Clutching 51

Clutch 51a - Minka's gold Ryazusith and D'baji's bronze Nverath

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 not even perceived respite. When empty, the vault of this cavern is hushed, still that echoes and rebounds; when occupied, it is intensified.
Gold Ryazusith and bronze Nverath are here.
Minka is here.

Nverath is already on the sands, his rider standing off to the side. The bronzer is in the process of digging a rather impressive trench down the middle, to separate Ryazusith's chosen side from the other - which, as gossip will tell you, will shortly be filled by Talicanitath's first clutch. Apart from the occasional pause to croon encouragement to his mate, the bronze seemingly gives all attention to the task at hand.

Far too cumbersome to take flight in any shape or form, Ryazusith lumbers in from the entrance, thick forelegs carrying her over stone and onto obsidian sands, talons raking them as she makes her way further in to the cavern. There's urgency in Ista's Senior Queen's movements, visible in the unusual hastiness of her awkward, egg-heavy gait. Gaze ablaze with tense whirls of anxiety-ridden crimson, the gold abruptly stops, apparently deciding that she will move no further. Nverath's trench is given little attention for the moment, though no doubt it will soon become a point of contention. Announced with a croon, a shudder then sweeps down her hide - the first sign that the clutching is imminent.

Not too far behind, Minka chases the gold, heaving heavy breaths as she struggles to keep up with the wide strides. As Ryazusith stops, so does she, taking the time to catch her breath. Spotting D'baji over to the side, she offers him a brief nod then lifts her gaze to the hastily filling galleries, "They don't waste any time do they, Rya?"

"Ain't quite the humming you get for a hatching, but wouldn't be surprised if they can hear all those croons for Rya down at Igen, even." D'baji offers a smirk to the weyrwoman, here, shuffling over a little so that she can have a good standing spot next to him on the edge, if she so desires.

Nverath's trench is getting quite impressive indeed. The shiver through Ryazusith's hide prompts the bronze to look up, pausing his sand-moving for long enough to warble off a long something or other to his mate. Now he tosses a glance up toward the galleries, rumbles something deeper that way. And then, back to the trenching.

After all the speculation, rumours and gossip, it would appear the objects that have been enthralling most for the last few sevenday are about to make their debut. Ryazusith spares no time, scratching up some sand just quickly enough to make way for the first arrival. Immaculate Grilled Cheese Egg is the beginning, Ryazusith nestling it into it's designated area as she hovers about it. Crooning, it would seem, she welcomes her latest offspring into the world.

Immaculate Grilled Cheese Egg
Flat on opposite sides, with a broad base that tapers sharply towards the top, this one is more wedge-shaped than egg-shaped. The shell's undercoat of golden-tan gives way to a tinge of white at its triangular tip, while the main body is crisped with darker brown flecks. On one of the flatter sides, however, these flecks have come together in an interesting, if not miraculous, pattern, almost reminiscent of the veiled face of a woman. Surely such an interesting pattern should increase the value of an otherwise generic egg.

Nverath gives all his attention to the gold as the first egg makes its way onto the sands, fanning his wings once it's settled into its first spot in triumph. From the edge of the sands, D'baji leans over enough to give Minka's shoulder a quick squeeze, and to award the weyrwoman with a happy little grin as well. After all the stress, it's good to see a first one.

Minka grins back at D'baji, commenting in a mock-irritable tone, "She's too busy to even notice if I'm here or not." Settling beside him, she folds her arms and turns her attention back to the unfolding events, taking silent comfort in the friendly squeeze, "That one looks… Interesting."

The Immaculate Grilled Cheese Egg has only just been put in it's right and proper place, and yet Ryazusith already abandons it, seeking out her next position. Moving one way, she comes face to face with the trench. Displeasure is evident is the gold's bristling movements, and she defiantly begins disturbing the sand directly next to the dividing line. Though, little time is to be had for tantrums, and with a series of familiar shudders she presents her next egg: The Sentinel Egg.

The Sentinel Egg
The shell of this egg is entirely black, smooth and almost perfect. It doesn't reflect any light, but rather seems to absorb it in an almost menacing manner. Looking closer, much closer, tiny white dots appear, glimmering at the edge of sight, but the overall perception of this egg is that it is a smooth black ovoid, devoid of any irregular features.

Nverath is there to make sure his children don't go neglected just 'cause of sheer numbers. So while Ryazusith shivers out the next egg, the bronze goes ahead and pats a little extra sand in around the base of the Grilled Cheese egg. A glance warrants a happy warble when he finds the next little egg getting settled.

D'baji leans over to murmur to the goldrider, "Dark little thing, eh? Figure it's gonna fall into the trench?"

Ryazusith shoots Nverath a look from the corner of one whirling orb, it's not a 'don't touch it' look, more of a 'break it and die' look. Though, with the next series of shakes, her attention flickers back to moulding the sand below to her liking. Taking her time, she uses both her muzzle and talons to shape it in to a slight dip. With a muted creel, she moves over the dug-out area and deposits Aging Tyrant Egg.

Aging Tyrant Egg
This slate-coloured egg appears to have been laid upside-down; that's the only explanation for its strange shape, spherical over the majority of its body, then tapering sharply to an almost cylindrical end. The shell itself avoids the boring appearance its colour would lend by its texturisation: shallow, wavy lines at the round top, two circular divets on either side of a a bulbous protrusion, and beneath this protrusion, a horizontal line bracketed in facing semi-circular grooves.

Minka shrugs, "Maybe." A frown quickly follows, "Well I hope not. Maybe ask Nverath to nudge it a little?" Shaking her head, she adds, "You'd think after doing this so many times she'd have some sense about it. I'm more worried about what's going to happen when Talicanitath gets out there." Drama.

Nverath gives a comforting croon to Ryazusith - he's not gonna break it - and follows after her toward the sentinel. But, seeing as it's safely ensconced halfway into the trench, he'll instead move around her as best he can to start a shallower trench, preparation for future children. The Aging Tyrant is left to fend for itself, for the time being - beyond what Rya will do for it.

Spasms again rack the gold's body, this time the tremors more violent then the last. Lowering her head, Ryazusith doesn't even move to rake the black sands into place, instead taking two shaky steps over to a natural dip in the ground's formation. Dark Dangerous Egg appears, nestling neatly into the spot beneath it's mother, Ryazusith audibly giving a heaving breath as she begins to relax once more. Though, before she can pause, again, she shudders. Another hurried arrival appears, landing directly beside it's clutch sibling. One Ring Egg sits lopsided, stark in comparison to Dark Dangerous Egg.

Dark Dangerous Egg
At the right angle this egg almost looks to have a handle at the top of it. A closer examination reveals it to be a trick of light and pattern as there's no way to pick the egg up and carry it like a bag, no matter how it seemed before. A thin seam of black, near what makes the egg's top when lying as it is on the sands, is colored lighter than the rest of the darkness that makes it up. A few shots of bluish tendrils peek out of this seam as if waiting to pour forth and wreak havoc upon all who are in its path. It does not happen, but if it did that would surely be a Very Bad Thing.

One Ring Egg
This egg is dark, almost forebodingly so. The ends of the oblong object have a few crackles of fire on them in the form of red lines that almost look like actual cracks in the shell. Murky, smokey grey blends into black on either side towards the middle circumference of the egg where they meet a ring of orangey gold. It is this spot that draws the eye more than the rest of the egg; this haunting gold band alone, that stands out from the darkness and proclaims its place, is pretty enough to be coveted by many.

Proud Papa Nverath almost struts over to add some sand to one of his recent egghead-type children. Ryazusith is given a big croon, before he's back to patrolling his trench. Reminded, surely, by the weyrleader to keep her to one side of the sands.
"Wow. She's layin' 'em fast." This, of course, from weyrleader to weyrwoman. "'Ver's gonna have trouble keepin' up at this rate."

Taking deliberate steps now, Ryazusith moves to the middle of the loosely designed circle she's lain the current eggs in. Tenderly, talons rake back sand, moulding and sculpting. Hovering about the area for a short while, the gold anxiously continues tweaking the arrangement until she is satisfied. Again, as she senses the arrival of yet another of her offspring, she moves in and lingers atop the area she's just readied for it. Easter Egg is the newest addition to the sands, though is markedly different from it's brothers and sisters. Ryazusith dips her muzzle, delicately nudging the egg before her that gleams with metallic brilliance that can only mean one thing.

Easter Egg
Though it is bigger than all the others, this egg is impressive not only for its stature, but also for its features. More blockish than ovoid, its squared top gives way on one side to a stern overhang. Beneath this ledge, a rectangular proboscis slopes down (and slightly outward) along the midline of the shell, ending in a triangular tip twice notched on its underside. Two horizontal folds purse together in a neutral ridge just above the egg's broad base. The shell itself is soot-coloured and pockmarked, but, in the right light, gives off the impressive glimmer that one might expect from a gold egg.

"It's a queen egg!" The Weyrwoman voices the announcement that's sent the galleries into a ruckus of cheers and a clamour of celebrations, "Shards! Well done Rya!" Minkas excitement is visible, even from the galleries, a wide grin stretching across her lips, "That one 'ought to silence the rumour mill, eh, Baji?"

D'baji is shouting almost at the same time as Minka with, "S'a gold, that one!" An arm is thrown around Minka here, and a sloppy-wet kiss given to the weyrwoman's temple. Aww. As for Nverath, he gets a big grin from his rider. And the bronze, for his own part, has released a happy bugle that echoes and surely hurts people's ears in the galleries.

Protective, Ryazusith is curled about the gold egg, reluctant to move from her position. Though, with the urgency of her need to clutch evident, she creels a request to the Nverath. Though no obvious exchange takes place, it's evident she's summoning to take over from her position. Rising from her position, the gold slowly moves away, though at all times keeps a wary gaze on the Easter Egg. Ambling to a smaller trench Nverath had been working at earlier, Ryazusith tenses once again, producing the next addition: Book of Amun Ra Egg.

Book of Amun Ra Egg
Sweet butter-cream yellow mingles with sharper yellows and greenish bronzes to take on an acrid tang, coating the surface of this egg in shade without taking on the shine of true metal. Small figures in the dance of a foreign story tread across the straight lines, only broken by the curve of the shell to which they are confined. One of these figures bears a distinct resemblance to a stork. A column of rings runs along the sharpest vertical curve, linking a band of lines along the prime meridian of the egg.

Nverath has continued with shallower trenches now, working his way around to try and make a nicely grooved section of the sands for whatever Rya has in store next.

With Nverath occupied with yet another set of trenches, Ryazusith takes this opportunity to flaunt her independence from the bronze. With surprisingly swift movements for an egg-heavy gold, she strides to a shallow part of the large trench and defiantly lumbers over to Talicanitath's designated area. With a certain amount of delight in outwardly defying orders, she lets her latest offspring arrive. Mayapore's Salvation Egg is the next, and is nestled deep in the corner of the dark sands that is not Ryazusith's. Perhaps another egg would be inconspicuous, but not this one, it sticks out glaringly obvious. Quick to leave the scene of her crime, the gold returns to her own area.

Mayapore's Salvation Egg
Not quite so large, but neither small, this egg is just right. What it lacks in astounding characteristics with size, it makes up in appearance. A golden amber when seen in the light, it is tinted with a darker brown that draws the eye with simple designs, just three plain gashes, the first along the median of the egg and the other two splayed right below the last.

Minka ducks her head, shaking it from side to side, "Did you see that? I knew that was going to happen. She only did it to prove she's in charge somehow. Let's hope Talicanitath doesn't return the favour."

Nverath doesn't notice the indiscretion just yet, trenching away as he is. D'baji, however, does. "He'll try convince her, y'know." Pause. "Once he's done diggin'. Surprised there's still sand on here, the way he goes at it every time."

Slowing somewhat, though still plagued by the effects of clutching, Ryazusith returns to join Nverath. She apparently, has picked his latest creation as her next port of call. Tensing once more, she hurriedly delivers Scribbled Curses Egg to the sands. Nudging it into place, she secures it with a gentle push of sand moved with by muzzle and patted as precisely as can be done with a few taps here and there.

Scribbled Curses Egg
Cracked and mostly tan, this egg rather looks as if it once had a smooth reflective texture, but is now so marred by nicks and worn edges that it looks rough and bumpy in texture. Its dominant color is a light brownish gray, smudged by black stains and dark fissures as if worn over time. Upon its rough surface are unbroken lines of what can almost pass as handwriting, carved onto it and later worn away. Figures break up the lines periodically, as if quickly engraved to resemble running people, only for the squiggles to commence again, covering every inch of this shell.

Nverath rumbles encouragement to the gold, and then is off patrolling the perimetre, tucking sand around his newborns. Or… newlaids.

Minka barely moves along half a dragonlength before she again dips her body in the position that denotes she's about to lay yet another egg. Ceremonial Dragon Butte Egg is nestled into the sands, quite close to it's clutch sibling. Some semblance of order is apparent in Ryazusith's laying order, most of the eggs positioned in a rough circle. Heaving a sigh now, the gold gives a final shudder and returns to the gold egg. Panting somewhat, she curls up on the sands, slinking a protective foreleg about the egg before her, and gleaming eyes wide open and constantly surveying the rest of her clutch. She's done.

Ceremonial Dragon Butte Egg
A swirl of sun-dappled green surrounds the base of the egg in waves that nearly glitter like pale jade. Mild, irregular splotches appear amid the field of pale green, arcing towards the crown of the egg in casual pen strokes of viridian, but one in particular stands out. An abrupt jut of dark green laced with rich, deep brown rises from the waves to reach into the sky blue, forming a definitive mound that just might be a slumbering dragon in silhouette. Near one tapered end of the mound, a tiny streak of warm sienna lies straight as an arrow, but from the far end of it, a swirl of faint grey-blue rises upward, eventually making its lazy, spiraling way to the crown.

Nverath pats some sand around a few stragglers, and is in the process of sending a disapproving look toward the egg on Talicanitath's side of the sands when Ryazusith decides she's finished. Then a different instinct kicks in, and Nverath does his best to position himself between the galleries and the clutch, going so far as to raise his wings up a bit. Because dragons can't close delivery-room doors.

D'baji reaches over to nudge Minka lightly with his elbow. "So y'think we should leave 'em be for a bit, then? Maybe go figure out what we're gonna do with the two of 'em on the sands - Talicanitath an' Rya, I mean. Dunno if there'll even be room for 'Ver." The last bit, an afterthought.

Minka inclines her head, "Mmn. Ryazusith will be asleep before the next candlemark is out. Isn't there meant to be a party?" She grins, winking at him. She glances up towards the galleries, "I'll leave it to you to usher them to the caverns." Lazily, she tosses a wave over her shoulder as she begins wandering over towards the exit of the hatching grounds.

Minka walks off the sands.

D'baji walks a bit quicker to catch Minka up. "Should talk to the others first, though. 'Bout these clutches."

Council Room
The Weyr's council chambers balance the necessity of a show of power with the austerity of good-taste and few resources. A vast, stone table rings most of the chamber, its slate-grey tableau polished to a subtle sheen and surrounded by straight-backed, black-padded seats; the centre of the table is a wyverthian tangle of dragons in a mosaic of ceramic, shell, and stone. Obsidian darkens the inner circle, the ebony glass surrounded by a thin ring of orange that splinters outwards into the flight of dragons like Rukbat's seering fingers.
Sisal banners of black and orange flutter along the walls of this windowless room, broken only by Thread-maps that are tacked to wall and table or neatly rolled up onto some of the many ledges.

Lanti strides in from the landing.

Minka walks in from the landing.

D'baji is sweaty and gross when he takes his very special chair at the big polished table. Fingers are run through his hair a few times in an attempt to look somewhat organised, and then that's given up. Instead, hands are clasped at the table, and he'll wait for all the other folks to filter in.

Lanti enters, still dabbing at her shoulder with a small handkerchief. She takes a seat, not bothering with hair that only looks a little damp and wilted. The joys of not being the one on the hot plate. "Congratulations," she announces as she tucks the handkerchief away and slumps into a chair. Oooh. Cool chair. Sweet relief. "Your son was adorable, D'baji. Once he stopped pouting."

Minka is also already seated, slumped back in her chair, eyes closed. Her cheeks are still flushed from her time on the sands, though funnily enough, she doesn't seem all too sweaty. As Lanti walks in the room, she opens one eye, then the other - sitting up a little more straight. With some semblance of authority, she queries, "Shall we get started then?"

D'baji can't help but offer up a proud paternal smile, between the praise for his son and the emotions radiating from Nverath. "Glad y'were there to keep him company. Hope he didn't give you too much trouble." The paternal pride holds up a moment longer. "An' a gold egg. Sterile. Huh."

Lendai walks in from the landing.

Lanti laughs softly. "He was quite well-behaved, D'baji. No worries there. And yes, another gold! Think the dragons are trying to tell us something?" she drawls lightly. She finally takes the kid-free moment to pull her metal flask from her bag before taking a much-needed swig. She then breathes deeply, smiles a little, and settles in to wait for Minka and D'baji to get on with things.

Minka's face reflects the same pride, the goldrider making no attempt to conceal it in the least. Rubbing her chin, she murmurs an agreement with D'baji's words, "Can't say I wasn't worried there for a while there. I guess we can just put it down to random occurence." Shrugging, she idly plays with a scrap of hide someone had previously discarded atop the table.

Lendai arrives fashionably late, as always. The goldrider does not appear pleased as she makes her way to sit, but she does send a nod to each of the others. "I heard through the grapevine that you have a gold egg on the sands, Minka." Don't mind the eye twitch. "Congratulations." ANd so she settles in, an unhappy look on her face for really no sane reason. Hearing her dragon's name after a moment, Lendai speaks up again. "Of /course/ it'll be alright! It'll be more than alright." Huff!

"Problems for the two queens, maybe. Perhaps not problems for Ista," Lanti replies with a slightly crooked grin. "We could ask the Smiths to build a temporary wall." She takes another drink from the flask before dropping it back into the bag and leaning forward onto the table. Business then. She studies Lendai for just a moment before turning back to the leaders. "Do you think we still have some decent candidates from the last few clutches, or should we send out our riders on search?"

Minka takes the twitching and so forth in her stride, not batting an eyelid at Lendai's obvious attitude. Graciously, she offers a smile to the younger goldrider, "Thankyou, Lendai. I'm very pleased." She lets her gaze linger on the other woman momentarily, silently considering the notion of spending many, many sevendays on the sands with her. Turning her gaze now, she addresses D'baji, "Lendai's right. It will work out fine. This isn't the first time it's happened, at least we aren't in a pass." To Lanti now, she offers a brief nod, "We need to widen our search pool, I believe. Especially with another gold on the sands…" Trailing off, she looks to D'baji for confirmation.

D'baji nods along to this. "I'm all for ridin' out. Lanti?" The diplomatic unit rider. "Figure the holds an' halls'd be okay with that? Might wanna send out some riders to mention that we've got a good bunch of eggs, need a goldrider… basically let 'em know what's goin' on, ensure goodwill, an'a ll that?" Lendai's attitude will be left to Minka to deal with.

Lendai taps her fingers impatiently. Not quite at ease with the situation. "I don't think the halls and holds have a choice. I mean, have they ever been one to deny a searchrider?" Most likely, but nothing she's going to bring up. "Not that we should go in with force, of course. But just… y'know." She waves one hand in the air. "And there have been some shardin' good riders that have come from outside the Weyr. I don't want Tali's babies having anything /but/ the best of choices!"

"Agreed," Lanti replies. "And yes, I think especially with that gold egg, the holds and halls aren't so disillusioned yet that they don't harbor hopes of being the ones to offer that eventual… shiny candidate. Though they'll likely still moan and groan about losing people to the 'diminishing' Weyrs." Lanti's voice turns wry, but she shrugs before giving Lendai another look. And again she goes right back to looking at D'baji and Minka, perhaps a bit expectantly.

"Somethin' to be said for treatin' the people we depend on nice. When it's time they depend on us again, we wanna be on good terms, not flyin' without any support." This reprimand, of sorts, is directed to Lendai. "We need a strong weyr, an' strong holds an' halls will help with that." No comment Lendai's Tali-oriented concern. And now he'll let Minka answer, turning to the weyrwoman.

Minka just stares at Lendai, raising her hands and rubbing her face, cheeks still not returning to their normal colour. She ignores the comments, choosing instead to focus on Lanti's offering to the conversation, "I agree. Sporadic has had one good outcome, it means they still can see the worth of maintaining a decent relationship with the Weyr."

Lanti nods once, pauses, then again. "I'll send word to the wingleaders, then." Yay, secretary. She eyes her bag for a moment, then the exit to the landing. "So. Was there anything else?"

"Right, right." Lendai gives a frustrated sigh. "Be nice to the holds and halls, they'll be nice to us. Shells." The last bit is muttered under her breath, the teenager now starting to get antsy in her seat. "I guess we will deal with any other… issues once Talicanitath clutches as well?"

D'baji shakes his head. "That's all for now. I'll get letters written up for your riders." And D'baji stands. Official dismissal, that.

Lanti strides back out to the landing.

Clutch 51b - Lendai's gold Talicanitath and R'yn's bronze Azmaioth

[Log Pending]

Related Links:

Hatching 51 (log)
Clutch 51

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License