Stars and Scrapes

Xanadu Weyr - Dragonhealers' Annex
An entranceway which would allow admittance to even the greatest of queen dragons leads from the clearing into a chamber which would house half-a-dozen of the same size. There's a smaller human-sized door near it, and the massive dragon-sized door is equipped with a clever set of counterweights to permit one person to open it when needed.
Just to one side of the door, a shallow pool has a constant gentle flow of water, pumped and filtered to be used in washing wounds. Nearby, stone shelves hold a generous supply of clean bandages and sheets, as well as redwort, numbweed, and the metal implements used for surgery. The other side of the chamber is taken up by an alcove with multiple banks of computers to house medical records and help to diagnose illness and injury in the Dragons who come for aid. Within this alcove is a small medical laboratory where medicines and herbs can be prepared and experiments can take place.
The far wall houses two dozen dragon-couches. A thick curtain can be drawn around each along a rail mounted in the ceiling to allow patients the option of privacy as they rest and recover, and there are chairs set beside them for anxious riders to sit and comfort their lifemates.
One of those couches, off in the corner, has been replaced with a large metal box. This curtain is usually kept drawn, but behind it is the artificial incubator, filled with sand from the main hatching arena. It's as wide as a human is tall, and perhaps thrice as long. Riveted sides rise halfway up the shin and are lined with wires of various hues that fuel each of the miniature units used to heat the artificial sands. Each cord has been secured to the side of the box, effectively keeping it out of the range of passersby.

It has been some time since Nailii has been seen around the Weyr again, but she is back for one reason or another, even perhaps to stay but she's not been one to open up and actually talk about things. Well at least not with people, there have been a few dragons that have been getting her attention, and of course Talanoath is the main one. The large brown is settled upon a couch that is near the back, tail slowly swaying at his side while his gaze is resting upon the slowly darkening sky as the stars start to appear. « We are missing the best ones? Why can't someone else be here? » As for Nailii she doesn't answer her dear dragon as she is busy making new bottles and jars of different herbs and the like, well someone had to do it and it seems she took it upon herself to do just that. "We're go see them soon, you can see them rather well right there you know?" A slight snort escapes the brown while he stretches and a loud yawn escapes his tooth filled maw before it snaps closed. « Oat wants a better view. » Talanoath grumbles a bit.

The dragonhealers thought they knew which queen would be occupying their time. Risabeth's clutch of six on the sands is plenty to keep them busy, right? And it would have been, except then TROUBLE happened. It's still not entirely clear what led up to Leirith's roar of anger - apparently, she is capable of that emotion - but it was followed by attempts to fly straight down through the trees of the deep forest. That didn't go so well for her, because trees and wings are not friends… but at least the egg-heavy queen survived, and so did a (blood-covered and wounded) Risali and Nessalyn. (Though - according to rumors - someone didn't.) WHAT HAPPENED? …yeah, good question, and rumors of variable reliability are surely spreading… though that does involve talking to people, so they may not have spread far enough to reach these two. The humans were sent to their infirmary, Leirith - and the other wing-bruised dragons who tried to help - were sent to this one, and so there's been plenty to keep busy and deplete those supplies. SO YES, Nailii, that is an important task you are doing, and it will surely be appreciated by many… especially once they get some sleep, which is probably why they're not here to do this instead. Pesky dragonhealers, wanting to actually get rest. Don't they know Talanoath needs his sky? JERKS. But… the infirmary also needs its healers at all hours, because there's always the chance of somebody walking in. Just this moment, it's D'lei! He's using a cane, though he seems to more be leaning on it in general than for any specific limp, and he's followed at a stalking-length distance by the shift of shadows that is (probably) Garouth.

OF course Talanoath needs the sky, look at them stars! Some are soooo bright and shiny and hey is that a bunny cloud? The brown is staring at it and ten turns his head at the sound of movement and tilts his head while curiously watching as D'lei and the cane come wandering in. A low rumble of greeting escapes him, but he isn't the bouncy get in one's face and pay attention to me as he was when just a hatchling. That can still happen, but there is plenty on his mind, and well his riders mind that is keeping him in check perhaps. "I'm sure he can see them from that couch just as easily Tala." Nailii offers before brushing her hands off and glances up to see whom her brown is greeting. There is slight pause, unsureness perhaps as she looks around to see if perhaps a dragon is in tow, or well getting dragged in so to speak seeing what happened last time after all. A faint smile is soon seen and she moves around the table dragging a chair out even. "Hey there, how are you feeling sir?" OH that done slipped on out, what happens when she is off doing learning things and having to be all respectful don't you know. She goes about brushing the chair off.

What about the bunny star? It's like the dog star, only… more of a bunny. D'lei smiles to Talanoath as he dips his head in a nod back to him, "Evening." Can't not greet the dragons that greeted you! That'd be rude. Even more rude than restricting Oat's access to the sky, and that's really saying something. Garouth pauses near the entrance, amber eyes glancing back and forth as if to assess the room before he walks inside, then follows into the light. He's got a few scrapes of his own, some of which still have little bits of gauze stuck over them to help keep them clean while they heal and give him a few white spots to go with bronze and black. D'lei grins as he sees Nailii, the expression widening at her greeting to him, and there's a little amused shake of his head before he steals that chair she's so nicely provided for him. "You may be a healer," he says with a brandish of the cane to point at her, "but that doesn't mean you get to practice your bedside manner on me."

Bunny clouds, bunny stars, and of course dog stars! Talanoath most likely has a tale dealing with both of those honestly. As for Garouth the brown tilts his head and offers a polite dip of his head to the bronze. If there is one thing about Talanoath he remembers far more than many other dragons, and he knows who Garouth is to him. Nailii chuckles a bit and soon shrugs as she was perhaps expecting this response from D'lei. "True? But it just seemed right at the time." Oh sure that make sense. She half points at the cane. "How are you feeling, do you need anything?" As for Garouth he did not escape her gaze either. "How are you feeling Garouth?" No she doesn't expect him to answer her, but she will ask him directly anywho, this is who she is, and what she does and many a healer wonder about her still to this day.

So if a dog cloud chases a bunny star, then… Talanoath can tell you the story of what happens, but let's save space here and omit it. Garouth rumbles softly, a vibration that extends out along his mind with a shiver through the air and a wave of darkness. « You have traveled much. » Greetings? Politenesses? PFFT. Sometimes you just have to pounce straight to the point! If it's right at the time, at least. D'lei hehs, with a small shake of his head as he sets that cane back down. "I suppose it can be forgiven, as long as it wasn't premeditated," he says, then grins. "I'm… well." His mouth shifts to a more wry shape. "I was just about done with the cane before this latest mess." There's real worry behind the light tone of the words. "Could be worse." He makes a one-shouldered shrug, his smile more subdued now. His gaze shifts to Garouth as well, and the bronze looks back to the two riders before he flares his wings slightly, as if to show off their ability to still do that before he tucks them in against himself once more… even if they're not quite as close as they might usually be. "He says he'll be ready when the trouble comes," D'lei reports with a half-smile. "Though we wouldn't mind a bit more of that dilute numbweed in oil."

« We did? We are home now. » Talanoath offers with a soft swirl of what could be smoke mixed with the faint smell of the sea almost like a mist that drifts through his mind. « We are here to help. If we be allowed to. » Good luck stopping this brute of a dragon from anything he might put his mind to. « Has there been a reason for today's travels to the forest? » The brown curiously watches Garouth, a slight swirl to is gaze while his head tilts to the side as he is curious. Nailii offers a slight smile and nods. "You try getting through lessons day in and day out and no come away saying sir and ma'am and Weyrleader, Weywoman and the like and tell me how it works for you." Her tone is teasing but she frowns a touch as for the rest, oh she's heard plenty and seen plenty but other healers have been tending to others. She smiles to Garouth and nods as she watches those wings of his before glancing back to D'lei. "Of course he will. I'll get some made up without a problem." There is a slight pause before she goes orth to ask what is on her mind. "How is Risali?"

« A good place to be, » Garouth says, as shadows flicker between dark and darker with the implication of unseen fire that might mingle to smoke… or perhaps is only a trick of shadows beneath the clouds. « To help the ones who strayed. » His mental image is of sheep wandering from a field into a dark forest… followed by a shadow-beast descending on them in a fury of tooth and claw that ends with a blood-dyed sheep stumbling back to pasture. « The trees did not allow. » JERKS. D'lei grins to Nailii, and gives a nod. "I suppoooose. I remember this one master at the hall that liked to get his class to say it in chorus. He'd make us repeat it if he didn't think it was good enough." A grin of amused memory, but then… on to the more recent past! And even the present. "Thanks," he says for that offer of the numbweed, and then a crooked not-exactly-smile. "Nothing's hurt too badly. If she was a dragon, she'd be fine…" The corner of his mouth tugs in wryly, and he admits, "She's kind of messed up."

« Home is where the heart is, one longs for its warmth and its touch. » Talanoath offers with the swirling mist clinging to his words before he slips quiet watching Garouth closely. A brow lifting at what is offered and he attempts to understand what was offered. « The trees would now allow, but they returned? » Meaning the sheep it seems, he wonders if that plump black one he was eyeing a few days ago came back as well. That is George, he likes him and wants to pet him, hug him and well maybe eat him but that's so not the point. Nailii chuckles a bit and nods while she goes about picking up a large bowl and sets it upon the table and goes through getting the items she needs. "Yeah? Had a few like that. You get to a point that there is only so much they can do after all." Being a grade four dragon healer she doesn't much worry what teachers neither think nor do. Other than the fact they fill her head with stuff like 'sir' and the like. Nailii pauses and glances back towards D'lei and a slight frown is seen. "I'm sorry D'lei? She'll be fine, she's stubborn and strong."

« Some hearts are restless. » There's flickers of light between the trees, hints of a fire - but too little to tell if it's hearth or wildfire, campsite or lightning-burn. « They wonder if another touch, another warmth… » Shadows flicker, twist - almost - into coherent shapes… and then Garouth laughs, and the ground ripples beneath his forest in an earthquake that chases away that flickering light and its shadows both. « We are both home. » The salt air of the seaside, the shadows of the forest, the fields and smoke in between on the conceptual map around. « All have returned. » Though perhaps not that plump black sheep, at least not if somebody else tried to eat George. Besides, eating is like a hug with your stomach! D'lei watches as Nailii sets up to make that oil, and hehs. "Of course, by then they've gotten you to have those sirmaaming ways…" Those pesky, sneaky, polite, ways! As for Risali…D'lei tugs the corner of his mouth a bit more sideways, and nods. "She will." He makes the effort to put a better smile on, and even mostly succeeds. "She'll punch it, and then she'll kick it, and then she'll… probably punch it again, but she might just knee it for variety."

Talanoath tilts his head a curious look seen while his brow lifts at the images. « Warmth comes in many ways, many forms, many search for different types of it too. » A talon slightly drags across the ground in though before his head turns and his gaze drifts out in the distance, eyes slightly becoming unfocused with thought even. « IT is good all have returned. I will help when trouble returns do not fret. » He has no idea if trouble will return, but trouble /does/ tend to come back right? At least in his tales they do so it is just a given in life that it would happen as well. Items are placed into the bowl while she picks up a jar of the powdered numbweed and goes about sprinkling it into the oil. "Kneeing it for sure, many times of course and in rather tender areas I'm rather certain." She wishes to know more, wants to know what happened but she doesn't ask. If they wanted her to know someone would tell her. "If? I can help with anything, you all only need to ask. I know I've been gone for a while but I can still help with stuff and the like. I still know how to make tea."

« Trouble comes in many forms as well. » From the darkness of Garouth's forest come faint growls and snarls, the pace of clawed feet as trouble - or maybe warmth - wanders amid the trees. « It will find us. Some of its shapes, I know. » The ground echoes that growl… then breaks it with a crow's caw. « We will be there. » Against trouble! Whatever form it takes. D'lei grins to Nailii, and nods. "Yeah, probably." He shifts that cane to the other hand, a wry tug of his mouth to the side, and then… "Mmh," he says, and nods. "Thanks. We… could probably use some tea-making. And I bet the kids'd love to hear some stories." D'lei glances to Talanoath for that one, then back to… take a sweep of the room in before he focuses on her again. "How much do you know about whers?" he asks, because that's certainly not a random question out of nowhere or anything.

Talanoath nods slightly at this, a faint rumble escaping him from the sights and sound of certain things from Garouth's forest which peaks the brown interest more to say the least. « I will follow, the shapes I will learn and we shall deal with them accordingly and swiftly. » When trouble is near it is always best to come with extra hands to deal with such things. Nailii smiles a moment and that and nods. "Well, consider it done. Talanoath with the stories and I'll make plenty of tea." A bottle is picked up and then another and she goes about pouring the numbweed infused oil into them both. At the question she hums faintly and glances up in thought. "Well? They are about the size of a runner, most are used in mining and search and rescue type things. They are dragon like but well, not dragon like in a sense. I've tended to a few but it has been a while." The tops of the bottles are closed and she wipes her hands off. "Why, have a new pet?"

« Good. » The winds shift, changing the pattern of darkness as tree-branches sway. Garouth sits and tucks his tail around his paws, wings shifting slightly as he settles. « There will be more eggs, soon. » His mind mingles himself and Leirith in those eggs with sun-brightness and shadow-darkness, and a protective sense for them that's… rather stronger than the one he has for Risabeth's clutch. « You will be near. » Since, well. Talanoath's rider works here! Which means he's on that couch (or one of the others) more often than not, and thus suitable to be part of the Egg Defense Squad that Garouth is apparently forming. D'lei grins, and nods to Nailii. "Good." Because tea and stories are both very important… and maybe that'll even be a good time for Risali to tell some of her recent adventures. D'lei tries to keep his tone light when it comes to those whers, but he doesn't exactly succeed, and there's a real sort of concern lurking as he listens to Nailii's report on the Not Actually Dragons. His nods for most of it are absent-seeming, though there's a spark of keener interest as she mentions that she has actually worked with them… followed by a wry smile. "No. Or…" Another tug at the corner of his mouth. "Not yet, anyhow. There's… likely to be an influx, and not the sort in good health… or temper."

« Yes, more minds to fill with tales of adventures and the truths of the world. » Talanoath offers with a gruffy amused like tone and lifts his head, chest puffing up (as if he had feathers or fur). As for the rest a tilt of his head is seen and he nods to that. « Indeed I shall be near? I will not stray far. Do you feel the trouble coming this close? » He questions with a glance towards the hatching cavern at the thought. Nailii picks up a basket and places the bottles within it and is moving on over to where D'lei is holding onto the basket in the process. Slight lingering glance is sent towards a certain rider's rear. Don't ask why just accept it, it's been a while since she was able to oolge him after all! "The few I worked with acted more like big canines then dragons, one was rather fond of redfruit for some reason." Her bright gaze is back to looking at D'lei and not his booty. As for the rest she frowns. "Like wild whers?" Now she is worried and it is clearly seen. "They are dangerous, strong and well? Nasty. I visit a farm that had one go wild; it killed all the livestock, and attacked a few children. I was called to help tend the pair of dragons that had the luck of running into it when they were searching for it."

« Perhaps. » Garouth's mind carries a flicker of images - men with knives, and swords. Ships with dark sails, appearing out of silver fog. Trampled ground, stained with greenish ichor. « Trouble came to mine. Now, it comes to hers. » Leirith's, he means. « It has the taste for us, and we have not yet defeated it. » But. SPEAKING OF TASTES, D'lei does have a butt that's tasty enough for a queen dragon, so really, it's no surprise that Nailii must have her visual fill of it. SUCH IS LIFE. A thing of many perils, hazards, and butts. D'lei makes no comment on such things save a flicker of smile - or maybe that's just for that basket of supplies! He nods to her, with a bit of amusement for that redfruit-lover, and then… he frowns, and his chin ducks down, and in a way that's an answer all its own. "…kind of," D'lei says, and he sighs before tilting his head back. "They're… shards, I don't even know." He frowns, amber eyes intent back to Nailii's. "They're in a bad place, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. So … some of them, probably? I don't know." What does make a good wher go wild?

Talanoath is left quiet now, a sow twitch of his tail near his side and a low rumble is soon escaping him. His not amused at the thought. « They will not come this far. I will not allow it. » Well someone is not going to be sleeping much; someone else might be grumpy other than whers if this happens for long. « Every story comes to an end they cannot go on forever. » Nailii clears her throat slightly and offers D'lei a smile once he takes hold of the basket of items, including some gauze and the like. "What would put them in a bad place? What happened to the handlers?" Is soon questioned at the thought. "If they truly have no handlers there is only one end to them? I don't see a way to get around it once they have gotten wild." Which honestly doesn't set well with her and she glances towards Talanoath. "We need to speak with handlers to find out what could be done if anything."

« Good. We will find this trouble… and we will bring that story to an end. It will not be a pleasant end… for them. » The hint of Garouth's teeth is echoed by the bright flashes against the forest, claws and teeth and the final shrieks as trouble meets its fate. D'lei curls his fingers around that basket, maybe a little tighter than they strictly need to be, and his mouth tugs to the side and in with a faint grimace even as he takes another glance around to make sure the infirmary really is empty around them before he goes on. "What if the handlers are… bad for them?" he asks, instead of actually answering any of the questions Nailii already asked. "Like… I've heard about mining families that pass them down. Or hold whers, those… don't exactly have a handler, do they?" That, or there are a lot of dubious rumors about how whers actually work going around, which… is also believable, given how many of those exist about dragons! D'lei is maybe a little grasping at straws here.

Smokey mist swirls through Talanoath's head, there are crackles of what could be fire, a deep orange that drifts to red and then yellow before it disappears into smoke once more. « It will be a tale to tell for turns to come, many will be in awe and wonder how we managed to be heroes. Not to mention they will want to know our secrets of /how/ it really went down! » Oh yes the brown is very interested in ending this 'tale', a slight grind of teeth is heard while he rumbles out at the idea. Nailii frowns at this idea. "So? Like the handlers could be spurring them into doing certain things? Hold whers should have a handler even though they are left to defend the hold, someone still has to being charge of them, tend and care of them so they have to listen to someone. Unless they go wild and then they do whatever they wish, sort of like a wild feline but I'm not sure which is worse in that regard honestly."

Garouth feeds the images of ill-doers into that flame that crackles through Talanoath's head, letting them singe and burn - at least in metaphor, but hey. They're working on getting the for-real version! « Do not give away too many secrets, in your stories. » Garouth draws a stray coil of smoke into his shadows, a heavier fog to shroud the trees. « We must still be ready to lie in wait for the next trouble that finds us, even when you tell the tale of this one. » There's always something, after all. Such is the nature of trouble! D'lei frowns as he considers his own - or at least, Nailii's answers about it - and then nods, just a little. "They're… more dragons than I hoped, I suppose." He grimaces, mouth tugged sideways. "So… okay. It's…" Another glance, because sometimes you just need to triple check that nobody is listening in, okay? "…there's a camp. Renegades." Even with their privacy, his voice has still dropped lower. "They've got some whers, Faranth knows how, and they're making them fight." The grimace deepens to a disapproving scowl. "And… shards, I just don't know what to do about it."

« Of course not, have to keep them coming back for more tales. If all the secrets are told they will not be wondering what is around the next bend and will get bored. » Talanoath offers with a soft rumble now and shifts to settle back upon the couch, his head lowered while his gaze drifts off towards the tree line that is nowhere nearby. Nailii just looks at D'lei and blinks at least twice, perhaps she did not hear that right? "I'm sorry; did you say they are fighting whers?" She questions with a soft uncertain tone. How does one stop such things? There is a moment she is quiet and she chews on her lip a moment. "You have to find a way to get in and see what is going on, how many are in the 'ring' and how many they have to fight with. If they have two there is a chance they could have more? Or could be trying to get more."

There's amusement to Garouth's agreement, a sprinkle of raindrops that glint against the darkness before they flow to a twisty, windy stream that tracks off over many a bend through the wilderness. D'lei grimaces as Nailii takes that in, but he does not actually change his tale. He just nods slightly, shifting his hand along the rim of the basket as his eyes shift down a moment, then back to her. "Even if we can… is there anything we can do? I mean… if their handlers are doing that… but they'll go wild without… do we just, what, try to strand them on an island and let them go crazy on their own?" Not exactly an appealing plan, but then again, pretty much all the prospects seem bleak.

Naili should have known that question would be next as she basically said it in so many ways just a few moments ago. She lifts a hand to rub at her eyes a moment before glancing towards Talanoath. "If the whers have truly went wild, or are being used in such a manner that they are taught by the handlers to do this I don't think there is a way to deal with them other than letting them go humanely." Her gaze turns back to D'lei. "Have you spoken with any actual handlers? I don't know if they can be retaught after things like this have happened. I mean could they be like a canine that has been used for fighting and trained out of it? Or because of the nature of the beast will that not work?" She has no idea. "If they have whers and are fighting them, there is a chance the animals could snap and attack them and escape as well. Is?this what happened with Risali?" Because if so this ups the stakes a large amount. Talanath is quiet, his swirling gaze settled on the riders as the conversation has gotten a bit serious.

D'lei nods slowly, with a grimace for the answer he… kinda expected, but that doesn't mean he likes it. "I've… had a hard time finding handlers I can trust," he says in answer to her. "Which isn't a good enough answer, but… they had to get those whers from somewhere, and I don't know where." Too many terrible questions, too few terrible answers. The question about Risali actually startles him, enough that he sits up straighter before he shakes his head. "No. Not her. That was… just a human. A coincidence." He grimaces a bit, though, because how much is really coincidental when it comes to things like trouble? Garouth sits still, quiet and dark as the riders talk. "It's only a matter of time, isn't it?" It's a question, but it's the sort where he thinks he knows the answer, and his face turns grim as he continues. "That much violence and pain… they'll snap eventually, and someone is going to get hurt."

"Either they are the handlers themselves, or they bought them, took them, killed for them?" Nailii isn't /that/ innocent, she knows not everyone is nice in the world they live, not that she has actually dealt with well people like these ever in her life. Well none that she knows of. She frowns hearing the bit on Risali and wants to ask who would do that, but seeing the reaction from D'lei she holds that back. "They will snap, it will not be pretty. The wher that went wild was crazed and it was hunted down and killed. It died a horrible death D'lei, nothing should have to die like that, and nothing should be treated like that." Her gaze lifts slightly to the pair of dragons and she glances back to D'lei. "If a way to deal with them is not figured out soon you will need to warn people what could happen. Not everyone will be as understanding, and some might try to take matters into their own hands." Her gaze turns to movement and a few healers have come to take over the later shift and she looks back to D'lei. "I'll help anyway I can, but I need to go over a few things with the ones coming on the few dragons here." She lifts her hand letting it rest against his arm and gives a slight squeeze. "It will work itself out." Though it might get messy before that happens, not that she says that before she needs to turn and go speak to the other dragonhealers.

Yeah. Not the answer D'lei might want, but… he nods as Nailii confirms it, and his hand slips over hers for a moment. "Thanks," he says, with an attempt at a smile, and then he draws himself up to his feet with cane in one hand and basket in the other. "We do still expect that tea, though…" he says, making at least an attempt at lightness before he heads out to think more on frowny unpleasant things. Yay, responsibility? Knowledge is… unpleasant, sometimes, and troubles are all around and also complicated!

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