Seryth and Solarith's Clutching, March 20, 2009

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.

From the sands, The sun has barely crested the horizon of Xanadu Weyr as something large and golden makes her way stealthily onto the sands, acting just as any true creature of stealth ought to: acting before anyone else has bothered to wake up. There is little more than a rustle and a swish of wings as Solarith makes her way into the sandy area at large, whuffling happily to herself as she notices that the entire area is clear. Free and clear - no one there but her. Satisfied that she is alone, save for the burning sands beneath her feet, she begins to circle around the expanse of the grounds, poking here and prodding there with her muzzle and searching for just the right spot to deposit her load of eggs. Considering she's made it to the spot before any particular competition, it would seem she's found herself in the right to claim whatever spot she may deem perfect on the sands for herself. With little care or worry for her surroundings, she swishes elegantly around the sands, pushing the sands aside into a neat furrow as she goes. It doesn't take long for this noise to be added to by a steady tapping echo from the entrance leading into the sands, though it doesn't sound draconic in nature. Tylia, slightly disheveled at being woken from her sleep at such an early hour, partially limps her way to the very edge of the Sands to give her golden queen a fairly sour look. "You do always choose the most inopportune time to do these tinopportune time to do these things, don't you?" she queries with a sigh, though resigns herself to find a comfortable spot against the wall to watch the show for now.

That golden creature down in the sands isn't the only one up early and sneaking. A very much awake Cenlia is in the observation level, having heard enough of X'hil's complaints about Kinseth's worry over eggs to want to have a peek at the hatching grounds before they're occupied. And who'd be around this early in the morning, anyway? A gold dragon apparently. Cenlia peers down at the sands. Hunh.

A second set of footsteps follows those of the weyrwoman, as at least one other member of the weyr happens to be up at this ungodly early hour of morning. Rogawani creeps carefully up the steps, trying not to make too much noise but obviously he had seen Tylia's rushing towards the sands and figured out what that might mean. So, making his way to one of the mid-level seats, the boy settles himself carefully, placing a bag into the seat beside him. It looks as if he may have just been about to leave on his morning run to the holds when this interruption presented itself. Only once sitting and sure that no one is going to suddenly yell at him for sneaking in, does he spot Cenlia. "Hey." He whispers, giving a wave of his hand. "What're you doing here?" Pause, blink. "Looks like there's going to be eggs soon."

From the sands, Solarith manages to pause in her circling to lift her head slightly and look her rider square in the face, conveying little more to her other than whatever has passed mentally and a slight flick of her wings. It seems the time of day has caused little distress to her and judging by the confident way she's pushing her way around the blissfully empty sands, it may have been planned this way. Just after her third circle around the entirety of the sands, she makes a brief and deliberate pause. Dropping her muzzle again, she noses carefully at the sands, making a delicate furrow and depression in the warm, soft stuff with great care for one of her size. The reason for her sudden stop is soon clear, as once she's sure that the little nest is as perfect as she deems it necessary, she slowly swings her body around to crouch low over it. There's a slow ripple of muscles along her sides and haunches as a new glistening egg makes its entrance into the world, plopping carefully into its prepared hollow with practiced ease. Chuffling to herself with pride and happiness, Solarith brings her nose around to carefully push sand up around the edges of the little ovoid barely seconds after it has been laid. Attentive. Very attentive and hardly noticing anything else around her. Even her rider, Tylia, who has stationed herself against the far wall is being ignored.

Raging Seas Egg
Swaths of blue and green dip and swirl over the shell of this egg in a neverending pattern of dizzying twists and turns. A wall of cold blue-grey crashes mightily against the far side of the egg, rising up in a long swish of color to meet with an explosion of white and grey foam that sprinkles across the apex. Murky greyness shadows the little light that reaches the torrents of sea blue and green, causing dull reflections to touch at the ridges of color here and there over the swelling flood of hues that dominate the little ovoid. A veritable flurry of washed out misty green, foamy white and menacing steel blue swirl together into an interesting rendition of a whirlpool that almost appears to be draining away at the watery surface of the shell. Clouds of deepest black and dark blue flow together against the opposite side of the egg, providing a suitable contrast to the chaos of the whirling array of aquamarine doom that shadows it. While the shape is very vague, it almost has the look of something dark and menacing lingering beneath the depths of dingy color and watching steadily from below.

Cenlia's right up front, and so has got a front row seat. The gardener girl raises a brow as the first egg is laid. Oh. She starts when Rogawani speaks, and then grins sheepishly as she turns around and catches sight of him. "Nothin'," the girl mumbles and then glances back at the sands, peering down at the egg curiously. Cenlia furrows her brow, murmuring, "That ain't Seryth," though doubtless the girl has heard the rumors of another egg-heavy queen.

Moyrel comes in and peers down at the sands at the first egg to be laid. She takes a seat up front and watches curiously.

Kadowaki is one of the large multitude of firelizards flying excitedly around the galleries, though no firelizard would dare go near the sands with not one but /two/ golds getting ready to lay a clutch.

From the sands, Seryth enters the hatching sands with little puffs and grunts as she moves, her head sways slightly from side to side in her discomfort. Following a little behind her is Thea, still in her night wrap with her long hair looking sleep-rumpled. The weyrwoman is wide awake, however and interested in this first for her Seryth. One hand reaches to pat the hindleg she murmurs, "You'll be so much more comfortable afterwards, Dear." The young queen for her part doesn't seem anxious, but rather unsure. Once out on the sands, she notices Solarith and stops short with a blink, causing Thea to stumble into her. With a sharp exclamation, she peeks out from behind the gold's body, "What's wrong?" She spots the other gold, "Oh, go on you. The cavern is large enough. Shoo." Seryth slowly moves out and over towards the far side, crooning a soft apology to Solarith for the intrusion. She'll just take a corner. She finds the spot and mrrs uncertainly. How is this done now? She flips a little sand around…

Shroud of Secrets Egg
Aged cream, tinged a light hue of khaki, gently folds and wraps, engulfing the long shell in a shroud of ivory. Folds of fabric seem to gather here and there, tucked and caught, fitting loosely around the ovoid's shape, contrasting with the red and white of the Xanadu Sands. Age spots of light gold are dappled here and there, adding depth, while most peculiarly, there seems to be some sort of imprint upon the shell. Dark brown, contrasting sharply against the pale creams, makes it seem as if someone had engulfed the egg, shroud and all in a tight embrace, leaving a pattern behind.

With everyone seeming to be grouping upfront, Rogawani picks up his bag of deliveries and creeps down towards the front. "Mind if I sit?" He asks, peeking towards the egg as it's laid. "Yeah, that's Solarith. I heard from a rider that the sire of that clutch is a brown." There's no ill tone to his voice, simply reporting the news as he's heard it. "The holders are betting on eight from this one, and five from Seryth. But X'hil's dragon is insisting on eleven. I normally wouldn't say anything bad about a bronze but… I think he's exaggerating." This part is said in a hushed whisper.

Moyrel shakes her head at Rogawani. "I don't mind at all, there's plenty of room up here."

Upon spotting other people, Cenlia looks a little relieved. Guess she doesn't have to worry about not being allowed up here. She's still pretty new to the weyr. Cenlia eyes Rogawani, not seeming all that interested in egg-betting, but she does mutter defensively, "I'm with Sir Kinseth-" and then she frowns sharply, saying, "Where's X'hil? He said Sir Kinseth's been worryin' over missing Seryth clutching…" she trails off, looking down at the sands.

From the sands, Soalrith is so busy whuffling over her first egg and making sure it is perfectly wrapped in a warm blanket of sand that she nearly doesn't notice the entrance of the other gold, even though the entrance of one just as large as she is is hard to miss. It's the unexpected plop of an egg that ISN'T coming from her that causes her head to snap up in alarm, a startled hiss escaping her. In fact, Tylia, who had been calmly leaning against the wall, snaps her head up at almost exactly the same time, a brief look of annoyance flitting across her face to mirror the sudden emotion flowing through her dragon before it is banished away from it with her normal calm features. "I know you got here first, love, but you do have to share. Nonsense or not," she soothes, offering an encouraging smilet o Thea and motioning to the spot of wall where she herself is resting somewhat out of the heat of the Sands themselves. Soalrith shifts uneasily, her feet pacing the ground as though she were some nervous candidate on a first hatching day. She chuffs, whuffles, snorts and flicks herw ings, debating what to do. To protect her chosen spot of the sands or to continue with her eggs. Something maternal flickers through her momentary annoyance at being interrupted and she warbles something at Seryth, sounding somewhat stern and reproving, despite the mellowness of the call. Flicking her wings once more, she begins to step towards a suitable step towards a suitable heap of sand near her first egg and begins to purposefully nose a new hollow in the sand. As though she were some stuffy old woman, she goes about the ritual with much exaggeration, as though determined to show the younger gold how it's REALLY done. Turning delicately, she is careful to avoid going near the other gold as a slight ripple across her body allows the entrance of another egg. Compared to the sudden arrival of the other egg, this one seems to land almost easily into its chosen depression.

Fog-covered Pathways Egg
A dense and omnipresent fog hangs over the colors on this large egg, casting them into shaded mockeries of what they should be. A gray base shows tall streaks of color that fan out along a misty backdrop that disappears into eerie white in the distance. Splotches of midnight black, deep browns, and dark shadows reach out, trying in vain to keep from being swallowed up. And there, somewhere beyond the last faded remnants, is two small crimson orbs framed by a dark form.

Moyrel watches the activity down on the sand and grins a little at the dragons' reaction to each other, and then tilts her head curiously at the latest egg.

"Oh don't look at me like that." Rogawani replies to Cenlia first tilting his head and trying to offer a goofy sort of lop-sided smile. "I don't mean anything by it." Giving a nod to Moyrel, Ro' settles himself in a new chair and puts his bag between his knees. "I didn't see X'hil or Kinseth when I was out this morning. Hope they manage to make it though." He nods his agreement to the gardener as he leans forward to get a better look at the eggs.

Cenlia's frown only deepens when she sees the other gold hissing at Seryth. The gardener girl hmphs, and mumbles, "Bet she never saved anybody from a charging runner." Apparently, that somehow makes Seryth more awesome? Cenlia's sense of logic might be a bit off, though she eyes the eggs curiously.

From the sands, If a dragon could blush… Seryth lifts a wing and curves her neck under it to peep out behind her. Was that her? A quick look over at Solarith to make sure she didn't have something to do with that, but no the other gold is over doing her thing. Seryth peeks at her as she prepares the sand. Ah! So that's how it's done. She warbles softly, sweetly to the older queen and turns carefully around, avoiding stepping on the egg. She looks towards Thea, who is still standing not too far away, as if to say, 'Did you see what I just did?' Her first egg! Seryth blinks down at it in wonder and the tip of her tongue flicks out to gently touch it. Then she scoops a hollow in the sand and gently noses the egg into it. A quick look over at the other side of the sands. Oh! They get covered too! One fore claw scrapes hot sand awkwardly over the egg. All done! That was easy! She chirrups at Thea who is waving to Tylia as she heads towards the other weyrwoman. But what's this? More cramping…!!!! With a whimper, she begins scooping a hollow. Better hurry!

Vessel of the Vanished Egg
Round and squat, this egg is palest grey speckled with darkness as though mottled by age. In stark contrast to the stone-colored majority, charcoal designs slash across it, bold geometrics creating an artistry so complex it looks as though someone snuck out to the sands with a paintbrush in their skilled hands. A row of square-shaped spirals surrounds the narrowest end, leaving the top clear like an open mouth. Beneath this runs a circle of dainty black dots while the majority of this vibrantly decorated shell is made up of alternating triangles of black and white filled with diagonal lines and abstract shapes. And so it goes around the entire shell, light and dark like some ancient bit of artwork lost to obscurity.

Concern replaces the goofy look on Rogawani's face as he glances over at Cenlia. "Seryth saved you from a charging runner?" Apparently he hadn't heard this story. However his eyes get dragged back to the sands as more eggs make their way into the world. "I'm sure they'll be okay. You don't see two sharing the sands very often, and I've never seen two clutching at the same time." Rubbing at the back of his neck, the boy seems a little at a loss for words, fiddling with the strap of his carry bag with his other hand.

"And X'hil," Cenlia adds quietly, "Thought I was gonna get eaten too. Or stabbed." That's got to be one strange story, there. But Cenlia is still peering down at the eggs on the sand, her curiosity evident, "How many eggs're usually laid?"

Moyrel watches the eggs appear and starts taking notes with a pen on paper, bound on a clipboard. Old-fashioned, the harper is. She turns and gives a curious look at the mention of a charging runner, and opens her mouth as if to say something, but then just shakes her head and shudders.

From the sands, There's an exaggerated sigh coming from Solarith as she casts a sidelong glance at the other gold's progress - this noise is obviously due to her possible thoughts on the performance from the competition and definitely not from the fact there are eggs popping out of her at a rate. No, she seems to have that particular bit under control, which she seems to be flaunting rather daringly in front of anyone watching, especially Seryth. Displaying haughtiness that is not a common characteristic in the gold, she flicks her wings slightly back against her back and moves with a slow grace to another one of her chosen mounds of sand, digging out a smooth round hollow with her talons and muzzle. Rolling her head to one side to peer over at the other gold, she lets out something that sounds like a chuff and a whuff combined, but in a commanding, stern sort of way. Somehow she manages to even affect the whole "I mean business" motherlike glare in the other's direction. Despite all this, there seems to be less tension in the older gold's stance as she moves to deposit the next of her brood in its waiting depression. There's a low exhalation of relief as another egg slides out, landing easily into the sand with a soft *PLOP*. Tylia manages a grimace for her dragon and offers The an apologetic look, "She's usually much more mature. I apologize. She's never had to share her sands before, really. I think she's … experiencing something to shake her normal calm."

Serene Pastures Egg
Of average size and entirely normal shape and proportions, there's nothing particularly outstanding at all about this egg. There's a faint washing of pale green over its leathery shell that slowly mingles and turns into a pale sky blue. If anything, the plainness and sheery ordinariness of this egg are what makes it stand out from the rest.

"That sounds like one heck of a story." Rogawani replies, pulling his hair back out of his eyes with little success. "No wonder you're so close to the both of them. Sad to say I'm mostly just in charge of bringing X'hil klah or identifying poop." He attempts a joke, trying to lighten the mood a little bit. The question on eggs brings a thoughtful look though, especially as he glanecs at Moyrel taking notes. "As few as five, as many as twelve. Usually it's less for a younger queen. I've heard tales that when thread was still around that they laid as many as fourty."

Moyrel this time decides to join the conversation. "Such is true," she says to Rogawani. "We have such records on file in the archives at the Hall, and at Ista where I worked for a while." She turns to look at the latest egg and, with a nod of approval, makes a note on the clipboard. "The dragons seem to have--or have had--some sort of instinct or nature that made them proliferate in times of Threadfall."

From the sands, Seryth croons her embarrassment. Not again! slippery little things, those eggs! A glare towards the observation level to those watching - you didn't see that! She turns around and cover the egg with sand with a low growl. Her sides tighten and she tilts her great head to poke at her hurting tummy. Stop it! As Solarith chides her, she croons back questioningly. Like this? She scoops a trough and backs over it. She lowers her head and her eyes close as she heaves slightly and the next egg slides out and…misses the hole. The young queen whuffs in a bit of frustration and sheepishly turns to nudge the misplaced egg into the hole before burying it. A quick peek at Solarith - you missed that right? Thea reaches the cooler spot where Tylia is and greets her with a soft murmured, "Oh, no worries. Can't say as I blame her with moving and all." She leans back against the wall to watch Seryth with a headshake, "No amount of dragonhealer's telling her about this is like really doing it." She chuckles then, "You getting settled in okay?"

Mosaic Stone Egg
The egg is slightly rounder than your typical oval egg, though it's quite far from a perfect sphere. The shell has the vague appearance of a patchwork quilt, featuring sections of varying shapes, sizes, and colors. However, the boundaries between some of these patches are not entirely clear, as the whole egg has a weathered and faded appearance, as though the sands of time have worn at a vibrance that it may have possessed. Slight chips of pale stony grey are most prevalent at the boundaries between colors.

Cenlia grins a bit as Rogawani mentions poop, and says, "Give 'em booze, an' they'll treat ya like your their little sister." This is, oddly enough, entirely true in Cenlia's case. She mumbles offhand, "Kinda feel sorry for the guy who was ridin' the runner. Weyrwoman Zevida an' her dragon looked like they was gonna kill him, when they left. Was his fault I nearly drowned, though." The girl nods at hearing egg numbers, mumbling softly, "Still think Sir Kinseth's gonna be right." But Cenlia's eyebrows rise and she blurts, "Fourty?" She looks skeptical, but with Moyrel backing it up, the gardener girl fairly boggles. "Glad there ain't no more thread. Musta had skies full of dragons." She pauses, watching Seryth, and possibly stifling a giggle at the egg missing its depression in the sands, murmuring instead, "It's the prettiest one so far." Even if Seryth can't hear her all the way down there, it's the thought that counts, right?

"Well, you were the one who was getting all the booze." Rogawani chuckles to himself and shrugs his shoulders a little. "Besides, I wouldn't want to be treated like their sister. That would require losing a few things very important to me." Hearing the girl's surprise at the figure of fourty eggs, Rogawani puffs himself up a little as Moyrel affirms what he had heard. "Well, they needed that many back then." To keep the tone light, he doesn't mention that most of it was due to dragon casulties. Drifting eyes back to the eggs, he tries to tally which sand covered eggs belong to which queens. "Well, I promise my runner won't try to run you down or drown you."

From the sands, Solarith misses nothing, considering she seems to be keeping one eye on her own eggs and one eye on the other queen, as though convinced by some inner instinct that some other gold so close to her own will cause them harm. Lowering her great head, she gives the latest green-hued egg a gentle nudge, fixing it more firmly into its position as she coaxes some sand to bury it further into its warmth. Yes, that certainly seems fine enough. A particularily strong contraction rocks her for that moment, though, breaking her intense control over the situation and causing the older gold to huff slightly in discomfort. Muscles tense and wings tightly furled to her sides, Solarith quickly noses a giant pile of sand to one side to make for a makeshift depression. It'll have ot do, as whatever egg is coming next simply does not want to wait for any further preparations. The olderg old barely manages to position herself properly before the next egg slides out, landing somewhat askew into its hurriedly made home. But atleast it lands where it was meant to go, despite its fast entrance. Tylia grimaces again, likely in sympathy for the pain of that last entrance, but she does have time to offer a serene smile over to Thea, "As best as I can. I'm .. ah. Still getting used to the warmth. I was at High Reaches for so long, I think I forgot what the sun is like." She casts a downward glance at the sands and frowns slightly, "Even the and frowns slightly, "Even the Sands seem warmer."

Ornately Gilded Cage Egg
Off to one side rests a small brownish yellow egg, forgotten, set aside as if it were just a piece of old junk. The shell seems to be coated with sand, in addition to the dusty colouring. There's a rough smear running along one side, as though the dirt and grime has been partially wiped away by some young candidate. This cleaned up section shines with gold, bringing the whole egg to life. Through this smear, delicate engravings can be made out, abstract lines, carved precisely into the metallic undercoat, creating an ornate design.

Moyrel nods and smiles a little as she continues to write. "That's a good promise to make," she says to Rogawani. "On the other hand, I'm a bit biased, since that nasty rodeo accident that I suffered when I was young and reckless."

Cenlia snerks when Rogawani mentions he'd have to lose some important things, and is still giggling as she says, "I ain't never getting near anything with hooves again."

From the sands, Seryth is beginning to get the hang of the order of things as well as more in tune with her body it seems. It also doesn't hurt to see the example of a more experienced queen go through this egg-laying bit. She watches Solarith with a quizzical tilt to her head as she endures the pain. A musical croon of encouragement suddenly turns to a high-pitched squeal as her own innards grip her in its unique grasp of pain. She hastily scoops out a depression with her nose as she's seen the older queen do and before she can turn around, she explodes with a hearty sneeze that resounds throughout the cavern! The force of this sneeze, oh yeeees. It does. It helps the next egg pop out before she turned around. Seryth peeks over her back and blinks her astonishment. Her wings flutter over her head as she lowers it. This has to stop. She turns to cover the latest egg with a soft growl of frustration. These eggs just won't behave. Beside Tylia, Thea just shakes her head, but calls encouragingly, "You'll become an old hand at this one day, Seryth!" Her head turns towards the otherweyrwoman, "It seemed that way to me as well, when I first moved here. Cold Stone Hold, my Da's Cot was back above the High Reaches Hold."

Take Me Away Egg
Whorls of cream vie with tufts of brassy, copper-burnished hues creating the semblance of a fleece that clothes this egg in a thick woolen pelt. If one looks closely, it almost appears that there are legs, tipped with cloven hooves, folded to allow a creature the luxury of reclining at ease in the heat of mid-day. Towards one apex, a sheepish face between two menacingly curved horns, peers with eyes that promise either deliverance or destruction.

"Well, I'll keep my runner at a safe distance then." Rogawani nods, certainly understanding why someone would have a fear of runners after such a thing happening to them. After giving that re-assurance, the boy turns his attention once more to the sands and the arrival of each egg, growing quiet.

From the sands, Kinseth comes barging into the sands, followed closely by X'hil! He's here, he's here! Um. Now what? The bronze seems unable to decide what to do, and hovers near Seryth, crooning at her. X'hil shakes his head, but looks equally lost. "Calm /down/ Kinseth." he mutters, moving as quickly as he can over the hot sands to join Thea and Tylia, giving the latest egg a wide berth.

From the sands, Solarith instintively crouches defensively, a low hiss escaping her at the sudden horrendous noise echoing through the cavern itself. Certainly this must be the deadly threat that must be coming for her eggs, as she remains tensed and ready, despite the obvious contractions rippling over her form as the next egg makes itself known. It takes her longer than normal to notice that the odd noise has erupted from Seryth, along with another egg. The older gold has barely enough time to register an amused chuff and to lower her guard before another, more intense contraction grips her. This one is certainly much more insistent and Solarith works as quickly as she can without disturbing the ggs that are already resting safely at her feet. Another hasty depression is scooped out with a few hurried sweeps of her muzzle, a good gout of sand being sent flying in Seryth's direction, though the gold does little notice to that. Focus. Extreme focus. Figure quivering slightly with the pain and muscle spasms, she finally turns and lowers herself, depositing a further egg onto the sands with an audible breath of relief. Tylia lifts a brow of surprise at Thea, "High Reaches area as well? I must admit I wasn't born there, but .. I think I've spent more of my life there than I did at my birthplace of Southern Hold." She reaches up to push a bit of sweaty hair out of her face - the heat is already getting to her. "From heat to cold to "From heat to cold to heat again."

Mist Shrouded Waters Egg
Calming ripples of deep moss green flow evenly across the expansive yet round surface of this egg, gently touching at the base with hints of the depeest black that hides things unknown from the world. Lingering bits of lighter blue and sprinkles of yellow-green litter the mirror-smooth surface of the coloration, causing a beautiful mottling of tones that appears to almost be a reflection of something unseen. Rolling swirls of mist skim along the apex, curling and coiling into random mysterious shapes as they advance across the tranquil scene. Hidden objects remain shrouded in the distance, looming up from the depths of the plateau of matte green hues, swathed from view by the choking fog. Rising out of the gloom and doom of the distance like a sentinal over all is a long curving shadowy black protrusion, snaking from its lair of verdant color in an almost regal manner and commanding the most attention due mainly to its size in relation to everything else. No amount of scrutiny can discern what any of the strange blurry objects are that appear to be cavorting tantalizingly amongst the pool of blue-green colors just out of sight.

Moyrel looks down at the commotion down on the sand, and then at the firelizard popping in up here in the gallery, and then again down at the activities out there. She shakes her head in amusement as she continues to take notes.

Way in the front row, Cenlia fairly jumps when Seryth sneezes, and can't quite muffle the snerk. "Poor Seryth," she comments sympathetically, shaking her head, "My da's hen's were like that sometimes." She grins when she sees Kinseth and X'hil have actually made it, and says with a chuckle, "Guess he didn't miss it." She eyes the 'take me away' egg, brow furrowed, possibly re-thinking her earlier comment about Seryth's eggs being prettier.

Myra makes her way into the galleries, yawning, and taking a seat down near the front, settling a month-old babe on her lap. Thankfully, the child is asleep. "Mm. Nice eh-eh-eggs." The word is drawn out by another yawn, and tired eyes blink at the sands. It's unlikely she can really make out any details just yet.

From the sands, Seryth raises her sandy muzzle in time to see Kinseth's arrival. Her whuffle is sand-laden as she dislodges what she'd inhaled into her nostrils digging that last hole. She is obviously glad to see him, in spite of her discomfort and the fact that he's unfortunate enough to be associated with it. Sand flying her way from Solarith reminds her and she nudges his chest and shows him how to scrape a hollow. Here, keep busy! Another urgent nudge is given him to get him started. She can't wait! She turns and positions herself over the hole she just dug as s shudder ripples her flanks. This one comes slower and she puffs short breaths until it finally eases out and rolls wetly into the spot. Her tail sweeps sand over it quickly as if hiding the latest creation. Thea nods to Tylia, "Never been to Southern Weyr. Meant to visit it, but got myself Searched. I do miss the fine cool fall weather of Reaches, though." She waves to X'hil as he strides up asking the bronzerider wryly, "Did we wake you?"

Timekeeper's Mystery Egg
This shell isn't pretty like some of the others, its surface dulled with silt-like hues that muddy the surface, blurring shadow with sunshine. Faint aquamarine patterns vie with dim light, creating the illusion of motion, as if light barely manages to pierce murky fathoms to graze the ocean floor. Almost invisible, a circle with a cross curves across one side, marking this spot as long forgotten, but not lost.

From the sands, Another intruder, this time one in actuality, causes Solarith to hiss and tense once more, this time aiming her maternal glare at the bronze instead of the other gold. Only when she realizes it is one of the two clutchsires does she lower her guard, giving a flick of her wings as though dismissing the arrival as though it were nothing. Don't mind her. You didn't see that outrageous display of emotion. She's quickly back to her more focused, calm self as she gives quick ministrations to her last two eggs, pushing sand up to their sides and lovingly nuzzling at them to be sure they are in the correct position. It's unfortunate, though, that the contractions bringing the eggs forth is beginning to quicken for the older gold, as she has very little time to linger over her latest creations. Nor does she have time to regain her mild annoyance at the fact her previously empty sands is now full of a younger queen, another clutch of eggs and now a bronze, to boot. Sides quivering with the effort to keep the egg from sliding out as she walks, the older gold waddles precariously over to an open area near her own space in the sands, shoveling more sprays of sand in Seryth's direction. In her haste, she makes little notice that she keeps kicking sand up at the other queen. Bare the way. Eggs are coming. Shifting her weight awkwardly, she crouches low and with another painful ripple of hide, allows another shining egg to roll another shining egg to roll languidly onto the sands with a dense and sticky *PLOP*. Tylia lets out a sigh of remembrance and a fond smile, "Ah. Well. I'm afraid I got too old for such climates. It was my downfall as a Senior and my downfall as an older woman, too." She pats her thigh with a slight grimace, likely indicating her old leg injury. She notes the bronzerider and offers him a slight smile, despite her obvious tiredness due to the early hours of the morning, "You haven't missed much, atleast. I'm glad there wasn't all that much fighting between the two of them."

Craggy Mountain Egg
A massive swirl of browns and mossy greens foam and lap at the base of the egg before they are suddenly stretched up and up towards the pinnacle of the slightly elongated egg. Here at the top the colors find themselves thinly stretched. To compensate, steely grey has been added to their midst, until there is nothing but grey at the peak of the egg. Here and there, from the top to bottom, are misty patches of foggy white, placed with no rhyme or reason. Standing out sharply is a singular black spot, almost oval shaped, near the top of the egg.

From the sands, Kinseth warbles brightly as Seryth gives him something to do, and gives the gold a brief affectionate nuzzle before moving away and getting to digging out those wallows. Dig, dig, dig. He pauses, and peers over at the gold as another egg is laid, and croons, stepping up the pace. Dig dig dig! X'hil frowns a little as he reaches the goldriders, plucking at his old shirt and shorts idly. "What gave it away?" It's certainly not the sort of thing he'd wear out in public usually, preferring decidedly /newer/ clothes for that. "Kinseth just tore out of the barn, didn't say a word." he murmurs, with a shake of his head. Well, at least he's dressed for the heat, if not the sands themselves — he seems to have forgotten shoes. He's /very/ glad to reach the platform at the rear of the sands, and off of the actual sand itself.

From the sands, A soft, clinking tapping sound resonates from the shadows of the cavern's depths. It stops for a breath, then resumes louder only to abruptly stop. In the silence a soft humming floats over the Sands. It is only a few notes repeated over and over again that fades to silence. Eerie chuckling, a short burst of soft laughter follows, then silence reigns once more.

Cenlia waves a greeting to Myra, grinning at the yawn. The girl peers down at the eggs curiously, looking rather awake for this time of the morning.

Myra envies Cenlia, the greenrider hasn't really looked awake for /any/ time of the day lately, not since her baby was born. She murmurs, "Hey." at the girl, her hands a little full to be able to wave right now. She squints tiredly down at the sands, murmuring, "Did you hear that?"

From the sands, Seryth gives a gurgling croon though her haze of pain. Hurrrry! Kinseth is nudged aside with her haunch. It's coming and there's no way she's going to let -this- one embarrass her! Ah-h-h… She grunts with surprise as not one, but two drop into the trough dug by Kinseth. She mrrs in surprise and raises her head over towards Solarith as if to ask her if this is normal or not. The sand shower coming her way causes her to duck and put a wing up. But she obviously is releived that her mentor didn't see that. Just in case. She eyes Kinseth suspiciously. Did he make her do that double-egg drop somehow? Her questioning of the bronze stops mid-croon as she catches the odd noise coming from the back of the caverns. Thea nods sympathetically to Tylia, "My granny had aches from the cold. Couldn't walk, but my she could tell stories!" She is in the midst of asking X'hil, "How are your fee-" when the noise floats her way and X'hil hears it also. "I did." And the goldrider is stepping that way to check it out.

Heaven's Portal Egg
Scales cover the shell of this egg in jadeite hues varying from pearly green to deep malachite. A hand from a dynasty long past skillfully etched into the surface a long, curved shape, a dragon coiled to sleep through the ages, awaiting her summons at time's urgent call. A head resting against the tail, jaw and belly lined with gilt hints that all things lead back to their beginnings. Delicate neck ridges touched with gold form a staircase, but to where do they lead?
Leafing Through The Plants Egg
The shell of this egg has a distinctly yellowish tint to it, darkening to a light greenish brown as it curves over to the far side of the shell. There seems to be a seam running around the circumference of the egg, at the center. On either side of it are pictures of strange plants, unlike anything seen before. Blocks of what might be neatly hand-written text are arranged around the odd plants, indecipherable both near and afar.

Cenlia is up in the front row, not far from Myra, watching the clutching curiously. The gardener girl tilts her head, brow furrowed, and says, "Yeah…" She peers around, as if trying to spot something in any shadows that might be lurking, but then shrugs, "Was that coming from up here?"

Myra has a sleeping one and a half month old baby in her arms, and is leaning forward with a frown on her face. "I… don't think so. See, she's checking it out, now." she nods to Thea on the sands.

From the sands, Solarith is caught mid-digging another hollow in the sand by that strange noise in the darkness. Despite the intense contractions clutching at her sides, she tenses once more, swinging her head to face whatever the menace is. A slow hiss escapes from her, sounding rather like a kettle that's on its way to boiling. Being entirely glued to the clutch, though, she stays where she is. It might also be the fact that there is one egg inside her that is desparate to come out, judging by the way the muscles visibly ripple over her haunches. The hiss turns to a sound of pain as she returns to her digging once again, keeping one eye on the shadows as she hurriedly tries to clear out a space for the latest egg. She manages to turn just in time to allow one last egg slide into its depression as though it were meant to fit there. Tylia seems less interested in this final egg and more interested in the odd noise coming from the other side of the caverns. Pushing herself away from the wall, she takes a few hesitant steps forward, limping a little on her injured leg, "What in Faranth's name is that?" Likely at the urging of her lifemate, she edges around some of the eggs on the outskirts and heads towards the noise in some attempt to get rid of this distraction.

Hewn Sanctuary Egg
A splash of cerulean blue marks the rounded top of this egg, a deep and relentless sky to set as a backdrop for an ancient tale, a forgotten place. Searching, splotches of green extend upwards from the rounded base, as if trying to reach for that distant horizon. It darkens into shadowy places, crevices and cracks in a vain attempt to reach the light. Rough patches of gray and sandy yellow show through the dense greenery, seeming to have a texture all their own. Within those nooks and crannies there are hidden places. Great vertical lines show light and shadow as the faint image of structures can be made out among the rocky terrain. What once lived among those hallowed halls, now… only ruin.

From the sands, Kinseth crooons at Seryth as she lays not one, but /two/ eggs, and hastily turns away to dig another burrow, if needed, though he keeps peering back into the shadowed corners of the grounds. X'hil frowns a little, and looks around. His feet really /aren't/ all that great. They'll be fine, /but/… Hm. "Kinseth is concerned about … that." he mutters, moving to the edge of the platform, and trying to work up the nerve to go further.

From the sands, Seryth isn't sure whether she ought to be upset or not, but she catches the feelings of those around her and her wings unfurl to cover her clutch protectively. Her neck curves around to watch as Thea walks by, who skirts her buried eggs carefully. The gold's head follows the weyrwoman as far as it can without her body actually leaving the clutch. Her attention on the back of the now-silent cavern is interrupted by that familiar cramping and she hisses, tired of this. Kinseth is given a grateful chuff as Seryth moves over the prepared hole and braces herself. And waits. And waits some more. She snorts her displeasure at this prolonged contraction and that seems to do it. The egg tumbles out with a small popping sound and rolls into its warm bed. The young queen moves off to one side and sinks to the sand, too tired to bury it. Thea passes her again, calling to the others, "Didn't see a thing in all the shadows. No openings where someone could be, but someone might want to inspect it with a light."

Earth-Brushed Sky Egg
The aqua-green hue of tarnished copper envelopes the shell of this egg, the color spilling over to stain flaky golden flourishes. A golden strip follows the gentle curve of the egg on one side, mimicked on the other, stretching to meet at top and bottom though they never quite manage to do so. Near the bottom, this same dead shimmer peeks from the sand in what appears to be a perfect circle. Opposite this, and higher up on the shell a crescent fills the fading sky of discolored blue. These are perhaps the largest of the trappings, however there are others that are just as noticeable. As the sphere at the bottom turns round the base and ends another curved stripe seems to peek from the sand, yet just what it is remains hidden. Off the uppermost point of the crescent rests a cluster of seven fingerprint sized blotches of gold stamped into the backgrounds much the same as the rest, though this cluster is not to be outdone by those singular dots scattered about the rest of the egg's surface in perhaps a not so random pattern. Just what do all these embellishments mean? Are they a sign?

From the sands, Solarith remains guarded over her eggs, her wings slightly unfurled as her eyes remain riveted on the source of that odd noise. From the looks of it, no further eggs are going to be coming from her and her stately clutch of 7 are all that she has to care for at the time. Tylia limps forward a little more, edging past both clutches of eggs to stop directly in front of the shadowy area where the sound in question issued from. "Have someone bring up a light, then," she says, peering over her shoulder at The and X'hil, motioning towards the darkness of the area in front of her. Despite the unknown in front of her, she does edge forward a little more into the gloom, leaning forward to peer into it for any telltale sign of anything odd or off. Solarith gives a warble of anxiety, flicking her wings once or twice to convey her displeasure at her lifemate being so close to whatever the strange thing is.

From the sands, Kinseth steps in to kick sand over the egg after Seryth moves to one side, and croons at the dam of his eggs. He's well-rested, alert. He can keep guard, if she needs to rest. He turns his head briefly to /look/ at X'hil, and the man frowns. "I … should go … get a light." he mutters, looking directly back at Kinseth. Seems he's being ordered. "Will you be … okay?" While he's gone, he means, glancing to Thea mainly, but also Tylia. "I, shouldn't be long…" he mutters, moving to the other edge of the platform and frowning at the sand, before taking off at a sprint.

From the sands, Seryth trills soft gratitude towards Kinseth for covering her eggs and also for being there. She is very tired and remains on her side with her wings limply resting outstretched on the sands heaped over her eggs. She doesn't seem worried about the sound anymore since it has stopped and Thea's walking back. Her belly stops rippling and she finally fully relaxes, her lids drooping. Thea pats her muzzle as she pauses there briefly, her eyes conveying what her silent communication is voicing with her young dragon. As X'hil runs by she calls after him, "Bring breakfast back?" A pause, then a little louder as he is further away, "And put your boots on!" She chuckles, then casts a worried glance towards the back of the caverns, "I'm sure they'll find out whatever it is. Heard moaning coming from the trees outside my weyr yesterday. Probably kids trying to pull a prank." She continues over towards the platform to cool herself from the Sand's heat.

From the sands, X'hil runs back in with boots on - that was actually his first stop - though he's still in his sleepwear shirt and shorts. He's also brought with him three different kinds of light. There's a flame torch, a pair of electric torches, and a basket full of glowbaskets. Kinseth seems to have been keeping a line open to the man, because he mutters about kids… He was a weyrbrat once. Imagine the trouble he gets into /now/, with Kinseth to keep him close to responsible, and then imagine what he got up to /then/.

The clutching maybe over, but Cenlia is still peering down at the sands, curiously watching the exploration of the shadows.

From the sands, Thea has slipped down the wall to recline on the platform, since she's fairly tired. She has her eyes shut, too. As X'hil runs back in she smiles. "Oh good. You can check it out - put Tylia's mnd at ease. I'm beat. Haven't heard any more sounds since the first." Time for him to man-up. Not to mention he can beat up whoever might be lurking back there. If he doesn't run screaming from the caverns, that is.

Chaise missed the excitement of the actual clutching, and now she picks her way up into the seats. Spotting a familiar face in Cenlia she slides over to claim a seat near the girl, her eyes darting toward the eggs. "Shells," she breathes. Literally, but the pun is lost on her. "Oh, and hi there." Cenlia gets a little grin and a half wave. "Do you think they're finished? I can't believe I missed it all." Moss-green eyes scan over the eggs again eagerly and she lets out a little sigh, but then sits straighter. "What's with all the lights?" That to Cenlia with a gesture toward X'hil and an arched brow.

Cenlia glances up at Chaise's arrival and grins a bit, "Hey. Yeah, looks like they're done." She peers over at the shadowed area of the cavern, watching X'hil down on the sands, and says, "Some wierd noises. Polly somebody pulling a prank or something. Guess he's goin' to check it out."

"Noises? Like what sort of noises?" Chaise asks it offhandedly, her gaze drawn irresistably back to the eggs. "If it's kids being annoying I hope the golds scare them good. I for one am going to keep my distance after seeing Seryth slurp that runner the other day."

From the sands, X'hil nods slightly, glancing to Kinseth briefly, before dropping the basket of glows off on the platform. Just in case. "I, er, I'll check it out." he murmurs, holding the flaming torch out in front of him as he heads to a particular section of the caverns, cloaked in shadow. When the torch gets close, an opening is revealed, covered up with a moth-eaten blanket of a similar colour to the walls. It's actually a much better camouflage than it sounds. There's a guilty look on X'hil's torch-lit face — now that this opening is known about, it probably won't be long until it's closed up — but the eggs are more important. He glances back to the eggs, then ducks in to the opening, careful not to accidentally catch the blanket on fire. Kinseth is looking around the caverns alertly, surely he'd react if X'hil were in danger. He croons at Seryth, eyeing the eggs. He was sure there were going to be more, but he couldn't be more proud.

From the sands, Thea for her part, has fallen into a sound sleep, since there's no running and screaming to rouse her.

Myra shakes her head slowly, yawning yet again. "Odd noises. Tapping… And laughing…" she scowls a little, then blinks as her baby starts to stir. "Probably just weyrbrats." she murmurs softly, jiggling the infant in an attempt to keep her sleeping.

Cenlia nods in agreement with Chaise, glancing at Seryth, then back at the opening, in time to see X'hil disappear. The gardener girl blinks, muttering, "Hunh."

From the sands, Kinseth seems to settle down just slightly from some report of X'hil's, though the man hasn't emerged as of yet. Still, it can't be /that/ bad, if the bronze is relaxing.

Chaise nods slowly, but her eyes widen as X'hil disappears. "Well that's interesting. I suppose it probably is weyrbrats, sneaking a peek at the clutch from a hidden tunnel." She turns to eye Cenlia and Myra. "Unless it's not that secret? Did you know it was there?" <That was my pose like forever ago. If it doesn't fit now, just disregard.>

Myra frowns at the spot where the weyrsecond disappeared, but even knowing it's there she has difficulty picking out the exact spot. She answers Chaise with a "No, I had no idea. Weyrlings used to speak of sneaking onto the sands, naturally, but…" She was one of the weyrlingmasters for a while there.

From the sands, X'hil mutters, and comes out of the tunnel, covered in dust and cobwebs. "There wasn't anyone there…" he mutters at Kinseth, heading back to that little platform to drop off the electric torches. He doesn't check for other tunnels for one simple reason, whoever was hiding in there would be /long/ gone by now. He mutters to himself and heads off of the sands, burnt-out torch in one hand, brushing himself down with the other.

Cenlia shakes her head, and then leans back, tilting her head to the side, "If it's weyrbrats, they ain't very smart makin' noise while the dragons are layin' eggs." The girl stretches and peers out over the sands, "Hope they catch who it was. Ain't nice botherin' them like that." Meaning the dragons. But Cenlia is getting up from her seat, seeing as X'hil seems to be heading off. The girl sighs, muttering, "Bet he ain't gonna remember to come help haul branches later." She sounds more amused than anything, though, as she makes her way back to the clearing, saying, "I gotta get back to work," and waves.

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