Limono woke to find himself stuck. His thoughts were fuzzy but slowly he
started to remember what had happened. He'd been out on his field, working
the grounds as he'd been taught just recently when he'd enrolled in
Remyndal Hall. Then he'd heard the call of birds and feeling that it was
time for a break he'd gone to look for them.
He'd always been sure-footed and didn't think twice about venturing on the
paths leading up the mountain. Only something must have gone awry since
part of the mountain had come down. He probably should feel lucky to be
alive. But without a way to crawl from under the rubble his only hope was
that people would come look for him.
Journeyman Hunter Yvess looked up
when he saw Master Portuges enter the faculty. The older teacher looked a
bit worried. Usually he was a calm and weathered presence that imparted
his wisdom in a dull voice and as dry as dust. He had loads of experience
though and a lot of people came from far and wide to follow his classes.
"Is something worrying you?" Yvess couldn't help but ask.
"One of my students wasn't in class." Portuges started, "Oh
I know that happens more often than we'd like," he continued after
Yvess shot him a look, "but this student is passionate. He's also
older and more responsible than the others."
"I think I've heard of him, Limono." Yvess nodded.
"He stands out. Which is why I find it so strange that he wasn't
"Want me to go check out his house? I have to test a couple of my
students. Looking for a missing person is just the situation that might
come up in their futures."
"What if it's nothing?" Portuges asked.
"Then he'll just be a bit embarrassed when we find him." Yvess
"Thank you." the master nodded and went off to find the
materials for his next course.
Yvess looked down at the scenario he'd planned for the test and filed it
away to use in one of the next occasions. He quickly drew up some
information from the student roster and went out to look for Tanra and
Bye, the two students who'd get to take the test.
Tanra was aiming to be a forester and she was just about ready to walk the
tables to journeywoman. This could very well be her final test. Bye had
just recently enrolled but the teenager was good and Yvess wanted to test
his skills in a more natural setting. Knowing a lot didn't always mean you
could apply the knowledge in real life after all.
Bye watched as Tanra knocked once
more on the door. Journeyman Yvess had found them as they were about to go
to their afternoon classes. In stead they'd been hauled away on a
"pop quiz" that was apparently something that happened more
often by the disinterested looks on his teacher's face. And just when
they'd be talking about different paw prints and other tracks animals
could leave. It would have been a moment to shine since Bye already knew a
lot about those so he guessed he didn't really need the lesson. But still,
he liked to show off his skills.
"Just try to open the door." Bye shrugged as he scooted in front
The door opened without a hitch.
"Hey, you're not supposed to enter a house..." Tanra started.
"What if he's fallen and incapacitated? Or sick in his bed? We don't
have bad intentions."
Bye quickly looked into the open plan kitchen and living room. There was a
neatly made bed in the corner and some dishes in the sink.
"No signs of struggle." Bye stated and looked back at Tanra who
was still outside.
"Come back." she hissed.
"Fine fine. Leaving the door open probably meant he wasn't planning
on venturing far."
Bye went back outside and Tanra closed the door. The young hunter-tracker
didn't waste time and looked to where the fields were just a bit down the
"If I was a farmer I'd probably check my fields before heading out.
Something might have happened over there." Bye looked at Yvess who
"He isn't here." Tanra shrugged and followed as the two men
She was painfully aware that she hadn't made the right move. Bye had been
right. If this really was a rescue mission then they were most likely
looking for an injured person - or worse. Just the thought of finding a
dead body made her stomach queasy. Tanra was aiming to become a forester,
someone who took care of the forest, spotting disease, keeping track of
wildlife populations and looking for signs of danger. Limono's farm was
pretty close to the forest on the mountain side though, maybe that's why
Yvess had commandeered her presence?
They reached the vineyard and it was pretty obvious no-one was around. The
ground had been worked but only one patch had been cultivated enough to be
"I see some tools." Tanra said quickly before Bye could say
something, "Seems like that would be unusual for one so neat."
"There are footprints leading away here." Bye said and pointed
toward the mountains.
"Something must have caught his attention." Yvess concluded.
The three of them started following the tracks, moving up and into more
forested terrain. There were no longer footprints but Bye did not
disappoint Yvess and had little trouble following the obvious trail Limono
had left. Maybe at a later date he could test the student tracker by
laying out a trail himself that'd be more difficult to find. Tanra
meanwhile was also showing her years of study in the way she surveyed the
landscape and took note of animal trails. At some point the two had
stopped bickering and trying to outdo each other and had started to work
Still, Yvess was starting to worry. This wasn't just a case of a student
sleeping in or simply playing hooky. He just hoped they'd be in time to
help the man.
Focusing despite a nasty headache,
Limono figured he was a noticeable figure at Remyndal. He was close to a
decade older than most other students that had just enrolled and even the
ones that were close to graduating were usually younger than him. He'd
been a journeyman in his own right after all. A journeyman merchant. He'd
travelled across the southern continent but never really got the hang of a
life on the road. He could have set up shop in one of the villages that
were on his route but most cities already had plenty of shops and the
townspeople usually bartered with each other.
He could marry into a shopkeeper family but that didn't quite sit right
with him. He wanted to make an effort and succeed on his own power. Which
was when a childhood dream had returned in his thoughts. He'd been
mesmerised by a wine shop when he was young. All those amazingly shaped
bottles, with their labels and corks. The person who'd brought in the
bottles and barrels had looked so happy with his life, as had the
shopkeeper. Which was what had led him to becoming a merchant in the first
place. But travelling and selling wares hadn't made him happy. Maybe
making wine would be a better job for him. And if that didn't work he
could always take up some classes on glassblowing come to think of it.
Since here he was crushed beneath trees and rubble.
Limono laughed at his own naiveté. At least he'd known better than to
just try it. He'd started following classes at Remyndal, a teaching
facility he'd passed on some of his tours, and had waited until he knew
what he was doing before buying a plot of land.
His land would need a lot of work but there were no other vineyards in the
neighbourhood. There were plenty of orchards so he could probably buy some
of their leftovers cheap to make fruit wine. But all of this was still
distant planning. And if nobody found him soon it should be the last of
his worries. Limono just hoped one of the students or teachers had noticed
he'd missed his noon class. He was a diligent student so that was unusual.
Hopefully it would be enough to get people to come and look for him.
Tanra looked up at the sound of
nervous birds. Not unusual when people were in the vicinity, but these
birds didn't fly away from them. They'd been stressed by something else.
Seeing patches of light up ahead she didn't take long to warn her
"Something happened up ahead. Maybe an earthquake or landslide. We
shouldn't be seeing that much light until we'd gone up way higher."
"The trail is still headed straight ahead." Bye commented, his
voice a bit strained.
Tanra felt her heartrate speed up. What would be waiting up ahead? Would
they be too late? She really hoped they wouldn't be but things didn't look
"Move with caution." Yvess told them. At this point the test was
over and became an actual rescue mission. There was no doubt Limono had
gotten himself caught in some disaster.
Tanra took the lead, keeping a close eye on the surroundings and very
careful not to cause more displacement. If the rocks shifted more they
might need a search party of their own. Though she guessed people at the
hall would know where they'd been headed to.
When they reached the new clearing in the forest, they were met with
destruction. trees had been snapped and taken down, rocks were everywhere
and everything was coated in a layer of dust.
"We'll have to look." Bye said uncomfortably.
"We'll have to be careful." Tanra interrupted him, "This
needs to settle."
A moan went up a bit lower on the hillside, hardly audible, but to Limono
it was all he could muster. The two students fell silent and listened,
straining to get a read on where the sounds were coming from.
"We're coming for you. Can you call again!" Yvess shouted.
Listening was all good and well, but telling the person in trouble that
you'd heard him was just as important. The relief should rally some
energy. And indeed, a louder shout reached them.
"I see him!" Bye called and started skimming down.
"Careful!" Tanra called after him and started guiding the
younger boy by calling out directions on where he should put his
Bye managed to get close to Limono who was still hanging on but was at the
end of his strength.
"He's caught below a tree trunk and I think his right leg is injured
or broken." Bye called up.
"I'll call for help and then come to you with a rope."
They needed to lift the tree but that might destabilise the entire slope
again so if it looked like it might Yvess didn't want to try. Just in
case, he always brought signal flares with him on tests and training
sessions. Remyndal was a hub for students but also had a lot of
searchriders passing through. Some of the former students that had become
dragonriders returned to the hall with their dragons and took turns
continuing their courses while also doing guard duty. They could be called
on for fires, rescue missions, even transport when needed.
Tanra watched as the Journeyman Hunter fired up a flare and placed it at a
safe distance where it's brightly coloured smoke wouldn't choke
"Stay here to wait for help. I'll go down to see if we can lift the
Yvess tied one end of the rope to a sturdy looking tree and took the other
end with him as he went down, following Bye's trail. The rocks looked all
but stable and going down Yvess felt they would need the help of one or
two dragons to lift them out.
It took just 15 minutes for two dragons to materialise overhead. Silver
Somninth, ridden by Zayno and Brown
Zanth, ridden by Wemar had noticed the flare
and had responded as fast as they could. Zanth was the first to find a
place to land, higher up on the slope of the mountain as he was the
smaller of the two dragons. Somninth flew down, landing near the base of
the mountain and waiting for Wemar to get information.
The sunlight was already waning, hidden behind the mountains though it
really wasn't that late in the afternoon. They wouldn't have much time
before it would become hard to work. Tanra explained the situation to
Wemar, watching as the gruff man mumbled and then took off again.
Not much later Zanth returned with Somninth, asking to be thrown the rope,
hoping to lift the treetrunk as level as possible without actually pulling
it away. The move would be difficult but there wasn't much else they could
do. Bye and Yvess would pull Limono away as fast as they could, hopefully
to safety before the dragonriders lowered the rope holding up the tree. If
it went bad, the slope could start sliding again.
Tanra reached Bye, Yvess and Limono just as the dragons let go of the
rope. The tree crashed back down and a couple of rocks toppled over but
the rest of the slope held. While she'd waited, Tanra had taken apart her
pack and used what she could find to craft a sort of gurney that would
hopefully be the most comfortable way to take Limono down to where the
dragons were waiting.
"Is he awake?" she asked.
"Passed out when we dragged him from below the tree." Yvess
shook his head.
"Will he make it?" Bye asked worried.
"He's still alive so for now he has a chance." Yvess answered
truthfully, "We'll need to get him to a doctor as fast as
The trip down went fast considering the broken trees meant they had little
to encumber their descent. Being at the edge of the rockfall also meant it
wasn't as dangerous. They reached the lower plateau where the dragons had
"We would take you back to Remyndal but the doctor is out on another
emergency. So we'll take you to the Weyr. Somninth has already alerted
them to be waiting for our return." Zayno told them.
He would be taking Limono and Yvess while Zanth would carry Tanra and Bye.
They wasted no more time talking and lifted off.
Bye and Tanra held on tight as
Wemar and Zanth focused on their destination. After a short trip between
they emerged above a weyr that seemed to stretch it's arms protectively
around a bustling hold. Surprisingly though, they did not see Silver
"Where are the others?" Bye yelled to be heard above the wind.
"Zayno must have meant another Weyr." Wemar shrugged,
"Let's land and get our bearings."
"Where are you taking us?" Tanra asked.
"Shigan Weyr." Wemar called back, "Don't worry, everything
will work out."
Limono and Yvess at ??? Weyr