Secret Caves and Eggs

Xanadu Weyr - Observation Level

Dark blue seats form a semi-circle around the sands below, the lowest row separating from the sands themselves by merely a railing. The seats climb upwards, each row a bit higher then the previous, and they are broken up into sections by 3 sets of staircases. Lights are evenly spaced along the outer wall, lighting the seats and the sands easily, though they tend to be dimmed unless a major event is taking place. A large balcony looms overhead, darkening some of the seats, providing a place for observers of the draconic kind to watch without obstructing the view for others.

When one looks over the railing, the oddly hued sand below can be seen easily, the circle-shaped area of the sands spread out to the far walls, the sand itself a unique mixture of red and white grains.

Dinner isn't quite a distant memory — what, it was particularly good! — but it /is/ settled by now for most people, who mostly sit about in the caverns or their homes talking and playing games. It is cold and wet outside, with howling wind and driving rain, sending anybody sane indoors. Riyontali is, apparently, sane! This might be news to some, but the girl is settled on the first row of seats just off of the sand anyways, watching Avaeth and Kilaueth curiously. A jacket is draped over the bench next to her drying out in the oven-warm air. She seems to be enjoying some time doing nothing, for once, not even taking care of the trio of young firelizards she's gotten herself stuck with.

For his part, Ruzel is quite pleased that dinner is over with. He got stuck as kitchen help today, and only now that the last of the food has gone out to the serving tables is he free to do as he pleases. Of course, with the heavy rain his options for recreation are severely limited. So the candidate makes his way up to the galleries, sketchpad and pencils in hand, apparently planning on adding yet another rendering of the eggs to his collection. He must've stopped by the barrack to change, since his clothes are dry. As he looks for a good place to sit he spots Riyontali, and he greets her with a smile and wave. "Hi!"

Riyontali's quiet contemplation is broken by Ruzel — but she flashes the other candidate a quick smile all the same, lifting a hand in a wave. "Hey, Ruzel!" The sketchbook is noted with a grin. "Going to draw 'em? Can't blame you. They might be kinda scary, but they sure are pretty, out there with their eggs." She chuckles, turning to peer back out at them happily. "I wonder how long until they hatch. Seems like it's been forever since I was searched." The girl doesn't sound unamused by her fate of doing all sorts of disgusting work, though. "They've gotta be gettin' close to it, yeah? Doesn't take firelizards that long to hatch out, I bet.."

"They'll seem less scary the more time you spend around dragons." Ruzel assures his fellow candidate as he makes his way nearby, settling in to an unoccupied seat and looking out over the sand. "But yes, I am going to do another drawing of the clutch. I've done a few already, but they get a different look about them as they grow and harden…" He peers at the eggs and shrugs. "Could be a few more sevendays still. Maybe months, even. So, do you have a favorite yet?"

Riyontali considers this for a moment with a thoughtful frown, eyeing Avaeth, closest, with amusement. "Dunno about that." She chuckles. "The others aren't so bad, most seem pretty nice…but these guys, they don't really look it. Maybe when they're not broody. Things always get cranky when they're broody. Even runners." Nod-nod she goes, smiling once more. "They do? Oh…I haven't noticed that. Months! Shells, that's a long time." A comical wince, as she eyes the eggs and dragons with wry amusement. "I like the first one she laid. And the pretty one that kind've looks like the ocean. Reminds me of home, almost. Do you?"

"It's a subtle change." Ruzel says as he looks out at the clutch, not in any hurry to begin his sketching. "I don't have a favorite yet myself… I probably will after they let us start touching them. Have they told you about that? They say you can get a little feeling for the personality of each of the hatchlings inside, just by touching the shell."

Riyontali peers over at the eggs like she might burn holes in them, apparently attempting to see if she can spot the difference. "Oh." A confident nod; of /course/ she sees! "No, they haven't — whoa!" Eyes widen in amazement mixed with equal amounts of startlement. "Hatchlings'…personality? And we'll be able to…feel it?" A blink. This shuts her up for a minute, as she stares out at Avaeth. "…When do we get to touch them?"

"Well, sure." Ruzel says, looking back over at Tali with a grin. "Nobody told you that yet? Well, they won't let us out there until the shells have completely hardened. You know, just to make certain that no clumsy candidate accidentally damages one of them. Plus the clutch mother has to give the okay. They're very protective of their eggs."

Riyontali giggles nervously, shaking her head. "No, nobody mentioned it." She drawls wryly, with a faint shake of her head. "Oooh," Her face scrunches up in a comical wince. "That would definitely be a /bad/, /bad/ thing. Has anybody ever…squished an egg? And…could the baby dragon live if somebody did?" For somebody who's likely never heard the dragons keen for a lost member, she sounds awfully horrified by this prospect. "No kiddin'. Rightfully so, I'll wager. Still…"

Ruzel shakes his head, looking out at the gold on the sands for a moment. "I've never heard of such a thing happening. I mean, once in a while an egg just doesn't hatch… but it's rare, and I've never heard of that happening due to a candidate damaging an egg. Still, when it comes to these things it is definitely better to be safe than sorry."

Riyontali frowns again. "Just not hatching." She murmurs sadly. "That's…I really hope all of them hatch." The girl nods fervently, and sighs. "Better safe than sorry." The rule is repeated with a whimsical smirk. "Well, I guess that works in /here/ at least." As for the rest, it just get a snort and a flip of her hair. "They aren't gonna let us have any fun while we're still candidates, are they? I've had really fun ideas lately, and I bet we can't do any. Oh! Hey," the girl lowers her voice to a conspirational whisper. "Did you…see the back of that cave under the lake. Like…see it…without any tunnels off of it?"

"Oh! I'm sure they will." Ruzel says with a confident smile. "I think it happened more often back when there was thread. There was a lot more stress on dragons back then, the mothers weren't as healthy. That meant weaker clutches. I can't remember hearing about that happening in modern times, anyways." The conspiratorial tone earns an interested smile from Ruzel, who drops his voice as well. "I don't remember seeing any tunnels, but I wasn't really looking. Why? What've you got in mind?"

It's a good amount of time after dinner, and it's raining like the sky is going to come down in the next moment. Wind lashes the cold rain, and it's just an unpleasant evening all around. So, after spending her day grooming runners, Tali is /not/ out in it, and has opted, instead, to sit in the Observation Level, it would seem. Ruzel is nearby, and she's flashing a worried look back at him, fingers drumming on the bench absently. "Okay. Good." The girl nods. "I'd — that would be really sad." A fervent nod once more, before she's grinning sheepishly. "Oh, well — it's just. We were talking about there being tapping back in some tunnels off of here once. And I…well, I dunno. I dunno just how many folks know about that one. Or if it leads anywhere. It /was/ really hard to get to. So…" The girl's eyebrows crease, worried. "D'you reckon they'd think to check it?"

Ruzel has his pencils and sketchpad with him, same as almost always, but he seems to have opted for quiet conversation on this stormy night rather than drawing. Right now he has a distinctly mischievious look on his face as he conspires with Riyontali, his voice low. "I can't imagine they would. Why would they? What did you have in mind for it?"

What is that smell? It's reminscent of something quite wet and not quite wooly. For those whose nose knows it's the smell of wet caprine and it proceeds Keziah up into the observation level. She looks a little tired and seems to not really hear all that's being said. She just wants to get warm and what better place than being in close proximity to the sands.

Riyontali frowns once more. "Well — yeah, you're probably right." She nods slowly. "I was thinking I ought to go down and check it. Make sure nobody could've gotten in that way." Mischief is mostly gone — sneaking around to places she probably shouldn't is still /fun/, but this isn't exactly joking. "I…I wouldn't want anybody trying to steal the eggs, yanno? And if they'd found a tunnel and were close enough to here…" She pulls on her fiercest puppy-look, then blinks up as the smell of wet caprine invades. The storm outside is still heard, though neither wind nor rain leak into the large building. "Keziah! You have to mind the caprines, again? They sure do get stinky when it rains."

It's some time after the dinner hour, and the observation level is mostly empty. The weather outside is awful, with cold rain pouring and strong winds howling. Ruzel and Riyontali are down near the front levels having a quiet conversation, while Keziah is approaching wet and smelling of caprine. "Oh. Huh." Ruzel's grin fades a bit. "I guess that's a good idea… here I thought you meant we should have some sort of party or something down there! But yes, we should check it." When Keziah approaches he sniffs the air, then blinks when he realizes she's the source of the sudden odor. "Wow. That's a bit strong."

Keziah sniffs at herself. "Eh, I've been worse." she remarks to Ruzel "Least I washed up my arms sime and all." She shakes her head at Tali "Not exactly, I just happened to be around when one of the does starting birthin' and then havin' difficulties. Breech. Turned the little gal around and then everything was all right. THe other two came out just fine though." she notes "Certainly was a tangle in there. One's just a little thing. Yina's bottlefeedin' 'em all at the moment. The littlist might become dinner."

Karashi doesn't much notice the smell of wet caprine as she leans out over the railings a little further down from the others admiring the eggs and their parents on the sands. She was in a bit of a daze to notice the others gathering and chatting. Katsu pops from /between/ and alights on the rail, he hops towards Karashi with a chirp. Her daze breaks as Katsu chirps at her, she reaches out to rub his head and notices the others. She pushes off from the railing to stride towards them, Katsu hops along the rail to follow her towards the others. "Evening" she greets them with a smile.

Riyontali gives a slow grin, apparently not having considered this option. "Oooh," A thoughtful nod. "A secret party. Now that would be fun." She snickers cheerfully. "We should. Hmm," Then she eyes Keziah, wincing. "Aaah, yeah." The girl nods. "Good, glad to hear that. Caprine kids are just plain adorable…I'll have to go see 'em tomorrow." There's a brief wince, before she nods again, though not without a little sorrow. "Yeah, that makes sense." She murmurs quietly, then lifts a hand in greeting to Karashi. "Evening, healer!" The candidate turns and sighs, taking her mostly-dry jacket and tugging it on. "I'm gonna go see something. See you guys later." A little grin is flashed, before she turns, trotting along at a good clip.

Ruzel can't help but look just slightly queasy after Keziah's story of her day. Clearly he is not as much of an animal person as certain candidates. "That's… huh. Suddenly, kitchen duty doesn't seem so bad. At least chores are over for the day." The latest arrival and her firelizard both earn a smile and wave. "Evening." He replies. By the time he turns back Riyontali is on her way out, and he gives her a wave goodbye. "Have a good one!"

There's a blink. Keziah then shakes her head. Having obviously missed something "Party?" she asks looking curious and then there's a smile for Karashi "hello!" she calls to the other quite cheerfully even as she waves to Tali. "They are cute." she calls after them "The doeling has this big brown spot on her face, making it look mishapen." she says with a giggle. "So cute." She eyes Ruzel and shudders "You can have it. I don't like kitchen duty all that much, dervings better, at least there's more space and you're not apt to get hit with a spoon or something. Even if you didn't do anything."

Karashi laughs softly and awws at Keziah's description of one of the caprine kids, "I remember growing up back at Black Rock, we had one kid who was grey with a white heart on her forehead, the ovine lambs were rather adorable too" she chuckles at the memory of the times she spent in those fields with the runners, ovines and caprines before she left for the Healer Hall. Those were good times, good times indeed and so they were the times now too.

Ruzel looks over at Keziah with a smile. "You know the secret cave under the lake? It's one of the few places the riders probably wouldn't look. So, we were thinking…" He just trails off and shrugs, grinning. "And if that's how you feel, then I'd be happy to trade with you any time you've got kitchen duty. It's not my favorite, but there sure are worse assignments out there. I'd rather get hit with a spoon than have to help a caprine give birth. The smell alone…" He gives Karashi a little grin. "Although I suppose I have to admit they are cute. And they are great subjects for sketching, at least when they stand still long enough. They're just messy."

Keziah chuckles at Ruzel "You get used to it." A pause "Course, I've been doing this for many a turn, and at least teh doe didn't die. That's always hard." She gives a little nod to the bit about the lake. "Sounds like an idea." she notes and then hmms and then grins at Kara "Yeah, lambs can be cure, but not as cute a kids. Not half as bright either."

Karashi laughs "That's true.. I used to spend my afternoons with the caprines growing up, they were the most adorable things.. Always knew when I had a treat for them" she muses, at the mention of the underwater cave she snickers, "You do know how hard it is to get down there don't you?" Karashi had been down there a few times herself, had many memories… and not once had it been easy for her to get down there, and she could hold her breath for an unnaturally long time.

"You've both been down there?" Ruzel seems a little surprised by that. "Hmmm. Perhaps it isn't as secret from the riders as we thought… oh well. It's not like we could actually smuggle liquor or anything fun down there anyways." He nods a bit to Karashi. "Yeah. I'd never try it without breathing equipment unless the lake level was low. But with this rain, I don't think that'll be possible for a while."

Keziah giggles and smiles "I'm sure there's not much that's secret anymore." she notes with a smile "Trust me. They know things." she shrugs a little. "Now, if we had the wilderness trip, I could show you some places." she states "But, well. I wouldn't count on that. But there was this really cool cave that you had to climb down to get to.'

Karashi laughs "I've been a few times and plenty of riders have been down there.. Apparently the cave has a hidden stash of booze through a hidden entrance to Ysa and Ellamariseth's old Weyr" Karashi has heard much about the cave and has been down there herself enough times as well. She takes one last look out onto the sands and gives a warm smile to the others with her, "Well you both take care, I should be getting back to the infirmary before they wonder where I've gone" lifting her arm to Katsu can alight she leaves the others with a wave as she leaves.

"Really?" Ruzel sounds quite interested by Keziah's mention of another hidden cave. "That sounds really neat. I get more and more disappointed that the wilderness trip isn't happening. Maybe there's some way to convince the riders to still go ahead with it." A moment passes, and the candidate suddenly yawns. "Mmmh. Sorry. Guess it's been a longer day than I thought… I think I'm going to go get a little shuteye. G'night, you two." With a sleepy smile and a wave, he gathers his sketchbook and makes his way back to the barracks.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License