A Meal by the Sands

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.

There is one positive about being on the Sands during the winter months - when the air outside is chilly, and freezing rain is threatening, the Sands are nice and warm. Kilaueth is settled around her clutch, tail twitching protectively around one pink-hued egg in particular, while Isterreth stands guard near the entrance to the Sands, watching all those who dare enter even the galleries with a certain air of suspicion. Niva, meanwhile, is settled up on the platform, reading slowly through some papers.

Starting safely in the viewing galleries, e-on heads down around the side, staying well clear of the sands at first, before arriving finally towards the platform. He's carrying a full basket that is clearly containing food, as well as a cool bottle of a sweet fruit drink, well suited to a midafternoon of any weather, but particularly to one where feet are sunk into such warm sand. Relion is tasked to help on the Sands today; he's kept politely out of the way of things, though has been immediate and receptive to any task. "May I offer lunch, Weyrwoman?" the large young male candidate calls politely to her, with an automatic brief toss of head to stir some lanky reddish hair out of his gaze.

A quick rumble from Kilaueth as the gold lifts her head to peer at the approaching figure, snorting just a little as it speaks, before another twitch of her tail and she settles back down, giving silent approval for the young man to approach. Niva's finger rests at the end of the line, as she lifts her own gaze, glancing absently around for some reference of the time, before the folder on her lap is shut and she's setting it aside before she nods with a smile. "I hadn't realized that it was that late.." She murmurs, waving him over, even as Kilaueth shuffles, rearranging herself slightly to keep a better eye on the platform.

Relion automatically looks over to the large gold, well aware of her eyes on him, but remains as, well, uninteresting and unobtrusive as he can, for now, certainly not there to cause the dragon (or her rider) grief. He patiently waits until Niva's done, and then nods, moving around efficiently to the platform. He's dressed warmly, boots well insulated from both cold and the heat of the sand. He's very clearly not kitchenstaff or of ANY level of food preparation, but he does what he can to help set lunch out. "Still a lot to do?" Relion asks curiously, with a glance of blue eyes to the folder, but no attempt to actually see whats in it.

"There's -always- reading to be done, regardless of how much you do." Niva offers with a furrow of her forehead, and a shake of her head, the folder tapped with her fingers. "Particularly lately." Kilaueth is still lingering, though her eye is slowly lidding as the candidate seems to pose no immediate threat, leaving Niva to handle it herself. Motioning him up onto the platform, she reaches automatically for the drink, even as she's motioning him towards the small table setup for that purpose. "Thank you, too, Candidate."

Relion is actually going to discover what's in the basket probably around the same time she is, since it was just … handed off to him to bring. He smiles a bit and easily passes the drink over, climbing onto the platform, basket lowered next to the table, and serenely unloading. A mixture of fruit, nuts, and then some warm, toasted sandwiches of meat, cheese. The smell is temptingly strong as the packages are opened, as if eager to remind distracted stomachs that fuel would be very welcome. "Why so much lately?" Relion asks conversationally.

"Oh, its all the time. Comes with the dragon." Niva offers with a shake of her head, attention caught by the smells emanating from the basket, leaning over to peek into it, a thankful little sigh escaping from the woman, before she glancing back at Relion. "Bronzes are just as bad too, keep that in mind, come hatching day." The Weyrwoman comments with a little smirk, even as she's reaching to snag a piece of fruit.

Relion chuckles a little bit, a flash of warm smile on both one side of his mouth as well as to his eyes. "So I should hope for a non-metallic, to avoid horrible paperwork?" Relion questions lightly. The contents now shifted to the table, he wanders a few steps down the platform to look over to the sleeping gold queen and the group of eggs she's protecting. He slides his eyes from the gold to Niva, and observes mildly, "Seems like it's worth it," quietly.

"Unless you enjoy the paperwork." Niva offers with a grin in between bites of fruit, even as Kilaueth opens an eye to peer at Relion as he steps along the platform. "There certainly are perks, too, mind you. Bronzeriders do tend to get the best of the lot." She offers with a grin, continuing to munch on the fruit, moving to settle back down in her hair, folding one leg over the other. "Of course, it just depends on your luck, when it comes to it all."

Relion curiously looks back at the dragon as she peers at him; he doesn't attempt to do anything to annoy her, simply looks back. "Well, I don't know that I'll impress at all, of course," Relion says, head still tilted, considering Kilaueth. "Up to the new dragons, right? Not really 'luck', is it? I think they already know, as much as they know their names," Relion asks, turning to grin back, naturally reflecting Niva's grin. "I think it's a priviledge to get to /meet/ them, even if I go back to my craft when this is over," Relion says, honestly, but wistfully. "Do you think we'll be allowed to touch them, sometime soon?" he asks, in an attempt to be serene, but there's an undercurrent of hope in it, hands slid down unconsciously into his pockets, as if to make a point that he CAN wait.

"Its not so much the luck on the Sands you need to worry about, but the luck that happens afterwards… Though, depending on how you look at it, some of them may consider it bad luck." She winks, nodding at the guarding bronze. Kilaueth offers a little rumble, a snort, and then closes her eyes, resting her head on her forelegs. "Soon, she says. Perhaps the next day or two." She offers, chuckling softly as he looks a little antsy, reaching for a sandwich in turn.

"The luck that happens afterwards?" Relion asks, puzzled, and fairly sure he's not entirely following her meaning fully. He turns his head to look at the guarding bronze as well, then to the queen, and a brief laugh is released. Oh. "Really? That soon?" A relieved smile comes to his face. And then appreciative, to the dragon queen. "The whole process is pretty amazing to me," he admits, calming. And an attentive eye returns to the food at the table, as if to check to see if anything is missing, a perfectionistic check.

"If you happen to Impress bronze. There's not too much to worry about, if your lifemate doesn't have luck when he flies." Niva offers, letting the explanation sink in as she works with gusto on her sandwich, hurrying through it despite there being no obvious cause for rush. "It is pretty amazing to watch - I will admit I'm not sure that it will ever get old.. It certainly hasn't after all almost thirty turns."

Relion laughs softly, nodding a bit. "Well. Something to deal with if it comes up," Relion smiles, but in a tone that suggests he's not terribly worried, at least for now. He sits down nearby on the platform, stretching one leg slowly, appreciating the warmth of the hatching grounds, the warmth of the platform itself from the sands. "That's… a lot of hatchings," Relion says unnecessarily, watching Kilaueth in interest. And then his eyes slip to the pink egg she is specifically possessive of. "Have there been many queen eggs in the past, by Kilaueth?" Relion wonders.

"If it does, you'll have at least a turn to prepare yourself." She offers, finishing off the last bite of the sandwich with a pleased expression on her face as she settles back in her chair, letting her weight shift the balance of it as it leans, glancing at the candidate as he watches the gold and the clutch, carefully weighing her opinion of the young man in silence. Almost without thinking, she answers easily, "Three - Branwynth, Calanth, and Avaeth. Not as many of some of the others, but we don't tend to have the same need, and she tends to be a bit… testy."

Relion apparently has no idea he's being weighed, he's distracted quietly in his own thoughts, lifting a hand to push back one side of his hair ineffectively. "It's good to not have a need, though, isn't it?" Relion asks, still looking on to the reclining gold, but not particularly /staring/. He turns his head to Niva at her last comment, though. "Testy?" he inquires. He's clearly pulling in and thinking over all the information he's given, as opposed to simply having idle banter.

"Mmm, she doesn't take particularly well to sharing the Sands… I'm thankful Seryth's off already too." Niva offers in explanation to the gold's issues with others. "Too many, and they end up getting shoo'd to Telgar, if she's broody." Kilaueth offers a distinctive 'That's because -I'm- the Senior' rumble, tail twitching as she shifts and leans to give a silvery-tinged egg a nudge with her nose, putting on a bit of a show for Relion as Niva half-heartedly eyes the basket.

Relion ahhhhs in understanding, "Of course, these are her sands," Relion says supportively, quite fine with agreeing that Kilaueth is indeed magnificent. The boy's not dumb. "Well, I'm glad to be a Candidate for _her_ clutch," Relion says, happy to suggest others' would not be as great, with an immediate grin, noticing Kilaueth's show appreciatively. He's relaxed somewhat, now, less of the strict politeness he'd held at the start of the morning.

Relion's statement earns him a trumpet from Kilaueth, the gold's wings extending and flipping back to her back neatly as she settles back down, this time her tail spiraling around the almost fuzzy looking brown egg, the gold turning an eye to her mate for a moment, before settling back to look at her lifemate and the candidate there, a low rumble still reverberating through the Sands. "She says you should be glad - that her children are far better than the others ever will be." Niva smirks a little at her gold's ego, shaking her head just a bit. "And I hope that you're enjoying our lovely Weyr - awful weather and all, Candidate."

Relion grins at the trumpet, with a simple nod. The proud dragon clearly gleaning a positive response from the Candidate. "Naturally they are," Relion agrees, "I have a hard time picturing them rivaling their mother, though," Relion observes smoothly of the giantess. There's no sarcasm to his tone; he IS impressed by the queen. "I was recently at Fort, this weather is just fine, compared to the heavy snows," Relion says, turning his head to smile to Niva. "It's um, Relion, ma'am," Relion adds politely, tapping his chest, to remind of his name.

Another preen from Kilaueth, and there's little doubt that the gold is enjoying the compliments, the twitching of her tail seeming to take on a different attitude as she guards her eggs, leaving Niva to do the talking. "When we've two inches of ice on the ground, I'll ask your opinion again." The Weyrwoman offers with a smirk, "Though it does certainly make things interesting, I'm sure you'll find out, Relion." She offers as he reminds her of his name, making a good show of using it. And then, Kilaueth's attention is caught by someone at the doorway, and Niva's leaning absently to peek in that direction, before her gaze shifts back to Relion.

Well, Relion is happy to dispense the compliments, so there's no trouble here, it appears. "Sure, I might change my tune," Relion agrees, amused. "And I'd be the first to admit I'd far rather see some warm Xanadu skies than the ice," he adds. "Still… it's rather nice to be here by the warm sands, and know that it's so cold outside otherwise," Relion comments. His eyes follow Kilaueth's glance, looking just because the dragon is, not so much because he saw someone.

A young woman bearing a certain resemblance to Niva is the one slipping in, offering an awkward bow to Isterreth, and then a more familiar touch to Kilaueth's haunches as she slips by the gold, avoiding the clutch itself as she makes her way over to the platform, nodding her head to Relion as she speaks up. "Mother… If I may?" She offers with strained politeness, even as she shifts from foot to foot, Niva arching her eyebrow at Nicca with a sigh, before she glances at Relion. "Hopefully, you will…" She trails off, before giving her daughter another look, with a little shake of her head. "Thank you, Relion for the basket… But.." She nods her head at the visitor. "If you'll excuse me.."

"Of course, Weyrwoman," Relion says immediately, with a brief smile and nod to Nicca. "I'll come back after a time to pick up any leftovers, and the dishes," he offers, before moving off the platform. He gives a farewell wave to the dragon as well, exiting from the platform and sands efficiently, with no issue about clearing out for the weyrwoman's privacy.

"Thank you, Candidate… And good luck." Niva calls after Relion, Kilaueth offering a snort after the young man herself, the gold apparently pleased by his attentiveness, snorting at him as he passes, while Nicca moves in to take his vacated spot, making no hesitations to snack something from the basket to enjoy as she talks with her mother.

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