Ixtabith Clutches

Room Description

Main Sands> The hide of the egg heavy gold that waddles in is not nearly so bright as the many weeks ago when she bounded skywards in challenge. Now, the toll of time grips Ixtabith in the next phase of this cycle of life and she pauses at the entrance, her sides visibly rippling a few moments. Then heavy steps take her onto the sands. She seems both settled and not, as if such familiar grounds should be comforting but she might just as well be thinking of another place to lay. It's no longer her choice however as she scratches out a shallow trough and gives in to nature's rhythem before anyone can much arrive, or more importantly, object. The first cluster of eggs coming quickly.

She doesn't want to be here. Shailaja's grimace says as much - and quite clearly. But. The artist makes her way into the galleries all the same - only to take a seat that's as far back as she can get while still seeing some of the eggs. She blows out a breath and watches, her expression odd and pained while Ixtabith goes through the motions of laying.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Lone Tree Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sun-bleached blue dominates this tallish egg, with faint whisps of white ghosting around it to suggest clouds. The bottom is a narrow band of matte, golden-brown that serves only as the substrate for the single, spectacular creation upon the egg's shell. A forked stroke of dark brown rises from the base like a tree trunk, branching out to create a broad base for a shallow dome of green to rest upon.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Frozen Fields Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
White, whiter, whitest is this egg in all of its cold glory. A first glance - and perhaps a second - might reveal nothing more than unbroken whiteness upon the shell. It's only with closer examination that the illusion of ridges hewn in gray and blue might be seen. Those bands shift like drifts of snow across the surface, threatening to crack in some places and reveal what resides beneath.

Ph'yn comes in just after the queen arrives. He hurries into the seating area, looking excited. His first clutching of eggs as a rider now himself, this is an event not to be missed now that he can consider it from the other side of the table as it were.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< An Endless Expanse Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The shimmer of a mirage follows the smooth arc of the eggs shell as it pokes out of the sands at a sixty degree angle. The smaller end of the ovoid seems to be the exposed end although just by looking at it, it is hard to tell just where the egg's surface begins and ends due to the strange visual effect the shell manages to pull off. The one thing that is undeniable is the hues that cloak the visible parts of the shell. No trick of the light, just a countless number of grains of golden sand pooling into the overlarge orb. There is some variation in hue due to pale shadows cast beneath the burning sun upon cresting dunes which ripple outwards like a sandy sea from a central circular section. Within the oasis is a liquid pool of gold, although to the weary traveller it is unlikely to offer any actual refreshment.

Arriving a little late, Eodarin joins the rest of the curious crowd come to gawk while Ixtabith lays her clutch. It's not the first clutching she's ever witnessed but it'll be the first here. Will things be any different? Weaving her way past a few folks, she'll spy Shailaja up so far back. A somewhat familiar face is better than a complete stranger and so she'll sneak her way up as best she can before inching her way as close on the bench as possible. "Hey." she whispers gruffly.
Ed'ard has parked himself in a nice spot, to just watch both the egglaying and then crowd that is also forming. He's content to be by himself right now, instead people watching as much as he can while he glances between the sands and then back up into the galleries around him.

Of course, Shai's expression shifts into unreadability when the third egg is laid. Her sketchbook is open in her lap, but her tools are kept to a side - unused for now and, perhaps, will remain so for the duration. The gruff whisper jerks her out of her reverie and she flashes Eodarin a smile, but that smile is tight and uncomfortably fitted to her face. "Hey, hey," is uttered in a low voice in reply and she motions to one of the spots near her. "Sorry. It's not, um. Not a great spot, you know? But." She picked it.

Main Sands> Ixtabith pauses after the third. This third one was rather large and the effort of it leaves her exhausted early in these exertions. Muzzle so gently dips to sniff and nudge sand abotu the first two but that third egg. That gleam of greedy gold clings unmistakably and this one,e ven moments after laying recieves a different sort of attention. She nudges it to a higher dune where it can warm, dominant above the other eggs. She might linger longer but nature is still calling and she goes back, digging another wallow for the next set to arrive just about the same time as her rider manages to make an appearance, spitting some muttered profanity about the weather and timing and queens and such things.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Grassy Ocean Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Great waves of brown and amber dominate this squat egg, while a washed out blue occupies the top third. Thin lines reach up from the base of it toward that arid sky, hundreds or thousands or more, like so much grass left to grow wild. If one squints, it might even seem that the blades of autumn-hued grass are moving, but it's just a trick of the light.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Autumn Forest Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Slender pale trunks stripe the egg across the elongated length. As if a snapshot of some distant land, the shell reflects a serene and beaituful scene. From near white to soft gray the trunks are the foundation of the broad leaves which spatter brilliant color. Teased by unfelt breezes the hues of amber and crimson mingle with dying brown, copper and the clinging summer green as autumns transition is clearly underway. Mid-way down the shell there is a second row of smaller trees, the next generations slowly growing up which splatter yet more colorful leaves upon the shell and hide the one yet resting within.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Stagnant Waters Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Brilliantly green, this egg seems to glow with an inner light that reflects upon the varying hues that have been dripped across its surface. Chartreuse wars with deeper, darker forest greens that shadow the edges of the egg, away from the brighter middle. Even darker are the parts of the egg hidden by the shadows and the dark sands, a green so dark as to appear shaded black and only barely iridescent.

"If it's not your first go at one of these, then it's a perfect spot." Eodarin answers easily but keeping her voice hushed. Her smile is crooked and her gaze soon slides away and back to the sands. Her brows furrow when one egg is moved to a higher dune, tongue clicking behind her teeth. Any observations are kept held in check for now. She'll watch a little longer, before turning her focus back to Shai. "And don't apologize. My choice to come up here." Her shoulders shrug. "You alright?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Leafy Fronds Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shimmering in a base color of pale grey, this larger egg has an odd appearance of stripes that seem to circle it. Around and around they go with no end in sight, a mix of soft pale greens and lighter mixed browns that are dappled here and there with bright splashes of new growth chartreuse. Eventually the stripes even out and fade away, leaving a plain clear section of pale frosty grey near the center of the egg.

"Oh, no. I've… well, I've been to every clutching I can get to." Shailaja sucks her teeth and winces, just a little, when some of Shakti's swearing on the sands reaches her ears. It can't be helped. "So, I mean. I'll probably draw them later. I just…" she trails off and nods a little, her mouth pulled to a side. Despite the admonition, she still says, "Sorry," for her earlier apology and tries on another smile. That one fits better. "It's- I'm fine. I'll be fine. I hope." The last is barely audible. "What have you been up to?" It's as good a distraction as any!

Main Sands> The queen seems unperturbed by her rider. Talons carefully tuck in the latest arrivals into their warm sandy beds. Her sides look quite distended still as she switches to the opposite side of the clutch to lay the next batch. The bulk of her body slightly obscuring the view for those watching. They might get a bit of tail action as it swishes back adn forth, the only signs of her current discomfort. Or else she's just mooning her audience, hard to tell.

Ed'ard continues to sit back and watch, the drama on the sands momentarily fazing him for a few seconds before he shakes his head and then curses slightly once more before shrugging away his concerns.

Ph'yn is barely seated when he's on his feet again. is that a, "Yes!" not that it really affects him so much but the presence of a queen egg after so many turns must be a good sign right?! Maybe, sorta, at least he's semi-talking to himself "… see if you'll be a good searcher…" or his other, better half. He's back seated but never really still, flashing a smile to anyone in the audience who might put up enough to meet his gaze.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Lush Foliage Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gloriously, glinting green this egg seems to be wrapped up in a thousand different shades of green that reflect back the light in a glinting display of humid air. The surface of the shell looks almost moist, damp to the touch while the tender green display has it wrapped around and around the surface, nearly hiding the deep rich loamy brown that would be the otherwise showing base color.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Murky Green Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A thick shimmering base of teal surrounds this egg, wrapping it from end to end in a cocoon of watery color that light seems to glint over and ripples occur, almost as if it might be moving. Thick feathery stripes move to band the egg from the hidden bottom to almost the top, ending in pale tawny offshoots. These stripes are thicker toward rounded bottom, thinning out to nothing near the egg's sharply curved apex.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Fractured Water Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This mostly rounded egg looks as if it's already cracked. The matte white of the shell is marked with intermittent cracks of deeper blue and black, cracks that seem to widen around the midsection and grow thinner toward the apex. The blue and black parts have a faint shimmer to them, suggestive of water, but the rest just looks cold and broken.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Snowy Reflections Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Vast patches of pure white cover this egg and hide the darker base of it that is a mix of different browns and pale yellows. One patch covers the apex in a fragmented pattern of white covering the dark brown with sharply fractured edges before it seems to abruptly end. The middle section is mostly unmarked while down toward the bottom the white builds again in swoops and piles that slowly measure up, layer after layer of white to hide the shell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Boldly Bright Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Splashes of unlikely hues adorn this egg, bright fuchsia that bleeds into brilliant salmon colors before those fade away into the darker, deeper blues that form the basis of the shell. A medley of greens swarms across the bottom edges of the egg, before it slowly lightens as the shell and the colors start to appear, flashes of yellow and white darting amid the other bright shades before peeking out it seems on the other side of the splotches.

Eodarin only grimaces for the swearing she may hear filtering up their way. Her attention is split on other things, namely on Shai. Her brows furrow a little more and her mouth begins to open to ask what could be prying questions. Instead she bites her tongue (a task difficult for her) and nods. "Heh, well… it's kind of hard when she's still moving and all and folks milling about. Distracting." Right? Yeah, that's the reason — not. But she's not going to press further, save for a dry chuckled: "Hope?" But it's left open for her to answer or not. As of her? "Mhm. Not much. Same old as before. Work in the stables." Judging by the crooked smile that follows, there's more to it then that but her attention slides back to the sands, though she won't see much!

Main Sands> Shakti's voice fade a bit as she takes stock of the progress and climbs higher onto that singular dune. She's jsut as important afterall as the egg which now resides there. Even the galleries are likely to see the smug smile which graces her features. Fingers daring to stroke the still soft ovoid "Ah, there's only one for you." if she has someone in mind she's not more specific gazing briefly towards the human audience before focusing back on her own partner. Ixtabith has things well in hand, or talon, as it were. The latest batch are settled and she has enough of a break to move over to give her rider a soft warm whuff before moving off to lay the next. Her sides are finally starting to come down and the betting is likely to get hotter with just how many might remain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Scattered Shrubs Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This egg is split across the middle, with the top dominated by faded blue hues scattered with white streaks. The lower half is a ruddy brown and mottled with grayed sage greens. Those blotchy shrubs are scattered haphazardly across the shell's surface, with no rhyme or reason to their placement or size.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< The Deep Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dark, so very dark is this egg that sits gloomily upon the sands and seems to absorb all light that ventures near it, casting such a shadow that it appears a part of it. Able to be felt more than seen are the slight ridges and various bumps that occur on the shell, even as the dark color obscures and hides those various imperfections from view and leaves only the vision of something dark and dangerous in sight.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Red Rocks Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dusty carmine shades this smaller egg, leaving it faded and sere as it sits on the sands. The surface is marred by a series of tiny pockmarks scattered somewhat randomly over the shell, seeming to follow lines and patterns that discern a pattern only at a distance. Faded sage patches follow those traceable lines, a spot here and there in the otherwise dusty red of the shell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Fertile Lands Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Rich green covers the majority of this egg in a lush blanket. Fingers of iridescent green snake up from the base of the egg and wrap around it, fanning out in undulating curves before rejoining at the top in a singular puddle of that selfsame hue. Where blue and green meet, the colors intensify and threaten to spill out over the rest of the shell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Boggy Fingers Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sunlight dapples this murky shaded egg, from the cloudy bottom that rests on the sands, a mixture of browns and greens that pools gracefully, calmly up the sides. Arching down from the top are shaded limbs in faded taupe, trailing down into the pool like delicate tracing fingers. Painted splotches mar the arcing arms, brighter greens and sunlit yellows.

Shailaja fidgets just a little with her notebook and, ultimately, closes it to set it aside. She leans forward, elbows on knees, and her features are set in a grimace that she's probably not aware of. The hunkering forward isn't necessarily to get a better view, either; it also makes her look smaller, which is… good. For her, anyway. "She's… pretty active, you know?" That's angled askance to Eodarin. "Ixtabith, I mean. She clutches pretty quickly, though. I'm sure she's almost done, yeah yeah?" Shakti speaks and the girl falls silent again, waiting until that's done before she murmurs to Eodarin, "Hope. Maybe. But not- I don't know. Not for this one. Not at all." The cryptic nature of that utterance is left to hang there, while she continues, "I keep meaning to visit you there. I've just been…" busy goes unspoken, torn apart on a sigh. She must have missed that crooked smile - but who can blame her, when her eyes have dropped to the back of the person in front of her. "Glad it's going good, at least?" The work? The clutching? Oh, ambiguity.

Main Sands> The queen takes a moment to rear back and stretch herself out. Wings flap a few times, sneding a light breeze over the top of the sands, perhaps even as far as the galleries. The warm breath of the life which incubates therein drifts unmistakable in the hope and promise of the grounds. Her eyes whirl as there is yet work to be done, the flecks of orange and yellow disturbign the normally placid blues and greens. Her rider keeps back, knowing the queen well enough to let her manage. Present if needed but likely not so. Settling back down to the ground with an audible thump she spends a good deal of time scratching out the next resting spot of another grouping of eggs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Lichen Laden Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Across the curved surface of this egg occur random patches of ruffled colors, paler greens that budge up next to rusty oranges that nearly edge out faded yellows. The thin colors obscure the minute striations that have formed in the otherwise plain color of this almost tawny egg, flecks of deeper color and the pale whites in tiny grains hidden under the overreaching colored growths.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Volatile Vent Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Alien hues slither over this egg, with unnatural flourescents and eye-burning neons forming a fine lace over the whole of it. Strange life seems to shift and squirm just at the edges, never to be directly seen. The majority of the egg is a fathomless blue, interrupted by a plume of brighter, pearlescent blue that spews ever upward to an apex that's out of reach.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~< Evergreen Peaks Egg >~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Layered in dusty green, this egg has a sensation of row after row of endless green layers heaped atop each other. Sharply pointed, at a distance they feather out to lacy fronds the closer one peers at the shell. Even within the subtle sameness of hues, the color differs, ranging in paler greens to the deeper darker shades right where the shapes start to overlap and cover the limbs below.

Eodarin leans back as her head tilts to glance sidelong to Shai again. There's a moments pause, as she mulls over her answer. "Guess so? Why, you wagering she is?" That last bit is just said in jest, meant to lightly tease and perhaps draw a smile at the very least. No stranger to crypticness, she's clearly intrigued. Her voice lowers again to as quiet a whisper as she can manage. "So you thinking of…?" There's an obvious tilt of her head then to the sands, an unspoken gesture that she figures will be understood, one weyrborn girl to another. She chuckles again, rubbing her hands along her thighs as she doesn't quite lean forwards but settles comfortably all the same. "Eh, don't worry about it. Runners won't go anywhere, right? Come by when you can… Unless you're wanting me to find you someday and drag you there whether you like it or not?" Ambiguity, what?

Main Sands> Just as suddenly as it started, it's done. Ixtabith suddenly collapses on the far side of the clutch, giving the galleries a great view of the assorted colorful eggs. Her head comes to rest of the higher dune, near her rider and the gleaming gold orb. There is a diferent sort of glow about the queen now, a tender motherliness that none should dare to disturb lest they want to see the fiercer side of a mom. A mom with very sharp talons.

"No, I mean. I know she is. Quick, that is." Shailaja considers the next lot of eggs, mostly by peering surreptitiously around the person in front of her before her attention slides back to Eodarin. She swallows. Hard. That question seems to do little more than make her a bit pale at the edges and the girl balks - verbally, anyway. "I would. But it's -her-." She lifts her chin just a little, indicating the relatively distant form of Shakti. "She didn't want me to stand when I was younger. I don't… I don't think she's changed much since I moved back here, you know?" Maybe the similarities can be spotted; probably not, though. "Are you?" The question follows half a breath later. And then: "See? There. Um. And- I… I think you might have to, the way things are, you know?" The laugh is soft, but it's a laugh. "Maybe a kidnapping is what'll have to happen."

It's probably quite the personal question but Eodarin went ahead with it all the same. Her eyes follow to where Shai indicates Shakti stands. Now it's her turn to grimace a bit, "Can she do that? Stop you?" she asks again, boldly, but keeping her voice as hushed as ever. No one will overhear them up here, right? She exhales and glances back to the Sands. "Just might… or, you know, I just will. Why not?" Question is just how much thought she's put into such a decision. When it is clear that Ixtabith has finished clutching, Eodarin cranes her head a bit to do a rough count. Maybe she DOES have wagers somewhere! Never too young, right? Soft laughter draws her back and she grins again. "Alright. So what about now?"

"She could back at Ista," Shailaja replies. "I don't see why she couldn't here, you know?" She pulls a face and, when all's said and done, she pushes to her feet and collects her things. "And she's my mom, so that's… that." The admission comes out in a breathless rush that she evidently hopes will be ignored, since she launches into the next with: "You should do it. Um. On both counts." She pauses. "I mean, you should Stand - and we should look at the runners." There. Better. If she's not looking at the sands, she seems to be slightly better - but only slightly.

"So?" Comes Eodarin's possibly frustrating but brazen reply. It's not entirely ignored but she's not letting Shai off the hook that easily. Her tactic of distraction works well though and her brows lift, followed with a slow smile. "So should you." she counters, though she gives her an appreciative glance for the vote of confidence. So it's time for a 'kidnapping', is it? "Got your stuff?" Standing swiftly to her feet, she'll dust off her clothes (not that they need it) and she'll gesture, maybe a touch eagerly, for Shai to follow. "Come on. Nows the best time. Most of the runners are in their stalls. You lookin' for a particular one to start…?" she asks, while shuffling her way down the aisle.

"So? It's- it's just…" the stammering continues for a time before Shailaja catches herself and ends up heaving a heavy sigh. Defeated - for now, anyway - the artist just nods and shifts the burden of art supplies that's under her arm. "I… I don't know. Maybe for the other one." Maybe. But there's no time to think on it; a kidnapping is afoot and she's not about to be left behind! "No, I can't think of any in particular," she answers while she pads along behind Eodarin. "Just- you know, whatever ones are there that don't mind looking pretty, you know?" And so it goes, as she follows the other young woman out.

Eodarin almost looks smug when Shai gives that heavy sigh. Ah-ha! So something more is lurking there! But it's true. There is a kidnapping afoot and she's leading the way. "Most of them will do that!" Her laughter is low and brief. "Think I know just the right one to start you off…" And hopefully Eodarin will be kept preoccupied enough to keep from hounding poor Shai (no guarantees there — teasing and joking around is bound to happen) as they slip off to the stables!

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