Who

Willimina, Dinsayde, Tallel, Dustin

What

The Zingari get some news and finally make that trek back to Igen. Watch out - they're coming!

When

It is afternoon of the thirteenth day of the eleventh month of the first Turn of the 12th Pass.

Where

Lost Oasis, Great Central Desert; Caravan Grounds, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Lost Oasis

Blocked from view in the south by one of the largest sandstone formations jutting from the desert, this lovely oasis is truly a hidden jewel in the sand. Leagues away from any trace of civilization, it boasts a tranquil blue pool of fresh water and shallow stream fed by an unseen spring beyond a dark crevice in the bluff. Trees spring up against the rock, providing merciful shade and filling in the narrow recesses surrounding the water. The height of the outcropping funnels a near-constant light breeze through the place, cooling the air considerably in comparison to the desert beyond.

However, for all its beauty, there is an unaccountable air of fear and uncertainty about this oasis. At night, the otherwise friendly wind can cross the space with a low, unnerving howl, and creatures passing in the shadows do so in nervous, unseen movements. This has, unfortunately, been a place of grisly discoveries for Igen Weyr - most likely due to its out-of-the-way nature. Sweep riders have observed no renegades, bandits, or criminals of any other stripe in the area thus far, adding to the mystery here.


Timor: moon6.jpg
Belior: moon1.jpg


The Zingari camp had been a flurry of activity since the afternoon before. After Dinsayde's report from Igen and the all clear from the healers that the last of the sickness is gone, Willimina stirred the camp and begain the preperations for the move back to Igen. All were up into the wee hours of the morning packing and souble checking supplies. After Willimina was satisfied that all was in order, she ordered her people to their beds to sleep the hottest part of the day away. Now, she goes from wagon to wagon, waking all within. She starts at the resident wagon, rapping sharply at the door. "Up and about! It's time!" She waits for an answer within before moving on to the other wagons. She ends at Tallel's yurt, scratching at the outside to wake the young man within. "Tallel! Up up up! Let's go!"

Dinsayde stumbles out of his wagon, looking a little haggard. He'd not slept well, the conversation he'd heard gnawing at his mind. He'd not been around when Willa's husband had been murdered, but he'd grown quite fond of his new leader, they all had. So it made him sick that they knew who'd done the murdering yet Willimina insisted on secrecy for now. He goes to the water and splashes some on his face, trying to wake up. His siblings and Aunt soon join him.

Dustin is up before Willimina's call as he's waken early to attend to the animals and to see that they are prepared for the journey that is to come. He's made sure that all the animals have had something to eat and been kept comfortable. He has done his best to get them ready.

"Mrrrruuuhh…" In typical teenage boy fashion, Tallel grumbles loudly at the summons from without, dragging a pillow over his head for a moment and trying to pass it off as imagination. It's a little too warm for that, though, and the healer boy is soon up, dragging himself around the circumference of his mostly-empty yurt to gather up the last of his belongings. He shoves past the hanging and tosses his things into his travel wagon, rubbing his eyes with the heels of both hands before looking around at the last preparations. He blinks at Willimina nearby and manages a sleepily goofy grin. "Be ready to go soon, leader!" he assures her and sets about untying and folding down the coverings of his tent, stowing them and then collapsing the frame. For a such a substantial structure, it doesn't take all that long to break down and lash into place in his wagon. Finally, he trots over to Melusine's wagon to help with any last minute things she may need to take care of.

Willa runs around to make sure that those who were up with here were busy hitching the wagons and herding the small animals into their wagon. "Those of you who have just woken, eat now, it'll be awhile before we take another break! When you're done, assemble at the central fire. I have an announcement to make." She waves at Tallel and Dustin as she walks by and then begins to break down her own wagon exterior.

Dinsayde llistens to the announcement and makes his way over to the central fire and the large boiling pot of hot cereal there. He gets a large portion and sits cross-legged on the ground, eating quickly. He watches all the activity in camp and smiles. The camp was a far cry better looking than it had been when he'd rode in. "Luck shines upon us Lady Willa. Let us hope our journey back is just as lucky!" He winks at the leader as she walks by and continues eating.

Dustin nods to Willimina, "I'll be there, just have to check on a few more animals." He makes sure to check that Melusine's animals are all right and perhaps get a few words with the healer. He returns to the center fire and he moves to take a seat towards the back where if he needs to get up to leave to take care of a problem with the animals he can do so with the least disruption.

Assured that everything is in order with his aunt, Tallel wanders over to the fire and the hot cereal as well, clearing his throat of gritty phlegm accumulated while sleeping (disgusting but true) and doing his best not to be rude about it. Finally, it seems to be mostly taken care of, and he serves himself up with a bowl of breakfast, finding a seat somewhere between Dinsayde and Dustin, waving at the herder with spoon in hand as he finishes swallowing his first bite. "Least it's autumn now," Tallel notes with a grin at Dinsayde, shoveling more food into his mouth. "Not so hot to travel during the day. Better for those still shaking off the last of the illness, too." Glancing back at Dustin, he asks, "Do you have enough hands to keep an eye on your herd? I'm sure my cousin Engin wouldn't mind helping, if you need him." Yes, he's volunteering his cousin. No notice necessary.

As soon as Willimina is sure that all is taken care of, and all are gathered around the fire, she takes her place at the front. She clears her throat and begins to speak. "As many of you know, the last couple of turns have been hard ones for the Zingari. We have faced illness, muder, death, poverty, even the fact that though they investigated the murder of my husband, the weyr never found the guilty party. But, over the last few months, we have come back from this." SHe waves at all the newcomers in the caravan. "Our sister clans were gracious enough to send us much needed help. And that much needed help is the reason that we now know the name of Ephraim's murderer." Her voice catches a little. "So now, after recovering, and re-gathering supplies, and months of hand to hand combat training with our guards, I finally feel it is time to go back. And we will re-take our spot in Igen. We will get Justice for Ephraim, and no one will ever walk on the Zingari again. We are an older people of pern, but we are now newly reborn, and we won't hesitate to take what's ours!" (fix for the log)

Dinsayde cheers and catcalls and whistles at Willa's speech, even though he knows she isn't finished speaking yet.

Dustin nods a little bit and he crosses his arms at Willimina's words. He looks over at Dustin, "If your cousin wishes to help he can come see me, unless you are volunteering to help, there aren't any more sick and I'm sure your Aunt won't mind sparing you. I could always use more eyes on the sheep."

Willimina motions with her hands for the noise to calm down. "Now I know you are all rearing to see this matter settled, but when we get back to Igen, things must be handled with care. The murder business will be handled by Myself, and a few of my most trusted. The rest of you are to begin networking for us again. Get us some business, some clientel. And when we get back, we'll throw the largest party Igen has ever seen. One, it will drum up business, and two, it'll let those out there know that we aren't stamped out yet. Now, get about your business. We leave in a candle mark." Willa shoos off the waiting Zingers.

Dustin stands and he waits for the others to leave before he heads up to Willimina, "The animals are all taken care of I've looked over each of them myself, they are ready to go when you are." He says politely and bows his head before he backs off to go get the herd ready for the move.

Dinsayde finishes off his food and cleans his dishes, giving them to the cook before heading to the front of the line. He'd be driving Willa's wagon whilst his sister drove theirs. He checks the harnesses on the herdbeasts and runs down the line. When he's done he takes a seat in his wagon and gives the signal that he's ready

Willimina looks at Dustin. "Good. I'm glad to hear that. Take a runner and rider with you to help herd the sheep along." Willa steps over to her mare and mounts. She waits the candlemark it takes for the rest of camp to be broke down and then she gives a loud piercing whistle, the sign to move out.

Dustin nods, "I will." He finds himself a runner and rider and he gets the sheep moving so that there will be room for the carts to go. He's got his shepherd's crook in hand to bring back any wayward sheep.

Hours upon hours later……



The Great Central Desert

A sea of golden sand stretches as far as the eye can gaze in all directions, marred here and there by the rough scars of granite and sandstone outcroppings of various lengths and widths. Scorching by day and bitingly cold by night in most months, the Great Central Desert is not a place one ventures without a firm plan or a quick exit (such as a dragon). The winds that whip mercilessly across this sandy expanse on some occasions can create colossal samiels and dust storms that block the sun for candlemarks at a time. Other days find the desert sitting amidst an immense calm, the sunlight painting dunes and bluffs in ever-shifting colors and the moonlight turning gold to pale silver beneath nearly unblinking stars. It is a place of great danger and beauty all at once, to be sure.

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Dinsayde stretches from his seat on the wagn he's driving. Willa rides on her mare to his left and Celesti on a mare to his right. "Hey-o aunt Celesti, there any of that whiskey left?" He asks. When he gets athe flask he takes a long drink and passes it on. "I would suggest a break soon Ms. Willimina, we've not stopped since leaving the oasis." He tugs on the outside of Willa's cape so that he knows she's paying attention. "A short break, then we can travel till dawn?" The darkness of night surrounds them already, but dawn is only a few hours off, and they need to use the daylight to rest.

Willimina turns at the tug on her cape and smiles. "Aye, that might be a good idea." She turns and rides down the line of wagons, spraying sand. "We're taking a break! Make a circle, stay in the camp, we leave in two hours!" She makes her way to the end of the line, where Dustin herds the sheep. "Bring 'em in for a rest Dustin!"

Dustin keeps the sheep going with the flow, it's not too hard and he only has to use his crook a couple of times to deep with some stubborn sheep. He gives them a quick rap and they are back following the herd. He follows along silently behind them his cloak wrapped around him to ward off the chill. He nods as he brings the sheep in and thanks those that have helped him with the sheep. He starts to count them to make sure he hasn't lost any.

Dinsayde manages to bring everyone into a ring. A fire is made and the "midday" meal is made. Soup is taken to those in the wagon still recovering. dried meat and buiscuts and water is given to everyone else. The more hearty meal would cme at the end of the day. Din grabs his lunch and sidles up to Willimina, watching as the rest of their clan gets their food. He leans against Willa's wagon and takes a drink of water. "Are you sure about this?"

Willimina jumps as Dinsayde talks to her. Turning her chocolate gaze on him, she raises a brow. "Sure about what? The move?" She aks, her voice raising a little. She turns back to the camp, her eyes watching the movement. "Of course I'm sure. We couldn't hide in the desert forever. And it was getting harder to make supply runs. It's a little hard to stay inconspicuous when you have people sneaking in and out of the weyrs doing your bidding." She snorts and sips at something that isn't water, something from her own private stash.

Dustin goes to start to check on all the animals after he finishes counting up the sheep. Once he's done checking over all the animals he'll report in to Willimina, "The animals are holding up just fine, they'll need this break as much as we did, they should be ready to head out when this break is over."

Dinsayde cuts off the conversation as Dustin heads up. "Aw, I wouldn't worry about the sheep too much, they're smart sometimes. At least smart enough to follow the food anyhow." Speaking of, he looks at Dustin. "Make sure you eat too cousin, wouldn't do to have you collapsing in the sands." He points at the Zingari teen handing out food. To Willa, he shrugs. "I just wonder if you're jumping ::between:: too soon in this situation. That maybe lack of supplies is not your only motive for moving us two sevendays early."

You overhear Dinsayde mutter, "Do … plan … … … … bastard outright? … … … … … sly?" to Willimina.

Willimina scoffs, but smiles at Dustin. "Yes, Dustin, Please do, get something to eat. Then, we can all discuss what to do next." She listens to Dinsayde muttering in her ear and shoots the man a deadly glare. "Who are you to question my motives?" She asks, placing her hand on her hips. "Besides…"

Willimina mutters " Even if I did decide to murder the son of a bitch, it would be no business of yours." She glares icily. "Do not mettle in my affairs Dinsayde, unless I ask you to. You'll regret it if you do."" to you.

Dustin nods as he goes to get something to eat after he's made his report and he ignores what he hears, although he files it away for later. He gets a bowl of stew and he moves to sit down to eat in silence.

Tallel has been taking the journey at ease this far, making his rounds of those still a little weak from recovery once they'd stopped but otherwise going along his jovial way. For the moment, he makes his way to where the food is, catching a few muttered words from Dinsayde and Willimina that perk his ears and choosing to pretend he didn't hear them. But they cause him to linger a little bit at the food pot as he tries to decipher them; he's curious, alright? He can't help it! Finally, he turns around and cracks a grin at the other two Zingari, striking a nonchalant pose. "Everything alright so far?" he asks, taking a bite of his meal.

Willimina nods. "Everything is well Tallel, thanks." She smiles at the young healer, and then a thought comes to mind. "Actually, Tallel, come here, I have some questions to ask you." She smiles at Tal, and shoos Dinsayde off. "Run along now Dinsayde." She smiles sweetly, even thoughit's fake, at Din and waves him away.

You overhear Willimina mutter, "… much … you … … poisons Tallel?" to Tallel.

Dinsayde humphs and walks off, dropping down next to Dustin. "She has a hot head, that one." He comments, gesturing towards Willimina. "You best steer clear of her wrath lad, I'd hate to see her truly pissed off." He laughs. "So …how many sheep do you have left? And how fine a fabric can we make from that wool?"

Dustin looks over at Dinsayde and he shrugs a little bit, "She might be, but she is our leader, I'm sure that hot headedness is what has kept her going." He hmms, "I'm not planning on pissing her off unless I really have to." He hmms, "A fair number of them, their wool is good enough for the best clothes. These are not meat sheep. Their coats are almost done."

Tallel gives a light shrug and saunters over to fold himself down next to Willimina, happily working at his stew as he listens to what the caravan leader may have to ask him. Her first question, however, has him pausing, his jocular attitude immediately more serious. "I…know some," he confesses, lowering his spoon back into his bowl. "Have to, so I can treat it if someone runs afoul of one. Why do you ask?" Brown eyes study Willimina curiously…perhaps a little warily. She certainly has his full attention now.

Willimina waves off any surrounding Zingari, her eyes and look telling them this is not a matter for spying. She pulls a flask from the folds of her cape and takes a drink, letting the fiery whiskey burn it's way down before taking another swallow and offering the flask to Tallel. There is no proper drinking age amongst the free living people. She drops her voice even more and inches closer to the healer.
You overhear Willimina mutter, "… of … things taken from … … were poisonous, or deadly … manner. I want … … … the … they … … … what they … I can … … …" to Tallel.

Dinsayde nods at Dustin. "I wouldn't think they were for meat…not with coats like that. But it's good to know the wool is of good quality, our weavers will be happy about that." He sighs, watching Willa whisper at Tallel. He finishes his food and grumbles. "Suppose I should get things ready to go, she'll be calling the break here pretty quick." He motions for Dustin to accompany him. "Hey, how do you tell the difference between the gals and guys anyhow?"

Dustin smiles, "Easiest way is the horns, the lads have them and the lasses don't, usually, sometimes the lasses get small horns, but the rams get big ones. The faces too, ewes have female faces. Weird, but it's true. Of course if you really aren't sure you just lift the tail and find out, but that might get you kicked." He laughs and stands up, "True, we should be ready to move."

Tallel's eyebrows slowly rise at Willimina's words, and he nods, thoughtful, as he accepts the flask from the caravan leader. "I can do that," he murmmurs, taking a sip and dropping his chin for a moment, squinting his eyes shut against the burn before looking back up and handing the alcohol back. "But if you don't mind me saying, Willimina, you should learn them, too. Just to be safe. I can teach you when you get around to showing me, if you like." In his mind, it only makes sense that the most prominent person in the clan…should know the very things she could be at risk from.

Willimina nods. "Aye, I suppose it would be a good thing for me to know eh?" She smiles at the young healer, her expression closed off. If she has alterior motives for the knowledge, she's keeping them under wraps. That squared away, she gives the signal fot the caravan to get going. "Come cousins, lets get going before dawn sneaks up on us and we lose the cool air." She looks down to Tal with a smile. "We'll start lessons when we get back to Igen."

Dinsayde chuckles and points at Willa. "See, what did I say/" He chuckles and begins preparing wagons as the make shift camp is broken down and packed away. He nods along at Dustin's words. "How long does it take for the coats to come in?" These questions persist until they hitch up to leave.

Dustin smiles as he's happy to talk about sheep, "At least once a year, usually we do it in the spring so they don't get over heated, their coats are still coming in, if I had known I was coming out here with them I would have waited til just before we came and sheered them. They are used to the heat, but I worry still about them, I'm glad to travel at night when it is cooler for them."

Tallel scoops up the last of his stew and nods once more before getting it into his mouth, giving a curious tilt of his head at Willimina's expression but not pressing the why of it. After her call to the rest of the caravan, he stands up and brushes himself off. "Alright," he agrees, giving her a wide smile and then jogging off, back to Salkhin and his wagon. Time to move again - and not think too hard about what Willimina just asked him.



Caravan Grounds

Deep grooves in the hard packed earth criss-cross a large patch of denuded ground, bearing mute testament to the caravans that frequent this area. Despite the midden holes set back a ways from the main center of traffic, the air is sweet, redolent with the sagebrush that forms a loose perimeter around the flattened expanse. In what is as close to its center as the vague boundaries suggest, a stone ringed fire pit has been dug and surrounded with the odd log or two, ash overflowing from its darkly blackened core.

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The small Mother caravan moves slowly over the next few days through the desert. Thankfully no one is lost in the trek back to the Weyr - just a few unpleasant days in the heat of the desert. By the time Willimina spots the gates to the Weyr, everyone is tired and grumpy. But, in the dead of night, they come rolling back into the caravan grounds. The Reika might have a surprise in the morning - new-old neighbors. Willa dismounts, and begins to help bring the wagons into their tight, distrustful circle. She wakes the guards that had been sleeping in the resident wagon and sets them to tend the supplies and inventory wagons.

Dinsayde wakes up from his snoozing when the call comes out that they'd reached the weyr. He is quick to draw the wagons into a circle and jumps down to help Dustin assemble the animal pens.

Dustin herds the sheep to where they are going to be kept. He nods to Dinsayde as he goes to set up the animal pen. He is tired, but he'll be watching the sheep until morning.

Tallel seems to feel the Weyr looming before them in the evening gloom, and it sends a chill up his spine. A lad raised in the Steppes, he most certainly isn't used to being in the mountains, travelled though he may be. Even so, that's part of the reason the young healer came along - new experiences, new surroundings. Perhaps it all unnerves him a bit, but that alright. After so long displaced, they've finally arrived. Finally. And once again, they're just beginning.

Willimina sighs in contentment when the camp is finally put back together. She hugs all her helpers and sends them off to bed. "It is good to be home… Tomorrow we start setting things right." She disappears into her own wagon, intending to sleep until late in the morning, when finally, things would start looking up for her clan.

Dinsayde deftly hugs Willimina back with a smile when the leader walks by. "Yes, tomorrow…" he agrees and looks around. Finding all of his chores done, he waves at Tallel and Dustin and goes into his own wagon, where his bed has been screaming for him for days. Hopefully…. there'll be another body to keep him company.

Dustin goes to watch over with the sheep with a distrustful eye towards the other camp of caravaners. He has his shepherd's crook with him as he watches over his flock.

The only problem with Tal's preferred living arrangement is that if he wants to sleep…he has to unpack and reassemble his yurt before getting to do so. He isn't concerned about whomever else might be around as the caravan rolls to a stop in the grounds, using the last of his energy to set about unlashing and unfolding the frame to his yurt, throwing the covers over it, and tying it all together. It's minimal bedding he pulls out of his wagon, and then he simply throws it down and flops down to sleep. Getting more organized can wait 'til morning.

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