T'ral, K'lir, Catryn


K'lir and T'ral (and Bryntaeroth and Esanth) help set the bones of the shipweyr in place. Catryn comes along to sketch. The murder hanging over the weyr is discussed.


It is afternoon of the first day of the fifth month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass.


Southern Weyr

OOC Date 12 Mar 2016 08:00


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Terraced over the rolling mountains of Southern's wilds, crops fight against the encroaching jungle that must be held at bay by diligent farmers. Guards are stationed at intervals across the hills, where the trees growth is thick enough to allow the lurking predator to hide. It's not Thread that threatens the luscious crops that cling to the side of the mountain, it's the felines and wherries larger than life that would partake of the feast that awaits the courageous. Each terrace lays claim to a large swathe of arable land; the fields themselves cover a vast portion of the hilly slopes. To cross the fields, from one end to the other, without runner or wagon, would take several candlemarks.

It is astonishing what can be accomplished in a short time with the proper focus. The shipwreck, stripped and lowered down out of the tree, sat for the better part of a seven awaiting transport and site preparation. Secured under barges lashed together, the ribs of the salvaged ship float upriver to the Weyr; the heavy weight of the keel sinks like an obelisk beneath the buoyant craft above. It mades its way glacially upstream and finally… finally arrives. Things happen swiftly after that. Esanth. Bryntaeroth. Others. Dragons of the weyr and even friends from Igen turn out to help drag and lift the to the top of the terraced farmland. Farmers will be hard-pressed to entice their draft animals into the fields in the next seven or so. The site is a broad three-sided cut into the terraced hillside. Retaining walls three paces thick at the base, stand against the weight of earth and stone above. The stones collected for the Smiths from the rocky pastures by diligent, brooding Esanth himself, accepted or rejected at the foreman's need. He's become quite the connoisseur of stone, has the stalward stardust blue. And now, the last bit of the rise topped, the dragons need only lower the ship's frame down to its final stony mooring.

K'lir aligns himself with the corner so that he has a clear line of sight between the edge of that retaining wall and his dragon so that he can offer the miniscule corrections to his lifemate to make sure it sets down in the correct position. "Easy now … not too fast, Bryn," he murmurs aloud as he watches the descent of the hull onto its new foundation. As the hull is lowered carefully he glances downward to check the placement before looking up again. "A bit your way, T'ral."

T'ral, laying athwart Esanth's neck, strapped rather… unconventionally, leans against his own moorings and looks swiftly from K'lir to Bryntaeroth to the foreman and back to K'lir. "Got it. Got it." Esanth and he are a unit, the blue grunts and leans into the hull as K'lir's intent is relayed. With a thud and a shudder the ribs collapse into place, the rumbling as the shock of placement reverberates like the clattering teeth of a freezing giant. There's a long sick moment of stillness where everyone is frozen to see what falls, breaks, tips, cracks, crashes or otherwise goes sideways on them…

K'lir nods as he hears T'ral's comments and watches as the distance between hull and foundation narrows until that thud and shudder occurs. The bronzerider holds his breath as he stares at the newly topped structure to make sure it isn't going to slip sideways. After several heartbeats, he sighs it out with a broad smile and a lifted fist of triumph given to his friend as it looks like a total success. Bryntaeroth lands closeby on the terraced surface with a rumble of satisfaction that is shared with his rider so that the rope can be removed from his straps. "Looks like you got it right on spot, man. Good job."

T'ral lets out that self-same breath they all hold, looking around with eyes wide-skinned. And then… cautiously… he grins. "Whooooo!" A hoarse whoop of triumph. Strange rigged straps creak as they twist and strain against the momentum of arms swung up in victory. He laughs, pulling himself in along that strange rigging, "All Esanth," called up to K'lir. "And Bryntaeroth." He unbuckles and hops to the retaining wall, and clambers up the ribs bouncing between broad beams like a rubber ball until he can walk the keel to K'lir's perch. "Damn, it feels good to build something." Pride there. He looks down beween his feet at the span he's standing over, half a dragonlength. He pivots and beams at Esanth, "Whaddya think, pal?" Esanth rumbles a rising sound that ends in eerie clash of his creaking voice. The foreman laughs, the two have become well-acquainted in the past sevens. The man scratches at a stubbled jaw, "Yeah, he is rather lolly gaggin' up there, innit he?" Esanth rumbles again. The bluerider narrows eyes at Esanth, » I'll show you lollygagging. «

K'lir grins up at the bluerider walking on the keel above him though the slope he's perched on isn't all that far below. "It's a good solid setting from the looks of it. After they hammer in the iron rods it should withstand any gale our weather can send this way." Not that they've had any hurricanes but one can't count on that holding forever. When the blue rumbles and the foreman replies rather than T'ral, the bronzerider chuckles and shakes his head. "Come on, lollygagger … lets go see the inside and watch 'em secure your boat in place, eh?" Hopping down the man-height he perches at, he waves his arm at the bluerider and moves to where there is an open space to allow ingress.

The bluerider trips to the end of the keel and meets Esanth there, hopping onto the blue's upraised head, crouching for the trip down to the stones. "Boat?" T'ral is indignant at K'lir's diminution. Workers, given the go ahead by the foreman, swarm the structure with said iron rods and a sledges to drive them home. T'ral hops down from his dragon-lift and gives Esanth's leg a meaty thump, "This is a ship." He tilts his head and leans and leans, one leg raises to balance. "Upside down." He grins and rights himself moving to, now, give K'lir a similar meaty thump on the shoulder. "On a hillside." Half a dragonlength above ribs meet keel. He squints against the glare of sun behind thick clouds, a giddy squeeze in belly and chest. "How's Jaguar, Mister Weyrsecond, Sir? Kulari?" He knows how Arianne is, they see more of eachother than their weyrmates.

Very few people ever hear K'lir laugh louder than a low chuckle so when his baritone rolls in a hearty laugh in answer to that correction and meaty thump, the bronzerider gets a few odd looks from those who know him. He follows the bluerider around what will be T'ral's new quarters. "Fine, let's go watch them secure your upside-down ship on a hillside then." The bronzerider turns to look at the whole structure and squints against the sun's glare as he lets his gaze drift along the smooth lines. "Jaguar is doing well, doing our part in keeping the Weyr safe until we can find those behind the smuggling and Sven's death." His matter-of-fact expression softens at the mention of his daughter, of course, and chuckles softly. "She's two Turns old, T'ral … she's walking, talking and growing like a hatchling."

T'ral grins to himself, knowing that belly laugh as a rarity, dark eyes glad for that lightness in K'lir. He paces off, counting under his breath. Back and forth. He checks up against the retaining wall and, for no good reason, planes out against it, stretching as high as he can reach. It's not quite a hug (but it might be). Tension of the stretch releases and T'ral turns, smiling, to K'lir, fingercombing his hair, "Two turns. Can it have gone so fast?" Wow. He shakes his head. His smile shifts, eyes lifting to K'lir's, "I'll be joining you soon." In the ranks of fatherhood. "Any advice?" He shifts back and looks towards the Weyr, eyes shadowing at the grim cloud there — the figurative one. "Sven. Lynx is running down some leads." He shakes his head, "Not sure if it's related. Any traction on your end?" Though the turn of conversation is grim, there's a steadiness, like the stone he leans on. They'll get to the bottom of things.

K'lir watches in silence as his friend seems to hug the upside down hull, a faint smile still curling his lips though he doesn't say anything so that T'ral can have that moment of accomplishment. When the older man asks those question, the bronzerider can't help the soft chuckle and shrugs. "It's just flown by. And the twins are eight." He nods slightly at the mention of the bluerider becoming a father soon as well, knowing through others how Catryn is doing. "Just love it and Catryn. Don't be scared of it and do your share of nappy changes. Be silly. Bring Catryn lots of treats because she'll need them. Oh … find someone to babysit because you're both going to need some sleep after the first few weeks." Is he completely honest? Maybe, maybe not, it's really hard to tell. When the conversation turns more serious, he shrugs. "Went down into those catacombs and found a knife in what looked to be a storage area. D'cen found a bloody shirt too. Turned them in to the investigators."

"Scared." T'ral didn't look scared before. NOW HE DOES. Good job, K'lir. "Should I have been scared?" None of the Healer Hall reports Catryn amply furnished him with said anything about being scared. Oh, wait. No. A lot of them did deal with parental anxiety. "Love. Be scared of nappy changes. Treats for Catryn. Babysitter." Hey. He perks up, "We've got that one solved. Catryn's mother is coming to stay." Speaking of, "How're your folks? Your mum and Arianne's?" He's not up on the extended family. "No kidding? A knife. The knife?" He whistles low. "Hopefully that'll lead to something."

The snort of a runner pulling a wagon can be heard off in the distance as a few Smith and Harper Journeymen hop off the wooden surface. Last to make the effort is Catryn as she maneuvers off the front seat and down onto the soft ground with a little assistance from her colleague. She's dressed in a riding skirt and blouse-like top that helps alleviate some of the Southern heat rolling off the fields — hey, at eight and a half months pregnant it's a wonder that anything fits her at all. Quiet murmuring stretches between both Harpers until they part into opposite directions, Catryn walking toward the front of the project while her cohort walks toward a terrace. She has a sketchbook in hand and a drawing utensil stuck behind her ear.

Yup, T'ral should be scared cuz infants are terrifying — never know when big man-hands are going to fumble something and drop it! K'lir grins as the bluerider asks that initial question. "I didn't say be scared of nappy changes … I said do nappy changes. Do you know how many babies go through in a day? It's like Bryn was a hatchling but at his current size, man!" At the information that Catryn's mother will be coming to stay with them, the bronzerider nods again. "Good, nothing like having the grandmother help take care of the baby for the first few sevens at least. And then babysit so you and Catryn can get a good night's sleep once in a while." The smile fades a bit at the question about his family, his brow wrinkling in a faint frown before that qualifier is given. "They are good too. Sophie is looking to move to the Hold to get away from me and mum … I think she's ready to see if she's ready to fend for herself. Before he can start to comment about the finds he and D'cen had made in the catacombs, that cart of Harpers and Smiths is noticed. "Catryn! Ready to move in? Might be a bit hard to sleep without a bed though." His tone is obviously teasing since the new abode is far from being ready to live in.

"Cate!" T'ral looks around with eyes narrowed for Maktaba — the Snitch. "We just set the keel." After a fashion. Upon the walls, upon the beams, smiths and apprentices move about staking, securing, reinforcing. He lengthens steps to greet her with a kiss, a hand straying to rub her belly, "Hey, Mo." He turns after offering Catryn his arm back to K'lir, mischief lighting dark eyes, "Oh, I heard you." About the nappy changes. He looks askance at Catyrn and murmurs, "There aren't that many are there?" Is he teasing? He laughs at K'lir's suggestion, but does look rapidly here, there, there, here. To Catryn: "Do you need somewhere to sit? Are you going to draw? Did you hear K'lir say he found a knife in the catacombs?" T'ral might be a bit giddy.

Catryn offers the Weyrsecond a salute and a smile before waving a sketchpad at him to help explain why she's here. "Hello, K'lir." A quick glance is tossed toward the makings of her new home before she tucks the sketchbook underneath an arm again. "Just here to draw a few things." Because she's documenting this entire process — as if there was any doubt! And before T'ral can protest, she gives her weyrmate a kiss on the cheek when he rubs her belly. "No, darling, I'm fine. I hitched a ride." After attempting to walk the entire distance. That goes unsaid, although her own mischievous grin is probably a dead giveaway. Then to K'lir again, "How're things? Give my best to Arianne when you see her. I've been meaning to stop by the dragon infirmary for a visit and to see if my firelizard has been leaving her be." Maktaba loves hanging around Caelth, avians of a feather as they are. "A knife? No, I hadn't heard that!"

K'lir laughs softly and shakes his head at the bluerider before the man takes off to greet Catryn and escort her the rest of the way to where they stand watching the Smiths stake down and reinforce that new structure. He smiles at the greeting he's offered and inclines his head gently. "Things are going well for us, Catryn. You're looking very well too." A soft chuckle is given as he considers her words and remembers how a brown firelizard has been curled up with Caelth a few times he's gone to the Infirmary to check on his mate. "I don't think he's a bother, otherwise she'd have Caelth tell him to get lost." Her exclamation earns another inclination of his head. "I don't know if it's the knife that killed Sven but we found one. It looked pretty clean but there was something on the hilt and crossguard that might have been blood. Turned it in to have it looked at … along with the shirt we found."

Isn't she? T'ral takes a moment to be dippy and then blinks himself back to the conversation at hand. "Yeeaaah… he doesn't share the most appropriate things with Caelth, CATE." T'ral clears his throat, tips of his ears coloring. And firelizards remember things. "Occam's razor, though? Or…knife," it's a weak attempt at humor. "With any luck it'll help." T'ral's arm slips around Catryn's waist at talk of the knife and he takes the opportunity to leans and peer down at her… sketches. Totally the sketches. Has she drawn anything yet? Get to drawing, woman. He peers. Anything yet? "What about a shirt?"

Aww. "Thank you, K'lir, that's sweet of you to say." Catryn's lips purse when Sven is mentioned and she nods while snaking an arm around T'ral's waist, pressing closer. "It's a terrible tragedy. I hope whoever murdered Sven is caught soon." A familiar sense of relief washes over her when she recalls the event that she was supposed to attend the night her colleague was killed. Then her chest tightens again at the thought of living outside of the Weyr's borders with such dangerous folk potentially wandering around. She swallows at the thought and runs a hand along the base of her belly, pivoting slightly to look over at the site again. Time to get to work, she came here on a mission. Releasing T'ral, she plucks the drawing utensil from behind her ear and flips open the sketchpad to a blank page so she can start sketching the angle where all three of them stand. "So, are the catacombs an escape route? I haven't studied the maps yet. I really should." In case she needs to go down there.

K'lir smiles at Catryn's thanks and lifts a shoulder in a faint shrug. "It's only the truth." He sighs as she comments on the murder and nods his agreement at the tragedy of the whole situation. "Hmm, yes, we found a shirt that had been almost soaked in blood but we're not sure if it's Sven's blood on the murderer's shirt or if Sven gave as good as he got and stabbed his attacker." The Harper is watched as she moves away to start sketching the scene before them and considers her question. "I'm not sure it's actually an escape route. It probably didn't start out that way, just a series of storage caverns or something and just happened to lead to the waterfall. But it's still possible since the entrance to the Weyr is in such an odd place."

T'ral knows those signs of nervousness and curls closer to Catryn. We'll be fine. THEY WILL BE. Fingers trail along Catryn's back as she moves off to begin sketching. It'll give her something to do with her hands. Maybe that's how she began drawing in the first place? Huh. Hmm? What did she just say? "Cate. You're soooo not going into those caves." He knows her pretty well, "At least wear sensible shoes." A beat, "Don't go alone." This is a theme with T'ral of late. It's dangerous to go alone. Dark eyes narrow, considering the murder, "What else did we learn from the men that attacked you?" Us. "Anything?" His eyes move up to watch the stakes go down. A rattling cacophony of sledgeblows and ringing metal. Esanth, returned from headbutting Bryntaeroth, pads up to Catryn, rumbling.

Catryn considers the catacombs as she brings to life a drawing upon the sketchpad. The charcoal shading keeps her attention for a moment until she gets it just so and moves onto the next detail. Her mind drifts as she imagines Sven's last moments and a shiver runs the length of her body when she pictures the fellow Harper lying in a pool of his own blood — a gruesome thought that has her stepping closer to Esanth when the blue pads near. "Southern is full of secrets, it wouldn't surprise me if there are hidden areas of the catacombs." A hand reaches out to scritch Esanth's muzzle and she steps close enough so that her belly presses against his snout. "Makes you wonder if the murderer is someone who knows those secrets."

K'lir gaze sharpens as T'ral apparently picks up on something Catryn hadn't actually said and shakes his head firmly. "No one who isn't approved is going down there so don't even consider trying, Catryn. It's dark, dirty and dangerous to go wandering around down there." There isn't just the concern of a friend for his friend's pregnant mate in his tone, it's the sound of a Weyrsecond giving an order to keep a Weyr resident safe in these trying times. Turning his attention back to the bluerider, his expression becomes a bit less stern as he shrugs slightly. "Arianne and Lisette — with Caelth's help — got one of them to talk. Some trader attached to Krauss Caravan? I think that's right. I don't recall the exact name the guy gave though." The soot-darkened bronze rumbles as Esanth headbutts him and crouches down to watch the industry with curiously whirling eyes.

That thought, betrayal from within, gives T'ral a real and visceral pain. He winces, "I hope we find out soon." He scrubs a hand over his mouth and jaw, beard whickering. "Arianne and Lisette… and Caelth?" He blinks and considers this, eyes wide. "I… is it wrong to pity a criminal?" He purses his lips and, brow furrowed, looks between Catryn and K'lir. There's a sense of water sinking into sand as T'ral absorbs K'lir's information. Krauss Caravan. He grunts. Oh! "Cap, there's a really good angle here." He's spent all of ten minutes more at the site than she — he's an expert. T'ral straightens and moves up to K'lir to give the big man a bear hug that might be startlingly stout to the bronzerider. He squeezes K'lir's shoulder, "Thanks. I'm glad you were here for this." Sincerity rings in the quietly offered sentiment. He holds the bronzeriders eyes a moment, grins lopsided, and then moves off to show Catryn the spot he ferreted out.

Dark, dirty, and dangerous? Yeah, the catacombs aren't a happy place that Catryn really wants to be, so the Weyrsecond's reminder merits a nod of acknowledgement. "You won't find me anywhere near them unless I'm specifically told to go there." By leadership or the Weyrharper himself. Which means that T'ral can breathe easy knowing that she's not jeopardizing herself or the baby's well being. A long, slow breath is inhaled as she continues to scritch Esanth's muzzle and then nods at her weyrmate's suggestion for sketching a new angle. "Stay safe and give your girls hugs tonight, K'lir." Another salute is given to the bronzerider before Catryn turns to follow T'ral to a new location with Esanth padding close behind.

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