Wher Games

Xanadu Weyr - Forest's Edge


While the forest is thick for a long while, in time it begins to thin, as the ground becomes rockier to the south western stretches of the Weyr's land. The trees are further apart, and the rocks become larger, before rocky outcroppings seem to be more prevalent than the trees around them. As the hills begin to gain in height, the shruberry upon them become more stunted.

What's this, though! It seems with all the recent earthshakes from the south, the ground has begun to realign itself, and one hillside has shifted, revealing an opening into a small cave. At least, that's what it appears, as the whole is just large enough for an average sized man to sneak through.

A series of 'dens' sit into the rocky outcroppings, showing signs of the whers who make their home within them.

Rukbat has only just descended below the horizon, leaving a slight but wher-tolerable glow along the horizon when Hyrlon and Hysk emerge from their den. The Journeyman leads his blue towards a small obstacle course he'd set up an hour or so before. Some hoops and other things to jump over are integrated with a few piles of brush 'rubble' and a few tunnels to crawl through. He's /hoping/ more handlers will show up.

With Somerly still in a nannies care, Tig makes his way outside, still a little tired, dark circles plagueing his eyes. He rubs at one then stretches, Tisk following right behind, near giddy to be up and out, snuffling at his handler.

Janelle and Jansk are both in the makeshift clearing around the wher dens of Xanadu, Jansk quite happily nosing around the area, chittering to Tisk and Hysk the moment she sees them.

Hysk gives a polite chirp to both Tisk and Jansk. /His/ girls, right? Hyrlon smiles at both his fellow handlers, "Hey, guys. Tig, how's Somerly doing?"

Tisk chirps to the other two though her head lifts and she settles near Tig as he moves nearer to the other handlers. "Evening..she's good.. staying with a nanny at the moment."

Janelle rubs at the back of her head a little, though her hair is well-kept and tied back. "Hey, Tig, Hyrlon," Bit of a smile is given to the later, though for the time, she wanders towards the course instead, looking over it. All business, right? "Glad to hear sommerly's doing well. She's a cute kid."

Hyrlon smiles and nods to Tig, "That's good to… what Janelle said." He chuckles, then motions towards the course while following Janelle to it. He lets his hand brush against Janelle's as he moves past her, but then he's back to business, "I've heard-tell that Ista's hosting some weyr games and I got the idea in my head that it would be fascinating to do some wher games along the same lines." He quirks an eyebrow, clearly asking, 'whadda ya think?'

Janelle tilts her head just a bit, "That's quite the idea, Hyrlon.." She glances at the three whers, "You think they'd do well?" She's not about to get all super-handler, and call hers the best, by far.

Tig notes the subtle interaction between the two and just keeps his distance, nodding some, reaching to scritch Tisk. "It'd be an interesting night time event.."

Hyrlon smiles, "Exactly. And with so many whers spread across Pern a master could go different places and instead of competing individually they could rate the performance of the whers at each mine."

Janelle nods slowly, "It'd be too hard to get them all to one area, and possibly dangerous at that." With leaving the mines void oftheir safety crews, and such.. Let alone how hard it is just to transport them. "What do you think, Jansk.. Want to see it in action?" She crouches down, scritching her friendly green across her headknobs.

Tig nods too then glances to the course, "It might still be a neat event for the weyr.. though making it visible enough that spectators could watch would be a challenge..I guess you could light it up then cover whers' eyes at least enough to protect them..maybe line the course with lights so it's more display-like.. put glowing markings on the whers so they can see them go through the course? Hmmm.."

Hyrlon makes a quiet 'hmmm' sound… he hadn't thought about that… "well… whers are a lot less sensitive to glows… maybe a quarter-lidded glow on each side of an obstacle?" He taps his chin, waiting to see how Jansk does on his make-shift course.

"The Red lights are easier on the whers, aren't they? Isn't that what you have in your den, Hyrlon?" Janelle wonders, "We could use those around the site, so that folks could see, but the whers wouldn't be hurting." Jansk first sniffs the course, starting at the hoops, and pausing before making a vtol-line through them. The rubble is next, for which she paws briefly, before climbing to the top, and looking around.

Tig nods, "Not sure how many people could see from any distance with just red lights.. just depends if you want spectators or not.." he says then turns to watch Jansk. For her part Tisk is content to stay beside her handler, chirring at him briefly.

Hysk turns to watch Jansk, making little clicking chirps from time to time. Hyrlon nods, "Actually, I just screen off my electrical lights. Hysk doesn't seem to have much trouble with glows… Spectators would be nice… part of educating people about what we do and how safe whers can be." His brain is still turning the ideas over in his head.

Janelle nods a little, though she's more watching Jansk at the moment. The friendly green wher sniffs her hill she's perched herself on, finally getting hersel fmoving again as she climbs down that pile, and over the piled brush. Once the bursh is conqured, she lifts her nose, searching for her next target: The tunnel, aha! And she's off towards it, pausing while inside. She chitters, listening to the close echoe, as if to say, 'I'm hiding!' Before hse pops herself out the far side.

"I think it'd make an impression if we could use goggles for the whers and maybe try some rope-style lighting to outline the course.. make it at night.. so there is a definite contrast.." then he shrugs some. "Either way.." He watches Jansk and grins a bit at her antics then looks back to the other two handlers, "Most people don't have a clue.. so..anything they see will be an education."

Hyrlon ponders this, still watching Jansk make her way through the course. Her tunneled chirp makes him snort softly, then he nods, "Blinder goggles or just night-making goggles? The problem with either is that since the screen out any heat the whers can't see as welll…"

Janelle shrugs a little, " So I'm not so great with ideas for lighting." She grins, though, as Jansk comes back to her, after crawling through a tunner on the course. "Too bad we could have goggles that make night brighter for us people." she chuckles a little.

Tig smiles some, "Well neither am I.." then he nods. "Night vision goggles..you know that actually might be kinda neat though on the scale we'd need them.. I wonder if a person could make the lenses small like spectacles instead of full-out goggles since they'd only need them for watching… not actual work then they could be redeemed for some sort of prize so that we get all the lenses back..to reuse..unless they can make something similar that isn't too expensive to just toss..or keep.."

The three wherhandlers stand surveying a make-shift obstacle course while Jansk makes her way through it. Hyrlon nods, "Maybe… there might be something like that… but red lights with glows near the obstacles might be best for viewers." He leans towards Janelle, "Do you think she'll navigate the maze or go over it? Hysk's done both, now…"

Janelle Shake sher head, "Not so sure.. Probably try and go through it.."

Walking through the woods, as she so often does after a busy day, is one of Xanadu's junior weyrwomen. Thea steps through the trees, spots the whers and handlers and alters her steps to draw nearer, curiosity driving her. She knows better than to get too close, however and is content to watch from a little ways off. "Evening," she calls to the group in general.

Janelle Shake sher head, "Not so sure.. Probably try and go through it.."And sure enough, as Jan points her green wher towards the last obstacle, the maze, Jansk again heads as quick as her short legs will go, towards it. Sniffing at the entrance, she looks about, turning mal-formed head from one side to the other, before heading into the maze.

Tig glances up at the approach of another person as does Tisk who chirrs in Thea's direction, was that 'good evening'? Probably. Attention turns toward the course then Tisk pads off toward it a few steps, considering.

Hysk hears Thea's approach before Hyrlon does, but his polite chirp of greeting draws the older lad's attention and he smiles, "Evening, Weyrwoman. Not used to seeing you in our neck of the woods." He glances towards the obstacle course and grins, "I was thinking of proposing a Pern-wide wher competition to the masters. What do you think?"

Thea leans against a tree, nodding to the trio, watching with interest as the whers approach the obstacle course. Hyrlon's greeting is returned, although she includes the other two in it, "I usually walk earlier when it's much lighter." The question about wher competition has her glancing at the other wher handlers, answers for that is best left to those who have an opinion.

Janelle looks up at the others greeting the goldrider. She nods once, offering a bit of a more quiet 'Hello.." towards Thea. Jansk, by now, has managed her way through half of the maze, stalled at the moment by a dead-end. After some contemplation, the friendly green wher turns herself around, tail hitting the walls of the maze, and starts off again to find the exit.

Tig is watching Tisk but then once she's off to explore he turns to Thea and smiles, "To our fortune then that your walk was delayed." He steps toward the Weyrwoman and then extends a hand in greeting, "Tig Buckland, handler of Tisk, the gold over there.." and he nods her direction before looking back to Thea.

Hyrlon smiles, "It is a fortuitous coincidence. It's rare that a wherhandler gets to see much of the more normal people anymore." Hysk chirrups loudly, go Jansk go!

Thea nods to Janelle, a small polite smile on her face. She responds to Tig as he approaches, placing her hand in his to shake her smile widening. "Well-met, Tig Buckland of gold Tisk." Hyrlon's comment has her snickering just a bit, "Normal people, he calls me." She waves a hand towards the course, "But don't let me interrupt training. I'll just watch for awhile."

Jansk chitters and churrs, to her fellowo whers, and anyone else who might be out there. Suddenly, the green wher peeks her forepaws, then her snout over the wall, befor eher whole head appears. She looks around, then slides back to the ground to start heading in what she thinks is the direction of the exit. Several more m oments pass, and then there she is, green Jansk, slinking out of the maze through it's exit, and straight towards Thea. New Person! She's chittering towards the goldrider in quite the friendly fashion, causing Janelle to follow with a sigh. She's just not great at meeting people, how'd she end up with such a social bond? "I'm Janelle, green Jansk's. Parents are both miners, and my sister's Joleine, in the kitchens."

Tig gives Thea's hand a firm but also gentle grip and shake then releases it and pushes his hands into his pockets. "Nice to meet you too, ma'am," he comments then grins some at the 'normal' remark from Hyrlon. Passing by her green sister, the gold wher eyes the course then makes for the tunnels first, zooming through them to pop out on the other side, looking back to see from whence she came. "The maze!" Tig calls out to her and points. She cants her head and looks then pads to the entrance, hesitating before disappearing inside.

Hyrlon chuckles, "Would you prefer I said day-dwellers? And the whers are fairly self-motivating. Speaking with a pleasant lady is no interruption."

Thea watches Jansk approach, "Oh, ooh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to distract her." Thea blinks as the green wher ambles over, flickering an apologetic glance towards her handler. "Janelle, nice to meet you." As Tig releases her hand, she murmurs, Thea, please Tig," as she extends it to Janelle with a warm smile. She grins ruefully at Hyrlon and shrugs, "I've been called worse," she returns lightly, her attention returning to the approaching Jansk and although she remains where she is, she makes no move to reach for her, "I've been warned not to pet them."

"No distraction.. She waited until she finished, before coming ot see you, and didn't climb over the walls to finish the maze." Janelle grins a little, shaking the offered hand with more confidence than she shows otherwise. "And petting an unobnded wher is a bad idea. ..These ones.." She glances towards Hysk, Tisk and Jansk, "Well, I know Jansk is alright to pet, she loves the attention."

Tisk rumbles around in the maze then her head pops out of the top of it.. cheater? No.. resourceful. Tig glances from the gold in the maze back to Thea and smiles, "Thea, then," he agrees, then nods to Janelle. "Tisk is ok to pet too, should she get close enough, sometimes she stays at a distance.."

Hyrlon grins, "All of the whers here at Xanadu are social enough. Hysk's not coming up to you because he's waiting for permission." He glances over his shoulder as the gold sneaks a peek as well and sighs, "Definitely have to put a lid on that, eh?"

"No kidding," Thea drops her hand and sends a bemused look down at Jansk. The junior kneels beside the green, reaching a hand to scritch at the wher's headknobs. "I've never seen a wher up close before," she admits. She slants a grin up at Tig, "She's young though, yeah? Maybe as she get's older…" She nods at Hyrlon, "He's responding well to the training then, it sounds like."

Janelle nods a little. Jansk chitters happily, butting her head into the skritches "They're a little over a Turn and a half, now… And that's part of what we're hoping to expell.. All those myths about the whers, being dangerous even when they're bonded and such. They're great partners, and extremely useful. And smart, too." janelle clicks her tongue once to her wher, who instantly backs off of the weyrwoman, instead sitting beside her handler.

Tig grins at Thea and nods, "She is and..she's driven..though so much so that sometimes she goes from one thought to the next too quickly.." And as evidence of that her head pops up again though this time chasing a bug that zooms just out of her reach. When it's gone, however, she's back on task and exits the maze then trots toward the gathering, right next to Tig. Chirrrr.

Hyrlon grins, "He just came out that way, really. It's made it a lot easier for me." Hysk chirps again, pleading a bit more now that Jansk is getting attention.

Thea rises after a final scritch for Jansk. "I hear they are, yes. And very skilled in the dark" She nods at Tig with another grin, "Like dragons, they've all got their own personalities, then." Her eyes follow Tisk's approach. "They're all so well-behaved." She smiles approval for the three, "I'll stop back by sometime and pepper you with questions about them when you're not training. For now, though, I've someone waiting on me." So saying, she turns and heads back towards the Weyr with a final look and a cheery wave. "Night!"

Tig glances toward the ever darkening sky then pats Tisk and smiles at her, "Good job..let's go get Sommerly.." he says, brightening. "If you'd all excuse me.. I have a toddler whose likely worn her nanny to a frazzle.." and he lifts a hand waving, heading off toward his den to tuck in Tisk before heading to the caverns and his daughter.

Janelle offers a silent wave for Thea, and then for Tig as well. Turning to face the course, and the two whers left, Janelle sighs softly. She offers a pat to Jansk's head, before crossing the clearing to settle herself on the ground somewhere. /Anywhere/ she can sit.

Hyrlon follows and settles not /directly/ next to Janelle, but pretty close, "You okay?"

Janelle nods a little, "Fine, thanks.. But did she" she being Jansk, apparantly, "have to go right up to a /weyrwoman/ of all people?" That gla's got rank, after all!

Hyrlon chuckles, "She's nice, Janelle. Morl still says she's one of his best friends here."

Janelle Wraps her arms around hersel fiwht a short nod. "She seems it, but still.." She chews her lip, looking back up, "I warned you, I don't do wella t making friends."

Hyrlon smiles and nods, "I know. It's too bad Jansk isn't more like Hysk where he just says 'hi' then waits… but the more people you know, the less you meet."

"Guess that's true enough.." Janelle answers, shrugging briefly. "One more down, a whole weyr left.."

Hyrlon smiles softly, "Would it help if I went with you to meet people? Or Hysk went?"

Janelle shrugs alittle, "Maybe I just have to plunk myself in the middle of the caverns, with a sign that says 'Say hi, I'm too shy for my own good!' Think that'd work?" Think she could even pull it off..?

Hyrlon chuckles again, "It'd work, but it might break you."

Janelle grins, "That which does not break us, only make sus stronger.."

Hyrlon smiles, "Perhaps, but would it break you?"

Janelle shrugs, "Guess I wouldn't know." She chews that lip again, and sighs, "Some times, I swear, I've got too much miner in me that I'd like the rocks and woods better, than people. And I hate it."

Hyrlon reaches for her hand if she'll let him, "Then conquer it. But remember, there's nothing wrong with liking rocks.

Janelle won't just let him, she'll even move it to accomodate it being taken. She nods alittle, "I'm trying.. I was up the clock tower thinking, this morning, and looking at everything that was out there.. About how much I could be missing, by keeping to myself."

Hyrlon gives her hand a gentle squeeze, "When the time comes, go with Tenebrous to Rubicon River. I'll try to come with, but I can't be sure I can. But see something outside the Weyr. Meet people who aren't riders or miners, I'll be waiting for you to come back."

Janelle squeezes back, a little more firm. She swallows hard as she nods, "You aren't worried about me going off with Tenebrous on my own, are you? I know you said you talked to him.."

Hyrlon shakes his head and smiles, "Tenebrous knows how I feel about you and he doesn't seem the sort to decide to make a move on you just because he knows I like you. And Morl says he's resourceful, so I know he can protect you."

Janelle nods a little, "He's lived all his life, pretty much, in these forests.. And made this trip countless times. Iwoldn't trust that kind of trip to anyone else."

Hyrlon nods, "Exactly. If I were going to trust anyone else with your safety, it would be him."

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