Who

Ellen, Oz'keyn, Hirikoth

What

Paths cross in the wilds.

When

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

Where

Waterfall

OOC Date 14 Mar 2016 07:00

 

You two a huntin' pair?


waterfall.jpg

Waterfall

The lush Southern rainforests hide snake-like rivers that wind through the thickest part of the underbrush; it is one such river that provides a view that must be seen once in a lifetime. Powerful, the waters spill over the edges of the cliffs, falling from high, high above to land in a large swell of water that feeds into the Black Rock River. On a sunny day, a kaleidescope of colors can be seen as the light of Rukbat is refracted in a rainbow array of vibrant hues. At the base of the waterfall, where even a dragon would feel dwarfed by the towering cliffs and thick plume of falling water, the swell of water is surrounded by greenery of all kinds: trees, flowers, ferns, moss, lichen. As the point where the waterway narrows into a feeder stream to the larger, Black Rock River, a tiny little bridge spans. All around, water roars, eclipsing even the sounds of wildlife.


Partly cloudy, the blue sky over the falls is a searing blue behind thrashing skeins of mist thrown off by the monstrous shower of waterfall. The thunderous roar slamming into the rocks below instill a steely sense of peace, and the baking hot sunlight spears rainbows on its route to bake the stoney ground below, where two creatures are positioned. One, a massive, jowly black canine, mastiff in shape, is ROMPING through the shallows at the edge of the water, streamers of water hanging off his shaggy pelt. The other creature is - well, nominally female, even if her unfortunately blunted features and heavy-slab frame give HER a vaguely mastiff-y appearance to match. Her railroad-tie torso is encased in a loose halter, baring unconcerned shoulders and back to the sun where she's squatted up on a boulder, stooped over a hide stretched out on a frame. Sewing? Sketching?

Though the roaring falls swallow the sound of wingbeats, the sleek shadow of a dragon swoops over the treetops. She's a pale green, small and supple, with a threadscored flank and head. She bears no rider. Below, the black mastiff might catch the strengthening scent of a human male, sweat and leather, and the sound of boots from the south.

The windwake caught up in the dragon's wingsails pulls loose a few of the softer misty droplets from the waterfalls, dappling Ellen's already damp hair. Though hardly in terror, Ellen's head does twitch up rapidly - a swift-moving shadow from above begs a certain level of immediacy - and, remaining boulder-crouched, she raises a mannish hand to shield her eyes, tracking the green's flight path with a slow turn of her head. Loose-shouldered and mouth-breathing. In the water, the canine pauses, freezing stock-still for one second, two, his flopped-over ears perked forward, tail sort-of wagging? Just once? Then, with a 'huff!', he bounds from the water, half knocking himself over by trying to shake off WHILE trotting a few paces due south. "Ears," Ellen mutters without really looking towards him. It's enough to give him pause, though he lets her know it breaks his heart to do so by emitting a soft whistling-whine?

The green makes another pass above the treetops, her body tilting as she banks. She's looking down through the canopy, through the opening formed by the waterfall. She cries out a sound in a high pitch. From the south, the new arrival makes himself obvious: a man in his mid-thirties, bearded, with the same sort of ruddy sunburnt complexion as the girl. The humid air has turned his curly head to a kind of sweat-dark shag. He's dressed in a gray-green tunic, damp beneath the arms, and trous with extra wrapping over the boots. He sports a quiver of orange-dyed fletches, and a plain bow of yellow wood. As if possessed of some measure of awareness of how it might seem for a girl to encounter an unknown armed man in the wild, he keeps his distance, makes himself visible, and calls himself out. "'m from the weyr. That's my dragon."

They seem of like mind; Ellen's crouch atop her boulder stoops to retrieve the bow and quiver leaning against its base with an unapologetic focus of her eyes on the man. This doesn't spare him from a hard cornerwise slant of grin issued, her voice a deep-blunt contralto calling back, "She's a beaute'!" Her chin jerks, "That's m' hound. His name's Eerie. — Y'mind canines?" Regardless of the answer, she makes an impatient snap of hand after situating her bow over a shoulder, calling the hairy canine back to her side. The bow and quiver both have a festive air; the former carved with carnival flourish, the latter leather-worked with beading.

Oz'keyn doesn't seem to take offense as she arms herself. Such are the facts of life. He still holds the bow, but without an arrow nocked, it's only a stave in his hand. "Dog's fine," he calls back. "I want 'a come up for some water. I'm Oz'keyn, and she's Hirikoth."

"Ellen." She dips her head briefly, performing a foreign sort of salute off the front of her chin, "Of the Stars. Trader. Well met - Do business with thy Weyr. Y'got good folk there." Though there's no sign of insincerity, there's a paced formality, as though all of these statements were part of the greeting. Especially stark when completed, because she pushes her knuckles against the crest of the boulder and WHOUF, swings her legs around to instead park her weight on her ass, legs spread and bare footed - thank Faranth she's wearing trousers - and said much more brightly, "You two a huntin' pair? Don't often see riders traveling a'foot." She waves a hand towards the water's edge, suggesting the rider is welcome to do as he needs here.

"I was born walkin. A trader myself, before her." Oz'keyn juts his chin up skyward. The green continues to circle, backbeating now, looking to land. Granted invitation, he strides up much more quietly than before, someone at ease in the wood. He leaves a conversational distance between them, and stands his bow against the smooth-skinned trunk of a rooty-tangled tree. "Well met, Ellen," he tells her, and not needing now to yell, there's still a rough burr in his voice. "We like to get a look about the land. She'll only eat what she catches herself, always been that way."

"Must'a been a handful when she were small," Ellen has an animalistic baldness, in the way she openly turns her head to openly watch Oz'keyn as he heads for the water, one arm slung loose-wristed off the edge of a knee. One of her eyes is squinted more closed than the other, against a drift of wet mist. The stretched hide she'd set aside is picked back up - its face, Oz'keyn might be able to glimpse, is a half-finished map, partly ink-wrought, but also embellished by colorful embroidered thread, and what may be - a shimmer of glass beads to denote the topography of the falls.

Oz'keyn leaves behind his quiver and his pack, setting them on a boulder half-eaten by a tree's enormous roots. He's mindful of where the canine is, but his attention lies primarily with the water. He kneels to splash his face, his hair, the back of his neck, and his relief is apparent. "Hirikoth's got a wild spirit, wouldn't have it any other way." He wipes his face with the edge of his arm, looking up now, toward the young woman. "This your hideout, then, out here?"

The side of Ellen's mouth twists up, "Who's hiding?" She nods sort of lazily due east, "I gotta wagon. Left it with yon cothold. The wheels wouldn't thank me takin' it offroad, y'kennit. I'm here for the mapping, time being." She exposes the hide a moit clearer for a moment, a needle hanging off its unfinished face by a blue thread - until she catches it. Leans down to bite off the end, "Fetch a fair price, amongst the woodsmen. These are mean grounds to folks not knowing the way. I forge. Set some traps. Mind the plantfare - some the herbs you find out here come rare. Healers're deal a fair price, you bring 'em in."

Oz'keyn hears her out with a continual nod of approval. "Sounds like you've come up right," he tells her. "A young lady with many skills." When he smiles, it does wonders for his bearded face. "My sister 'n brother, and me, we grew up some ways the same. Forests and fields in the warmer months, 'n down on into Boll for the winters. S'a fine dog you have there, and bow also. How's hunting here?"

"Was lucky," Ellen shrugs, clicking her teeth 'chk-chk!', "Had good raisin's." Her features, harsh when not smiling, warm to hear of the greenrider's family, "Ma was a Herder. Grew up partways between the Hall and a caravan." Eerie has been just sitting there and staring stupidly at her while panting - she drops a hand on his head, ruffling him hard enough to send all the loose skin about his head swaying, "Joined the 'van full on after a while. Got real taken up scouting. Struck out on my own soon enough." Her eyes flash lively "Ah, Mister! Hunting out here's like you'd not //believe! Found a few prime trails," her grin grows more sly, gaze running over Oz'keyn's own bow thoughtfully, "Might be some game a little big for me'n Eerie to take on alone." Though her foreign brogue pronounces 'alone' as 'alain'.

"I've heard of the wild cats that roam these jungles. Never saw one yet, just spotted skins stretched out for sale at the market fair. Or some lord's wife or mistress done up with strange fur in winter." Oz'keyn smiles. "I know Hirikoth would be game for a challenge. She watches out for me when the trees are too close set for landing." He gives his face another splash in cool water. "She wants to touch down and sit with us. Your Eerie, he all right with dragons?"

"Yeah, this knucklehead'll be a'right," Ellen grins, "Dumb as a stump, but he's been about Weyrs plenty. Be our pleasure." Not like it would make much of a difference, but Ellen pulls in her splayed legs as though to make room for a landing. Thought that counts. "And oh, they're out there. Only ever bagged one over th' turns, and even then, I've more Luck to thank. They're big."

Oz'keyn affords her an impressed sort of look, eyebrows raised. Credit where it is due. "You'll have to tell us the story of that, then. Hold up.. " He provides the eyes for Hirikoth's landing, helping guide her down from the treetops. She backwings down in a spray of water some ways off, touching down with a heavy splash. She folds her wings in, adjusting with a snort. Then she begins to walk up the shallows to the humans and the canine, her movements sinuous, self-assured.

Ellen protects her face from the spattering of water with a forearm, watching the dragon land, keeping one hand loosely rested on Eerie's shoulder. He's sitting… ISH. But is full of beans about it, squirm-thumping his tail and licking Ellen's knee as though it tastes like COMFORT. "Not a lot t'tell. One in a hundred chance, spotted her before she spotted me. Big ol' spotted queen. You better b'lieve I was up a tree like a blessed shot. Guess my fool blood was all up and I got cocky. Notched an arrow. Pow." She dinks a finger off her temple, "Right'n the eye - just about shat the bed. She took off. Followed her for near days before she went down. — Your green mind meetin' folk?" Some do NOT.

"A good hunter that follows her kill," Oz'keyn remarks, nodding once with approval. "That's a rare tale. They got a mystery about them, and they're so dangerous. A good challenge." He rises to return to his pack on the boulder. "You're both fine to approach her, but mind the water, she makes it look more shallow than it is. She'll like you, I think— you're a bit like my Bez, my eldest daughter."

"Heh - again. Good raisin's. My dad'd beat the fear into me, 'f I neglected my cutwork." For all her heavy-set structure, Ellen pushes off the boulder with enough force she semi-vaults to her feet. Propping one hand on a hip, she approaches the green dragon without glance to Oz'kayn, as though it were just the dragon and she, alone here, "Hirikoth, huh?" She murmurs, looking up-up-up at the green's face, then back along her body in open admiration, "Well met, greenbeast." Whip! She turns on a heel, positioned alongside the dragon as though the two of them were a posse, addressing Oz'keyn, "I saw some fresh prints, not far from here. You want-" she tips down her head, considering the greenrider from beneath the shelf of her browridge and grinning savagely, "I'd show ya. We bring down a worthy beast, claws' teeth, pelt, skull - there'd be plenty enou' to split between us."

The long scarred muzzle dips closer to the girl. Hot air rises from the nostrils. The dragon's enormous jewel-like eyes measure the girl, their color a deeper green than her pale, milky-jade skin. Then they wash over blue, and Hirikoth raises her head to look at Oz'keyn just as Ellen does. "Well, you've put that idea in her head, and there's no saying no to that," the rider says, grinning back.

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