Who

Hannah, Kultir, Qielle

What

Kultir averts disaster and comes away with more than what he had while saving two girls at the same time!

When

It is evening of the seventh day of the twelfth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

The Ice Fields, Southern Mountain Area

OOC Date

 

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The Ice Fields

The air is fine and crisp and sharp and spare, threatening to vanish within the lungs of those who risk such altitude. Vast and sprawling lies the ice shelf of the Southern continent, bleak as far as the sharpest of eyes can see. Here there is meddling by mortal forces, a road ice-cut and gravel-trod from the mountain pass below to the looming caves ahead.
It is the seventh day of Summer and 21 degrees. It's cold and dark out.


Timor: moon4.jpg
Belior: moon3.jpg


-- On Pern --
It is 7:54 PM where you are.
It is evening of the seventh day of the twelfth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.
In Igen:
It is the seventh day of Winter and 34 degrees. It is a clear night.
In Southern:
It is the seventh day of Summer and 99 degrees. It is a clear night.
In Southern Mountains:
It is the seventh day of Summer and 21 degrees. It's cold and dark out.




The lash of freezing weather in the height of Summer has lead to Hannah being bundled up in as many layers as possible as well as a thick, fur-lined jacket. Across the ice fields, work is still getting done on the Hold as evidenced by the laying of groundwork by the minecraft and woodcraft. The baker craft is in full force in the Base Camp, trying to provide rations for the workers that struggle to build a Hold. All in all, everyone is doing their part, and Hannah is no different. She stands next to a group of folk that are eyeing a herd of caribou-like creatures. Some of the hunt has already been picked off, the successful hunters returning with their kill, amid the raucous sound of laughter and exhaltation. Blood stains the pure-white snow, though the junior weyrwoman does not, in the least, seem squeamish about this. "This will be a good haul," is what is commented to the person next to her.

And here's a herder, because what hunt is complete with one? Wait, most of them, you say? Oh well. Qielle is here ANYHOW, bundled up just as much as Hannah and perusing her gaze over the sweeping herd. "At least they'll eat good tonight," she agrees with the shorter woman, huffing on her fingers to warm them and balefully eyeballing as one lowing creature gets TOO CLOSE for comfort and is chased off by one of the spare hunters. "They have to be the dumbest things I've ever seen." Her voice is a marvel.

Kultir is bundled in heavy furs over felted wool garments, his heavy longbow in hand and a quiver of arrows hanging securely from his belt. His critical eye watches as the animals are picked off, a soft tsk sounding when more than one beast requires more than a single arrow to dispatch. "It will be, ma'am." The young tracker from Southern Weyr's voice is muffled by the swathing fabric shielding his lower face as he waits for his turn to head down to the massive herd, his amber eyes searching for a potential target among them. "They'll get smarter, once they are used to being hunted." His gaze flicks to the two standing nearby, his eyes shining with amusement behind his goggles.

Used to watching dragons hunt, Hannah is not used to seeing people hunt and so she stands fascinated. Kultir's comments are caught and she quirks a curious brow to the trader boy, "Oh yeah?" Critically, she assesses the situation with animal and hunters. Qielle's presence is also noted, though she furrows, "You here to do the skinning?" Or maybe that's why Kultir is here, though the boy's bow and arrows are eyed thoughtfully. "You're a hunter, aren't you?" One of the creatures breaks from the herd and starts running pell-mell towards the onlookers. The hunters are slow to realize and even slower to mobilize given that the majority of them are trying to haul in their catch. "Hey that one — " Is that supposed to happen? It's still far off, but ice chips dance up with each pounding foot. Qielle is right, these animals are stupid.

"Oh no, not me." Qielle is quick to shake her head at Hannah's query of skinning animals. Her blue-green eyes flicker upwards towards Kultir, thoughtfully, nodding at his comment of them getting smarter. But until then: "I'm here to look at them. They aren't quite like anything we've seen before — even up in the northern wastes." Why is the woman so damned chipper? "Is… are they… are they coming right at us?" Qielle's voice is a little quiet, as if she can't QUITE believe that a stampede is coming RIGHT AT THEIR FACES.

Kultir's gaze turns back outward toward the herd, his eyes narrowing as the beasts mill until he sees one breaking away and running toward them. Glancing at the hunters closer to the herd, his frown deepens as none of them seem to notice or are slow to react to the new situation. With a soft grunt of effort to break loose the metal spikes on the bottom of his boots, he jogs several steps to the side as he raises his bow. With a fluid movement an arrow is nocked and the string drawn as the young hunter draws a bead on the running animal's side. Exhaling slowly, he releases the string and watches as the arrow strikes home just behind the foreleg and between a pair of ribs to bury itself in the beasts heart. Almost immediately, the beasts forelegs collapse while the hindlegs churn on though the antlered head catches on the rough ice and the deep sound of bone crunching indicates the snapping of the thick neck before the carcass comes to rest about thirty feet from the gathered group of onlookers. Lowering his bow, he approaches the two women and nods. "Yes, Weyrwoman … I've been a hunter for nearly half my life. And I'm here to show them how to skin them too." He shrugs slightly, the orders of the Headman aren't to be questioned by the young tracker that's been asked to find and set snares here in the icy Hold area.

Hannah watches with widened eyes as Kultir steps away and fells the single beast with one notched arrow. Maybe a little gasp is let loose as well as the beast collapses onto the snow, blood pooling in a dark, thick liquid that congeals almost immediately in the frigid mountain air. "That was amazing — " The weyrwoman's words are cut off as the scent of blood shifts with the wind, the other animals getting a hint of death. Sickly sweet, full of fear, they react as animals will: shifting as one before taking off. It's now that the other hunters take note of what's going on, but they're still too burdened. Perhaps, Kultir's luck isn't over yet because more beasts come in their direction. Luckily, not enough to be the whole herd — even one exceptional hunter can't pick off that many! — but two or three run in fear and lack any end destination except to run. Even though the stupid animals run INTO the scene of blood and offal. "I think, we might need to move," Hannah's calm reply is just a touch strained for having seen it all; the herder beside her gets a tug on her sleeve so her and Qielle can move a few feet over. "Kultir," the junior warns. Since he is the closest hunter and all!

Qielle watches Kultir fell the animal with a minimal lift of eyebrows: she's seen it before, of course, perhaps not with a bow so big. Keroon's great for animal slaughter up-close and personal, though. It's only when Hannah points out the few lead animals that Qielle goes, "The whole herd will follow them — we need to get out of here now," with a little bit of a Look about her. "Kultir," she picks up the man's name, "Watch out!" Since those are heading DIRECTLY FOR HIM. Oh look, and one's heading directly at Hannah and Qielle — who aren't paying attention to it, because they're more concerned with all the rest of the things going on.

Despite moving back toward the two women, Kultir isn't cocky enough to take his gaze off the herd and growls softly as two or three more start running toward them despite the blood and fecal smell they run straight into. One shies toward the side and is dropped by a swiftly nocked and flown arrow from the young tracker, his sparkling amber eyes moving from one target to another as he reaches for and nocks a second arrow without looking. The second beast is followed for a few moments before it too falls, the arrow coated with a flood of red as it tears through the large arteries just beneath the ear. "Run! Now!" The hunter's voice is deep and loud with the stress since he's unable to get a good shot on heart or lungs, which leaves him a much more difficult brain shot and he'd rather the women not get tangled up with the large beast. That last creature is drawn down on, Kul breathes softly, grits his teeth and is running before his arrow embeds itself in the beasts right eye socket and burrows deep into its brain. The last beast comes to rest about five feet beyond where the three of them had been standing though that last five or so feet is a bloody smear showing it had fallen already. Whether his shout had alerted them or not, others from the group of hunters are making their way back up the slope and keeping more from stampeding in that direction.

Hannah doesn't have to be reminded twice to run, Th'seus would not be happy if she got run down by a beast. Not ashamed to turn and dash the opposite direction, she can't help but look over her shoulder and watch as Kultir dispatches the animals with his bow and arrows. She stumbles, hopefully grabbing onto Qielle, the herder woman also on the move — hopefully. Otherwise, she'll stumble and catch herself somehow. When it's all said and done and the smear of blood is left in the beast's grisly wake, the junior stops to catch her breath. The cold air stings the lungs, "Kultir - " she gasps, hands on her knees. " — you are an asset." The other hunters easily take care of the rest of the herd, immediate danger dissipating as steamy hot breath in the chilly cold air. Just give her a moment to catch her breath. "I guess we won't be lacking meat and furs now," now she can joke, brows lifted in appreciative amusement.

"Fuck," Qielle not-delicately breathes, stumbling herself to fetch up against Hannah: they are almost of a height and similar in build, so one leaning against the other isn't likely to cause disaster as if either were bulkier. "Faranth that was close," she takes a moment to calm her nerves and exhale, eyeballing over to Kultir. "That is a good skillset to have, young man," she finally manages, her voice sounding still slightly rattled.

Kultir stumbles to one knee, his bowstring protected from the ice and snow by being laid across his upraised leg, and tugs the neck of his fur-lined jacket open to let the cold air evaporate the sweat from his upper torso. Steam rises thickly from the loosened neck of his jacket though he doesn't remove the scarf covering his face as he draws in deep breaths of the frigid air and coughs as it stings his lungs as he recovers from that adrenaline high. "Just … just doin' … my job, ma'am. Headman would kill me if he found out you got tangled up in a stampede and I didn't stop it." The young hunter pushes himself back to his feet with a low groan for protesting joints and refastens the top of his jacket before he catches a chill. Glancing at the two women, he shoves his goggles upward as he makes sure both of them are still in one piece. "Thanks, ma'am. Been using a bow since I was eight." That's about the only acknowledgement his skill will get from the young man though his voice shows he's smiling his pleasure at the compliment as his wind-reddened cheeks darken above his scarf. He can't help the chuckle at the goldrider's joke and shakes his head. "Now if I can just keep them from ruining the furs, people can be warm through the night down here."

Digging into the depths of her jacket, Hannah's fingers close around an object. "I think you can show them," she answers confidently, tilting a smile up to the young man. "And afterwards, you should head back to the weyr and seek out Ardstelle for a cot in the Candidate's Barracks if you're still inclined to Stand again, Kultir." Withdrawing her hand from her jacket pocket, the junior weyrwoman holds out a bright, shining Candidate's knot to the young hunter, nestled in the middle of her dainty, small hand. "The weyr would be honored to have such bravery on the back of a fighting dragon," Hannah states so very seriously, brows furrowed in. The Weyrleader's fall and the wounded that stream through the dragon's infirmary is enough to know that the only answer is more brave, young souls to fill the ranks. A touch of melancholy highlights her features as she regards Kultir — in the full health of life — being asked to essentially risk that bloom of health for the weyr. Quietly, she asks, "What do you say?" The choice is, of course, his.

Qielle nods along at the been-shooting-since-he-was-eight — that makes sense. Skill, y'know. The Herder glances to Hannah at the weyrwoman's declaration, however, and she ducks her head in a smile half-unseen. And so her eyes land on Kultir, expectantly, to find out what path he shall follow.

Kultir slings his bow over his shoulder once more now that the threat of stampede is over and the other hunters have the rest of the herd under control as his wary glance confirms after a few moments. He turns back to the two women, the white Candidate's knot brighter and whiter than the surrounding ice and snow, and blinks in shock at the offer. He meets the Weyrwoman's green gaze, his amber eyes glimmering with sudden tears at the offer and searching the woman's to see if she's teasing him. He swallows hard as he reaches hesitantly for that knot, his gloved fingers taking it deftly from her dainty hand as a shiver ripples through his large frame. He considers the small twist of cording and what it stands for, the dangers inherent in the life of a dragonrider that he's seen for himself in Q'fex, T'ral, even S'yn's injuries and accidents. Looking back up to glance from Weyrwoman to Herder and back again, he nods slightly. "I'd be honored, ma'am. Th-thank you. I n-never … " He trails off as words fail the young man, his fingers closing over the white knot as he blinks rapidly to clear the stinging tears from his eyes.

When Kultir takes the knot, something soft and almost maternal touches in Hannah's green gaze. "You're welcome, but it will be us that will be honored." Gently, she reaches out to place a light, reassuring touch on the young man's arm if he'll allow, and states with feeling, "Good luck, Kultir." An impish look touches in the wake of such seriousness. "Candidacy might feel like a trifle compared to this, but mayhap you can teach the others, yes?" Was that a wink? Maybe. Turning to Qielle, she offers, "How about you and I go and get warm by the hot pools." As she turns to go, she adds to Kultir, "Don't forget to see Ardstelle for your assignments. Welcome to Candidacy, Hunter." And with that, the junior weyrwoman takes her leave with a jaunty, relieved wave.

Eyes are bright, as Qielle watches this all go down. Her smile blossoms at his acceptance and Hannah's response. "Congratulations, Kultir," the woman declares. "Hot pools sound lovely. They have them up here?" She'll flick a wink at the large young man before navigating around the hunter back towards the hold. "Good call," can be heard as she drifts towards the Ice Fields proper, "He'll make a good rider, with a head like that on his shoulders."

Kultir does allow the gentle touch on his arm, a very different young man from the last time he'd been a Candidate and wouldn't let anyone lay a finger on him except his brother, and smiles down at the Weyrwoman though it can only be seen warming his eyes. "I'll try, ma'am. Not everyone can learn though, but I'll try." He watches as the two women move away, his job only half done with a new assignment afterwards. "Yes, ma'am, I will." The young hunter turns back to the beasts being brought up for slaughter and skinning with a brighter light in his eyes and a bounce in his step that hadn't been there before.
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