Attack of the Flaming Ovine

Xanadu Weyr - Meadow

A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of buildings, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.
Stables and a smithy are settled on their own plots, while trees border the northern edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a fence can be seen to the east.

It's a lovely to be outside and, er, standing around! Cenlia and her brother Eledri are standing here, the latter looking a bit baffled and staring at the sky. They're standing near a big barn - X'hil's weyr actually, and Cenlia blinks at Xylaihl, "Erm." The farmer girl is so articulate. "Uh, he's been… good?" she says. What exactly to you say to a weyrsecond's mother? Eledri frowns, looking from the greenrider to his sister, then back up at the sky.

Thea is hobbling across the clearing, looking fairly sleep-mussed. Her face has sheet-creases in it that may not come out for weeks and her hair is sticking up funny. One hand cradles her backside - like that's gonna ease the bruised area on her fanny. She's not watching where she's going as she's concentrating on the ground, making sure each foot goes just where she intends it to. As she's muttering to herself, she doesn't hear the voices of anyone else - at least not just yet.

Xylaihl frowns a little, and stops her pacing, glancing to Cenlia with a hopeful expression. "Good? Really? That's, that's … good." Yeah… She seems to have perked up a little, though she glances up at the sky briefly, still a little rattled. "And, and Kinseth's well?" she asks suddenly, clearly concerned. Xvetaoth croons at her rider. It'll be okay. It'll work out in the end. The woman is too preoccupied with her own troubles at the moment to notice Thea, but Xvetaoth is peering at the dazed woman, curiously.

"Um, yea. Sir Kinseth's fine," Cenlia is getting so used calling the dragon that, she probably doesn't even realize she's still doing it. Eledri doesn't say anything, though he rubs his wrist. Now that the girl is outside again, her four firelizards zoom out from the garden, the two blues and brown chittering at her while the bronze flit… is hauiling a basket? Why yes, the little bronze is fluttering madly, talons clasped to the basket handle while it drags the thing across the meadow towards Cenlia. Whatever else the girl was going to say, she's a bit distracted now. Occasionally, one of Cenlia's other flits flutters over to try to assist the little bronze, but the bronze just hisses and continues flapping. The basket itself is full of sand. And small round rocks. Cenlia groans at the flits, "Ya ain't adding more!" As she eyes the flits, the gardener girl catches sight of Thea, and looks around for an escape route.

Thea notices the basket-toting bronze firlizard, mainly because it drags the basket across the Clearing right in front of her. "And where are you going, Prince Charming?" A tad sarcastically, but she smiles faintly at him. He's a cutie. Her gaze lifts and she spies Cenlia and one finger points to the girl, "You." Thea says it tonelessly, but the young Junior's shoulders tense. She looks around, but there is no current disaster befalling the area, so she relaxes. She continues her painful trek, which draws her nearer to the group. "Ah, good afternoon, Rider…" brow wrinkles and then she remembers, "Xylaihl." She gives a quick glance at the sky - it is afternoon, right? Then Cenlia is given a long, considering look. "Seen our brave Weyrsecond around?" Definite sarcasm in her tone this time.

Xylaihl raises an eyebrow curiously. "/Sir/ Kinseth?" she asks, with a blink. "Good lord, always said he had an ego the size of the red star." she … giggles? And even Xvetaoth is looking more her bouncy full of energy self. It's apparently contagious, over the rider/dragon bond. Then, it's staring time. "What /is/ that firelizard up to? Are… are those rocks? Is he dragging a basket full of /rocks/ around?" The woman's curious frown turns into a scowling frown as Thea gets sarcastic with her. "I've /seen/ him." she says defensively. Yes, for all of five seconds, before he freaked out and disappeared. "I don't like your /tone/." she snaps. Her son, X'hil, won't even /speak/ to her, and it's rather a sore point with the greenrider.

Cenlia's little bronze HISSES at Thea. Hisses! What?! Hissing from the flit that loves everybody. What the heck is wrong with him? Cenlia groans, having been spotted, and mumbles an innocent, "Me?" She looks around, then coughs, "Um, X'hil had to… um, go." Somewhere. Very fast. Cenlia eyes her bronze and mutters, "Shardin' flit hit his head… thinks he's a gold now." She pauses and frowns, "With eggs. Dragonhealer K'vin said he didn't know anything he could do, said to just let him rest." Eledri stares at his sister, frowning also. The bronze flit is definitely not resting, as it drags the basket closer to Cenlia and then begins scouring the meadow for more stones, even hissing at Cenlia when she tries to approach the basket.

Thea looks a bit confused at the older woman's ire. One hand scrubs at her face, as she mutters to herself. Patiently she tries again, "I was talking to her, actually." One hand gestures towards Cenlia. She just gives the bronze firelizard a blink. "That so?" She smirks a little, "Not hurt badly?" Then her attention returns to the group, "What's he runnin' away from?" Besides irate goldriders seeking to flay his hide, that is.

Xylaihl frowns a little, then snorts, and simply walks away. Buh? Well, she's probably got… things to do? She does shoot back, "None of your /business/!" when Thea asks what he's running from, though. And then she's gone, with Xvetaoth bounding after.

"Yea, K'vin said the flit's fine. Just… messed in the head," the gardener girl mutters as she watches the firelizard flying around gathering even more stones. He must have nearly two dozen by now. Cenlia glances over at the departing neon green dragon and then watches Xylaihl go. Eledri remains wisely silent. After the greenrider is out of earshot, the gardener girl tells Thea wryly, "He was runnin' from her, is my guess." She kind of looks like she'd like to run away too, but her brother Eledri is polite enough to dip his head and offer a respectful greeting, "Weyrwoman Thea." And then he rubs his wrist again, saying, "If you will both excuse me, I need to return to the infirmary." Cenlia eyes her brother as he also departs, looking as if maybe she wants to go with him, but also seeming reluctant. Sheepzilla is still on the loose, after all…

Thea merely shrugs as Xylaihl walks off. Her testy reply is ignored as well. With a flick of her fingers the woman is forgotten. Cenlia is again pinned with a stare, "From her? Why on Pern…?" Then, because she doesn't have the concentration to follow the reason and because she hasn't linked the two together as relatives, she shrugs, "Well, no wonder. The woman's a grouch." If that ain't the pot callin' the kettle black. She pursues her quest, "Which way did he go? I'm gonna get my crossbow and have at that ram in the Infirmary. I want him there to help. This has gone on long enough." Her voice has taken on a bit of a growl. The goldie isn't her usual cheerful self today. Eledri makes his escape unnoticed.

Cenlia shrugs and then points up, "X'hil and Sir Kinseth took off the minute they spotted her. Dunno where they went-" It is about then that the sound of clanging and yelling comes from the smithy. It's the kind of yelling that urges people to action. Cenlia looks like she'd like to get into action - to get out of there. However, her flits have other ideas, and the little bronze flies right into the smithy with a hiss! Sounds like there's a danger near his basket and he's going to go fight it! The other three flits trill in concern and fly after him, the baket full of sand and rocks forgotten. Cenlia groans a, "Hey! Get back here!" and runs after them. And not a moment later comes a horrified, "Awk! Help!"


Xanadu Weyr - Smith Forge

Loud, dim, and hot is the large area set up for the Smith's forge area. It's been roughly divided into separate areas, the large common one holding the main forge lodged against the western wall, with bellows at the ready and a chimney rushing high to open in the ceiling outside. This is the area that the apprentices are taught in and are able to use, the nearby wall clasps a vast and unspecialized collection of tools, while the built-in shelves of another wall host jars of nails, crates of wood and metal scraps, spools of wire, sacks of sand, and heavy bins of Cromcoal, all decorated with a fine coating of grime and sawdust.
To the other side are the separate forges for the Journeyman's use, each one kept clean and neat, even when in the midst of a project. Behind and to the back lies the more private forges reserved for the few Masters that stay here.

Thea ought to let the gardener make good her escape, really. The cries for help lure her on, however. Not that she's in the condition to offer much assistance. She sighs and limps after Cenlia, reaching the entrance to the Smith Forge, where she leans on the doorframe. She just looks on, bracing herself to discover what mayhem awaits. "When they said there would be days like this, I didn't believe them…" Her voice trails off.

The most horrifying sound (at least to some) carries through the smithy: 'Baa!' Cenlia is running full tilt. In circles. She is being chased but a huge ram, its head down in a charge. "Theeeaaaa!" Cenlia cries as she runs past the goldie, "Heeellp!" A number of apprentices and even a journeyman smith are all running about, alternately trying to herd or jump out of the way of the irate ovine. Cenlia's little flits are definitely not helping, as they divebomb the sheep from behind, ironically herding the thing after the gardener. Some of the smiths are bellowing suggestions, while others are just laughing from the safety of the hallway.

Thea hears that baa-ing. And grits her teeth. "Stupid, sharding…incompetent…" Her voice raises from a grumble to a screech, "It's an ovine! You're big strong men! Conk it on the noggin with an iron tool, fools!" Oh, to be un-fellis-hungover and strong enough to do the conking herself. She flattens herself to the wall as the ovine-chased Cenlia streaks by. And grins. Does she help? Not at first. Advice is help, isn't it? "Jump on it's back!" Wait - there's no one here with a syringe of the joy-juice. The pair make another loop. As the ram passes, Thea helps - what the heck - she sticks out her leg (the one attached to her non-sore buttock) and attempts to trip the critter.

'BAAA!' the sheep goes. "Gaaaah!" the gardener goes. And a few smiths make halfhearted attempts to jump the thing, but land on their faces instead. Thea's leg out seems to take the critter a bit by surprise - 'BAA!' it goes, jumping up and and over, right into the side of a forge! There is a 'CLANGGG!' and the dazed ovine wobbles. Unfortunately, it also knocks whatever bits of metal were sticking out of the hastily-abandoned forge, and the white-hot ends, not to mention hot coals, go flying through the air. Cenlia shrieks, getting just a smattering in her hair. Her flits bravely defend her, and attempt to drag the girl away from the ovine. Several of the coals land in the ram's thick wool and begin to smoke, but it is the glowing end of a poker that whaps it in the rear that startles the ram into another charge, bowling over several smiths who had approached in an attempt to wrestle it. Cenlia, unfortunately, doesn't get away fast enough, and is bowled over too. With an 'AUUGH-OOPH!' the gardener gets shoved aside, and the ram heads straight towards the door!

Thea's no dimglow. She steps aside and lets it go on out. Where it belongs. She just starts laughing as the creature makes its escape into the Meadow. There's several dragons lounging around out there. Problem solved. She makes her way, painful step by painful step to where Cenlia is sprawled and offers her a hand up. "You hurt? Stupid ovines. Someone's gonna get sharding killed!" There's a ghastly screeching racket outside now. It doesn't sound like a beast being eaten by a dragon, either. "What the shards?" Thea heads back towards the Meadow. Why are the Smiths out there laughing?

Cenlia really appreciates the hand up, gasping since she got the air knocked out of her. She wobbles a bit, and then goes, "AUGH!" and frantically bats at her head. There's the barest wisp of smoke from her hair before the gardener girl gets the cinder out. With a sour look, she mutters, "Shardin' ovi-" and then her little bronze SCREAMS and swoops out to the meadow, crying shrilly, and Cenlia's other flits follow after, their shrieking adding to the already ghastly screeching outside. Cenlia blinks, looks at Thea, groans, and follows the goldie out the door.


Xanadu Weyr - Meadow

A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of buildings, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.
Stables and a smithy are settled on their own plots, while trees border the northern edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a fence can be seen to the east.

Something large and on fire zooms past the smithy door! The screeching, oh the awful screeching! The ovine is running in circles, 'baaaiing' madly, and a number of folks caught by surprise are running from it. A charging ovine is bad enough, but it seems that those hot coals have started smoking, and as the sheep runs, its wool has caught fire. The flaming ovine thunders through the meadow, and humans and dragons alike get out of its way. There's no way anybody's piling on it now! Cenlia's little flits are shrieking and trying to keep the thing away from… the basket of rocks. Yes, they're defending a basket of rocks. The little bronze is putting up an incredible fuss, but even he has to abandon his post with a flaming sheep bearing down on him!

Thea just stops outside the door and takes it all in. Weakly, she leans against the wall and just watches dumbfounded. There's a flamin' ovine running about! Good thing it's been raining lately, or they'd have multiple fires started here and now. The dragons present are just watching in amusement as the fireball-with-legs careens about the meadow. "Don't hit the cots, don't hit the cots," Thea chants. What to do? "Eat the sharding thing!" She bellows at the silly dragons watching. "Shells! Some of them eat -firestone- and belch flame, what's a little ovine a-flame to them?" She hasn't the energy to do anything else but fume helplessly today. Someone pinch her and wake her from this. It has to be a nightmare.

Cenlia eyes the scene, and looks like she immediately wished she hadn't. She eyes Thea, then looks out across the meadow where the ovine is still bleating and screeching. The poor little basket of rocks has been trampled, and the little bronze flit is sitting on the remains, creeling piteously. The rest of Cenlia's flock seem to have given up on him, and return to the girls shoulders. Cenlia opens her mouth to say something, then closes it. A number of smiths are standing nearby and laughing, and a number of riders are as well, but then the sheep makes a dive towards the weyr proper, and the amusement turns to shouts of alarm. "I ain't got /nothin'/ to do with this," Cenlia mutters, watching the thing, perhaps suddenly remembering a certain weyrwoman who asked her not to burn the weyr down. The gardener girl looks at Thea, "Um."

Thea watches the ovine's course of trajectory. As Cenlia mutters,Thea eyes the girl out of the corner of her eye, "Of course you didn't, I can attest to that." Hopefully no one will trace all this mayhem to an unlatched gate. She speaks aloud, "Seryth, bespeak Kilaueth, please. Have her warn Niva…" Her voice trails off. She can't run after the ovine in her condition. A sudden influx of Xanadu Weyr firelizards arrow towards the ovine. Maybe they can turn it away? She holds her breath and waits.

Cenlia's own flits join the firelizard flock, that bronze especially seeming out for vengeance, and the sheep is suddenly presented with a shrieking wall of flapping color. It has been beset by angry smiths, set on fire, and now this?! The ovine 'BAAAAs' and careens sideways, turning right around - back towards the meadow, and onward to the beach! 'BAAA!' the flaming ovine goes, streaking past the smithy and startling a number of smiths who'd begin running after it. Cenlia flattens herself against the side of the building as she fiery sheep zooms past. Whew!

Thea exhales as the ovine turns and heads towards the Beach. It can't burn anything down there. Or can it? She pushes herself from the wall and staggers in the wake of smoke and singed-flesh scent following doggedly in the direction of the torched ovine. She stops once or twice to rest her aching ham and leg. The fellis is worn off alright, but she is sore where that needle was pounded home.


Xanadu Weyr - Beach

The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.
The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

The sheep-on-fire which had charged out of the smithy and run amok through the meadow before being turned back from its headlong rush towards the caverns by a huge flock of Xanadu firelizards is now careening down the beach, wailing as it goes. The flaming ovine hits the sand at a dead run, and Cenlia and Thea follow after it, albeit MUCH more slowly.

It's sheer curiosity that's got the gardener following the flaming sheep. That, and if she makes a run for it, she's afraid a certain goldie might come after her with a crossbow. Cenlia keeps pace with Thea, the farmcrafter girl mumbling with some fascinaton as she watches the ovine which is still going, "South Boll weren't this bad, even in keg-sevenday."

Thea stops at the edge of the sand. There's no way she can navigate the sands with all of the muscles one one side of her butt and legs screaming in pain. Shellie may have hit the sciatic nerve in that ill-fated stab. She watches the burning ovine run across the sand, wincing. "The thing must be in terrible pain." The Junior is tired and can't really seem to muster the strength to summon any action, human or draconic to intervene.

'BAAAAAAAAaaaaa-'SPLASH! The flaming ovine's panicked charge takes it right into the water, and for a moment the only thing that's visible is an enormous cloud of foul-smelling smoke.

KERSPLASH! There's a sudden hit of yellow and green spottled and speckled underbelly and then all of the sudden, there's a surprising wave that goes across most of the beach as Saige's trilling "CANNONBAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!" Can be heard from her position in the weyr beach.

Cenlia blinks. Blink blink. "That a… dragon?" the gardener girl asks, watching wave engulf smoking ovine and put it out completely. There's one last, watery bleat as the flaming sheep is no more, disappearing in the water. Cenlia runs a hand through her hair, muttering, "South Boll ain't got nothin' compared to this place."

Thea just watches, obviously relieved the thing is no longer a threat. "Well, it isn't suffering any more." And neither are we, she might as well say. And the Weyr can burn down another day. Wait. "I'm going to bed and rest this…" Thea patpats her sore butt. She turns to head off, but finds the leg will not move. The muscle is spasmed. And it hurts! The goldrider sinks to the sand, fainted. She'll no doubt be slung like a sack of tubers over some Healer's shoulder and toted back to the Infirmary to have an ice-pak applied to her fanny.

Cenlia watches her friend faint, and mutters a, "Er, Thea?" Prodding the goldie with a finger, Cenlia sighs and turns towards the infirmary, muttering, "Better go get a healer…" and she adds somewhat sourly, "And check on Eled."

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