Found and Lost (standalone)

All the rest of the Northern Continent that Atricis left behind. Atricis' old Holds can be found within, as well as all the other Holds and Weyrs and old lands left behind.
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Shaihulud
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Pronouns: She/Her They/Them

Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:07 am

Northern Autumn, Turn 2047
Benden Territories


These events take place in the days leading up to Inez and A'rosius' transfer to New Atricis Weyr
Wingrider Inez and Brown Dragon Iorveth
~ Approximately a week before the 68th Hatching ~

He saw her.

When their eyes met, Inez knew instantly that the Steward of Benden Hold recognised her. In her attempt to fool his eyes, Inez had her firelizard dive for his face to distract him so she might have a chance to escape. She hoped with her disappearance he might leave the matter and mistrust that which he saw, but instead, the steward batted away the amethyst and dashed after her. The clack of heels to flag stone quickly approaching behind her warned Inez. Rather than keep her calm pace to blend in with the bodies around her, Inez shot off and sprinted down the corridors.

"Stop that woman!" the man cried out.

Iorveth!!! her mind screamed out to her lifemate.

The brown trumpeted for their greatest allies. A'rosius, Bowith! Peira, Lineth! F'nyh, Virath! Miral, Myrath! Inez is in trouble! She's been found by the Steward of Benden!

Legs refuse to give up though her lungs protested against the exertion. Despite being dressed in wherhide pants and a sturdy pair of boots, her attire did little to aide her, for Inez found herself struggling to gain ground between herself and the steward. She simply was not accustomed to running, even as a rider. Even more challenging were the bodies of those around her who interfered in her escape. At the steward's demands, hands reached out for her in an attempt to apprehend her, but just as fingers wrapped about her arms, and bodies blocked her passage, proving too strong for her to push through, the mind of the Weyrwoman's queen rang in all their minds.

Stop the Benden Steward!

Stunned by the demands of the dragon, the hold of her apprehenders loosened, and the wall of their bodies cracked, giving Inez the chance she needed to push through and escape. Yet the Steward was not far behind her now, and managed to grab her before he could be stopped. The men attempted to hold him back, blocking him, but his hold was fierce, straining against the skin of her delicate wrist. She screamed out, fighting against the hold, and once more their eyes met.

"YOU!" he bellowed out. His eyes were wild as he held firmly to the desperate woman, refusing to relinquish her for all the people in the corridors fought to peel his fingers off of her. He knew that face, and saw those knots, brownrider's knots.

Another figure slipped into the fray, Miral. The woman did not hesitate to press the point of her dagger at his throat. "Let her go!" the woman grabbed a handful of his hair and yanked his head back, pressing the blade deep enough against the skin to draw a drop of blood. "Do as I say, or I will kill you for assaulting my wingman."

Inez could tell by the growl in her voice that Miral meant to kill him.

The Steward could tell by her eyes. It seemed he valued his life enough not to press the Wingleader, and slowly released his hold of Inez. "Lord Cador will hear of this. He will have your knots for this!"

Miral did not even flinch as she sheathed her dagger and slipped to Inez's side to support her. "Nezi? Are you alright?"

The brownrider was shaking from the incident, though her Wingleader's presence managed to draw her eyes to her. The tears began to stream as the shock settled. He knew.

"N-Nezi!" Another voice called. It was A'rosius, and without delay he reached her in support, working with Miral to support her.

"Ambrosius! You knew about this?" The steward demanded an answer from his assistant, only to see his own knots. "You! You're one of them!"

A'rosius did not flinch at his words, for he owed nothing to the man. Instead, he stepped between Inez and his old Steward without hesitation. "Yes, I've been for some time now."

"Traitors! You are all traitors!" the Steward spat at them all.

The Weyrleaders arrived. "My dear Steward," Peira spoke out, her voice a warning to the man. "I do not care what history you have with the riders here, or what ties. You will refrain from attacking them." She walked up to the man who was still guarded by the weyrfolk of Benden. "Do so again, and there will be consequences."

"You! You've been harbouring Lord Cador's daughter here in the Weyr without his knowledge! You let her Impress, and to a brown no less. The Lord will hear of this, and mark my word, there will be consequences." Those last words were a threat, one that the Weyrleader immediately heeded.

"We will discuss the matter in private," F'nyh suggested, and motioned for the Steward to be ushered back to their quarters.

But the Steward would not concede. "I will do no such thing. I demand to be taken back to the Hold at once! Refusing me will only make matters worse."

Inez kept with Miral and A'rosius, hiding between them as the leaders debated the next course of action. She reached for Iorveth, the very being who had changed her life and placed her in such a predicament, and yet she loved him too much to ever regret that moment of Impression. The brown reached out to her in turn, caressing her mind in assurance.

No matter what happens, I will keep you safe, my lady.

His encouragement was enough to inspire her with the courage she needed to face the Steward in this moment. Inez managed to stand a little straighter as the Steward finally began to depart, and when he turned to face her one last time, her bravery stared back, ready to face him. But she would suffer for this, as would everyone she loved. I must warn Hesidor and Mul'rec.

The Steward held his venom, and said nothing more to her.

The damage had been done.
Last edited by Shaihulud on Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Shaihulud
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Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:58 am

Wingrider Ambrosius and Blue Dragon Bowith
~A day after Inez's discovery~

Trigger warning for nudity, violence, and abuse

It was not long before word came in from Benden Hold about the arrest of Lady Enide. The charges of adultery and treason were levelled against her, and her punishment cruel and swift: exile and/or death by stoning. Stripped to nothing, Enide was driven out of the hold naked alone, running out of the gates as onlookers hurled stones at her in an attempt to incapacitate her in her escape. Several of the blunt and jagged objects made contact, bruising her body and breaking her bones. Near the end of her escape from the hold, one rock cracked against her skull. The sheer force of it threw her to the ground, though the prone woman attempted to recovery to her feet for all her head refused to stop spinning. She felt several more objects impact her along her back, with one strike her hard enough to draw blood. By the will to survive, Enide recovered herself, and stumbled away from the hold, reaching the tree line where she disappeared.

A'rosius witnessed the events from his vantage in the skies. Through the spyglass, he witnessed her struggles, and nearly vomit at the sight of it. How could men be so savage towards the helpless? The cruelties were revolting to witness, but A'rosius needed to watch the events unfold if he was to save her from the barbaric punishment awaiting her in the wilds: death by Thread. The fall would arrive within the hour, and though Enide managed to escape one brutal end, she would succumb to one far worse if A'rosius did not find her. A'rosius had no doubt the Lord holder intended it this way. He often enjoyed baiting his enemies, tormenting them, only to give them that flicker of hope before he smothered it away with a fate far worse than the first. The bluerider never deluded himself about the darkness of Cador's nature, but he never knew Cador could be so vicious towards his own wife. A man needed to know forgiveness if he was ever to maintain his own humanity, but Cador had no humanity left to spare.

Duesso, find her! he commanded of his emerald fancy flit. The feathered beast searched for her among the trees, attempting to locate the face given to him. Once he spotted the naked form curled among the roots of a tree, the creature shot to the canopy where Bowith managed to spot him.

There! Though the trees are too dense for me to land. Bowith grumbled in irriation as he neared the tops of the trees.

There's a clearing right over there. Land, and I'll find her. Already the bluerider began to unfasten his straps, if only to save on time.

We don't have much time. Thread will be here soon.

I know, A'rosius responded. Between it Bowith! With so little time left, they needed to regain every second they could. The blue slipped into the bitter cold, only to emerge half a dragon's length away from the ground he briskly touched down upon. The manoeuvre unsettled A'rosius, but he was too focused to let the nausea mount within him. He needed to find Enide as fast as he could.

As he slipped from Bowith's shoulder, the blue directed him towards Duesso's location. She's north from us. It shouldn't be far.

The bluerider made his way through the dense force, pushing his way through towering ferns and gnarled roots that threatened to trip him underfoot. "Lady Enide!" he called out her name in hopes she would respond. She failed to respond, and after fifteen minutes, the bluerider began to panic. Keep it together, Ambr. You have to find her. Green eyes pierced through the verdant terrain, attempting to spot where she might be. Duesso! Where are you?

The emerald found him with ease. He must be close! You know where she is, Duesso. Lead me to her!

The fancy flit trilled out and darted through the trees.

A'rosius followed after him. With long leg, the bluerider managed to keep up with the emerald, though the terrain felt awkward underfoot, threatening to pull him down into a fall with every misstep made. Somehow, the young man managed, and when he climbed over a clump of roots, he found the battered woman unconscious on the ground. "My lady!" he did not hesitate to remove his jacket and cover her form. He swore to keep her safe and take her back to her daughter. Never would he leave them, for they were the only family he ever truly knew. He would die for them if he had to.

The Wings are arriving. Return to me now!

A'rosius did not delay. With Enide pulled into his arms, the bluerider drew upon a reserve of strength to carry the woman back to Bowith. Adrenaline kept him strong, though he felt the ache in his arms as he neared the speckled blue in the distance. Bowith lowered himself as the trees broke, giving A'rosius the help he needed to mount with Enide in his arms. With both woman and rider secured, and Duesso chattering in panic, Bowith lept into the air, and slipped between for the Weyr.
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Shaihulud
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Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:50 am

Wingrider Inez and Brown Dragon Iorveth
~ Evening after the day of Enide's rescue ~

Trigger Warning - Events of Suicide present in this post

Ever since her discovery in Benden, every fiber of Inez's world had begun to unravel rapidly. She was left in a state of freefall with the ground rapidly approaching, and it would be only a matter of time before she lost everything. Her mother was the first casualty, though A'rosius managed to save her from the forest before the Fall. When Enide arrived, she was unconscious. The healers took her in as best as they could, but with the Fall begun over Benden Hold, dragonriders took precedence in the infirmary between resources and space. For the duration of the fall, Inez remained with her mother, and thanked Miral later for understanding her absence.

"Of course," Miral answered as she stood behind the brownrider, and set a reassuring hand upon her shoulder. "How is she doing?"

Inez gave a shake of her head, more so to force herself not to cry, for she was not allowed. Hour by hour did Inez bite back against the cries of horror over what her father had set in motion. Hours later, her eyes glazed and her throat tight from the frequent strains of sorrow, Inez barely managed to answer Miral, "I don't know."

The Wingleader settled down at her side, wrapped her arms around the brownrider in assurance, and rocked the woman who refused the cry. Inez made not a sound, and yet Miral heard it all the same. Within, Inez was screaming.

***

Matters were made worse by the fact Hesidor had not yet responded to Inez's warning. She sent Gwen out to him within the hour after her discovery and the meetings with the Weyrleaders. Inez knew not if his lacking response was due to his lingering bitterness over her Impression turns ago, or if Cador had interfered in their communication somehow. After the stoning of her mother, she yearned to go, to see her children and know they were safe, but the Weyrleaders forbade her for fear they could not protect her once she left the weyr. Outraged by the fetters they placed upon her, Inez was left to sit in silence at her mother's bedside for the duration of the night. It was the only place she did not feel so helpless, and yet every time she called to Enide to rouse her, the woman's failure to respond confirmed to Inez just how powerless she had become.

***

Another day passed before Inez finally heard from Hesidor. When the note came attached to the telling hide, Inez rushed to the Weyrleaders and demand that they let her go. They allowed for it, but she could not travel alone. Peira and F'nyh demanded they go with her, to which Inez conceded, though she asked Miral and A'rosius as well, needing the support of her friends more so than her leaders in this moment of trial. Together, the dragonriders travelled to Barbiollette Seahold. They arrived by the late afternoon, and descended onto the heights that hugged around the sea cliffs hold. Hesidor awaited them in the Great Hall with Rhianez and Hesiden standing by their care provider.

"Hesidor!" Inez called to him as she ran up to her husband, relieved to see him and their children alive.

The holder could not stop himself from embracing his wife. Inez knew everything about herself had changed to him, from the cut of her hair to the scent of her form, but despite all of that, Inez was still his wife.

"Why didn't you send for me sooner?" she asked him through her tears. "Why?"

He pulled back, though his hands lifted to cup her face and pull her in for a kiss. It was the only kiss she did not attempt to deny him. "I was angry-" he kissed her once more, only to draw her close "-But then I came to my senses. It's all in the past... and... I only have enough time left to think of the future."

Inez pulled back from him to regard him. "Wait, what? What do you mean?"

"Cador is coming, he'll be here by tomorrow to arrest me."

Even the others were startled by the confession. "Arrest you for what? And on what grounds?" Peira pressed for answers.

"Treason, for concealing Inez's Impression from him," Hesidor replied. He turned back to Inez, and kissed her once more. "I need you to take the children, and leave this place."

"But what about you?" Inez asked of him. Before he uttered another word, she saw his answers in his eyes.

"I'm staying."

"What? No! This is madness!"

He took hold of her shoulders and shook sense into her. "You have to go. He's disinherited Rhianez and Hesiden, and there is no telling what he will do to them."

"But you need to come with us!"

Slowly, he released her and took a step away from his wife. "I told myself I would die in this hold, Inez. This is my home, and I stand by my honour." He pressed her once more, "Take the children, and go."

Miral stepped to Inez's side, and set her hands on either side of her shoulders, squeezing them in support. "We need to listen to him, Inez."

A'rosius joined Inez, and looked to her expectantly. He awaited his orders. "My lady," he called to her.

Inez regarded her friends, and then looked to her two children who were too young to truly understand what was happening. Their minds were simply to small to understand that their world was about to change. Inez could not say if it was for the best or the worst, but she knew they had to leave now while they still stood a chance. With a final sorrowful look to Hesidor, Inez walked over to her children and embraced them. Rhianez and Hesiden responded, raising their little arms up to hug their mother in turn.

"Go with your mother," Hesidor commanded of his children, though his voice broke with the order. "Inez, take them. Take them now."

With a nod of her head, Inez began to lead her children to the heights with the others... and yet her steps delayed. She turned back to face Hesidor one last to time. "You can still come with us." Never had Inez loved him enough. Despite their differences, she recognised him as a good man who deserved more than life itself. The least she could have done was give him her heart, and yet she failed time and time again.

Hesidor walked to her, and yet he refrained for touch. Instead, he offered her a half smile much like the first smile he had given her back on the beaches of Southern Seahold. "I could, but there is no place for me in the weyr, Inez. But it is where you belong. You were always meant to be a dragonrider. You deserve the happiness Iorveth has given you. I just wish I could have done the same."

His words struck a part of her that inspired the prickle of tears in her eyes. "I'm so sorry..."

Rather than accept her apology, he answered her with those words that would always matter most. "I love you too, Inez." They were his final words to her. He watched as she disappeared up the stairs, leaving him alone once more in the Great Hall of his proud sea hold. He walked to the window, and heard the churn of the waters below, and with a deep inhale he caught the scent of salt and sea. When the dragons shot to the sky, Hesidor saw his life one last time, and admired it as it departed on dragon wings and slipped into the depths of between. It was done. "Dina," he called to the servant who once served his wife. "See if you can fetch me my brandy. As Jendes. He knows which one I like."

Hesidor would not find sleep that night. Instead, he walked the halls of his hold, and thought of life. He thought of his family, his father, his mother. He relived the days of his childhood roaming the corridors with his younger brothers as they played with their sticks to play the brave knight protecting their new love. He liked to think he had done that for Inez, giving her the life she never thought fate would be willing to afford her. In turn, she had given him two beautiful children, and several wonderful turns of happiness, and for all he knew his time had come to an end, he found joy in the fact their time had just begun. Life was not about how one lived their life, but it was about how one inspired the lives of others. Hesidor liked to think he had succeeded in such a thing, inspiring people like Inez and his children.

In the future, many would think he lost that dawn when he tied the noose around his neck in the courtyard, but as he watched the red sunrise one last time over the endless sea, he thought to himself he had won, for he had done what few men had ever done: he had lived a good and honourable life.

{fin}
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