(122-09-24) Forget the Monkey
Forget the Monkey!
Summary: In which Rhaegor cannot forget the monkey, and Visenya is reunited with her hatchlings.
Date: 24 September 2015
Related: Slavers in the Sands
Players:
Visenya..Emira..Rhaegor..

Traveling as a party of their particular size and compositions has not been without its tensions. Civility has perhaps at times been strained in the course of their travels, opinions occasionally diverging on what direction they ought pursue next, whether they should remain together or split their numbers to cover more ground. To Rhaegor, it has been an arduous ride, not because of the conditions they've faced or the duration, but for his own tortured impatience.

Tonight, they have resigned themselves to charting a course that Visenya has suggested, a sort of deference shown toward her Targaryen sixth sense. They have ridden for an hour, or maybe two, in relative silence. And then, against all odds, perhaps the most unusual occurence to transpire since they all set out together. Rhaegor begins to sing. Neither woman has ever before heard such a thing, nor heard tell of such a thing, but as he rides the saddle of his fine sandsteed over the desert dunes, he spins a melody in High Valyrian that they all likely know the words of. Timeless. A bizarre choice for a battle cry, for that's the way he chooses to deliver it. Soaring, thunderous, triumphant against the sound of the horses.

Visenya is made of stronger stuff than most highborn ladies. However, despite being named after a Warrior Queen, is is said that she favors the younger of Aegon's wives instead of her namesake. She misses the intrigues of Court, and more often than not finds herself bored with the large expanses of sand as they ride towards the Oasis in her dream that was confirmed by Torren.

They ride in the direction that she now feels pulled in, and for the first time in days her blood sings with excitement, and she feels invigorated. She barely notices Rhaegor singing at all for the pull that she feels inside of her. She doesn't know where she is going, but she knows there is an end to this journey.

Emira has been, as always, restless. Her temper grows shorter the longer they journey, while Rhaegor's impatience grows. His new bride-to-be has not known him long enough to say for absolute certain that his turn to sudden song has never happened before. However, the melody is deemed immediately out of character by Emira, judging by the — well, judging — look she gives the man she rides beside. It expresses very clearly the fact that she deeply questions his sanity in this very moment. There is something stirring about the power of the unusual battle cry, and she does not interrupt, although she seems constantly on the verge of it, briefly leaning to glance past Rhaegor to Visenya as if for clarity; but finding none, she looks ahead across the dunes, searching. If the Targaryens feel something she does not, at least she will see it when it comes.

Maybe it's the same pull Visenya feels at her core that inspires Rhaegor to his song. At the very least, when he throws back his head to clear the hair from his eyes and meets one of Emira's gauging looks, he flashes her a grin. He hasn't seen the oasis in his mind's eye, as Visenya has. But the thrill of this particular night ride is palpably in the air, and he puts his heels to his horse to urge it on. Challenging the sand steed to its full potential.

They number seven, in total. Rhaegor, Visenya, Torren, Emira. With them, two of Rhaegor's men-at-arms, and one of Torren's. They ride in formation, the men-at-arms at the flank and the rear, the kicked up sand of all their horses marking their trail through the dunes.

When Emira glances back to her with that look the Targaryen Princess shakes her veil-covered head a little before spurring her sandsteed onwards to keep from being outpaced by Rhaegor. "There!" She cries out, and then she points towards the Oasis in the distance, the palm trees showing under the light of the dessert moon.

There's another set of tracks in the sand, half obliterated by the wind, but stark in the moonlight. They, too, lead toward the oasis.

Emira is susceptible to the atmosphere. She has no dragon's blood in her veins, but her blood burns with another heat, roiling for adventure. The lingering spark in the air and Rhaegor's grin is enough to spur her horse faster as well, grinning alongside him. And then— the oasis; the dreamy sight of it first prompts a suspicious squint of her sharp eyes, but it beckons, all the same. She veers her steed around the tracks, studying them rather than tromping through them outright.

Rhaegor descends on the oasis with the others, rearing sharply on his steed to fall in alongside Emira and examine the tracks. He is quiet now, in the wake of his song, letting the breeze carry the ghost of it off away. With a manic, darting stare, he takes in the tracks but also the palms, the shimmering little oasis in the midst of the endless Dornish desert. And now he pushes back his own hood, looking at Visenya. His question is wordless, only conveyed with the sharpness of his look. He hardly needs an answer from her to confirm the thrilling sensation of having arrived at their destination. He is first to abandon his saddle.

It's a single line of tracks in the sand, blown mostly smooth. One animal, or several travelling single file. Some bird calls from one of the date-palms, which shade the little spot of water from the moonlight and render much of the area black shadow.

Visenya exchanges glances with Rhaegor before she dismounts from her sandsteed smoothly. Her veil is thrown back to expose her face to the cool desert air. The tracks in the sand before them make her wary, however, and she touches the handle of the platinum dragon-headed whip that hangs at her side, but does not unfurl it just yet. She approaches the oasis with purpose, but also with a degree of caution.

One of Rhaegor's Velaryon men has also dismounted, and he collects the reins of their various horses, leading them away from the oasis instinctively. And so Visenya, it would seem, is not the only wary one. Rhaegor bristles, but not with concern for his own safety. With anticipation, even at the expense of caution. His hand rests on the hilt of his blade, too, but out of habit rather than preparedness. He follows the path of the half-tracks through the sand, under the cover of shadow, toward the shallow pool of water. Intent, perhaps, on refreshing himself at its edge.

Emira's head juts upward at the sound of the bird. It is, at least, a testament that her eyes may not betray her, yet the reckless Dornishwoman who expresses a bout of rare caution, herself. She remains on her horse for several moments more before hopping off in hot pursuit of Rhaegor — like the others, a hand at the hilt of her weapon — rushing through the shadowy sand to grab at his arm and pull. "Paradise is not always what it seems, in the desert," she hisses, eyeing the oasis for anything that moves, seems out of place, or looks suspiciously like a dragon. "Keep your eyes open."

It's easy to spot the two sand-steeds in the darkness under the date palms, once one is in the shade oneself and has a moment for the eyes to adjust.

Rhaegor has just scooped a palmful of water over his brow and risen once more to his feet when Emira comes after him, grabbing at his arm. His vision has slowly adjusted under the canopy of shadow, enough so that he reads the rare concern for caution in her expression. He tells her something quietly, whispered at her ear, and while he's got his head tilted at that particular angle he catches sight of something lurking in the shadows. Two things. "Horses," he announces, already scanning for riders beyond them. Already intent on approaching the creatures, unless Emira should halt him.

Visenya has retained enough of her senses not to go rushing off towards the Oasis like Rhaegor, although there is a sudden turning of her stomach and an energy that quakes through her. She sees the horses just after Emira pulls Rhaegor's arm, and he announces their presence. Her hand switches from her whip handle to the hilt of her sword, and she draws it from her sheath.

There's no reason to imagine the horses came here alone, though they're not tied. They're wearing bridles, though. And there's that feeling. Of being watched. The prickle becomes clear enough that Rhaegor and Visenya can turn in time to watch a slim shadow of a human figure slipping out from between the dense foliage two of the youngest palms. Whoever it is carries a sword, drawn, though for an instant the blade looks like it might just be light shining off the edge of one of the palm-fronds.

"Then do so when you know it matters," Emira tells Rhaegor aloud in response to his whisper in the half-moment after he's announced the horses. Yet she's eager to follow him with no such caution, pulling her weapon from its hilt; the long dagger is ready in her hand while her own whip is never far from her grasp.

Emira nearly distracts Rhaegor from catching a glimpse at the lone figure emerging from the shadows, blade drawn. That preternatural sense of knowing when one isn't alone is perhaps that informs the direction of his gaze, or maybe it's just the flash of the blade, or maybe it's something else entirely. Just as swiftly, Rhaegor draws his sword, knowing with that same inexplicable certainty that Emira will fall in at his side, and that Visenya is close at hand, and that even if there are two riders for two horses, the numbers are to their advantage. There's no hesitation in rushing the figure, slashing his blade through the air, mightily and purposefully. And yet he seeks to subdue rather than to vanquish outright; dead men don't answer questions half so well.

The figure makes a sound, the start of speech, a syllable, "G —" delivered with sinister cool. And then broken off with a little surprised and frightened shriek, high, and not at all cool. Rhaegar's blade falls against the woman's shoulder, flat-on, and there's a hard cracking sound. The force of it brings the stranger to her knees.

There's a bundle of things back hidden where the woman was, or near it. Something's moving back there, but it's small.

Indeed, Emira is there the moment the figure with the sword falls. She reaches for the woman's struck shoulder before she can fully see their would-be attacker, given how fast it happens. Her dagger is poised to strike up into her belly but, for now, only threatens. "Speak," she demands, cruel in her impatience. "Who are you?"

Visenya spies the bundle moving in the darkness, and she lets out a little cry before rushing past Rhaegor, Emira and the mysterious woman towards the bundle. She slips in the sand once before she reaches it, and she kneels down to rip it open without one moment's thought to her own safety.

The woman doesn't answer Emira immediately, she just kneels in the sand and sobs, and moves to pick up her sword, now with her left hand.

Whatever's rustling in that baggage shrieks when Visenya opens it. It's not a dragon shriek. It's a hooting sort of sound. And then it bites Visenya hard on her hand. It's a monkey, of all things.

In different circumstances, Rhaegor might have felt remorse for striking a woman, even one as wielded a weapon at them from the shadows. But not in these circumstances. He watches as she falls to her knees in the sand, the point of his blade aimed squarely at the slender figure. "I encourage you to explain yourself," he says in a level voice, focusing through the surging dragon fever that's burned through him as they've ridden nearer and nearer to the oasis. Suddenly sharp, but still on edge, he tells Emira, "Strike her," when he hears the odd cry that precedes the bite Visenya sustains in the shadows.

Emira is not moved to sympathy by the crying woman; not when the crying woman is reaching for a sword. The noise of the monkey catches her notice but not her attention: she's all intense focus upon the woman, hardly needing instruction from Rhaegor. She lets go of the woman's shoulder, but flips the dagger around in her grasp, the pommel facing the stranger, and moves to strike her across the face.

"Whore's son!" Visenya yells out when the monkey's teeth sinks into her hand. "Be gone you foul little beast!" She swings at the monkey, misses, and instead throws a handful of sand at it before climbing to her feet. She shakes her hand before kicking more sand at the monkey. In Valyrian she yells, "I will feed you to my dragons!" And then she shakes her hand and turns to walk back to the others. "It was one of those little furry beasts from Yi Ti. But where is the other rider?"

The woman is knocked back and onto her side by Emira's blow. She sobs, and says, "Damn it, I was here first," the words coming out in a spatter of blood from where she's bitten her tongue. "Who the hell are you?"

The slim woman is small, light, and looks young. She's pretty, possibly beyond pretty, with high cheekbones and narrow nose and firm strong jaw. Her skin is brown, Sandy Dornish, her eyes big and fierce and cattishly slanted. She's swathed from head to foot in flowing desert garb, its dark colour indeterminate in the moonlight.

Rhaegor responds in the same tongue, High Valyrian, "Seven willing, he is in the Whoremaster's belly." All the while his eyes never leave the kneeling woman. In the common tongue, he tells her, "We are here now." His tone belies his impatience. The promise of the oasis on their first arrival gives way to irritation. His hand on the hilt of the blade tenses. Briefly, his eyes go to Emira.

The monkey, spattered with sand, shrieks again and climbs up one of the taller date-palms with startling alacrity.

Emira's head tilts one way, then the other, perhaps unwittingly mimicking that of the creature in the tree. Her eyes remain sharp upon the woman as she studies her, but she no longer sees red. "I am Emira Martell," she tells the woman blatantly, upfront, and waits for a reaction, saying nothing of her lighter-complected travelling companions.

Visenya steps behind Emira and walks around the gathering to look for any sign of the other rider. To herself she says in a quieter tone, and in Valyian, "Why do they not show themselves? Surely they must know that I am here for them…?" Her gaze ventures towards the woman Emira and Rhaegor are questioning before she steps closer to the Oasis.

The woman's eyes go wide as she looks at Emira. "By the seven," she says, "Please, forgive me, I am Falena, please, let me water and —" Something thrown from the big date-palm comes whizzing past Rhaegor's head. If it hadn't made a rustle as it came out of the foliage and given him warning to jerk sideways or duck it surely would have hit him. Falena's eyes go even wider and she says, "…go.."

Almost immediately after, another something is hurled from the tree at high speed, this time at Emira, and Visenya behind her.

At the sound of something rushing toward him, Rhaegor deftly dodges the projectile without so much as turning his head to find its source. Instinct wins out, but the evasion doesn't stop him from leveling the Dornishwoman knelt in the sand with an accusatory look. "Check the horses," he tells Visenya, stepping closer to their captive, close enough that the point of his blade pricks her flesh through the robe that covers her chest. Her refusal to explain herself and the distraction from their true purpose is too much a test on his fragile patience. He stops short of rending her through with the blade, but the check he keeps on that particular impulse is tenuous at best.

Before she can speak another word to Falena, Emira is set on high alert by Rhaegor's quick defense; when a threat comes hurtling her way, her defenses are already up. She whirls with a spin in the sand that melds into a crouch and a grab for Visenya, should she need to be spun out of the way as well.

Visenya doesn't need any help with not being knocked senseless by whatever the monkey is throwing. She ducks quickly, and the projectile sails past her head. When Rhaegor orders her to check the horses she runs over to where Falena's horses are, and begins searching through the saddle bags.

"Please," says the woman, holding very still, "I just meant to camp. I'll go, I'll go. There's nobody else," She eyes the tree, nervously, "I.. uh.."

The horses are bare of tack, except their bridles. Whatever they were carrying is in that pile under the trees. Not really enough to load two horses, but maybe a bit much for one that's also got a rider.

"How and why do you travel with such a beast?" Rhaegor asks tersely, the point of the blade proving its mortal threat as he bears down on it, seeming poised to snap and drive it through her at the merest provocation. If there is another rider, perhaps he reckons they might have come to her aid by now. "Declare your true purpose here or die." His hand flexes on the hilt. Inviting her to give him the satisfaction of a meaty offering to lay at the Whoremaster's feet.

There's another warning rustle, something being thrown at Visenya. She dodges it, but the horse does not. It spatters, stinking, on the animal's flank and the sandsteed rears and bolts.

Emira hops up, resuming her position by Falena. She reaches a flat hand out above Rhaegor's blade, letting it hover there contrary to his desire to use it. "Monkeys are bought and sold for pets and tricks," she says, dismissive. "Tell us where you come from, where it is you mean to go after you rest," she insists, "and then perhaps my— " she eyes the Targaryens, "will let you."

"She's telling the truth, I think!" Visenya calls out to Rhaegor and Emira in the common tongue. She would say more, but she has to step to the side to avoid getting splattered with rotten fruit. She stumbles backwards when the sandsteed rears up and bolts, and does not try running after the horse. Once she stands up again she walks towards the saddle bags to look through them. "Don't kill her yet, Rhaegor."

Falena sobs again, "It's my pet, yes, just. Just a pet." She watches the rustling up in the date palm out of the corner of her eye, nervously. "I'm just. Travelling. I was. I don't know where I was going to go tomorrow. I. Oh, mother Rhoyne."

It's not rotten fruit. No. It's shit. The stink of it. But the horse carries it away as it runs off. The second animal, alarmed by its companion's alarm, also wheels to run.

Eager as he is, Emira's palm has the power to stay him, and Rhaegor relieves some of the pressure of the blade with a loosening of his grip. The steeds gallop away, spooked by the wretched beast in the tree, and Rhaegor tells her, "I suppose you will be going on foot." His mistrust for the woman's presence is outmatched only by his impatience, and he airs his frustration with a particularly spectacular string of profanity in the elegant, musical cadence of High Valyrian.

"She is not going on foot," Emira states obstinately over the string of Valyrian profanity, "we will not push her off into the desert alone. Not if it is the truth she tells," she gives Falena a dangerous warning look. She addresses Visenya, incase Rhaegor is too caught up in his cursing. "What if she saw something out there we did not? Hm?" She huffs through her nose, as if annoyed they did not think to ask, as if any of them had time and she herself is somehow exempt. "Maybe her horses will be a meal for a hungry dragon."

"I thought they were small," blurts the woman, still nervously glancing between Rhaegor and the monkey-hiding tree.
Gashlycrumb has partially disconnected.

"Perhaps she did." Visenya says as she turns to walk towards Rhaegor, Emira, and Falena. "Your horses will be replaced." She says to Falena with a regretful look, "Forgive my cousin. He is protective of his betrothed." Her eyes trace over to Emira briefly before she says, "I am Princess Visenya, the wife of Prince Torren Martell. Now, what did you think was small?"

Rhaegor had been careful to restrict any mention of dragons to the Valyrian tongue, on the chance that their captive might not comprehend their purpose or, alternatively, if she did, might betray herself and reveal a sighting. As she now seems to do, when Emira says the word. It reaffirms Rhaegor's inclination toward impatience and mistrust, and when she speaks of the hatchlings he puts down his sword, pushing past Visenya to swarm the kneeling Dornishwoman. "Where are they?" he demands, bent at the waist, leaning in to her, his face in her face. Mania in his violet eyes. Mania in his tone. Heedless to the sensitive tack Visenya approaches to try to massage the information from their captive. Heedless to pretty much anything, except the way the girl's eyes keep going back to the tree and the godforsaken monkey. In a flash, he sheathes his blade and makes for the tree. Emira may be struck with the sudden realization that he likely intends to climb it. Or die trying (as the case may be).

"Uh, I," stammers Falena, cringing back from Rhaegor. Then she sighs, and says, "Dragons, they said they were small. I didn't see them. They're. Not here. Up the old wadi a little. I found out the way…" Then, "Ser…" just as the creature in the tree shrieks and starts to hail things down at the Targaryen prince. Fortunately, it is capable of shitting only so much, and what it's throwing now is just dates, dry and sweet and soft.

As every different tactic flies around Falena's head, Emira frowns at the woman, verging, only scarcely, on sympathetic, especially now. Dragons. The look vanishes immediately when she turns her head toward the date-palm her betrothed tries to scale, her features morphing into ferocity. "Rhaegor!" she shouts like a devil, "forget the fucking monkey!"

You know what is better than one woman screaming at a fool climbing a tree? Two women. "Rhaegor!" Visenya shouts along with Emira, and while her tone is not quite as sharp as Emira's it does sound like she is at the end of her patience. "Oh, to the Seven Hells with him." She declares, and then she says to Falena, "Show me."

Falena looks up at Visenya, fearful. "May I… stand? I. I'm sorry, I was going to go in the morning. There's. A wadi, but it filled in with sand, you can. Follow where the sand is a little wet just a little ways under." She sounds very nervous about this fact, and keeps looking at Rhaegor and the tree. "Please don't kill my monkey?" Then, "I was going to follow the water in the morning, there's. Another tree, the said. Where the dragons are. Little ones. I was going to hunt here, too, so I could get them to come with meat? Dragons come to meat, don't they?"

Rhaegor is, simply put, fuckin' fuming, but rather than try to scale the tree, something he's never been much good at and doesn't even attempt now, he unsheathes his blade as if he's going to try to bring it down one ineffectual slash at a time. He's mid arc when Emira bellows at him, Visenya chiming in on her heels, and he thinks better of destroying his blade's edge, but only at the very last second. He gives a wretched, frustrated cry, not unlike a growl, the initial feeling of hope and peace that had gripped them on their arrival at the oasis giving way to more of the same complicated, nigh uncontrollable warring urges and impulses he's been grappling with along their journey. His purpose is singular, and yet another wrench in the path toward that purpose has clearly further unhinged him. When he stalks back from the shadows and towards them, at length, his every last muscle is tensed, taut with the effort of regaining and maintaining his composure.

Maybe he figures the cat's out of the bag, because when he comes back to the group of women, he asks Falena directly, "And the other dragon?"

"Please do." Visenya says to Falena when she asks if she can stand. She regards the Dornishwoman with a thoughtful look as she explains where she can find the smaller dragons. "Go get your monkey down." She says to the woman once Rhaegor leaves the creature alone. "And then avoid him." Her eyes trace towards Rhaegor, and when he approaches to ask about the big dragon she shakes her head, and puts her fingers between her lips to let out a shrill whistle. Her sandsteed runs over into the Oasis, and Visenya mounts it smoothly. "If the Whoremaster were here it would be known." She gives Emira A Look. The meaningful sort. It probably conveys something like 'Holyshitdon'tletRhaegordosomethingstupid'. And then she rides off towards the Wadi.

Falena stands, stiffly, holding her shoulder. She makes no attempt to take her sword up with her, and says, "Other dragon?" anxiously in response to Rhaegor, stepping back from him. Which is, unfortunately perhaps, also away from the tree. The creature up there hurls another date at Rhaegor.

The look from Visenya is translated fluently by Emira who, even now, moves to lay a hand on Rhaegor's arm. It is not calming, not exactly; it's simply attentive, before she attempts to stand beside Falena and guide her to the godsforsaken tree. "You would know, if you saw it," she tells the woman. "Or heard talk of it. People would speak of such a creature."

Rhaegor looks from Emira's hand on his arm to the retreating figure of Visenya's horse into the night, but says nothing further. He waits in the sands while the women go to the tree, dispassionately swiping at any dates as should happen to land on him. And then, while he stands there, solitary, his eyes go to the sky.

Falena says, "I didn't see any. I only heard about little ones." She looks up the tree and says, "I'm sorry, he won't come down, you scared him." She doesn't mention herself, though she does not look at all recovered.

Once the wadi is located they can see Visenya dismount in the distance. She kneels down in the sand, and begins pushing her hands into it frantically to search for signs of the riverbed under it. "Come here!" She calls out in High Valyrian, and then follows it up with, "Where are you?! It's me!"

Moonlit or not, it's still too dark to see far. There's just the desert, the damp sand that's easy to dig down to and must be what feeds the little oasis. There's no answer to Visenya's shout.

Visenya continues digging down into the sand with her bare hands at a frantic pace. "Until the bottom…" She repeats, and she says it again several times as she digs. "I'm here!" She yells out again in High Valyrian, and if Rhaegor hadn't stolen the show for crazy person tonight then Visenya would certainly be in the lead at this moment.

There's still no answer. Just wind on sand. It does get to be wetter sand the deeper she digs, but that's all.

Visenya's digging slows. She babbles to herself a moment or two before she stands up from her sand hole, and mounts her sandsteed. Instead of galloping she begins trotting down then length of where she thinks the sand is still wet.

Too dark to see much. Sand. It's hard to tell if the sand under the sand under the horse's hooves is wet. If it were day, one might see a difference in colour, at least if the horse was kicking hard and leaving deep tracks, but at night all the shadows made by hoofprint holes and moonlight on sand are too strongly black or white.

Visenya dismounts again, and kneels down to dig into the sand again to check her progress.

Rhaegor proves unable to maintain his inactivity, the itch to follow Visenya, whose cries are increasingly distant, overwhelming him to the point that he stalks from the oasis. Moments later, he reappears on horseback, one of his Velaryon men flanking him on Emira's horse. The Velaryon dismounts, offering the reins to the Martell princess. And Rhaegor tells her, "Leave the girl."

The sand is dryer where Visenya digs now.

Visenya assumes that the sand is now just 'a little wet'. She stands up and mounts her horse again, and then she does gallop a little ways before dismounting to check again.

Monkey girl is left under the unsympathetic and watchful eye of Rhaegor's Velaryon man-at-arms, while Emira and the Targaryen prince strike out on their steeds in the direction Visenya had earlier bounded away from them. Tracing her progress is easy enough, given the freshness of the tracks left by her horse, and eventually the pair of them come upon Visenya digging in the sand with her hands. "I'll ride ahead," Rhaegor suggests, leaving the women together to strike on ahead, charting a course that seems contiguous with the one Visenya has already plotted on her hands and knees in the sand and on horseback in between. In search of something. The tree.

Visenya looks up to give Rhaegor a bit of an annoyed look when he says he will ride ahead. She mounts up onto her sandsteed again, and continues onwards for as long as she is comfortable until she feels the urge to stop again and check her progress in the hand.

And so the pair cross more desert. It's tedious that way, and hard on the eyes. But one of those shadows that looked at first to just be another patch of shade from a tall dune does finally reveal itself to have branches clawing at the starry sky, and even leaves.

When Rhaegor comes upon the tree, he circles it on horseback and then returns in the direction he'd ridden from, until he makes up the difference in ground and reunites with Visenya and Emira. "This way," he says, with a fresh surge of anticipation. Visenya's dragons, the Whoremaster's hatchlings. The renewed promise is enough to restore him to his precision, to render him sharp again. To put all the rest in check in the name of fulfilling their purpose. And then once Visenya is mounted again, he endeavors to lead them back to the tree, with its leaves reaching out to the Dornish night sky.

This is a rocky area, and if one still tries to follow the wadi, it's on the surface now as one gets closer to the tree, just a little trickle in a streambed cut into the sandy, stony ground. There's a small spring between the rocks behind the big fig tree, the source of the water. It makes a sweet sound on the stone. And there's another sound, a flapping of wings.

Visenya lets out a wordless vocalization of joy when Rhaegor returns to tell them that it's this way. She spurs the horse onwards into a full gallop, and when she sees the tree she dismounts while the horse is still moving but slowed, and begins running in the direction of the fig tree.

There's a flash of light up there, or a streak of it rather, creatures flapping amid the branches.

Rhaegor and Emira ride in on Visenya's heels, and Rhaegor is swiftly out of his own saddle, catching Visenya's after while she leaves it in her wake and runs to the tree. Emira stays mounted, watching from on high, and Rhaegor's impulse is to follow Visenya but somehow he manages to maintain that distance. For now.

Visenya lets out a happy little sound when she sees that flash of light. "I'm here!" She cries out in High Valyrian as she approaches the tree. "It's me!" She looks around for signs of something larger. Deadlier. There is no sign of that. "Come here!"

There's some more flapping from the branches, and a squeak-roar sort of sound. The things up there are big now, but they do have familiar little voices, and their molten gold eyes glow some.

One dragonet appears from the foliage, climbing down the tree trunk head-first, spiraling around it like a squirrel. They've gotten bigger.

Visenya puts her hands over her mouth and leans forward as if overwhelmed by the sight of them. Instead of being cautious she walks up to the dragnet with a purpose. "Look at you!" She says in Valyrian, and then she holds out her arm and says, "Come! Up!" It is something they'd practiced before.

The beast obeys, hurling itself from the trunk of the tree with a cheerful, ferocious squawk. Unfortunately for Visenya's arm, it's even bigger than it first appeared; the moonlight played a trick with the size of the fig tree, which is massive. And the young dragon? The size of a healthy hound, not counting the length of tail. It weighs less, but is still not a creature one wants hanging on one's arm for long, even if it's crooning happily at you. Which it is. It's also lashing its tail, and gripping with the claws on both feet and wings, like to pull Visenya over as it swings its caudal appendage about.

Thwack! Thwack! Visenya gets smacked in the back of the head a few times with her dragonet's tail! She kneels down in the sand before saying, "You're so big!" And then she laughs loudly enough that the sound surely carries over to where Emira and Rhaegor are. "Where is your sibling?" She asks the dragonet before she calls out, "Come!"

So big! Sharp claws! The happy creature attempts to climb onto Visenya's shoulder in spite of its size. In the tree, another draconic voice hisses.

Rhaegor surges with something of the same exultation Visenya must now be wracked with, to watch her happy reunion even if from afar. After all, was he not by her side when they emerged, entwined, from their single shared egg? It's a defining moment of distinction, a demarcation of the evolution in their relationship from then to now.

Visenya falls over when she is climbed on top of, and lets out a squeak. "Be careful." She says to the now hound sized(!!) dragonet. "You are too big." She wiggles out from under it before she slips out of her robes until she only wears the soft under tunic and breaches. Her shoes come off, and she begins climbing the fig tree.

"Rhhhaaaaaarrrrrrp!" declares the little dragon, watching Visenya climb. It takes to the air and starts to circle the tree, nearly brushing Rhaegor's head with its talons.

Visenya continues climbing, searching for the twin in the tree. "Come here!" She calls out, and sucks in a tired little breath after she pulls herself up onto a branch.

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