Seryth's Clutching - January 16, 2010

Hatching Sands

Immensity yawns in this cavern, the space vast in every dimension. Rough walls of natural basalt with the odd intrusion of harsh granite rise up from a carefully leveled floor, arching up into immeasurable darkness that can never be fully banished. Yet, the attempt is sometimes made, with firelizards and the smallest of the green dragons depositing glows on a thousand little ledges until the effect resembles a starlit sky. At ground level, big permanent torches have been built, designed by clever smiths to burn for hours if enough fuel is provided. On those occasions when there is something happening in here, those torches are lit and their bright illumination can be almost as powerful as daylight. Sand covers the floor of the cavern, a wide sweep of sand that is deep enough to bury the largest dragon egg twice over. That sand, however, is unique: a mixture of red and white grains that combine to form a distinctive shade of pink.

There are two obvious exits. The first is the dragon sized tunnel that leads due north, long and gently curved so that the outside is not visible from within. That tunnel is large enough for dragons to fly through, although none but greens could do it abreast. The other exit is the steps that have been built against the wall, leading up to the galleries and ledges where spectators can watch.

From the sands, Rukbat hangs just at Xanadu Weyr's horizon, leaving the sky a pale wash of lavender and peach, the bolder stars just beginning to appear in the dome of blue deepening to purple overhead. In the wallow by Siebith's weyrbarn, a young queen tries fitfully to find a comfortable position. The attempt is futile, annoyingly so. Her flanks ripple with growing spasms and she knows what's coming. Without any fuss, Seryth rises, reaches to touch Siebith's neck fondly with her muzzle and moves off, her steps measured and slow towards the hatching arena and those hot sands. Aside from a polite notification to Kilaueth that she needs to join the senior queen on the sands, she touches but two minds in her way there to announce with pride that she is about to lay her clutch - her rider's and the sire of this clutch. Should they care to, they may join her.

From the sands, It's just dinnertime at Xanadu and while some folks may have had busy day, Thea's has been hectic, to say the least. Hold visitation accomplished thanks kindly to Siebith's giving her a ride to spare an egg-heavy Seryth, her office work, checking in with the sick folks in the infirmary interspersed with frequent visits to the nursery to feed her babes has left the junior little spare time to recoup herself. And so it is that she's a tad slow to follow and when she does arrive, she's still dressed in her office clothes and shoes so must hotfoot it across those sands to that platform and the relative protection from the sand's heat. Ouch! Ooh-hot! Hot-hot-hot! When there she settles, lowering herself to sit and allow her legs to hang over the side.

From the sands, As it turns out, fate — or perhaps certain machinations on the part of the darkened bronze — would have it that neither Zaqalekhth nor M'gaal is terribly far from the sands. Of course, they were here for another purpose entirely, but that's beside the point. When Seryth's mind touches his, the bronze's response is a singular curl of smoke and naught more than a few minutes later does he slink onto the sands, followed some distance behind by a boy-child-carrying M'gaal. "Sometime, Zaq, you're going to have to tell me what's going on in that thick head of yours," the rider's calling after the beast, but he is, of course, utterly unhelpful. There's just a rusty rattling from him and naught else. For the rider, it takes him a moment or two to spot the platform and, of course, Thea … and a moment more for his feet to get in motion to head over that way.

From the sands, Firelizards flitting in and out of the hatching arena to peek at Kilaueth's mound are the first to pick up on Seryth's arrival and they - pesky things - are quite happy to spread the news with creels and chirrups to beckon their kin, attracting droves of them inside where they find perches where they may to watch. Seryth doesn't seem to notice the 'lizards, no. She's plodding her way across the sands, her head swinging side-to-side as she circles to find just the right spot. Humming to herself and maybe to Kilaueth over there, Seryth paws at the sand to prepare the way for the first egg. Her tones provide a harmony to the fluted calls of curious firelizards, the sound pausing only when Zaqalekhth arrives. She curves her neck to greet him with a pleasant rumble, her thoughts a prism of rain-mist shot through with sun. Prepare to be amazed! In an odd sort of finale to the symphony, the egg drops into the hole.

Lady's Delight Egg
The smooth depths of the darkest night mingle with a silvery-blue undertone as this iridescent pattern caresses the shell of this rather round egg. Faint circles of color rise forth, however, bringing light and warmth to the dark hues of the shell, while pinks and yellows dance with oranges and blues, lavenders and minty greens. Burnished gold speckles seem to radiate their own light upon the shell, enhancing the impression of motion, illuminating the dance in the dark.

From the sands, Thea blinks surprise when the bronze arrives, sliding Seryth a thoughtful look. When his rider follows, she takes a deep breath, glancing towards the observation level, scanning the faces there and not finding one, relaxes and waves him over. No sense standing on those hot sand with a child in his arms after all. When the pair of them are close enough, her smile is genuine, her tone easy, "Hello M'gaal. How is Zaqalekhth?" She bends a little to peer at the boy he carries. "So this is…" She flounders. She's forgotten the name.

It's only after the first egg touched the Sand and the firelizards have begun sending impressions of the event to each other that the Istan rider comes to pick up the Lord of Sea Foam Hold and the two eldest of his remaining, unwed Daughters. So how is it, then that it's only a moment later that the group makes its way up the steps to the Observation Level? Whomever gave them a ride might be lost in the trickle of riders arriving for the even, but he's the only one with an Ista Weyr knot. Thankfully, perhaps, the Lord isn't concentrating on news of who brought them there, but rather who might already be present. Spotting no other Lords there yet, he frowns and motions for his Daughters towards the lowest row (and the best view). Avani lags behind slightly, until Thor appears before her and chitters excitedly, humming to urge his mistress and the eggs onward.

From the sands, For his part, Zaqalekhth remains distanced, a smoky rumble emanating from him when he extends his head to briefly greet Seryth. His returned thoughts are a twisting of smoke and a few low-burning embers; he will reserve his judgment of amazement until the eggs are laid, it would seem. Beyond the greeting, there is only a vague disinterest for the gold; his attention is just waiting for their children-to-be and he soon claims a place on the sand to settle himself on his haunches. For now, that's where he'll sit, a strange and silent sentinel set only to oversee the proceedings.

To anyone but the very observant it might look like Phylicia and Tenebrous are merely walking arm-in-arm with each other, but the slightly younger healer woman has a grip upon the journeyman's arm that would make it difficult for him to go any direction except the one she's trying to steer him in. "We can sit wherever you'd like us to." She tells him softly, apparently trying to strike some sort of bargain with him as she gives him a mild appealing look. "But for just a little bit at least, please?" And indeed the pair are arriving just as Seryth's first egg comes into contact with the hot sands. It was sheer luck that had the pair finishing up an early dinner somewhere around the Weyr, putting them in easy walking distance.

From the sands, Seryth grunts at the unresponsive bronze, her thoughts cloud, It may be only one, but isn't it pretty? And you helped. All the best stories are told and retold and this one is no different: trench is dug, egg is laid and covered with hot sand. That mound left will be eyed and speculated upon by many until the culmination of the saga in time with its occupant freed and impressed. The queen huffs a breath in Zaqalekhth's direction as she begins searching for another spot. He could… help her find one, maybe?

Faded But Not Forgotten Egg
What was once pure white has now grown old to a duller sort of tan, unkempt from the harms that may inflict it such as the elements or human's themselves. Deep brown splotches are upon the egg, much how one could spill klah upon their pants and see the stain. Softer brown rings give indication that the rain has had it's way as well, not too gentle to this worn treasure. Above all this is blurs of black, intricate designs which would likely form words to those who know this careful design and pattern. But alas, a few are blurred and smudged and make it almost impossible to read if such a task were required.

From the sands, "Malaakh," M'gaal supplies after he makes his way up to the platform. "Zaq is-" well, he's right there, so the rider just cocks a thumb at him. "He's impatient. Trust me, he doesn't look like it, but he is." The boy is just as green-eyed and dark-haired as his da, though his features are definitely derived more from his mother's side. The young child squirms a little and tries to burrow himself into his father's shoulder, earning a low sigh from him. "I'm just hoping Ninatta shows up soon; she has a better hand with him when he's sleepy."

Moyrel comes in, and gives a quick wave to Meo and anyone else she might recognize. "Hey there," she greets before settling into a seat to watch.

From the sands, Zaqalekhth utters a rusty noise at the back of his throat, flame-bright maw gaping briefly. No hiss issues forth, however; perhaps it's a display of satisfaction? His thoughts betray nothing, a tangle of smoke and strange emblems manifesting to obscure whatever mental gears are at work. He rouses himself slowly, the construct just barely coming to life enough to set his limbs in motion. She wants his help for the next? She'll have to hold it, then; he's going to take his time to find the /right/ spot.

Tenebrous's face is a thundercloud, even though that hood of his is drawn low. It fairly radiates around him, an aura that screams, 'I do not want to be here.' "Phylicia, I know you've told me twice now, but humor me once more," he begins turning his head towards her, "…and tell me what in the name of a bronze's low-hanging wingtips am I doing here?" He lets Phylicia lead him for the time being, refusing to turn his eyes to the display windows, and what is transpiring beyond.

Avani turns slightly in her seat to scan the area, but finds none that she's interacted with for any measurable durating when she spen a night, or seven, at the Weyr due to bad weather. Thor has perched himself on the railing and the small bronze is humming deeply, the sounds coming in quick and irregular bursts, not unlike distant thunder. When her sister takes her hand with a gasp and points at the pair of eggs now visible, the young woman nods and the tips of her thin-lips twitch, though she spares a glance at her Lord Father before looking down for herself.

From the sands, Thea dips her head, her voice soft for the shy lad, "Malaakh, hiya. See the pretty firelizards?" She points upwards to wherever the things are. Her eyes swing out to take note of the bronze. "Impatient, huh? Doesn't like waiting?" She's not sure by the tone of her voice, just what 'impatient' means today. "Seryth's… usually peaceful. Tired today though." She pats the platform beside where she's sitting. "If you'd rather sit, this may take awhile, but the nurseries here would take Malaakh for you. Mine are there." She winces slightly right after saying that. She'd better hope they're still there and not delivered back to the weyrbarn.

There are rapid footsteps up to the observation level of the hatching arena. And then a moment later, Rio runs in, panting slightly. His hair's wet, too. Guess what he's been doing! His firelizards are with him, too, and go to greet other 'lizards. Rio inquires to anyone that can hear him, "Am I…too late?" before finding a seat.

Rished has, actually, been here from the start; of course, one could blame his trio for the quick alert … and they'd be quite right. The woodcrafter is at the lowest possible tier he can find — the better to be close to the eggs, after all. He's all wide-eyed about the ordeal, though that's probably to be expected from a holdbred lad who hasn't had as much experience with this sort of thing. "Two. Jays, I wonder how many there will be," he mutters, leaning a bit further forward.

From the sands, There is a bit of uncertainty about the young queen now as she wanders over the sands seeking just the right spot. She's careful not to invade Kilaueth's realm, however and gives the senior queen plenty of space for her now-hardening clutch. She whuffs in Zaqalekhth's direction. You choose. And hurry! Because some things just -can't- wait!

It used to be that Satoris would never watch a clutching. It was a strange fascination for people, by the Hold-bred man's standards. However, after Standing for a clutch and ending up with a goldrider for his mate, well… they've become a bit more interesting. Plus, it's a change of scenery. The man ambles up into the Stands and finds a seat somewhere towards the back. Soon, he produces some paperwork and sets to work whilst glancing occassionally to the sands below.

From the sands, M'gaal jostles the boy a little bit to direct his attention upward, earning a mumbled, "Blitter." from the boy. "Close enough," he chuckles, remaining standing for the time being. "Ah, yeah. He's … I guess, just wanting to see how many there are so he can set his grand plans in motion, whatever /those/ are." He rolls his eyes good-naturedly, then glances down at the spot indicated. "I, ah. Maybe in a little bit. If it looks like he's going to be cranky, I'll take him." Sitting? Not yet, not for him; not when he feels the compulsion to pace.

Thor is the one who draws Avani's attention to the arrival of Rio, or to be more exact, the trio of firelizard which look to him. The once(?)-Runner looks about for the source of the brown, blue and green and raises her hand to offer Rio a wave, but it is quickly dropped back into her lap as her Father's gaze follows her own, spot the young man and then settle on her. With a sigh, she returns her gaze to what should probably be a source of excitement: her first Clutching.

From the sands, Another rusty noise escapes the bronze and he stops abruptly, claws scratching out the next spot. Zaqalekhth regards the rest of the sands with a vague noise of irritation and proceeds to slink further along, claws set to marking this place or another. She'll have to dig; he's just marking spots — spots that must serve some purpose to him, for the way he seems to approach it.

Phylicia gives Tenebrous the best, reassuring smile that she can, leading him to a near by yet somehow secluded seat that offers a fine option for a quick exit. And luck should have it the view isn't too bad either. "We're here to watch Seryth lay her clutch." She informs him for the third time as asked, endless patience in her voice. "For at least a little bit." She amends, guaging his mood to be about kin to waltzing with death. "Please sit?" She asks again as she sinks onto the bench, her grip lightening on his arm. "Promise I'll make it up later, somehow."

From the sands, When that spot is marked, Seryth doesn't hesitate and if the bronze is in the way, oh well! She does the digging with a roll of her eyes. Some help. But at least the dragon is busy… doing something?

Patterns in Parchment Egg
Splotched and speckled, blackened points seem to form patterns against the backdrop of beige that makes up vast majority of this egg's rounded shell. Stains and worn spots seem to tint the shell like well used sheets of record hide. Darker lines of ash-tinted brown frame these strips of interconnected spots, crossing them at odd angles and disjointed places. Where the egg widens at the bottom, strands in a myriad of colors are bunched and bound together, seeming to cross each other in intricate patterns like those laid out by a careful hand.

Rio is actually smart enough to bow respectfully to those who appear important. Though he does offer a wave and a big grin to Avani as her father's gaze turns away. He finds a place to sit and looks toward the clutching occurring, looking quite interested in the proceedings on the sands.

From the sands, Thea smirks, "Plans, huh? That's funny." She turns to give the pair on the platform a quizzical look, but nods, and then turns to watch Seryth with a quiet sigh. She fall silent then, her face faintly troubled.

From the sands, The older bronze continues his methodical movement, doubling back only when he suspects one of the marks isn't properly placed according to whatever bizarre plan he has in mind. Of course, he's making an awful lot of assumptions here — namely, in the number of eggs that will be laid. Clearly he's ambitious, with ten marks left sharply outlined. His head swings over to the platform, maw gaping at something or another. Perhaps at some mental prodding by his lifemate does he deign to dig charred talons in the sand to help. He doesn't /dig/, but he will. Grudgingly.

From the sands, As if swimming underwater, Seryth waddles over the sands in slow motion - she's tired and the heat radiating from the sands has her languidly unhurried in heading over to the next marked spot to prepare her next trough. She's so relaxed, in fact, that she crouches and rolls to her side while digging it. When done, her lids slide shut and she actually dozes off for a short while until discomfort rouses her and that egg emerges wetly, steam curling off the glistening shell.

Under the Sea Egg
Sunshine's yellow dances upon the curves of this very round shell, seemingly casting the egg aglow with soft jonquil from rounded end to rounded end. Haphazard sections of tiffany blue, however, have laid their own claim to the shell, serving as stripes along one side, fanning out from an invisible center-line, going from fat to skinny and back to fat before they've reached more than halfway around the shell. A pair of baby-blue spots appear opposite the tiffany blue, smaller though shaped equally as awkwardly, the very tip colored with flowing brushstrokes of the same pale hue.

"No," Tenebrous growls, his voice more sullen than threatening. Beneath Phylicia's ministrations, he's a stiff-limbed puppet, sitting heavily next to the younger healer. "That's why you're here, young miss. And I understand that, but that doesn't explain why I'm here. The dragons don't want anything to do with me, and…" He finally looks up to that window, and the eggs on the sand. "…and I certainly don't want anything with them. Not right now, anyway." A bit of a shudder runs down his spine and he shakes his head. "You get a half hour here, tops…then I'm going to go climb a tree and contemplate why in the world I ever came out of my damned cave…" Then he sighs and gestures. "There's…eggs out there, Phylicia. Look at the eggs…"

From the sands, "Enh. It's how he is." M'gaal lapses into silence as well, his attention suddenly and sharply fixed on Zaqalekhth. There's an absent bounce in his step as if that might lull Malaakh back to full sleep, but between that and his pacing … he otherwise seems distant, lost to his own thoughts. Zaq, meanwhile, gradually makes it over to where the briefly drowsing gold is … but only to start digging at the next spot with a rattle-rumble issuing forth.

From the sands, It's a slow dance of heat waves that the tired queen drowses through, her soft croons melding with the murmurs from the galleries and chirps of firelizards who watch - a mellow sort of mood is upon her, perhaps aided in part by the quiet melody the background noises provide. She rouses at that rumble rises enough to lay the next egg and push sand over it. Can she please sleep now?

The Left Behind Steps Egg
Whirls of color join together like a dance to some sweet melody, entwined along the entirety of the egg while twirling together in their dance. Red, blues, yellows, purples, and greens. Almost every color in a solitary rainbow pattern this egg with their dance, a soft sway to the music and quite formal at that, if one looks closely they can see the neat pattern of the dance steps they've left behind.

Rished's trio of 'lizards eventually catch sight of Avani and trill a greeting, spurring the lad to half-turn in his seat and squint to try to find her. He's not easily deterred by the obvious male and fatherly figure with her … but he's also not about to give up his seat to go over there. So, instead, he digs in a pocket for his notepad and quickly scribbles something down, sending it along with little Missy. The greenling churrs and quickly darts over, circling over Avani's head before attempting to land on it. With a note.

From the sands, Another rattled noise escapes from Zaq and he attempts to encourage, even if that encouragement comes in the form of a heated mental burst that quickly mellows to soothing warmth and a nudge aimed for her shoulder in a way that he's clearly not accustomed to doing. More of M'gaal's influence, it would seem. On to the next does he attempt to guide her, his tailtips betraying a bit of restless energy being vented.

Satoris shifts slightly, folding one leg across the other to provide him a temporary writing surface. The broad back of the man before him would serve rather well, but doubtful that would be appreciated. He does glance up now and again, giving appreciative sounds here and there, but largely seems to be using this time to get caught up - hardy-har-har - on work.

Avani turns her head as her sister gasps and taps their Father on the knee. She takes the moment to glance over at Rio and makes another (this time successful) wave towards the Weaver. Then her attention is back on the Sand. When the gold seems to rest, she leans back slightly but arches an eyebrow at something her sister says once the fourth egg is revealed. "Perhaps," she offers without commitment, "but gold eggs are generally nearly completely that colour, are they not?" Thor's chirp gets her gaze back to see the sixth egg. She lets out a soft gasp, blushing slightly as she draws her Father's attention with the noise. "Would you look at that one, Thor?" she murmurs, leaning forward once more, even as the gold appears to settle down once more. As such, she's taken a bit by surprise when a green firelizard tries to land on her head. Thor gives an admonishing rumble and the young woman raises an arm, both encouraging the small female to land there instead. Giving her Father and Sister an uncertain shrug, she takes the note from the green and opens it.

From the sands, Seryth rouses at that nudge. Oh, all right. Sleep later. She rises and follows, trudging with her nose a few inches from the ground as she eyes those footprints in the sand. Or pawprints, rather. Something. Marks? For a time Seryth seems to be following a path set for her, an unknown route as she wanders across the sand in search of that 'perfect spot' he's got for her until her discomfort alerts her that she's out of time and a hollow is hurriedly scooped for the next egg.

Haunted Maze Egg
The shell of this mid-sized egg is inky black with a faint shine along the upper curves. The smooth surface is decorated with a framework of white lines what dance across the shell, neatly forming a vague series of paths within a wider square. In the center is an almost-box - a square with one side partially missing, which contains a few colorful blobs. Elsewhere in this odd framework are scattered splashes of color: a green oval, a pair of red dots and a set of yellow crescents. Linking these is a nebulous series of white dots, which are present in all but the lower left quadrant of this square. In that quadrant, the paths are bare of white dots, with only a yellow circle that is missing a wedge present.

Phylicia looks mildly peturbed at one of Ten's statements and instead of paying attention to the clutching at hand like she's supposed to be doing, she looks at him. "Not true." She states, but other than that she holds her tongue for the moment being. "Hopefully this won't take all night." And indeed there's already five eggs out on the sands. But his last comment draws a small laugh from her. "Be a little more enthusiastic." She teases before taking her hand away from his arm and giving a squeeze. "If you're that uncomfortable, go, Ten." That last is said in a low voice, meant for his ears alone. "I'll be along in a bit, I'd think."

Rio looks back in time to see Avani's wave and smiles. He doesn't want to get her in trouble, so he makes no further attempt to contact her for the time being. He also waves to Phylicia, since he recognizes her too, and to Tenebrous, since he's with Phylicia. He offers a smile to both, and then he turns back to the clutching, just in time to see another egg deposited.

From the sands, It's not the right spot, which seems to trouble Zaqalekhth enough to elicit a more pronounced flick of his tail. Some quick mental recalculation is made and he utters a rusty noise that seems to have some indescribable purpose. He stalls for just a moment or two and then is slow to get in motion again, this time keeping a closer eye on Seryth as if /that/ might help.

Tenebrous's eyes catch Rio's wave, and he leans into Phylicia a little. "There are…strange people that I do not know waving at me, young miss…" Then he stops, and turns a little more towards her. "I don't actually…know him, do I? That's…the last thing I want to deal with right now is another piece of rotten fruit from that tree…" Still, to be polite, Tenebrous raises a gloved hand in Rio's direction, even as the man turns away. Then, quieter, "I'll give you your half-hour. I was either drugged or asleep when I said that I would come to this thing, but I stand by my word…"

From the sands, Thea turns a look over her shoulder once to give the man and his child a concerned look before it's back to watching Seryth, sending her what strength and support she can. Once in awhile her eyes stray to the level and she waves briefly to some of the folks up there that she knows. The heat down here, though, yes it must be that, has her shoulders drooping just a bit as she wipes a trickle of sweat on her neck.

Avani quickly skims the note, then rerolls is and returns it to the green. "Wrong person," she states gently, "Go back and try again." Thor gives a disapproving warble, no need to confuse her, after all, but his attention is once more taken by his larger cousins upon the Sands.

From the sands, Seryth takes the time to contemplate the last egg laid and several minutes lapse before she straightens, jerking as if electrified. She digs another wallow with haste - sorry there Zaqalekhth! These things just won't wait! Her sides twitch as another egg approaches critical mass. Finally, she positions herself and, with another startled jerk, deposits the Face of Time Egg into its hollow, right beside the other egg.

Face of Time Egg
This large egg is fairly simple at first glance, just a couple of black marks marring the otherwise pristine white shell. But closer inspection rapidly reveals that the marks are anything but simple themselves. Marching in a row about midway down the shell is a series of lines, some which are parallel, others which intersect at varying angles, in equally spaced grouping. There are twelve groups, all told, wrapped neatly around the shell. The top of the shell sports a not quite straight line, each point angling toward one of the characters that frame the shell. The longer branch of the line points toward a pair of parallel bars, while the shorter hand points at what looks like a 'V' with three parallel bars following right after.

Missy does, indeed, settle on the offered arm and churrs again, perfectly content with her Avani-perch for the moment — at least until the note is rolled up and handed back. There's a rattling of her wings, but she's quick to take wing and fly right up to where other 'lizards are, rather than to her owner. For Rished, a few more familiar faces are spotted and waved to, regardless of how tangential that familiarity might be. But his attention his quick to return to the eggs, another recount yielding a curious look.

From the sands, "Hush. Just- hush, Zaq. Not her fault." Clearly, some strange conversation is being had between man and beast, with M'gaal's jaw clenching a bit against something or another. It takes a moment to catch Thea's concerned look, but he returns it with a slight shake of his head. Instinctively, he moves a little closer and offer a hand for her shoulder, though such an offer will be quickly removed if she doesn't accept.

From the sands, The bronze clicks his jaw shut audibly, a long look being given to the resultant egg. It's a terribly admonishing look from Zaqalekhth, as if the egg were to be blamed for its premature birth — and it might be, but he's no Dragonhealer. His talons dig a bit in the sand and he resettles his wings, intent on following along with Seryth to wherever she opts to place the next egg. So much for well-laid plans …

Phylicia also lifts her hand, giving Rio a return wave and an amused grin. She at least has the decency not to laugh at her companion this time. "No, you really don't know him." She supplies. "I met him a day or two ago. We chatted." And that's simply what there is to it. And Phy's good humor is a bit more restored as she really turns her attentions back to the sands, her eyes scanning the already laid eggs. "I would vote for 'well fed'." She humors him, squeezing his arm. "Since we had just finished with dinner." And she didn't personally make it, so she couldn't've drugged it. Easily.

Rio doesn't know Tenebrous, no. But that doesn't mean he can't be polite! So he offers a smile as his wave it returned. However, he doesn't make any further effort to contact. His firelizards, however, are more social. Especially Jetta, his blue, who goes over to Avani's bronze and tries to make conversation. His green is content to sit on his lap and watch the clutching. And the brown looks for mischief!

From the sands, Seryth lifts her head, rumbling at the bronze. Just… pick your spots a little faster? She doesn't really seem care all that much where they go. She moves but a step or two - that's all the time she has. This time when Seryth's talons scrape sand, she continues until it appears she's trying to create a mini-canyon. But, no, apparently she's just in a bit of fatigued daze about it all and has gone into 'auto-pilot.' It's only when a ripple of discomfort washes through her that her paw stops moving. The trench is deeper than the others when all is said and done, but the egg doesn't seem to mind.

Inscribed in Stone Egg
Rugged sandstone casts a weathered facade over the shell of this medium-sized egg. Rough brown shadows dominate over the surface; skeins of glittery silver-mica and splatters of mossy green and grey lichen intermingled with black cracks and streaks that appear across the shell. In a relatively smooth and unmarred area of the egg, right there in plain view, figures in off-white and grey appear to have been painted on — there, a stick dragon, its rider on it's back, spews streaks at curly tendrils that fall from the upper portion of the egg. And in another corner, uppermost, a burst of white can be seen — vaguely round, but with squiggly lines radiating from it, like an explosion. And there, along the base of the egg, a small handprint-shaped splotch can be seen — an artist's mark, perhaps.

From the sands, Thea tilts M'gaal a brief smile when his hand touches her shoulder, "I'm alright, you?" Her voice shakes just a little, showing the effort she's making to support her queen out there. She presses pale lips together. "I'd say I feel her pain, but I think you'd laugh." It might make her laugh at any other time as evidenced by the faint smile that pulls at her mouth.

From the sands, Zaqalekhth might have some choice thoughts on the matter, but his mind is shuttered again and veiled with smoke. The next spot is just a few steps away, sculpted with a quick scraping of claws, just so. A backwards look is given to Seryth, a look that doesn't betray impatience so much as anticipation. One more? At least?

The tips of Avani's lips twitch slightly as she sees first the green and then a blue go over to Thor. The bronze offers tentative chitters to the blue between his thunder-rumbles at the clutching queen dragon. Avani leans forward with the excuse of catching sight of the latest eggs, but tilts her head slightly to try and catch Rished's eye. If she manages the feet, she just offers her thin-lipped smile, a slight shrug of her shoulders and a short shake of her head before returning to what she'd told her father she'd truly wish to see. She lets out another gasp, softer than her first, but still enough to catch her father's attention. She doesn't seem to notice as she lays one hand upon her sister, "Why, that pattern is nearly clear enough to be inscribed upon a proper tapestry!"

From the sands, M'gaal rolls a shoulder, moving into a crouch next to Thea. "I'll live," he replies with a slight quirk of a smile that fades a little. For her admission, the shaking of her voice, there's only a shake of his head. "Ah. No. Can't even begin to imagine what it's like on your end." Her smile is met with a brief one of his own that falters a bit when Malaakh stirs. "Shhh." For the boy? Or for her? Hard to say.

Tenebrous mutters something that's not entirely acceptable in public and then sighs. "I let you out of the cave for two minutes, and you're already playing on the beach." There's a half-amused smile for her eyes only under that hood. But then something catches his eye out on the hatching sands, and he stands slowly, steadying himself with one hand on the rail.

From the sands, Seryth shoves a mini avalanche of sand down into the hole with her muzzle and thus, the bronze has time to mark and dig. Poor Zaqalekhth! She doesn't really note the pretty mark he makes. But yes, she has more, darnit! She does appreciate his digging, though and croons gratefully as she approaches it. Sliding free of Seryth, this gray, rough-hewn egg settles with seeming ponderousness onto the sands and rolls into place smoothly as if finding its way along a long groove through time and space to find its home for now amidst its brethren.

Timeless Monolith Egg
Deep shadows pool at the base of this egg, sweeping upward into long columns of slate that taper slightly at the top only to widen again into the span of a bridgelike oblong. Rough-hewn and pitted by time, pockmarks leave whorled, dark indentations along the surface of that stony color with no apparent rhyme or reason. Gleaming from between monolithic arms, the glimmer of sunrise peeks through, deep reds and golds reaching upward through the spectrum of rose to indigo of a wintry morning sky: the dawn of a new day, a new turn.

Rished does just barely catch that smile, offering one of his own to Avani with a vague finger-wiggle-wave that might just be directed to someone else, too — it's for her, but discretion /does/ occasionally click for him. Occasionally. Then? More egg-watching. "Wow."

From the sands, Zaqalekhth doesn't seem to have any steam left in him to make any further noises, all of that energy reserved, now, for being patient enough to move a few paces ahead of where Seryth lays her latest egg to mark out the spot for the next. Thus far, he hasn't yet taken time to survey their handiwork … but there will be time, yes. There will be time.

Rio leans forward, not really seeing what his firelizards are up to. "Oh, now that's a nice-looking one," he notes, looking at the latest egg that was laid (Timeless Monolith), squinting to see it better. He is fidgetting in his seat, actually, eager to see what the next egg is going to look like. Riot, his brown 'lizard, finds his way to the railing and peeks over at the clutching, mrring curiously.

From the sands, "Well, it's nothing quite as bad as giving birth to two babes one right after the other," Thea quips with a brief laugh that is sucked back in. She drops her head, eyes closing as she focuses on Seryth's efforts, her fingers tighten where they curl about the sides of the platform. That shh could be for either of them - she can't speak at the moment anyway.

Phylicia's smile widens and she laughs softly. She stays sitting even as he stands, though that certainly has her curiousity piqued and she's paying even more attention to the sands. "I was having lunch, and feeding Hinae." She protests in amusement for her own benefit, not that she's taking him entirely seriously. Finally, the curiousity gets the better of her, and she leans forward without standing, craning her neck backwards to look at Ten. "What's got your attention, mister 'I-don't-want-to-be-here'?"

From the sands, M'gaal nods, once, the line of his mouth settled into indecipherability. "Can't even begin to, ah. Fathom." He gives just the briefest of squeezes and then he's retreating again into relative silence. Back to pacing for him, back to muttering things just under breath for the beast that's oh-so-reluctantly settling into his role.

From the sands, Seryth moves across those few steps to Zaqalekhth's mark, her usual preparation before the next egg comes is foregone, this time. Either she's too tired, or it's just that impatient to be out there in the world and showing off. One moment there is nothing, the next moment the egg is there and if you didn't know where eggs come from, this one's origin would be a mystery. You must have blinked, that's all.

Beyond the Taboo Egg
Stoic and resolute, the shadowed eyes that gaze from the pebbly surface of this dark egg behold a timeless sea - ever seeking but never finding. Carved from a shell of black basalt, a protruding forehead, long nose and flat lips form an expressionless face retaining secrets that are as yet unrevealed.

Avani's head tilts, just slightly, at the latest egg. She lowers her voice and leans towards her sister as she speaks, "There is something both compelling and disconcerting about that egg…" When the next egg appears with what seems to be a face imprinted upon it she jumps slightly. She blushes at her father's glare, and leans back slightly. It seems that, with nothing good to say about it, she shall hold her tongue for the moment.

From the sands, Zaqalekhth continues relentlessly onward after the latest egg is laid, his tailtips flick-flick-flicking with an increased sense of impatience. He's otherwise still after claiming and marking the next spot, digging just a little — and definitely not enough for an egg — before settling down. Waiting. Waiting with that impatient tail-flick and a slow whirl of blue-green eyes that seem at such utter contrast with his mood.

Satoris had gotten enthralled with his work. He glances up and realizes that a number of eggs have been laid since he had last looked. The man lowers his writing utensil and leans forward slightly to get a good look at those recently nestled into the warm sands.

Something out on the sands has Tenebrous rivited, and beneath his gloved hand, the railing squeaks a little in protest. "Strength and courage override," he breaths. His other hand comes up to rest beside the first, his grip firm. "She should have just moved out there," he murmurs to himself, reciting something. "Would have…saved me a lot of trouble." Then he exhales a little, watching Seryth's ponderous movements. "Hello, Therise. I've missed you." And then he's still.

From the sands, Serenity. Fortunately it's a part of Seryth's nature and thus she deals with her discomfort and the visitors in the level above her as she follows the bronze. His flicking tail doesn't seem to phase her in the slightest. She eyes him, the barely-there depression with what might be amusement if she weren't so fatigued. She shoves some of the sands aside, deepening it just a little to make room for her next egg. The impression is shallow this time, but she'll make up for that by heaping those covering sands high.

True Enlightenment Egg
Plumper at the base, this squat little egg is the color of aged bronze, metallic hues dulled by the passing of time as the shell sits in timeless watch. Yet, rather than seemingly smooth, shadows pool and gather over the shell, creating an illusion of rolls while ebony gathers in the 'creases'. Feather-like strokes of a brighter copper leave the sense of smiling lips, dark brown smudges those of welcoming eyes, and all together a sense of warmth and welcoming as it sits nestled amongst the sands of Xanadu Weyr.

Avani blinks and leans forward even as Thor gives an appreciative trumpet at the latest offering. "Another face…" is all that is offered, and Avani turns her head swiftly to either side to catch reactions, ignoring her Father glare or her sister's mildly concerned look.

From the sands, Yes. Good. Another. While no mental touch is extended and no noise made, the bronze seems pleased enough to dip his head to Seryth and then move onto the next spot that has been determined to be 'perfect'. Here. Wait, no, that mark is abruptly destroyed and moved just over here, another shallow scraping of claws making it into an acceptable depression. Zaqalekhth waits again, back down to haunches with his claws kneading at the sands.

Phylicia still doesn't stand, though there's a look of confusion on her face. One hand rises from her lap and hooks into the back of his coat, giving a small tug to pull his attention back to the here and now. "Sit down before you squeeze what life there might be out of the railing, Ten." She's both amused, concerned and confused at this latest tangent of his.

From the sands, It's not as if Seryth has had to scale the peaks or cross mountain ranges to get here - she had but to waddle from her wallow beside the weyrbarn, but she acts like she's made an epic journey just to get here. She lowers herself to the sands with a soft groan, her eyes closing as Zaqalekhth chooses then changes his mind. Someone wake me up when this is over! But no, it's not to be. Some inner prompt stirs her and she's up to that excavated hollow of his. She snorts gently. You're sure?? But then she's not really giving him a chance to think about it. She deposits her egg and covers it. So there!

Mountain Citadel Egg
Perched upon almost inaccessible peaks, tightly fitted stones of rain-dampened gray enclose this egg, marching steeply up a windswept peak to the shell's apex in a terraced fashion of living green between dead rock. The bones of a city lost to time is caressed by clouds' wistful fingers, ghostly wisps that cling to boulders fashioned in mystery by hands long-departed.

From the sands, Thea takes a few breaths before answering, although it's to the sand below her dangling feet she says it, "I think, yeah, all men must say that." Her lips quirk into a wan smile, and she lifts her head to blink sweat out of her eyes and squint out over the sands at Seryth.

From the sands, He's sure. He's utterly /certain/. Such is the look he gives to her, if draconic expressions could possibly be properly translated. Zaqalekhth remains settled back on his haunches until Seryth finally makes her way to the spot and lays her egg, only then deigning to push to his feet and move onward. His path is resolute, as if set in stone long before he'd set foot here. Here. This place. And he digs. At least he seems to be getting the hang of hole-digging? Or maybe M'gaal's just forcing the issue a bit more strongly now. Either way.

Thor gives another trumpet, this one to his mistress. It's just enough to catch Avani's attention, she doesn't blush this time as her Father speaks to her in a low, warning tone. Instead, Thor gives a soft hiss and the young woman narrow her eyes before she offers her reply, lowering her gaze to her lap, "Yes, my Lord." It is only after a moment or two has passed that she lifts her chin to look down at the clutch once more.

From the sands, M'gaal, meanwhile, is occupied enough with his duty to almost miss Thea's answer. But, he does just barely catch it and manages a soft laugh that sounds a little bit strained. "Can't really say we /know/ what it's like. I'm not about to make comparisons." There's a jerk of his mouth to a side, green eyes fixed on where the bronze is working away. Words are mouthed just under breath, then he's still. Watching.

From the sands, And Seryth watches him go. Herself, she curls up amongst those egg mounds, her head turns as the bronze walks to find just the right next spot. He digs, she doesn't stop him, merely watches with amusement whirling in her returning-to-green eyes. Nice hole you've made. But I… am out of eggs. Or at least that's what her posture seems to say as she croon-chuckles at him, lowers her head to the sand and closes her eyes. That was work and she hasn't slept so well lately.

Tenebrous sighs softly as the newest egg is laid. "Oh, in time, my apprentice, in time, I will sit…" The grip on the railing is relaxed a little, but he does not stray. "It seems someone lived through the fire after all." He shakes his head slowly. "Your eggs are beautiful, mother, and they all have their secrets, don't they?" When the last egg is laid, smiles beneath that hood. "Someone else's secrets." Then he straightens a little, looking around at the other people assembled.

Rished seems settled into his watching of the eggs rather securely, though his gaze does, occasionally, slant on over to Avani when opportunity allows. Something about the situation over there is bothersome enough to set his forehead to quirking and his mouth to drop into an uncertain line. He is otherwise oblivious to most other things going on; he's a horribly narrow-sighted fellow sometimes.

From the sands, Oh, no. No. He looks at the hole he had dug — he won't even attempt to presume it was a thoughtful gesture — and then to Seryth expectantly. But, with no further eggs forthcoming, Zaqalekhth issues a final noise, a rusty rumble that that follows him as he makes his way to the back. He is not the stay and cuddle sort; he is not the comfort and congratulate type. No, he's the one that will sit as far back as he can to keep an eye on their brood. A spot is claimed and he settles securely on his haunches, wings mantled slightly and figure slightly hunched. For now, he is the unmoving sentinel, watching over eggs and gold alike — and nevermind the other brooding pair.

From the sands, Thea merely nods, her attention on Seryth. "I think… she's… yeah. She's finished." She sound both relieved and uneasy at the same time. For a long moment she watches the rise and fall of Seryth's flanks and then she hops down from the platform, looking up at M'gaal while she shuffles her feet. "If he's… staying," her head tilts in the bronze's direction, even as her shrug says she doesn't know what the dragon will decide, "Ahh, they'll give you a guest weyr." The soles of her thin shoes are not keeping her feet protected, no. "I need to get some things for my stay here with Seryth." She's apologetic, as she backs away. "Back later." And she smiles before turning and hot footing it back across the sands.

From the sands, "I, ah. We'll see." A glance at Zaq is all M'gaal needs to know what the dragon's choice is. But as Thea makes good her departure, so, too, does he — wordlessly. There is nothing left to say or do, save to get matters arranged on his end. And not a moment too soon, for Malaakh is just starting to stir and he /really/ needs to find that nursery.

Narrow-sighted applies to more than one person sitting in the stands, since Phylicia is looking at Tenebrous, her expression still partially confused, but also a bit uncertain. "I guess someone did." Is what she says in response. "You've never slipped so much as to call me your apprentice until now." Her lips however curl upwards as she watches Seryth curl up on the hot sands and go to sleep quick enough. Finally, with the clutching basically announced as over, Phylicia stands and joins Tenebrous next to the railing, even as he's looking at the other people gathered. "Everything alright in that head of yours, Ten?" Yes, there is concern there, but more she's prodding gently for a reaction.

Rio seems to finally be pulled out of her reverie by Tenebrous. Has he heard any of the ramblings? Maybe, maybe not. It's hard to tell. Either way, he looks to the man for a moment, blinks. Raises an eyebrow. Blinks again. And then he nods, giving a polite wave and a smile. Seryth seems done, so he stands, going to the railing — snagging Riot in the meantime, since the little brown firelizard seems like he wants to fly down into the sands, and that's a definite no-no — and holds him securely as he stands at the railing and looks over the final count of eggs. "They're all really great," he muses. "Hard to pick one that looks nicer than the others."

Avani's Father gets to his feet when it seems that golden Seryth has settled properly and the eggs fully clutched. Despite this rather obvious cue, the young woman remains sitting, hands in her laps. Thor chitters, glancing down once to offer a warble of congratulations before swooping over to settle on his mistress' knee. Avani presses her lips together so that this disappear before closing her eyes a moment. On cue, Thor starts to creel hungrily. Avani gets to her feet with that, looking to her Father. "I need to get him fed before we leave," she states softly. "We shall await you where we were deposited here," the Lord of Sea Foam offers evenly, "Do not leave us waiting overlong." And then he's gone, along with his second-eldest daughter.

Rished is finally drawn out of his thoughts with the realization that the eggs are all laid and that's … that? There's a slow blink, a shake of his head as if to clear it, and it's suddenly as if he's realizing there are other people there to watch the whole porceedings. There's a blink to Phylicia and Tenebrous, a blink to Rio, and then a lingering look to Avani — or, perhaps, more the noise emitted by her Thor. He pushes up and is quick to move, his trio quickly taking wing after him.

Now that the clutching is done and people have begun to filter out, Satoris decides against haunting the galleries and that he ought to find somewhere else to see to this paperwork. Shipping orders and the like; wonderfully fun times! He gets to his feet, rolls up the papers, and tucks them into his belt. Once there's an opening in the flow of people below, he angles his way out.

Just as most are filtering out, one is working her way in, hands full of quilting and a queen clinging possessively to her shoulder. No worries about -that- one wandering off and becoming a pest anytime soon! Jessamin slides onto a bench in the gallery, a bemused and almost bittersweet smile upon her face as she looks down on the Sands. For a moment, her eyes light up, as she recognizes the bronze form of Nyunath. How ironic, to have been there at his Hatching, and now to see him there again. Running her fingers through her hair, she lets out a sigh, and chuckles softly. "Shards, Empress, I've never felt this… old."

Tenebrous shakes his head slowly, turning to face Phylicia. He lean in slowly, and when he speaks, it's for Phylicia's ears only. But then he straightens a little. "But then…you knew that. You've known that for some time now. I'm going home. You're welcome to walk with me, if you wish."

Phylicia's lips twist slightly in repsonse to whatever it was that Tenebrous whispered to her. "It was getting better…" She points out. As he straightens up, she's at his side again. "I'll walk to the edge of the forest with you." And here she sounds disappointed even as she gives him a bit of a smile. The reasons for not going back with him are obvious enough as to not really need stating.

Tenebrous shakes his head a little. "Still is. Come on." He gestures, and then offers his arm to her. "You've got questions, and I imagine I have at least some of the answers." He glances out over the sand again, sighing a little. "Strength and courage indeed."

Jessamin nods to Tenebrous and Phylicia as they pass by her, Empress just tightening her hold upon her perch's shoulder. MINE! "Hello there. It's been a little while. How are you two doing?"

Rio looks up at the interaction between Tenebrous and Phylicia…and frowns. He looks to her, for some sign that she's in trouble, some sign that someone needs to step in and assist. He looks around, as if wanting to see if someone else notices the weirdness. He may not have heard anything that was said, but Tenebrous's attitude still is a little…odd….

Phylicia accepts Tenebrous' arm quick enough with a bit of a sheepish smile. "Of course it still is." She agrees. And for a moment she pauses in her steps as they pass a familiar face - Jessamin. "Oh!" It's a soft exclamation but she smiles at the other woman. "It has been awhile, but…" Obviously she has an arm connected with someone else and she should be going. "I'll catch you later, if you're still here." After she finishes talking with Ten. But instead of holding him up any longer, she lets herself be led off by him. Odd attitude or no.

Jessamin 's lips quirk upwards in a smile, as she looks between the two. Far be it from her to say anything, when she only just arrived not too long ago. She only nods, and gestures to her quilting. "I'll probably be here, or you can send a message with a flit. Faranth only knows they keep finding me anyways." Squawk! "No, Empress, that wasn't a complaint!"

Tenebrous brings his other hand over to pat Phylicia's as she takes his arm. "Inhale. Exhale. Whatever you're thinking, it's not that bad." They take a few steps forward, and he shrugs. "Or I guess it could be, depending on how you slice it." He looks around as the two of them make their way towards the main clearing. "And what in the world did you bring me to a clutching for? Especially -this- clutching?" He moves his free hand from hers, making a gesture in the air, and without warning, three fire-lizards peel away from the mess out above the sands, a gold whose coloring is almost white, a vibrant green and a stridant bronze with a red, burned looking patch on his throat. They all go streaking off towards the two healers' ultimate destination.

It doesn't seem that anyone's going to really register that Tenebrous is…not looking very normal, and he's taking off with a woman all on his own. Rio frowns. And then he stands, ambling over to where Phylicia and Tenebrous are. He's remaining quiet for the time being, just watching. Yes, he's gonna follow.

Phylicia's answer is muffled to the rest of the observation level, but it is faintly audible. "Because I wanted to see one." Is the simple (and yes, selfish) answer he gets as giggles. But then whatever else is said or done is not this area's concern, for the pair and their trailer are moving away.

Jessamin shakes her head as the pair leaves, letting out a sigh she hadn't even realized she was holding back. Reaching up to scritch Empress gingerly on the side of her neck, she warbles in a reasonable approximation of a firelizard's song. "Humans can be such funny creatures, can't they? Ah well." With the galleries now largely empty, she is left with peace and quiet in which to begin her work, sorting through her sewing basket, holding up bits and pieces of fabric from time to time, peering between them and the eggs. "No… that won't work, will it? Let's try another one…."

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