Seryth's Game

So… the winner was determined by the participants guessing the theme by the clue-words in caps in Seryth's poses. The first person who paged me with the correct answer won. The winner was not revealed until the end. Can you guess the theme? Answer is at the bottom of the log.


Xanadu Weyr - Feeding Grounds

A large portion of the eastern edge of the meadow has been fenced off, the corralling on three sides is located on the rolling meadow, while the fourth is located a short way up on the eastern hills. Within the large corral are a variety of beasts - ovines, bovines, and wherries - milling around, though the appearance of a dragon may send them one way or the other to try and escape. A small pond is set near one corner of the enclosure, and at times it reflects the low, bordering mountains.

Early morning in Xanadu finds the early Spring sun just peeking over the horizon, shining between the bare tree trunks and warming the frozen ground in the feeding grounds enough to thaw the dirt in to mud. Seryth is here and has already nabbed a beast and latched upon the animal's neck while the rest of the herd mills about in the pen, churning the mud in the feeding grounds to knee-depth. Unable to run with speed, they flounder in slow-motion horror around her in a macabre circle like FISH in a bowl seeking a way out when there is none to be found. The young queen is in a good mood, greeting the arriving browns and bronzes with a trill of welcome and an invitation to partake of the refreshments on-the-move.

Dhonzayth is sans rider, at least for the moment, as the brassy bronze hailing from Western comes from the direction of the main clearing, gliding low over the trees, belly barely escaping the touch of the branches before he's trumpeting to the gold that awaits in the feeding grounds, waiting no time in dropping for a beast of his own, accepting the offering as he quickly bloods the poor animal.

Faraeth arrives, unaccompanied at first, and croons a soft welcome to Seryth. He glides, nearly floats, over the feeding grounds, then drops suddenly on one of the beasts, like a boulder from a great height, wings tight against his back until the last moment. He carries his somewhat crushed quarry to a nearby ledge and latches his teeth around the dead beast's throat, eyes ever on the glowing gold.

Azaeth can smell blood! Or maybe he can sense that Seryth is going into her pre-flight ritual. Or maybe she's just outright told him. He is without his rider as well for the time being, though he's coming from the direction of the beach, so it's likely K'ael is awake and on his way by foot. Azaeth for his part give a regal trumpet to the gold, then dive-bombs a rather fat beast, letting it suffer for a moment before tearing into its neck.

It's a giggling Thea who meanders through the trees from her weyr, calling back to someone back there, "Ista. Tomorrow. You promised!" She looks well-rested and chipper, but there's a worn-out someone back there who has had his hands full while keeping a determined goldrider in her weyr and out of trouble all night. Likely he's gone back to bed to get some sleep while Thea stumbles and weaves her way to watch Seryth.

M'nol stumbles into the clearing around the feeding grounds, still pulling his belt tight, boots under one arm. He's muttering something to himself about pushy dragons and days off when his brain catches up with the situation around him and he blushes deeply and groans, his boots dropping to the ground. He swallows loudly and approaches Thea, trying to smile, "Mornin' Thea… you're going to Ista?"

There's not much of a delay before L'ton's coming running towards the feeding grounds, looking.. rather perturbed to say the least, and it certainly can't help to hear the rumors that his Xanadu counterpart is… None other than K'ael. Regardless, his pushing his hair back from his face as his pace slows to a walk, tugging his jacket a bit closer as his eyes rest on Thea, nodding to the cheery woman, eyes wandering back to Dhonzayth as the bronze bloods.

It's a fast launch for the large gold, one couldn't say it is at LIGHTNING-speed, but is one of Seryth's quicker ones, likely powered by the blood she's just fed upon. Huge wings beat, carrying her aloft, the rays of the early morning sun gilding her hide as she turns to seek a thermal out over the lake. In contrast to many gold's, the presence of the males doesn't BUG her, rather a cheery call is given to follow - an invitation to come play echoes behind her on the wind.

Faraeth pushes off hard, leaving his flattened herdbeast behind for someone else to clean up, and is only a few wingbeats behind the caroling queen, calling back to her with a joyous bugle. It takes him a tad longer than most to catch the thermal, wings spreading to carry him high into the sky.

Dhonzayth is momentarily caught offguard, shooting himself upwards after a moment to recover, pale wings filling with cool air as he pushes upwards, hindlegs contributing to that first important jump, before he's dropping a wing, fleeing out over the water in pursuit of the gold, calling out to her as he does so, thermals rising from the ground to fill his wings as he answers her invitation.

Azaeth gives a mighty leap into the air, his wings popping open like a parachute, then pressing down hard on the air below them. Up he rises after Seryth's golden form, then following out over the lake. There's a short bugle in response to her invitation. This wasn't play, this was battle! Well, maybe it was play for Seryth, though.

Thea's head turns fluidly as M'nol speaks and she sways just a bit as she focuses on the brown rider. "I am, yeah," she answers him with a huge grin plastered on her face. At least at the moment she thinks she is. Her manner isn't one of her normal reserve at all, no. She's far too relaxed for that. The boy's blush has her blinking, and aiming a nudge at him with her elbow. "Too much sun for you." She makes it to the fence and hangs on for balance calling a friendly, "Hiya!" to L'ton as if she's seen him only yesterday rather than nearly four turns ago. She really hasn't been paying attention to which bronzes are here, so K'ael's dragon, large though he is, remains unnoticed.

M'nol takes a deep, slow breath, willing the pinkness of his cheeks to lighten, then speaks, "Well… I hope you have fun… I don't… really go to Ista anymore…" He glances up, seeing the two bronzes follow Faraeth after Seryth and nods, hoping that Faraeth wouldn't win for only the second time in his life as a rider.

"Hey, lil'bit.." L'ton says with a grin, winking at Thea, grinning some at her good mood, even as he turns to lean against the feeding ground rail. Eyes linger on Dhonzayth until the bronze is out of side, and then he slowly turns back to Thea and M'nol, though he's not stepping into their conversation for now.

K'ael finally heads over from the beach, sporting just a pair of swimtrunks and a towel draped around his shoulders. He doesn't say anything to anyone, though there it's a cursory glance to L'ton as if to ask 'what are you doing here?' At least maybe if he keeps quiet Thea won't notice him. Or something.

Seryth is having a BALL as she climbs higher in the clear skies, reaching a height far above the just-awakening Weyr. She answers the males in an almost-chiding tone of 'hurry up' before folding her wings and diving straight back towards them, spinning as she makes her way through the bunch behind her. A joyous cackle follows this stunt. Did I surprise you? What is battle? She's playing!

Faraeth emits a startled sound almost like a chirp when Seryth goes diving past. Halting mid-flight he loses several meters of altitude before he catches himself, turning as tightly as he can, which is still wider than many due to his bulk, he attempts to regain position on Seryth, beating his wings as strongly as he can, but now he has some catching up to do.

Dhonzayth trumpets as Seryth urges him to hurry enough, before the bronze is dropping out of the pack, spiraling to follow her downwards once more, letting gravity do the work for a long moment as he regains composure after that little game. The other males are downright ignored as his gaze remains solely on the gold.

Azaeth is so close to Seryth on her fall that he can nearly catch her right there. If he was expecting such a thing. Instead he backwings rather suddenly, nearly knocking a small brown out of the sky. But then it's onwards and… downwards, and he joins the rest of the flabbergasted crew after the plummeting gold.

"Aw, ya don't?" Thea's hand slips off that top rail as she leans towards M'nol in what might be too close for comfort closeness as she peers into his eyes with concern. Said lean turns into a loss of balance and she's catching herself on his shoulders with both arms. "Oh, uh, sorry." Her words said with a giddy laugh as she pushes to move back and grab the rail again. Her coordination is definitely off today. L'ton's greeting is returned with a grin and a casual, "Lil'bit, huh? That's a new one. Used to sugar, babe, cupcake, sweets…" She nonchalantly rattles off pet-names as if accustomed to telling folks such things. Unfortunately for K'ael, Thea spies him out of the corner of her eye, turns and wobbles his way, "Heya K'ael, did you finish those fellis cookies I gave ya?" Like he's her best pal? And really fed such things to him?

M'nol's right foot shifts back, supporting Thea's weight more evenly when she lands on him. Trying to reach carefully, he helps her stand back more upright, "It's where the… thing… happened… are you… alright? You seem a little…" tipsy? drunk? "Uh… off-balance…" He blushes again as she starts rambling of pet names, turning to nod instead to L'ton and K'ael, both of whom he at least recognized, especially since K'ael had recently become his wingleader, "Uh… mornin'"

L'ton turns to glance at K'ael with an arched eyebrow, and a tilt of his head, a little smirk appearing on his lips before he's chuckling at Thea's comment. "Mmm, Ah'd say lil'one, but well, Ah think Ah might have already used that." A wink, and he just chuckles at poor M'nol's 'misfortune', lingering against the railing.

K'ael peers at Thea as she addresses him. "You ran out of fellis cookies, remember?" Which is unfortunate, because the bronzer could use a couple right now. There's a nod to L'ton, then to M'nol. "Morning." He blinks a bit then. "She wasn't like this last time she was proddy."

Seryth's wings flare, turning her dive into a curving swoop, her momentum carrying her back up into the sky, her wings pumping to rise once more. She uses that thermal once again, twisting to avoid any would-be entanglement as she ascends to a height she has never risen to before. Here the air is thin and COLD, but she isn't bothered in the least. Where are those males? She wants to play! Her voice carries across the sky, a sweet-toned song. Tag, you're it. Did she manage to hit anyone back there?

Faraeth catches the thermal, bugling as he finally gains some headway in catching up with the glowing golden queen. The tones of his bugle are much heavier, rumbling like rockfall, but his spirits are lifting as the thermal brings him closer to his quarry. I'll play! I love to play! The soft throbbing in his neck where her tail had grazed him only pushed him to try harder to catch her. A prize was what she was.

Dhonzayth is here to play! His momentum shifts and he's shooting upwards once more, spiraling back upon himself in order to slide into a thermal, warm air rising and easing his ascent as he works to close the distance that formed between them. Brassy bronze hide glimmers in the rising sun, and a trumpet seems to hang in the stillness of the heights before he slowly begins to inch closer once more.

Not play, battle! Azaeth thankfully isn't the one who got hit, the poor dragon that is better keep moving, or he'll be left behind for sure. The thermals don't work well for Azaeth, he's too thick, which means he's got to make up for it with the extra effort. But there's no complaining from him, just a trumpet to join the rest as he keeps up with the pack.

Thea continues towards K'ael. If he's not backing up, she's aiming a hand to poke at his shoulder in an oddly un-Thea-like gesture of camaraderie. From over by the bronzerider, she snorts at M'nol, "The… thing that happened at Ista. Yeah, you need to just forget all about that or it'll haunt you for the rest of your life, y'know?" She giggles at the young teen, "S'why I wanna go to Ista." If that makes any sense. "I'm NOT drunk!!!" Though forcefully said, she's still giggling. L'ton has her nodding, "Sure ya have. You guys are all alike with that, I'm thinkin'." Back to K'ael."I can make ya some more." Snicker. "And no, I wasn't like this last time. I was sayin' to Donn, but he doesn't know why." Her face puckers with thought. "Maybe was all the stress last time?" She shrugs her ignorance.

M'nol blushes more deeply, glancing away from his.. happy? friend, "I… yeah… still fresh… promised not to go without a friend around…" His eyes are on the ground for several moments before he looks up at K'ael, "Ummm… what was she like /last/ time Seryth was proddy? 'Cause this is a first for me…"

Seryth is tiring, but as a flirt will whisper an INNUENDO, she chuckles to those still left chasing her, refusing to acknowledge this, instead she attempts to rise further, pushing herself in this absorbing game of tag. Her warble is a 'catch me if you can' all but forgetting this is exactly what they are trying to do.

Faraeth's wings beat strong and steady, following Seryth up and up, until, finally, she is within reach. Bugling loudly he lunges for her, trying to catch with his wings and tail.

Dhonzayth slides sideways, cutting off the path of another bronze, sending the smaller male spiraling off in some other direction as a result of that foot that was placed on his back to give the Western bronze just that much of a 'foot up'. As Seryth struggles upwards, Dhonzayth closes, stretching neck and talons, body attempting to snag her and be 'it'. Or, would that make her 'it'?

Azaeth makes the final push, as Seryth climbs up and up. He swings in towards her with the rest of the bunch. But who will come out victorious?

K'ael doesn't back up. He's not scared of her, he's just eyeing her. Warily. Then wincing at her exclamation about not being drunk. "Ow." He shrugs to M'nol. "She was mean." Not much by way of an explanation, but there it is. "Be thankful." That you weren't there, is what he means.

"Nah, we ain't all alike. Some of just like ta pretend." He winks at Thea with a smirk, even as Dhonzayth is drawing closer overhead, and L'ton is pushing way from the railing to slowly begin walking towards Thea, smirk settled in.

M'nol is tense, that's really the only word for it. He could possibly imagine the results of Faraeth winning. Thea was his /friend/ not… yeah…

"Yeah, that's smart thinking, M'nol. Like a body guard," Thea replies. Then she makes him an offer he can't refuse? "Come with me and D'had tomorrow. I'll bring my crossbow-" Her shoulder-poke to K'ael goes awry as she snickers in protest, missing him entirely, her momentum carrying her hand past him. Off-balance now, she faceplants on the ground and rolls over to protest, "I was NOT mean." Then M'nol must be informed, "He set himself on fire." More giggling. "I saved his life!" Her take on things. L'ton's comment just draws more laughter. "Y'all seem a lot alike to me. What with the winking and smirking." She makes no move to rise. Hey - she's comfortable.

M'nol smiles, backing a little away from Thea subconciously, "Uh… yeah, maybe I should come…"

It would make her 'his' or him 'hers' or…something as the young queen finds herself tagged by Dhonzayth as the two twine far above and begin their descent. Her wings flare, her talons grasp the bronze's forearms for support. She can no longer flee and it is 'game over'.

Faraeth gives a sad bugle as his golden quarry is claimed yet again and turns, gliding over the sea.

Dhonzayth finds his talons full and his neck touching that of the young gold, the bronze trumpeting as he his wings widen, carrying them both further aloft, rising like the sun. The game may be over, but the day is only beginning.

Azaeth is too tangled with the rest of the group to get in close enough to scoop up Seryth. So off he floats, back out towards the beach to swim it off.

L'ton blanches for a moment at the talk of crossbows, but then Thea's falling and he's dropping down to a knee to check and make sure that the goldrider is okay. Leaning down, the smirk widens to a smile as Dhonzayth snags the gold overhead, and L'ton's hand's find Thea's to tug her up and away in a hurry.

K'ael shakes his head to M'nol. "It was a branch. She only thought she saved me." He grins a bit, then wanders back towards his own weyr. No sense in sticking around! Brownriders could be risky.

M'nol feels the moment of end and stoops to gather his boots, following the advice Thea had given him not long ago and cross-bow point and skeedadles back to his weyr. Faraeth always came back once his energy was used and M'nol had no desire to repeat a certain circumstance. Calling back over his shoulder, he half-mumbles, "Uh… have a good time, Thea?" Then he's gone, darting into the trees and back to his forest home.

Thea's raising a hand towards L'ton as he wanders over, and that tug pulls her to her feet without any resistance on her part whatsover. Whether he gets her to the guest weyr is up to him, however. She's still rather uncoordinated.

The words were: fish, lightning bug, ball, cold, and innuendo. L'ton guessed the theme: Things you can catch.

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