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.
Normally, there would be quite a bit more fan-faire leading up to a hatching at Xanadu, but lately there has been quite a bit of speculation as to if there will even /be/ hatchlings. In the end, only two eggs end up making the trek back to the now-functioning hatching sands, followed by the loomimg form of Yumeth, who certainly doesn't trust these unnatural sands after the experience.
She's been protective enough that the first few wiggles of the eggs are nearly missed entirely. If it weren't for the keen eyes of a couple of dragon healers who were set to 24/7 watch on the queen and the remains of her brood, they might have gone unnoticed. So, at an ungodly hour of the night, the candidates would be roused, dragged from their beds and into their white robes, and sent out onto the sands to face a a clutch that certainly would leave most of them standing. Never in the written history of Xanadu had a hatching been this small.
Yumeth looms over the two eggs, her head near them, still shifting sand uncomfortably, even as Sorrin stands beside her, stroking over a forelimb. "Shh. They'll be fine."
ka-el isn't quite sure whether he should be excited or annoyed by the late-night rousing. He was having a very enjoyable dream, and this clutch has been so wrought with troubles that he, like many others, doubted any sort of hatching at all. Not that he'd voice this aloud. And now he's being dragged out of bed towards the Hatching Sands, yawning in the process, hair magnificently tousseled. Wait a second … eggs are hatching? There's a doubtful expression on his face as the robed smith arrives into the heated room, glancing toward Yumeth and her two eggs. Fortunately, he's never witnessed one of these beore, and thus can't truly appreciate how measly this is. But as all the other candidates begin to file in… well … there are far more humans than there are eggs. If he had any dwindling hope of impressing a dragon, they're dying more and more with each sleepy face that arrives!
This is the awake-time now. Soriana's telling herself that, but she's still not certain of it. The candidate is rubbing her eyes as she steps out onto the sand, blinking them against the light. It's time. If she'd known this was going to be the time, she wouldn't have stayed up so late the night before. So very, very few hours before. But then, has anything about this clutch happened as expected? She stifles a yawn, her eyes going over the eggs - a brief enough thing - and from there to Yumeth and her mother. She smiles unconsciously, then drops her gaze, glancing to either side along the crowd. She alters her place far enough to reach Kale, brushing her fingers against the back of his slightly as they take their places around those eggs. Maybe a double circle? How do you fit so many candidates, with so few eggs?
Any hatching, especially when it's been such a nail-biter as this one, is an occasion for joy and so Seryth is one of the dragons humming out there in the clearing, no doubt she’s the one that awoke Thea, not that she's been sleeping all that great lately. It's not long before the Weyrwoman makes her way up to the 'level to watch with whoever else makes the mad dash into clothes and hurries in to see if they’re in time to witness to the few impressions to take place. There's a lurking concern about Thea's eyes for these last two eggs but also for Sorrin and Yumeth.
Idrissa is awake really, not that she looks I at the moment. She is half leaning against Kale in some attempt to keep herself standing as she is one of the many many candidates here. A hand lifts and she rubs at her eyes a few times working on keeping her eyes open, the warmth in the room isn't helping! Though the longer she stands here, and the longer she is staring out at the pair of eggs she is at least waking up more so. She takes in a soft breath while she stands up a bit more, shoulder rolling and she lets her arms fold in front of her while chewing upon her lip. Looky who is nervous! As if that was a real surprise. Her gaze flicks one way and then another, a curious glance sent over the others before she glances towards Kale and Soriana. Well at least they all managed to stand near one another.
As the candidates begin to file out, Sorrin takes a step back away from her dragon, "Come on now. Let them find lifemates." She's clearly expressing her will over the protective gold, and eventually Yumeth backs up a few paces, her wings shifting as she joins in the hum going on around them. The junior Weyrwoman gives a glance to the stands, catching sight of Thea in passing and offering her a small knowing look. Tonight is hardly normal.
There is motion from both of the eggs, one slightly larger than the other. The larger of the two has shaken off most of the protective sand, tiny lines of white showing through the dark shell. The smaller one makes shimmies and bumps in the sand, with little tapping sounds coming from within.
Ah look, friends. Despite the haze of sleep, Kale is awake enough to notice that, among the arrived is Soriana. Granted, this is only noticed after she's directed her walk towards him. A slight brightening is seen on his face, a marginal percentage of wakefulness gained once she's near, and an once more added at her touch. His eyes turn to the eggs again, perking a bit at the movement seen. Idrissa is close, and his friend is offered a light grin, perhaps seeing her nervousness. Kale himself? More…curious than nervous, truth be told. "..What are we supposed to do?" he leans to whisper, voice incredibly low as to 1. not sound stupid and 2. not disrupt the solemn feel that's come over the place.
Danikan is among the ranks. A young man among teens and other young men and women. Like most, he looks newly awakened, but unlike most (or perhaps not, given the situation), he seems less than expectant as he takes his place within the large circle. This is even worse than the last time his feet were on the sands! Dark eyes scan the many faces around then, mentally counting, calculating the slim chances. A breath is sighed, though other than that, he remains particularly silent.
Joss had gotten a robe wide enough in the shoulders and tall enough to fit him properly, but in the middle of the night, someone else must have grabbed it. He comes out in the tail end of the crowd, pushed into a robe meant for someone about a growth spurt and a half behind where he is. At least it's white. He steps up to what seems to be a second ring forming around those two eggs, and he's just trying to adjust his robe when an ooh through the candidates at the tapping makes him pause to peer at them.
Soriana glances over to Idrissa, and nods before bringing her attention back to the eggs as they move. "…break free, using the eggtooth," she murmurs under her breath in the even tones of recitation, and one side of her mouth quirks up as she shakes her head slowly. The textbook explanation doesn't even begin to cover it. She tilts her head to Kale's question, and reverses the smile so it's the other half of her mouth. "We wait," she says. Not like they haven't been told this at least a dozen times, but it's different now, being actually here. Let the eggs hatch. Dragonets are clumsy, stay out of their way. If one chooses you… well. There's plenty of AWLMs per dragon today. That's not going to be the problem.
Aye, hardly normal is right! Nevertheless, the Weyr is rousing for it and the kitchens, which have been making preparations as the shells hardened, are abuzz over in the Caverns. There will be a celebration if things go right, even if the majority of candidates will be consoled rather than congratulated. Thea meets Sorrin's eyes, her lashes of one eye fluttering in a barely-there wink of encouragement but other than that she doesn't distract the woman. How well she knows the struggle to supplant a broody gold's protective instinct! Seryth doesn't interfere, but is aware through her rider, what goes on in the arena.
Idrissa ponders the question from Kale and peers out at the eggs with the faint bit of movement caught. "Just, have to wait and see." She murmurs out softly to him. Well that is about all she can figure out at this point in time. Everything has been drilled into their heads during the classes, though at the moment she is struggling to remember the lessons along with staying awake. An yet still at the back of her mind she is telling herself not to do anything stupid. Just stand there and be quiet likes all the others. Two eggs out of two clutches Very small odds and she really isn't expecting anything from this. Still the thought of being here on the sands and being a part of this is a wild thought to her. She once more chews on her lip, fingers nervously pick at a bit of hanging thread from the side of her robe.
After a long moment of just wiggling, the shell of the darker egg finally seems to give way. One large piece is sent flying towards the row of candidates, landing somewhere close to the talking trio of candidates. There's even a nice trail of egg-goo following behind it, like the dragonet had snotted it out in the process. After that, the dark egg seems to collapse on itself, bits and pieces of the shell sticking to a dark brown dragonet, who creels audibly, flapping his wings and making no short display of himself. The dragon turns around in a circle, chasing his own tail, and then snatches a piece of shell that was stuck there, somehow missing the oh… five or six other shell fragmets stuck about his head and shoulders.
Sorrin, folds her arms, letting out a sigh of relief when the first of the dragonets makes an appearnce. While the dragonhealers might have confirmed that there were viable dragons, it never quite gets rid of the worry until they actually hatch. The Weyrwoman shoots a look towards her daughter, offering an encouraging sort of smile and a twitch of her fingers that might be a quiet sort of wave. Best not to distract her or pull the mom card right now.
Just wait. Well, Kale can do that. That's really all candidates really do, isn't it? Wait. Kept busy with chores and usual craft duties, if one so lucky. But really, it's one big waiting game! But stuff's happening now. They still wait? He looks around at all the faces congregated. All waiting for the same thing. Likely thinking the same thought. Will it be me? Of all these people, will I be one of the lucky two? His eyes widen a bit as he too spies a little more action from those eggs, and he watches the obvious motions iwth a sight .. no, make that a lot of wiggles! And finally, explosion! Eh, not quite, but a bit of shell does come flying their way! First time standee Kale gawks at the newly exposed brown. Woah. Dragon baby! Dragon baby chasing his tail. He can't help it. He laughs! but then quickly clamps his hand over his mouth. Oops.
Danikan..well. He's merely there. Sort of the type easily lost in the crowd. Or at least, this crowd. Let's see. Perhaps he can try elsewhere, when another gold rises. Surely the…fifth..sixth? time is the charm. But despite his low expectations, he too perks as the first egg hatches, and he can't help himself. He stands a bit straighter. Just a bit. Not too flashy, as it's not as if his chances are extremely high. But there is a definite straigthening of his spine as the brown shows himself.
From the observation level there's a collective sigh as well and a rustle as people there lean forward to watch more closely. Thea is no exception and on either side of her, sleepy-looking eleven turn old Muir and Marella, cuddled against their mother, shift with her. "Just a brown," grumps the boy which prompts his sister to reach across and give him a sharp poke with her finger. "Be nice!" she says. The Weyrwoman is immune to their bickering, having other, more pressing concerns at the moment and so idly shushes the pair to watch the hatchling intently. "Looks healthy," she murmurs to herself.
Ill-fitting robe and all, Joss is here, and as the rocking gives way to shattering, he stops entirely with trying to get himself and just stands there with a serious face. It's the same face he uses during barracks inspection, the one that has tough and serious written all over it. That lasts right up until the shell shatters - first he sucks in a breath of concern, seeing how it crumples, and then as the dragonet spins, Joss laughs with Kale from across the sands. He catches himself a moment later with a cough and an apologetic sideways glance at the other candidates around him - like Danikan, after whom he now models himself with a straightening of spine and a serious look once more glued onto his face.
Implosion, more like. Completely different. This is Soriana's first time actually on the sands, for all she talks a big talk, and as the darker eggshell shatters around the little brown, she's watching intently. It's different from down here. Completely different. She barely notices the wave from Sorrin, a brief smile flickering back… but her attention is on the hatching. The hatchling, in fact. For all it's the middle of the night, Sori is definitely awake at this point. "He's cute."
Idrissa slips quiet while watching the two eggs, and then the one makes all the movement and thus her attention turns towards it. She grins slightly, a nervous grin and tilts her head as the egg cracks and splinters more. A soft oh escapes her while she recalls her firelizards hatching, not that it is a dragon but it is sort of the same idea! As the little dragonet is free from its shell she smiles at the sight. "His very cute" Yes Rissa would call a dripping, snot looking covered baby dragon cute. Well it is! There it goes wiggling about trying to get some of the egg shell off, which make her giggles softly.
Mikal knuckle-rubs both eyes to get the rest of sleep out of them. Mostly though the adrenaline from being wakened, robed and ushered into the Sands is enough that he's coherent. Shuffling his feet he stands quietly with his full attention towards the brown that's emerged from the shell. A quick look of relieve crosses his expression. "He looks good." is murmured.
While the brown seems more occupied with his the piece of shell that he has in his mouth, the other egg begins to move in earnest. So much so, in fact, that the egg bumps right into the little brown. Oh no, more distractions. The brown looks down at the egg, and then taps at it, followed by a tapping sound from inside the egg, in response. At this point, Yumeth has to step in, sticking her big muzzle down to nudge the brown towards the line of white robed figures and away from the egg containing his sibling. Still chewing on his bit of eggshell, the brown starts making his way forward, shaking his feet behind him to try to get rid of some remaining bits of shell.
There are a couple of forlorn taps from the smaller egg, as if looking for that playmate that had disappeared. Then, after a moment of quiet, the egg gives a hard lurch to the side, rolling off of the little mound of sand and landing in a clatter at the bottom. The impact is enough to crack the shell nearly straight in half, revealing a dazed looking, but otherwise healthy little green. Blinking, her head wobbles a little as she seems quite dizzy, poor thing. Blinking big hatchling eyes, she looks all around. Yumeth nudges this one to her feet, though, even if she seems a bit off-balance from her tumble.
With both eggs hatched, there is that moment of relief for Sorrin and for her dragon. Yet, with her daughter still on the sands as a candidate, the Weyrwoman can't help but be a bit nervous for the girl's sake.
The humming from the dragons outside increases with the second hatching while the sands shimmer with heat waves. In the observation level there is a buzz of voices as bets are both won and lost, but Thea focuses on the scene below with an intensity. Those are viable hatchlings yes. But with so much handling by dragonhealers, will they impress to a candidate? Dark brows twitch with concerned worry and she's barely breathing. Beside her the twins continue - Muir muttering complaints that there was no blue and Marella tartly telling him to stop being a porcinebutt.
Kale is quite sure he heard a few other snickers and laughter from elsewhere, and thus he feels a bit better for his sudden guffawing. He's composed himself now, although he still looked amused by the brown's antics and shell-pieces still stuck to him. But now is the point where waiting is to become a bit more nerve wracking right? The other egg is hatching too. And, lo and behold, both eggs held healthy looking dragons as opposed to the…eh, spindly two-headed mutants he was half expecting to see. Phew! He glances to Soriana with a grin, happy for her sake, then extends the look to Idrissa too. Those girls are crazy. Dragons are seriously not cute. Cute is for girls.
Danikan seems like a no-nonsense kind of fellow, as he was not one to crack a smile at the eggy brown nor grin at the green's appearance. He's done all that before, and too many let downs has somewhat hardened him to the aww factor of it all. It's like a business. He's here to find his lifemate, which he knows is out there somewhere. One of these two, perhaps? He clasps his hands behind his back and focuses his eyes on the brown, sending him magnetic mind waves of attraction. Cooome to meee.
Serious. This is a serious occasion. Possibly even a grave one. Joss does his darndest to keep being serious, even as the brown makes it challenging. Aherm. He puts his hands behind his back, and his shoulders straight to stand up tall in something like a parade rest. Dragonriding has quasimilitary roots, after all… even if, at the moment, it's closer to mama Yumeth telling her babies to pick out their favorite puppy, er, rider from the candidates on display.
There's still so much that isn't known about how dragons chose their lifemates. Pre-hatching contact is thought to be… ah, but those discussions have been had. Will be had again, though hopefully not in this same situation. Soriana's even heard them - for she's been spending a great deal of her time in the annex of late, though with no more contact with the eggs than any other candidate… unless you count long stares in the moments in between being set on tasks. They've tried to make things fair, though… and to limit contact to that of already-paired riders, when possible; such being the current best-practice. Dragons may or may not be cute, but dragonhealing is serious business. Sori's got no compunctions about being serious now, though, grinning as the brown taptaps a message on his clutchmate's shell, then rocking forward onto the balls of her feet as the green egg tumbles. "Oh!" she murmurs, then sighs and settles back as the green rises to her feet. Now she doesn't know where to look… well. Her gaze lingers on the green, watching that wobble.
Shuffle shuffle step. Hardly realizing that he's even moving his feet, Mikal stiffles a bit of laughter upon the antics of the brown and the egg. When the green emerges he lets out a relieved breath as she too looks healthy. He doesn't seem to share Thea's worry of them for he's simply confident that they will indeed Impress. He anxiously awaits to see to whom they might head too.
Oh sure, blame the girls for thinking here cute! Well they /are/ cute, even if they are all squishy and wet and so forth. With the little brown still work on keeping himself up Idrissa’s attention turns over towards the other egg and a soft oh escapes her as it wiggles, shimmies, shakes and then the little green is out. "Aww" Is murmured out softly. "Look at her." She gives Kale a soft elbowing just in case he isn't paying attention! At least they two little dragons look healthy! Woudn't it be something if she or one of her friends was able to get one of them. Though at the same time it wouldn't feel right without friends involved with it as well, right? She smiles while watching the pair of dragons.
While Danikan might be trying to summon the little brown, it ends up wandering completely the opposite direction. In fact, the hatchling ends up moving right towards a certain boy who is trying to be all too serious at the moment. In the end, he stops right in front of Joss, flopping down onto his butt and then reaching forward, placing down the bit of shell before looking up with thoes big adoring brown eyes. Could it be? Yes, that is most certainly the look of a dragonet who has found their lifemate.
For Danikan, this might be a bit of a disappointment, at least for the split second that it takes for the fact that there is a small green nudging at his pant-leg. Had she been trying to get his attention all this time? She's certainly not as silly as her brother with that egg-shell nonsense.
And in that quick matter of moments, that's it. The two hatchlings have paired off, and there are no more eggs waiting to hatch. As the Weyrlingmasters step up to escort the two new pairs off to a quite empty barracks, Sorrin clears her throat. "This has been a hard few weeks for Xanadu, but I want to thank the Crafters and Dragonhealers for all their hard work. Most of all, I'd like to thank the candidates who came to us from near and far. While you might not have found your lifemate this time, I hope you'll stay to enjoy the festivities tonight. After that, we welcome you to stay at Xanadu, as there will certainly be other chances." Public speaking - not Sorrin's strong suit.
Oh right! Now's the time where he is supposed to look like…something that a baby dragon might want to hang out with forever, right? Right! Kale kind of gives his shoulders a roll and squares them after. There. Total dragonlet magnet, right? At the nudging felt by Idrissa, he snickers and nudges her back. "I see, I'm not blind," he says in reply, grinning. Green and brown. Greens are for girls, because greens are girls. Browns are for boys because browns are boys. That is his thinking anyway, and he's thought long and hard about dragon colors and pairings and that impact on /his/ future! Brown brown! Oh.. wait. Little brown already picked someone! Ok well that leaves, Gr-…well no.. green has someone too! Not disappointed. Greens are for girls or something.
Apparently, no one told little green that. Danikan keeps on watching that brown until he makes beeline for someone else. He sighs. Of course. Again. Why does he even come to these things anymore? Perhaps there isn't a lifemate out there for him at all, and he's destined to… be nudged? So focused was he on the brown that the smaller green was not noticed until right this moment as her muzzle touches his pants. He blinks down at her, brows raising in obvious surprise. Much surprise. Little green. "…Really?" Impression! And off he goes.
Atten-whut? Joss does his best to maintain that serious demeanour, even though his breath quickens as the brown dragon comes closer. For a holderboy from a farm, this is truly remarkable. As the brown stops, Joss hesitates for a moment. Standing up straight. Being serious. Wait, what's the dragon doing with that bit of shell? He leans forward to take a better look, but he never quite manages it, because he looks down just as the dragon looks up, and brown eyes meet brown eyes. "You what?" the boy says. "Oh… all right, Kaidoth." J'o crouches down, picking up the bit of eggshell his dragon has decided to gift him without ever taking his eyes away from… his dragon. Still on one knee, a grin suddenly breaks across his face, and he puts an arm around the brown as they're ushered away.
For a weyrbrat goldrider's daughter, it's still remarkable. Soriana keeps her attention on the green, the hope of candidacy and the concern of a novice dragonhealer both fighting for her attention. She smiles a little at Kale and Idrissa's banter, but doesn't add anything to it, just watching as the green makes her way along. The moment when the dragon goes nudging against Danikan makes her grin for a moment - but even as the new weyrling is looking down at his lifemate, Soriana is sighing. The dragon is paired. She's still on the sands. And - there's the brown, with his. Sori looks up across the sands to her mother, with an expression that looks like a smile in the mouth but not in the eyes. This part is different on the sands. It's… well. It's different. She's not entirely sure she feels like a feast just now.
There a long sigh from Mikal as he watches both newly hatched Dragons find their mates. There's a fleeting expression of disapointment before he offers his words of congratulations towards the pair. Attention then goes to Sorrin and he merely nods. First time on the SAnds but not first time seeing people left on the Sands. "S'okay." he says to no one in particular. "Feast time?!" he's a boy. He thinks with his stomach. Food will heal all wounds. Especially tons of sweet food.
Thea's relief is apparent on her expressive face. There will be no tragedy on the sands this night even if Muir is convinced that no new blues having hatched is indeed one. He's growl-muttering to himself, dark brows lowered and slumped back in his seat while Marella bubbles about the cuteness of the little green. As it will be hours yet before the feast is ready, she takes her leave after having a word with a few folks here and there, congratulating the parents of their two newest weyrlings before she ushers her young back to bed.
Idrissa offers a grin and nods back to Kale. "Well, just wanted to make sure. You act blind sometimes." She murmurs out softly while she sees the brown scampering off to pair up, and then the green. As for Kale's ideas that greens are for girls this should kick him as Danikan is rather boyish it seems! She's quiet while watching, a few thoughts running through her mind. While she didn't think there was a possibility of finding that one that was looking for her it was a nice thought. She has to wonder if she'll get another shoot at it next time. Who knows what could happen! Hopefully nothing will ever happen next time like this one, that was too excitement, and stress on everyone. Rissa smiles as she watches the two go off to start their new lives and so forth. Her gaze turns over to Kale and Soriana whom both get a smile and then her attention turns over to Sorrin as she nods slightly; seemingly agree with all that was said. At the talk of the feast from Mikal she doesn't comment, thinking a few more hours of sleep would be better, if she can possible fall back asleep after all this.
Oh right…middle of the night. Mikal's shoulders slump the tiniest bit before he perks up. "It'll be ready later. I'm going back to sleep!" again…boy..he can fall asleep anytime.
No dragon for Kale. He's … alright with that. Dragons are fantastical ideas for a holdbred boy like himself, especially when impressing one would be the most terrible thing ever, in his family's opinion. Or at least, in one of their opinions. Prolonging that drama is just fine with him. But his eyes turn to his friends as the newly paired head off to begin their first night of their new lives, settling on Soriana first, as instincts tell him this may hit her harder than himself or Idrissa. Fingers brush hers. "Next time," he says, a small smile seen. "You'll find your mate next time, eh? C'mon. I'm tired as hell an' hot as anything in here. The feast'll be fun tomorrow," he says to the both of them.
Soriana gives that same mostly-a-smile to Kale, and curls her fingers around his to give a little bit of a squeeze. "It will," she says, and starts off toward the entrance where they so recently came in. She doesn't bother to untangle her fingers from his until they're nearly there, but then she pauses. "Go on ahead. I'll catch up in a minute." She offers no explanation, but she doesn't try to hide the flick of her eyes back to the sands and her mother.
Idrissa glances over to Soriana and leans over to give her a quick and tight hug. Talking is not Rissa's strong suit so she is not going to throw in words to make a mess of anything. "We're wait for you outside." She offers to her friend with a soft smile before stepping back. There is a pause to wait for Kale before she follows out after the others.