==== January 24, 2014
==== Kyara, Erissa, A'dan, Cha'el
==== Four Whirlies set off together after felines. Apparently free-diving without a dragon is not a good idea.

Who Kyara, Erissa, A'dan, Cha'el
What Four Whirlies set off together after felines. Apparently free-diving without a dragon is not a good idea.
When There are 0 turns, 1 month and 18 days until the 12th pass.
Where Southern, Jungle

Kyara1.jpg erissa17.jpg a-dan_bloodied.jpg Chael3.png


As the clearing is left behind, a deep silence permeates and soaks into the very ground that towering trees grow out of, accompanied by the humid heat of the enclosed rainforest. The silence is broken by the chittering call of wild firelizards, the chirruping of distant avians, and the ominous rustling of large, feline predators that stalk the deeper, heart of the jungle. Vines drape from the trees, falling to the jungle floor, which carries the hint of decay. Water drips from the canopy above, the soft sound almost musical against the echoing call of the jungles denizens. Westward, with the tangled overgrowth and the shadows of the deeper rainforest, the forest looms dangerous. A small stand of banyan and sandalwood trees grows here.

Erissa is ecstatic. There's no other word for it. A hunt was reason enough for the adrenaline to course through her veins and mental pulse to beat in thick echo as ichor pounded with just as much eager excitement through Danorath, but to get assigned to fly with Cha'el as well was simply the icing on the cake! She didn't even mind that they weren't alone as just getting to watch him in action was a treat in itself. Fortunately Danorath isn't as enamored with the brownrider as his lifemate, otherwise the blur of motion that dashes between the trees as they fly over a ridge would have been missed. «THERE!» The single wordn hits Erissa's mind like a bullhorn, making the bluerider wince and jerk her head around. Signaling Cha'el and A'dan she points and shouts. "Dano spotted something down there!"

Cha’el totally facepalmed when he got lumped with Erissa. Just marvelous. Sikorth on the other hand was rather pleased with the assignment for Danorath is viewed if not his equal, then at least a competent hunter. Thankfully, A’dan is currently there too and one can be sure he’ll buy the man a drink once back in Igen - Wingman in more than one sense of the word whether he knows it or not. Banking swiftly at the blue’s observation, the Weyrsecond, whose mind had been elsewhere utters a short curse and snaps his attention down toward the ground “We’ll land and let the dragons flush it out.” The brownrider shouts back, the wind whipping at his words.

Don't worry Chacha, A'dan's got your back. For what now? Narloth has been ruminating distractedly over Southern's lovely Ice Queen. As such, it's A'dan that keys in on Erissa's cry. The small bronze turns his gaze towards the image projected, jewel-faceted eyes whirling, sparks of orange - the hunt is on. A'dan gives a signal of 'command recieved' and he and the rumpled bronze start their descent into the steamy swelter of Southern's jungle.

Erissa leans forward as Danorath makes a perfectly executed landing in the narrow opening of a streambed, taking advantage of his smaller, stocky build to get close to where motion had been spotted. Erissa whips the straps off quickly and slides down deep blue withers, boots splashing into the shallow water. Pulling off her helmet so she can hear better she gives her head a quick shake, white-blond locks completely askew, then scans the surrounding jungle. Danorath remains alert, light on his paws as he too turns great multi-hued gaze toward the shadows of the thick tropical greenery.

Sikorth isn’t quite so neat, throwing up a small storm of water and vegetation as he squeezes his bulk into a slightly wider area a little further upstream. If that doesn’t have the furry buggers flushing, nothing will. Boots to water, er slippery rock, Cha’el would have landed on his arse if not for the quick flail of arms. Splashing down to where Erissa listens attentively, he hefts his bow in one hand and draws an arrow from the quiver slung across his back. “There’s a ridge just up that way,” the brownrider notes with a jerk of chin in the direction. “Maybe we can run ‘em over the top of it.” He remarks waiting for A’dan to join them while Sikorth lifts back up into the skies for a dragon’s eye view.

Narloth takes time to land, it's not so much that he's big - though he's the biggest of the three - he's just… not athletic. The last thing folks see and hear before lots of whipping and snapping and cracking as the ungainly bronze lands is A'dan crouching low to Narloth's neck and a surprised holler. Narloth has nothing but admiration for his more athletically gifted wingmates' approaches « Funny how we're different, isn't it? Now me, if I did that, we'd be calling a halt to the whole expedition to blink me back home. » A'dan appears on the other side of the bank, festooned with fronds and bits of vine, an orchid draped over one shoulder. He raises a brace of spears, "Ho there. You guys okay?"

Kyara and Liareth aren't far behind; they were assigned with the bronze, brown and blue, also. Just leave it to Lia to insist she sees something as well - which she did, though after a stern reminder that sticking together is best out here, they're in with the rest of the group. The pretty green slips into a narrow little landing zone easily - the advantage of being smallest, and Kyara descends, fully expecting to get scolded for being a bit behind. But they're there, and ready, at least. "Doing good," Kyara answers A'dan's call, glancing around at the surrounding jungle and just learning the lay of things, for the moment.

Erissa flashes a quick smile to Cha'el as he approaches, an admiring glance going to his bow and arrow. Nice! Almost as nice as the buff rider carrying them, but still…one has to have priorities. Can't quite eliminate a wildcat with a killer smile and rock hard torso no matter how delicious they are! Loosening her black jacket enough to reach inside she pulls out a wicked looking short knife of her own, turning it so the bright southern sun glints off the blade. It's more of a precaution, really, as she doesn't plan on getting close enough to one of the wild felines to need it. Sharp dragon talons and flying arrows will do just fine. When the brownrider suggests the nearby ridge she nods, clicking her tongue with an overly emphatic, "Great idea!" Then A'dan is arriving and the bronzerider's appearance draws a chuckle despite the seriousness of their situation. "Camouflage!" she smirks. "Good thinking." Danorath offers a rumble of approval for the last to arrive, the smaller green's landing being neater than any of her bigger breathren. When Kyara catches up Erissa turns to Cha'el and swings one arm in gesture. "You first, oh Fearless Leader!"

As Liareth lands, Cha’el casts a speculative look the way of the greenpair but offers no chastisement because…wing bonding! A’dan is given a thumbs up when his gaze returns to the bronzerider but there’s no denying the smirk the brownrider wears upon noting their wingmate’s clever ‘disguise’. “Start singing like an avian and you’ll totally have the felines fooled,” he adds onto the heels of Erissa’s comment to A’dan. With Sikorth up in the air reporting back on the feline’s movements a sidelong glance goes to Erissa and what quite possibly could be the edges of a pained look. “Right then, let’s go. I’ll take the lead, A’dan you take up the rear.” Which puts the ladies in the middle unless one of them complains about male over protectiveness and all that grand stuff. Without lingering to find out, the Weyrsecond splashes out of the river and angles toward a section of vegetation that appears to be less dense than the rest. And so the upward slog in the cloying heat of Southern tropics begins.

Huh. No one else seems to have had any trouble. A'dan squints down at the other riders and, using the spears to help, skids down a tangled mat of vegetation to the others. "Ka-caw," he deadpans, picking still more bits of greenery from his leathers. Rustling and snapping and a great thundrous clash of leaves and creaking of limbs bring the rider around, wincing as Narloth bursts from the canopy trailing vegetation and clumps of sod. A'dan shakes his head, informing the others, "Narloth's gonna keep an eye on us, so nothing comes up on us unawares."

Kyara has precautions of her own - one in her boot, and one at her belt, and it's those that she gives a quick inspection before unlashing her own weaponry from Lia's straps - three short-hafted, steel-tipped spears, around which she whips a leather cord. She slings them onto her back with a lopsided smile to Cha'el; she was paying attention during his little lesson, see? And then she's following behind Cha'el and Erissa, smirking at A'dan's bird imitation and playing along herself by adding in a melodic bit of a whistle that sounds pretty darn passable. Harper training at imitation, coming in handy.

Erissa merely bats pale lashes and maintains a wide innocent smile when Cha'el looks her way. He's so cute when he's being all leader-like! With an adrenaline/hormone giddiness that's way too spiked for the danger they might face she falls into line behind the brownrider, happily keeping her eyes on his broad back as they pick their way through the low brush and fauna clinging to the sharp incline. The attempts to imitate bird calls raise a grin to her lips, especially when her own attempts result in nothing but blown air. She never did figure out how to whistle. As they near the top of the ridge the trees begin to crowd in as well and Erissa pauses to lean on one, lifting one arm to swipe across beaded brow. Riding leathers might be a protection in the frigid iciness of Between but they sure magnify the thick heat of the southern tropics! "How do people live down here?" she asks in general. Behind them all, Danorath launches smoothly from the streambed, slipping neatly between the reaching branches of the jungle canopy with an eager bellow. The sound ripples outward and stirs a bunch of birds into flight, but after the initial rush of wings and leaves there's a crackling of twigs that suggests something bigger moving nearby.

There’s a grunt of amusement from Cha’el at A’dan’s dry wit. “Keep that up, Chuckles,” the crashing and startling crow-like noises, “and I’ll have W’rin put you up as evening entertainment ‘round the fire tonight.” Smirk. “Maybe you can make yourself a grass skirt and dance for us too. Kyara here will provide the music.” Haha. There is however a backward glance over his shoulder and a nod of head in appreciation for the task set the rumpled bronze. Catching that smile coming from Kyara there’s an approving wink and then focus is set to the somewhat treacherous path. “I’ve heard they go insane,” the brownrider comments offhandedly to Erissa on the heat, “heat cooks their brains or something.” Onward and upward, angling toward the edge of the ravine that breaks itself down into a series of dropped steps to one side with thick vegetation banking away to the other side of the hunting party. Suddenly, from out of the jungle there’s a loud squeal followed by something heavy crashing straight toward the Igen ‘riders.

Bringing up the rear, A'dan nods at each of the riders as the file past him, a brow arched at Erissa's long-bladed knife. "Hope you're not planning to use that on a feline." He trains his eyes on the former-Harper, snorting at the trills she's making, "Try ki-kiri-kiri-ki - that's the call of those green fledged ones with orange crest." He nods at the disappearing cries of the flock Danorath stirred. The humidity is TRULY miserable. "Erissa, that is a mystery for the age- shh…!" He pauses, hand held up, listening intently. Hmmm. Nothing. Still deadpan, "I cut quite a rug. Ask anybody." He watches the path ahead as the others descend. Watches around. A rustling in the undergrowth. Narloth's warning comes, with a stroke of elecricity richocheting through A'dan's mind, « Wild porcine! » The bronzerider whips a spear down moving forward as an enormous boar rips out of the undergrowth, hooves churning the turf, rage in its beady eyes, tusks gleaming a bone-shivering squeal of rage issuing from a twisted snout as it charges. A'dan's not in a good spot to help, he bares his teeth hoping to be able to set in time.

Liareth prowls along several lengths from Danorath, lithely slipping between and over all obstacles as she moves to cut off anything the blue might scare up. Her eagerness is carrying over to her rider, at least, who is now a little more attuned to a sense of excitement about hunting. "Pfff, I'll provide the music anyway," Kyara returns dryly. "Faranth knows I'll need it after this." That's nervous excitement coloring the edges of her voice; it is her first hunt, after all. She casts a grin over her shoulder at A'dan for his suggestion, and to the comment about insane Southerners, she chuckles. "Guess I'd better warn my brother, then, before he's here too long," she surmises. Suddenly, there's that porcine crashing toward them…and a spear suddenly appears in Kyara's hand, gripped readily as her stance shifts to one allowing quicker movement. She's not in the best spot to help, either, but she does shift back and sideways, out of the creature's path, at least. In the undergrowth, Liareth gives a hiss as adrenaline spikes in her rider, and the green bounds protectively toward the group.

Erissa jerks aright at the sounds of a squeal and crashing, the knife held in a tight grip in front of her. «Got them!» comes Danorath's eager shout as the dragon spots a couple of felines over the ridge and ahead a ways. Erissa opens her mouth to relay the information but is cut short when something launches itself from the brush and comes directly at them. What the…?!?! Too close and too fast, the frightened and angry pair of boars rush at the bluerider before she can effectively wield her knife . As she scrambles to get out of the way the bigger of the two wild porcines grazes her leg with its sharp tusk, opening a gash in her trousers just under her knee. With a shout Erissa stumbles backward, her foot catching on a rock and throwing her off balance. Down, down, down and around she tumbles, rolling over brush and rock in a windmill of flailing limbs that doesn't stop until she reaches the bottom of the ravine.

And where has Sikorth been in all of this? Waaay up high, keen eyesight following the occasional glimpses of tan and black striped fur being stalked by his wingmates as it zig-zags through the undergrowth drawing ever closer toward the lip of the ridge. An angered roar rips through the air at Narloth's warning of boar and the brown tucks his wings and angles downward, belly skimming the treetops. « Flame it!! » Oh wait. No firestone. DAMMIT!! Down on the ground, Cha'el reacts instinctively, notching an arrow and turning with bow strung, a heavy curse growled out. But before he can get a shot off, one of the boars that thunder out of the undergrowth, catches Erissa's leg. Even although he immediately lunges forward, all he manages to snatch is a fleeting fistful of the back of her jacket before gravity jerks her away and over the side. "Shit!! A'dan!! Take point." The Weyrsecond yells and without a second thought, launches himself over the side of the ridge, slipping and sliding, boots skidding to find purchase as he slithers down after the bluerider half on his butt and half on his back. Yay grazes and ruined leathers!! Not.

Already moving forward, A'dan skids but manages to plant the butt of his spear as the yowling boar rips free of Erissa and sends her tumbling down the ravine. No! But it's not a good set, and the ground is bad. Real bad. The spearhead buries deep in the boar's chest, but thing is only maddened. Its rank smell hits A'dan, musk and urine and muck… blood. The boar thrashes on the end of his spear, yanking it back and forth. Teeth bared in a grimace, A'dan struggles to keep the thing's tusks from ripping him open. "Kyara!" Cha'el's command sails past, it may register at some point. As soon as A'dan is done not getting gutted. « There's another! » A'dan grunts, straining. Great. Of course there is.

« I come! » Everything's a blur to Kyara: not one, but two porcines, one blowing past Erissa, the bluerider tumbling downhill, a roar and a crash as green explodes off to the right and Liareth bursts onto the scene. Ah, the perks of being the smallest color! Bronze-washed talons flash out toward the nearest porcine as she springs, ripping into it to end the danger. For her part, Kyara scrambles sideways, registers what's happening with the one A'dan's dealing with, and drives her own spear into the side of the beast with a ragged shout, pushing with all her weight to keep it's tusks from meeting the bronzerider and - let's face it - to just get the thing dead. At Narloth's warning, Liareth whips her head around with a snarl, scanning for the next to come. The one she's got is pretty well done for by now, pinned beneath one foot as it's lifeblood drains away. Gritting her teeth, Kyara looks back up to the porcine at the end of both her and A'dan's spears. Is it dead yet?

The ground goes up. The sky comes down. Shake, rinse, and repeat. Erissa doesn't know which way is what as she tumbles down the ravine, pain flaring not only from her leg but the myriad of hits she takes from bramble and stone on the way down the hillside. Somewhere along the way the knife falls from her grasp - probably a good thing or she might've skewered herself with it. Finally coming to a halt she doesn't move, too disorientated to do more than groan and try to make sense of the jumbled chaos her senses have been thrown into. From the sky above comes a booming roar as Danorath zeros in on her location, frustrated as the dense jungle growth keeps him from landing near her. Sensing her pain he frets and ruthlessly beats the air with the pull of ocean-shadowed wings, raining leaves and twigs on those below. A deep sea tempest whips the winds of his mindtouch into a fervor, frantically seeking confirmation that his rider is alright.

Finally, toward the bottom of the incline where the ground starts to level out a little, Cha’el is able to properly find his footing. Closing in on where Erissa finally comes to a rest, palms and back throbbing from being grazed raw, he crouches down next to her, baritone thrummed through with worry as he does a quick assessment of her injuries. “’Rissa. ‘Rissa. Can you hear me? Open your eyes, sweetheart,” the brownrider instructs, cringing at the fuss Danorath is kicking up and then frowning heavily at the bloodied rip in the bluerider’s pants. “Easy there big fella, we’re gonna take good care of her.” He assures the blue. Sikorth. Calm him so that we can get her out of here. Glancing back up to the ridge high above where he’d left Kyara and A’dan to deal with the boars, the Weyrsecond shouts up to them. “Kyara!! A’dan!! You two still alive up there?”

A bronze does not have a gold's power to soothe, but if Narloth's body is nothing inspiring, his mind is a wonder. He bugles a clear note, shivering in the air a clear wash of sound and a sense of calm and clarity, of clear, high desert air, cool and crisp. The clear blue stretches out, storm subsiding, retreating, out, out, the warmth of the sun that, so often a hot blaze that leaves no secret unrevealed a warmth within… assurance. Blood sprays from Kyara's strike onto the bronzerider, slicking his face and hands. One arm bracing the spear, A'dan fumbles for his knife, dropping it. The blade flashing as it tumbles away. He gropes for Kyara's belt, her knife. His hand slips on the spear and the butt comes free. The boar, in death throes from Kyara's blow, bears down on A'dan. Growling as they crash together to the ground, A'dan drives Kyara's knife into the thing's neck, shouting as its full weight bears down on him, kicking and thrashing. Silence. Stillness and silence. Cha'el's cry. Silence. A muffled. "Shards this thing reeks."

Kyara makes no protest as A'dan goes after her knife, still shoving with all her strength as the porcine makes its last struggle. Presently, all is still, and the greenrider grimaces mightily as she loosens her grip on the spear, stumbling back a few steps with a groan as she wipes a hand darkened with dirt and blood over her sweat-drenched brow. She's catching her breath, hands braced on her knees, while Liareth prowls to and fro in the brush nearby, defying any other creature to come near. A'dan speaks - thank Faranth, he's alive - and she summons her strength again to heave at the dead thing atop the bronzerider, successfully rolling it at least partway off. Hopefully enough to be helpful to the bronzer, at any rate. At Cha'el's shout, her attention snaps back up, and she calls Liareth near, jumping up to unbind her pouch that she keeps her first aid supplies in. Yes - this is a habit she's definitely grateful she kept up. While Liareth keeps up her prowling, doing her best to infuse the mind of her blue wingmate with that calming, soothing steam of her mental bath house. "Yes!" Kyara calls back. "We're alright!" She peers down the slops, spots the other two riders, and hops over the edge to make her own descent. Her own scrapes and whatnot will be negligible; Erissa is going to need what she's got in her pouch far more.

The first thing that makes sense to Erissa is the frantic sapphire and teals of Danorath's mental touch. She knows the feel of those colors on her mind and it helps her find purchase on solid ground. Next comes the more tactile sound of a familiar voice saying her name and using a tone that she well remembers. Sweetheart? Did he just call her 'sweetheart'?? That alone is enough to pull her attention through the pain so that pale lashes flutter open a crack to verify what she's hearing. Yes! It is him. Her loverboy come to the rescue! "Cha'el?" she husks, immediately coughing. Dirt clings to her leathers, mixing with bright red blood just below the knee on one leg, and dusting her skin and hair with a light coating. Scrapes track across her palms while a jagged cut from temple to cheek bleeds heavily as head injuries are wont to do. Lean muscle tenses to sit up, with the result that she nearly passes out when her body flares painfully in instant protest, most notably the gored leg. Sucking in a hissed breath she lets it out in a groan. "Damn…that hurts," she grumbles with a hitched stutter. «ERISSA!» The plaintive cry fills her mind, making the bluerider visibly cringe. I'm alive. Don't shout! Danorath finally lets the soothing efforts of the other dragons sink in as he gets confirmation from his bonded, relieved apology washing over her in great ocean-fed waves.

Receiving no immediate reply from either of the two above, worry closes Cha'el's chest, guilt washing over him like a tidal wave. It was on him if anything dire happened to any of the small hunting party. Quickly he slips his arms in under Erissa, one about her shoulders, the other under her legs in preparation to curl her in against his chest and get them the shards out of there. But then lashes flutter and she speaks his name. "Its okay, 'Rissa. I got you and…" a shower of pebbles and dirt precede Kyara's arrival. "Kyara's here with her healer's kit." Instead of scooping her up, the brownrider removes his arms and angling himself differently and props the bluerider's shoulders up against his chest. "Next time you want to go free-diving," a popular sport amongst some 'riders whose artful dragons catch them mid-air, "Make sure Dano's ready, aye?" A weak joke at best while he waits for the greenrider to join them and do a bit of triage before they move back to the camp for a more thorough inspection and treatment of wounds.

Any opinions Kyara may have about Erissa outside of drills are completely and utterly disregarded in this moment; her wingmate is injured, she can help, and that's all that matters right now. The greenrider slips around to the bluerider's side, opposite Cha'el, hastily going about drenching her hands from her waterskin and drying them before she casts her jacket aside and delves into her pouch. "Hey, Erissa," she greets the bluerider with a quick squeeze of reassurance to her shoulder, her tone gentle but a bit raspy from all the exertion. "Scare us all, why don't you? I'm just going to take a look at your knee. It'll sting; sorry." She frowns in concentration as she does just as she warns, nodding as she finds another clean cloth, douses it with water and cleans the wound first with that, then with redwort from a small vial. "It's not too deep," she says, quickly following up with numbweed and then a compress, which she proceeds to bind tightly around Erissa's knee with deft but gently knowledgeable hands. "May need a few stitches, but a Healer will know better than me. This should do until we can get back to camp, though." That done, and supplies stashed away once more, Kyara sits down heavily and drags a wrist across her dirt and blood-smeared forehead, suddenly very weary and a little shaky in her own right as the adrenaline drops off. First hunt? A little more exciting than she'd anticipated, certainly.

Erissa can't help groaning as she's moved, pain white-washing the thrill of being so close to Cha'el. She musters up just enough coordination to snort at his attempted joke, humor fleeting, before Kyara's arrival draws her attention. "Not my fault. Who put that hillside there?" she counters both riders, trying not to think about what the greenrider is about to do. Tensing before Kyara even touches her, Erissa grabs ahold of Cha'els sleeve and fingers curl tightly. More hissing. More groaning. Pale lashes press down over gray-shadowed blues as she bites her bottom lip. Still wheeling above, Danorath lets out a plaintive bellow. Only when Kyara is done and pronounces her fit to travel does the bluerider let out a long, shaky sigh, exhaustion setting in as she sags against Cha'el. It's ok. I'm gonna be alright, she reassures her hovering blue. Then, aloud, she manages to mutter to the greenrider, "Thanks." As Kyara mentions going back to camp and memory catches up, Erissa stirs slightly. "Where's my knife?"

Silent while Kyara carries out her assessments and offers Erissa what aid she can, Cha’el shifts against the bluerider. Perhaps he’s sitting on a sharp stone. Or maybe. It’s the sight of all that blood. Surely not he with knuckles scarred with obvious evidence of having splattered blood in lusty brawls? Nope. Not he who is currently looking somewhat pale and green about the gills. Definitely not! “You’re a credit to the wing,” the brownrider finds his voice enough to say once the greenrider has packed her things away. Slowly he’ll gather his legs up under him, swallowing against the nausea that roils contents of his stomach and then carefully scoops Erissa up in his arms. Holding her against his chest, he pauses before making his way over to where Danorath waits anxiously, concern for Kyara showing in the low drag of brows and pitch of timbre. “Come on, lets get you ladies back to the camp and then we can have a drink and laugh about boaring felines.” Haha. Such a comedian. He’s really not. Just a brownrider shaken not stirred. “I’ll come back for it later.” That to Erissa with regards to her knife. But right now, back to camp and that bottle of rum he’s got stashed in a carrysack somewhere.

"Can I get a little, faugh, pah," A'dan sputters, spitting as he braces against the ground and shoves, "help here." With a mighty grunt and a shove, he extracts himself from under the cooling corpse, and sends a reassurance skyward to his 'mate circling above. He's a horror show. Covered in blood, mostly the boar's, from crown to crotch. He rolls upright, groaning and pats ineffectually at the sticky mess of his leathers. Swiping at his mouth, he spits and mutters under his breath. "Hey, you guys okay down there?" A'dan peers down the treacherous slope and scrambles down to help with bringinging Erissa up. Ah. That's all taken care of. "I got the knives." He bats around the rocks and growth with the butt of his other spear. "Kyara, tell Liareth 'nice catch.'"

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