Candidates Touch the Eggs

Xanadu Weyr - Hatching Sands

The large circular "stage" is surrounded on one half by a towering wall, thin slit windows high overhead letting in some light without truly endangering the objects on the sands, though plenty of lights are spaced at human-level all the way around. The other half is ringed by the dark blue seats of the observation level, rising upwards towards the back wall. The circle itself is filled with a mix of red and white sands, deep enough to cover the largest of dragon eggs with ease. To one side, a small door is visible, hidden away behind a platform meant to provide a place for the clutch parent's lifemates to stand during the on goings.

Dinner is over and the Candidates, at least some of them, have been assembled and summoned to the hatching arena. It is very hot on the sands, the air is still and dry. Seryth lies curled off to one side of the eggs, her tail twitching as she broods over one of the eggs that lies between her forepaws. Thea is there to greet the Candidates with a smile for each of them and brief instructions not to run or fool around and to touch the eggs gently. After she finishes, she gestures them out with encouragement for them to relax and not be nervous. "Seryth's a little on edge tonight," she warns, "So just don't get too close to her, okay?" And she walks over to sit on the platform and keep an eye on them all.

And if Seryth is a little on edge, then Zaqalekhth might be just a hair's breadth from falling over it. He's that dark shape toward the back, overseeing the whole affair as it's being arranged with a faint, reddish tinge just barely touching his slowly whirling eyes. Somewhere, surely, M'gaal is keeping him in check, but his anxiety — or simple irritation — at seeing the sands invaded is clear.

Rished is among the others as they're ushered out onto the sands, a wary eye kept aimed at the brooding dam and the lurking sire. "I, uh. Okay," is as articulate as the former Woodcrafter seems capable of being and he lapses almost immediately back into a foot-shuffling silence. Mud-brown eyes widen just a touch upon seeing the eggs up close — maybe not up close and personal /yet/, but … they are pretty huge.

Natishen rubs his arms as though cold, though here on the heated Sands, he couldn't possibly be. His eyes flicker from the scattered clutch to the gold to Thea in a spasmatic rhythm, though he does his best to look as calm as possible. When Thea gestures for them to get on with it, he hesitates, seeiming rooted in space as he continues to look between the three, an expression of indecision on his young face.

It's been a while, but as Satoris steps onto the Sands along with the others, it comes fairly swiftly back to him. He bows to both sire and dam and is gentle, polite in greeting. He glances over the eggs, glancing briefly to Seryth, then back. A breath is drawn in and he claps his hands behind his back, awaiting the others to go first, once they're given the go ahead.

From waaaaaay over on her platform there, Thea watches as some of the Candidates move right on out - they may have stood before and perhaps to them this is all old hat. It takes a few moments for her to notice that some of them are hanging back. She's seen it before, but her mind is, perhaps on other things tonight, maybe? Yes, definitely! Although she is paying attention, really. She waits for a few minutes, then slides down and slogs back across the sands to where Natishen and Rished are. "I'll walk out there with you if you'd like," she offers casually.

Rished drags a hand through his hair, resting it at the back of his neck with a lingeringly apprehensive look for the eggs. More foot-shuffling ensues, more out of nervousness than the heat actually getting to him this early in the game. He seems pretty well stuck and breaks out of his soundless rut only when Thea finally drops down to join the lot of them and speaks. "It's a little weird," he blurts, tipping a look her way.

Thea's offer is very tempting, from the look on Natishen's face, but he takes a deep breath and an audible swallow. "Thank you, Miss Thea," he says softly, "but I think I got it." Offering her a trembling smile, he steps away from her and Rished and picks his way almost daintily across the Sands, angling away from the queen and her mate. Instead, he weaves through the eggs, not quite touching any of them until he gets to the True Enlightenment egg. Frowning, he pauses at it, studying its weather metallic surface.

In the back, Zaqalekhth's fire-bright maw starts to gape soundlessly and his wings start to mantle — just /so/ — but he's otherwise very much a construct; unmoving and still beyond that slight movement. Whether he's approving of their reluctance or irritated at their inability to get this over with, it's hard to say.

Thea nods her head, agreeing with Rished. But all she says is, "You don't -have- to do it. But come hatching day, it'll be all the stranger if you don't." Ice green eyes flicker at Natishen as he speaks and when the younger candidate steps out, she nods approval. She tries, she -really- tries to keep that smirky-smile off her face when she murmurs to Satoris, "Don't be shy, Satoris, if Natishen can do it, so can you." Needling, yes. Because she knows he's not being shy at all.

Rished's features screw up for a moment or two at /that/ thought and then he nods, uttering a low, "Well, so long as neither of them's going to be upset about it …" before he ventures right on out there to peer at one of the other eggs. Under the Sea Egg is where he eventually winds up, though he's just looking at it right now, squinting at the patterns on it and his hand hovering just beyond the shell.

Natishen would probably protest Thea's using him to spur the other Candidates if he was aware of it. But his attention is centered on the egg before him, hand outstretched to touch it. Before his fingertips can make contact though, he glances over his shoulder, eyeing the gold and consort warily. Then, with a deep breath, he plants his hand firmly on the shell of the True Enlightenment egg.

Satoris gives Thea a dry, droll look. A lip quirks slightly, almost in amusement, as he winds his way around a couple of other candidates and out towards the eggs themselves. He finds no one presently before Patterns in Parchment and sidles up to the egg. He circles it briefly, before stepping in and placing a hand lightly against it.

Rished finally gives in and drags a finger lightly across a bit of the yellow on the Under the Sea egg, his brow furrowed deeply while he does so. One touch leads to a slightly broader one, though that touch remains light. Cautious. He's clearly not sure /what/ to expect from the nearly comical expression of concentration on his face.

Seryth -might- be upset or then again she might not be, but for now she's not giving any indication of which it will be - is? Her tail marks the sands as it swishes back and forth, eyes watching closely. For now she is content enough to curve her neck protectively around the egg she's keeping them all from.

Thea just nods as the candidates go about their way, hands behind her back, she strolls out slowly, keeping a little distance from them and remaining quiet. She's there if they need anything or have any questions.

Satoris blinks rapidly shortly after his hand touches the egg surface, as if something had gotten in his eye. Or perhaps he was seeing things. The man clears his throat slightly and shifts his stance, relieving feet of the heat for a moment. His other hand comes up, touching the Patterns in Parchment Egg once more, falling still again.

Natishen almost jerks back from the egg, he's so startled by whatever he… felt? But he manages to maintain contact, eyes closing as his other hand comes up and presses lightly to the shell. The feel of the roughness under his fingertips steadies him, and he frowns slightly, but gives no other indication of discomfort. Instead, he waits patiently to see what happens next.

Rished's eyes noticeably widen and his hand quickly withdraws with a startled blink. "Super-weird," he decides rather breathlessly and straightens, eyeing the remaining eggs with a slowly dawning sense of curiosity. While the others might linger with their eggs, he's finally finding his stride and moving onto the Haunted Maze Egg with its odd markings.

It's only when Zaqalekhth starts to ease a rust-slow step forward toward the candidates that M'gaal finally makes his appearance — even if that appearance is made at a slow amble through the doors. "Head up to the observational level, Nin," he can be heard calling over his shoulder, his voice kept low out of deference to the temporary residents on the sands. "I'll be up there a little later." As for the bronze? He freezes, though there's a faint noise just starting to emanate from the back of his throat.

Satoris winces briefly as there comes a more, deeper delving from the egg. He draws in a long breath and shifts his feet. Less for relief this time than to brace them,a shoulder's width apart. The man makes a small, rumbling sound somewhere in his chest and drops one hand away, but one still remains on the surface of the Patterns in Parchment egg, fingertips light and gentle, but searching.

"I don't know." Natishen's voice is soft, not so much an answer to an unspoken question as an expression of his own doubts. He makes an abortative movement away from the egg, nearly pulling is hands free, but sheer determination not to be a child keeps him there - that, and the slight smile that touches his lips almost in spite of himself. M'gaal's entrance goes unnoticed, Rished's switching of eggs is unheeded - the boy concentrates solely on the task before him, trying to understand what he's doing here.

Rished retains his touch on the egg this time, eyes first widening and then squinting a little — as if trying to see /through/ the egg and not so much /at/ it. There's an audible sniff from his direction, but more in the manner of one trying to figure out if he's just smelling himself — he /did/ bathe! — or if it's something else. It's only a matter of time before his touch drifts further along the surface of the egg, tracing out the strange square at the center.

Thea flickers a glance towards Zaqalekhth when he moves, but really, what's she going to do about it? The bronze's halt does have her looking back over her shoulder and M'gaal is noted, nodded pleasantly to. Her slow pace takes her along the outer perimeter in his general direction, but her focus is on the candidates. She smiles faintly amused at some of the reactions to the eggs, but otherwise doesn't interrupt them as she walks slowly around the perimeter. Seryth doesn't seem concerned with the bronze's step forward. She's narrowly watching the Candidates, rumbling soft growls under her breath, but otherwise remains still.

M'gaal tips a bit of a salute to Thea with an amiable, "Looks like they're getting on pretty well. How're you and yours?", though he remains resolutely where he is — just barely within the area, with his attention more or less on the lurking one. "Behave, Zaq." Not that those words would do /much/ if the bronze finally does snap a twig, but it seems to be enough for now. There's a rust-rattle-rumble and he remains, slow-whirling gaze fixed on those that are still milling about.

There's a bit of a shiver from Satoris and he closes his eyes briefly to take in a long breath before opening them again. He steps back from the Parchment egg and shakes his shoulders out slightly, as if waking up from a nap. Very canine-like, in a way. He glances briefly towards Thea, expression almost curious to see her reactions to the candidates and the like, before he seeks out, perhaps, another egg.

Dot, dot, dot. Rished starts to connect the dots on the egg with a finger, muttering something or another under his breath for the egg's sake. Part of it, a low "There's, uh, not much-" might be picked up, but the rest is inaudible. The other hand is rubbing absently at the back of his head, thoroughly tousling up his hair without much thought given to it.

Natishen eases away from the egg, shaking his head slowly as though waking up from a daze. As he lifts his hands from the shell, he suddenly hisses and dances from foot to foot, seemingly only now aware of the burning sands through his sturdy sandals. Mincing away from the True Enlightenment egg, he gives it one last, long look, then moves towards the Mountain Citadel Egg, rubbing at the back of his neck with a confused frown before reaching out to press his hand to the ruined surface.

Rished makes a bit of a face at something or another, a hand idly reaching up to rub at his nose. "Huh." And, for a moment, the poor boy's at a bit of a loss, though he finally does step away from the egg to blink slowly at a few of the others. There's a look for the egg Natishen leaves, but his attention finally catches and snags on the bizarre features of the Beyond the Taboo Egg, with a hand eventually being extended to drag along what appears to be the nose of it.

Natishen shivers, hunching in on himself and nearly jerking his hand away. Then his jaw tightens and his spine stiffens and he steps closer, going so far as to place his other hand firmly on the shell. With a challenge in his gaze, he stares at the aged egg, eyes tracing the lines of the design imprinted upon its hardened surface as he seems to await… something.

Finally settled back into his position as watchful statue, Zaqalekhth keeps his maw gaped, even if he's fallen silent and still again. M'gaal just keeps an eye on him, though the man isn't much different — he's just as still, quiet, and observationally-minded, or so it would seem. His eyes do, occasionally, stray to the observational level, but mostly for the sake of the four people — and kidlet — that have taken up residence at the spot he usually claims for himself.

Thea's steps slow as she nears M'gaal, for there's hissing and it's not coming from Seryth. She turns to see Natishen hopping, flicks a concerned glance Seryth's way. Seryth spreads her wings and half-rises, but when the boy walks calmly to the next egg, she sinks back to guard that precious egg. Thea blows out a breath, then and answers, "They're well. I miss them, though."

Rished shifts his feet a little in the sand, peripherally aware of the heat. But something far more compelling is holding his interest to this egg, his brow furrowed and mouth just slightly agape. From the nose to the forehead does his hand go, just around the shape of that strange, unseeing eye. He is, in a word, enthralled.
Satoris has connected.

Satoris wanders the eggs for a short time, getting a feel for them. He eventually finds one that he had been interested in at the clutching. The man steps up to Haunted Maze and considers it a moment, almost warily, before reaching out to place gentle, but calloused, fingertips to the egg's surface.

A small, quick shake of the head, is Satoris' initial response as the egg reacts beneath his hand. It may not be his first time Standing, but in some ways… it might as well be. There's no way to prepare for the experience, especially when lengths of time go between each time it happens. He draws in a breath, but it's almost awkward; as if he were gulping at the air, rather than just inhaling. Still, his fingers remain on Haunted Maze.

Rished starts just a little, fingers briefly pulling away from the egg to momentarily break that contact. It's just long enough for him to re-center himself and blink back whatever it is that so startled him initially … and, unable to help himself, his fingers gently seek purchase on the egg once again — this time to cover the lips, as if it needed encouragement to be silent. Such curiosity clearly can't be resisted for very long at all.

M'gaal catches Thea's words after a moment and offers a slight smile to her, along with a nod of understanding. "That part, the missing them, never gets better," he muses with a bit of a chuckle. The candidates are absently watched, though it seems that with Zaq actually behaving, he's better able to focus on conversation for the moment. "It's hard to think of what it'll be like when the boy's old enough to be out on his own; couldn't imagine fretting over two at the same time."

A tilt of the head and it's as if Satoris is consenting. The man exhales slowly as he steels himself once more, regaining composure. He relaxes, for the most part, but seems to be fairly focused still on the egg. A slow nod here and there, as if in agreement… or perhaps further consent and agreement. Fingertips trace the surface of the Haunted Maze egg, following some of the lines upon it.

Natishen takes a deep breath, staring at the egg for a long time, then he drops his hands to his side. "I don't like fighting," he replies, somewhat miserably. Then again, to a boy who wants to be a man, such an admission may come hard. Clenching his fingers into fists, he ducks his head and pulls away from the Mountain Citadel Egg, instead heading towards the Face of Time Egg. He frowns at the various markings before reaching out to touch a single fingertip to its surface, tracing the line of an I.

Rished's touch lingers uncertainly, a dry click sounding at the back of his throat as he swallows. He sucks in a breath and lets it out slowly, his hand finally withdrawn completely from that egg. Something about it remains firmly puzzling to him, his eyes remaining on it for a long time after before, eventually, he's drawn around to an egg that was touched earlier by another. Maybe all he's looking for is True Enlightenment, but he'll settle for touching its shell.

Thea keeps her eyes on the Candidates, flashes a puzzled sidelong look at the bronzerider then returns her attention to the sands. "Well, but… " She blows out a small whoosh of a breath. She apparently hasn't even thought that far ahead. "I'm just looking forward to living under the same roof as they are again." It's pretty clear by the look on her face that she'd rather not think about them leaving quite yet. She gestures to Seryth, "She's becoming a little less fretful as the eggs harden." Utter weariness laces her words. "Your son, is he doing alright being here at Xanadu?"

After a few moments, Satoris draws in another sudden breath, like someone surfacing from a long swim. He pulls back from the egg and rubs his fingers together, glancing to them. A slow shake of the head to clear it once more and he glances to Seryth, gauging the gold and whether they'll be allowed to remain much longer. He decides it may very well be alright and moves on once again, thoughtful.

A rattled noise from Zaq draws a brief, if sharp, look from M'gaal. The bronzerider shakes his head after a moment, then returns his attention to Thea. For her, there's a faint smile and another nod. "He's settled, I guess. As much as he can be, anyway. Seems to be getting on alright with the other kids, at least." There's a slight pause, then an apologetic: "Zaq's … Zaq. She might be less fretful, but he's more irritated at what he sees as an intrusion — necessary as it may be."

Rished has the look of one that just doesn't get 'it', whatever it is. There's that exaggerated look of concentration again while he struggles with it, though whatever happens to have caught his thoughts up isn't enough to keep his hands off the curious shell of the egg. Maybe just a little more time with it might help? He can only hope.

Natishen frowns in confusion, shaking his head slightly, as though something tickled his ear. Huffing softly, he presses the full palm of his hand against the shell, staring at the egg with a slightly dazed expression.

Satoris finally approaches one egg, the Mountain Citadel. He cocks his head to one side, gives a small shrug, and reaches out to touch it gently. Other eggs he had initially wished to 'commune' with were occupied, but this one had a certain kind of draw.

Thea nods at M'gaal, "I'm glad he's settling. This can't be easy for him, not being in his own bed in his own home." She shifts her eyes from the Candidates to the bronze, then eyes Seryth, who is still watching the candidates with the look a feline might give to her prey. "Yeah, she's… not really thrilled that they're here, either. But what I meant is she's starting to let me take longer breaks away from her now. Sleeping here and staying all day… is hard." She's not complaining, mind, just stating a fact.

"It's, ah. It's rough. But, he has his stuffed feline and that's just enough." M'gaal laughs gently and tips his attention back up with a small wave for what must be a cluster of familiar faces up there. "Ah, that's good," he finally says, reaching to rub along the side of his nose thoughtfully. "It won't be much longer, though. Ah, relatively speaking, I mean. Then it'll be back to normal, more or less."

Rished's feet-shifting slows and then stops, with a look of intense concentration securely locked onto his features. It might be that he's thinking far, far too hard about something, or maybe he's just particularly curious about the egg's texture. He continues his ponderous exploration of the True Enlightenment Egg, his mouth moving soundlessly all the while.

It's as if Satoris relaxes upon contact with this egg, his shoulders shifting to relax somewhat. The man draws in a slow, long breath, nostrils flaring as he does so. It's an odd sort of relaxation there from the man, one likely not often seen by those that work with him and perhaps only rarely even by those that know him. His palm settle flat, but light, upon the Mountain Citadel egg's surface.

Natishen shakes his head again, this time in negation. However, the boy doesn't speak, he merely rubs his palm gently over the surface of the egg. Unlike the last, he doesn't seem inclined to flee, but there's no peace as with the first of the eggs he touched. Instead, he seems almost antsy, though he's very careful to keep his unease to his thoughts and face, and keeps his body still.

Rio jogs up to the entrance that leads out to the sands with the other candidates already gathered, a sheepish look on his face. He is smart enough at least to pause at the entrance and wait a moment so he doesn't look like he's frazzled. He walks out on the sands confidently, pausing to bow to Seryth and her life mate, as well as the bronze who fathered the cluth if he's there. Quietly, he says to Thea, "I'm sorry I was late. Riot stole an item from someone during dinner and I had to go find where he hid it….." He pauses to make certain that his excuse is acceptable, and once he's not ushered off the sands, he walks carefully across the sands, finding an egg poking out of the sand. It happens to be the Lady's Delight Egg. He kneels down beside it, and hesitantly place his fingertips on the surface of the shell.

Thea nods absently to M'gaal, "Things… yeah, normal's a fleeting thing it seems, at least for me." Wry laughter that suddenly ends as she calls, "Hey now-! Scuse me, M'gaal. Hey, no fooling around!" And she's striding off to stop a few snickering Candidates who've decided to push at each other.

Zaqalekhth is most definitely there, although the late arrival earns a long look from the beast. And to think that his eyes had /just/ cooled from being red-rimmed … only to flare up anew. There's that rattle-rumbling again, his wings set to flare a little. "Oh for- calm. /Calm/, Zaq." M'gaal manages an absent, if apologetic, smile for Thea, but as she's left to handle shoving candidates, he's left to settle down a bronze that's looking more than ready to step in himself.

Satoris almost chuckles beneath his breath at the sensations washing over him. Or is it through him? He shifts, then, standing a bit straighter, but still with an almost lazy ease, like a predator, though… not quite. He seems to have tuned the begining ruckus on the sands out.

Rio looks contrite, really! His bow and apology had been offered humbly, too. As he touches the shell of the egg, he blinks, looking suddenly surprised. Well, it's the first time he's ever touched an egg, so…maybe that's not too surprising. He closes his eyes for a moment and then 'listens' to the Lady's Delight egg. When nothing bad seems forthcoming, he gets a little more bold and places a second finger on the surface of the shell, to join the first.

Rished, meanwhile, finally pulls his hand away from that egg and rubs at it, even while his feet seem to remember that, yes, sands are /hot/. The sire is briefly eyed and then his attention is shot rather warily to where Thea's headed, his brows knitting a bit with unvoiced concern. Given the look on his face, that last egg might have just taken his tongue. He reluctantly trudges onto the next, to an egg that's Faded But Not Forgotten to lay a light hand on it.

The pride and almost regal bearing crumbles steadily until Satoris is shifting in closer to the egg, almost folding in upon himself. After a moment, the miner falls back on his heels and regains his prior, grizzled visage. He shakes out his hands a bit and steps away, regarding the egg at length, before he turns away… now catching sight of those candidates fussing with one another. He begins to stride over, swiftly, should Thea need any help separating them.

Natishen can't help it. His eyes lift to Thea, studying the weyrwoman for a long moment before dropping back to the egg. Swallowing slightly, he pats the egg lightly. "Shhh," he says softly, before falling silent again. He remains, however, in close contact with the egg, a faint smile tickling at his lips as his eyes roam over the markings, much as his fingertips do.

Rio's smile sombers and he tilts his head to the side, maybe it's a song he's heard before? Maybe not. But he sways in time to some beat or another that he seems to hear. It's tranquil, enough to make him relax, his concerns for whether the bronze would do something or not seeming to fade. It doesn't appear that he hears the scuffle, either. But he's concerned with the egg right now.

Rished squints just a little, as if attempting to decipher the scrawled nonsense on the shell of the egg. His fingers soon drag along those strange patterns, his mouth moving a little as if trying to make some sense of what's writ upon it. There's no sense to be had, but he's trying and trying hard. His eyes are somewhat hazy, lost in either the task or whatever strange sendings are being shared … and, for now, he might as well not be there at all.
The scuffle dies down as Thea arrives and both parties are escorted off the sands, Seryth's growl following them as they depart. Within moments she is back and walking amongst the eggs as before.

Satoris looks over the eggs he has not touched and chews on his lip. The man steps away from them and bows once more to Seryth and the bronze that sits with her. Maybe he just needs to get out of the heat, because the man is fairly quick to depart. Really, he just has a lot to think about.

Rio's foot would have been tapping along, had he not been kneeling. As it is, his head bobs slightly to the beat as it suffuses him wholly. When it fades away, he blinks, and pulls his hand away from the surface of the egg. The commotion on the sands had died down before he really can register it, but he catches the candidates being escorted off the sands. He hunkers down a bit, as if hoping it doesn't happen to him, and scoots back from the Lady's Delight Egg slowly. Let's see, he's still here. So…try to touch another? Sure, why not? He sees another, the Under the Sea egg, and moves over to it. He places his fingers against it, a little more confident — and eager — than the first egg he touched.

Natishen lets his hands fall from the egg, gazing at it a second longer before once more lifting his gaze to study Thea. Then, with a shake of his head, he wanders away from the Face of Time Egg, but doesn't approach another. Instead, he simply shuffles through the sands, studying the clutch, but being very careful not to brush against any of them. He has too much to think about to invite any more unusual happenstances.

Rished murmurs a low and breathless, "No, no, no," that's meant more as encouragement to the egg than anything else. Something else is said, just under breath, and he continues, moving to crouch and lean in, turning his head just a bit as if by all but pressing his ear to the shell he might hear whatever's inside much more clearly.

The darkened bronze is simply not meant to be settled this time, his reddened gaze tracking the departure of the candidates that have been escorted away. Zaqalekhth starts to move like some ponderous construct, slinking slowly around the outer edge of the clutch in an arc that will, eventually, bring him to where a cluster of candidates are. Dragons might not /eat/ people, but his gaping maw might hint otherwise. M'gaal's features are just set in a hard mask of concentration, his arms resolutely folded over his chest.

Rio seems lulled almost into a half-asleep state. Waves. The ocean. It's BEAUTIFUL! That was the reason he came to Xanadu in the first place, was its nearness to the ocean. Then he draws a soft gasp at something, and then smiles. "…Well, hello there…" he murmurs, with a slightly wry, but definitely amused, hint to his voice.

Rio is wondering what comes next! He is quite happy with where he is right now, and kinda wants to stay there, wrapped within that velvet turquoise, and closes his eyes slightly. It's like a mother's embrace, safe and secure. Yes, his guard is down, so if the mind within the eggshell is looking, his is wide open for inspection.

Rished is caught a bit breathless as well, a sudden blink and a quavering breath bringing him back into the here and now. Maybe it's just something about this egg or maybe it's that stalking bronze, it's hard to say; in either case, the lad straightens and removes his hands from the egg … though not before giving it a small, affectionate pat for its efforts. "Thank you," is murmured and then he withdraws, rubbing his hands together with a distant, thoughtful expression.

Rio's eyes open again, and he blinks as he pulls his hand away from the shell of the egg. After the embrace of the velvety waves, the hot sand almost feels unbearable now. He heaves a sigh and looks at the Under the Sea egg, fondly, but does not touch it again.

For those touching the eggs, Thea's quiet voice speaking as she walks among them may be more jarring than she means it to be, or in fact than her normally cheerful, serene manner. But it's likely because they are all so lost in the thrall that is listening to dragon eggs. "Thank you for your respectful behavior out on the sands tonight, but it's time to let the clutch parents rest. We'll have you out here again." And she begins herding them towards the doors.

Natishen allows himself to be herded from the Sands, so lost in thought he doesn't even notice Thea's odd demeanor. Instead, he weaves through the eggs and pauses briefly on the edge of the hatching arena to look back, studying the eggs and the dragons briefly before disappearing into the foyer area.

Rio stands, and moves towards the gathering of Candidates as they meet up to leave the sands. He bows to Seryth, Thea, Zaqalekhth, and M'gaal respectfully, not seeming to notice Thea's odd tone of voice. Or if he does, he says nothing of it. He simply bows, and leaves with the rest of the candidates.

Rished has no answers for the egg, just a longing look that's quickly scrubbed away from his face with his palms. He joins the others as they're ushered out, a backwards look spared for the eggs and clutchparents before they're all quite well out of sight and he's stuck securely in the real world.

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