Xaeth Clutches

Smooth stone curves around the warm hatching sands. To one side several tiers have been carved into the natural curvature of the cavern's walls providing a perch for the Weyr's residents to watch the activity on the sands below. A wooden railing has been built along the base of the galleries, delineating the separation between them and the sands that must not be crossed. The stone tiers are worn in places where the best viewing spots are to be found. The occasional blanket or pillow seat cushion can be found, abandoned after the excitement of hatching or heat numbing observation of hardening eggs.

Xaeth waddles out onto the sands. Belly which has been growing ever extended in the past sevenday can be seen visibly rippling and it looks like the gold has only just made it to the sands. She goes straight to a chosen spot which has been clearly groomed flat by earlier trips to these ground and with a swift scoop of one hand makes a small depression over which she squats and lays the first before her rider can even make an entrance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Attempted Omnipotence Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
An unnatural looking hue of matte gray ensconces the surface of this egg. It doesn't seem so much a shell as a layer of something un-pernly covering it. Straight seams can be found etched in ever the slightest darker gray hue, but no other obvious holes, latches, buttons or such contraptions to show how it is so perfect and tightly encapsulating the dragon within. An eerie glowing electric blue hue forms a small, perfect circle about the side of one's thumb in one spot on the surface. At times it seems to fade, or alternately brighten, as if measuring the pulse of some strange intelligence biding its time on the warm grounds.

Yh'val is clearly hanging out in the galleries. A betting man or not, it's been obvious to most that Xaeth would soon lay. Just as he starts to get up, giving in to whatever duty is calling she arrives and he promptly settles back. Perhpas he can catch the first few at least, and unsurprisingly the flow of weyrfolk begins as well soon after. He waves to several, although not sure if they've seen or not.

Mr'az is among the influx of weyrfolk, once the word goes out that Xaeth has made her way onto the sands. The young Wingleader weaves his way through the crowds, trying not to look too impatient and then all too relieved to escape the rush and find himself just in time to still snag some prime seating. For that reason, as his eyes scan the rows, he spots Yh'val's wave and returns it with a half-wave, half salute of his own, followed by a laid back and crooked smile. "One laid already?" he drawls on his approach, looking down now at the sands below where he can no doubt confirm the answer himself.

Sazey comes running out onto the sands, not all that long after Xaeth lays her first egg. The queen is already nuzzling it, settling the precious into its sandy nest. It looks like she's thrown a flight jacket over a much lighter sleepwear, and with riding boot somehow shrugged into it's not the most flattering of combinations. She goes straight to her queen "I know you said now, but you really meant NOW. Dear one." a hand reaches out, rubbing the queens jaw before the dragon moves over to the next spot, grunting and laying two more in quick succession.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Old Men's Dreams Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shadowed in deepening greys, this egg is notched and cut across its surface with a multitude of grooves that each seem to reach deep into its interior. Granite slowly hardening, before it may flake apart and with each pass around the egg showing a different view, a hidden glimpse of something else in the solitary stone. Something both new and ancient captured here, a body both young and old.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Mirror Mirror Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This larger egg is a perfect skyscape of blues, grays, and whites. A strange dark glimmer encircles the equator of the long axis. Above it rise rolling clouds of white, slate, gray and silver, stretching rounded cotton hills into wispy strings like the wing of a great bird, against an azure blue plain. Below the equator is a perfect mirror image, muted gray with a hint of green. The wings meet into a glory of wings as two perfect halves form one brilliant sky.

Yh'val nods to Mr'az's comment "First among many, at least by the look of her. Though I suppose we'll see soon" and two more eggs arrive "enough, wingleader." he finishes after a pause, trying to look at the newest pair before they get hidden away.

Mr'az snorts as he settles in as comfortably as one can in a rapidly filling and crowded gallery. He too is distracted by the arrival of the next two eggs and then he is cocking his head slightly towards Yh'val, daring a quick upwards glance to the other. "I suppose we will," he says with a smirk and then his attention drifts back to the sands. "And hopefully luck will favor us." In what way?

Xaeth rumbles after the pair is settled into the shared nest to her satisfaction. She knows exactly what to do, though she turns for the comfort and touch of her rider in between the arrivals. After the initial three it is a few minutes before the next cluster is laid. Double the double, it is four this time which come in quick succession, nearly overflowing the depression she has dug. Tail gently keeps any from straying as she works to tease the sands to her satisfaction while her rider shifts from one foot to another "yes, yes that does look beautiful my dear."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Fancified Simplicity Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A broad wash of pastel spring green ripples like the base of a sandy stream over the surface of this rather large egg. Atop that is a latticework in finely wrought metal which seems to sparkle as if inlaid with precious gems. They form a diamond shaped lattice that itself is overgrown with the most precious of roses. Vines and leaves wend this way and that but about in the center of each diamond space blooms the palest most delicate pink rose. All in all a grand display which doesn't seem to suit the simplicity of being merely an egg.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Sugar and Spice Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Swirls of pure white dance across the surface of this brown egg, where it has been placed in the dark sands. Faint cracks are delineated along its top before being hidden under the smears of white sand crystals and then sugared with specks of brighter colored circles with reds, yellows and even blues showing up smartly on the dark brown background. Finally it seems to be losing some of its white crystalline detailing, that falling off to the sands around it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Bite a Fellow? Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The slightly elongated ovoid rests on a ramped bed of sand so that the narrower end is pointed upwards. Concentric rings of color circle the girth of the egg, running from tip to tail in varied size rings. The largest rings are a deep lurid scarlet, bound on each edge by thin bands of matte black. Between the thin black rings is another narrow ring of pale mustard yellow, so that the pattern flows from scarlet to black to yellow to black and finally back to scarlet. Covering the whole is a slick, glossy scaled pattern.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Eternal Debate Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This middle sized egg is striking in its appearance. Two extremes meet in well defined bands of all hues and none. For it is but black and white that alternate, with one end of the egg ending in a circle of white and the other end in a circle of black. It is quite a conundrum for depending at how one looks might this egg be black stripes upon a white base… or no that is white stripes upon a black base? However you look at it, it has another trick up its sleeve. For it seems to move and sway in an echo of your own movement, teasing the eyes into seeing what is not. How very strange.

Yh'val hnns in a rather neutral way. "As always, I'm sure she will do us well for the Weyr. Enjoying your new duties?" Of all the folks that are coming in there is one which is clearly missing, and Yh'vval muses "I wonder if O'mohe will make it back before she's done. Tricky thing negotiations, and my what a pace." as he shifts to gander at the next four which come so close together.

Sazey fusses, doing what she can, which is truely very little. As fast as the first eggs have come this next is not so easy. The queen labors for quite some time over her latest prepared nest. She shifts her haunches this way and that, tail finally lashing almost angrily and she lets out a bugle as the egg finally emerges. Wings fan the air as she rears back after all that effort. The egg at first glance looks blood spattered, but after a quick inpection Sazey waves off concern and it passes among the dragons to any watching concerned that its just the shells apparent coloring.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Not So Tasty Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bright red dots speckle this darker egg, covering it from apex to end in a multitude of larger and smaller circles that only seem to affect the upper parts. The lower part of the egg is darker a smudged grey brown, except for smaller splotches of yellow that are placed at random and almost hidden in the dark sands, streaks that show up almost as beacons to light a path or impart a message.

Mr'az's eyes turn to glance sharply again to Yh'val, but the bronzerider only holds his tongue. Whether it is because he agrees or is wisely keeping silent, one may never know. "Aye, I have. Been rather daunting if I must admit and a challenge but can't really complain. It will just take some… adjusting." he murmurs, but clearly distracted and then tossed into complete silence as so many eggs are laid in rapid succession. Blinking, the Wingleader makes a surprised and yet impressed sound. "Indeed, her pace is swift." he agrees, only to frown. Yh'val is right, where is the Weyrleader? "Negotiations?" he queries, only to frown and tense a little in alarm as Xaeth seems to struggle and breathes a sigh of relief when all goes well.

Yh'val shifts, growing uncomfortable as the next takes so long to arrive. It's only after a quiet reassurance through his dragon that he relaxes again. "Yeah, something out of Tillek, although perhaps I shouldn't use the word negotiation so much." he muses "Given O'mohe's style and all." he glances back to Mr'az.

Xaeth rests awhile, circles around the grounds giving a 'look' to those in the galleries before going back to her grouping of sandy nests and digging another large one off to the left. Four more eggs come without much fuss.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< The Melting Melon Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most of this rounder egg is a pale spring green bisected by a series of darker ragged green stripes. However, the upper curve appears to have been lopped off to show a soft raspberry red interior sprinkled by little round black beads. The red glistens as if wet and cool, even nestled in the sands, bringing to mind a favorite summer time melon treat. Yet an oddity remains. Just at the end nearest the sands, ribbons of the red almost melt down over the green exterior to disappear just before it would pool on the ground below.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< The Eye's Have It Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shimmering waves of pale browns and near black ripple across the surface of this medium sized egg. There is not any apparent pattern, for there are some zigs this way, and a few zags that way, and lines where clearly the pattern overlap or shift direction. The bands of hue are broad, so that the pattern is not overly overwhelming but yet plenty distinct. When rolled just so on the sands, the defiant side wan be clearly seen where the pattern fades into a swath of tan with two dark black circles are etched, much like eyes ever watching.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Just An Illusion Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Looking velvety soft to the touch, this darker egg is covered in hues of deep browns highlighted by beiges. Wavering lines wander its surface, streaking from near the middle to follow around until they are lost to view while concentric circles form of darker and darker mahogany colors that end in near black. It is only across one small part of the egg that any other color forms, and what a show it is in a near electric metallic blue in a faint ribbon of light.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< What Lurks Beneath Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Another smallish egg, this one seems to be composed of pale sun-bleached brown sand, completely unlike the darker black-gray of the hatching sands. The shell is a bit lumpy and malformed in appearance and the color is broken up with darker speckles like rocks littering the field. Just nearest to the larger end is a flash of color, a hint of bronze surrounding a black spot. Quickly, the circle resolves into an eye with that, the image of a flat fish can be seen hiding in the sandy shoals of the shell.

"Tillek," Mr'az echoes back and yet keeps his voice lowered as he turns his attention back to Yh'val and meets his gaze while Xaeth begins to circle. He'll miss the 'look' she gives the galleries, distracted now as he frowns and fails miserably at hiding his sudden interest in the news from the Weyrlingmaster. Smirking, he shakes his head, "Perhaps not. But what is on the table now as far as negotiations go? The same as what was gossiped about before?" he asks, prying and yet attempting to be clever with it. Reaction from the crowds has him breaking his focus though and he turns just in time to catch the gold as she lays the next round. "Huh. Another four." Does he sense a pattern? "Shards, what're we at now…?"

Two girls walk into the galleries, apart from one another and yet close enough in arrival time to be noticed together. The first, Mohria, darts along to the back to sit in the shadows and alone, peering down eagerly at the eggs as they arrive. The second, Nyalle, makes a more notacable arrival, as befitting her rank. It's hardly pomp and frills, but she doesn't slink into the shadows either. Adjusting her knee length cloak, she pushes back the hood and unhooks the clasp in the cavern's warmth and approaches some riders she knows. "Mind if I join you?" she asks quietly of Mr'az, smiling slightly at Yh'val as well.

Yh'val smiles, now that did get your attention, yes. "A dozen, or so I think so far." It looks like he does know something and might be about to drop more hints to the matter only Nyalle arrives and he gives a polite nod in return to her smile before she speaks with Mr'az, he grows quiet looking to the sands to see what might next appear.

Sazey eyes the last to join, another egg on the smaller side? The queen is visibly loosing that painful distended look, and although there's a fwe obvious lumps it looks as though she may be past the half way point. Exactly how many are left yet to come, that remains anyone's guess. She doesn't have time to offer much comfort for Xaeth is on the move. "This spot? Well, it looks fine dear" one sand patch looks the same as any other but apparenty to the queen it's just the *perfect* spot and a trio of eggs soon emerge.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Taste the Blades Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tawny browns and yellows enwrap this parched egg in mingled hue. As if to announce the fading echo of summer in grasses parched by the burning sun, and the transition of autumn to touch and settle the land before the chill of winter arrives. The blades of grass seem to rustle now and then in the soft hand of the invisible wind, or the passing of some unseen creature. That is until one looks ever so much closer and it is almost as if a pair of deeper brown eyes look back between the blade. A fuzzy outline in that same tawny color which hints of the predator within the shell, waiting until its moment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< To Catch the Unwary Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Delicate splashes of pink dust this egg, swirled over the lighter base of pale white to cream. Fragile blooms of color that swirl brighter in and across the middle of the egg, that darkens somewhat as they approach the ends before fading away to the pale creamy white as it is delineated sharply against the grey sands. Deeper lines shadow across the egg, faint markings or traceries to show outlines of flowery shape.

Better late than never, Killian arrives with a few of the other weyrbrats, all snickering and chattering the way younglings will when in a gaggle. The horseplay stops as the group enters the caverns, though it's hard to tell which authority figure is the biggest deterrent. Slipping into the closest empty benches, the group is quiet only a moment before the muttering and soft joking starts up again. "Hssst." Killian says to one overly loud fellow cheering just as more eggs begin to arrive.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Ride the Stars Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
//Deepest black, inky and cold, cloaks the shell base so that the brilliance of color painted in the center can shine. Scattered like gems amid the black are tiny points of light, some larger and some smaller but all tinted through the many colors of the rainbow and yet still white at heart. And there in the center is the masterpiece of billowy clouds of blues and greens to one side and reds and oranges to the other ghosting over the star studded black . Centered perfectly between the two clouds is a noble head arching from a regal neck and tendrils of mane flowing behind, all in stark unbroken black.


Xaeth seems to find this spot especially perfect. She uses her talons to ever so gently settle the trio of eggs and slightly expand the shallow next as she deposits two more. Sazey fusses nearby, clapping her hands and getting a fine view of the eggs that few others will have the pleasure of sharing.

Mr'az only nods towards Yh'val's guess of the tally so far but it's too obvious now where the bronzeriders true interest lay. But he will keep his disappointment well hidden when the Weyrlingmaster does not speak up again, only to start a bit at the sound of a familiar voice. Turning in his seat, he offers Nyalle a welcoming smile and swiftly followed by a gesture for her to sit (and he promptly edges over a bit as well). "Of course not! I think you're just in time too. Xaeth's been setting a formidable pace," he murmurs with a dry chuckle. Briefly he'll look up and past the young goldrider at the sound of loud cheering but the Wingleader is soon facing the sands again. "Three this time."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Maternal Confusion Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On the smaller side, this egg has a base of saltwater blue. Not so intense as the deep oceans, nor quite as marine as warmer tropical waters, but something about mid-way between the two. From the bottom thin red-brown lines grow in an intermingles angular jungle. The strangest knobby branches as if they've sprouted hundreds of small warts. In places maybe larger ones… but no… those seem to be strange living creatures! Thin tail anchors securely the rounded bellies of these odd animals. Most in this oddest of nurseries you somehow get the impression are males. Yet, are those babies popping out the bulbous bellies? What's wrong with this picture?

Nyalle takes the seat with a warm smile, adjusting her cloak as she does so. "It seems as if she is," she says, peering down onto the Sands with interest. "Wonder what it'll be like," she murmurs, before stopping and smiling a bit, glancing past Mr'az to smile at Yh'val. "Excited to have new weyrlings in the barracks?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< A Fantasy of Lights Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
An awkward oblique egg, more round than it should be, this egg has a flatter shape than most where it lays almost hidden in the dark sands. As dark as the greys that surround it, and faintly ringed by circular ridges it is only the hidden flashes of spectacular color that flash over different parts, a burst of blue, a dot of chartreuse or a speck of near magenta that makes the egg so much more.

Yh'val stretches as much as he can in his seat, growing cramped from watching. "Hot and miserable," he offers "at least going by what past weyrwomen have made mention of, and yes, thank you. It will be nice to finally get a decent nights sleep. All this quiet is far to disconcerting." it's hard to tell if he's serious or joking as he turns away as more eggs arrive.

Xaeth takes her time after this last pair, her belly now a bit saggy but much emptied of the ovoids. They'll have to continue their growth outside and beyond her now nad that seems fine. After the last cluster is well settled she sprawls between the sandy nests of her newest clutch and closes her eyes. Sazey makes her way up, stroking th equeens eyeridges soothingly as she looks between teh various nests, clearly counting. A mere seventeen in total and to those who know her, her expression is clearly mixed. Smaller than her last of twenty but a good sized clutch none-the-less. Of course it's now that a certain bronze and his rider arrive. O'mohe dismounts a bit stiffly and makes his way over while Mwoth rumbles more quietly, tenderly (or cautiously) to the queen who barely stirs in response. The two speak, their words hushed enough that somehow they don't carry but in pieces and the two head back to the Weyrwoman's weyr not long after.

Mr'az can't help but chuckle a bit for Yh'val's remarks, masking his grin by tilting his head down a bit as he struggles to sober his mood. "Beyond that I don't think it's all that bad?" he drawls, glancing from the Weyrlingmaster and then to Nyalle, for whom his smile may take on a slightly reassuring tilt. He quirks a brow then, "The quiet unsettles you?" he asks of the bronzerider, only to then shake his head. "Suppose there's some sense behind that. Ahh… seems as though Xaeth has finished." And he will lean forwards in his seat slightly, likely trying to count out the various nests but swiftly losing his place. Doesn't help that O'mohe arrives then and the Wingleader is paying more focus on the Weyrleader than the eggs.

Nyalle laughs, soft and light. "I revel in the quiet," the young goldrider admits. "It's done already? Darn. We came back as swift as we could…it looks like a nice clutch though. But…is there a gold egg?" She looks wistfully down at the sands.

Yh'val grins, after turns and still so much a mystery. "Well looks like I got plenty of work ahead." and from hislook over the sands and the way Xaeth is acting. "I don't see a gold. I'd be surprised if we had two in a row, even with teh Pass approaching." he gets up, stretchign further. "If you'll all excuse me."

Mr'az seems of the same conclusion as Yh'val on the issue of a gold egg being present or not. "Unlikely there is one," he says and his lips curve down in disappointment. "Not to say that that is a bad thing." he amends hastily, coughing slightly. Oops? He sighs, giving the Weyrlingmaster a lingering look, "Perhaps. Clear skies." And his eyes will follow the bronzerider out, now so very curious about that hint of negotiations involving Tillek and yet nothing concrete to be grasped. Turning to glance to Nyalle, Mr'az smiles softly, "Shame you missed most of it. Even I was too late for the start," he admits with a slight shrug, only to then stretch and roll his shoulders a bit. "Care to go for a drink?" he offers, eyeing the crowds still lingering about the galleries.

Nyalle sighs, and then shoots Mr'az a little smile. "I was hoping for one," she admits quietly. "It is a shame, but…oh well. I will be there for Kayeth's," she says with a little chuckle. "A drink sounds lovely. I could use a glass of wine and some conversation. Enjoy the quiet while it lasts, before there are Candidates and Weyrlings abounding. It's a good sized clutch, that."

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