Clutching 25

Log file from Ht-hannah.

1/25/00 1:23:53 PM

Galleries

Tier and tier of benches rise high in these galleries, encompassing a sweep along a full third of the cavern's wall. Seats worn to slippery-smooth likeness, they are broad enough to offer security — but each one is also high enough to offer a clear view over those in front. Several lines of rope cordon off this area from the Sands below, and a precariously narrow pathway offers access to the multiple layers of draconic ledges that line the walls.

To view things on the sand, see .

Perched around the galleries are four firelizards. You see Pebble here. Zhonea, Karnak, Nalisa, Milada, July, Atreya, and Katlyn are here.

Obvious exits:

Ledges Stairs

Hatching Grounds

The heat here is stifling, encompassing, swallowing mind and hazing sight into waved oblivion. Sparkling, coarse black sand simmers with volcanic urgency underfoot, its hillocks and dunes arranged to queen's liking; reflected light filters in, offered no even perceived respite. When empty, the vault of this cavern is hushed, still that echoes and rebounds; when occupied, it is intensified: clutch dominates view, and every sound resounds twicefold as loud as was intended.

Gold Serath is here.

Annie is here.

Obvious exits:

Entrance

From the hatching sands, Serath roly-polies in a proud sort of way in from the Tunnel. Saphire glides up the stairs, and looks about for a seat.

T'rell pauses, giving a quick nod to Saria; he climbs to the weyrwoman's level and slides onto the bench seat. "I heard it started. How's the progress?" he speaks softly.

From the hatching sands, Annie treads in from the Tunnel.

On the ledge, Chayath lands neatly, and furls her wings.

On the ledge, Gilted 'ridges lower, silken wine-hue approaching the ground as Chayath crouches and lessens the height of her neck. Shaela grasps the leathers again, swinging off around neckridges to land upon the ground. Tynar walks up the stairs, and looks about for a seat.

Hannah and her friend, Fran, take a seat close to the front, with the shy girl clinging to the bluerider. Having just been promoted to sr. weyrling, Fran dragged her friend out to watch /this/ clutching. "See?" Fran asks, pointing to Serath for Hannah to see. Hannah looks around with curiousity, her green eyes wide.

Atreya wanders up the stairs into the galleries then peers round. Finally she heads over towards the lower tiers of benches at the front near the ropes that cordon this area off from the sands. Flopping down on a bench there she sits crosslegged folding legs beneath her. Karnak pushes her way the galleries, an insistant weyrchild tugging her towards the front of the row. With a quick motion, she settles some of his hair properly, then follows without much resistance, smiling as she sits, settling her skirts about her. Another nanny follows behind, a small horde of weyrbrats dashing up to crowd about knees, ankles and anything else within reach. "Shh, now… Don't get lost."

From the hatching sands, Serath treads out from a dark tunnel, looking anything but graceful. No, she waddles, taking her steps carefully as she maneuvers her egg-heavy form. With each step taken, the visible bulge of eggs beneath her golden hide shifts. Annie scoots along beside, looking a bit tired, but otherwise attentive. "That's it, lovely."

Sudanna is fascinated, she has always wanted to see a clutching and now.. here she is!

Tynar wanders up into the galleries, glancing out to the sands, then up towards the gathered croud. He shakes his head and glances to his blue, "I guess you were right."

Zhonea releases Ophina, who launches into the air.

"Zaiira!" A tall, vivid blonde steps up into the galleries, a bluerider who happens to answer to Zaira—but she's not the one speaking. The one in question is a smaller, frailer copy of her, following somewhat behind and scurrying to catch up to her. "Wait up. Where are we going? You said you were going to take me to visit Mother!" Milada, that smaller figure, finally draws up alongside her aunt. "What's going on?"

Nalisa waves to her friend as he walks in. "Hey Tynar," she calls, carefully pitching her voice to a softer tone than usual to compensate for the acoustics of the cavern. "Your blues let you know?"

Saria smiles at T'rell.. "Slowly, as usual." A light chuckle, and the Weyrwoman smooths her leather riding coat down over her waist.

From the hatching sands, Serath gives an irritable rumble as she moves to squat as far from the galleries as she can; those present are given what could only be interpreted as a peevish look. Meanwhile, Annie winces at the sands' heat, but continues to scoot along after her beloved lifemate. "That's it, now you can lay one, no one's looking." She shoots a furtive glance at the galleries.

From the hatching sands, Serath strains as her golden form once more clenches in the grips of labor. An effort heralding a new beginning and the end of this current stress, she grunts with the push to produce a pale egg — a delicate fitting addition.

From the hatching sands, An early morn's cast of wane light denies shadow and moonbeam their due with the gradual lifting of night's curtain. Enveloping beginnings, the creeping tendrils of a new day's mist obscure verdant vistas from view. Veiling vapor enshrouds this egg with a deceptive hardness; a protective haze dissolving any vibrancy with its dawn-borne coolness and near colorless supression.

Tynar nods and glances to Nalisa, wandering over towards her and taking a seat there, "Ya. Just got images of a gold on the sands, and their urgent feeling." He shakes his head and glances over, "I guess they wanted to see."

Sudanna glances over at the young man as she hears what he says. Funny, her 3 little firelizards did the same to her, and she doesn't even live here. Now she looks for her friend Breck but doesn't spot her in the crowd.

And such a crowd of people—Milada has little use for crowds, and when she finally becomes aware of all those sitting around to watch, she shrinks in close to Zaira, as if trying to blend in with her shadow. Zaira, for her part, just moves further in and sits down near some of her friends, leaving Milada to settle down next to her, finally becoming aware of the activity on the Sands, and the first egg. "Is Serath going to /clutch/ now?" she asks over, her voice now settled to something somewhat softer than a whisper. It's answered with a faintly irritated hiss of a "Yes."

Nalisa chuckles and nods knowingly. "I got just about the same image, multiplied by three." She smiles wryly. "I suppose the flying appetites do have their uses, after all." Katlyn glances around and scurries to find a bench to sit on, plopping onto one folding one long leg underneath her.

Hannah watches with rapt curiousity, her eyes wide and bright as they watch the golden dragon clutch. The scenario itself is not new to her, but the excitement coming from those around her is contagious. The shy girl trains her eye on the queen, but manages to sneak a look at the rapidly filling galleries. Small gasp is emitted as the first egg is laid.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Dawn and Dew Egg

An early morn's cast of wane light denies shadow and moonbeam their due with the gradual lifting of night's curtain. Enveloping beginnings, the creeping tendrils of a new day's mist obscure verdant vistas from view. Veiling vapor enshrouds this egg with a deceptive hardness; a protective haze dissolving any vibrancy with its dawn-borne coolness and near colorless supression.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

From the hatching sands, "Ohhh, would you look at what you made?" Annie coos at her golden lifemate as she moves forward to inspect the egg for herself. "It's beautiful, lovey, now let's get the rest out." Annie, in a hurry? Possibly. Serath seems rather absorbed in her maternal duty however, and buries the egg half-way before laying two more in rapid succession. They, too, are buried, and the queen rests.

Tynar chuckles softly and nods at Nalisa, glancing over towards the sands, watching quietly. From the hatching sands, Serath eyes those interlopers in the galleries once more, before edging along, away from them. A contraction hits, and she turns herself slightly, away from the on-lookers and toward the ever-encouraging Annie.

July eeps quietly, leaning precariously over the bench to get a better view.

From the hatching sands, Serath shifts once more on the sand, and after a few moments of effort, soft glimmers of white seem to dance in the reflections of the light which slowly fade as the egg begins to dry, now contentedly settled in a mound of dark sand.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Ivory Mist Egg

Tendrils of pale ivory and shimmering pearl swirl around this egg, creating an effect of opaque ribbons wrapped in endless layers around the sleek shell. Patterns seem to dance then disappear beneath the changing light of the volcanic sands, only the darkness of night betraying the images for what they are: refections of heat-rippled light.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Now that the clutching has really begun, Nalisa settles herself leaning comfortably forward on the bench to watch the rest.

Katlyn leans forward slightly, looking out over the sands then leaning back again, watching intently.

Sudanna settles hers face on her hands, resting on her knees…how fascinating!

Karnak and her swarm of youthful followers finally settle into a movement-impeding clump — not much can be done about thirteen kidlets, each hanging onto the ropes with an anxious squeal of "I wanna /see/!" Nevertheless, Karnie catches sight of the first egg, the shades of undulating white eliciting an "Oooh."

From the hatching sands, Serath indulgently arranges her eggs — all four of them — for a long moment before another is deposited along with them. Annie takes the lull as a chance to glance up into the galleries, her murky eyes squinting to see who all of them are.

A whispered question and a nod, and Milada finally dares to get up from her seat beside Zaira, edge down a few rows to get a better look. "How pretty," she whispers to nobody in particular, settling down into a closer seat as, free of her little shadow, Zaira settles into conversation. To small firelizards blink from ::between:: to settle near her, one on a shoulder and one in her lap, and she coos soft reassurances to them as she watches the new eggs.

T'rell leans back, reaching into the inside pocket of his jacket to pull out a worn hide. With a last glance at the progress on the sands, he settles down for a goodly wait, reading over the hide as he does.

Atreya quietly watches blue and green on her odd looking hat actually quiet for once too amazingly enough, perhaps the brown's being missing has something to do with it or perhaps not. Elbows rest on knees and head on hands as she peers down towards the sands.

From the hatching sands, Annie's fingers waggle absently at the wave from some rider or another — likely a clutchmate whose name she doesn't even remember. Her attention quickly returns to Serath, though, as the massive dragon gives an insistant snort.

Hannah leans on her thin elbows while her friend pokes her in the ribs. Nodding, the girl pushes her own white blond hair out of her eyes and leans forward, eyes like green jewels. Blink. What a pretty egg. Not saying anything, Hannah watches the reactions of the rest of the galleries with curiousity and a shy little smile forming her lips. Head turns back the galleries, watching the clutching with excitement. Small foot taps agitatively, while forefinger loses it's fingernail. One cautious look is cast around in case her mother had shown up. Sigh of relief is audible when she doesn't see Lillen.

From the hatching sands, Serath gives a toss of her head against the scorching heat, sands swirling and flying away as she gives a determined lash of her tail. Her pale belly distends for a moment as a wave begins moving down her golden form, a soft rumble beginning low and deep in her throat as a silver-tinged egg slips free and onto the sands.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Rites of Imbolc Egg

Murky fog enshrouds the crown of this egg, darkening round curves; wispy grey tendrils curl, muting the template of variegated greens and blues into a pale wraith of its former self. White mist dances in delicate whorls across the surface, near-obscuring the silver accents glowing underneath the secretive surface, a promise of what is to come. Dappled water-marks soften and blur, defocusing what would otherwise be sharply distinct — edges are fuzzed, blended into soft swirls of elusive colour: seeping absinthe entwines, mixing with cream to gloss the shell.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Sudanna she is sorry Breck is missing this, but oh, what a show. The eggs are lovely and Serath is being so brave.

Kristopher walks in.

Sudanna looks up and waves at Kris, motioning him to join her. July takes in her first hatching with wide eyes pools of liquid emerald and lips slightly parted. Kristopher 'oo's and hops over, watching in awe. "what's goin on?" he asks, with an excited grin.

From the hatching sands, Serath stands slowly, and begins to amble toward the galleries. Lifting her head as she reaches the onlookers, she gives a rather ominous hiss, red-tinged eyes perusing the crowd.

Sudanna says, "Serath is clutching today… it's so exciting!"

Atreya pays no attention to the others in the stands as she watches the sands below. Absentmindedly though she pulls a bubblie that's mostly smooshed from a pocket and munches on it as she watches.

July gasps at the dragon's angry reaction and raises her hands half instinctively.

From the hatching sands, "/Ser/ath." Annie's tone is rather insistant as she half-shuffles half-skips across the length of sand that her lifemate traversed so easily. "Do ignore them. They're not going to bother anyth—" She cuts off as the gold moves on, attention taken by a contraction.

HissingSerath is /hissing/. Milada, not being the bravest of holdbred girls, goes scurrying back to her seat beside Zaira, disrupting the bronze in her lap, who settles on her arm once she sits down again, though she fidgets unhappily. "Why would she hiss?" she asks her aunt, softly. "Should we leave?" Zaira just shushes her, though, and returns to chatting with a male greenridera chat which has begun to involve quite a bit of boasting and eyelash-fluttering.

From the hatching sands, Serath sighs, the sound escaping from her muzzle like a hiss of steam; wings rustle while she squats, cream-hued belly contracting as an egg pops into existence. It pauses for a second on the summit of a small dune — almost as if to gather all eyes — before slowly rolling downwards, coming to rest in a cup of sand.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Addictive Pleasures Egg

Cream froths, milky foam bubbling over the surface of this plump egg towards a bottom washed with an exotic fawn. The hue darkens as it sinks to a cocoa refined by rich shadows; the contrasting hue compliments the bubbles, highlighting its lightness. A hint of russet corrupts the crown, from which a downward spiral spreads, slowly and inexorably staining the purity of pastels as it melts into the warm embrace of darkness.

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T'rell glances up briefly, unconcerned at Serath's hissing, to count the eggs so far. Satisfied, he returns to his reading and considering.

July creates something of a shield between herself and the angry gold's wrath with her hands, then lowers them, breathing a little heavily. She grins weakly at the sight of a blond girl scurrying to the cover of her mother.

Karnak lets out another croon at the shell of this one, eyes glazing as they take in the swirling grays. A child tugs her fingers and points, indicating the eggs with an excited hum, and a fearful squeak as the gold's temperment takes a turn for the worse at the watching crowds. "Karnie, wha's she's /mad/ at you. Wus you a bad girl, Karnie? Mizz /Kaaaarnie/!" Karnak giggles, patting the child's hands graciously. Another emergency tugs at her attention though, a panicked girl summoning her away.

From the hatching sands, Serath carefully uses one hindpaw to push a good sized mound of sand over her latest egg — her latest creation, her latest work of art. Annie, of course, continues to coo appreciatively.

July watches in a state of rapture, noting two recent patrons from the Flying Mug in the corner of her eye.

Sudanna quietly whispers to Kristopher "Aren't they lovely eggs? I hope I am here for the hatching, I would love to see what kind of dragons hatch from them!"

Katlyn watches silently, counting the eggs absentmindedly. She glances up as the gold hisses but pays no attention to it other than that.

Mother? Hah. Zaira would certainly be amused to hear that one. She is aunt, not mother, though Mila certainly hovers as if she were. "Aunt Zaira?" That might clear things up, if Milada actually ever spoke in an audible voice. "Do you think she's okay, now?" Another irritated shush leaves the girl to watch the eggs.

From the hatching sands, Hours pass, and people wonder in and out of the galleries, noting the older of the junior queen's progress. Serath's usually resplendent hide has grown a bit dull over time, and Annie's clothes are saturated thoroughly with sweat. The eggs have been coming slowly for the past hour or so, so as Serath girds herself for another one, the goldrider perks up considerably. From the hatching sands, Serath digs into the sand with one giant talon, creating a groove large enough to house a couple of eggs. Turning, she curls her thick tail over the depression in the sand, and spasms mark her egg-heavy sides. As she moves away, two eggs — one pale and pretty, the other dark and ominous — are left behind.

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Drowned Suburban Wasteland Egg

Ultramarine fog rolls across hilly moors graved upon the ovoid's shell, burying asphalt pools and concrete pillars in urban decay. Silver-rust skeletons in impossible shapes jut from sooty awnings, frozen twists of metal aglow with a subterranean hue, slashed by an outcropping of smoggy coral. Broken boxes in damp ocher skitter over ice-sheened patches of faint opalescence, shattered shards of glass seeming to jut from dangerous corners, forming a crazed mosaic of bottled shades covering an unhealthy ooze of near-toxic sewage green.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Kristopher nods, his wide klah eyes widening even further, locked onto the clutching in progress. "yeah…"

From the hatching sands, "Oh, that's pretty," Annie informs her lifemate in a drained sigh. Her glance then drifts to the /other/ egg recently laid — not the cute pink one — and her nose wrinkles slightly. "That'll hatch male." Serath rumbles in agreement.

July squints attentively, futilely trying to keep of with the latest burst of movement and color.

Completely subconciously Sudanna grips Kris' hand as Serath labors her way through her clutch. If this were a human mother she could help this poor mother in some measure.

Katlyn leans forward slightly, counting the eggs one more time then leaning back again, adjusting her weight and sliding her leg out from under her.

Hannah leans away from the hissing gold with more than a tinge of fear. Eyes widden as the shy child scoots a little closer to Fran, though her gaze does not leave the eggs. Ovids are eyed closely, her attention centered on the beautiful patterns that mark each egg as an individual.

From the hatching sands, Annie moves to the side of the sands, edging up on a little stone ledge across from the galleries, a few fingerlengths above the sand. Some relief from the heat is found there. The rake-thin woman crouches, then sits cross-legged, wide eyes ever-attentive to her laboring lifemate. Time passes, and Annie's eyes droop. She doesn't /quite/ doze off, but she remains in a trance-like state.

As the hours pass, Milada and Zaira remain—the former looking quite drained and more than a little pale, the latter still flirting away, though the object of her attentions has changed several times. "That's certainly an… interesting looking one," Mila reflects quietly to herself. "I think I like the pretty ones better."

From the hatching sands, Serath turns slightly to regard her lifemate, giving a little encouraging croon — and who needs encouragement here? The dragon's attention is short-lived, though, as another egg seems to be near.

From the hatching sands, Serath squats to her haunches, massive head turning in anticipation of the egg that is to come. Her thick tail curls coyly about her hindquarters while ripples mar the smoothness of her distended belly. Rumbling wanes as the rippling ceases. Slowly, she uncurls her tail, revealing a large, ovoid form that shimmers against the sands' darkness with hues to rival that of the queen's own, resplendent hide.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Intoxicating Tequila Sunrise Egg

Salmon swirls temptingly across a sleek shell, twining sensuously with the warm hues of Rukbat rising. Creamy tangerine laps arcoss the egg's base, ethereal fingerlets stretching upward in unspoken desire, ebbing on the thick band of honey-gold that hugs tightly to the ovoid's wide equatorial region. An opalescent sheen covers the egg in entirity, causing the liquid hues to seemingly shift and merge incessantly.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Sudanna sighs, poor dragonrider Annie.. she looks so drained! Maybe after all this is over she can get some comfrey to her to hellp her regain her strength.

July clasps a amber colored glass pendant dangling against her chest instinctively as she spots the egg of similar coloring, her slender fingers curling gently around it. She pushes back a strand of hair that has been plastered in the forehead by the heat.

Katlyn adds one more to the number of eggs, folding one leg under her again and absently playing with the pendent on her necklace.

From the hatching sands, Something changes in Serath as she turns to observe her latest laying. The whirling of her eyes increases, and a quick mental jolt awakens her rider. Eyes widening, Annie stands and scuttles across the sands to Serath's side. "Oh, /lovely/," she breathes, gently touching the richly-colored egg. Serath hovers protectively, and Annie withdraws a bit to allow the queen to roll her special egg into a far corner.

July sighs and stands up, brushing off her skirt. She makes her way gingerly down the stairs.

Hannah watches the queen and her rider and seeing the special interest reserved for the latest egg, emerald eyes travel to the ovid. Breathing softly, the young 'brat eyes the egg with a soft smile. To her untrained eyes, it looks like a special egg indeed.

From the hatching sands, Serath hovers and dotes over her latest egg, gently digging it a special groove, away from the others. Delicately, she rolls it into the groove and piles sand protectively around it's irridescent sides.

On the ledge, Bith lands neatly, and furls his wings.

On the ledge, Yaguth lands neatly, and furls his wings.

On the ledge, Bith offers a gentle croon to Chayath, his overly large wings folding close to him.

Atreya blinks as she watches peering over curiously, a gold perhaps? At any rate it is a neat looking egg, Healer sits back to her seat leaning a bit against the tier behind her as she watches.

From the hatching sands, Serath's sides are obviously more slender now, though the gold is far from svelte /ever/. Content that her special one is well-protected, she moves a bit away, letting the contractions of one of the final eggs take over. A small, greenish eggs is laid, but soon left alone as another seems immenent.

From the hatching sands, Serath gently lifts herself from the heated sands, a breathy sigh coursing across the cavern as she deposits a baby blue egg in a natural divot. The queen gazes at it approvingly for a brief moment, entranced by the light playing across its surface like a fresh breeze.

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Clouded Canvas Egg

Pure, powdered white swirls and eddies in lazy patterns against a background of chill cerulean. In widely dispersed patches, the rich blue fades under a misty veil before disappearing beneath its colorless counterpart, forming a cheery contrast of powderpuff shapes amidst bright pools of enduring color. Ethereal forms coalesce upon the clouded canvas, tantalizing the mind with vaguely familiar imagery that continually escapes recognition.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

On the ledge, D'ven slides from Bith's neck and lands gently on the ground.

On the ledge, Yaguth rumbles a greeting to the other dragons then peers at the sands.

On the ledge, Hesh slides down Yaguth's strong form and Yaguth gently extends his tail to gently cradle Hesh's descent, Hesh lands with a soft thud.

April walks in.

Katlyn ooohs softly at the special egg, perhaps its a gold? She adds another to the original number as another egg is laid.

From the hatching sands, Annie stands on tip-toes, back on her little ledge, and makes an attempt to count the eggs laid. Like Serath, she seems to dote on the special egg. A new experience for this pair.

Sudanna nudges Kristopher..possibly a gold has just been laid?

On the ledge, D'ven slips off the bronze's shoulder before resting comfortably against his foreleg. He offers a cheery wave accompanied by a wave before his attention moves to the gold below.

On the ledge, Hesh smiles to the others on the ledge before she plops down and watches the goings on.

From the hatching sands, More time passes, and it seems as if the eggs are all laid. Annie continues to count and re-count, while Serath dotes obsessively over her favorite egg.

From the hatching sands, Serath tilts a glance towards the galleries and back down again as talons dig through the sand meditatively. With a subtle snort from flared nostrils, she inspects the hollow, digs once more, and turns slightly as her sun-baked sides heave again. Hidden behind the coil of her tail, a near-pristine egg is gently deposited and gradually exposed as she shifts aside.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Hazy Shades of Winter Egg

A subtle mist enwraps a narrowed tip, coiling a soft trail of gray into a pearlescent webwork of delicate shadows. A flash of lemon breaks through the monochrome to arc across the meridian and pale to nothingness where sands mingle with shell; here, a pallid blush rises soft and swift, another wisp against a backdrop of hoarfrost and haze. Smooth and unmarred, the broad base glistens a pure, powdery white that is as untouched and bright as new fallen snow.

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"You see that one, she's doting over?" Zaira finally deigns to pay attention to her neice, give her a little lecture on dragons. "I'd say it's gold—by the color, and by the way she's treating it."Milada nods slowly, and leans forward as the newest egg is laid. The girl pauses, and then offers, "I think that one is prettier."

Katlyn oohs softly, another egg.

Sudanna hmmms, "How many does that make, Kris.. did you count?"

From the hatching sands, The final egg is laid as if an afterthought. A mental exchange settles the matter between gold and rider, and Annie — sweaty and pink-faced — stands on tip-toes and cups her hands about her mouth to shout at the crowds rather abrasively: "That's /twen/ty-/two/ eggs and /one/ is /gold/, now please /leave/." That said, the odd little woman loses interest in the people and goes to dote over her lifemate and the eggs.

Anely goes home.

Saphire heads down the stairs. Sudanna well! She shrugs at Annie's obvious preoccupation with lifemate and eggs. To Kris, "I wonder if there is a way I can leave her these herbs to help her build herself up?" grinning at his comment about counting.

April goes home.

Leave? Well, that's good enough for Miladathey're done with, and she wants out. So she scurries towards the stairs, and out, this time leaving her aunt to catch upvisit to her mother forgotten, her soft murmurs seem to only relate to going /home/. Milada goes home.

Hannah is hauled to her feet by Fran, who hears the order in the goldrider's command. Walking quickly, the young girl clings to her friend as they leave the galleries, the crush of the crowd abrasive on her shy sensibilities.

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