A Hidden Cove Near Ressac Hold

A Hidden Cove Near Ressac Hold
An archway of rock leads into a secluded cove easily missed by both air and sea. The water that buffets up against the sandy beach is almost green in places from the seaweed that grows there, and the high tide mark is easily visible on the shore. Also visible are the drag marks from where a boat has been drawn from the water towards a cavern set in the rocky wall to the North.
Inside the cave it is clear that several people have made their home here for quite some time, belongings litter the rocky floor and some of the upper niches have been turned into watch posts and resting areas. Two offshoots lead away from the cavern - a nursery room to the north and a kitchen and dining area to the east. The boat, which rests in the main cavern, has had the mast removed and lowered to the deck, but the red sail is easily visible with the briefest of investigation.

While threats and anger might have been tossed at most of her kidnappers, eventually Ysa settled into silence, waiting for her chance. To do what? Who knew… She stubbornly followed along, barely listening the entire way, until she was finally left alone. But instead of yanking the bag off, she tilts her head this way and that. "Hey? Ya still with me?" She was asking of Keziah, who probably caught the blinded goldrider's attention by some screaming in the boat.

The beach is empty for the most part. Sitting just out of the water is the boat that you arrived in, while a much larger vessel can be seen just inside the cavern. A couple of large men stand guard at the entrance to the cavern, they're dressed oddly - both wearing black clothing embroidered with lightning bolts.

Ysa sags a bit in relief when she hears the other voice. "Thank Faranth," she mutters but still audible even though it was muffled by the bag. Turning her head around in the direction she heard the voice, she immediately pulls off the bag. She furrows her brow as her eyes adjust for the moment. "I knew it was ya, Keziah. Not hurt, are ya?" she asks with a look over her before they turn off to glare at the men, barely giving their mode of transportation even a glance. "Well?" she calls out to them, waving her arms about. "What'd ya bring us all the way here for if it's not for ransom or to kill us?" She doesn't make a move toward them just yet, crossing her arms and waiting.

Keziah shakes her head a little "No, not hurt." she murmurs as she looks around, her gaze going back towards the caverns and the men. A glance at Ysa and then a look back at the men. "Yeah, certainly not ransom, I ain't got anything of any monetary value." she notes and frowns a little as she studies the clothing. "Black and a lightning bolt. Odd."

The men don't move, they barely even glance over — they're on guard duty and very focussed on that task and that task alone. From inside a single voice drones on, answered occasionally by a chorus of other voices all intoning the same reply.

Ysa nods her head at the girl's reply, her eyes more focused now on the guards. "I don't care how these idiots dress. Hey! Did ya hear me?!" She waves her arms now, starting to take a few hesitant steps forward before glancing back towards Keziah. "'m not 'bout to go walk into the feline's mouth alone, but I want to get to the bottom of this." She stalks forward a bit more, but then stops to see if Keziah follows. She needed her human bait afterall…

Bait? Well, why not. Bait for wild felines, bait for humans? Whats the diff? Well felines you can trust to eat you. "Well, they didn't hurt us at all." she notes quietly as she heads up towards the guards. She glances at them and resists the urge to make funny faces and such, though her face does twitch. Though the droning voice and voices catches her interest and she tilts her head a little as if to catch what they're saying before actually calling out a greeting.

The voices inside pause for a moment, the seemingly rhythmic call and return halted at Keziah's greeting. This at least gets the guard's attention and they step forward to block the path. "You must have patience. You will be seen to as soon as the possible." He's polite, possibly overly so, this a seemingly practiced speech.

"Yet," Ysa reminds the girl about them not being hurt as she watches her walk up to the guards. Yes, this goldrider waited until the other was ahead of her before following. She eyes the big men warily, which quickly turns to a furious glare when he moves. "Patience? Must we remind ya we were kidnapped? Hey! Someone better get out here and be responsible for this!" Her fists clench at her side, but she stays distant enough from the guards that she can't be grabbed… easily.

Keziah wrinkles her nose, patience never really was one of her virtues, a glance at Ysa, seems to not be the gold riders either. She peers past the guard "Not even a little peek?" she asks and smiles oh so cutely up at him before trying to look past again. "Certainly it can't hurt to look?" Nothing worse than being denied something when you're a curious sort.

"You agreed to be collected." The guard reminds, doing his best to get in Keziah's way. This little dance continues for a few moments till a voice from inside causes him to move aside. A man emerges — tall, relatively handsome, blonde, very very thin, and with a scar that runs down the entire right hand side of his face. This one is wearing the same black clothing, though his lightning bolts are stitched in gold and there is a red moon on the back of his tunic. "Ladies!" He bows politely as he reaches the outside. "My apologies for the method of your collection, but we must take every opportunity to ensure the safety of our group."

"We agreed to /listen/," Ysa counters towards the big man. "And I agreed to listen to the person that's been going into my weyr before I beat the crap out of them." She was none too happy about finding those letters every day, afterall. When the man finally emerges, her anger doesn't go away… but she can't help eyeing him up a bit either. She might have a thing for scarred men after her weyrmate, now. Her brow arches at his bow before looking at his face. "And I want to keep my family and my possessions safe from people sneaking into my home. What group? What's this all 'bout at the end?"

Keziah hmms a little "Agreed someone would come get us, not take us." she notes "If asked I would have been okay with being blindfolded, but for you to act like a common renegade, well." she shrugs a little and turns her attention to the man coming out. She gives a soft whistle "Not bad, little skinny though." she murmurs to Ysa. "As I said to him, curtesy can be returned with equal curtesy." she notes

This new man steps to one side and sweeps an arm towards the cavern, "Please come in. You are in no danger here; you may leave whenever you wish. Though we do ask that you do not reveal our location because there are those who would seek to harm our group." There's a brief pause, and he continues, "You were chosen for your intelligence, and I apologise if you were distressed by our methods. We have to be sure that those we seek are of the right quality."

Now that it's visible, the inside of the caverns seems to have been set out as some sort of residence, and the main area is lined with benches that face towards a wooden platform. A few groups of people move around inside, ages ranging from the newly born to at a maximum of fifty. This colony, for want of a better term, seems to have been growing for some time.

Ysa had a bad temper. And when someone was sneaking around her things, she got angrier. But she grits her teeth when the younger of the two seems to make some sense. And seeing that she /wasn't/ coming to no harm helped, as well. "There should have been plenty of other methods of getting our attention. As far as I could tell, ya were threatening me and my family." But when he mentions they were chosen for their intelligence, the anger seems to suddenly leave her and she is left there blinking. She'll take that as a compliment, cause it made her feel better, before nodding and moving inside. "Alright, I can understand that. What I don't understand is what ya require of… of us, of all the people in the Weyr." She barely nods to Keziah as well as her eyes take in the various people curiously.

Keziah follows along, listening to Ysa rant a bit and is glancing every which way that it almost seems as if she's hardly paying attention. "Do you all farm? Raise animals? What do you do for food?" she asks, bolting out one question after another "What about teaching for the children?" Yup, forget about being here for a reason at the moment, she's curious at all the people living together in this secluded place that she ain't heard of.

A child, curious to a fault, stares across at the newcomers. After a moment she turns and runs away, only to return a moment later with another child that looks to be her double. A balcony that was previously unnoticeable in the caverns is slowly filled with curious faces peering down at this small group. For his part the leader, for it's a good assumption he is such, seems completely un-phased by this. "We have the sea, and we have access to a small piece of land above that we may use for grazing. We all take our turn in the teaching of the children, which is why we choose only those that we deem to have the right qualities that deserve to be passed on." As he speaks he leads the way through the benches and more and more of the cavern can be seen properly - the kitchens are especially enticing due to the smell of freshly baked bread. "Sit, sit." Is urged quietly, "Rest and be welcomed. A drink perhaps?"

It's funny how Ysa didn't really take too much consideration on the these strange people's survival. They were there, they looked alright to her, and she was still confused as to why /she/ was there. Her brows furrow at the child, but she still offers them a little wave. "Why are you all hidden away out… out here, where ever this is? I imagine you're not a settled Hold here." She turns back to the leader, eyes taking in his garments now. She doesn't hesitate to sit to get off her feet while she raises a hand to rub at her temples. "Anything non-alcoholic," she grumbles to him, not quite satisfied with her request.

Keziah watches the child and then her twin, nodding as she listens. A frown surfaces however as she continues to listen "Are you breeding people?" she asks in an attempt to clarify his phrasing. "Or do you just state who's allowed to have kids and who isn't?" a glance at Ysa and the frown turns to one of concern "Perhaps a seat for her as well?" she asks as she glances back at the man.

The man bows to Ysa, clicking his fingers in time with his reply of, "Of course." He remains standing, even as a woman comes over with a tray and three glasses of something that smells of fruit. "My wife." There's a quick pause and he finally introduces himself, "You may call me Kefai. And of course I am well aware of who you both are. My apologies again for any worries we have caused you. As you can see we are our own holding, though official recognition has yet to be achieved. Our main concern at the moment is safety while we wait for the test to come." To Keziah he adds, "Any may have children as they wish. We are family."

Ysa bobs her head, her eyes momentarily hooked on the glasses of what she hopes is fruit juice. "Not quite well met, Kefai, but at least there's a name to the face at last." She turns back to the 'leader' even after passing a surprised glance at Keziah's question. "If I can just understand what it is that this is all about… If ya needed help in establishing connections with the Weyr to be a recognized Hold, I would've gladly helped. Ya didn't have to sneak your way to get that done, though, so there's got to be another reason." She blinks as she catches on one of his comments suddenly. "Test? What test to come? Is this about the danger from the skies?" She leans forward in her seat, eager for answers now.

Keziah continues to watch the people, they seem well enough, she takes the glass and smiles at the woman and sniffs it a little and then as she's about to drink she stops and glances back over at Kefai "A test?" she asks curiously. A glance at Ysa "What exactly do you mean a danger from the skies? I've not heard the starcrafters mention anything dangerous was coming, like an asteriod or even a meteor shower."

"And already you prove exactly why we have chosen you." Kefai inclines his head towards Ysa once more, "The right questions are there to be asked, they need only be looked for in your heart. Drink, it is quite safe." As if to prove a point he takes a glass at random and drinks from it. "We do not seek recognition, we seek to bring more into our group." This time it's Keziah that he nods to, "There are those who do not pay attention to the facts, and sadly they miss such things. There are those that would think us odd, perhaps, but we read and we learn and we watch the skies. When the sign comes, and it will come, those who have remained faithful will have passed the test and will be saved."

Ysa finally drinks after the leader took a his own drink. Paranoia at its best. Her thirst doesn't make her stop until the glass was nearly empty. She tilts her head towards Keziah, pursing her lips. "Well, I don't remember the letters word for word, but there was some kind of threat from the skies or danger involved." Her face only grows more confused as she listens to Kefai. She looks at her glass, swirling the juice up a bit before looking back up to him. "I'm sorry to say, but you're confusing me more than answering my questions. I don't think you've really given the answers I've been looking for… What exactly do ya expect us two to do? Ya live here, obviously. Ya don't want to be found out. Why? I have no idea. And now you're waiting… who's to give ya the sign?"

Keziah frowns a little "What are the facts?" she asks as she takes a cautious sip of her juice. "What is it that you have read and learnt that is not obvious to those that study it as well?" a glance at Ysa and then back to the man as she waits to here the answers to Ysa's questions as well

Kefai takes his time in replying, his voice taking on almost hypnotic tone as he replies, "Why join us of course." in reply to Ysa's question about what they want, "Come and live among us in safety." He moves a little away, turning his back for a time. "Before the end of the turn there will be a grand conjunction of the planets, a near miss that will sent balls of fire crashing through our skies and herald the return of Thread." When he turns back his face is serious, no trace that this could be some elaborate joke. "The so called scholars refuse to listen, to believe that those who came before us would lie about such things. But when the time comes they will realise their folly and by then we will be the safest place on Pern to be. All the best minds will be gathered here, those who deserve their legacy to continue."

Ysa sighs and shakes her head towards the leader. "Joining you isn't really an option. I have a family at home, and Ellamariseth. I doubt you'd have a proper hatching cavern available here, much less think my weyrmate will agree on the move." She snorts as she looks around the place again. She goes to drink the rest of the juice, and nearly spits it all back out into her glass. With a loud gulp, she drops her mouth open to stare at Kefai. "You're serious," she says in disbelief. "It's one thing to say that you've intercepted a dangerous message. Another thing to have spotted a meteor or… or something that the Starcrafters missed. But it's completely different when ya say /Thread/ is going to return." She shakes her head now and tries not to chuckle. "Thread's been gone, Red Star's moved, and it's /not/ going to be falling on this planet anytime soon. I have no doubt about that."

Ysa sighs and shakes her head towards the leader. "Joining you isn't really an option. I have a family at home, and Ellamariseth. I doubt you'd have a proper hatching cavern available here, much less think my weyrmate will agree on the move." She snorts as she looks around the place again. She goes to drink the rest of the juice, and nearly spits it all back out into her glass. With a loud gulp, she drops her mouth open to stare at Kefai. "You're serious," she says in disbelief. "It's one thing to say that you've intercepted a dangerous message. Another thing to have spotted a meteor or… or something that the Starcrafters missed. But it's completely different when ya say /Thread/ is going to return." She shakes her head now and tries not to chuckle. "Thread's been gone, Red Star's moved, and it's /not/ going to be falling on this planet anytime soon. I have no doubt about that."<re>

Keziah nearly drops her glass and stares openly at Kefai and then she shakes her head "Even if Thread were to return why would living here be any different than than living in the Holds or the Weyrs." she asks with a tilt of her head. A glance at Ysa "I'm not discounting that Thread is returning, just why is this the safest place? People survived in the Weyrs and the Holds long before Thread ended and even still traveled."

Kefai's gaze falls firmly on Ysa and he nods slowly, "I see we have misjudged you. My apologies. If you would please make your way back to the boat you will be transported home and we will not contact you again. We trust you will do us the same courtesy." He glances at Keziah long enough to give her a little half-smile, presumably her answers will come when he deems it safe.

Ysa meets Kefai's gaze with narrowed eyes. "Not accepted. I didn't get dragged all this way to be left in the dark. And I can also arrange my own means of transportation when I'm through here. I'd rather not relive another boat ride and get home faster." She glances at Keziah and her questions. She sets her glass aside and sits back, arms crossed. "As fictional as the idea of Thread returning is, ya are still suggesting that Weyrs and dragons aren't capable of handling what they were really crafted to do. That's insulting."

Keziah shakes her head a little at Kefai "You should not be so quick to judge as well. What you say comes to us as a shock. And yes, people will react in shock as well. I for one do not doubt that you believe this, but can you offer us proof aside from belief that it is so? Even as an apprentice I've had to learn to back up my thoughts with facts."

Kefai keeps it polite, but there's a definite tone of anger enters his voice at Ysa's refusal to leave. "Might I remind you that we number far more than you do. If your wish is to not return by boat then that can be arranged, but you will leave here in such a manner that it can be assured you will not return to bring us harm." In fact even as he speaks several men of the group appear to be closing in. His attention turns to Keziah and the change in tone is instantaneous — straight back to charming and calm, "Forgive me, but this reaction is exactly why we need these precautions. Those who will not consider merely seek to mock and destroy, and when the time comes they will be unprepared."

Ysa tenses at Kefai's words, jaw set as she outright glares at him now. "You'll do little help in your defense with threatening me. I could also remind you that I am a goldrider at Xanadu, and it wouldn't take much to warn them back home." She tilts her head to be able to glance swiftly towards the approaching men, but she wasn't getting up yet. "I never said a thing about destroying you all. Fine, I respect your wishes to stay hidden, but so far I've yet to be calmed that you don't pose a threat to us as well. And Keziah, I don't think it's such a good idea to stay behind alone." Her green eyes turn towards the teen.

Keziah shakes her head a little as she watches the men close in. "There are many ways to prepare, I may not know a lot that goes into the training of a rider, but I can't see them turning a blind eye when faced with proof. Are we not taught to honor those the dragons heed?" she asks softly, still watching the men warily. "There have been others that said Thread is returning and it hasn't of yet. What further evidence do you have that will make this event come true?" she purses her lips a little "I admit, your actions right now worry me. Someone who professes to want to save and yet acts so threatening as well? I understand the need to protect those that are here." she looks around at the children and then looks back at Kefai "But, why should it be you who choses whom lives and whom dies?"

"I do not choose, I only gather those who believe." Kefai replies to Keziah, "Those who ridicule will be left to their own devices. I have invited you into my home; you are free to leave when you wish. You find this hostile?" As he speaks to Keziah, focussing on her entirely, one of the children moves over to Ysa and attempts to take her hand, "Come. Please." Kefai is pretty much ignoring the goldrider now, and any that was paying close attention might surmise this child is his daughter. In fact… several of the children bear a remarkable resemblance to him.

"Excuse me? I just said I didn't believe Thread will /ever/ return. Not to be insulting, but Keziah has a point that ya give no proof." Ysa wasn't giving up. It's a good thing she didn't have a soft spot for children, because she shakes her hand away and shoos the girl, barely giving her a glance. "Ya must learn how to give better invitations. Last I heard, shoving a bag over someone's face isn't proper." She moves her chair closer to Keziah, as if hoping that would make him focus on her too, or perhaps growing worried for the girl. "If ya want people to actually believe this stuff, ya should answer their questions. And I'd rather not leave without Keziah, either."

Keziah glances around "Call me a girl if you will, but when several men seem to be closing in, that makes me nervous, your tone to Ysa isn't exactly friendly either." she notes. A glance down at the child and then back towards the man. A frown on her face and then she gives her head a shake and does move "I still would like to know why here is safer than where I am staying. I cannot turn my back on duties I have promised to attend to. I have a child that I must, that I need to look after." a glance at Ysa "Where would riders and their dragons stay?"

"They will not prepare." Kefai repeats, "You are far safer with those who are ready than with those who refuse to believe." There's a slight pause before he nods, "But I see there is not point in speaking further. I think it best if you both leave now. Should you wish to contact us again" and this he directs only to Keziah, "then leave a note under the stump in the clearing." As he speaks the men of the group close in, the children back off.

"You'll be far safer with proper dragonriders in a Weyr," Ysa snaps back at the leader instead of reassuring Keziah. No, she didn't believe in the idea of Thread returning, but she was angry enough to start playing along. "If our ancestors had no problem burning Thread out of the skies, it won't take long for us to arm the dragons again. Not believing doesn't mean you'll be scorched at first sight." She listens to leader still at his offer, but leans in closer to Keziah instead. When the men close in, she leaps to her feet quickly, hands going for where her beltknife would usually have been. Cursing, she just stands her ground and eyes Kefai. "I'll call my lifemate when we're outside and we'll leave you alone. I don't think you'll be doing much good in your favor if you jump us again."

Keziah gives a bit of a squeak as she scoots out of her chair when Ysa jumps up. She watches the men close in "I dare say it'd be better if we left." she murmurs with a gulp. "It certainly doesn't seem safe here now as it is."

"You'll forgive me if I don't take that risk." Kefai replies as the men pounce and the world goes black once more. "Or perhaps you won't."

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