The Boat, and then Some

Xanadu Weyr – Clearing


A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a this and sharp border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the Caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the Infirmary is a human sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

It seems to be a common occurrence these days - a call going out to all available riders and associates to gather in the clearing to go on a search. With the boat having been founded aground a good distance down the western coast of the Sea of Azov, the group gathering is taking all available hands, eyes, and ears to go see what they can find. And, amongst them, again, is Niva, who's already mounted upon Kilaueth, waiting for the others to join.

Y'ki comes trailing across the clearing with Ecoatleth, shoving arms into his jacket one after the other. Oh yes, another one of these events. He doesn't look very happy though..even downright angry. Ecoatleth doesn't even try to get in the way for now. He just gives a mild rumble every now and again, until Y'ki is ready to mount. The bluerider does haul himself up after not too long, tugging down the goggles he tends to wear on his forehead.

It being her non-class day, Fiara's joined the party, dressed in practical fashion for a search in not-known-to-her, terrain: sturdy canvas pants instead of her usual skirts and a pair of boots for tromping around in. She's putting her hair up in a tail as she walks, a satchel banging against her hip, a thermos clinking against the metal fastenings of the bag. Puffing a breath of air out she claps her hands together as she joins the forming group, grins around. "Well then …" she says in chipper fashion.

Ysa is proddy! Proddy, proddy! And therefore she's ducking her head shyly in her jacket this time, and looking red all around. Even Ellamariseth was glowing now, and sitting away from the gathering dragons. This goldrider just can't keep away, even if her emotions are all out of whack because of her lifemate. Which is also why she sent her semi-weyrmate a firelizard-note begging him to join them that time. "S-shells, it's hot," she squeaks out to the gold who lowers her head for some extra scritches before her proddy rider mounts up and waits quietly. Quite a difference from four days ago. Except this time she might actually get yelled at…

Delynni is catching a ride with one of the senior weyrlings, who's green (Ryukith got upset when she tries to hitch a ride with a blue) is at least half a turn older than her lifemate, and thus able to between. "I'll be back in one piece Ryukith. They need all the help they can get, and i'm brute strong." Delynni assures her lifemate. Delynni gives her rapidly growing blue lifemate a kiss on the forehead. "Be good. Trust D'menik and Ariath, nothing will happen to me." The blue rumbles before finally letting his rider scramble up onto Ariath's neck and hangs on tight behind D'menik. "Don't worry Ryukith." The older weyrling tells the blue. "Trust your classmate, I won't let anything happen to her."

So really Laera shouldn't be volunteering for this, but she is caught up in this and well grounding has been more than a little boring for her the last three months. She has doctor's clearance…just and so she is here. So her flight pants are a bit baggier than she is accustomed to wearing, she needs a bit more room these days, but hardly anyone would tell she is pregnant at this point with the only indication between a slight paunch that is covered by thick flight jacket. Kereth is walking along beside her as they head into the clearing to join the others.

Zevida comes into the clearing, a girl is on the woman's back, and Zevi doesn't seem to notice the weight. Avaeth assists in getting the pair up, Kate settled in the buckles first and then bundled carefully to mind her broken leg before Zevi buckles herself in. Surprisingly, Avaeth doesn't seem to mind the extra weight.

Arinith actually arrives to the clearing before his rider. He gives warbles to all the dragons there. This was fun! What were they looking for again? The bronze hasn't gotten too much draconic company these past couple of weeks, so he's just excited to see a lot of dragons gathering all in one place. His rider follows in short order, the mysterious looking weyrsecond looking… exhausted. But here he was. He gives a wave to those arriving. "Those who need a rider are welcome to strap up on Arinith. He likes the company."

"Ysa!" Niva protests a bit, staring at the state of the Telgari gold, starting to prohibit her from joining them, though at a rumble from Kilaueth it seems that she's been reassured it will be okay, at least for now. As the last of the group seem to be trickling in, Niva is rising up in her riding straps cupping her hands to be heard with ease. "Everyone, take your location from Kilaueth. Be careful, and keep your lifemate with you when you land.." And then Kilaueth is sharing their destination with all, settled down to wait til each has it, and has gone on their way.

Y'ki nods vaguely to himself. There's a brief look in Zevida's direction as she shows up with the girl, but gives Ecoatleth a slight punch to the shoulder. "You got it? Then let's go." The blue doesn't waste time at all, rearing to take off as quickly as possible, vanishing soon after.

And R'miel's words would apply to Fiara who trades greetings with one of the other folks she knows who's going along. The harper tugs her jacket closed and steps over towards the weyrsecond with a friendly grin. "Likes the company, eh? Well then, hello there Arinith," Fia greets the dragon and holds a hand out. "Thank you, sir. Fiara, harper," she introduces herself and moves to climb up straps and get settled for the trip.

Zevida doesn't give Y'ki a look back, nope. Instead, she looks directly at Ysa and her proddy gold. She says nothing as Niva bites back a protest. To Kate, she smiles and offers soft reassurances before Avaeth takes into the sky and vanishes between as soon as she has the image.

Ysa winces at the Weyrwoman's voice, but tries her best to lift her chin up and look strong. Even if she was shaking inside. Ellamariseth turns her head towards the Senior and rumbles back, shifting in her feet uneasily. But when they're not told to stay, she blinks once and awaits for the signal instead. Ysa nods her head towards the gold pair before looking around the clearing, offering R'miel a hesitant smile now as well, and then shrinking back out of the other goldrider's look. Hey, she was allowed to go! Right? Ysa stays mostly quiet, tugging at straps, repositioning herself, and clearing her throat. Twitchy, really.

Delynni clings on tight to D'menik as Ariath takes them into the air with the other dragons and between to the target area. The older Weyrling tells her when they come out. "Stay by me and Ariath. I want to keep that promise to Ryukith." Delynni nods and agrees. "I will." The blue weyrling grins.

Never fear, Arin was here! There'd be at least one bronze around if Ella suddenly instantly took to the skies. But the goldrider had a bit of a personal investment in this trip. And R'miel had a bit of a personal investment in her, even if they weren't fully back to weyrmate status. He smiles and nods to Fiara. "He doesn't much get to transport people around besides me. I'm R'miel. Weyrsecond. Good to meet you, Fiara, harper." He helps her get situated, before situating himself. Then they're off with the rest of the group.

The image is received and Laera mounts up on Kereth for the trip out. With her recent healering training as well as dragonhealering training, well at least she has a purpose other than boredome out here. Straps secure and Kereth is off into the air with the dragons and blinking between as soon as clear.

Rustic, perhaps, would be a good word to describe the landing spot, as there's a large marshy plain bordering the Sea and the small creek that runs into it, providing enough room for the draconic members of the party to settle without too much crowding, though the ground beneath them is mushy rather than firm, and a long line of trees runs either way down the rugged coastline.

In time, Kilaueth is joining the other members of the group, spiraling down to land with a certain amount of protest. Ew, muck. Niva is sliding to the ground, pausing near Kilaueth's foreleg to survey the situation.

Ecoatleth seems more curious about the soft ground he's landed in than anything, turning his head to peer curiously down at his feet. Weiiird. Y'ki hops off with a definite bit of squishy noise, but ignores it while taking a few slow steps forward. "Eco, quit gawking at your feet and keep /with/ me, already." He growls just a bit at the dragon then, and the blue does follow, his head kept low and near Y'ki's shoulder.

Seemingly relatively comfortable with straps and being a-dragonback, Fiara grins as she settles in. "Well met, R'miel," she says in chipper fashion. And then before you know it the trip is made and she's releasing safety buckles to hop down to the ground, looking about curiously. "At least the view is pretty," she murmurs thoughtfully, looking out towards the sea.

Avaeth lands down gently, ruffling her wings upon landing. Zevida lets out a soft chuckle as she begins to unbuckle herself, unwrap Kate, and unbuckle her as well. She picks the girl up in her arms and is able to get to the ground without too much struggling with Avaeth's help. The ground is noted with a wrinkle of her nose, "great." She mutters.

Delynni disembarks from Ariath's neck, thanking the green for the taxiride. "Hmmm, well Ryukith if you'd like you can look through my eyes. Tell me if you see anything. Since your powers of observation are so…… keen." She chuckles on that. Then she looks up at the Weyrwoman for further direction.

Niva continues to look around her, turning to gaze at the boat behind them, before looking back at boat, biting her lip. If only there was something to start on - "Stay in pairs, but start looking around. We know they were here.." And then, she's busy conversing silently with Kilaueth, for the time being.

Y'ki jerks a little bit to look at a few nearby bushes, and Ecoatleth's ever-curious head swings right around to poke in there..just a bit. "Don't just stick your nose /anywhere/!" Yes, that earns another swat from the rider, as he gives his dragon a bit of an exasperated look, even as some small bit of fowl goes flying out.

Fiara takes a few steps away from the dragons, eyes shaded as she looks towards the water. "R'miel, sir, there's something over there, in the water," the harper states, blinking a little. "It's catching the sunlight, do you see?" And she points towards where she sees the glint of something hidden beneath the surge of the waves.

Ellamariseth comes down for a lazy landing among the other dragons, looking down in surprise at the soft ground. She huffs, lifting one foot and then the other. And then sinks in further in the muck to let her lifemate slide down to land with a loud squish. "W-well," she starts in surprise, looking back towards the boat pointedly and then towards Niva. "At least they're most likely walking, now. Or… something." She ducks back into her riding jacket and moves closer towards Arinith and R'miel, even as the gold keeps in step with her.

Fiara's find continues to gleam now and then as the waves crash over it.

Arinith, too, is curious about the mucky ground. It was… sort of like water. But thicker. The slender bronze goes trouncing around in it to see if it splashes like water. But it doesn't. Thankfully Fiara avoids the romp a-dragonback, but maybe not its after effects. R'miel himself isn't so lucky. When he lands he grumbles something about forgetting his rainboots back in the weyr. He nods a bit to Fiara. "Minus the murk. Yeah I see it. Let's move that way." Ram is headed off towards the water where Fiara is pointing, Arinith trailing behind. He offers a hand to Ysa, if she decides to be brave and touch him.

Kate is off the gold's back, and with a bit of a struggle moving to stand on her own, broken leg and all, despite the muck. Pointing at the boat. "That's it.." She confirms.

Zevida gives Kate a look, frowning. "You can't stand on your own, girl." She scolds, "and the ground is too soft." A glance towards where Fiara points out and she looks to the girl. "I'll carry you again, so you don't break it again, alright. Just.. Say where you want to go." A glance again towards the water, but, she's reluctant to let Kate be on her own what with her wanting to walk on a broken leg.

Kate looks like she's going to protest a bit, before nodding to Zevida slowly. "I just want to see.." She offers softly, already eagerly following the progress of the others.

Laera dismounts carefully from Kereth and removes a pack of supplies from the harness, settling it on her back like a backpack. She moves along carefully with the group, her big blue moving carefully alongside her on the marshy ground. "Yeah I know it feels a bit weird, but it seems to be holding alright…" She says up to her lifemate.

Forget pairs, Ysa was going to stick with R'miel /and/ Fiara! Ellamariseth would have been right next to her, but her whirling eyes got her distracted by watching the bronze go around in the muck. She steps around herself, happily listening to the sucking sound it makes before finally focusing on her lifemate and keeping close. Not a time to play. "Are they… that stupid?" Ysa says softly as she approaches the pair. With a furious blush even against her dark skin, she takes Ram's hand, clinging to it more likely as she peers curiously at what the Harper had found. "T-they didn't really leave anything important in the cave. What would they leave behind here?" Her green eyes turn to Fiara, nodding her chin to urge her to the boat. Yes, send someone else.

Delynni peers out over the water, but when she can't see it clearly she turns on her heal and tries to get a look at the surrounding bushes and trees. "Heeeeey, what's this?" She darts a few steps over to the bushes and reaches under one of the bushes. "Look at this." She holds up her find. A bunch of leaves lashed together to look like a palm frond. "Lie in the bushes, drape it over your head maybe? It might hide a person spying on us or something." Or something. "Oh dear. you don't think we're being spied on now are we?" The Weyrling asks nervously.

Thankfully, it seems that no one was hiding under the large fan that Delynni has uncovered - perhaps the worries about spies can be ignored, at least for the time being.

Y'ki glances at Ecoatleth after a moment, and then blinks. "What do you mean it /looked/ funny?" Sighing, he moves past the previously prodded bush, to the trees behind it. Frowning, he settles a hand on the scarred trunk, snorting. "This thing's been hacked up pretty good."

Zevida nods to Kate and hefts the girl up again, moving to follow the others now. Avaeth follows close behind her rider, looking like a feline on the prowl as she scans the area to protect her rider and the girl with her. It's Delynni's discovery that has Zevida grow tense as she looks over and she begins scanning for someone watching them.

Thank goodness for sturdy boots. Fiara does get a little splattered along the backs of her trousers, but she doesn't seem to mind, just casting Arinith an amused look then hefting her satchel again she strides off in the direction of that gleaming something. "All right then." The muck is left behind, traded for sandier ground and Fia pauses to actually take those boots off, rolls up the cuffs of her pants and wades out to pick up the glimmering object from the water. A moment later she's turning it over in her hands and blinking in surprise. "It's … a rider's badge, sir," she tells the weyrsecond and returns to R'miel and Ysa with it, holding it out. Not Xanadu.

Kate whispers to Zevida softly. "He wouldn't hide. He'd have us all."

Zevida blinks, nodding to Kate before she starts to follow after Y'ki cautiously. "Can't be too certain?" She offers to the girl before coming up behind Y'ki. She says nothing to the boy, simply examining the area around before looking to the trunk he's found. "Is that one similar to the one we found a few days ago?"

Niva glances up hurriedly as she hears the various reports from the riders, looking from those at the beach to Y'ki who has ventured off with his blue. "What's hacked up?" She questions loudly, leaving Kilaueth's side to venture that way.

Y'ki looks a little surprised to have Zevida behind him, brows lifting. "Uh..dunno." Hey, he's not familiar with the 'other' one found, at least. He shrugs though, letting Ecoatleth give a whuff at the tree as well. "Some tree. Had an axe taken to it."

Ysa tenses when she hears Delynni's assumption, twisting her head around to look in the direction of the weyrling. "Keep close together!" she calls out, even in that squeaky voice, just in case someone was starting to move off on their own. Not her. She turns her attention back to Fiara, looking surprised by the discovery. "H-he's actually convinced a /rider/ to be with him?" Her hand begins to release from R'miel's so that she can take the badge with a frown.

Zevida grunts softly, looking over the trunk too before glancing back at Kate slightly. She glances around and watches as Avaeth begins to prowl around the tree, looking for prey or some sorts. "Avaeth, don't go too far." She chides the gold who joins her side after a moment, looking for some plants to put her nose into.

"How much is gone?" Niva questions, glancing at the other two, as if expecting the other riders to pace it out. "If there's a lot gone, he could have been here for a while." Kilaueth is settled in, wings spread wide as she keeps a watchful gaze on the area and those in it.

R'miel lets Fia head out into the water to do the collecting. He takes a look at the badge and furrows his brow a bit. "Huh. Strange. I don't recognize the markings. Do you, Ys? I guess it could be an antique… Maybe used to convince someone else /he's/ a rider. Hold onto that badge. Maybe Niva will recognize it. Let's head out towards the boat." Of course Ram picks the riskiest area to go venturing into. The part where his dragon couldn't help him should he become endangered.

Y'ki just looks at the tree again with a fairly agitated noise. "It's not like I'm all knowing about trees…" He does look it over though, then back to Zevida for a moment. "Looks pretty stripped. Prolly cut at it anymore and it'd fall right over."

Late, but perhaps fashionably so. Satoris had been caught up beginning his work delving into the cave that opened from the aftershock… Fortunately, a rider was back late from sweeps. G'rnt, a fairly large brownrider. The guy towers a bit even over Satoris, who isn't by any means small himself. The miner seems not entirely pleased with the trip, still being somewhat new to going between and traveling a-dragonback. He looks around the site, trying to get a figuring for things. He has a bag slung over his shoulders and is even wearing his spelunking equipment. Either he was in that much a rush, or this is the miner prepared.

Fiara nods for the rider's words, looking down at the badge. She reaches into her satchel for a pen and notebook and takes a rough sketch of the item, scribbles a few notes then stows her things back in the bag. "Right. The boat." And the harper looks that way, curiously bending to pull her boots back on and lace them up. Then she's trotting after R'miel at a brisk pace.

Delynni hears Ysa's question about a rider being with the fugitive. "Oh shards…… Ryukith don't even try. DONT even try." She warns. "Good." She looks up at the older riders. "If there is a rider with him, wouldn't the dragons be able to find him? Ryukith wants to know. And if he's impersonating a rider, what do we do then? We can tell the difference, but a holder can't." She frowns, inspecting the hacked up tree trunk.

Zevida chuckles softly at Y'ki before she blinks, turning her head to look at Avaeth. "Huh..? A clearing?" She asks, glancing at Y'ki. "I don't think the tree is that important…" And, she begins to follow after Avaeth who begins to buggle at her find. She's leading her way into the clearing, Zevida following her lifemate cautiously. "Don't rush in, you never know what's there." She grumbles to her lifemate.

Ysa shakes her head at R'miel. "N-no, not a bit. He didn't use it on me. First time I've ever seen it." Her brows are furrowed though, as she studies it until the Harper puts it away. She doesn't follow right away as the bronzer pulls away to go towards the boat, looking between the rest of the group and the other two. With a heavy sigh, she jogs after them towards the green boat. "There's no way we're going to find anything in here," she semi-whines to the two, wringing her hands. Ellamariseth was lumbering closer, weaving her head this way and that to make sure she doesn't miss anything hidden around. People or things.

What's in the clearing is a rather crudely constructed hut - with the roof made of the large leaves tied together, and the walls of branches stacked up, and greenery woven between them to keep out the breeze. Clearly, it was not meant to last long, but is large enough to house a handful of people. Nearby is a small firepit, and half a dozen large stumps surrounding it.

The boat rocks awkwardly upon its crude landing spot, the sails having been pulled down apparently for some other use.

R'miel jogs off towards the boat, Arinith snaking his way behind him. The weyrsecond uses Arinith's help to get on board. The bronze is then instructed to stabilize the boat any way he can, while the bronzer looks around on deck. "There might be clues here. Anything to tell us where he's going, where he'd been. A map, a starchart, anything will do."

Y'ki follows quickly as Zevida goes after Avaeth, Ecoatleth slinking his way right along with them. He blinks though at the sight of the clearing, and glares just a little at what's left of the small..hut thing, and firepit. A quick look is exchanged with his own lifemate as they move forward, and Ecoatleth's head stays low, almost down near Y'ki's hip as they move together toward the hut. He's a bit hesitant, but does take a look inside after a moment. Sigh of relief? Well, there's no bodies, or crazy men flinging themselves out. Instead he pushes his way inside. "I got paper! …Bits of paper. But paper stuff!"

With G'rnt by his side, Satoris stops as he's begun to approach the others investigating the area. His feet are landing oddly in the muck. The miner kneels and begins poking calloused hands at it, shifting on his haunches to glance behind him. "Huh." The rider glances down at him: both haven't been given any specific direction, so it seems they've opted — silently — to work together at the moment. "They were moving something big. Maybe on the sails from that boat or similar… But I'm not sure which direction." He straightens, one knee popping loudly in the process. "Let's go check the waterfront first, eh?" G'rnt shrugs, not a man of many words, and follows the Journeyman as he trods along the path left in the muck, inspecting it.

Delynni balks at the hut. "I'm not going in that." She gulps. Then she eyes the boat. Hut, boat, hut boat. "Okay. I'll go in the hut." Since Y'ki is going ahead of her. "Paper? What kind of paper?" She slips in behind Y'ki. "May I see?"

Fiara casts a sidelong look towards Ysa as she frets and whines, but doesn't say anything, just starts to make a slow circle around the boat, careful of her footing in the muck though there's little sucking sounds every time she moves her feet. "Just mud out here, I think," she calls up to the weyrsecond, then moves to climb up the side.

Zevida glances at Y'ki as he moves forward, frowning as she moves towards the hut as well. She doesn't go inside as Y'ki does, watching Avaeth for a moment before she lets out a sigh in relief that there is no /crazy/ man waiting inside the hut. She blinks, "are they torn apart? Maybe we can piece them together?" She offers before Avaeth begins to poke around the area.

Ysa was just being overly cautious about it all, and being all twitchy didn't help. But she follows into the boat after the bronzer, looking for the sails first and then frowning. "T-this is a mess," she mumbles, and then nods towards him, moving carefully so as not to trip. As her eyes are cast down, she frowns at a puddle and hurries over to it. "M-more paper!" She doesn't sound too thrilled as she goes after the find, carefully picking up the soaked scrap. "S-shells," she sighs. "I wonder if we can salvage it."

Y'ki eyes Delynni for a moment, but snorts. "Not like you'd be able to understand what's on them." ..Of course…he doesn't either. But that's besides the point. "Looks kinda burned up, but there's….I dunno. Weird marks on them, at least."

R'miel leans over the side to nod to Fiara. "Hm, alright. The sails are missing up here, but looks fairly uninteresting." Of course as soon as he says that, Ysa finds a scrap of paper. He moves over to her. "Anything legible on it? Doesn't seem to be anything else of any use here." He peers over her shoulder a bit.

Zevida hmms softly, slowly moving into the hut. Not able to assist much seeing as she's still holding Kate. A glance towards the papers before she looks at Y'ki. "They don't looke to have anything on them.. Avaeth's found some as well."

Delynni frowns at Y'ki. "Maybe we should gather them up or something. It might be a clue. Even if it doesn't mean anything to us it obviously meant something to someone. I mean, we need evidence right? Or should we be leaving things as we left them?" She asks worriedly.

Fiara takes a look around as well, walking over into the bow. She leans there for a moment, eyes casting out over the view then she turns back towards the riders. "No below-decks?"

Ysa brings the scrap close up to her face, the frown even worse now. "N-nothing that I can read but…" She bites at her lower lip and then sighs. "Kind of looks like a rider's name. If only I could tell what it was…" She carefully holds it out towards Fiara, in case the Harper wanted a look at it, but she was standing up to continue scanning every inch of the boat as well. "I… I don't know a thing 'bout boats." She kicks at the side and winces as the pain travels up before looking back in the direction of the main group. "We should get back to them."

Y'ki tilts his head somewhat to the side, glancing back at Zevida then, and then just gets back up, ignoring the bits of burned paper for now. "They're burned, alright. Anything left in the firepit over there?" He pushes out of the hut then, glowering as he crosses the space to toe a little into what's left of the fire. There's a bit of poking..and some more prodding before he finally manages to pull something out, blinking at the piece of paper there. "Well finally.. There's mountains drawn on this thing!"

They can have their huts and boats. Satoris and G'rnt have their noses to the ground on a trail! Well, maybe not their /noses/… G'rnt's dragon might, whuffling at the water as he is. Satoris, on the other hand, has realized there's little to be gained from the water and turns in the other direction, following the muck up towards land, to check out /that/ end of the dragging path.

Zevida lets out a soft gasp, glancing up at the hide in between the branches. "Y'ki, look up!" She calls out, frowning. "Can you get those? It looks like they have something written on them.."

Fiara takes a look at the paper in Ysa's hand. "Could take it to harper and see what a real archivist could do with that, or you know, ask the Weyrleader," Fiara quips with a wink for Ysa. As she looks out away from the boat though she eyes the ground thoughtfully. "R'miel, sir? Ysa? Does it look to you like a dragon might have lain there? The ground looks sort of … wallowy." The harper shades her eyes, looking more closely that way.

R'miel shakes his head. "Not big enough for a below-decks." He then turns to Ysa. "Well, hold onto that, too. No point in sticking around here, though. Nothing I can see left of value here. Looks like he stripped the boat when he came ashore." He looks at Fiara like she's nuts when she mentions the ground being wallowy. "You two aren't actually thinking this guy convinced some rider to go with him, are you? That he's got a dragon with him?"

Y'ki keeps a hold on that paper for now. It's got /things/ drawn on it, after all. Though Zevida's call to him gets his attention, and he shifts his gaze upward instead, as he gets to his feet again. "Yeah.." Well he probably could, anyway. Ecoatleth however makes his own way closer, rearing up to pluck the hide out of the tree, and then drops right back down again, offering the hide to his rider..who eyeballs him a little. "..Well good job, at least.."

Delynni looks up at the hide and frowns, "let me see." She seconds Zevida. "mountains? maybe a map that he burnt up to make sure we didn't find him?" She guesses. "How much else were we able to find out about this guy. From what I heard he needs serious mindhealer help."

G'rnt and Satoris end up at some bushes and the miner kneels down, poking at the dirt. "These were… recently planted." He sounds a bit baffled at that and shakes his head a bit. Shifting the pack he wears to the ground, he pulls out a short shovel and a pickaxe. The former is passed over to the brownrider — less likely to damage anything with that — and he begins working with the later. "Let's get these things uprooted and find out why they felt the need to do some planting, eh?"

Ysa gives a quick nod to Fiara as she puts the scrap paper away, turning when she is called over to look over at said wallow. Her face pales and she looks up first towards R'miel before shaking her head. "I… I don't think I saw any dragons. I mean, could've been, or maybe he convinced someone later. But… the man was /crazy/. What rider would ever be convinced?" She doesn't look so certain, though, as she stares at the wallow before moving to get off the boat. "It… it's something the Weyrwoman would want to know, 'm sure."

Fiara stretches her hand out, tracing the outline she's seeing, either unaware, or deliberately ignoring the weyrsecond's 'are you nuts' look. "Look right there. I don't know dragons all that well, but it looks a little like the places they sleep that I've seen around the Weyr," she explains. "Perhaps not a very big dragon though?" this last asked hesitantly. She stays put a little longer, looking around from the deck.

Zevida hmms softly, shrugging. "Maybe it's a map.. If we get all the pieces we'll see where he's going." She looks to Kate, "would he have a map pointing us to where he's going? He'd've had to planned this out, right?"

Kate shakes her head. "He.. He never kept anything. We didn't know, just did what we were told."

Y'ki does look at the hide a moment, and then Zevida, nodding somewhat. "Might be, but I don't really get it.." Though that look to Kate is taken note of, with a bit of curiosity. After all..she might know….or not. He holds up the paper he found as well with the hide, and then just shakes his head. "Well if he didn't keep anything../someone's/ sure leaving a trail.." Though..there's a quick little snort in Delynni's direction. "He don't need a mindhealer. He needs a few twitching kicks at the end of a rope." Nothing wrong with a little capital punishment.

It doesn't take much for the two large men to clear the dirt around the roots of the bushes. Both grab at the bushes wherever they can get ahold of them and /pull/ them free…

Delynni jumps at the rustling. "Did you hear that?" She shivers at the rustling bushes. "This is creepy. Really creepy. Zevida, is Avaeth /sure/ we're alone?" The blue weyrling is starting to get scared now. "I mean…… there's a lot of wilderness here. There's lots of room for people to mount an…." gulp "ambush…. isn't there?" She squeeks.

Niva has returned to Kilaueth's side, and is currently rummaging through the packs on her straps, as if looking for something, even as the others look for their own clues.

This time, the rustling near the hut is louder, almost as if something - or someone - is attempting to draw attention to it.

Zevida nods to Kate, smiling. "Thank you for your help, too." She says gently before looking to Y'ki. "I don't either.." She presses her lips together. "Maybe he abducted someone and they're trying to get someone to help them…" She trails off before looking towards Delynni. "I didn't hear anything.." Though, that sentence comes to a stop and Avaeth begins to move towards the hut in a prowling manner. "There might be someone. I hope it's not another child…"

The only rustling Satoris and G'rnt hear is them pulling thebushes free and putting them aside. The miner kneels down while G'rnt gets the bushes out of the way. The Journeyman considers the hole, before leaning over it and reaching down to check out what's inside…

Ecoatleth lets out a low little noise, before he too begins a motion toward the hut. There's /noise/ over there, and two dragons are much better than one, right? In fact he goes around the other side. Two-pronged, attack! "/Watch/ yourself, Eco." Y'ki growls a bit, folding up the hide and paper to stuff into his pocket. For safekeeping, of course.

As the group has been searching, the afternoon sky has been darkening, and the clouds that were once on the horizon are now overhead. The dark grey bottoms are blocking Rukbat's rays, casting everything into rather eerie shadows.

R'miel starts to climb off the boat again, landing in the water with a bit of a splash. "Well.. I guess maybe some rouge rider may have decided to help him? No… Maybe it's just that someone's followed him out here. Or that could be from before he even got here, who knows." The bronzer waits for the other two to climbs off before moving in the direction of the rest of the group.

Delynni shivers. "I almost hope it is. Or maybe somebody who's trying to escape? I really don't want to be ambushed in a hut with only one way to get out." The shadows don't help, and Delynni gulps. "oh dear."

The rustling continues, growing louder by the moment, the bushes around it swaying too and fro. And then, there's a sudden bolt of lightning, immediately followed by a deafening crack of thunder.

The lightning strikes and thunder rolls as Satoris pulls the box out of the hole. He sits back on his heels and brushes the dirt off of it, examining the box itself before seeing about opening it and finding out whate xactly it contains. G'rnt has wandered over and hovers by Satoris' shoulder, apparently well interested also.

Zevida lets out a startled squeak, but, she doesn't move from where she stands. Avaeth continues her prowling as Ecoatleth begins from the other side, searching for the rustling noise-maker.

The rustling, it seems, grows more frantic as the dragons near it, and then, as the rumble of thunder rolls away, a soft lowing can be heard.

Delynni shrieks in fear at the lightning bolt. "Shards and shells….. great faranth's eggs…… oh dear oh dear." She starts to shake. "I'm seriously getting nervous now. Oh man, I didn't bring a belt knife, what if we're attacked." The blue weyrling is starting to get seriously scared.

"If there is a rider…" Ysa starts, shaking her head a bit. "I-I'm worried what kind of mess he could be in. But why take a boat, then? Unless… unless they were meeting the rogue rider here and left." keeps close to the bronzer as she moves towards the group, suddenly jumping at the lightning and thunder and running to Ram's side, clinging for dear life. "W-we should go help!" As if a storm can attack them… Though she didn't know about the rustling.

Y'ki jerks on reflex at the sudden loud noise, his hands coming up to cover his ears. "Damn.." There's a glare given to the darkening sky, before another glance is given at Zevida. "We can't stick around here forever. I don't really like the idea of being /fried./" Ecoatleth, though startled by the flash and lightning, continues after a pause. Y'ki twitches almost, and then whips around to glare at Delynni. "If you're /that/ frightened, get back to the rider that brought you and stay /there/."

Another lightning strike, this one further down the coast - and there is a brief pause before the sounds of thunder roll back towards the group.

Still up on the deck, Fiara moves over to the boat's side, looking back over her shoulder and then BANG lightning and she jumps a little, looks up at the sky. "Storm …" she murmurs then swings a leg over and jumps down. "Probably should get under cover," she notes to Ysa and R'miel. "I don't really fancy getting fried."

Zevida shoots Delynni a look, "shells, /girl/. Calm yourself or you're going to be causing a panic at the Weyr. Now shut it or I will have whatever rider hauled you here haul your crying /rear/ back." Then, to Y'ki she nods her agreement. "Might be best to follow after Avaeth and Ecoatleth." She states, moving to find her dragon. Avaeth begins moving closer to the rustling's source, pushing her nose forward in an attempt to smell her prey, or at least see them.

As the thunder begins to sound, Niva is looking rather nervously up at the sky, before she's starting to wave to those closest. "We should head back.." She calls over the boggy land, before turning to look towards the others of the search party.

Satoris shifts through the contents of the box, straightening to his feet as he does so. Closing it, he tucks it beneath an arm as he puts his tools back in his bag and slings it over his shoulder. The thunder and lightning doesn't seem to phase the miner too much. Nor the rider that brought him. They're big men. They can wrassle the lightning! He's already heading for Niva as the Weyrwoman begins waving people near. He holds the box out towards her. "Seals. They buried them. They don't look quite right, though… Maybe fake, but they seem pretty passable."

Delynni shivers. "S…. sorry." She shakes her head. "I agree, I don't fancy being in here if its being hit by lightning. I'm not going back yet." Delynni gulps and grist her teeth. Far off, Ryukith croons nervously and calls out to the dragons in the party curiously.

And prey it is, as the source of all the noise seems to be a large burdenbeast. There is no tether on the animal, but it appears to be injured and unable to flee from the dragons so near. Aside from no tether, there is no cart nor sign of a cart, or even of a yoke.

R'miel jumps a bit at the clap of thunder as well. Or maybe it's Ysa's sudden clinging. Either way, he pull her in close to himself. "Sheesh, the weather's just gone sour." He leads them back to the others as quickly as they can manage. "Hey, the weather's gonna break on us. We should gather up what we can and head back before this place fills with water!" Arinith is looking up at the sky and growling a bit. No likey!

Y'ki gives a quick nod, and uses a hand to shove his hair away from his eyes. Storms bring wind, after all. He moves after his own dragon though, glancing at Zevida before he takes his own path around the hut, reaching to rest his hand near Ecoatleth's flank. The blue gives a faint little snort of surprise at there being a beast there, wings giving a short flap as he draws up short. "..Damn."

The beast continues to low loudly as Ecoatleth draws closer, going in an awkward circle, quickly showing the lack of any sort of brand.

Zevida glances at the beast with a look of confusion then breathing a sigh of relief. "At least it's not a child…" She glances at Kate. "Are you familar with this beast?" She asks as Avaeth ventures closer to try and nudge it with her nose. "No, you can't eat it." She grumbles softly to her lifemate.

Fiara hurries back over towards the others, boots well muddied a few splatters on her pants and she eyes the skies mistrustfully again. "Well. Certainly more pieces for this puzzle," she notes audibly though to no one in particular. She eyes that beast over there but doesn't approach.

Kate hurriedly shakes her head, staring at the beast with wide eyes - clearly as frightened as the others though nowhere near as vocal about it. "We didn't have any like that."

Y'ki shakes his head somewhat, and then looks over at Zevida, using an arm to keep Ecoatleth back from the poor animal. "Thing's injured, anyway. It's not gonna last long. Might as well kill it."

Kilaueth is suddenly trumpeting, as the first drops of rain begin to fall upon the marsh and the woods - a trumpet meant to bring everyone back. "Bring whatever you found! We'll look closer at the Weyr!" The gold echoes her rider's words, even as she's awkwardly rising onto her rear limbs to trumpet once more, Niva pulling herself out of the muck - ready to use the gold as a perch to watch for the return of the others.

Delynni nods. "Want me to look at the beast before you put it down? I might be able to tell what hurt it." She is a beastcrafter after all. She offers, slowly regaining her nerves.

Zevida nods slowly towards Kate, shifting to hold the girl closer. "You'll be fine, Kate." She murmurs softly to the girl, glancing back towards the beast. "Well, what do we do with it?" A pause and she turns towards Delynni. "Sure. Then go ask Niva what to do with it."

Y'ki growls faintly. "If she's gonna take a look at it, she can take a look at it back at the Weyr." He gives Ecoatleth a thump on the shoulder then, before the dragon crouches, allowing him to climb right on. "I've got the stuff from before with me."

Ysa doesn't pull away from R'miel as he pulls her up, bobbing her head. "'m up for that. Leaving. I… I think I got 'nough." She moves up, though, hoping to drag the bronzer up the muck and towards the weyrwoman with Ellamariseth following not too far behind. At the gold's trumpet, the younger gold throws back her head and follows it. "Quiet down!" she hushes her lifemate, bobbing her head after the Weyrwoman and making sure that the little scrap she found is tucked away inside her jacket, hopefully kept warm. She pulls away from Ram only to get to her dragon's raised forearm.

Zevida glances at Y'ki, frowning. "I think the trip between would kill it? Mm. Guess it doesn't matter too much as long as we can look at it…?" Chuckling softly as Avaeth settles down, she begins to strap Kate in carefully. "I guess Avaeth can take it with us?"

Delynni hurries forwards to the burden beast, calming the creature quickly before pulling its attention to her. "Easy, easy there…." She checks the neck, head, flanks and…. "There's a large abscess on the rear leg. But I can't tell what made it." Delynni says with a frown. "Ryukith, tell Kilaueth to tell Niva that we have an injured beast left behind by the hut. Hurry."

R'miel moves with Ysa back towards the weyrwoman. "We're coming!" The bronzer hadn't found anything, but he was mostly here for moral support anyways. As soon as they're back with the others, he's climbing up onto Arinith to get ready to head back to Xanadu. "What are they doing over there?"

Niva is looking down at Satoris, as his words register, gaze flicking to the chest under his arm. "Bring it with us.. We'll look when we get back. You two, get out of here.." And then the other riders who are nearby are urged skyward as well. Kilaueth is quickly passing on an impatient 'Just bring it with!' from her rider, even as the gold gets even more antsy as the lightning bolts and rolls of thunder are becoming closer together, and the rain is becoming to fall faster.

Y'ki narrows his eyes a little bit. "Delynni, are you /deaf/ or what? We're /leaving/." Though a moment later, Ecoatleth kicks off from the ground. He hardly puts any space between himself and the dirt before he quickly vanishes.

Delynni growls, and has to leave the beast behind, fleeing for D'menik and Ariath. "Damn…" The greenrider promises. "We'll send somebody back for it but we need to go." He tells the over curious weyrling.

Zevida snorts out softly, mounting up herself and strapping herself in. Avaeth rises and grasps the poor beast. Yup, it's going between with them.. Even if it's.. Not too safe for the beast itself. 'Take it with us' is taken literally by the gold.

The beast is lowing and flailing a bit, but it seems pretty much uninjured by Avaeth grabbing it. His first flight between. And, perhaps his last.

With a sharp nod to the Weyrwoman, Satoris is moving swiftly for the dragon he came in on, even as G'rnt gets prepared to head out. The miner lashes down his pack as he was shown, but holds the chest close to himself. The pair are quite ready to leave as soon as the signal goes out.

Fiara hikes up the collar of her jacket and climbs back up aboard Arinith. "All ready back here," she tells R'miel, though she leans out curiously to look down at the ground and what's still going on with brows lifted.

A sudden bolt of thunder spooks Kilaueth enough to send her skywards, even as Niva is caught unawares by it, and then the senior gold is trumpeting once more - waiting for the others to flee back to Xanadu and safety before she can.

Avaeth takes into the air quite quickly, sending a jolt to all her passengers and the poor beast. And then, she pops between as soon as she's a safe distance in the air.

Ysa pulls herself up on her gold's forelegs, out of the muck as well as she looks out towards the rest of the search group. She's one of the last ones to actually mount up, buckling quickly as the storm makes Ellamariseth uneasy. With a bugle, she's pushing out of the muck and into the air, hovering a bit before taking the chance to pop back home :between:.

Delynni squeals, hitching a ride back to the Weyr with D'menik and Ariath and hurrying to meet Ryukith the instant they hit terra firma. "Ryukith you would not /believe/ what we saw! Ooooh, if only the lightning hadn't come!" She whines. "We would have had a lot more to look at!"

R'miel gives Fiara a thumbs up, then Arinith spreads his wings, heading skywards a bit before popping between. Would it be raining at Xanadu? Would the beast survive the trip? Had the Xanaduians found anything of use in the hunt for the cult leader? Would Ysa ever let him back into the weyr? Stay tuned for the next episode of The Mystery of the Crazy Cult Man!

Or! The Scavenger Hunt of Epic Fail.

Kilaueth waits til the last of the dragons is between, and then she's joining them back at Xanadu, to let the group bring the evidence - as big or as little, to the office to be dealt with after a strong drink.

Delynni reassures Ryukith, and hurries to make sure that Zevida and Avaeth let her examine the beast before the queen eats it. "Oh! Wait give me a chance to look! It might have important evidence!" Ryukith bolts afterwards, wanting to have a look at the injured beast as well. After all, he wants to look at everything!

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