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[Weyr Plot] The Source of the Problem [Iron Squad]; Summer 1268 - Early Evening
Topic Started: Jul 17 2017, 02:39 PM (236 Views)
Mother of Whers
OOC Note: This will be the thread in which Iron Squad discovers mishandled tithes from Big Bay Seahold. Some background: Malaika and Zoruda started sending whers to escort random tithe trains in the hopes that they might be able to sniff out anything poisoned or rotten. Plus, their presence would intimidate Holders into not tampering with anything. It would be treated as a favor to the Holders, and worded in a way that refusal would mean insulting the Troop. This has been going on for about three sevendays with no luck...until now...

[align=center]Malaika & Mask[/align]

Tag Chrys/Chrsk, Open:

It was raining. Heavily. Pushing back the wide-brimmed beastcrafter's hat that shielded her face, Malaika glanced around and whistled sharply above the downpour. This was her second personal tithe escort in the past sevenday, and the squad's...third? Fourth? There had been no luck in discovering anything tampered with, despite the whers' impressive schnozes, and the entire squad was getting frustrated, she knew. Coming back empty with nothing but sunburns and even one case of heatstroke wasn't the most morale-boosting thing in the world. Gonna have to suck it up, though. Sitting up straighter and lazily gripping the hilt of her short sword, Malaika caught Eya's eye and nodded. Her weyrmate and her bronze stood stolidly to Mask's right, a position of comfort, as they guarded her damaged leg. An unnecessary thing, as Malaika seriously doubted that the holders and traders would be foolish enough to threaten the whers. But appreciated nonetheless.

To her left was Chrsk, the blue dwarfed by Mask's bulk, and the sight of him still sent a pang through Mal's chest. She never would be able to look at a blue without thinking of him. But now wasn't the time, and she urged Mask closer to the other wher, leaning over slightly so that Chrys could better hear her. "Same routine as before. Stay close to the wagons, don't be afraid to do a little sword-rattling and fang flashing. Let them know we mean business." Her coward's heart wasn't above using intimidation tactics to keep these people in line. Faranth knew how much many of them seemed to hate Vaioa and anyone associated with the Weyr. Fardlers.

Fardlers, Mask mentally bellowed, causing one of the men nearest to them to flinch violently. The bronze snarled when the little pink human glared his way, eyes flashing beneath his goggles. Try Mask, Little Pink. Mask dare.

Can you not, Bubbly? I'm not in the mood to take a knife. To their right, Esk rumbled his grating laughter, and Malaika would have sworn she heard Eya snicker. She chose to ignore it, instead turning to Chrys and the rest of their patrol. Her look was carefully schooled, more lazy than anything else, like this was the most routine and boring thing she had ever done. Hopefully, that demeanor would let the tithe train think that she couldn't care less about this escort. Hopefully, they would let their guard down.

Iron, Puff say don't let rain make lazy. Keep eye out. Scare Pinks. Find gross. Then can go home and screw or eat or whatever want. Sharp, green-gray teeth flashed in a lewd grin.

Malaika ran a hand over her face with a weary sigh. "Lovely weather, eh?!"

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Not help. Chrsk was plain about his thoughts as they plodded through the rain. Dumb.

With that attitude, of course we're not going to find anything, Chrys chided him. But we have our orders.

Waste. Chrsk chuffed wearily. They had already wasted one day acting as part of an 'escort' service to these tithe trains, and there had been nothing-- absolutely nothing-- to suggest that there was anything wrong with the contents of the tithes.

Of course, Chrys hadn't been able to actually check the contents of the trains. But Chrsk and the other whers had smelled nothing. And there had to be some reason why so many of the Weyr's tithes were showing up rotten.

Chrsk snorted. Why care?

Chrys frowned. Because we have our orders. That was the simple answer. But a more complex answer was... well, more complex.

After all, the wher troop hardly suffered from the spoiled tithes. It seemed like those all ended up at the Weyr itself. They were fed by the crafthall, and the crafthall didn't take tithes.

Except, of course, that their duties did extend to Vaioa Weyr, at least in part. True, the wher troop might technically belong at the Hold, but there was so much going on at the Weyr that they were involved in, especially the Infirmary, that they were fairly entangled. Not to mention that guard duty at the mines was still a regular part of rider life. If the riders were willing to help them, then why shouldn't they be willing to help the riders?

At least, this was all what Chrys had reasoned herself. She hadn't actually been privy to the troop leaders' decision to act as escorts for the tithe trains. Nor did she need to be. She was happy enough to comply without questioning every little order. Plus, it broke up the monotony of mining very nicely.

Chrsk snorted again. Not a good enough reason.

Chrys grinned. Her Blue was known for being a pessimist. He had proclaimed this entire project a waste of time and unlikely to turn up anything, but she knew that he enjoyed stretching his legs just as much as she did.

A shrill whistle pierced the sounds of the drizzle and the rolling of the tithe trail. Chrys looked up and saw Mask's hulking Bronze form, with his handler Malaika astride him. She perked up.

"Same routine," Chrys confirmed, nodding. She unhooked her bow from her back and lifted it into a casual hold. "Just here to make sure that there's no wild wher threats or anything like that..." She glanced over the landscape and darted a quick glance to the train next to her.

The Holders seemed ill at ease with the whers, from what she could tell. And the 'wild wher activity' that they had drummed up as an ostensible reason for their being here had not been accepted with much equanimity. The train employed two wherguards of its own, was the protest. Vaioa's wher troop wasn't needed for such a pointless activity as guard duty when they had so many bigger responsibilities, surely.

Chrys snorted and turned back to the road ahead of them. Unlikely. If they were tampering with tithes, then they wouldn't want extra eyes near them. Though the fact that nothing rotten or obviously soiled had been caught yet did give Chrys pause. Maybe the rot didn't show up until just before the trains made it to Vaioa? Was that even possible? Chrys frowned. Maybe if there was some sort of time-release poison put into the tithes, like a fungus or something. That would make the train appear innocent until just the right moment... and if that right moment happened to be right before the train was showing up at Vaioa...? Was such a thing even possible?

Chrys was lost in her musings until Malaika's voice started her out of them.

"Oh! Yes. Delightful." Chrys tipped her head back slightly, enough to see the sky-- an unbroken grey, with no sigh that the rain might let up soon. She smiled tiredly. "I'll have to restring my bow tonight if it rains the whole way back. Don't think that the string will hold up in the rain."

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