Who

Dione, Kultir, Linden, Niyati, Quentin, S'yn & Yules

What

Kultir leads a group of Candidates out of the Weyr to retrieve some snares left prior to his being Searched, but the gathering gets crashed by unexpected and feral company!

When

It is mid-morning of the first day of the first month of the second turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Upper Plateau, S'yn's weyr, Southern Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Upper Plateau

The upper lands of the Black Rock River give way to the plateaus of the coast in the same way as the jungles release their tight fist upon the flora to allow for waving grasses and vast sweeps of land with little to cling to the rocky surface than weeds and summer flowers. In the spring and summer months, the upper plateau is rich in color: purples, pinks, yellows, oranges and vibrant red, as every flower known to Pern blooms among the tall green grasses. During the late summer and winter months, it's a magnificent field of gold. In the distance, the sapphire sea glitters as its turquoise edge meets blindingly white sands. As the coast curves, the plateau cliffs slope downwards as a winding trail finds a path towards a cove that links the western-most Southern coast with the dotted islands that extend into the Southern ocean. Strong winds lay claim here, unimpeded by the growth of jungles, whipping across the flat plain of the plateau, bringing the fresh hint of salty-sea air to cleanse the humidity of the jungles.


Kultir is leading a small group of Candidates out from the Weyr; perhaps a mile away to a large, rocky area with a few tall trees struggling to grow in the water-scarce, grassy area. But why exactly are Candidates this far from the Weyr? Well, the young tracker got permission from the weyrlingmasters to retrieve the snares from this line when he'd found out that his friend Daren, who had been running it, had been tagged for several sevendays work at the new Hold. Permission was given provided Kul took a small group to help him for safety. The young man agreed and headed back to the Barracks and asked around the other Candidates to see if anyone was interested in a trip outside the Weyr.

The group is just getting to the target area and Kultir starts looking for the first blaze marking the first snare of the line. "You guys don't have to be quiet, it'll just scare anything around away. Just keep an eye out for movement toward us in the grass and if you kick up something … well, run if it's got teeth. Tunnelsnakes don't like humans around and will usually slip away before you see them but there are weasels around and they can get territorial. They won't bite unless you get too close or are encroaching on their dens … they'll just jump at you and try to scare you away before they run off too. Don't worry, there's no weasel dens around here." That must be the longest speech the young tracker has ever given, even if it was rather absently delivered as he scanned for the first blaze. Finding that figure slashed on a large rock, the rough shape of a 'K' scratched into the surface, he moves off to one side and crouches to fish around for the stake fastening the snare to the ground.

Linden is always up for an adventure, and was quick to volunteer to head out. So with Aster soaring ahead, he tromps on after Kultir, whistling softly. "Then why'd you tell us about them?" he asks with a grin from his spot in the line.

Niyati goes wide eyed at the mention of weasels. "Oh I love weasels! It's really too bad there aren't any dens. It would be wonderful to see some as long as you can get away from the end with teeth." The bag she'd insisted on bringing is settled against her back and she begins to scan the area for any hint of wildlife. "It's really too bad we'll have scared everything off." Bodies, wild animals, near-death falls. She's got an interesting sense of what 'good' is.

Heavens knows why Dione came on this trip, given that even at the cothold she came from, she refused to be the one slaughtering animals. No problem once they're done, but the action? Not so much. Despite that, it's a lovely (sharding hot) day in Southern; clad in long pants and a sleeveless top, both in a tough working material, she moseys on behind the leader, making sure there's a cover of protective salve over her shoulders and other bits of exposed skin. She quiet, letting the two men (boys?) talk, but watches actively around them, tugging the brim of the hat a bit lower to shade her eyes. "chicken thieves," she opines heartlessly about the weasels.

Trudge, trudge, trudge. Quentin doesn't mind the heat, but the humidity seems to be pressing down on him. His shirt's already soaked through and his mop of curls is sadly pressed against his head, shining damply. Still, he's in good enough spirits - glad, it seems, to get away from the Weyr for the day - and trails along near Linden, his dark eyes flashing everywhere but the trail before him. "Weasels are okay," he notes. eyes flickering with amusement to Niyati. "Kind of smelly, though."

Kultir chuckles softly at Linden's quip and shakes his head slightly. "Because, Linden … they hunt here. Weasels go after tunnelsnake eggs and 'snakes hunt weasels." Yanking hard, the young tracker pulls the stake from the dry ground and brushes the clumps of dirt off the foot-long piece of wood before he tucks that into his belt and coils the empty snare around it to keep it out of the way. Heading on out into the plateau, he waves around the area as he sees the other Candidates sticking close to his trail. "You guys can explore a little if you want … I guess we should stay within sight of everyone else and hearing range too just for safety. If you come across a snare or carcass, give a holler." Swishing through the thigh-high grass, he heads in the direction he remembers the snares being set according to the map in his head.

Linden ohs. "So we might still find some even tho there aren't any dens. Gotcha." He looks around again, flashing Quentin a grin, and then looking elsewhere as well. "What if we get stuck in a snare? Is that possible?" he asks, hesitating on the trail before he hops off and begins to tromp through the grass. "Tickles…"

Niyati shakes her head. "They don't smell that bad and their pelts are wonderful to work with." She pauses and then shakes her head. "Not that I like the idea of dead weasels but you get my meaning. I've never been allowed to trap or hunt anything." Linden earns a broad grin. "You may get to see something dead yet." She's being encouraging. "So what if we fine a feline? I'd suggest screaming." For her part, she picks up a stick to poke at the grass as she goes. If she does find one of these big cats she's probably going to thwap it on the head. Nothing can go wrong with this plan.

"I'd prefer not to get ambushed by something in the deep beyond," Dione gets in helpfully; Niyati's gumption in picking up a stout stick is rewarded by imitation. From there she wanders out a little, for all the world like a little naturalist, poring over the ground cover. Silence falls from her course into the sunny wilds, and within a few moments a rather soft humming sounds. Then, "What about not finding a feline and not having heart attacks?" she suggests back over her shoulder. "I'm smaller than a wherry, and I can definitely not abscond as fast."

Kultir glances toward Linden with a slight frown. "I don't think you'll get caught in one … at least I hope not since they are metal coil and you could easily break something. Most of the snares are set between rocks so unless you stick an arm in there you shouldn't get caught. These have been here long enough untended that they should either be sprung or have something left in them … probably chewed on by the other tunnelsnakes since they will eat their own if it's dead already." The young man fishes around for the second snare and yanks the stake loose and grunts softly as he stands and pulls a somewhat dessicated corpse tangled in the wire that has obviously been eaten on. "See? Just like that." The odor isn't too overpowering but there is that rotting smell if anyone is close by. Hearing Niyati's question, he grins and laughs softly. "Yeah … screaming would be a good idea. I doubt you'll find a feline though, no places large enough for them to den and the 'snakes would kill their cubs." Despite his intent to get the snares pulled in, he keeps glancing toward the others to keep track of them and be sure of their well-being since he feels rather protective since he was given permission to bring them out here.

"Screaming is good. Make a lot of noise - will probably make the beast hesitate before attacking." Quentin trails after Linden, boots pressing down the grass as he tromps off of the path. "I should have brought - hrm." He places his fingers in his mouth and lets out a shrill whistle, closely followed by holding up his arm as Badger swoops down from wherever he was shadowing the group. He and the little bronze stare at each other for a moment, then the firelizard takes off, disappearing between. "Wonder if this'll work," he muses cryptically.

Linden grins back at Niyati. "I still want to see a body." The dream that won't die. Ironically. "I don't want to see another feline. Already got my clothes eaten once." He grabs a stick too, swinging it around to thwap at the grasses like he's fighting an epic battle with them. He looks back at Kultir. Not sticking his arm between rocks. Good to know, because he'd totally do that. "Ooooh, that's so gross!" He sounds delighted about it too. "What'd you send him to do?" he asks over his shoulder of Quentin, while his gold firelizard chirps after Badger and then continues to circle above her person.

Niyati looks over at Dione and chuckles. "Oh now where would be the excitement in that? Kultir, you're absolutely killing all of the fun in this. Let a girl dream, would you? There's precious little in a Weaver's life that is exciting, unless you count deadlines and dye shortages." The green that had been watching all of this from her shoulder launches into the air and begins to dive amongst the grass looking for prey. "Wow, those are attractive. And that smell," she says of the carcasses. "It's really too bad you couldn't get out sooner. It's a shame they'll be wasted but… I guess the animals who were fed won't have any complaints." She pokes at the grass, swinging the stick to knock down a path as she explores. Hey, she's helping.

Working carefully, Kultir manages to get the carcass untangled from the cord and flings it as far away from where they are heading as his strong arm can throw before coiling that snare up to tuck into his belt with the other he's collected. Scanning the waving grasses through narrowed eyes, he looks for anything that might be moving toward them. Finding nothing, he sighs softly in relief and walks another twenty feet or so to find the next snare. This snare is surrounded by a relatively bare area where the snare is set between two boulders. Something odd catches his attention and makes him squat down after a quick scan of the other Candidates to see where they are. Pulling that third snare, he frowns at the stiff hairs stuck in the metal strands of the coil and pulls them loose to look at more closely as he tucks that empty snare into his belt absently. Shaking himself back to the present, he pushes himself back to his feet and chuckles at the Weaver's complaint. "I'd rather this not be exciting, Niyati." He shrugs slightly. "Daren got called to the new Hold to help and wasn't able to get here to pull these before he had to go. It's at the end of the season for trapping here so no real loss of one or two hides."

Dione pauses to take a small sip of water from her skin, hanging it back on her belt onto to turn and nose-wrinkle at the corpse du jour. "I can …ewww. That stinks." Downwind is a bitch. "The infirmaries smelled bad enough, but at least there was that medicine-stench as well. "I…" There's a strange twangy sound as she leans on the stick, and she turns, sinking down on her haunches. "Hey, is this one of your snares?" she asks, eyeing the coil that wrapped (luckily!) around her impromptu cane. "And ewwww. Some kind of nature happened over here. There's a rotten egg here!"

No, Quinn still doesn't understand this fascination with dead bodies, of any stripe. Looking vaguely ill, the boy turns away from Kultir's prize and instead moves off deeper into the grass, kicking his feet before him to scare up anything that might be lurking in the blue-green stalks. "Huh? Oh… I just wanted to see if he could do something for me. If it works, I'll tell you what it was." The grin he flashes at Linden is lopsided. His boot strikes a rock and sends it flying into the underbrush, shaking leaves and rattling branches.

Linden grins back at Quentin, nodding as he stops to look around at the others. Then, curious, he tromps off towards Dione, stick still hitting the grass as he goes. "What kind of egg is it? Can you tell?"

Kultir looks to where Dione can be seen above the grasses and moves in that direction. "Hmm, yeah, thanks for finding that, Dione." He glances around the area she's looking and frowns deeply, noting that one of the boulders his snare had been between has been moved … by something with a lot of strength from the looks of it. Scuffed tracks show him that it happened a sevenday or so before but the spoor still raises an alarm in his mind. "Uh, hey … Could you all … umm, come back this way, please? Let's not get too far from each other … just in case." The young man's voice wavers slightly with nervousness as he climbs up onto the boulder-stack to scan the grasslands around them more closely. "Hmm? Oh … from the size it's probably a tunnelsnake egg that got dragged out of the nest that was below these boulders. Something moved this boulder." His booted foot taps the one he's standing on. "Something big … about a sevenday ago so it's probably not here anymore but … better safe than sorry. Dione? Can you untangle that snare from your stick and maybe yank the stake out of the ground for me? It might be a bit stiff but nothing dangerous for you to worry about since it's been sprung."

Niyati shakes her head at Kultir. "Every hide is a loss, especially if the fur is nice." Dione earns her attention by virtue of finding interesting stuff. "If it's out here it's probably a tunnelsnake egg. Or a wherry egg. Is it big?" Then she catches a hint of the smell. "Oh wow… that's strong." It's also apparently funny because she's laughing. "Oh do share, Quentin." Of course, Linden's fascination earns a grin but then she's looking over at Kultir. "Well, I see one of your snares so I'm going to grab it and there are some plants that are great for red dye…" She perks then. "A feline?"

The bartender nods at Kultir's request and slowly sets to yanking the snare out by the stick already in her possession. It takes a heroic effort to get the stake out - sweaty hands make for slippery work, and when she manages, she casts about for the others, checking: Linden, Quention, Niyati — good." She scoots a little to the side, holding her fingers underneath her nose as if that'd make it stink less. "Would a feline be able to move a boulder?" she asks Niyati doubtfully. "No hands."

Obediently, Quentin leaves off his exploring and trundles back to the group like a good little Candidate. Something has him distracted, however, because he keeps glancing back towards the way they came, as if expecting something. "Maybe," he replies to Niyati, flashing her a grin that's too much teeth to be innocent. Reaching Kultir again, he studies the rock, brow furrowing. "What could move that? It's awfully big," and he reaches out to give it an experimental push, "and kinda heavy…"

"Big like a dragon?" Linden asks, wandering closer towards Kultir to peer curiously at the rocks, before looking back at Niyati with a grin. "What plants? Need help?" He's drifting in that direction now.

Kultir shakes his head at the questions from the others. "No feline … they'd scratch it up but not push it a good foot and a half." He continues his scan and sighs heavily before jumping down to retrieve his last two snares of this line. There were ripples in the grasses but it could have been a gust in the breeze blowing across the grasses but he tries to keep everyone together and close to the few trees on this flatland. "If I yell 'run', you guys need to get up those trees fast so stick close to them, okay? Sign shows porcine but … me and the 'snakes hunted this place out before I set the snares." Or so he thought. The comments about the lost hides are forgotten for now … safety is much more important to the young tracker. Keeping his eyes and other senses open to the surrounding noises, he yanks another stake from the ground before standing to scan the area once more as the hairs on the back of his neck and along his arms stand up.

Niyati shrugs. "Wild wher? They're large and strong. I bet if a feline wanted a rock moved it could manage it, but if it's a wher there shouldn't be any problem unless we go into a cave or something. …or a hole under a pile of rocks. But the point is that a wher wouldn't come after us until after dark." Pause. "We should ask if we can go camping!" Ok, she might be joking about that one. Linden is given a shake of her head. "I'll grab them. It's only a handful but they'll make enough dye for a bolt of cloth." With that, she's off for the snare and her coveted plants. Never mind that she's no longer doing weaver's work.

This is not relaxing Dione in any way whatsoever. Gripping the trap-coiled stick more tightly, she meanders out of Kultir's way towards the trees. Just to be safe, see? "Linden, are you going to help me climb?" she asks as she starts to wander that way. "Or Quentin perhaps; I'm no good at doing it fast." There's a pause, broken as she sees Niyati head away to gather …stuff. "Oi!" she calls, waving the stick to her. "Oi, Niya, come back! There might be something around here, 'kay? What if you have to do the hundred metre dash to a tree?"

Rustling sounds behind the group, and Quentin's eyes sharpen as he spies the grass moving along the trail. Above the ripples, a single bronze firelizard coasts, wings working to keep up with whatever's moving towards them. It's still far enough out that it's difficult to make out what's causing the disturbance, but from the herder-candidate's grin, it's nothing sinister. "Of course I'll help you, Dione," he assures the other Candidate, then, "Porcine?" His attention is caught by Kultir's words, and his eyes widen slightly. "Wild, or feral?" From the urgency with which he asks that question, it's clear there is, to him at least, a big difference.

Linden stops when Niyati says she doesn't need his help, turning back towards the group again, stick still swinging at the grass. He looks around. "Wild porcines can be vicious, can't they?" His hand reaches down to briefly touch his small belt knife. More for eating than self-defense, really. He swings his stick again at the grass before pausing again. "I'll help too," he calls, bounding after Quentin towards Dione and those trees.

That snare gets tucked with the rest at his belt and Kultir moves on to the last, his eyes continuing to roam the waving grasses. "Definitely wild, possibly feral, Quentin." His answer is a little absent, but at least he heard the young man. A sinuous movement is overlooked for a moment but his attention immediately goes back to it with a frown. "That's going against the breeze …" he mutters to himself, keeping his gaze on it until it stills and the grasses wave with the breeze once more. Bending to yank the stake loose, he stands and walks back toward the rest of the Candidates as the coiled end drags loosely while he coils it up to tuck away too. Climbing up on a slightly taller boulder than before, he frowns in the direction of that odd movement through the grass and gasps softly as he just makes out the tufted back of a large porcine. "Run! Get to the trees. Now!" Turning, he glances to each of his friends as his heart starts pounding in his chest as fear for them. Waving down his quietly circling green and bronze, he stares at them with a deep frown before sending them skyward again and watches as they disappear between … heading to the Weyr for help in case they need it.


Mid-morning and post drills, S'yn is relaxing in the large, well worn, comfortable leather chair that the previous inhabitant had left behind and enjoying a good book, settled at kind of a catty-corner angle within the plush seat with his long legs draped over the opposite arm as he nestles into the corner with his back to the entrance of the weyr, taking advantage of the light that leaks in so he doesn't have to use much by way of glows or candles. He's got his leather trous on still, but his jacket is hung up near the entrance, a light linen tunic of Southern green wrapped loosely about his torso. From how far he's into the novel either he's been reading a while or he's just a fast reader, the pages of that story half gone even as he flips another with that soft whisper of thin parchment.

Naymah pops in from between shrieking in alarm and swooping into the bronzerider's weyr to circle around him. Her eyes whirl with the red of fear, her alarm softening to high-pitched but distressed chittering as she lands on the back of the leather couch. The little green's head bobs up and down as she stares hard at the young man, her front foreclaws snapping and her back lifting, clenching, setting down again in agitation.

The sudden arrival of the shrieking green fire-lizard startles S'yn and he jerks upright, legs slipping off the arm of the chair to thunk bare feet on the thick rug beneath, the book clung to with habitual protectiveness even as he rotates to face Naymah. "What in Faranth's name is going on?!" he demands of her, trying to place the somehow familiar hide of that small creature as she pins him with her distressed, whirling gaze and clearly tries to convey something of immediate importance.

Naymah continues to chitter in distress, her wings mantling stiffly over her trembling form as her red-whirling eyes stare. The tiny shells of a small collar around her neck clicks softly with each movement, the tiny carved ‘K’ at the center swinging as her wings flap once before she returns to her agitated shifting from one foot to the other. At the demanding question, the little green squawks inelegantly as her head flicks toward the weyr entry and back to the bronzerider’s face with that same intense gaze. A scene trickles from the little green as if she’s not entirely trained on how this is done, but the sense of it is this: A grassland with lots of huge rocks and a few trees. Her human, Kultir, sharply defined and placed in this grassland with other humans but the faces are less defined. A shift in the picture shows two big creatures, much larger to the lizard’s perception, charging at her human and then her human fleeing toward the trees with the other two-leggers.

S'yn's gaze is drawn to those clinking shells, a memory jogged loose from a few Turns ago when he met Kultir gathering seashells to make a necklace. This clicks rather sharply with the imagery the green is trying to show him, the pictures a little fuzzy around the edges from her agitated state but it's enough to get the bronzerider in motion. » Iax, wake up! We've gotta go! « The book is closed and set aside in the chair with haste as he shoves up out of it to run over for his boots, knowing that his brother is in trouble and that's all that matters. Those shoes are snatches up and tugged on, the gangly teen hopping on one foot and then the other to shove his feet into them, laces yanked tight and tied in a messy but effective knot.

« I hope the irony of this situation is not lost on you. » Iaxryth's voice is distant, like it's coming through a hollow tube as the bronze wakes up and stretches on that ledge, giant maw parting in a great yawn before lowering himself for his rider's surmounting. Despite the casual wit in his banter, the beast's eyes are whirling a bright red-yellow hue, pinions rattling with eagerness to be off.

His flight jacket is snatched as his heels transition from plush rug to worn stone, the garment thrown about his shoulders as S'yn scrambles up his lifemate with a frown on his face. » Worry about the irony of it later. I'd rather Kultir not have some extra holes where they don't belong and miss out on his chance to Stand. « The youth doesn't want to think about even more unpleasant consequences, instead focusing on what he can do. » That looked like the meadow in the upper plateau. Can you ask her? « The amber gaze goes to the still frantic green.

Iaxryth snorts at his rider, wings mantling as he prepares to slither off that high ledge. « Of course I can. » That whirling gaze turns toward Naymah and he rumbles softly, like a forge bellow stoking the fire. « Little sister, show me where your bond is. » The bronze pulls up the image that was shown his rider, trying to bring some clarity to his question as he awaits her reply.

Naymah launches herself from the back of the couch to swoop out of the weyr where she circles the coppery dragon's head, her distressed cheeping interspersed with warbles of satisfaction that the rider she was sent to finally understands. When Iaxryth questions her, she finds a pinnacle of rock to land on as her wings rattle in imitation of the coppery bronze. Her head tilts as she brings that picture back to her mind from the aerial view when she and her bronze companion had been circling on watch. The upper plateau is returned, the image sharp and vivid as she shows the bronze the grasslands, the rocks, the trees and the last view she'd had of the humans climbing the tree trunks with her own human racing toward them with the big boar on his heels.

When the green replies to the bronze and he in turn passes the image on to his rider, S'yn closes his eyes to bring it into as clear a view as he can, matching it with the visual he has for the upper plateaus around Southern Weyr. It takes him a few moments — time he tells himself he can get back, since it won't do him any good to get lost between due to a poor visual — but soon the young rider has a clear image to take them too and he offers it to his lifemate, approval gained from that huge beast. The wingrider holds onto that sturdy ridge before him then, thighs clinging hard to that wide berth beneath them as Iaxryth slithers off the ledge to fall, wings snapping open to catch a thermal and send them up just high enough to safely go between before winking out of space and time to send them miles away from that serene sight to a much more exciting vista.


Niyati perks and looks back to the group. "Worse if they're feral," she states then makes for the trees with the rest of the group, the snare and its long dead victim in tow. Once Kultir gives the order she picks up the pace and is at the tree line in short order. In fact, the candidate is going to take this to the next level and begin to climb into the branches with ease. "Porcines? I absolutely hate those things! You know even the ones in pens will eat you if you fall and don't get up in time? Vile. Absolutely VILE."

Whatever the danger is, Dione didn't expect it to turn up this quickly. Kultir's barked command leaves her stunned for a moment, and she turns to him to blink. It's the pull of his features that warns her; turning about, she starts to run to the trees at all possible speed, limbs pumping and heart racing with the sudden kick of adrenaline the porcine's arrival mandates. There's a tree in front of her within minutes, and a low branch, which she jumps up to grab and pull herself up. Hopefully.

"Feral porcines have no fear of humans," Quentin states flatly as he moves towards Dione and Linden at a trot, ready to help boost the girl up before making his own way up the tree. Badger reaches him as he reaches the others, and below him is a small terrier. Under other circumstances, the boy might be glad that the bronze was able to bring one of the canines to him, but now, hearing Kultir's shout, he merely grimaces and scoops up the dog in one hand, then reaches up to steady Dione as she starts to climb the tree. "Can you take him?" he pants at the girl, offering up the canine to her once she's settled on the low branch.

Linden yelps in surprise and is quick to help Dione if she needs it, and scramble up the tree after her. "I can take him," he calls to Quinn, reaching down to offer to take the terrier if Dione can't, ready to help Quentin up as well. Aster shrieks in anger and wings towards that tuft of fur in the grass, diving at it with talons extended.

A large but obviously young boar and an equally young, but no less aggressive, sow charges the group before they can scramble up the tree. Thankfully the Candidates are already at the tree while the charging porkers are still thirty or so feet away. The angrily squealing beasts are pounding heavily on Kultir's heals as he runs the back of the pack of Candidates to get to the safety of those trees. He keeps throwing looks over his shoulder to be sure that they are not catching up and puts on a burst of speed to reach those trees ahead of the angry porcines. Milling behind as the other two adults chase off the intruders is another young sow with a litter of six half-grown piglets just starting to sprout their adult bristles and starting to show the sharp tusks at the edges of their lips. Dangerous in their own right, but still too young to actually take down an opponent, the piglet's eyes glitter as they watch the adults deal with the human intruders with aggressive squeals of their own. Getting closer, Kul glances over his shoulder and grimaces as the boar is a mere five feet away. He turns around, puts his head down and pounds toward the nearest tree, very glad to see the others already up in the lower branches. Using his feet and hands, the young tracker swarms up the rough trunk to the lowest branches before his momentum runs out and he steps onto the branch to peer downwards as the boar rams into the trunk of the tree he perches in.

It is right around this time that a brown dragon blinks in, close to the trees, roaring in delighted annoyance: annoyance to be pulled from his egg-watchins' and delighted that there's something tasty to eat after. That's Desmeth for you. He banks slowly to keep Yules secure on his back and lands at an angle between Candidates-in-trees and whatever sent them there. "What in the sharding Shells??" she's shouting, because way to get the attention of dangerous porcines off the other group. Desmeth bugles his challenge at the beast, eyes still whirling orange.

It's a scramble to get into the trees, at least on Dione's part, but with the two boys helping her she makes it slowly up into the trees. Fear chokes at her throat and she's unable to take the canine — luckily Linden is there already. Instead, twining her legs around the sturdy branch, she reaches down to help Quentin up that much faster, one hand locking in his collar, and the other holding cramp-tight around the trunk of the tree. "C'mon, c'mon… is that Yules?" Her eyes pop. She, for one, didn't expect the brownrider here, and with Desmeth.

Passing the terrier off to Linden, Quentin swings quickly into the tree behind Dione, hooking his legs around the branch and leaning over precariously to take the canine back from his friend with one hand, while offering the other as an aid to help Linden into the tree. "Shards," he mutters through clenched teeth, blue eyes narrowed with anger. "I hate porcines. Stupid, smelly creatures." Not so stupid, in fact - but most definitely smelly. As Desmith appears, he gives a shout - part release of tension, and part cheer. Shame though. Dragon'll make quick work of the pigs, but won't be much left for a celebratory feast after.

Niyati reaches out an arm to help, but she's not really looking to see who. She gazes down at the boar with wide eyes and then hurls the dead thing on a string at it. It's then that she spots the dragon and rider and gives a long exhale of relief. "Yules to the rescue. Desmeth, you're an absolute hero!" She'll have to find a way to make him another hat. "I have to hand it to you, Kultir. You managed an exciting situation. …let's do this again with less porcines, alright?"

Kultir's head snaps up at the dragon's roaring above the trees, the thinner foliage letting him see the two dragons though he only recognizes the coppery hide of S'yn's Iaxryth. Glancing toward the other trees, he sighs in relief to see everyone else perched safely in the branches along with the canine he didn't know would show up. Various firelizards, his own and others, swoop and shriek and attempt to attack the porcines as those two beasts squeal and dodge the dragons, trying to get to the safety of the flatlands once more.

Summoned by a frantic little green, a coppery bright bronze dragon appears from between at a lower than normal altitude, the whipcord frame undulating with excitement and agitation both as those eyes whirl a red-yellow battle hue and Iaxryth echoes that challenging roar of his sibling, a flicker of flame from earlier drills still on his breath. S'yn is barely dressed for the weather, having on his leathers, but the jacket is open, having been hastily thrown on as the young man scrambled to meet the emergency that Naymah had summoned him for. His dragon is strapless, not having had time to throw on the bronze's leather in his haste to help his friend, but when the normally lighthearted dragon spies the incoming danger he swoops low, foreclaws out as he dives for that charging male porcine. He misses when the beast ducks under the tree and has to bank to avoid snaring his wings in it, irritation evident in his frustrated roar as he goes after the sows instead. "Kultir?!" S'yn's voice bellows with worry as his amber eyes try to scan the trees, though right now he's much too busy holding onto his acrobatic mount to really swivel about.

Linden watches the porcines race after them — after Kultir — with wide eyes and a gasp. Then there's Yules and Desmeth. The teen cradles the canine, passing him *carefully* back when they're all in the tree. "This area is dead set on turning me into a body!" the teen says with a nervous laugh.

Desmeth huffs happily as he bounds over to swipe at the beasts. In fact, as they are chased back out of sight, the brown takes to the air after them. The hunt is on. His rider, glowering for a moment, takes the opportunity to see if there's anything else wandering around looking for an easy meal but gives some sort of an all-clear: "What in Faranth's name was that about?" Yules calls loudly, her discontented look facing towards the Candidates. S'yn and Iaxryth's presence gets a brief sigh of relief, and Yules … Oh, except now Iaxryth's gone too. "Great," she mutters, then turning back to the trees. "Well?" is her expectant question, like someone's been using a meat knife to cut veggies.

With the terrier securely snugged in one arm - and clearly loving the adventure, as he peers about with bright black eyes, tongue lolling cheerfully from parted jaws - Quentin perches on his branch and keeps one eye on the porcines, while the other keeps careful track of the other Candidates. "Uhm." Yules's question earns an audible swallow from the boy, just before he jerks a thumb at Kultir. Ask him, yep. So nice of Quinn to sell out his companion.

Kultir growls at the need for the dragons to rescue the Candidates in what should have been a nice little unexciting hike to the grasslands. Hearing his brother's bellow, he cups a hand to his mouth to yell back. "Here!" is called from one of the lone trees. Angry toned words can be heard by the others where they perch when not drowned out by the roars and squeals, the words themselves so tangled up in a heavy Keroonian accent that they are practically unintelligible but decidedly are curses against the porcines and the young tracker himself. Hearing that Yules has come as well, he realizes that's where he's seen that brown hide before and Kul starts cursing himself all over again for pulling the clutchdad away from his egg duties. Just what didn't need to happen. Blasted porcines … why'd you have to pick NOW to come back here? Jumping down from his perch as the big brown chases after the fleeing pigs, he shakes his head. "They shouldn't have been here! I know this area was hunted out!"

Niyati looks at Kultir with an amusingly impressed expression. "Such language." Not that she figured it all out but swearing is swearing. "To be fair to Kultir, he did get us to the trees in time to save our hides. He was looking for signs of animals the entire time." Now that the danger is over and there's a hunt on she's much more relaxed. "I don't think Porcines wait as long as other creatures to come back to an area, especially if they've escaped and gone wild. They don't have as much fear." For now, she'll just take the opportunity to leave her tree perch.

Linden points at Kultir too. Sorry. He looks over at Quentin with a half grin and a shrug. "That's a nice canine. What's his name?" Subject chaaaange.

Dione's eyes are closed as she hears the repeated thunder of the boar hitting the treetrunk, and it's only at the tarantara of dragons that she peeks again. "That is…. yes. The scariest thing ever," she mutters as she too slides down the tree, relieved. "Thanks Quentin, thanks Linden. I appreciate the two of you helping me!" She'll attempt to give each a huge, squishy hug before walking out from underneath the trees, knees shaking and still a little nervous. "Ma'am," she greets Yules with a nervy salute; seconds later she sits right down in the grass, knees playing with her. "We can go to the Weyr now, right?"

Iaxryth may not be successful in catching his intended prey — though it's hard to say if he truly intended to catch them in the first place — once those porcines are on the run the bronze sweeps back toward where the Candidates ended up being wrangled into the trees, back-winging to a landing to allow his rider to slide off with obviously some haste to check on those treed folks. "Hey Yules." There's sort of a breathless half-hearted salute, S'yn's heart still pounding from the fear he'd felt after being summoned so unexpectedly. The bronze prowls along the edge of the trees, checking high and low for any signs of further trouble with a deep, rumbling growl rolling from him, those eyes still whirling menace as the motes on his wings somehow seem brighter. Must be a trick of the sun. When the young rider spies the tracker leaping from the trees he sighs with relief as his brother seems only agitated and not injured. "Southern's wilds always seem to hold surprises, even for the most experienced, eh?" He tries to make light of the situation to cope with the pounding fear that is only just now starting to recede at the source of the excitement flees the wrath of two rather large dragons. "Everyone all right?" This is hollered at the Candidates slowly slinking from the trees, amber gaze going to each of them in turn to inspect for signs of injury.

Passing the canine over to Linden, Quentin slides down behind Dione, then reaches up to take the terrier back. "Doolie. He's not mine, more's the pity," adds the Candidate with a sigh, "and after this, I'll imagine they won't be letting me take him out again without supervision." Never mind that he was supposed to be supervised, in the form of Kultir. Keeping Doolie in his arms, the boy accepts the hug from Dione with a startled expression and awkwardly pats her on the back. "No problem," he murmurs, cheeks heating. "I mean, it's what we do, right? Help each other? S'why we were here," he adds, eyes sliding towards Kultir. "'Cause Candidates — friends — help when we're asked."

Actually, Yules doesn't want to hear the whys and wherefores. "That," she tells Kultir blandly, "is something you can never take for granted, is it?" Does that even make sense? There's a few more happy roars in the distance and the Wingleader glares in that direction, and soon Desmeth is winging back - porcine-less, but making a strange honk noise of delight. He's weird, okay? "Candidates," Yules says a touch more calmly, "We will go back to the Weyr. This incident will be reported to the Weyrlingmaster, and he will address this." Yup, Yules is passing the bu-delegating. She gives S'yn a brief glance and then orders: "Split up evenly for a ride back." Desmeth offers a leg up onto his un-strapped neck, and Yules is the first to mount. "One by one." She's waiting for S'yn's Iaxryth to take on his share for them to give Desmeth the signal to rise, very carefully, into the sky.

Linden holds the canine until he passes him back to Quinten, and then he slides down from the tree and returns Dione's hug with a crooked grin. "Any time!" Watching the dragons for a moment, the Candidate dips his head in respect and then offers them both salutes. "Thanks for coming for us. Wasn't supposed to be like this." Edging closer to Quinn again, Linden offers a hand to the canine. "Doolie? He's adorable. And this /was/ supervised. Wasn't your fault porcines were having a picnic." He tips his head towards Desmeth and jogs in that direction to ride the brown back.

Kultir sighs heavily at the brownrider's words and nods as his cheeks and ears turn red with the emotions roiling in his head. "No ma'am. I guess not." He glances sidelong at his bronzerider friend and gives a lopsided, wry smile with a slight shrug, embarrassment writ large on his features. "I should have known though … it was my responsibility." He looks over at his fellow Candidates and is relieved to see that everyone is still in one piece and no one is bleeding.

It takes some time to convince her knees how to work, and Dione reacts to that by slooowly standing. No damage done, of course, just the adrenaline abruptly leaving her system. "That was more exciting than I had planned for," she mutters to Kultir, slinging an arm over his shoulder to soften the impact from Yules, and she's the second to make for a dragon, this time S'yn's bronze Iaxryth. There's a low babble to S'yn — effusive thanks — and she nears the bronze, throwing her arms around his neck. Squeeeeeze. "My hero," she declares rather grandly, silly with relief, and gets in a fond eyebrow-scratch before scooting up his side. "Niya, you leaving with the boys?"

Niyati walks over to join Dione. "I'll ride with you, if Iaxryth doesn't mind. I suppose we'll get some sort of punishment chore out of this but it was rather worth it. Leaving those snares out to no good purpose is just cruel, not to mention a bit costly in terms of effort. It's safe to say we all have a new appreciation for dragons. …and a bit more loathing for porcines." Belatedly, she remembers her salute. "I intend to have a rather large ham sandwich later in remembrance." And revenge.

"I very much doubt Kultir took it for granted, Yules." Trust S'yn to stand up for his brother, even if a little blindly. He's under no illusions that being a bronzerider will keep him out of trouble but he doesn't think it fair to blame the tracker for unfortunate happenstance. Once he's satisfied that all is clear Iaxryth flattens himself against the ground to allow the Candidates who wish to ride him back to the Weyr to mount, the swirling eyes fading back into a more relaxed green hue, still alert but no longer angry. The sudden presence of the former bartender around his neck earns a rumble of surprise and a glance before that gaze turns toward his rider and whatever the beast says makes the youth blush furiously under his tan and clear his throat. He quickly manages to get himself together — ain't nobody got time for embarrassment right now — and ushers his unexpected charges up his lifemate's side, assisting as needs be. "Plenty of room on this long, lean thing," he assures those shuffling up. Niyati's comment is heard and earns a soft laugh, the teenager not so uptight as to not see the humor in it before he finally gets his passengers up and swings aboard himself, checking that all are aboard and secure before nodding to Yules and signaling his readiness so the two dragons can rise up to return home.

Kultir chuckles ruefully as Dione gives him that hug and encouraging remark. "More exciting that I'd planned, Dione. Glad you're not hurt though. Or anyone else." He watches as the others mount the dragons and scrambles up Iaxryth's coppery side to settle behind the rest of the bronze's passengers. "Well, at least it's the Weyrlingmasters I'll have to explain this … fiasco to." He sighs softly as the dragon launches upward, not looking forward to the dressing down he expects and fully deserves when they get back to the Weyr. Never take anything for granted again, Kul, y' dumb git.

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