Hunting and Exploring

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

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

Late morning and there's not much to disturb this area of the forest at present, save for passing foot traffic, and little noise but that of the occasional rustle of leaves as a light breeze blows briefly through to give a few moments' relief from the unforgiving heat. Just off the path, there's a single, solitary figure perched up on a solid, twisty-looking tree, back against the trunk and book open across the skirts of her dress. Marel appears to be completely engrossed in whatever text she's reading, her only movement the turn of a page every so often and the idly swinging of one leg, her balance and safety taken for granted in subtly confident fashion.

Oh, the temptation. The /temptation/ to do something bad. Muir can hardly resist himself, but he does, because if there's one ally he has that he still trusts, it's his sister. "You know," he drawls as he steps out of the forest beside the tree, coming from somewhere off the path, "how easy it'd be to scare you right now?" Grinning impishly, he leans against the trunk and peers up at his sister.

Marel lifts her attention from her book and glances down - only now, belatedly, considering the state of her skirts and how she's currently perched - but that it's Muir she finds stops her from starting or tugging at skirts that drape past the knee of that dangling leg anyway. "Do you want a hand up?" she offers, nodding towards all the extra space along the curve of the sturdy branch upon which the sits. "You wouldn't dare. And what sort of behaviour would that be from a boy who's supposed to have been learning how to be a gentleman holder, anyway?" she teases, smirk tugging at one corner of her lips.

Muir snorts, declining the offer of a hand up, but climbing the tree just the same to perch on the branch beside her. "/Was/ being the key word there. And admit it, I was never very good at it anyway. It's time to have some /fun/, Marel, why're you reading and all that boring stuff?"

"You tried," she'll insist, whether he was any good at it or not, standing by him regardless. "I /like/ reading!" Marel declares, pretending to take offense, though she snaps the book shut all the same. "It's /fun/. Anyway, it's a storybook," she waggles the cover at her brother, "not a text book. But…" Falling silent, she bites down on her lip before confessing, "I've been thinking about getting a job. A proper one. I helped Kale in the flower shop the other day and… it was fun. I'd like to do that."

Muir swings his legs a bit, sticking his tongue out at the book. He does give her a little smile though, for her defense of him. That's what kept him going, honestly. Knowing she was there with him. "Yeah, I was thinking about a job, too. And…that's funny, I was talking to Kale about it too. Oh yeah, he said you got Mom flowers? Did you put my name on the card too?" He's hopeful!

Riding a black mare with white spots scattered here and there over her comes a Journeyman Woodcrafter, hoofbeats breaking twigs and rustling brush as the pair pass through the Forest. There are two saddlebags slung over the runner's haunches along with a large waterskin. Datsun's whistling to himself, taking the animal's reins when the pathway disappears under the overgrowth. Soon enough, he hears voices, coming under the sibling's trees, glancing around to find the source… until he looks up.

"Really? What did he say?" Marel asks, trying to hide her surprise by schooling her mouth into a neat little line to off-set the widening of her eyes. "And of course I did. She's done a lot for the both of us. All that stuff… was for /both/ of us. So… yeah." She leans back a touch more against the tree's trunk, tipping her head back to regard her twin from that bit more of a distance. "What job would you like to do? It's—" Wait, there's a runner down there, with the rider you'd expect of one not roaming free. "…Hello?" she calls down, head tilting. "Can we help you?"

Muir shrugs, "I went to the Smith forge to see about being an Apprentice," he admits. "And Kale was there, 'cuz he is one. He told me to ask mom." And the eyeroll and snort show how much Muir appreciated being told /that/. He shrugs, "He just said you were buying flowers. Thanks for putting my name on it. I thought about getting her some." But…follow through. It's hard. When the runner and rider approach, Muir gazes down as well, though he keeps his silence since his twin spoke first.

Datsun looks down, giving his runner a pat on her neck before taking up the waterskin and drinking from it. After a moment, he's back to looking upwards at the twins. "I've heard about you two from my Apprentices." He doesn't immediately answer Marel's question, instead studying the tree-dwellers. "Actually, you can. Do me a favor. Climb up to the top and tell me if you can see a Gryphhawk flying around up there?"

"Isn't it the craft you should ask? Not Mama?" Marel puts to Muir in a voice low with confusion to match his distaste of the given answer. Perhaps now isn't the time to continue that discussion, yet the weighty look she rests on him speaks enough of her having filed it all away to address at a later date (or of a promise to discuss it at a better time). Her eyes narrow when she peers down at Datsun again, her enquiry before she even considers complying: "What have you heard?" though it's her brother she looks to for the potential climbing, her present attire not suitable for much more than she's already scrambled to.

Muir frowns a bit down at Datsun, tilting his head. "Yeah, what?" Though he's already pushing up to climb more, nimble and at ease with himself and his balance in the tree. But then he's leaving his sister to sort out the rumors while he does something he's good at - physical labor, and climbs up the tree to see what he can see!

Datsun overhears Marel's first question, causing him to chuckle but he doesn't answer it since it wasn't directed to him. His reins are placed gently on his lap and both arms coming to a rest on his thighs. "That the Weyrwoman brought her twins here from a distant place. I've heard other things, but I don't pay attention to wild rumors. That's all I know, and twins aren't exactly common around here." Above the trees, Muir can most likely see the gryphhawk flying around not too far up in the sky, looking downwards.

Eyeing Datsun with less than subtly-suspicious air to her expression, Marel insists, "I'd quite like to hear the wild rumours, if you've any to hand," with quite the imperious little-Lady attitude that likely works better on brothers than it does on Journeymen. No matter how much she'd like to try and stare him down and get the answer she wants one way or another, she can't help but be drawn to check on the status of Muir and his climbing, just to be sure that he isn't going to fall out of the tree anytime soon. Twisting away from the tree trunk, she straddles the branch so she can get a better view, not without checking on her skirts. Still as in order as they possibly can be.

Muir perches on the highest branch he feels comfortable standing on, and whistles up towards the gryphhawk. Hey, bird, down here. Then he begins to climb down. "It's up there," he says, ending up back on the branch and nodding at Marel. "I would too." Only she said it better.

That little-Lady attitude causes the Woodcrafter to smile, "Oh, you know, the usual stuff. You two were causing trouble. Joining up with Regenades and leading a group of them on raids. Starting food fights. Getting lost on purpose then talking back to ranked people when they find you." A glance goes to Marel at the last, a little upwards shift at one corner of his lips before nodding at Muir. "Thanks. I didn't want him to go on without me." The avian doesn't respond to Muir, but does to Datsun's call, diving down through the trees towards him past Marel and Muir.

"Hey, Muir! He's on to us! Better get a message to the Renegades!" Marel exclaims with overdone horror as Muir settles back down beside her. "Really?" she directs down at Datsun, voice terribly dry with the effort of affecting the disinterest of a woman twice her age. "That's the best people can do?" When he gives that call, she doesn't duck and cover, but she does /duck/, anticipating something swooping close to her perch, her hands gone to grip the branch in-case she startles and loses her balance. "What're you using him for anyhow?" she puts to him, hands lifting now to smooth down her hair.

Muir laughs, swinging his legs and covering his mouth with a mock gasp. "For real? That's not even half as bad as some of the stuff we /have/ done," he says, giving his sister a nudge and a grin. When the bird swoops and Marel ducks, Muir's hand darts out to rest against her leg, steadying her just in case. He watches the bird swoop down with some amazement, pushing hair out of his eyes afterwards. "Who're you anyway? You know who we are, that's not fair."

A gloved arm extends up as the Gryphhawk comes in for a landing, cocking his head up at the twins to watch with a curious intelligent stare. Datsun chuckles, "They /are/ Apprentices. And young." Not that he himself has much room to talk, being young for a Journeyman. "Ah, so you're Muir." He catches the name being said by the girl, "Then you're Marel. I wasn't sure who was who." His eyes drop down to survey the forest before him, turning his head from side-to-side to get a crick out of his neck. "Journeyman Woodcrafter Datsun. And Ash here is my hunting partner." The 'Hawk gets a rub on his chest before his hand drops down to the mare under him, "And this is Morning Dew. None of Xanadu's runners like the smell of Ash, so she's on loan to me."

Marel shoots a grateful look the way of her brother, then she finds herself occupied with trying to stare down the 'Hawk, one hand lifting to secure the book in her lap against her chest rather than risk letting it fall to the ground. "Yes, I'm Marel," she confirms needlessly. "Well met," she has the manners to murmur, though from the narrowing of her green eyes, she's not entirely sure about that yet. "So, what're you hunting for? No offense, but he doesn't look like he's up to hunting anything big." Clearly this concept in particular eludes her.

Muir tilts his head at his sister, then back at Datsun. "We don't look /that/ much alike," he murmurs. "Ash. That's a cool name." And he eyes the runner, too. Then, belatedly, he adds, "Well met, Datsun. You out exploring?"

There's a slight pop as Datsun finally finds the crick in his neck, looking back up at the other two, "Well met. Well, sometimes the boy was Marel and the girl was Muir. That's why I don't pay attention to rumors. Details either get mixed up or lost. And thanks." There's a smile to Muir for the compliment to Ash. "You two are full of questions." He doesn't seem to mind, though, answering both, "I'm out hunting and exploring, yes. You would be surprised at what can be taken down by something with sharp talons from above. He can take down hare, different kinds of wherries, wild porcines. I'm working on getting him to catch fish. He's almost there. Now it's my turn. What are you two doing out here? It's a good half day's hike from Xanadu to here."

"See? Nothing big," Marel sighs, pretending to be unimpressed by the variety of creatures Ash can hunt. Inching closer to the trunk of the tree, she swings one leg back over the branch and begins to shimmy down, impaired only by her skirts, which are muddied, scuffed by bark and smudged with sap by the time she finds the ground. "Half day? Please," she scoffs, as ever continuing her Lady Who Knows Best act. "You must be distracted by your hunting. I'm off to get some lunch." Late as she may be for it (and then some). "I'll leave you men to your exploring talk. Muir - we need firelizards. Come find me when you get home?" So she knows he's back - the only way she'll know for sure without a firelizard or other beast capable of carrying messages. Trusting him to find his way back, she heads off back through the forest, book open to read as she walks.

OOC: I unfortunately don't have the end of this log - please feel free to add it!

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