Random Log: Quicksand!

A familiar bronze form appears over the campsite, and makes a smooth landing into the clearing. It's early afternoon, and the candidates should be done with lunch… if they managed to scrape together something for lunch, that is. They'll all recognize the form of Arinith as he settles down just long enough to let his rider slide off him. Then there's only a moment when R'miel looks up at him before the bronze lifts off, then blinks back between. The bronzer looks dressed for war with the sword slung to his back like it is. He tells one of the younger candidates to go and gather everyone up. It was time for a hike!

Thea is sitting by the fire, trying to talk some sense into Delgin. "Look, Delgin. The bugs won't feel anything when you chew them. If you're so worried about it, swallow them whole. Think of it as a challenge." That she hasn't seemed to master the challenge herself is evidenced by her greenish pallor. As Arinth glides over, she looks up and waves. A hike. Sounds harmless to her. She heads towards tent circle, herding some of the younger ones towards the bronzer.

Oh a hike /is/ harmless. Until people get /eaten/. Y'ki gives a skeptical look in Ram's direction. Oh yes, he's there alright. Ecoatleth is in fact nearby as well, the watery-blue snoozing quietly. Someone remind Y'ki why he's there again? He doesn't look particularly /thrilled/ by the entire thing anyway. But he does snort a little bit, glaring somewhat at the candidates trying to get ready. Then his gaze flicks back to R'miel, a brow lifting. "Hope you know what you're doing."

Neferennu has managed to find some grubs under a fallen tree. They sit on a branch from the fire, having roasted to death and they are popped in her mouth. There is a disgusted look about her face but at least they aren't chewed. Though a redfruit was found, if not quite ripe, and sits at her side. Her eyes are on the younger boys that are looking at her disgusted, then she shakes her head. "You have to eat something…" A slight shrug and the rest of the grubs are swallowed whole. At least it is protein. Maybe today she'll nab Aradir and go find some fish. A wave towards R'miel as Arinith lands, then she returns to looking back at the fire and Thea trying to get Delgin to eat bugs.

Aradir has completely foregone the 'eating bugs' thing. He found that stream R'miel had noted the night previous and had managed to catch a few fish. Not only for himself, but for anybody else who was interested in eating more than grubs. As for his personal item? A small wooden box - inside is a spool of fishing line and a handful of hooks! The grubs that he could have eaten were used as bait, and he'd found a suitable stick to tie a line to. Matter of fact, that's what he's coming back with - a makeshift fishing pole in one hand, and a section of fishing line in the other, threaded through the gills of some fish. "I come bearing gifts!" he declares, holding the fish up proudly. They're not real big fish, but at least they're eating-size….

R'miel doesn't eat people! Yet. So a hike was harmless for the time being! Ram gives Y'ki a grin. "It's just a little hiking. How bad could it be?" What was with the sword, then? Well, the bronzer hasn't had good luck wandering around through the wilderness either, last time his weyrmate ended up mauled. "These candidates look like they've been starving themselves." It's just about that time Aradir comes back with a line of fish and Ram grins. "Ah, fantastic. A snack for when we get back. Best put your hiking boots on, candidates. We're heading into the marshes. That means everyone!"

Thea already had boots on, but some of the younger ones dash to change their sandals. Thea sighs and places one of the black bugs on her tongue and washes it down with one gulp. She turns her face away from Delgin so he can't see her grimace, but she cant hide the shudder that wracks her body. "Remember, they said if a bug is red or orange, don't eat it." Then she helps hurry the stragglers back to the gathering point, snagging Delgin on her way by. Following R'miel, she just looks carefully where she steps.

Y'ki stares at R'miel a little bit, and then rolls his eyes. "How bad could it /be/, he says.. You weren't here when /I/ was a candidate." It's certainly not a memory /he/ holds particularly dear. But at least he does move, heading by the campfire with a slightly disgusted look. "Okay, we totally didn't eat bugs. You guys got the crap deal." But hey, he at least keeps right on moving..although he steps aside after a bit to let someone go first. Like..the guy with the sword. That just seems like a better idea.

Neferennu luckily already had her boots on and smiles as Aradir returns with fish. "Ah, good. I was hoping that was where you went off to." A small wink and then she is off to grab her pack, slinging it over her shoulders. While at the tent area, she finds the boys from the remote cothold trying to hide and get out of going on the hike. "Come you guys." One she even has to heave up and herds them through the campfire area and into line to follow R'miel. Once in line, she falls in step behind Thea, leaning forward to whisper in her ear. "Sometimes I wonder why people even agreed to stand when they don't want to do anything." Either that or everyone except Thea and Saige was still pissed at her for getting all their cots and blankets back in the barracks taken away. It hadn't taken long for them to figure out who was responsible. To them though, there was no explanation. At least K'vin had understood her bad mood that day.

Aradir puts the fish somewhere they won't be in the way or go bad before they return, and follows the group. He too had his boots on already - he'd put them on when he'd gotten up that morning, foreseeing something of this nature. He made certain to take his bootknife with him. He falls into step behind Neferennu and replies to her comment, "Yeah. I knew we…wouldn't be able to hunt. So I went fishing." He grins then, and nods to her second comment. He hadn't complained about the lack of bedding. But he'd invited the other candidates to make a pile around him so the floor wasn't quite so hard. Of course, moot point now that they were in camp. Or maybe not; it might get chilly at night, so near a stream.

R'miel moves carefully through the marsh, leading the group of candidates and the bluerider. He grins to Y'ki. "Exactly. /I/ wasn't here when you were a candidate." Well, stop the presses. It's an arrogant bronzer! "Can't believe you're all eating grubs though. There's got to be at least something else to catch out there, or forage for. Berries, fruit… anything." As the campsite disappears into the fog, the area around the group gets more and more… quiet. Just the sounds of the local insects and the sloshing of water as it starts to get a bit deeper on their journey outward. "I was told a rider once flew down here to try and escape the Threadfall… They say the remnants of his dragon's skeleton that was below the water is still out here, but the water level has dropped since then, so you can go see it now."

Thea gives Y'ki a small smile, "Maybe they didn't think your group was tough enough to eat bugs." And then she remembers he's a rider and adds, "Sir." She blinks at Rennu over her shoulder and snicker-snorts. "Do you realize who you just quoted?" She gives Rennu a moment to remember. She calls back to Aradir with a grin, "I hope none of the firelizards saw where you put those fish!" Then she turns back to watch her step. "We didn't get far enough from camp to get berries, Sir." At the mention of bones, she's looking curious. "After more than 100 Turns?"

Y'ki gives R'miel a bit of eyeing, lifting a brow at the bronzerider. "Ohh. So you'd single-handedly have fought off a whole group of felines? I'd love to see that. ..Would've gotten your legs bit off.." Shaking his head, he treks on, eyes giving a slight roll after a while. "A /dragon/ skeleton? Riight. Sure, we found /people/ skeletons, but not dragon skelet—" Blink. He just stares at Thea then, eyes narrowing, and then..off comes his tunic! Y'ki strips when he's angry! ..Well maybe it's just hot. And he's a guy. They can /do/ that. But either way, he keeps right on walking without his tunic on, jagged scars quite visible down the length of the teen's back.

D'ven was a bit behind in the spontaneous hike, so he's just catching up to the candidates now with water skins flopping against him. "I'm here, I'm here!" he calls out to the riders that were leading the group, waving his arms. "I've got extra water and some cookies in case you all start feeling ill or might pass out on us. No cheating, so only when you start feeling bad!" He beams towards the bronze and blue rider, slowing down to remain towards the back of the group and out of the way of the informational aspects of… whatever they were hiking for.

Neferennu blinks and then has to think for a moment, her eyes dropping towards the ground. "Oh shells…" She just realized who she quoted and then looks up, but says nothing more. Though the comment Thea gives Y'ki gets a soft chuckle but the eyes are quickly averted to the ground to where she is stepping.

Aradir wrinkles his nose at the mention of Threadfall. Hopefully that's something none of them ever have to see again. He frowns a bit at the skeleton comment. "Hmm…I take it…he was unsuccessful in…escaping it?" he notes, a wry tone to his voice. To Thea's concern of where he put the fish, he notes, "Hope not. But if…they did. I can fish again." Here he grins. "You might just…have to sacrifice your…lunch," he notes, meaning of course, the grubs and whatnot. He looks to Y'ki as the man removes his tunic, and raises an eyebrow. Oh well…he's a guy, so…no harm, no foul. But it looks like Aradir's not the only one whose back looks like a roadmap! He pats Neferennu on the arm slightly, hoping to comfort her as she seemed to have gotten sad all of a sudden, for some reason. Then he follows the group through the marsh.

R'miel grins to Thea. "They say the dragon bones turned to stone. I don't know. I've never seen them. I just figured we'd see if we could find it. Or we could say that it's just a story, at the very least." The bronzer peers a bit as the bluerider gets half naked. "Careful of the bugs." The crazy bronzer though is still in his riding coat. Though it's not a big surprise, as he rarely takes it off, save to swim. "I can see the felines really got to you." The bronzer doesn't have to take off his shirt to make his scars visible! He's got a nice big one running down the left side of his face. One can only guess what's beneath those glasses. The marsh is getting a bit… deep though, and the bronzer stops to get his bearings a bit. But something very odd is happening… is the marsh getting… deeper? Nope! They're sinking!

Thea's in the middle of blinking in surprise as Y'ki tears off his tunic and going all glary-eyed at her. "You didn't run fas—" She bites her tongue mid-sentence. Either she's trying not to give the younger boy any reason to tear off anymore clothes, or she's spotted something. "In the fog there's a… well, there was a thing. I think." It gone now. "Aradir, I may -loose- my lunch indeed, but I'm not near enough to the stream to chum." She smirks, then R'miel speaks. Who is he calling a bug? But now she is slugging…slogging…and, "Ack!"

Neferennu blinks as Thea seems to slow down, and she thinks she saw something in the fog. "Thea, why are you slowing?" Then it is noticed, she is sicking into the mud and keeps moving her feet in vain to try and pull free. "Um…the mud…" Squish and then a splat as finally she pulls her foot free, but it only made her other foot sink in even deeper. "This is going to get bad." Is mutters under her breath and then there is some sobbing from the boys she had rounded up as they begin to sink in the mud as well.

D'ven turns to glance at the shirtless Y'ki now, looking surprised. "You might want to cover up, just in case you run into something nasty." He doesn't really pay much attention to his surroundings, more on the candidates he was herding in front of them. "Oh! Oh— Faranth, no one move too much! We can probably… carefully walk out of this." He actually wasn't in in the quicksand, so he was free to stomp around backwards nervously, grabbing ahold of a thick branch and moving back to the group, candidates first!

Aradir wrinkles his nose that Thea's comment. "Ew. Not what I meant, Thea," he notes, looking quite disgusted. "I meant…you might have to…let me take some of the grubs. The ones you intend to eat?" He notes. "The fish here…like them." Always better to use native bait, after all. But a moment later, he notices the mud has suddenly gotten a lot deeper very quickly. There's a flash of panic, but he quickly quashes it. This is no time to lose his head. Quicksand aside, he's not oblivious to the darker area. A face? Was that a face? Well, even if it was, there are more important things to deal with right now. Like making sure nobody dies. Thus it is that Aradir stops, stock-still, and relaxes. Tensing will only make him sink faster, he knows. He also holds out his hands, offering them for any candidates who want to grab on, and he starts to very slowly and carefully slog backwards, trying to find his way out of the quicksand.

Thea sits down right where she is and eases her feet one at a time out of the suction her feet were in. She leans back so her weight is more evenly distributed and wriggle-crawls crab-like back towards more solid ground. Yay for backstroking in mud! She makes it to where she can stand, a bit breathless. "What do ya know? Worked for heavy snowfall up at Coldstone and it works for the mud too." She looks towards the group, "Anyone bring a rope?" They're not that far, maybe she can get one back in time. She sprints back the way they came.

R'miel blinks at the mud around his feet… then his shins… now his thighs. "Shards… Just.. don't panic… If you fail… it'll make things worse." It's hard to tell if Ram was trying to comfort everyone else or himself though, really. "It's just water. Just thick water…" The bronzer though, being the one furthest out, is very stuck! Which is making him panic a bit. "Just… swim back!" But it's getting hard for Ram to get horizontal to swim back! And now he's doing exactly what he told them not to, flailing around to try and get into a swimming position. "Shards… a little help?"

Neferennu is only sinking faster due to trying to pull her feet out of the mud. As she looks up to find R'miel in even deeper mud, she notices something off by the reeds. There is a blink and then it is gone. "Guys, I think we better get out of here. Either my eyes are playing tricks on me, or we have feline company." At look at Thea as she crab-walks out of the mud, so in turn she does the same, getting mud all over her backside and back. A look as Thea goes running back to camp, gets a soft snort. At least someone is trying to help. Seeing the boys grabbing for Aradir, she scoots along the side up towards Ram. A handful of reeds are broken off at the ground level and held out for him. "Here, grab this." Hopefully it won't be too slippery or painful to grab on to. "I got out on my back, as did Thea. Try that too…" The sirs and everything as forgotten. If she gets in trouble for that later, than oh well.

Aradir is busy pushing other candidates back to safety, or at least towards the branch that D'vin's holding out, so they can pull themselves to safety. But as soon as he's sure they're safe, he actually moves out a little further, closer to R'miel, and holds out a hand. He's still sinking, too. But he knows that Neferennu is probably not going to be able to get him out by herself. The mention of felines makes him frown. Not good. But then, if they don't get out, the felines won't be too much of a problem…because they'll be eating candidate carrion! "R'miel!" he calls, reaching out to the bronzerider. "Grab my hand!" Between his hand and the bundle of reeds that Neferennu is holding out, R'miel should be all right.

D'ven makes sure to stay out of the thick water, waving his branch around. He already helped a few of the younger ones get out that were closer to the edge where he was, but now he was trying to stretch out and get to try to help get to those further in. "Faranth, sir, you'll be alright! Just… Do what they say!" Though he does try to help in his own way as well, and not just panic on the sidelines. He sends another rider on with the other candidates back to camp, well aware that the hike was definitely over after this.

R'miel blinks off towards where Rennu is facing to see if he can make out a feline. As if that was going to help them! The feline would probably wait until they drowned, then dragged their bodies out of the marsh to eat! Oh the humanity! Thankfully though when Rennu presents him with the reeds he's able to grab hold of them. He gives himself a good tug, and manages to snatch Aradir's hand. "Okay! I think… I'm coming out!" As the candidates give a good heave, the bronzer comes free from the mudpit! Hooray! No one died! But Ram doesn't look too happy to have had a near death experience, and now have mud all over his leathers. "Well, I think you'll all join me in saying shard this marsh! Let's go back to camp."

Neferennu pulls as hard as she can, ending up on her butt. In the end though, Ram comes free from the mud and is able to scramble out. "I agree. It looks like there is some hard ground around the edge here." It takes her a couple minutes to get back on her feet though, not too pleased that there is mud all over her, but at least everyone is alive. "Come on, back to camp. Hopefully there will be fish to eat instead of bugs. And to wash these clothes before it gets dark…" Now she is just muttering to herself, keeping her eyes on the ground to watch where she is stepping all the way back out of the marsh and towards the campfire.

Once R'miel is on solid ground, Aradir now worries about getting himself back on dry land. He does about what Thea did, and kind of slithers out of the mud. Sounds easy, but it isn't. And because he worried about getting R'miel out before getting himself out, he ended up chest-deep in the stuff! Though it's better just to be muddy than be dead. Still, he wrinkles his nose. "Eugh." He nods to Neferennu's statement. "Good idea," he notes, shaking some of the excess mud off himself, and following the group back to camp.

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