Caprine Capers (Raelii is Searched)

High Reaches Province Crossroads - Northern Trade Route

The area around High Reaches can only be described as very rugged terrain, mountainous with snow capped peaks in the distance. Here, where you stand in the valleys, trails are marked and some plant life grows. Still the air around here is chilly and doesn't encourage lingering for any great length of time.

N'mon is having a conversation with Odamith. "What do you mean, you want to stay here? It's cold, we have a much better weyr back at Half Moon, and frankly. I think you're crazy." A slight pause. "You think the hunting is better here? That's why we've been having to come up here every four days. From now on, Od. You're going to learn to like fish flavored wherry, because this is stupid."

Raelii is having a conversation too. But with whom? She can't see Odamith and N'mon and they can't see her. The teen's voice, however, can be heard coming from the trees, somewhere upslope. It's a long string of almost-but-not-quite cusswords delivered in a tone that shows her total frustration. She arrives on the trail amidst a small shower of dirt and stones as she tumbles down the bank, scrambles to her feet and blows her mussed shoulder length brown hair out of her face. "Bad, bad goat! Now to get you-" (this to the wriggling baby goat in her arms) She freezes and blinks at the pair. "Oh! I didn't see you- uh, arrive." Obviously. The goat bleats. "Hello." And in spite of her situation, she tries for a bright smile.

N'mon ohs from where there was still an arguement going on, to turn around when he's alerted to someone else's presence. "Oh My. Err, I wasn't expecting anyone else to be along here. I'm sorry for ah. Scaring you and the, ah pet is it?" There's an arched eyebrow after that because it looks rather squirmy. "Would it help if Od and I left? I promise I won't let the big lug eat it. He's already had enough to eat for days, the pig." All delivered with a bright, rather expectant look.
N'mon is the rider of Brown Odamith.

Raelii's destination lies up trail beyond N'mon and his dragon. That'll be why she's heading towards them, albeit giving the dragon (for the goat's sake) a wide berth while wrestling with the now frantically-kicking goatling. "I'm… not… scared… just… surprised." The words are uttered between while trying to retain the writhing creature. "I'm not gonna feed you to him, sheesh!" says she almost at the same time N'mon assures her of the same. A laugh bubbles up and she eyerolls at her captive. "Pet? Gah. No. We're taking them to market. Only, the whole lot of 'em took off up the mountain." She ought to scurry on her way, but the comment about how the dragon ate gives her pause. "He… didn't happen to be catching goats did he? Becaaause if he did? My da's gonna kill me." The brown is given a long, speculative look while she asides to the rider, "I'm Raelii, by the way."

N'mon erfs and looks at Odamith with some concern, because he wasn't exactly paying attention to just what the brown was eating on this trip, just that it was not where he wanted to be. "Errm, let me ask. Because I honestly don't know." He looks vaguely unfocused for a moment. "I've been assured that all Od wanted was mountain wherry. But he's sorry if he made your goats run, but it was fun." Then N'mon is just closing his eyes for patience. "So, while he didn't eat them, he's probably the reason they took off like. And I must say, I'm glad they're not pets, because they don't look like they'd be good for it."

Raelii tries not to fidget while that asking happens. She can't help a rather nervous look over her shoulder uptrail even though the struggling goat occupies most of her attention during their communication. Her relief at the answer is profound - a wide, relieved smile follows the assurance. "Whew! That's one less problem then. Please tell your dragon thanks? And it wasn't his fault they ran; it was," a tiny cough, "mine, actually." The goat bleats and kicks on while Raelii stands there. "You're right. They're not." Mutter. "They're little devils! They eat weird things and get sick, they jump on things, they get into trouble all the time…" It takes one to know one, perhaps?

N'mon reaches out to give Od a scratch along a wing joint, reaching up to do so. "Well, I'm still going to say that he couldn't have made things better, with flying overhead while you were searching." He nods to the still fidgety young goat. "Would you like some help with rounding the rest of those up? Least we can do, even you don't think we were a part of the problem." Then he has a full out laugh. "So they're minature dragons then? I never would have guessed that they'd have personalities quite so similiar."

"Maybe he flushed them out of hiding?" suggests Raelii with bright optimism and only then does she remember her manners, bobbing the dragon and rider a hasty curtsy. "So thanks just in case!" She backs up a step or two - perhaps the goat will calm down while her lips move in a silent count. "I think this is the last of them, but thank you very much for the offer-" She can only stare at him for a moment for his last comment before comprehension dawns and her laughter bubbles up to join his. "Thank Faranth goats can't fly! I cannot imagine what they'd get into." The brown is given a curious look before her gaze returns to the rider, "If they are like goats, I don't know how you deal with them. Da says we're never herding goats again."

There's a sudden flash of dimples from the rider, before N'mon shakes his head. "Well, most of the time they outgrow whatever it is, that makes baby dragons quite so troublesome." He's fondly petting Od still. "But they'll test your patience none the less, as I'm sure you can imagine." He has a slightly odd look on his face. "Well, if you've found all of them, Odamith here wants to know if you'd like the chance to perhaps find a different animal worth getting to know. He's asking if you'd like to be a candidate for Celimoth's eggs at Half Moon."

"Oh, they do?" Cue a half-glare down at the baby goat, who is still kicking. Hear that goat? Some critters improve with age! "Too bad goats don't. They get worse the older they get." Lifting her eyes Raelii smiles, her mouth opens to say goodbye, her words coming at the same time N'mon speaks, "I should go-" She splutters to a stop, a wide-eyed gaze divided between Odamith and his rider, wavering several times back and forth. "Really?" It's squeaked in both disbelief and delight. "You must be from very far away because the ones nearby-" Wait, perhaps that's not the right thing to tell him. Her smile is sunny, "I'd like that." She has no clue, really, what she's in for. And yet, "We should ask my da." She motions with a tilt of her head to the bend in the trail. "Our caravan is just around the corner."

N'mon nods, and hrrms. "Would you rather carry the goat, or do you need help with it? I'm sure I can leave Od here, for a bit or he can walk along with us. But we don't want to further frighten your animals." He's still offering a smile. "Well, definately you do need to ask. And of course we'd like you. Od doesn't just ask anyone you know. He's pretty particular in who he wants to keep around." Then he glances back at the dragon. "Or maybe he's just trying to get you to like him so you feed him goats."

With a light laugh, Raelii slips the brown dragon a look and quips somewhat boldly, "They aren't my goats, but if they were I'd offer you the whole herd without remorse. Then tell my da 'the dragon ate my chores'." The very thought causes her to smirk, but it's N'mon to whom who she offers the goat instead. "Please. And thanks. This way? And he can come. We made a corral for the goats." She leads the way around the corner and the sight that'll greet them is one of utter chaos. True, the goats - around twenty of them - are penned in a makeshift pen made from a fishing net tied around some trees. But there's a mess strewn on the trail of trampled and chewed-upon goods, broken bottles, spilled wine, shattered crates and scattered feathers. Barking canines are chasing chickens, two young boys are chasing the canines, bleating goats watch the sight and a huge hulk of a man swears at all of them.

N'mon now gets to hold on to a squirming goat, which he does manage to keep captured as they head around the bend. "Well, er. My." So N'mon stands there with his goat, with Odamith following to look up on the mess. "It looks like you need a entire herd of helpers and not just yourself. «Might I have just one. I'm starting to feel peckish again.» N'mon curses, glances at the dragon and "No, you may not. These are not our goats, and you just ate. Do you want to make yourself into one fat round ball?"

Raelii can't hear what the dragon says, but she can guess; she laughs in spite of the mess in front of them. "Exactly what I was thinking only my da would have to pay them. So I thought the dogs would help herd them." She coughs, "They chased them instead and things went from bad to worse." Obviously. The huge man is stalking their way. "Uh, that's my da. Watch him say no," she says in an undertone to N'mon. "Da," she says brightly, raising her voice so the man can hear, "Last one and guess what? This rider and his dragon have asked me to stand for a clutch at Half Moon Bay, wherever that is." She beams at her sire but the man, ignoring the din behind him squints first at the brown dragon, then the rider. "You're not Mur'dah," he says with a frown meant to be intimidating as he reaches a huge hand for the goat.

N'mon blinks suddenly upon being accused of being someone different. "Um, no. I'm not Mur'dah. I'm N'mon, from Half Moon Bay, brown Odamith's rider." He manages to not flinch back from the larger man. "Has Mur'dah done something of which you disapprove? For myself, Od and I happened upon your daughter here on the trail and Od thinks she'd be a good candidate for Celimoth's eggs that are hardening."

The man takes the kid goat from N'mon gently enough despite his stern demeanor. "Half Moon Weyr is halfway across the planet," he man tells Raelii with a frown. "Put the goat in the pen with the others." The goat is deposited into her arms and she scoots to do as bidden. Turning back to N'mon, the large man says solemnly, "Chapar, trader. Well-met." The hand extended offers a shake that might seem crushing. Chapar's head moves side to side, his mouth relaxing a touch. "No, Mur'dah's a good lad. He's just the only brownrider I've seen dare come near my daughter." A pause, "Are you sure you know what you're getting into, takin' her on as a candidate?" One massive arm sweeps, taking in the chaos before them, "This sort of thing seems to happen around her too often."

N'mon half turns for just a moment or so to watch Raelii as she retrieves the goat and gets it to the pen. Then a faint blush as he moves to fully correspond to the trader again. "Sorry for that sir. I've just never, er. Been around a trader's camp. It's a unique experience." He looks back at Raelii. "Oh, well we met on the trail. I was just trying to help her out. And honest sir, Odamith does seem to think she might be a good candidate. He's not searched too many, so I can't really say if he's right or wrong."

"No need to apologize," Chapar says gruffly. "Most of 'em steer clear of 'er is all. Even that boy (that'd be Mur'dah) has learned to look both ways and check the trees before approaching camp." And by the look on his face, that's the wise choice, there. "Thanks for helping 'er. Hope she didn't hurt you too much." Raelii returns to the last bit of their conversation. "Oh Da! I didn't crash this time." Then without pause, "I want to go, please Da?" The frowning hulk of a man doesn't dismay her at all, despite the mayhem she's caused. Her arms link about one of his as she looks up at her father a pleading smile. Chapar appears unmoved, then throws his hands up in exasperation. "I'd say nay, but I've had enough chaos for one season." Then, with the sort of longsuffering futility that knows the request is useless, "Try to stay out of trouble, will ya Lass?" Raelii squeals and throws her arms around Chapar, then breathlessly to N'mon she assures him, "I'll be right back!" Off she goes - again - this time towards one of those wagons.

N'mon nods his thanks slowly, glancing at the caravan circled around. "We will take care of your daughter sir, make sure that she's safe as she can be at the weyr. I will also promise that I'll do my best to see to it she's put back with you after the hatching if she does not impress, if that is what you would like." He grins slightly. "I can't say that any chaos would be directly noticed in the weyr right now anyways. We're getting so many candidates that I've not met that it's pretty much a madhouse."

Chapar listens, grunting a few times, which might mean that yes, he'd like his daughter back or 'please keep her' before he rumbles, "Thanks. See that ya do." Keep her safe. Though he does note dryly of the chaos, "You might be surprised." Aaand here comes Raelii, breathless from running this time, but still as excited as ever, wearing a jacket and a small carrysack in hand. "I'm all packed," she tells N'mon with enthusiasm. Then with an eyeroll, she tells her father, "I told Ma I'd be back before she knew it, but she's crying anyway." After she gets swept up in a hug and released, Chapar mutters, "Good luck," and that's to N'mon rather than to Raelii. Because he isn't wishing his daughter on any poor dragon. Or Weyr, for that matter.

N'mon cocks his head to the side. "Would you be ready to leave now, because I really should be getting back to the weyr, before too much more time has passed. What with Od's fondness for mountain game and then our lovely but quite unexpected meeting, I've been gone longer than I should be." He motions back to the brown dragon, where he is almost snoozing he seems so quiet. "You have my word on it sir, that I will keep that promise to you."
Raelii is nearly dancing on her toes. There's a big smile in response to the question "Yes!" she answers N'mon without hesitation and offers him her carrysak. Then she turns to Odamith, though she does wait politely to be bidden to mount the brown. Chapar nods, gravely silent to N'mon, accepting both his assurance and granting his need to depart.

N'mon waves Raelii on her way to meet Odamith. "Od, this is the girl you like. Her name is Raelii. She's accepted and will be coming back with us to the weyr. So no funny tricks while we do so alright?" Then he's hopping up on the offered foreleg to get himself seated, and leaning down to lend a hand to Raelii. "You have everything packed well, and ready to go? If so, just hop up here on Odamith."

Raelii is indeed packed. And has nary a regret that she's not going to be here to help her brothers clean up the rest of the mess. She steps up to Odamith's side, gives it a light pat, then climbs nimbly up behind N'mon. She appears familiar with the straps, buckling herself in, then call down, "Bye, Da." Her father gets a flutter of fingers and a kiss blown before she assures N'mon, "All set!"

N'mon turns to give one last wave to those assembled, and then also makes sure Raelii is securely buckled in after he is. "Well now that we are ready, I'm going to have Odamith go up a bit into the air and then off to Half Moon. "Have you been between before?"

By this time the canines have been re-kenneled and the chickens re-crated. There's naught left but the occasional bleating of goats to break the blessed, blessed peace after the ruckus beforehand. So Raelii's little family has drifted over to watch her depart, her mother sniffing, her father looking stern, her brothers barely restraining themselves from squabbling, managing to make their pokes and retaliatory elbowing of each other discreet while not bothering to hide their envy. Raelii is still while N'mon double-checks her straps, then nods. "I have. A few times." She hangs onto the straps and waits for the black chill.

Odamith suddenly disappears -=* BETWEEN *=-
Darkness and cold like you can't imagine. Nothing to see, feel or hear, except the beating of your heart.
Then, as suddenly as you entered the emptiness…

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Sky over the Weyr

The view just above the rim of this massive basin is breathtaking as the islands take shape far below you, reaching up out of a gleaming sea of blue. Away in the west, the vast expanse of ocean continues past the horizon, to spill over its edge into eternity. A plateau on the east side of the rim makes for an advantageous lookout point, a watchdragon and rider pass the time there while on sentry duty by a large aerial antena. Gusts of unstable winds falter against the undersides of wingsails that pass you by. Half Moon Bay's bowl seems, from here, nothing more than a mere child's toy. Tiny weyrfolk, playing out the dramas of their daily and nightly lives, are no more than miniature featureless dolls come to life from the vivid imagination of a woolgathering youth.

When they emerge, it's over an island weyr surrounded by teal waters, and Raelii oohs in delight. She's totally forgotten to ask about what it was like!

"Let me be the first to welcome you here, Raelii and I hope you will find your time with us like coming home." N'mon pauses. "Now, lets get you settled into the candidate barracks and set up with a knot and introduced to the headwoman as we go through. She'll have charge of you until the hatching."

Raelii can't tear her eyes away from the vista as they descend, even when the walls of the crater engulf them she's curious. She cranes her neck, looking this way and that even while sliding down and her thanks is a somewhat absent, "Thanks Odamith," and another pat. She shoulders her carrysack and nods at N'mon, ready to follow where he leads.

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Candidates' Barracks

Carved from a natural bubble in the volcanic stone, this small dorm room has room enough to hold around two dozen occupants comfortably. Along the walls are stationed sets of cots and clothes presses, each made up to the standards of the weyrwoman. Above, the soft white light from electric lamps cast down during waking hours.

N'mon is ushering in a new candidate tonight. "Well, this will be your home for the next few weeks. Take a day or so to get yourself all settled in and then they'll have you on chores. Do you have any other questions?"

Nyarra is sitting on her cot, organizing some of the things sent from her home. She smiles and waves at the new candidate.

Raelii slips into the room in N'mon's wake, curiously looking over the set-up, the cots, the presses… and other candidates. If there are any hanging about, she'll give them a smile - Nyarra being one - before returning her attention to N'mon. "I will, I'm sure but right now I can't think of any. Thanks for…helping with the goats. And everything." Meaning perhaps rescuing her from boredom! Her gaze drifts down the row of cots, seeking one that looks unoccupied. She didn't pack much, so it won't take her long.

N'mon moves to take his leave from the barracks. "Well met to all of you, do get settled in here Raelii. And please see me if there is anything you need."

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