Ridge Road (#1273) Along the central spine of mountains on Ista Isle is a long wagon path that some refer to as Ridge Runner Road. This road connects all of the eastern part of Ista Isle, running northwest towards the Weyr and central island, and southeast towards the Hold. It is a spring evening. Flying above are Niraneth and Risath. Obvious exits: Runner Road Blacksands Southeast Ridge Road> Risath falls into formation; Aralie is late, /again/. Hoping Ophie doesn't notice her tardiness, she slips on her thick leather gloves. Right. Let's rumble. With her proddy edge, and risath's day-glo fiercness, they're ready. They can control themselves- that, or sit on her butt eating bonbons, and have them be laughed at or bad-mouthed behind their backs. She'd rather make an appearance for fall. Ridge Road> Streaks of gray and silver dust the horizon above, hinting at Thread to come. The air seems hot, heavy. Ridge Road> Risath's earned an irate roar from a battle-ready Niraneth -- Ophelia seems to care a bit less, and simply waves a leather-clad hand brusquely: yur late, yur bright, and yur butt's big. Now just remember how to flame. Ridge Road> The combined wings of the Weyr burst in from between, appearing in the air above, preparing to battle the ancient enemy. Ridge Road> From Risath's neck, Aralie has no butt! Really. She sitting on her tummy muscles, practically. She's a scrawny shrimp. Risath's butt, on the other hand- the green catches that stray thought. Hey....watch it. Ridge Road> Ilsinth blinks in from ::between::! Ridge Road> Niraneth lets a warning tendril of steam leak incense-whispy from flared nostrils as she turns her head from Risath's spot in the layered wing of Tempest.. that proddy beast better behave, or it's BBQ'd butt tonight! Ridge Road> A trace of wind stirs as the Threads approach. The wind picks up the individual strands of Thread, tumbling them across the sky like dandelions. Suddenly, the Fall starts, and the leading Wing surges up to meet it. Ridge Road> A long, thin strand of thread tumbles towards Risath. Ridge Road> Risath will behave. Her battle-lust is fired, and she awaits thread, to let loose that raw-nerved, full-throated battle cry, Aralie adding her pitifull (watch it, greeney) yell from her neck. Together, combined, they are unstoppable! Only brake for the browns, of course. Aralie shifts uncomfortably- Risath bellow. And flames! Ridge Road> The thin strand bursts into a cloud of char, drifting away on the wind. Ridge Road> A bronze and a blue fly after the same patch of Thread; the bluerider sensibly gives way and finds a new target. Ridge Road> A sheeting ribbon of thread sinks in deadly silence towards Ilsinth. Ridge Road> A silvery clump of thread falls towards Niraneth. Ridge Road> Below, the flashing Gold Wing fire their flamethrowers, searing Thread missed bye the main wings. Ridge Road> Niraneth shakes the troubled winds with a throaty rumble, holding to her position on impatient wings; Ophelia keeps sharp watch on Tempest, knowing full well that some of the ingrates are flying on stomachs of wine. A sudden hiss, an exacting twist, and the green laces a narrow blast of flame for a silvered bundle that falls too close. Ridge Road> The threads seem to be all around now, tumbling like fanciful things on the wind. Ridge Road> From Ilsinth's neck, Kara slips behind V'mp and infront of ANnika as she and Ils fly close to her wingmates. With a pent up breath of pure flame she opens her mouth to char the thread falling towards her recovering her angle to close on her wingman. Wavecutter swings into action. Ridge Road> The threads burn to char under the dragons' searing breath. But more keep coming, falling like a silent spring rain. Ridge Road> All around you is the flashing colour of dragon wings, the bright flare of flame, and the deadly silver of Thread. Ridge Road> A delicate spiderweb of thread plummets out of the sky towards Risath. Ridge Road> One of the tumbling bits of thread falls a little too close to a blue in the nearby wing, and wraps around his wingtip. He utters a shriek of agony and ducks *between* to soothe the threadfire. Ridge Road> Pure, white-hot fire bursts from Risath's throat and maw, charring a silvery clump that writhes in the air, towards the precious Pern below. Aralie watches in mixed awe and pride, as, ever-exciting, thread is charred by the large beast beneath her, all rage and elation. Proddy adds that raw edge of power; no, /intensifies/ it. In their bond, they work to turn and flame and duck and char, the now harmless thread mere cinders, black dust, falling. Ridge Road> The threads stand little chance against the dragonfire, except possibly by overwhelming them in numbers. More threads fall, spiraling downward toward the wings and the ground below. Ridge Road> Firstlids slide shut, allowing charred husks of what-was-Thread to crumble all unheeding along Niraneth's tapered muzzle. Ophelia ducks the stuff, has her 'mate relay a screeched mental warning to a Tempestuous pair that's only /just/ spared a scored wingtip. Ridge Road> A sheeting ribbon of thread sinks in deadly silence towards Ilsinth. Ridge Road> A brown dragon swoops down, singing a large patch of Thread with his flame. Ridge Road> Risath screams, more of a high-pitched warble, that ends strangles, as a young pair nearly get themselves charred. Learn to doge, silly thing! Risath dodges herself, then lowers her neck slightly to render thread to dust. Ridge Road> Ilsinth flames steadily with a short burst there a long burst skipping between at the last moment to be spared the live burn of Pern's plaque. She comes back out bugling to flame the sheet of thread. turning back her head to get more stone from her lifemate she makes more gas and ducks out of the way with a quick movement and a flame. Ridge Road> A green quickly dodges as a small piece of thread nearly scores her. Ridge Road> Lithe and limber, a blue snakes his way impossibly through two close-set tangles of Thread to sear the larger threat above; below him, two browns cross paths, exterminating what was left. Ridge Road> The fall continues southward, over Blacksands, and the wings turn and follow it, diving and flaming. This is the sky above Blacksands Hold Courtyard. Below, you see ... As you walk down the small path from the Road, you pass a vividly painted sign with the simple message 'Welcome to Blacksands' emblazoned upon it. Below the bold letters, a crest has been added to the sign, half white, and half orange, the volcano emblem of the Weyr imposed atop the shield with waves lapping the base of the volcano, and a green diamond in the foreground. The beautiful view has returned, the once ominous volcano of the cove has receded back into the water, almost out of sight, and the ocean glitters in the light. Before you, a newly constructed ramp channels your path downward, the earthen sides shored up with great blocks of grey granite. The smoothly paved descent, wide enough for several men to walk abreast, is lighted by brass glowbaskets for use at night. The path reaches its destination half a dragonlength beneath the surface of the courtyard, two large brass doors twice a man's height. The doors are worked richly with ornament and stand open, welcoming residents and visitors alike to the newly rebuilt Blacksands. Blacksands Hold Courtyard (#3217) is now the target room. Ridge Road> Niraneth angles. Pursuit! Ridge Road> Niraneth slips silently through the air towards the Blacksands. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Niraneth slips silently through the air in from the Ridge Road. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Risath soars rapidly in from the Ridge Road. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Ilsinth moves her tremendous wings rythmicly as she flies in from the Ridge Road. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A proud bronze swoops down quickly, flaming as he goes, singing a large path in the heavy patch of thread. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A delicate spiderweb of thread descends towards Niraneth. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A ropy clot of thread descends towards Risath. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> The wing glides down and ravages the terrible thread. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Risath pursues her enemy, hissing angrily, then opening her great mouth full of its many sharp teeth; out comes a gout of searing flame, making all seem right; until the next second, when another clump comes within range. Risath flames a large clot, Aralie whooping with glee, as if it were a game. A deadly game, but she don't get out much. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Dragons swoop down and burn huge patches in the ever-present thread. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Ilsinth flies in the mass of of the Wavecutter wing led by Pita far back Ils flames as Kara looks back at the mental screem of a slow green who slips between then back out threadless but for frozen char. With a snap Ils gets her riders attention with a tewist on her tail to flame the silvery strands almost too late. BUGLING she resumes her flight path. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Riding Niraneth, Delicacy rises to meet delicacy: both deadly in their approach, and nearly as mindless in their intent. Niraneth dances the winds like a fleet-footed nymph, cracking jagged jaws to spear that lethal web with sun-bright fire, the same challenge mirrored in darkly red eye that wheel, whirl, wild. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A young green in the wing above shrieks, dodging a stray clump just a little too late. She vanishes to cool the stinging pain of the score, while a wingmate chases the clump that got her. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A writhing knot of thread cascades downwards towards Ilsinth. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A wingleader dives quickly, his wing following, as he finds yet another patch of thread. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Riding Niraneth, Ophelia presses close to the oak-green sweep of neck beneath; though /her/ eyes sparkle with a sea's blue-green, they are no less wild than the nymph's who bares her -- she grins into the strong winds, teeth bared to the night and enemy both. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> From Risath's neck, Aralie oftens wondered, before Impression, what use the riders where to their dragons. Now she knows, and now they fly; like a well oiled machine, the heavy chunk of metal requires bolts and screws to run properly, and a tad of oil. Aralie is that oil. Um. It is better than it sounds. She watches as Risath flames a particularly large patch. "Good one!" is echoed mentally, from her small rider. Pleased at being admired, even in this time of battle, Risath searches for another target. She gets some puny, sickly little excuse for a strand. "Um...that was...great..." She's paling on the enthusiasm, now. Get something...big! Make it pay! And Risath does, yes, she does. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A writhing knot of thread plummets out of the sky towards Niraneth. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> The Thread hisses as it passes through the air, nearly hitting a blue rider. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Ilsinth screeches like a harpy before she flames the pulsating hideaously twisted lifeform cascading down towards her. How dare it fly before her. The roar of flame swallows the flame in an ever expanding ball of fiery inferno. She flies through the char which pelts her rider to catch the next falling strand with a slim bead of flame. Kara ducks but too late and blackened char darkens her form until she can wipe her goggles. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A tumbling ball of thread sinks in deadly silence towards Risath. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> The thread cowers and burns away from Ilsinth's deadly flame, turning to char. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Once again, that unconscious mimic: serpentine, saurian, silent, Niraneth contorts, contrives, and /flares/ at the rain that would Fall on her world. Ophelia guides, grins, and screams exhaultations. It is a good night to fly. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A bronze rider smiles as his dragon quickly burns a huge path in the ensuing thread. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A tangled mass of thread descends stealthily towards Ilsinth. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A hissing mass of thread falls between the wings. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Wing glides across Wing as the Weyr's forces march to the ancient beat of war; screaming, a lone blue /plummets/ for a hissing snarl of silver that would escape. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Now Aralie begins to play games in her mind. Each clump is a bronzerider, out to catch her precious Risath, and she's going to flame it, make it sorry (if it even has feelings- most men she knows don't. Perfect.) Risath crows, exultant, and dips lower to catch a few fleeing strands. Die! A "Whee!" slips out of Aralie. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Ilsinth twists to follow her wing as they invert. She catches some flame on the inside her lithe quick form darting towards the deadly menace. A sharp incision. A cut from the mass falling around them, she breaths flame, life to her world, toher home. SHe flames to protect her lifemate who crouches low over her neck. Firestone exhausted she calls sharply mentally and physically for more and more after she feed s the last to her life. Ilsinth. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> The bronzes in Risath's wing stay well clear of her, sensing her proddy agitation (and not wishing to become flame-bait). Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A tumbling ball of thread descends stealthily towards Niraneth. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A wingsecond screams a warning to the wingleader, who is almost scored by a large patch of thread. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Riding Niraneth, Ophelia irritably signals the bronzes back into position. Babies. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A large gold swoops down low, as her rider fries a patch of thread with a flamethrower. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> The dragons soar around, looking for more thread to devour by flame. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A hissing mass of thread descends stealthily towards Risath. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Niraneth bowls herself directly for a tumbling ball of Thread. /*Roar!*/ /*Flame.*/ Strike! Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Wavecutter flies steady dancing in the air to a distant music. In unison they strike out sending up a sheet of flame that chars anything in its path. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A blue dragon hops *between* as his rider's hand is painfully scored. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Ilsinth skips ::between::! Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Ilsinth blinks in from ::between::! Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A bronze dragon quickly chews a bag of firestone, and swoops high to cut a large path in the falling sheets of thread. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> The sound of a rider shrieking in pain is heard just before a blue blinks out of view. Seconds later, he returns only to blink away again to see his scores attended to. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> The bronze spits out the bag and keeps just the firestone, and keeps on flaming like nothing happened. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A writhing knot of thread tumbles on the winds towards Ilsinth. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A ropy clot of thread slips towards Niraneth. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A brown rumbles a warning to a young blue dragon. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Risath spews engulfing flame at some patches and strands, Aralie feeding her more firestone upon request. The greenrider wipes her goggles free of black dust, grimacing. She's getting all sweaty and smelly. But soon, after battle, she can return to her bath, her home, her love. All better. "Ooo! Risath, that one's in reach..." Risath obliges, flaming the nasty patch. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Except for the beating of dragon's wings, the air turns ominously quiet. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> A bronze rider waves off a friend, asking his own dragon to dive towards a heavy patch of thread himself. The noble bronze flames mightily, searing the thread to dust! Blacksands Hold Courtyard> Niraneth lances skyward through the winds, tangenting to a far rope of Thread even as Ophelia signals for Tempest to widen its drunken ranks as Fall begins to thin. A cough of flame, a whiff of putrid smoke, and what Thread would cross the wingleader's pat his no more. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> From Ilsinth's neck, Kara catches the tossed bag and adds more stone to Ils tossing back the empty one which the Weyrling barely catches fumbling in a dive and skipping between almost too late. Ils turns eyes whirling angrily red. SHarp shards of flame in her eyes as she soards towards the writhing knot tumbling down from the sky. Flaming as she goes the threads is caressed by yellow flame before enveloped in the fiery inferno that is her breath. Watch out boys she has firestone breath tonight. Kill a herdbeast at fifty lengths. Blacksands Hold Courtyard> The fall marches southwest, towards the beaches. Stretching in an almost complete circle, the midnight beaches of fine volcanic sand taper to thin crescent ends at the cove edges. Small dunes are whipped by the gentle breezes rolling in from the placid waters of the protected harbor, the restless sands covering over footsteps in a matter of moments. The two ridges rising to either side frame the ever-present volcano seated almost in the cove's mouth. To the south, the floating dock bobs quietly in the water as gentle waves continue to fold where water meets night, the dark sands becoming ebon where they are dampened by the crystal waters. Beach (#2761) is now the target room. Beach> Niraneth soars in from above the courtyard. Beach> Ilsinth soars in from above the courtyard. Beach> Risath soars in from above the courtyard. Beach> Riding Niraneth, OOC: Ophelia says "who" Beach> A seething mass of thread tumbles towards Risath. Beach> You hear the distant bellow of a proud brown dragon as he burns a small patch of thread. Beach> Niraneth hoots, rather, and flames. Beach> A gold swoops low, searching for any thread that might've escaped the dragons above. Beach> A knotted tangle of thread tumbles downwards towards Ilsinth. Beach> Wavecutter changes formation as they sweep over the beach. Flaming as they go. Its an arerial dance this manuever with overlapping coverage as the faster dragons fly to the opposite sides of the V. Beach> A young man calls out to his older father, shouting happily as his grand little green flames a huge patch of thread. Beach> Risath burns the seething mass of thread to a pitifull shower of black particles, then belows her love for this battle, that which protects all of Pern. Aralie pats the great neck beneath her affectionately, loving to watch the powerful beast at work. Beach> A whole wing screeches in alarm as a patch of thread cuts their formation in two. Beach> A knotted tangle of thread descends stealthily towards Niraneth. Beach> A russet brown gleefully chars a clump of Thread, and widens his jaws proudly to roar -- only to end up being surprised by a mouthful of soot. Sneeze! Beach> Ilsinth slides into her position with the tilt of wing tips. Powerful downstrokes keeping her inplace with V'mp and his bronze before her. She bugles a warning as the knotted tangle of thread falls towards her wingman. He banks right, she banks left and comes back to sear the tangle to a molten mass of nothing. They both slip back into formation smoothly. Beach> The Queen's Wing dashes spectacularly below, the light of their flamethrows bouncing prettily off their shiny skin. Beach> Riding Niraneth, Ophelia crumples against Nira's neck. That wasn't a Tempest brown. Nono. Must've snuck in from Stormcrest by mistake. Beach> From Risath's neck, Aralie wipes charred thread from her flight jacket with a heavily gloved hand, grimacing. It all just seems to float right to her. A little present from that bronze, hmm? They'll get him; AFTER fall. Risath lets loose a great, flaming stream of fire, thread crumpling to ashes, ashes turning to dust. Crackdust blackdust. Beach> The Fall marches west out over the cove and sea, falling harmlessly to the ocean. The Wings pull up, coughing out the last of their flame. Fall is over. Beach> From Ilsinth's neck, Kara wipes her goggles in the lull as Ils flies steadily. She scans the wings with a smile. Dark sooty skin with white teeth. No major scores. heShe hopes all wings where this lucky. Beach> Some wings wink out, back to the Weyr. Others peel off and descend to the Hold below, to check in with the ground crew. The Weyrleader signals to all, Good Fall! Beach> Niraneth snorts a smoke-laden breath, puffing a last few thready jets of flame at the few erratic clumps that still fall. Ophelia straightens, glances around at the Wing, then takes the time to sniff her leathers. Ah, Eau de Firestone. Nummy! How her wingmates will /flock/ to her! Beach> From Risath's neck, Aralie wipes off her goggles, tucking the stray curls back in her helmet. Time for another haircut. She pats Risath- good job, 'Sath- and watches Nira a second, ready to follow her lead. Beach> Niraneth wiggle-waggles left. Beach> Niraneth wiggle-waggles right. Beach> Niraneth wiggle-waggles between! We're done. Woo! Beach> Niraneth vanishes. Beach> Ilsinth rumbles happily as Wavecutter disbands. She eyes the water. Blacksands and her blackened sooty hide. No one will know and she hates having firestone breath. Her dinner doesn't last long enough to play with! Momma always said to play with her herbeast before eating. Beach> Risath vanishes into velvet darkness, devoid of all light. Beach> Ilsinth shuffles with an arching back and nearly furled wings to the Hold Courtyard.