Walk in the Wilderness

Survival Camp - Campfire Square

During the day this area is a small clearing that sits just big enough to land four dragons in it, though by night it becomes an inferno where a fire is built up that licks its stray bits of lights to the ground just before the barracks nearby. The two barracks sit across from each other in strong contrast, the leader barracks being a comfortable modern barracks that looks clean and kept in good eminence while the follower barracks has a sharp destitute about it, looking that the ivy and decay is a day away from making the whole thing collapse.

Caryn was sitting near the fire, throwing things into it hastily and doing more bad than good as far as sating the flames. The riders haven't really been actively around at them, though free time was really food-gathering and working around the camp. This big candidate had brought back several inedible berries, thrown them away in a fit when she found out they couldn't eat it, and went to tend to the fire. And she was failing at this miserably, too. "Stupid riders and this pathetic excuse for a camp. What're you looking at?" she snaps at one of the younger boys who was creeping up, looking to help.

Delgin has found something that needs him and his protection! There's a small rock pool, partially dammed and swimming within it is a hapless fresh-water crab. It is tiny, but hey — the Candidates have been swallowing bugs — so it needs him. Trailing his finger in the water he murmurs, "I won't let them eat you." He's setting up some flat rocks to build the crab a tiny house.

Neferennu has taken some of the fish Aradir managed to catch after breakfast and pinned them between two pieces of wood, shaved down on the inside. Thank one of the other boys knowing how to cut wood for that. These fish are then placed on stones that were pulled out of the fire red-hot to cook on the boards. In turn, there is a wonderful fish smell floating around the camp. A piece of citrus fruit found on a tree growing by the river adds to the smell, since its fruit was placed inside the fish to hopefully make it palattable. A look towards Caryn and a raised eyebrow. "Why don't you get some of the larger branches from the pile over there to keep the fire going?" A motion towards the pile behind them at the edge of the forest, and then she is back to watching the fish, very quickly turning them over every couple of minutes.

Thea enters camp with a few other Candidates bearing roots and long rushes. They're all a bit muddy from the knees down to their bare feet. "These are the cattail roots they said are edible. Dunno how they will taste, but I think they said wrap them in the rushes and lay them in the coals for a bit." They all sit in a group and begin rolling the roots up into rush-bundles.

"What do you think I'm doing?" Caryn turns to glare towards Rennu then, lifting her big chin up. "I've got plenty of stuff here to keep the fire going." She points to her pile of twigs and dry leaves that were smothering the flames instead. Her face scrunches up at the food that Thea brings up, saying what she thought about eating the roots, and returns to poking the flames with a bigger stick. She eyes the pile of bigger branches, as if considering, before returning to her task, hoping it'll work her way. "How far do you think the Weyr is? Or a Hold? They can't sharding keep us here forever, and I want a hot /meal/."

Neferennu in return responds, clearly imitating Caryn's tone in sarcasm. "What do you think I'm doing?" Though as the fire begins to get something instead of actually working, Rennu leaves her fish for a time to get one of those sticks with lots of branches at the end. To which she moves all of the twigs and leaves that Caryn has thrown in to one side of the firepit. The branch is put away, with the hot part carefully placed in the dirt, and then two large logs are placed into the fire. No point in arguing, just make sure the fire continues so there is enough heat for a hot meal. "I doubt we'll be out here much longer." Though it is said softly and if Caryn heard it, she'd be surprised. The fish is tended to again, with the stones placed back in the fire then taken back out a couple minutes later to continue the cooking process. Luckily the fifteen or so fish are almost finished cooking. "Hey Thea! You want some help once I'm done? Are you sure those are edible..they look fuzzy."

Delgin wanders towards the fire and sidles up to Neferennu and her fish. "May I have just a pinch of that for Scrawl? He really needs some protein right now or he'll die." But then Rennu is off to get something and he sneaks a pinch, scuttling back to the pool. NOoOOOo! Scrawl is GONE. Racing up to the fire, he spots the crab sizzling away on a flat rock along with some other river crabs and a few grubs. His lip quivers. As Rennu returns, he is still standing there mournfully gazing at with his arm hanging limply, the pinch of fish-flesh dribbling juice down his leg.

Thea looks up at the sound of wailing. Oh, it's Delgin. Woo. She returns to the task at hand. "Oh—no, Rennu. We eat the roots, not the tops." She smiles. "That would be…gross." She giggles suddenly. "Wouldn't be worse than grubs, tho. Just drier." Still chuckling, she breaks the fuzzy tips off and tosses them in the tinder pile. "Caryn, these ought to be hot and sort of like tubers, so I'm told." As the group gets the pile of reed-wrapped roots finished, they pile them in some coals and the boys use sticks to scrape more coals over them.

Caryn draws her brows down towards Rennu. "How would I sharding know what you're doing? Apparently, making food," she continues with a snort, and then glares when she starts moving her hard work. Her fists clench at her sides and she shifts some leaves back again before throwing her branch down on top of the logs in a huff and crosses her thick arms. "I bet they're expecting half of us to die out here so we don't have to fight for Impression. Last sharding group got mauled by felines, did you know? I heard the riders were gone and the felines just camp into camp one night and dragged candidates out." She gives Delgin a weird look before chuckling. She was mean that way. Getitng up from her seat on the ground, she brushes off her pants. "More like grass than tubers to me… There's got to be more to eat. Anyone wanna go out searching with me?"

Neferennu gives a smile over to Thea and then looks at Delgin just standing there looking at the crabs being roasted for dinner. "Sorry to tell you Delgin, but that is the way of life out here. You either eat what you find, or…" She lets him finish the sentence and then just ignores Caryn's temper tantrum about moving her hard work. Instead, the fish are ready and she makes ow sounds as she pulls them off the coals. They are left to cool in the sand, wood protecting them of course, before she heads over towards Thea to help cook with the roots. "I would rather cook what we have found. Be glad we aren't still eating bugs. You should be thankful the other candidates have been willing to go find food. Sorry about your berries, but at least you didn't get sick from eating them. I am assuming you'd rather be on the sands hoping to impress rather than in the infirmary too sick to move." There was a case of someone eating non-ripe berries when she was a child. Took the person almost a month to recover. This memory causes her to shudder at the image still burned into her mind and instead she concentrates on trying to help with the roots. "Just don't get lost out there. Remember we almost got bogged down in the marsh the other day."

Thea glances up at Caryn, mildly commenting, The roots are bulbous. Like onions but starchy. I think you might like that." She pauses for a moment listening to the soft popping the baking roots make. "These'll take awhile, don't need tending. I'll come, Caryn." She rises smoothly, hauling Delgin, still moaning about Scrawl, towards Caryn, "Silly, they wouldn't go through the effort of Search only to kill us off." She gestures towards the forest, let's go see what we can find, then.

Delgin finds himself hauled off on a trek, but finds enough lung power to finish Neferennu's sentence, "…the creatures live in peace!" Sniff sniff wimper.

"You think that's enough for all of us?" And just then, Caryn's stomach makes a loud gurgling sound and she puts her hands over it with a groan. She was a big girl, and all this anger was only making her so much worse. She glares at Rennu for a moment at the memory of her useless berries. "The riders could have done a better job at telling us what won't kill us. Shards, I'm hungry. And you're gonna let me go out there /alone/?" To Rennu, of course, because Thea actually gets the rare Caryn grateful grin. "Yah, let's go a-hunting. Fish and berries just don't work every day, we need meat." And she turns on her heel to head otwards the trees, glancing back only to wait to see who was following. She wasn't going to get mauled alone…

Neferennu mutters something under her breath about fish being meat and then heads off to talk to one of the more sensible candidates. He agrees to watch the food, having been cooking for a while. Once the food is going to be managed, there is jogging to catch up with Caryn and Thea. She's not following Caryn for her, but she will follow Thea to make sure her friend will be ok. "Alone? No. Thea agreed to come with you and I'm sure someone else would've decided to come. At least there will be food when we get back." A slight smile towards Thea but then it disappears at Delgin's comment. "No silly, you eat them or you don't live. Besides, some other animal would've been more than happy to have it for a snack."

Thea actually agrees with Caryn, "We do or we'll get diarrhea. We need starch too." She motions to a few more boys, "Bring those slingshots you made and let's see if your practice pays off." A blink towards the girl, "Caryn, didn't you get a copy of the manual? There's pictures and everything." She rubs a bit of irritated skin at the brdige of her nose with a fingertip; there's a bit of burn on it. "Rennu, oh good, you're coming." She heaves a sigh of relief. "I suggest we look where we haven't been yet."

Survival Camp - Forest Path

A small path leads from the campfire square of the survival camp towards the amphitheater where lectures are stages. Off the beaten path is a small cave with a sign post half-hidden in bushes.

Caryn looks surprised towards Thea. "Manual? What manual?" Caryn? Reading? Pssh. Yah, right. She didn't really seem to care much for books and paper and manuals. She rolls her eyes at Rennu who finally decided to come along, nodding her head down towards Thea, her big bulk stomping first towards the forest with determination. "And I ain't been feeling good lately, either. I want a steak. Or a wherry sandwhich. Have you guys heard anything in the trees and all before?" She's got herself a big knife strapped to her side, which she puts a hand even as she moves through the camp and towards the forest.

Out of the corner of your eye you see a shadow. It may just be the light playing amongts the tree tops but you swear you saw /something/.

Thea follows Caryn, the boys and Delgin behind her. She shakes her head at the girl in front of her, "Uh, Caryn, we're not very likely to find any meat unless we're more sneaky. It's wild… and elusive." Her eyes scan the area, but the forest is cloaked in silence. "We need to move slowly, but oh, look!" And she steps off the path to check out some fungus that's growing on a damp, rotted log. The manual comes out and she's comparing pictures from it. A sniff and a tiny pinch to taste. "Hmm, it's not burning my mouth. Has a bit of a meaty flavor. Might be these wood-mushrooms here." She points to the picture on the page. "Whatcha think?"

Caryn likes stomping! It was like her trademark. She frowns back at Thea and then stomps a little less, only to stop completely as she catches sight of something. "Did you guys see that?" she points towards the trees with a frown before shaking her head. Her dark eyes look back towards the others, to see if anyone else caught it, and then she falls back to mingle more in the middle of the group, sulking. "I wonder if that feline story is true…" she trails off, watching Thea, before leaping forward. "Are you sharding crazy, Thea?!" she shouts as she watches the candidate taste a bit. "Not burning… what if it was poisonous? Faranth!"

Neferennu falls back from the group as she hears something in the grass. With a hand on the belt knife one of the other candidates loaned her to clean out the fish, she slowly creeps into the grass. Within moments, she has quietly disappeared into the forest, her eyes and ears open to what may be out there. In turn, the coversation between Caryn and Thea are heard, but no response will come. With such a small group here, a scared wherry might just attack. Slowly, and without sound as much as possible on her booted toes, she steps over twigs and onto stones popping up here and there. Thank her foster father for deciding all the kids under his care needed to learn how to be quiet in the outdoors to sneak up on wildlife for a closer look.

Thea gives a bit of a jump and drops the mushroom she's holding. A bit of a glare over her shoulder at Caryn. "That's what they said to do." She reads from the manual: "If it's poison, it burns, if not, this is a good sign. If after a few minutes no swelling lips and tongue occur, the mushroom is safe to eat." The mushrooms are picked and dropped into her sling. She brushes the back of her neck and eyes the depths of the forest. Turning suddenly, "Where's Rennu?"

"What if it was super poisonous and you died on the spot? Huh? What then?" Caryn was still angry Caryn even when she was concerned about another candidate, glaring down on Thea with her arms crossed. "I'd have to drag you back, and they'd take you to the Weyr, and you wouldn't be on the Sands! Trying to kill us like that, I tell you!" She waves her arms up now, helplessly, and finally calms down at the other girl's question, her dark eyes looking around quickly. "Uh… I dunno? Shells, that idiot. Rennu? Rennu!" So much for being stealthy.

Delgin looks behind him and gives a tiny squeak. "She's—she's disappeared! M-maybe something got her." He gets an elbow from one of the boys. A glare. "What was that for? I'm -serious-!"

There /is/ something moving. You can see a large shadow slipping into the mouth of the cave. There's no way for you to tell what it is though, though it seems to have been walking on all fours at a kinda funny gait.

Neferennu looks around and stays where she is for a little bit longer, but whatever it was that moved is gone. So just as stealthfully, she makes her way out of the darker part of the forest and reappears in front of the candidates, hand still on the knife. "I'm here." Her eyes still look into the forest a bit before she then finds the mushrooms that Thea had been talking about, then looks back up. "Go ahead and yell Caryn. That could cause a predator to attack." A sneer at possibly scaring the girl and then an apologetic look to the others. "I thought I heard something. I thought I'd go check it out. It is gone though…I think." The hand never comes off her knife though, not knowing if something will come jumping out of the forest at them. "As for the mushrooms, I would trust the manual. They wouldn't give us false information unless they were trying to kill us, but then who would the eggs hatch out to impress to?" A serious look and then she steps aside to let the group pass further down the area.

Thea patiently stars to explain, "The manual says those are the first symptoms and that if poison the worst that could happen is vomiting. And maybe diarrhea." She flips to the right page, "Look if you'd just read—" But something stops her mid-sentence. "It's too quiet… and Rennu hasn't answered." Now she is very still, just listening. Then Rennu re-emerges on the trail ahead and yes, Thea's a bit jumpy. She jumps.

"Well you heard me, didn't you? I gotta scream to make it to through your thick head from such a sharding long distance. But no, go, please, and get yourself killed by felines." Caryn turns her back sharply on the returning Neferennu with a glare. She moves to pat Thea's shoulder, the most sympathetic thing she's every done, if the girl allows her to. "There ain't anything out there." Of course she spoke too soon, as she suddenly notices something else in the distance and her face scrunches up as she squints. "There!" this was at least a loud whisper, as she points towards the cave. "I think I saw an animal go in there. Let's go get it!"

Neferennu glares right back at Caryn. She's the one who wants meat and then she thinks she has to scream at people to be heard. In any case, as the girl sees something run into the cave, she just steps aside and lets the other candidate go after it this time. Maybe her screaming will cause it to run away and then it will be her fault that they 'lost' their dinner. This thought causes a smile to cross over her face for a brief moment before Thea is given a nod that she is ok. Though no words are spoken, in case it is something like a wild herdbeast they could kill for dinner to shut the other girl up.

Thea sighs in relief now that Rennu is back in sight. She blinks as her shoulder is patted, giving Caryn a bit of a smile, but then the girl is pointing and Thea does a quick look, then whispers, "I didn't see anything, Caryn, but if it's lurking in the forest, it may be a predator. The manual says, most flocks and things like wild herdbeast like open meadows…" She's not totally certain from her voice. "I think we should get more people with us. A few knives and a sling or two won't stop a feline."

Caryn nods at the smile, but her gruff face doesn't really mimic it. In fact, it's a faint smirk on her face before she's turning towards the cave and cautiously approaching it. But she is moving forward alone, having expected the boys and at least Thea to follow. "The manual, the manual," she mutters, and then looks back to see that they weren't really moving with her. "It looked hurt," she quickly adds, for Delgin's benefit too. "I got a knife." And she pulls the big thing that had been at her side the entire time. "And there's enough of us to take one of them." She waves them forwards.

From the mouth of the cave a figure slowly emerges. At first it's on all fours but then it's standing, /up right/, like a human. Why would a weird animal do that? Cause it's human of course! An ancient and frail man moves into the light, the hermit clad in a tiny tattered loin cloth and an extremely long and wispy beard. He looks at Caryn with his dull brown eyes, a hand sent towards her before he grunts. "Thread fall. Dragon bones."

Delgin just whimpers, "It might be a scared and lonely orphaned baby feline. It wouldn't need killing would it?" He softly calls in a mock-purr, "Prrrrrrr? Hey baby, hey baby." He at least is foolhardy enough to step forward. "Don't hurt it!"

Neferennu just stays back and watches as Caryn moves forward, then rolls her eyes at Delgin's comment. "Even baby felines are dangerous Delgin. Besides, you would be in trouble if the mother caught you with her cubs. She wouldn't understand you were taking care of them. You wouldn't know what hit you." And now she is quoting her foster father, to which it gets a chuckle and another eye roll. As something moves towards Caryn though, she takes a couple steps forward, hand gripping her knife more tightly. Then as it stands and turns into a man…her grip relaxes but only eyebrows raise as she gets a comment about bones.

Thea just blinks for a few minutes, then just smiles and tries to hide that she's trying not to laugh. She gets control of her face, "Old man, we need what covers bones. Where can we find wild food?" Surely if anyone would know, he would, although looking at the gaunt frame it's might be debatable.

Caryn raises her knife immediately when the figure emerges, not really paying attention to Delgin's request. She'll hurt it if it goes for her. But then she's staring at an old man instead, and she blinks several times. "A man? Hey, hey gramps! Are you… alright?" She glances over her shoulder at Thea, but doesn't really lower her knife much. "Yah, we're looking for like a fat juicy wherry or something, not bones, and— wait, what in the name of Faranth are you doing out here?"

The old man's eyes turn on Delgin next, something dark muttered under his breath before he takes a step back. "Sky falling. Eggs cracking." He says in his odd speech, his bony hands pointing up at the sky above. When Thea sets to laughing he glares. "Cover bones? Thread covers all. Thread." He repeats the last before taking another step back, a wild look in his eyes.

Neferennu steps up quietly and then almost jumps as Spire flies in and settles down on her shoulder. A quick scritch of his eyeridge before she stepping forward again. "Sky falling..eggs cracking.." This is muttered over and over before something dawns on her face. Something that she couldn't understand from long ago. "You're Kefai!" Her knife comes out as well now too. Ok, at this point, this is just an accusation but the memory of notes she got and the children crying that the sky was falling. This time she steps around the side to get to the side of the man, knife still drawn though held at her side. A look goes to Thea and Delgin, urging them silently to run back and get one of the riders. Spire must have heard her mental plea and takes off, heading back the way he came towards the fire in the distance.

Thea just sighs and holds her tongue. She sidles nearer to Rennu, muttering, "He's*cough*crazy*cough." She addresses the old man once more, "Ok Thread. We know, it's bad." She gestures to the forest. "Can you show us where to find food?" Then Rennu calls the man 'Kefai.' Her look is interpreted, but not understood for its significance. "Delgin run back to camp and get a Rider — NOW." The boy whimpers and runs, but Thea rolls her eyes. "I'd better make sure he makes it to the right place." And she runs after the boy.

"What? What?" Caryn was just confused at the man's words, her brows furrowing up even more as she takes a cautious step towards the man backing away. "There ain't no Thread, Gramps. Are you stuck in another century?" When Rennu seems to get an idea, Caryn stares at her with wide eyes. "Are you nuts? Kefai was further up the mountains from the stuff I hear the riders talking about. Or long gone, and this guy… wouldn't pop out if it were. Right?" she frowns and puts her knife away, since Rennu had hers, and then holds her hands up. "Maybe you should come back with us, Gramps. Anyone got rope?"

When Neferennu threatens him with her knife the old man shakes his head. Obviously Caryn's mention of 'rope' doesnt' go off well either. "Thread falls. All falls." He says before slipping back into the cave. His figure is lost but his voice is still echoing from within. "Wheel. Turn. Bleed. Burn. Between." Each word is fainter than the last until silence greets the Candidates. He's gone alright, and no one's going to find him in the labrinyth that he's headed into.

Neferennu looks seriously to Caryn and her tone is serious also. "I wouldn't be so sure about that. Remember the younger kids were always saying the sky was going to fall? I got notes about it too. There was also a dragonrider badge found and it was noted it was for a wing that hadn't been in existence for years. He spoke of dragon bones. Dragon bones would only appear if a rider accidentally went between into rock. This could be Kefai." Then a turn back and the man is gone, his voice echoing back into the cave until he is gone. Spire returns, chirping something but the images aren't understood. Quickly she grabs him and places the image of the man in his mind, making him repeat it until it is set. Then the cave as to where they are. Once he can repeat the two images, she sends him back towards the riders at camp to give the images too. As Thea runs after Delgin, she sighs and realizes this might be hard. "Come on. I'll be in big trouble if there aren't actually dragon bones in this cave and making false accusations." With that she heads into the cave, half expecting to find the guy at the back of it, but at least she sheathed her knife beforehand to prevent any accidentally injury.

Having been roused by Thea and Delgin, D'ven comes rushing over to the group. "What's going on?" He asks the Candidates, huffing a bit as he takes a moment to catch his breath. "So what's this about Kefai?" He asks, moving up closer to join Neferennu and Caryn. The brownrider doesn't seem too worried about all he's heard, obviously he thinks all the heat and hard work's getting to the group.

Spire flies off, only to encounter D'ven running up to the group. He chirps and chitters, projecting images of a scrawny man and the cave in front of them. He projects it again and again before he flies back to Rennu's shoulder and just sits there, wings spread, chirping until he given a scritch by his pet.

"Yah, well, there were other… people." Caryn doesn't look too certain about anything, really as she tenses up again with her hand at her knife. She takes some being strides forward, looking as if she were going to follow the hermit with a loud "Hey, wait Gramps!" But doesn't move into the cave itself. She turns to look after the other two candidates that ran off, debating which way to go until she squares her shoulders and nods towards Rennu, turning to head into the cave. That is, until D'ven appears. "Faranth… There was an old man here! This one" she jerks a thumb at Rennu "thinks it was that cult leader but… he just looked crazy. Talked 'bout the sky falling. But he went in there!" And the finger goes to the cave now.

Neferennu is about to head into the cave when Spire returns, much too early to have made it back to camp. Then a turn on her heel at D'ven's voice. "By Faranth's shell, sir, I swear that old guy was probably Kefai. He talked about Thread, dragon bones, and all falling. Remembering how those young children acted during the rock shower months ago.. Anyways, I'm going to go check and see if these dragon bones in the cave he mentioned are real. If so, that could be where the badge was gotten." A slight nod, then another Caryn, before she heads into the cave. By herself, if no one follows her.

You part the bushes and head for the cave.

Survival Camp - Cave of the Entombed Weyrling

The darkness here would be absolute if it weren't for the faintly glowing lichen growing in the corner where wall and floor meet. This cave isn't natural, in fact, the walls haven't been smoothed out. Whoever was digging here stopped after only a few hundred paces in, and probably for good reason. Encased in the solid rock is the partially unearthed skeleton of a small dragon and rider, the bones so old they're no more than imprints in the stone that have filled with minerals and recrystalized.

D'ven looks a little concerned when there's a flitter flying at his face. The brownie gently swats him away before knitting his brow. "Cult? Old man? Thread? What are you kids talking about?" When Neferennu moves into the cave he follows, not wanting her to go off on her own and get lost. "Wait up! You might get lost in there or scrape up your knees!" He calls as he parts the brush, his brown eyes trailing over the cave when he enters.

"It was crazy talk, maybe someone that heard stuff," Caryn says, shaking her head with a grumble. "Sir," she finally adds towards D'ven, crossing her arms and waiting for some kind of scolding. But none came, and Rennu was just continuing on their previous plan. "Wait up!" she calls out, but hesitates and looks to D'ven. Only when he moves forward into the cave does the big candidate follow, doing all her stomping now that their hunting was pretty much over. Her eyes immediately start squinting into the darkness, hoping to adjust fast enough.

Neferennu has stopped a little ways into the cave. One, to let her eyes adjust the soft light from the lichen. Two, her hands are going over the femur of the rider on the ribs of the dragon sticking out of the stone. Her face is hidden by her hair, but with the care to which her fingertips are going over the bones, the emotion could be fear, pain, or even anger. "He was right…he was right…" She mutters, slowly crouching down to run her fingers over the size of the ribs. "By the feel of it, these bones are probably quite old. Starting to become part of the rock themselves. Which means, this might have been a blue or green over 300 turns ago. I think…I'd have to go check the history kept at Landing again. Could also be a brown or bronze if it was earlier. I do remember the first dragons weren't much bigger than full-grown plow runners." Her eyes never leave the bones, and she seems to be speaking to herself, startling as D'ven and Caryn follow her in. Only then does her eyes turn to the two of them. "How else would such an old wing badge get found by someone? And yes Caryn, it is crazy talk, but we know Kefai is crazy. Why else would he will his own family, or try to? Would you kill your mother just because she wouldn't move where you wanted to go?"

"Crazy talk?" D'ven echoes Caryn, turning to watch her enter the cave. He squints for a bit before moving in further, coming up right next to the cave. "Poor guys." He says with a shake of the head. "Must've messed up betweening." He turns to eye Neferennu when she goes on about the color and age. "I think we should go back to the camp and get something to drink. It's awfully warm out and wandering around in dark, damp caves is a good way of catching cold." He doesn't seem to really pay too much attention to the whole Kefai business. Obviously he thinks the girls are hallucinating. Probably been sniffing some mushrooms or something.

Caryn looks around the cave as she finally gets some sight back before it lands on the dragon skeleton with a frown. "Well, look at that." Of course they were all looking at it. She tilts her head this way and that. "Can't think of any other way they'd get stuck like that. It's… freaky! Dragons always :between: and all." She snorts and steps back, turning to frown at Rennu. "No," she answers simply. "Southern Weyr was down here, too. Could've just washed up like everything else, or was forged. Nothing to do with this thing." She waves her hand at the bones. "And where's gramps?" she gazes around the cave, not wandering far from the others. "That idiot Kefai killed a bunch of people. I think his family were only those brats." D'ven's lack of attention gets a frown here. "We really saw him!" she quickly says, pouting.

Neferennu turns to look at D'ven, not at all surprised she wasn't believed, but is still not too happy about it either. "Fine, I can see you aren't going to believe me. It makes perfect sense to me though. A dragon and rider caught in the stone, a badge from hundreds of turns ago is found with reference to Kefai. How else would a perfectly preserved badge show up hundreds of years later? I'm sorry, I don't believe a dragon could between into the future the rider would have no idea what it looked like." As Caryn speaks her eyes turn to her as well, then an actual smile as Caryn confirms they saw the man. "Yes, Kefai killed a lot of people. The children were hurt when they were found, so maybe his attempt was botched. Anyways, the bones are too small for Southern Weyr. That was founded in the 9th Pass and the dragons had reached their peak size back then. These are small, smaller than a 9th Pass dragon I know that much. So they had to have come here with no knowledge of this area. Probably a botched between attempt at hoping to get to the warm jungles of Ista. Wait, wasn't the badge found an Istan Wing badge? Oh, that works!" Her eyes avert from the two again as she begins using her fingers to try and uncover more of the skeleton that is exposed. "If there had been a riding jacket…" Now she's muttering to herself again.

D'ven shakes his head a bit before glancing back to the cave entrance. When he turns back to find Caryn pouting he moves to put a hand on the Candidates shoulder. "Come on, turn that frown upside down! I'm sure you guys saw something." Something, not someone. When Neferennu goes off into her history lesson he blinks a bit. "Well, even if that's the case we can't really do anything about it. Come on you guys, we should head back before people start worrying." He really just wants to pull the girls out of there before they start poking around some more. Who knows how many crags there are where you can get your foot stuck and twist an ankle. He's already turning back, assuming the Candidates will follow his lead.

"It does make sense?" Caryn says in surprise towards Neferennu, shaking her head slowly. The big girl didn't read the manual and didn't really seem too interested in the stupidity of others living in caves. So she just shrugs her shoulders and then purses her lips at the skeleton. "Probably forged the badge, who knows… Maybe it's a baby dragon?" she offers her own idea finally, approaching close enough to poke at the bones. "And why's it gotta be Ista? The badge was Southern, last I checked. Or something like that." She turns towards D'ven and glares when he turns back. "But the old man! He's gotta be found, probably just confused or something!" Sympathy for the old folk! She scowls and stands firmly in place, but the thought of a cotless barracks makes her grunt and start stomping out after the brownrider.

Neferennu gives a snort as no riding jacket is found, but that only makes her determination that this is where Kefai found that wing badge, and that is where Kefai is hiding. Somewhere here in the labyrinth of the cave since it turns into blackness further back. A sigh is given as D'ven turns back around, reaching up to give Spire another scritch on the eyeridge. True, people might start getting worried. At least she may have finally convince Caryn that something is up. "Point taken. I'll have to take a look at the badge again when I get back." Once last touch of the bones before she too gets up and steps after the brownrider. She'll be back, more than likely after the hatching. That is if she isn't thrown out for being crazy in the minds of the others first. Hopefully their cots will be back by the time they are taken back to the weyr.

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