It's as though someone took the saturation on this dragon and turned it up to eleven. Lime green spreads itself across her hide, encasing her slender form in a shade that's impossible to miss. She's lithe and lean, this one, with a musculature built for speed. She's slightly larger than some other greens but carries herself with the silent grace of a hunter, betraying the power that lurks beneath that brilliant hide. Although at first glance, that blinding color overwhelms the more subtle shades, upon closer inspection it's easy to see the mint green which dapples her tail like patchwork along the length. It also highlights the contours of the wingsails, making them appear more pronounced, while striations of softer pastel appear on the 'sails themselves, stretched like the string of a bow. Lime dominates across the slender width of her back and up the elegant neck to her head, where headknobs are touched with chartreuse, which echoes in a line down her snout. Her chest is the only place where lime darkens to a light fern green, finally easier on the eyes. She bears a strange marking of dulled bronze at the base of her neck, almost as though she were wearing some sort of badge on her right side.
Egg Name and Description
A Handful of Berries Egg
This egg is built upon hard ground, coal black mixed with concrete at the solid, rough-hewn base. The dull colors whisper their way up the sides, half obscured by a forest of deep greens around its midsection. There's something dark about those woods, as though the hues of green disguise some hidden danger waiting for any who venture into their depths. When looked at from the right direction, it's possible to see a strange marking on one side. There's a deep purple, almost black mass on the shell which glistens when caught by the light. If one looks closely, that mass takes more individual form, with small round shapes becoming clear in the dark coloring. In the right light, it almost appears to be a handful's worth of berries staining the shell. From there the egg catches fire, reds and yellows licking their way up to the apex. There's a slight sheen to the top of the shell; a hint of gold amidst the flames right at the very peak.
A shudder skims across the surface of A Handful of Berries Egg, shifting it ever so slightly in the sands which so carefully cradle it. Once, twice. Almost as though the occupant is assessing the situation; planning its method of attack.
A Handful of Berries Egg moves again with a violent jolt that sends it rolling into the egg next to it. It rolls free of its sandy cradle, moving a few feet before it halts. Cracks begin to splinter across the shell, radiating from that strange blue-black mark upon the side. Freedom is so close.
There's a resounding crack as the ferocious assault of the occupant of A Handful of Berries Egg finally wins the battle, breaking free from the confines of the shell. A too-bright green spills from the shattered shell, tumbling headlong onto the sands in a roll that somehow flips her right onto her feet and leaves her staring down the candidates defiantly.
A fire burns across your mind, scorching everything in its path, as though it might lay waste to everything that came before this moment. It burns hot and blinding, glowing somewhere behind your eyes in a way that might even be painful. And then abruptly, it stops. There, amidst the rubble, stands this too-bright green. Sands? What sands? There is only you, and her, building anew from the destruction. « Zhai. » The word is spoken with a strange musical lilt, followed by the whistle of three simple notes. « This is you, Zhai. » The destruction fades, rubble giving way to a soft layer of pine needles that now blankets a forest floor, where stone and ash were only moments before. Real, or not real? She enfolds you in this haven of greenery, whistling those three tones once again. It isn't warm, this greeting.There's no overwhelming sensation of love or adoration. There is just you, and her. Mairesaeth. She doesn't even need to say the words, because that name is as much a part of you as it is of her. The forest slowly fades, branches and leaves giving way to the sandy brown of the hatching arena, and the little lime green at your feet. There is a need, a desire to hunt that seems to belong to both of you at once. « I hunger. Let us eat. »
Oh, Zhai. Do you know what you've gotten yourself into with Mairesaeth? From the moment she is hatched, Mairesaeth will prove to have a stubborn mind that's not easily swayed, no matter how much time you spend trying to persuade her. No one is going to call her the friendliest of dragons, but in her you've gained a lifelong protector who is fiercely loyal to those few she allows into her inner circle.
In her early days, you may find that you have a slightly… different experience than your fellow Weyrlings. Mairesaeth is not one of those dragons who blindly loves and adores her chosen. In fact, you may find that there's not much love to be had from this young dragon. There's no questioning her choice in you, of course, but that doesn't mean she's affectionate. If you attempt to call her out on this and ask why, her answer will be simple: « I cannot. »
In general, her first months may be a bit of a struggle for the pair of you. Mairesaeth does not always trust your abilities or your judgment. You think she should be doing her exercises a certain way? « No, I'll do it this way. » There's a lack of trust in the way she views you, and with that stubborn will of hers, you may find that she accidentally injures or strains herself rather than accept your point of view. Even when forced to face her own mistakes, you'll find she doesn't actually admit to anything. She's more likely to simply brush it off and move forward — but you can bet that next time, she won't make the same mistake again.
She's not the most talkative of dragons, your Mairesaeth. When it comes to her siblings, she's more likely to allow them to carry on the conversation. Leikoirath wants to rattle on about something in her over-excited way? Mairesaeth will listen for as long as her patience allows, before bluntly making her way out the conversation. You may find that relations between her and her fellow Weyrlings becomes strained, because she has a habit of saying exactly what she's thinking regardless of the consequences. And because your Mairesaeth hasn't been gifted with exceptional patience or good humor, she frequently puts her foot in her mouth. It will take most of weyrlinghood for her to learn how to think first and talk later.
« No offense, but who cares, Leikoirath? »
Along with her generally taciturn nature and mistrust of everyone around her, Mairesaeth is very serious. She has a sense of humor somewhere under there, but it tends more toward the sarcastic and very rarely finds its way to the surface. Mostly, she is focused on whatever task has been set out for her. She is an exceptionally hard worker, to the point where it can become detrimental to her if you don't find a way to keep her in check. She'll want to do those wing exercises until hers are ready to fall off, because the idea of failing is foreign to her. She may find herself going toe to toe with Masikoth in an attempt to push forward to flight, and you'll find that her impatience peaks the closer you get to that important lesson.
She tends to see you as somewhat weak (sorry, Zhai!), and as such she is your fierce and never-yielding protector. If she perceives someone as a physical threat, you'd better believe that she's ready to tear them apart. You'll have to keep an eye on that in the first few months, lest she snap at someone who didn't mean any harm. Likewise, if someone attacks you verbally, it will unleash a storm of anger on her part. She may not talk much most of the time, but that doesn't mean she won't dress someone down when the moment calls for it. It's never in defense of herself, as Mairesaeth hatched with enough confidence to weather any kind of insult thrown her way, but the moment someone talks about you, they're in for it.
It will become apparent early on in her life that Mairesaeth is a great hunter, and that skill will only increase with time. Even before the dragons begin hunting on her own, Mairesaeth may trap and kill vermin around the Weyr simply because she enjoys it. Which means you may be stuck cleaning blood off her hide more often than you'd like. Sorry, Zhai! Once the dragons begin hunting on their own, you'll find that she can usually kill several beasts in mere seconds. In fact, you may have to spend some effort convincing her that she shouldn't kill more than she actually needs to eat at that moment. « But we can give it to someone else. It's good meat. » You'll have to remind her that she's not the only dragon who enjoys hunting, after all. You'll also find that in addition to hunting, she makes a great tracker. If you're looking for something or someone, she's usually able to find it. She has a sharp eye, and a surprising ability for reading tracks.
Of course, with this talk about hunting and tracking it should come as no surprise that Mairesaeth LOVES the outdoors. Seriously. You're going to have a hard time — even on day one, when she's exhausted — keeping this one indoors. She'll constantly want to sleep out under the stars, and even when the weather is terrible she'd rather be outside than confined in the barracks. You may find yourself getting into trouble for sneaking out at odd hours, because Mairesaeth needed to be free of confinement. Much like her dam, she'll always be pushing the boundaries of exploration, wanting to see more. She has a deep connection to trees and to the earth, and in addition to that blood you may find that she gets a great deal dirtier than many of her fellow Weyrlings. So! Enjoy all that cleaning, Zhai.
One of her stranger habits comes in the form of her fondness for trees. Like Kivshiralth, she loves to climb. In particular (at least when she's small enough to manage it), she'll enjoy climbing trees when she's small enough to do so. Once she starts getting too big, she'll still search out high ground. It's both a means of self-preservation, so she can see the enemy approaching, and a simple love of having that high perch. You may struggle with this when she's very young, as that stubborn will of hers will have her trying to gain the high ground whether it's safe or not. There may be a few tumbles and bruises in the early days, but as she ages she'll become very adept at climbing.
As she ages, some of Mairesaeth's harder edges will begin to soften. She'll never be a sweet, overly loving green, your girl… but she will eventually come to love you at the very least. It's likely something that will creep up on you one day, late in weyrlinghood. It's just there, one day, this deep and fierce love that she'll have for you. It's never something she'll speak aloud, but that loyalty you gained at the moment of impression will become loyalty by choice rather than by nature of your bond. She'll remain your steadfast protector no matter what. Even as she ages and learns to better trust your judgment, she'll still see you as the weak one. After all, she's much larger and stronger. You may have certain mental advantages (like a good memory), but you still need protecting.
Although she's able to function within a wing, your Mairesaeth will never be a very good team player. Because of that protectiveness, she'll always put you first, even when it puts others at risk. This means that in a dangerous situation, she can't be entirely relied upon. She'll do her best, of course, because she knows her duty and always follows through on that, but ultimately her number one priority is you. If it comes down to it, she'll abandon her duties before she allows something to happen to you. Thankfully, there's no Thread to contend with, so chances are you won't run into too many circumstances that could cause her to put others in danger for your sake. Also, it should be noted that she won't back down on this, no matter how much of a mental struggle you engage in. You can tell her to stay put a million times, but she is getting you out of danger whether you like it or not.
Mairesaeth also hates to be the center of attention. Although she always attempts to excel at anything she does, that doesn't mean she wants attention or accolades for it. She'd rather fade into the background. However, that being said, if you have ambition to pursue a Wingleader or Wingsecond role, Mairesaeth can lead. In fact, she's actually very good at it, with her no-nonsense attitude and her dedication to always prevailing. If she ever ends up in a leadership position, she'll be almost as protective of her wing as she is of you. It will just take some convincing on your part to get her to take the job (and some awkward struggles on her part as she gains her stride), but she's a capable leader when she stops thinking about it and is just herself.
When it comes to flights, Mairesaeth doesn't rise often. It probably shouldn't be a surprise, considering she's not exceptionally feminine. However, when she's proddy, that tends to change quickly. You'll know when she's getting ready to rise, because Mairesaeth will suddenly become obsessesed with clothing. And not just any clothing; she wants you to wear things as bright and gaudy as she is. Your normally quiet green will start chatting up any male (or female) in sight, suggesting cosmetic changes and generally making a nuissance of herself. Oh, and woe betide anyone who ruins her carefully made plans during that time.
When she takes to the skies, things will be over rather quickly. Your girl may have more stamina than most greens on a normal day, but during flights she prefers to cut to the chase (pun intended!). She's all about the fancy flying, and it will be a rare bronze who can keep up with her tricks. She's far more likely to be caught by browns and blues. But she doesn't wait around. Mairesaeth tends to pick out her victor rather quickly, and will often allow her chosen mate to catch her rather than waiting until one manages to ensnare her. She's not really one for giving up control, even when it comes to flights.
Overall, your Mairesaeth is a tinge unusual for a green. She's not particularly feminine, not particularly talkative, and not particularly open. Nor is she the most friendly or loving of dragons. She's strong, brave, and a fierce protector of those very few she learns to trust and allows into her inner circle. But above everything else, she will love you, Zhai. It may not be as immediate as it is for most, but it is deep and unbreakable. In Mairesaeth, you've gained an unlikely ally, and she will be with you until the end.
"You love me, real or not real?"
« Real. »
"Deep in the meadow, under the willow
A bed of grass, a soft green pillow
Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes
And when again they open, the sun will rise.
Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you."
- The Hunger Games
For one made mostly of hard edges, at least for you, Mairesaeth's mind is a welcoming place. She loves music, and there's something lyrical about the way her tones vary, as though there's always a song playing somewhere in her thoughts. She may not be able to whistle aloud, but it remains one of her favorite forms of communication. She might even develop a language made up of mental whistles, with you expected to know and remember the translation for each so you can respond when she needs you. In her estimation, this is much more efficient than using words, and it may chafe at her when other dragons don't understand what her simple tonal messages mean.
In times when she feels comfortable, her mind is always attuned to nature. She may express herself in images of a still forest, or a babbling brook, or the mystery of a single path leading into the depths of the wood. When she senses that you are in distress, these are also the images that tend to accompany her attempts at comfort. Nature is as much a part of her as music, and it's rare that the sights, smells, and sensations of the outdoor world don't infiltrate her thoughts. Even when specific images aren't captured in her expressions, she tends to color her conversations in greens and browns when she's at peace.
When she's upset, those earthy tones give way to flames. If we burn, you burn with us, after all. Her ire is expressed in reds and oranges and the crackle of fire, scorching everything it comes across. The forest of her mind is razed by the flames, leaving nothing in its wake. And those musical tones? Long gone are the whistles, replaced by the twang-snap of a bowstring as an arrow is released, and the flames will not be soothed until that arrow hits its mark.
Although she expresses herself through nature, it's only you who will see the details. With others, her imagery is simple, more representative than concrete. But you will see every detail, every leaf in the forest, because only you are welcomed into the shelter she finds beneath those branches. For you alone, there is a beautiful meadow of wildflowers where you will find respite and safety from the outside world. It will be a hazy dream at first, but as she ages and that bond deepens into love, you'll be able to feel the warmth of the sun upon your skin and practically smell the daisies that grow in her meadow, just for you.
Congratulations, Zhai, and welcome to weyrlinghood at Xanadu! We're thrilled to have you, and I hope you love Mairesaeth as much as I do! Hopefully, having survived candidacy will prepare you for weyrlinghood with Mairesaeth at your side.
The theme for this clutch was 'Dystopia/Dystopian', and A Handful of Berries was (you guessed it!) based upon The Hunger Games. It's one of my favorite books, and I snatched it up as soon as we decided on the theme.
Mairesaeth is — as you requested — based off of Katniss, Rue, and Effie! Her base is Katniss, and most of her personality comes from there, but her whistling comes straight from Rue, as well as her love of trees and climbing! Effie comes into play when she's proddy, just because I couldn't shake the idea of this serious little green suddenly getting indignant and going on about, « This is MAHOGANY!! »
Her name is a combination of "Maireachtail" which is Irish for "survive" and "Saeth" which is Welsh for "arrow", because your Mairesaeth is a survivor… and arrows, y'know, for Katniss. Hopefully you like it!
Of course, Mairesaeth is yours now to play as you see fit! I hope you love her as much as I do, and I hope I managed to give you what you were looking for. Again, congratulations! We all look forward to seeing what Zhai and Mairesaeth do together in the future. Welcome to Weyrlinghood!
|Hatched||July 26th, 2015|