Clutching Winter 2014

Characters Al'dru, Emelene, Fi, Janja, Kytaer, Lucrezia, Neyuni, Quillan, R'en, Reya, Rynn, T'ayne, Vanessa, Zak
Synopsis Eggs are clutched, and a candidate ensnared.
Out-of-Character Date December 8, 2014

Hatching Galleries
From this vantage point, you can look over the balcony to the Sands below. The seating here stretches out around the perimeter of the Sands, the rows of seating rising high above. The benches are wooden, simple bleachers, and the stone steps have been worn down along their center from turns of foot-traffic. Above the bleachers, the ledge of the galleries is pocked and marked from dragonclaws where dragons have perched to watch the hatchings as well.


Al'dru wanders on up the stairs, moving to find a seat near Janja and talking to a fellow compatriot transplanted here.

Zak saunters in to watch the activity upon the sand. Being weyrbred he gives the impression this is nothing new to him. Slouching into a seat he gives attention first to those seated around him to try to identify the various weyrs visiting tonight.

With a giggle, Janja and Cari, one of the weyr farmers, come into the hatching galleries with their arms locked at the elbow and skipping. The pair split up at the entrance as Cari saucily heads towards one of the more rambunctious brownriders. Janja sighs as she makes it towards a nice central seat. An early arrival she's there when Al'dru arrives to take the seat next to her. "'Ryn's still in the infirmary." She says with a sulky sigh to the bronzer. "Will you entertain me?"

Lucrezia arrives right alongside an Igenite brownrider who is tall and taciturn in comparison to her chatty self. And she is -chatty-. He lifts his head slightly and the trader trots off in that direction, quickly claiming a seat for the pair of them near the edge of the sands. She continues talking at poor Ph'eles, who seems to exist purely as a pair of ears for her amusement for the time being. Janja and Al'dru are spotted and she, not skipping a beat, raises a hand and waves brightly to the pair before she settles down again. Mostly.

Emelene jogs her way into the hatching grounds, taking the stairs to the galleries two at a time with a look of nervous excitement on her face. "Oh! Excuse me. Sorry sorry, clumsy feet!" She mutters to one person and apologizes to another for tromping on a toe. She finds an open seat and settles in, eyes wide and looking to the sands with the clear awestruck look of someone new to the entire scene.

A diplomatic visit has turned to two of Monaco's queens visiting the hatching grounds to watch a most momentous event. Fi's even in her formal uniform as she steps into the traditional galleries of the ancient volcanic Weyr and moves along the aisles, dropping herself quickly into a seat so she can watch the festivities.

Al'dru shakes his head. "They've got him on a rotation right now? Well, I suppose his loss is my gain, and I'd love to have company while I watch." He eyes the goldrider. "And just what sort of entertaining am I supposed to do for you? I think Zuhth's the one that is going to have to put on the show."

Technology Journeyman Halimedes arrived relatively early, responding almost immediately to the summons, and has a very good seat toward the front. His apprentice, Kytaer, on the other hand … not so much. Kytaer had intended to go to the clutching, he really did, but he'd gotten all involved in the thing he was working on and so he lost track of how he said he'd be right there — and now, Halimedes has his seat and Kytaer has none, bustling around in the back trying to figure out where to sit. His relatively taciturn bench-hunting is met by Emelene's rushing and toe-tromping, and so as punishment for stepping on him, he ends up sitting down next to her. "It's fine, if you let me sit here?"

<Sands> Zuhth lands ungracefully upon the sands. Wing flap and flick far more than usual as her bulk settles and she grumbles verbally, rotund belly swaying as she arches her neck and bends downwards to sniff at a spot she has favored several times previously. It seems to give her rider a chance to catch up, albeit from gounnd level. Neyuni saunders more casually onto the sands, not her first clutching and although she baits her queen a bit with a "Are you /sure/ this time silly?" she mostly leaves the other alone to do what needs doing. Talons scratch slightly to the left of her favored spot and, yes, that will be the one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Balanced on a Precipice Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Antique Ivory wraps this egg in a comforting hug, the color of aged parchment. Traceries of darker lines form, showing the rough surface that bedecks the egg from where it curves gently at the top and down the rounded sides to its snug burial in the sands. Lighter patches form in faint semi circles as if someone has taken a shine to the spot or cleaned it recently, but even there the surface looks somewhat worn. Splashed down the middle is a darker sigil, seeming midnight blue in color that forms an abstract shape. Perhaps a dwelling, perhaps not it shadows and showcases a living being, dancing and enjoying the moonlit night.

Reya too is in her formal uniform, though she looks more irritated about it. The trader turned rider picks at the cloth but follows along after Fi and eventually drops into a seat as well. She's more curious about the people around and cranes her neck to lane at the gathered folk before finally turning her attention to the sands. "One already? That was pretty fast….or is it always like that?"

With a cheeky grin, Janja waves at Lu down below before answering Al. "Oh, I don't know? Guesses on numbers? Comments on which people are here and which aren't?" She shrugs helplessly but Zuhth has arrived and so has the first egg. "I wonder if I could find a wrap in that exact Ivory shade?" she muses.

Emelene flashes a warm, if slightly sheepish, look aside to Kytaer. "Of course! Not that I own the seat, but, you're certainly welcome to." Her attentions go back to the sand and watches the golden queen choose her spot and bring the first egg into the world. "…wow, they're so tiny compared to the grown dragons. First time I've ever gotten to see a dragon egg. Hm. I guess they're kinda big compared to, well, wherry eggs or firelizard ones certainly. Still, hard to imagine something like that growing into such big creatures."

"It depends on the dam." Fi offers Reya a strained smile. The two are hardly fast friends, but they are colleagues. "Some can take a few days to lay a full clutch, some plop them out quite quickly and move on to brooding. Zuhth is an experienced dam, so she may be quicker than many."

Al'dru pauses, holding up a hand. "Well, C'vryn isn't here. So, he can be the first counted as missing." He glances down to the sands and the first egg. "It's definately one of the paler ones I've ever seen. Don't see so many plain ones." He leans back in his seat, people watching as well. "Who else would you expect to be here?"

Lucrezia coos with delight at the first egg and even claps her hands a few times. "Oh! Oh that's -lovely-, isn't it?" There's no need for Ph'eles to answer; her question is tossed right up to Janja. Then it's back to sands-watching, the trader-girl scooted to the edge of her seat while she bounces in place just a little. More hushed, one-sided conversation continues and the blond pulls out a notepad to jot a few things down.

"A few /days/? Ugh…" Rey screws up her features, fashioning them into a rather unpleasant look before shaking her head. Fast friends? Oh no, most definitely not. Frankly, they're like night and day! "That one's pretty…how many do you think she'll have?" Poor Fi, assaulted by question after question. She may regret brining Reya with her in a few seconds.

"I think they get bigger," suggests Kytaer, sounding nice and worldly and intelligent, as if he knows so very much about dragons and their eggs. He thinks they get bigger. "While they're sittin' on the sands, they grow. Get harder around the shell, too. My sister's a rider, and so she says." That is, of course, why he thinks he knows anything at all. He remembers that one dragon having come from a really little egg. "I don't think his egg was as artistic as that one, though."

Deciding that she should get out of Monaco with Ceresth for a bit, Vanessa decides to visit Igen. Loosening her flight jacket she ascends into the galleries and peeks about first to see if she recognizes anyone here.

<Sands> Neyuni shifts from one foot to the other, getting a good look at the first egg as Zuhth fusses over it, before she shuffles a bit more to the side where the sands are ever slightly less torturously hot. The queen snuffles loudly head looking from one side and then curling around to look at the egg from the other side. A talon ever so delicate nudges a bit of sand up along one side of the egg and yes, there! Perfection. She turns completely around, the first egg now ignored or forgotten in the needs of the moment. Her sides ripple and its clear a second is coming quickly after the first. Only when the spot is right do golden flanks go rigid and sides heave fully, the second soon after appearing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Rain of Sunshine Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The egg is a good size, neither too large or small nor misshaped as some are ought to be. It rests along the long axis, with smooth shell curving in a graceful arch from the wide apex to the more pointed end. The bulk is a sun-kissed yellow with hints of copper glinting from the slight pitting which textures the surface. Orange tones deepen and enrich the hue of upper edge, fading away to a pure brilliant yellow at the equator of the egg. It lightens still farther as the shell drops towards the sand, ending at a pale almost washed out yellow muddied by gray just as it disappears into the sands below. Slightly above center and towards the larger end is a curiously curved octagon shape, grading from smoldering dark red at the upper right corner to near candy apple at the trailing edge. Delicate black boning runs from the center to each corner and a single black handle from the center out and away from the shape. The final touch is a diagonal rain of slender silver threads falling from the upper narrow end down towards the base of the wider end.

Janja's eyes widen and she nodes excitedly at Lu. Then with a turn, it's back to Al'dru. "Well, I don't know. I haven't really paid that much attention before to be honest." She shrugs off the thought before going on. "Well, I'd guess R'en and that headwoman." She pauses, seeming slightly puzzled. "I can't ever rememeber her name. Something fizzy or the like.." She waves the thought off with a careless flourish. "You know? I don't remember when Feyruth was out there. I wonder if that's a problem."

"Really? Wow." Emelene says aside to Kytaer. If she doubts him, she certainly gives no indication. "Oh look, and another! They're beautiful. I never realized they were so colorful. Geez, sorry, here I am yammering and you're probably wondering who this crazy girl thundering over your toes are. Name's Emelene, born of Igen Hold but stationed here at the Weyr as a journeyman healer. Midwife, really, so I know baby humans. Dragons? Clearly not so much."

Al'dru stares blankly at Janja for a moment, before he shakes his head. "Well, I see R'en just arrived, so he's here." A moment of concentration before he also shrugs. "Can't say as I've been keeping up with the headwoman either. She'll probably have both of our heads for that." A long considering look. "You don't remember the last time Feyruth had a clutch? I'd think you'd want to keep up with that, err just so you'd know when she was about to rise again."

Zak stretches out his long legs as he divides his time before watching the eggs as they appear and people watching in the gallery.

<Sands> Zuhth creels towards the newest egg. There there, mommy has it all taken care of now. Talons again teases the sands just so about the soft glistening shell, the bulk of her body finding a moments respite upon the warm grounds briefly blocking view of the two eggs from the galleries behind her. "Dear…" there a bit of a guiding tone from her rider and the dragon grumbles, fidgeting awhile before nature comes calling again. Bulk heaves upwards and she goes to the spot exactly half way between the first two. Yes, apparently this will be the next perfect location. Hindtalons dig the nest a bit deeper and she shifts back and forth, inspecting, filling and digging again until she is satisfied.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unlimited Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tall, wide… odd. This egg looks nothing like the others, making it stick out like a sore thumb - and yet it's no less special for its differences. Darkness cloaks its form, its apex oddly peaked, a little too sharp to be typical, though its true curve is masked somewhat by the black its draped in. Down, down the dark goes across the barely-there curves of its elongated form, splashed with bitter green and accented by a streak of pure white, which is bubble-glossy in contrast to the shineless drab of the rest of the shell.

"Tae," says Kytaer, so that must be his name, as he offers it with a hand to shake. "Techcraft apprentice. Senior apprentice." His knot looks relatively clean and new, so it's logical he might leave it out. "I've actually never seen a clutching before either, just heard stories'n read Ryl's letters from when she was a candidate. So it's not as if I've got encyclopedic knowledge. Of dragon eggs," he tacks on, because of many other things, he actually does. "Yammer away, I don't mind." He seems much calmer around other people chattering, really. Relaxed and listening to the sound of voices that are not his. "That one," Rain of Sunshine, "is gorgeous. Reminds me of clock innards."

Reya's eyes immediately dart towards Vanessa and the junior's hand shoots up in the air to wave wildly. "Here! Over here!" She might be a little too enthusiastic and a little /too/ loud, but Reya doesn't seem to care really….no one's told her to quiet down yet. And oh, there's another! Her gaze shifts back to the sands at the two new eggs, but it's the last one that gets the most attention. "That one looks kinda…weird, doesn't it?" At least she's smart enough to whisper this instead of scream it out loud.

Rynn sneaks in and takes a seat somewhere in the back.

Lucrezia exclaims, "Three already! And they're just so- so- ooh!" Words escape Lucrezia and all she can do is utter a soft squeal and clap a few more times, despite Ph'eles's grimness. He bears the brunt of her excited babble, babble that continues even while she continues making her notes on that curious notepad.

The expression on Jan's face is unconcerned. "She'll tell me or C'vryn will tell me. One of them usually does." A quick glance goes around the galleries as a particularly loud voice gets her attention. "OOOoo, look, we have visitors." Rather rudely, she points directly at Fi, Reya, and it might even include Vanessa at this point. Another egg arrives and Janja turns back to the sands, muttering a comment to Al'dru that might indict she agrees with Reya.

"Good to meet you." Emelene says to Kytaer over the offered shake. "It is a pretty egg, seems so nice and warm. Oh, well that's an odd one, kinda stretched. Well, maybe it'll settle if the shells are soft like you mentioned. Some babies are born kinda odd-shaped in the head when the mother had trouble, but they straighten out after just a little while and nothing is worse for it."

<Sands> Sindrieth glides towards the sands about the time that R'en wanders in as well, though the bronze is quick to make sure that he's landing somewhere out of the way before seeking to help the gold if she would like but certain to stay out of underfoot. An ice cold flask of water is brought with R'en, as he heads directly towards where the bit of respite away from the intense heat is, and likely where Neyuni is. "Two so far?" He wonders aloud, blue eyes looking over the sands and attempting to see between the gold's legs as they obscure the view.

Fi also motions Vanessa to join them, but with less gusto and more prim restraint. Monaco is getting a contingent.

"Uh Huh." No other comment is offered on Feyruth's clutching ability or lack there of, before Al turns back to the sands. He shakes his head, once and then again as if to clear it before glancing at Janja again. "Well, folks do have a right to be excited. Even if we're not needed for our old traditional jobs anymore, dragons are always a good thing to see and new ones are always appreciated."

Vanessa spies the other two from Monaco. Really it's hard /not/ to see the hand waving excitedly towards her. "Hey!" she weaves her way there and plops down by them with a bright smile. "How much did I miss?" is asked breathlessly before she turns to spy some rude pointing by Jan. "We can't be the /only/ visitors from out of weyr can we?" she asks in a hushed tone to Fi and Reya.

"I … think I remember that," Kytaer says, and while he's looking at the Unlimited Egg his eyes are slightly glazed-over, caught in trying to recall something. "From when my youngest brother was born. I was eight and I got to see just after, his head was cone-shaped. Mama said it was 'cause of the shape of the space he had to come through, so maybe Zuhth's a little funny shaped. That'd make the others funny shaped, though, too, maybe, so." A shrug. Hopefully Zuhth didn't hear him.

<Sands> Neyuni wipes a strand of hair back into place looking toward the shadowed entrance of the grounds. The entrance of the bronze and his rider get a warm look from the Weyrwoman, her queen on the otherhand does not seem quite as impressed. Lips pull back from her muzzle and she gives the bronze a good hearted snarling, but there isn't much time for her mood to shift as sides ripple again and she hisses. The next egg clearly soon to arrive. "Three actually, and a fourth it seems not far off. They're coming pretty quick, but she's always been a good mother."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Black as Pitch Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Darkness wraps its embrace tightly around this perfectly shaped egg, clinging tightly and unwilling to let go. Despite that, there are parts where the matte blackness has lost its grasp. Bright hummingbird green is visible in narrow slats that resemble feline eyes, a luminescence that flickers between green and yellow depending on the angle of reflection. Unsettling, this egg, for one day when being turned it can appear as though it's staring right through you with its lambent gaze, and the next, it has managed to disappear into the black sands to make you question if it existed in the first place.

Reya didn't notice the pointing in their direction, not until Vanessa pointed it out. That's when the junior's dark eyes shift quickly in that direction and she plasters a massive grin on her face before pointing right back at Janja and Al'dru. (Maybe Fi won't yell at her too much for being rude). "Hello!" It's a friendly sort of greeting and the finger point turns into a wave before attention shifts back to the sands at the arrival of another egg. "I think that's the fourth one, Vanessa…or maybe the third."
Fi nods to Janja and Al'dru, trying to ignore her junior-most queenrider's behaviors, then turns his attention to Vanessa, scooting to make space for her, "She's still going strong. I didn't check the odds, though."

Rynn's eyes fixate on the already arrived eggs, watching as the queen snarls and shifts to leave another egg on the sands. There are no words, even as a brownrider moments like this always leave Rynn speechless.

Zak sits up with some interest s the darkness wrapped egg emerges onto the sands. "Now that's a good egg." he remarks to those around him.

<Sands> Impressed or not, no amount of snarling or disdain is going to keep Sindrieth from staying - it will only prevent him from helping. He snorts, and settles to watch with an expression that almost dares Zuhth to try and shoo him away. R'en just rolls his eyes and scoots closer towards Neyuni and offers the water if she would like some, provided she hasn't brought her own. "I remember it being fairly quick last time too, and Sindrieth being even later than he is this time at getting to the sands. He was so disappointed." He says with a shrug, watching as the next egg is put on the sand and arches a brow. "That's some dark eggs there."

"Exactly!" Says Emelene aside to Kytaer. "Hmm, another dark egg. You can barely even see that one. Hopefully it doesn't get stepped on, though she seems to know what she's doing. I bet she knows exactly where they are even with her eyes closed. I wonder how many they'll be. I heard legends of the old queens, back during Thread, who'd lay fifty eggs! I can't imagine seeing that many, the sands must have been packed."

Oh! The visitors have noticed Janja and rather that be unhappy about it, Janja is just excited. She waves eagerly back to Reya, but returns Fi's polite nod with one of her own. Seems the Igen junior can show manners when required. With the arrival of yet another egg, Jan turns back to Al'dru to comment. "I do love that green color. It would be perfect with a skirt I have. Oh!" She adds with a sort of inspired hope. "Would you like to be in my fashion show?"

<Sands> Zuhth sighs in clear relief as the most recent egg arrives, although even she has to search a bit on the sands to find it. The soft glisten of laying dampness gives clue for a few moments at least and the gold steps carefully sweeping the sands into a series of small dunes to help mark the black egg's position, creating almost an arrow-like effect pointing directly at the dark shell. It seems to amuse her, but woe to anyone else who might point it out. The laboring queen is not in a particularly indulgent mood as her sides continue to ripple. Another section of the sands gets her attention and she lumbers somewhat away from her partner bronze as her rider gets a bit of refreshment "Thank you. I hadn't brought anything and I should certainly know better. I guess it's a bit of relief that she tends to lay over hours rather than days."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Life's Colorful Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There is the hand that life deals one, and this egg is no exception. What it has been dealt is expressed vividly upon its surface in a rainbow of hues that roll vibrantly from one to the next, and collide in starbursts. Either end of the ovoid gleams in a polished clean and pure cloudy white. That most innocent of hues gives way quickly enough to the brilliant waves and bursts of lively color. Here, azure and lemon twine next to a spiral of ochre and peach which fade into a playful twist of ruby and olive. Violet and fawn wrap the center with starbursts of chocolate and mauve, and silver and rose to either side. And blue. One can hardly miss the lovely blue that somehow seems to tie everything together in a way surprisingly pleasing to the eye. Beyond its coloring, the egg is otherwise entirely normal. It is neither the largest nor smallest and is shaped quite typically. The shell itself is fairly smooth and unblemished and kept comfortably warm as it rests in its sandy bed.

There's a bit of lip-pursing and thoughtfulness on Rezia's behalf, while another egg - and another! - join the rest on the sands. She stops scribbling her notes and sits back, hands folded on the notepad while she lapses into a strange silence. Ph'eles lingers for only a few moments more but, soon, the brownrider's pushing to his feet. He slips out to leave the trader alone for the time being while he tends to something that's clearly more urgent.

Vanessa hears bits and pieces of the conversations that drift around her once she settles next to Fi. "Was there betting at Monaco on the eggs too?" she wonders. Such an innocent sometimes. Her gaze drifts over to admire the eggs seen so far. "How're you tonight Fi? Reya?"

<Sands> Sindrieth seems to know better than to impose where he isn't wanted or needed, so is pleased enough to sit and watch from out of the way. He shifts to try and get a better look before eggs are completely covered, but remains where he is except for the odd lurching and stretching he's doing to see better. R'en smirks a little and takes the water back after Neyuni's finished, but for the moment doesn't appear interested in drinking it. "Count your blessings where you get them, I suppose. Any guess as to how many there'll be? I'm thinking it might be a little larger than the last set. Maybe."

"She's cool, I like her." Rey says this about Janja, despite never having officially met. Apparently Monaco's youngest junior bases her impressions on enthusiastic waving more than anything else. There's a final grin from the pair before the latest egg has the former trader letting out a soft whistle. "Now that's a pretty one." Oh wait, did Nessa just mention betting? "Is someone taking bets here?" The question is a hissed whisper before there's a smile, "I'm doing pretty good, how about you?"

Rynn brow furrows and says with a bit of perplexion, but rather generally to anyone within earshot ,"And now rainbows? Dark as night that last one and then a piece of art like this one."" a bit of a smirk and head shake occurs, thumb and index rubbing chin for three passes before eyes scan the crowd to see if anyone else thinks these eggs are rather interesting shades, especially that colorful one. Gaze settles on Reya, Fi and the group nearby, a smile shared to anyone who's gaze her own meets along the way. It isn't long before those peepers are back on the eggs.

He's late, he's late! T'ayne hurries up Igen's gallery steps, profusely apologizing as he weaves and inserts his form between numerous observers in order to reach the Monacoan contingent. Soon enough, the greenrider's hopefully seated a row behind Reya and Nessa, bobbing his head to both weyrwomen, and then oggling the Sands for signs of eggs…and their parents.

"Someone's always taking bets. I'd have thought you'd have learned that by now after all the clutches we've had at Monaco." Fi offers Reya an indulgent sort of smile, "You'll get a larger taste after Fuerioth rises the first time."

Al'dru pauses, giving Jan a sideways glance. "Fashion show? Don't you have enough with dressing up 'Ryn the way you do? I know he's perfectly content to model for you." An eyeroll then, half hidden. "What makes you need more, especially an old man like me?"

Being all sooty is certainly not the best way to turn up at a clutching, but from the way he's still peeling off between-worthy layers, Quillan's only just arrived - and his mentor's just a few paces behind him, too. They make their way up into the galleries, edging along the first tier with empty spaces to settle where they can. P'rry, his mentor, turns to chat to the closest person like they're old friends, while Quillan leans forward to watch the Sands, elbows resting in his lap, chin propped up in one hand.

<Sands> Neyuni hmms "I agree. She's definitely seemed heavier than last time. Already we're up to five and she doesn't seem to be slowing." The queen lifts her head high, flaring her wings and gives a good hiss towards the audience for good measure. Who knows what she might, or might not have heard in all the commotion. More likely than not simply fussing over nothing and instead moves closer to where Sindrieth is, closer, just a bit closer, just «Why your tail is RIGHT on the spot!» she chides shuffling and then licking at the offending appendage. The way she sways, it seems more eggs are imminent and that might almost be a whimper that could seem comedic if she wasn't so serious.

<Sands> "One never tells a lady that, pretty sure that's taboo." R'en says as he glances towards the golden queen who is in the process of flaring her wings and hissing at the audience. He takes a drink from his water as Sindrieth seems adamant that he isn't going to move. No, she hasn't been pleasant to him at all, and for a moment it seems as though he will stand his ground and keep that section of the sands for himself. "Oh, stop being a hard head." R'en gripes, and Sindrieth actually /does/ move. « Not because you told me to. » The bronze quips, picking himself up and moving just out of the way as he is expected to.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As Old as Time Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Black. Glossy. Sleek. A laminated sheen brings life to what is almost a spitefully monochromatic shell, adding shine to the pitch that this egg is daubed with. Not all is doom and gloom, though - black's dominance is cut through by the purest of whites, a smooth collection of curved lines that might, if you squint hard enough and use your imagination, come to form a face… of sorts, anyway. And there, captured within those pearly strokes, is a flash of vermillion brightness, weeping wasted life away in a single rosy tear.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Splatter of Blood Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Large and rotund, this egg is a difficult one to move even for the dam. No, this egg does not want to budge in the least and prefers to keep its fat end firmly planted in the sands to keep the grotesque scene of it viewable. The egg itself is mostly pristine white, however, there are splatters here and there on the surface of what appears to be fresh blood. Surely nobody's slaughtered a herdbeast near these eggs, right? At initial glance, it seems as though the blood can be rubbed off but even if the attempt is made, there is no such luck. A couple swirls of black are on the top with a thick line of white between.

"Is it highly frowned upon if…a junior from another Weyr just happens to slip a few marks into the betting pile?" There's what she was really getting at! Reya throws a cheeky grin at Fi and Nessa before sighing, "No signs of that yet, but I'm fine with her being a late bloomer." And then there's T'ayne. The former trader tilts her head back to look at the greenrider upside down, "Took you long enough." But it's nothing more than a slight tease because her eyes are soon back on the sands. "Now /that/ one, I like." That one being the bloody looking one. Go figure.

In the midst of considering eggs, Kytaer's gone briefly silent; when he speaks up again it's to comment on the latest egg at the time, logically. "There's all the color the other ones didn't have," he says, speaking of Life's Colorful, and then he doesn't actually get a chance to get a word in edgewise when there are three more. As a result, his mouth is just hanging open, and when words actually come out again they're, loud enough to carry to their target, "Nice outfit, Quillan!"

Lucrezia purses her lips again and it's the mention of betting that catches her ear. She turns her head a little to regard the source of those voices, but motion on the sands - and another egg! - is enough to force her attention back into place. Gone is her buoyant and chatty self; she's suddenly all business about… well, whatever she's doing. And if whatever she's doing involves surreptitiously taking marks and murmurs from a few folks near her, why, so be it!

"Well, of course I need more! There's one than one outfit isn't there?" Janja huffs slightly before the activity on the sands really draws her attention. "Oh, now see that's much like Feyruth. All growling and pushing about." Her lips purse as the stand off occurs and relax again as the bronze shifts. "Now she'll get on..and yes, there's some more. There do seem to be a lot of dark colored ones. Quillian and Tae's conversation spark interest. "Those are the crafter boys who are going to fix my weyr. " She says with a confident smile. "Make it not so hot all the time."

Quillan turns to look towards the source of sound, raising a brow at Kytaer. "Yeah, well… I do try," he quips back, while wiping the end of his scarf across his forehead to try and clear off some of the soot there. If anyone's sitting near him, they may notice that he sort of stinks of something metallic-like - sort of like gunpowder. "You like the eggs, Tae?" Then there's Janja's overheard conversation, and, putting two and two together with a little bit of a squint… "'scuse me, goldrider Janja, but… what'm I doing for your weyr?"

<Sands> Neyuni looks a little amused. "Smart Weyrleader." and then a little more concerned "She isn't usually quite this grumpy." gazes carry's a flicker of concern for her mate who looks eminently relieved as two eggs emerge one right after the other. The second requires a harder push though and the queen sags to the sands once it arrives. The effort beginning to show as sides heave for breath awhile rather than labor pains. If her rider meant to cme over she must get a sharp retort as Yuni looks sharply down. "Ugh, intolerable dragon. Well that matches last time, though I think I can make out another lump, maybe… two?" she'll let the audience work out their last bets. After resting awhile Zuhth surges back to her feet and prowls about the sands, checking on eggs lain and a number of likely nests for more. "Or maybe she'll set a new record. I can't quite remember the largest Igen's had in the last century…"

Al'dru just shakes his head. "I think you could perhaps use those fine apprentices then. They would make much better models than me." He is busy looking down. "So many different ones. Hard to imgine that they're even from the same clutch. Perhaps she's just sort of bringing them in. Or molding them from the sands down there."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ No Shoes for You Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stark white frames this overlarge egg, seeming more massive than most in the clutch from where it rests imposingly on the sands. Startling against that pure white is the other singular color on the egg, brilliant carmine red in two banded stripes. Wide, they start at the top, before one moves to intersect with the other and then moves back, leaving the egg bisected into two halves. Spangles of glitter seem stuck to the scarlet ribbons, thicker where the ribbon curves and stretched out when it widens more. Eventually, the red is lost buried under the sands upon which this egg sits. Do they meet around the underside, or is just simply marked same, as if circled around?

Vanessa simply shakes her head. "I've never bet on the clutches." noticing T'ayne she gives the grenadier a big smile. "Hey T'ayne! You made it. Aren't the eggs all so glorious?!" bubbly as ever!

<Sands> R'en shrugs his shoulders a little, and takes another drink from the water before offering it again to Neyuni in case she's interested. "Maybe I learned the hard way." He says with a wink, and then glances towards the gold as she's mentioned. "What was the most she had before this? Maybe they're just uncomfortable this time or something.." He really has not the foggiest idea, but he can speculate with the best of them. "A record? I don't know about that, there were much larger clutches when there was thread." Sindrieth takes the opportunity while Zuhth is distracted to inspect one of the earlier eggs, hopefully without being caught doing so. Nope, don't mind the bronze over there poking at the sand near one of those almost invisible black eggs, it's just sand he's toying with really.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Through the Moonlight Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A smallish egg, just a hint too long and narrow, rides high upon the sands canted with smaller apex pointed slightly skyward. Like the sky just at the tail end of twilight, purples cloak the shell in velvety darkness. Though mottled in truth, from afar any surface appears as if the shades run from indigo on the outer edges to lavender in the center with shades of royal purple, violet, and amethyst between. The very last fading rays of twilight drop lilac flecks in the center where rests a moonlight vision. Nearly transparent as glass, the shape of a lady's high-heeled shoe painted in shades of silver, pale blue, and white. A mirage is created by the curve of arch against heel, that of a young woman in full gather regalia gazing at the moon.

If T'ayne overheard words of betting, he shows no sign, the athletic greenie peering at Reya's rather odd look backwards at him, then noting casually to her, "You look like a hatchling I saw…" Snert. As for the most recently laid egg, he's soon commenting, "Dark…mostly. They're all interesting in their own ways." Watching Zuhth plop down two more ovoids in rapid succession has the former hunter giving a faint wince of some empathy for the laboring gold, then flicking his hazel gaze to long-suffering Sindrieth. Wait-whuzzat? That weird ribboning pattern on the Shoes egg grabs his attention quickly enough, the man's head cocking a little in curiosity, though he abandons his oggling to focus on Vanessa's words. Some enthusiastic head-nodding and a small, warm little smile is offered to the woman, along with a baritone, "I was just stepping into the bath when the word went out." Shrug. What can you do? And then, from the corner of eyes, he catches Moonlight egg's appearance, and the Monacoan finally observes softly, "I don't know why that reminds me of her…"

"Do they normally look so — different?" Has Quillan seen a lot of clutches, and would Kytaer actually know that? Who knows. He is asking anyway, because someone must be more of an expert than he is, and as a rule he tends to not just demand questions of dragonriders. He tends to mostly not speak to dragonriders unless he needs to, but Janja and her companion get proper waves with recognition, because she wasn't too terribly intimidating. She wanted him to do something actually useful! "And is that one on fire?"

<Sands> Neyuni takes another dirnk of the cool water, eyes rarely leaving her dragon now. "You? I can't imagine…" tone drawls out in a manner of a backstory she'll need to explore another time. As a nineth egg emerges the dragon sags onto the sands and it seems as if she might be finished. "This might be her record, but…" she hands the water back and moves now over to Zuhth. Approaching with caution as the gold shifts from one side to the next as if she can't quite get comfortable. Fingers meet muzzle, stroking soothingly. It seems there is one more, and with clear effort the queen heaves and it drops to the sands. She sags then into the embrace of her rider and hopefully after a bit of a snooze into a better mood as well. "Ten! Mymy, seems she expects Sindrieth to keep watch for awhile… and he might eb careful" though the tone is light "She's sure to count the eggs first thing and better not come up one short."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ River in the Rain Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cumulous clouds rise steeply upon the apex of this rather large egg, topped by a few even more dramatic rumbling cumulonimbus. The bottoms of the thunderheads are a dark, ominous gray, but the clouds around that are a light, playful puffy white. The sun appears to be setting, yellows and oranges reflecting along the edges of the columns of cloud. Beneath the weather is not quite as fair, though the blue hue is pleasant to the eye, it blurs where the bits of sky seem to meet a river that winds endlessly about the rest of the shell. A small muddy raft seems to drift within these currents, weathering the storm for wherever it may be taken.

Quillan nods at Kytaer, drumming his fingers against his cheek as he looks properly down at the eggs, rather than just the quick glance he gave them earlier. "They're kinda dark, aren't they? But they're not wrong. It's normal." So maybe he has seen a lot of clutches - or he's just making it up. "I remember one when I was small where all the eggs were, like, really dark. But there weren't so many as in this one! Is she still - she is! Look, there's another! 10 is huge." And he's all big-eyed in wonderment about it, too.

Janja cocks her head to the side thoughtfully at the playful suggestion. "If dragons could be crafters, they would be eggcrafters." She smiles, pleased at the thought. "There would be shows of the different shell patterns and colors. Soon, every dragon would be wearing shell patterns as decorative body art." The image tickles and she gives a light laugh. "I wonder if Feyruth would want to be part of that Hall."

<Sands> "It isn't as hard as you expect to imagine, it's not like I'm any good when it comes to women." R'en admits fairly freely, and turns his attention to the last of the eggs delivered onto the sands. "Pretty dark bunch, this clutch. I guess we'll see what comes of them." He muses, as Sindrieth not only seems pleased that Zuhth has left the eggs to his care, but goes about counting how many progeny he is going to have and inspecting all the eggs himself. He takes the water back from Neyuni, and thumbs off towards the exit of the sands to leave the pair of dragons to their rest and counting. "Think it's safe to get out of here, so shall we?" He asks, but it's not like he's going to wait, nope. He's off the sands as quick as he can be, sweaty as can be even after his much shorter stint.

Al'dru laughs. "I suppose your Feyruth would make certain hers were perfect. She seems the sort, of course to want that." He glances down at the sands. "I should hope you'd not want to start a fad for the wearing of eggshells. That certainly couldn't be comfortable. Imagine the scratches and bruises you'd get from the pointy bits."

Kytaer had evidently lost count, as he's trying to catch up and start counting when Quillan says the number for him. "Ten? Ten's better than fifty," he references Emelene's earlier comment, giving a smile to the midwife in company, "But for nowadays it's pretty huge, yeah. Bet they'll Search half the Weyr of eligible age, then?" Half the Weyr might be a bit of an overstatement for ten eggs, but it's a fair sight more than Rylia's clutch of four.

Lucrezia takes a few more bets before the end is nigh. After some juggling of marks and consultation of notes, one lucky winner earns a fair number of marks - and, of course, the trader's able to pocket the rest with a suitably sheepish smile. Then she's on her feet and heading out with a bounce to her step and a sway to her stride. And, outside, one could safely bet that poor, poor Ph'eles will be pelted with all those words she's been storing up!

Zak slips away once everything is all done.

"Ten, huh? Good number." Reya grins and pushes to her feet before stretching. It's not that she's in a hurry to go home, just that she wants to get out of the formal uniform. There's a glance towards the rest of the Monacan contingent, but it seems that their youngest Junior isn't waiting. Off she goes!

Vanessa stands slower than Reya does but she ambles on after them to step out towards the bowl.

Janja sighs as it seems the show on the sands as ended. She stands. "I'd better get back to Feyruth. She doesn't like it if I pay too much attention to Zuhth." Al'dru is given a gamine smile and off to her weyr.

"I…guess that's all of them?" T'ayne murmurs only loud enough to barely be overheard by his fellow Monacoans in the Stands, the greenrider looking a little let down by having missed over half the clutching. It's only after the others have left that he too finally departs, the young man tossing a wave off to fatherly Sindrieth in the process.

"Yeah, 10's pretty good. I dunno if I've seen that many before…" Or maybe he's just not been counting? Quillan looks almost wistfully down at the Sands, then at the clutchparents, huffing out softly. As he does that, his mentor clips him affectionately around the back of the head as he stands up. "Maybe they will Search half the Weyr," P'rry replies to Kytaer instead of Quill. "Would your mentor miss you, if you had a white knot on your shoulder?" Quillan perks up at that, looking from his own mentor, then to Kytaer, then back.

Al'dru is quiet as he moves away from where he has been sitting, heading for the stairs and the relative coolness that may be found outside, away from the heat the sands put out even up into the galleries.

It takes Kytaer a second to respond to that, mostly because he immediately assumes the question's for Quillan. That's the point when it registers that P'rry is Quillan's mentor, and so it was actually addressed to him - "You'd have to ask him, sir," Tae replies with something of a half-nod. "It hasn't exactly come up. He doesn't seem to mind lending me out to the weyrwoman, though," that meaning Janja and her weyr's coolant system. "Very different departments though. I think it'd depend - theoretically, 'course, as I don't really know - on how much time I wasn't doing my normal work. Doubt he'd care if I were supposed to be a warm body on some sands." It's the schedule that would matter to Halimedes.

"Well, he's going to be lending you to Igen's Weyrwoman and Weyrleader. Here." P'rry dips a hand into his pocket, pulling out a white knot to flick at Kytaer. "Welcome to candidacy - if you accept?" Quillan watches, slack-jawed… maybe even jealous. "Don't I get one?" To which P'rry's reply is simple: "Nope."

"- what," says Kytaer, all that properly bred respect for a dragonrider totally tipped off to the side by surprise and confusion. His expression is nothing but bewilderment, as he tries to work backward in the conversation and muster out, "It was, um, just a question about needing a lot of candidates, I wasn't trying to angle -" He also hadn't been speaking to a rider, so at least it didn't really look as angle-y as it might. That, and again: warm body. It doesn't mean much. But he also knows Rylia would never forgive him if he refused, though Halimedes seems to have been distracted by celebratory drinking, so Kytaer's conclusion is to accept the knot and conclude, "My sister would kill me if I didn't take this, but my mentor might still ask for me back?"

P'rry shrugs. "If your mentor wants you back, then it's your choice to go back. Candidacy's not binding. No-one's going to force you to accept, or force you to stay once you do accept." He shrugs again, then grins crookedly. "So. You in -?" He looks down at Quillan to supply the right name. "Tae. Kytaer. His name's Kytaer." "Kytaer," P'rry echoes. "Are you going to accept, or shall I hand it to someone else?"

It might be seen as a tiny betrayal, for Kytaer's full name to be given, but of course he did just get asked to stand and Quillan didn't - and clearly Quillan was the one who actually wanted to. Oops? "Um, yes, sir," he tells P'rry, first, and then with a guiltier look toward his new semi-friend who might not want to be his friend anymore after this and wouldn't that suck, and a shrug, "Sorry." Maybe someone else will ask Quillan.

"Yeah, well, it's not up to me who the dragons pick, is it?" Quillan shrugs, though he does give his mentor a dark look as he stands. "Congratulations. See you for the feast, maybe?" And away Quill goes! Leaving P'rry with Tae. "C'mon then. Let's get you settled into the barracks, candidate. Congratulations."

"I'll catch up," Kytaer calls at the departing Quillan, who he's assuming wasn't asked by his mentor for work-related reasons, rather than dragon interest, especially if there are enough eggs that half the Weyr might be needed, "and, um, not drink, apparently, if I remember that rule right." How disappointing, because a sixteen turn old is definitely doing a lot of celebratory drinking otherwise. (He's been allowed a little by Halimedes.) He hasn't got a lot to his name except for what's already on that ubiquitous tool belt, things in the workshop and a few items of clothing, so Kytaer's not, in the grand scheme of things, too hard to settle. And when he does get to the feast, he might sneak a few sips of alcohol. It's important to ease into a new lifestyle, after all.

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