G'tan, Doji
Zinakoth, Raktraeth


Sweeps converge and two wingmates hatch a plan to help investigate that mysterious wailing in the desert.


It is sunset of the first day of the twelfth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Igen Weyr - Western Road

OOC Date 08 May 2018 05:00



« Thinking a thing does not make it so, »


Western Road

Dry, drier, driest - the road to the west of Igen Weyr becomes steadily more arid and rocky as it wends its way out of the Great Central Range and marches onward to the steppe-lands and desert. Treacherously winding and narrow in spots until it escapes the labyrinth of the mountains, this well-trod stretch of sandy earth is not for the faint of heart to traverse in any season.

What better way to mark the onset of winter than with a wing change? At least G'tan's move back to Whirlwind saw him assigned to a sweep that managed to follow the latest sandstorm instead of dropping him right in the middle of it. The breeze is fitful, playing at the dust coating the now wind-scoured Western Road like a small child dragging its feet through it. Loose, light gravel skitters here and there, wind whistling across the myriad crevasses in the sandstone where G'tan and Zinakoth sit just above Deadman's Trench. With sunset not for off, it seems as good a time as any to do a little reconnaissance…especially since those eerie wails and moans from out here by the desert still crop up every now and then.

There just so happens to be some pieces of Igen territory that just so happen to occupy two converging sweep routes. Now normally those routes won't be assigned simultaneously, but today must not be a normal day. Up from the northwest, Raktraeth glides in on those massive tawny wings, his normally ruddy color a bit muted by all the dust encountered but at least it's just been mostly harmless clouds and not the full on flaying storms. That they weren't the first pair to the trench is noted, although not with a normal bugle, but the groves of trees do open and they all seem to be leaning in a particular direction. Looming. Watching. Doji meanwhile, is slipping out of her straps and quietly making her way towards the rim of the trench.

Zinakoth rumbles at Raktraeth in greeting, drawing G'tan's attention over to Doji. He hops off his boulder perch, dusting off his backside a bit as he wanders over to the brownrider. "Hey there, wingmate," he greets with a tick of two fingers off his brow, his grin slightly tilted. "What brings you out here? Keen on investigatin', too?"

It's pretty hard for anything as large as a dragon to be sneaky, especially a behemoth like Raktraeth, but that doesn't mean he's not going to try! And by try, that means hunkering down as far as he can and trying to slither a bit further down and careening his head into the trench. « They said it was here last night… » Doji gives a salute to her new wingmate as well. "Tail end of sweeps. Have you been hearing about all that caterwauling in the desert?"

G'tan nods, encompassing all he hears in Doji's last. "Same here, and yeah, I have. Came out here to see if I might hear some myself. It's gotta be animals." He's already made up his mind, apparently…but that doesn't mean he isn't up for being proved wrong! Zinakoth breaks his sentinel-like regard of the area to watch Raktraeth curiously, the whisking of sand over stone becoming internal as well, warm breeze in a desert night, whispering through a canyon lit by warm, dim points of flickering light. « What was here? » he wants to know, curious in his own right.

That mental thicket grows darker and the shadows lengthen with vines draping down that threaten to ensnare whatever might pass by. From behind the trunks, brief glimpses of something strange can be seen. A horn there. A scaly wing there. And of course, possibly way too many fangs for any one creature. « The beast!!! » Raktraeth is also a young dragon and definitely not immune to catching the flights of paranoid fancy that might be passing through the Weyr and surrounding holds. Doji however looks much less enthralled in the search as she nods. "Yeah. The last couple cotholds we had stopped at all mentioned it. Some had a few caprines go missing. One mentioned some claw marks left on the door but it didn't look particularly scratched to me." She shrugs a bit. "But it's not unusual for some wild canines to make off with a goat or two, right?"

Zinakoth utters a snort, the swirling of sand over stone within his mind leading down along the paths that crawl along his canyon floor. Past an intricately carved stone facade dominating a ruddy rock face, a gallery opens up, a stone plinth to one side glowing with a quicksilver rune that resembles a feline. « Such a beast as this? » he suggests, just as G'tan comes to a stop to Doji's left and folds his arms over his chest. "I remember some Turns back there bein' a few hungry mountain felines that came down this way. I wonder if somethin' similar's goin' on. Though you could be right; wild canines could be it, too. Maybe even more likely, depending on how far out those cotholds are." A sandy brow lifts in query. "Where'd you go to find out about those?"

« Close… » Raktraeth considers that feline but the tree roots reach out and end up merging into the stone and alter the figure. It keeps the cat forelegs and the claws get a bit more emphasis, but the head contorts to look like something more like a canine with a permanent snarl. Bony little wherry wings spurt out from its back and the hind legs are bound together until the blend into the tail of a tunnelsnake. « Like that! » Doji flips quickly through her pocket notebook. "Lugan from Hope's Lost Cothold lost three caprines over the past two sevens…" She frowns a bit at that. "Who names a place 'Hope's Lost?' That seems like just begging for trouble."

Zinakoth adds his quicksilver highlighting to Raktraeth's roots, and he tilts his head as he studies the result mentally. « There is no such thing, little cousin, » he informs the young brown matter-of-factly, a rustle of shimmering wings given in emphasis. « Save in the dreams of ours, I should think. Yours has…not seen this in her sleep, I hope? » Because it is rather unsettling! With a little frown, G'tan sidles a bit closer to peer at Doji's notebook and snorts ruefully at her last. "Yeah, well, some folks out here have a habit of beggin' for it anyway," he points out. "Not that they deserve to lose anything, workin' to survive in the desert." Lifting a hand, he rubs the back of his neck. "I'd almost say it'd be worth postin' watchriders at these places for a while, but the dragon's liable to keep whatever it is at a distance." And then they won't learn anything.

Raktraeth gives a very definitive snort at the idea of that being in Doji's dreams. « Noooo. Her's are much more boring. All hidework and stitiching. With a little bit of fire. » Just like anybody's dreams, right? But back to the real important business… « I think it is real. And I wonder what one of them would taste like… » Doji nods along with G'tan's words. "Yeah, might be why all the sounds at the Weyr were more limited to stuff that the kids had gotten up to. At least this time, all the reports of the screeching all came from the same direction." She tilts her head towards further down the crevasse. That away!

« Thinking a thing does not make it so, » Zinakoth points out practically. « What would it do with such small wings, anyway? » Someone's a spoilsport. "And the temperature changes," G'tan amends to Doki's first. He looks a bit surprised when she makes that gesture down the crevasse. "Wait, all from here? In the Deadman's Trench, or somewhere else? Because there's a trader caravan that likes to camp down there - the Chadey. Might be worth talkin' to them." Or maybe…the traders are doing a bit more than just camping.

From the depths of his rider's memory, Raktraeth dredges up the image of the Menagerie's whersport and its teeny, tiny wings. « Flap them when he felt like it, probably. » What exactly it does with anything isn't really the brown's concern aside from where it might actually be. Doji shakes her head at the mention of all of those being the area. "No, just all the most recent ones. Could it be like, groups of wild animals or something? All converging for some reason?" Although she gives a bit of a dubious look down at the caravan when traders are mentioned. "I didn't think anybody was supposed to be in the Trench this time of the turn."

« Now that is real, » Zinakoth notes with another rumble. « And quite tasty, though it's better to have three or four at once. » So the bronze seems to know from experience. G'tan gives a grunt and nods acknowledgment at Doji's clarification. "A pack of wild canines, maybe," G'tan speculates, his fingers rasping at the stubble on the side of his chin. "It is winter now; maybe some could be coming down from the mountains to be where it's warmer. Like the felines I mentioned earlier." He glances down the Trench in turn. "Not like we can kick 'em out if they are. It's still a good camping spot, and a lot of the traders are on the move this time of the Turn with the dusters dyin' down and the temperatures droppin'."

"Huh…" Now Doji really is thinking. "I wonder how many of those 'sightings'…" She shakes her head at the word as it doesn't quite sound right, but hearing doesn't seem appropriate either. "Events were reported in areas where caravans had been travelling. There's probably something in all those sweep reports." But alas, those are all back at the Weyr. But maybe she's found a research project for later! Raktraeth is frankly getting bored of this talking and his gluttony is getting the better of him, especially when the older dragon mentioned having ate whersport previously. « Maybe there's a pack of them! You take that end and I'll take this end. They can't hide for ever! » But as soon as he sets talon to go down into the trench Doji's jumping up. "Nooooo! Shouldn't we wait until there's more light? Or when it's darker?" This whole sunset business just seems like it will be the most difficult and any other time would be better.

Zinakoth doesn't move, uttering a low, hitch rolled of sound that remarkably resembles a chuckle as he watches Raktraeth get set to go and then end up curtailed. « Best to wait for when our senses are keenest, » the older dragon advises. "That so?" G'tan asks, quite curious now himself. "Definitely when there's more light…for some things. If we need them," their dragons, "that's when it'll be safer. But campin' out…or askin' some of the traders to investigate, maybe… That'd also have its uses." Blue eyes dance with the prospect of a good investigation - and not of a guard-ly sort for a change! "Wanna meet here tomorrow morning and see about pokin' around a bit?"

Curses! Foiled again. Raktraeth will reluctantly drag himself back up to the top of the trench, not that he had even got down that far to begin with. Doji gives a very enthusiastic nod at the idea of waiting, almost like one of the little wooden bobble-headed figures some of the tackier bazaar merchants deal in. "Yes, light! And if we were going to camp out, we'd need some supplies." More than just the water skin and some snack rations that are tucked away in her straps somewhere. "Meeting tomorrow sounds good. Someone should be here to see if things really were moving in this direction."

"And maybe a few more bodies, too," G'tan adds about camping, not keen on waiting in the dark for wild animals without considerable backup in place. "Tomorrow it is, then. Though…I think I may hang out here a little while longer. Just til a bit after sunset; I still wanna see if I can catch wind of something." A sandy brow arches at Doji once more. "Feel like joinin' me, or are you gonna get on your way?"

Doji has a plan now and of course, she's making a mental checklist of everything that must be put together for said plan as she begins to re-examine Raktraeth's straps before heading off. The question of staying has her freeze though. "Uhhhhhh…." At least until the brown gives a nudge and his own two sense in, loud enough to make sure Zinakoth can hear as well. « The correct answer is: Of course we'll stay. Sunset isn't too far away and the archives can wait 'till later anyways. » Properly chided, at least the setting sun hides the bit of a blush on the younger rider's face. "I guess we can stay a bit." Just don't expect much more talking. They wouldn't be able to hear the wind if they are speaking too loud anyways!

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