Lyrena's Lost..?

Xanadu Weyr - Mire Hold
Having followed the trail, which has led you through a swamp, taking an increasingly difficult and sometimes meandering passage through boggy patches with nearly hip-deep mud, you arrive in Mire Hold. This place is a good three day hike from Xanadu Weyr.

Mire Hold is a combination of wet and dry land. Channels have been built to guide the water from the swamp in slow-draining canals, while land space has been built up to support people, crops and animals alike. Bridges and pathways crisscross across the area, providing solid footing upon which to walk. In larger open ponds gray trees stand like sentinels in the water with long moss hanging from their limbs. Tall pines or deciduous trees stand in small clumps, dotting the marshy area. Fruit trees have been planted closer to the buildings; terraced gardens have reclaimed the land and provide food for this cothold. A stone wall surrounds the main buildings, though several stone cottages can be found on the outskirts as well. Wooden fences break up pasture land for herdbeasts and runners as well as other small livestock. Very few places are sturdy enough to support a dragon, but there appears to be a somewhat suitable clearing to one side.


Mid-morning at the lovely vacation spot the candidates have found themselves in and Kera has been dabbling at a bit of crosscrafting. All that tall grass is just in the way anyway, so why not put it to use. So, a basket was woven together with the wirey clumps. That's what the candidate is using to gather some of the fruit from a couple of nearby trees. Marching back and forth on a branch above her head, Minimur stands guard of his little healer, eyeing the tall grass and with some hissing and scolding chitters.

Survival is about initiative, and Nornon has that in spades. The young former Beastcrafter is scooting through the underbrush and examining the various plants around the so called hold, clearly looking for something specific, though he uses his belt knife to take samples of various ones that he finds interesting. The stinging insects are swatted at now and then as they swarm, but for the most part the youth is clearly trying to ignore them and focus on his self assigned task and leave that nonsense to his firelizard fair to handle. "Wonder what Shory would say if she saw me now?" he muses aloud to himself as hands grip the head of an interesting plant to sever it with his blade smoothly.

Kera plucks a fruit from the branch after deeming it ripe enough, then eyes the ground as she picks her steps carefully through the over-ripe minefield under the trees canopy. Gathering from the branches she can reach, her path leads her close to the underbrush as Minimur cants his head watchfully at the thick grass surrounding the orchard. A few paces away from where Nornon is working, Kera hears a muttled question and looks his way "Hmm? You wonder which way the shore is now?" She had to have misheard that, but oh well. With a shrug and shake of her frazzled braid "I've no idea. Don't even know where the Weyr is, much less where the beach is." Glancing down to her basket and swatting a small swarm away from her gathering efforts then stares off into space with a slightly wistful expression "I could really use a nice swim to wash the swamp out o.." *SMACK* She quickly slaps her arm with an irritated expression, lifting her hand, she snorts and flicks the dead bug away with. "Hope your last meal was a good one." is muttered before she huffs and goes back to waving off the buzzing masses, peering back to Nornon. "What were we talking about?" They weren't talking about anything, yet, but this bug infested swamp has the girl flustered.

More plants are gathered for later examination, though it looks like Nornon is running out of unique flora to gather. He is interrupted by Kera's interjection, which makes him half turn on the balls of his feet to look at the girl thoughtfully, trying to ratify her query with anything he said. "Oh." Something clicks visibly inside his gaze and he chuckles ruefully. "No, I was just thinking about my sister, Shory. Er, Ryni now, I guess, but old habits…" Fingers wave and dagger dances expressively for this sentiment before he finally pushes down on his thighs and straightens, stretching his hunched spine habitually. A groan is elicited from his throat at this along with a huffed sigh as he hunches forward again. "Ooph. Hm?" Amber eyes narrow thoughtfully trying to recollect. "Nothing yet, I guess. Though…" He looks up at the sky — at least as much as can be seen from their position — and considers it. "…I think it's that way." Hand points in a particular direction, though the correctness of it is debatable.

Kera watches Nornon stand, canting her head a little when he takes a moment to actually stand vertically. Nodding slowly when the he explains her misunderstanding. "That makes more sense than wondering where the shore was." Shifting the basket of fruit she gathered to her other arm, her attention is demanded by her lizard, who's displaying his wings and hissing towards the wall of tall grass around the grouping of trees. Taking a few steps closer to the rundown buildings and sending a glance to the other Candidate "Ya know, they've kept everyone so busy, even before this little 'vacation' they thought we needed, that I don't recall actually introducing myself to you. I'm Kera." From his guardpost on the treebranch, Minimur hisses and does a little hop on the branch, which draws her attention. Darting a glance between her firelizard and the tall grass warily "And this is Minimur, who I think is tryin to tell us to get back to the buildings." Frowning a bit as her gaze flicks to one spot of grass that moves to another, of coarse it could just be her imagination, "Are there tunnelsnakes here ya think?" Hopefully not, right? It's midmorning over at Mire Hold, also known as vacation spot Camp Swamp. Kera has been gathering fruit from the trees nearby, and Nornon has been gathering plant samples. Currently Minimur is hissing at the surrounding tall grass as if something might be lurking just out of sight beyond.

Nornon chuckles softly. "I have to admit the shore and sand sounds like paradise compared to this…" Arms spread in an expansive gesture, knife blade flashing as the light catches the well kept metal held in the Candidate's right hand "…choice slice of swamp." Amber eyes glint with a touch of wryness at his rather politically correct allusion before his own fair starts to join with Minimur's upset cacophony. Instinct jangles faintly in the back of his mind and the teenager listens to his runnersense and scoots away from the tall grass and back toward the dry land with at least a slightly better vantage point. "It's a swamp," he rejoins as if tunnelsnakes were obvious. "I'd rather deal with a tunnelsnake than a feline, though." Brow furrows in obvious consternation at that notion. "Surely they wouldn't drop us off someplace… that dangerous… would they?"

There may be tunnelsnakes about, but as the long, tall grass rustles ominously, it's not a tunnelsnake that comes out of that grass. The blades of the grass rustle several times, then part… to reveal one trader candidate. Garawan looks through the grass as if he's looking for someone, and sees Kera and Nornon. "Oh! Hello there," he offers with an easy smile. He heads through the grass, towards the others. "Seems I almost misplaced myself."

Kera watches the surrounding tall grass as more lizards begin to take alert positions and warning postures. Glancing around, she's quick to take the other candidate's lead and start edging back towards the dryer land neaer to the buildings. Flashing a quick frown to Nornon, she studies him a moment before giving an uncertain shake of her head "Tunnelsnake maybe, surely our unnamed hosts would have said if felines where nearby, right?" Still clutching her basket of fruit, Her attention is fully turns to the wall around the clearing when a sudden shifting in the green wall parts to reveal Garawan, looking completely too innocent. Minimur's hissing quiets very quickly, and his posture relaxes, mostly, he still watches the grass. Never know when a real threat will pop up. Kera rolls her eyes at Garawan, though she smirks "Oh hello there? You nearly scare me out of my wits and ya smile saying hello there?" Taking up one of her gathered fruits, she brandishes it like she's gonna pelt it towards her fellow candidate, but doesn't.

Nornon relaxes visibly as the disturbance turns out to be just another Candidate. False alarm. His own fair stands down and swarm back to their business, some snapping at the biting insects that plague the area and others settling into the trees. "I would hope so. Those felines get to almost the size of runners. I'd prefer not to try my luck against one." Shoulders roll and neck twists to stretch out the tension that had bunched there before Garawan gets a proper acknowledgement. "Shells, you ought to be more careful. You might lose an eye sneaking around like that." The teenager isn't truly mean with his admonishment, it's rather practical as he brandishes his knife and shows the balance off. "I'm apt to try and peg a 'snake in the grass and I'd hate to skewer something else." Brow quirks, expression turns meaningful and then the moment is past. "We really ought to keep each other informed if one of us is going to go wandering off, to prevent any… misunderstandings."

Garawan raises his hands in surrender as Kera brandishes the fruit at him. Was that a squeak he emitted? "I'm sorry, I didn't realize I'd scared you. Please don't throw that at me, someone will have to eat it later, and it would taste disgusting covered in dirt and muck. Nornon's comment of a feline gets Garawan to look around. "Feline? Did someone see one? Where?" He doesn't sound panicked, but he does look around with fairly wide-looking eyes. His gaze returns to Nornon and he seems to draw back a little. First a fruit, then a knife? Yeesh! "Mn. Sorry about that. I looked up and noticed everyone had disappeared, so I had to go looking for everyone else. I was hoping I hadn't gotten myself truly lost. Sadly, I've no skill at navigation."

Kera huffs at Garawan and replaces the fruit back in her basket "Would be a waste of a perfectly good fruit anyway." Tipping her head to Nornon, she nods agreeably "We shouldn't be seperating, we don't even know where we 'are', and you go wandering off. Lucky you made it back. Apparently, anything could be lurking out there." Out there being anything beyond the wall of tall grass. "Who were you with when you got seperated?" Are there a few candidates missing from Camp Swamp? Peering between Garawan and Nornon "We should make sure that everyone is accounted for." Without waiting for others to follow, she starts back to the buildings in order to head towards the one she's got her satchel stowed in.

Innes is dirty. More than dirty, actually. She's filthy. Her hair is clearly tangled with a few streaks of… something through it, and her clothes are spotted with dust and dirt. Judging by her shoes and the bottoms of her pants, she managed to get into the mud again. In short, she's an utter mess. She's heading out of the buildings, shuffling along with a bucket in hand when she spots Kera approaching. She redirects her steps to head in her fellow candidate's direction. Oh look, there are more of them. "What trouble are you getting into over there?" she asks, grinning.

"No felines. Yet." Nornon's eyes narrow meaningfully as he slides his dagger back into the sheath at his hip in a practiced gesture. "Hopefully never, but I'd rather not make potentially deadly assumptions." He checks his satchel and secures the contents as Kera vocalizes her agreement to his suggestion. "We probably should stick in pairs if at all possible should we go exploring." A beat, thoughtful. "Something we'll need to do anyway, I suspect. But pairs to keep us from getting in too much trouble." Wry humor and seriousness blend together as the Beastcrafter turned Candidate turns to follow Kera toward the buildings, only to spy the outbound Innes. "Trouble?" Right here in river city? "None on my part, though I cannot speak to the others. Did you have mischief in mind?"

Garawan pouts when Kera huffs at him. He's good at that. But he does offer helpfully, "I think they made it back. Lyrena was the most vocal of the group, so I doubt she would wander off too far. I passed her on the way here, she was complaining about the muck." Unspoken is the word 'again'. He looks up as he hears another voice. With this grass, he can probably barely see, but he does lift a hand to wave in Innes' direction. "Hello!" he calls, to let her know where he is. "Oh, of course," Garawan replies to Nornon's statement. He's not very well-equipped to deal with wild felines! However, he smirks a little. "Into 'too much' trouble?" He's only teasing. Though he is serious as he answers the last question. "No, I have no mischief planned." Again, unspoken is the 'right now'.

Kera pauses a few paces away from the building when Innes steps out with a bucket in hand. Looking her fellow candidate over, Kera can't help reaching up to try smoothing her own messy hair. Not even wanting to contemplate what might have splattered in her hair or on her clothes. A rueful little grin and amused roll of her eyes to Innes "Some of us just aren't cut out for this 'roughing it' thing are we?" Flashing a wink to her friend, she shrugs "Not mischief from me. Unless ya count nearly pelting a potential tunnelsnake that turned out to be another candidate." Kera laughs at that and puts the basket of fruit on the little porch. "I think we would be hearing Lyrena's soothing screech by now if she were lost though."

"You really want to risk causing trouble?" Innes asks with an arched eyebrow that speaks to her skepticism. As bold as she is, even she's hesitant to make mischief in this foreign territory. "I'm not planning anything at the moment, but if our local friends ease up, maybe we can have a little fun." Her lips quirk in a slight grin, but judging by the state she's in, she's still far from that 'ease up' stage. She smirks at Kera, but rolls her eyes at the mention of Lyrena. That girl. Innes doesn't think much of her, clearly. "If we're lucky, she'll get lost far enough out that we won't be able to hear the screams," she says with a laugh. "We'd all be better off."

Nornon's shoulders roll in a shrug. "Personally, no, but I know some that might." Names are not given and the teen leaves it at that. The name of the Candidate doesn't ring any bells just yet, and it seems perhaps this Candidate is either bad with names or hasn't had the misfortune of an encounter. He moves just a little closer to the buildings and opens his satchel to inventory the contents thoughtfully. "I'm hoping I might be able to find something edible, but more importantly I want to find something to send these insects running." He pulls out a sprig that looks to be basil or similar. "This might do the trick, but I'll need to find more if we're to make a decent reduction from it."

Garawan nods to Kera's words. "Exactly. If she were in trouble, everyone would know by now." A chuckle as he follows the others nearer the buildings. But he frowns at Innes' statement briefly. "Oh that's not very nice," he says with dismay. However literally less than a second after the words are out of his mouth, he gives a mischievous chortle. Clearly he found it amusing. He quiets when Nornon begins to speak. "Ah, that would be most welcome. I think I'm turning onto one big, man-shaped insect bite. Do you need any help? I'm afraid herbs are not my specialty, but I'll help where I can."

Kera smirks as Garawan gets her meaning quick enough and glances towards the other buildings, but she doesn't seem in a hurry to move towards them. Innes's comment gets an arched brow "Innes!" She seems surprised the candidate would actually wish such a thing. "While I wouldn't mind seeing her muss up her fancy dresses with a slip in the…mud, I wouldn't wish anyone getting lost beyond Camp Swamp's yelling range." Looking between Garawan and Nornon thoughtfully, absentmindedly reaching to scratch at a itchy bite, "Maybe the other candidates are with one of our hosts. Surely they won't let us starve. Neither of them look like they can bake a pie from the fruit I gathered, but they told me to gather it. So they must have some plan….Does anyone know who they are yet, besides people that would rather being seeing our backs as we leave?" Reaching to the basket, she grabs up a few peices and examines it before swiping it on her shirt, trying to polish it up a bit.

Innes shrugs nonchalantly at Garawan's comment, brushing it off with a wave of her hand. "I'm not especially nice," she admits with a grin, "so I'm not too worried about that." She does, however, offer a half-shrug as a form of apology to Kera, seeing as her friend doesn't seem all that fond of the idea. "She's not that dumb, don't worry." See? Problem solved. She runs a hand through her hair, but her fingers catch in the tangles and end up simply hovering in the strands. No doubt her dirty hands are only adding to the state her hair is in. "Some of them are cleaning, I think," she offers helpfully. "And I wouldn't put anything past our hosts. Maybe they can bake a fine pie. And if they can't, I'm sure they can get one of us to do it."

Talk of fruit and pies is not of particular interest to the former Beastcrafter, though it might eventually be of interest to his stomach. Dealing with the problem of the insects seems foremost on Nornon's mind as he absently listens to the banter between Innes and Kera, amber eyes scanning for more of the ground shrub. Garawan's offer to help find more is met with a small smile. "I'd appreciate the assistance," he admits, moving over to the other Candidate to show the sprig he has with the broad leaves and bright colors, the aromatic quality evident when inhaled. "It's pretty distinctive, so I don't think you'll have much trouble finding it." He offers it to the other Candidate before turning back to the two woman. "I'll be within shouting range, but I'm going to try and find some more of this before the day wears too thin, see if I can't make something of it to keep the bugs away." That destination elucidated the teenager skips off, his bronze firelizard swooping in after as he vanishes into the tree line in search of this plant.

Garawan chuckles. "Not to worry, I'm sure we'll all make it back to the barracks in one piece," he assures her. "Lyrena as well." She'll eventually stop complaining. "Perhaps they are. And no, as much as they obviously want nothing to do with us, I doubt these people here would allow us to starve. Not here anyway. If they were going to do that they'd have sent us back into the swamps, more than likely." Because no one wants dying candidates stinking up their cothold, right? As for the fruit? "I'm sure you're right, they probably do have some plan for it. Said plan may or may not involve us in any pleasant way, but it's likely they have a plan for it." A chuckle. He accepts the plant from Nornon, though he tilts his head a little, away from the plant, at the distinctive smell. "That's… 'distinctive', all right." It may not be particularly unpleasant, but perhaps it's just a very strong aroma. He nods to the other male. "Be careful," he cautions. Hopefully Nornon wouldn't come barrelling back screaming about some wild animal chasing him. Turning to Innes, he holds up the plant. "Shall we?" he inquires. They do need to find some more of that plant.

Kera sends a mock surprised look to Innes "Of coarse you are Innes, You've never been anything but nice to me." Nevermind the few not so nice moments Innes has had with a few other people around the Weyr. Looking between Nornon and Garawan she nods while swatting away something that keeps trying to fly up her nose. "By all means, if it will repel even some of these bugs then find all you can." Swiping a sweaty cheek with the back of her hand, Kera she takes the basket of fruit in hand again. "Can't beleive I actually miss that unconfrtable cot." is muttered mostly to herself before she speaks up again "I'm gonna go see what's needed to be done with this." Eyeing the trio gathered around preparing to venture off to gaher herbs "I only have a little bit of numbweed, so no one better get hurt!…Come on Mini." A little whistle added calls the brown to her as she starts towards the middle building with her basket.

Innes is the nicest of the nice, of course. Except those few spats she has already gotten into, with riders and strange holdfolk alike. Nornon's departure earns a wave - what was his name again? - and a rather bemused look as he assigns Garawan with a task. The latter candidate receives a surprised look when the invitation to search is extended to her as well. "I'm probably meant to be cleaning somewhere…" A shrug, and then a smile spreads across her face. "Well, I've done enough for now. Let's go." She lifts a hand in farewell as Kera announces her departure, calling, "I promise not to do any of the injuring, at least." Then it's back to Garawan. She finds a spot to set down her bucket where it should be easily found again. And then, "Lead on!"

Garawan waves to the departing Kera. "We will be back shortly," he assures her. He hopes. Then a look to Innes. "Do you have anything to put the plants in once we've gathered them?" he inquires. He doesn't, because he was told to not worry about bringing things, just to get dressed. "If not, I'm fairly certain there's some small sticks we could weave together for baskets." It's hard to tell if he's kidding or not.

Innes crosses her arms and gives Garawan a slightly exaperated look. "A bucket. I have a bucket." A bucket that's meant to be used for cleaning things, but it should suffice. She levels her stare at him for a moment longer before she moves to retrieve the very thing she just set aside for safekeeping. She holds it up for his inspection, twisting it from side to side by the handle before letting her arm fall back to her side. "Problem solved. I'm sure they won't mind me borrowing their bucket too much." And if they do, well, she'll deal with that particular breach in diplomacy when she returns.

Garawan nods. "That should do," he replies. "It's only plants we'll be putting in it anyway, right? It shouldn't cause too much of a problem." Leaves and sticks, right? At the worst it'll smell a little weird for a while. No big, right? There is one problem though. He has no idea where they should go. he looks around. "Let's try to stay close to here. So let's check the edge of the clearing for more of those plants." And here he might be kidding, "Check for places where the air isn't thick enough with bugs to blot out the sky."

"I don't think such a place like that exists." Innes puts a grimy hand to her forehead dramatically. "I've forgotten what the outside world looks like. Bugs and mud are all I know now." Never mind that Mire is significantly more than mud and bugs. The dramatic has no room for reality. Given the instruction to search, Innes promptly sets off for the edge of things, poking about. Although it's not the plant, she does swiftly find a stick that seems ideal for assisting in all poking endeavors. "What does it look like, again?"

Garawan chuckles at Innes' dramatic speech. "Ah, but my lady, would you deny this world of mud and bugs the privilege of your shining presence?" Two can play the drama game. Besides that, Garawan knows how to flirt, even if only in jest. And his voice is pitched /just so/ as he says, "Your presence brings a beauty to this dismal world that did not exist before, and will never exist again. For nature has not in her power to again produce a woman with beauty such as yours, one whom such a miracle was worked to produce." Dramatic bow! Though he only leaves the 'lord giving compliments to his lady' attitude stay for a moment or two after that. And when she asks what the plant looks like, Garawan holds up the one that Nornon gave him. "Like this. And they have a very noticeable scent." He heads over to Innes and holds the plant out for her perusal. Adn for sniffing purposes.

The expression on Innes' face is a mixture of bemusement and skepticism. One eyebrow arches and she crosses her arms again, trying her best not to react as the bucket bumps against her side. Right, she's still carrying that. "You might be correct about the fact that a beauty like mine has never existed before," she informs him with a sly smile, "Given how I look at the moment, I think that's more of an insult than a compliment." She has managed to collect an impressive amount of dirt on her person. Hopefully some sort of unlimited access to bathing goes hand-in-hand with this unwelcome stay package they've got going on. She studies the shape of the leaves as Garawan holds out the plant, before leaning in closer to take a whiff. Her nose wrinkles. "Right. Well. Nothing here." She pokes around the ground once more for good measure, before moving on to search a bit further along.

Garawan grins. "No, not at all. On the contrary, you make the mud and dirt sparkle with wonder," he says. "There's so much because it couldn't help but cling to you." He tries to keep it together, he really does. But he just can't help but laugh. He will calm down though. There's no time for goofing off. "Let your nose guide you. I'm fairly certain you should be able to smell this stuff from some distance." So saying, he joins her in searching around in the brush. With a stick he finds, yes; he doesn't want to risk sticking his hand on a tunnelsnake or something.

Innes brandishes her stick in Garawan's direction, threatening, "If you keep making up things like that, I'll have to use this. And I'm sure I can find a way to be just as painful as I am sparklingly beautiful." This is the first time she has been faced with such ridiculously effusive praise, and she does her very best to keep a straight face as she scolds him. But as he laughs, she cracks a grin, unable to keep the facade up completely. "I'm not great at picking things out by scent," she admits as she pokes her way along with the stick. "But I'll be able to find it if I see it." In which endeavor, so far, she's not having much success.

"Every rose has its thorns," Garawan remarks. But he does quiet down with the overdramatic compliments. He was only teasing her after all. Besides, they're all dirty and muddy. Including him. He'll probably have to throw his shirt away when he gets back to the Weyr. Oh well. He has others. Her mention of not being able to pick things out by scent draws a thoughtful sound from Garawan. "Maybe we should search in the same area then," he suggests. "If I can smell it, I can narrow down the search area, and then you can see if you can find it in the area."

"I don't think it should be too hard to pick it out by sight first and then smell," Innes insists as she prods at another patch of grass. "But if you want to work together…" She trails off with her words just as she lifts her shoulders in a shrug. She's just here to get out of cleaning duties for the moment, so she's not particularly picky about how things get done. Being bone-tired will do that to a person. Suddenly, their searching is interrupted by the sound of her name being called. Innes straightens, picking out a fellow candidate a short distance away as the source of the cry. So much for her break. "Keep this," she offers, dumping the empty bucket on the ground. "But if you lose it, it's your head. Just return it in once place, please. I'll try to get back and help you out." Depending, of course, on just why she's being called. With a quick wave, she strides back toward the buildings.

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