Ryott is conflicted and tries to find a quiet spot to do some thinking.


It is late afternoon of the sixteenth day of the sixth month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Standing Stone, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 12 Jul 2018 04:00



Something just wasn't adding up.


Standing Stones

It is perhaps a pity that the Standing Stones lie in quiet isolation, half-forgotten in the Weyr's easternmost corner. Or perhaps it is inevitable: the grandiose beauty of these red rocks is ill-suited to Igen's coarse grit, and maybe only their loneliness allows them to survive unmarred. Whatever the reason, it cannot be denied that the Standing Stones, a lonely jumble of ancient boulders, have a glory about them. The tumbled field of pillars and arches has been shaped by eons of wind and water into strange shapes, twisted and rutted. The going is treacherous: only the Weyr's half-feral herd of caprines navigates the terrain with any ease. To the northwest, the lakeshore glimmers; to the east, rough-carved steps lead towards another ancient pile of rocks - though the Star Stones are less haphazardly placed than their Standing cousins.

It is the sixteenth day of Summer and 96 degrees. The day dawns bright and clear. Everything is coated in sand, but no clouds linger on the horizon.

Seeking the solitude of the Standing Stones has been something Ryott has been doing a lot of lately. The different formations of tumbled monoliths are a challenge to her climbing skills and much less crowded than the rooftops of the Bazaar have been as of late. So she's perched on the top of a pillar of stone, one leg dangling, the other bent with her arms wrapped around it. Dark eyes seem to be staring off into the distance, watching the comings and goings of the Weyr’s dragon population. In reality, the girl is lost to the darkest recesses of her own thoughts, and what she's finding there has a frown of worry forming between her thick brows.

Something just wasn't adding up.

Even though Divale had dismissed her from the task of spying on the spice merchant and his family, Ryott has kept an ear open for news and a firelizard to keep watch whenever she could manage. When word reached her that the man and his mother succumbed to some illness, the spyling got that gut feeling again that she was missing something.

The timing is suspicious. As soon as she reports back that the man she’d been trailing has fallen ill, the first thing that happened out of his normal routine, and that's it? Job over. The brownrider had dismissed it as a spring bug. She didn't even seem really surprised at the news…

With a frustrated sigh, Ryott drops her other leg to dangle over the edge, one hand scrubbing furiously at the brush of her cropped hair before leaning back on her hands, eyes lifting to the clear sky. That was all well and good when the spice merchant and his family were only ill. Now two people were dead. They weren’t particularly good people. Actually their deaths now meant that Cascabel is free from their abuse, abuse she watched the poor woman endure over the months of her surveillance for Divale, but even before that.

When she first met the merchant’s wife at the racetrack, Ryott had just snagged a hefty purse off her mother-in-law. Even back then the woman had looked like she wanted to get away from her life. Which was why the spyling had offered her up the the marks she had purloined and told her she could run away. But it was refused and the woman seemed resigned to her lot in life.

Then by the oddest of coincidences, she was hired to gather information on the woman’s husband. She had already deduced that it was personal the way Divale reacted when she did the few times she had brought up Cascabel or the mother. With another audible huff, she shakes her head before letting it fall back as she closes her eyes.

It’s like the answer to everything lies with Divale and the woman’s motivation for getting Ryott to spy for her. Javid had said of the brownrider that she probably would have made a good spy, and it’s true she often had trouble reading the woman in their interactions. Oh she knew what angry looked like on the brownrider alright. All cold and harsh, but never rash, always calculating…

Her mind trips over the information again and again, trying to make connections she knows she is missing. She has to look at this from a different angle. The deaths of the spice merchant and his mother. Easily written off as a some kind of stomach flu or, the gossip had mentioned, possibly food poisoning. Wait a minute…Food…poisoning. Ryott slaps her palm to her forehead for being such a fucking dimglow. What can often look like a mere virus or innocent food poisoning? Actual poisoning! Why hadn’t she thought of this before?

Her spyling training includes lessons on various herbs and poisons, and, although her knowledge doesn't match that of someone like Aztrexia, she could probably name a couple off the top of her head that would produce symptoms like a complaint of the stomach the spice merchant’s family fell ill with. She pauses in her racing thoughts to consider this fact. Of the household, only two members fell to the mystery illness. The rest, as far as she's been able to ascertain, have rallied, including Cascabel.

Cascabel who was now finally free. Who moved into the Weyr proper to have her child. Why the Weyr? Now that she thinks of it, the young widow has the most to gain from the death of her tormentors. She didn't run when given the option, but that could have merely been fear of what would happen if she was found and returned, a fear that would be negated by the deaths of the old woman and her son.

Ryott had already established in her own mind that it was personal for Divale, what if the brownrider and Cascabel knew each other? What would someone like Divale do to save a mistreated wife, maybe a friend, from her abusers? Her blood runs cold as she considers if the brownrider could actually turn to something so drastic as murder. But one thing she does know, that if that had been the plan, Ryott herself offered the woman information that could certainly be used to point to finger at one of the spice merchant's rougher compatriots as likely suspects.

Scrubbing at her face in frustration, the spyling takes several deep breaths while she orders her thoughts. The fact was, until she had proof, all of this was purely in the realm of conjecture. And no matter what she thinks of Divale, the woman seems more than shrewd enough to plan something like this while thinking of all the angles and covering her tracks.

Maybe she's wrong. Maybe Ryott is looking for something off because she was left unsatisfied by the way her assignment ended so abruptly. No. She had to trust her gut, and it was telling her that things didn't add up. But if her theory is correct…

She couldn't work with 'if’, she had to find some proof one way or another. Perhaps it was time for a little snooping of her own. She needed to learn more about Divale and Cascabel and both were now living in the Weyr. So that's where she would start. And if she did indeed find evidence of foul play…well, she would figure out what to do with that if it happened.

Ryott may not have found the answers she was seeking when she first came up here to organize her thoughts, but the clenching feeling deep in her gut releases slightly as she finally has a plan in place. Next step, executing it.

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