the deeper woods.

It's enough of an answer to appease Phylicia since she nods, taking his words very seriously, as they're meant to be taken. "M'nol will take care of me." She says, sounding certain of that one, looking towards the personal weyr for a moment. The senior apprentice falls silent, merely nodding her head for a moment. "I'll do that." She says, and means it. "Take care, Fetch." She says, turning towards the weyr that she shares and starts towards it.

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