Aislinn's Flockless Shepherd Blue Esryth

Every epic needs a Prologue…

From the sands, Chayath takes her time with the last, and it's no wonder that most in the crowd seem to think she's done. She hardly seems to move an inch, until the egg has been deposited on the sands, and then with a swift movement, the final egg is added to the pile with an extra-careful touch.

The Neverending Story Egg

This is an egg, my friends, that just never ends: it goes on and on.. er, wait, wrong script. In fact, this egg is… fluffy? Indeed, it is sheer cream fluff, with monstrously large blobs of color mounted on the sides of this hulking round object. They're almost like eyes: never blinking, just.. waiting, watching, in a benevolent monster sort of way. The pattern of 'fluffiness' curls as wool still on the sheep: it creates an optical illusion, confusing the mind's eye. Indeed, it's almost as if some rather large creature is curled about the ovoid protectively, staring out at whomever deigns to look upon it.

And enter our hero:

The Neverending Story Egg spins once, twice, and a third time in place before tipping over and rolling quite a bit away from its nesting hollow. The fluffy-like shapes appear to part as snap, crack, gush the secret that was hidden behind that cloudy monster shell is unleashed and Flockless Shepherd Blue Dragonet tumbles out in an exhuberant heap. Rawr!

Flockless Shepherd Blue Dragonet:

Wiry grace and a bright spirit are entwined in a weaving that outlines every inch of this slight blue, pausing to linger on the sloping muzzle, tickling the stout headknobs that rest slightly askew above a pair of close-set eyes, and then rocketing away across the rest of him. Twisting down his compressed neck are blunt and narrow 'ridges, leading a worn path to the stretch of his wings, where soft lines of Highland sky find solace in the expanse of the wingsails. Dark cobalt brushes across a wide and solid chest, before the dragon's form becomes far more lean. His forelimbs, almost dainty, turn paler and paler, shades nearly as soft as snow drift across the wide paws and travelling down to long and polished ebony talons. Light and agile strength is there, hidden in the rugged form behind the compact sides and well-proportioned hindquarters. There is a distinct fortitude within, down to the triangular swath of frosty blue that lights upon very tip of the tail.

Public Impression Pose

Flockless Shepherd Blue Dragonet has a form that comes purely from instinct, and right now that instinct is telling him he needs to cut just one of the white coats from the herd, and make them his own. He slinks low over the sands, staring first at one, and then the other, searching and trying to find something to match the manic mind lurking beneath his askew headknobs. And then… he finds it! He arrows in on Aislinn and comes to a halt four feet away, eyes locked on eyes and his entire body thrumming. Yes. His. Now come here.

Private Impression Message

» At once, there's a soft hiss of billowing barley and the tickling scent an alfalfa field. They override the heat and confusion of the Sands as surely as those big, bright, whirling eyes stay watching you. There's a hop-skip-jump action flitting across your mind from hill-top to hill-top, dragging you through sweet clover blossoms, pouring sunlight across your face as He speaks. « Aislinn! Mine! » It's a epiphany, and the sunlight bathed across your mind grows warmer, and the smells all the more rich. « I am your Esryth, but we can talk later about that later. I smell food! Quick, quick, quick, we've gotta get it now! »«


Aislinn! Aislinn, Aislinn, Aislinn! From the moment we saw you pop up on the DragonColors channel, we liked you, and we greeted every new application and scene from you with squeals of delight. A quiet, hardworking, nervous little addition to the insanity that is High Reaches Weyr? Well, you survived under Rilna at Keroon, so we think you've got the right stuff. So, in trade for having to leave the beloved Thrush behind, we've decided to give you a little blue dragon who thinks he's a border collie, with a touch of a certain Romantic-era poet thrown in. Esryth is yours, we hope you love him as much as we loved writing him, and we hope that you have many years of fun playing with us. You're one of the flock, now, kiddo!


Egg Inspiration

Sii'kyn sez: "Whoever doesn't know TNS just needs to get a TV and VCR. And if they have both, and still haven't seen that classic, they should be burnt on the stake. 'Nuff said. Really, though— who could ever forget Atreyu, Bastian— or, for me, Artax? However, I feel the most impressionable of all characters is the white luckdragon Falkor— so dorky-looking, but as a little kid, he looked so awesome. Thusly: Falkor-the-egg!"

Theme Inspiration

A little Byron, a lot of Border Collie, and a heck of a lot of energy! That's what you were wanting, that's we wanted to give you, and we hope we've succeeded. The theme of Flockless Shepherd Blue Esryth fits in with our clutch theme of 'Things Usually Found In Pairs", but it works for him on a personal level as well. Esryth will need a guiding hand himself in the beginning, which you'll be for him, but he's the shepherd to the flock of Aislinn's nervous little ways, guiding her and protecting her, and helping her to safely navigate around the wolves of social interaction, and emerge more confidant and outgoing at the end of the trail.

Description Inspiration

Lylia sez: "The inspiration for your Esryth, dear Aislinn, is that loveable and intelligent dog — the border collie. You wanted it, and thus, here he is! The desc is created to have those distinct markings, the patches of white and that lovely shepherd's lantern on the tail. Esryth is compact yet agile to reflect the hardy nature of herding canines (and will certainly help him out during Fall). He's got that long tail, and that lean form. A little less fluffy than border collies, alas. I also tried to have a bit of the beauty and amusement that always seem to come hand-in-hand when it comes to dogs."

Name Inspiration

Wyn sez: "Esryth. I say it 'EZ-rith', you may say it 'ESS-rith', or any little way your heart desires (Es-reeth? Es-rye-ith?) but every dragon needs a name, and yours is named Esryth. Why, do you ask? Because you asked for a name that was short, easy to say, avoided strange Celtic references, and could be shouted uphill into a 50 km/h gale. There's no particular derivation of the name, it simply came to me out of the blue, but I hope that it's fit your wish for a name remniscent of the simple, short names of working border collies."

Mindvoice

Bursting. Intelligent. Alive. This is Esryth, and his mindvoice reflects this. Not one for the artificial shades of electric lime and fuschia that colour some dragons' thoughts, the images and colours that Esryth chooses are usually drawn from a natural source; the intense green-on-blue of a meadow at the height of spring under a clear sky, warm sunny yellows, dark foresty hues, craggy mountain grays… He's not a terribly nautical dragon, more at home in meadows and fields, so unlike other blues like Tsulryth, you won't have an ocean crashing around in your head.

Mental scents are also drawn from a natural source, with a definite pastoral influence. When he's content or during a rare period of rest, the warm, lazy smell of summer hay will come forth. Working, the sharp spicy scent of alfalfa adds alertness. Anger brings the ozone of a thunderstorm. And should he ever be under the weather? Lucky you, Aislinn. You get a mental noseful of the scent of wet dog.

But whatever the background, it comes second to the thoughts themselves. Their pace is rapid, almost dizzying in the way from which he'll bounce from one topic to another, leaving out about five intervening steps and not even stopping to notice. The quicker-witted dragons will delight in it, but he'll probably have no use for ditzy specimens of green, or they for him, simply because they're practically speaking different languages. His tone will rise and fall, growing louder as he gets more excited about something, the words growing clipped, almost to the point of a full-out bark when he's really into his groove. You may find yourself having to tell him to settle down and be quiet now and again, before a trip to beg willowsalic pills off the Healers is in order.

Physicalities

Sleek and lean and small, Esryth is one of the better-proportioned dragons within the clutch. His body and limbs are quite compact, nothing is wasted in the creation of his form. He's designed for flight with his light build, the lack of extra weight working like the hollow bones of a bird to allow him a graceful sense of agility, and surprising stamina in the air, despite being smaller than many other blues.

He doesn't look odd, despite his slightly short dimensions — he's a bit on the lanky side, which makes the stout neck and body seem quite natural. His eyes set a tad more closely together than other dragons, his neck slightly shorter, his neckridges less pronounced. The one curious feature he has are his headknobs — set slightly askew, they're endearing and create a sort of permanent look of curiosity in his features. They're also where he quite appreciates scritches. A few freckles of lighter blue can be seen along his 'ridges if you look closely (and you will! Hours of oiling those itchy spots near his wings will make you *very* intimate with every inch of odd coloring!).

Like several of his other clutchmates, Esryth has slightly larger and longer wings than most other dragons. This will work to his advantage in riding thermals for long periods, but he will be slightly awkward in the first few sevendays before he truly starts to grow into them. Once those first awkward days are out of the way, he'll take easily to the land, prancing and moving across it with an unflappable efficiency. Traversing the air, as well, is something that simply comes natural to him — and those first few flying lessons may make him slightly unpopular, as he'll be able to appreciate the sheer fun of flying and playing in the sky before some of his clutchmates.

Colorwise, he has two basic tones: a dark and slightly slate-touched dark blue, and a pale shade that seems like snow mixed in with pure sky. His markings are rather distinctive, with a smear of the pale shade streaking down between his eyes and across his muzzle and light-colored feet. Striations of the sky-blue shade also appear brushed across his wingsails, just slightly. The silvery scars of Threadfall will show up starkly against his hide, rarely disappearing completely. The lengthy tail is the final point of paleness on the otherwise-dark dragon, as a rather elegant touch of a shepherd's lantern completes his canine appearance. It is this marked tail that will be constantly thumping and twitching as he waits for the perfect moment to swoop down on breakfast, or as he lounges upon your ledge after a tiring battle with Thread.

Personality

Work hard, play hard, and sleep is for the weak! Border collies and George Gordon, Lord Byron both share a certain manic passion for life and living it that Esryth embraces wholeheartedly as well, except with less in the way of drool and depressive fits in his case. Best of all possible worlds, no?

As a young dragon, Esryth will want to be into anything and everything, quickly bored, and just as quick to amuse himself if you don't keep him occupied with something, Aislinn… and you may not like what that something may be. He is not a prankster of a dragon — he lacks the plotting nature for it. But he's curious and smart, and with his innate need to be Doing Something, he'll find that something if it's the last thing he does. Perhaps you'll come back from bathing to find him trying to get his clutchmates to shift their couches to suit some known-only-to-him proper arrangement. Or maybe he'll have caught you chewing on the end of a quill, and the next time you see him, there'll be feather scraps all over the place, and an inkpot overturned right across that dragon anatomy assignment that Weyrsecond Wyn, in her trainee dragonhealer power, has ordered done for the next day's lesson. He'll be immediately contrite of course, and probably will want to try and make it all better once he sees that it's displeased you, but the next time you sleep a little later than he does, or take an extra ten minutes to get back to him, or get too wrapped up in your studies, something else is bound to happen.

Esryth will be active from the time he wakes 'til he at last collapses into sleep again. While he'll learn to amuse himself in more appropriate ways as he gets older, expect to get very little sleep with him as a weyrling dragon, although the longer periods of rest demanded by his growing body will at least give you a little peace. Some of your clutchmates may get somewhat annoyed by the fact that you and Esryth will always be up and rattling around at the crack of dawn while their dragons are still mercifully asleep… but what can you do? He's just got that way of cocking his head with those crooked headknobs and looking at you when he wants something.

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar.
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet can not all conceal.
— Byron's Apostrophe to the Ocean, from Childe Harolde

He'll likely be the first one to try to get out of the confines of the weyrling barracks, and not just because of the boredom of that first enforced confinement. Because, like Byron, Esryth has a very tangible connection to the outdoors, and it's something that will be a part of him for the rest of his life. He is not claustrophobic, 'nor is he antisocial, but every now and again, the constant throng of people and dragons around a weyr will grow wearing to him, the stimulus just too constant, the sensory input just too much for someone whose brain is always switched to 'on'. And when that happens, he'll flee with you out to the meadows, some place where he can simply be alone with Nature for a time, and recharge his mental batteries. You may find that he has a special place in his heart for his clutchmates like Celvynath and Veriameth, because of their similar love of nature. And hey, if he gets bored, he can always try herding rabbits.

Oh yeah, and about that herding… He does that. A lot. Everything from weyrbrats to other dragons to passing flocks of wild wherries, if they catch his eye and he's not immediately occupied, he'll feel the need to see if he can't make them move this way or that. With other dragons, it may be more subtle, just a steady, unnerving stare that makes the more weak willed of them want to edge over this way to get out of his direct line of sight. Why does he do this? He doesn't know.

Perhaps one day he might be out by the pens, and an observing Morchainth might comment approvingly about how he's driven the herdbeasts so neatly and bent them to his Purpose for them. Esryth will probably look up, somewhat startled, and reply that « I… had no particular purpose in mind really. They just look better that way. No. Really. » It's a quirk, and not one he can explain, it's just an instinct to herd and to chase, and that's just the way it is.

You know nothin's gettin' done when talk is all you hear
Like someone revvin' up a truck never put in gear
But you don't see a cowboy run his mouth and strut around
He just takes the bull by the horns and throws him to the ground
Takin' care of business not just puttin' on a show
When it gets down to it, everybody knows

It ain't the smoke, it's the fire that gets the burnin' done
If it wasn't for the bullet, nobody'd fear the gun
It ain't the bark, it ain't the growl, it's the bite that hurts
Thunder's just a noise, boys, lightnin' does the work
—- Chad Brock - "Lightning Does The Work"

When it comes time to fly Thread, Esryth will grow to become one of the weyr's best fighters in time, not because of any particular gift for tactics like the dynamic duo of Vorkoroth and Sidramuntalath, or because of an innate physical ability, although his body is definitely designed to be zippy and quick. No, what will drive Esryth to be the best is sheer work ethic. When he's in the air and on the job, all traces of quirks and manic investigating off on tangents are completely gone. It's just go, go, go, after the Thread, Thread, Thread, as if he's trying to make up for the inability to fly a full four-hour Fall imposed on him by his size by doing twice the work in the time he can spare. Your job will be to direct him and help him keep as much of that formidable energy in reserve as possible.

Of course, he's not going to pick all this up right from day one. No, your weyrlinghood, Aislinn, is going to be one colossal headache as soon as the practical lessons get underway, because you're going to have an overexcited, overintelligent, overactive puppy of a weyrling dragon on your hands, and that same get up and go that will serve him so well later will first show up as an attention span that could be charitably compared to that of a flea's. Much like Byron, he'll pay rapt attention to anything new and interesting catching his eye, then rapidly lose interest in listening more, if it impedes him actually getting to try it. Accordingly, he'll be a model pupil for the first part of a lesson, but then you'll often find yourself faced with an:

« Okay, I get it now. Flap my wings -so-, and then a lift-off like -so-, and then I'll be flying. Aislinn! I can do it, I can fly, just look at me!! »
"But Esryth, the weyrlingmaster hasn't cleared us yee—- Esryth!! *squeak* Get back here now!!!"
« Look at me goooooooo!! »

as the lesson wears on. He'll settle eventually, like a pup learning to quiet down and work those sheep, but every new step along the way, he's going to want to jump the gun and try things out right now, now, now. He'll be the Dragonet Most Likely to get wingstrain from practising those wing exercises too hard, to take off and fly without permission, and to get liberally pelted with dyed ropes in his first practise Threadfall, but he will, eventually, learn. And once he's learned, he'll be rapidly on his way to perfecting it, because that's just the way he is.

When it comes to his relationships with other dragons, Esryth will never be one for idle gossip, idle sunning himself, or idle anything. If you're busy with something else, he may well occupy himself with things like giving the weyr support staff lifts up to the various weyrs for cleaning. This is a job normally given solely to the weyrlings, but Esryth won't mind. It's something to do. Long lazy chats sitting beside the lake will never be his style, 'nor the sort of information-trading that's second nature to half the dragons of the weyr at times. He may in fact be rather clueless of weyr events as a whole most of the time, although if someone should strike up a conversation while working alongside him, he'll prattle on quite happily with them. He also loves to play. We may have said he wouldn't often lounge beside the lake, but in it is quite another matter. Retrieving lost treasures from the bottom, lying in wait to splash a prissy green just as she's gotten herself all dry and sun-warmed… Esryth can be a playful tease of a dragon when he's assigned himself, or been ordered to take, a rest period.

And when it comes to you, Aislinn? Well, you're his partner, his working buddy, and the only one who can tell him to take a break if he needs one. When he's young, you'll be an older sister and instructor to him, reining in those wild, darting impulses and teaching him how to work. He'll probably force you into being more outgoing and more assertive, because otherwise the both of you will go cheerfully running right off over whatever educational cliff is in the way. Not to mention that his exhuberant curiosity about everything and everyone will result in a lot more contact with people, and a lot of different kinds of people too. As he ages, you'll become more of a partner, guiding him and supporting him, but also finding in him a guide and a support for yourself as well. Whether it's a smooth partnership or a rocky one, it's sure to be one heck of a ride either way.

Flights

Esryth never does anything in half-measures. When he works, he works, when he plays, he plays. His existence is one great, dizzying whirl of experiences and sensations, and unlike Morchainth with his well-hidden fear, or the calmly deliberate Dyamith, he revels in them. He'll fly Thread 'til he drops exhausted to rest on his ledge, chase herdbeasts around the pens until he's completely forgotten that he's hungry, and when a green has that certain sparkle about her…

Well, it's then that his inner Byron comes fully out to play. Byron was a man in love with the idea of Love. Of a mad, passionate obsession which is abandoned as soon as curiosity and desire are sated. Consequently, Byron was notable for his many love affairs, most of which had terribly messy endings as yet one more woman fell prey to the belief that she would be the one to finally capture the manic, brilliant poet.

Esryth will be much the same. He will not be composing sonnets to the weyr's greens (Although he might well offer blazingly-quick little digs at the other males' attempts.) but when flight hormones are upon him, the green who's triggered his affections will be the center of his universe for so long as the flight lasts. He may even be drawn upon to linger for a few hours, lazing in the sun with tails twined while he recuperates. But then the intoxicated haze will lift. And then he'll be gone.

Oh, but some of the greens will hate him for that love 'em and leave 'em approach! Esryth may even find himself the cause of draconic girl-talk sessions solely devoted to all the reasons why he's a complete and utter watchwher, and they should really all just ignore him completely… except that doesn't he just fly like a dream?
Esryth is not naturally a cruel dragon, but he loathes being restrained or tied down (You're the only one who'll ever be able to manage it at all well. ) and consequently there's nothing that will drive him up the wall sooner than finding that he's just caught one of the clingy, simpering greens. The more she tries to hold him, the sharper he'll get with her, and if she keeps it up, he can turn around and lash out at her with something harsh, just to get her to go away and leave him in peace.

"I am no longer your lover; and since you oblige me to confess it, by this truly unfeminine persecution, - learn, that I am attached to another; whose name it would of course be dishonourable to mention. I shall ever remember with gratitude the many instances I have received of the predilection you have shewn in my favour. I shall ever continue your friend, if your Ladyship will permit me so to style myself; and, as a first proof of my regard, I offer you this advice, correct your vanity, which is ridiculous; exert your absurd caprices upon others; and leave me in peace."
—- Lord Byron, in a letter to Lady Caroline Lamb

Of course, every now and again, there'll be one green who catches his eye, and he hers. They'll keep going through their little dance of flight and fight, and they'll likely cause the weyr gossip chain to buzz madly while they're at it, but, like Lady Caroline Lamb, whose initial thoughts on Byron head this section, she just won't be able to let him go. And he, not truly enjoying being snappish, even if he plays it well, will find himself trying to make amends to her. Until their next fight.

Should he not catch in a flight, should all his efforts not be enough, and the green ends up in the wingsails of another, through superior strategy, or her own choice, he'll sulk for a time. He'll have worn himself to the bone giving his all to catch her, and so throwing himself immediately back into work to forget about her isn't an option. He won't have anything to distract him from the fact that he's loved and lost, and consequently he'll brood while he recuperates. This will be one of the times where a trip out to the meadows, or to some isolated mountain crag will be in order. A short time in the pleasant air and peace, and he'll be back to his usual manic self before you know it. After all, you, Aislinn, are the only woman who'll ever permanently hold his affections.


And so this is Esryth. Esryth the bright and blazingly-quick, Esryth the driven and dedicated worker, Esryth the manic and playful clown. Esryth the passionate. But above all, Esryth, Aislinn's dragon. And that's just it, you see. We've written this Inspiration as a guide for you, only that and nothing more. You can take bits and pieces of it, take all of it and add to it, or take absolutely nothing and go your own way. It's totally up to you. Again, congratulations. He's all yours, and we can't wait to see how far you two go!

Credits

Name: Wyn
Egg Desc: Sii'kyn
Dragonet Desc: Lylia; Wyn, Pyrene tweak
Messages: Sein; Wyn tweak
Puppeteer: Wyn
Inspiration: Lylia, Sein, Wyn

Clutchmates:
Desba and brown Dyamith
Palia and green Veriameth
Kalaeya and green Maiioth
A'hoy (Atohya) and blue Mateyth (NPC)
Rajani (Rajanigandha) and green Celvynath
Ryse (Chrysea) and blue Paperth (NPC)
Ashli and gold Isamath
R'um (Rylum) and brown Runnerth (NPC)
X'ian (Axle) and bronze Morchainth
D'nik (Dominicke) and green Zveitseith

Harper's Tale's 38th PC Clutch
High Reaches Weyr's 11th PC Clutch
Shaela's gold Chayath and L'uc's bronze Jydhaeth
Sunday, April 25, 2004

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